And much is at stake.
Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome ...
Only bold action ? action that sends an unmistakable message to the world that our state will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens ? will be enough to reverse the damage.Meanwhile, Gov. Pence has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, where he repeats his lies about this "religious freedom" bill and mewls that: I abhor discrimination. I believe in the Golden Rule that you should "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn?t eat there anymore. Uh huh. And yet he signed a bill that could allow that very thing to happen.
There are several factual and well-established reasons why corporations owe a great debt to the nation that has made them rich.
Our Tax Money Pays for Much of the Research
All of our technology, securities trading, medicine, infrastructure, and national security have their roots in public research and development. For a pageful of details look here. [...]
Fewer and Fewer People are Reaping the Benefits of Our National Productivity
Corporate profits are at their highest level in 85 years, doubling in the last ten years, and growing by 171 percent in the first half of the Obama presidency.
Despite a continuing growth in productivity in the last 35 years, wages have fallen dramatically, and technology has begun to diminish the need for warehouse workers, bank tellers, cashiers, travel agents, and a host of other middle-income positions. [...]
Corporations Use Our Resources but Avoid Their Taxes [...]
Corporations Have Stopped Investing in America [...]
A Progressive Solution: Dividends for All
In his book, With Liberty and Dividends For All, Peter Barnes argues for a system of dividends to all Americans for our co-owned national wealth. Because corporations have used our resources?research, infrastructure, environment, educational and legal systems?to develop technologies that are gradually reducing the need for human involvement, and because all of us have contributed to our national productivity, either directly or through our parents and grandparents, we all deserve to benefit.
As Barnes states, "The sum of wealth created by nature, our ancestors, and our economy as a whole is what I here call co-owned wealth. Some, including myself, have called it shared wealth, the commons, or common wealth. Whatever we call it, it's the goose that lays almost all the eggs of private wealth."
Precedent exists in the successful and widely popular Alaska Permanent Fund.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011?If energy and climate change are matters of national security, why aren't we spending like it?President Barack Obama's speech on energy and national security today contained some good and some not so good. Unfortunately, it also contained nothing really new. Rather it was a reprise of his speech a year ago, withtweaking around the edges. But that time the go-ahead for more oil drilling was supposed to be in exchange for a cap-and-trade deal. This time, no trade-off, just more drilling. As Ezra Klein wrote: Unfortunately, it?s not a very good plan, even if it may be very good politics. It says less about how we?ll solve our energy problems than how we?ve resigned ourselves to not solving them.
Energy security is shorthand for ?oil we drill here? as opposed to ?oil that gets shipped here.? So the first part of the plan is all about expanding domestic production of some of the very fuel we need to be weaning ourselves off of.What is being proposed to make us less foreign oil dependent is more domestic drilling despite the fact that the U.S. consumes 20 percent of world oil output but only has 2 percent of world reserves. Plus, continued reliance on environmentally disastrous (but heavily subsidized) corn ethanol as well as the prospect of alternative biofuels.
Plus, more efficiency in oil-fueled vehicles. Plus, "clean coal" to make electricity to power the electric cars the President has said he wants a million of on the road within four years. Plus, more nukes just as soon as the quick-and-dirty comprehensive review of existing nukes "proves" nothing like what happened in Japan can happen here, and problems like waste disposal and overcrowded spent fuel pools are shunted aside. Plus, more vehicle efficiency. Plus, solar and wind.
Too much of the wrong approach and not enough of the right one.Tweet of the Day On today's Kagro in the Morning show, another in-depth look from the HuffPo at how St. Louis County municipalities wring dollars from their poorest residents. A new water tax brings out the Irish penchant for old-school methods of protest. From the world of self-fulfilling prophecy: GA "patriot" plants bombs in a local park to scare neighbors into worrying about terrorism. Scott Walker's a front-runner? Time for some outrageous dark money stories, then! As an added bonus, learn again how no law can bind the rich! One last look back at that oddball Starbucks "Race Together" campaign, through the lens of wage theft. A very good point! High Impact Posts ? Top Comments The Evening Blues ? Overnight News Digest
These sorts of distinctions and leaps of logic can be separated between rational and irrational in the way they internalize reality. Rational people tailor their beliefs to fit reality. Irrational people search for ways to redefine reality to their beliefs.
