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mojowork_n

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 2,354

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Interesting reading, thanks for posting.

I also posted this response in the "Wisconsin" forum, then remembered that was the courtesy copy,
not the original. Anyway....

Thanks for posting:

I remember being shocked -- no, seriously, I *was* shocked -- at some of
the people who showed up to testify in favor of the Payday Loan industry,
not that long ago., here in Wisconsin.

State legislators were holding hearings all around town. (It was a completely
different fight.) Some of the folks testifying on behalf of the Payday Loan stores
looked like they'd been let out of jail that morning. The people herding
and directing them looked pretty slick.

This is apparently a much more high-stakes game than the simple
extraction of excessive fees and charges from the lowest-of-low-credit
borrowers. But overall, in the bigger picture of things, skimming off a
little bit here and there from any large group of people -- so a fat wad can
be turned over to a private contractor, or a mine owner, or some other
corporate tool -- after a while it all starts to look and smell the same.

Great little detail from your post:

We already have proof Walker is replacing state workers with prison labor when we saw inmates decorating the Capitol Christmas tree, and currently there is an investigation into other businesses who are making deals to use prison labor for $2 an hour, one I cannot yet comment on. But stay tuned as we discover if any of that $2 is even going to the prisoners who are replacing union workers.


If anyone is interested, here is the "villain" of your piece: Todd J. Rongstad:

http://mk-eat.org/2011/05/04/meet-your-submitting-artist-todd-rongstad/

Self-described:

...former legislative aide, lobbyist, and political hitman. He is now an artist, writer, filmmaker, business-owner, scholar and graduate of UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts Film/Video/New Genres and Masters in Liberal Studies Programs.


(A Master in Liberal Studies! He must know all of us only too well.)

Here are his favorite books:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2403308-todd-rongstad?page=3&shelf=read&sort=date_added

Includes:



  • I Shot a Man in Reno: A History of Death by Murder, Suicide, Fire, Flood, Drugs, Disease, and General Misadventure, As Related in Popular Song, by Graeme Thomson

  • White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery And Vengeneance in Colonial America, by
    Brumwell, Stephen

  • Columbine, by Cullen, Dave

  • The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945

  • Arguably, Selected Essays, by Christopher Hitchens



(That's by no means a representative list, there are quite a few more titles. I picked
a few that particularly caught my eye which may not be entirely fair.)

So to balance out the scale, here's a GREAT read. Link to the Project Gutenberg
(FREE online text file version) of Upton Sinclair's "King Coal." Written a couple of years
after the Ludlow (CO) Massacre, the largest and bloodiest conflict in the history of
the American labor movement, it's actually a bit more "optimistic" than "The Jungle"
or "Oil."

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7522

But it's the same damned story. Nobody really cares or bothers or pays much attention
to a whole lot of small people, all being cheated equally, when the big fat wads of profit
that are generated from so many small larcenies are all kept conveniently out of sight
and out of mind.

It's worth at least forty minutes or an hour's time to get an idea of how much things have
changed, and how in so many other ways -- they haven't.

Here's a small sample:

"...A miner's life depended upon the proper timbering of the room where he
worked. The company undertook to furnish the timbers, but when the miner
needed them, he would find none at hand, and would have to make the
mile-long trip to the surface. He would select timbers of the proper
length, and would mark them--the understanding being that they were to
be delivered to his room by some of the labourers. But then some one
else would carry them off--here was more graft and favouritism, and the
miner might lose a day or two of work, while meantime his account was
piling up at the store, and his children might have no shoes to go to
school. Sometimes he would give up waiting for timbers, and go on taking
out coal; so there would be a fall of rock--and the coroner's jury would
bring in a verdict of "negligence," and the coal-operators would talk
solemnly about the impossibility of teaching caution to miners. Not so
very long ago Hal had read an interview which the president of the
General Fuel Company had given to a newspaper, in which he set forth the
idea that the more experience a miner had the more dangerous it was to
employ him, because he thought he knew it all, and would not heed the
wise regulations which the company laid down for his safety!

