Posts filed under ‘Corporatocracy’

My House is as Big as the Living Room in Mitt Romney’s California Beach House

Per the Washington Post, this is the floor plan of the new house Mitt and Ann Romney are building in La Jolla, California.  You know, the one with the car elevator:

Romney house via wapo 1-28-15

(Image via


How does our 1,150 sq. ft., three bedroom, 1-1/2 bath house compare?  Here it is in blue, superimposed over the plans above.  Slide that blue square over to the right, into the living room of Mitt and Ann’s place, and it just about fits.  It might even be a tad smaller.

My house compared to Romneys via WaPo 1028-15

(Image via


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining.  No way.  We love our house and we feel lucky given the space we have.  So many people around the world live in much smaller places.  Much, much smaller.

My point here is that the ol’ Mittster’s thinking about running for president in 2016 as an anti-poverty/income disparity guy.  You know, as if he suddenly cares about the 47% he spat on the last time around.

Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think a man who’s building an 11,000 square foot home (one of many) can even begin to relate to someone like me whose whole house would fit in his living room.

January 28, 2015 at 7:09 PM Leave a comment

Wow, That Was Fast

Exxon Valdez Cleanup via Wikimedia

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)


Gawd, better late than never I guess:

25 Years After Exxon Valdez, U.S. Mandates Double-Hulled Oil Tankers

Oil tankers bring about 15 million gallons of oil every day into Washington state. Starting Jan. 1, those ships are required to have double hulls.

The oil-spill prevention measure has been in the works for decades, ever since Capt. Joseph Hazelwood ran the Exxon Valdez onto Alaska’s Bligh Reef in 1989. Eleven million gallons of oil spilled into Prince William Sound, killing thousands of seabirds and sea otters, devastating the region’s fisheries and unleashing action in Washington, D.C.

A year after what was then the nation’s worst oil spill, the U.S. Congress required oil tankers to have double hulls. […]  The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 gave ship owners 25 years to phase out their single-hull tankers.


December 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM Leave a comment

I’m Hating on Marsala Tonight


Pantone Color of the year via

(Image via


There’s a company out there known as Pantone.  According to Wikipedia, it is the worldwide color-picker and we’re supposed to love what it loves:

Annually Pantone declares a particular color “Color of the Year”. Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year; for example, the color for summer 2013 was chosen in London in the spring of 2012. The color purportedly connects with the zeitgeist; for example the press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of 2011 said “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.” The results of the meeting are published in Pantone View ($750), which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products.


A few weeks ago Pantone decided that Marsala is next year’s color.  Period.  That means Pantone wants us to wear their color, decorate with it, put it on our lips, paint with it and everyone from QVC to Burbury is undoubtedly scrambling to put stuff out in that color as we speak.

Ugh. It’s a drab, depressing red. Dusty. Been there done that during the Queen Victoria era. My grandmother, who was born in 1896, would have loved it.

I hate it.

Just sayin’.  Buy. By.






December 9, 2014 at 8:59 PM Leave a comment

I Wouldn’t Want to Live in Greeley, Colorado

Check this out:

The Boom from Above: Visualizing The Rapid Pace of Drilling in Colorado’s Communities

Colorado is in the midst of a fast-paced oil and natural gas boom that has secured the state a spot as one of the top ten oil and gas producers in the nation.

The boom has also brought drilling and its impacts into Colorado’s communities, but it can be hard to grasp its full extent and how quickly it has spread to the state’s populated areas.

Using publicly-available data from the state of Colorado, we mapped the oil and gas wells drilled in Colorado between 1990 and 2013. The maps show a sea of red moving across the state and into Colorado’s communities.

Oil and Gas Wells Drilled on the Front Range: 1990-2013
This map shows the 14,887 oil and gas wells that have been drilled around Greeley, Colorado.


This is Greeley, Colorado and its surrounding oil and gas wells in 1992:

Greeley Oil Wells 1

(Image via

And this is Greeley last year:

Greeley Oil Wells 2

(Image via

It’s Out. Of. Control.

(Greeley is about 55 miles northeast of me here in Boulder).



