Archive for November, 2014

Too good to be true – Could we actually control corporate spending on elections?

 Corporate States of America
Read this: Overwhelmingly most Americans think that there is too much corporate money in politics, but congress consistently blocks legislation to roll back Citizens United and actually have some control.
Well, an interesting solution is being proposed.  This January, MD State Senator Jamie Raskin will introduce the Shareholders United Act, legislation that would require corporations to post all political contributions on their websites within forty-eight hours and would forbid corporations from spending on political campaigns and candidates unless they are able to prove that the contribution reflects the “majority will” of their shareholders.  And guess what,  institutional investors (this includes pension and retirement funds, insurance companies, universities and non-profits) would not count.
 

 

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We need to question US assumptions about the middle east!

 Middle East Conflict - Idiots guide
Read this: The propaganda that we are constantly fed regarding the middle east leaves little to alternative thinking.  Years of failed wars in the area and nothing to show for it but more of the same or probably even worse.  This article from The Nation focuses on 5 US assumptions that we should rethink and stop accepting as a matter of fact.
 

 

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Help protect California from an oil transport disaster.

 Chemical Disasters
Sign the petition: We keep reading about trains transporting oil derailing someplace back east.  There is usually an accompanying horrendous picture and we do little.  Hopefully you watch for and sign perinate petitions to your legislators.  Well guess what?  This has finally come home to us here in southern CA.  We are now the target of this very dangerous practice.  Now Phillips 66 wants to start moving more of these dangerous oil trains through California communities to their polluting Santa Maria oil refinery on our pristine California coastline.  What could possibly go wrong?
 

 

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Bet you thought NPR was one media that watched out for the public – like covering Climate Change

 Climate Change - poster
Sign the petition: Just when you think the awareness on Climate Change is moving forward and we need to focus on getting new sources to cover the issue better, buying into it’s urgency, one of the media sources we were taking for granted decides to depress it’s coverage.  I guess nothing should surprise me.  The battle is never ending – particularly the propaganda.
National Public Radio just made the baffling decision to drastically reduce its staff dedicated to covering climate change and the environment, leaving just one part-time reporter on the beat.

NPR’s decision is part of a disturbing anti-science trend within the news media—the number of newspapers that included a weekly science section has shrunk from 85 to just 19 in the past 25 years.

And with deliberately misleading coverage from conservative outlets like Fox News, the American public is actively misinformed about climate change. In just one year (2013), the percentage of Americans who don’t believe in climate change actually went up 7%.
 

 

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Walmart says it supports solar energy but donates millions to groups that campaign against it.

 Walmart Solar Hipocracy
Sign the petiton: Sending this petition to Rob Walton, Chairman of Walmart’s board, telling him to stop funding groups that make green energy inaccessible to everyday Americans may help.
In recent years, the Walton family has donated:
  • $500,000 to Americans for Prosperity. The name may sound positive, but it’s actually a lobbying group founded by the Koch brothers [5] that pushed leaders to sign a pledge opposing action on climate change; [6]
  • $800,000 to the American Enterprise Institute, a group that insists that climate change ended 15 years ago [7] despite thousands of studies disputing their absurd allegations;
  • $150,000 to the Heritage Foundation and $200,000 to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, two major climate denying groups.

All of these groups, along with dozens of others the Waltons funded, have worked to oppose energy policies that would make solar energy more accessible to American households.

 

 

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Consider signing the Move To Amend petition – We need you!

 Corporations are Not People
Sign the petition: I am a strong believer in our need to amend the constitution to once and for all state that “corporations are not people” and that continuing this incorrect premise increasingly eliminates any democratic government from being possible.
Move To Amend is building a broad and deep democracy movement that is seeking political power to transform government so that we may finally secure a functioning democracy, which:
  • Recognizes that all people are people with unalienable rights,
  • That corporations are NOT people with Constitutional rights,
  • That money is not a protected form of political speech, and
  • Is the instrument through which social, economic, and environmental justice will prevail.
On the other side of the coin is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) comprised of publicly and privately held, often multi-national corporations and elected representatives.
ALEC seeks to maintain and expand its already significant political power, which:
  • They wield to pass corporate-written legislation,
  • Benefits their bottom lines and the re-election campaigns of member legislators,
  • Seeks to diminish the rights of “We the People,” and
  • Permanently establishes a ruling class of haves and have-nots.
At this crucial moment in our history the coin has been tossed into the air. It is still on its way up, flipping over and over. Will it be heads or tails? Democracy or oligarchy? Move to Amend or ALEC?
 

 

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Video on “Coal Power Plants for 5th Graders”

 Video
Video on “Coal Power Plants for 5th Graders”
Watch this: A short, sarcastic video produced by the Sierra Club to emphasizes the difference between energy produced by coal and wind.
 

 

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Social Progress Index: A new way of looking at the world.

  Think Differently
Watch this: The link below points to a Ted Talk by Michael Green that begins by talking about the introduction, in the 1920s, of the economic index that has been used ever since to judge the economic progress of each country, around the world – that of course is the GDP index.  A valuable tool, but only that, and it’s creator warned that it should not be overly emphasized.  Green suggests that there may be other ways to evaluate economic progress and they may be more accurate in dealing with the todays problems (almost a hundred years later).  Green proposes a “Social Progress Index”.  This seems to be a great idea.  Now how to get governments and and big money to agree.
 

 

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Inequality – a Bigger Threat than the Islamic State?

 Inequality
Read this: In this very pertinent article by David Rothkopf, he discusses the fact that today, “In the Age of Fear, the sensational always overtakes the important.”  We seem to never focus on what is right in front of us but instead we are easily distracted by the the sensationalism of the fear that is pushed in front of us by those who have the most to gain by that very process.  A very good article – you may need to register for uninterrupted reading.
 

 

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The US and China have agreed to take steps to reduce carbon pollution, but the US needs help.

 Global Warming
Sign the petition: Help to encourage the EPA (put pressure on them) to issue a carbon rule that will help reverse the march toward climate disruption.  There isn’t much time and if we don’t move on this, neither will China.
 

 

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