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Fossil fuel industry seeks to protect bottom line by quashing solar growth: ALEC’s cancerous hand
Rooftop solar is a game changer that lets consumers generate their own power, reducing the need for a centralized power system and cutting to the heart of the utilities’ comfortable position of a guaranteed return. For more than 100 years, power companies have profited from a centralized energy model that distributes power from a fossil-fuel burning power plant out to users through a grid of power lines.
Rooftop solar transforms the system by letting residents and business owners generate their own energy and send extra energy to the grid to power their neighbors’ homes and businesses. It allows us to exercise greater control over how much energy we use and from where it comes. People with rooftop solar save on their energy bills, they offer clean energy to others around them, and they reduce demand on the overall power system. They also save communities the risks and costs that come with fossil fuels: climate change, toxic air pollution, water pollution, stresses on community drinking water supplies and more.
From California to Colorado to North Carolina and other states, many generators of centralized fossil fuel energy are trying to prevent individual Americans from producing clean, renewable solar energy on their own roof tops. They would deny us the opportunity to participate in the greater goal of shifting away from polluting, climate-altering fossil fuels.
Further, in their portfolio planning, utilities are deliberately undervaluing the benefits and overvaluing the costs of rooftop solar. Much of this is an orchestrated campaign by corporate lobby group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to promote legislation that encourages continued fossil fuel use and discourages competition from renewable energy sources. The Guardian reported that ALEC sponsored at least 77 anti-clean energy bills in 34 states in 2012.

Fossil fuel industry seeks to protect bottom line by quashing solar growth: ALEC’s cancerous hand

Rooftop solar is a game changer that lets consumers generate their own power, reducing the need for a centralized power system and cutting to the heart of the utilities’ comfortable position of a guaranteed return. For more than 100 years, power companies have profited from a centralized energy model that distributes power from a fossil-fuel burning power plant out to users through a grid of power lines.

Rooftop solar transforms the system by letting residents and business owners generate their own energy and send extra energy to the grid to power their neighbors’ homes and businesses. It allows us to exercise greater control over how much energy we use and from where it comes. People with rooftop solar save on their energy bills, they offer clean energy to others around them, and they reduce demand on the overall power system. They also save communities the risks and costs that come with fossil fuels: climate change, toxic air pollution, water pollution, stresses on community drinking water supplies and more.

From California to Colorado to North Carolina and other states, many generators of centralized fossil fuel energy are trying to prevent individual Americans from producing clean, renewable solar energy on their own roof tops. They would deny us the opportunity to participate in the greater goal of shifting away from polluting, climate-altering fossil fuels.

Further, in their portfolio planning, utilities are deliberately undervaluing the benefits and overvaluing the costs of rooftop solar. Much of this is an orchestrated campaign by corporate lobby group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to promote legislation that encourages continued fossil fuel use and discourages competition from renewable energy sources. The Guardian reported that ALEC sponsored at least 77 anti-clean energy bills in 34 states in 2012.

Filed under corruption alec monopoly big coal fossil fuel fascism

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Carcinogenically Orchestrated Corporate Lie Factories Encourage Americans to Greater Depths of Ignorance, Uncertainty and Gullibility - a Cancerous Aggregate of the Living Dead.
State “Stink Tanks” Exposed
How many times have you read or heard in the news something along the lines of “a new report from the Institute of Free Markets and Liberty finds that giant corporations and billionaires create jobs if given tax cuts,” or how about your classic “Toxic Sludge Is Good For You“? Well guess what, a new report from an actual, honest think tank exposes a national network of corporate PR firms masking themselves as think tanks. The report calls these corporate-front PR firms “Stink Tanks.”
The Stink Tanks
The report, titled Stinktanks.org, exposes the State Policy Network (SPN), an $83 million web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country. These organizations present themselves as nonpartisan, objective and scholarly, But instead of being actual, honest “think tanks” all of these organizations are funded by and/or work for groups like the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers and other billionaire conservative and corporate funders like the Waltons, the Bradley Foundation, the Roe Foundation, and the Coors family. Instead of acting as honest “think tanks” they instead operate as PR firms. The “reports” and “studies” these organizations issue always support the legislative efforts of these conservative billionaires and corporations.
Denise Cardinal, executive director of Progress Now, said of these organizations,

“The bottom line is these organizations of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich are representing themselves as groups that are looking out for the best interests of everyday, working class Americans and it’s just a blatant lie. What we’re doing is trying to bring some transparency to the damaging work they’re doing on a daily basis. From policies that promote polluting the air and water to the destruction of our public education system and a tax system that benefits their rich donors, what these organizations are doing is shameful and it’s time that someone brought this to light.”