November 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM 1 comment

Walmart’s Holding a Food Drive For its Employees

From Making ChangeWMT on Facebook:

Food Drive at Walmart via Making Change on facebook

(Image via MakingChangeWMT on Facebook)


AT IT AGAIN!?! Despite a massive backlash last year when news broke that Walmart was holding an in-store canned food drive asking workers to donate to one another to keep from going hungry, Walmart hasn’t changed its ways. An Oklahoma Walmart is running another food drive this year!

Rather than agree to pay a decent wage or provide full-time hours, Walmart and its owners (the Waltons) continue to earn massive profits while too many of the workers who make the company a success go hungry. Want to support #WalmartStrikers who are tired of being retaliated against for speaking up about these issues? Visit to see how you can get involved.


This phrase is overused but what else is there to say:  Do the Waltons have any shame?  Any?


November 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM Leave a comment

Read This if Your Retirement Fund is Invested in the Stock Market

Money Tree via

(Image via


If you have money in an account managed by an “institutional investor,” good luck:

Rising Secrecy, Fees and Theft Make This The Most Dangerous Of Times

Money management fees have exponentially grown to unprecedented levels, thanks to the proliferation of alternative investments such as hedge, venture and private equity funds. While it was assumed decades ago that the public would be unwilling to continue to pay retail fees of even 1%, today many of the largest institutional investors eagerly pay fees of 2% and 20% of gains— a near 400% increase.


Alternative investment offerings commonly dictate that the manager has the right to withhold any and all information, or to provide certain investors with enhanced disclosure that can be used to profit at the expense of other clueless investors.


Managers reserve the right to withhold from investors any information that may negatively impact their reputations, including criminal activity.

Disclosure like the Madoff feeder-funds’ explicit warning, “the manager could abscond with the assets,” no longer seems outrageous. As long as clients consent to thievery obliquely disclosed, details of the theft can be withheld and the crime will never be detected, or prosecuted.


November 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM Leave a comment

For-Profit Hospitals Don’t Want to Spend the Money Preparing for Ebola

Betsy McCaughey via Wikipedia

(Betsy McCaughey via Wikipedia)

The Ebola scare is exposing the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into here in the U.S. with the privatization of our hospital system:

Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the CEO of Defend Your Healthcare and former Lt. Governor of New York, appeared on Fox just after she had attend a CDC conference call with hospitals this afternoon.

Host Stuart Varney asked her what it would take to set up 50 hospitals to be ready for Ebola.

McCaughey’s answer is stunning.

According to her, after the CDC outlined its preparation strategy, one hospital administrator responded, “What you’re telling us would bankrupt my hospital!” She said that that administrator represents a Southern California hospital.

McCaughey noted that there was no word on the call of who would pay for hospitals to get themselves ready for Ebola patients.

And then she added: “Treating one Ebola patient requires, full time, 20 medical staff. Mostly ICU (intensive care unit) people. So that would wipe out an ICU in an average-sized hospital.”

In the case of Texas Presbyterian, McCaughey says that the hospital cordoned off its ICU to care for Thomas Eric Duncan and sent the rest of its ICU patients to other area hospitals. She added that many communities will not have multiple hospitals to choose from, so one Ebola case could cripple ICUs in small towns.

“But the most important thing,” McCaughey said, “is that doctors and nurses are not ready for the challenge of using this personal protective equipment even if you see them with the helmet, the respirator, the full suits, as the CDC said on the call today, even all that equipment is not enough to guarantee the safety of health care workers because it is so perilous to put it on and particularly to remove it once it’s become contaminated.”

McCaughey said many of those on the call were “daunted by the expectations, the separate laboratory next to the isolated patients, all kinds of — all kinds of adjustments, where to put the waste. Many states won’t even let you dispose of this waste from such a toxic disease.”


So, the next time some guy from the CDC hems and haws about why mandatory procedures aren’t being implemented across the country, let’s remember that behind that hemming and hawing is his inability to say outright that the hospital system is privatized and the CDC has no authority to force them to do anything.


Ah yes, the “best health care system in the world.”


October 15, 2014 at 1:33 PM Leave a comment

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