Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Very Buy Nothing Christmas

Christmas is over and guess what? I didn't set one foot in Walmart to make it happen, I never do. After all the celebrating was over and all the dishes were done, I wondered how we're all suckered into believing that there was a virgin birth that no one seems to question? I know my parents believed every word of it so all us kids had to believe it too, I am sure they still do.
About that tree in the living room...Wtf? I don't know anyone who knows why they do it. History of the Christmas Tree
We know Jesus wasn't born in December, so we celebrate, close to the solstice, a Pagan holiday.
Biblical Evidence Shows Jesus Christ Wasn't Born on Dec. 25 - Good News Magazine | United Church of God 
So why not a zombie Nativity?                               One thing you better not do is mess with Christmas. Because it's ok to be a rugged individual in the good old U.S.A. as long as you don't mock the strangle hold Christianity has on this country. The cops will come and you will be told to take down your zombies or pay a fine. Zombie nativity scene owner defies township deadline, leaves display up | Local News - WLWT Home
 Land of the free, but you better have the money to pay. "Christmas is typically the largest economic stimulus
for many nations" Christmas generated over three trillion U.S. dollars during the holidays in 2013.
 Does anyone remember O. Henry's  The Gift Of The Maji? A heartwarming story of a young couple living in poverty, the wife sells her hair to buy a gift for her husband and he buys combs for her hair. No one questions why someone should be poor in a land of plenty. Capitalism has failed us time and again, but we still haven't got the memo. It's winner take all at Christmas.
Despite the lessons that A Christmas Carol taught us, I find greed is bigger than ever. Our failure to identify the greed that is so celebrated in our culture by handing our economy over to the 1% is just the beginning of this country's downfall. Ultimately we will probably drown under a tsunami of cheap Chinese crap, that Americans will camp out in front of Walmart to buy.
I haven't been into Christmas for awhile now, especially since I'm not much of a consumer. I don't have a TV anymore since cable became so expensive and they get to dictate when content will be shown and we're all managed by corporations that tell the media what to report and more importantly what it won't.
 I shop regularly at thrift shops and get insane deals on next to new Levis.The proceeds go to animal welfare and other charities. I have opted out of an economy where only some can succeed and more are left by the wayside. I am not alone.
 I have never bought anything on Black Friday. Buy Nothing Day + Buy Nothing Christmas #OCCUPYXMAS | Adbusters

I hardly do anything most American consumers do, any time of the year, let alone at Christmas. This year was the best Christmas ever. We were all together. That's what mattered. I hope you all had a wonderful day! I can't wait to say goodbye to 2014, I am looking forward to the new year and all the exciting new changes it will bring!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Corporate Cuban Takeover

I like Cuban people. I love their music and their food. You know who else will like Cuba? Corporations that are just like people. It's going to be a Corporate Takeover. Wonder how they'll like Walmart? When I heard about this whole Pope Francis brokering detente between Cuba and the U.S. all I could do was wonder what kind of profit was going to be made? Cuba should run from anything the U.S. is suggesting.
President Raul Castro says America must respect Cuba's communist system, America has no respect for any system. Good luck, Raul.
"Obama has said his government will push Cuba on issues of human and political rights"
Yeah, about that. We just had a "torture report" that seems to have  fallen by the wayside. So I am not sure where we get off having anything to say about human rights. Since we no longer even have a democracy, not sure what kind of political rights the U.S. will be pedaling. 
What we will be pedaling is some way of extracting profit from Cuba. 
"the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, also traveled to the forbidden island and met with entrepreneurs and called for greater economic reform in Cuba."
"The letter also called for greater opportunities for telecommunications connections with the famously isolated island."
 U.S. to let telecoms set up shop in Cuba
I hope they get more of a choice than the monopoly Comcast has on us here in the U.S.
There's supposed to be an Anti-Castro Lobby in this country made up of the usual GOP suspects and it's extra scary because it's made up of Marco Rubio (R-FL) who's of Cuban heritage and Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Bob Menedez, (D-NJ) also of Cuban ancestry. So furiously googling where the Cuba lobby is coming from and what the angle is, here we go, 
US-Cuba Democracy PAC Summary | OpenSecrets  
The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce has been lobbying "the federal government to ease the embargo in recent years. Cuba is a rare case which puts some establishment Republicans at odds with the Chamber."
I also had the idea that with the way things are going for Putin, this would be just the thing since in August  "Putin agreed to write off $32 billion in Russian debt to Cuba, leaving just over $3 billion left to pay over the next 10 years" Why Russia and Cuba Are Partying Like It's 1962
"Moscow is also now exploring for oil and gas in Cuban waters, right in the U.S.’s backyard."
Interesting right? I thought this was interesting too, Vladimir Putin invites Kim Jong-un to Moscow | World news | The Guardian
Now what would Cuba have in common with say North Korea? After decades of sanctions against them too, we now have this hacking situation. Sony will lose millions. It looks like "The Interview" may be a bad investment and with information from the Daily Beast that " leaked emails from the Sony hack which show that the United States government was involved at high levels with the content development of The Interview, especially its controversial ending depicting the assassination of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un."
I was never interested in going to see "The Interview" anyway. But one thing that really interested me about opening up relations with Cuba and the Sony hack by North Korea was how tied to corporations our government is “Sony Emails Say State Department Blessed Kim Jong-Un Assassination in ‘The Interview.’” The emails also reveal that a RAND corporation senior defense analyst who consulted on the film went beyond “blessing” and outright influenced the end of the film," The RAND Corporation. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who was thinking this film was some weird propaganda tool to disappear the"Dear Leader". Aftrer all the Rand Corporation was so successful with the Vietnam War.
RAND in Southeast Asia: A History of the Vietnam War Era - Mai Elliott - Google Books
After the  'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citizens | Techdirt
It should be no surprise that movies, television, news, whatever, will be controlled by our corporation owned government and now we've set our sights on Cuba.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


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.