Key Points
The first key point is that these PR/lobbying firms are claiming under tax laws to be objective, nonpartisan tax-exempt organizations when it appears they are actually corporate lobbying operations.
From the Stinktanks.org report:
“While it has become an $83 million dollar right-wing empire, SPN and most of its affiliates do not post their major donors on their websites. The identities of the donors we have discovered reveal that SPN is largely funded by global corporations — such as Reynolds American, Altria, the e-cigarette company NJOY, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook, the for-profit online education company K12 Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft Foods, Express Scripts, Comcast, Time Warner, and the Koch- and Tea Party-connected DCI Group lobbying and PR firm — that stand to benefit from SPN’s destructive agenda, as well as out-of-state special interests like the billionaire Koch brothers, the Waltons, the Bradley Foundation, the Roe Foundation, and the Coors family — who are underwriting an extreme legislative agenda that undermines the traditional rights of modern Americans.
Although SPN’s affiliates are registered as educational nonprofits, several appear to orchestrate extensive lobbying and political operations to peddle their legislative agenda to state legislators, despite the IRS’s regulations on nonprofit political and lobbying activities.
SPN and its affiliates push an extreme right-wing agenda that aims to privatize education, block healthcare reform, restrict workers’ rights, roll back environmental protections, and create a tax system that benefits most those at the very top level of income.
SPN and many of its affiliates are some of the most active members and largest sponsors of the controversial ALEC, where special interest groups and state politicians vote behind closed doors on “model” legislation to change Americans’ rights, through ALEC’s task forces. SPN has close ties to, and works with, other national right-wing organizations like the Franklin Center and David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity.”
How The Game Works
There is a certain credibility that comes from academic-sounding “studies” and “reports” from actual “institutes.” But in this case the self-serving “reports” that come from this network of organizations come from what appear to be corporate PR and lobbying firms, not real think tanks. These “studies” and “reports” provide credibility to the usual nonsense that the public, opinion leaders and legislators would otherwise dismiss as just more corporate PR releases.
The reports and studies are non objective, academic or scholarly at all. They just reach directed conclusions — they are written to say what the funders of the studies want them to say, to help persuade the public and legislators to support giving the corporations and billionaires tax breaks, subsidies and other benefits — at the expense of the rest of us.
These organizations also provide speakers masked as “academics” and “scholars” who go on the radio and TV, write op-eds for newspapers, and testify before legislative committees. The speakers are paid to provide pro-corporate lines like the minimum wage will “cost jobs” and tax cuts helps “job creators.” But because the organizations are labeled as “institutes” or otherwise masked as objective, non-partisan, tax-exempt organizations they appear to have greater credibility and authority than is given to PR and lobbying firms.
The Actual Think Tank That Exposed The Stink Tanks
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is an actual “watchdog organization” think tank. They also run PR Watch and the Sourcewatch Wiki. CMD is not funded by corporations. It does actual research — including a project that I worked on, Total Wall Street Bailout Cost. This project gathered all of the available information about the various bailout programs, explained each, calculated the total funds disbursed, funds “at risk” and funds outstanding. (The table is now out of date.) These are the people who exposed ALEC, did great work helping to expose Fix the Debt and the Pete Peterson anti-Social Security operation and lots of other great and important work.
CMD worked with ProgressNow, a non-corporate-funded network of state advocacy groups, working to promote progressive ideas.
Take a look at Stinktanks.org.

Carcinogenically Orchestrated Corporate Lie Factories Encourage Americans to Greater Depths of Ignorance, Uncertainty and Gullibility - a Cancerous Aggregate of the Living Dead.

State “Stink Tanks” Exposed

How many times have you read or heard in the news something along the lines of “a new report from the Institute of Free Markets and Liberty finds that giant corporations and billionaires create jobs if given tax cuts,” or how about your classic “Toxic Sludge Is Good For You“? Well guess what, a new report from an actual, honest think tank exposes a national network of corporate PR firms masking themselves as think tanks. The report calls these corporate-front PR firms “Stink Tanks.”

The Stink Tanks

The report, titled Stinktanks.org, exposes the State Policy Network (SPN), an $83 million web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country. These organizations present themselves as nonpartisan, objective and scholarly, But instead of being actual, honest “think tanks” all of these organizations are funded by and/or work for groups like the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers and other billionaire conservative and corporate funders like the Waltons, the Bradley Foundation, the Roe Foundation, and the Coors family. Instead of acting as honest “think tanks” they instead operate as PR firms. The “reports” and “studies” these organizations issue always support the legislative efforts of these conservative billionaires and corporations.

Denise Cardinal, executive director of Progress Now, said of these organizations,

“The bottom line is these organizations of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich are representing themselves as groups that are looking out for the best interests of everyday, working class Americans and it’s just a blatant lie. What we’re doing is trying to bring some transparency to the damaging work they’re doing on a daily basis. From policies that promote polluting the air and water to the destruction of our public education system and a tax system that benefits their rich donors, what these organizations are doing is shameful and it’s time that someone brought this to light.”

Key Points

The first key point is that these PR/lobbying firms are claiming under tax laws to be objective, nonpartisan tax-exempt organizations when it appears they are actually corporate lobbying operations.

