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From its pyramid-shaped throne on the back of a dollar bill…
By Tony Norman, @Common Dreams
“I am the god of the 1 percent. You shall have no other gods before me. I help those who help themselves and visit poverty over many generations to those who would redistribute the wealth that I have freely given to those who luxuriate without guilt in my love. I reward the spirit of material excess because I hate poverty and the poor who have rejected my ways.
“I am a vulgar god who never tires of the misery perpetuated by those who exploit the resources of the planet for tax breaks and personal gain. The smoke of belching coal plants and runoff from hydraulic fracturing pleases me. Let those who refuse to rape the earth that I have made in six days be accursed.
“I am the god of ‘In God We Trust.’ You shall have no other gods before me. Give to the poor (if you must) out of your excess and at your discretion. Don’t be compelled by guilt. The poor don’t need a safety net as long as I, the god of the Koch brothers and Ayn Rand, lives in the heart of every patriotic American. It is money that I love, not mercy for its own sake. Mercy without conditions offends me.
“I am the god of the morally upright. I abhor homosexuals, Democrats, mimes and all who believe in global warming. Those who have AIDS can give all glory to me. It is by my hand that every dread disease except obesity and cancer is visited upon the earth. Do not be fooled: I loathe the followers of Lady Gaga. Women who refuse to submit to male authority are an abomination.
“Those who believe in me know evolution is a lie straight from hell. The dinosaurs drowned during Noah’s day because the ark couldn’t contain them. This is not a mystery if you believe science is evil with all your heart.
“I am the god of war. I love violence and the mindless proliferation of guns in every home. Horses and bayonets proclaim my glory over the whole earth. That is why America is my blood-stained footstool. Guns don’t kill — I do.
“I am the god of the Invisible Hand. I hate the 47 percent who siphon the productivity of my blessed Job Creators. On Election Day, I will pour out my wrath on those who receive the mark of the Kenyan Keynesian. Repent of your idolatrous liberalism, or else.”
Or rather Cookie Jill, who rounds up today’s environmental news stories
violence hits brazil tribes in scramble for land.- the expansion of huge cattle ranches and industrial-scale farms in remote regions of brazil has produced a land scramble that is leaving the ancestors of brazil’s original inhabitants desperate to recover tribal terrains, in some cases squatting on contested properties – nytimes
strawberry farms suck spain dry. - for decades, local fruit farmers around doñana have used wells, legal or not, on the perimeter of the vast wetland on spain’s south-western coast. “If the doñana park were a patient, it would be on the point of entering the intensive care unit,” said eva hernandez of the world wildlife fund – the independent
fire retardants in food. - fire retardant chemicals are commonly found in household items like furniture and electronics. But a new study found them in a place you probably wouldn’t expect: food – living on earth
record heat marches on: texas and contiguous US had warmest spring on record. - much of texas has been getting something of a break from the history-making, headline-grabbing drought of 2011 in recent months, but the state’s excessive heat marches on. In 2012, texas had its warmest spring on record and its third warmest january-through-may period. – texas climate news
north texas water needs could cost billions in coming years. - meeting the water needs of north texas 50 years from now will require significant conservation, at least several new reservoirs, an unbending political will and a whole lot of money – dallas morning news
water war reignites as l.a. resists fixing some owens lake dust. -los angeles and the owens valley are at war over water again, with the city trying to rework a historic agreement aimed at stopping massive dust storms that have besieged the eastern sierra nevada since l.a. opened an aqueduct 99 years ago that drained owens lake. – latte times
the deadly legacy of america’s fields of gold. - richard nixon is remembered for his infamous part in the watergate scandal, but his lasting legacy may be a burgeoning army of people in the west who are too fat- the independent
virginia lawmakers avoid climate buzzwords. - state lawmakers discovered that they could not use the phrases “sea level rise” or “climate change” in requesting a study because of objections from republican colleagues. so they did away with all mention of sea level rise, substituting a more politically neutral phrase: “recurrent flooding.” – hampton roads virginian-pilot
groups fight back after conservatives try to dilute environmental laws. - discord between the tories and environmentalists began when the federal natural resources minister maligned environmental groups as radicals. it escalated with the introduction of a package of new laws, some directly targeting charities and environmental protections. – vancouver sun
