Friday, August 28, 2009

Chinese Pharmaceuticals Swamping Your Medicine Cabinet?


(Very Special Thanks to Cab Calloway & his Orchestra)
Turn up the Volume


We love Cab Calloway! Time to Kick the Gong Around...

Ever wonder why you can't turn on the tee-vee screen without being treated to an agonizing commercial about dreadful side effects from lipitor, viagra and other exotic elixirs to treat diseases contracted in the body's nether-regions of intimate space? Mysterious drugs whose impossible names you can't even pronounce because hey, some of them may even be in Chinese? Well that's because they are!

This latest TradeReform.org report reveals that Chinese pharmaceuticals are the next wave of products destined to swamp our medicine cabinets tsunami style. Ohhhhh, this all so good for us, too, because it's cheaper to buy drugs that could kill you or to feed our pets deadly dog food that, yeah, even kills them.

But given the shoddy and lethal quality problems of imported defective products and drugs, this news ought to make readers feel a whole lot better about our government's “thought leaders” and advisors on the Obama team since all of that hope and change under Obama's latest sellout to the drug kingpins of Big Pharma has to benefit somebody, even if it's not the taxpayers who are footing the bill. We are, if nothing else – a nation of risk takers and good, God fearing Christians with free-market principles who have no compunction whatsoever in sacrificing the lives of our dogs and the health and safety of ourselves and our children to disembowel our economy and our bowels, PLUS give away our jobs. (Click to watch video Obama Sells Out to Pharmaceutical Companies.)
TradeReform explains:

“Chinese pharmaceutical companies are showing startling growth and increasing economies of scale, according to a report published by Peking University's Center for Pharmaceutical Economic Research, China’s top pharmaceutical industry magazine, and H&J Vanguard Consulting Co Ltd. Between February and July, the report surveyed 50 experts and analyzed 132 publicly traded Chinese pharmaceutical companies with annual sales exceeding RMB 100 million ($14.64 million) in 2008, Russia’s Interfax News Agency reports. Seven companies examined averaged 50 percent growth between 2006 and 2008 while over 80 percent of them recorded 20 percent average growth. The report said 11 Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers had RMB 2 billion ($292.83 million) in sales revenue last year, and four reported revenue exceeding RMB 4 billion ($585.65 million).”

Last year, LWOH reported here that the FDA had announced the U.S. government was blocking imports of thirty drugs by an Indian drug manufacturer at two of its sites for “failure to correct significant problems” that could pose potential health threats to American residents. The report explained:

“India’s “giant” drug manufacturer Ranxbary Laboratories has failed to correct “significant manufacturing problems that could lead to allergic reactions or other problems.” No mention was made of which specific drugs were being blocked or what kind of “other problems” loom at large. The FDA is, however, allowing India’s Ranxbary Laboratories to “continue selling medicines made at any of its other factories.”

Splendid. Maybe we could start making some of these drugs here?

Happy Friday, Loserettes!

-2Truthy

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Remembering Ted Kennedy

Farewell, Teddy

(February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)


Ted Kennedy loved politics and from his earliest days in Congress, he was a consummate politician who knew how to get things done in Washington. He was also a very wealthy man who knew very little about the actual lives of millions of educated middle class workers whose visa labor legislations he sponsored would adversely affect them. I've often wondered if he had ever predicted just how badly this legislation would eventually be for middle class Americans, or if he had been well, would have lived spending his time in the Senate working to reverse it. I guess we'll never know, but I'd like to believe if he were still around, he would have tried.

He's gone now, as his family mourns his life and their precious moments together along with his friends and millions of Americans who will never forget his dedication to rights issues affecting the poor and disenfranchised in this country.

Of his legacy, Ted Kennedy leaves a mixed bag. For all of his noble, sincere and valuable work in leading civil rights and human rights legislation along with supporting increases in minimum wage for the working poor, his major role in unfair labor practices against the U.S. educated American middle class was his only shortcoming. In his death, there are those who choose to condemn him with bad character labels for his tragic car accident in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. (The sad truth is that if anyone could suffer the “T” in human tragedy, it was the Kennedy family.) What kind of mean-spirited hypocrites are these people to live in glass houses and deem themselves above human failing and forgiveness in the face of some of life's worst human tribulations?

As in all of life's imperfect shadows, so does death lift them.

I'm going to miss this old fighting Irish guy, this “fiery liberal” in the Senate – this man who fiercely opposed discrimination with the big heart “of a lion.” When my grandmother in Ireland died, Teddy made a phone call for my aunt whom he knew in Massachusetts - her passport had expired but he got her on a flight out of Logan that evening. He did that good deed for my family, and in my family -- as is the Irish way – no kind deed goes unnoticed. And although his kind act cost him nothing, its merit demonstrated that good character when called upon, knows no price.

R.I.P., Ted Kennedy, and may God bless your family who will dearly miss you,

-2Truthy



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Laborless Left?

I can begin to imagine a progressive coalition that doesn't have organized labor, as we know it, at its core. But I don't want to imagine one that doesn't have those concerns at its heart.”

-Mark Schmidt, The American Prospect


A Progressive Movement Without Labor


When the hubris disease strikes, it will make the Swine-flu look like a mild case of indigestion, as “progressives” excuse Democratic leaders for throwing a monkey wrench at organized labor.

In A Laborless Left, this American Prospect article by Mark Schmidt ponders the following question: Can you envision a vibrant Liberal movement without labor? Schmidt answers “We might have to envision it” and explains why:

At a time when workers in the private sector are more vulnerable than ever, organized labor represents only 7.6 percent of them. Labor's best hope of reversing that trend, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), doesn't have enough support to pass in its original form, which includes the "card check" provision allowing a majority of employees to form a union without the current gauntlet of obstacles employers put in their way.”


Doesn't have enough support? How'd that happen? Where are all of our elected Democrats to support labor? Note that Schmidt says “we might have to envision” a vibrant Liberal movement without labor unions. Why “might” we? Isn't it the job of Republicans to quash organized labor? Isn't the current Democratic majority supposed to be the Party of labor?

