Friday, July 16, 2010

2Truthy's Happy Friday Hour with Cathy Richardson and Starship: Follow the Drinking Gourd


(Very Special Thanks to Cathy Richardson & Jefferson Starship)


Watch this excellent account of the amazing song Follow the Drinking Gourd, the last coded song from the Civil War's Underground Railroad, written by Peg Leg Joe.

Please Call Your Senators to Support American Workers

Neo-Feudal Valley, USA -- Slavery? Labor Arbitrage? No jobs? Two advanced degrees but can't even get a job sewing doilies? Kids with college degrees still living in your basement? Who's cooking up this No Americans Need Apply economy to wipe out America's educated middle class?

Business Insider cites 22 statistics that prove the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence. Since there is no major (or any) MIDDLE CLASS LOBBY to fund journalists who support jobs for educated American workers, the article takes a predictable this is inevitable tone while the best part can be found in the comments section. But we don't need a weather man or corporate sponsored economists like Robert Reich to know which way the neo-frat boy corporate state's narcissistic sociopaths are blowing U.S. taxpayer money on privatization schemes that suck the public till for their personal gain at the expense of America's educated middle class by selling out jobs to cheap third world imports when there are not enough jobs for our own citizens.

In a post entitled Obama=Bush=Clinton=Global Labor Arbitrage, our friends at No Slaves explain that displacing American white collar workers with H-1B visa holders does not create jobs. It loses jobs. Got that, teabaggers and fleabaggers?

What to do?

No Slaves has  issued this timely request Please Call Your Senators to Support American Workers with an amendment sponsored by Senators Sanders, Grassley, Harkin and Tester to block companies from hiring foreign guest workers when firing competent and hard working U.S. workers:

“The Amendment is S.AMDT. 4438, introduced to the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 bill number H.R.5297."


Below is their plea to save U.S. jobs.


COMPANIES LAYING-OFF THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN WORKERS DON’T NEED GUEST WORKERS
Please Support the Sanders-Grassley-Harkin Employ America Amendment to the Small Business Lending Bill.
Since the recession started in December of 2007, over 7 million Americans have lost their jobs and the unemployment rate has nearly doubled. In total, 15 million Americans are officially unemployed, another 8.8 million Americans are working part-time only because they cannot find a full-time job, and more than one million workers have given up looking for work altogether.
With the unemployment rate still unacceptably high and millions of people looking for a job, we have a responsibility to ensure that companies do not use temporary visa programs to replace American workers with cheaper labor from overseas.
Therefore, during the consideration of the Small Business Lending bill, we will be offering the attached amendment that would prohibit companies which have announced mass lay-offs over the past year from hiring guest workers, unless they can prove that their overall employment will not be reduced as a result of these lay-offs .
At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, the notion that we need to import labor from abroad because there are not enough qualified, willing or able American workers in this country rings hollow.
Recently, some of the very companies that have hired tens of thousands of guest-workers from overseas have announced large scale lay-offs of American workers. The high-tech industry, a major employer of H-1B guest workers, has announced over 330,000 job cuts since 2008. The construction industry, a major employer of H-2B guest-workers, has laid-off 1.9 million workers since December of 2007.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, signed into law last February, included a provision to prevent companies receiving assistance through the Troubled Asset Relief Program from replacing laid-off American workers with guest-workers from overseas.
The Employ America Act expands upon this provision to prevent any company engaged in a mass lay-off of American workers from importing cheaper labor from abroad through temporary guest-worker programs. Those companies that are truly facing labor shortages would not be impacted by this legislation and could continue to obtain employer-sponsored visas. Only companies that are laying-off a large number of Americans would be barred from importing foreign workers through guest worker programs.

No Slaves also adds: "You can locate your Senator and CALL THEIR OFFICE to support this critical amendment here. Please tell your Senators to support U.S. workers and pass this amendment, intact!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wanting to offshore outsource your job, is already gearing up to fight this common sense amendment. They will stop at nothing in their quest to continue firing U.S. workers and replacing them with cheaper foreign guest workers and outsourcing.”

