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Zalatix's Journal
Zalatix's Journal
March 1, 2012

How hard is it to start a meme around here? How about, "Who???"

Every time you see a blog post or Twitter or anything about Andrew Breidbart, respond with... "Who?"

Pretend he never existed.

March 1, 2012

Dear Shimabuku: I've got a few words for you. It starts with F and it's not 'Funny'.


Anchor punished for implied insult towards Danica Patrick

San Diego sportscaster Ross Shimabuku has been suspended for a week without pay for remarks made about Danica Patrick before her Sprint Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500.

After playing a clip in which Patrick talks about the adjectives she's been described with throughout her racing (and advertising) career, Shimabuku said, "I've got a few words. It's starts with a 'b' and it's not beautiful."

March 1, 2012

Ikea 'paid for secret police files on customers who complained'

Can't wait to go shopping there, nosireee!


Furniture giant Ikea paid for secret police files to spy on 'complaining' customers and 'suspicious' staff at stores in France, it was claimed today.

The Swedish company paid private security firms to carry out checks on criminal records and links to political groups on more than 200 people, it is alleged.

Customers involved in legal action with Ikea and employees highlighted as 'suspicious' were all targeted in the scandal which began in 2003, it was reported today.
February 29, 2012

The Democratic Party has a de facto platform on equality, reproductive rights and the environment.

How about outsourcing American jobs?

Are we going to ignore the biggest killer of the American working class since the days when Jay Gould openly bragged about pitting workers against each other?

There is a huge groundswell of opposition to foreign outsourcing in the Democratic Party. Few Democrats have ever lost who openly declared and actively pursued a political war on this EXTREMELY discriminatory policy of excluding Americans from the "global" economy.

Even the polls that show that Democrat support for this kind of discrimination is dropping like a stone. Few if any politicians, anywhere, tout their defense of 'free trade' as a reason to elect them; in fact nobody BRAGS about blocking laws or tariffs against it. Ever wonder why?

We need a Democratic party platform on this issue. Now.

February 29, 2012

Sorry, Apple, and Apple fans, but that's how it goes.

There's been a lot of dust being kicked up around here about Apple and its use of Foxconn to make its products. Lots of people have been hating on Apple, or at least pointing them out for heavy criticism. Then there are the Apple fans who say that this is unfair, because many other companies use Foxconn to make their products as well.

The problem here is, the criticisms of Apple are right. But so are the criticisms being aimed by Apple fans at all the other companies whose indentured Chinese workers have suicide nets installed to keep them from jumping to their deaths. So why are so many people singling out Apple?

Critics are singling out Apple because Apple is the most prominent company. That and they were the ones that got publicly shamed over it. Apple was the first one to get the Foxconn spotlight put on them and they became the poster corporation for offshoring to companies whose workers commit suicide under their crappy work conditions.

No, it's not fair. But the truth is, someone has to be made an example of. All companies that send their work overseas need to be highlighted and driven out of business if they won't return their jobs to America. These maddeningly arrogant and greedy corporations need to be put back in their place or put out of business and replaced by companies who hire workers in the country where they're selling to. All of them, not just Apple.

However some company has to be chosen to be made an example of. Sometimes it's the most egregious offender, which is probably NOT Apple. But sometimes it's the most prominent one, which probably fits Apple, if one goes by the company's net worth.

As for me, I prefer to approach the issue fairly. I want all companies that outsource to Foxconn to get humiliated and shamed, then boycotted and driven out of America. Make an example of all of them; and then make an example of everyone ELSE who outsources American jobs and who didn't get the message the first time around. So, for me, it ain't just about Apple.

February 27, 2012

Your mother is an IDIOT. A brain dead idiot. And she passed those idiot genes onto YOU.

That's what the GOP is saying about all of us when they say no woman in America is smart enough to attend a Congressional hearing on birth control. They're saying women are so stupid that they can't offer their own opinions about even basic CONTRACEPTION that they use in and on their own bodies.

Granted, they are saying it primarily about themselves, but ultimately they're saying we're ALL the children of brain-dead idiots.

If it were up to me I'd transport him to a universe where only women are allowed to discuss giving Republican men vasectomies. Just the sheer amount of male-bashing that this guy's antics will generate, is enough to make me put this curse on him. Ultimately, though, excluding an entire gender from discussions about medical services that pertain exclusively to said gender is flatly discriminatory. In a sane country this would be actionable. There should be lawsuits against Darrell Issa over this. He should be up for violating Americans' Constitutional rights, ERA or no ERA.