The answer depends on whose labor is being supported, and in this case the only Democratic labor being supported are the individual Congress members in the form of backroom deals and lobbyist money. Forget the middle class American worker, as their job is to be fleeced by corporate welfare queens via legalized labor arbitrage and imported cheap labor abuses. To corporate management, American middle class workers don't need unions; they just need smiley faced corporate, neo-feudal frat boys with uber guidelines to dictate to them from spreadsheets solutions to execute labor conditions and wages. After all, the U.S. is sliding into third world status (courtesy said feudal frat boys) and it is the divine responsibility of our corporations to wheedle in oh-so-gently this neo-feudal slave lord labor edict to finally finish off what's left of organized labor in this country.

The Laborless Left globo-corporate mission statement is to reign supreme over the U.S. workforce. Period. It will be accomplished through the delivery of rules and regulations that decides what is fair and balanced and globally equitable, not locally. With no interfering body of united local workers formerly known as labor unions to have any ultimate bargaining power in labor outcomes, who would have thought that our Democratic leaders (and their elitist, fawning minions) could finally be bought off to snuff their base?

What flavor of Kool-Aid have the Left's progressive movement Pooh-bahs been passing out? Schmidt points out what a Laborless Left might look like here:

{But} it's also dangerous. A political coalition that doesn't need Joe the -- fake -- Plumber (John McCain's mascot of the white working class) can also afford to ignore the real Joes, Jos├ęs, and Josephines of the working middle class, the ones who earn $16 an hour, not $250,000 a year. It can afford to be unconcerned about the collapse of manufacturing jobs, casually reassuring us that more education is the answer to all economic woes. A party of professionals and young voters risks becoming a party that overlooks the core economic crisis--not the recession but the 40-year crisis--that is wiping out the American dream for millions of workers and communities that are never going to become meccas for foodies and Web designers.”

Participatory structure? Schmidt cites the Dear Leaderism Moveon.org as one of a few prog organizations that could replace traditional labor unions with ostensibly a kinder, more genteel form of bargaining power with what he refers to as a “participatory structure.” Hmm. So how would that work? Joe the (real) Plumber doesn't like what management is doing and is given a five minute sushi and sake hearing with the brass to think about it or hit the road with no formal redress? Moveon.org's internet campaigns have only succeeded in mobilizing their own elitist, ideologically driven mutual admiration society rather than uniting the vast group of middle class voters in a common ground of economic support.

Ha! Moveon.org has not ever addressed once the economic damage from U.S. corporate welfare sponsored job outsourcing/insourcing which has caused the demise of American labor practices in the form of lost jobs and plummeting wages. Moveon.org has in fact, ignored the abusive H-1B and visa programs in support of their corporate welfare sponsors. The author does, however, offer one possibly viable alternative by suggesting that that labor unions could be replaced with “more fluid, transactional means of politically empowering working people, like the AFL-CIO's Working America affiliate.” The AFL-CIO is a good organization, but it remains to be seen how far they could go the distance to support the labor rights of American workers without the existence of formal union representation.

Since the Right has historically owned the podium for anti-labor aficionados, one would shudder to see what 'political empowerment' for working people will look like once a corporate welfare enabled, Laborless Left ushers in the new establishment rules to replace the principles of organized labor that the Democrats (before they sold out to corporate welfare queens) once owned.

Laborless Left? Can corporate sponsored political organizations play the role of labor unions? As long as Democrats perceive themselves the winners of what yours truly described here regarding James Carville's declaration of victory in “the culture wars”, Schmidt nonetheless entertains the idea that its day will come. He at least reminds us that somehow, progs may have a hard time pulling this thing off without trying to somehow embrace or at least feign a sense of morality when it comes to American middle class, non-elite workers here:


“The rest of the progressive world needs to feel a sense of moral obligation about questions like the future of American manufacturing and the working middle class.”

Indeed. All hail the middle class worker wealth transfer up to the burgeoning neo-frat boy corporate state, where a legion of tattooed “Trust Me, I'm a Progressive Democrat” acolytes shall be your guide.

In the meantime, at least we have the EEOC to file discrimination lawsuits against corporate bodies that seem hellbent on displacing American middle class workers.

-2Truthy

Monday, August 24, 2009

James Carville's New Book: 40 More Years "Come Hell aw Highwauta"

"Change Without Clues"
-Planet of the Oligarchs-
 


Here is James Carville's latest political manifesto released in May, 2009 entitled 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation.
 
40 more years? Is that so?

Although his petty moves to discredit DNC chair Howard Dean were reprehensible, Carville provided plenty of campaign trail entertainment value for the Democrats as he and George Stephanopoulos delivered victory to Bill Clinton. In his latest book, Carville boldly claims that the GOP is toast.

But didn't Democrats vote for hope and change and for getting out of Iraq? Didn't Democrats vote against the Patriot Act, illegal wiretapping and other assorted privacy invasive, erosion of civil liberties abuses that were accelerated for eight years under the Bush Administration? And what about the legalized white collar jobs giveaway to imported third world citizens and the wholesale U.S. jobs sellout that has contributed to this tanked economy? Is THIS a sampling of what the next 40 years will look like?

Does the fiercely partisan Carville have any idea how close 2010 is? Harry Reid is on the ropes. Which will be the 'party of intolerance' next year?

And how's that pro- insurance industry health care 'debate' squaring up? (Looks like we've all been played by that.) Has Carville strolled down Main Street lately?


At this rate, the country does not need 40 more years of Democrats ruling anything. Since neither party of the One Oligarch represents the American people, we need to start electing strong, independent-minded citizens into public office from the bottom up – candidates who are independent of this failed two-party system who possess the integrity, conviction and strength of character to serve the people in our communities across the country. Cleaning up the Swamp of these star-power seeking, arrogance laced back-room dealers for personal profiteering between corporations, Wall Street, and those prostitutes in Congress is what we need over the next 40 years. That – and maybe a few books about the staggering greed and hubris that have taken over our government.

