Thom's blog

  • Is coal gasification coming to the US?

    Our nation has seen the dangers of coal mining and drilling for natural gas, but few of us have heard of coal gasification.  That's because it's a highly dangerous process of creating synthetic natural gas, by setting coal on fire and injecting it with oxygen and water.  And, if an Australian energy company has their way, Americans may become very familiar with this dangerous process.  

  • Deadly weather is the new normal...

    Over the weekend, a deadly string of nearly 80 tornadoes ripped through the Midwest.  Meteorologists called the storms “a rare and very dangerous late-season weather outbreak” that came on quickly and gave people little time to find shelter.  As of Monday morning, at least six deaths had been reported from the storms that spanned seven states, and the worst of the damage occurred in the town of Washington, Illinois.

  • A peak behind the TPP curtain.

    This week, Americans got a peak behind the curtain of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and what we found is frightening. On Thursday, Wikileaks published a complete draft of the “intellectual property rights” chapter of the TPP, and it poses a serious risk to free speech and information access.

  • The IRS wants info on tax dodgers!

    The Southern District Court of New York says the IRS can go after people who stash fortunes overseas.  Last week, U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood authorized the agency to issue summonses that require Citibank and New York Mellon to hand over information about U.S. taxpayers who've been evading federal taxes.

  • Our economy should work for us.

    You wouldn't know it by looking at your bank account, but our GDP growth rate was 2.8% in the third quarter of 2013.  That's much higher than the long-term rate of 2%, but average Americans won't see any benefit from better growth.

  • The "Largest Corporate Power Grab You've Never Heard Of."

    Many Americans oppose NAFTA and other trade deals, but they haven't even heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison describes the TPP as the “largest corporate power grab you've never heard of.”  Despite 19 rounds of negotiations that started all the way back in 2005, many of the details of the TPP still remain secret, even to members of Congress.  

  • Honor our veterans with peace.

    Veterans Day is about honoring our service men and women, for the patriotic duty of putting their lives on the line to protect and serve our nation.  But, one of the most important historical points about this day has been forgotten.  Originally, Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day, and it commemorated the end of the First World War.

  • Lawsuit alleges insurance companies are at fault for cancellations.

    Millions of insurance policies are being canceled across the nation, and while companies are blaming Obamacare – it appears that plain old greed is the real reason. Consumers in California say that their insurance company caused their cancellations, to jack up their premiums under the ACA.

  • Is the CIA bribing AT&T to spy on foreign citizens?

    The Central Intelligence Agency has been bribing AT&T to help them spy on international communications.  According to a new report in the New York Times, the CIA has been paying that company $10 million dollars a year for access to their overseas metadata.  By accessing that data, the CIA is spying on private communications, including the date and length of calls, and the phone numbers involved, all without a warrant.

  • Yesterday's wins... and losses...

    For democrats, the big victories from yesterday's elections were that Terry McAuliffe and Bill DeBlasio defeated their Republican opponents in Virginia and New York.  However, there were many other wins, and losses, for progressives around our nation.

  • Today is a preview of 2014 and beyond.

    Today is election day in several states around our nation, and the danger of many new voting laws is apparent.  This week in Texas, former democratic representative Jim Wright was almost denied the right to vote under the new voter ID law.

  • So, about those cancellation letters...

    Surprise, surprise... Insurance companies are trying to cheat customers out of more money.  Since the start of Obamacare, we've heard various reports of companies canceling insurance policies, and charging customers hundreds of dollars more each month to continue coverage.

  • This is un-American.

    Starting today, 47 million hungry Americans will see cuts to their SNAP benefits.  Five billion dollars is being slashed from the program, leaving the poor to survive on even less.  Families who are already struggling to make ends meet will see their food stamp benefits drop by an average of $36 dollars per household.

  • Why should we believe the NSA now?

    For the third time in two weeks, we learned about yet another NSA spying program.  First we heard about the agency tapping the phones of world leaders.  Then we learned about them collecting data on Europeans.  And now, we find out that the NSA has broken into the main communication links of Yahoo and Google.

  • Yesterday's other hearing...

    While Fox so-called News kept the focus on yesterday's congressional hearing on, there was another round of question-and-answer that is a much bigger cause for concern.  NSA director, General Keith Alexander, and James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence were called before the House Intelligence Committee to answer questions about government spying.

  • The cost of doing nothing about gun control.

    It hasn't even been a year since the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  You wouldn't know it by listening to Congress, but since then almost 10,000 more people have been killed by guns in our nation – and that's only what the media has reported.  Since Newtown, Slate Magazine has partnered with a twitter group called @GunDeaths to track gun-related fatalities.

  • The huge protest you didn't hear about this weekend.

    When 50 Tea Party members show up in Washington, the national media falls all over themselves to cover the so-called rally.  But, when thousands gather to protest NSA spying, there's not a peep in the corporate news.  That's exactly what happened over the weekend, when thousands converged on our nation's capital to be part of a “Stop Watching Us” protest.

  • Spying on friends is not acceptable...

    This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was outraged to learn that the U.S. was spying on her cell phone.  But, she's not the only one who should be alarmed.  The NSA has been snooping into the private phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders.

  • Stop the TPP!

    A coalition of public interest groups wants Congress to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership.  The groups sent a letter to several ranking members of Congress, asking them to deny President Obama's request to fast-track the T.P.P., and hold on to their Constitutional authority to oversee trade deals.

  • TSA now stands for The Snooping Agency!

    In many states around our nation, you don't need a background check to buy a gun.  But, if you have travel plans, be prepared for the authorities to do a little digging.  The TSA has expanding passenger screenings, and they're checking a wide array of government databases before you even arrive at the airport.

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