The War on Democracy by John Pilger- A Short Introduction

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From Sea Shepherd: VSO Day Victory in the Southern Ocean Day for the Whales

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It’s official – the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits in the Southern Ocean, at least for this season. And if they return next season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be ready to resume their efforts to obstruct and disable illegal Japanese whaling operations.

“The Nisshin Maru made a significant course change immediately after the Japanese government made it official that the whaling fleet has been recalled,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen from the Bob Barker. “She looks like she’s going home!”

The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker has been tailing the Japanese Nisshin Maru factory ship since February 9th making it impossible for the whalers to continue their illegal whaling operations.

“I have a crew of 88 very happy people from 23 different nations including Japan and they are absolutely thrilled that the whalers are heading home and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is now indeed a real sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson.

The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira will remain in the Southern Ocean to escort the Japanese ships northward. “We will not leave the whale sanctuary until the last whaling ship has departed,” said Gojira captain Locky MacLean.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Thank-You Message from Captain Watson


We did it!

From both a medium- and long-term perspective, Japan should improve its protection of marine resources to a level meeting international standards. Japan has come under mounting criticism from the international community not only over its whaling program but also over tuna fishing. In order to avoid unjustifiable criticism from overseas, Japan should improve its whole policy on marine resource protection.

— The Mainichi Daily News
February 19, 2011

Today we celebrate with you a victory for the oceans! Sea Shepherd has turned the tide and provoked a debate in Japan about whaling.

Five years ago the average Japanese citizen gave little thought to Japan’s whaling program in the Southern Ocean. Nor did they think much about the slaughter of the dolphins in Taiji or the fact that Japanese demand for bluefin tuna has brought this species to the brink of extinction.

Sea Shepherd has changed all that through years of patient, focused, and determined actions to defend marine species from plankton to the great whales.

Our approach is unique. Aggressive but without causing bodily harm to our opponents. Effective, without breaking the law. We enforce the law. And this week we demonstrated that our brand of activism works.

This week, we drove the entire Japanese whaling fleet from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. They are on their way home!

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The reactionary legacy of Ronald Reagan

From Worker’s World:

By Naomi Cohen

Published Feb 19, 2011 9:12 AM

Based on a talk given Feb. 10 at a New York Workers World Party meeting. Go to to see the podcast of this talk.

Feb. 6 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan and gave the media and right wing the opportunity to subject the population to yet another celebration of the racist, anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-lesbian-gay-bi-trans and militarist legacy of the man.

For the working class and oppressed people it should be a time for reflection over what the significance of the “Reagan era” was for our class and what lessons can be learned in the fight against racism, reaction and imperialist aggression today.

Ronald Reagan began his campaign for president in 1980 by carefully choosing Philadelphia, Miss., as the site for a speech in which he extolled “states’ rights.” With confederate flags flying all around, the message was clear that the era of giving lip service to civil rights for the African-American population was over. Open racism and reaction would be the order of the day. And he chose to send this message in the very city where three young civil rights workers — James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner — had been lynched by the KKK and local police 16 years earlier.

It is worth setting the stage for this rightward turn in U.S. politics with some background to Reagan’s election. In April 1975, the Vietnamese liberation army swept into Saigon and forced the U.S. military and thousands of their puppets to leave Vietnam. All progressive humanity celebrated as they watched the war criminals rush to the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City to be evacuated by helicopter. But for the U.S. military, this was a humiliating and bitter defeat that they would not soon forget.

During this same period in the 1970s liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau drove the Portuguese colonial power out of Africa and almost resulted in a proletarian revolution in Portugal itself. There were revolutions in Ethiopia, Southern Yemen, Nicaragua, Iran and Afghanistan. And the Palestinian struggle was gaining strength. Widespread insurgencies in Central America in El Salvador and Guatemala were also threatening U.S. imperialism in its own backyard.

