Sunday, December 14, 2014

Crimenibus

Guess who else works on Saturday besides me? The Senate! How crazy that they actually worked on a weekend, which hasn't been done since the last "fiscal cliff" problem. This new $1 trillion bill is brought to
you by Wall Street, since the Dodd-Frank Act language was changed in order to let banks trade in derivatives, it's a so-called "cromnibus" but maybe it should be called a "crimenibus."
What's in it? Gotta keep the war machine going, "The bill provides $5 billion for fighting ISIS, compared to $5.6 billion the President requested."
 "While cutting military benefits, the bill includes a spending spree for defense contractors, including an additional $479 million to purchase four F-35s for the Air Force and Navy (two each) that the Pentagon didn’t request, as well as an additional three Littoral Combat Ships."
Thank God, I was worried there wouldn't be more useless, polluting, wasteful junk we need to purchase so we can use it on other countries we police. Because you know, DEMOCRACY!
How about more problems from the banks? Thank goodness we're over that little mess they made in 2008, everything's great now so; "reform of the Dodd-Frank law which would remove some of the separation between financial derivatives and traditional bank accounts protected by FDIC. This would weaken protections that were supposed to help prevent another financial crisis like the one that spurred the Great Recession." Cool.
You can read more about it here; What's in a Cromnibus?
I guess now we can forget all about the Torture Report that came out and go straight to the other torture provided by our non-representational government we have, because really, does anyone believe any of these "representatives" are working for us?
Ultimately what is really funny is Ted Cruz and his Tea Party strategy. Which no one seems to be sure that there even is one. Which doesn't surprise me because Ted Cruz was a domestic policy adviser, advising then-Governor George W. Bush, Cruz assisted in assembling the Bush legal team for the recount, Cruz recruited future Chief Justice John Roberts, to the Bush legal team."
Thanks a lot Cruz, for torturing us with that.
At least some kind of hilarity ensued when Harry Reid got to push through a bunch of Obama's nominees which I don't think Cruz saw coming. But mostly what it seems he wants to do is stop the President's immigration executive order. Which is just plain weird since Cruz is Cuban-American, his father was from Cuba, making him an immigrant. You just can't make this stuff up!
I guess it's good so far that the government isn't going to close down. But the gift they gave to the banks will probably bite us all in the ass. A government for the banks, by the corporations in the land of the free.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome To Room 101

"We never tortured anyone."
I never thought I'd see the day when I would actually see a Torture Report in this country.
 Part of the reason I started blogging was so I could call out Bush and his henchman and name what they were;
 War Criminals.
 But I don't suppose the Torture Report says that.
Dick Cheney said the report was "a bunch of hooey" I think he should be first in line for a "rectal hydration"
Wonder what Bush has to say about it? George W. Bush Knew He Was Too Stupid to Keep the CIA's Torture Secrets
Not shocked!
So where do we go from here? If past behavior can predict future behavior, President Obama will just say "we can't look back." 
It looks like The U.N. Human Rights Committee, has already said that international law had been broken and it's suggested that "The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible."
I'm not holding my breath. Our entire justice system is caught in a corporate choke hold.  
More to the point, after sinking so low and torturing individuals what exactly did we get? Earth shattering information? I'll say, how about this? $80 million went to a contractor made up of 2 psychologists who formed a company, with no experience in interrogation."CIA chose two clinical psychologists who had no intelligence background whatsoever, who had never conducted an interrogation... to do something that had never been proven in the real world." 
These psychologists were, Bruce Jessen and James Elmer Mitchell, Mitchell joined the Air Force in 1975,  
Bruce Jessen and Captain Michael Kearns
 a hostage negotiator at Lackland AFB in Texas. I don't know of any relationship between him and good old "W", both were in the Air Force, although Bush was a pseudo pilot.
Later, Bruce went on to try and become a Mormon and looks like after a week of finding religion as a Bishop, he left the church. Maybe his conscience bothered him?
"History won't judge this kindly" - Jon Ashcroft
 How will history judge Diane Feinstein and her husband's, $600m defense contract in 2002, and  received  "a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms, profiting from war and the misery caused by the Great Recession? Where did the "audacity of hope go"? Now what we have is the audacity of criminals who torture and profit. Like the bankers they are "too big to prosecute."
Torturer's will go unpunished, bankers will go unprosecuted and cops will continue to kill unarmed citizens.
I would like to say I am glad this report came out, but I am more sorry than anything. This report cost $40 million that should have been used for reparations to people who's lives were destroyed by this bogus war  and torture to stop "terrorism." Where did it get us?

