Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
h/t Agent 99
Join Free Speech for People in their resolution to overturn this despicable judgment.
From Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer
The decision will unleash unprecedented amounts of corporate "influence-seeking" money on our elections and create unprecedented opportunities for corporate "influence-buying" corruption.
Today's decision is the most radical and destructive campaign finance decision in Supreme Court history. In order to reach the decision, five justices abandoned longstanding judicial principles, judicial precedents and judicial restraint.
With the Citizens United opinion, Chief Justice Roberts has abandoned the illusory public commitments he made to "judicial modesty" and "respect for precedent" to cast the deciding vote for a radical decision that profoundly undermines our democracy.
In a stark choice between the right of American citizens to a government free from "influence-buying" corruption and the economic and political interests of American corporations, five Supreme Court Justices today came down in favor of American corporations.
With a stroke of the pen, five Justices wiped out a century of American history devoted to preventing corporate corruption of our democracy.
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold had this to say:
It is important to note that the decision does not affect McCain-Feingold’s soft money ban, which will continue to prevent corporate contributions to the political parties from corrupting the political process. But this decision was a terrible mistake. Presented with a relatively narrow legal issue, the Supreme Court chose to roll back laws that have limited the role of corporate money in federal elections since Teddy Roosevelt was president. Ignoring important principles of judicial restraint and respect for precedent, the Court has given corporate money a breathtaking new role in federal campaigns. Just six years ago, the Court said that the prohibition on corporations and unions dipping into their treasuries to influence campaigns was ‘firmly embedded in our law.’ Yet this Court has just upended that prohibition, and a century's worth of campaign finance law designed to stem corruption in government. The American people will pay dearly for this decision when, more than ever, their voices are drowned out by corporate spending in our federal elections. In the coming weeks, I will work with my colleagues to pass legislation restoring as many of the critical restraints on corporate control of our elections as possible.More at neufneuf - we just lost wwii
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The morning was crisp and clear. Several inches of new snow made the skiing conditions perfect. My friend Tom and I found a spot just off the side of the trail where someone had made a jumping ramp. We checked it out and started using it, faster and faster, each time we came down the hill.
The jump was at a spot where another very wide trail intersected at 90 degrees. Being a weekday it was easy to time yourself with traffic on the hill to make the jump. The hill dropped away gradually as you crossed the other trail. The drop-off angle was perfect, such that, at about 30 mph going into the jump, you could be airborne for about 60 feet, yet never more than about 2 feet above the ground. A great rush.
After about eight runs through the jump we headed up to the top of the mountain where we spent most of the rest of the day.
Near the end of the day we decided to head down and catch a few more runs near the lodge. As we came up to the jump I was in the lead - Tom yelled "Go for it!".
Flying faster than I had all morning, I committed to the jump.
Suddenly it became clear that this was no longer the jump I had known in the morning. My skis were locked into deep grooves which had been worn into the approach and the ramp itself was all hollowed out, looking more like a launch pad for a moon shot.
I bent my knees to take the shock of hitting what was more of a wall than a jump, thereby allowing me to make a perfect launch off the ramp. Arms spinning in wide circles providing the perfect gyroscopic stabilization. Meanwhile my legs, bent back at the knees, trimmed my skis for the least wind resistance on the perfectly vertical ascent.
Soon acceleration waned and gravity took over - "Twenty feet" Tom said, "Maybe even twenty-five" at the apex.
Then down I came, straight down, skis still kicked back. I watched the ground coming up as my ski tips hit first, my skis bending wildly. When it seemed the skis would surely break, my bindings let go and the skis snapped down to lay flat on the ground. My right knee became the first part of my body to make contact - directly on the ski binding.
At first I was laughing so hard I could hardly breath, I mean it was hilarious - would have won the Funniest Videos show - but then the pain hit when I tried to move my leg, bringing tears to my eyes.
At first I thought my knee was broken, but I found I could move it and all seemed sound. I was alternating between crying out in pain and laughing. Tom was a basket case laughing and some poor lady who stopped to offer help was totally confused.
I got to my feet and found I could put some weight on my leg so I slowly finished the run down the hill. When I got to the bottom the pain had pretty much subsided so I decided I need to "work it off". What better way to do that then take another run down the hill, so onto the lift I went.
Upon reaching the the top of the lift I collapsed in a heap when I got off. I could no longer put any weight on my right leg and I had a 1.5 mile run down the hill to the lodge. I guess I could have got help from the ski patrol, but instead took off, skiing on one leg as much as possible.
When we got to the bottom I went to the lodge to sit and wait for Tom to finish the last 45 minutes of the day with another run or two. Upon his return I was no longer able to get up from the table and he had to help me hobble to the car.
On the way home we stopped at a friend's to borrow some crutches. The 90 minute drive had stiffened my knee to where I could no longer bend it - I had to be dragged from the car.
The next day I went to the doctor's. X-rays revealed that I had not broken anything, but my knee cap, my tibia and fibula were all severely bruised where they meet, at the inside of my knee. I was given an elastic knee brace and sent on my way.
Having just used the last of my vacation time and no sick pay, I had to go back to work the next day.
OSHA probably would have freaked had they seen me up on people's roofs, with crutches, fixing air conditioners.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
On January 5th the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 intentionally rammed the Ady Gil, a high tech, carbon fiber, trimaran belonging to the Sea Shepherd Society. The Ady Gil was accompanying the Bob Barker, the Sea Shepherd's new ship.
The Sea Shepherds, on their annual campaign to stop the Japanese from whaling in the *** whale preserve in persuit of the Japanese whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru. The Japanese are taking whales under the guise of research - a loophole in the treaty.
The Japanese whalers claim that the Ady Gil caused the collision and offered this video as evidence.
But in the following video from the Bob Barker it can be clearly seen that the Shonan Maru made two course corrections to aim at the Ady Gil just prior to the collision.
The Sea Shepherd Society
Aby Gil the boats designer has pledge to rebuild the boat which bears his namesake.
On 1/8/2010 at 17:20 (GMT) the last known position of the Ady Gil was reported to the Australian Rescue Coordination Center, as it was sinking and would pose a navigational hazard for several more hours. Fortunately, all fuel and lubricants had been removed form the Ady Gil hours earlier.