-2Truthy

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

AT&T Age Discrimination Suit

Who ARE these “good neighbors” in our Congress and the White House who are killing jobs for the people of this country? We have been betrayed by our own people in this country. Vicious, mean-spirited and ‘brilliant’ bankers and businessmen who have squandered the treasure and the labor of honest Americans.”

-Mel Toast's Manifesto


AT&T Age Discrimination Suit Filed by U.S. Department EEOC

Booming News

New York (AP) – How many outsourcing/insourcing hubris diseased, sociopathic CEOs does it take to change a high-speed internet connection AND screw American white collar workers out of jobs at the same time?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is on a roll, as they are now going after the suits at AT&T who allegedly cooked up a policy in 2006 to overlook their retired, older workers to come back and apply for work at the country's largest telecommunications provider. The EEOC is alleging that AT&T discriminated against older employees “by denying them the chance to be rehired solely because they retired under early retirement plans” including the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program (VRIP), the Enhanced Pension and Retirement Program (EPR) or other retirement plan.

What a difference three years can make! As AT&T retirees have helplessly watched the economy tank, the government loot their pensions, their housing values plummet while insurance premiums, food, gas and cost of living expenses skyrocket, many 40 plus retirees and others now need to go back to work. So why would the suits at AT&T want to discriminate against their trusted, former workers? In a non-sociopathic work world, the spirit of community and neighborhood would prevail. But this is America.

For a refresher regarding the average CEO discriminatory war against educated American workers in frequent favor of cheap, imported and outsourced foreign workers, LWOH has reported here and here on AT&T's inhumane, discriminatory cheap labor practices and its feudal slave lord, CEO Randall Stephenson.

The EEOC said that the effect of this denial by AT&T “leads to a disproportionate number of older workers not having the same opportunity to apply for re-employment with the company as younger workers” which would amount to age discrimination.

John Yates, who originally filed the discrimination charge with the EEOC, and all other retirees who are age 40 or older are supposed to be protected by law from discrimination because of their age. But the result of AT&T's policy is to exclude this class of older workers because of their age from being reemployed by AT&T regardless of their qualifications. This violation has been ongoing since at least October 1, 2006, the EEOC said:

"We've been taking a new and hard look at age discrimination recently, and we're intent on enforcing the ADEA strategically and vigorously," said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. "This particular case highlights the Commission's commitment to combating age-based disparate impact discrimination."

EEOC Trial Attorney Louis Graziano said, "Federal law prohibits employers from instituting policies that adversely affect workers because of their age. AT&T's policy has that effect."

EEOC New York District Director Spencer H. Lewis added, "All employees, regardless of their age, should be permitted to complete for jobs equally. That is the fundamental right that the ADEA grants to older workers. We hope this lawsuit sends a message to such employers that the EEOC will seek relief when it finds the law has been violated."

Is it any wonder age discrimination is rampant in this country? Age discrimination has been propped up via back-door use and abuse of H-1B and green card visa programs for over twenty years. Many U.S. corporations exploit H-1B visa green card visas under the myth of a U.S. Great Labor Shortage to ship our jobs out of the country and simultaneously import cheap, foreign workers to work for less when older, educated American college graduates want and need to work, especially in this unprecedented economic downturn.

Still buying American worker hating, hubris diseased, ousted former HP CEO Carly Fiorina's old, greedy 2004 sentiment:

"There Is No Job That Is America's God-Given Right Anymore"?

Fast forward to 2009. After firing 18,000 employees, Fiorina's new incarnation as a Republican senate seat-seeking candidate now suddenly observes that Californians "have serious concerns about job creation." Ya think?

Yes, indeedy! Fiorina may be (feigning) that she got religion, as yesterday's Los Angeles Times quotes her latest mantra:

The people of California have serious concerns about job creation, economic growth and the role of government in solving problems that touch each of our lives.”

It's not the economy, race or religion. It's a class war, stupid. It is time to put the brakes on importing cheap labor and exporting our jobs.

It's time that the EEOC, DHS, FBI, DOL and DOJ all investigate and prosecute Obama's appointees and other profitable backroom dealers of best and brightest “thought leaders” and politicians who cut special deals with India, Inc. - their favorite stealth, Cash Cow of Indian Outsourcing, cheap labor human trafficking go-to shop. How can American workers meaningfully contribute to the growth of their communities when U.S. corporations and politicians discriminate against them through illegal and legal hiring practice loopholes and sentiments? Where are the “progressive” voices to protest this practice, or is their collective self-loathing drowned in delusion?

In the meantime, support for the Durbin-Grassley S.887 - H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009 – a bill to reform and reduce fraud and abuse to aid the legal displacement of American workers – will help remove corporate age discrimination practices by forcing U.S. companies to reengage once again with underemployed and unemployed local community professionals like John Yates and others who deserve to contribute in rebuilding the robust community character and corporate infrastructure of this once great nation – before it was hijacked by the hubris stuffed MBAs, accountants, and their bicycle shorts clad, VC enablers.

Party on, plebes!

-2Truthy

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cocaine Laced Money


Dust Off Your Benjamins


Blowing News

Washington – Put THIS in your crackpipe and smoke it...The long-arm of America's brilliant and ingenious War on Drugs has succeeded in importing the dreaded Bolivian marching powder to a wallet near you. Talk about blowback...

That's right. Your own wallet is now officially a prime candidate for rehab, according to a shocking new scientific study that reveals 90 percent of U.S. money is laced with cocaine! The study reveals that traces of cocaine taint “up to 90 percent of paper money in the United States” and lists the top offenders below.

The scientists determined that larger cities like Baltimore, Boston, and Detroit had among the highest average cocaine levels. But guess which city topped the list? You guessed it – Washington, D.C.!

Our nation's capital ranked above the average, where 95 percent of the banknotes sampled were “contaminated with the drug.” No surprise here! Leave it to our venerable cartel of the real thing - this calliope of clowns (public servants) in D.C. to taint and horde all the Benjamins! (Could this explain why the Democrats can't hammer out a Single Payer healthcare bill?)

