Welcome to the Post Modern Blues

Notes From The Dystopian Shore

by adrien rain burke


*On Assistant Editing, Union Organizing, and the Zen of Obituaries
Being a True History of My Career in Journalism

Alternative Obituaries:

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator


The sight Americans are dying to see

". . ". . . a worker’s life is cheap, and an employer always gets the benefit of the doubt. . . . . . . the maximum criminal penalty for willfully violating a safety standard or regulation and causing a worker to die is six months in prison, while the maximum sentence for mail fraud is 30 years, the maximum sentence for improperly hunting migratory birds is two years, the maximum sentence for dealing in counterfeit money is 20 years, the mandatory sentence for piracy is life. The maximum civil penalty for a willful safety violation that results in death is $70,000, while violating the South Pacific Tuna Act can bring a fine of $325,000, violating the Clean Air Act can cost one $270,000, and violating the Fluid Milk Promotion Act can cost $135,000.

"Killing a worker through willfully lax safety standards is a misdemeanor. Typically the fine starts low and goes lower. In 2007, an inspector’s median initial penalty in worker fatality cases was $5,900 and was negotiated down to a median final penalty of $3,675. Between 2004 and 2007 OSHA had not bothered to collect almost half of the penalties it had imposed in fatality cases, equaling more than $27 million."

from "Death at Work in America"
Counterpunch, April 29, 2009

. .American democracy is in much deeper trouble than most people wish to acknowledge. Behind the reassuring facade, the regular elections and so forth, the substantive meaning of self-government has been hollowed out. What exists behind the formal shell is a systemic breakdown of the shared civic values we call democracy."

William Greider, in "Who Will Tell The People?"
(Simon & Schuster)

"In this country we embrace the myth that we are still a democracy when we know that we are not a democracy, that we are not free, that the government does not serve us but subjugates us. Although we give lip service to the notion of freedom, we know the government is no longer the servant of the people, but, at last, has beome the people's master."

Gerry Spence, in "From Freedom To Slavery"

"In the final analysis, free trade is less an economic strategy than a moral doctrine. . . . It assumes that the highest good is to shop."

~David Morris, from "The Case Against the Global Economy"