Tag Archives: politics

Ron Paul’s waging a cagy race that may have surprising results

3 May

Writing in Salon, Steve Kronacki reports that Repuiblic honchos are getting worried:

…the political world stopped paying attention to Paul about two months ago, and the threat of him bolting the GOP and running as an independent – a scenario long feared by Republicans – passed long ago.

And yet, the RNC’s chief counsel felt the need this week to issue a warning to the Nevada state GOP about the Paul campaign. At issue is this weekend’s Nevada Republican convention, where delegates to the national convention will be chosen. The state’s caucuses in February were a truly messy (that’s the polite word) affair, but Romney was the clear and overwhelming winner.

On Saturday, though, Paul supporters are expected to flood the state convention and could account for the lion’s share of attendees. This is what prompted the RNC’s counsel to warn the state party that its delegation might be denied seating in Tampa if it’s dominated by Paul-ites. Continue reading

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Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders | | AlterNet

3 May

But, for a better analogy, we must go back to the American slave system, a thoroughly capitalist enterprise that reduced human beings to units of labor and sale. The Corrections Corporation of America’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission read very much like the documents of a slave-trader. Investors are warned that profits would go down if the demand for prisoners declines. That is, if the world’s largest police state shrinks, so does the corporate bottom line. Dangers to profitability include “relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.” The corporation spells it out: “any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.” At the Corrections Corporation of America, human freedom is a dirty word.

via Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders | | AlterNet.

Truth and Traditions Top Five

1 May

1. Declaration of Independence

219 years ago our originators “brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Today we have less liberty. Inequality has reached obscene proportions as millions die of preventable diseases and starvation each year, and over a billion children suffer sociogenic brain damage worldwide, as the rich get ever richer.

2. Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

David Graeber recounts the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35). As an exercise you might want to read the story as one about the recent mortgage mess in the United States.

3. David Brooks, Fooled by Inequality

He’s at it again, being reasonable out of one side of his mouth while makin’ it up out of the other. I’m talking about David Brooks, Mr. Reasonable, the Mr. Blizzard of plausible risibility. His column, The Wrong Inequality, is a masterpiece of rhetorical legerdemain and misdirection.

4. Truth and Traditions Defined

The inconvenient truths of peak oil now, peak drinkable water now, peak everything on the horizon, as far as the eye can see. The many, many ugly truths of war and waste have been systematically unexamined by our corporate owned mass media who stand to profit by ignoring news unfit for them to print or speak. . . . Those thousands of animistic traditions that peoples all over the world lived by for 99.8% of human existence: feeling the “spirit” in all life forms, honoring reciprocities and gift circulation, maintaining hospitality and generosity, sharing tools and talents in daily life, replanting three trees for every tree cut down, minimizing division of labor, maximizing individuation and Self-expression.

5. Wall Street: The Dead Face of Domination

IMGP4452rd - The Face of Domination

Those buildings are in New York City’s financial district (aka Wall Street). That’s where the captains of finance manipulate our world while playing ‘King of the Hill’ against one another. Those buildings are machines. They are the Borg. We ARE living in The Matrix. We are nothing but feedstock for the adolescent games those machines play with one another.

Roseanne Barr for President

1 May

Roseanne Barr is running for President on the Green Party. Her campaign website:

On August 4th, 2011, Roseanne Barr announced her candidacy for President of the United States on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, declaring that she would not run as a Democrat or a Republican “because they both suck and they’re both a bunch of criminals.” She has since decided to seek the nomination of the Green Party of the United States.

On Day 1 of #OccupyWallStreet, September 17th, 2011, Roseanne became the first public figure to stand with the occupiers in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, delivering a speech before the very first General Assembly.

If elected, Roseanne’s presidency will manifest world peace in less than one year!

You know what they say, if you want to see interesting things happen, set a goal and go after it. Even if you don’t reach the goal, good things will happen. One year! Peace! Sounds good to me.

Go to the campaign Facebook page and Like it. Continue reading

Global Warming and the Beginning of the Great Transition

20 Apr

I’ve been thinking about the recent poll showing that a majority of Americans now believe that global warming is real and that it is the cause behind recent extreme weather (as reported in The New York Times):

The poll suggests that a solid majority of the public feels that global warming is real, a result consistent with other polls that have asked the question in various ways. When invited to agree or disagree with the statement, “global warming is affecting the weather in the United States,” 69 percent of respondents in the new poll said they agreed, while 30 percent disagreed.

Not only that, but “one of the more striking findings was that 35 percent of the public reported being affected by extreme weather in the past year.” That is global warming is no longer something affecting only “those people” who live “over there, in that other place far far away from me.” It’s happening here and now, to me!

What’s the ripple effect of these beliefs? William McKibben says ““My sense from around the country and the world is that people definitely understand that things are getting freaky” and his group, 350.org, is planning rallies on May 5 to help people to “Connect the Dots” between the crazy weather we have now and long-term climate change.

Of course those aren’t the only dots that need to be connected. Climate change needs to be connected to energy policy and practices, to farming and ranching and food practices, to relationships between local and global communities, to, well, when you think about it, to just about everything.

Certainly to war and peace. All the time, energy, and resources we throw into way is just thrown away. We need to devote that to saving the earth and thus to saving ourselves and our grandchildren, and their grandchildren.

