Tag Archive for regulation

Epitaph For Planet Earth

Greta Thunberg is making a big splash in the world and we couldn’t be more happy about this bold and courageous teen. She just recently scolded the world leaders to take climate change seriously or forever receive the wrath of the young people for their inaction. Kudos to her!!!

But she’s not the first advocate for climate change. Jimmy Carter actually talked the talk and walked the walk back in the 1970s but thanks to conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan, the nascent green energy movement was ridiculed and quashed before it even got started. Of course, many other intelligent people have stepped to the forefront over the last forty years pushing for alternative energy, only to be ignored and vilified by the powerful oil, gas and coal industries and their Republican (and some Democrats) lackeys in Congress.

A few posts ago we noted how so many modern-day conservatives were against conservation, thus making themselves colossal hypocrites. But it’s much more complex than that, of course. It’s the collective, monstrous egos of our planet’s most intelligent (allegedly) species, homo sapiens, that have done the most damage. When you put it in that context, each and every human being on the planet is responsible for the demise of life on Earth. We are all to blame and if we’re to rectify the problem, we need to all get on the same page. We all need a giant philosophical paradigm shift and that starts with the realization that unregulated capitalism is killing the planet and all the life on it.

Right now thousands of acres of rain forest are burning in South America. The vast Amazon is considered by many to be the ‘lungs of planet Earth’. Yet, it is believed many of these fires were set on purpose by humans; pro-business acolytes of Brazil’s fascist leader Jair Bolsonaro. This authoritarian right winger wants to expand logging, farming and mining industries at the expense of the health and welfare of one of the most vital and important ecosystems of planet Earth because he claims the rain forest belongs to Brazil and he can do whatever he wants.

But Bolsonaro is only doing what other third world countries do when they want to play the capitalistic game. They see the wealth of the exploitative, industrialized first world countries and they want some of that action. Or, he who has the most money wins the game. Of course, once you place living, breathing ecosystems and wildlife as a commodity to be bought and sold for profit, human’s greed and hubris take over with devastating results. There are numerous examples throughout history. Most scientists believe it was humans who killed off megafauna like the mammoth, giant sloth and the saber-tooth tiger. We’ve killed off the Tasmanian tiger, the dodo and the carrier pigeon in the last five hundred years. We almost drove the American buffalo to extinction in the 19th century. We’ve killed off over 60% of species since the 1970s. Greenland is melting at an alarming rate which places its wildlife in peril. Climate change is killing the Great Barrier Reef as is human pollution. A new study has indicated that since 1970, bird populations have fallen 29% or 3 billion fewer birds. All because we ‘intelligent’ humans greedily lust for an abstract commodity; monetary wealth.

But how and why did having money become the most important thing in our world? Because we’re humans, goddamn it! We’re superior creatures! What are we humans supposed to do with our time? Go hiking in the wilderness, relax and enjoy life? Boring!!! We must grow, grow, grow! Bigger, bigger, bigger! We’re taught from day one that we must utilize our superior brains every second of the day or else we’re failures. We can’t just sit around doing nothing. Or can we? If you ask any sane person what their idea of paradise is, they’ll usually respond some idyllic tropical island like Tahiti or some mountain retreat with little to no development and lots of nature or some small remote village where people live simply. So, why are we constantly destroying nature and building ugly concrete and steel structures and athletic stadiums which only last for twenty years? Because we can; as a monument to human ingenuity and greed.

But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Would it really be so bad to just not build a new multiplex shopping center? Would it be so bad to adopt a simpler lifestyle and enjoy nature and the great outdoors? Would it be so bad to tear down some of our ubiquitous, ugly strip malls and skyscrapers and plant urban forests and farms? Plant an urban garden where that stupid parking lot is. Have a nature reserve where that stupid golf course is. If we combine this with a global effort of birth control and contraception, we can get things under control again. We need fewer humans, not more humans on this planet. Humans, especially ones from industrial, consumptive nations are at the forefront of environmental devastation. We’ve created so much waste that we’re exporting it to third world countries with poor waste management systems. If third world countries become like first world countries, then our planet is truly doomed and we can all kiss our materialistic asses goodbye. We need to dial our greed back from 11. We need to curb our consumption and learn to be content with fewer material possessions and simpler lifestyles. This is the only planet we know of that supports life. We need to put the welfare of our planet before our own wealth, because without the planet, how can we enjoy the wealth? We need to stop worshipping the greedy, egotistical and avaricious and start respecting and caring for nature and our environment. Those paradises we yearn for are right under our feet; we just don’t recognize them because of all the concrete, asphalt and steel.

