America’s Greediest: The Koch Brothers, The ‘Libertarians’ Who Hate The Free Market

http://www.nationalmemo.com/americas-greediest-the-koch-brothers-the-libertarians-who-hate-the-free-market/#.Ur9t6lckYVw.twitter

 

December 27th, 2013 4:41 pm  Jason Sattler

 

Imagine this.

You and your brother are tied as the fourth richest person in America with $36 billion in assets each, the fruits of owning the second largest privately owned corporation in the world. How would you spend your spare time and money?

Perhaps you’d donate millions to medical research, public television and the arts. Or maybe you’d dabble in politics and try to expose the “Science of Liberty” and economic freedom to help “the most vulnerable.”

That’s what the Koch Brothers do. And how are they helping the most vulnerable?

By attempting to rid the public of programs like Social Security, which has kept more Americans out of poverty than anything the government has ever done.

While the Kochs insist that their goal is freedom, their agenda seems entirely based on policies that increase economic inequality and make it easy for carbon polluters like Koch Industries to continue their unfettered domination of energy markets.

Perhaps the best example of the Kochs’ hypocrisy comes in their war on solar power.

While the Kochs spent millions to try to put politicians in office who have vowed to never raise taxes on the rich or anyone, the billionaires are aiding efforts to “tax the sun” in an effort to squash the nascent solar industry.

One of the main benefits of powering your home or business via solar cells, especially in a state like Arizona, is a process known as “net metering,” which allows you to sell excess wattage back to the utility. While the virtue of using a renewable resource that is essentially carbon-neutral is a decent selling point, it’s the economic value of net metering that has fueled Arizona’s solar boom and made it the top solar state per capita.

This boom hasn’t pleased Arizona Public Service (APS), which stands to lose as much as $2 billion over the next 20 years if solar adoption continues at the current pace. That’s why the state’s largest electricity provider has been fighting for new regulations that would raise the cost of solar by $50-$100 a month, effectively killing the benefits of net metering. And APS has been waging this battle with some very powerful allies.

Guess who?

Why would the Koch brothers be interested in a small regulatory battle in Arizona?

Because it isn’t just about Arizonans reaping the unique benefit of living in a desert. It’s about freedom! The freedom of carbon polluters everywhere to make massive profits at the expense of the environment.

As the decision of the Arizona Corporation Commission neared, the state was hit with a series of ads ironically decrying the solar industry’s dependence on “corporate welfare” and comparing the solar businesses in the state to Solyndra, which is conservative for “something that makes me mad for some reason.”

An APS spokesman denied that they were funding the ads because they were funding them indirectly, through a consultant. The Kochs could also deny that they were funding the effort to tax the sun, because they weren’t funding the effort directly. Instead, the dirty work was being done by The 60 Plus Association, which models itself as the conservative alternative to AARP.

The brothers help fund The 60 Plus Association through another shadowy organization known as Freedom Partners,which gave $15.7 million to the group last year. And that wasn’t the only way they were involved in the fight in Arizona.

“APS appears to be leading the first assault of a national campaign by the utility industry trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and fossil fuel interests like APS, to weaken net metering policies,” notes the Energy & Policy Institute’s Gabe Elsner. The EEI is trying to push “model legislation” that saps the benefits of solar in several states through the American Legislative Exchange Council, another Koch-supported group. The State Policy Network, another Koch-supported “nonprofit,” is trying to roll back renewable energy credits in several states.

The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer helped popularize the term “Kochtopus” to define the Kochs’ ideological network. It’s so vast and cloaked in vagaries of election law that we truly have no idea how vast their influence is.

But we do know that again and again, these titans of industry are trying to crush renewable energy, even when it has Tea Party support, and it’s rare if they have to get a Koch Industries lobbyist directly involved. Often they’re trying to roll back breaks for non-carbon-based energy companies, while taking no such stand against the billions in government help the oil industry benefits from, but they’re even willing to pursue new regulations if it suits their needs, which ledThe Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur to say, “…the Koch brothers hate the free market.”

The good news is that in Arizona they lost, mostly. Regulators voted to impose a $5 monthly fee on net metering, a fraction of what APS and The 60 Plus Association wanted.

The solar industry in Arizona survived this time, despite the Kochs’ best efforts.

