“Yes, there are millions of people in the world just like you in nice places lie Switzerland and Sweden,” he said. “They enjoy high standards of living and freedom and they’re socialists. Studies show they’re happier than we are and that’s not surprising because the only difference between American socialism and European socialism is European socialism works.”
“Where as our tax dollars go towards military bases in Germany, subsidies to oil companies, building bridges to nowhere, wars and putting half of Cheech and Chong in prison, they get universal health care,” Maher explained.
So far, Burlington has been fantastic. I think we both want to move here, actually.
We started out with brunch at Penny Cluse this morning. It was delicious. And we had a nice table upstairs beside the window, which allowed us to people watch as we ate.
Then, we walked through Church Street. Loot: my first baseball cap since I was a year, a fleece jacket, and some sleepers for Soleil.
But I think our favorite was the Farmer’s Market. There was a great artist there and we were lucky to walk away with just two prints. I’ll post pics of them later.
After the Farmer’s Market, we walked down to the waterfront. There was festival going on and if we’d had more time, we probably would have checked it out. We decided to take a boat tour, BUT we just missed it. We didn’t have time to wait for the next one since we have to leave for the wedding at 3:30. So, we checked out the Peace and Justice Store and then hoofed it back to the hotel.
Unfortunately, I think that’s about all the touring we’ll be able to do on this trip.
Made it Burlington, VT. In our hotel rooms now relaxing from 5 hours of traveling. Unfortunately, room service is closed. BUT thank goodness for pizza delivery. The guy at the front desk says we’re a short walk from Church Street, so we’re looking forward to exploring everything tomorrow.
“U.S. domestic drug policy does not carry out its stated goals, and policymakers are well aware of that. If it isn’t about reducing substance abuse, what is it about? It is reasonably clear, both from current actions and the historical record, that substances tend to be criminalized when they are associated with the so-called dangerous classes, that the criminalization of certain substances is a technique of social control.”—Noam Chomsky (via millionheiress)
“Although the tag may have been inspired by the current impasse over raising the debt ceiling, it seems to have released a much wider sense of frustration. Within a few hours, message boards like Democratic Underground were gathering some of the best tweets using the tag.
“#FuckYouWashington For Forgetting WHO you represent, Families, Elderly,Moms,Kids, WORKERs..NOT the CoporatePigs who you cater to…#ShameOnU” one reads.
“#fuckyouwashington for sending our soldiers on 6, 7, 8 tours to combat zones yet thinking it’s too much to ask the richest to pay taxes” say another.
And @YourAnonNews — a Twitter account associated with Anonymous — tweeted, “#FuckYouWashington for thinking activists are the same as terrorists.”
Other tweets gathered by CBSNews blasted Washington for everything from the handling of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill to the criminalization of marijuana to going after WikiLeaks while not holding Bush administration officials accountable for torture.”
Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader is targeting five Supreme Court justices with sharp criticism, and he is urging impeachment action.
Justice at Stake has consistently cautioned against impeachment calls based on disagreement with specific rulings. JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg warned in a statement last October:
“Almost every American, liberal and conservative, has been angered by particular legal rulings, but that’s because we ask courts to settle tough legal disputes. It is reckless to threaten judges with ouster simply because we don’t like a particular decision.”
Nader declares in a commentary distributed by OpEd News, “Five Supreme Court Justices–Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy are entrenching, in a whirlwind of judicial dictates, judicial legislating and sheer ideological judgments, a mega-corporate supremacy over the rights and remedies of individuals.”
“Taken together,” he writes, “the decisions are brazenly over-riding sensible precedents, tearing apart the state common law of torts and blocking class actions, shoving aside jury verdicts, limiting people’s ‘standing to sue,’ pre-empting state jurisdictions–anything that serves to centralize power and hand it over to the corporate conquistadores.”
Nader concludes: “Never have I urged impeachment of Supreme Court justices. I do so now, for the sake of ending the Supreme Court’s corporate-judicial dictatorship that is not accountable under our system of checks and balance in any other way.”
Over the past week, Fox News has not mentioned human-induced climate change or global warming while reporting on or discussing the current heat wave, according to a search of Snapstream video and Nexis transcripts.
The Washington Post reported that this “long duration, widespread heat wave continues to bake virtually the entire central U.S” and “969 daily high temperature records were either tied or broken in the country” through July 16. The Post further reported:
Climate change research indicates that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases may already be increasing the likelihood of extreme heat events like this one, including the 2003 European heat wave that killed tens of thousands. Also, recent studies have projected much hotter summers beginning as soon as just a few decades from now as the climate continues to warm. However, it will take months if not years for scientists to determine whether climate change has played a role in turning up the heat so far this summer, and in this heat wave specifically.
NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt told Media Matters it’s “very probable that any particular heat wave happening now will be shown to have become more likely because of global warming,” adding: “Of all the different extreme events that can happen, the partial attribution of heat waves to ongoing climate change is one of the easier connections.”