But first we need to believe that all that must be done. Is this newly emerging consensus on global warming the beginning of that belief? Is this the beginning of the Great Transition?

Can Citigroup Shareholders Launch a Revolt on Banks? – Business – The Atlantic Wire

19 Apr

The shareholders of Citigroup voted to reject the generous pay package of the CEO Vikram Pandit this week, setting up a potential showdown that could ripple throughout the corporate world. The “advisory” vote — which is required by the Dodd-Frank Act, but is not binding — now puts the company’s directors in awkward position. They can go along with it and ask Pandit to “give back” some of the $34 million it paid him last year, or they can ignore it and defy the people they theoretically work for. Neither option is attractive, but how it plays out could change the very nature of the shareholder-corporation relationship. It’s the first time a major Wall Street firm has had to face such a vote and it probably won’t be the last one to lose it.

… However, it’s now clear from this shareholder move that it isn’t just Occupy Wall Streeters who are annoyed with the outrageous sums that top executives take home. Now they’re actively trying to do something about it.

via Can Citigroup Shareholders Launch a Revolt on Banks? – Business – The Atlantic Wire.

Ron Paul – 2012 TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World

18 Apr

Ralph Nader explains why Ron Paul makes Time‘s list of 100 most influential people of 2012.

… people like a politician without marbles in his mouth.

Paul does not censor himself. He comes across as sincere, earnest and independent of his party’s fat cats. In the debates, only he called out the American Empire’s meddling in the business of countless nations around the world. He assails the Pentagon’s bloated budgets and has worked with liberal Democrat Barney Frank to shrink the military-industrial complex. He wants to end our boomeranging wars.

Paul, 76, draws a distinction between libertarian conservatives and those corporatist conservatives entrenching a corporate state in which Big Business merges with Big Government.

via Ron Paul – 2012 TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World – TIME.

George P. Mitchell, fracking, and scientific innovation. – Slate Magazine

15 Apr

The shale gas R&D projects assumed a kind of vacuum. The only criteria were technical feasibility and economic profitability, and the innovators failed to consider questions about how the technologies would play out in the real world. What is the long-term fate of the chemicals that remain underground? What do we do with the toxic mixture of fracking fluids and naturally occurring radioactive materials that flows back up the wellbore during drilling and production? How will roads handle the increase in traffic volume that results from the roughly 1,000 truck trips (hauling fracking fluids and waste water) it takes to get each well producing? What are the air quality and climate implications? Can we safely frack in places where people live? What happens when the wells run dry? Is it wise to further commit ourselves to a finite fossil resource that requires such extreme measures to extract?

Why weren’t these questions asked with the same rigor as the technical questions? It is because we have an innovation system that only asks “how to,” not “what if?” As a result, we have enormous powers to change the world and the way we live, but essentially zero capacity to guide those powers wisely or responsibly. We promote transformative research with one hand and clean up its messes with the other. And throughout we lack any clear sense about what needs transforming and why.

via George P. Mitchell, fracking, and scientific innovation. – Slate Magazine.

Open Letter to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich: Come Together, Right Now

20 Mar

Dear Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich,

I urge you to put your respective strengths together on a firm foundation built by back-to-basics Austrian and Buddhist economics. A casual reading of G. Bateson, E. F. Schumacher, John Ruskin, anyone who has thought long and hard about the profound evil embodied in “central banking,” war preparations and “Fed manipulations” everywhere, will give you the tools and bricks you need to build a Reform Party and/or an Americans Elect TEAM based on emergent truths and the oldest traditions.

At the Truth & Traditions party website (cranks and planks without a platform or an actual political party) you will find arguments, positions, reports, a Declaration of Interdependence, some of what you will need to create a balanced platform and a beyond-bi-partisan Sunshine Cabinet whose members and many surrogates can campaign with you this summer and fall.

The key to this Sunshine Cabinet is the creation of a Peace Department (Kucinich in charge?) and an Ecology Department (Bill McKibben or Andrew Kimbrell in charge?), each department NEVER to exceed a size sustainable by a quarter of one percent of the current Defense Department budget. In truth, each department needs only a few dozen people to gather up the long-term thinking and best practices of diverse Great Transition communities, colleges, universities, institutes, limited and democratic governments around the world that work for the best interests of their peoples. These two very small and extremely cost-effective departments can shape and pass on as many proposals to Congress, Executive and Judicial branches as are needed. Continue reading

Nassim Taleb Endorses Ron Paul

13 Mar

Nassim Taleb is an economist and a student of risk. And that’s why he’s endorsing Paul. “Only one candidate, Ron Paul, seems to have grasped issues and is offering the right remedies for the central problems we are facing.” Only Paul understands the economic risks the Republicrat CorpState is creating. Paul’s addressing structural problems in the economy. The others are dulling the pain with Novocain; Ron Paul’s going for the cure with root canal.

According to Taleb, Paul is the only one with the right policies for the “Big Four”:

  1. Deficits: Rampant bureaucracy is feeding on itself and running up costs
  2. The Fed: Paul is “the only one with the guts [to go after it].”
  3. Militarism: Another self-feeding institution.
  4. “America is about resilience and you don’t achieve that with buy-outs. You need a certain rate of failure.”