...In Number Two mine a man was caught in this way. He stumbled as he ran,
and the lower half of his body was pinned fast; the doctor had to come
and pump opiates into him, while the rescue crew was digging him loose.
The first Hal knew of the accident was when he saw the body stretched
out on a plank, with a couple of old sacks to cover it. He noticed that
nobody stopped for a second glance. Going up from work, he asked his
friend Madvik, the mule driver, who answered, "Lit'uanian feller--got
mash." And that was all. Nobody knew him, and nobody cared about him...

,,,Hal asked what they would do with the body; the answer was they would
bury him in the morning. The company had a piece of ground up the
canyon.

"But won't they have an inquest?" he inquired.

"Inques'?" repeated the other. "What's he?"

"Doesn't the coroner see the body?"

The old Slovak shrugged his bowed shoulders; if there was a coroner in
this part of the world, he had never heard of it; and he had worked in a
good many mines, and seen a good many men put under the ground. "Put him
in a box and dig a hole," was the way he described the procedure.

"And doesn't the priest come?"

"Priest too far away."

Afterwards Hal made inquiry among the English-speaking men, and learned
that the coroner did sometimes come to the camp. He would empanel a jury
consisting of Jeff Cotton, the marshal, and Predovich, the Galician who
worked in the company store, and a clerk or two from the company's
office, and a couple of Mexican labourers who had no idea what it was
all about. This jury would view the corpse, and ask a couple of men what
had happened, and then bring in a verdict: "We find that the deceased
met his death from a fall of rock caused by his own fault." (In one case
they had added the picturesque detail: "No relatives, and damned few
friends!"

For this service the coroner got a fee, and the company got an official
verdict, which would be final in case some foreign consul should
threaten a damage suit...."





There are so many more PR people (and PR dollars) than

journalists (even bad ones), or budgets that include
any "honest, objective, investigative reporting."

It's like we live in this constant, fulminating miasma
of obfuscation and disinformation, it's changed the
atmosphere. We might as well be living on Venus.
Always hot and dark, with cyclones of thick gas
swirling all the way up to the stratosphere.

I think it goes back to that drag queen G-Man, and
the corporate/government partnerships that came
out of the Cold War. What John Perkins wrote about
in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" has been
in-sourced.

Judi Lynn, thank you for being an active D.U.'er.

Along with the obvious inferences, "War is Hell," and "There are certain Video Clips
our Public News Media Will Never Show Us,"

....this one makes me think, "our guys over there must be way, way, way over-
stressed."

When I was a kid, there was a war on. It was "the war to save Vietnam from the
horrors of the Red Menace, Communism."

Television news regularly gave us views of that war. Even when they were
horrific.

That's no longer true.

This horrific "war on terror" has been completely sanitized. But there may be
Americans paying the cost for that news suppression. The war is invisible.
Anything that happens only exists in their own psychic zone.

Edit to add:

Link to a great book on war propaganda, and it's consequences:

http://www.amazon.com/First-Casualty-Phillip-Knightley/dp/1853753769

"The First Casualty: the War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker
From the Crimea to Kosovo"

Not that war, or THOSE wars.

The "War on Terror." It's never been declared or ratified by Congress.

After promising to close down Guantanamo, after not living up to the
hopes that he'd prosecute Bush and Cheney for war crimes, President
Obama has continued THAT war pretty much on schedule. The withdrawal
from Iraq had been negotiated by The Chimp. The timetable wasn't moved
up one day.

This is a war that respects no borders. Drone attacks that kill civilians have enraged
and disgusted and angered people all over the world. We don't see those film clips
on our nightly news.

But people living overseas -- and Americans serving overseas -- are all only too
familiar with the horror and sheer, utter wastefulness of all of it.

It's a sad commentary on all of us that only a very few Republicans or
Democrats have spoken out against the war profiteering corporations that
are in charge.

Most everyone here who's commented on the Ron Paul candidacy abhors his
views on environment, on health care and government, in general.

But who are you to say he has no right to represent his three largest
constituencies? His three largest donor groups are the U.S. Army, the
U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. A whole bunch of small donations from very
many underpaid, over-worked (and nearly invisible) human beings. They're
on the front lines.

They deserve to be represented in our democratic process -- much more so
than the Daddy Warbucks "corporate persons" whose interests they serve --
and right now, based on their political donations -- looney unka Ron is their
candidate of choice.

Which isn't to say President Obama doesn't deserve more time, or a second
term, to do right by them. But that whole "War on Terror" project is supposed
to be a 30 Year Plan, and we're not even halfway there yet.