In an attempt to demonstrate how superior they are, humans are proving to be far more destructive to planet Earth than any asteroid.
In an attempt to demonstrate how superior they are, humans are proving to be far more destructive to planet Earth than any asteroid.

Non-CONSERVation CONSERVatives

America’s CEO/Dictator and distraction generator Donald Trump succeeded again last week in weakening environmental regulations which only benefit industry. We’ve commented ad infinitum about the Republican’s war on science and the environment (Browse through our There’s No Planet B category). They’ve made it no secret that they favor the polluting gas, coal and oil industries over alternative green energy. Just look at the rollbacks of EPA regulations in his first two and a half years in office. The system works like this: Trump distracts the public with mind boggling inane, insipid and stupid comments on Twitter. The compliant and unfocused media takes the bait hook, line and sinker. Trump’s Republican cronies dismantle all those ‘pesky regulations’ or laws which protect us and opens the doors for greedy, selfish, materialistic, capitalistic pigs to plunder the public lands at their heart’s content.

Last week, Trump weakened the endangered species laws considerably. The fact that humans have killed off a whopping 60% of animal species on the planet since 1970 doesn’t matter to modern conservative Republicans, many of whom are religious nutbags and believe that God made the world for us to plunder and that science is nothing but a hoax. According the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Trump has launched over 100 assaults on science so far, the same number Dubya accumulated in eight years. But the only thing that matters to these selfish capitalist pigs is profit in their bank account and stock portfolios. Mike Pompeo has even stated that the ice melting in the Arctic is a good thing because it opens more shipping lanes. That’s right, folks – screw the polar bear, there’s money to be made.

Part of the problem is that capitalism has taken over the globe. In order for capitalism to succeed, it needs rampant consumption by consumers. Of course, these leads to a rampant increase in junk, garbage and debris. With lax environmental laws, people can just dump their stuff anywhere. Our planet is being inundated with plastics, electronic waste and garbage of all types. So in other words, unregulated capitalism is killing our planet.

Like we’ve commented before, what makes this so aggravating is that so many conservatives are somehow against conservation. How can that be? They didn’t use to be. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt supported some of our most powerful environmental laws. Richard Nixon established the EPA and signed the Endangered Species Act into law. By the very definition of the word, they should be all for conserving resources, wildlife and nature. Modern day conservative Republicans, led by the Trump administration, are nothing but hypocrites when it comes to the environment.

There are many good environmental sites out there. The Kiwireport has a pictorial of shocking pictures of environmental destruction covering the globe. Warning: some pictures are extremely disturbing, especially if you love wildlife and nature. We’ve used a few in our photo-toon below. We urge people to wake up and support fully conservation efforts in your region. Like the environmentalists say: think globally, act locally. The health and welfare of Earth, the only planet we know of that supports life, depends on it.

Somehow American conservatives are against conservation which makes them colossal hypocrites of the highest magnitude.
Somehow, American conservatives are against conservation which makes them colossal hypocrites of the highest magnitude.

