Do you want to write for Ink 19?

Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for May, 2010

Obama to gut Social Security?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Obama’s Crazy Plan To Cut Social Security

President Obama and the leadership in Congress have delegated enormous, unaccountable authority to 18 unrepresentative, inordinately wealthy individuals. The 18 individuals are meeting regularly, in secret, behind closed doors, until safely beyond this year’s mid-term election. If they reach agreement, their proposal will be voted on in December by a lame duck Congress, without the benefit of open hearings and deliberations in the pertinent committees and without the opportunity for open debate and amendment on the floors of the House and Senate. Despite the speed and lack of accountability, the legislation will affect, in substantial ways, every man, woman, and child in this nation.

Who are these powerful people and what are their views?

You ain’t gonna like ’em.

Arnie puts the smack. Down.

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Methadone-treated addicts sweat over drug cut-off

It is a craving so powerful that addicts will do almost anything to satisfy it.

For thousands of people hooked on heroin and other opiates, a daily swallow of methadone tames the demon and opens the door to a normal life.

But soon the synthetic narcotic, which for decades has been used as a controversial treatment for addiction, no longer may be an option for thousands of Californians. As part of the effort to dig the state out of its massive budget hole, the Schwarzenegger administration has proposed cutting off Medi-Cal funding for “methadone maintenance” and other treatment programs to most addicts, saving the state $53 million.

Advocates who believe that methadone saves lives and lowers crime committed by society’s most hard-core addicts are vigorously protesting the proposed cuts. Today, former federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey and others will try to convince lawmakers that slashing the program would backfire on the state.

“Dumping tens of thousands of opiate addicts back on the street would be an immediate disaster to law enforcement, and to the families of people who have become stable, functioning adults” thanks to methadone, said McCaffrey, who has a consulting firm and serves on the board of directors of an organization that treats chemical dependency.

Reagan in the gulf

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I was all set to scribble something akin to this, but this one does it better and saves me the typing:

Trusting the Scorpion: BP, the Legacy of Republican Hypocrisy and Democratic Cowardice

Here’s the grim reality: the oil spill is merely a symptom of a much deeper problem, one that is our fault, because for the last 30 years we’ve been trusting the scorpion.

The fact is, Reagan had it backwards. Government, it turns out, is often the solution and unconstrained private industry the problem. Many of us knew this, but few have had the courage to stand up to Reagan’s dangerous, but popular, fantasy, then or now.

There may have been a few conservative ideologues who actually believed the small government, magic market mantras spouted by the likes of Reagan, Grover Norquist (I simply want to reduce [government] to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub) William Kristol and assorted industry-funded think tanks, but they were few and far between.

The real reason this philosophy spread was because it was politically expedient, it was backed and funded by powerful interests who made campaign contributions, and few had the courage or conviction required to confront a fantasy that told people they didn’t have to pay for the services they demanded.

The evidence mounts every day. The BP oil spill, yes. But also The Big Branch coal mining disaster; the sub-prime disaster; the AIG and various other Wall Street disasters; the growing income disparity between the rich and the rest of us; a global thermostat set on self-destruct; a globalized economy as volatile as a vial of nitro-glycerin – everywhere you look, you see more proof that the conservative mantra of small government and uber-free markets has completely failed.

Completely. And yet, there they parade on cable news, the internet and in town halls across the country, yelping that greed is good and big government the problem. All lying- and knowingly so- because it makes them money.

Pop quiz…who was the last president to reduce the size of the federal government?

Slick Willy. And you saw what they did to him.

Hope we all took pictures

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Workers describe failures on oil rig

NEW ORLEANS — As the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig burned around him, Chris Pleasant hesitated, waiting for approval from his superiors before activating the emergency disconnect system that was supposed to slam the oil well shut at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The delay may have cost critical seconds. When Pleasant and his co-workers at rig owner Transocean finally got the go-ahead to throw the so-called deadman’s switch, they realized there was no hydraulic power to operate the machinery.