Don't worry. If you fear your own wallet may be at risk, you can always count on the Mormons to provide shelter from these godless sodomites spreading the sniff around: the study found the lowest average cocaine levels in U.S. currency appeared on bills collected from Salt Lake City. The reserachers did find, however, unusually high traces of powdered sugar and prozac on the Salt Lake City bills, which initially confounded their results.

-2Truthy


Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Remember Woodstock

(Very special thanks to Crosby, Stills & Nash)

A Long time Gone

Bethel, NY – I remember Woodstock.

Although I was too young to have actually gone to Yasger's farm, I was old enough to know and love and listen to the musicians who played that historical, magical outdoor festival. My Woodstock story is about how I got to know and love my friend Lois Yasger, my own little piece of timeless Woodstock.

Many years ago, I worked as a counselor with Max Yasger's daughter, Lois.

We met in the college town of Urbana-Champaign, IL, where my field of study at the U of I was psychology. Lois was an R.N. and we worked together one year and became friends. We got to know each other, talking about life and school and acting, as I was involved in theatre, television and radio then and she had also dabbled in theatre while at school in New York. Lois was newly married to “the love of her life” Todd, and she was working full-time to put him through graduate school. She was so blissfully happy with him, as she would describe how she couldn't wait to get home to the farm house they were renting outside of town in the country, to make whole foods dinners (before it was trendy) and play her music as loud as she wanted.

Lois was unpretentious - the anti-hubris. She only told me that she was Max's daughter after several months had gone by when “A Long time Gone” happened to play on the radio and we both began singing along in harmony to it. I said it must have been so cool to have been there, and it was then that she nonchalantly told me she was Max's daughter. She said very little else about her “past life” with her father and her family and how her new beginning with Todd was a “high” like no other. God, she showed it, too. I can't begin to describe how impossibly and serenely happy she was, everyday. Her passionate zest for life was contagious.

That winter, Lois couldn't wait for it to end so she could plant a garden in the spring. She talked about having kids one day, and loved their dogs – once bringing one of them to work -- frightening some of the patients and pissing off the management. (We frequently giggled in our mutual disdain for pedantic and uptight authority figures.) She was a little older than me, and on occasion, when my dawning of the Age of Aquarius angst would sometimes submerge my thoughts, I would take great comfort in her opinions and sage advice. She was as fair as she was strong, and her steely resolve tempered with quiet widsom and sharp insights revealed a spirited, ancient old-soul.

On any given day, it was always me who would scramble to make it on time for work. When I'd arrive, Lois was always there first. Throughout our work together, she never took a sick day.

Despite this, it was hardly surprising for me to not see her arrive first one grey, dark December day, when we had a terrible ice storm which knocked the power out and made the streets treacherous to drive and the sidewalks dangerous to even walk on. If there were ever one time I thought she would stay home, it was that stormy day. Since I lived only three blocks from work, I would walk and did slip a couple of times on my way in during the icy rain and snow storm that left glistening icicles that were sharp as knives on the trees. The ice storm turned the streets into ghostly sheets of tread-less, deadly ice.

She never made it to work.

Lois died in a car crash on her way into town from her farm house, when the van she and Todd were riding in veered off the road into a ravine. They say she died instantaneously upon impact, which, whenever I think about her, always brings strange, cold comfort.

The oddest thing about her death is that even then, I never believed she had really died – just went away. I asked over and over how it could have happened, as if rehearsing it somehow, like our lines in a play, would bring her back.

This week, as we commemorate Woodstock, I think of Lois and still feel she is out there somewhere, spreading her joyous laughter and warm-hearted wisdom around to make this world a better place like she did mine, so many years ago. This, to me, is the essence of what it means to live an honest life of truth, integrity and zest for life in all of its goodness and community. Lois had no time for fools and fakes.

I don't really know if we die like dogs, but knowing Lois has made me realize that our lives, no matter how rich or poor, are only carried on by the love and goodwill we invest in them. To speak out against the madness.

That I had the great fortune to have known this beautiful, timeless soul, Lois Yasger, for just that fleeting time is worth a thousand miracles.

-2Truthy


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clinton, Congo, and Corporate America Rape: The Neo-Frat Boy Corporate State Redux


-Clinton, Congo, and Corporate America Rape-

Our last hope is to step outside of the two-party system and build movements that defy the Democrats and the Republicans. If we fail to do this, we will continue to undergo a corporate coup d’etat in slow motion that will end in feudalism.”

-Chris Hedges


Can Hillary Stop Congo Rape AND Corporate Rape of Middle Class Americans?

Two articles this week neatly converge on the subject of rape including Hillary Clinton's Congo (DRC) visit and most notably, Chris Hedge's excellent assessment: Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama in his interview with the man who should be president:

Our task is to build movements that can act as a counterweight to the corporate rape of America. We must opt out of the mainstream. We must articulate and stand behind a viable and uncompromising socialism, one that is firmly and unequivocally on the side of working men and women.”

Who are the political and corporate elites behind the Neo-Frat Boy Corporate State? As MSM media and MSM blogs chew up bandwidth over Hillary's Congo (DRC) trip where she visciously and oh-so-brutally browbeat a defenseless male Congolese student who asked her about her husband's thoughts here, many, such as yours truly, are questioning the non-story elements in the SOS's reaction to the student:

"My husband is not secretary of state, I am," she snapped. "If you want my opinion, I will tell you my opinion," she said. "I am not going to be channeling my husband."

Was Hillary 'snippy'? When was being no-holds-barred assertive by a woman ever considered anything less than snippy? Would this virtual non-story even have legs if she were male? Although the sexist framing of this story after the fact is arguably newsworthy, the fact that Hillary was on an anti-rape mission to the Congo to commit $17 million in aid relief while she simultaneously promotes the rape of white collar American jobs on behalf of corporate America and India Inc. is forcing citizens of all political stripes to ask why the SOS hasn't committed to taking care of the People's business at home.

