Monthly Archives: February 2011

List of Koch products

In case you want to align your purchasing habits with your political principles, the following are manufactured by Georgia-Pacific, the overall name of the billionaire right-wing-financing union-hating Walker-loving Koch Brothers. Individual brands include:

Vanity Fair [not the magazine!]
Quilted Northern
Angel Soft
Sparkle
Brawny
Mardi Gras
Dixie

This list is from Stephen Webster, “Billionaire Koch Brothers Next Target of “Anonymous” Hacker Group,” The Raw Story.

You can just imprint the following logo (which should appear on the above product lines) negatively on your shopping brain:

According to the article,

“Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin,” an announcement posted to anonnews.org declared.

“Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process,” they explained. “The Kochs have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies….

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Filed under Economy, Labor, Tax, Right Wing

Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers

article by Ian Urbina, New York Times, 2/26/11

[The Times’ new revelations are pretty horrifying, especially for Pennsylvanians who are waking up to find their drinking water may contain radioactive elements derived from natural gas industry procedures. The following letter was submitted to the NYTimes.]

In your article about fracking and water pollution, you mention that Pennsylvania receives much-needed revenue from the natural gas drilling

What sort of revenue do you mean?

Pennsylvania is not taxing extraction, unlike every other gas-producing state. This state should have the sense to tax double what any other state does, because we have the experience of our coal mines.

Decades after absentee owners shut down the played-out mines, we were still working (and paying) to clean our creeks and rivers so fish could live there again.

If Governor Corbett and the rest of the politicians allow our land
to be ruined by toxic chemicals and our people to be sickened with the twenty-first-century version of black lung, then we ought to be taxing the profiteers so we don’t have to double our own taxes to clean up the mess they’ll leave behind.

Joy Matkowski
Mechanicsburg

I don’t have any vested interest in this topic, except as a lifelong
Pennsylvanian old enough to have known former miners dying of black lung and to have seen the Susquehanna riverbed coated with coal dust.

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Filed under Environment, Energy, Science

The Peace Movement and The Roller Coaster Ride of US War Policy

By John Grant. This Can’t Be Happening , 2/27/11

It’s considered unsportsmanlike to say, “We told you so.” But since all’s fair in love and war and we’re definitely at war, it’s fair to say the peace movement has been right about the whole sordid reality of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That may sound audacious or ridiculous to some, especially to those knee-jerks who love to ridicule the peace movement while knowing nothing about what it really stands for.

It’s important to note here, that the peace/antiwar movement doesn’t have quite as extensive a public relations and propaganda program as that employed by the military and its supporters in the federal government and the mainstream media.

For instance, the peace movement doesn’t have well-funded, highly-trained Psy-Ops Teams such as Rolling Stone has shown the military has. So no one is able to brainwash US Congress members into cutting the military budget and de-funding the wars.

The peace movement also tends to be concerned about the poor, long-term ecological sustainability issues, improving education, creating jobs and figuring out affordable health care for all Americans, which is why we’re always attacking the Pentagon sacred cow and the runaway wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, the peace movement suffers because we live in a world gone mad and few today seem to have the courage to listen to, and give credence to, a movement without guns and prisons.

Interestingly, current reports surrounding Afghanistan are in synch with what the peace movement has been saying since the beginning about the dismal outlook for the Petraeus counter-insurgency program in that ancient, rugged land.

For instance, one of the fundamental mantras of Veterans For Peace, the antiwar organization I have worked with for 26 years, is: “Wars are easy to start and very difficult to stop. So it’s best not to start them.”…

keep reading at This Can’t Be Happening

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Filed under Afghanistan, Iraq, Peace, Security, Terrorism, War

Smashing democracy

excerpt from “Behind the Arab Revolt Is a Word We Dare Not Speak” by John Pilger, Truthout, 2/24/11:

…As the Washington historian William Blum has documented, since 1945, the US has destroyed or subverted more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and used mass murderers like Suharto, Mobutu and Pinochet to dominate by proxy. In the Middle East, every dictatorship and pseudo-monarchy has been sustained by America. In “Operation Cyclone,” the CIA and MI6 secretly fostered and bankrolled Islamic extremism. The object was to smash or deter nationalism and democracy. The victims of this western state terrorism have been mostly Muslims. The courageous people gunned down last week in Bahrain and Libya, the latter a “priority UK market,” according to Britain’s official arms “procurers,” join those children blown to bits in Gaza by the latest American F-16 aircraft.

The revolt in the Arab world is not merely against a resident dictator, but against a worldwide economic tyranny designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries like Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with half the population earning less than $2 a day. The people’s triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism….

read the whole article at Truthout

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Filed under International - other