Tag Archives: government

Battling the Government Beast

In a number of jurisdictions around the country, local boards or councils have tried to raise money by obscenely increasing fines. In a local county, they actually increased the fine for a Parking Ticket from $25 to $300, and started aggressively enforcing. Local businesses took a hit, as a lot fewer people decided to visit the restaurants and shops in the area, and the local citizenry started raising hell.

So how do you fight back against the machine? Here is one guy’s solution.

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Posted by on May 31, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism


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CIA Dropped the Dime on Mandela’s Location During Apartheid

Turns out the CIA assisted in the capture of Nelson Mandela in 1962, providing the Apartheid Government his location. This led to Mandela being imprisoned at the infamous Robbins Island Prison for 27 years…

Gotta love the BBC Report about “no formal link to the CIA”…

Even the folks who work in CIA Headquarters have no “formal link” with the Agency. If everybody knew who the CIA people were…

They would make pretty crappy spies.


A CIA agent gave the tip-off to South African authorities that led to the arrest of Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era, according to a filmmaker’s interview with the agent on his deathbed.

British film director John Irvin’s interview with former CIA agent Donald Rickard about Mandela’s arrest in 1962 is to be used as part of Irvin’s new film, Mandela’s Gun, which is set to be screened at Cannes Film Festival this week.

“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said, accordingly to The Sunday Times.

“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”

Mandela’s arrest led to his infamous 27-year stint in incarceration on Robben Island before authorities released him in 1990. Police stopped Mandela at a roadblock while he posed as a chauffeur; Rickard said that he was the informer that gave authorities information of Mandela’s plans on the day of the arrest.

“I found out when he was coming down and how he was coming,” Rickard said. “That’s where I was involved and that’s where Mandela was caught.”

A friend and co-defendant of Mandela’s, Denis Goldberg, told The Sunday Times that the former South African president, the country’s first-ever black leader, “always knew” about the CIA’s role in his arrest but upon his release believed that it no longer mattered.

The South African government criticized the U.S. following the revelation and said that Washington is still working against the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party. “We have recently observed that there are efforts to undermine the democratically elected ANC government,” Zizi Kodwa told Fox News. “They never stopped operating here.”

Mandela’s Gun is about Mandela’s brief period as a rebel before his incarceration. Rickard died in 2015 and worked as a diplomat in South Africa, with no formal link to the CIA, according to the BBC. Mandela died at the age of 95 in 2013.


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CWA Goes on Strike at Verizon

At least one of he major issues between the Communications Workers of America Union and Verizon is the company’s shipping of call center jobs to India.

Lowell McAdam, CEO at Verizon has come under fire from Bernie Sanders for corporate responsibility, As McAdam points out – the company, unlike others does pay taxes, and does invest in America –

His first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong. As our financial statements clearly show, we’ve paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years – that’s a 35% tax rate in 2015, for anyone who’s counting. We’ve laid out the facts repeatedly and did so again yesterday (see “Sen. Sanders needs to get his facts straight” at The senator has started to fudge his language – talking of taxes not paid in some unspecified “given year” – but that doesn’t make his contention any less false.

Sen. Sanders also claims that Verizon doesn’t use its profits to benefit America. Again, a look at the facts says otherwise. In the last two years, Verizon has invested some $35 billion in infrastructure — virtually all of it in the U.S. — and paid out more than $16 billion in dividends to the millions of average Americans who invest in our stock. In Sanders’s home state of Vermont alone, Verizon has invested more than $16 million in plant and equipment and pays close to $42 million a year to vendors and suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses. Just yesterday, we announced a $300 million investment to bring fiber to the city of Boston, which will make it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the nation and expand broadband access for its residents. Boston’s Mayor Walsh is partnering with us on this initiative, calling it crucial for providing the foundation for future technology growth. We’re making significant investments in New York City, Philadelphia and other metro areas throughout our wireline footprint.

Verizon is one of the top 3 capital investors in all corporate America.

True. But missing the fact that the reassembly of “Ma Bell” into a three headed monopoly on both wired and wireless services hasn’t done the county much good in terms of stimulating development of new technologies and specifically in the area of development of new businesses. That isn’t all Verizon’s doing. They have had a lot of help with that from techno-ignorant clowns on the Hill, and a compliant FCC.

Despite the worst efforts of the conservative Reich  – at least one union still survives in the US.

And yes, BTx3 is a former member.

Bernie shakes hands with the Picket Line

Tens Of Thousands Of Verizon Workers Go On Strike

Nearly 40,000 workers at Verizon have gone on strike, objecting to, among other things, outsourcing and temporary location transfers.

