Posts filed under ‘We the People’
There will be no British support for a punitive strike against Syria:
British MPs have voted to reject possible military action against the Assad regime in Syria to deter the use of chemical weapons. A government motion was defeated 285 to 272, a majority of 13 votes.
Prime Minster David Cameron said it was clear Parliament does not want action and “the government will act accordingly”. It effectively rules out British involvement in any US-led strikes against the Assad regime.
Gee, how civilized. They aren’t going to let their Prime Minister go off half cocked without letting the people speak.
Mr. Constitutional Law Professor Barack Obama won’t grant we Americans that privilege — because we would probably say no too insofar as I saw a poll the other day showing only 9% of us want anything to do with Syria — but maybe he’ll do something like this:
Here in the good ol’ US of A Congress is supposed to declare war and, ahead of the administration “punishing” Syria for supposedly using chemical weapons on its own people, many think the Obama administration should wait for congressional approval before he makes any moves. By taking the issue to congress, the administration would effectively be getting the approval of We the People — or not — through the folks who represent us in D.C.
That’s the way it’s supposed to work anyway but over the last 20, 30 years, presidents have circumvented that pesky, democratic rule because they might not have gotten what they wanted and Obama’s prepared to do the same.
And now we learn that the White House is “livid” that British Prime Minister David Cameron had the temerity to take the issue of the military involvement of his country to the representatives of the people of Britain because well, because Obama’s a constitutional law expert who apparently doesn’t have much regard for the Constitution. Ours or Britain’s:
Barack Obama could take military action against Syria without waiting for British support, senior Obama administration officials said, as David Cameron faced waiting until next week for a Commons vote sanctioning any air strikes.
The abrupt halt in British momentum towards military action left the diplomatic choreography in chaos and US officials “livid” with the British, according to Western diplomatic sources at the United Nations in New York.
“Britain is important diplomatically, but not required, and not required militarily. The White House could move ahead without the British,” Mr Pavel added.
Mr Obama’s dilemma over whether to act without direct British support follows Mr Cameron’s embarrassing climb-down on Wednesday over whether a Commons vote would be required to sanction UK military involvement.
“The Americans are livid with us,” said one Western diplomat, who added British officials were astonished that the Prime Minister could have made such an “enormous miscalculation” amid such high stakes.
Bravo to Cameron and shame on Obama. We the People are going to have to pay for the strike and We the People will be sent to fight and die in a war if things get out of hand. We should be allowed to weigh in. Cameron did the right thing and Obama’s a dick for being pissed.
The March on Washington happened on August 28, 1963,
and oh my god, I can’t believe we’re going to have to do it again 50 years later.
Here’s a little slice of what African-Americans are up against every day in the good ol’ U.S. of A., not to mention fighting anew for the right to vote, thanks to George W. Bush’s Supreme Court and the Republican party:
Another reason why we have to get this whole fracking thing under control before we go any farther:
Don Feusner ran dairy cattle on his 370-acre slice of northern Pennsylvania until he could no longer turn a profit by farming. Then, at age 60, he sold all but a few Angus and aimed for a comfortable retirement on money from drilling his land for natural gas instead.
It seemed promising. Two wells drilled on his lease hit as sweet a spot as the Marcellus shale could offer – tens of millions of cubic feet of natural gas gushed forth. Last December, he received a check for $8,506 for a month’s share of the gas.
Then one day in April, Feusner ripped open his royalty envelope to find that while his wells were still producing the same amount of gas, the gusher of cash had slowed. His eyes cascaded down the page to his monthly balance at the bottom: $1,690.
Chesapeake Energy, the company that drilled his wells, was withholding almost 90 percent of Feusner’s share of the income to cover unspecified “gathering” expenses and it wasn’t explaining why.
“They said you’re going to be a millionaire in a couple of years, but none of that has happened,” Feusner said. “I guess we’re expected to just take whatever they want to give us.”
I’m going to fast forward to the last two paragraphs. The article is quite long and I’m leaving a lot out:
Even if a gas company were found liable for underpaying royalties in Pennsylvania, it would have little to fear. It would owe only the amount it should have paid in the first place; unlike Oklahoma and other states, Pennsylvania law does not allow for any additional interest on unpaid royalties and sets a very high bar for winning punitive penalties.
“They just wait to see who challenges them, they keep what they keep, they give up what they lose,” said Root, the NARO chapter president. “It may just be part of their business decision to do it this way.”
This is outrageous. As usual, the oil and gas companies’ lobbyists — with the help of local, state and federal lawmakers — have paved the way for a very good life for them. As for We the People? Not so much.
There was a march against Chevron and fracking in Richmond, California today:
The police, who we pay, with our tax dollars, protected Chevron:
Look at those Darth Vader-like guys.
This is what the militarization of America’s police force looks like.
It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack.
What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband’s Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.
Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.
Read the rest of it here.
Bottom line, six FBI agents went to an average American couple’s home (with two dogs and a young son) because the woman had been looking online at pressure cookers and her husband was doing research on backpacks and that meant they were potential repeat Boston bombers. The six agents looked through the house, and left after about 45 minutes, saying they take similar action roughly “100 times a week.”
