Popcorn Shorts for June 2016

PopcornShortsButtonRestOfNewsletterJust like it says, Popcorn Shorts is about the kind of things we think are really interesting, but don’t really need a large article to explain them.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, check in here for crunchy bits of info you’ll love to munch.  By the way, much (but not all) of our delicious Popcorn comes from articles we’ve posted on our Facebook page.  If you’re on Facebook, please stop by and “Like” us and we’ll keep a fairly-constant-but-not-frequent-enough-to-be-annoying stream of these coming to your virtual door!

Entire village is off-grid for food, water, power, and waste

Popcorn--ZeroTownsOne of the first things kids learn is “Clean up after yourself”! It’s their first advice because it’s some of the best advice they’ll ever hear.  Your mess is just that… YOUR mess, and it shouldn’t be left to anyone else to clean up.  When it comes to cities we don’t think that way.  Pollutants aren’t “cleaned up”, they’re dumped into air, water, and land.  The messiness of a town’s food and energy is outsourced to surrounding, often poor, communities.  But that’s just how things are now, not how they have to be.  A new concept called a ReGen Village, now being built outside Amsterdam, is totally closed-loop for all the basic necessities and is showing, finally, that we CAN clean up our mess! Hey cities… CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF!

Oklahoma Innovation- Roadside Shakedowns

Popcorn--OklahomaYou may have heard of Civil Asset Forfeiture, the “law enforcement” practice of pulling you over without cause, taking whatever cash or property you have with you without charge or arrest, and making you beg to get it back. Seriously!  Bad enough by itself, but Oklahoma’s opened a new frontier.  Their new Electronic Recovery and Access to Data (ERAD) means cops don’t have to limit themselves to plundering just the cash in your car; ERAD lets them scan an ATM card and vacuum any money connected to the card.  Again, seriously.  Go look for it in Oklahoma now if you want, but if it’s anything like the rest of the Civil Asset Forfeiture program it will be coming soon to a roadside near you.

New York Becomes 17th State Against Citizens United

Popcorn--NYSezNo“Citizens United” was the infamous 2010 Supreme Court decision that corporations are individuals as far as their political contributions are concerned, so that restricting their ability to donate to candidates amounts to a violation of their First Amendment rights.  Let’s skip over the next 6 ugly years to today, when nearly 80% of Americans agree that the decision needs to be overturned.  34 states are needed to refer a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United to Congress, and in June New York became the 17th state (and the first with a Republican majority state house) to do so.  Halfway there!

Hillary Clinton’s Standard Speech Requirements

Popcorn--HillaryWhen asked why she accepted $675,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs for three speeches where “nothing controversial or memorable was said”, Hillary said something memorable indeed… “Because that’s what they offered”.  Well, “offer” may be a strong word.  Here are Hillary Clinton’s basic requirements for speaking to any group, including her $225,000 speaking fee, the Gulfstream jet, the suites for her staff, the personal transcriptionist, and so much more.  That seems like a lot for 3 speeches that made absolutely no news, but that’s the point… a speech announcing effective controls of the banking industry would have made big news everywhere.


 

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