Obama the Compassionate Compromiser

August Pollack nails it:

The 2012 Republican nomination race seems to be a battle over which candidate has the most proven record of being horrible to people. Thankfully, the president feels that we can reach a compromise and only kick people in the head instead of the balls. I am so ready to win the future.

Make the compassionate choice: concussions over nut-kicks.  Just as Bush was dubbed a “Compassionate Conservative”, Obama has proven himself a “Compassionate Compromiser”, a tool of corporate interests and no friend to privacy rights.  He’s up against what is looking like a truly horrifying Republican field with the two most likely candidates, Bachman and Perry – full on psychotic theocrats hell bent on a Ultra Conservative Christian Nation.

Here is our choice in 2012:

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Cisco Helps China Censor

Cisco Helping China Monitor its Citizens isn’t so much new as a stark reminder of the nature of corporations.  Corporations are by definition sociopathic, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the amount of power they command in today’s society.  Boycott Cisco if you like, not that it would do anything.

Outlaw Arbitration

The recent Supreme Court decision against arbitration was yet another victory for corporations over the rights of citizens.  The case was decided along partisan lines, with Republican nominated justices providing the majority pro-corporate opinion.

It is time we fight back.

Arbitration is, in essence privatized justice where the legal ball is always in the corporation’s court.  It is essentially being forced on consumers in a manner strangely reminiscent of price fixing and collusion.  This will not stand.  We live in a time where corporate rule has led directly to the entirely preventable disasters in Japan and in the Gulf of Mexico.  They have been granted ever more power to directly influence our government with their massive financial resources.  This is not about drawing a line in the sand.  It is about recognizing that corporations now have far more say in our system of government than we do, and resolving to fight back any way we can.

One way to fight back would be to campaign to outlaw arbitration.  We need a coordinated, grassroots campaign to provide consistent and compelling communications to convey how arbitration puts citizens at risk while allowing corporations to get away with crimes.  We need legislation prohibiting the use of arbitration clauses to lock consumers into a lopsided means of conflict resolution.

Call your legislator today.  Let’s outlaw arbitration and snatch this victory back from the jaws of SCOTUS.

Japan’s Radiation and Trusting the Experts

Japan’s radiation problem keeps getting worse.  Radioactive Iodine and Cesium and pouring into the Pacific Ocean, and while experts are trying to be reassuring they are going about it in a decidedly worrying fashion.

Take this AP Article for instance:

Very close to the nuclear plant — less than half a mile or so — sea creatures might be in danger of problems like genetic mutations if the dumping goes on a long time, he said. But there shouldn’t be any serious hazard farther away “unless this escalates into something much, much larger than it has so far,” he said.

No fishing is allowed in the vicinity of the complex.

And yet:

He agreed that animals near the plant may be affected. It’s not clear in what way, because the level of radiation isn’t well known, he said. In any case, fish would probably escape such an effect because unlike immobile species such as oysters, they move around and so would not get a continuous exposure, he said.

How can they say the fish nearby will be protected “because they move” and then only prohibit fishing in the area affected?  If the fish are safe, why prohibit fishing at all?  If not, why limit it to the area around the plant (rather than institute radiation testing).  Actually, that is just what they are planning on doing next.  Setting radiation safety levels for seafood:

Experts agree that radiation dissipates quickly in the vast Pacific

And yet:

He added that seawater may be diluting the iodine, which decays quickly, but the leak also contains long-lasting cesium-137, which can build up in fish over time. Both can build up in fish, though iodine’s short half-life means it does not stay there for very long. The long-term effects of cesium, however, will need to be studied, he said.

They really have no idea what the long term effects of this will be.  They don’t know the range of impact either: Fish Migrate.

Meanwhile their plans involve trying desperately to find the leak, and making increasingly desperate and risky decisions:

The government on Monday gave the go-ahead to pump more than 3 million gallons of less-contaminated water into the sea — in addition to what is leaking — to make room at a plant storage facility to contain more highly radioactive water.

What happens when that storage facility fills up again?  Given the constantly shifting truths about just what is leaking, and what its long term impact might be – how do we know what to believe?

Transocean has Big Oily Balls

Transocean, one of the companies behind the BP Oil spill, has awarded its executives cash for “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history”.

Now I know you might be thinking this is the mark of hubris taken past the gates of psychosis into Elysian fields of PR, but Transocean is just being honest.

2010 was their safest year ever.  Here’s a partial timeline of past Transocean incidents:

2009 – Transocean executives launch holy war against baby seals and lolcats – “They are after our cheezeburger gentleman.  THEY SHALL NOT CAN HAZ.”

2008 – Transocean experimental “Oil Ray” depopulates large stretches of Alaska.

2007 – Transocean partnership with Umbrella corporation leads to temporary crowd control issues in Arizona.

2006 – Records from this year were entirely expunged except for part of a recovered burnt diary with the words “2nd Moon” and “Oops”.

2005 – Transocean accidentally blows up the entire country of Hezeckastan, dries up the emergency PR fund erasing the country’s existence from history books, maps, google.

2004 – Transocean executives mistakenly fought US troops in Iraq after “deciding to see what oil REALLY tastes like”.

You Don’t Matter (Sorry)

US Politics is owned by the monied class.  The political spectrum only matters for superficial issues.  For anything deep both parties are full on corporate cheerleaders:

Yes, one of the two parties will win and one will be even more subservient to business than the other. But both parties are completely under the thumbs of the wealthy, they know it, and most of them don’t have a problem with it.

What we’ve got to look forward to in 2012 is feeling increasingly like a sham.  A joke election to be decided between tea partiers cracked out on racism vs liberals who aren’t pissed off at Obama yet.  Where does that leave the rest of us?  Aside from staying home to watch reruns of Arrested Development.

Republicans: Democrats Shouldn’t Be Able to Fund Campaigns

The Republican attack on unions is best viewed in concert with the Citizens United decision, which has grossly impacted elections in the favor of the right wing and the corporate status quo that rules both parties.  For them its not about balancing budgets, its about taking a crack at the financial ability of Democrats to mount competitive campaigns.  With a tilted playing field, a corporate media that either leans right or is an outright propaganda organ for conservatives – where is this country headed politically?