Sunday, July 27, 2014

Savages In Suits

For people who actually still pay attention to what's going on when it comes to current events, the only reporting that's emphasized is pretty much war and conflict between Israel and Palestine, airplane crashes and tens of thousands of children migrating to the U.S.
I noticed on Thursday, Paul Ryan came out with some hogwash about how he has a plan for poor people;
Expanding Opportunity in America 
Except for one thing. There are no opportunities being created and I mean jobs for one. Sorry, Paul, because there seems to be a lack of jobs and a serious lack of a living wage. When adults with children are working in the fast food industry at jobs that used to be intended for high school and college kids, something is 
"Intellectual" Paul Ryan
seriously wrong. Not only that, but they are planning to unionize for higher wages.
 Be afraid Paul Ryan, be very afraid.
When people, I am talking working people, have to get food stamps to survive, then we have a serious situation. Paul Ryans plan to give states more control and to create a tailor made program to coach the poor to get out of their poverty situation sounds lovely. Except if you live in a state like mine, with a devastated economy and a rip-off artist for a governor.
The state of New Jersey is basically bankrupt and Christie is robbing the states pension fund because his rosy projections for the economy didn't foresee a serious lack of revenue, because, well, people who are working can't make ends meet, let alone pay the highest taxes in the country.
Lets just say that everything works out and Ryans plan is adopted, Where's the money going to come from to fund the "coach caseworkers"? Because Christie can't even get funding for Lack of funding stalls Gov. Christie's plan for more class time |
Christie used money for Hurricane Sandy relief for his own ad campaign to get re-elected, so who's to say that any money going to poor people would actually ever trickle down on them? See, that's the problem that Paul Ryan never addresses, it's the corruption also the assumption that people who are employed aren't paid such low wages that they need supplemental federal help to feed their families. It's just assumed that a job is enough.
What I see here is that Paul Ryan is getting ready for 2016 and so is Christie. Their creative financing schemes are all about robbing Peter to pay Paul. I don't think that this new "Expanding Opportunity" will be anything more than an opportunity to line politicians pockets and to try and pretty up Paul Ryan for president, probably on a ticket with Christie. Pretending to care about the poor in order to keep himself employed is Ryan's goal here and who can blame him? The Great Recession is still alive and well and a good job is hard to find. I can't wait for 2016, hopefully by then fast food workers will have a strong enough union to have some clout. Because I can't see Ryan's plan for the poor gaining any traction. But what I can see is people getting fed up with a government run by corporations.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

V For Vandal

There's a few things that caught my eye, with the white flags that were mysteriously flown on the Brooklyn Bridge. One was that they were real American flags that were bleached. Which got me thinking about Jasper Johns. 
Johns was a Korean War vet, which may be neither here, nor there concerning this incident. Freaky enough is, I'm not the only one who was thinking of Johns when you look at this, BBC News - #BBCtrending: 10 theories about the Brooklyn Bridge flags
Johns is number 5 on the list.
But the weirdest thing of all was the whole New York Post (I know, I know)  Vandals plant white flags on Brooklyn Bridge, causing fear among New Yorkers over lack of security - NY Daily News
Vandals? Really?
Which threw me, exactly what was vandalized? Maybe our sense of security was vandalized? The usual definition of "vandalism" is Vandalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable.[1] The term also includes criminal damage such as graffiti and defacement directed towards any property without permission of the owner."
Could this be localized as a surrender? As in the God awful "choke hold" death of  Eric Garner, if that's allegedly what  happened? First Police Report On Eric Garner's Death Doesn't Mention Chokehold: Gothamist
What's crazy to me is that these people got on the bridge, and shut down the lights with some aluminum bake ware and were able to swap out the flags. If they were vandals or terrorists or what have you, they could have caused chaos, but they didn't. In a time and place when surveillance is everywhere, you would think that the NSA, scooping up all our metadata, somehow, this would have alerted homeland security.
So what has been surrendered? If that is what it means? Is it art? I think terrorism has been ruled out.
What it reminds me of is this, with all the war and chaos worldwide.
 It's John Lennon.  Give Peace A Chance.

