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Four States Want Expanded Corporate Power

This Piece from Huffington Post is an indication of the dark days to come if the already insanely powerful corporate community gets even more powerful. In California it is Proposition 90. In Washington it is Initiative 933. In Idaho it is Proposition 2. In Arizona it is Proposition 207. The legal authority contained in these ballot measures is so extreme it can hardly even be accurately described. It seems the corporate community wants the authority to equate potential profits with actual money in the bank. The message sent is, ‘screw you America – show us the money.’

“There is a law on the ballot in four states that says if I want to open a hog farm or a chemical plant next door to your house and you don’t want me to do that, then YOU have to pay ME not to — you have to pay me all the money I MIGHT have made..
..if you want to stop a corporation from dumping toxic waste into the river from which you get your drinking water, or stop them from venting dangerous chemicals into the air, then YOU have to PAY that company not to..
..The far right says that a government stopping a company from dumping waste into a river is ‘taking money’ from that company.”

This whole thing reminds me of a recent ‘Broken Government’ piece on CNN, where I heard that Washington has over 30,000 registered lobbyists, or about 60 for every Senator and Congressman. They spend billions of dollars a year trying to make sure that democracy doesn’t work for people, it only works for big business. As your rights and freedoms are eroded on a daily basis, corporate rights are being increased dramatically. Some pigs walk on two legs.

It also reminds me of this piece from yesterday’s New York Times. It’s about Bob Richardson, a 58 year old Texan who catches feral hogs (with his bare hands, no less) and sells them live to organic restaurants in Europe. Sounds like a heck of a way to make a living. He makes just under $30,000 a year doing this. It sounds like a backbreaking lifestyle.

So I came up with this idea. Somebody should hire Bob to go to Washington D.C., and start rounding up these lobbyists and hogtie them, throw them in the back of his Toyota pickup truck, and we’ll pay him a handsome bounty on them. With the reduction in porkbarrel spending by government that would result, I’m sure it would be well worth it. We discretely won’t ask what happens to them, just so long as they never return to Washington or any state capitol to carry out their nefarious ‘profession.’

The Dubious ‘Logic’ of Torture


No-brainer #1: The Vice President has no brains.
No-brainer #2: The Vice President is evil.
No-brainer #3: Calling it ‘dunking’ doesn’t change the nature of the act.
No-brainer #4: “Torturing someone is evil. It’s not just a war crime. It’s the definition of evil.” – Jonathan Turley

Olbermann:

“The Military Commissions Act, which as we have discussed here not only killed habeas corpus but essentially gave the President the authority to decide what constitutes torture…but did the Vice President manage to illustrate something even bigger than this, this attitude behind that legislation; as in, ‘We’re going to do whatever we want, and we’re going to call it whatever we need to call it.’ “

Turley:

“That’s right, and you know the terms keep on getting more innocent, as if you know waterboarding was something you could take the children to…There is a continual effort of this administration to change verbiage to avoid directly dealing with the fact that we have embraced torture as a practice in one of the most despicable changes in this country’s history in values.”

In the most grotesque instance of irony possible, it is the ‘values voters’ who on November the seventh will most likely embrace torture as a practice, and vote to re-elect the party that has condoned this despicable change in the nature of the United States of America.

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(Also Posted At Ice Station Tango and Les Enragés.org)

Abu Ghraib Torture VictimCIA Tried to Silence EU on Torture Flights

There is no effective opposition in the United States to the heinous acts that have become the trademark of BushCo™’s criminal regime. In fact, the recent passage of the Military Commissions Act enjoyed the support of 12 Democratic Senators and 31 Congressional Democrats. Therefore one would fervently hope that some international entity would be putting some pressure on to put an end to the worst abuses. Unfortunately, even that hope could be nothing more than cockeyed optimism, as The Guardian reported today.

“According to a secret intelligence report, the CIA offered to let Germany have access to one of its citizens, an al-Qaida suspect being held in a Moroccan cell. But the US secret agents demanded that in return, Berlin should cooperate and “avert pressure from EU” over human rights abuses in the north African country…classified documents prepared for the German parliament last February make clear that Berlin did eventually get to see the detained suspect, who was arrested in Morocco in 2002 as an alleged organiser of the September 11 strikes.
He was flown from Morocco to Syria on another rendition flight. Syria offered access to the prisoner on the condition that charges were dropped against Syrian intelligence agents in Germany accused of threatening Syrian dissidents. Germany dropped the charges, but denied any link.
After the CIA offered a deal to Germany, EU countries adopted an almost universal policy of downplaying criticism of human rights records in countries where terrorist suspects have been held. They have also sidestepped questions about secret CIA flights partly because of growing evidence of their complicity.”

Complicity? That doesn’t sound good. Too many EU countries are happy enough to keep quiet about these crimes because they knowingly aided and abetted the miscreants.

“More than 200 CIA flights have passed through Britain, records show.
[Journalist Stephen Grey] describes how one CIA pilot told him that Prestwick airport, near Glasgow, was a popular destination for refuelling stops and layovers. ‘It’s an “ask-no-questions” type of place and you don’t need to give them any advance warning you’re coming,’ the pilot said…CIA pilots, sometimes using false identities and whose planes regularly passed through Britain, ran up huge bills in luxury hotels after flying terrorist suspects to secret locations where they were tortured. But they revealed their whereabouts and identities by indiscreet use of mobile phones and allowed outsiders to track their aircraft’s flights.”

This is an interesting look at the type of people that are involved in this program. Nothing makes them feel like partying more than rendering up some (probably innocent) individual to be tortured. And their partying is being paid for with your tax dollars. And the torture is being carried out in your name.
Also posted at: Les Enragés.org
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