Support our troops - Get them out of there - Bring them home.
Click here for The Center For Public Integrity database of the 935 Lies of the Bush administration officials that led us into War.
From The Mike Malloy Program 01/24/08.
Investigate - Impeach - Indict - Imprison.
"In my lifetime we've gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
If this is evolution, I believe within twelve years we'll be voting for plants." - Lewis Black
If we detain people without hearings, wiretap our own citizens, and torture people on mere suspicions, the terrorists have won, because we have given up everything our country has stood for.
Um ... Looks like we have given up everything our country has stood for.
Like the Map at the Mall Says … You Are Here
In 2012, Bonnie Herzog, leading tobacco analyst for Wells Fargo, predicted electronic cigarettes will overtake tobacco cigarettes within ten years. In 2013 she confirmed that projection and said Big Tobacco will take over most of the market.
A competitive free market was not going to determine the winners or losers in the e-cig industry. With this kind of money at stake it was going to take the participation of one of the United States federal executive departments, the FDA, to guarantee the takeover.
On April 24th the FDA's long awaited deeming regulations regarding electronic cigarettes were released. If these regulations go into effect as written, the number of legal e-cig manufacturers will go from about a thousand … to about five. The twenty thousand legal e-cig products will be cut to … around six. It will cost an e-cig manufacturer close to ten million dollars to file an application with the FDA for each e-cig product. Only Big Tobacco, who has already entered the e-cig market, can afford to jump through those hoops. There will always be e-cigs. Just not the ones I use. Just not the ones I buy from the vendors I like.
In short, the FDA's 241 pages of provisions give the e-cigarette industry to Big Tobacco.
It took two and a half years for the FDA to come up with these regulations. The public comment period will last only 75 days. Soon there will be much activity by e-cig users, vendors, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, and tobacco harm reduction experts, to extend the comment period. There will be petitions to sign and letters sent to members of congress. If the deeming regulations go into law as written, within three to four years virtually all the e-cigs in use today will be banned, and Ms. Herzog's projection about Big Tobacco's primacy in the market will come to pass.
As Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, wrote, "All in all, the deeming regulations are a disaster. … The negative side is … virtually every product on the market will require a substantial equivalence determination … and that manufacturers will be forced to implicitly lie about the intended purpose and relative safety of the product by not being allowed to correctly point out that these products are much safer than tobacco cigarettes."
"Moreover, what scientific evidence is the FDA looking for in order to approve a simple claim that electronic cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes? If the overwhelming current evidence is not sufficient, then no evidence will ever be sufficient because there is no further research that is necessary in order to draw this conclusion. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a product which burns tobacco, and produces tobacco smoke, with more than 10,000 chemicals including more than 60 carcinogens, and causes more than 400,000 deaths per year, is more harmful than a product which merely heats and aerosolizes nicotine from a solution of propylene glycol."
Now the reason I went into all this isn't just because I'm an e-cig user. It's not about how the FDA will enforce regulations to the detriment of public health, ignore reams of scientific evidence, and conspire with Big Tobacco to drive almost all e-cig companies out of business. No. I told you that story in order to tell you another one.
I was listening to a panel of e-cig vendors and tobacco harm reduction activists discussing the new regulations and a word popped up I wasn't familiar with: Oligopoly. Since I'm a sucker for a new word, especially if it sounds like it came from a Dr. Seuss book, I looked it up.
Oligopoly: A market or industry dominated by a small number of sellers and can result from various forms of collusion which reduce competition and leads to higher prices for consumers.
Good to know we don't have to make up a new word to describe what the FDA and Big Tobacco are up to.
After much clicking around The Internet I came across a new study jointly conducted by Princeton and Northwestern universities.
In the study, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens, co-authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, compared 1,800 different U.S. policies that were put in place by politicians between 1981 and 2002 to the type of policies preferred by average Americans and special interest groups. Gilens and Page concluded that U.S. policies are formed more by special interest groups than by politicians properly representing the will of the people.
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."
The Washington Times headlined the story, "America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds."
Gilens and Page found it did not matter whether the majority party was Democrat or Republican -- both tend to ignore public opinion. I think we already knew that. But it's nice a couple of PhD's compiled the data so our conversations about current events have a more scholarly ring to them.
In the last section of the study the authors write, "In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."
