“We cannot ignore this corruption anymore.”

crossposted from:

By OPOL

Note: This piece was originally titled, 'I left apoplectic four-thousand outrages ago.' I've replaced that title with a quote from Lawrence Lessig, whose TED Talk wraps things up very nicely at the end of this post. Please, if you read nothing else of what I've written here, take the time to watch that video. You'll be glad you did.

UPDATE: Here's a link to Lessig's Super PAC: Mayday PAC

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henry-david-thoreau-EVIL

The revelations that validate my most cynical views come so fast these days that it's impossible to keep up: torture, domestic spying, high government officials lying to congress with impunity, the leadership of our country covering up for evil, persecuting truth-tellers, the SCOTUS-led assault on the Constitution, secret 'free' trade deals that screw everybody but the oligarchs, the rigged stock market, accelerating inequality, laws against feeding the hungry, free speech zones, the steady push for more war. Every day is a new low and a new blow to everyone who loves peace, justice, fairness and equality; and to everyone who desires an honest and intelligent government that honors science, exhibits compassion and embraces wisdom and reason, not greed and corruption.

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Gender Prison: White House to protect transgender people via executive order

I guess it's "In for a penny, in for a pound." With the Republicans threatening to sue over presidential executive actions, a thought which did not receive airing until the president's odrder circumventing the House's non-action on ENDA, President Obama has decided to push forward.

President Obama announced yesterday during the White House's annual LGBT Pride Month reception that he would extend executive action protection to protect transgender federal employees from discrimination.

If Congress won’t act, I will. I have directed my staff to prepare an executive order for my signature that prohibits discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. And I’ve asked my staff to prepare a second executive order so that federal employees –- who are already protected on the basis of sexual orientation –- will now formally be protected from discrimination based on gender identity as well.

--Barack Obama

White House spokesmen had no further details about what would be contained in the orders.

It’s my understanding that there is an ongoing process as it relates to the drafting of an executive order that would take the kinds of steps the President has talked about quite a bit. But at this point, I don’t have any update for you in terms of the content or the timing of that executive order.

--Press Secretary Josh Earnest

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On the Moral Bankruptcy of the Democratic Party: Charlie Crist (Exhibit A)

I lived in Florida for five years. Because I donated to and volunteered for Democrats in Florida, I find myself on about a billion different fundraising "activist" email lists. So it was no surprise to me that every Democrat running for something in Florida contacted me today to let me know that if I would just chip in $5 or $10 to help candidate X win election Y, they will "fight" to overturn today's SCOTUS verdicts.

But when I got this email from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (the ex-Independent who used to be a Republican), my stomach turned:


Inserted teaser:
   click through the fold to see what it was that turned type1error's stomach

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The Breakfast Club: 6-30-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone's welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

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This Day in History


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Sunday Train: Is There A Beam of Hope for Texas Rooftop Solar?

A few weeks back, I teased that I wanted to take a bit of a look at Texas Rooftop Solar in the Sunday Train (which is, recall, focused on Sustainable Transport & Energy, and so both not just about trains, and also not in favor of trains when the trains are advancing climate suicide) ... and then the California budget passed and I went on a two week binge on California HSR.

But now its time to take that glance over at Texas Rooftop Solar. After all, you'd think that Texas would be an ideal state for rooftop solar, and for years we've been seeing articles about how Lone Star State Rooftop Solar would hit big "real soon now". For instance, this, from 13 Jan, 2013: Solar Power Could See Explosive Growth in Texas over Coming Decades:

Still, solar is just a tiny sliver—less than 1 percent—of Texas’ electricity mix, which is dominated by coal (34 percent) and natural gas (45 percent). Wind, with a 9 percent share, is a giant compared to solar.

Yet, the economics are becoming increasingly favorable for solar to take off in a big way. The question is probably when, not if. And a recent analysis by ERCOT—the industry-funded, technocratic grid operator—has some very rosy projections for the future of the solar industry in Texas. (And some very sour news for nuclear, coal and maybe even natural gas.)

The analysis, first flagged by Colin Meehan of Environmental Defense Fund of Texas, looks at potential transmission needs in the next two decades. But, as Meehan wrote, ERCOT "found that if you use updated wind and solar power characteristics like cost and actual output to reflect real world conditions… wind and solar are more competitive than natural gas over the next 20 years."

But if the future doesn't start arriving, it might never get here, brought crashing down by the catastrophic impact of runaway climate crisis. So, what are the prospects that rooftop solar might really start hitting its stride really soon now?

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The Breakfast Club (Make Your Own Fun Sunday)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault. 

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Reclaiming Our History

 

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Forty-five years ago tomorrow, just after midnight, when the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, the police handcuffed transgender women, sex workers, and homeless youth, who were herded out of the bar and loaded into paddy wagons.

That was all routine. What was not routine was that the people being rounded up fought back.

TransJustice, sponsored by the Audre Lorde Project celebrated today as the 10th Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice, gathering at Christopher Street Pier from 2pm to 5pm. Representing Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) People of Color, TransJustice insists, among other items, that it is time for TGNC people to take back Stonewall from its whitewashed history.

We live in a time when oppressed peoples including people of color, immigrants, youth and elders, people with disabilities, women and TGNC people, and poor people are underserved, face higher levels of discrimination, heightened surveillance and experience increased violence at the hands of the state. We must unite and work together towards dismantling the transphobia, racism, classism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia and xenophobia that permeates our movements for social justice, while also celebrating the victories and strides for the rights of TGNC POC. Let’s come together to let the world know that TGNC rights will not be undermined and together we will not be silenced!

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The Breakfast Club: 6-27-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone's welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History


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Emergence of the Hive Mind – Orchids in the Cracks

crossposted from:

By OPOL

There is a principle in Judo called kuzushi that refers to the art of unbalancing one's opponent. Stated simply: push when pulled, pull when pushed. The 'ju' in judo or ju jitsu, its direct ancestor, can be translated as soft, gentle or yielding. Conceptually, it is the bamboo or water principle in action. Bamboo bends in the wind, water flows around obstacles, bamboo springs back, water wears down stone. Translated to martial arts, the velocity of an attack is not resisted directly, force to force, but yielded to, blended with and turned by indirection to the defender's advantage. It flows like water. It uses the opponent's strength against him. It is the triumph of wisdom over power, yielding over force, weak over strong.

What are people to do when the political class, financial elites, national security apparatus and legal system turn against them? What do you do when your bank steals from you, your representatives ignore you, your government spies on you, your doctors prey on you and your culture shits on you?

What do you do when decades of organizing, marching, voting, protesting and political struggle produce a big-assed boatload of too-little-too-late?

What do you do when your government becomes totally useless?

Perhaps the answer, or one of them, is that you don't resist the assholery directly. You back up and go around. You yield, blend and spring back. You push when pulled, you pull when pushed.

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