Our man on the spot XI – by SPE
Our man on the spot – by SPE
Translation by Nikki Carter
Where is the money?
(WNYC, Jane McClearey, “Raising Expectations and Raising Hell,” July 3, 2013)
The Walton family of Wal-Mart make up [believe it or not, I read it in the papers] 40% of the entire economic wealth of American workers not in the 1%.
McClearey says, “Globalization is not the problem. Free speech and freedom of association are, with that, American workers can form unions again. In Germany there is not the degradation of the status of workers because 50% of corporate boards include representation of the work force.”
Josh Fox, Gasland (HBO), interviewed on NPR, stated that the oil and gas industries have resorted to using retired military psych operatives in dealing with land owners in opposition to fracking [bringing to well-heads oil locked in deep rock formations that are fractured by pressurized insertion of chemicals and water] as they would in any military counter-insurgency campaign.
There are for instance 5,000 well sites with volatile chemicals around the headwaters of the Colorado River and that has to be made to seem OK.
After Obama’s speech supporting his “energy independent” U.S. future method of extraction the EPA has basically “folded” and for instance when the oil and gas industry vehemently opposed an investigation into the whats and where for of fracking in Wyoming, the EPA stopped that investigation and one of the companies in pursuit of leases to drill provided the state the money to have its own “independent” of the EPA, inquiry into profitability and marketability, and good clean water [even if you can set it on fire].
International corporations in oil and gas subsidiaries have leased lands to be fracked equivalent to the land mass of California and Florida combined.
Josh Fox says there is huge pressure on lawmakers like Senator James Inhofe (OK) to impede investigations. As, for instance, the senator wanted every expense in the EPA investigation itemized, no matter how minor.
Mayor of Dish cuts and runs
The mayor of Dish, Texas (where there are 21,000 wells in the vicinity) for instance installed his own air quality measuring instruments at his house and they indicated he’d better move outside of the town, of which he is mayor, which he did. And Josh says he better not drink the water because the witches brew is then extracted and forced into an injection well for storage where it will probably leak and further damage Texas’ decreasing water table.
But coal is no better
(Wall Street Journal, Richard Silke, July 9, 2013)
‘Air pollution from coal combustion likely cut life expectancy in parts of China by more than five years in the 1990s revealed in a joint study by Chinese and American universities. Researchers were helped by another Mao-Era government policy [The first being the free distribution of coal in the North]…restricting movement of people from one part of the country to another so most people studied had likely spent their years in the same region.’
The laws you don’t know do exist
(N.Y. Times, Editorial, July 9, 2013)
‘As outrageous as the blanket secrecy of the FISA court is, we are equally troubled by the complete absence of any adversarial process, the heart of our legal system. The government in 2012 made 1,789 requests to conduct electronic surveillance, the court approved 1,788, (the government withdrew the other). It is possible that not a single one of theses 1,788 requests violated established law, but the public will never know since no one was allowed to make any counter argument.‘
Our Gal Spring Wills of Mendocino, California, hitching the Americas with no money and no Spanish & a crazy man on a bike in Queens
Spring has joined in traveling the world with nothing but a whim and a prayer, Lai Lidun, of Shunde in Guangdong Province, in China who has bicycled 31,000 miles thru four continents and 25 countries and recently arrived in Queens after biking the North American leg of his tour. He left his home in November 2009, with the equivalent of $20 in his pocket. He travels with a portable karaoke machine, so that he can stop and belt out 1980 Chinese pop songs for donations. Spring uses a pennywhistle to perform for donations.
Questions for FBI’s next top dog
(N.Y. Times, Editorial, July 9, 2013)
‘Coleen Rowley, an FBI special agent from 1981-2004: questions should be asked of James B. Comey about privacy and security, “…would you instruct F.B.I. agents to investigate all credible reports,” [of torture] including those involving other federal personnel…In 2002 according to a justice Department report F.B.I. agents at Guantanamo Bay created a war crimes file, to document accusations of prisoner mistreatment…but an F.B.I. official ordered that the file be closed in 2003.’
Lincoln’s surveillance state
(N.Y. Times, Editorial, David Mindich, July 6, 2013)
‘In 1862, after President Abraham Lincoln appointed him secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton penned a letter to the president requesting sweeping powers, which would include total control of the telegraph lines. By rerouting those lines through his office, Stanton would keep tabs on vast amounts of communication…On the back of Stanton’s letter Lincoln scribbled his approval…As the war ended…information began to flow freely again…That is why if you are a critic of the N.S.A.’s surveillance program, it is imperative that the war on Terror reach its culmination. In May, President Obama did declare that, “This war, like all wars, must end…” Meanwhile, unlike the handful of telegraph operators in Stanton’s office, an estimated 483,000 government contractors had top-secret security clearances in 2012.’
Let’s make a deal about the proposed immigration bill
(N.Y. Times, Editorial, Gail Collins, July 6, 2013)
‘[After a bit of compromise]…the bill came out of the judiciary committee with a 13-year path to citizenship and 3,500 additional border protection officers. Then it went to the full Senate where the sponsors agreed to add an another 20,000 badge agents and expand the wall-like border fence to 700 miles. Price: $30 BILLION. The pay-off in arrests per agent in the area around El Paso is around three-and-a-half apprehensions per agent per year!’
(MSNBC, July 16, 2013)
Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project said, “Melissa Alexander who was sentenced in the same prosecutorial district in Florida as the Trayvon Martin trial, was sentenced the next day to 20 years for shooting into a wall to convince her abusive husband (twice convicted for assault) to stay back. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law did not do her a bit of good, but then she is black.”
Barry says over criminalization is rampant in the justice system, and is curtailing the rights of poor people in particular to go to trial before anybody, much less their peers as they are forced to accept a ‘plea’ instead of taking a chance on trial and getting a draconian sentence or take weeks off from places of employment sure to fire them if they do.
Some at Guantanamo quit hunger strike
(N.Y. Times, Charlie Savage, July 15, 2013)
‘David Remes, a defense lawyer who represents several Guantanamo detainees in habeas corpus proceedings said, “…Perhaps the authorities finally made hunger striking such a horrendous experience that some men at least, are dropping out.”‘
California prisoners go hungry too
(N.Y. Times, Jennifer Medina)
‘A widespread inmate hunger strike in protest of California’s policy of solitary confinement was approaching it’s second week…This policy allows inmates with gang associations to be held in isolation cells for decades…and a federal judge ruled that the prison was not providing adequate medical care for inmates – including basics like access to clean water.’
Nadezhda Popova – WWII ‘night witch’ dies at 91
(N.Y. Times, Obituaries, Douglas Martin)
‘The Nazis called them “night witches” because of the whooshing noise their plywood and canvas airplanes made… In 30,000 missions over four years, they dumped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German invaders (and each plane carried only one bomb). Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was awarded an iron cross…Nadezhda Popova flew 852 missions (most other allied pilots flew usually 20).’
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