Thursday, January 19, 2017

'Twas The Night Before Trump

'Twas the night before Trump
and all through the nation,                                                
some are full of fear and others jubilation.            
Women will march, others will resist.
But, it's our "shadow" we elected
and that is the gist.
People are fearful
or ready for change, all of their hopes are probably in vain.
A man of business say's "healthcare for everyone!"
Not sure if he know's about the repealing his party has done.
Part Santa Claus. part savior, can he rescue the middle class?
Why you would even think that?
He's completely crass,
Everyday his appointment's, look more like swamp people.
Many are saying it looks like, his dealings are illegal.
Banksters, from Goldman-Sachs he'll appoint,
while people are busted in the street for a joint.
Representatives boycott, as people take to the streets.
It won't change a thing, because of the elite.
The moon over the White House, on inauguration night,
while you work three jobs, where's your invite?
Will he bring back the jobs? Will he last long enough?
Will he get impeached, before the going gets tough?
America will be great again, according to him.
When dealing with the status quo, his chances are slim.
Like Christmas stories and fairytales, these promises are made,
broken in a backroom or right in your face.
The system is broken, Trump cannot save it.
Remember this, when you see every hypocrite, dressed to the nines.
Eating and dancing and drinking fine wine.
While you drag yourself to bed, weary from your day,
your bank account empty from the bills you have to pay.
 Trump will get your jobs back and healthcare for all,
immigrants deported, he'll build that big wall.
 Nothing to worry about, he'll take care of it all.
All Your dreams will come true!
Tomorrow, when Trump makes his inaugural debut!













Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Free! Chelsea Manning!

For the first time, in a very long eight years I am actually happy with the man I voted for in 2008. I haven't voted since, but today he made me glad I did. He commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence and she will be free, May 17, 2017!
Hang in there Chelsea!
After two suicide attempts and a hunger strike, her suffering will soon be over. It is a damn shame this travesty went on for so long.
We owe her a debt of gratitude.
The first time I wrote about Chelsea was during the pre-trial hearings, way back in 2012. I wrote about the brutality she was subjected to, It's shameful and disgusting. I can't imagine what she suffered. I wanted to know why George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, et al, weren't standing trial for lying us into an unnecessary military debacle, killing hundreds of thousands as Chelsea Manning's material showed. They will never have to pay the price for opening a Pandora's box of violence and setting the Middle East on fire.
However, Chelsea Manning has paid dearly and as far as I know, no one died as a result of her actions.
There have been to many who lost their lives in a war that never should have happened. Here is a list of what we know, thanks to Chelsea Manning, Egyptian torturers were trained by the FBI, the 2009 US backed coup in Honduras, Oil company Shell "inserted" it's staff into the government of Nigeria, the US spying on the United Nations, that US used Turkey as a base to transport people to extraordinary rendition locations, it goes on and on.
If you read any of Wikileaks and the Chelsea Manning information, you are never the same after reading it. I know I wasn't, especially after watching the "Collateral Murder" video.
This is a bittersweet moment in American history. President Obama did the right thing, but this situation was cruel and unusual as Chelsea Manning had the longest sentence, for which there was no precedent, of 35 years.
I am so thankful that Chelsea's nightmare will soon be over. I know I was deeply affected by what Ms. Manning did, making the information available, starting me on a 5 year blogging journey, that is still ongoing.
Thank you Chelsea Manning and thank you President Obama!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Not All Psychopaths Are In Prison-Some Are In The Boardroom" Robert Hare

Remember this guy?
An Odd Bird, Most Fowl
He's kind of like this guy, they're from the same kind of folksy place, Indiana.

