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How the Monsanto Protection Act snuck into law

We keep getting increasingly corporatist and right-leaning government -- despite the wishes of the people -- because too many people vote their fears rather than their goals. Obama has put his goal of cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on hold for a few months, so that means that the next sell-out will be the Keystone XL pipeline.

I await the rationalizations, excuses, and curses of the Obamabots, but Barack Obama does not deserve your trust, and actual progressives told you so.


News has recently broken about the Alameda, CA, County Administrator, Susan Muranishi, who will retire with $420,000 annually from her pension and benefits. While public outrage is widespread, it is, sadly, accompanied by little thought or analysis.

One of the problems plaguing our government is a form of corruption called “the revolving door”. A public official who is responsible for regulating private industries will make recommendations and enforcement decisions favorable to those industries in hopes of getting a well-paying job when they leave government service. Like all people, they want to make a lot of money, but as public employees, they are almost never paid commensurate with people in similar positions of responsibility in the industries that they regulate. Their public salaries encourage them to think about how they can make more money later.

In fact, 423 important officials in the Obama administration have used their government positions to get through that revolving door. As anyone would, they want to get out of their low-paying public service jobs as fast as they can in order to get where they can make real money.

Corporations, on the other hand, have an interest in keeping the pay of public employees low, and it isn’t necessarily about keeping their taxes low. Their interest is that if public employees are hungry, they are easier to bribe.

However, Ms. Muranishi did not have that pressure on her. She worked for 38 years in the public interest and there has never been any indication that she performed her job in other than an exemplary fashion. She managed a very large organization that is responsible for serving the needs of 1.5 million people -- a tremendous responsibility. And she did it well enough that they kept her on year after year. Perhaps her $420,000 salary seems like a lot to those of us who have not escaped the oppression of the plutocrats, but it is far less than what is earned by people in similar management positions in private industry.

I say congratulations to Ms. Muranishi, and thank you for your service. I hope that you have a peaceful retirement and a good life. You deserve it!

We should pay all of our public employees, especially those who are responsible for legislation, regulation, and administration, much more than we do now. If the public wants their employees to be answerable to them instead of to corporate bribery, then the public should pay their employees like they mean it.


I think we should pay our public employees more.

53%56 votes
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| 105 votes | Vote | Results


Larry Delassus was a Navy veteran who lived a quiet life in Hermosa Beach, CA. His neighbors liked him, and he was active in his small community. Unfortunately, he didn't have much choice in living a quiet life. He had a rare blood clot disease, Budd-Chiari syndrome, that made even the most simple tasks difficult for him and could even cause him to feel confused.

But it turns out that that was not the worst of his problems. His mortgage was held by Wells Fargo, and it killed him.

For two years, Wells Fargo had been paying taxes on the wrong property because of a typo that was entirely their fault. Larry didn't owe those taxes, but Wells Fargo said that he did. They doubled his mortgage payments.  They even demanded that Larry pay more than the taxes they said that he had owed. Larry just couldn't afford those payments. Eventually, on the day that he came home from the hospital after an especially bad bout with his disease, they sold his condo and threw him out on the street.

Larry took Wells Fargo to court. He thought that he could get justice there. However, the judge had indicated that she was prepared to give a summary ruling in favor of Wells Fargo -- as unbelievable as that may seem. Nevertheless, wrongly charged, wrongly evicted, and wrongly treated, Larry wanted his day in court. But as his attorney was arguing his case, Larry suffered a heart attack and died.

Larry Delassus died fighting a monstrous tyrant that has similarly abused countless others while its executives have collected millions in bonuses at taxpayers' expense. Wells Fargo, one of the banks at the core of our country's 2008 financial meltdown, which threw million of people out of work and contributed to a world-wide economic disaster which still affects us to this day, received billions in bail-out money from taxpayers but has not seen fit to share that largesse with them.

On March 19, Wells Fargo, a company that should have suffered the corporate death penalty for its crimes, will celebrate its 161st birthday. Larry Delassus won't have any more birthdays. He spent the last of his energy and his life fighting their abuse.

From now on, March 19 should be known not as Wells Fargo's birthday, but as "Larry Delassus Day" in honor and commemoration of a man who fought to his last breath a monster that abuses us all.

Next Tuesday, get a friend and celebrate Larry Delassus Day in front of your nearest Wells Fargo. You could even carry a sign if you want to. Larry can't fight them for us anymore. It's our fight, now.

Note: If you've got an idea for what could be painted on a sign that Wells Fargo might see, your suggestions will be welcome.


Most of you have heard the story already. Larry Delassus died in court trying to fight Wells Fargo's abuse. They made a typo, and even after admitting that they'd made a mistake, foreclosed on him and threw him out in the street the day that he got out of the hospital. Here's the full story:

Larry Delassus, who died fighting our fight, with friendsWells Fargo Typo Victim Dies In Court

Larry died fighting. But all of us -- every one of us who is not rich, who doesn't get million-dollar bonuses, and who abides by the rules because it's the right thing to do -- have also been victims of Wells Fargo's executives and the other banksters that have drained our country, putting our money and our nation's wealth in their pockets. Larry died fighting our fight.

On March 19, Wells Fargo will celebrate it's 161st birth day. But Larry won't have any more birthdays because of them. On that day, Larry Delassus Day, I'm going to paint a sign and stand in front of that awful, inhuman monster and tell everyone I meet what they did. I'm going to tell everyone that I can about their filthy greed and how they are destroying our lives and our country.

Please don't let Larry be forgotten. Don't let his death be in vain. Stand up for yourselves, for your children, and for your country. Please join me on March 19, in front of your nearest Wells Fargo Bank


Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:36 PM PST

Why Party Politics Fails

by Juarez Traveller

Just today, President Obama repeated his call for Republicans' Holy Grails: Obama wants cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The deal Obama is seeking with Republicans will allow the elimination of cuts in military spending, putting the entire burden of cuts on the middle class and poor. What's more, Obama is making this offer even though Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit or the debt because it is not a part of the budget.

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Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 03:15 AM PST

Our Options Have Narrowed

by Juarez Traveller

I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to think of our rights as spelled out in the Bill of Rights to be more important that anything else — more important than the economy, more important than health or love or even sex. The reason that I’ve come to think that is because when our Constitutional rights are curtailed, so are our opportunities in every other arena. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can become impossible when our government interferes with those rights.

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Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM PDT

Sgt. Gary Stein is Lucky

by Juarez Traveller

Sgt. Gary Stein is a member of the United States Marine Corps. He has two facebook accounts and has used both of them to ridicule President Obama, and has even said that he would not follow the President's orders. Nevertheless, Sgt. Stein is not in the brig.


Sgt. Stein should be...

63%371 votes
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| 582 votes | Vote | Results

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