Leader needed to assert U.S. hegemony, crush workers

It is no wonder that the U.S. ruling class was looking for a leader who would halt the decline of their fortunes abroad and, in addition, carry out an assault on the working class and oppressed people at home. The time for concessions to the working class was over as far as they were concerned.

The posture of offering peaceful coexistence to the Soviet Union was also over. Reagan labeled the Soviet Union “the evil empire” and initiated a massive arms build-up to force the Soviet Union into a renewed arms race [notably the “Star Wars” program] that was aimed at derailing their planned economy and threatening their very existence.

The Reagan administration spent tens of millions of dollars propping up the contra war against the Sandinista regime that had liberated Nicaragua from decades of U.S. puppet rule under the Somoza military dictatorship. They sent aid to the death squad regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, resulting in mass killings, torture and imprisonment of opposition forces. And his administration was a staunch supporter of the apartheid South African regime.

In 1982 Reagan sent the Marines as part of a so-called international force into Lebanon after giving the green light to their Israeli puppets to invade Lebanon earlier that year. Israel launched an all-out assault on the Palestinian refugees there and the Palestine Liberation Organization. After giving Israel cover for the massacre of Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, the expedition turned into a disaster for the U.S. when the Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed in 1983. Over 200 Marines were killed, and the U.S. was forced to withdraw their troops in 1984.

In 1983 Reagan again used the U.S. military to invade the tiny island of Grenada, which had a revolutionary government headed by Maurice Bishop of the New Jewel Movement. Bishop had opened friendly relations with Cuba. When this government was destabilized by an internal struggle, the U.S. military invaded under the excuse that the Cubans and Soviet Union were aiding Grenada to build an airport that would be a security threat to the U.S.

At the same time that Reagan was carrying out aggression abroad, he sent a chilling message to the workers at home. When 11,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike for shorter hours and better pay in 1981 soon after he took office, Reagan told them to get back to work within 48 hours or face dismissal for life. When the workers did not return to work, they were all fired and banned from working as air traffic controllers. PATCO had endorsed Reagan for president.

He initiated a hateful campaign against what he called “welfare queens” as a way to sow hatred of those on welfare and justify cutbacks in Aid to Families with Dependent Children. He slashed job training programs (the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act), which in 1978 were providing 750,000 jobs across the country, many for inner-city youth. He labeled the AIDS epidemic as a “gay” disease, refusing to do anything to fund medical research for treatment. And who can forget that the Department of Agriculture under Reagan tried to reclassify ketchup as a vegetable to save money on school lunch programs for poor children.

The Reagan presidency elicited an immediate response from the movement in the U.S. The People’s Anti-War Mobilization was formed, involving anti-war groups as well as community activists, labor unions, anti-racist, LGBT, Native American, Central American and Palestinian solidarity groups. PAM mobilized more than 100,000 protesters to march on the Pentagon on May 3, 1981, under slogans of “U.S. out of El Salvador,” “Defend Atlanta’s children” and “No to racism, sexism and anti-gay bigotry.” It was the first such mobilization of that size that aimed to beat back the Reagan attack. It was the also the first major mobilization that featured a Palestinian speaker.

Legacy of hatred, oppression

In June and July 2004, following Reagan’s death, Fred Goldstein summarized the essence of the Reagan presidency in Workers World this way: “Reagan’s task was to prepare for military adventure abroad; to push back the USSR, the socialist camp and the national liberation movements; to overturn all the remaining economic, social and political concessions won by the workers’ struggles during the Roosevelt period; and to take back the gains of the Black people and all the oppressed nationalities won during the 1950s and 1960s and of women and lesbians, gay, bi and trans people during the 1970s.

“This aggressive orientation arose out of the predatory need of the capitalist class to rescue its position as the dominant exploiter of the world. This orientation has not changed since and has been pursued by every administration, Democrat and Republican, since then.”