I really didn't know what happened to Danworth Quayle, I honestly didn't care.
Until I started reading an article about Trump and how much he likes the idea of privatizing prisons.
 I thought, hmmm, wonder who's lobbying for that?
That's when I found out about Hobart Ventures and the group that has retained them for their lobbying services, The Corrections Corp of America.
Sounds a little like the Peace Corp of Incarceration.
So who's a "strategic advisor" for Hobart (HHQ Ventures)?
 J. Danworth Quayle, shocker!
 HHQ "works in Washington D.C., but lives in the 'real world" according to the website. "The real world" of lobbying  for Corrections Corp of America, (rebranded as Core Civic) procuring  "The First and Largest Private Prison Owner" government contracts.
 I clicked and found out that they have one such government contract "to accommodate up to 500 detainees" Currently they are detaining 600 detainees in their 2,016 bed (sounds like a hospital, right?) correctional facility.
I wonder exactly, how much a government contract is worth?
 Plowing through the shareholders report, I noticed lots of bragging about shareholder value, its time consuming just trying to get to the value of the government contracts that's footing the bill for Core Civic & being able to afford to pay Dan Quayle for his lobbying efforts.
What I like best is this; "Taxpayers also benefit from government agencies partnering with CCA. Whether new bed capacity is needed or old, antiquated facilities need to be replaced, partnering with CCA means taxpayers do not incur the upfront capital investment which can often reach hundreds of millions of dollars."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't government agencies funded by tax dollars?
"Every day we remain focused on providing high-quality, safe and secure facilities that meet the needs of our government partners. By consistently doing so, we have experienced more than three decades of continued growth and contract retention rates in excess of 90 percent."
"our ability to meet and maintain qualification for taxation as a real estate investment trust, or REIT" essentially, leasing space,(See below for explanation of REIT*) "facilities owned by our government partners" and they pay no federal income tax, 92015 tax form 10k, Payments by federal correctional and detention authorities represented 51%, 44%, and 44% of our total revenue.
That's not all, not only do they lease out private correctional facilities to their "government partners"
"We currently provide transportation services to governmental agencies through our whollyowned TRS, TransCor America, LLC, or TransCor. During the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, and 2013, TransCor generated total revenue of $4.1 million," pg. 12
"Despite our increase in federal revenue, inmate populations in federal facilities, particularly within the BOP system nationwide, have declined over the past two years." Remember, they pay no Federal taxes, because of the deficit and budget cuts, the funding has been cut. So, that's disappointing.
We provide space and services under contracts with federal, state, and local government agencies that generally have credit ratings of single-A or better. In addition, a majority of our contracts have terms between one and five years, and we have historically experienced customer retention of approximately 90%, which contributes to our relatively predictable and stable revenue base. This stream of revenue combined with our low maintenance capital expenditure requirement translates into steady predictable cash flow. We believe the REIT structure also provides us with greater access to capital and flexibility to pursue growth opportunities. pg 14, (*Real Estate Investment Trustavoid most or all tax liabilities,)
'The demand for capacity in the short-term has been affected by the budget challenges many of our government partners currently face." pg. 24 (ie; less money for government contracts)
 'we have created new business opportunities with customers that have not previously utilized the private corrections sector, expanded relationships with existing customers, including all three federal correctional and detention agencies, converted to a REIT,' pg.14
This next offering made me laugh for all the wrong reasons;
"As an alternative to providing "turn-key" correctional bed space and services to our government partners,
"we also offer our customers an attractive portfolio of prison facilities"pg.24
 Sorry, but, an attractive portfolio of prison facilities?????????
This is the best part "Any or all of our forward-looking statements in this Annual Report may turn out to be inaccurate." Ooops!
I could go on and on, but an attractive portfolio of prison facilities is sickening.
So the next place I go to in my head is; uh-oh, there has to be problems with these psychopaths who think prisoners are a for profit situation and surprise, surprise! It's the employees they are abusing;  History of wage violations, poor treatment of employees, I am sure that is just scratching the surface. If employees are having problems, what is happening to the prisoners?
The CCA passed it's thirty year anniversary, read about it here, Not much to celebrate, unless you're Dan Quayle, or you're on the Board of Directors for CCA, like Thurgood Marshall Junior, Yes, the son, of THAT Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice. I'm sure his Dad would be so proud.