From the Stinktanks.org report:

  • “While it has become an $83 million dollar right-wing empire, SPN and most of its affiliates do not post their major donors on their websites. The identities of the donors we have discovered reveal that SPN is largely funded by global corporations — such as Reynolds American, Altria, the e-cigarette company NJOY, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook, the for-profit online education company K12 Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft Foods, Express Scripts, Comcast, Time Warner, and the Koch- and Tea Party-connected DCI Group lobbying and PR firm — that stand to benefit from SPN’s destructive agenda, as well as out-of-state special interests like the billionaire Koch brothers, the Waltons, the Bradley Foundation, the Roe Foundation, and the Coors family — who are underwriting an extreme legislative agenda that undermines the traditional rights of modern Americans.
  • Although SPN’s affiliates are registered as educational nonprofits, several appear to orchestrate extensive lobbying and political operations to peddle their legislative agenda to state legislators, despite the IRS’s regulations on nonprofit political and lobbying activities.
  • SPN and its affiliates push an extreme right-wing agenda that aims to privatize education, block healthcare reform, restrict workers’ rights, roll back environmental protections, and create a tax system that benefits most those at the very top level of income.
  • SPN and many of its affiliates are some of the most active members and largest sponsors of the controversial ALEC, where special interest groups and state politicians vote behind closed doors on “model” legislation to change Americans’ rights, through ALEC’s task forces. SPN has close ties to, and works with, other national right-wing organizations like the Franklin Center and David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity.”

How The Game Works

There is a certain credibility that comes from academic-sounding “studies” and “reports” from actual “institutes.” But in this case the self-serving “reports” that come from this network of organizations come from what appear to be corporate PR and lobbying firms, not real think tanks. These “studies” and “reports” provide credibility to the usual nonsense that the public, opinion leaders and legislators would otherwise dismiss as just more corporate PR releases.

The reports and studies are non objective, academic or scholarly at all. They just reach directed conclusions — they are written to say what the funders of the studies want them to say, to help persuade the public and legislators to support giving the corporations and billionaires tax breaks, subsidies and other benefits — at the expense of the rest of us.

These organizations also provide speakers masked as “academics” and “scholars” who go on the radio and TV, write op-eds for newspapers, and testify before legislative committees. The speakers are paid to provide pro-corporate lines like the minimum wage will “cost jobs” and tax cuts helps “job creators.” But because the organizations are labeled as “institutes” or otherwise masked as objective, non-partisan, tax-exempt organizations they appear to have greater credibility and authority than is given to PR and lobbying firms.

The Actual Think Tank That Exposed The Stink Tanks

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is an actual “watchdog organization” think tank. They also run PR Watch and the Sourcewatch Wiki. CMD is not funded by corporations. It does actual research — including a project that I worked on, Total Wall Street Bailout Cost. This project gathered all of the available information about the various bailout programs, explained each, calculated the total funds disbursed, funds “at risk” and funds outstanding. (The table is now out of date.) These are the people who exposed ALEC, did great work helping to expose Fix the Debt and the Pete Peterson anti-Social Security operation and lots of other great and important work.

CMD worked with ProgressNow, a non-corporate-funded network of state advocacy groups, working to promote progressive ideas.

Take a look at Stinktanks.org.

Filed under stink tank alec faux news faux research spin lie doublespeak orwellian plutocracy paid liars right wing facism

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Arizona: The “Meth Lab of Democracy”

Because of its role as the media arm of the Arizona Republican Party, the Republic is reluctant to report that the Arizona Republican Party operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the “Kochtopus.” The current chair of the Arizona Republican Party, Robert Graham, was the founder of Phoenix-based Americans for Responsible Leadership. It’s president is the former Arizona House Speaker and failed congressional candidate, Kirk Adams. GOP political consultant Sean Noble, whose DC London firm is a major player in GOP politics, is the bag man for the “Kochtopus” money laundering conduit, the Phoenix-based Center To Protect Patient Rights. And of course, our Tea-Publican controlled Arizona legislature frequently advances model legislation from “Kochtopus” organizations such as the American Legisaltive Exchange Council (ALEC), the Goldwater Institute, Americans For Prosperity, the Institute for Justice, and a host of other far-right political organizations. This is why Arizona has deservedly earned its reputation as the “meth lab of democracy.”

The media is supposed to be the ‘watchdog of democracy,’ not the media arm of the GOP (via azspot)

(via occupyv)

Filed under KOCH MEDIA ALEC REPUBLICAN TEAPAWNS

0 notes

Ag Gag Bills Labeled Eco Terror by US Corporate Owned Legiswhores (ALEC). Agriculture Whistleblowing Is Not Terrorism Except to the Greedy and Avaricious Who Wish to Keep Americans in the Dark.

Muckrakers and activists have been working to expose the brutality of industrialized meat production since Upton Sinclair’s writing of The Jungle in 1906. But an ALEC model bill known as “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” would make it a crime to film at animal facilities — such as factory farms or slaughterhouses — with the intent to “defame the facility or its owner.” So-called “ag-gag” laws that appear inspired by the ALEC model have been passed in several states. This report, produced by Okapi Productions, LLC  and the Schumann Media Center, Inc. looks at the effect of these laws on both our food supply and our freedom of speech.