Hillary the humanitarian? Not unlike resurrecting Harvey Keitel's memorable, underworld role as Victor The Cleaner in Point of No Return, leave it to the New York Times to make sure today that the world precisely knows that Hillary was visiting the Congo to exclusively and selflessly broker $17 million of humanitarian aid to Congo rape victims. As everyone knows, the USA loves people - especially its own! Even if it can't inspire its elitist political class to deep-six the insurance lobby and enact Single Payer or to stop selling off our jobs to India.

An excellent study published by the Project 2049 Institute entitled China and Congo's Coltan Connection shines a light on the estimated $24 trillion dollar Congo (DRC) mineral market. The NY Times article did not, however, discuss that the Congo (DRC) is embraced in a struggle between China and the U.S. over control of the country's lucrative mineral and coltan reserves. What is causing the rape of Congo women? Project 2049 responds:

Efforts to reduce demand for conflict materials through supply chain transparency are crucial steps towards ending the cycle of violence supported by mineral profits.”

One of the greatest things about being an American is to know that at least, in theory, we are supposed to be the world's Star of the Sea when it comes to humanitarian rights. And at one time, yours truly could also say that one of the best parts about being a Democrat was that I was a member of a party who cared about our neighbors. Sadly, this is no longer true of the Democrats, as it has morphed into the I Got Mine one-stop-cult club for disillusioned, dumbed-down elitist wannabes and mandarins tethered to the trough. This is why I say that I did not leave the Democratic party, it left me in support of Ralph Nader.

Corporate rape of America's middle class. Further, Hillary unfortunately has a track record of less than humanitarian efforts here in this country towards her fellow Americans, as she is a leading supporter and facilitator of outsourcing and insourcing American white collar jobs to India. It is disappointing to know that Hillary's indelible carbon footprint is all over the death of millions of American white collar workers' lives, as she profitably presides over handing American jobs to Indian businessmen - which she publicly and proudly shrugs off as “friendly competition.” Where is the humanity as Hillary sits at a table with a "Heal Africa" sign on it while she promotes American job outsourcing? (Coltan, btw, is a big, big ingredient that major technology manufacturers need in order to produce laptops and other fun gadgets that make the tech lobby go around.)

Rather than the MSM media (and their sycophant so-called “progressive” MSM blog teatfeeders) focusing on her role in the systematic rape of millions of white collar American jobs by corporate and political insiders, Democrats have to now wonder what exactly they got with their wasted Democratic vote. For too long, Democratic rank and file voters have hidden behind the illusion that there is no alternative to the GOP.

Chris Hedges recently reached Ralph Nader at his family home, and boldly and accurately declared “We owe Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party an apology” here:

The Democrats have been doing this to us since Bill Clinton. It is the same old merry-go-round, only with Obama branding. And if we have not learned by now that the system is broken, that as citizens we do not matter to our political elite, that we live in a corporate state where our welfare and our interests are irrelevant, we are in serious trouble. Our last hope is to step outside of the two-party system and build movements that defy the Democrats and the Republicans. If we fail to do this, we will continue to undergo a corporate coup d’etat in slow motion that will end in feudalism.”

Mr. Nader knows the Democratic party has been sold out, but the “base” is comprised of its own version of “teabaggy” mandarins who, at the bottom, are comfortable spewing hate-monger sentiments while on the dole and the at the top, hypocritical elitists who care nothing about the dreadful upper-middle or the non-portfolio working class that has been broken by the back-room dealing politicos:

How many times have their employers threatened them with going abroad? How many times have they threatened the workers with outsourcing? The polls on job insecurity are record-high by those who have employment. And the liberal intelligentsia have failed them. They [the intellectuals] have bought into carping and making lecture fees as the senior fellow at the institute of so-and-so. Look at the top 50 intelligentsia—not one of them supported our campaign, not one of them has urged for street action and marches.”

The working class is being plunged into desperation that will soon rival the misery endured by the working class in China and India. And the Democratic Party, including Obama, is a willing accomplice.”

It's also disappointing that the smart and otherwise talented former NY state Senator turned SOS Hillary would sell us out. The Democratic party has let liberals down, and yet I know a number of people who were once Republicans who came out in support of Ralph Nader, also. What does this mean? It means the One Party of Big Money has flagrantly turned against people from both parties and they are starting to get the hint that

IT'S NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID. IT'S YOUR JOB!

So where is the collective will to unite against these elitist and greedy blowhards from BOTH parties? There are bottom feeders on both sides, Dem and Repub – whose intelligence levels are compromised by and/or equal to the number of digits on their extremities. The task is to unite, not divide at the middle class economic level by saying “No” to offshoring/insourcing our jobs. If the Internet has proved anything, it is that the MSM and in particular, its dull-normal MSM blog teetfeeders provide nothing in the way of uniting people to improve their own lives. Right here. But our leaders continue to see the corporate Cash Cow of Indian Outsourcing as their personal piggy banks:

They [administration leaders] don’t see the distinction between public power and corporate power,” Nader said. “This is their time in history to reassert public values represented by workers, consumers, taxpayers and communities. They are creating a jobless recovery, the worst of the worst, with the clear specter of inflation on the horizon. We are heading for deep water.”

It's time for Americans to Heal America.

Thus spake Nader, Hedges, and yours truly.

-2Truthy

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Director John Hughes Dies

-R.I.P. John Hughes-

NEW YORK - Talented screenwriter-director John Hughes has died today of a heart attack today during a morning walk in Manhattan while in New York to visit his family.

He was 59.

Hughes began his career as an ad copywriter at a modest Chicago agency, during which time he created the infamous Edge "Credit Card Shaving Test" ad campaign.

John Hughes was best known for directing and producing comedies including “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club” (1985) “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) and others including "Home Alone" and "National Lampoon's Vacation."

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is my favorite.


(grim monotone)
CAMERON
1958 Ferrari 250 GTS California. Less
than a hundred were made. It has a
market value of $265,000. My father
spent three years restoring it. It
is joy, it is his love, it is his
passion.