Barring that, the very least we can do is tell Darrell Issa that he's calling his mother a brain-dead idiot... and he has inherited those idiot genes.

February 26, 2012

The price of gasoline: Do we try and explain this to Americans or let them find out the hard way?

Americans don't want to hear the real reasons behind our gasoline price problem. Do we tell them this or do we simply let them go off the cliff and come over to say "I told you so" afterwards? I just don't know.

The fact is, though, cost of gasoline is going up no matter what we do. I'm going to intentionally ignore the Iran issue and other temporary things and discuss the long-term chronic issues.

Economic Reasons
Speculators are driving the price ahead of the demand curve, but the fact is we've gone past the point of peak oil... or at least, peak light sweet crude. What's left out there is extremely expensive to get at, which means prices are going to go up. Plus (primarily thanks to America giving away its jobs to them), gasoline demand is skyrocketing in China and India; lower gasoline usage in America means nothing because it's being greatly offset by faster-rising demand in Asia. Plus Mexico and other countries are becoming rich, too, and their demand for gasoline is all going up. Global demand for gasoline is going up; and production is not. When demand outstrips production you have price increases - and, looming in the future, you have shortages and outages.

What's that side bit I said about outsourcing American jobs? Well, that's contributing directly to the devaluation of the US dollar, too. The downward pressure on the dollar is causing the price of gasoline to go up. The Government's need to take care of the millions of Americans put out of work by globalism, is also driving up our debt and driving down the value of the dollar. This drives up the prices of imports - including oil.

Oh and did I forget to mention that when we do put people out of work they have to get out and drive to apply for jobs all day? That burns a hell of a lot of gasoline when you multiply it by the number of unemployed we have in America now.

Domestic refineries are closing because they can't charge over-inflated prices to Americans. This cuts down on the supply of gasoline because oil has to be refined into gasoline. This is also driving up the price.

Cultural Reasons
America is afflicted with the problem of urban sprawl. This means, basically, that many people are sub-urban residents - meaning they live 5 or 10 miles or more from their jobs or the places where they shop. This means long daily commutes that burn gasoline. Add to this the fact that most Americans drive cars to get where they want to go, and you can see the multiplicative effect this has on the demand for and use of gasoline.

Most Americans don't want to hear about the idea of being forced to move closer to shorten their commutes; and for good reason, actually. Doing so typically means paying a very steep price not only just to move one's belongings, but also to pay much higher rents or mortgages because residential zones closer to job hubs and shopping areas cost a hell of a lot more to rent or buy. This will typically more than eat up any gasoline money savings that one might realize by avoiding the urban sprawl lifestyle. Ironically, forcing everyone to de-sprawl will drive up the demand for urban real estate and thus the already astronomical prices in those areas. It will also lead to overcrowding; anyone who has lived in New York ([url=http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-density-125.html]population: 17 million[/url) or Tokyo (population: 33 million) can attest to the horrors of overcrowding and the price of real estate in such a situation. And those are the modernized overcrowded cities; in some parts of America it could look more like the uber polluted city of Shenzhen, China (population: 8 million), crime-ridden Mexico City (population: 17 million), or slum-filled Mumbai (population: 14 million). America needs to slake its hunger for gasoline to avoid being crammed into cities like that.

The stress of a long suburban or rural commute would simply be replaced by the stress of walking amidst a crushing mass of people. Living in such places is indeed enough to inspire one to entertain a few... Malthusian thoughts. This, again, is why so many people choose the lifestyle of urban sprawl. This is another way that we keep up our enormous demand for gasoline.

Yes, America could pack people into cities similar to New York, with a relatively okay mass transit system and high speed rail between major population hubs. But we completely lack the will to do this. See the constant opposition to high speed rail, and the dismantling of the public bus transit systems (for example: the Red Car). So, again, this is another way that our gasoline-hungry culture is reinforced.

Worse yet, there is more than just a political or cultural problem with cramming people into smaller areas: natural disasters. As we saw in 2011, a single Tohoku earthquake and the resulting tsunami in overcrowded Japan killed 15 thousand people in a single catastrophic incident. We have major fault lines in California, the New Madrid thrust fault in the midwest, and probably some unseen ones on the East Coast. Major earthquakes waiting to happen, with devastating consequences for large cities with even the best-built high-rise buildings. Again, another point in favor of urban sprawl - never keep your populace all in one place. But again, this drives up the demand for gasoline. And its prices, too.

