There ARE Other Ways...

New Town to Newtown: How ’96 Massacre Spurred Gun Laws in Australia — and No Mass Shootings Since In the wake of the Newtown killings that left 27 people dead on Friday, we go to another New Town — in Australia — the home of a mass shooting that killed 35 people in 1996. Just 12 days after what became known as the Port Arthur massacre, Australia’s government responded by announcing a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. There have been no mass killings since. We’re joined by Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate who led the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre. She also produced the landmark report, "Gun Control in the United States: A Comparative Survey of State Firearm Laws," with the Open Society Institute in New York.


Natural Gas Fucking (that's it, shoot the messenger)

"Gasland" Director Josh Fox Arrested at Congressional Hearing on Natural Gas Fracking

The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox was handcuffed and arrested Wednesday as he attempted to film a congressional hearing on the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking, which the Environmental Protection Agency recently reported caused water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. Fox directed the award-winning film, "Gasland," which documents the impact of fracking on communities across the United States, and is now working on a sequel. Fox says he was arrested after Republicans refused to allow him to film because he did not have the proper credentials. "We wanted to report on what happened [at the hearing]. I was not interested in disrupting that hearing. It was not a protest action," says Fox. "I was simply trying to do my job as a journalist and go in there and show to the American people what was transpiring in that hearing, so that down the line, as we know there will be a lot of challenges mounted to that [Pavillion, Wyoming] EPA report—and frankly, to the people in Pavillion, who have been sticking up for themselves and demanding an investigation into the groundwater contamination—and to make sure that people could view that in a larger forum than usually happens."

We're poisoning ourselves.


Greed Run Amuck (Results: Mass Murder)

U.S. Wasting Billions While Tripling No-Bid Contracts After Decade of War in Iraq, Afghanistan

As the war in Afghanistan approaches its 10th anniversary, a pair of new reports reveal how the Pentagon has squandered tens of billions of dollars while tripling the amount of no-bid contracts. The bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting concludes that between $31 billion and $60 billion spent on projects in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 10 years has been lost to waste and fraud. In Afghanistan, the commission found the United States is indirectly funding the Taliban as money diverted from U.S.-backed projects is paid out to militants to ensure safety. Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s use of no-bid contracts has tripled since the United States was attacked on 9/11, in spite of promises to reform the controversial practice. A new investigative report from the Center for Public Integrity says no-bid spending has ballooned from $50 billion in 2003 to $140 billion in 2011. We speak with Charles Tiefer, a member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan and a professor of government contracting at the University of Baltimore Law School, and with Sharon Weinberger of the Center for Public Integrity, author of the investigative series "Windfalls of War." "There are as many contractors in the war zone as there are soldiers. But we haven’t adjusted our thinking for it. We haven’t adjusted our structure for it," Tiefer says.

We call it "war", or "defense", or a "necessary evil" - I particularly love that one.

It's delusion. Because it's murder. Mass murder. And we support it with our tax payer dollars. So a few can get really "rich".

Just so we're all on the same page...


Fat Cats

As Economy Lags, New Study Reveals 25 Top Firms Pay More to CEOs than in Taxes

A new study reveals that 25 of the nation’s largest corporations paid more money to their CEOs last year than they did to the federal government in income taxes. Often using overseas tax havens, many of the corporations managed to make billions in profits but paid little to nothing in federal taxes. In many cases the companies received large tax rebates. The list includes some of the country’s best-known companies, such as Ford, Coca-Cola, Verizon, General Electric and eBay. The same study found that the ratio of CEO pay to that of the average worker in the United States jumped to 325-to-1 last year. We speak to the study’s co-author, Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of its Program on Inequality and the Common Good. "What these companies do is they use a variety of tax loopholes, corporate loopholes, to game down their taxes. So, these are what I would call the sort of champion in the tax gymnastics department," says Collins.


All For One And One For All

Pioneering Comedian Roseanne Barr on Her Life on Screen as a “Working-Class Domestic Goddess” The writer Barbara Ehrenreich once praised Roseanne Barr for representing "the hopeless underclass of the female sex: polyester-clad, overweight occupants of the slow track; fast-food waitresses, factory workers, housewives, members of the invisible pink-collar army; the despised, the jilted, the underpaid."

Because I haven't really watched television very much in the last 25 years, and I probably only saw "Roseanne" a couple of times if that, I wasn't aware of any of this...

A little knowledge for a little perspective.