“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?” 
George Orwell, 1984











 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The System Is Secure

It's getting to the point where I don't think there's any facet of government that Mitch McConnell doesn't have his dirty fingers in. It just gets weirder and weirder.
The other day, I'm on my way to work listening to the radio and I hear that the Senate still hasn't filed it's campaign finance paper work to the FEC. Archaic Senate still manually files campaign finance reports - Washington Times
I know, it's boring right?
There's about 10,000 pages in this report that has to be typed and scanned and typed back into a data base and it costs about $430,000 to do this and takes a lot of staff etc. for this onerous task since it can't be done electronically because that's gonna take some legislation to change and any sort of regulation for the FEC (or legislation in general) usually dies.
We know how things work in Russia, Washington.
So I am thinking that's not an accident, somethings going on.
My first thought is oh, somebody is protecting some family member or what have you's job, you know, the usual. So I start poking around trying to figure out who's in charge at the FEC. So first I come up with Alec Palmer, a dude who's worked in various industries including oil and gas. Then a woman named Ann Ravel, who got traded from Governor Jerry Browns administration . So finally there's a guy named Lee Goodman, I guess this is common knowledge but this guy was recommended to President Obama by Mitch McConnell, are you kidding me? This Goodman guy, was on the Bush-Cheney recount team. Why in the world would the President listen to that blow hard and take his advice, but ok I get it, maybe he did Mitch a favor, but I am not sure about why.
Mitch McConnell doesn't like campaign finance rules, shocker! Mitch's pal Karl Rove and his super PAC American Crossroads is one of his biggest backers and helped him get re-elected. He's been running since 1984, but it's seems like there's no end to this old white dudes time in office.
So the FEC is supposed to be a "watchdog" but looks like it's just there to look like it's actually doing something while it doesn't do anything. Chinese hackers perpetrated  " what may be the worst act of sabotage in its 38-year history." "The government had furloughed all 339 agency employees, save for the presidentially appointed commissioners," It just goes on and on the lack of credibility and accountability, read it all here, How Washington starves its election watchdog | Center for Public Integrity
So it looks like the FEC watches a whole lot and then doesn't do anything.  I guess some people are worried about the 2016 election coming up, but not me, since President Obama is taking Mitch McConnell's advice it doesn't seem to matter who's elected. They're working for the same corporate masters, they have the same end game. People get all upset and up in arms about people who have given up on the voting process and don't vote and here we have one of the reasons why, between the corruption and the indifference. I am guessing there will be record numbers of the disenfranchised sitting the next election out. Can't say that I blame them when a system is this broken. It's all about maintaining the status quo. We can't even indict a police officer for using an illegal choke hold. Seriously, why should anyone believe a government agency would be able to do it's job? Just wait until next Thursday when these idiots get another chance to shut down the government again, maybe they're onto something.
 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Business As Usual

In the same week protests went down in Ferguson after Darren Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury,  Black Friday protests and Black Lives Matter protests went on here in the U.S.