We can easily recognize these characteristics in the policies of the Bush Sr., Clinton and G.W. Bush presidencies that followed Reagan. While the neoconservative inheritors of the Reagan legacy in the Republican Party and Tea Party heap abuse and racist slurs upon President Barack Obama, nevertheless the needs of Wall Street and big business and the demands of the military for continued occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan have gotten the highest priority from his administration.

In the last two years the hopes of the labor movement to win the Employee Free Choice Act were quickly dashed; the yearning for genuine rights for immigrant workers was answered by mass deportations of the undocumented; the expectations by women that reproductive choice would be safeguarded have been met by continuing violence against women’s health clinics. And through it all, the aggressive stance of the U.S. military not only in Afghanistan, but against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China and Iran keep the world at the brink of wider war.

Following Reagan’s militarist posturing, in 2002 George Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assumed that all it would take was “shock and awe” (that is, massive bombing, followed by a limited number of special forces on the ground) to bring the Iraqi people to their knees. But the whole U.S. military establishment was in for a shock of their own. Ten years later they have had to draw down their forces in Iraq and escalate the war in Afghanistan, with no end in sight.

The ground has now given way under the puppet Mubarak, with all his billions of dollars in U.S. military aid. We can see in the living struggle the feet of clay of the tyrants once the people are in motion. And we look forward to the next chapter in the unfolding revolution in Egypt. This is the future, not the legacy of hatred and oppression of a man like Ronald Reagan.

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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That Faux Fur You’re Wearing May Not Be So Faux After All



There are lots of fashionable people these days who draw the line at wearing real fur. That’s why the stores carry lots of coats, jackets and other items trimmed with fake fur. But is it really fake? Maybe not.

“You really can’t go by feel or color,” says Beverly Kaskey of the Humane Society of the United States. Kaskey added that The Humane Society has uncovered many cases of false labeling of animal fur in stores nationwide.

San Francisco television station KNTV went shopping with an investigator from the Humane Society and found item after item containing real fur being sold as fake.

“Raccoon dog is the most commonly misrepresented type of fur on the market,” says Pierre Grzybowski of The Humane Society. “We’ve seen footage of raccoon dogs being literally skinned alive.”

The Humane Society claims it has video of the small, furry Raccoon dogs caged in terrible conditions.

How can clothing manufactures get away with this? There is a loophole in the federal law that requires items to be labeled as real fur if the cost of the item exceeds $150. However, clothing items with fur trim can sell for way less than that.

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Sotheby’s Latest Orgy for the Rich Disrupted by Serfs

From Infoshop:

Just as Andy Warhol’s Nine Multicolored Marilyns was unveiled at Sotheby’s in London Wednesday evening, a group of protesters crashed the auction. The group set off alarms, started loudly moaning, tossed fake £50 notes in the air and displayed a large banner with the words “orgy of the rich.”

Hyperallergic wondered whether it was a critique of Warhol or simply coincidence that they began as Warhol’s work was revealed.

In addition to the indoor “orgy,” protesters outside on New Bond Street staged a mock auction of public services. They also held signs which read, “1 Warhol = 222 tuitions,” and “I Like Money on the Wall.”

The protesters belonged to Arts Against Cuts, UK Uncut and Space Hijackers, all groups against the UK government’s plans for massive funding cuts for the arts.

Interestingly, both audience members and Sotheby’s staff members took the protest in stride. (Afterall, they ought to be fans of performance art.) Belgian collector Mark Vanmoerkerke was quoted in the Evening Standard sympathizing with the protesters’ stance, “It’s fun to see people stand up for what they believe in. An orgy of the rich? They’re not exactly wrong.”

Despite the protests, the auction was successful, with 95% of works sold for a total of £44.4 million. Some of the works sold included David Hockney, Antony Gormley, and a pile of 1,000 hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds by Ai Weiwei which were sold to a telephone bidder for £349,250.

Watch clips of both the indoor “orgy” and outdoor auction protests below.