The two unions representing Verizon workers say their employees have been without a contract since August. They call the walkout, which began at 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, “by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years.”

NPR’s Joel Rose tells our Newscast unit:

“The striking employees mostly work in Verizon’s wireline business — landline phone, video and Internet — on the East Coast.

“The company says it’s offering a 6 percent raise, but needs to make what it calls ‘critical changes to its legacy contracts’ to reduce health care costs and retirement benefits.”

The unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — say Verizon has made billions in profits, while still looking to spend less on employee benefits, Joel says.

Other objections from the union include offshoring of jobs, increasing use of contract workers and Verizon’s request for the ability to give workers two-month assignments that would require relocating — what the unions call “family-busting transfers.”

Verizon, which accuses union leaders of “ignoring today’s digital realities,” said Wednesday that it had indicated a willingness to enter into mediation if the unions extended their strike deadline, but that the unions refused.

The telecom giant says it is ready to serve customers during the walkout; a strike readiness team has been preparing for more than a year, the company said in a statement.

Thousands of nonunion employees have been trained as fill-ins, and they will be reassigning employees from elsewhere in the U.S. and other units in the company.

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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in American Greed


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The Battle at Mayonaise!

This one has been going on for about 2 years believe it or not. Some folks just take their Mayo more seriously than others. Of course with Southern favorite, Dukes moving north and gaining traction, Hellman’s, the largest Mayo brand in the US, is beginning to feel some pressure. A small company came up with the idea of Vegan Mayo…And that’s when the troops rallied, the cannons began to fire, as the stuff became so popular, Whole Foods couldn’t keep it in stock… Just another case of how big business can kill off the little guys, with government help.

And then there is the stereotype forwarded in the really bad “Undercover Brother” movie of years gone by that black folks don’t like mayo…

A Food Giant Wanted to Squash Eggless Mayo. It Just Lost.

In the great mayo wars of 2015, there is finally a winner.

For those who haven’t been following the scandal-filled sandwich spread controversy, a bit of background: It all began in 2013, when the egg-alternative food startup company Hampton Creek launched a vegan mayonnaise-like product called Just Mayo, which soon became Whole Foods’ most popular mayonnaise.

So popular was Just Mayo, in fact, that in November 2014, Unilever, parent company of market leader Hellmann’s, sued Hampton Creek for false advertising and unfair competition. The food giant argued that Just Mayo, because it contained no eggs, “damages the entire product category, which has strived for decades for a consistent definition of ‘mayonnaise’ that fits with consumer expectations.” Unilever dropped the lawsuit about a month later “as consumers heaped scorn on the company for what they viewed as a frivolous lawsuit,” the food industry news site Food Divereported.

Nevertheless, in August of this year the FDA ruled that Hampton Creek couldn’t call its product mayonnaise. “The use of the term ‘mayo’ in the product names and the image of an egg may be misleading to consumers because it may lead them to believe that the products are the standardized food, mayonnaise,” the FDA said in a statement.

Then, in September, internal emails from the American Egg Board surfaced. They showed that the industry group had tried to stop Whole Foods from selling Just Mayo—and that Egg Board members were really worked up over Hampton Creek. From the Guardian:

More than one member of the AEB made joking threats of violence against Hampton Creek’s founder, Josh Tetrick. “Can we pool our money and put a hit on him?” asked Mike Sencer, executive vice-president of AEB member organization Hidden Villa Ranch. Mitch Kanter, executive vice-president of the AEB, jokingly offered “to contact some of my old buddies in Brooklyn to pay Mr. Tetrick a visit.”

Egg Board CEO Joanne Ivy retired early in the wake of the episode.

While all that was going on, Hampton Creek was working with the FDA on a compromise, and today, the company announced that it will be allowed to keep the name Just Mayo, as long as it makes its eggless-ness even clearer on the product label. The AP’s Candice Choi reports:

The changes include making the words ‘egg-free’ larger and adding ‘Spread & Dressing.’ An image of an egg with a pea shoot inside will also be smaller.

Now, all this hoopla over a “spread and dressing” and its picture of a pea-shoot-bearing egg might seem ridiculous, but keep in mind that this business played out against the backdrop of a devastating avian flu outbreak that hobbled the egg industry. What’s more, in April two former egg industry executives were sentenced to jail time for their connection with a 2010 salmonella outbreak that is thought to have sickened as many as 56,000 people.

All those egg woes aside, there’s another reason behind egg purveyors’ massive freak-out: At least according to writer Rowan Jacobsen, unlike most other eggless mayonnaise products, Just Mayo actually tastes good.