Follow the Drinking Gourd and do your part to restore civility to our hijacked democracy and local socioeconomic sustainability. It's Not the Economy, Stupid. It's YOUR JOB!

Happy Friday, Loserettes!

-2Truthy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dick Cheney Gets His First Heart




Because he never had one. 


Contrary to Dick Cheney's wishes, they inserted a device heart into his body today. 

What could Dick Cheney ever do with one of those useless things? 

Let's see how this plays out. Either the heart will take over and give him emotions or he'll blacken it and turn it into a lump of coal.


Stay tuned.


-2Truthy

Buh-Bye Big Oil, Hello Big Algae


Burning Algae: America's Green Crude Revolution

BP's Gulf of Mexico Disaster and America's Own Private Dead Sea


Hillary Clinton said “never waste a good crisis.” I have no idea how extensively invested or not the Secretary of State and the former president are in biofuels, but if they are, no one can ever accuse the former first couple of not being red-blooded, astute and enterprising agents of personal and political change. Only a dope would miss out on lucrative alternative energy investments, even if they're longterm. And that goes for current and ex-politicos alike. Besides, nobody ever said that holding high office led to the poor house, although maybe it should to keep them honest. But to read articles like this that would suggest a despicable cause and effect link to the BP disaster and President Obama's investments, for example, you'd think that no one with financial portfolios should ever make a buck. (Again, this is not to say that if someone deliberately turned the Gulf of Mexico into one big, gigantic toilet, they shouldn't meet Lucifer's own bitch, Mother Nature in the shower for one infinitely timeless, long, hot soak of acid rain with a shark-tooth coated loofah scrub. Forever.)

Could BP's monumental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico potentially deliver a timely, silver lining payday for at least a few investors and transitional enterprises experienced in reaching into government coffers to fund private R & D start-ups and partnerships? Leaving Big Oil for Big Algae may be a sign of the times, ushering in shifts of investments and new investors from unlikely sectors alike.

Take technology billionaire Bill Gates who backed Sapphire Energy, an algae start-up based in San Diego. Gates now has a distinct interest into using the power of pond scum to replace fossil fuels, quite possibly not unlike his legendary hiring practices of substituting cheap workers for educated Americans. In 2008, Bruce Bigelow at Xconomy reported that Gates backed the alternative fuels company which didn't at the time want to “get caught up into the hype”:

"Sapphire Energy has not provided many details about its technology since CEO Jason Pyle stepped into the limelight six months ago to announce the San Diego startup has developed a revolutionary process for turning pond scum into high-octane gasoline.
I have no intention of being secretive,” Pyle told me at the inaugural networking meeting of the newly formed San Diego Biotechnology Network, or SDBN. But after seeing the effects of the boom-and-bust cycle in two recent tech bubbles, Pyle says, “My goal is to maintain a serious and thoughtful approach in a frothy market. I don’t want Sapphire to get caught up in that hype.”


Certainly, keeping a young company's secret sauce under wraps is almost as common as venture backed start-ups with ties to the Beltway who know how to secure government subsidized handouts that stick U.S. taxpayers with the bill for their own lucratively free lunches. But now that BP's unprecedented environmental disaster down in the Gulf of Mexico is said to render the once bio-diverse ocean ecosystem into a dead pool that will, however, create an abundance of algae, will BP's coincidental accident in the Gulf of Mexico successfully transition into corporate America's own private algae farm?


Could algae be the new black when it comes to energy fuels? Is Sapphire Energy - which also hosts a former BP executive on its management team, president Cynthia “C.J.” Warner, be the real deal? 

