Corporate politic$ in America

I think the Tea Party and the ACLU (or other odd bedfellows of your choice) should get together and think of some strategy to address this issue. It may have to be outrageous.

Folks in America like to think that our elected officials are beholden to Us, The People. We have spirited elections, and if we don’t like Candidate X, we can vote for Candidate Y. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.

Then why does the FAA have a “no-fly zone” over Mayflower, Arkansas being overseen by Exxon Mobil? “In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission.” I don’t recall anyone electing Exxon as overseer of our skies. And a technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean-up costs.

How does Congress quietly pass, unbeknownst to most, even those who voted on it, a secret provision to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 which protects the manufacturers of genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health concerns, such as inflammatory bowel diseases? And check out the waiver Monsanto makes farmers sign.

Most observers believe Monsanto is likely to win a Supreme Court case which one must read to believe; that Justice Thomas, former Monsanto lawyer, doesn’t recuse himself is typical Clarence behavior. Now, if Vermont’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act passes the state legislature, requiring manufacturers to label modified food products as such, Monsanto has threatened to sue the state. Meanwhile, food safety advocates have called out President Obama over his broken promise to label GMOs.

Or, as I mentioned before, how do copyright holders give quasi-governmental powers to cut off Internet services?

The answer, my friend, is money. Money in politics. The ‘Revolving Door’ lobbyists have helped create the corporate betrayal of America. Check out The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secret website. So that is how one could have an anonymous! member of Congress slip something into a bill that protects the corporations.

None of this is news, exactly – see the FDR quote – but seems to have become both more pervasive and more perverse. So what are we going to do about it? I was watching this TED talk on Arthur’s blog, and it got me to think that there are many people on the political left and the political right who have a common agenda: a sense of fairness. Money trumps fairness, inherently.

I think the Tea Party and the ACLU (or other odd bedfellows of your choice) should get together and think of some strategy to address this issue. It may have to be outrageous.

Let’s face it: governments chug along doing the things they do, often in a self-serving manner, until the people get a bit uppity and sit at a lunch counter where they are unwelcome or refuse to sit in the back of the bus. Not sure what action it is should be yet, but as they say, it could be epic…

As my friend, Dan wrote, in response to the post cited above: “No corporation… has any right to enforce anything. If our government leaders give them that kind of power then we the people have every right to defy their bogus powers…”
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“For someone the right wing press likes to call a socialist,” Obama’s regressive record makes Nixon look like Che.

May Ramblin’

People DO confess to crimes they did not commit

If I think about the BP debacle, my blood boils. So I try not to, generally unsuccessfully.

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DNA Clears NY Man Wrongly Convicted of 1988 Murder
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 28, 2010
Filed at 3:29 p.m. ET

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A New York truck driver who spent nearly 19 years behind bars for a 1988 slaying he didn’t commit walked free Wednesday after DNA testing exonerated him and instead pointed to another prison inmate.
The exonerated inmate, Frank Sterling, 46, was convicted of murder in 1992 based on a confession that he later recanted.
State Judge Thomas Van Strydonck vacated the conviction after Monroe County prosecutors agreed with lawyers for the Innocence Project that DNA evidence obtained from the victim’s clothing excluded him as the killer and pointed instead to
Mark Christie, who was convicted of strangling a 4-year-old girl in 1994.

There’s a couple things about this story that jump out at me;
1) that people DO confess to crimes they did not commit; Sterling “claimed he had slipped into a hypnotic state and parroted details police gave him about the crime”
2) DNA testing can and should be used to solve more cases. Yet there as a disturbing report this month on ABC News about tens of thousands rape kits go unprocessed, some for a period beyond the statue of limitations
3) I continue to oppose the death penalty because sometimes the authorities just get it wrong
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Info sent me: Thirty years ago, Douglas Fraser, then president of what was still a million-member United Auto Workers union, presciently warned that the leaders of corporate America—in combination with the American Right—were waging a “one-sided class war.” He described it as “a war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society.”
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A nominee we can all support for the Supreme Court
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HP takes cue from Dick Tracy to develop a solar-powered wristwatch for the military that can display strategic information.
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There is a search engine called Clusty. The technology has been purchased by something called Yippy.

