Ian Masters: The Zombie Presidency

from The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com by Ian Masters
THE ZOMBIE PRESIDENCY
by Ian Masters

A majority of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the Bush/Cheney regime ended, but has it? Like the zombie banks, the era of government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich lives on, with massive transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich continuing, as beleaguered poor and middle class taxpayers bail out the banks we are told are too big to fail.

Unfortunately for those of us too small to succeed, the American dream has to be deferred as our children and grandchildren get saddled with the debt we are piling up in the hope that Main Street will be stimulated once the gamblers and bookies on Wall Street come clean and get paid off with more of our money. Unwitting taxpayers are angry they rewarded bonuses to the insiders who created a rigged casino and manufactured their own chips to bet the house then bring it down. But they have focused their outrage on only one thousandth of just one shakedown, AIG, while the real scandal is the “cash for trash” transfer of what’s left of the treasury to Wall Street’s big banks who will end stronger as Main Street gets boarded up.

This Robin Hood in reverse phenomenon is not new. It began when Ronald Reagan declared he was taking the handcuffs off the millionaires and putting them on the welfare queens. Since then wages have remained stagnant as working Americans have maintained their standard of living on credit from banks who get cheap money from the Fed they then loan back at usurious rates.

Meanwhile productivity has soared, with the benefits going to capital, not labor. Under George W. Bush the transfer of public money to private hands accelerated as lobbyists and revolving door Congressmen, cashing in on public service for private gain, captured Washington to the extent that most politicians today represent special interests, not people. 
 

When Reagan cut taxes for the rich while rewarding the Military Industrial Complex with billions from the remaining overburdened poor and middle class taxpayers, the resulting deficits his budget director David Stockman warned him about ballooned. Reagan’s deficit also became an extra burden on those unfairly taxed, since the servicing of the resulting debt, which was largely owned by the rich, had to be paid by the poor. 
 


About the only voice of outrage back then in the Congress came from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who railed against this double jeopardy. Mercifully, Moynihan did not live to see what George W. Bush managed to pull off after Clinton paid down the debt and left a surplus for Bush.

With a self-proclaimed mandate from his “War on Terror”, Bush opened up the treasury to the usual suspects and then some. In a spree of corporate socialism he invited crony contractors to embed themselves at the government trough, in effect taking money from the Post Office to subsidize Fed Ex and UPS. However these “Beltway Bandits” who hung up their shingles did not have to deliver services, as long as they offered private jets to their political patrons. Meanwhile the rest of us have become POW’s in the class war Bush successfully waged against America’s poor and middle class.

So here we are, America the screwed, and we only have ourselves to blame since you get the government you deserve. Now the question is, does the populist rage out there get focused on political action with millions phoning, emailing and marching on Washington, or do we sullenly pay up and hope the stimulus works? The last time this happened, it was not solved by the top-down largesse of FDR, but rather from the bottom-up outrage of the American people that was felt in Washington, forcing politicians to act with a New Deal. We’ve had a bad deal for the last thirty years, now it’s time for a fair deal.
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Ian Masters is the host of “Background Briefing” and “Live From The Left Coast” Sundays 11 AM to 1PM on KPFK 90.7 FM radio and at ianmasters.org


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Losing Your Religion? Survey: Growing Number Of Atheists, Religion Declining

Losing Your Religion? Poll: Growing Number Of Atheists, Religion Declining.

The American Religious Identification Survey has released numbers for 2008 (previous surveys were done in 2001 and 1990).

Survey:
http://usatoday.com/news/religion/200…
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=704…

Related videos:
• JohnLArmstrong: “Christians, Read the Bible!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xNjM3…
• KingHeathen: “Religious Identification Survey Results” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J4VHW…

Channel recommendations: http://www.atheism-magazine.com/topic…

Please subscribe to:
http://YouTube.com/FFreeThinker
http://YouTube.com/AtheistExperience
http://YouTube.com/TheAtheistExperience

What honeymoon?

http://youtube.com/v/WDsl7OXK2WA

With members of the press constantly suggesting President Obama’s “honeymoon is over,” Media Matters is arguing that it never happened. Their proof: splicing together clips of pundits and newscasters accusing Obama of everything from socialism and Maoism to putting America in danger and enslaving our children. “If the last two months are the media’s idea of a honeymoon,” the video concludes, “all we have to say is good riddance.”