 

Sounds Like More NSA

Filed under ag gag alec food transparency boycott free speech

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Dissent or Terror
DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy(DBA/CMD) have spent more than the past year gathering records, through state and federal open records/freedom of information laws, from various law enforcement agencies tasked with “counter-terrorism”/”homeland security” operations. The resultant stacks of documentation, numbering in the thousands of pages, form a grim mosaic of “counter-terrorism” agency operations and attitudes toward activists and other socially/politically-engaged citizens over the course of 2011 and 2012. As such, records show that methods employed by the nation’s “counter-terrorism” apparatus against these citizens has ranged from the use of undercover officers tasked with infiltrating activist groups, to constant monitoring and the use of advanced technologies in the tracking and identification of certain individuals.Put simply, the pattern that emerges from these pages shows that heavily-funded municipal, county, state and federal “counter-terrorism” agencies (often acting in concert through state/regional “fusion centers”) view citizens engaged in movements of political and social dissent, such as Occupy Wall Street (and its regional incarnations), as nothing less than nascent, if not bonafide, “terrorist” threats.What’s more, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that this view of activists, and attendant activist monitoring/suppression, has been carried out on behalf of, and in cooperation with, some of the nation’s largest financial and corporate interests— the very entities that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and others oppose as usurpers of American democracy.Additionally, records obtained from the police departments of several cities show that, when possible, corporate interests, or other subjects of public protest, would purchase the services of off-duty police officers— armed, in uniform and acting under the color of law— outright. Our records indicate that, in at least one instance, police officers employed by corporate interests who explicitly stated a desire for protestor arrests and prosecutions were more than happy to not only provide the desired protestor arrests, but to also lie in official records, as well as to the news media, in order to facilitate prosecutions and cover their own actions.Furthermore, records obtained by DBA/CMD from agencies active in state counter-terrorism “fusion centers— including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)— demonstrate the institutionalized blending of corporate security with “national security” through a number of public-private “counter-terrorism” intelligence sharing programs.What has resulted is the wholesale criminalization of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of American citizens who have dared to voice opposition to what is increasingly viewed as the undue influence of private corporate/financial interests in the functions

Dissent or Terror

DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy
(DBA/CMD) have spent more than the past year gathering records, through state and federal open records/freedom of information laws, from various law enforcement agencies tasked with “counter-terrorism”/”homeland security” operations. The resultant stacks of documentation, numbering in the thousands of pages, form a grim mosaic of “counter-terrorism” agency operations and attitudes toward activists and other socially/politically-engaged citizens over the course of 2011 and 2012. As such, records show that methods employed by the nation’s “counter-terrorism” apparatus against these citizens has ranged from the use of undercover officers tasked with infiltrating activist groups, to constant monitoring and the use of advanced technologies in the tracking and identification of certain individuals.
Put simply, the pattern that emerges from these pages shows that heavily-funded municipal, county, state and federal “counter-terrorism” agencies (often acting in concert through state/regional “fusion centers”) view citizens engaged in movements of political and social dissent, such as Occupy Wall Street (and its regional incarnations), as nothing less than nascent, if not bonafide, “terrorist” threats.
What’s more, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that this view of activists, and attendant activist monitoring/suppression, has been carried out on behalf of, and in cooperation with, some of the nation’s largest financial and corporate interests— the very entities that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and others oppose as usurpers of American democracy.
Additionally, records obtained from the police departments of several cities show that, when possible, corporate interests, or other subjects of public protest, would purchase the services of off-duty police officers— armed, in uniform and acting under the color of law— outright. Our records indicate that, in at least one instance, police officers employed by corporate interests who explicitly stated a desire for protestor arrests and prosecutions were more than happy to not only provide the desired protestor arrests, but to also lie in official records, as well as to the news media, in order to facilitate prosecutions and cover their own actions.
Furthermore, records obtained by DBA/CMD from agencies active in state counter-terrorism “fusion centers— including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)— demonstrate the institutionalized blending of corporate security with “national security” through a number of public-private “counter-terrorism” intelligence sharing programs.
What has resulted is the wholesale criminalization of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of American citizens who have dared to voice opposition to what is increasingly viewed as the undue influence of private corporate/financial interests in the functions

Filed under state fascism privacy anarchist dissent protest corporate control right alec banks ows

2 notes

Four States Introduce Keystone XL Resolutions, Lifting Language from ALEC
Legislators in four states have introduced bills in recent weeks supporting the controversial Trans Canada Keystone XL pipeline, with language that appears to have been lifted directly from a “model” American Legislative Exchange Council.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Legislative puppets that should be removed from office:
Rep. Caleb Rowden (R), Missouri
Senator(s) Watson, McDaniel, Doty, Hill, Tindell, Sojourner, Lee, Montgomery, Smith, Wiggins, Massey, Jackson (15th), Polk, Moran, Gandy, Harkins of South Carolina.
Senators Ingebrigtsen; Rosen; Weber; Housley; Pederson, J. of Minnesota
Senators Proos, Pavlov, Kowall, Hansen, Robertson, Marleau, Caswell, Casperson, Walker, Green, Nofs, Jansen and Booher of Michigan
Legislators who use ALEC to ghost write their submitted bills are almost always empty headed corporate shills owned by the rich and powerful.