It's Hannibal's elephant in the room. Military spending and waste are as much
to blame for our economic woes as the 1%. They're inter-twined. These are
discussions we should be having, not dismissing out of hand, without giving
them any serious thought or honest analysis.



(edit for typo)

Ron Paul represents one serious, important constituency. Our troops.

All of the forgotten, invisible, never-spoken-of grunts, sailors and marines that have been
fighting how many wars, for how long?

How many revolving door deployments and re-deployments and re-deployments do
those men and women have to suffer through, until someone listens to what they're
trying to tell us?

...I was really surprised to see that -- on the "Open Secrets dot Org" -- tote board for
campaign contributions, while Romney's biggest contributors are ALL banksters -- R.P.'s
top 3 are the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.

NO ---> he doesn't have Pentagon support, but that web site bundles contributors
according to their place of employment.

I put up a post today that immediately dropped out of sight, but the last link shows
the comparison between the Robotic One and looney old unka Ron. He may be a
horrible economic theorist. He is (unfortunately) an elderly, white Southerner and
represents some viewpoints that are (deservedly) long past their expiration date,
but on that one count, alone, I think he deserves some respect.

Check out the contributions. (Last link at the bottom is the head to head one.)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002149461

Candidate Tote Board

There are THREE that things we've learned from the media
about presidential elections:

  • "It's a Horse Race"

  • By universal acclamation (and the amount of time
    spent in handicapping), that's the aspect of the process we should all focus
    on, when making our choices for the next Commander-In-Chief.

  • "Who spends the most money wins the election." (At least 80 or 90 percent
    of the time.)


So here's the tote board. opensecrets.org is a useful link you might
just want to bookmark. The left side of the page is full of links to comparisons,
and assorted, interesting data fields that you can click through...

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contriball.php?cycle=2012

The numbers speak for themselves. Since "Citizens United" we don't
have all of them, of course, but this is a place to start.

DISCLAIMER:

Amounts and contributions to and from SUPER PAC's aren't shown in any candidate's
contributions list.


I think it's especially illustrative that the largest single amount listed, almost half a million dollars,
went to a candidate I don't think I heard talked about once:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaddeus_McCotterhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaddeus_McCotter

Representing Michigan's 11th congressional district, a member of the House Financial Services
Committee, Republican "Thad" McCotter dropped out of the horse race at the end of September,
after having declared (as a horse jockey), on July 2nd, 2011.

The $450,000 donated by his congressional committee may be a typo.

I really don't know. But it was like a particularly large pebble dropping
in to the ocean, with no discernible splash that I ever noticed.

On the other hand, when you look at some of the major candidates' top, largest donors,
there are some interesting results:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/head2head.php?cand1=N00005906&cand2=N00000286&x=20&y=26

"Voices" told to "Cease and Desist"

This morning I picked up a Spanish Journal at the BP Subway
near "The Clock," a couple of blocks south of 1st and National.

This somewhat confusing article took a good five minutes to sort through, parse
and digest. (I was still chewing through it when my 6" spinach, egg & cheese toasted
flatbread had been long gone.)

http://spanishjournal.com/vdlf-told-to-cease-and-desist-p3633-1.htm

Milwaukee - The national director of “Voces Action” recently demanded that Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) cease and desist using the name “Voces Action”.

VLDF was told that legal action would be initiated if their trademarked name was not removed from all VLDF materials.

It appears that Voces de la Frontera has been endorsing political candidates under the brand name “Voces Action”.


The article appears to be very carefully worded. That may be for legal reasons.
It's a "just the facts," Joe Friday special.

It wasn't until I had the opportunity to do some web searches that possibly revealing and pertinent results jumped
to the top of the google page.

1.) As many people are probably aware, Voces de la Frontera has long been a non-profit/community social service agency/immigrant-rights advocate, and
all-around source of aid and inspiration for the predominantly Latino population on Milwaukee's south side. In fact, they have been a voice for many other
under-represented, predominantly low-income groups.

2.) The "Voces Action" referred to in the opening words of the article may be related to this organization:

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Texas/Highland-Village/voces-action/39303765.aspx

location in Highland Village, TX. Active officers include Edna McDaniel, Adryana Boyne and Daryl Boyne. Voces Action filed as a Domestic
Nonprofit Corporation on Monday, June 29, 2009 in the state of Texas and is currently active. Daryl Boyne serves as the registered agent for this organization.