 President-Elect Trump is on board with the whole privatization of prisons, it's nothing new and has been going on for quite some time, When Vice President Pence is finished his term as VP, maybe fellow Hoosier, Dan Quayle can guide him in his post-VP lobbying career.
 I just hope he keeps his spelling pointers to himself.
                                           Dan Quayle helps a kid out by spelling potato WRONG.
*http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/11/117983/2015%20Annual%20Letter%20to%20Shareholders%20-%20Final.pdf
http://www.hare.org/

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Was Full Of Crap

So many people are blaming 2016 for so much.
 I think 2016 was a year of bullshit. Seems like the last 4 years has been nothing but crap and it was crap before that too. It's just that the load of bull and the people talking smack has got exponentially worse. It gets to the point where everyone you meet is a con artist or a scam. I can't even walk my dog without a guy coming up to me to tell me he's a dog trainer, without having a dog any where in the vicinity, but for some reason, he needed to convince me he's a dog whisperer.
This kind of behavior is everywhere, TV shysters acting like reporters or politicians saying they are Republicans or Democrats when they act the same.
Yesterday, a friend of mine who voted for Trump actually told me she hopes he's going to change things. It's hilarious. Did she know who he's appointed for his cabinet? Exactly where does this "hope" spring eternal from? I don't know how may examples of liars who get elected she needs but apparently it's going to take more. My buddy Sean voted for Trump, Why? He told me, it's because he's not a politician. That's the only qualification some people needed. But what does that mean exactly? What exactly is he going to do that's any different?
In the final week of the year some weird things happened. President Obama had some kind of freak out and decided to sanction Russia for "hacking" our election the same day as Russia brokered a cease fire in Syria. Is this a coincidence?
There's a couple of things I want to know, had the election gone Hillary's way, (she did get the popular vote) would this have happened? Maybe it would, because Obama seems hell bent on poking a stick in Russia, causing as many problems as possible. Does this come under the "we can do stuff too" threat? We still don't have any proof that Russia did anything. It's insane and it makes no sense unless, of course, it's bullshit!
Do we really need another Cold War or maybe just go straight to a hot one?
Weirder still, after stealing the DNC nomination from Bernie Sanders, (the guy who actually could have won the election), there are no consequences for the DNC's antics, however, we blame Russia for Hillary's loss. Not the fact that no one wanted to vote for her.
There's been a lot of complaining about 2016 and how awful it was, which brings me to an old
 Mad TV bit; 

                                        
People need to get a grip and stop expecting Trump or politicians to do anything, except probably make things worse. This attitude will improve your outlook for 2017. With lowered expectations, you don't get your hopes up over whatever hype is going on around you. You know it's bullshit and act accordingly, like with "Rick the dog trainer" who thinks he's going to bamboozle me with his mad dog training skills, I just walk the other way as fast as I can. I don't give these assholes a chance to pitch their scam. I don't listen to politicians, except to make fun of them or call them liars.
2016, was a year of death starting with David Bowie and ending with Carrie Fisher and Debby Reynolds, it was pretty brutal. It did seem like 2016 was extreme with the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump, the DAPL pipeline construction still ongoing, despite the BS of the Army Corps of Engineers not granting the permits. It obviously doesn't matter, the corporations just do what they want.
Forget 2016 being the year of the monkey, it's more like the year of the corporations. 2017 will be the year of the Rooster! Could that be any more appropriate for someone like Donald Trump to be in office? He's so loud and obnoxious, it's perfect.
There was one ray of hope with the Trans-Pacific Partnership dying a long drawn out death, one of the things that needed to die in 2016. Like so many other trade deals, that have done nothing for the average working person, this one was bad, it's no secret it was a gift for corporations, That's one example of a good thing that happened, because it didn't happen.
 You have to take the good where you can find it.
I can't even imagine what this year will bring when Donald Trump will be President Trump, but like Obama, who had no effect on my life. It will probably be more of the same. I can only hope that the government will be even more ignored and less of an influence, as time goes on. I think Trump will be equally as ineffective as his meaningless tweets. So here's to 2017, the year of the Rooster.