longtime Hinkley residents haven’t looked back from community plagued with contaminated water. - now living near apple valley, california, the kearney family left behind their dream house in hinkley, which had turned into a nightmare due to a plume of carcinogenic chromium 6. Since then, they haven’t looked back. – san bernardino county sun
potomac named most endangered river. A conservation group says the potomac river is the most endangered river this year in the united states – that pollution in the potomac is decreasing water quality, threatening marine life and will become worse if congress rolls back national clean-water protections – voice of america
shell oil injunction forces greenpeace to get creative. - with a judge ordering greenpeace’s boats to stay away from shell’s arctic rigs, the anti-drilling organization turns to social media and other means of getting its message out – latimes
oil’s dirty price in north dakota. -oil and gas fracking operators in north dakota have dumped at least 1.7 million gallons of brine and 716,000 gallons of oil on the western plains between 2009 and 2011. and that’s just what they’ve reported – minneapolis star tribune
state allows industrial-scale exploration without hearings. - for the last 24 years, mining companies have been exploring for copper and gold on state lands in the headwaters of bristol bay.and they’ve done all that – with the state’s permission – without public notice, without inviting public comment, and without public hearings – anchorage daily news
house committee adopts bill banning epa, corps from issuing water act guidance. - the house transportation committee adopts bill to prohibit epa and army corps from finalizing guidance clarifying clean water act jurisdiction and from using that document to issue rules or decisions – bloomberg bna
nebraska cattlemen, politicians protest ‘weird’ epa flyovers. - epa’s use of aerial surveillance to nab clean water act violators on great plains farms isn’t sitting well with Nebraska farmers and lawmakers. the state’s congressional delegation criticized the practice in a letter last week to epa administrator lisa jackson. – greenwire
new wyoming supercomputer expected to boost atmospheric science. - this month, on a barren wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10 years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science. – latte times
new orleans barge gate crack is likely to delay lake borgne project. - contractors have discovered a 15-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped crack in the bottom of a concrete barge gate designed to block hurricane storm surge from moving from the gulf Intracoastal waterway into the Industrial canal – new orleans times picayune (remember…this is the paper that is on the verge of extinction…imagine this important news not being told.
assessing consumer concerns about the meat industry. - tom philpott, who covers food and the agricultural industry for mother jones, raises concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy – mad cow disease – infiltrating the food chain. – npr
From the “O”, last week: T-Mobile announced Thursday that it would shutter its Redmond call center and lay off its 359 workers, just months after local and state leaders say they were reassured it would remain open.
The Redmond layoffs are expected to take effect June 22, nearly nine years after a forgivable $850,000 state loan and enterprise zone incentives helped woo the company to the High Desert. … It’s a significant setback for the region, where double-digit jobless rates are at least 3 points above the state and national averages, despite recent modest economic gains.
State and local officials extended a package of incentives to lure T-Mobile to Redmond in 2003. Oregon’s $850,000 forgivable loan came from the governor’s strategic reserve fund. In return, T-Mobile promised to hire and maintain 720 workers for a set amount of time, Business Oregon spokesman Marc Zolton said. The company satisfied the conditions by 2007, when the loan was forgiven.
Redmond granted property tax abatements and reduced system development charges through its five-year enterprise zone program. The company eventually aged out of the deal, City Manager David Brandt said.
Then T-Mobile’s payroll began shrinking in recent years, losing 280 workers in the past year alone. About half of its current workforce commutes from outside Redmond, Brandt said.
It once was one of the top employers in central Oregon, where the jobless rate stood at 11.6 percent in Deschutes County and 14.6 percent in neighboring Crook County in January, when Oregon’s statewide unemployment rate was 8.8 percent.
In January 2011, Deschutes County’s jobless level was 13.9 percent, while Crook County’s was even higher: 17.3 percent.
In all, the company will lay off 3,300 workers.
“That does not change the fact that tens of millions of Americans are, at this very moment, maimed in body and spirit, existing at levels beneath those necessary for human decency. If these people are not starving, they are hungry, and sometimes fat with hunger, for that is what cheap foods do. They are without adequate housing and education and medical care…. This poverty twists and deforms the spirit. The American poor are pessimistic and defeated, and they are victimized by mental suffering to a degree unknown in suburbia.”