And Brava, Roseanne, brava!


Leaking Time Bombs

AP IMPACT: Tritium leaks found at many nuke sites BRACEVILLE, Ill. – Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.

Nebraska Nuclear Plants on Alert Following Missouri River Flooding Massive flooding along the Missouri River has put two nuclear plants in Nebraska on alert. On Sunday, the Cooper Nuclear Station declared a low-level emergency as the Missouri River threatened to flood the nuclear power facility. Authorities say the plant, which is about 70 miles south of Omaha, will have to close down if the river rises another three inches. Meanwhile, the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, located about 20 miles north of Omaha, has been shut down since April 9, in part due to flooding.

Federal Regulators Work Closely with Nuclear Power Industry to Weaken Standards In nuclear news, a new exposé by the Associated Press has revealed that federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them. Just last year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission weakened the safety margin for acceptable radiation damage to reactor vessels—for a second time. (source)


The Koch Brothers - Keeping You Sick and Themselves Rich

* Ralph Nader: Koch Brothers Led Fight to Defend Formaldehyde Despite Carcinogenic Evidence The government has added formaldehyde to a list of known carcinogens, despite years of lobbying by the chemical industry. Formaldehyde is found in plastics and often used in plywood, particle board, mortuaries and hair salons. The government also said Friday that styrene, which is used in boats, bathtubs and in disposable foam plastic cups and plates, may cause cancer. The conservative billionaire Koch brothers have led the lobbying effort against labeling formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, is one of the country’s top producers of formaldehyde. We get reaction from longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

The Koch brothers have committed crimes against humanity and the environment (as though the two can be separate...). And should be held accountable.

Toxic greed.


Size Matters

Vermont Poised to Become 1st State to Enact Single-Payer Healthcare Today Vermont is set to make history by becoming the first state in the nation to offer universal, single-payer healthcare when Gov. Peter Shumlin signs its healthcare reform bill into law. The Vermont plan, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will attempt to stem rising medical care prices and provide universal coverage.

Single-Payer in Vermont, A State of Healthy Firsts

It's good to remember, that it's not the size of the dog in the fight...

But rather, the size of the fight in the dog.

And Vermont is quite a State of mind.


G.E.'s Tax REFUND (we paid THEM, bishes...)

I just can't believe that General Electric received a $3.2 billion tax REFUND, while earning $14.2 BILLION in PROFITS.

And we're going after our teachers... and our police force and our FIREFIGHTERS.


Noam Chomsky is a Total Badass

“Democracy Uprising” in the U.S.A.?: Noam Chomsky on Wisconsin’s Resistance to Assault on Public Sector, the Obama-Sanctioned Crackdown on Activists, and the Distorted Legacy of Ronald Reagan Full Transcript


Allan Nairn is a Total Badass

Allan Nairn, award-winning journalist and activist, making more sense than I've heard in a very, very long time...

"And if you look realistically at the world, most of what people have comes from what they inherit, not from what they earn themselves.

"Take this country. You grow up in the suburbs. You grow up in, you know, a nice neighborhood of New York City. You have good food. You have clean water. You won’t be sickened by your own excrement. You live in a building that’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The roads outside are solid and safe. You can go to school for free. You have all these things and more. And you have all this before you have lifted a finger in labor, in work, in earning, in initiative, in free enterprise. You have all this while you’re just a kid sitting there watching cartoons on television. So, obviously, you have a vast inheritance, some of it from your own family, but most of it from the society as a whole, from the rich society.

"You know, in this country and in a lot of the rich world, when we talk about issues of equality, there’s always a standard debate goes on, a very sterile debate, between equality of opportunity and equality of result. The right says, "Oh, we can only have—we shouldn’t have equality of result: everybody ends up at the same place. We should only have equality of opportunity: people start from the same place, and then you have a fair race." I tell you, the poor of the world would be thrilled to settle for just equality of opportunity. Forget equality of result. If you really had a regime of equality of opportunity, that would mean all children start from the same place. They all start with nutritious food, with clean water, with free schooling, with a safe home, etc., and then, let the chips fall where they may, run the race. But that is so far from what we have now in the world. It’s obvious. It’s obvious to everyone."

Unfortunately, it's NOT obvious to "everyone"...

(Excerpt taken from: Allan Nairn: As U.S. Loses Its Global Economic Edge, Its "One Clear Comparative Advantage is in Killing, and It’s Using It") - This whole interview is well worth reading or watching. ****************************