Archive for hypocrisy

Frank Luntz: NRA not listening to public

Banning the ownership of assault and semi-automatic weaponry DOES NOT infringe upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms. NRA members polled by GOP strategist Frank Luntz suggest that a majority of gun owners are in favor of more sensible laws.

The NRA’s lobbying efforts are designed to protect the interests of gun manufacturers, not the public. When will capital-R Reason surmount the influence of big business?

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From The Huffington Post

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Guns reduce and restrict liberty; they do not ensure our way of life.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the national security implications of corporate influence on government, democracy, and civil society. He echoed Lincoln’s warnings in his farewell address to the nation on January 17, 1961:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

The following New York Times op-ed written by Firmin Debrabander is right on the money. Guns reduce and restrict liberty; they do not ensure our way of life.

From The New York Times

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Fracking Research at UT Austin Withdrawn Following Independent Review

Finally, a major university recognized a major bias in its science. An independent review by science administrators found that the head of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas received money from a firm involved in hydraulic fracturing for shale gas prior to releasing a report on its potential environmental impacts. After the review was recently made public, the paper was finally withdrawn, and the head of the Energy Institute accepted full responsibility and resigned.

Today, public education is under familiar economic pressures to conform to narrow standards and offer subjective knowledge. Interest groups are clamoring to insert their agenda’s into both the classroom and scientific studies. Steps such as those taken by the University of Texas at Austin might serve as a guideline for how ethical issues in our public institutions can be addressed justly without compromising the public’s trust.

From Andrew Revkin’s Dot Earth

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Fears of Voter Intimidation in the Workplace As Election Day Nears

Employers have recently made numerous attempt to intimidate workers into choosing a presidential candidate that supports their company’s bottom-line. Mitt Romney, IL Rep. Joe Walsh, and Koch Industries have all endorsed the practice of goading employees to vote for Republican candidates this November.

No matter what their marketing campaigns may portray, corporate interests are not the same as those of a working community. Businesses do not live and work side by side with their employees and neighbors. Their political leanings are driven solely by what owners predict will further a company’s profit-margin. How do you think voter intimidation in the workplace will affect the outcome of the 2012 election?

From The Huffington Post

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Public Money Continues to Supplement the Building of Private Corporate Infrastructure

Our nation is still experiencing the after-effects of major economic crisis, and yet public money continues to supplement the building of private corporate infrastructure. Time and time again, our legislators and government officials have proven that they’re willing to put the interests of the public aside in order to appease big business by lowering tax rates, offering more tax breaks, and increasing corporate subsidies.

These government subsidies do not encourage economic growth as much as productive taxpayers do, and as a result, everything from Social Security to unemployment and welfare rolls is affected. As you’ll see in the following article, when it comes to competitive business privileges—tax breaks, subsidies, overt political power—individuals and small businesses might as well fugetaboutit.

Welfare queens may actually look more like giant corporations.

From The Huffington Post

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Ayn Rand’s Radical Defense of Economic Darwinism

Ayn Rand, the self-proclaimed radical and author of Atlas Shrugged was the ultimate purist, advocating uncontrolled, unregulated capitalism. She perverted Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” into her “virtue of selfishness” and defended an ugly dog-eat-dog economic Darwinism: The masses were servile and insignificant, government was invasive and usually malevolent.

Absolute objectivism, along with the rest of Rand’s arguments, may sway teens—a time when renegade individualism stirs the blood—but time and experience validates the social/political principles envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Adam Smith.

It was back in April when audio of Paul Ryan praising Ayn Rand first gained traction during a debate over the libertarian icon's influence on the conservative congressman. Paul Ryan dismissed the suggestion that he was fixated on the author an "urban legend." National Review ran an article called "Paul Ryan Isn't a Randian" aimed at "refuting the Left’s favorite charge against Paul Ryan." | Andrew Kaczynski, Buzzfeed

From Buzzfeed Politics

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Banks Should Be Banks, Not Investment Houses or Gambling Casinos

In response to unregulated financial malfeasance and the Crash of ’29, The Banking Reform Act of 1933 imposed rules to ensure banks were banks, not investment houses or gambling casinos. When the legislation was introduced, the American Bankers Association protested, saying the bill was “unsound, unscientific, unjust, and dangerous.”

Our current crisis is due in no small part to the weakening of these provisions in the 1980s and the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. When you hear banks and their political cronies screaming about regulations today, just remember, we’ve heard it all before. They were wrong in ’33 and they’re wrong now.

From Bloomberg

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Tax Cuts Do Not Increase Overall Revenues or Spur Domestic Business Investment and Job Growth

Cut taxes on the rich, so the argument goes, and this money will be reinvested at home. For those of you who have read Patriot Acts, we’ve been over this numerous times, but let me restate an empirical fact: Tax cuts for the wealthy do not increase overall revenues or spur domestic business investment and job growth.

A new longitudinal study compiles data from the last 65-years to find why tax cuts in and of themselves have never led to economic growth. In the past, the rich may have reinvested about a third of their tax savings in the US, but now, most of it goes into savings, personal spending, or overseas investments.

A new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has found that over the past 65 years, tax cuts for the rich have not led to economic growth and instead are linked to greater income inequality in the United States. | Bonnie Kavoussi, Huffington Post

From The Huffington Post

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Corporate Lobbying Firm ALEC Now Sponsoring Overtly Political Events with the RSC

The revolving door between Capital Hill, the lobbying sector, and corporate jobs is out of control. Unaccountable corporate lobbyists write laws, draft budgets, and create policies that protect personal and business interests.

As Bill Clinton might say, ‘It takes brass ones’. While claiming tax-exemption as a 501(c)3 charity, the corporate lobbying group ALEC is sponsoring overtly political events with the Republican Study Committee. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the IRS?

"After a long flirtation, the GOP and ALEC are taking steps toward making their relationship official. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a controversial advocacy group that helps corporations and conservative interest groups write bills to be introduced in state legislatures across the country. ALEC “model legislation” includes rollbacks on environmental and labor regulation, voter ID laws and pro-gun laws, such as the “stand your ground” law that became infamous after the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida earlier this year." Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon

From Salon

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Anti-Government Domestic Terrorists Are A Real Threat to Our Republic

As inflammatory rhetoric and ideological warfare threaten the very pillars of democracy, true patriots must join the battle armed with facts, not deadly weapons and destructive plots. Anti-government “Patriot” groups that engage in domestic terrorism are a real threat to our Republic.

Read this story from Huffington Post Crime about an anarchist militia group under indictment in Georgia, then take a look at the DHS report on Muslim extremism and home grown terrorists discussed in the Economist. Notice any similarities?

LUDOWICI, Ga. — Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday. Russ Bynum, Associated Press

From The Huffington Post

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