For example, Kansas gave AMC Entertainment $47 million in PEAK subsidies last year to get the movie theatre chain to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri about 10 miles across the state line to suburban Leawood. In Illinois, Motorola Mobility (now part of Google) last year got state officials to provide $100 million in EDGE tax credits over ten years to keep its headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Between the advent of Charter Schools where private business can get rich uneducating the young and the Evangelican desire to eliminate learning, the ideals of 14th Century Republicanism has become clear:
Keep the youth stupid and rule from above.
How is it getting this way? One way is with the help of business, whether intentional or inadvertent by providing the toys Americans can’t do without. The other is the lack of anything resembling a responsible media.
Stay at home and learn through individual private schools that care only about money and not whether students are prepared of higher education (if even THAT trend should continue) or even a preparation for life. These are the so called “Charter Schools” which offer the student a choice of what to learn. Don’t want math? No problem. Take a course in Warcraft. Can’t handle science? Study rap music of the late 20th and early 21st Century.
After their maculate education, when they apply for employment at McDonalds, their resume will state they graduated “cum plenaria ignorantia” from Couch Potato High, class of perpetuity! And they’ll be proud to proclaim it. More’s the pity.
All these kids today and soon those from the Post Repubalyptic/New Corporate World will have no inkling of what went on before the Idiot pod, Idiot phones, gameboys, soccer moms and NASCAR Dads…and won’t care.
Those who rule will make sure so long as Americans have toys and febrile entertainment 24/7, the corporate world will be safe. “Little Jack Horner” will be more of a reality than we could ever imagine.
It’ll be like the scene from the original “Time Machine” when Rod Taylor discovers the child-like Eloi who have no concept they are merely fodder for the Corporate Morlocks. And as long as the American Eloi is distracted by corporate toys they’ll never move beyond a pre-adolescent existence.
In the Post Repubalyptic Future there are no books, no science, no philosophy, only games, the indoctrinating propaganda of those who watch and blind obedience to Corporate Rule.
I feel for those young who won’t even be aware of how they will live and what they’ll never learn or know. My only consolation is I won’t be around to experience it.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Republicans want to increase the cost of delivering letters by making the postal service private. No private company has ever charged LESS for public service than government agencies over the long run. Want $1.00 letters? Vote republican.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
As you may already know, the USPS is going broke, thanks to Bush II and a 2006 law that forces it to fund its pension obligations completely for the next 75 years — and complete that funding in 10 years.
As you'll read below, because money earns money, no one (literally, no one) funds pension funds more than 30%.
Now Taibbi (all emphasis mine):
In 2006, in what looks like an attempt to bust the Postal Workers' Union, George Bush signed into law the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. This law required the Postal Service to pre-fund 100 percent of its entire future obligations for 75 years of health benefits to its employees – and not only do it, but do it within ten years. No other organization, public or private, has to pre-fund 100 percent of its future health benefits.And the reason is obvious — unions, plus privatization:
"No one prefunds at more than 30 percent," Anthony Vegliante, the U.S. Postal Service's executive vice president, told reporters last year.
The new law forced the postal service to come up with about $5.5 billion a year for the ten years following the bill's passage. In 2006, before those payments kicked in, the USPS generated a small profit. Not surprisingly, the USPS is now basically broke.
The transparent purpose of this law, which was pushed heavily by industry lobbyists, was to break a public sector union and privatize the mail industry. Before the 2006 act, the postal service did one thing, did it well, and, minus the need to generate profits and bonuses for executives, did it cheaply. It paid for itself and was not a burden to taxpayers. ... This is a classic example of private-sector lobbyists using the government to protect its profits and keep prices inflated.Taibbi's piece explains all the non-postal benefits of having post offices in a great many places not served by profit-hungry businesses.
Susie Madrak has more at Crooks and Liars, including a nice video of Taibbi explaining this issue.
Action Opportunity — Senator Bernie Sanders has a bill to delay the worst outcomes, such as Saturday closings.
Sen. Sanders is pushing a bill that would delay the end of Saturday delivery for two years, and prevent a number of post-office closings, but the writing is on the wall, unless there's a public outcry.We have more about that bill here.
You can let your senators know that you strongly support that bill. Here's a nice list. And thanks!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Think about this next time you eat seafood from the Gulf then thank BP, Barry and the Republican Corporate Lovers for their concern.
Two years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, touching off the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, research into the disaster's environmental effects is turning up ailing fish that bear hallmarks of diseases tied to petroleum and other pollutants.Those illnesses don't pose an increased health threat to humans, scientists say, but the problems could be devastating to prized species such as grouper and red snapper, and to the people who make their living catching them.***"Bile tells you what a fish's last meal was," said Steve Murawski, a marine biologist with the University of South Florida who was chief science adviser for the National Marine Fisheries Service until November 2010 when he began working on oil spill studies for USF. "There was as late as August of last year an oil source out there that some of those animals were consuming."Bile in red snapper, yellow-edge grouper and a few other species contained on average 125 parts per million of naphthalene, a compound found in crude oil, Murawski said. Scientists expect to find almost none of the toxin in fish captured in the open ocean.