 

 

ManWomanMyth – Equality – Sexual Harassment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8s-trTRaaI

“Looks at the prevalence of female sexual harassment of men in the workplace and how this is ignored in favour of only recognising male misbehaviour.

• Employment and personal risks for men in working with women
• The arbitrariness of women’s harassment complaints
• Personality disorder and sexual harassment”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3Bcny5419M

“Examines the mythology of oppression built up around women’s suffrage and the inaccurate view many people have about the facts of peoples voting rights: the vote was always about “class” and never about “sex”.

Looks at the development of Men’s and Women’s right to vote in the UK. Explores the history of voting in England including the Reform Acts of parliament. Featuring Angry Harry and others.

• Women living in a climate of fear
• The suppression of mens views
• Discrimination against men in UK Pension rights”

All-girls schools may be more orderly, but they’re no place for a tomboy, Canadian study finds

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/12/11/all-girls-schools-may-be-more-orderly-but-theyre-no-place-for-a-tomboy-canadian-study-finds/

 

All-girls schools may be more orderly, but they are also bastions of strict conformity in which non-feminine behaviour is ruthlessly stamped out, according to a Concordia University study that may have implications in the ongoing push for single-sex education in Canadian schools.

In the words of lead researcher Kate Drury, a classroom filled exclusively with girls leads to “more pressure to behave ‘like a girl.’”

The finding runs in sharp contract to the popular notion — much-espoused by single-sex education boosters — that all-girls schools are stereotype-free zones pumping out high numbers of women scientists, engineers and woodworkers.

“They’re probably giving boys too much credit,” said Concordia psychology professor William Bukowski, the study’s co-author. “What this paper is telling us is that it’s girls who enforce the female sex role.”

 

The study, which was recently published in the behavioral science journal Sex Roles, was conducted among 469 fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls in the Colombian cities of Bogotá and Barranquilla.

The location was incidental, said Mr. Bukowski, but the study noted the “advantages” studying in a region in which gender roles are so much starker.

The researchers credited this to a “stronger emphasis on machismo among Latin American men compared with men from North America and Europe.” Colombian single-sex schools are also more common, leading to a wider sample size.

Girls at both single-sex and mixed-sex schools were given the same questionnaire. When the results were tallied, researchers found that the students at all-girls schools were much more likely to answer ‘yes’ to questions such as “most kids would think it is weird if I did something that boys like to do” or “kids in my class don’t like girls who act like boys.”

 

At the same time, however, when girls had no boys in their class, they were much less likely to report overt instances of bullying or name-calling, answering “no” to questions such as “others treat me badly.”

Although single-sex education was once almost exclusively the domain of private and religious schools, it has increasingly been championed by educational reformers as a way to close perceived gender gaps in public education.

Last year, for instance, the Calgary Board of Education opened its first all-boys school, a kindergarten-through-Grade 5 program designed to offer boy-centric educational programs.

“We don’t view normal boy behaviours — like wanting to move around or play more or build things — as problems, because they aren’t,” principal Garry Jones told Postmedia News.

Takhini Elementary School in Whitehorse, Yukon, spent five years employing single-sex classrooms as a way to boost grades and cut down on disruptive behaviour — but scrapped the program last March when administrators concluded it was doing neither.

Ultimately, the Concordia study refuses to say definitively whether a mixed-sex school is superior, but it does note that a single-sex school is no place for a tomboy.

At an all-girls school, those who “deviate from a female sex role” are swiftly ostracized, said Mr. Bukowski.

“But at the mixed-sex school, these girls could go hang around with the boys.”

 

 

anti-male lesbian boss fired teacher for being straight

http://nypost.com/2013/12/18/lesbian-boss-fired-teacher-over-traditional-family-suit/

A married, heterosexual gym teacher at a tony Upper West Side private school was fired because his lesbian supervisor disapproved of his “traditional family status,” the canned teacher claims in a new Manhattan lawsuit.

Gregory Kenney, 50, taught gym at the Trinity School on W. 91st St. for 16 years before he was let go in June 2012.

Kenney, who lives with his wife and three young children in LI, says he was a well-liked employee at the elite institution that counts Truman Capote, Ivanka Trump and Eric Schneiderman as alumni, until a gay athletic director named Pat Krieger took over in 2009.