Assuming that "Edna" and "Daryl" were not likely to be Latino but "Adryana" (the Barbye-spelling notwithstanding) could be, I found this page:

http://vocesaction.blogspot.com/2009/08/httpwww.html

Getting the conservative word out to Hispanics is an effort that Highland Village resident Adryana Boyne has made her passion. At the
recent Denton County Republican Party meeting, held in the communications room at Lewisville Medical Center, Ms. Boyne was the featured speaker. As the
recent organizer of VOCES (Voices Offering Conservative Empowering Solutions), Ms. Boyne is on a mission to educate Hispanics through Spanish and English
television, radio and other media on conservative viewpoints.


Daryl and the oddly sinister-looking "Adryana" list as "activities and interests" on their Facebook page, among other names

http://www.facebook.com/people/Daryl-Boyne/615983731#

the following:


Texas Alliance for Life, donttearmedown, Sean Hannity, Roger Williams, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Dianne Costa for US Congress, Solid Rock
Leadership, Van Taylor, Write for the Right, John Cornyn, Texas GOP Vote


Sooooo..... cutting to the chase, these self-appointed spokesperson(s?) for the "conservative word" have commenced a legal initiative that includes
this "cease and desist" order. Copied and pasted from the Spanish Journal article:


1) Voces {the Highland, TX group} requires that VLDF{our local Voces group} cease promoting or marketing any audio-visual, multimedia, print or electronic or digital promotional materials that bear the phrase(s): “VOCES”, “VOICES”, “VOICES Action” and “VOCES ACTION” in any combination, “VOICES TO ACTION” and/or “VOCES ACTION”;

2) VLDF needs to cease printing, duplicating, and/or circulating any marketing materials that include the phrase(s): “VOICES” and “ACTION” in any combination, “VOCES”, “VOICES”, “VOICES Action” and “VOCES ACTION” in any combination, “VOICES TO ACTION” and/or “VOCES ACTION”;;” and that VLDF destroy any inventories of such materials that include either, “VOICES” and/or “ACTION,” “VOICES TO ACTION” and/or “VOCES ACTION”, (this includes removing any reference to the phrase(s) described above from any Internet website or webpage, Facebook page, Facebook events, etc. );

3) VLDF also needs to cancel any web, audiovisual, and/or print advertisements or distributions that include the phrase(s): “VOCES”, “VOICES”, “VOICES Action” and “VOCES ACTION” in any combination, “VOICES TO ACTION” and/or “VOCES ACTION;”

4) That VLDF agrees in a written reply to refrain from any use of the phrases: “”VOCES”, “VOICES”, “VOICES Action” and “VOCES ACTION” in any combination, “VOICES TO ACTION” and/or “VOCES ACTION”;” or any colorable variation of that mark as a trademark in the future.”



....Could it all have anything to do with the fact that our local Voces has joined with the NAACP in challenging Herr Walker's restricitive, voter-suppression Photo ID diktat?

http://www.vdlf.org/about/media/press_releases.php?pid=144

The Voces/NAACP lawsuit follows the same roadmap that Missouri voters used to successfully overturn the Missouri photo ID law in 2006, when the Missouri Supreme Court invalidated photo ID under the State of Missouri Constitution’s right to vote.

"The photo ID requirement is a repressive law aimed at deterring Latino voters from coming to the polls," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the executive director of Voces. "The Wisconsin Constitution guarantees all citizens and Wisconsin residents the right to vote and we intend to ardently protect that right.”

Started from behind then sharted out front

Boy that's sophomoric, but I think Iowans just got
tired of all the political ads for Romney and Perry;
all the negative images and gloomy fear-mongering,
the posturing and the broadcast Total War BS blitzkrieg.

I'm not sure but I think I heard today that for every vote
cast, in the whole state, the campaign spending per voter
was something like 200 to 1. Two hundred bucks spent
(give or take?) to influence each and everyone who cast
a vote.

(Bet the write-in / just-gave-up-in-the-booth --- couldn't
hold their noses long enough to actually vote list, produced
some interesting names. That we'll never get to see.)
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