The Last Of The Millenniums

Just because it always has been, doesn't mean it always will be

Archive for the day “January 21, 2014”

The Day in a Picture

day2

The ‘moderate’ Chris Christie…The New Republican Liar – ‘Chris Christie’s 1994 ad was too tough (and inaccurate) for Jersey’

chris christie2

‘In Chris Christie’s first successful campaign for public office, he sat down next to his wife and baby, looked into a camera and told voters something that wasn’t true’.

‘It was 1994, and Christie was a 31-year-old lawyer running for the county board in suburban Morris County, N.J. He was making a television ad, saying to the camera that his opponents were “being investigated by the Morris County prosecutor.”

‘Actually, they weren’t’.

‘But Christie’s inaccurate ad ran more than 400 times on cable TV before the June GOP primary’.

‘He won’.

‘That 1994 race was New Jersey’s introduction to the brash and confident Christie, whose hardball tactics have repeatedly surprised people — even in a state that thinks it invented hardball’.

‘But in Morris County back then, people thought Christie had learned the downside of playing so rough’:

‘That ad helped get him into his first elected office but then helped get him out of it’.

‘He was sued for defamation, required to apologize and then defeated at the polls after just one term’.
From : http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/chris-christies-1994-ad-was-too-tough-and-inaccurate-for-jersey/2014/01/19/b69f0d86-7ef8-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html

Austerity – ‘Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world’

austerrity

 

Working for the Few - Oxfam report

85 people vs 3,500,000,000.

This is why we need to cut social programs.

Because these ‘poor’ people are draining our resources.

‘The world’s wealthiest people aren’t known for travelling by bus, but if they fancied a change of scene then the richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker’.

‘The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world’.

‘Winnie Byanyima, the Oxfam executive director who will attend the Davos meetings, said: “It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population – that’s three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus.”
From : http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

The report, ‘Working For The Few’ is here : http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-summ-en.pdf

Blog Running – Paul Krugman on the ‘Rich Didn’t Build That’ – ‘The Undeserving Rich’

 

blog running

krugman
‘Upton Sinclair’s famous dictum: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it”.

‘The reality of rising American inequality is stark. Since the late 1970s real wages for the bottom half of the work force have stagnated or fallen, while the incomes of the top 1 percent have nearly quadrupled (and the incomes of the top 0.1 percent have risen even more)’.

‘The result has been a determined campaign of statistical obfuscation’.

‘At its cruder end this campaign comes close to outright falsification; at its more sophisticated end it involves using fancy footwork to propagate what I think of as the myth of the deserving rich’.

‘For an example of de facto falsification, one need look no further than a recent column by Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal asserted that rising inequality was no big deal, because everyone has been making big gains’.

‘Why, incomes for the bottom fifth of the U.S. population have risen 186 percent since 1979’!

‘If this sounds wrong to you, it should: that’s a nominal number, not corrected for inflation’.

‘You can find the inflation-corrected number in the same Census Bureau table; it shows incomes for the bottom fifth actually falling’.

‘O.K., that’s what crude obfuscation looks like. What about the fancier version’?

‘I’ve noted before that conservatives seem fixated on the notion that poverty is basically the result of character problems among the poor’.

‘This may once have had a grain of truth to it, but for the past three decades and more the main obstacle facing the poor has been the lack of jobs paying decent wages’.

‘But the myth of the undeserving poor persists, and so does a counterpart myth, that of the deserving rich’.

‘The story goes like this: America’s affluent are affluent because they made the right lifestyle choices. They got themselves good educations, they got and stayed married, and so on. Basically, affluence is a reward for adhering to the Victorian virtues’.

‘What’s wrong with this story’?

‘Even on its own terms, it postulates opportunities that don’t exist. For example, how are children of the poor, or even the working class, supposed to get a good education in an era of declining support for and sharply rising tuition at public universities’?

‘Even social indicators like family stability are, to an important extent, economic phenomena: nothing takes a toll on family values like lack of employment opportunities’.

‘But the main thing about this myth is that it misidentifies the winners from growing inequality. White-collar professionals, even if married to each other, are only doing O.K. The big winners are a much smaller group’.

‘And who are these lucky few’?

‘Mainly they’re executives of some kind, especially, although not only, in finance’.

‘You can argue about whether these people deserve to be paid so well, but one thing is clear: They didn’t get where they are simply by being prudent, clean and sober’.

‘So how can the myth of the deserving rich be sustained’?

‘Mainly through a strategy of distortion by dilution. You almost never see apologists for inequality willing to talk about the 1 percent, let alone the really big winners’.

‘Instead, they talk about the top 20 percent, or at best the top 5 percent’.

‘These may sound like innocent choices, but they’re not, because they involve lumping in married lawyers with the wolves of Wall Street’.
From : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/20/opinion/krugman-the-undeserving-rich.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

A Republican (Wack-a-doddle) vision for America – ‘Watch This Lawmaker Explain Why He Wants To Abolish The IRS’

lee bright

‘State Senator Lee Bright, of South Carolina, believes in getting rid of the IRS. While that’s nothing new in political discourse, Bright wants the IRS gone because they’re apparently training an army of “Brown Shirts” to enforce the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’.