The Republican Crime Syndicate

Things are heating up in the Robert Mueller investigation as more and more of Donald Trump’s cronies are being indicted or flipping on the orange haired man child. The list keeps growing of people close to Trump who are being exposed for corruption. The list includes: Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman; Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor; Rick Gates, former business partner of Manafort; and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and ‘fixer’. One of Trump’s former campaign advisors, George Papadopoulos, just received a puny 14 day sentence for lying to the FBI. In addition to these crooks, there is also one of the first GOP congressmen to support Trump, New York’s Chris Collins, who’s been indicted on insider trading and California’s Duncan Hunter, who is accused along with his wife (who he promptly blamed completely) of misusing campaign funds.  Throw in corrupt former EPA chief Scott Pruitt, former HHS Secretary Tom Price, Donald Trump Jr., who may be implicated because of his Trump Tower meeting and of course, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s current lawyer who looks like he came straight out of a mafia movie and has done nothing but constantly lie and embarrass himself since he was hired by Trump. It’s a rogue’s gallery of con artists who could have easily rubbed elbows with the likes of Capone against the FBI G-men in the 1920s and 30s. Hey, whaddya’ know…Trump is fighting against the FBI just like those hoodlums.

The indictments are now prompting America’s CEO/Dictator to become unglued. He has accused Attorney Confederate General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of hurting Republican chances in the midterms.  He continues his assault on the free press stating that it is the ‘enemy of the people’.  Bob Woodward’s new book release paints a pretty dismal picture of the Trump White House and has Trump champing at the bit. Now the orange megalomaniac is blowing his top with his own staff because of a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times which pretty much states that Trump is an addle-brained lunatic incapable of making sound decisions.

So, logically with all this mounting evidence of a completely incompetent and dangerous administration, why aren’t the supposedly ‘morally superior’ Republicans removing the orange haired man child from office? Like we’ve said in previous posts, the Trump administration is doing exactly what the Republican’s corporate overlords want him to do; provide daily distractions in the media while the Republican corporate lackeys in the Senate, House and the courts systematically dismantle laws and regulations therefore enabling the corporate oligarchy to reap enormous wealth in the process. If that means breaking the law, then so be it. The Republican party is no longer a party; their actions indicate they are now a crime syndicate worthy of praise from the Godfather himself.

With so many indictments of Donald Trump associates, twenty-first century Republicans can no longer call themselves a party; they're a crime syndicate.

With so many indictments of Donald Trump’s associates, twenty-first century Republicans can no longer call themselves a party; they’re a crime syndicate.

 

Ajit Pai = A Shit Pie

The assholes keep coming out of the woodwork in the Trump administration. The latest jerk is none other than FCC chairman former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai,(or as we’re crudely calling him from now on, Ashit Pie, who this week brought an end to net neutrality and quite possibly will change how the Internet works in the future. Pie and his stupid, big ass coffee mug (because bigger is always better, folks), commented in the snarkiest way possible that the end of net neutrality will provide us with more freedom, which is corporate talk for even more profits for mega-rich telecom giants like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T and less bang for the buck for the average consumer and complete devastation for small businesses. He even produced a repulsive YouTube video (which we’re not going to provide a link to: FU Ashit Pie!) promoting all the things you can still do on the Internet, like gramming their food. Mark Hamill even slammed Ashit Pie for wielding a light saber in the video because a Jedi ‘would never enrich giant corporations’.

The surprising thing here is that the vast majority (83%) of the American public, covering the whole political spectrum( 75% of Republicans, 86% of Independents and 89% of Democrats), are in favor of keeping net neutrality regulations. You would think that most politicians on both sides of the aisle would be pushing to reinstate the laws. This opens the door for broadband providers to possibly throttle content based on politics, thus jeopardizing freedom of speech. It says in the Constitution that the general welfare of the United States citizenry should be promoted, not the coffers of a few already wealthy individuals. The Obama administration was right when it viewed the Internet as a public utility. In the 21st century, it is a basic part of every American’s life. Everyone should have access and all traffic should be treated equally just like electricity or water for our homes or phone calls. But thanks to corporate lackey Republicans, the American public is getting screwed once again.

No matter what happens, Ashit Pie is now one of the most hated persons in America behind pharma bro Martin Shkreli and just about everyone else in the Trump administration like Scott Pruitt, Mike Pence, Rex Tillerson, Stephen Miller, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Wilbur Ross, Steve Mnuchin, Jared Kushner…sweet freaking Zeus, the list goes on and on and the swamp just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger… One thing’s for sure: Ashit Pie is one massive DICKHEAD! 