From the Yippy MISSION STATEMENT
Oh, we should say that we are a very far-out group of people. Everyone is a certified genius here and we work together for our goals for the love of it all. Good vs. Don’t be Evil … We are too smart to sell out to Porn, Gambling and other things that infect our society for profit. Good always wins, and conservative values will bring us our victory in the marketplace.
God controls all creative thought, it’s what you do with it that defines who you are.
Search Samples: Search of the word pornography
Sorry! Your choice of keywords indicates that you may be searching for a type of content which YIPPY does not allow. Please try another search term.

As someone sarcastically commented on the listserv where I found this: “How wonderful to see a search engine doing God’s will. It’s incredible!”
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I get bulletins from Los Angeles Times. This past week I see: Big Bear teen becomes youngest to summit Everest, about 13-year-old Jordan Romero, who has been on a quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents. And what is my first thought? I didn’t know that “summit” was a verb.
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I get Google alerts for my name. Peculiar title: Indecent assault accused whacked with brolly. This is from Guyana. Then there’s the story about the German driver who narrowly escaped a fiery crash.
Finally, this obit for Roger Green of Nashville, TN. Only 58 – damn.
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Don’t use a public copy machine until you see this video from CBS News. If you’ve copied your birth certificate, passport, drivers license, social security card, or other extremely personal info on copy machines at places like Kwik Copy, Office Max, etc, you may never do so again.
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Google Pac Man is a permanent page. So if you missed it on the two days it was the main Google page logo, you’re in luck.
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This is the 40th anniversary of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, which is sponsoring two full weeks of Pride events.
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Evanier had this: Jonathan Ortloff Plays Springtime for Hitler on the Wurlitzer organ.

Politics and tricks and all them things you said

The Lieberman citizenship bill; the Kerry/Lieberman energy bill; the oil spill; the Supreme Court nominee; Jon Stewart; Newsweek’s future; Lena Horne; Seals & Crofts.

Haven’t talked about politics for a bit, not because there hasn’t been anything to talk about it – that’s hardly the case – or even because I don’t want to talk about it. But I do find it a tad enervating.


As you may have heard, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has suggested stripping suspected terrorists of their American citizenship. As he notes, there is a precedent of stripping enemy war combatants of their citizenship, going back to World War II.

The primary, and SIGNIFICANT difference, is that the people mentioned in the WWII bill were CONVICTED. Lieberman wants to decitizenize SUSPECTED terrorists, presumably so they can be tried in military tribunals. This and the whole Miranda rights hoohah – we’re getting quite sufficient information from the NYC near-bombing suspect, thank you is disheartening. Someone suggested that Lieberman be disbarred – can one get disbarred for speech, even stupid speech?

Then there’s the oil spill, which I, almost instinctively, blame on Dick Cheney. I’ve tired of hearing the il spill is “Obama’s Katrina”, though I’ve thought for a while that the government that is supposed to be regulating the industry is too dependent on those being regulated; see also, bank bailout. Obama’s promise to become less dependent on the industry calling the shots is welcome news. It’s practically necessary after some woman in uniform (not Landau) referred to BP as the government’s “partner”.

I don’t know what to make of the John Kerry/Joe Lieberman climate and clean energy proposal. People whose opinions I trust are all over the place on it. Ditto the Supreme Court nominee Kagan, criticized from the left and the right before she was even selected.

I hear the so-called MainStream Media kvetch that we are getting too much of our news from sources such as Jon Stewart. But too often, the MSM will report a story without giving the greater context. In a piece called American, Apparently, Stewart skewers the gross overuse of a phrase too often used by politicians and news pundits. It’s dead-on correct. Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek, whose magazine only that day, became news itself when it was announced that the Washington Post was selling it, was the guest that night. Maybe that’s why he has that new PBS gig and the book thing.

Lena at a mere 73 from LIFE magazine.

Lena Horne died last week, and the sociopolitical import of her career cannot be overstated. But I’m not equipped right now to write about that; you can read the New York Times piece Conversely, I can say that she was gorgeous, even in her seventies and eighties.

Finally, the title of this piece came from a song by, of all people, Seals & Crofts, from a song written by them called It’s Gonna Come Down on You from their 1974 Diamond Girl album. I owned it on vinyl until the breakup with my college sweetheart. It’s a schizophrenic song that starts off with guitar and mandolin but has brief surges of screaming electric guitar in the chorus, as you can hear here.

What are your opinions on anything written here today: the Lieberman citizenship bill; the Kerry/Lieberman energy bill; the oil spill; the Supreme Court nominee; Jon Stewart; Newsweek’s future; Lena Horne; Seals & Crofts.

Please note the contest on the sidebar.