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What the Right-wing Assault on Women, Unions, the Environment, Health Care and PBS Is All About

From Alternet:

Budget deficits are a ruse to conservatives. What they really want to do is change the basis of American life.

By George Lakoff

February 19, 2011

— Dedicated to the peaceful protestors in Wisconsin, February 19, 2011

The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy.

The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women’s rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting, and on and on.

Budget deficits are a ruse, as we’ve seen in Wisconsin, where the Governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement. Deficits can be addressed by raising revenue, plugging tax loopholes, putting people to work, and developing the economy long-term in all the ways the President has discussed. But deficits are not what really matters to conservatives.

Conservatives really want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life.

In the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama accurately described the basis of American democracy: Empathy – citizens caring for each other, both social and personal responsibility-acting on that care, and an ethic of excellence. From these, our freedoms and our way of life follow, as does the role of government: to protect and empower everyone equally. Protection includes safety, health, the environment, pensions and empowerment starts with education and infrastructure. No one can be free without these, and without a commitment to care and act on that care by one’s fellow citizens.

The conservative worldview rejects all of that.

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UK Uncut targets banks as copycat group forms in America

From The Guardian UK:

Anti-tax avoidance organisation aims to bring 30 Barclays branches to a standstill while US Uncut plans own demonstrations

Matthew Taylor
The Guardian, Friday 18 February 2011

Hundreds of protesters are expected to occupy banks around the country amid signs the direct action movement that has shut more than 100 high street stores in the UK is spreading to the US.

Activists from UK Uncut, a campaign group set up five months ago to oppose government cuts and corporate tax avoidance, will stage their first national day of action against the banks on Saturday with protesters expected to bring more than 30 high street branches of Barclays to a standstill.

The group has previously targeted companies accused of avoiding millions of pounds in tax. The demonstrations come as it emerged that protesters in the US have formed a copy cat group, US Uncut.

“The folks in the UK who decided to stand up, organise and speak out are a daily inspiration to me and the rest of the movement in the states,” said Carl Gibson, 23, one of the founders of the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi. “The message is simple – before you sacrifice hard-working public sector employee’s jobs and necessary public programs, why not first make the richest of the rich pay their fair share in taxes?”

Gibson, who started the first US group a week ago after reading a piece in the Nation, told the Guardian there are already US Uncut “chapters” in 20 states and at least 10 demonstrations planned for 26 February – the date of UK Uncut‘s second day of action against the banks.

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Georgia: lawmaker’s bill calls for state ‘womb police’ to investigate all miscarriages

From Pam’s House Blend:

Reposted with permission…

by: Pam Spaulding

Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 15:06:28 PM EST

AAARRRRGGGGHHH! This assault on the bodies of women and their autonomy at the most basic level is thankfully out of the box completely now. We don’t have to wonder what the womb controllers of the fringe want to do – anything related to sex (expressions of it), sexuality (anything other than P-I-V, man-woman), fertility (popping out a quiverfull per God’s instruction) and the ability to make choices about the care of her body are clearly not the domain of American women.In Georgia, House Republican Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta-43,; here’s his official state Facebook page) has a bright idea – protect the earliest form of “life”, even the results of a miscarriage, to ensure the woman isn’t up to nefarious deeds. From HB 1,

SECTION 2.14.Said title is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 31-10-18, relating to registration of spontaneous fetal deaths, as follows: “(a) A report of spontaneous fetal death for each spontaneous fetal death which occurs in this state shall be filed with the local registrar of the county in which the delivery occurred within 72 hours after such delivery in accordance with this Code section unless the place of fetal death is unknown, in which case a fetal death certificate shall be filed in the county in which the dead fetus was found within 72 hours after such occurrence. All induced terminations of pregnancy shall be reported in the manner prescribed in Code Section 31-10-19. Preparation and filing of reports of spontaneous fetal death shall be as follows:

