Sunday, June 30, 2013

Southern Discomfort

Lot's of people have been talking about Paula Deen and the racist slurs she made. Some bigots people, say oh, she said those things 25 years ago. Like it doesn't count, like it doesn't matter.
We celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, but for some people the war isn't over. Just down the street from me, where I live in NEW JERSEY, north of the Mason-Dixon line, is this heartwarming display. There's something about a Confederate flag that say's home, don't you think?
As if that circa 1980's aqua and mauve chair wasn't enough, they have to hang the "Southern Cross" on their door.
According to the Supreme Court,  "our country has changed"
Maybe Justice Roberts would like to come to the Jersey Shore and witness the assholes people, driving around in their pick-up trucks decorated with the confederate flag. People like to say that the flag isn't about racism to justify using it as some kind of ornament for their cars or homes. They seem to forget a little thing called SLAVERY. It might be different if these people with their flags could even bring up the argument about states rights, but they're not that intelligent. They probably don't know that recently North Carolina had to take down their Confederate flag after people complained, because it's RACIST!
The Supreme Court seems to be unaware of what even I am aware of, that the former GOP chairman in Florida purposely tried to "suppress the black vote. " True story, not kidding, in 2012.
While Paula Deen thinks "Plantation style" weddings are nostalgic and festive and people like to reminisce about "the good old days" when you could own a human being, sell a human being and lynch a human being, she obviously have no sense of reality, neither does the Supreme Court. In their world racism doesn't exist. In the real world  a picture says a thousand words. I can think of one word the people down the street from me probably use on a daily basis.
Sorry assholes, the south is NOT going to rise again. I hope you enjoy the $100 fine you receive for your racist confederate bullshit.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Immigration Industrial Complex

It's sad, when all I can see is profits for politicians and corporations, with every piece of legislation that comes out of Washington and S.77 is no different.
S.744 is a pinata filled with cash for corporations and politicians.
In an attempt at immigration reform, it looks like something very expensive will happen. The Congressional Budget Office report says that the Border Patrol "surge" is going to cost  billions.
 Let's break it down, shall we?
"The most significant additional discretionary costs are those necessary to implement the border security measures in the bill. CBO estimates that implementing the border security measures specified in S. 744 would cost $15.2 billion over the next 10 years, including $4.7 billion in 2014. Costs for additional Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents alone would exceed $600 million annually by 2017 and total $6 billion over the budget window. The estimate anticipates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will hire 3,500 additional CBP agents by end of 2017, add and upgrade border patrol stations along sections of the southwestern border, expand surveillance systems, and purchase additional aircraft and watercraft. The Department of Transportation and General Services Administration are also required to improve existing infrastructure at border crossings, which is included in the $15.2 billion cost."*
This is directly from the CBO, the section I bolded really interests me, because I see an opportunity here for some contracted corporation to make money, lets say someone connected to a high level government official who is getting lobbied with lots of cash. Seriously, I don't believe for a minute that the politicians or the Gang Of Eight gives a damn about immigrants. 
The millions of undocumented workers in this country work for low wages, which drive down everyone's wages and that's what corporations want. They don't pay taxes or Social Security, if that withholding does occur, employers line their own pockets with it. 
The only reason that immigration reform has a hope of passing is that the racsist GOP KNOWS that they need the Hispanic vote, they lost 70% of those "takers" in the last election. 
 " The Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Prison System totaling about $5 billion over 10 years. CBO determined that between 2014 and 2016, DOJ would need to hire 75 immigration court judges per year and increase the number of staff attorneys for the Board of Immigration Appeals by 30 annually to handle increased immigration caseloads and claims."*
Don't get me started about the Prison Industrial Complex. We already have a failed war on drugs with mass incarceration, providing profits for companies and corporations, (google Corrections Corporation Of America) so now we will have a war on immigrants and money to be made housing them, investors want more criminalization for maximum profits. This is one reason why pot is still illegal, but I digress, if there is a way to commodify illegal immigrants this will be one of them, besides paying them slave wages.
There is going to be a huge concentration of money for the border.
You better believe this bill Text of S. 744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (Reported by Senate Committee version) - will be filled with pork and billions in profits and kickbacks to sleazy politicians who do not care about the humane treatment of the millions, if not a billion of illegals in this country.
It's going to be really interesting to see if the lunatic fringe tea party faction goes for any of this. After all the crying and carrying on about the deficit, it's going to be hard for the GOP to swallow billions going to immigration when food stamps and social security are too expensive and we have don't have any money for social programs. Not to mention the gridlock that has choked this country for years.
The only way this legislation will pass is if there is enough money to be made for the Corporate Industrial Complex.
*SBC Analysis Of CBO Immigration Report: Senate Bill Increases On-Budget Deficit, Increases Unemployment, Depresses Wages - Budget Background - Research - U.S. Senate Budget Committee

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tinker, Traitor...Spy?