But wait until the first snow falls in D.C.. Drudge will have that shit on his front page with some snarky comment like, “Global Warming?”. And I’m sure FoxNews will do something similarly ignorant.
“In the safest, most boring country, the worst lone gunman shooting happens. The worst in the world, in history. But it will not make our country worse. The safe, boring democracy will supply him with a defense lawyer as is his right. He will not get more than 21 years in prison as is the maximum extent of the law. Our democracy does not allow for enough punishment to satisfy my need for revenge, as is its intention. We will not become worse, we will be better. We lived in a land where this is possible, even easy. And we will keep living in a land where this is possible, even easy. We are open, we are free and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that’s how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best.”
(And that “crazy” isn’t just an offhand word, it’s always crucial to the rhetoric to make sure the violent white person(s) can be at least vaguely described as such, to establish mental instability as the source of their actions.)
And I’m guessing we’ll soon be in for stories about his parents, and his childhood, and how troubled he was, and what might have led him to this desperate act, which we never do when POC commit these crimes—as though people of color had no inner life, no past, and no ability to be troubled, complicated human beings.
(This is a previously unpublished article that I originally wrote for URB Magazine)
I was asked by URB to write down what I think are the top 5 injustices of the world.
Well, here’s one, but it’s the one that causes all the others.
The Greed Gap.
I call it the greed gap as opposed to the wealth gap, because “wealth gap” implies no fault or reason for the difference in wealth. I’m here to point fingers.
Companies such as Wal-Mart, Disney, and J.C. Penney’s have workers toiling away in Haiti for 11 cents an hour. Who does this super-exploitation benefit? You might believe that these companies pass on the savings, through low prices, to U.S. customers. This is a lie- this terrible situation of wages being driven down so low is due only to the greed of the super rich, that top 1% that you’ve heard about. Case in point: In 1990, shoes made by Indonesian children working 12-hour days for 13 cents an hour, cost only $2.60 to make but still sold for $100 or more in the U.S.
Here in Oakland, CA, we are warned by the media of the growing statistics relating to murder in our city. We are told the number of deaths that have occurred so far each year. Then, we hear long diatribes about how the youth of our city have gone wild. Savage. We hear how the answer is to teach the youth to “keep the peace”, suggesting that it is the lack of a peaceful culture that is at fault. The truth is that most of the deaths are related to the dope game, or people otherwise hustling for money. People aren’t killing each other out of anger, they are killing each other because of this underground economy that is, much of the time, the only viable option for survival. This means that the thing that will stop the violence is to make it so people don’t have to hustle to survive. Many people selling dope would love a $14/hour job instead. Businesses that are in our communities- McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, etc. could afford to pay that much. They are profiting stadiumloads of money. We just have to force them to do it. In effect, it is the greed of big business that creates the breeding ground for “urban violence”.
The number of people living in poverty is growing faster than the world’s population.
In the U.S., 35 million people “experience hunger or the risk of hunger”. Meaning, they just plain don’t have enough food. Worldwide, that number is 923 million people.
We got into a bloody, baby-killing war with Iraq and Afghanistan due to the profit motive of the same tier of corporate marauders that bring us the child labor of Southeast Asia and the better-off-selling-dope wages of East Oakland.
Cities destroyed, families decimated, people nearly enslaved, stomachs growling, and coagulated blood mixed with cocaine in the back of a ’67 Delmont 88 because of a few greedy assholes.
Before he was elected to Congress, West was a monthly contributor to “Miami Mike’s Wheels On The Road,” a biker magazine that billed itself as the “South Florida Biker’s Bible.” The magazine has featured multiple overtly misogynistic articles, including one asking readers to imagine having sex with Wasserman Schultz. At other times, the magazine’s writers referred to women as “oral relief stations,” complained about women who said “their knees hurt,” depicted women as servants of men, and suggested that they should wear “slave chokers” as accessories.
Your house: Ravenclaw. It’s close between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but I choose Ravenclaw. Your favorite character from the trio: Hermoine, for sure Three other favorite characters: Luna, Dobby, McGonagall Least favorite character: Umbridge. I can’t believe J.K. let her live. Favorite book: Deathly Hallows One favorite moment: The part where Ron returns to the camp and Hermonie is uber pissed. How you were introduced to the series: My wife was first interested in them. I’ve never actually read any of them (yet), but I’ve listened to them all. I plan to read them once the e-books are released on Pottermore. What would your favorite lesson be? Transfiguration Favorite professor: Professor McGonagall Which hallow would you take? Cloak of Invsibility Which character are you most like? Ron? Maybe. Three spells you’d like to be able to perform: Accio, Reparo, Incendio Would you have entered your name in the Goblet of Fire? No. Would you have played Quidditch? No. What form would your Patronus take? Maybe a dolphin? What would be your profession in the wizarding world? I think the Hogwarts Library would be a great place to work!