(1) When a dead fetus is delivered in an institution, the person in charge of the institution or that person’s designated representative shall prepare and file the report;

(2) When a dead fetus is delivered outside an institution, the physician in attendance at or immediately after delivery shall prepare and file the report;

(3) When a spontaneous fetal death required to be reported by this Code section occurs without medical attendance at or immediately after the delivery or when inquiry is required by Article 2 of Chapter 16 of Title 45, the ‘Georgia Death Investigation Act,’ the proper investigating official shall investigate the cause of fetal death and shall prepare and file the report within 30 days; and

(4) When a spontaneous fetal death occurs in a moving conveyance and the fetus is first removed from the conveyance in this state or when a dead fetus is found in this state and the place of fetal death is unknown, the fetal death shall be reported in this state. The place where the fetus was first removed from the conveyance or the dead fetus was found shall be considered the place of fetal death.

The DailyKos diary on this topic laid out some of the situations that challenges Franklin’s stupidity, because here are situations where you can’t save the life of both fetus and mother:

* What if the woman learns  that she has cancer and must terminate the pregnancy in order to get treatment? No exception for that in this bill.* What about a case where the woman is hemorrhaging, the bleeding can’t be stopped and the doctor must save her and abort the fetus? No exception for that.

* What if she has a partial miscarriage, and is bleeding heavily. Must she wait until her body naturally ejects the dead fetus, even though carrying a dead fetus can lead to septic shock?  Doesn’t sound like there’s an exception for that.

* What if it’s an ectopic pregnancy? You cannot save the fetus and the mother in such a case.

* What if the woman is told she’s carrying an anecephalic fetus with only a brain stem which  will be non-viable outside the womb? Must she carry that fetus full-term?

Of course Franklin doesn’t think about these matters; he and his cronies are hell-bent on controlling the woman carrying the “zygote, embryo, homunculus, and similar terms” as referred to in the bill. The boldness of GOP lawmakers to dive into these social issues right away shows the distress they have with changes in society, and their desire to reshape it by any means necessary, violating the civil rights of over half of the population.Besides that — where is Franklin going to come up with the money to fund this new Georgia Womb Police Division?

H/t JMG.

Pam Spaulding :: Georgia: lawmaker’s bill calls for state ‘womb police’ to investigate all miscarriages

What The USA Army Doesn’t Want You To See (Watch At Own Risk, Disturbing Footage)

Remember how last year the LGBT/TQ Communities put so much effort into ending DADT so queers could murder, rape and torture for the corporate elite that drives this nation’s government?  Was the repeal of DADT really progress?  Why did any left wing LGBT/TQ person waste an ounce of energy on this effort?

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From Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women

It might seem hyperbolic to say that Republicans have declared a war on women.

Sadly, it’s not.

Just take a look at the top 10 shocking, crazy things Republicans have proposed in recent weeks. If you think this constitutes a war on women, please share this email far and wide—forward it, and post it on Facebook and Twitter.

I wish I could say these were the only examples of the Republican war on women. But it’s just a sampling, and more is sure to come—unless we raise a ruckus and call them out. So please, share this email today.



Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven’t.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”

3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5) In Congress, Republicans have proposed a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9) Congress voted yesterday on a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

10) And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can’t make this stuff up).

Please share this email today. Just click the links to post on Facebook and Twitter.