The Emperor has no clothes.
                                                          2 words, Valerie Plame.

I wasn't sure what to think of Ed Snowden until I read this:
"Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school."  Edward Snowden: the truth about US surveillance will emerge | World news | The Guardian
Mr. Snowden has been called grandiose, a narcissist. It has been suggested since he fled to Hong Kong, that he's working for the Chinese.
This guy had a good paying job, (without graduating from high school, no student debt) a house in Hawaii, decides to jeopardize everything, with a guarantee he will not be able to come back to this country, for what? Is he a big fat Benedict Arnold traitor?

It's a good thing private contractors save us so much money and are completely trustworthy, such a relief.
Seriously, I am sure Russia is shocked we've been spying on them,.
In the "interest of letting Americans know what's going on," I don't know any who actually care.
 They are completely apathetic to their information being collected, since they are too busy trying to survive.
Snowden; "Obama's campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. Many Americans felt similarly. Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge.
 Now we are getting somewhere, because Eddie isn't alone here. The way President Obama ran his campaign and the way he governs are vastly different. Snowden is not the only one who has noticed it. However, he seems to justify his outing of US surveillance as a sort of social justice that the President didn't follow through with.
So I don't know if this guys a spy or a psycho or neither. Maybe he's just pissed off at the corruption and lies that have been going on since The Patriot Act? Time will tell. Having someone like Dick Cheney call you a traitor? A man who fabricated information that led this country into an unnecessary war, who was never prosecuted for war crimes. If that's justice in America, Snowden has nothing to worry about.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

“He who controls the past controls the future."

While reading this morning I was in shock and awe about how many of the worlds problems could be laid at the door of George W. Bush.
 Lets start with Syria,
Calling the report "fabricated", Russian policymaker Alexei Pushkov said: "Information about the usage of chemical weapons by Assad is fabricated in the same way as the lie about [Saddam] Hussein's weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq]."  Nice.
Bush admin's Iraq WMD claims hang over Syria chemical weapons debate - U.S. News

Russia has been supporting the Assad regime for decades, but the fact that they can say something like this and it's true, speaks volumes, volumes about Bush and the damage he's done to this country.
 (Reuters) - Attacks across Iraq targeting mainly Shi'ite Muslims killed at least 30 people on Sunday, police and medics said, intensifying fears of a descent into all-out sectarian war.
Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Sunni leader Saddam Hussein, a stable power-sharing compromise between Iraq's Sunni, Shi'ite and ethnic Kurdish factions is still elusive and violence is on the rise. Gee Whiz, how did that happen?
 A hunger strike  has been going on for 3 months, in Guantanamo Bay. But really, who cares?
How about the NSA scandal?
Mike McConnell, (Gosh, another McConnell? Who knew?) who once led the National Security Agency, is now the chief architect of Booz Allen’s cyberstrategy — and among the executives facing tough questions after a data leak.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was how this guy was related to the Bush Administration?
"His civilian career includes serving as the United States Director of National Intelligence from 20 February 2007 to 27 January 2009 during the Bush administration"
It's no secret that the Carlyle Group owns Booz Allen. Where, oh where, have I heard about The Carlyle Group?
 In Fahrenheit 911, Moore makes nine allegations concerning the Carlyle Group, including: That the Bin Laden and Bush families were both connected to the Group; that following the attacks on September 11, the bin Laden family’s investments in the Carlyle Group became an embarrassment to the Carlyle Group and the family was forced to liquidate their assets with the firm.* Oh that was such a long time ago. Who cares about that? 
Carlyle continued to make large investments into 2007 as the buyout market reached its peak. In June 2007, Carlyle agrees to acquire HD Supply for $10.3 billion, along with Bain Capital. Wasn't Romney involved with that?
Why is it that National Security is farmed out to hedge fund pirates? Why is that? Shouldn't that be handled by the government?  So we hand over intelligence to those who are in the financial industry, who need to wheel and deal on the basis of new information, so they can HEDGE their bets? Really?
While all of us continue to live under more and more scrutiny, the criminal who laid the United States so low, is still free. While CEO's and stockholders rape this country, those in need can go without.
$20.5 billion in food stamp cut,  Boehner decides to support farm bill | The Daily Caller
That's right, more corporate welfare for Big AG, but go ahead and cut food stamps for the millions left behind in the "Great Recession," a recession that started under the Bush Administration and lingers to this day.