FERRIS
It is his fault he didn't lock the
garage.

CAMERON
Ferris, my father loves this car more
than life itself. We can't take is out.

FERRIS
A man with priorities so far out of
whack doesn't deserve such a fine
automobile.

CAMERON
He never drives it, Ferris. He just
rubs it with a diaper.

FERRIS
We can't pick up Sloane in your car,
Cameron. Rooney'd never believe Mr.
Peterson drives that piece of shit.

CAMERON
It's not a piece of shit.

FERRIS
It's a piece of shit. Don't worry
about it. I don't even have a piece
of shit. I have to envy yours. Look,
I'm sorry but there's nothing else
we can do.

Oh Hell. Scenes like this one (and so many others in his repertoire) will forever live on in memory.

R.I.P., John Hughes.

-2Truthy

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Top Ten Obama Healthcare Public Plan Items - Pizza 2012

2Truthy's Top Ten Little-Known Items In President Obama's Stripped Down Pro-Evil Insurance Lobby, Have-Have Not “Public Option” Healthcare Plan


  1. Reusable tongue depressors.

  2. Free colonoscopy with oil change.

  3. New drive-up window for prostate exams.

  4. Breast implant specials: Buy One Get One Free.

  5. Free hot dogs with every in-office vasectomy.

  6. Barney Frank to become new Czar of Prostate Exams.

  7. Haggling over the price of surgery will be encouraged.

  8. Anesthesiology optional on ALL surgeries!

  9. Genetically Modified sperm ONLY available (unless accompanied by a note from your candy-ass Insurance Lobbyist.)

  10. Swine-flu patients (who survive) are eligible for exclusive “Pigs Don't Kill People 2009-2010” tattoo featuring a signed photo of LWOH celebrity guest blogger, Quincy.


Add a pizza and make that number 11.

As you may recall last week's LWOH post, even Obama's own doctor along with 450,000 others (and Obama himself favored it a few years ago, also) understand that Single Payer is the only fiscally and morally responsible option to insure that all Americans have access to quality healthcare.
Most doctors agree that universal single-payer is the right prescription for America.

As Steve Lendeman explains in his article Real Health Care Reform - Universal Single-Payer, this is the ONLY sensible option. In the healthcare debate as is, our choices are limited to what's ahead being one of two options - leaving today's woefully "dysfunctional system in place or making it worse." He also notes that either way, U.S. healthcare costs are still going go up and deliver less, and financial solvency ahead will more than ever depend on staying well because illness for most Americans will be unaffordable. Lendeman writes:

"Current congressional legislation "will fail miserably in its purported goal of providing comprehensive, sustainable health coverage to all Americans. And it will fail whether or not it includes a so-called 'public option'....."

"....single-payer national health insurance is not just the only path to universal coverage, it is the most politically feasible path to health care for all, because it pays for itself, requiring no new sources of revenue." It eliminates costly private insurance, achieves huge administrative savings (over $400 billion), and redirects them for care.

"Elimination of US-style private insurance has been a prerequisite (to achieve) universal (coverage) in every other industrialized country in the world." America's structurally defective model can't be fixed under current House and Senate proposals. Universal "single payer is the only fiscally responsible option. Two-thirds of (Americans) support it." Most physicians do as well plus the US Conference of Mayors, 39 state labor organizations, and hundreds of local unions across the country. This committee must take the lead to provide it."

What specifically would a Democratic majority run Congress have to give up or "sacrifice" in order to pass Single Payer now? Wouldn't it be great if Hillary could just step in and get this thing done? If anybody could, it would be her. (Too bad she sold out to the India lobby, although maybe she'll come around.)

But if staying "well" as Lendeman astutely says is imperative to keep healthcare costs down and would be best achieved through the Single Payer option, it is deeply troubling that Obama's public plan (see Lendeman's article) seeks to accomplish this through Big Brother technology funding that invests billions of dollars into wasteful technology that snoops on citizens (ala Pizza 2012 video) instead of actual health care contact with physicians and treatments along with vital healthcare R & D investments.


The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) keeps track of how loudly money talks. It says that during the 2008 election cycle, health sector political contributions totaled over $167 million, and for the first time since 1992, Democrats got more than Republicans.

-2Truthy

Minnie the Moocher: Max Fleischer Forever!

-A Mel Toast Afternoon Fuc*ing Around Exclusive-

Chicago, IL -- Max Fleischer was the greatest cartoonist in history. Ever.

In the 1920's and 30's, Max Fleischer was the go-to guy for wonderfully "twisted" cartoon animation. He grew up in Brooklyn, and received commercial art training at Cooper Union as well as at the Mechanics and Tradesman's School.

Fleischer produced many technically advanced and sophisticated animated films. Several of his cartoons had soundtracks featuring live or rotoscoped images of the leading jazz performers of the time, most notably two of my favorite, all time greats, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong.


"She messed around with a bloke named Smokey
She loved him, though he was coke-y
He took her down to Chinatown
And he showed her how to kick the gong around."

Fleischer's cartoons were also very different from contemporary Disney's, since the content and realization of both producer's cartoons was so vastly different; though both Disney and Fleischer used a lot of jazz in their cartoons, Fleischer's approach was more "sophisticated" as the evolution of Betty Boop underwent changes:

"While the production of the cartoons had become more refined with more structured stories, the level of the content was more juvenile, largely influenced by Paramount's front office, which was changing the tone of their films to reflect a more family-oriented audience by producing films more of the nature of MGM. Betty became a spinster career girl and maiden aunt character becoming more of a judgmental "good citizine" instead of the carefree Jazz Baby she once was. As a result, "Betty Boop" lost much of her audience appeal, and the era and musical style that she represented had already faded away with the coming of the Swing Era."

Enjoy Betty Boop, Cab Calloway and his Orchestra's scat filled, crazy and timeless stamp on what unhinged and creative artistic expression looks like.

