Archive for September, 2012

Portents of the New Feudalism

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

Since I haven’t lived in New York for years my knowledge of the politics of the surrounding States, including New Jersey has decreased. I heard about Chris Christie becoming Governor of New Jersey, usually a liberal-minded State despite what you see on TV reality shows, but I didn’t know too much about him, though from the media’s favorable response, I thought him a moderate. The events leading up to the Republican Convention and indeed his keynote speech tended to disabuse me of that notion. So I started to pay attention to him and found that he was your typical Republican elitist, though with a “Joisey” accent and the mannerisms of a thug. As I was surfing around my bookmarks today I came across this article at The Nation of Change:  http://www.nationofchange.org by Terrence Heath of the Campaign for Americas Future. www.ourfuture.org/I think the article stands on its own as an indictment of how many Republicans wish to turn this country into a modern version of Feudalism, a concern of mine that I’ve written about many times. Let me then present the article for your inspection and elicit any comments you might wish to share:

http://www.nationofchange.org/house-gop-taxes-wealthy-are-charity-1349010885

 

 

 

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)- Guest Blogger

It seems that trouble is brewing again in the State of Florida since election officials have discovered suspicious voter registration forms in at least 10 Florida counties.  “Florida elections officials said Friday that at least 10 counties have identified suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms turned in by a firm working for the Republican Party of Florida, which has filed an election fraud complaint with the state Division of Elections against its one-time consultant.”  LA Times  (more…)

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Romney’s Catholic Problem

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Just this past summer, American Roman Catholic bishops were decrying the Obama Administration for forcing its ancillary institutions like colleges and hospitals to pay for reproductive health services for its women employees. Lawsuits were filed, press releases were released, and commentators were assembled on cable news to express the outrage. The holy fathers even channeled Rev. Martin Luther King (never a favorite of the Catholic hierarchy — how could he be with that name?) calling for civil disobedience to contest the mandates of the new law. Letters were written to the flock (with approved language, of course) from the bishops bellowing, ““We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law.” The bishops even marketed a catchy name for their protest:  the flag waiving, patriotic sounding,  Fortnight for Freedom. (Yes, His truth was marching on in full display!)

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This Week In Blasphemy

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, while commenting on the infamous anti-Islam film, said “When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way.”

Note that Ki-moon goes beyond just religious values and beliefs and includes all values and beliefs. That view is nonsense.

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Targeted Hype

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

We are so kind to ourselves. John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, repeats the Obama narrative that touts the “surgical” precision and minimization of collateral damage of “targeted killing” using drones. Minimal collateral damage would be zero, however, a study by NYU School of Law and Stanford Law School puts the number of civilians killed between 474 and 881, including 176 children.

The study calls Obama’s narrative “false.”

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By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

The trauma many kids face in high school from cruel teenage high-jinx is an underrated psychological pain. Self-described “outcast” Whitney Kropp is a survivor, though. Kropp, who attends Ogemaw Heights High School, thought she had finally gained some social acceptance when she was unexpectedly elected  as sophomore representative to the homecoming court. Sadly, her classmates in rural Michigan had played a cruel joke on her as they made it clear they sought only to  embarrass the 16-year-old with the sham honor. Whitney spent the night in tears and even seriously considered suicide.”I’m like, ‘Wow, I feel like trash,'” Kropp said. “I feel like I’m a little thing that no one really cares about.”

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Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

I’m a fan of professional football and I’ve followed it for almost 60 years. Many of those who come to this site, especially our Proprietor, are football fans as well. The game is exciting to watch lending itself perfectly to television viewing, as compared to the other professional sports. However, this is not a post about the sport, the players, its violence or its merits. This is a critical look with the overarching corporate structure of the National Football League. The NFL has become the most lucrative sports business organization in the United States, receiving approximately $8 or $9 Billion a year from TV networks and its revenue from all other sources, including licensing, radio and satellite TV. On average each of the NFL’s 32 teams earns an average of $175 million per year which includes ticket sales. Under the collective bargaining agreement, won after a threatened “player lockout” in 2011, each team has what is known as a “hard salary cap”, which means that the total each team pays to its players is capped at a fixed amount which cannot be exceeded. Currently the cap per each team is about $130 Million per year. Therefore the average NFL team probably makes a profit of at least $30 Million per year after other expenses. Given the state of business, any corporation of medium size that would receive a guaranteed net profit of $30 Million yearly must be considered very fortunate.

The NFL has a rule barring corporations from team ownership:

“Ownership groups must contain twenty-four or fewer individuals, and at least one partner must hold a thirty percent or greater share of the team. The Green Bay Packers are an exemption to the current policy, since they have been a publicly owned stock corporation since before the rule was in place.”

At first glance this may seem a salutary policy, but in operation the League’s ownership consists mainly of billionaires, who are either football fans, publicity seekers and/or both. In fairness I must admit that some of the current owners are descendants of their teams’ founders, such as the Rooney’s in Pittsburgh, the Mara’s in New York and the Halas family owners of Professor Turley’s beloved Bears. Mainly the teams are run by people who made their money in other professions and decided that a football team would make a great hobby. The problem is that the “hobbyists” have and are exhibiting the type of business philosophy that seems to have taken hold in America, which is a ruthless model, in which their employees and even their customers, the fans, are merely pawns to be run over roughshod as they satisfy their egos and their greed. After the break I’ll explain my thinking on this and show why I see the NFL as a metaphor of what’s wrong with our country. (more…)

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