Four States Introduce Keystone XL Resolutions, Lifting Language from ALEC


Legislators in four states have introduced bills in recent weeks supporting the controversial Trans Canada Keystone XL pipeline, with language that appears to have been lifted directly from a “model” American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Legislative puppets that should be removed from office:

Rep. Caleb Rowden (R), Missouri

Senator(s) Watson, McDaniel, Doty, Hill, Tindell, Sojourner, Lee, Montgomery, Smith, Wiggins, Massey, Jackson (15th), Polk, Moran, Gandy, Harkins of South Carolina.

Senators Ingebrigtsen; Rosen; Weber; Housley; Pederson, J. of Minnesota

Senators Proos, Pavlov, Kowall, Hansen, Robertson, Marleau, Caswell, Casperson, Walker, Green, Nofs, Jansen and Booher of Michigan

Legislators who use ALEC to ghost write their submitted bills are almost always empty headed corporate shills owned by the rich and powerful.



Filed under alec tar sands keystone stae legislature politics environment

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'Stealth Lobbying' Does Not Deserve Non-Profit Status

ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council another ‘fancily named’ right wing propaganda outlet with animus for the people and love and affection for murder, corporations, racism, creationism and ignorance instilled in our children at an early age. ALEC is the synonym for evil.

It is hard to understand how human beings can be so callous;
conjuring up ways to turn a profit off the extreme suffering of others.
Yet it appears that is exactly what the Republican Party along with its
affiliates, are all about. If they are not exposed and stopped, our
nation will cease to be a Democratic Republic and we-the-people
will anguish at the hands of The Slave Masters.

ALEC lobbys government and ALEC ghost writes legislation that supports right wing agendas and divides and destroys the people. ALEC is politically based and in no way should be considered a non profit no tax group.

Republican Party Is Pathetic Shit.

Filed under alec non profit lobby republican

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Tennessee Skewers Teaching of Evolution in Schools — Is Your State Next?
Thanks to ALEC, the Volunteer State has adopted a law intended to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools. Just don’t expect them to stop there.

Four score and seven years ago, a Tennessee high school biology teacher named John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution. At the time, Tennessee had a law called the Butler Act, in honor of John W. Butler, the leader of the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association, that turned Scopes’s efforts to educate his students into a criminal offense. The enemies of Darwin won in court but suffered a nearly catastrophic loss in the public sphere. The press portrayed them as anti-intellectual and un-American in their opposition to science and progress. They were the “sharpshooters of bigotry,” according to Scopes’ celebrated attorney, Clarence Darrow. “I knew that education was in danger from the source that has always hampered it — religious fanaticism,” he said. The fallout was so toxic that Christian fundamentalism retreated as a political force for decades.

Why is Tennessee moving backward on evolution? We’re all pretty familiar with the cultural and political forces at work here in a general way. But there is a much cruder, perhaps less obvious force driving the resurgence of biological ignorance in Tennessee: money. If you follow the trail of greed, in fact, you will quickly see that the problem doesn’t have much to do with Tennessee, and it isn’t just about evolution.
Tennessee’s new pro-creationism law represents itself as an effort to teach students “critical thinking” by encouraging science teachers to discuss “scientific controversies.” The law mentions “biological evolution” as the subject of one such alleged “controversy,” but it is also concerned with another such “controversy,” namely, what it calls “global warming.”
Tennessee’s brilliantly Orwellian act, House Bill (HB) 368/Senate Bill 893, is based on model legislation bearing the eerie title “The Environmental Literacy Improvement Act,” provided by the corporate lobbying group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is on record supporting the view that human activity plays little to no role in harmful climate change—and that even if the earth does warm substantially, it is likely to be “of benefit to the United States,” according to an August 2011 article in ThinkProgress. ALEC has also described EPA regulations as a “train wreck.” The group’s sponsors include, among others, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, United Healthcare, Pfizer, Bayer and Koch Industries.
Tennessee: The Most Ignorant Suckers on Earth - Separated From Thought By the Monied Interests, Unable to Help Themselves. Tennessee Is One Catastrophic Brain Fart.

Tennessee Skewers Teaching of Evolution in Schools — Is Your State Next?

Thanks to ALEC, the Volunteer State has adopted a law intended to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools. Just don’t expect them to stop there.

Four score and seven years ago, a Tennessee high school biology teacher named John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution. At the time, Tennessee had a law called the Butler Act, in honor of John W. Butler, the leader of the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association, that turned Scopes’s efforts to educate his students into a criminal offense. The enemies of Darwin won in court but suffered a nearly catastrophic loss in the public sphere. The press portrayed them as anti-intellectual and un-American in their opposition to science and progress. They were the “sharpshooters of bigotry,” according to Scopes’ celebrated attorney, Clarence Darrow. “I knew that education was in danger from the source that has always hampered it — religious fanaticism,” he said. The fallout was so toxic that Christian fundamentalism retreated as a political force for decades.