Commenter “Pappa Daddy” says not so much below:


Sapphire Energy sounds like a scam. Sapphire says their “green crude” is chemically identical to gasoline. (Sirens going off!!!) GASOLINE is made up of varying chains of hydrogen and carbon. How does something chemically identical to gasoline not produce CO2 as a by-product? Any chemical engineers out there? As we’ve seen recently with the Maddow investment scam, because someone has money does not make them a good investor…or because Bill Gates knows software doesn’t make him a chemist.
These companies are currently in business to milk up government funding and then disappear (or grab subsidies and disappear). There will be US government grants and loans pissed away soon under the new administration to anyone who sounds like they know anything about renewable energy. Banks are not going to loan these people money. The only place they will be able to get it is from our fearless leaders in government. There is NOT ONE independently verifiable algae fuel production facility on Earth. If there is please point it out and tell me where I can buy some “green crude”. Even a long-term pilot plant would do.
That mental retard Rep Inslee from Washington state is a supporter of Sapphire. You can find his incoherent speech on the House floor on youtube.”


Others conclude that the algae market, while promising, is “fairly far off” from making a dent into replacing fossil fuels for capital intensive reasons and consequently would even be a lousy stock for public investors:


Algae has great promise for producing liquid fuels in sufficient quantity to replace petroleum, and it can do so without using excessive water or farmland. That potential, however, is fairly far off. The technology is capital intensive and far from commercialization, a combination almost certain to make investors in the public stocks poorer rather than richer. If and when fuel made from algae is available in significant quantity to make a dent in our thirst for fossil fuels, it will probably have been developed by companies that public investors cannot currently buy. Stock market investors should wait until this industry matures from its current infancy to something closer to adolescence. Buyers of the current batch of infant companies are likely to suffer the fate of other new parents: many sleepless nights.”

-2Truthy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GE Kicks Off Ecomagination Tour



GE Disrobes Ecomagination Challenge


San Francisco – GE (NYSE: GE) Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt announced today a “$200 million open innovation challenge that seeks breakthrough ideas to create a smarter, cleaner, more efficient electric grid, and accelerate the adoption of more efficient grid technologies.” Immelt unveiled the “GE Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid” to a handpicked crowd of venture capitalists and others interested in participating in a “global commitment to build innovative clean energy technologies”. Will GE's stealthy move to partner with venture capitalists and foreign outsourcing firms create more jobs for American citizens? LWOH readers will recall this last post about GE's backshoring plans here.


Today's announcement reveals that the enterprising “global challenge invites technologists, entrepreneurs and start-ups to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world's toughest challenges - building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century." The challenge is said to be one of the "largest ever" and is open immediately at www.ecomagination.com/challenge.


The Challenge, launched in collaboration with leading venture capital firms Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer and RockPort Capital, and Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired magazine, is part of GE’s ecomagination initiative, a global commitment to build innovative clean energy technologies and will help fund the most promising ideas. Proposals are sought in three, broad categories: Renewables, Grid and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings.”


The announcement also explains below “Select Challenge” entrants who will be offered the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE through:
  • Investment: the $200 million capital pledge of GE and its partners will be invested globally into promising start-ups and ideas
  • Validation: evaluate entrant’sbusiness {sic} strategy through in-depth discussions with GE's technical and commercial teams
  • Distribution: explore partnership opportunities with GE to scale a business and create global reach
  • Development:: leverage GE‘s technical infrastructure and GE Global Research Centers to accelerate technology and product development
  • Growth: explore opportunities for utilizing existing GE customer to take Challenge products to market

The $200 million commitment "will help bring these new ideas to market by providing businesses and individuals with theopportunity {sic} to secure growth capital through GE investment and/or investment by participating venture capital firms. It is open to anyone aged 18 years or older and all legally formed entities.” Imagine that.


Click to read more about how GE is harnessing the power of special partnerships here.


-2Truthy

Monday, July 12, 2010

Obama's Health Care Bill Enough to Make You Blow Chunks


 Dr. Sawbones

Obama's Mandatory Health Insurance Bill Is Enough to Make You Hurl


Obama's for-profit health care bill is “deeply depressing” and reconfirms the terrifying truth that our nation “is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse”. Hell yeah, it's depressing! Short of being bombarded with asteroids or impaled through the eyeballs with an icepick, what could be more depressing than this unaffordable death care delivery bill with a mandatory tax footprint the size of Sasquatch?
Oh, the humanity! 
 
