America: land of opportunity

By Jim Stanford on March 6, 2013

Comments: 9 Comments

With Congress locked in a fiscal stalemate, federal agencies in Teton County are beginning to implement budget cuts mandated by the sequester. Citizens are preparing for the prospect of fewer climbing rangers at Jenny Lake this summer, or a possible delayed opening of some roads in Yellowstone.

This video, which has been making the rounds in social media, helps reframe the broader debate over government funding. The skewed public perception of wealth distribution shows just how far the goalposts have been moved in terms of generating more revenue vs. spending cuts.

Those who like to portray the discussion in terms of “job creators” and “makers vs. takers” should have a hard time justifying how this isn’t a banana republic, let alone a just society.

The stock market hit an all-time high yesterday, but as the N.Y. Times reported, the economic recovery has favored corporate profits while doing relatively little for adding jobs or workers’ pay. This video plainly illustrates why.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Economy, Environment, Politics, Republican Party

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in case your invite got lost in the mail

By Jim Stanford on July 9, 2012

Comments: 28 Comments

This sounds like a really great time. Click to enlarge.

Let the parade of private jets commence into Grand Teton National Airstrip.

There will be a few folks, unable to pony up $30,000 for dinner, who will give Mitt their own welcome along Highway 390 on Thursday afternoon.

The address at Chez Cheney is 4205 W. Greens Place, for anyone who might have misplaced it amidst all the excitement at the last dressage match.

Update 7/13: I imagine our local elected officials who paid $2,500 to hear this must have felt pretty foolish:

“When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander in chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm’s way, that man is Mitt Romney,” Cheney told the crowd.

(Via News&Guide)

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Posted under Politics, Republican Party

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Occupy resumes across Wyoming

By Jim Stanford on October 22, 2011

Comments: 17 Comments

Demonstrators brave drizzling rain Oct. 16 to stand for equality.

Activists returned to the Town Square last weekend for a second round of protest in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The turnout was small, although the group continues to grow and a demonstration is planned for Saturday at the Capitol in Cheyenne.

Foster Friess, the conservative investor turned philanthropist and Tea Party activist, waded into the fray last week, saying protesters should take a lesson from the late Apple chief Steve Jobs. Friess circulated a post written by Joe Lindsley, one of several prolific bloggers he has gathered around his Campfire.

“Why don’t you follow the example of the man who created your iPhones, pull yourself together, and try to succeed, instead of screaming like two year olds for more cookies from the nanny state?” Lindsley wrote. (Lindsley, it should be noted, is the former small-town newspaper editor who quit after allegedly being spied on by his boss, Fox News overlord Roger Ailes.)

Never mind the co-opting of Jobs, who while he was alive railed against Fox News as a “destructive” force in America. Never mind that several of the more vocal participants in Jackson Hole are business owners, while another served in the Army and earned enough money through the G.I. Bill to pay for college.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Economy, Politics, Republican Party

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let financiers taste austerity

By Jim Stanford on October 14, 2011

Comments: 15 Comments

Anyone can march for economic justice.

The revolution will be caffeinated.

With Occupy Jackson Hole protesters gathering Saturday and Sunday on the Town Square, Shades Cafe is planning to shuttle over coffee and muffins. Bring your own mug, presumably. Efforts also are underway to procure pizza.

People are free to come to the Square beginning at noon each day. Participants will be acting on their own, showing solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement begun in New York and rapidly growing around the world.

Predictably, as word of the Jackson protest has spread, critics have smirked at the idea of such an event in a county that has been touted (falsely) as the richest in America.

“You morons, get a job and support yourself,” former cop Alan John wrote on the Facebook page.

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Posted under Economy, Politics

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#Occupy Center Street?

By Jim Stanford on October 7, 2011

Comments: 35 Comments

Banksters at Wells Fargo got a $25 billion bailout, while the rest of us pay higher fees for poorer service, making it as good a place as any for a protest.

Occupy Wall Street continues to gain momentum, with new protests springing up every day. Perhaps inspired by this Wyoming man featured prominently at Wednesday’s march in New York, activists have begun organizing in Casper, Laramie, Cheyenne and now Jackson.

A protest over economic inequality would be appropriate in a resort town where so many of America’s titans of capitalism shuttle in and out on private jets to trophy mansions. And a rally would be a suitable place for those local zombies to show up and clog the downtown streets, which they’ve become fond of lately.

“It would be fun to show some support from the Hole — besides, I haven’t been in a good demonstration since 1969,” writes one reader.

When I originally set out to write this post, I intended it to be tongue in cheek, suggesting that, similar to the Wall Street sit-in, a Jackson protest could serve as a nexus of nebulous causes, with residents decrying everything from closure of the north 89 pathway to the recent killing of a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park to even the ban on uphill skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (which is, after all, our largest corporation).

But this is no joke. When you look at the 99 Percent blog or this chart, which has been making the rounds, it’s hard not to get irate. Organizers are mulling an event for the weekend of Oct. 15-16. Stay tuned for #OccupyJH updates.

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Posted under Economy, Humor, Politics

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