So, this is where we’re at folks.
Thank God this guy wasn’t killed:
Lying in a hospital bed the night after he was shot by Escambia County sheriff’s deputies in his own front yard, Roy Middleton only had one question: Why?
Middleton, 60, of the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, was shot in the leg about 2:42 a.m. Saturday while trying to retrieve a cigarette from his mother’s car in the driveway of their home.
A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car and called 911. While he was looking into the vehicle, deputies arrived in response to the burglary call.
Middleton said he was bent over in the car searching the interior for a loose cigarette when he heard a voice order him to, “Get your hands where I can see them.”
He said he initially thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but when he turned his head he saw deputies standing halfway down his driveway.
He said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.
“It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”
A teenage girl who said she witnessed a portion of the incident said she never saw Middleton provoke the deputies.“He wasn’t belligerent or anything,“ she said.
When you’re black in America you don’t have to throw in belligerence in order to get shot. The being-black part is enough.
A jury Friday awarded an Oregon woman $18.6 million after she spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.
The judgement [sic], likely to be appealed, appears to be one of the largest awarded to a consumer in a case against one of the nation’s major credit bureaus.
Julie Miller of Marion County, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.
A Federal Trade Commission study earlier this year of 1,001 consumers who reviewed 2,968 of their credit reports found 21 percent contained errors.
There’s some fury from the jury in this judgment. Oh, and it’s “likely to be appealed?” You bet it is. Equifax has lawyers on staff who do nothing but. No way will Equifax pay the sum the jury ordered. (They don’t believe in that quaint saying: The jury has spoken.)
Too bad there aren’t really high “statutory fines”* for screwing over We the People like Equifax did here, kinda like there are really low “statutory fines” for companies like Halliburton who destroy evidence and get an imperceptable slap on the pinky.
* Nobody’s advocating for We the People anymore because the folks who make the laws and decide what the “statutory fines” should be are owned by gosh, golly, gee: the corporatocarcy!
Woohoo. USA! USA! USA!
This is one amazing woman and I can only imagine how sick and tired she is of having to say this:
July 15th, 2013 – 92 year-old Moral Monday arresstee and Civil Rights Veteran Rosa Nell Eaton speaks at the 11th Wave Moral Monday rally at the North Carolina General Assembly.
Marching down the I-10 freeway in Los Angeles (@ 6:30 p.m. Pacific time) in memory of Trayvon Martin:
Hey all, check out the great new interactive website, Inequality.is. It’s fun and informative (and I love the colors!)
Again, go here.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Regulation No. 7 of the “Building Regulations” for the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., issued June 13, 2013:
No person shall engage in a demonstration within the Supreme Court building and grounds. The term “demonstration” includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers. The term does not include casual use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers.
After a quick perusal of this chart, it looks like one “only” has to work 63 hours at minimum wage in Arkansas in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment whereas in Hawaii someone would have to work 175 hours.
Any way you look at it, making minimum wage isn’t enough for someone to build a life on. But hey, corporations love it so that’s why it’s so low! Whatever they want, they get.
See a larger version of the chart here (pdf).
This depressing thing happened today:
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require federal monitoring of elections.
The justices said in 5-4 vote that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that does not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.
The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But the justices did say lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington’s approval, in advance, for election changes.
Chief Justice John Roberts said for the conservative majority that Congress “may draft another formula based on current conditions.”
John Roberts must be having a great day. The thing he’s been dreaming about for 30 years has happened:
Here’s a shorter version of what Roberts ruled: Hey, the black guy won so we don’t need this stinkin’ provision anymore. I declare racism officially over.
This happened today under Constitutional lawyer, community organizer Barack Obama’s watch:
The US government is collecting the phone records of millions of US customers of Verizon under a top secret court order.
Read the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order here.
And there’s this: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily.
I’m a kid of the 60s and 70s and this would have been shocking and totally unacceptable back then. The government wouldn’t have dared do it.
There was a time when — even the president — needed a warrant to get phone records. It’s appalling that We the People have let our government run so amuck.
Can’t wait for congressional Democrats to stand up for us on this. (Yeah. Right. I’m cracking myself up.)
If you’re a lobbyist with a bunch of money, you saunter into the Oval Office on a regular basis. If you aren’t, you do this:
First Lady Michelle Obama was interrupted by gay rights protesters during a private event at a home in Washington, DC.
The protesters were demanding that the President issue an executive order banning job discrimination by federal contracts against gay and trans people. In essence, enacting the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as an executive order for federal contractors. (ENDA itself would make it a violation of federal law to discriminate in employment against gay and trans people.)
I listened to an interview with author Alice Walker this morning on DemocracyNow! She talked about how this planet is ours — We the People’s — and those who think they have a right to own everything go so against what is meant to be:
Well, I see myself in all the people in the world who are suffering and who are very badly treated and who are often made to feel that they have no place on this Earth. And this Earth actually belongs to all of us. The universe belongs to all of us. And we mustn’t forget it, you know. And I know firsthand how it feels when people tell you and make you think that, you know, they can have everything, they can have as much as they want, they can buy everything they desire, and you are supposed to have nothing. Well, this is not—it’s not right, and we must not accept it.