HBO's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief presents a situation in which an entire organization, created and based on the pseudo-science of a pulp science fiction writer, has caused massive financial, emotional, and physical suffering in trying to impose a view of how life works that would be considered hysterical in its absurdity if it wasn't also appalling. Directed by Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side) and based on the book of a similar name by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright, the information related in Going Clear will probably not be a big surprise to people aware of the long history of accusations against the Church of Scientology or cult behavior in general. However, the documentary pulls all of those threads together into a narrative that is utterly damning in its assessment of L. Ron Hubbard and his church. Follow below the fold for more.
Governor Pence signed Indiana?s new Religious Freedom?s Restoration Act not only ?because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith,? but because ?many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.? Pence has plenty of company among the 2016 Republican White House hopefuls. While Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has warned, ?Religious liberty has never been more under attack,? his Louisiana rival Bobby Jindal declared, ?Make no mistake," Jindal said, "The war over religious liberty is the war over free speech and without the first there is no such thing as the second.? But it was front-runner Jeb Bush who gave the game away in expressing his opinion about same-sex marriage:?I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue - including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.? Unfortunately, Bush?s posture, which one Republican strategist described as ?a new way to talk to about same-sex marriage,? is little different than the religious liberty justifications segregationists used to defend Jim Crow and its bans on interracial marriage. Just as important, the new wave of GOP legislation to enable discrimination against LGBT Americans is a perversion of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton.
Ironically, the federal RFRA law was the congressional response to a ruling by Justice Antonin Scalia in the 1990 case of Employment Division v. Smith.
Continue reading more on this story below.
That's the substance of SB 1318 in Arizona, which passed the legislature yesterday and immediately landed on Gov. Doug Ducey's desk. He's been such a suck-up to Cathi Herrod and her far-right Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), which has spearheaded at least 30 anti-abortion measures here, that it's unlikely the former ice cream businessman will veto the bill.UPDATE: Ducey did sign the bill on March 30. Herrod called it "a good day for Arizona women."
SB 1318 started out bad enough, as a measure prohibiting private insurers from offering abortion coverage to patients who signed up on the federal exchange. But it became even more odious when an amendment was slipped in that requires physicians to tell women about an unproven procedure that might reverse the effects of the abortion pill. The bill also directs the Arizona Department of Health Services to list the experimental and highly controversial practice on its website.
Worse and worser over the bump.
Murkowski?s amendment, which would need further legislation to become law, follows a similar proposal from House Natural Resources Committee Chair Rob Bishop (R-UT) to spend $50 million of taxpayer dollars to fund the sale or transfer of U.S. public lands to states.That's right?they want to use our money to fund the loss of million and millions of acres of public land. That's not a popular position out here in the West, where 59 percent of voters are opposed to this transfer. Westerners are also okay with the federal government, for the most part: "approval ratings for the Bureau of Land Management?48 percent approve?the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?73 percent approve?the U.S. Forest Service?73 percent approve?and the National Park Service?76 percent approve." A whopping 94 percent of people reported that their last visit to a national public land was a positive experience. That 94 percent would be outraged if they were blocked from accessing those lands in the future by fences and no trespassing signs.
That's a point outdoor groups have been making in fighting state efforts in Colorado, Idaho and Montana and the rest of the West. This comment by a Montana outfitter, Addrien Marx, really sums it up: "Montanans flatly reject any effort to privatize lands that belong to all Americans and provide the backbone to a $3 billion state outdoor economy, an economy that keeps small towns like mine alive."
That goes for the vast majority of Westerners who aren't Cliven Bundy. Access to public lands drives our economies, not to mention the way of life for many. Just something else Republicans want to destroy.
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point