Hedges explains that while the preferred single-payer nonprofit health care for all Americans would dramatically reduce costs and save lives, the conversation is censored from the public debate by a corporate sponsored media reliant upon the same corporations as major supporters. Add to the mix our broken two party system with a “morally bankrupt Democratic Party that is as bought off by corporations as the Republicans” and substitute the word desperation for depression. He cites two highly notable single-payer advocates, Helen Redmond and Dr. Margaret Flowers championing the needs of the American people at a recent conference in Chicago below:

They named this legislation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and as the tradition of this nation goes, any words they put into the name of a piece of legislation means the opposite,” said single-payer activist Dr. Margaret Flowers when I heard her and Helen Redmond dissect the legislation in Chicago at the Socialism 2010 Conference last month. “It neither protects patients nor leads to affordable care.”

Here's what one commenter had to pile onto the Obama health care plan slagheap:

I’m currently unemployed, and without insurance.
I also suffer from Crohn’s disease, my body basically attacks my intestines, when it flares up I get severe diarrhea, nausea, weakness and I lose pounds and pounds and pounds. Last week I weighed 143 lbs, today I weigh 129. I’ve been in the emergency room twice this week, both times all they could do was give me an anti-nausea and an IV drip , then a few hours later I was discharged. This has been the story of my life for years. Each time I get worse, and each time I get a little more scared. This past week I told my girlfriend if I had access to a gun I would have just ended my life then, how can a country so rich treat it’s people like such shit? I guess that’s what happens when you spend 20 billion dollars a month on illegal war.”

Depressing? Unless you're a beady-eyed sociopath, I'd say so.

LWOH readers may recall this post on single-payer that featured Helen Redmond along with a bitchy rebuttal from one access blog editor questionably not onboard at the time with it. Hopefully, this gentleman has now seen the light.

As the U.S. death toll rises due to lack of access to quality and affordable health care and jobs to pay for it, we can always take comfort in the censorship wielding media who keep recycling the same old saw about Obama's “historic” health care plan. What kind of a president and administration would want to go down in history for this unconscionable bill?

Don't worry. If we can't get over ourselves, there's always Obama's death care plan to help us fill in the dead space.

Party on, plebes!

-2Truthy

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Privitization No Cure-All for New Jersey



New Jersey's Neo-Frat Boy Corporate State Privatization Agenda: SELL OUT U.S. Middle Class


Hackensack, NJ – The Hubris Disease is swarming into New Jersey.

Armed with think-tank mumbly-jumbly speak, indecipherable presentations, graphs and spreadsheets, Economic Hitmen go into third world countries and offer all kinds of infrastructure and social services goodies on the promise that the impoverished countries pay back the astronomical loans. Once these third world countries predictably default, multinational elites under the banner of 'government' (don't ask “whose government”, for it's en vogue these days to have no ties or allegiances to your own) swoop in and pick off the fixin's. Emm, good, says the corpulent, self-described, “inleague” band of banking and beltway black crows as they unconscionably plunder the plebes from Honduras to Haiti to Hoboken to Hackensack. Ethics and morals? Those are for mugs.

Which lands us today in New Jersey, where plans to sell off the public trust via privatization are on a roll.

NorthJersey.com reports that Governor Christie's faulted privatization plan includes a task force recommendation for higher fees, selling off the Trenton War Memorial which includes an 1,800-seat concert hall to a private contractor and worse services for New Jersey “residents”, among several other sell-off schemes. Note that the article references New Jersey taxpayers as “residents” and not citizens. Hardly surprising, as the State's massive “best and brightest” non-citizen population is from India on H-1b work and L-1 student visas to take U.S. jobs when the New Jersey (and U.S.) unemployment rate for American citizens is soaring, and would explain the neo-linguistic framing from “citizen” to “resident”.