1. “‘Forcible Rape’ Language Remains In Bill To Restrict Abortion Funding,” The Huffington Post, February 9, 2011

“Extreme Abortion Coverage Ban Introduced,” Center for American Progress, January 20, 2011

2. “Georgia State Lawmaker Seeks To Redefine Rape Victims As ‘Accusers,'” The Huffington Post, February 4, 2011

3. “South Dakota bill would legalize killing abortion doctors,” Salon, February 15, 2011

4. “House GOP Proposes Cuts to Scores of Sacred Cows,” National Journal, February 9, 2011

5. “New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion,” Talking Points Memo, February 4, 2011

6. “Republican Officials Cut Head Start Funding, Saying Women Should be Married and Home with Kids,” Think Progress, February 16, 2011

7. “Bye Bye, Big Bird. Hello, E. Coli,” The New Republic, Feburary 12, 2011

8. “House GOP spending cuts will devastate women, families and economy,” The Hill, February 16, 2011

9. “House passes measure stripping Planned Parenthood funding,” MSNBC, February 18,2011

“GOP Spending Plan: X-ing Out Title X Family Planning Funds,” Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2011

10. Ibid.

Birth Control for Horses, Not for Women,” Blog for Choice, February 17, 2011

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

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Koch Industries Slashed WI Jobs, Helped Elect Scott Walker, Now Orchestrating Pro-Walker Protest

From Think Progress:

By Lee Fang

Feb 18th, 2011

Wisconsin’s newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker is facing a growing backlash over his attempt to cut pay and eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in his state. Although Walker is claiming his power grab is an attempt to close a budget gap, the budget “crisis” was engineered by Walker as soon as he got into office. As Brian Beutler reported, half of the budget shortfall comes from Walker’s own tax cuts for businesses and other business giveaways enacted in January.

A number of the big business interests standing with Walker are beneficiaries of his administration’s tax giveaways. But the greatest ally to Walker is the dirty energy company Koch Industries. In response to the growing protests in Madison, Koch fronts are busing in Tea Party protesters to support Walker and his union-busting campaign. Last night, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz reported on the involvement of Club for Growth and the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity in the pro-Walker protest scheduled tomorrow. Watch it:

Koch Industries is a major player in Wisconsin: Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant:

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Because, The Masters of the Universe Do Not Go To Prison

Probe of Mortgage Official Is Said to Be Dropped

From The New York Times:

Published: February 19, 2011

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have dropped their criminal investigation into Angelo R. Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.

The closure of the case after two years of inquiry follows last October’s settlement by Mr. Mozilo of insider trading allegations made by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Regulators had contended that Mr. Mozilo sold $140 million in Countrywide stock between 2006 and 2007 even as he recognized that his company was faltering. Countrywide and Bank of America paid $45 million of Mr. Mozilo’s $67.5 million settlement, and he was responsible for the rest.

Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, Mr. Mozilo agreed to be banned from serving as an officer or a director of a public company.

The conclusion by prosecutors that Mr. Mozilo, 72, did not engage in criminal conduct while directing Countrywide will likely fuel broad concerns that few high-level executives of financial companies are being held accountable for the actions that led to the financial crisis of 2008.

Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost by investors while millions of borrowers have lost their homes. Few of the people who ran the institutions that contributed to the disaster have been found liable.

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Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short

Add to this pension plans that the money men invested in Wall Street and Banking scams that are now worthless leaving states with no money to fill their commitments.

Translation: Even if you did everything exactly right, if you are not part of the top 10% Elite you are so fucked.

From The Wall Street Journal:

FEBRUARY 19, 2011

The 401(k) generation is beginning to retire, and it isn’t a pretty sight.

The retirement savings plans that many baby boomers thought would see them through old age are falling short in many cases.

The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve and analyzed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for The Wall Street Journal. Even counting Social Security and any pensions or other savings, most 401(k) participants appear to have insufficient savings. Data from other sources also show big gaps between savings and what people need, and the financial crisis has made things worse.

This analysis uses estimates of 401(k) balances from the end of 2010 and of salaries from 2009. It assumes people need 85% of their working income after they retire in order to maintain their standard of living, a common yardstick.

Facing shortfalls, many people are postponing retirement, moving to cheaper housing, buying less-expensive food, cutting back on travel, taking bigger risks with their investments and making other sacrifices they never imagined.

