Friday, 31 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • 'Tis the Season to Be Frightened

    Ebola, Dengue fever, West Nile virus ... Republican ideology created some of these threats in the first place, or managed to make others worse. The climate crisis, which Republicans dismiss en masse, is a key ingredient in all of them.

  • The 0.01 Percent's "I Reap All" Accounts

    At least 9,000 wealthy Americans have amassed $5 million-plus sized IRAs. Multimillionaires and billionaires are shielding vast fortunes from taxation with monstrously huge IRAs.

Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, have donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000 and the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000. 

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Seattle's Garfield High School has once again moved into collective struggle!–and we may to find out today if one of us is to be displaced from the building or if the power of protest has kept us safe from the budget-cut ax for now.

The Seattle School District announced on Friday, October 17, that Garfield High School would be forced to cut and transfer one teacher in a core subject area by Friday, October 24—or come up with $92,000. But on Thursday October 23, almost the entire building emptied in a mass walkout of students and educators against the budget cuts and has so far convinced the district to delay the cut.

Okay, there are a few hundred people who believe that the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars pocketed by CEOs reflect their worth in the market. (And most of those people write for newspapers or teach in business schools.) The rest understand that CEOs get incredibly rich by being able to rip off the companies that they supposedly work for. This is because the rules are rigged to give them effective control over the company.

Gretchen Morgenson has a good piece explaining one way in which CEOs and other top management rig the deck. Her column today talks about a Delaware court ruling that allows companies to write by-laws that make shareholders pay the company's legal cost if they lose a case filed against the company. For example, this could mean that if shareholders sued a company because it rewrote the strike price on options given to an incompetent CEO, and then lost the case, then the shareholders would have to pay the company's legal expenses.(Most U.S. companies are chartered in Delaware, so this ruling makes a big difference.)

Trenton—Advocates across the state have launched a campaign to support Public Question No. 1 on November 4th. Public Question No. 1 asks voters to change the New Jersey Constitution to give judges the ability to deny bail to dangerous suspects and will usher in comprehensive bail reform in New Jersey.

The proposed Constitutional Amendment also authorizes the Legislature to pass laws to operationalize the amendment—an important action that the Legislature has already accomplished. At the same time that the Legislature passed the resolution to put the bail reform question to the voters, it also passed, with bi-partisan support, groundbreaking legislation to comprehensively reform New Jersey's broken bail system. This legislation only goes into effect if the Constitutional amendment on the ballot wins a majority on November 4th.

A UN body that tracks forced disappearance has reiterated its call to Yemen to produce a US citizen who has been missing from a prison in the country for nearly nine months.

Sharif Mobley, a father of two from New Jersey, was last seen by lawyers from legal charity Reprieve on 27 February 2014, as he awaited trial at Sana'a's central prison. When they returned three weeks later, they were told that Mr Mobley had been transferred to another, secret location. All attempts by Mr Mobley's family and lawyers to trace him have since failed.

California's Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) just published a draft plan that would allow the CDFA to spray any pesticide anywhere, at any time, for any pest, with no opportunity for public input – indefinitely.

Under the guise of its mandated mission to prevent the introduction and spread of injurious insect pests, plant diseases and noxious weeds in California, this overarching, dictatorial proposal is clearly an insidious covert ploy to overtly destroy organic farming in the state of California, an egregious assault on public health and a racket. It is an irresponsible, unconscionable mandate for chemical toxin industrial manufacturers to sell and apply poisons - cancer causing, pollinator- bird- and bee-killing pesticides and herbicides throughout the state of California, and a trial run to, if successful, apply the same toxic martial spraying laws across the entire United States.

Oct 27

Nurses Emerge as Front Line "Climate Workers"

By Tamanna Rahman and Brendan Smith, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

As the Ebola outbreak continues to dominate headlines, so too do the stories of health care workers fighting to contain the disease. The climate crisis is morphing into a public health crisis, forcing nurses to join the ranks of other workers on the front lines of climate change: firefighters battling ever more destructive fires, farmers struggling to coax crops from drought-ravaged fields, fishermen hauling empty nets from warming waters. The nature of work is changing and we're not prepared.

For nurses, the risks became strikingly clear when news leaked out that Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, two nurses at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national infected with the disease. While both nurses thankfully recovered, their situation highlights nurses as a new generation of "climate workers" exposed to expanding dangers on the job.

Oct 27

Disappeared

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Art

Acrylic on canvas 24 x 30 inches

Emanuel E. Garcia, 2014

Front View:

2014 1027pntn 1(Photo: Suzanne Herschell)

In the home of the Free Speech Movement at the U.C. Berkeley campus, students got a rude awakening when what they describe as an administrator "with clear political motivations" shut down the Beehive Collective's art project on drought and Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond.

The Post is really angry that people are talking about the rich getting everything at the expense of everyone else. It demands in the headline of an article, "stop with the fiction of a binary economy." 