With that in mind, this is what’s happening in Greece:
Standing up to Golden Dawn in Greece
The economic crisis in Greece has led to a rise in support for the far-right Golden Dawn and an increase in racist attacks. Jamal Osman talks to one man who is fighting back.
Michael Chege and his friends patrol their neighbourhood in Athens, Greece, most nights. After many encounters with the neo-Nazi group, Golden Dawn, they set up their own brigade, nicknamed the Black Panthers.They want to protect themselves from the fascists who are targeting people who are not ethnic Greeks.
Since the economic crisis tore Greece apart, people have been trying to find someone to blame. Some blame immigrants for the high unemployment and crime. Racist attacks against immigrants have been rising steadily. In the last year alone, more than 150 racist attacks were recorded by police, but most go unreported.
Greece is a gateway to Europe and many immigrants travel there as an entry point in the hope of reaching the richer nations on the continent.
Newly arrived immigrants, who do not speak the language or have proper documentation, live in fear. But Michael and his friends are taking on the extremists.
‘We will exterminate them’
“I’m not afraid of this neo-Nazi, stupid, idiotic group,” he told me. “In WW2, they were crushed. In WW3, we will exterminate them out of the face of the earth.
“I am a member of the Black Panthers and everybody knows that. So I am giving them (Golden Dawn) a straight warning – don’t mess with black people, anyhow. And I mean it.”
This Earth belongs to all of us but some of us are trying to take it all for themselves.
Let us not forget. This isn’t a Republican / Democratic thing. This is about the 1% versus We the Little People and it’s a global war. It’s happening all over the planet.
This is a mind blowing chart. Don’t miss it — the USA is waaay over there on the right with zero mandatory paid vacation days or holidays.
The corporate lobby wins again!
There by the grace of God…
I. Am. Loving. This:
Ayotte Faces Backlash Over Gun Vote
Gun show background checks are pretty universally popular in New Hampshire…and Kelly Ayotte is facing some serious backlash from voters in the state for voting against them last week.
Ayotte now has a negative approval rating with 44% of voters giving her good marks and 46% disapproving. That’s down a net 15 points from the last time we polled on her, in October, when she had a 48% approval with 35% disapproving. 75% of New Hampshire voters- including 95% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 56% of Republicans- say they support background checks. And 50% of voters in the state say Ayotte’s ‘no’ vote will make them less likely to support her in a future election, compared to just 23% who consider it to be a positive.
Ayotte won her seat in 2010 by 23 points. But in a very early hypothetical match up between her and new Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan, she trails by a 46/44 margin. This issue is really giving her some trouble.
“The issue is really giving her some trouble?” Good. Very good. I think the reason people are so furious about this is because polling shows that something like 87% of all Americans want some sort of background check but the senate blew them off which so clearly shows how special interests control D.C. We thought they were there to represent We the People? Silly us.
I mean, since when did 87% of all Americans want something done about anything? I don’t remember a time, other than this but what did we get? The proverbial big, fat middle finger. It just screams as to how dysfunctional our “democracy” is and folks like Ayotte are the poster child for that now.
My friend (I worked with him on Outfoxed), the intrepid Robert Greenwald, is out with a new documentary called: War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and The National Security State:
The corporate media tells us whistleblowers are troublemakers and/or attention-seekers who should be shunned, or worse — jailed or even executed.
Hardly. As a matter of fact, we need them:
In a Democracy, citizens are entitled to the freedom of information and the freedom of the press, but what happens when that democratic government turns its back on the truth and begins to punish those who stand up to falsehood, secrecy, and deception? In Robert Greenwald’s latest film for Brave New Foundation, we reveal the war targeted at the people who put the US constitution before everything. We reveal the War on Whistleblowers.
Here’s the trailer:
My Tweet of the Day:
I just came across this great quote:
When a government becomes invisible, it becomes unaccountable. To expose its lies, errors, and illegal acts is not treason, it is a moral responsibility. Leaks become the lifeblood of the Republic.
– Daniel Ellsberg and John Perry Barlow
The article from which this quote comes is about the White House’s “White Paper” on targeted killings and drones but its wisdom applies across the board. As the government becomes more and more secretive (as in the kill list, drone strikes* and its deliberation on approving (or not) the Keystone XL pipeline, for example), the less, obviously we know. And as those things happen under the ever-creeping tendency of our government to side with the corporatocracy and against the people, leaks become more and more important. We have a right to know what our government is doing because after all, it works for us and if it won’t tell us so we can hold it accountable, we need leakers who will.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
So what else is new America? As usual We the People are to blame for everything:
Under “anti-business” Obama,
Corporate profits have soared:
Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, last week said higher taxes and a “flood of new regulations” will damage an already subpar economy. “In many ways, we’re going backwards,” he said.
There’s no end to the greed.
Such complaints, echoed by corporate executives throughout President Barack Obama’s first term, obscure one fact: American business has never had it so good.
U.S. corporations’ after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
And the Dow Jones Industrial average is up 5,550 points since he took office.
The business world has done very, very well. On the other hand, we the people? Not so much.