I got a holiday bonus of $100. Nothing too special, but then again I’ve only been there a little over three months. The problem? It was taxed at 42%. Yeah. What the fuck is that all about? I’m not rich by ANY means and that extra $42 would have come in handy.
But oh no let’s not tax those who make millions because the world would end.
“Republican voters have sent the message that they want to vote for an adulterer and I have heard them loud and clear,” he said. “I promise that I will engage in a world-class extramarital affair that will make all of us proud again.”
At an ad hoc hearing on Nov. 21, Mary Bauer shared a “small sample of the kinds of concerns people have raised” through the hot line, including:
A worker called to say his employer refused to pay him, citing HB 56, and stated the worker had no right to be paid under this law.
Latino workers on a construction jobsite were threatened by a group of men with guns, who told them to go back to Mexico and threatened to kill them if they were there the following day. They declined to report the crime to law enforcement because of fears of what would happen to them if they did.
A clerk at a store in Bessemar told a Latino man (lawfully in the United States) from Ohio that he could not make a purchase with his bank card because he did not have an Alabama-state issued identification or driver’s license.
A victim of domestic violence went to court to obtain a protective order. The clerk told her she would be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if she proceeded.
A judge advised a lawyer that the lawyer had an obligation to report her own client to ICE as undocumented. The same judge said he might have to report to ICE any person who asks for an interpreter because such a request would be a red flag.
A local bar association has advised its lawyers that if they are asked to report information about their undocumented clients to law enforcement, the requirements of HB 56 will override the legal obligation to preserve a client’s confidences.
In Allgood, the water authority posted a sign indicating that water customers would have to produce identification documents proving immigration status to maintain water service.
In Northport, the water authority provided notices to Latino customers that their services would be shut off if they didn’t provide proof of immigration status immediately.
In Madison County and Decatur, the public utilities have announced they will not provide water, gas or sewage service to people who cannot prove their status.
Alabama Power told a family it would not be able to have the electricity reconnected without providing proof of immigration status. That family left the state.
Numerous probate offices, including the Montgomery Probate Office and the Houston County Probate Office, have published notices indicating they will not provide any services to anyone without proof of immigration status. As a result, many immigrants cannot request birth or death certificates.
The math is the math. You can’t lower current (tax) rates and raise revenue unless you’re getting revenue from someplace else. Now, either it’s coming from middle-class families, or poor families, or it’s coming from folks like you and me that can afford to pay a little more.
…You can’t get away from the basic concept that either we have a system in which the people who have benefited the most from this new economy by a magnitude of 200, 300 percent increases in their income — either they’re doing a little bit more, or they’re not.
I think they should. And this is not because I’m interested in punishing the rich. I want everybody to be rich! That’s great! It has to do with the fact that the less I’m asking you or me to do, the more I’m asking somebody who’s in a much tougher position to sacrifice.
“The banks have said, leave us deregulated, we know how to run things, don’t put government in to meddle. Then with that freedom of maneuver they took huge gambles, and even made illegal actions, and then broke the world system. As soon as that happened then they rushed out to say ‘bail us out, bail us out, if you don’t bail us out, we’re too big to fail, you have to save us’. As soon as that happened, they said ‘oh, don’t regulate us, we know what to do’. And they almost went back to their old story, and the public is standing there, amazed, because we just bailed you out how can you be paying yourself billions of dollars of bonuses again? And the bankers say, ‘well we deserve it, what’s your problem’? And the problem that the Occupy Wall Street and other protesters have is: you don’t deserve it, you nearly broke the system, you gamed the economy, you’re paying mega fines, yet you’re still in the White House you’re going to the state dinners, you’re paying yourself huge bonuses, what kind of system is this?
When I talk about this in the United States, I’m often attacked, ‘oh, you don’t believe in the free market economy’, I say, how much free market can there be? You say deregulate, the moment the banks get in trouble, you say bail them out, the moment you bail them out, you say go back to deregulation. That’s not a free market, that’s a game, and we have to get out of the game. We have to get back to grown-up behaviour.”—Jeffrey Sachs, the controversial economist talks about the collapse of the global financial system and how to end the crisis with Al Jazeera (via mohandasgandhi)
A local family watches their home burn to the ground and just a few feet behind them, firefighters watch, too.
It’s happened multiple times before in one local community: firefighters refuse to respond because the homeowner didn’t pay a fire subscription fee.