Joel Stein reports on this curious convergence of "best and brightest" cheap imported labor from India and the demise of his hometown in this pithy Time Magazine article My Own Private India which raises the question: If Indians are truly the “best and brightest” as corporate America's billionairre CEO's like Bill “Vista Rocks” (haha) Gates desperately insists and the state of New Jersey is flooded with them, why is the Garden State now blighted with run-down “strip malls” and wallowing smack-dab in the red? Wasn't the vast importation of millions of (dubiously) skilled cheap workers supposed to create MORE prosperity and jobs for American citizens and bolster Main Street? HA! And why are Microsoft's products and services quality a laughing stock when compared to successful corporations like Apple – which most coincidentally, imports very few Indian workers? But why blame the workers, whether “temporary” or perm for corporate management's policies? With respect to Microsoft, it may indeed be no small coincidence that lousy management and locally unsustainable hiring practices were directly responsible for elevating Microsoft's tanked status.

Stein's article isn't a referendum on any specific culture's culpability in New Jersey's demise, much less against any of the hardworking people there from India who continue to make contributions to the local economy. It IS a wake-up call, however, for all ethnic, non-corrupt, ethical and moral New Jersey “residents” (both U.S. citizens and non-citizens) to take a closer look at the Great American Labor Shortage Mythmaker's unsustainable and destructive socio-economic polices that are destroying all middle class, multi-cultural communities across America. Despite Stein's tongue-in-cheek observation of these convergent cheap labor and declining socioeconomic forces with migration patterns, his article received moronic and divisive, yet predictable “xenophobe” and “racist” accusations when he in fact lauded the much deserved Indian cuisine and its role in improving the local foodie scene while he mocked the non-creativity of his fellow native Edison, New Jersians. 

I don't know whether Stein's Time piece was deliberately intended to throw down the counterproductive race card gauntlet by caste-ing around for divide and conquer victory, but political and neo-media entertainment elitist hacks with India Inc. lobby agenda$ pitting neighbor against neighbor is as old as Methuselah. This “I Got Mine Mine” ilk knows no cultural boundaries outside the inner sanctums of their man-crushes, and both Time Magazine and the enterprising HuffIPO have no shortage of willing propaganda tools.

Will the State of New Jersey end up a casualty in this war on America's middle class where corporate and political insiders sell out our jobs to the cheap labor lobby? Shouldn't other States' leaders work to stimulate job opportunities for American citizens and not foreign companies and imported labor? The NorthJersey.com article says the task force also cited New Jersey’s 18 career centers (that currently are set up to help the unemployed with job training and searches) could be privatized as well.

When it comes to good jobs, is privatization good and sustainable for the citizens of New Jersey and those of other states?

Privatization = Unsustainable numbers of outsourced or insourced workers and labor arbitrage to displace and degenerate earnings for American citizens and disproportionately generate profits for those in the upper One Percent income bracket.

One commenter had this to say below about “privatization not being a cure-all” regarding Christie's woeful plan:

New Jersey Governor Christie's task force has suggested there are savings in privatizing state services. Unfortunately this can come at the expense of the very same public who expects savings. The easy example for this former Pennsylvania resident is auto inspections. Pennsylvania used a completely private state inspection system. Any time I took a vehicle to a Pennsylvania mechanic for anything an old chestnut was brought out with the mechanic saying it the law, you have to fix this, whether or not the fix was really needed. I was glad when, on moving to New Jersey, I found that the State ran the inspections and if I kept the vehicle in proper shape it would pass inspection without my having to submit the vehicle to someone who had a financial interest in denying me the inspection certificate. So my questions are how credible are the suggested savings, and who is really benefiting? I do not expect the public will be benefiting.”


If Stein's Time piece underscores anything, it is the adage to never underestimate the stupidity of the American people. Certainly, India Inc. isn't, and Stein indeed credits them with that much.

Party on, plebes!

-2Truthy