 Protests in  Egypt flared up as Mubarek was cleared of charges of killing protesters in 2011.
 Mexico is protesting too, 43 students went missing after police opened fire on them.
Protests in Hong Kong are occurring right now, demanding free elections. Thousands have taken to the streets in Greece in a general strike against austerity. Belgium citizens also protested against austerity   two weeks ago.
On Tuesday Nov. 25, demonstrators were baton charged by police  in Spain, they were
© Nevit Dilmen
demanding a new constitutional process. In Turkey there have been protests from 2013 until Sept. this year against the actions and plans of the government of Turkey. This gave birth to the "standing man and woman" protests in Taksim Square.
It's hard to believe there is so much unrest worldwide and so little progress.
While everyone here is gearing up for the retail extremism of Christmas there's little thought of protests as long as one isn't interfering with peoples mall visit. There's barely any thought given to the reality that millions of people are fed up world wide. All I know is most of the people I saw couldn't wait to go shopping and lot's of them did it to flee from families they can't stand being around during the Thanksgiving holiday. It was such a wierd disconnect listening to people brag about their purchases, no one said anything about donating even one can of food to a charity. While so many get by with so little, others can't wait to stand in line for a TV at Walmart. I don't know if people are so busy running from one sale to another they have no idea what's going on or they just don't care. Trust me, I have tried to talk to people about what's going on in Turkey and they ask me how much it weighs, because there's no other turkey but the one on the table. People in this country are blissfully unaware of anything going on outside of their own neighborhood. They see through a lens crafted by Fox & Friends, they buy cheap Chinese crap and hoard it all waiting for the big day they can throw it all under their fake tree. The whole world could be on fire and I doubt any one would notice, because they have a 20% off coupon at Kohls. The yoke of bondage people in other countries are sick of carrying is eagerly taken up by true believers in this broken capitalist system, where black men are shot for walking in the road and everyone goes about their business as usual.




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksphobia

Cartoon by Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star
Well, isn't this a switch. White people serving Thanksgiving turkey to immigrants.
There's been a big brouhaha over the Indianapolis Star's cartoon which started out when a dude with a mustache climbing through a window, then they edited out the offensive 'stash, then they removed it altogether.
The Indianapolis Star had to apologize for their racist cartoon.
I don't know where white people get the idea that we somehow just ended up here in America, even though few people I know ever identify themselves as American.We're either saying we're Italian or Irish or some of us just say we're Jews or Catholics. It's confusing. Adding to the confusion is the whitewashed (pun intended) history of a Happy Thanksgiving that just magically happened and the country it happened in wasn't already occupied by Native Americans, making Pilgrims the illegal immigrants. Which is why I call the coming holiday "Thankstaking"
There's nothing like a big disconnect and supreme panic over millions of undocumented immigrants hardly being helped by executive action, since this issue hasn't been revisited since the time of Reagan.
It's not lost on me that there have been times in the past that other immigrants have been the focus of racism.
I know Reagan didn't have much of a memory, however his great-grandfather and great-grandmother were  Irish immigrants you have to wonder what kind of effect this had on him? Was the amnesty he put into effect 30 years ago a result of his own heritage? According to one politician, Reagan's amnesty act is directly responsible for President Obama's election.
There's a history of anti-Italianism starting with mass lynchings in New Orleans to the tragic Sacco and Vanzetti trial and Italian-American internment camps during World War II. We weren't very nice to Germans either, and not just during World War II.

 Then there was the phrase "Yellow Peril" used in association with Chinese immigrants, which was transmitted to Japanese immigrants too. "mass immigration of Asians threatened white wages and standards of living, and the fear that they would eventually take over and destroy western civilization, replacing it with their ways of life and values."
Sound familiar? Doesn't any of this get old? 
Underneath all of this wierd outrage over undocumented workers is a history of Americans using immigrants as cheap labor or forcibly taking human beings and using them as slaves.
It's not lost on me that on our sacred national holiday of Thanksgiving, a day of feasting and giving thanks, millions of workers all over the country are being forced to work or get fired.
It's not that we aren't very nice to immigrants, we aren't very nice to our own people either. They seem to have one thing in common. They are working class. There's seems to be a lack of gratitude, to immigrants or ordinary American people who are working at Walmart, working jobs that barely sustain a person. If these people figure out that they have common ground, despite a language barrier or the color of their skin and decide to form a more perfect union, Then there really will be something to celebrate. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

There's Battle Lines Being Drawn, Ferguson.