Cordially,

Melvin Toast

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pizza Order 2012 and Your Healthcare


-->
I never thought I would see the day when EHRs are on the aisles with soap flakes and socks, commented David Brailer MD, former federal healthcare IT czar, “EHRs have truly become mainstream American products.”
-David Brailer, MD
(Former Federal Healthcare IT Czar)

Sam's Club Begins Selling Electronic Health Records (EMRs)



In Your Shorts, USA – Pepperoni with your prednisone? You order, WE DECIDE.

Soon, your pizza orders will be openly cross-linked with your personal health care and domestic spending records courtesy your taxpayer dime via the Stimulus bill. As LWOH has reported here, solutions like EMR's are a taxpayer giveaway to privacy invasive, for-profit companies (some who outsource or insource) and do nothing to provide funds for medical research and development along with much needed health care ACCESS to over 47 million Americans without health care coverage. (Not that they're supposed to.)

Regarding Dr. Brailer's quote above, electronic medical records (EMRs) will not be stocked in the aisles like other staples, per se. EHRs will be available through Wal-Mart's subsidiary, Sam’s Club online, according to this Healthcare IT News article.

The news that Bentonville, AR based Wal-Mart is entering the electronic medical record (EMR) market via its Sam’s Club subsidiary has been a hotly disputed topic, with most physicians raising doubts about how the arguably unnecessary and privacy invasive datamining software can possibly benefit their patients or their practices. The EMR offering is the result of collaboration among Sam’s Club, Westborough, Mass.-based eClinicalWorks (eCW) and Round Rock, Texas-based Dell. 
 
The New York Times first leaked the story in March, but the companies waited to release the details at the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society’s annual conference in Chicago last month. Lack of details surrounding the EMR, led to many questions about how Wal-Mart would pull it off.”

It's also  good to know that altruistic, for-profit businessmen are out there working hard alongside our government to provide development opportunities and sell technology which relieves the American taxpayer of their money (health care  insurance mandate) and privacy via datamining health care solutions instead of, for example,  applying taxpayer funds to develop a cure for cancer and to enact Single Payer. 
 
Do No Evil? Privacy and job concerns? Let's hope that the burgeoning electronic health care records  market creates a tidal wave of job opportunities for physicians and the private sector alike.  It should  be easy. The stealth for-profit electronic medical record (EMR) sector including Google Health and Microsoft, among others, are  doing what they do best: getting Joe Taxpayer to foot the bill for their profiteering. Isn't that what businesses are supposed to do? Food for thought: 

Given Google's goal of "organizing all information" it's not surprising they're tackling electronic medical records. It's a huge data set waiting to be mined - assuming that Google has no compunctions about compiling and sifting through that information to produce much more accurate epidemiological studies (or is that "to better target advertising to the health care consumer?" 
 
As a $787 billion “economic stimulus law,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) which was signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, launched new federal mandates for health information technology ("HIT") and privacy of personally identifiable information (“PII”), both on “ordinary” identity theft and on specially protected health information under HIPAA. It inaugurates a $200 million Health IT czar (our official “HIT Man”) to define and manage standards for electronic health records (“EHR”). Is HIT going to be a real “hit”? Amidst all of these challenges, there is no doubt that the EHR market is primed for huge growth in years to come.

HIT even throws its own summits! 
 
-2Truthy

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Allow the Chicago Climate Exchange & Goldman Sachs to Broker Your Gas

(Photo credits TreeHugger)

-Gas collection and control extraction well at the Tontitown, Arkansas landfill-


SOMEBODY Has to Broker Your Gas...


R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. writes in The American Spectator how "Sanity from the Indian Subcontinent" is prevailing over the Obama Administration's proposed carbon limits.

LWOH reported last month how Hillary Clinton recently visited India where she apologized for U.S. “mistakes” and encouraged India to adopt our 'American Carbon Serfdom Act' otherwise known around here as cap-and-trade. She was, as we reported here, treated to a verbal dress-down by the country's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who dismissed her request for India to slow down their industrial development in order to protect the global environment. The Environmental Minister explained how this pressure to adopt emissions regulations such as the U.S. cap-and-trade bill is not in his country's best interest:

"There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions. And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours."

The article also describes our cap-and-trade bill, "which will not only impose economic costs (for Americans, $7.4 trillion in taxes, our largest tax increase ever)" but how it could start an international trade war by excluding imported goods from countries like India that reject our "environmental diktats." BTW, China and Brazil do too. (Maybe it's high time for the U.S. to put the brakes on imported goods from India, since their leading export has been in human trafficking with their citizens willing to work at U.S. corporations for a fraction of American prevailing wages.)

For those who missed Matt Taibbi's must read article The Great American Bubble Machine, here it is via way of Corrente. (What Matt left out were all of the juicy details about the same players and Democratic heroes caught up in the Tech Bubble, who are now knee deep in the climate change bubble. Maybe he'll get around to that in his next article...)

Why the frenzy, then, for the U.S. to impose a global carbon trading scheme? Who will benefit? LWOH offers a few of several answers here and here and here and here. Another answer is an overcrowded, global population competing for scarce resources who can breath clean air and drink clean water - but that answer is too pedestrian. The true benefactors of such a scheme are the global oligarchs who will invest and profit from a little known, emerging financial market whose citadel (with a global business plan) is headquartered not on NYC's Wall St. but in Chicago, IL and is called the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).

Remember Obama's Goldman Sachs filled administration? Well, CCX is a safehouse for Goldman Sachs insiders like Hank Paulson, along with a host of other CCX founding members including American Electric Power (AEP), Dupont, Baxter International Inc., the City of Chicago, Equity Office Properties Trust, Ford Motor Company, International Paper, Manitoba Hydro, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Motorola, Inc., STMicroelectronics, Stora Enso North America, Temple-Inland Inc. and Waste Management,Inc.