"The fishermen have never seen anything like this," Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. "And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I've never seen anything like this either."Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.Cowan's findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP's oil and dispersants.Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP's 2010 oil disaster.Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees' fingers point towards BP's oil pollution disaster as being the cause.***"The dispersants used in BP's draconian experiment contain solvents, such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol. Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber," Dr Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist and Exxon Valdez survivor told Al Jazeera. "It should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known".The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities. Shrimp, for example, have a life-cycle short enough that two to three generations have existed since BP's disaster began, giving the chemicals time to enter the genome.Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. Health impacts can include headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. They are also teratogenic – able to disturb the growth and development of an embryo or fetus – and carcinogenic.Cowan believes chemicals named polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), released from BP's submerged oil, are likely to blame for what he is finding, due to the fact that the fish with lesions he is finding are from "a wide spatial distribution that is spatially coordinated with oil from the Deepwater Horizon, both surface oil and subsurface oil. A lot of the oil that impacted Louisiana was also in subsurface plumes, and we think there is a lot of it remaining on the seafloor".
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Enjoy your seafood that comes from the Gulf. Remember the Republicans don't want BP to pay a dime for the pollution and don't want any regulation on food safety. Enjoy your next meal!
If you believe BP, there's nothing wrong with the seafood in the Gulf of Mexico. You probably also don't believe in climate change or any other science that shows the negative impact of oil on the environment. As this Al Jazeera article explains, it took nearly four years for the impact of a spill in Alaska to be fully understood but the results are showing much faster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fishermen and scientists are alarmed by the significant increase in mutated fish and shellfish, including eyeless crabs and shrimp. Overall catches have dropped as well, which should be setting off alarms. The studies will continue but until the court case starts against BP it may be a long time until everything is known.
When discussing domestic oil drilling, Big Oil and their apologists (also known as the GOP) always ignore critical issues such as the negative impact of lost tourism, lost jobs related to the seafood industry as well as lost food sources for Americans. How are those not also important? Just because they don't have the deep pockets to smear everyone else doesn't mean those industries aren't also important, no?
Remember People, Your Republican Legislature says they haven't raised taxes yet they can give business more breaks that you pay for.
|By: Michelle Chen Tuesday April 17, 2012 6:46 pm|
Monday, April 16, 2012
Learn why your kids should stay in a public school before you have to pay even more money to private firms.
The problem? Analyses of similar programs in other states have found deeply worrisome results in terms of effectiveness for students.A study of a Pennsylvania program by Stanford University revealed that students in online schools performed significantly worse than their traditional counterparts.A 2010 University of Colorado study found that only 30 percent of virtual schools run by for-profit organizations met the minimum progress standards outlined by No Child Left Behind, compared with 54.9 percent of physical schools.According to The Nation: "A major review by the Education Department found that policy reforms embracing online courses "lack scientific evidence" of their effectiveness."Not to mention the fact that online learning doesn't provide the social and community benefits to students of a real-life public school.
Not surprisingly, the push for cyber schools is being bankrolled by companies that will benefit the most from the profits that come with them. The biggest of these is a company called K-12, Inc. In 2011, K-12, Inc. made a whopping $522 million in profits — $336 per student....The effort to shift taxpayer money from public schools to private, for-profit cyber schools is being helped along by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which has a coordinated, 50-state strategy, offering templates for legislation/bills for what it calls "The Virtual Public Schools Act." According to The Nation article, the department responsible for this work is headed up by an executive from Connections Learning, another for-profit company offering online learning.
Subject: Cyber Schools Don't WorkWe are on the verge of making a big mistake—diverting our tax dollars away from public schools and into the hands of unaccountable, for-profit corporations. Under the proposed Senate Bill 619, Michigan would allow more so-called "cyber schools" to take over education from our neighborhood schools.The fact is, these "cyber schools" don't work—they don't deliver a better education to kids and they don't save the state money. The only real winners from shifting kids from neighborhood schools to "cyber schools" are the big-money corporations who profit from these online programs.Let's call this what it is: an attack on Michigan schools and our kids by out-of-state corporations. The only question is why are we letting it happen.Please do not support so-called "cyber schools."
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Sure am glad our guy are NOT like this!
By John Cole April 5th, 2012
Here’s an excellent Radley Balko piece that shows just exactly how our shitty war on drugs has managed to create a cottage industry of asset forfeiture and created a culture of shitty, deceitful, double-dealing cops. Check out this video:
One of the worst things about the drug war, aside from what you just saw above and what Radley describes regarding asset forfeiture, is that we’ve cultivated a mentality in the police that it’s “Us v. them.” That’s why they need ever and bigger arsenals, that’s why our SWAT teams are out of control, etc. And at the same time, these very same cops with that mentality have failed to realize that the citizenry is starting to take the the very same attitude with the Police. Cops look at every black person in the inner city as a potential threat. Guess what? I look at every cop as a potential threat. I don’t know which one I am going to run across that is a liar, which one is a threat to my health and well-being, which is willing to plant evidence, or which will taze me or mace me for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. AND I’M FUCKING WHITE.