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House effort to restrict labor wage law fails

From Yahoo News:

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Jim Abrams, Associated Press
Sat Feb 19, 4:16 am ET

WASHINGTON – The House early Saturday turned back an effort to suspend a Depression-era law that requires federal contractors to pay locally prevailing wage rates. The vote came amid heightened clashes between the two parties over labor rights.

Lawmakers voted 233-189 against barring spending on Davis-Bacon wage requirements on federal work projects for the remainder of this budget year. The measure was offered by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, as an amendment to a massive spending bill to keep the government running through Sept. 30,

Republicans have long targeted the 1931 law, saying it drives up the costs of public works projects and favors unionized companies over smaller firms that can’t pay higher wages.

Davis-Bacon enjoys strong support from Democrats and the King amendment, had it passed, would have met strong resistance in the Democratic-controlled Senate and opposition from President Barack Obama.

The vote came as Wisconsin’s new Republican Gov. Scott Walker has set off a firestorm of protests by seeking to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public workers and several other GOP-led states are looking to cut state worker benefits as part of budget-cutting efforts. Obama said in a radio interview that Walker’s legislation was an “assault on unions.”

The House this week also rejected a GOP proposal to eliminate funds for the National Labor Relations Board. The Republican spending bill would still cut $50 million, or 18 percent, from the agency that referees disputes between workers and employers.

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House Votes to Block EPA Climate Regs

From Mother Jones:

By Kate Sheppard

Fri Feb. 18, 2011

The House officially voted Friday afternoon to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. From the Associated Press:

The 249-177 vote added the regulation ban to a sweeping spending bill that would fund the government through Sept. 30. The restriction is opposed by the Obama administration, which is using its regulatory powers to curb greenhouse gases after global warming legislation collapsed last year. The administration also says the ban would cost thousands of construction jobs.

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I’m Tired of the Transvestite Driven Narrative That is the Central core of Transgender Ideology

Some time listening to Transgender Borg Talking Points is like listening directly to Virginia Prince.

Last night on Facebook someone trotted out the old Prince meme about how both transsexuals and transvestites cross dress  therefore they have something in common.

Which is like saying apples and oranges are both fruit therefore they are the same.

I shot back, “You are right, as a child I was forced to cross dress.  After I grew up and gained my freedom I stopped cross dressing.”

Transvestites cross dress with a different motivation, and no I do not think fetishism and wanking off is the main reason unless one trys to expand the “umbrella” to the point of stupidity.  Fetishists who use women’s clothes as fetish objects have more in common with S/M people and those into rubber than they do to transvestites.  I take TV/CDs at their word that it is about gender and gender role, a way of escaping from masculinity.

When kids with transsexualism dress up it is the only time they can be their true selves.  What some label “cross-dressing ” is for transkids, the only time they aren’t cross dressed.

It would be a lot easier to accept the only thing transvestite, transgender and transsexualism have in common is being described by words with a “trans” prefix.

I feel really weird when a weekend CD gushes about how wonderful it must be for me to be albe to be a woman full time and how much more feminine they would be if they could only be like me.

It wasn’t about the clothes for me, or any sort of stereotypical role.  It was physical, probably in the pituitary with feed back loops that didn’t handle testosterone but really were happy when I replaced testosterone with estrogen.

I listen to so much of the babble about gender and identity and I want to say WTF are y’all talking about.

What ever happened to the freedom to pursue happiness.  If it makes you happy to sometimes cross dress and you aren’t some sort of criminal or hurting others, what is the problem?

The same with transgender folks.

And hell yeah SRS should be covered by a universal health insurance plan that covers all people’s needs.

Yeah I support an inclusive ENDA now get the hell out in the streets and support the workers and unions.

There is a world outside of “Transworld” and all the obsession on trans-theories.

In case you’ve missed it the Republicans are donning their swastikas and taking away the rights of women to not be forced to bear children against their will.

The workers are in the streets in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Being progressive is all of a sudden a whole lot more important than identity politics.