At a Coast Guard hearing that started earlier this month and continued in New Orleans on Wednesday, Doug Brown, chief rig mechanic aboard the platform, testified that the trouble began at a meeting hours before the blowout, with a “skirmish” between a BP official and rig workers who did not want to replace heavy drilling fluid in the well with saltwater.

The switch presumably would have allowed the company to remove the fluid and use it for another project, but the seawater would have provided less weight to counteract the surging pressure from the ocean depths.

Brown said the BP official, whom he identified only as the “company man,” overruled the drillers, declaring, “This is how it’s going to be.” Brown said the top Transocean official on the rig grumbled, “Well, I guess that’s what we have those pinchers for,” which he took to be a reference to devices on the blowout preventer, the five-story piece of equipment that can slam a well shut in an emergency.

In a handwritten statement to the Coast Guard obtained by the AP, Transocean rig worker Truitt Crawford said: “I overheard upper management talking saying that BP was taking shortcuts by displacing the well with saltwater instead of mud without sealing the well with cement plugs, this is why it blew out.”

BP declined to comment on his statement.

As I imagine they might. To be a fly on the wall in the BP boardroom about now. Because they, probably better than most, know what they have done- and what they can’t do. Which is, of course, to stop the oil from gushing out of a rip in the surface of the earth, 5000 feet below us. They don’t have the technology, the will, or the humanity to end it. BP is a threat to the safety of mankind and should be seized by the federal government immediately. No more decisions can be allowed to be made with part of the process being “how will this look” or “can we cap the well and get the oil later”. BP – and to a great extent, we- took a risk, that risk went bad, and now we all suffer. But in the immediate sense, ALL BP ocean drilling must stop, because they have clearly demonstrated an inability to do so safely. All assets of the company should go to stopping the leak, cleaning the water, and attempting to rebuild the lives of those formerly dependent upon the gulf waters for their livelihood.

We are witnessing a generational moment. Twenty years from now we’ll be able to recount to our grandchildren about what it was like before the Gulf of Mexico, and the American Gulf coast was killed. Deliberately murdered by a corporation driven by greed, by a hollow government gutted by corruption and beholden to the plutocracy that runs this world, and finally, by us, an era of people allergic to the realities that they live under.

Hope we all took pictures.

Man infected by…computer virus?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

First human ‘infected with computer virus’

A British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus.

Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading contaminated a computer chip which was then inserted into his hand.

The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets.

In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems.

As if we didn’t have enough to fret about…sheesh.

Obama argues it’s ok for Catholics to escape punishment for sexually abusing kids

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

What a contemptible “leader”…

Obama admin. backs Vatican’s claim of immunity to sexual abuse lawsuits

The Obama administration in a brief to the Supreme Court has backed the Vatican’s claim of immunity from lawsuits arising from cases of sexual abuse by priests in the United States.

The Supreme Court is considering an appeal by the Vatican of an appellate court ruling that lifted its immunity in the case of an alleged pedophile priest from Oregon.

Is everyone clear now that in Obama-land, nobody is accountable? Play musical chairs with kiddie diddlers to help them evade the law, fine because they pray to some FSM. Kill the Gulf of Mexico with your unregulated, drill baby drill/greed is good bullshit, and you can ignore the law and the EPA. Send the worlds economy to the brink of meltdown, hell, we’ll give ya more money! Commit war crimes, out a CIA agent, nobody cares! Look forward they say.

I’m looking forward to Diderot.

Drunk yahoo gets FBI attention; afraid government to outlaw Hannity, Rush

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Yet another homegrown terrorist “patriot”:

FBI details surge in death threats against lawmakers

In February 2009, a man left voice mail messages for Stabenow in several of her Michigan offices.

“We’re gonna [expletive] get you,” he said in one message. “We’re gonna get you with a lot of [expletive] bolt action. Like we did RFK; like we did MLK. We know who you are. We’ll get you.”