Krieger allegedly forced him to coach three sports, even though his contract only required him to join two teams, according to his reverse discrimination suit.

When he complained that the extra responsibilities interfered with his family obligations Krieger allegedly told him, “We all make choices,” the suit says.

After Kenney told Krieger that he couldn’t keep working nights and weekends, she reported him to the headmaster “while a single, female teacher faced no scrutiny when she refused to coach a third season.”

Kenney claims the allegedly biased athletic director “routinely favored other single, younger females without children and discriminated against [him] because of his gender, sexual orientation, ‘traditional family status,’ and age.”

“He felt ostracized because of his family,” Kenney’s attorney, Steven Morelli told The Post in an interview.

“He had been doing this for so many years and he certainly did the job well or they would have gotten rid of him a long time ago,” Morelli added.

Kenney coached soccer, basketball and golf at Trinity, where tuition costs as much as $41,370 a year.

“On at least one occasion Kenney was dissuaded from attending social events with his peers because he was a heterosexual, married male with children, who wouldn’t fit in with [Krieger’s] ‘culture.’”

He says three other married coaches with young children were also sacked. Kenney was replaced by a gay female, according to court papers.

Kenney, who has 7-year-old twins and a 9-year-old, is still looking for a new job.

He’s seeking unspecified damages in the suit.

A spokesman for Trinity did not immediately comment.

Creeping Islamization reaches Japan: Airports in Japan striving to become friendlier to Muslims

http://asia.nikkei.com/Viewpoints/Culture/Airports-in-Japan-striving-to-become-friendlier-to-Muslims

 

 

TOKYO — International airports in Japan are striving to become friendlier to Muslims amid a steep increase in visitors from the Islamic world following the Japanese government’s relaxation of regulations for issuing visas.

An increase in private prayer rooms for Muslims, who pray five times a day, and availability of meals in compliance with Islamic rules are among efforts taken by airports.

Airport officials stress that they will show the heart of Japanese hospitality at the thresholds into Japan as Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

On Dec. 1, Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture put up a new sign saying “Prayer Room” for Muslims in front of private rooms in its first and second terminals. Each room is covered with a carpet and a direction panel on the ceiling so that Muslims can readily fall to their knees and pray in the direction of their holy place Mecca.

The rooms, called Silence Rooms, could be used for prayer in the past but had no Prayer Room sign.

In the past, there were Muslims who performed prayers on the terminal building floor after arriving at Narita as they did not know of the existence of the private rooms, according to a 35-year-old member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Japan, an association of Muslims in Japan.

Japan relaxed the rules for issuance to visas to visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia and three other Southeast Asian nations in July. Muslims account for an estimated 90% of Indonesia’s 240 million population and 60% of Malaysia’s 29 million.

A total of 28,000 people visited Japan from Indonesia and Malaysia in October, up 40% from a year earlier.

A public relations official at Narita Airport said the operator of the airport near Tokyo should have done more to publicize the presence of prayer rooms for Muslims and make facilities there friendlier to them.

“We will seek to create a user-friendly airport for Muslims and other people who will visit Japan for the Olympic Games,” the official added.

The company has already started taking necessary steps. For example, it will install by January washing equipment in the prayer rooms for Muslims to purify themselves before performing prayers. By next summer, furthermore, two prayer rooms will be built in the area where passengers walk through after embarkation procedures.

Kansai Airport, which created a prayer room in 2006, announced a plan in August to open two more rooms by next spring.

The airport in Osaka has also started joint efforts with tenants in its passenger terminal building to better receive visitors from the Islamic world. Starting this summer, a noodle shop and another restaurant began serving meals prepared in compliance with Islamic cooking rules, called Halal, which include a ban on the use of pork.

Haneda Airport in Tokyo will open a prayer room by next March.

Major airports in Europe, a popular destination of tourists from the Islamic world, have already completed prayer rooms for Muslims, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Airports in Japan have begun earnest efforts at last to become friendly to Muslims, said Ken Fujita, head of a project at the ASEAN Promotion Center on Trade, Investment and Tourism in Tokyo to provide information on Islam to airports.

More Muslims should visit Japan if the efforts are recognized widely in the Islamic world, he added.

(Nikkei)