Sunday, September 7, 2014

The World Turned Upside Down.

The World Upside Down was "an English ballad. It was first published on a broadside in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament relating to the celebration of Christmas," but it might have been a description of the world as brought to you by the Conservatives.

First,from a mixed bag of disgusting stories today ...

"American Dream”: Food loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry Americans Restrained by Police."

"Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.

"The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news 'a potential for a riot was extremely high.'

"'People got children out here that are hungry, thirsty,' local resident Robertstine Lambert told Fox54 in Augusta. 'Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?'

"SunTrust bank is trying to confuse the issue and not take direct responsibility for their actions. Their media relations officer Mike McCoy, stated, 'We are working with store suppliers as well as law enforcement to dispose of the remaining contents of the store and secure the building.' Yet he also said that the food never belonged to SunTrust Bank..."

Next, from your friendly neighborhood policemen...

"Stop and seize."

"After the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the government called on police to become the eyes and ears of homeland security on America’s highways.

"Local officers, county deputies and state troopers were encouraged to act more aggressively in searching for suspicious people, drugs and other contraband. The departments of Homeland Security and Justice spent millions on police training.

"The effort succeeded, but it had an impact that has been largely hidden from public view: the spread of an aggressive brand of policing that has spurred the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from motorists and others not charged with crimes, a Washington Post investigation found. Thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles that can last more than a year to get their money back..."

Next, "Child labor laws? We don't need no stinking child labor laws...

"Just 13, and Working Risky 12-Hour Shifts in the Tobacco Fields."

Saray Cambray Alvarez, 13, tries to avoid nicotine dripping from plants in fields where she works. Credit Travis Dove for The New York Times
"PINK HILL, N.C. — On many mornings, as tobacco plants tower around her, Saray Cambray Alvarez pulls a black plastic garbage bag over her 13-year-old body to protect her skin from leaves dripping with nicotine-tinged dew.

"When Saray and other workers — including several more teenagers — get to the fields at 6, they punch holes through the bags for their arms. They are trying to avoid what is known as 'green tobacco sickness,' or nicotine poisoning, which can cause vomiting, dizziness and irregular heart rates, among other symptoms.

"Saray says that she sometimes has trouble breathing in the middle of all the heat, humidity and leaves, and that she often feels weary during her 12-hour shifts, when she moves through the rows to pluck unwanted flowers or pull off oversize leaves for the harvest.

"'You get very thirsty,' said Saray, who sometimes waits an hour in 90-plus heat for a drink until her crew returns to the opposite side of a field, where the water jugs are parked. 'It’s too hard for me, and it’s too hot...'"

Next, from your friendly neighborhood Conservative...

"Professional Anti-Gay Bigot Thinks Banning Mixed Race Marriages Is Constitutional."


"There are a lot of ways to describe people who oppose marriage equality: obnoxious, bigoted, immature, etc. etc. 'Smart' and 'well informed' are not among those qualifiers.

"Take, for instance, Craig James, recently of Fox Sports and now well paid bigot at the Family Research Council. During a radio show in which he was lamenting the horror of a Florida judge ruling that, yes, anti-marriage equality laws are actually unconstitutional, James was challenged by a caller wondering how banning mixed race marriages is different than banning gay marriages..."

And from our mixed bag of indignities proving we're in a mad, mad, world...

"Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks."

orge Brende, the foreign minister of Norway, in June at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
"WASHINGTON — The agreement signed last year by the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs was explicit: For $5 million, Norway’s partner in Washington would push top officials at the White House, at the Treasury Department and in Congress to double spending on a United States foreign aid program.

"But the recipient of the cash was not one of the many Beltway lobbying firms that work every year on behalf of foreign governments.

"It was the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit research organization, or think tank, one of many such groups in Washington that lawmakers, government officials and the news media have long relied on to provide independent policy analysis and scholarship.

"More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities, an investigation by The New York Times has found..."

Quite a mixture of events brought to you by those strong individualists, the front group for America's Conservatives...

"The Republicans: Freeloading off the political system for twenty years."

"In the last twenty years, there have been three occasions when the Republicans have won national elections, but received less votes than the Democrats.

"The direction of the nation would be vastly different, and the progressive legacy so much more profound, if, in each instance, power had simply been granted to the side that won the most votes.

"In the 1996 Congressional elections, the House Democrats received 60,000 more votes than the Republicans, but the Republicans remained in the majority, and in control of the legislative agenda.

"The Congressional term produced the Balanced budget act and tax relief act of 1997, but beyond that, it was a period of extreme volatility and confrontational politics, personified by Speaker Gingrich, whose management style was so disorganized and unpredictable that within three years, his own lieutenants tried to depose him in a chaotic coup. By the time he was forced out in 1998, many former members say they were terrified to open up the newspaper in the morning, fearful he had said or done that could cause them political heartburn.

"If the Democrats had taken back the House – because they got the most votes – the nation would have been spared the dysfunction, and there would have been far less of a sense of the country remaining fundamentally conservative. Although the Republicans would still have retained the Senate, the Democratic House, under Dick Gephardt, would have controlled the legislative agenda, which would have been decidedly more progressive.

"In 2000, George W. Bush was eventually inaugurated as President, despite receiving half a million votes less than Al Gore.

"If Al Gore had won – because he got the most votes – tax levels would most likely have remained at the moderately progressive levels under Bill Clinton. 9/11 would likely still have happened, although greater heed may have been given to the infamous August memo..."


Food loaded into dumpsters, cops stealing our homes, children and slave labor, the banning of mixed marriages, and our "think tanks" bankrolled by foreign interests -- it doesn't get any worse than that -- unless the Cons assume complete control of our government again.

A world turned upside down with no turning back unless...

...we criminalize Conservatism.


"You have to have been a Republican to know how good it is to be a Democrat."

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


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