This turned out to be a long section but these facts can't be ignored; our culture is a MAJOR part of what drives America's thirst for gasoline, and why the cost of gasoline will only go up. I've only scratched the SURFACE of this issue; I haven't even gotten into the non gasoline-related damage done by urban sprawl to our ecosystem.

Environmental Reasons
The cost of gasoline is more than what you pay at the pump. It also involves the cost we pay in the form of pollution and global warming.

As we speak, we are seeing freakish weather patterns all over the world. This is being caused by a rise in temperatures not seen before the dawn of the industrial age; and it is directly in line with the effects that scientists predicted would happen with the discharge of excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Gases which are caused by burning coal and gasoline and other hydrocarbons.

These freakish weather patterns have resulted in droughts and mass fires in Russia which recently damaged their wheat harvest; a hard freeze in California and Florida's 2011-2012 winter season that has damaged their orange harvest (among other crops), which will mean a shortage in oranges and orange juice; and a devastating drought in Texas in 2011 that led to massive statewide fires and also the culling of many herds of cattle, which will result in higher meat prices soon (if not already). Hydrocarbon-induced global warming is the prime suspect behind these problems.

How is this relevant to the rest of the article? Simple. You are paying hidden costs for gasoline in the form of higher food prices, caused by global warming-induced weather damage to crop yields. If gasoline remained cheap, we would burn even more of it, poisoning our atmosphere even faster, and over the same period of time we would be even worse off, with even more dramatic crop damage, and sooner than later, famines and food shortages. All because of our thirst for gasoline.

So What Can We do?
Well, we liberals know what we can do!

We can encourage more bicycling, carpooling and van-pooling.
We can bump up funding for public transportation.
We can switch to electric cars or fund further research into hydrogen fuel cell technology. We can build high-speed rail systems.
We can de-suburbanize the populace, moving them from a million small cities into, let's say, a tenth as many mid-sized cities (bigger than Podunk but considerably smaller than New York).
We can localize food production to shorten the transportation times and fuel cost for food.
We can fight to bring jobs back to America and then encourage telecommuting-style work for tech workers and other types of jobs, by the strategic application of tax breaks or subsidies.

But that would take getting past the GOP, and worse yet, America's addiction to its own gasoline-addicted lifestyle.

We're going to have to try to explain this to America, or hope that enough of the civilized world is left when all this is sorted out, to say "we told you so".

February 25, 2012

Did you know about this proposed Constitutional Amendment by Bernie Sanders?

It's time to start the war on corporate personhood. For real. Spread the word!


A Petition to Support the Saving American Democracy Amendment

Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC.

The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:

Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.

February 25, 2012

Why We Must Occupy Our Food Supply - HuffPo


Our food is under threat. It is felt by every family farmer who has lost their land and livelihood, every parent who can't find affordable or healthy ingredients in their neighborhood, every person worried about foodborne illnesses thanks to lobbyist-weakened food safety laws, every farmworker who faces toxic pesticides in the fields as part of a day's work.

When our food is at risk we are all at risk.

Over the last thirty years, we have witnessed a massive consolidation of our food system. Never have so few corporations been responsible for more of our food chain. Of the 40,000 food items in a typical U.S. grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just 10 corporations. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Tyson, Cargill and JBS. More than 90 percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by just one company: Monsanto. Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. And one in four food dollars is spent at Walmart.

What does this matter for those of us who eat? Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, the destruction of soil fertility, the pollution of our water, and health epidemics including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain forms of cancer. More and more, the choices that determine the food on our shelves are made by corporations concerned less with protecting our health, our environment, or our jobs than with profit margins and executive bonuses.

This consolidation also fuels the influence of concentrated economic power in politics: Last year alone, the biggest food companies spent tens of millions lobbying on Capitol Hill with more than $37 million used in the fight against junk food marketing guidelines for kids............
February 25, 2012

California is the most hated state in America!


Perhaps, then, California should be dumped into the sea by an earthquake. To hell with the $1.9 trillion in GDP and $37.5 billion in food that they produce, including HALF of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables. America can do without all of that! *


* Actually, no they can't.

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Member since: Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:30 PM
Number of posts: 8,994

About Zalatix

I'm a liberal looking to make a difference in politics.
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