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August 22, 2009

Olbermann talks with health insurance industry whistleblower: "It's just like the movie Sicko"

Raw Story | Olbermann sees similarities between insurance, casino profits
The iconoclastic host was joined by Wendell Potter, the former communications director for health insurance giant Cigna. Potter has since become a Senior Fellow on health care at the Center for Media and Democracy. Potter, speaking to PBS host Bill Moyers in July, appraised the U.S. health insurance industry as being exactly like what filmmaker Michael Moore depicted in his documentary Sicko. Olbermann called him “one of the heroes in the current drama being played out.” Potter explained that what the insurance providers are after is nothing short of a “vast shift” of costs onto U.S. consumers. ... “Are we, the American consumer, under attack by these insurance companies?” asked Olbermann. Potter claimed that insurers had enlisted an unwitting mob through the use of misinformation. “The insurance companies are very, very savvy at manipulating public opinion,” he said. “They do this through big PR firms that they hire to feed talking points to politicians to talk show hosts, editorial writers and people that these people trust, so that they think they’re hearing it from people who are telling them the truth, but not realizing it’s coming straight from a special interest that wants them to think a certain way.”

August 19, 2009

Justice Dept. Defends $1.92 Million RIAA Fine Against Minnesota Mom

Justice Dept. Defends $1.92 Million RIAA Fine Against Minnesota Mom : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily
The Department of Justice has defended the $1.92 million decision against Minnesota mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset for illegally downloading 24 songs off of a peer-to-peer network, according to the Daily Online Examiner. As Rock Daily previously reported, Thomas-Rasset asked for a reduction in the fine after she was sentenced to pay the RIAA $80,000 per song when a Minnesota jury found her guilty in her second trial. Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers had been pushing for a third trial, saying the fine of $1.92 million was disproportionate to the amount of damage she had actually done, but the Justice Department agreed with the massive ruling. “The defendant’s suggestion that the actual harm can be measured to the ‘tune of $1.29 for each of the 24 songs’ … ignores the potential multiplying effect of peer-to-peer file-sharing,” the Justice Department said in legal documents filed last week reinforcing the decision.

August 18, 2009

Citizens, ARISE!! Abolish the Nazi-Commie Nightmare of Public Firefighting!!!11!!

Hooray for brave patriot **Naomi** for sharing this vital and timely message!! David Quigg: Abolish the Nazi-Commie Nightmare of Public Firefighting
Consider this your formal invitation to join in THE fight for the future of American freedom. I'm referring to the fight to abolish public firefighting. For too long we have endured the socialistic nightmare of tyrannical laws that incite our neighbors to call 911 and report us TO THE GOVERNMENT when our homes are on fire. Americans are so brainwashed that only a tiny, patriotic sliver of us have truly understood the fascist flood that gushes from taxpayer-funded fire hoses every day in these United States. The facts are chilling. So wake up, America! FACT: When a neighbor reports your burning home to the government, you as the property owner are helpless. The taxpayer-funded sirens come ever closer, whether you like it or not, until finally the trucks arrive on your property. Soon your door is bashed from its hinges, your windows are in shards, your belongings are soaked with the fluoridated poison that passes for a municipal water supply.

Cops: End the war on drugs

Peter Moskos and Stanford "Neill" Franklin - Time to Legalize Drugs - washingtonpost.com
Six years ago one of us wrote a column on this page, "Victims of the War on Drugs." It discussed violence, poor community relations, overly aggressive policing and riots. It failed to mention one important harm: the drug war's clear and present danger toward men and women in blue. Drug users generally aren't violent. Most simply want to be left alone to enjoy their high. It's the corner slinger who terrifies neighbors and invites rivals to attack. Public drug dealing creates an environment where disputes about money or respect are settled with guns. In high-crime areas, police spend much of their time answering drug-related calls for service, clearing dealers off corners, responding to shootings and homicides, and making lots of drug-related arrests. ... Having fought the war on drugs, we know that ending the drug war is the right thing to do -- for all of us, especially taxpayers. While the financial benefits of drug legalization are not our main concern, they are substantial. In a July referendum, Oakland, Calif., voted to tax drug sales by a 4-to-1 margin. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that ending the drug war would save $44 billion annually, with taxes bringing in an additional $33 billion.