Why is Tennessee moving backward on evolution? We’re all pretty familiar with the cultural and political forces at work here in a general way. But there is a much cruder, perhaps less obvious force driving the resurgence of biological ignorance in Tennessee: money. If you follow the trail of greed, in fact, you will quickly see that the problem doesn’t have much to do with Tennessee, and it isn’t just about evolution.

Tennessee’s new pro-creationism law represents itself as an effort to teach students “critical thinking” by encouraging science teachers to discuss “scientific controversies.” The law mentions “biological evolution” as the subject of one such alleged “controversy,” but it is also concerned with another such “controversy,” namely, what it calls “global warming.”

Tennessee’s brilliantly Orwellian act, House Bill (HB) 368/Senate Bill 893, is based on model legislation bearing the eerie title “The Environmental Literacy Improvement Act,” provided by the corporate lobbying group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is on record supporting the view that human activity plays little to no role in harmful climate change—and that even if the earth does warm substantially, it is likely to be “of benefit to the United States,” according to an August 2011 article in ThinkProgress. ALEC has also described EPA regulations as a “train wreck.” The group’s sponsors include, among others, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, United Healthcare, Pfizer, Bayer and Koch Industries.

Tennessee: The Most Ignorant Suckers on Earth - Separated From Thought By the Monied Interests, Unable to Help Themselves. Tennessee Is One Catastrophic Brain Fart.

Filed under alec religion

0 notes

ALEC the Neocon “think tank” that ghost writes legislation for your least favorite empty headed Republican is spreading its cancer to public schools.

The various attacks on public and private unions orchestrated across the states has clear, direct ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. But did you know that a host of anti-science bills mandating the teaching of climate change denial or “skepticism” as a credible “theoretical alternative” to climate change is also an ALEC bill?

So far Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. Both South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change and Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to open classrooms up to climate change deniers.

When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting by minorities, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.  ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

In this case the ALEC model bill is called the “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act and is financed by the oil and gas industry. The Center for Media and Democracy traced the money behind the bill and discovered The Heartland Institute, run by the daughter of disgraced Watergate convict G. Gordon Liddy helped develop the bill. The Heartland Institute is heavily funded by ExxonMobile and Koch Industries.

It’s not just that corporations have extensive resources to pour into electoral politics via dark money, its that they simultaneously fund these astroturf groups that promote disinformation campaigns purely to promote their own economic gains. It’s a dirty, cynical way to conduct public policy and governance that is ultimately not compatible with a healthy, functioning democracy.

Other Links to educate about the harm that ALEC causes:

ALEC Exposed

Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. Through ALEC, corporations have “a VOICE and a VOTE” on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?

ALEC Watch

So why haven’t we ever heard of this group? Because corporate America doesn’t want us to know. Close scrutiny reveals that ALEC is little more than a screen for hundreds of big corporations and trade  associations to advance their legislative agendas in state capitals from coast to coast. 

ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection

Take environmental protections. The Kochs have a penchant for paying their way out of serious violations and coming out ahead. Helped by Koch Industries’ lobbying efforts, one of the first measures George W. Bush signed into law as governor of Texas was an ALEC model bill giving corporations immunity from penalties if they tell regulators about their own violation of environmental rules. Dozens of other ALEC bills would limit environmental regulations or litigation in ways that would benefit Koch.

ALEC: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests In State Legislatures

Since the organization claims to only “exchange” legislation, ALEC is not technically a lobbying firm, and does not need to register. However, ALEC’s tactics and operations are strikingly similar to those of registered lobbyists with corporate benefactors.

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law

According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in “a significant portion of our revenues” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants. ALEC’s role in turning it into “model” legislation to be submitted in states across the country.

ALEC, those that work for ALEC are terrorist and the GOP is SHIT.


Filed under alec education terrorst republican neocon corporations

17 notes

- Privatized Prisons means a lot of money for those who  jail immigrants…..profit, profit, profit and more profit straight out  of Americans pockets into the hands of the greedy and the legislatwhores  that are ruining America into the dirt. Nothing to do with justice or stemming crime - for the sake of pure GREED.

Last year, two men showed up in Benson, Ariz., a small desert town 60 miles from the Mexico border, offering a deal.
Glenn Nichols, the Benson city manager, remembers the pitch.
"The  gentleman that’s the main thrust of this thing has a huge  turquoise  ring on his finger," Nichols said. "He’s a great big huge guy  and I  equated him to a car salesman."
What he was selling was a prison for women and children who were illegal immigrants.
"They  talk [about] how positive this was going to be for the  community,"  Nichols said, "the amount of money that we would realize  from each  prisoner on a daily rate."