It's business as usual in the U.S. 

*Carlyle Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top Gun

Yeah, guns and booze go together like Laurel and Hardy. Maybe just not as funny.
There was another college shooting in Santa Monica.  5 people are dead. The guy who killed five people at Santa Monica College, had serious mental illness issues and had been previously hospitalized for them.
Jurors are being selected for the Trayvon Martin shooting case
 George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin was a neighborhood WATCH volunteer. I don't know if he's mentally ill and apparently no one is questioning that. But I would like to  know what about neighborhood WATCH means ignoring a dispatchers directive to not chase an unarmed teenager and wait for police? 
Maybe he just could not follow directions? 
Whether you're a crime fighting volunteer or a certifiable nutcase, guns are good. 
It turns out, neither do the mentally ill, or neighborhood WATCH volunteers. While Washington D.C. goes crazy over the NSA leaks, I didn't hear anyone complain about the fact that mass shootings are occurring every 2 weeks. Gun control legislation languishes, more people die while the idiots in Washington chase the next scandal, when the biggest scandal of all are the amount of killings due to lack of serious background checks for the mentally ill regarding the purchase of guns. 
Turns out that it's more than a thrill to grab a gun in a sexy satin camisole. It's a necessity when you're trapped in a frame of Christmas nostalgia with balls about to rain down on your head.  But what is really unspoken here is that you could be handing a gun over to someone who's going to use it on you. She doesn't look as if she's going to shoot that thing.  1,500 women are killed each year by their boyfriends or their husbands.
About 4,563 people have died this year from gun violence. If that many people had SARS I don't think it would be ignored the way the epidemic of deaths due to guns are. I don't know many people who have to
deal with bears or lions or tigers on a daily basis anymore. I do realize that people are the most dangerous thing in our environment. But why is the only answer having an arsenal of weapons available? I wonder how many people are going to die today because of gun violence? When will the next mass shooting be? People say we can't stop these events from occurring, does that mean we shouldn't do anything about it?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why Can't Republicans Be More Like Democrats?

All week long I have been hearing or reading about the College Republican Committee Report and the "misconceptions" about the Republican party. I like that they used the word "misconceptions" because "conception" is always lurking somewhere in a conversation about Republicans.
"[The] Republican Party has won the youth vote before and can absolutely win it again,” the report says, pointing to presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush who were competitive with that demographic."
Lets see, Reagan ran for president over 30 years ago and Bush over 10 years ago, making their demographic pretty damn old and hopefiully dying out.
When you have people like this running your party
or this
it's surprising to me that anyone votes for these assholes. Seriously, I think I vote for Democrats out of spite because it's pretty obvious they don't give a shit about us either. 
I can't imagine why young people, or anyone really, would think that the Republican Party is hostile to women, immigrants, birth control, abortion, just  name it, they're hostile and they have created a pretty hostile environment for themselves. 
When the focus group of young adults was asked what was important to them they answered:
• "everyone in America should have access to health coverage"
• "reducing big government" does not make sense as a policy goal
• there is a difference between "fixing" and "reducing" the national debt
• gays should be allowed to get married
• "we are spending way too much time fighting other countries' wars"
• "taxes should go up on the wealthy"

It doesn't matter how you market yourself, when your "tone" makes war on every minority in the US, except the 1%. The party of old white guys is over. As a matter of fact, in the grocery store yesterday an old white guy was standing in front of all the beef and chicken and pork that he couldn't afford to buy, marveling at the prices and complaining that no one can afford to eat anymore. Hey Taker! Republicans say you can eat cake!
How are Republicans going to make themselves more "appealing" to anyone, let alone young people? Most of the young people and old people I know won't even vote, for ANYONE, because they know that corporations ARE people, they own politics. Corporations matter more than the quality of life for most Americans. Both parties are guilty of pushing corporate agendas before the American people.
When most Americans think that "everyone in America should have access to health coverage," one can only deduce that the reason every American does not have access to healthcare coverage, is because the health insurance corporations don't want you to. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure that out.
 All week long, all I heard was that the Republican Party needed to change their "tone" and rebrand their "brand." Marketing will only go so far, because there will always be dumbass's that will buy bullshit. But you can only fool some of the people some of the time. Thanks to the internet and more information being widely available, people are wising up. 
The biggest problem I see is more than The Grand Old Puritans being tone deaf, it's the fact that most Americans don't and won't vote because they know BOTH parties are owned by corporations.
Not to mention the fact that no one mentions, is the stain George W. Bush left behind that will last for generations. The Democratic Party has an opportunity to remind those that do vote in every single election of the tragedy that Republicans have brought to this country and all over the world. No amount of scrubbing is going to wipe that mess clean. How convenient is it that these elephants seem to forget? Reagan, Nixon, Bush, WTF is it with Republicans? Looks like the GOP is SOL.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

