Sunday, April 28, 2013

Almost Oceania

If your reading this your probably a Prole
So much crazy went down this week, I still feel dizzy. The Boston bomber was moved to a prison hospital, after being cared for in the same hospital as all the people he maimed. Some guy in mississippi was arrested for sending ricin laced letters to President Obama. Unfortunately, the FBI was too busy going after an Elvis impersonator first.
In an attempt to look like some kind of intellectual, George W. opened a library ( otherwise known as the Bush lie-bury) and no one said anything about Iraq or torture, like it never happened. Oh and rich people were stuck in their luxury jets on the runway because of the sequester cuts. Congress shockingly, could pass a bill to pay air traffic controllers so they could get out of Dodge D.C.. Even more shocking, they only work 126* days of the year. But no pay cut or pink slips for them.
Hey whatever happened with North Korea? I guess maybe they gave up on nukes, now they have a tourist, hostage that they are going to give the death penalty to. Syria has sarin and uses it, stepping over a red line, while we draw another one.
As crises after crises captured America's attention some people were watching what was going on in congress when they passed the CISPA bill that will die in the senate. First it was SOPA, then PIPA, ACTA, for a potential police state and massive unchecked corporate, government abuse but don't worry, I am sure they will try again to sell out the American people. Corporate money wrote that bill and they will pay politicians to write another and another until it finally passes. Any law that undermines privacy, undermines personal cybersecurity because it makes more personal information available to more people. Cybersecurity is a pretext for monitoring and gathering private information on ordinary internet users.
Let's see, I think someone might benefit from this, someone like Mike Rogers, who introduced this bill, his wife Kristy, until recently, was CEO of the Aegis LLC who got them a $10 billion contract with the State Department. What a coincidence.
 Every day the NSA is engaged in "systemic overcollection of Americans domestic communications." Big Brother is alive and well.
The Iraq War never happened.
The sequester is fine as long as only the poor are affected because that is a moral weakness according to puritan ethic, Paul Ryan and the Ministry of Fox News.

*Kenneth D. Ackerman: Congress' Calendar for 2013: 239 Days Off

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

American Exceptionalism

Did you know President Bush is making a comeback? According to what I read 47% of people approve of him and 50% don't. When he left office he had a 33% approval rating so now 47% is headline worthy. That is pretty surprising, what is more surprising is that he built a library. It doesn't seem to me that "W" spent a whole lot of time reading, especially when it came to the briefs he received on terrorism when he was in the White House. What really weirded me out during the research I was doing to find out if Bush actually read any of his briefs was this;
"That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.’s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn’t sound".  Because "Shrub" didn't think Osama Bin Laden was a problem.
This was from July 9th 2001. 
Fast forward to April 2013, it looks like the FBI may have screwed up and that even Russia thought that the older brother who plotted the Boston Bombing was a problem. 
It's a good thing we have Bush's Patriot Act* to keep us more secure. " that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001." There was a re-authorization that President Obama signed which would "Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group." Yeah, how's that workin' out? I just feel really confused as to why we have this legislation that is supposed to keep us safe, that didn't keep us safe. We traded our rights for security. A security that just doesn't exist.
So now I guess there's going to be a big ole' committee and investigation that will end up going nowhere and doing nothing. Because these morons that represent us couldn't even pass a Gun Safety Act.  I don't know if a background check would have kept the two brothers who bombed Boston from carrying out their terrorist act or not. Could it keep future terrorists from carrying out future threats? I guess we'll never know.
The FBI and Homeland Security had all these tools that the Bush Administration bequeathed to them to no avail. 
When Bush decided to murder innocent people in his "War On Terror" he only succeeded in more terror being carried out. This is really Bush's legacy.  I wonder if there will be a copy of "My Pet Goat" in his library?
*Patriot Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

While the country tries to process the tragedies in Boston and Texas, the U.S. Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel is in Israel so he can broker a $10 million arms deal for Raytheon.
 General Dynamics, (they make the Fighting Falcons)  and Boeing's Osprey's and it's Stratotanker.
I am no authority on economics, but it seems to me we have lived in a war driven economy for a long time, long enough for us to have learned a lesson, but it seems not. We are arming a country that brought us the 9-11 terrorists. Now why are we doing that? Because they have oil.
Just a thought.
Instead of saying that, we are instead saying "we're sending a clear signal to Iran". How creative. Lets not forget these companies lobbies contributed heavily to President Obama's campaign and Romney's. (just in case)
These are the "job creators" our leaders are willing to invest in.
You would think after destabilizing the Middle East, we would have learned our lesson.

