Saturday, June 26, 2010

¡Somos el número ocho! Vayan, Nuevo Mexico!!!

But only because it's in alphabetical order and "R" comes later.

Here's the CREW list of the nation's worst governors--where "worst" means the ones at the center of the most corruption charges:
Below, you will find a short summary of each Worst Governor's outrageous actions with links to each governor's full report. Note: The list of governors is unranked, and appears in alphabetical order below. Press coverage of CREW's report can be found here.

America's Worst Governors

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS)
Gov. Donald Carcieri (R-RI)
Gov. Jim Gibbons (R-NV)
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
Gov. David Paterson (D-NY)
Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA)
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)
Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD)
Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA)
That's quite a list, and a really stellar pantheon of pimps, punks, and procurers. Big Bill should be proud to be in such fast company. Here's the brief list of particulars concerning the venality and corruption of our own carpet-bagger latifundista:
Bill Richardson (D-NM) was elected governor of New Mexico in 2002 and reelected in 2006. Under the state’s term limits law, he cannot run for reelection in 2010.

Used state investments to benefit political allies
Allowed pay-to-play scandals to plague his administration
Rewarded close associates with state positions or benefits, including providing a longtime friend and political supporter with a costly state contract
Failed to make state government more transparent
Seems pretty petty and trifling next to Sanford, Paterson and/or Gibbons...Crew explains:

CREW reviewed the job performance of all 50 of our nation’s governors to determine which are the worst. We considered whether governors had violated ethics, campaign finance and personal financial disclosure rules as well as whether they had complied with state transparency laws. It is nearly impossible to compare governors’ adherence to the laws because state rules and laws vary so widely. Each state has its own ethical rules and standards. Requirements regarding disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures and personal finances differ significantly as do state open records laws. Some states make much more information publicly available than others.

Despite these difficulties, CREW was been able to reach some general conclusions about which governors violated agreed upon notions of competence, transparency and integrity.
So Bill's just 'another dirty pol.'

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The "Twitter" Critique of Capital (in 140-character bites!)

By Cynthia Boaz, via HuffPo :

I've thought a lot about it & have concluded that market capitalism is actually conducive to evil. It's not just a talking point.

Here's why. The system requires winners AND losers. It is- by design- zero sum. This creates two serious moral problems.

The 1st moral dilemma of capitalism is that it demands that its adherents not only have stake in their own wins, but in your losses.

That is the seedy underbelly of competition. Winning at any cost. Depriving my opponent of whatever I must, even dignity or life.

The other moral dilemma of capitalism creates & perpetuates what is basically a form of mental illness in people with consciences.

No person of conscience can enjoy the spoils of wealth/capitalism without some guilt.

But that same person also realizes it is impossible to see that everyone shares in the wealth of the system. There MUST be losers.

So the natural instinct in a painful situation that seems impossible to change is to go into denial.

We disconnect from the humanity of other people. We withdraw into our own small worlds and justify it as fair or right.

And we console ourselves by saying if others were as righteous as us, they would have what we do. They must deserve suffering!

This entire endeavor puts our souls in peril.

Capitalism has serious potential to do damage to our capacity for empathy and compassion. It's a dehumanizing system.

I believe our addiction to the system of capitalism requires us to imagine it can bring us happiness.

What is the point of desiring excessive wealth, if not that we think it generates happiness?

But because of dynamic already described, with each increment of happiness bought, another piece of one's humanity is sacrificed.

In other words, it is impossible for a person of moral conscience to become happier through the accumulation of wealth.

So this means 1 of 2 things. Either we're a civilization lacking in conscience or we're a civilization lacking in true happiness.

What's especially ironic is that the language of capitalism is conflated with the language of liberty and empowerment.

But capitalism is actually a very oppressive system. Either you're denied dignity and liberty by being a "loser" in the system...

Or you're asked to deny your own human instincts of compassion and empathy for other people by being a "winner" in the system.

Either way, by participating in the system, you've given up some of self-sovereignty.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Neo-Feminism": Be Careful Of That For Which You Most Deeply Aspire

Girls Will Be Boys?

The Take-away from Morford in the SFGate is both painful AND amusing:
Now it's women's turn. Most women I know -- powerful, independent, wondrously self-defined creatures of talent and intellect, sex and love, insight and intuition -- are fully helping co-create the new female empowerment. But then they read about Sarah Palin endorsing Carly Fiorina with a wink and a rifle shot and a claim of "new" feminism, and they cringe straight down to their ovaries.

Welcome to the great ideological power struggle, ladies. Welcome to being fully empowered, misunderstood, demonized, celebrated, vilified, adored, loathed, loved, championed, deified, and ruined to the core. You're gonna love it. You're gonna hate it.