FBI agents tracked the calls to a 54-year-old Texas man who lived alone — and who at one time had owned a 20-gun arsenal of handguns, shotguns and rifles. According to the documents, he told officers that he was “really, really drunk” when he made the calls. He said he was just “venting” — taking out his frustrations after hearing a discussion of the Fairness Doctrine and becoming concerned that the government would attempt to abolish the radio shows of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

There ya go. You keep pouring hysterical nonsense into the earholes of the disaffected, and you get this. No one is bringing back the Fairness Doctrine- although they should- and nobody is going to “abolish” Rush and Hannity- although they should, purely because they are menaces to public safety and welfare- but this goon has spent his days being screamed at by Fox, Newsmax and Drudge about the looming socialist/communist/Marxist takeover of “his” America by some black boy in “his” White House.

And we keep on letting the millionaire windbags spew utter lies into the media, unchecked, unaccountable to anyone but the giant corporations that fund them as a loss-leader enterprise, one that will keep the wars going, the oil spilling, and redneck asses in lounge chairs, pissing themselves over non-existent threats.

All while the real power goes about its business, unnoticed.

Why is DADT repeal taking so long?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

One line on one piece of paper.

White House backs compromise on gays in military

WASHINGTON (AP) — A proposal to step up the repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military but still allow the Pentagon time — perhaps even years — to implement new policies won the White House’s backing on Monday after administration officials met with gay rights activists.

Ok, admittedly I don’t know jack about how the military does anything, but seems to me you already have a rather detailed and strict rule of conduct in the armed forces, so even if a million flaming queens enlist the day this law is repealed, the “sir no sir!” crowd could handle it.

Obama, one line on a piece of paper. “The law known as DADT is now repealed”. All it takes. Sign it. Now, all the gay people I know are too smart to want to be in the army, but if someone wants to serve, let ’em serve.

Texas Rangers go bankrupt…which team did Bush own again?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Texas Rangers File For Bankruptcy, Alex Rodriguez To Lose $25MM In Deferred Comp As Largest Unsecured Creditor

The long expected bankruptcy of the Texas Rangers is now a fact as case #10-43400 in Northern District of Texas. The company has listed $100-500MM in assets, and the same amount in liabilities, on 5000-10,000 creditors, of which the largest unsecured one is none other than Alex Rodriguez, who is owed $24.9 million in deferred comp and will likely see at best pennies on the dollar of this GUC. The only beneficiary in this most recent collapse of an American symbol: Dubya, who made about a 1,000% IRR on his investment in and out of the Rangers in the 90s. Tom Hicks, not so much.

Proving that everything George Bush has touched, one day turns to shit.

Meet the Preppers

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The Prepper Movement — a Growing Network Preparing for the World’s End

If the proverbial you-know-what hit the global fan, would you be prepared? The answer to that question is most likely a big, fat no.

Turns out, though, that while you may not be concerned about mass chaos and world destruction, a growing number of people are.

Asylum readers, there is a posse of self-sufficient men and women out there who make it their goal to be prepared when disaster strikes. They call themselves “preppers.”

From natural catastrophes to economic meltdowns to nuclear blowouts, the preppers’ collective goal is quite simple: to carry on as usual, even when catastrophe strikes. Think backyard fallout shelters of the 1950s or Y2K shenanigans — only circa 2010.

The whole prepper movement may seem pretty zany. So zany, in fact, that you’d think only a miniscule amount of people would actually be partaking in it. Wrong.

Over recent years, a huge community of preppers has developed. Perform a simple Google search and you’ll turn up plenty of prepper-related stuff, including the Web television portal Prepper TV, survival blogs, podcasts (such as DoctorPrepper and PrepperPodcast), and forums that cover everything from a woman’s perspective to recycling to how to handle dead bodies.

Ain’t gonna matter when Yellowstone blows, will it LH?