What If We Hadn’t Cut Back On CFCs? A Scary World

from The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post News Editors

WASHINGTON — Here’s rare good news about an environmental crisis: We dodged disaster with the ozone layer. A NASA study about ozone-munching chemicals from aerosol sprays and refrigeration used a computer model to play a game of what-if. What if the world 22 years ago didn’t agree to cut back on chlorofluorocarbons which cause a seasonal ozone hole to form near the South Pole?

NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman said the answer is a “bizarre world.”

By 2065, two-thirds of the protective ozone layer would have vanished and “the ozone hole covers the Earth.” And the CFCs, which are long-lived potent greenhouse gases, would have pushed the world’s temperature up an extra 4 degrees.

In mid-latitudes like Washington, DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiation would have increased more than sixfold. Just 5 minutes in the summer sunshine would have caused a sunburn, instead of 15. Typical midsummer UV levels, now around 10 or 11, would have soared to 30. Summer thunderstorms in the Northern Hemisphere would have been much stronger.

“It is a real horrible place,” Newman told The Associated Press.

But that dreadful scenario was “a world avoided,” according to the paper published this week in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

After scientists raised warnings in the early 1970s _ later earning a Nobel Prize _ 193 nations agreed in the1987 treaty called the Montreal Protocol to cut CFC emissions. CFCs had been used in air conditioning, aerosol sprays, foam packaging and other products.

Newman, the co-chair of the protocol’s scientific panel, said the study provides hope that the world can do the same thing on another looming but even harder to solve environmental problem: Global warming.

“There’s a huge lesson to be learned here,” said Paul Wapner, director of Global Environmental Politics at American University. “In significant cases, human beings can get together and arrive at international or global principles and avoid ecological catastrophe.”

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On the Net:

NASA’s ozone study: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/world_avoided.html

The United Nations’ ozone page: http://ozone.unep.org/


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Petition for the Prosecution of GWB

Prosecutor to investigate these crimes. However, as we also know well in the Blogosphere, this is far more than an issue of crime, punishment and justice as it should be. It is a political issue. A ‘hot potato’ political issue considering that any and all attempts at investigation and prosecution will undoubtedly (and erroneously) be described by the Republicans, the Right Wing press and pundits, and even some (complicit?) Democrats as a ‘partisan witch hunt’ and as ‘criminalizing politics.’ in other words, there are huge political costs at stake here. It would be much, much easier to ‘move on’ or ‘not play the blame game’ or point fingers to the past.’ The Obama Administration will face incredible pressure to sweep these War Crimes under the rug of history. We in the Blogosphere need to provide the counter-pressure. We do that by making our voices heard, and one way to do that is by each and everyone of us, the thousands if not millions of blog readers, adding our names to a petition. The petition will ultimately be submitted to AG Holder, as well as to Change.gov. However it can make a great impact on the ‘public conversation’ just by being everywhere in the Blogosphere as well. . To that end, Docudharma and Democrats.com have teamed up to create, host, and distribute the following petition. The petition calls for Attorney General Designate Holder to, immediately upon being confirmed, appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all officials of the Bush Administration for Torture and War Crimes. The petition: Dear Attorney General Designate Holder, We the undersigned citizens of the United States hereby formally petition you to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes. These crimes are being euphemistically referred to as “abusive interrogation techniques” by such respected figures as Senator John McCain. These are euphemisms for torture. Torture is a War Crime. Waterboarding is a War Crime. The CIA has admitted waterboarding detainees. Recently, Vice President Cheney has brazenly admitted authorizing the program that lead to waterboarding, other forms of torture too numerous to list, and ultimately, the deaths by homicide of detainees. As Major General Antonio Taguba, the Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison has stated: “After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.” The Washington Post recently summarized the Senate Armed Services Committee Report on detainee treatment thusly: A bipartisan panel of senators has concluded that former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials bear direct responsibility for the harsh treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and that their decisions led to more serious abuses in Iraq and elsewhere. We the undersigned citizens demand a full and thorough investigation immediately upon your taking office. This investigation should be pursued no matter where it may lead and no matter what the political implications may be. http://www.votestrike.com

