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The Weekly Planet - May 5, 2012

Planet Politics

I don't think you can overstate the importance of Wisconsin's recall election that will occur in June. This will be a pivotal point for the election year. If he's gone, conservatives should start sweating. If he stays we know that big money now controls the country. Seven wealthy donors have recently bestowed a million dollars on Walker's campaign. What is at least as intriguing as the money, is that the donors for the most part come from out of state. For some reason Nevada, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Illinois and Michigan want to decide the fate of the state. It is interesting as well that Walker is putting money aside for his legal defense if federally prosecuted.

At the GOP convention in Tampa, concealed handguns will be allowed, waters guns not. Apparently shooting to kill is fine, shooting to embarrass; not so much. 

Europe has had a rise in conservative thinking as well. The austerity measures that have been imposed are bringing people onto the streets, and is causing a, "brain drain," for the southern European countries hit hard by those measures. Since austerity has in no way helped the populace, perhaps Europe will make a huge swing to the left. 

In France, President Sarkozy has been swinging hard to the right with anti-immigration and nationalism stands, hoping to grab die hard conservatives. His rival, Francois Hollande, leads in France's opinion polls. Sarkozy is using American conservative tactics, he ignores the big issues of unemployment, the financial crisis and standards of living. No substance to his campaign. 

In Greece, elections will not change the country. Next week there will be a new government, but what that will look like is hard to say. A very divisive election that is sending greeks who are tired of austerity measures to fringe parties. Really? A neo-Nazi party?

In Britain's local elections, the Labour party has made a comeback. They gained 823 seats in the election. Another rebuke to austerity measures in England. This might be a preview to the 2015 national elections.

In Egypt tens of thousands of protestors were greeted with tear gas, water cannons and makeshift rock missiles. The Arab spring ignited many protests around the world, but apparently is not having the desired effect. Islamist hard right leaders have been elected, the currency is failing and the general populace is still being killed. The problem there is the military involvement. 

The world is on fire.

One of our closest neighbors, Mexico, is still talking about the drug wars. In this case, war is definitely the correct term; people are dying. Ex-President Vincente Fox calls the war, "useless," and, "an absolute failure." Reality strikes home. Supplies are stable, violence is escalating and it's all because of the U.S. criminalizing use. 50,000 deaths have occurred during the last 5 1/2 years due to the current president's crackdown. 

Americans know the war on drugs has failed, though the government still seems to think it's accomplishing something. The accomplishments of the war? Jail teenagers and non-violent offenders, increase the number of judges, police, attorneys, prison guards and privatized prisons in this country. I think I've already mentioned what controls this country.

Interesting fact of the day, California spends more money on imprisoning citizens than educating them.

Wicked Women

They're everywhere these days. In the U.S the conservative campaign against equal rights continues. Recently Representative Boehner railed against the thought that there is a, "war," against women being waged while new bills hit the floor introduced by the GOP that seek to cut cervical and breast cancer screenings. Apparently denial is the plan.

Interesting article that looks at battles that are perhaps overlooked when discussing women's rights. Lack of paid parental leave, shackling of pregnant women, abstinence-only education and more. Whatever part of life you examine concerning women, there seems to be coordinated cultural attacks.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott rants about Planned Parenthood being a terrorist organization to no avail, planned parenthood funding is resumed.

In the U.S., the battle is slightly more subdued than in other countries. As we've discussed on this site, Mona Eltahawy's article on Islamist misogyny is raising new concerns over the treatment of women in the Middle East. Very interesting reading.

In Mississippi, the only black member of the state's board of health was fired. This in the state that has the worst infant mortality rate. According to stats, black females have close to a 15 percent child mortality rate. The gentlemen who was fired is Dr. Carl Reddix. Dr. Reddix was trained at Harvard and John Hopkins and is well suited for the position. With MS's high infant mortality rate, he should have been an easy selection; the man's an OB/GYN. Apparently he had a very loose relationship with the only facility that provides women's health care, and we know how disgusted conservatives are when it comes to women.

Wicked women are having a little fun in Russia, and may possibly pay the price. Trying to bring awareness of separation of church and state ideals, and railing against Putin, the feminist punk band Pussy Riot gave a fun performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral. Three members have been arrested, two have young children; all are incarcerated. 

Preference Politics

We've been enjoying Dan Savage's rant against the bible for a few days on this site. The video was posted in the comment section of the USA & WORLD News group, (which I always follow to get ideas for this blog). The bible is at the center of the politics surrounding gay marriage. 

North Carolina will likely pass a ban against gay marriage soon. Considering that Billy Graham supports the bill, we know it's religious bigotry and intolerance. In many states, you can still legally marry your first cousin, but marrying your same sex cousin is not going to happen. I know there are many who will not see the humor in this, but marrying your same sex cousin is less likely to encourage genetic problems than marrying one of the opposite gender.

America can't seem to climb out of the religious sewage that's stinking up the place. Every action by the religious is an act of cowardice. For those interested in how religious bullying effects our citizens, check out the, "It Gets Better," group. My knowledge of the problem is not as well formed as those who are the brunt of the attacks.

Education Enemies

Right wing think tank, "The Heartland Institute," decided to attack the upcoming, "7th International Conference on Climate Change." A billboard campaign featuring terrorists and killers ended quickly. The sick and idiotic message states, "I Still Believe In Global Warming, Do you?" Supposedly this was to counter, "climate alarmists," by playing the same game. They are proud to counter science with falsehoods.

Here's a great quote from the money worshippers:

"The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."

People's Protest

The Occupy movement is still in full swing, though you wouldn't know it from the media. Some pundits claims there were a few hundred protestors, while actually there were tens of thousands.

