The 10 Greediest Americans of 2011

The 10 Greediest Americans of 2011

10. Michael T. Duke, Wal-Mart CEO
9. Paul Hoolahan, Sugar Bowl CEO
8. Robert Iger, Disney CEO
7. Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar CEO
6. William Weldon, Johnson & Johnson CEO
5. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO
4. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor CEO
3. Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO
2. Don Blankenship, Former Massey Energy CEO
1. Mark Pincus, Zynga CEO

No justice for Bradley Manning

No justice for Bradley Manning

After waiting more than 18 months, half of which he spent in torturous solitary confinement that he was only removed from after an international outcry and the resignation of a top State Department official, Manning is finally getting a shot at justice – if we can think of a military court as justice – when his case moves to the pre-trial hearing phase this Friday. But whether Manning is ultimately found guilty or not is beside the point: All one needs to know about American justice is that if he had murdered civilians and desecrated their corpses – if he had the moral capacity to commit war crimes, not the audacity to expose them – he’d be better off today.

Why America’s 99% have rebelled

Why America’s 99% have rebelled

The ‘53 per cent’ stories are testimonials to dogged determination. One man, a father of a five-month-old, expresses pride in working 70-hour weeks in an effort to pay $100,000 in student loans. ‘I will be responsible for my own success through character and hard work,’ he writes. Another story that has gained notoriety reads: ‘I am a former Marine. I work two jobs. I don’t have health insurance… I haven’t had four consecutive days off in over four years. But I don’t blame Wall Street. Suck it up, you whiners.’

These stories only reinforce the message of the occupations. For if you’re working nearly all of your waking hours, we think you deserve healthcare. We want you to be free of crippling debt. In fact, we want these things for those who work 40 hours per week. We believe a just society should allow you to spend time with your children.

In large part, the difference between the two blogs is not the description of our economic plight. It’s whether individuals have recognized their personal struggles as part of something larger.

Those who have joined the #Occupy movement are not whining. They are drawing strength from shared experience. They are laying bare the failure of a system. And they are doing something to change it.

Also, We Are the 99 Percent.

Made in China (a.k.a “seriously, you WANT to buy local”)

These are the people we’re sending jobs to, selling our debt to, and buying cheap goods from with which to undercut our own domestic market. This is the value they put on human life, health, and safety. Enjoy!

Chinese melamine scandal widens

The toxic chemical melamine is probably being routinely added to Chinese animal feed, state media has reported.

China On Alert For Milk Tainted With Leather Protein

BEIJING — China has warned dairy producers that inspectors are on alert for fresh milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine and another toxic substance extracted from leather scraps, state media said Friday.

Both of the substances – melamine and leather-hydrolyzed protein – are used in watered-down milk to make it appear to have normal amounts of protein.

Severe Penalties in China Clenbuterol Pork Scandal

A Chinese court doled out lengthy prison sentences this week, including a suspended death penalty, to five people involved in a clenbuterol-tainted pork scandal, the latest in a series of food safety scares in China.

Recycled cooking oil surfaces at tables

Collecting waste oil has become a lucrative industry in China since prices of edible oil surged between 2007 and 2008, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.

Glow in the Dark Pork for Dinner

According to Shanghai Daily, last year in February, a number of Changsha residents discovered that the pork they had purchased from supermarkets began to emit a blue glow at night.

After the media caught wind of things, the Changsha Food Safety Commission invited experts to weigh in on the investigation whom said that the “blue glow pork” was caused by secondary bacterial contamination.

New Food Scare: Some Cadmium With Your Rice?

In a recent study, researchers from the Nanjing Agricultural University found 10 to 60 percent of the rice sold in markets in six regions contained cadmium, a heavy metal associated with high blood pressure, fluid accumulation in the lungs and a potentially fatal softening of the bones.

In some samples, the cadmium level was found to be equal to five times of the legal maximum, the researchers said.

It’s a rare day when it takes another depressing report to somewhat counter a string of initial depressing reports, but check this one out…

World wastes 1 billion tons of food a year

Odds are good that a lot of that wasted food comes from China. Saving lives through wasteful living ftw!

My 37 hours with the NYPD

My 37 hours with the NYPD
Why it is important for occupiers to see the inside of the prison-industrial complex.

One final thought after these illuminating 37 hours. The story of Occupy Wall Street is impossible to tell removed from the story of the prison industrial complex. What makes OWS necessary is a story of a failing educational system. It’s a story of privatized prisons. It’s a story of predatory lenders, lack of affordable housing, and a complete absence of jobs in the most marginalized communities, who are often black or brown. It’s a story of a so-called drug war meant to imprison black and brown youth as a means of generating profits for the 1 percent. The NYPD have shown they will arrest accredited and unaccredited journalists alike. Official credentials don’t work as a protection.

That said, journalists – like activists – shouldn’t be afraid of going to jail. If and when we do get arrested it is not an inconvenience, or something that we shouldn’t be subjected to. It’s a chance to refocus our outrage, a chance to tell the most important stories, a chance to bear witness to the horrors of our criminal justice system. I don’t think the NYPD will ever offer me official credentials, but I won’t be asking them for any. Our right to observe and document police misconduct is not contingent on the approval of the authorities. And if the police think that intimidation is going to stop this movement, they should know better by now.

‘Occupied’ State? Anti-ICE Rally Among Nearly 150 Protests In California

‘Occupied’ State? Anti-ICE Rally Among Nearly 150 Protests In California

“When you think about the fact that Occupy Wall Street states on their website that they began on Sept. 17, that’s pretty impressive that West Coast towns — some of them medium and small — picked up on it almost immediately,” Curran-Strange said…

Social media sites dedicated to the protests claim up to thousands of subscribers.

It remains awesome to see how instantaneous, widespread communication through smartphones, live streaming and other social media has enabled a movement like no other to take hold. Small groups that would be isolated are still able to be a part of the whole, which gives them more staying power than they would have otherwise; also, the fluidity of the way things form and reform online allows for shifting waves of new Occupy actions in response as the political climate changes. We saw it start in Tahrir Square, and it’s a powerful force if we can really harness it well.

They added that the recent interruption that occupiers caused during a protest at the Port of Oakland shows “this movement has broad support and is capable of powerful collective action.”

The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

Let’s be very clear about the key point: the Constitution — specifically the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment — prohibits the U.S. Government from punishing someone for the political views they express, even if those views include the advocacy of violence against the U.S. and its leaders. One can dislike this legal fact. One can wish it were different. But it is the clear and unambiguous law, and has been since the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which overturned the criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had publicly threatened violence against political officials in a speech.

Throw another log on the fire… the whole article’s a good read.

Judging from the description of Ahmad’s video in the FBI Affidavit (Ahmad’s YouTube account has been removed), the video in question does not go nearly as far as the clearly protected views referenced in the prior paragraph, as it does not explicitly advocate violence at all; indeed, it appears not to advocate that anyone do anything. Rather, the FBI believes it is evocative of such advocacy (“designed as propaganda to develop support for LeT”), which makes this prosecution even more troubling. Apparently, if you string together video and photographs (or words) in a certain way as to make the DOJ think that you’re implicitly trying to “develop support” for a Terrorist group — based on the political ideas you’re expressing — you risk decades of imprisonment.