For everyone convinced real change can only happen at the grass roots level, Boer Deng from Slate.com asked Gilens and Page whether they thought the affluent and interest groups had more clout at local and state levels. She writes, "Though their data couldn't predict the answer, they suspect that the rich may be even more influential there."
For anyone who still thinks there might be a solution floating around somewhere out there I suggest you plow through all 696 pages of French economist Dr. Thomas Piketty's latest book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. The book's central thesis is inequality is not an accident, but rather a feature of capitalism, and can only be reversed through state intervention. I assume Piketty is referring to a Democratic state intervention because historically an Oligarchy has never voluntarily dismantled itself.
So here I am … along with everybody else … stuck in the middle with you.
The discrepancy between the kind of society many Germans thought they were building and the reality of the horror of the Third Reich presents one of the most intriguing questions of our age. How could Fascism -- have happened in a modern, industrialized, educated nation?
Click here for the excerpt from They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955) by Milton Mayer
Books I Give To People I Know and Maybe They'll Still Talk To Me But Probably Won't
Deep Green Resistance - Strategy to Save the Planet
Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen
For years, Derrick Jensen has asked his audiences, “Do you think this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of life?” No one ever says yes.
Deep Green Resistance starts where the environmental movement leaves off: industrial civilization is incompatible with life. Technology can’t fix it, and shopping—no matter how green—won’t stop it. To save this planet, we need a serious resistance movement that can bring down the industrial economy. Deep Green Resistance evaluates strategic options for resistance, from nonviolence to guerrilla warfare, and the conditions required for those options to be successful.
Clicking on the book links to Deep Green Resistance website.
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
by Vincent Bugliosi
"I hope that at some time in the near future a courageous U.S. attorney general, U.S. attorney, state attorney general, or district attorney in America who is committed to the rule of law and who has dedicated his career to enforcing the law fairly against all who, big or small, violate it, will hear the cries for justice from the graves of the thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children who had their lives violently cut short because of the lies of a man who smiled through it all. And that, with a sense of uncompromising righteousness, he will take the ample case I have laid out in this book before an American jury to let them decide whether George W Bush is guilty or not guilty of murder, and if so, what his punishment should be.
Even if this doesn't happen and what I have said in this book receives all the attention of a new fly in the forest, I do know that someone had to say what is written on the pages of this book."
From The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder by Vincent Bugliosi, page 168.
Clicking on the book links to the book's website.
Vincent Bugliosi testifying before the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress.
Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America
by Russ Baker
How did Bush happen? How did George W. Bush, of all people, rise to the most powerful position in the world? This simple question sparked a five-year investigative odyssey by Russ Baker. What he found will force us to rethink virtually everything we thought we knew about the Bush family and its role in shaping recent American history.
In FAMILY OF SECRETS, Baker reveals that Bush, the people around him, and his policies are but an extreme, very public manifestation of what his family and its circle have always been about: an interlocking web of covert and overt machinations on behalf of a small cluster of elites-social, financial, industrial, military, intelligence-that enabled the Bush dynasty and propelled George W. Bush to the top.
Clicking on the book links to the Powell's Books online store.
Rules for Radicals
by Saul D Alinsky
"What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."
In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote an entertaining classic on grassroots organizing titled Rules for Radicals.
For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting what is wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it.
Clicking on the book links to the author's website.
The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot
by Naomi Wolf
In a stunning indictment of the Bush administration and Congress, best-selling author Naomi Wolf lays out her case for saving American democracy. In authoritative research and documentation Wolf explains how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships such as Germany, Russia, China, and Chile.
Clicking on the book links to the publisher's website.
As Basil Fawlty keenly observed: but ... this is no joke.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.
Clicking on the book links to the author's website.
If you like Sean, Rush, Bill-O, Savage, and dutifully watch Fox ... You'll hate listening to Mike. I listen every day.
"Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections" As the 2008 presidential elections draw near and disillusioned voters are still reeling from the election fraud scandals of 2004 and 2006, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker David Earnhardt takes a logical and factual look at just how easy it is to alter election results and undermine the integrity of the entire democratic process. By speaking with a series of renowned computer programmers, journalists, statisticians, and even seasoned election officials, chilling proof that the people may not be guiding the direction of our country after all. Click here to go to the "Uncounted" website.
"Iraq For Sale" An eye-opening exposé of the war profiteering companies raking in billions of dollars from the war, click here to go to the "Iraq For Sale" website.
"War Made Easy" exposes a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Click here to go to the "War Made Easy" website.