There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear, there's a man with a gun over there.
  Before a judgement has even been handed down, a "State of Emergency" has been declared. When has that ever happened? The Rodney King beating comes to mind Los Angeles Riots Fast Facts - CNN.com
 "video shows King being struck by police batons more than 50 times" too bad for Michael Brown there was no video. 
The entire state of Missouri has been declared a state of emergency. Executive Order 14-14 | Governor Jay Nixon It looks like Barney Fife in Missouri will have back up and The National Guard will be pointing weapons at citizens, there will be nothing to see here, just move along. What could possibly go wrong? I am not sure how things in Ferguson could get any worse.
What I wonder is if someone already knows what the verdict is going to be? Since there is "widespread expectation that officer Wilson will not be charged" Ferguson: St Louis mayor predicts 'widespread civil disobedience' over verdict | US news | The Guardian
History will probably repeat itself and there will be a lot of unrest, due to the fact that people feel they aren't getting justice. Welcome to third world America, police corruption, police militarization, excessive force, and no recourse for the victims is what you see in the developing world. Combine that with a small rich plutocratic group controlling everything, and a large majority that is barely getting by. It looks like war is being declared on the people in Missouri. I hope they will be ready for pepper spray and tear gas and that may be the least of their worries.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

All's Well, That ENDS Well?

My friend calls them the "Kartrashians" so the trash bag Kim popped out of is apt. The entire ass controversy is so crazy to me, I think we have descended into another level of Dante's Inferno. Sex sells and nothing says profit like a giant ass.
Papers profits must be through the roof. 
This carefully constructed image tells me a lot. It's not about Kim's ass, or the pose, or feminism, or sexism. It's more about capitalism. Because no matter how stupid you are, if you work really, really hard and you do all the "right things," go to a good school, you will be successful. Seriously, isn't Keeping Up With The Kardashians what we all aspire to? Isn't it the American Dream? Thank God, Kim's parents didn't waste thousands of dollars sending her to college, since being besties with Paris Hilton and famous for making a sex tape, that's what being successful is all about!
If I look back in history, it wasn't that long ago when women tried to look exactly like Kim. 
Look familiar? Like a lot of our life in the year 2014, resembles something out of a Dickens novel, the American Empire is dying, and we exist in a state of ignorance. We aren't that different than Great Britain of that era, economically stressed and militarily extended. The sun may have set over the British Empire, but here in America, the moon is rising.
It's no wonder so many people are taking the Prozac, but back then the drug of choice was opium. Supposedly the "horrors of addiction weren't understood" I don't think for a minute we know exactly what Prozacs side effects are, because no one understands exactly how it works, sometimes you have to take even more than one antidepressent. That's got to be depressing. People are in despair
because they can't make ends meet, here in the "greatest nation on earth."
There's been a lot of blame going on in the recent election about how the democrats lost. What hasn't been addressed is that Americans have lost faith.
Even Prozac can't fix that. Americans know that they are living with economic inequality not seen in a century.
Bigger isn't necessarily better. 
Oversized corporations have coopted our government, the employees of these companies wages are so low they require food stamps to survive. Any power
workers had is gone now. There are few full time jobs, the industrial revolution is gone, now we have a tech revolution, no one really knows where a working class American is going to fit, things aren't looking good.
We have bigger banks, causing bigger problems and if they tank the economy they get a big bailout.
You know what else seems to never go out of style? Spying!
Sidney Reilly
Check out this dude, he was known as The Ace Of Spies. He doesn't look like Snowden, he spied for four countries and collected a lot of data and was the basis for James Bond. Those movies were a lot of fun, but the NSA is no joke. No one thinks it's funny to have their personal data collected.
Another thing we have in common with the Dickens era. PRISONS! Dear Lord they had a lot, debtors prisons, work houses. It used to be that Britain sent their prisoners here, when they couldn't do that anymore they got themselves a Prison Industrial Complex.
I don't think they can hold a candle to us, we do prisons BIG time. "7 million persons are under the supervision or control of correctional services in the United States"
That much incarceration can be a serious problem when trying to Keep Up With The Kardashians!
I guess in Victorian times that would be like trying to keep up with the Queen of England. 
But what really bit England in the ass? War, just like it's ruined our country. If anything we've created more instability. Our perpetual state of war has fatigued our citizens and drained our resources and our inept bureaucracy can't even take care of our veterans right.This doesn't bode well for average Americans whose extra large asses are never going to pay off for them, not like Kim's does for her. We all have to work till we drop as Social Security fades away and we return to a Dickensian hell that we worked so hard to escape from. We were a super power, but those days are over and we can all watch that giant greasy moon rise over the dark night of America's soul.