The last time this happened, the city of South Fulton, Tennessee, received a lot of heat nationwide for this policy. That was more than a year ago but nothing has changed.
The mayor said it comes down to simple business. If they don’t collect fire fees, the fire department can’t survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.
Besides that, he likes the “pay for spray” policy and said it’s fair.
But that’s hard to stomach when you’ve just lost your home and everything you’ve worked for.
“In an emergency, the first thing you think of, ‘Call 9-1-1,” homeowner Vicky Bell said.
Firefighters came out.
Bell said, “9-1-1 said they were in fact dispatched and they showed that they were on the scene.”
But once on the scene, they only watched.
“You could look out my mom’s trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance,” Bell said.
For Bell, that sight was almost as disturbing as the fire itself.
“We just wished we could’ve gotten more out,” Bell said.
It’s a controversial policy that we’ve dealt with before. If you live in the city, you get fire protection but if not, you have to pay the $75 fire protection fee each year. With this policy, the city makes no exceptions.
“I, for one, am supremely disappointed at the prospect of the U.S. missing out on an entire episode of the critically acclaimed series, especially based on the worthless reasoning that “it’s controversial.” Controversy is good. Controversy begets conversation and progress. If Attenborough does come off as alarmist, allow people the opportunity to interpret that on their own, and others to respond to it in turn. I can’t think of a worse way to handle the situation than to not air it at all.”—
David Attenborough on the U.S. censorship of the Discovery Chanel’s episode on climate change. More at io9(via climateadaptation)
Meanwhile The New York Times reserved this nugget of wisdom at the end of an editorial in September, “a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is tragically unlikely. We are holding the future of every species on this planet — including ourselves — hostage.” If we gave enough airtime as a society to the controversy surrounding President Obama’s birth certificate, I think we can let this one slide or at least let the program speak for itself. What’s the worse that can happen?
“Atheists are routinely asked how people will know not to rape and murder without religion telling them not to do it, especially a religion that backs up the orders with threats of hell. Believers, listen to me carefully when I say this: When you use this argument, you terrify atheists. We hear you saying that the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from. This is not very reassuring if you’re trying to argue from a position of moral superiority.”—
I use public transportation here in the City of Angels, as many of you already know. So I buy my monthly TAP card, which allows me to ride any Metro bus or train as many times as I want. It’s my lifeline - without it, I can’t get to work or many other places I am required to go.
Attorney General Holden failed to note his estimate of how many people would have paid for that episode of Hawaii 5-0 they snagged off The Pirate Bay had they not been out of work for 16 months now after being defrauded out of their life savings due to the largest and most pervasive real estate and mortgage fraud in the history of the country.
I think I’d like to hear his answer on those statistics.
“Let’s talk about socialism. I think it’s very important to bring back the idea of socialism into the national discussion to where it was at the turn of the [last] century before the Soviet Union gave it a bad name. Socialism had a good name in this country. Socialism had Eugene Debs. It had Clarence Darrow. It had Mother Jones. It had Emma Goldman. It had several million people reading socialist newspapers around the country. Socialism basically said, hey, let’s have a kinder, gentler society. Let’s share things. Let’s have an economic system that produces things not because they’re profitable for some corporation, but produces things that people need. People should not be retreating from the word socialism because you have to go beyond capitalism.”—Howard Zinn (via mammalsmusicmusings)
“Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional super committee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street.”—Chris Hedges (via azspot)
Atlas Productions LLC announced today its plan to replace more than 100,000 title sheets appearing on the Atlas Shrugged Part 1 DVD and Blu-ray versions sold through major retail outlets. These retail versions were packaged with an inaccurate synopsis of Atlas Shrugged. Not affected were the “Special Edition” versions sold online at AtlasShruggedMovie.com.
The 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, is known in philosophical and political circles for presenting a cogent argument advocating a society driven by rational self-interest. On the back of the film’s retail DVD and Blu-ray however, the movie’s synopsis contradictorily states “AYN RAND’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life…”
Harmon Kaslow, CEO of Atlas Productions and Producer of the film stated “As we all well know, the ideas brought to life in Atlas Shrugged are entirely antithetical to the idea of ‘self-sacrifice’ as a virtue. Atlas is quite literally a story about the dangers of self-sacrifice. The error was an unfortunate one and fans of Ayn Rand and Atlas have every right to be upset… and we have every intention of making it right.”