     Maybe it's just me, but I am hoping those flags with all the turmoil worldwide, may mean this,

  Maybe we should all have white flags for Peace in front of our houses or on our cars, because these borders, and flags. that are man made cause war and destruction. We need a Peace Flag.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

That's Why

What's going on with that lawsuit Boehner said he was going to file?
7/17 Speaker Boehner Press Conference - YouTube
Listen to him rattle on about "That's why, that's why, that's why" at 1:22:14, when he's asked about
impeaching the president, but it's a very different story when you go to Speaker Boehner's website.
 Speaker Blog |
You don't see any of his bloviating bullshit about about "suing the president is the right path to go down"
Wonder if it could have anything to do with this?  John Boehner Runs Away From His Unpopular Lawsuit Against Obama by Blaming Democrats
 They aren't going to win a lawsuit or an impeachment, because they don't have a leg to stand on. They have no evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor. "The Supreme Court has made it clear in recent decades that members of Congress have no standing to file constitutional lawsuits."
 Don't know how it can get any plainer than that Boehner.
" Legal experts say the merits of the case are dubious at best. For one thing, House Republicans would need to convince a court that they have “standing”—that is, they’ve suffered a specific, concrete harm from the delay of the employer mandate."
GOP lawsuit against Obama looks set to backfire | MSNBC
So lets recap. They don't have "standing" or any clear evidence of anything. However they can get a lot of attention just with their ability to bullshit. Wasting time, acting like they are outraged, yet still doing nothing. Which they are really good at. So, it looks like this whole episode of "The Speaker Boehner Show" will go nowhere. Because "there is no real precedent for Congress to sue the President," that's why.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Keeping You Safe From Terrorism

Sometimes, I think average Americans are incapable of democracy. The proof of this is that we live in an oligarchy, but the average Fox News watching American has no idea of this. They are too busy with their smartphones to notice much of anything. That smartphone is a tool for the NSA to constantly monitor behavior. I would like to think that there's all kinds of terrorists plots the NSA has destroyed as a result of  sweeping up emails and phone conversations of average people. However, that doesn't seem to be the case.  You know what America does? Spy on Angela Merkel. She complained to President Obama in person about it and it probably didn't make a bit of difference and I'm pretty sure they are still doing it. I never hear one bit of outrage from any of my co-workers or anyone I meet in my daily life about the controls that have been placed upon average people, let alone world leaders. Everyone is interested in the next payday, trying to make ends meet. That economic pressure you feel? That's controlled by the elite. What I want to know is what's the end game here? I can think of several outcomes and none of them have to do with helping average Americans.
Ever hear of the "Black Budget"? Here's the deal, we spent $52 billion dollars on 16 spy agencies, but no one  knows or even cares.
I have heard people complaining about the 50,000 children crossing our border and all the free stuff they get and on and on about helpless refugee children. Republicans blame President Obama for the immigration "crises" and President Obama complains that Republicans won't do anything so nothing gets done and it's been this way for years now. Why do we even pay these people? No wonder no one pays attention to politicians. All they are is a money suck. Wouldn't it be interesting if the NSA spied on John Boehner and swept up all his emails? Here in the "Land Of The Free" the NSA is free to listen to private citizens phone conversations, so why not Boehner's? The intelligence community wastes resources sifting through peoples boring conversations, meanwhile they couldn't stop the Boston bombers from causing chaos, so what's the use? Just keep propping up the spy system, spending billions and all we hear is that America's broke. So broke that kids crossing our borders are a huge problem and they can't stay, but spying on Americans is ok, there's always money for that. Meanwhile our government jams austerity down our throats. The elite have made billions out of creating and slaying "enemies," bankrupting the American people. Corrupt power is more dangerous than "terrorism." I am afraid that this democracy has been fatally corrupted from within.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"The Power To Define The Situation Is The Ultimate Power"*