FCC chairman, big mug aficionado and colossal DICKHEAD, Ajit Pai, a.k.a. A Shit Pie, explains to a consumer peon how awesome freedom from regulation will be much to the delight of a nearby plutocrat telecom stockholder.

FCC chairman, big mug aficionado and colossal DICKHEAD, Ajit Pai, a.k.a. Ashit Pie, explains to a consumer peon how awesome freedom from regulation will be much to the delight of a nearby plutocrat telecom stockholder.

Republican Crimes Against Nature

While the Republican Health Care Plan failure, Trump’s Russia connections and a multitude of other daily flak from Trump’s bumbling acolytes like Devin Nunes, Sean Spicer and Jared Kushner have taken center stage, the Republican’s war on the environment has commenced in the background and it doesn’t look good for nature, science and the general well being of every living thing on this planet.

Trump approved going ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline despite protests from native Americans and environmentalists citing that it will only exacerbate climate change. But of course, new EPA administrator and lawyer (non-scientist), Scott Pruitt, despite overwhelming scientific consensus by climate scientists and experts, says that climate change isn’t real. Basically, Pruitt is just a lackey for the fossil fuel industry and will anything to deceive the public about climate change. Therefore, the Keystone XL pipeline can commence and oil barons like Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, can reap the benefits.

Unfortunately, the environment and humans will suffer the horrible consequences. It turns out that the December oil spill of 530,000 gallons in North Dakota (the biggest in that state’s history) was three times larger than previously reported. This brings to light a couple of things. One, the oil spill barely got coverage from the corporate media because that would put the oil industry in a bad light and might hurt business. And two, the oil industry lied about the size of the spill because reporting the real size would put the oil industry in a bad light and might hurt business. Get the picture. The only thing that matters is business and profit. If there’s an oil leak, learn to love the taste of oil in your drinking water.

To illustrate how inept and corrupt the corporate media is about reporting anything bad about the oil industry, take a look at this website which reports oil and gas pipeline incidents from 2010 to the present. 3,300 incidents! That’s a hell of a lot of incidents! So why haven’t we the citizens heard about them in the news media?

The Republican’s war on science is nothing new. Read the books Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney and Crimes Against Nature by Robert Kennedy Jr., both released during the Bush Administration, and you’ll see that the GOP has repeatedly put short term profit of the coal, gas and oil industries (major contributors to the GOP coffers) above long term consequences for the environment. To illustrate this, CEO/Dictator Trump signed an executive order last week which rolls back more of Clean Power Plan Obama’s regulations and enabling the oil, gas and coal industries to pollute to their hearts content. According to the GOP’s spiel, they’re getting rid of job killing regulations. Big deal, so we can have jobs that kill people in the long run? Besides that the promise of jobs coming back is another con. According the article linked above, “rolling back the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations won’t restore jobs”. So Trump and his Republican cohorts are once again conning the American public. But this con will have nasty repercussions for all of us, in the form of more pollution, risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and gases and creating an unhealthy environment for humans and other species.

EPA director Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State and oil baron, Rex Tillerson, announce that the Keystone Pipeline will be constructed and that climate change and oil leaks don't exist despite obvious evidence that they do.

EPA director Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State/Oil Baron, Rex Tillerson, perform their patented gaslighting trick on the citizens of planet Earth by denying the existence of climate change, oil leaks and anything else which may disrupt their agenda of profiting off the environment at any and all cost.

Salk, Hero; Shkreli, Zero

How about that Martin Shkreli, huh? What a piece of work he is. In case, you don’t know, Martin Shkreli is the wunderkind CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who recently made every sane person’s list of most hated man in the world recently by raising the price of a life saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Yes, you read that right… $750 per pill.

And now poor little rich man is mad at Bernie Sanders because Mr. Shkreli wanted to donate to Sanders campaign and Sanders wisely rejected the donation. According to Shkreli, he is so mad at Sanders that he could punch a wall. Ahhhhh! Poor wittle baby!!! Well, I think it’s safe to say that there are many Americans who would like to punch Mr. Shkreli’s greedy, smug little face into oblivion.