Read more:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Forp. Yksmohc Explains It ALL For You...Really

Eminently practical proposals
: Following a NY Peace Action Benefit viewing of Karen Malpede's new play, Prophesy, Noam Chomsky criticizes Obama's rightwing policies, war making, medical care, coziness with commercial interests . He warns of the coming war in Kandahar and Israel's possible attack on Iran that could go nuclear. In the Q & A, moderated by Karen, Chomsky comments on BP's Gulf Oil disaster, the Free Gaza Flotilla incident, urges Guantanamo being returned to Cuba and tortured detainees either being tried or released. June 9, 2010 Camera: Joe Friendly

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dr. Riki Ott: "BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence"

Former (pre-Exxon Valdez) fishing-boat skipper turned Ph.D. marine biologist and toxicologist, who does bear a certain animus against the reckless, environmental criminals who have, for all practical purposes, deswtroyed Prince William Sound and now the Gulf of Mexico.
Orange Beach, Alabama -- While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf.

Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.

For example, while flying on a small plane from New Orleans to Orange Beach, the pilot suddenly exclaimed, "Look at that!" The thin red line marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off Alabama.

"There's only one reason for that," the pilot said. "BP doesn't want the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the oil that's about six miles off the coast," he said grimly. We looked down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The pilot shook his head. "There's no way those booms are going to stop what's offshore from hitting those beaches."

BP knows this as well -- boom can only deflect oil under the calmest of sea conditions, not barricade it -- so they have stepped up their already aggressive effort to control what the public sees.

At the same time I was en route to Orange Beach, Clint Guidry with the Louisiana Shrimp Association and Dean Blanchard, who owns the largest shrimp processor in Louisiana, were in Grand Isle taking Anderson Cooper out in a small boat to see the oiled beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard held up the boat for 20 minutes - an intimidation tactic intended to stop the cameras from recording BP's damage. Luckily for Cooper and the viewing public, Dean Blanchard is not easily intimidated.

Credit - Clint Guidry. U.S. Coast Guard blocking media from oiled beaches off Grand Isle, Louisiana. June 2, 2010.
A few days later, the gig was up with the booms. Oil was making landfall in four states and even BP can't be everywhere at once. CBS 60 Minutes Australia found entire sections of boom hung up in marsh grasses two feet above the water off Venice. On the same day on the other side of Barataria Bay, Louisiana Bayoukeeper documented pools of oil and oiled pelicans inside the boom - on the supposedly protected landward side - of Queen Bess Island off Grand Isle.

With oil undisputedly hitting the beaches and the number of dead wildlife mounting, BP is switching tactics. In Orange Beach, people told me BP wouldn't let them collect carcasses. Instead, the company was raking up carcasses of oiled seabirds. "The heads separate from the bodies," one upset resident told me. "There's no way those birds are going to be autopsied. BP is destroying evidence!"

Credit - Louisiana Bayoukeeper. Ineffective boom traps oil on beach; oiled brown pelican awaits fate. Queen Bess Island, Louisiana. June 5, 2010

Provided by Riki Ott. Laughing gull head is separated from body during collection, rendering it useless for autopsy. Waveland, MS. May 13, 2010.
The body count of affected wildlife is crucial to prove the harm caused by the spill, and also serves as an invaluable tool to evaluate damages to public property - the dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sea birds, fish, and more, that are owned by the American public. Disappeared body counts means disappeared damages - and disappeared liability for BP. BP should not be collecting carcasses. The job should be given to NOAA, a federal agency, and volunteers, as was done during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

NOAA should also be conducting carcass drift studies. Only one percent of the dead sea birds made landfall in the Gulf of Alaska, for example. That means for every one bird that was found, another 99 were carried out to sea by currents. Further, NOAA should be conducting aerial surveys to look for carcasses in the offshore rips where the currents converge. That's where the carcasses will pile up--a fact we learned during the Exxon Valdez spill. Maybe that's another reason for BP's "no camera" policy and the flight restrictions.

On Saturday June 12, people across America will stand up and speak out with one voice to protest BP's treatment of the Gulf, neglect for the response workers, and their response to government authority. President Obama needs to hear and see the people waving cameras and respirators. Until the media is allowed unrestricted access to the Gulf and impacted beaches, BP - not the President of United States - will remain in charge of the Gulf response.

For more information on community rallies, please visit HERE.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

How the International Economic Hitmen Do "Bidness"

It is pretty simple, and it almost ALWAYS is successful...

Lagniappe: Interview with John Perkins, who coined the phrase and perfected the skill!