A troubling thought has surfaced. There are accusations that NY police are now sexually assaulting female protestors. If true, we've found a new low in police tactics. 

Our north of the border friends are discussing the student uprising in Quebec, another important facet of the world wide uprising. 

Since the beginning of the OWS protests, over 7,000 arrests have been made. The media, the government and everyone else is doing their best to ignore or downplay the movement. It must scare the powers to be to no end. 

The best coverage seems to be coming from outside the U.S. for some unknown reason. Well, unknown only if you don't think about it.

Polluted Planet

Keely started a discussion on coral reefs that is fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Thousands of pieces of coral are being ripped out of their watery homes and being sold. Climate change effects coral as well.

I do not understand our preoccupation with killing that which our survival depends on. Destroying one part of the ecosystem will destroy the rest. 

I have read several article on coral reefs and their possible extinction as man continues to pollute. I have read an article that states coral reefs will naturally protect themselves from a warming planet. Another recent article seems to disagree. Okay science people, help me out here. 

Final Fixations

Is there ever a reason that seniors should ever be hungry? In the last decade there has been a 78 percent rise of seniors who may go hungry. If we are a christian nation, christians must suck.

One in seven people worldwide thinks the world will end in their lifetime. Apparently millions will be disappointed.

Nugent watch! Old, washed up, has been, misogynist rocker calls liberals brain dead and cusses out news team. Please Ted, take a break. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo, mas tequila!

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Comment was by Neal on May 6, 2012 at 2:24pm

Planet Politics:

ATHENS $mdash; Voters in France and Greece delivered a harsh judgment on their ruling parties in elections Sunday, almost certainly ousting President Nicolas Sarkozy from power in France and severely punishing the two leading parties in Greece, according to initial exit polls.
Francois Hollande held a strong lead of 52.5 to 47.5 per cent over Sarkozy, all but assuring the return of Socialists to power in France for the first time in 17 years, according to exit polls released by Swiss and Belgian news media three hours before the close of the polls.
In Greece, where more than two dozen parties contested elections, the Socialist PASOK and its coalition partner New Democracy saw a dramatic cut in public support, and there was a chance that the breakaway Radical Left coalition, known as Syriza, Would finish first, official exit polls showed..

PASOK saw its support drop by as much as two thirds to between 14 and 17 per cent from the 44 per cent it had won in 2009 while the conservative New Democracy party could fall to between 17 and 20 per cent, down by nearly half from its 33.5 per cent in 2009.
The big gainer was Syriza, which garnered between 15.5 and 18.5 per cent of the vote, up from 4.6 per cent in 2009, and the ultra-rightist Golden Dawn party, which others have labeled as neo-Nazi, which will enter the parliament with between 6 and 8 per cent of the vote, the official exit polls showed.

Bellingham Journal

Comment was by Neal on May 6, 2012 at 2:05pm

Finally noticed the Nugent gifs, excellent. =)

Comment was by Neal on May 6, 2012 at 12:03pm

Wicked Women:

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill to cut off Planned Parenthood's access to taxpayer money funneled through the state for non-abortion services.

Arizona already bars use of public money for abortions except to save the life of the mother. But anti-abortion legislators and other supporters of the bill say the broader prohibition is needed to ensure no public money indirectly supports abortion services.

Huffington

Comment was by Neal on May 6, 2012 at 10:29am

I had to grab that cartoon, too funny. =)

Comment was by Adriana on May 6, 2012 at 8:36am

Hahaha! that cartoon is precious, Michel!

Comment was by Michel on May 5, 2012 at 9:10pm

Comment was by Neal on May 5, 2012 at 2:14pm

If only I had the answer to reef depletion. =)

Comment was by Adriana on May 5, 2012 at 1:09pm

For beautiful photos of May Day in NYC, check here. I feel the event did not get the coverage it deserved.

Comment was by Adriana on May 5, 2012 at 1:07pm

Sarkosy: I think he's dead; the French people are not buying the American model anymore. Good news. Under the current economic model, only the rich do well.

Comment was by Adriana on May 5, 2012 at 1:05pm

Holy crap, Neal, I think that after reading about so much stupidity and violence, and injustice, más tequila is the only possible reaction :-(

Fun video, glad the Pussy Riot women did that. Freedom of expression gets trampled again while people are incarcerated for non-violent crimes.

Perhaps the most depressing bit of news is that California spends more money imprisoning its citizens than educating them. So, so sad. It makes me furiously angry, not just sad.

Regarding OWS protests, I have nothing but contempt for the NYPD tactics in these situations. They include pre-emptive intimidation tactics; this shit does NOT belong in a democracy.

What It's Like When the NYPD Raids Your Apartment At Dawn-- Because Your Roommate is in Occupy

 

I chatted briefly with musician Justin Remer, whose Brooklyn apartment was raided by the NYPD on Monday morning in an incident that was first reported on Gawker and sure looks from all angles like a pre May Day intimidation tactic. I was curious about how the experience felt. 

 “At around six-fifteen I was woken up. I sleep in a lofted bed, and there's a police officer standing in my bedroom shining a flashlight in my face. He woke me up and said ‘get down in the living room," he said. Remer dressed, grabbed his ID as requested, and joined his housemates in the living room.

He said the officers--about six of them--took the residents' identification and began trying to match them with a list of warrants.

Finally they asked if there was a "Joe Ryan" in the apartment, and found their sought-for match. They told apartment resident (and another musician) Ryan, who had an old outstanding violation for an open container that he would have to come with them and promptly arrested him.

But then, said Remer, they tipped their hand and asked the third housemate, Zachary Dempster, to come talk to them in the other room.

Read the rest here.

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