The ICE 287(g) Program: A Law Enforcement Partnership.
 - The 287(g) program, one of ICE’s top partnership initiatives, allows a   state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with   ICE, under a   joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive   delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their   jurisdictions.
AKA Immigrants For Sale.
1) The victims: Private prisons  don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a  night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys  families and lives.
 2) The players: CCA  (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and  Training corporations - combined these private prisons currently profit  more than $5 billion a year.  3) The money: These private  prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make  sure they get state anti-immigration laws approved and ensure access to  more immigrant inmates. 
How ALEC Changed Policies To Allow Corporations To Use Prisoners As Coerced Slave Labor
- Somewhat more familiar is ALEC’s instrumental role in the explosion of  the US prison population in the past few decades. ALEC helped pioneer  some of the toughest sentencing laws on the books today, like mandatory  minimums for non-violent drug offenders, “three strikes” laws, and  “truth in sentencing” laws. In 1995 alone, ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing  Act was signed into law in twenty-five states. (Then-State Rep. Scott  Walker was an ALEC member when he sponsored Wisconsin’s  truth-in-sentencing laws and, according to PR Watch, used its statistics  to make the case for the law.) More recently, ALEC has proposed  innovative “solutions” to the overcrowding it helped create, such as  privatizing the parole process through “the proven success of the  private bail bond industry,” as it recommended in 2007. (The American  Bail Coalition is an executive member of ALEC’s Public Safety and  Elections Task Force.) 
The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor
- Although a wide variety of goods have long been produced by state and  federal prisoners for the US government—license plates are the classic  example, with more recent contracts including everything from guided  missile parts to the solar panels powering government buildings—prison  labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid  unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks  to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison  Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program).
 Prisoners: America’s New Cheap Labor (ALEC Exposed). 
- Jobs! Taken from American’s given to those who work for nothing. A really 1% idea.
The “War on Drugs” is legislation written by ALEC, which provides ridiculously long sentences for non violent crimes, keeping a high prison population and is really a war against those Americans who need decent paying jobs….too bad corporate crime is not a crime…ALEC is a corporation. Transparent enough?

- Privatized Prisons means a lot of money for those who jail immigrants…..profit, profit, profit and more profit straight out of Americans pockets into the hands of the greedy and the legislatwhores that are ruining America into the dirt. Nothing to do with justice or stemming crime - for the sake of pure GREED.

Last year, two men showed up in Benson, Ariz., a small desert town 60 miles from the Mexico border, offering a deal.

Glenn Nichols, the Benson city manager, remembers the pitch.

"The gentleman that’s the main thrust of this thing has a huge turquoise ring on his finger," Nichols said. "He’s a great big huge guy and I equated him to a car salesman."

What he was selling was a prison for women and children who were illegal immigrants.

"They talk [about] how positive this was going to be for the community," Nichols said, "the amount of money that we would realize from each prisoner on a daily rate."

The ICE 287(g) Program: A Law Enforcement Partnership.

- The 287(g) program, one of ICE’s top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.

AKA Immigrants For Sale.

1) The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.


2) The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations - combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

3) The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigration laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates. 

How ALEC Changed Policies To Allow Corporations To Use Prisoners As Coerced Slave Labor

- Somewhat more familiar is ALEC’s instrumental role in the explosion of the US prison population in the past few decades. ALEC helped pioneer some of the toughest sentencing laws on the books today, like mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders, “three strikes” laws, and “truth in sentencing” laws. In 1995 alone, ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing Act was signed into law in twenty-five states. (Then-State Rep. Scott Walker was an ALEC member when he sponsored Wisconsin’s truth-in-sentencing laws and, according to PR Watch, used its statistics to make the case for the law.) More recently, ALEC has proposed innovative “solutions” to the overcrowding it helped create, such as privatizing the parole process through “the proven success of the private bail bond industry,” as it recommended in 2007. (The American Bail Coalition is an executive member of ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force.)

The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor

- Although a wide variety of goods have long been produced by state and federal prisoners for the US government—license plates are the classic example, with more recent contracts including everything from guided missile parts to the solar panels powering government buildings—prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program).

 Prisoners: America’s New Cheap Labor (ALEC Exposed).

- Jobs! Taken from American’s given to those who work for nothing. A really 1% idea.

The “War on Drugs” is legislation written by ALEC, which provides ridiculously long sentences for non violent crimes, keeping a high prison population and is really a war against those Americans who need decent paying jobs….too bad corporate crime is not a crime…ALEC is a corporation. Transparent enough?

Filed under ice 287 G illegals prison alec

2 notes

Security Guards At American Legislative Exchange Council Conference Physically Attack ThinkProgress Reporters.

   ALEC calls itself an open organization that exists simply to advance “principles of Jeffersonian democracy.” Facing recent scrutiny by the media, one prominent ALEC member told the Daily Iowan that there’s “nothing sinister, there’s nothing secretive about [ALEC].” However, the incident today underscores the suspicion that the organization is a secret conduit for corporate lobbyists to literally write legislation for state lawmakers without having their fingerprints on the bill. To maintain this secrecy, ALEC appears more than willing to kick out media and close their doors to the public.

ALEC: Ghostwriting the Law for Corporate America

   Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.

   ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:

  • Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents;
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs;
  • Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband;
  • Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules;
  • Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid;
  • The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases; and,
  • Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.

ALEC is SHIT.