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Price Of Peace

It's $40 billion, in case you are wondering. The United States gives Israel $40 billion, bear in mind, we have no money for Social Security, people living on the streets, a heroin epidemic, people who can't afford healthcare, but we are all up in Israels grill, throwing money at them. Why?
Strange how the US "colluded" with and now the UN has handed down some 'harsh" criticism of Israel, God forbid! Anybody say anything about Israel.
The UN resolution demands that Israel stop all settlements in Palestinian Territory and East Jerusalem, and that the settlements that are there, are, basically, illegal.
Palestinian leaders say they will use this decision, to litigate in International Criminal Court.
This UN resolution is just basically a statement. It doesn't do anything, back in February, they handed down a decision about Julian Assange and he's still holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy. I am not sure what exactly the UN actually does, except try and remain relevant.
There's a huge refugee crises and the UN says it's broke, They have a budget of "$19.52bn (£12.84bn), but only $7.15bn of that has been raised from international donors."
 Let that sink in.
The pricetag for the United States is $8 billion. It looks like the refugee problem is taking up the entire allotment of US money. And well it should, since we have caused so many problems for the Middle East, we will probably never stop paying.
The United Nations humanitarian budget is somewhere between $20 billion and $30 billion.
We give Israel, $40 billion to buy what exactly?
Military aid, bombs and other weapons. We willingly give billions for weapons that make war, but money to take care of displaced, traumatized people?
Well sorry, we need to give way more to countries willing to keep our war corporations flush.
But we supposedly, desperately want peace.
Why is the go-to for every leaving administration in the US, a peace agreement with Israel? I mean why is that our job? Isn't there another country out there that could do better? Because we have failed at this again and again.
Looks like that didn't work out.
What about this time? 
                                                      What could possibly go wrong?
Here we are in 2016, will Obama get his Israel photo shoot? It's like a presidential rite of passage. So now, Ketchup Kerry is jetting his way around the world, trying to keep Netanyahu calm in an effort to stop a machine built to cause chaos and mayhem, known as the US military industrial complex in Israel. 
Why is Netanyahu angry about this UN Resolution? He's got everything he wants and more, he does whatever he wants, that's pretty obvious. The UN can only pass a resolution, it can't stop Israel from doing whatever it wants to do. 
Will we put sanctions on Israel, the way President Obama is planning to do with Russia over the supposed "hacking" of our election? Which was really a leaking and we don't know who did that.
It's completely confusing. 
The US can go into multiple countries and bomb the crap out of them, Israel does the same thing to the Palestinians, we don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to credibility or peace talks or treaties. Why not let Switzerland negotiate with Israel, aren't they neutral? 
These are the burning issues for President Obama, with the little time he's got left in office. Another useless gesture, there's no hope and change you can sell us this time, Mr. President, what we sell are weapons of mass destruction. What we need to sell are weapons of mass construction.
 I think Jimmy Carter had the right idea there, with Habitat For Humanity. 
We are the worlds greatest sales force for weaponry, polluting the planet and securing our own and everyone else's demise.
 No matter what we say, our actions give us away, it's a joke. 
We spend $598 billion dollars on our military. We give billions in military aid to other countries, we are global weapons trafficers. Americans don't even know what is done with all the money in our own military budget, because of the nature of  their covert, classified operations. Our supposed reason for giving so much money to other countries is to help keep them "stable". Our biggest war markets are Israel and Egypt. Jordan, also loves buying our military crap. 
You can't sell all of this violence and then act like you want peace, it doesn't quantify. It needs to stop. But what would happen to all those lovely corporations, if we cut our sales force? What if we stopped paying other countries to buy our weapons? Because that is what we are doing. You can't give Israel billions of dollars in military equipment and then tell them that they can't use it on Palestinians, not after what we've done in Iraq or South America or Iran causing coups and chaos. If we really want peace we've got to stop our meddling in other countries affairs, saying we want"stability" while we go about destabilizing on a global level. The UN can pass all the resolutions it wants, Here's a resolution for you, UNSC Resolution 1441, giving Iraq an "opportunity" to comply, back in 2002, and give up their weapons of mass destruction, they never had. That should tell you everything you need to know about the UN, peace on earth and goodwill towards men. 
It'll cost you.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel_and_Palestine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_aid

