Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are We In the Process of Creating a New and Enduring American Underclass?

Corporate profits are near an all-time high, worker productivity continues to rise, labor costs have declined the most since 1962, yet the economy employs 7 million fewer people than in 2008. The corporate drive for productivity and profits at all costs, exemplified by outsourcing jobs, lobbying against the rights of labor and squeezing pay and benefit concessions from the workforce, has had a disastrous effect on millions of Americans who face long-term unemployment, suffocating debt and a bleak outlook for the future.

"BP Hasn't Made People Whole"

The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has largely disappeared from the headlines but the damage from millions of barrels of oil spilled in the Gulf and its effect on the populations there rages one.

Faces from the Gulf, One Year after the BP Disaster

10 Reasons to Still Be Pissed Off About the BP Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

Citizens Group Files Petition To Recall Power-Hungry Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

Recall efforts are now underway in Michigan in an attempt to halt what amounts to martial law being implemented in several cities, under the guise of Emergency Financial Managers who usurp the power of locally elected officials, in addition to tax breaks for wealthy and corporate interests, and the breaking of labor contracts throughout the state at the behest of Gov. Rick Snyder. The story includes a segment from the Rachel Maddow show on what is currently happening in Michigan.

Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch

"Legal experts interviewed for this story called the blatant corporate politicking highly unusual, although no longer skirting the edge of legality, thanks to last year’s Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which granted free speech rights to corporations."

The last time CO2 was this high...

We are in trouble on earth because of the global rise of temperatures that are resulting in the melting of polar ice caps and the disastrous rise of sea water levels among many other environmental problems. is an activist organization dedicated to stopping global warming NOW...

Plutocracy Now: What Wisconsin Is Really About

More information and perspective on the ultimate goal of the current anti-worker, anti-regulatory, pro-business agenda of the GOP and the Democratic political establishment. It's clear that business advocates and their cronies in Congress are serving the financial and powerful elite and do not much care for the concerns of middle-class Americans. This piece by Kevin Drum is historical in nature and traces the roots of the demise of organized labor as a major political force and how the trend has undermined the collective will of the people, and living standards, for the past forty years.

Wikileaks' Julian Assange and NYT's Bill Keller Trade Barbs at UC Berkeley

This is an interesting summary of a recent debate on the transparency movement and the limits of the American press' will to hold powerful interest to account for their actions.

Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Half Your Meat? Time for Congress to Act

The news keeps getting worse with regard to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our food supply. The health implications of this trend are potentially devastating as large swaths of our population could become infected with bacterial diseases which traditional antibiotics would be unable to treat effectively. We need to legislate against the reckless industrial uses of antibiotics in food production, or we will fail not only ourselves but our children and the generations that follow.

"Staph causes hundreds of thousands of infections in the United States every year, and drug resistant staph like MRSA kills more Americans than AIDS/HIV."

Germans pay extra for clean energy—is it worth it?

The aggressive incentives legislated by Germany to increase renewable energy production have resulted in a major transformation of the energy sector in this industrialized European country. The German example demonstrates that an economy can maintain competitiveness and growth while undergoing the transformation to clean energy sources, and is a model that should be emulated here in the US.

Maine Republicans Slam Republican Gov. Paul LePage

Republicans in Maine are pushing back against the extremist anti-regulatory, anti-worker agenda promoted by Tea Party supported Governor LePage.

Southampton Village To Become First Municipality in New York To Ban Plastic Bags

Whereas paper bags are not the answer either, the ultimate goal is to get people to use their own reusable cloth bags for shopping as much as possible. Plastic bags are a scourge on the environment and require millions of barrels of oil to produce each year, and then often end up in the ocean. If we're going to fix this problem we've got to start somewhere. Kudos to Southhampton for their efforts on this issue.

3.9 Earthquakes Shake Arkansas, Some Doubt 'Fracking' Link

Arkansas has been wracked by an unusual rash of earthquakes which has prompted the state to halt fracking for natural gas because of the possibility that injections of toxic fracking waste liquids deep underground might be contributing to the seismic activity. There's been a moratorium on fracking in the state since March 4.

One Year After: Soldier in WikiLeaks Iraq 'Murder' Video Speaks Out in New Film and Interview

A soldier who participated in the "Collateral Murder" video released by WikiLeaks defends the organizations transparency actions and contends that Pvt. Manning should not be charged with releasing classified documents because the event had previously been described in a book.

UN, Legal Scholars Criticize Administration for Treatment of Bradley Manning,-legal-scholars-criticize-administration-for-treatment-of-Bradley-Manning?utm

Sleepwalking into the Imperial Dark

As dark as the prognosis might be I'd rather not sleepwalk through it. There is some dignity to knowing what's being done to you and the rest of humanity, and trying in some measure to stand up for those things you believe as just.

Obama Returns to his Moral Vision: Democrats Read Careful

This is a riveting analysis of President Obama's recent speech on the budget and the morality that has been at the core of American democracy since the Constitution was created. It's a hopeful and inspiring beacon of a story that I enjoyed immensely, if just for the ecstasy of the vision of America that it  painted.!/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=alternet_news