Perhaps the least publicized yet famous carbon broker CCX founder is none other than President Obama, who served on the Joyce Foundation's board of directors. In 2000, the Joyce Foundation provided a grant through Northwestern University to conduct a feasibility study for a voluntary carbon trading pilot program. “The Joyce Foundation Named Barack Obama Of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland A Director.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 11/28/94). The Joyce Foundation’s Annual Reports list Barack Obama as one of the 12 members of the Board of Directors from 1998 until 2001. Wikipedia lists that Obama served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.

In general, creating a new dragon to slay (climate change) brings with it all sorts of offset revenue generating solutions in the form of software, consulting, rebates and tax credits.

Here's how garbage behemoth Waste Management does it with their methane flaring project in Tontitown, Arkensas. According to Treehugger, a BusinessWeek article raised questions about whether the methane flaring project "would have taken place even in the absence of offsets." The article explains selling carbon offset credits to customer, TerraPass here:

"Since 2005 Waste Management, Inc. (the credit seller) has sold over 15,000 tons of carbon offset credits related to the Tontitown to Chicago Climate Exchange (the broker) from which TerraPass (the customer) purchased them."

Great. But where are all the green jobs that were supposed to be created? (Per their website, San Francisco based Terrapass btw, like just about every "green technology" startup, has no job openings.) But Terrapass apparently does have a few employees, and from their website defines what they do here:

"TerraPass Carbon Management Services works with project developers to develop greenhouse gas reduction projects in a variety of industries. We have extensive experience working with farms, landfills, and wind power installations and have flexibility in considering other types of projects.

To begin, TerraPass helps owners and operators define changes they can make to reduce their emissions and to qualify their work for carbon crediting. Using proprietary modeling tools, we assess these activities against recognized third party carbon credit standards, and fund promising projects by contracting to purchase their carbon credits."

Just a side note here, but Terrapass, a privately held startup, sounds like it does a lot of the same stuff that the non-profit government body known as the EPA could do, you know, as part of the job of protecting the environment and all. Hmph. This has me wondering if, by the time the Obama administration is through with us, most government run programs including everything from the U.S. postal service (think Fed Ex) to public school education (think the Singularity etc.) to local law enforcement (think Xe) won't all be dismantled and taken over by a few well connected, for profit insiders who are adept at knowing which line to stand in for TARP-ish government subsidy handouts. Soon, we will have a country that is not governed and run by and for the people but by and for the self-appointed, no -bid contract Beltway and Sand Hill Rd. sycophants.

Moreover, should it not be a red flag when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits cap-and-trade won’t work without India and China cooperating?

So is carbon trading the new Darth Vader? If you forget about profits for a moment, the carbon trade market is not realistically expected to create a new industry where none existed before, but rathter serve as an incentive for those engaged in desirable outcomes (like clean air, water, etc.) to keep doing it and for a marginal number of those engaged in undesirable outcome behavior to consider switching over from the darkside. In its purest form, the model is admirable.

By encouraging companies that are already profitable to add revenue streams from carbon offsets, this would create other advantages that make offsets/credits worthwhile. Corporate programs can grow and profit through measuring, monetizing, and administrating carbon offset programs and a willingness to look beyond just one program to find the right fit. But the whole carbon credit/offset market house of cards is hardly sustainable without enforcement and geo-political buy-in. Tyrrell cites a global warming critic, Professor Plimer, who explains:

"When I try explaining 'global warming' to people in Iran or Turkey they have no idea what I'm talking about."

Tyrrell notes that "alarmists" like Gore and Clinton, and for that mater, President Barack Obama, are "a self-centered minority out of touch with human needs and with atmospheric conditions." He cites Plimer's observation:

"Eco-guilt is a first-world luxury," he told Spectator. "It's the new religion for urban populations which have lost their faith in Christianity."

I tend to agree with Plimer. Not over the debate on global warming and its acolytes, which, as a matter Lakoffian framing proportions, should emphasize the very real perils of global over-population's impact on global pollution. As much as credit should be given to Gore for spearheading the subject under the banner of "global warming", here is where I find the Gore, Clinton and Obama cabal suspect: If "global warming" were such an imminent threat, why have they and their insider pals not stopped their living the high life habits which they insist causes it?

Oh sure, they turn their AC down one degree and make their domestic staff buy cloth Whole Foods bags and keep a token Prius parked in the garage, etc. Those other bad, polluting habits like private jet travel, humongous, multiple dwellings, SUV transporation, and so on are only meant for the global oligarchs and their yes men? Is this what the new global climate exchange market supports? A means for a few global insiders to reap profits by exchanging lucrative, gov't. subsidized corporate credits through charging a tax on the heads of billions of "polluting" civilian units? (I am all for a global carbon tax that taxes polluting corporations but against this cap-and-trade scheme.)

The new climate change market (CCX) sadly may be our crumbling Empire's last rabbit trick in the hat to push towards inventing a revenue generating market out of thin air. One that is not useful to mankind but to enslave mankind, with the exception of a very few "extremist" zealots with too much money:

Tyrrell writes:

A timely explanation for their self-centered hysteria now comes from an unlikely source, Cass Sunstein, a professor at Harvard Law School and recently appointed to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, by President Obama. In Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide, he deposits his finding that "like-minded people tend to move to a more extreme version of what they thought" the more they talk with each other. The liberal Democrats who now dominate the Obama Administration have pretty much sealed themselves off from criticism. They have been talking with each other for years, reaffirming their prejudices and getting ever more extreme. Now on the environment they would impose on the whole world taxes and regulations that will suppress economic growth and conduce to trade wars. Fortunately they are running up against the enlightened Indians and Chinese, ex-socialists who have learned the benefits of growth. The surprise is on us."


Are the Indians and Chinese really "enlightened" as the author states above or just good politicians for now? It could be that the surprise will be on them, the next time a natural or man made economic and/or climate disaster hits them and they come calling to the U.S. hat in hand. After all, under the old "we're all one big global connected world" circus tent, if India and China don't want to pay their climate change eco-guilt dues, perhaps the first world for better or for worse will have no other choice than to show them how things are done Chicago style.

-2Truthy