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Make America Grate Again With Trumps Band Of Brigands

There's this saying in art school; you have to break it down before you can build it up again. I believe that is what's going on in the US now.
If we can go  back (I know we aren't supposed to) to an example I have used many times.
Watch President Obama's face when this woman asks him basically, what in the hell are you doing? She's confused by President Obama's actions because they don't match his words.
What does he do? He laughs.
This is just one example of why the Democrat Party is the shambles it is, and the Republicans aren't better off either. I think that unfortunately, for America, Trump had to happen. Everything he does is in your face, Check out all the people he will be filling his cabinet with. This isn't much different from Obama's choices. We now know that Obama's choices were  influenced by Citigroup (see email here) How is it there is so much complaining about Trump? Seriously, it's weird.
Next is the "Russian Hack" of our election that "sources say" went on. Here's what I want to know; if Russia influenced our election, where was the NSA, Homeland Security, CIA, FBI? How is it when all my text messages, phone calls and emails can be swept up and dissected, Russia can just swoop in and hack our election? Who's watch would be responsible for protecting the American people from this? Is anyone stepping up saying they were derelict in their duty or why or how it could have happened?
Here's one, of the more cogent articles on the supposed Russian Hack, from The Intercept, stating that we need proof, Bearing in mind the CIA also told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, sending the US into one of the worst debacles in its history of war on the Middle East. Who are you supposed to believe anymore?
Certainly, not any mainstream media sources.
There's been a lot of "Chicken Little's" crying about Trumps choices for his cabinet. Rick Perry for Energy Secretary, Ben "I can't remember Running For President" Carson, HUD Secretary. Yes, it's all laughable. But Jack Lew, CEO at Citigroup was in Obama's cabinet. Eric Holder, who represented Swiss bank UBS, in private practice. Billionaire John Ketchup Kerry, Secretary of State, I don't have enough time to look up all these people. They are all corporatists, Trumps not any different, he's just lousy at finesse and nuance.
Hillary, and her shady Clinton Foundation connections would be no different.
Does anyone even remember George W. Bush's disastrous presidency and Haliburton, Blackwater-Dick Cheney? It just blows my mind that no one can see this trajectory of failure leading right to the election of Trump.
There has been nothing but status quo in this country for decades, resulting in a vanished and vanquished middle class, with half the country in poverty and half the country doesn't even vote. Coincidence? I don't think so.
So the only people that care who Trump is going to put in his cabinet, are the people who didn't vote for him. Even though Presidents have been doing what he's doing for a long, long time. He's not going to drain the swamp. He's having a laugh, the same way Obama laughed at that woman in that video.
If you don't get by now that the system is broken, that the government is a moneymaking opportunity and getting voted in can solve all of your financial problems permanently, then by all means keep voting.
 I won't comply with this system by voting, thereby giving my approval to walls and wars and all manner of nonsense that has nothing to do with every day Americans just trying to get by. Apparently, there haven't been enough examples of politicians ripping off the citizenry and they are endlessly surprised that things stay the same or get even worse. Go figure.
The whole thing needs to be taken apart and built from scratch again. We are living in a different technological age than the quill scratchers of over 200 years ago. It's not that they didn't have good ideas but we need to change, and that's not going to be easy. We have automation that's laying waste to millions of jobs and manufacturing is gone. No economist or the government has even begun to face the fact that the concept of work has changed and all this technology was supposed to make life easier, not harder! Yet, we are constantly told to bootstrap it. It's like running around quoting Socrates while you get into your Uber ride, that's driverless, as if that's going to explain the complicated chaotic life Americans are negotiating on a daily basis. This disconnect, like Obama laughing at that woman's confusion is what we are all up against, only it's just not very funny. We are living through a time unlike any other, maybe the dawn of the Industrial Age, but we seem to be no smarter, dealing with drastic social upheaval than we were 200 years ago. Enter Trump, to make America great again. Moving forward isn't happening, because voting is like getting into a driverless car that's going to get us to some magical destination. Where picnics and apple pie are waiting for us. Looking at the past to take us to the future.
I can't even pretend to know what it is going to take to change this country for the better, But I do know this, doing things the way we have been for the last thirty years or more hasn't made America great. The ideas I have would probably make FDR blush. I bet there are a lot of people out there, just like me, they have ideas, that won't be heard, because that would require change and that's not going to happen...at least not yet.