In other words, every time I see a cop I don’t see someone who is there to preserve public order. I see a potential threat and I just steer clear of them. They all wear the same uniform, and I have no way of knowing which one will be a scumbag like the guy in the video above, which one is having a shitty day or had a fight with his wife and wants to get rid of some frustration with a baton, which one will be like the guys who pumped fifty bullets into an unarmed NYC man, which one is going to shoot my dogs while breaking down the wrong door, or which one will be someone I can trust. So I just steer clear of them. I want nothing to do with them.
I have absolutely zero faith in any uniformed officer anywhere in the country. As far as I am concerned, these days I’m just caught in the crossfire between the gang-bangers and crooks with colored bandanas and the gang-bangers and serial perjurers with badges. And both have itchy trigger fingers, a broken moral compass, and a penchant for violence. The only real difference is the cops have better weapons training and a better code of silence.
Best to stay the fuck away from the whole lot of them. I wish I didn’t feel that way, but it is what it is. When I see a cop, I just clear a wide berth, because they just can’t be trusted to be rational actors. And now, thanks to our glorious Supreme Court (and the Obama admin- thanks B!), they can strip search me for a parking ticket. Awesome.
Because an out of control, violent, over-armed police force who feels like they are at war with the public they are supposed to protect needs more power.
*** Update ***
And I hope you truly understand the coercive manner with which this unlimited right to strip search will be used. Yes, you legal eagles who love to jump on knaves like me will say “It only applies to those going into general population.” Bullshit. We’ve just given police intimidation another weapon. In the Florence case, the man was arrested for no reason for a traffic ticket that was paid. And they threw him in jail for a week and strip-searched him twice anyway, and SCOTUS found that legit. Now think about that ruling in the context of the video above. Now, you are going to be “given” the choice of having your car searched without cause or being strip-searched in jail when the cop lies and arrests you on bullshit. It won’t be long before it is just understood by the public that you do what the cop says, however unjustified or unwarranted, or they will be hauled off to jail and fucked with via invasive searches. Mark my words.
But then again, some of you are the same idiots who don’t think police will be using drones illegally, or won’t be arming them, etc. Because history has proven over and over again that when given the choice, authorities always err on the side of individual rights. They never, ever, ever lie or overreach.
Monday, April 02, 2012
There really aren't enough words to describe to mind blowing stupidity of today's adults. This is so asinine it's beyond reason and imagination.
War On Words: NYC Dept. Of Education Wants 50 'Forbidden' Words Banned From Standardized Tests
'Dinosaur,' 'Birthday,' 'Halloween,' 'Poverty,' 'Divorce' Among Those Suggested
March 26, 2012 7:04 PM
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — George Carlin is rolling over in his grave.
The New York City Department of Education is waging a war on words of sorts, and is seeking to have words they deem upsetting removed from standardized tests.
Marla Diamond Talks To Walcott, Student About Banned Words
Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.
The word "dinosaur" made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported. "Halloween" is targeted because it suggests paganism; a "birthday" might not be happy to all because it isn't celebrated by Jehovah's Witnesses.
Julie Lewis' family celebrates Christmas and Kwanzaa, but she told CBS 2′s Emily Smith she wants her children to appreciate and learn about other holidays and celebrations.
"They're going to meet people from all walks of life and they're going to have to learn to adjust," Lewis said.
Words that suggest wealth are excluded because they could make kids jealous. "Poverty" is also on the forbidden list. That's something Sy Fliegal with the Center for Educational Innovation calls ridiculous.
"The Petersons take a vacation for five days in their Mercedes … so what? You think our kids are going to be offended because they don't have a Mercedes? You think our kids are going to say 'I'm offended; how could they ask me a question about a Mercedes? I don't have a Mercedes!'" Fliegal said.
In a throwback to "Footloose," the word "dancing" is also taboo. However, there is good news for kids that like "ballet": The city made an exception for this form of dance.
Also banned are references to "divorce" and "disease," because kids taking the tests may have relatives who split from spouses or are ill.
Some students think banning these words from periodic assessment tests is ridiculous.
"If you don't celebrate one thing you might have a friend that does it. So I don't see why people would find it offensive," Curtis High School Sophomore Jamella Lewis told Diamond.
"So we're not an outlier in being politically correct. This is just making sure that test makers are sensitive in the development of their tests," Walcott said Monday.
To which Fliegal responded: "It's all of life! I don't know how they figure out what not to put on the list. Every aspect of life is on the list."
There are banned words currently in school districts nationwide. Walcott said New York City's list is longer because its student body is so diverse.
Here is the complete list of words that could be banned:
Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Death and disease
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Homes with swimming pools
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.