The Mystical Body of Business: Why Corporations Have the Rights of Persons, – Dr. Eugene McCarraher

Its not widely known or understood that, in American law, the business corporation has the status of a person. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, IBM, Exxon every incorporated firm is
considered, from a legal standpoint, no differently from human beings with real flesh and blood. Its a very peculiar person, one that can own assets and yet also be owned
and therefore sold by shareholders; one whose only legal responsibility is to make profits for its owners. (Thats not just capitalist economics; its a statutory mandate.) Now of course this raises some interesting civil rights issues: if a corporation is a person, isnt owning and selling it a violation of the 13th Amendment? If employees are parts of the corporation, arent they owned and sold in exactly the same way? Is the corporation a massive civil rights issue
waiting to be identified and resolved? This class will trace the history of how corporations became people; examine some of the consequences of this peculiar metaphysical and legal transformation; and suggest alternatives to the current legal and political structure of corporate business. While the activities of corporations are often considered almost solely from the standpoint of social justice, they should also be identified as issues involving the most basic questions about persons and their rights. This may be one instance in which taking away or considerably modifying rights would further the cause of social justice.

Diversity Of Thinking – Richard Dawkins @ University Of Oklahoma, March 6, 2009 (HD)

Introduction: Diversity Of Thinking – Richard Dawkins @ University Of Oklahoma March 2009: Response to OK Resolution (State Representative Todd Thomsen).

This is Richard Dawkins’ special introduction to his lecture at the University of Oklahoma on March 6th, 2009. See more about the events surrounding his visit here: http://richarddawkins.net/article,3641,Oklahoma-legislator-proposes-resolution-to-condemn-Richard-Dawkins,Todd-Thomsen

Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He was voted Britain’s leading public intellectual by readers of Prospect magazine and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” for 2007. Among his books are “The Selfish Gene”, “The Blind Watchmaker”, “Climbing Mount Improbable”, “Unweaving the Rainbow”, “A Devils Chaplain”, “The Ancestor’s Tale”, and the New York Times best seller “The God Delusion”.

http://www.richarddawkins.net
http://www.youtube.com/richarddawkins…

How To Freecycle

Don’t throw it away, give it away
Freecycling is when a person passes on, for free, an unwanted item to another person who needs that item. From silverware to mobile homes, people worldwide are choosing to freecycle rather than discard. The practice frees up space in landfills and cuts down on the need to manufacture new goods. Thousands of groups dedicated to connecting people who want to give away something to people with a need are forming worldwide. Here are three steps you can take to join the freecycling movement.
1. Find a freecycling group near you at Recycling Group Finder. If you can’t find a group near you, consider starting one, either on your own or through organizations like The Freeuse Network, FREEactivate Recycling Groups, FreeSharing.org, Sharing Is Giving or The Freecycle Network. Freecycling works best when the group members live geographically close because it’s more convenient and uses less energy when stuff is exchanged.
2. Each freecycle group will have its own rules, so learn and abide by those rules. But commonly there are four kinds of posts: Wanted is you searching for an item; Found is telling others that you got what you were searching for; Offer is letting the group know what item you have to give away; and Taken is informing the group that you found a person who needed the item offered.
3. Before buying something, check to see if any one in your group is looking to get rid of the item you need. Before throwing an item in the trash, post an offer for the item to see if any one needs that item.
Now you’re freecycling! It’s a simple, economical, emotionally rewarding and morally sound practice that can literally help save the Earth.
More Information:
What to freecycle
What is freecycling etiquette?
Include a Photo
Writing a freecycle post

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