What I think is really telling when it comes to the money our government spends, that politicians are always crying about how we are broke and Social Security is our big problem, just look at the money we spend on defense, but you don't hear anyone crying about that.
Our country can't agree on gun control except that we can still act like we are living in  the wild west so lets just spread more violence world wide.
I can't wrap my head around the fact that we can't create a peace time jobs program for the unemployed in our own country. When are we going to invest in our own country other than making weapons?
 Can we agree that there are enough weapons of mass destruction all over the world?
Does Prince Bandar need more war toys to play with? Remember, this was one of "W"'s besties.
The Boston Marathon bombers we have found out, are from a war torn country called Chechnya. I wonder how much of what they witnessed in that country contributed to the violence they inflicted on Boston?
When are we going to understand the that violence and war should not be a way of life?
Maybe when we get the money out of politics?
Here's some Forrest Gump for you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Global Insecurity, Homeland Insecurity

When I found out about the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I was at work. I finally got a break and jumped on the internet to find out what happened, there were a lot of videos I just couldn't watch, I feel so sorry for the people whose lives and bodies have been ripped apart by this horrible tragedy.
I am a really visual person, I have to shield myself from violent videos or news shows that play traumatic footage over and over, I find it so painful to see what human beings to do each other. It makes no sense to me.
People for some reason, choose to act out or express themselves, by making bombs, that hurt, kill and traumatize people. It freaks me out that people actually make things that will destroy. It is way easier to cause destruction than to create something beautiful. I spend most of my time trying to create something beautiful, many times I fail. I can't wrap my head around the fact that there are people in the world that are in such a dark and twisted place that they spend their valuable time on this planet planning chaos.
Bombs go off world wide on a daily basis. 
I wonder how much we care about the landscape of carnage that goes on in the Middle East, the way we do about Boston or Oklahoma City? I wonder if this violence is connected, the way we all are on this planet. We make war on each other daily in this country and we make war world wide.
Now the search is on for the culprit or culprits that perpetrated this horrible act. Will it be a terrorist? Will it be a mentally ill individual? I am sure that they or whomever, will eventually be caught. But will we ever address the need for a peace movement, world wide? Because the bombs need to stop.
Looks like Iraq had serial blasts that killed 33 people yesterday. 14 car bombs, 3 roadside bombs, went off in 7 cities. We had two bombs go off  yesterday in Boston, that is two too many, however, there are people dealing with this kind of destruction on a daily basis. As far as Iraq goes, it is our fault, since we destabilized that country in 2003. But I don't see any outrage or sorrow about that.
Violence is wrong any where anytime. It achieves nothing but ruined lives and families that will never be the same. Families all over the world are enduring the same sorrow and trauma the people in Boston are today.
When can we come together and say enough to violence made on anyone, anywhere? When can we lay down the nukes, destroy the drones and get rid of the guns? Because in a peaceful world we wouldn't need any of them. That is a landscape I would like to see. I wonder if we will ever be civilized enough to create peace?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

United States Of Corruption

I was reading about North Korea. One thing I found out is that it is officially the worlds most corrupt country.

Here's a corruption map of the world. Green is where you want to be. I guess the U.S. is yellow because it means caution. President Obama has called the struggle against corruption “one of the great struggles of our time.” I am not sure if he's winning the struggle. Remember when he went back on his promise of no lobbyists  in his administration?
 In Russia corruption is a way of life. If you look at all those red and dark red countries it's a way of life there too. 
With the passing of Citizens United, corruption in this country got a get out of jail free card. I found This article, a CIA agent states "that corruption is rampant among government officials in the United States, and that Congressmen are misappropriating funds earmarked for Afghanistan’s reconstruction" The thing is, I am not sure misappropriation of funds is only going on in and for Afghanistan.
I wonder what level of government isn't overrun with corruption?
Many lobbies are an employment program for the husbands or wives, sons or daughters of government officials.
"But Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reid's help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator."