‘Liberty’ is under ‘assualt’.

‘This statement came back in August. Lee Bright’s inspiration for it comes from U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan, who saw IRS agents apparently training with AR-15s at one of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s campuses in June. Duncan said to Politico’ :

“When I left there, it’s been bugging me for weeks now, why IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15, which has stand-off capability. Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?”

‘No, not all Americans, just people who launder money, run drugs, and commit criminal fraud and tax evasion’.

‘These aren’t your typical, everyday IRS auditing agents’.

  • ‘The IRS’ criminal investigation (CI) division has been around nearly 100 years now, and has likely been armed since around then, too’.
  • ‘This division helped in securing a conviction against Al Capone for tax evasion’.
  • ‘They played a major role in solving the Lindbergh kidnapping. This is a law enforcement unit with a long history behind it’.
  • ‘The Bush Administration tasked the IRS’ criminal investigation division with anti-terrorism efforts’.
  • ‘This made it so they had to be armed similarly to other federal law enforcement agencies’.

From : http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/01/20/lee-bright-obama-irs-brown-shirts/

A Republican vision for America – The ‘Freedom of Religion allows children to die’ Edition ‘GOP Lawmaker Defends Faith Healing Sect’s Right To Let Children Die’

followers of christ

If fanatical religious sects want to prevent common medical practices so that their children suffer and die, why that’s ‘religious freedom’.

‘Representative Christy Perry (R-Nampa) has already begun pushing back’.

‘She represents many of the Followers of Christ families and says this is about religious freedom and parental rights’.

‘Both of these have been curbed before, with only the welfare of the children in mind. Somehow the world didn’t end. But Rep. Perry is all freaked out’:

“This is about religious beliefs, the belief God is in charge of whether they live, and God is in charge of whether they die. This is about where they go for eternity.”

‘That’s right’.

‘Rep. Perry thinks that religious beliefs and parental rights trump a child’s right to live’.

‘Listen, if you want to leave things in God’s hands for yourself, that’s one thing and go ahead, knock yourself out. But when it comes to children, especially to babies who cannot speak for themselves, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game. Speculation is fine for an adult, but to gamble a child’s life on your conjecture is insane and should be illegal’.

– – – – – –

‘The Followers of Christ, a fanatical Christian sect, does not believe in medicine’.

‘They feel that God decides who lives and dies and all they should do to affect that is pray’.

‘The state of Oregon disagreed. Now an Idaho lawmaker wants to follow Oregon’s example’.

‘Oregon Followers of Christ couple’s trial prompts a new law
Back in 2009, the newborn son of Dale and Shannon Hickman died. He was born prematurely with no medical presence: he died within nine hours of his birth’.

‘The parents belonged to the Followers of Christ, a sect that relies on faith healing and prayer in lieu of medicine’.

‘Another couple who belonged to the Followers of Christ had just pleaded guilty to the death of their 7-month-old daughter when the Hickmans were arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter’.

‘The other couple, the Wylands, had been charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment. They were found guilty in 2011 and sentenced to 90 days in jail plus three years probation’.

‘Both couples were tried under the 1999 law passed by the Oregon legislature after a series of over 20 child deaths among Followers of Christ members’.

‘The children all died of easily treatable illnesses, partly because of the parental laws that had granted immunity in these cases’.

‘The 1999 law stripped that immunity for the severest cases: second-degree manslaughter and first- and second-degree criminal mistreatment. Several other Followers of Christ parents were prosecuted under the new law’.

‘Followers of Christ have a large presence in Idaho’.

‘Many members of the Followers of Christ live in and around the Boise area. They, too, have seen a spate of child deaths due to ignoring medicine in favor of faith’.

‘The children have ranged in age from 22 months to 16 years’.

‘One girl, 15-year-old Arrian Jade Granden, died after her food poisoning went untreated. Her esophagus ruptured from her prolonged vomiting’.

‘Another girl, 16-year-old Pamela Jade Eells, died of pneumonia’.

‘Twenty-two-month-old Rockwell Alexander Sevy died after suffering from pneumonia for two weeks’.

‘Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise), has seen enough’.

‘He wants to pass a law similar to Oregon’s, requiring parents to seek medical care for their gravely ill children’.

‘Even if their religion disagrees’.

‘Gannon told reporters that these children “… need a chance to grow up.”

‘As it stands right now, Idaho law says that causing felony injury to a child will get the perpetrator 10 years in prison. Oh, but there’s the usual religious exemption’:

“The practice of a parent or guardian who chooses for his child treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone shall not for that reason alone be construed to have violated the duty of care to such a child.”

‘In other words, “treating” a gravely ill child with faith-based means doesn’t constitute violation of said law’.

‘All a negligent parent has to do is claim that they don’t believe in modern medicine and they’re off the hook’.
From : http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/01/20/new-idaho-bill-targets-followers-of-christ-child-deaths/

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