Extinction Draws Nigh

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TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE TODAY’S PRIMARY ELECTION REALLY COUNT

…or how to seriously fuck with the system

Tomorrow is election day here in California. I’m betting a lot of you have forgotten this if you ever knew it to begin with. Normally I do a long post about what’s on the ballot and how I’m planning to vote, etc. I’m not going to get into that much detail tonight. But I will tell you how to have a little fun tomorrow should you be one of the something like 15% of the population that will actually turnout to decide who will be receiving public money to make and enforce laws backed up by supposedly legitimate coercive force on our behalf.

It’s no secret that I’ve become disillusioned with our democracy in the last few years. It’s hard not to when you consider that many of our governmental policies are actually completely counter to polls of actual people. For instance, over 70% of Americans were and are in favor of single payer healthcare that would effectively eviscerate private, for profit health insurance models. Instead, we got the Affordable Care Act(known as “Obama Care” by “low information voters”, or as I call them—the stupid) which was actually written by the health insurance lobby. Or, take a look at the fact that we are now going to be in Afghanistan until 2016, but I digress.

I am still going to go and vote tomorrow for a couple of reasons. One, as I mentioned above so few people actually bother to vote during a mid-term primary that those who do have an outsized effect. Two, I want to cause serious trouble. That’s right. Strategic voting or even disruptive voting is what I will be doing tomorrow morning on my way to work.

Most of my friends know that I am an agnostic, meaning I don’t know if there is some God or gods or a computer simulation running the whole universe. I also do not KNOW that there is no God. Further, I seriously doubt that anyone else knows either. However, there is one thing on God’s(strike that) Green Earth that really does give me pause regarding this spiritual question. Irony. Sometimes an irony will crop up that is just too rich for there not to have been some devious comedian behind the curtain somewhere. There are usually several of these ironies that crop up in any given year. Now bear with me a little longer here, I don’t wonder into this religion area just so I can mix it with politics and irritate low information voters.

The latest of these little ironies comes in the form of the name of one of the candidates running for the Republican nomination to head the top of the ticket as governor. I say little because as these things go, it’s kind of cute but not really Earth shaking. One of the two candidates likely to be the Republican nom for gov is Neel Kashkari. Mr. Kashkari was actually an investment banker for Goldman Sachs. I know, right. Kash Kari and he’s a banker. Cute. This is the same Neel Kashkari who was appointed by one frightening, six foot-five, bald homunculus of pure greed, Hank Paulson, to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program(TARP) which was one of the teats provided by the Bush Administration to help keep the bankers afloat back during the collapse of 2008. Couldn’t let them suffer after nearly destroying the global economy, now could we. He’s an investment banker who oversaw a fund to give free money to banks. His name is Kashkari for fuck sake. Talk about a tin ear. Like I said, cute but maybe the atheists are right after all.

If you are still reading, you may be wondering what I meant by disruptive voting. Well, here it is. The other guy running for the Republican nomination for Governor to the great state of California is an Assemblyman from Twin Peaks(!), California named Tim Donnelly. Never mind that he is apparently from a fictional town in a half forgotten television drama, he it the Tea Party darling and he’s got the moderates(can we just do away with this fucking term please and replace it with corporatist already?) like Kashkari freaked out. They’re not freaked out that he’s from the Tea Party faction of the party though. They’re freaked out big time because this guy started the fucking Minutemen here in California!(I’m usually loath to employ an exclamation point, but I think that one was warranted.) The Fucking Minutemen!(Okay, maybe that one wasn’t.) See if you think about it, this guy getting the nomination to be at the head of the Republican ticket as the GOP’s candidate for Governor here in California would be like the party throwing a deep vein thrombosis while driving a Wall•Mart truck cross-country thereby jackknifing off the I-5 into that cattle feedlot above Kettleman City in August just after they started fracking on the shoulder of the highway using the last of the water in the Delta.