    Filed under alec violence free speech closed doors corporate influence right wing gop republican politics

    12 notes

    What Is Tort Reform?
  Tort reform (Corporate paid for, Republican pushed) isn’t one single idea or law. Instead, it’s a group of  ideas and laws designed to change the way our civil justice system  works. While each tort reform law is different, they all share one or more of the following goals:
To make it more difficult for injured people to file a lawsuit.
To make it more difficult for injured people to obtain a jury trial.
To place limits on the amount of money injured people receive in a lawsuit.
  Tort cases are relatively rare - they make up only 6 percent of the  entire civil court caseload, and are declining — but they are  effective. Tort liability is why defective cribs are no longer  strangling infants, why flammable children’s pajamas are no longer on  the market, and why carcinogenic asbestos no longer insulates our homes  and poisons our lungs.
   While “tort reform” is allegedly premised on the notion of “individual  responsibility,” the real theory behind the effort is “individual  responsibility for you, but not for corporations.” The ALEC “tort  reform” bills help ALEC corporations escape responsibility for  wrongdoing, help ALEC insurance companies limit payouts (and increase  profits), and prevent Americans wrongfully injured or killed from  receiving just compensation.
American Legislative Exchange Council = Corporate Appointed statute writers for Republicans who can’t read or write.
   ALEC claims to be guided by principles of “free markets” and “limited  government,” but its opposition to a robust tort liability system  contradicts those alleged goals. Under the tort liability system, free  market economic pressures check corporate misbehavior. The possibility  of a lawsuit, and the associated financial liability, provides an economic incentive for manufacturers, hospitals, builders, and other corporations to be more safe and responsible,  and it does so without government regulation and enforcement. By  pushing its “tort reform” bills, ALEC is not advocating for “free  markets” and “limited government,” but enlarging government to protect  corporate interests from free market pressures.

    What Is Tort Reform?

      Tort reform (Corporate paid for, Republican pushed) isn’t one single idea or law. Instead, it’s a group of ideas and laws designed to change the way our civil justice system works. While each tort reform law is different, they all share one or more of the following goals:

    • To make it more difficult for injured people to file a lawsuit.
    • To make it more difficult for injured people to obtain a jury trial.
    • To place limits on the amount of money injured people receive in a lawsuit.

      Tort cases are relatively rare - they make up only 6 percent of the entire civil court caseload, and are declining — but they are effective. Tort liability is why defective cribs are no longer strangling infants, why flammable children’s pajamas are no longer on the market, and why carcinogenic asbestos no longer insulates our homes and poisons our lungs.

       While “tort reform” is allegedly premised on the notion of “individual responsibility,” the real theory behind the effort is “individual responsibility for you, but not for corporations.” The ALEC “tort reform” bills help ALEC corporations escape responsibility for wrongdoing, help ALEC insurance companies limit payouts (and increase profits), and prevent Americans wrongfully injured or killed from receiving just compensation.

    American Legislative Exchange Council = Corporate Appointed statute writers for Republicans who can’t read or write.

       ALEC claims to be guided by principles of “free markets” and “limited government,” but its opposition to a robust tort liability system contradicts those alleged goals. Under the tort liability system, free market economic pressures check corporate misbehavior. The possibility of a lawsuit, and the associated financial liability, provides an economic incentive for manufacturers, hospitals, builders, and other corporations to be more safe and responsible, and it does so without government regulation and enforcement. By pushing its “tort reform” bills, ALEC is not advocating for “free markets” and “limited government,” but enlarging government to protect corporate interests from free market pressures.

    Filed under ALEC gop ghost tort corporate politics

    12 notes

    American Legislative Exchange Council - SourceWatch

      ALEC is a tax-exempt front group for the legislative agenda of global corporations.

      ALEC drafts bills that comport with the ideological and corporate agenda of the Kochs and its allied funders. These bills favor corporations and include proposals to weaken the rights of employees and the ability to secure a healthy environment, which it shares with state and local politicians. The National Resources Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife have called ALEC “corrosive, secretive and highly influential” and a “tax-exempt screen for major U.S. corporations and trade associations that use it to influence legislative activities at the state level.”

      The organization has been semi-secretive (makes knowing its members difficult information to find), has been highly influential, has operated quietly in the United States for decades, and received remarkably little scrutiny from journalists, media or members of the public during that time.

       The National Resources Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife have called ALEC “corrosive, secretive and highly influential” and a “tax-exempt screen for major U.S. corporations and trade associations that use it to influence legislative activities at the state level.

       When ALEC began, it comprised only a handful of right-wing legislators; by 1991, it had grown into a clearinghouse of information for 2,400 conservative officeholders in 50 states, almost one third of the 7,500 state legislators in the country. It has tried to cultivate “moderate” legislators to expand its influence.

        Companies “like Enron, Amoco, Chevron, Shell, Texaco, Coors, Koch Industries, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, National Energy Group, Philip Morris, and R. J. Reynolds pay for essentially all of ALEC’s expenses. Sourcewatch.org

       ALEC is primarily responsible for ghost writing the legislation used by GOP Governors in Wisconsin, Florida etc to destroy unions and education.

    Filed under right wing legislation corporate scum law legal jurisprudence cancer ALEC governor states capital