February 11, 2011

News Release
Citizens Action Coalition

The Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) has called for the immediate withdrawal of Senate Bill 251. The legislation, according to the CAC, would, for all practical purposes, eliminate ratepayer protections under the law and provide monopoly electric utilities the means for unlimited profits on the backs of their captive ratepayers and the Indiana economy.

Grant Smith, CAC's Executive Director, said, "Utility companies have tried for years to pass similar provisions. Those bills were ultimately rejected due to their negative impact on homeowners and businesses; the bulk of the Indiana economy. Senators Gard, Merritt, Hershman and Boots must think that excessively high, unaffordable utility bills are good for the economy. They have adopted in SB 251 the monopoly utility agenda hook, line, and sinker. There is absolutely no balancing act here.'"


February 5, 2011

The “green scare” is in full swing, with COINTELPRO-style targeting of environmental and animal rights activists. The green scare, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, is “the repression of environmental activists by designating them as terrorists.”

The challenge for activists is to peacefully protest and avoid criminalization of their dissent. Nowhere is that situation more evident than in the case of two I-69 protestors, Hugh Farrell and Gina “Tiga” Wertz. After a nonviolent protest Wertz was charged with intimidation, a class A misdemeanor, two counts; conversion (unauthorized use of someone else's property), a class A misdemeanor, two counts; and corrupt business influence (racketeering), a class C felony. Her bond was set at $10,000.


February 5, 2011

Kathyrn Shaw fiddled with her hands as she waited for her ride at the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) office. She had missed her appointment for the Energy Assistance Program earlier in the week and called Thursday morning to make another. They told her to come in later that day.

"When I lost all my income, I realized I needed to use the program," she said. "I was on disability for about 10 years."

Shaw took off her right-hand glove to reveal shaking fingers -- disabling rheumatoid arthritis.


February 4, 2011

Feb. 6, 2011, marks the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan. The following is an excerpt taken from an essay titled Always Famous: Or, the Electoral Half-life of Ronald Reagan that considered Reagan’s legacy following his state funeral in June 2004. -- kh

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What are we to make of Ronald Reagan’s fame and its implications for America? To begin with, we must acknowledge Reagan’s enduring influence on modern electoral politics. Clearly, Reagan’s “citizen politician” was a media construct -- the masterful orchestration of ideological content across the institutional structures of news, public relations and marketing.

While some may suggest that Reagan’s success was an anomaly, a historical aberration, a host of politicians and not a few celebrities -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Barack Obama among them -- emulate Reagan’s style and employ the media management strategies he pioneered.


February 4, 2011

The tragedy at the World Trade Center (WTC) on Sept. 11, 2001, continues to affect many thousands of first responders who sacrificed their own health while restoring lower Manhattan and attempting to recover survivors and victims' remains.

Recently, H.R. 847, otherwise known as the James Zadroga Bill, was signed by President Obama in an effort to provide services and compensation for those whose health was compromised through exposure to the toxic dust and gases at Ground Zero. However, these first responders also need help to understand how their illnesses originated so that improvements in treatment can be made.


February 3, 2011

After decades of existing under a dictatorship regime, Egyptian people are standing up and demanding change. Demonstrations have spread around the entire country since Tuesday, Jan. 25, when people first began going to Liberty Square in downtown Cairo. Egyptian communities around the world, in major cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and other European countries, as well as Arab nations such as Jordan, have shown support. Around the world, people are encouraging the Egyptian people to stand up for their rights of freedom and justice under a democratic system, with a new constitution.

The Egyptian government has shut down the Internet and cut off the communications and telephones in the entire country. No one can communicate; the country is isolated from the rest of the world. And sadly, the Egyptian authority banned Aljazeera from broadcasting and has withdrawn it from the Nilesat satellite; it has cut off its broadcasting signals and revoked its license.

President's cancer panel also identifies what you can do about them

February 2, 2011

At last – the idea that most cancer is caused by environmental factors is becoming mainstream.

A report by the President’s Cancer Panel, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now was published in April 2010 This latest annual report, for 2008–2009, was written by Suzanne H. Reuben for the cancer panel and published by the National Cancer Institute.


February 2, 2011

As we watch Egypt rising, questions such as "who has the right to hold power?" come to mind.

Four hundred years ago, Shakespeare addressed this issue in his "Historical Plays." I had the opportunity to interview IU Department of English Professor Linda Charnes on the WFHB Interchange show on Feb. 1, 2011, and we discussed Shakespeare.

New study highlights Indiana’s contribution to disabilities epidemic

January 29, 2011

News from and about Indiana this past week should scare its citizens and the nation straight about the quality of leadership produced in the Hoosier state, and what role it should play in America's future.

A Jan. 26 study from the nonprofit group Environment America ranked Indiana fifth nationwide in the release of mercury into the environment. Two days later, CBS News reported that the first political ads of the 2012 presidential race will air during the NFL Pro Bowl game this weekend to promote Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

January 29, 2011

Bloomington activist Paul Smith has discovered a heretofore unrecognized talent as a lyricist and has begun penning verse for the Bloomington-based songstresses the Raging Grannies. Here is the first. - sh

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Tax cuts for the rich

Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Obama's seen the glory of the tax cuts for the rich;
He got them through the congress without a single hitch;
Higher taxes for the poor will leave them clean without a stitch;
It's tax cuts for the rich!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Tax cuts for the rich will screw ya!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Wall Street is marching on.