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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Domestic terrorism, General


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Taxation Through Citation

Larry Lessig, here being interviewed by Cenk Uygur lays out the corrupt system of Civil fines… And while Ferguson may be the most exposed example, as we have seen in Biloxi and other areas, this isn’t just an isolated systemic-abuse problem.

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Posted by on October 25, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter


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Ted Cruz Gets Smacked Down by Fellow Republicans

This has been a long time coming…The Adults are moving to take control back.

Cruz sternly rebuked by GOP

Ted Cruz can’t even get a protest vote in the Senate anymore.

On Monday night, Cruz’s colleagues ignored his attempt to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood. In an unusual rebuke, even fellow Republicans denied him a “sufficient second” that would have allowed him a roll call vote.

Then, his Republican colleagues loudly bellowed “no” when Cruz sought a voice vote, a second repudiation that showed how little support Cruz has: Just one other GOP senator — Utah’s Mike Lee — joined with Cruz as he was overruled by McConnell and his deputies.

It was the second time that Cruz had been denied a procedural courtesy that’s routinely granted to senators in both parties. The first came after he called McConnell a liar this summer.

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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The Clown Bus


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How Conservatism Makes You Stupid

Christian victimhood is a favorite meme of the evangelical Christian right. To combat such, legislators have embarked on a pogrom to install Christian monuments on the grounds of, or in the courtrooms of the nation. The problem being, the Founding Fathers of the country, many of who themselves escaped, or were the descendants of those who escaped state sponsored religious persecution to come to America…

Weren’t about to let the same thing happen here.

As a child I can remember the family dinner conversation about Robert F, Kennedy’s candidacy. My father, being an educator and historian, who had been persecuted by McCarthy in the early 50’s demanded of his sons the ability to lucidly discuss current events and history at the table. Like a lot of educators I have known through the years, it was my Dad’s personal belief to maintain and improve family eugenics through education. Conversation de jour was the fact that Kennedy was a Catholic, and his opponents assault on his patriotism questioning whether he answer to the Pope…Or America.

Well…With the placement of the 10 Commandments on the Courthouse grounds or walls by evangelical right wingers – do they report to their very own denominational interpretation of God…Or the Republic?

And that Constitution thing…If you put the 10 Commandments up – then you have to put up something for every other religion…Like this:

Baphomet an Occult Demon Statue in Detroit

Atheists Join Hindus, Vegans, Satanists In Asking For State Capitol Monument

Arkansas recently approved a measure to build a statue of the Ten Commandments on the state capitol grounds.

When Arkansas lawmakers passed a bill this year calling for the creation of a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol building in Little Rock, they clarified in the legislation that the move shouldn’t be “construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion or denomination over others.”

Construction hasn’t yet begun on the tribute to Old Testament scripture — but already, a number of religious and secular groups have come forward to put the lawmakers’ claim to the test, demanding that they also be allowed to erect their own statues on the capitol grounds.

The latest request, submitted last month by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national group that advocates for the separation of church and state, calls upon Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Arkansas Secretary of State, Mark Martin (R), to build a “no gods” monument that represents the “views of citizens who reject the biblical or religious perspective.”

In a letter, FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor tell Hutchison and Martin that “most freethinkers find the Ten Commandments to epitomize the childishness, the vindictiveness, the sexism, the inflexibility and the inadequacies of the bible as a book of morals.” They then request that they be allowed to fund their own statue at the capitol, which would display the following text:


There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Freedom depends on freethinkers


Presented (add date) to the State of Arkansas on behalf of the membership of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in honor of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The FFRF’s proposal joins a list of similar requests from other groups, none of which have been approved. In August, the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism received a rejection notice after asking for permission to build a tribute to the Hindu god Hanuman, a monkey-faced deity revered for his strength and skill as a linguist and grammarian.

Hanuman A Hindu God

The society’s president, Rajan Zed, told The Associated Press that he had apparently submitted his request to the wrong board, and must instead apply through the Arkansas General Assembly or submit an application to the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission.

The FFRF appears to have copied the commission in its letter, which can be read in full below.

The Satanic Temple, a group known for taking a more in-your-face approach to the issue of separation of church and state, is also reportedly considering staking out some real estate on the Arkansas capitol grounds. The group nearly succeeded in placing a massive bronze statue of Baphomet, a satyr-like horned idol, outside the Oklahoma state capitol earlier this year — near a massive stone tablet of the Ten Commandments.

But the group was forced to move the monument to Detroit after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that such religious displays, including the monument to the Ten Commandments, were unconstitutional.

What is good for the Goose…Is indeed good for the Gander.


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