Or maybe it should be the power to confine the "situation". A few weeks ago, there was a protest against austerity in the UK. 50,000 people marched and the BBC chose to ignore it, and why not? After all the BBC is a corporation. Hopefully it's just the start for people who are fed up with being screwed over by the government, the banks, corporations, etc. What austerity's really about is letting big business off the hook when it comes to taxes, offshored money and receiving all kinds of corporate welfare. Meanwhile basic services and programs are too expensive. What is happening there is happening here. It's the defeat and death of the public sector. Sickness, poverty, unemployment, no more safety net for anyone. Just take it back, way back.
We can agree that government is helping the wealthy and big corporations. Politicians are bought and sold by  lobbies. Everything is based on corporate greed, instead of the needs of the people.
 I keep thinking we should be reaching a tipping point by now, then it's still status quo and nothing changes.
I was reading this article about Ukraine "the land where time stood still" and the real reasons people rebelled. It seems that "basic services have been allowed to rot and decay while neighboring lands have made attempts to modernize." How familiar does this sound? Basically, Ukrainians have been dealing with economic deprivation for the last 20 years. Sounds like some kind of forced austerity while " ineptitude, graft across all sectors of Ukrainian society and a general 'we don't care' attitude has reduced Ukrainians to penury." Are you trackin' with me on this, because this sounds eerily familiar. I don't think the US is as bad as Ukraine, but this is where we are headed. Corruption is off the charts in that country, it's getting to be like that here too.
What I really think has to happen before anything will change is a global movement. We are being squeezed even more than the UK, at least they have a single payer healthcare system. Our government hasn't done a damn thing and will continue to stay frozen as long as they get their payoffs. Just know that the rundown of what happened to Ukraine is systematically happening here and in the UK. For further reading, here's a good source and it's a co-operative, not owned by a corporation, Morning Star
Meanwhile the Independence Day celebrations are still going on and the fireworks displays have been over the top in typical American fashion. Which has me a bit freaked out because I don't get the sense that any of these people lighting them have a clue about what's going on. By the time they figure it out it'll probably be too late as America crumbles around them.
  * Jerry Rubin

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independent From Reality

Holidays like the 4th of July are marketing tools for big Sales Events! There's nothing more American than shopping and retail opportunities. Wierdly, our economy GDP went down 2.9% this year. We have all kinds of good news because of the jobs report. This was my favorite article about the jobs report. Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Added 288K Jobs In June, Unemployment Dropped To 6.1%
Here's the best part; "People seemed to be sitting on the sideline in terms of purchasing behavior. Clearly the consumer is back in the market place.”  Really? “Perhaps the only disappointment might be that average hourly earnings growth remains subdued,” Yep the consumer is BACK! Despite the fact that wages aren't.
 I was looking at this chart. I am not sure what the heck is going on with unemployment. There's supposedly all these jobs, but no one is saying what kind of jobs and what about the wages? We went into the July 4th weekend with a great jobs report, but I don't see any evidence of economic recovery. The stock market hit 17,000 somebody's making money, but it's not we the people. We broke away from Britain only to be tyrannized by banks and corporations. I wonder how much money they will make getting us involved in Iraq all over again? There's nothing like a war to extract more profits.
 Children are swarming here, because America has a reputation for rags to riches greatness. These children know they will be able to stay and it could take years for immigration to track them down. They will probably become part of the shadow economy, maybe their relatives already are. Someday maybe they'll get paid under the table, by some shady employer who doesn't care how they get cheap labor. We are a nation of immigrants, but hardly anyone realizes that the only "real" Americans are Native Americans and look what we did to them.  We all think we just magically came to America. Many of us have refugee roots. We've got some vague idea of religious persecution causing people to come to this country, but even more came because they were economic refugees. There was no way to survive in their own country.
Most Americans are so economically stressed they only see others as somehow ruining things for the rest of "us" and there's just not enough to go around. I think if we can throw off the corporate burden we are all struggling with and try something other than this so-called 'free market" that is destroying people, then we could have a chance at taking back this country. Because right now, I don't see a whole lot of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I see people working way too hard for less, leaving nothing left for 4th of July sales.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd like to feel like I have something to celebrate. It says a lot that unaccompanied kids are running to America, because they think we are a kind country that helps children. I hope we live up to their expectations, because millions of Americans are living in poverty so corporations can prosper, doesn't bode well for them.
                                                           Happy Fourth Of July!