Proving that there is no difference between parties, check this out, "
Tom DeLay's wife, Christine DeLay, and daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro, received more than $500,000 from DeLay's national political action committee, AMPAC, his House campaign committees, and the closely aligned Texans for a Republican Majority. DeLay's wife made over $4,000 a month from AMPAC. His daughter also got a sweet chunk of the pie. Since 2003, she received over $3,500 each month from DeLay's national political action committee, AMPAC. Through her consulting firm, she also raked in $222,000 in fees from DeLay's House campaign committees. - Progress Report 2/05
 Nothing about nepotism or cronyism is new. George W. named the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) as his labor secretary. I guess these examples are just one aspect of government corruption. 
So we all know that government officials and their families are doing very well and not feeling the economic pressure most Americans are dealing with now, this is why I think we may be on the way to a situation like North Korea regarding corruption. The people of North Korea starve while the leaders concentrate on military pursuits. This sounds eerily familiar to me. It scares me to think things could get that bad here. This is one of the reasons that our social programs are so necessary. 
Corruption undermines our society. What I think about is the unemployment situation in my own country that is not being addressed, which in turn is causing widespread poverty. Even if you are working you can still be in poverty. What is saving us now are food stamps and other social programs. However hunger exists for over 50 million Americans.
I heard on N.P.R. the other day that the Chinese call Kim Jong Un "The Third Fattie". Meaning, that the dictators in North Korea have all been overweight.  Meanwhile, starvation is driving North Koreans so insane they have been eating their own children. The Cannibals of North Korea
 There is talk that North Korea is collapsing, may be that is why all this nuclear bullshit is going on. Everyone can look at that instead of why this "Dear Leader" isn't helping his own people. It's really appalling I personally think that this is where we are headed if our leaders get their way and cut off all social programs. They just do not care what is happening to the majority of Americans. Corruption is everywhere, the banking system, corporations, lobbies, it is pervasive on so many levels. This situation, I am sure is nothing new, but it just seems like it's getting worse and it's taken for granted, like in Russia, that it's just the way it is.
 While North Korea may be the most corrupt country in the world, it looks like this may be the way we're headed.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"The Enemy Within"

Maggie's dead, not everyone is sad. She called her fellow country men, striking miners, "the enemy within"  First thing I thought about was what would Billy Bragg have to say? 
"This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today. Of why ordinary working people are no longer able to earn enough from one job to support a family; of why there is a shortage of decent affordable housing; of why domestic growth is driven by credit, not by real incomes; of why tax-payers are forced to top up wages; of why a spiteful government seeks to penalise the poor for having an extra bedroom; of why Rupert Murdoch became so powerful; of why cynicism and greed became the hallmarks of our society. "Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this. The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don't celebrate -- organise!"*
I am not sure what is wrong with some  peoples memories, nothings wrong with Billy Bragg's , here's what I remember:
I remember these two and the misery they've caused.
Margaret Thatcher is remembered for politicizing the police.Then they went after ordinary working people. Ever hear of the Battle For Orgreave?
This was about privatization. We hear that word a lot now. This is her legacy and it is Reagan's legacy. A lot of people like to blame unions or socialists for the mess our countries are in now. Except that there aren't any in power. The weak and the poor were and are perfect scapegoats. Nothing has changed except things are worse.
The glorious days of the Falklands War and Thatchers collusion with Pinochet, a human rights violator, but then again she was one too. You would think that The Iron Lady would have been a feminist, but she wasn't. This woman was not about equality, especially if you were poor or marginalized. When I think of both Thatcher and Reagan, I think about the decline of the UK and the US. We may have won the Cold War, but it seems like a hollow victory.  Does anyone ever think about the devastation brought onto millions because of her policies? She's not alone because Reagan did many of the same things.
The future is so much brighter now, thanks to them. Well paying jobs, next to no homelessness and an even better future for our kids. When? When is this supposed to happen?
I think Billy Bragg sang it best with "Thatcherites" I think it's really relevant now. I wonder if either Thatcher or Reagan are resting in peace? Thatcher may have sat in the House Of Lords, but you have to wonder if she was welcomed into the house of the Lord.