Here’s the situation. The Republican Party here in CA has just posted their lowest ever registration numbers in this state’s history. They are somewhere around 28% of registered voters. And only about 50% of the eligible voters in this state are even registered at all!(So yeah, that’s 14%. Exclaimation definitely warranted.) So there’s no way either of these geeks is going to beat Jerry Brown. With this in mind, tomorrow I’M VOTING FOR TIM DONNELLY. No, not because I’m some kind of racist who hates immigrants from Latin America and dreams of walking up and down the border of California fondling my gun while draped in some species of inappropriate camouflage for the desert. I’M VOTING FOR TIM DONNELLY because I love causing chaos in the ranks. Just for a moment imagine Donnelly gets the nomination. The guy who founded the fucking MINUTEMEN here in California?!(Probably unsupportable grammatically, but fuck-it, oh—and not the band either—they were great. I’m talking about the xenophobic, militia-style group of clowns peopled by jacked-up, wannabe gyrenes with type-2 diabetes and/or no chin whatsoever.) Can you even imagine the hue and cry that would erupt by November? Just imagine the endless hours of entertainment that could be derived from and otherwise unbearably dull mid-term election cycle. The outrage. The indignation. It would be phenomenal. And here’s the really insidious, strategic part; sure Democrats have much higher registration numbers then the GOP but they usually fail to vote during mid-terms. Now I think it’s because they are just too busy trying to get by to be bothered with a non-Presidential election, but let’s face it, the only people who vote are seniors, right-wing fanatics and religious zealots, so yeah—The Tea Party. Oh, and anarchists like me. But seriously, what could possibly be a better Get Out The Vote strategy for Democrats then having Tim Donnelly, the founder of the Minutemen here in California, at the top of the ticket for the Republicans? What would the Latino turnout be like if he were the face of the California Republican Party? Just spitballing here, but it’s possible that Republican House members in Congress from here in California could actually lose their seats as a result of this perfect storm in the making.

So join me and VOTE TIM DONNELLY for GOVERNOR at your polling place.


Together we can make American Democracy

even funnier.

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Over 30% of the worlds song birds migrate to and from the boreal forest of Canada where huge swaths are completely leveled so giant machines can can dig down to bedrock and scoop up the sand which contains the rock hard bitumen tar. The sand is then heated using fracked natural gas plants so the tar will ooze out. In order to facilitate this process huge quantities of water and proprietary chemicals are added to the sand and tar mixture to separate out the bitumen and make it into a liquid slurry. image

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 It is this incredibly toxic and even radioactive slurry that is to be put into the Keystone XL pipeline and pumped two-thirds of the depth of the North American continent over rivers, farmlands and the Ogallala Aquifer down to tank farms in Oklahoma and then on to refineries along the Gulf Coast. A little known fact is that the tank farms, pipeline infrastructure, refineries and about 1/2 of the produced oil(bitumen) all belong to Koch industries. This oil will then be refined into Diesel fuel. It cannot be refined into anything else. This diesel fuel is slated to be shipped to South America, Asia and Europe provided the Obama Administration is able to get the EU to relax its global warming standards and allow the importation of the product of world’s dirtiest oil.

The Koch’s stand to make upwards of $100 billion on this deal. They’ve already spent over $140 million lobbying(READ: corrupting) our corrupt government and President.

Here’s more on the politics and corruption behind this whole thing.

Yeah, sure seems like there’s no net effect on the environment.

