Passing Gas to the Consumer

  by Walter Brasch   Gas prices at the pump during the July 4th extended weekend were the highest they have been in six years. This, of course, has little to do with supply-and-demand economics. It has everything to do with supply-and-gouge profits. Over the past decade, the five largest oil companies have earned more than $1 trillion in profits. Last year, the Big Five—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell—earned about $93 billion in profits. Their CEOs last year earned an average of about $20 million. Included within the profits is $2.4 billion in taxpayer subsidies because it’s hard to make a living when your hourly wage, assuming you work every hour of every day, is only $2,283. “We … Continue reading

City Of L.A. Announces Halt to Detaining Undocumented Immigrants Without Court Order or Arrest Warrant

Citing constitutional concerns, the city of Los Angeles announced today that have put a halt to detaining undocumented immigrants for ICE without either a court order or and arrest warrant. In announcing the decision, Mayor Eric Garcetti and police Chief Charlie Beck cited a recent decision by a federal judge in Oregon who found that local authorities violated the 4th Amendment rights of an undocumented immigrant held for two weeks on an ICE hold despite being eligible for release. Specifically, the judge found that such detainers lacked the necessary legal underpinnings, such as probable cause or a judicial determination, required to hold a suspect for a longer period. They also cited a bulletin to law enforcement from California Attorney General Kamala Harris … Continue reading

Pain At The Pumps

Around the country in the past couple of weeks drivers are beginning to feel a little more pain at the pumps as gas prices creep up yet again.  NewHampshire apparently has taken one of the biggest hits in increased gas prices as the San Francisco Gate reports: Gas prices in New Hampshire are 21.1 cents a gallon higher than they were one year ago, and are 5.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. Businessweek notes today that prices should be dropping again.

Reflections on Independence Day

It is Independence Day in America, but rather than focusing on our independence today, I find myself reflecting on our interdependence, because the fact is, we all ultimately rely on one another in this country and on the planet. What we do, how we act, what we say, how we treat others, what we create and what we destroy, are all deeply connected. I feel as though there are a lot of people who have lost sight of this very integral fact of our existence in this country. Recent political decisions and deeper political party polarization has pushed us to extremes, many people are in denial and no one seems to want to budge. But we must budge, we must come … Continue reading

Pennsylvania Senate Committee Says Pigeon Shoots are Animal Cruelty

  by Walter Brasch   HARRISBURG, Pa.—There is a remote possibility that Pennsylvania will finally ban the cruel practice of live pigeon shoots when the state senate reconvenes in September. Pennsylvania is the last state where pigeon shoots are legally held. Rep. John Maher had written an amendment to an animal cruelty bill that would ban the killing, serving, and eating of dogs and cats. The amendment to ban pigeon shoots was sponsored in the Senate by Stewart J. Greenleaf, the committee chair; and Richard Alloway, a life-long hunter. The Judiciary committee had voted 10-4 to send the bill to the full Senate. Voting to send the bill to the Senate were all five Democrats and five of the nine … Continue reading