California’s New Class System

Early last year, I wrote about how the California Department of Transportation and local transit entities were in the process of transforming California’s legendary highway system – legendary “free” highway system – into a two-tier system, one for the haves, and one for the have-nots (“California’s Metro Express Ripoff“). Since then, the initial long-term tests of the new normal have produced conclusive evidence that they have created one system of crowded roadways, insufferable delays, strangling exhaust fumes, and bureaucratic insolence, and another one of generally wide-open spaces, flowing traffic, and delighted oligarchs. It is class warfare on the highways! Continue reading

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What is Worse Than Building a Tar Sands Pipeline?

For years now, big oil and other energy interests have been using every available extorted dollar and every bought-and-paid for politician from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast to pave the way for the building of their billion-dollar albatross known as the Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline would transport tar sands bitumen sludge from Canadian pits across pristine US forests, farms, and communities, passing over aquifers, ground water, and animal reserves, to the gulf coast and refineries and tankers, where it will be transported to China and other far-off ports, enriching the likes of Trans-Canada, the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobile, and others of that ilk, beyond their wildest dreams.

Despite the fact that the pipeline and sludge transport would bring no additional gasoline to US markets Continue reading

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Vampire Lies

For decades, there was a popular saying that sought to diminish the authority of statistics that said that there are “lies, damn lies, and statistics”, meaning that any and all statistics could be manipulated to prove any side of any issue, and as a general principle, should be discounted as having any viable importance when considering any issue.

Well, today we have “Lies, Damn Lies,” and thanks to Bill Maher and his HBO show, “Real TIme with Bill Maher”, “Vampire Lies”, which like their undead counterparts, are statements that have been unquestionably proven to be lies, but that just will not die, Continue reading

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LA Nightly News: Guns, Shootings, Deaths

A little over an hour ago at 11:00 pm, I turned on the CBS2 local nightly news for the local Los Angeles area and the first three stories, and four of the first five, were about local-area shootings, all occurring within the past day. The first two involved deaths and a third was about a shooter who did not kill anyone, but who did escape.

In the first story, reporters told of a landlord-tenant dispute in nearby Pasadena, which escalated into murder, as one of the people involved in the dispute took out an assault rifle, and proceeded to shoot five people, killing three of them, including a good samaritan who had come to the aid of the first victims. Continue reading

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The Estate of Legendary Racist John Wayne Sues “Duke” University

Iconic actor John “Duke” Wayne, was an immensely popular celebrity during his hay day of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Wayne died of cancer in 1979, and his legion of fans have tried to keep his memory alive for future generations. Many of these fans were merely enamored by his movies and his strong masculine personality, and little else. Others, however, saw him then and continue to see him as an emblem of a dying breed of personality, one who would stand up and shout for contemptuous beliefs that were becoming increasingly vilified throughout society.

Wayne was a strong supporter of Sen. Joe McCarthy and the atrocities of his House Un-American Activities Committee, Continue reading

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City of Covina, CA Passes Plan to Spy on All its Residents

The so-called “War on Drugs” continues today as a pervasive assault on the lives of for the most-part law-abiding citizens at a staggering cost to society for the sole reason that it is a billion-dollar industry that profits off the misery it creates. From private drug-testing entities to law enforcement agencies to private prison companies, the profits made and the power it has created are self-perpetuating and expanding, despite large segments of society that have come to realize that the recreational and medicinal uses of many proscribed drugs far outweigh the cost and pain created solely by virtue of their being designated as illegal.

Now, new campaigns of fear perpetrated by big business and their partners in government have commenced a new “war”, one that promises to be just as profitable, and even more invasive on the private lives of average, law-abiding citizens. Continue reading

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Why YES to Palestinians but NO to Kurds?

Why is it that so much of world opinion has taken up the manufactured cause of the manipulated and inherently terrorist “people” known as Palestinians, while at the same time, the cultural integrity, political aspirations, overall identity, and continued existence of the Kurds has been a non-issue?

There has been an area of the Middle East called “Palestine” dating from ancient times, but in modern terminology, the land involved became a designed political entity by virtue of the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922, with Great Britain taking over control Continue reading

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Guns Everywhere Now the Law in Georgia

It didn’t take very long for the first confrontation to occur in the state of Georgia on the first day of their widely Unpopular “Guns Everywhere” law, or as it is officially known, the “Safe Carry Protection Act”. As I wrote awhile back, a powerful segment of society, not to mention the gun manufacturers’ lobbying organization known as the NRA, pushed for and got the state’s lawmakers to pass a comprehensive bill that authorized the open carry of loaded firearms into bars, churches, schools, government buildings (except for the buildings that house the legislators who passed the bill), airports, and every manner of retail business.

Don’t get me wrong, there was joy and celebration among segments of Georgia society Continue reading

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The Disgusting Disgrace that is the United States Supreme Court

I’ve followed closely the composition, actions, and opinions of the US Supreme Court since the late 1960s when I took an undergraduate course that focused on the politics of the court. Never in my lifetime, and likely not since the infamous Dred Scott decision has the court disgraced itself, the US Constitution, and the American people as it has today with a decision that in effect puts the majority of US citizens back under the yolk of religious intolerance not seen since our forefathers ran from the rule of King George III and the Church of England.

There have been bigots, dunces, demagogues and swines sitting on the Court, perhaps until now the most infamous of those being Continue reading

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Hobby Lobby and Stupidity, as the Supreme Court Session Nears its End

As the 2014 session of the United States Supreme Court is about to come to a close, three things seem abundantly clear:

  1. The decision in the most important, far reaching case of the year, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, will not be released until the final day of the session, as will the decision in another extremely important case, Harris v Quinn;
  2. The Court has let its decisions be dominated by politics and religion as never before, to the detriment of the US Constitution and the good of the country and of its’ people; and
  3. The intelligence level of the current makeup of the court is likely at an all-time low.

Continue reading

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A Single, Simple Reason to Send Mitch McConnell to the Unemployment Line

A lot of indicators seem to be saying that Mitch McConnell’s time is up, that the gop minority leader of the Senate will, come November, be spending his time ogling his fortune (10th wealthiest US Senator), tending his rose garden, and lining up clients for his upcoming lobbying business. He’s in the fight of his life to retain his Senate seat, and his latest proposal would seem to be a single, simple reason for Kentuckians from each side of the aisle to figure that it’s time for him to go.

McConnell has been at the forefront of the Senate’s partisan divide, most significantly since the election of Pres. Obama, when, within hours of the election, he famously told America and the world that the sworn duty of every republican was Continue reading

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It’s Time to Re-Write The Constitution

At Least the Bill of Rights

After 227 years, there are obvious failings with the Constitution, sections that have been interpreted, re-interpreted, and misinterpreted for generations. It’s time to examine the ambiguity, and re-write essential sections, most importantly in the Bill of Rights, making changes to promote certainty over uncertainty, and for it to become a document relevant to today’s society, and to the society of the next one hundred years, or more.

Matters anachronistic to the 18th century need to be clarified, changed, or removed, and new matters, unthought-of back then, need to be added. Here is my interpretation of what needs to be done: Continue reading

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