Street Heat over Mass Transit in the Harrisburg Statehouse

Transit supporters rally for more state funding

By Mark Shade

Beaver county Blue via Phillyburbs.com

HARRISBURG, Feb 12 — Gov. Tom Corbett is talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in new transportation spending in his proposed 2013-14 budget, but transit proponents don’t like what they’re hearing and many of them took the bus to tell him about it Monday.

Molly Nichols, a volunteer with Pittsburghers for Public Transit, told about 200 transit operators and customers from her city, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and elsewhere that people have a right to public transit.

“Bus lines and transit lines are our lifelines,” Nichols said in between the chants she led. “We use them to get to school, to work, to the doctor’s office, to churches, to shops … and current transit service is not efficient or affordable for our residents.”

She said public transportation operators are facing a severe funding crisis that needs more attention from the governor and lawmakers. Continue reading Street Heat over Mass Transit in the Harrisburg Statehouse

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Usurious Credit and Debt as Our Prison Cages

Breaking the Chains of Debt Peonage

By Chris Hedges
Truthdig.com

Feb 3, 2013 – The corporate state has made it clear there will be no more Occupy encampments.

The corporate state is seeking through the persistent harassment of activists and the passage of draconian laws such as Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act—and we will be in court next Wednesday to fight the Obama administration’s appeal of the Southern District Court of New York’s ruling declaring Section 1021 unconstitutional—to shut down all legitimate dissent.

The corporate state is counting, most importantly, on its system of debt peonage to keep citizens—especially the 30 million people who make up the working poor—from joining our revolt.

Workers who are unable to meet their debts, who are victimized by constantly rising interest rates that can climb to as high as 30 percent on credit cards, are far more likely to remain submissive and compliant.

Debt peonage is and always has been a form of political control. Native Americans, forced by the U.S. government onto tribal agencies, were required to buy their goods, usually on credit, at agency stores. Coal miners in southern West Virginia and Kentucky were paid in scrip by the coal companies and kept in perpetual debt servitude by the company store. African-Americans in the cotton fields in the South were forced to borrow during the agricultural season from their white landlords for their seed and farm equipment, creating a life of perpetual debt. It soon becomes impossible to escape the mounting interest rates that necessitate new borrowing.

Continue reading Usurious Credit and Debt as Our Prison Cages

Climate Deniers Get $120 million Secret Funding

Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks

Anonymous billionaires donated $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science .

Funding climate deniersnn :  Americans For Prosperity

Climate sceptic groups are mobilising against Obama’s efforts to act on climate change in his second term. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.

The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising “wedge issue” for hardcore conservatives.

The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more. Continue reading Climate Deniers Get $120 million Secret Funding

Arrests at Patriot Coal Bankruptcy Protest

10 arrested as coal miners, supporters protest in St. Louis over Patriot bankruptcy case

Published February 13, 2013

Associated Press

  • ac9e8c37538e6a05290f6a706700bf41.jpg

    Members of the United Mine Workers of America take part in a protest outside the of headquarters of Peabody Energy, one of the companies the union accuses of orchestrating business deals that bankrupted Patriot Coal, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in St. Louis. Ten people were arrested during the protest of bankruptcy proceedings that the union says jeopardizes pension and health care benefits for some 20,000 retirees and dependents. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (The Associated Press)

  • 38df7782538f6a05290f6a70670090ad.jpg

    Members of the United Mine Workers of America wait to be arrested by police during protest outside the of headquarters of Peabody Energy, one of the companies the union accuses of orchestrating business deals that bankrupted Patriot Coal, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in St. Louis. Ten people were arrested during the protest of bankruptcy proceedings that the union says jeopardizes pension and health care benefits for some 20,000 retirees and dependents. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (The Associated Press)

    Continue reading Arrests at Patriot Coal Bankruptcy Protest