*Morrissey, Billy Bragg React to Margaret Thatcher's Death - Spinner

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chain Of Fools

I'm confused. President Obama has proposed  "chained CPI" in his budget proposal. Something that wasn't even included in Paul Ryan's budget. Let's see, cuts to Medicare and Social Security, does that mean I can cut my FICA tax from my paycheck? 
"Now is the time... to protect Social Security for future generations." 
 Yes, President Obama really said that.
From what I have been reading, this is the carrot that he is holding out to the GOP. Now if memory serves me correctly, the President thought that the sequester would never happen either, because it would be a kind of financial suicide for the Republicans. 
Robert Reich explains that this is not necessary.
There's a whole generation of people who already believe there will be no Social Security for them when they reach retirement age.  
I am not sure I understand why it's okay to screw the elderly over. How is that a "Grand Bargain"? 
It's not very funny, but George Carlin was right. We are not in "the club". The idea that a President that is supposedly a Democrat would do this is ludicrous. That is why I don't  believe there is any such thing as a Democrat or a Republican party any more. They are one and the same. They are all owned by lobbies. If corporations are people and the elderly can just suck it then just say goodbye to any social contract America ever had. How is it that President Obama is serving the people of America with his "Grand Bargain"? Politicians are all tools. They prove it every time they want to take something away from the people who work hard, pay their taxes and vote in every election. Our government is a global joke. 
Why is it we always have money to make war? 
There's always money for this bullshit.
Taking care of senior citizens or the poor? A real jobs program for the unemployed? Nope, no money for that. But there's money to move missiles to Guam,  so we CAN all pay attention to what's going on in North Korea. Just let's not look to  closely at what is going on right under our noses. 
Gun control? Oh hell no. Just regulate the shit out of abortion and birth control, because vaginas are out of control. Seriously?
Global warming? No such thing. No evolution either. 
Money to bail out banks? Oh yeah, we got that covered. 
America is a myth. This is not a Democracy it is an Oligarchy. It is contemptible what passes for democracy in this country.  The American people just don't matter. Selfishness and greed are worshiped. There is no doubt that any sort of equality has vanished in this country when you have a government that is above the law.  What I am waiting for is the next war.  Because that's a money making venture that our government can really get behind.  Taking care of it's citizens? Only fools would do that.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Keep Taking The Prozac America.

16 years ago the Unabomber  was arrested, remember him? Oddly enough another survivalist  was arrested after years of terrorizing the local population in Utah. (No, I'm not talking about Mitt Romney.)
I don't know much about survivalists, but I don't think they rob peoples cabins to survive or send bombs through the mail.
Troy Knapp was arrested after firing several shots at police officers and a helicopter. They say this guy was a ticking time bomb. Now he's in jail. I'm no psychiatrist but I can guess this guy is probably mentally ill. Jail happens to be a place where a lot of mentally ill people end up.
In 2011 33% of the average daily  inmate  population is mentally ill. Some of the people in jails or prisons might be criminally insane and need to be there. But a lot of mentally ill people end up in the prison system because of  the GOP's Sainted Ronnie Raygun.
Look who gave Ronnie the Medal Of Freedom. How heartwarming.
Yes, Ronald Reagan defunded  the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. An act Jimmy Carter signed into law, Reagan decided to create "block grants" for states to use as they saw fit. Yeah, that worked out great! It is estimated that 26.2 % of the population suffers with a mental disorder. That's 1 in 17. Thanks to the fact that most health insurance offers very little coverage for mental illness if any, I am sure there are a lot more ticking time bombs waiting to go off with no help in sight.

The irony isn't lost on me that Reagan had  mental health issues himself, check out Reagan's America, by Garry Wills who gives some insight into how Ronald Reagan would move between the imaginary world of his movies and reality. No wonder the Republican party is imploding if he is their hero.

More irony, Reagan was shot by a mentally ill person. You would think that would be a life changing event that you would use as an example of when things can go terribly wrong. That's how we got the Brady Bill. Unfortunately, studies show that the Brady Bill had no impact on gun violence. Just like his "block grants" to help those who suffer from mental illness. Useless.
Now we have the NRA coming out with more useless BS and a nice marketing ploy for gun manufacturers to put armed guards in schools. I wonder if the NRA even thinks one of their guards could be mentally ill and they shoot up the school? Just a thought.
 Meanwhile, mental health issues in this country are being addressed by locking people in prison, IF they are caught before they shoot someone. This seems to be working out great.
It seems like we have very few options for people with mental illness. Jail, hide out in the woods and live off the land, like the rugged individuals we worship in this culture, certainly being homeless can be a symptom of mental illness, which I guess is kind of the same option as hiding out in the woods, only more urban. I am no rocket scientist, but it seems to me we really need to address this issue. Uh oh, that will cost money, saving money is more important than the cost of untreated mental illness and access to firearms. That seems crazy to me.
So, happy anniversary Unabomber, I hope you are getting treatment now that you are behind bars. I wonder how many more people are out there with no hope and no help. Sadly, it won't be long before another mass shooting is in the headlines while we refuse to do anything about the problem of mental illness. Just ignore it and it will go away.