Monday, December 5, 2016

#NoDAPL Won The Battle, The War Is Not Over

I wanted to congratulate all the brave water protectors at Standing Rock. I have been reading with horror, the absolute madness that has been going on there for far too long. Those people endured violations to their safety and civil rights in the name of clean water, on their own sacred land, while Obama decided "Let's play it out a few more weeks."
Since that time, countless injuries from rubber bullets, pepper spray, concussion grenades and water cannon, reminiscent of the Civil Rights protests from the 60's scenes were playing in most sane people's heads, who actually have a memory of that time. Unbelievable.
Once I saw that 2,000 veterans were heading to Standing Rock, I thought that this was a pivotal point. When the military gets involved in a revolution, that's a game changer. Is it any coincidence that now we hear from the government? The Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit to keep this abomination of a pipeline going. That's all it took to stop it. Why so long?
It's a disgrace.
Most Americans that I cross paths with could care less, they are too busy watching TV "reporters" decipher Trumps tweets. They have very little knowledge and are engaged in a battle for their financial lives, they don't have the time or energy to research what is really happening at Standing Rock or anywhere else, but their own dinner table. There was not much I could do besides blog about it, sign petitions, try and explain this situation to normal people just trying to get through their day, and for the most part they just think I am just some crazy old lady who paints and draws, you know, one of those weird 'artsy" types. Like anyone else, I just want a peaceful life, with time to pursue my work and enjoy nature. Unfortunately, I have a weird sense of justice, when I see people getting taken advantage of it pisses me off. Standing Rock, was one such situation. Their war isn't over, but they won this battle.
Most days, when I am going about my business, I have this weird question in my mind of what it is to be an American? It is a strange thing to live in a country that causes so many problems worldwide, in an attempt to prop up the Petrodollar with misadventures in violence based on lies, everywhere. We give billions of dollars to Israel while we bleed out our own country, and millions of Americans are living in poverty. Drone wars and military hardware sales to Saudi Arabia rule the day, while Native Americans who don't have anything, live on land this country keeps trying to take back, gave enough pushback to finally get some sort of satisfaction.
We will see for how long. This country is so screwed up,
No civilized nation should act this way, denying healthcare and safe clean drinking water to it's citizens, who have the potential to be harassed or even killed just walking down the street, by a militarized police force.
This is a weird place, it makes no sense.
The only thing that finally made some sort of sense to me was that the Native American people we have abused for centuries, finally have something to celebrate on their sacred land in North Dakota.That maybe, just maybe, there is still hope for the American people. That there is hope for the Native American people who live in abject poverty. That there may be justice in Detroit, for people still dealing with a massive water crises.
 However, until we all start getting real and stop thinking we are going to magically have a fair and just country, where basic human rights are inalienable, where all people are created equal and we stop pillaging this country of resources and trashing the entire planet with our insane out of control policies, while our government just takes what it wants whenever and where ever it sees fit.
There can be no justice.
This is just a step, but thousands of Native Americans and American veterans came together and something happened. I can only hope this is the beginning of real change. I hope they are all dancing and cheering in North Dakota. They deserve it. Thank you, for your courage.