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If such an accident occurred in a remote area, so that leakage to the press could be prevented, no information ought to be made public… . If the accident has been compromised and public statements become necessary, they should depict the accident as an occurrence which has no bearing on the safety of other weapons. In some circumstances it might be treated as if it had been an experiment… . Internally, of course, information about the accident should not be suppressed. An official “board of inquiry” should be established, headed by military experts and prominent politicians, as an “important device for temporizing.” Ideally, the board would take a few months to reach any conclusions: During this delaying period the public information program should provide the news media with all possible news about rehabilitation and relief. There is always a strong and continued interest in such news after a disaster. Within a relatively short time the interest in rehabilitation tends to crowd out reports about destruction and casualties.
I’m reading Eric Schlosser’s new book Command and Control about our nuclear strategy and weapons during the cold war. The book is very enlightening and I am increasingly stunned that we have made it to this point without an accidental nuclear detonation. One of the interesting revelations is the degree to which the US government and military is willing to lie directly to its citizens. It has been taken as a matter of course since the beginning of the so called national security state after WWII. The above quote is from a RAND report that underpins the policy of every administration including the current one since 1956. The report was concerned with the safety of nuclear weapons, or the lack there of, and what to do if one should accidentally go off. Still trust your government?
Black Friday Thought Experiment

Let’s consider our role as consumers vis-à-vis a our role as citizens for a moment. Suppose there is an item you want and you tend to purchase this class of item at least once a month. Further, suppose there are five places to purchase this item. There are three “brick and mortar” establishments at varying distances all within five miles of your house. There is one “brick and mortar” establishment 20 miles from your house and there is one website.

  • The three physical stores are within five miles of your house and are all locally owned. The item you want is priced within 2% of each other at these local stores.
  • The store 15 miles away is of the “Big Box” variety which is owned by a large corporation headquartered thousands of miles away from your region and the price of the item you want is 15% less than the local businesses.
  • The website is a giant clearinghouse website that sells everything and the price is 12% less than the local stores after shipping.
  • At the local stores, you know at least one person working at each of the businesses. In most cases you know the owners of these businesses and they all live in your community.
  • At the “Big Box” store you don’t know any of the employees directly. You do know that the employees are actually paid less than the local shops pay their employees. The “Big Box” place is reported to treat its employees pretty poorly and the management of the corporation is constantly lobbying against issues you care about and against basic democracy in general.
  • The website is headquartered in another state and similar to the “Big Box” place, it has management that pays lobbyists to weaken consumer protections and to weaken workers rights. The PR image of the website is more socially aware than that of the “Big Box”, but their business practices are similar. They pay their employees a little better; on a par with the local employees of the local stores, but the workplaces, mostly warehouses, are extremely harsh and turnover is pretty high. 

In order to level the playing field for the website, we’ll assume you don’t need the item immediately.

As a CONSUMER you are taught that the only thing that matters is the price. Using this math, you would naturally shop at the “Big Box” or the website. If you and all of you neighbors behave in this manner, your local shops will go out of business, people you know in our community will go bankrupt and become unemployed, money will be siphoned out of your local economy increasing poverty and capital will be consolidated in ever fewer hands, your governments will be corrupted and hard won reforms and progress will be turned back.

As a CITIZEN… what should you do?

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Somehow, this is the mascot of the Japanese refrigeration company tasked with stemming the flow of radiation into the Pacific from the #Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster. HIs name is Fukuppy. Indeed. #nuclearpower

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Finally The Big Fix is available on Netflix. It’s funny, when the film came out in 2011, people questioned what we were saying. Now, everything we’ve said has been totally vindicated. Also funny that none of the “news” organizations confirming our reporting ever give us credit for the exclusives.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70189510?strkid=1492432918_1_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70189510

#NewOrleans, #BP, #Documentary, #corruption, #NOLA, #Oil, #OilSpill, #ChrisHedges, #JoshTickell, #Corexit

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Finally our documentary about the BP oil disaster, The Big Fix, is available on Netflix. It’s funny, when the film came out in 2011, people questioned what we were saying. Now, everything we’ve said has been totally vindicated. Also funny that none of the “news” organizations confirming our reporting ever give us credit for the exclusives.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70189510?strkid=1492432918_1_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70189510

#NewOrleans, #BP, #Documentary, #corruption, #NOLA, #Oil, #OilSpill, #ChrisHedges, #JoshTickell, #Corexit

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Mr. Fish is the best.

Mr. Fish is the best.

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As usual, Mr. Fish nails it.

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