High And Dry

How long till Nestle owns this?
Is there a human right to water?  It's not like you can live without it, when I saw this; Drop in U.S. underground water levels has accelerated -USGS | Reuters
It kind of made me wonder about the privatization of water. If you're lucky enough to have a well, your water's free, until the aquifer dries up, otherwise you are charged by your water company and the rates keep going up. Local water companies have complete control over what should be a public resource.
You've got to love good old free market capitalism, since water corporations are accountable only to stock holders, not to the public, well, you can imagine what the bottom line is going to be.

"Nestle Waters with its numerous brands, in order to provide commodity for the bottled water industry. This industry, which often bottles common ground water and sells it as spring water, competes with local communities for access to their water supplies, and is accused of reselling the water at drastically higher prices compared to what citizens pay for tap water."*
It looks like Agribusiness is depleting aquifers, is the problem getting worse since farming has been corporatized? I think we all know there's a finite amount of water available. But this problem will have to become a crises before anything is done about it. Then I wonder who it will be available to and how costly will it be?  I see people watering their lawns on a rainy day. Water, water everywhere... until there's not a drop to drink. 
I doubt seriously any government entities are doing anything to protect our water supply, I'm not sure if the EPA is even protecting the water quality. Looks like Prozac is in our drinking water and it might be linked to autism. Anitbiotics are in our drinking water. Unfortunately for me, not enough anti-anxiety medication is in my drinking water.  I guess it's great that the EPA is detecting all this "medicine" water, but then what? Seems like a lot of people are still drinking it in the Kool-Aid. 
I don't think it' a matter of if, it's a matter of when all water is privatized. If there's a way corporations can squeeze the citizenry dry to pay for water, it's going to happen. 

                                                    How about a little Radiohead?


 * Wikipedia

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Country Of Crazy

I read a lot. I don't know how many hours I spend reading, I should probably try and count some day, but why waste time doing that when you could be reading? While I was reading, I came across an article in the Washington Post, it's about the difficulty of closing down commissary's on military bases. It would save tax payers about $1 billion a year. In this article it states that "personnel costs account for more than  one quarter of all defense spending." In other words, look out any of you who served your country, austerity is coming to a military base near you! Apparently, there was so much complaining, that they couldn't get rid of the commissary's.
 "We are on an unsustainable course,” said Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine major general who chairs the Reserve Forces Policy Board. “We are trading off active-duty combat readiness to protect all of these benefits.” God forbid, the people who were promised benefits in exchange for say, fighting in the "War On Terror" get benefits.
But guess what we can spend billions on? 2000 unused M-1 Abrams tanks, because General Dynamics, (I have written about them and their donations to every politician in DC) $3 billion spent on tanks the military obviously doesn't need and instead picks commissary's to cut the budget. That is what makes the US the Country Of Crazy. I am all for cutting the DOD's bloated budget, but can we be smart about it?
"173 members of the House from both parties wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urging him to continue producing more tanks" It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that these 173 members of congress are getting lots of money from General Dynamics. Since they are working for General Dynamics and not the American people, I think we could save a lot of money for say, not paying anyone in congress or the senate a salary or benefits. $174,000 is the basic salary for political whores, I mean, members of congress and the senate, not including all their other perks. 435 in congress, 100 in the senate x 174,000= $93,090,000. It's a start!
If we are on an "unsustainable course" and we can't have commissary's on military bases, why is it that we can have H.R. 1446, a bill that calls for a colony on the moon? A bill called "Reasserting American Leadership In Space Act" I remember this was part of Newt Gingrich's act. We can't take care of the people in our own country,  why not start populating the moon?
Salon had an article about half of Americans living in poverty,
One in eight post 9/11 veterans are living in poverty. More vets are living in poverty, report shows.
This is a disgrace, no veteran should be living in poverty. Americans should not be going without healthcare or living in poverty so we can build more tanks that no one wants or needs. There used to be a "War On Poverty" anyone remember that? President Johnson said that in his State of the Union Address. Now we have a war on the poor, whether they are veterans or any ordinary American. What is really crazy is that we tolerate this. A real war is going on right under our noses, it's the war on Social Security, the war on SNAP, the war on any social program that is helping anyone, especially the people who were left behind in The Great Recession-Depression 2008.  Every one I know of is getting by with less, except the people who supposedly represent us. I think they should  get by with less, lets start with cutting their salaries.