Shkreli could learn a lot about ethics from Dr. Jonas Salk. Salk discovered the vaccine for polio and instead of filing a patent, which could have made him a gazillionaire, famously said “There is no patent.  Could you patent the sun?”. He had no desire to profit personally but instead wanted the vaccine distributed as widely as possible in order to cure as many people as possible of this dreaded disease. Of course, in this age of greed and profits at any and all costs, Dr. Salk’s actions are scoffed at by most modern day doctors and scientists, who seem to support the idea of putting profits before people. This way of thinking seems counter not only to the Hippocratic Oath (“I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.“) but also to basic christianity, which this nation supposedly has claimed itself to be.

Health care for humans and even our pets has become ridiculously expensive. What’s needed is regulation for the pharmaceutical and medical industry so prices remain affordable to every American, not just the rich. But people keep electing people to Congress who are against any kind of regulation (a.k.a Republicans). One thing is for certain; health care for profit is a bad idea and one that needs changing. Either that, or say hello to more assholes like Mr. Shkreli with their $750 pills.

Dr Jonas Salk is a hero and Mr. Martin Shkreli is a zero.

Mr. Martin Shkreli and his price gouging brand of health care has a long way to go to if he wants to have the same status as Dr. Jonas Salk.

Capitalism? More Like Cannibalism

It’s obvious that our nation is not a functioning representative democracy anymore. Thanks to the recent Supreme Court Citizens United and McCutcheon vs FEC decisions, we can safely say that the United States of America is a corporate oligarchy, where only the wealthiest corporations have a say in what happens to America. So contrary to what the Republican say, big government isn’t the problem; corporate America controlling the government is the problem. After all, Republicans and Democrats nowadays are just corporate lackeys; doing their corporate overlord’s bidding for campaign contributions. It is truly sad to see that America is as corrupt as a banana republic. The whole idea behind the Republican’s ‘government is the problem’ con is to fool the masses into thinking that relaxing government regulations and oversight on corporations is a great thing for freedom when in fact it is the worst thing that can happen. Let’s be honest and frank here; capitalism breeds greed, avarice and selfishness. These traits are counter to everything a supposedly ‘christian’ nation holds dear. Without regulations, humanity’s greed runs rampant and our economy and society truly becomes a rat race. It’s shocking that just living basically and simply today costs an arm and a leg. People everywhere in the past ten years have gone under. The middle class has all but disappeared. In order to survive, people have to raise rates, fees and prices to exorbitant levels just to break even. Just taking a beloved pet to the vet can bankrupt a person. It’s gotten to a point where you have to wonder whether it’s capitalism anymore or cannibalism. Is this really what we want for our society?

Modern capitalism has taken on a more cannibalistic approach.

Capitalism: devouring the humanity from humans since the Middle Ages.

CEO Dan Price Gets It

It’s only April but we here at the Bucket already have a nominee for Person of the Year. CEO Dan Price of Seattle’s Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company, lowered his pay by a million dollars and raised the pay of his workers so that the minimum wage at his company is $70k a year. Finally, a CEO that gets it! Since the ’80s, when Reaganomics brought upon massive deregulation, CEO salaries have skyrocketed so that now the average difference between CEO and worker salary in America, is around 257:1. For comparison purposes, in other countries, gaps range from between 28 in Poland to 148 in Switzerland (this report also reports the American gap at 354:1). This move by Dan Price is a breath of fresh air. Now if only more CEOs would follow his lead, workers would finally be able to have a living wage. They would have more money to not only afford the basics but also buy other items, which will in turn help boost the economy. Kudos to Dan Price!!! We salute you!!!

Billionaire President and CEO of Juggermart, Lawrence T. Juggers, says Dan Price is wrong and that CEOs need to treat employees like the scum they are.

Billionaire President and CEO of Juggermart, Lawrence T. Juggers, demonstrates why most Americans view today's CEOs as being greedy assholes.