Actually, nothing in the article really gives us much reason to question the reality of the binary economy that many economists have written about. For example, it tells readers:

"The jobless rate in the center of the United States from North Dakota to Texas is less than 5 percent and has been well below the national rate for five years."

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Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, have donated a total of $850,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign. The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000 and the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000. 

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000 and the California Cotton Alliance contributed $200,000 to the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign.

Seattle's Garfield High School has once again moved into collective struggle!–and we may to find out today if one of us is to be displaced from the building or if the power of protest has kept us safe from the budget-cut ax for now.

The Seattle School District announced on Friday, October 17, that Garfield High School would be forced to cut and transfer one teacher in a core subject area by Friday, October 24—or come up with $92,000. But on Thursday October 23, almost the entire building emptied in a mass walkout of students and educators against the budget cuts and has so far convinced the district to delay the cut.

Okay, there are a few hundred people who believe that the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars pocketed by CEOs reflect their worth in the market. (And most of those people write for newspapers or teach in business schools.) The rest understand that CEOs get incredibly rich by being able to rip off the companies that they supposedly work for. This is because the rules are rigged to give them effective control over the company.

Gretchen Morgenson has a good piece explaining one way in which CEOs and other top management rig the deck. Her column today talks about a Delaware court ruling that allows companies to write by-laws that make shareholders pay the company's legal cost if they lose a case filed against the company. For example, this could mean that if shareholders sued a company because it rewrote the strike price on options given to an incompetent CEO, and then lost the case, then the shareholders would have to pay the company's legal expenses.(Most U.S. companies are chartered in Delaware, so this ruling makes a big difference.)

Trenton—Advocates across the state have launched a campaign to support Public Question No. 1 on November 4th. Public Question No. 1 asks voters to change the New Jersey Constitution to give judges the ability to deny bail to dangerous suspects and will usher in comprehensive bail reform in New Jersey.

The proposed Constitutional Amendment also authorizes the Legislature to pass laws to operationalize the amendment—an important action that the Legislature has already accomplished. At the same time that the Legislature passed the resolution to put the bail reform question to the voters, it also passed, with bi-partisan support, groundbreaking legislation to comprehensively reform New Jersey's broken bail system. This legislation only goes into effect if the Constitutional amendment on the ballot wins a majority on November 4th.

A UN body that tracks forced disappearance has reiterated its call to Yemen to produce a US citizen who has been missing from a prison in the country for nearly nine months.

Sharif Mobley, a father of two from New Jersey, was last seen by lawyers from legal charity Reprieve on 27 February 2014, as he awaited trial at Sana'a's central prison. When they returned three weeks later, they were told that Mr Mobley had been transferred to another, secret location. All attempts by Mr Mobley's family and lawyers to trace him have since failed.

California's Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) just published a draft plan that would allow the CDFA to spray any pesticide anywhere, at any time, for any pest, with no opportunity for public input – indefinitely.

Under the guise of its mandated mission to prevent the introduction and spread of injurious insect pests, plant diseases and noxious weeds in California, this overarching, dictatorial proposal is clearly an insidious covert ploy to overtly destroy organic farming in the state of California, an egregious assault on public health and a racket. It is an irresponsible, unconscionable mandate for chemical toxin industrial manufacturers to sell and apply poisons - cancer causing, pollinator- bird- and bee-killing pesticides and herbicides throughout the state of California, and a trial run to, if successful, apply the same toxic martial spraying laws across the entire United States.

Oct 27

Nurses Emerge as Front Line "Climate Workers"

By Tamanna Rahman and Brendan Smith, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

As the Ebola outbreak continues to dominate headlines, so too do the stories of health care workers fighting to contain the disease. The climate crisis is morphing into a public health crisis, forcing nurses to join the ranks of other workers on the front lines of climate change: firefighters battling ever more destructive fires, farmers struggling to coax crops from drought-ravaged fields, fishermen hauling empty nets from warming waters. The nature of work is changing and we're not prepared.

For nurses, the risks became strikingly clear when news leaked out that Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, two nurses at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national infected with the disease. While both nurses thankfully recovered, their situation highlights nurses as a new generation of "climate workers" exposed to expanding dangers on the job.

Oct 27

Disappeared

By Emanuel E. Garcia, SpeakOut | Art

Acrylic on canvas 24 x 30 inches

Emanuel E. Garcia, 2014

Front View:

2014 1027pntn 1(Photo: Suzanne Herschell)

In the home of the Free Speech Movement at the U.C. Berkeley campus, students got a rude awakening when what they describe as an administrator "with clear political motivations" shut down the Beehive Collective's art project on drought and Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown's $7.5 billion water bond.

The Post is really angry that people are talking about the rich getting everything at the expense of everyone else. It demands in the headline of an article, "stop with the fiction of a binary economy." 

Actually, nothing in the article really gives us much reason to question the reality of the binary economy that many economists have written about. For example, it tells readers:

"The jobless rate in the center of the United States from North Dakota to Texas is less than 5 percent and has been well below the national rate for five years."