Archive for March, 2011

Three strikes genocide policy

| March 31, 2011 | 1 Reply
Three strikes genocide policy

The Onion has reported that the International Criminal Court at The Hague has “introduced a new ‘three strikes’ policy Monday that mandates harsher punishments for offenders receiving their third genocide conviction.”

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Farmers preemptively sue Monsanto

| March 31, 2011 | Reply
Farmers preemptively sue Monsanto

Monsanto is notorious for suing farmers whose fields have been contaminated by patented Monsanto seed blowing over onto their fields. This infuriating issue was discussed in the documentary, Food, Inc.

Now a group of farmers is collectively fighting back, suing Monsanto to protect themselves from being sued by Monsanto. The issue has been reported by the Cornucopia Institute:

This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto’s transgenic seed or pollen should land on their property,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s [Public Patent Foundation]. Executive Director. “It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients.

What is the Cornucopia Institute?

The Cornucopia Institute will engage in educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural issues, The Cornucopia Institute will provide needed information to consumers, family farmers, and the media.

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Double dip

| March 31, 2011 | Reply
Double dip

Robert Reich points to some ominous numbers suggesting that the real economy (focusing beyond the currently profitability of Wall Street) is headed for a double dip. He suggests that it is not in the interest of either political party to suggest otherwise.

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Why atheists are angry

| March 29, 2011 | 27 Replies
Why atheists are angry

Greta Christina explains why so many atheists are angry.

[Note: I had originally linked to a site that claims that someone other than Greta Christina had written it. Greta wrote to tell me that this was incorrect, and I have now linked to her site and attributed this writing and these ideas to her.]

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Elizabeth Warren’s attitude toward the free market

| March 29, 2011 | Reply
Elizabeth Warren’s attitude toward the free market

What is Elizabeth Warren’s attitude toward the “free market”? It’s not what it is often portrayed to be, as described by Madonna Gauding of Occasional Planet:

She does not envision new rules and regulations as the main focus of how the CFPB can best protect consumers. Her concern is that they are like “putting down fence posts on the prairie: They can be too easy to run around.” Rather than increased regulation, she wants to make markets for consumer financial products and services work in a fair, transparent, and competitive manner. “That means creating a level playing field where both parties to the transaction understand the terms of the deal, where the price and the risk of products are clear, and where direct comparisons can be made from one product to another.”

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It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

| March 29, 2011 | 6 Replies
It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

The radical right will say and do anything in their attempts to discredit, disgrace and dishonor Barack Obama, America’s first African-American president. The ruling Republican leadership does nothing to dispel falsehoods about President Obama but, tacitly endorses these falsehoods in their attempts to “make sure Barack Obama is a one term President!”

The tactics and accusations aren’t new, almost all of them are from previous Republican playbooks and most have been used in Republican primary and general election campaigns for the past 40 years. Some other accusations are vicious racist paranoid rants of a more vocal lunatic fringe that has come to dominate the right as more and more corporate and rich ultra-conservative donor dollars are pumped into any effort that might bear the fruit of the continued destruction of President Obama, the Democratic Party, unions and the American Middle Class.

It’s as though the right has taken all the racist, fascist, and corporatist twisted deep blue stygian depths of paranoid lunacies of past Republican abuses of government and recast President Obama, the Democratic Party, unions and the Middle Class as the “perpa-traitors” instead of the actual Republicans who have already done exactly what the right claims to fear the most.

My personal favorite is “Obama is the anti-christ!” Polls show that 25%, a substantial minority, of Republican voters actually believe that President Barack Obama is the anti-christ. If these folks would stop drinking the Jonestown Kool Aid they could see that their personal insanities about Armageddon and the end-times are not here because an African American was elected President of the United States in 2008. See here, here and here.

[More. . . .]

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Why Republicans are effective

| March 29, 2011 | Reply
Why Republicans are effective

I stumbled across this earlier post recently and found it quite helpful. The ideas weren’t my own, but I was reporting on the work of Jonathan Haidt. Real-world persuasiveness is about far more than the reasons and rational thinking so often offered by Democrats.

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Dubai: defined by money

| March 29, 2011 | Reply
Dubai: defined by money

At Vanity Fair, A. A. Gill offers this portrait of Dubai:

Dubai has been built very fast. The plan was money. The architect was money. The designer was money and the builder was money. And if you ever wondered what money would look like if it were left to its own devices, it’s Dubai . . .

Dubai is the parable of what money makes when it has no purpose but its own multiplication and grandeur. When the culture that holds it is too frail to contain it. Dubai is a place that doesn’t just know the price of everything and the value of nothing but makes everything worthless. The answer to everything in Dubai is money. In the darkness of the hot night, the motorways roar with Ferraris and Porsches and Lamborghinis; the fat boys are befuddled and stupefied by sports cars they race around on nowhere roads, going nowhere. Taxi drivers of their ambitionless, all-consuming entitlement. Shortchanged by being given everything. Cursed with money.

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The most important things for the federal government to work on

| March 28, 2011 | 1 Reply
The most important things for the federal government to work on

Check out this list of America’s priorities, as voted on by real Americans (these are results from a Gallup poll). I’ve been looking long and hard at this list for many of the priorities announced by the Republican Party (here are some), but I don’t see any of the following:

  • Keeping gays out of the military or keeping gays from getting married.
  • Attacking worker’s unions
  • Making certain that the Federal Government embraces the worship of God.
  • De-funding public broadcasting (NPR
  • De-funding Head Start
  • De-funding the Department of Education.
  • Deregulating businesses who provide America’s food.
  • Promoting fossil fuel usage.
  • Prohibiting abortion.
  • Investigating American Muslims.
  • Protecting the wealth of the wealthiest Americans.
  • Enhancing the profitability of Wall Street banks.
  • Tearing down laws and regulations that protect the environment.

What else am I missing?

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