New reports reveal George Zimmerman’s close connection to the Sanford police department. Zimmerman went on patrol rides with police officers, went to police department picnics, and even went back to the police station three days after he killed Trayvon Martin and wandered around unaccompanied.
A Denver Police officer, who previously pointed his gun at a McDonald’s for working to slow, gets his job back after being caught speeding 143 MPH while drunk.
This has grown all too mundane, apparently you can’t brew your own beer, grind your own sage, hunt deer, elk or bear with a bow or have knives to gut and skin your kill without being charged with a terrorist conspiracy … It is no doubt mere coincidence that every time peaceful protesters plan a major action, police announce a vile conspiracy to blow things up. And it is even more of a coincidence that the conspirators claim to have been baited into such plans by undercover agents, who have even been known to supply material with which they can blow things up.
Because if it was not a coincidence, we’d have to admit that our own government is working against our ability to seek redress for grievances, and that couldn’t possibly be true. The good guys always win, right?
Lawyers for three protesters arrested on terrorist-related charges ahead of the Nato summit have accused police of entrapping them and encouraging an alleged bomb-making effort.
The three were arrested on Wednesday night when members of the Chicago police department battered their way into an apartment in the Bridgeport area of the city.
According to court documents released on Saturday, the three men considered targeting Barack Obama’s re-election headquarters and the home of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. [...]
Supporters of the three men disputed the charges, saying the men had come to protest at the Nato summit peacefully and that the police had confused beer-making equipment with explosives.
A lawyer for the three, Michael Deutsch, said undercover police officers had entrapped them by infiltrating the group and encouraging the bomb-making effort. The Chicago police department declined to comment on the tactics employed in the case.
The Cook County state attorney’s office said the three men had other weapons including a mortar, knives and a hunting bow. It said they considered attacking police stations and cars in Chicago to disrupt police operations for the two-day Nato summit that begins on Sunday.
A mortar? A kitchen mortar? Knives and a hunting bow? What you would find in probably fifty percent of homes on and around the Oregon High Desert. You can carry a loaded handgun to a presidential appearance, but apparently you can’t brew your own beer, grind your own sage, hunt deer, elk or bear with a bow or have knives to gut and skin your kill without being charged with a terrorist conspiracy.
Blue Oyster Cult played here in Bend a couple of times, at The Cinders before it was a disco and now a titty bar, and at the college. Saw them in Missoula as well.
Thinking about Our propensity to self-destruction brought this video to mind, which actually played in the background of The Cinders show. Godzilla is not only the best anti-nuke movie out there, but the best anti-nuke song as well.
I want whatever these fuckers are smoking – officially, from the Department of Labor, Employment and Training: “In the week ending May 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 370,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised figure of 370,000. The 4-week moving average was 375,000, a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 379,750.”
There are far more jobless people in the United States than you might think.
While it’s true that the unemployment rate is falling, that doesn’t include the millions of nonworking adults who aren’t even looking for a job anymore. And hiring isn’t strong enough to keep up with population growth.
Now pay attention, rubes: the government has admitted there are 86 million “invisible” unemployed in the US. The US government admits to there being 12.5 million “visible” unemployed, which together with the invisible means 94.5 million Americans are available to work but do not have a job. Total US population is 330 million. But 24% of those are young people not eligible to work. And 13 percent are retired. So the total population of available workers in the United States is 100% – (24% + 13%) = 63% of 330 million people, or 207 million workers. And with 94.5 million workers not working, the true jobless rate in the US right now is 45%, not the 8% the media keeps propagandizing about.
Fools… ”The wealthiest 400 people own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people — more than 150 million people.”
“If you can believe it the bottom 60% of the people who will be hurt by what’s coming out of this conference own 1% of the wealth of this country.”
“And the situation is getting worse.” ~Senator Bernie Sanders
As the US Supreme Court tries to decide if it’s unconstitutional to take care of our own, an instructive look at the bewilderment of Germans and other Europeans at the phobic opposition to health reform in a country that spends more than any developed nation on health care, ranks last in preventable deaths, boasts over 80 million uninsured adults, and professes Christian ideals.