Monday, August 4, 2014

You're dropping your tax dollars into a Black Hole.

Everyone agrees: You're dropping your tax dollars into a Black Hole.

It's true: The department with the biggest budget has NEVER been audited. There is NO accountability at the Pentagon.

Even though the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 requires ALL federal agencies to pass a yearly audit, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has never been audited. In a recent report the Government Accountability Office stated that the Pentagon is not consistently able to “control costs; ensure basic accountability; anticipate future costs; measure performance, maintain funds control; and prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse.”
The Tax Dollars BlackHole
According to CA Congressional Representative Barbara Lee, "Defense spending is essentially a black hole and the DOD faces no accountability in how it spends taxpayer funds."

Lee and three colleagues have committed to curtail billions of waste, fraud, and abuse. Together, they have introduced the bi-partisan Audit the Pentagon Act of 2014. This should be a no-brainer, no opposition vote because "tales of waste and irresponsible spending – including off-the-books payouts to foreign governments – from the Pentagon are rampant. "

The Act would require the Pentagon to pass an independent external audit -- or face a .5% reduction in discretionary funds. The new bill, H.R. 5126, sidesteps previous objections to treating the Pentagon as a “monolith” by requiring each individual agency to be responsible for passing an audit.

Everyone agrees it's time to cancel the blank check. In fact, The American Conservative reports the Audit the Pentagon Coalition has secured diverse endorsements for the bill. According to Rafael DeGennaro, “It’s backed by a broad coalition: from Grover Norquist on the right to Ralph Nader — who endorsed it only recently — to Code Pink on the left.”

As Lee noted, "[B]eing patriotic does not mean blindly accepting bloated Pentagon spending.”

If you agree there are better things your tax money could do, you can be a citizen cosponsor of the bill now @

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How to stop being a doormat

I'm tired of Corporations walking all over People! Their greed pushes them too often lately into bullying and abuse whereas America values public rights and the common good. Every chance I get, I stand up for my values and beliefs and let corporations and Congress know exactly what is right and good for humanity. Sadly, they have a lot to learn.

A while back, I blogged about nine-year-old Luke Sekera of Fryeburg ME standing up to a bully trying to abuse his town. When citizens refused to enter a 45-year contract with Nestlé to give up its water source to allow the megacorporation to bottle it under the Poland Springs brand, Nestlé sued the town. Standing up for their rights has been costly, and sadly, the bully still hasn't stopped. Today Story of Stuff wants to help the town stand up to Nestlé.
Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck thinks water isn't a public right.
Claiborne Deming at the Story of Stuff reports that "Fryeburg is the testing ground for Nestlé's goal of water rights’ contracts that will last for generations. [...] Nestlé has shown that it will do whatever it can get away with, from causing local wells to run dry in Pakistan to pumping out millions of gallons during drought conditions in Canada and California." Fryeburg residents are suffering the result, forced to buy back their own water, bottled, for Nestlé's profits.

"Nestlé has planted its presence in Fryeburg and its schools because it wants the local children to grow up assuming their local water should come in plastic bottles. To teach them that it comes from Nestlé, not from the tap.  But imagine if the residents of Fryeburg had their customized water bottles, which they filled up directly from their local springs.  Above each of the 'hydration stations'
 will be a plaque with information and an inspirational quote about their natural spring water. Each day, the kids tote their water bottles to school, and every time they fill them up it gives them a sense of pride in their natural spring water, reinforcing that they don’t have to depend on Nestlé for their water."  Your donation can help make that happen.

And tell Nestlé that water is a public right that they should stop trying to privatize. Support that petition to keep water resources in the public domain