Friday, March 01, 2013

Boehner Acts Like A Wall Street Hedge Fund Manger: The country is in big trouble but he’s OK…Thanks for the sequester … jerk.

When in the past - was the US deficit at the level it is now? It was at this level when Bill Clinton took office and inherited it from Ronald Reagan. The deficit as measured as a % of GDP was the same then as it is now 5%. Roll the clock forward eight years and Bill Clinton leaves office and George W. Bush inherits what? A deficit? NO. He inherits a surplus. George Bush then proceeds to turn a budget surplus into a huge deficit. Not only did George hand off a deficit to the next administration but he had to blow away a surplus to do it.  As if that was not enough the Bush administration saw us through two of the worst stock market crashes since the Great depression. The last crash after he had been in office for 8 years with full control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency for 6 years. It was only after he had made such a monumental mess of the country that the House majority swung back to Democratic control in 2006. It was too late to stop the downward spiral. We crashed, and we crashed hard. Exit GWB and enter Obama. The economic wasteland that Obama inherited was so bleak that it boggles the mind that the USA did not descend into a full blown depression worse than 1929. Obama faced not only financial crises but a Republican Party dead set against him succeeding at any program even if it ment getting laid off American workers back to work. The Republicans wanted Obama to be a one term president. Fortunately for Obama the Republicans that chose to run against Obama in 2012 were so far to the right as to scare the sanest of the populace into electing Obama for a second term.

The United States had go through one of the slowest recoveries because the Republicans took a pledge kneeling in front of their leaders and heroes Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh not to raise taxes on the richest one percent. The Republicans have given up their constitutional mandate to see that the debts of the nation are paid. The Republican Party is being run by two certifiable cranks, three if you count Wayne LaPierre.

Wake up Red State voters. You believed the Tea Party and other far-right hate mongers. You thought that by making it hard for Obama to succeed you would be kicking the liberals in the balls. Guess what - you just kicked yourself in the balls. The Red States will be hit the hardest by the “Sequester”. You see, the Red States receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes. The Blue States get less back from the government than they pay in taxes. The Blue States are on your side. Why don’t you have a conversation with your Republican Congressman that gets to the part - why this Sequester is a good deal for you?  What kind of Americans are the Tea Party that they would bring down the House that Patriotic Colonials created and died for? They would bring down the House that the WWII vets fought and died to save from Nazis and Fascists. Guess what; the Taliban are not destroying the fabric of democracy, Al Qaeda is not destroying the ability of the Republican Congress to govern. It’s the far right wing Tea Party Republicans that are taking the county apart piece by piece with the help of Boehner. The terrorists could never cause us this much grief. Obama gave up 1.6 trillion in cuts and asked for 600 billion in taxes. No deal because Grover will not like it one bit. Rush won’t approve because by negotiating - it will give the appearance of cooperating with the president and Rush said he “wants him (Obama) to fail”. Therefore, we take the country apart and you will suffer so Rush and Grover won’t have a tantrum.

You win Boehner. You broke it really bad this time. You can’t win an election on the national level; you have to resort to destroying one of the best deals ever: The United States of America. It is interesting to note that outside of the American borders the rest of the world cannot figure out why Americas elect Tea Party Republicans at all and neither can I.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It Takes A Coward To Shred Freedoms

The following email was sent from The Free Press, written by Josh Levy, it is set off in quotes.

“A major threat to our online privacy has come back from the dead. Last year, thanks to a public outcry, the effort to pass overreaching cybersecurity legislation stalled in the Senate. Now supporters have reintroduced the House version of that legislation — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). It’s the zombie bill that refuses to die. The “new” CISPA is identical to the original CISPA that passed in the House last year — and poses the same threat to our digital civil liberties and our freedom to connect online. Take action now to kill the new CISPA. Just like the old CISPA, the new CISPA would offer companies like Facebook and Microsoft protection from legal liability when they hand over your sensitive online data to the federal government, without any regard for your privacy. And it would permit the government — including the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security — to use that information for matters that have nothing to do with cybersecurity.1 The whole process would, of course, take place behind closed doors, with no accountability to the public. Tell Congress: Vote “No” on ANY cybersecurity bill that threatens our online privacy and freedom to connect. Last year, President Obama vowed to veto any destructive CISPA-like bill that reached his desk. This time around it’s unclear if the president would once again commit to vetoing CISPA. So if the new “zombie” CISPA goes farther than it did last time around, we simply don’t know what will happen.”

Who are these members of congress who would flush down the toilet the freedoms that were won with the blood of the revolution and the subsequent blood of WWII veterans? (you remember: The Greatest Generation). Well, the sniveling, quivering wimps in Congress who would have us believe that there is a terrorist under every PC want to expand the police state, again. It’s getting to look like the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany around here (papers please) … ENOUGH you cowards. Does everything scare you? This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It sounds like you are not up to being an American, in fact you are quite un-American as measured against the standards established by the founding fathers and the WWII vets. Get lost, and take your CISPA, Patriot Act NSA and CIA junk with you.. Having to choose between freedom and security is a false choice. There is no negotiation, Americans choose freedom, we will deal with security when and if we have to.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Reading the Second Amendment, it’s hard for some of us to ignore the fact that the amendment’s primary direction is about the formation of a “well Regulated” militia which has at its disposal arms (or in today’s parlance The National Guard) to safeguard the security of a young United States of America that does not yet have a standing army. The paranoids in the National Rifle Association leadership are busy today (12-14-2012) once again making their standard case for unregulated gun owner ship in the cold cruel light of the deaths of kindergarten children and adults in an elementary school in Newtown CT. We continue to hear from the NRA after each tragedy - UT Austin, Columbine, Colorado movie theatre, Virginia Tech to name a few that we have enough laws protecting us against the misuse of guns and that we do not need any further regulation. I guess we are supposed to forget about and deal with the deaths and carnage of our children at these schools and move on. After all the NRA reads the Second Amendment as every man, woman and child in the USA has the constitutional right to own a gun. Any gun can be bought without any regulation, test or proof that the person buying the gun is not insane, not a convicted killer, not an Al Qaeda terrorist. The NRA does not want background checks because they say that gun control (regulation) is the slippery slope to gun confiscation. In fact, John Ashcroft George W Bush’s first Attorney General after 9/11 would not let the FBI run the names of known terrorist against list of national gun purchases; that make you feel safe? Perhaps Ashcroft’s sanity should be questioned… How many American parents have lost a child to the world’s crappiest gun regulation? This country spends six billion dollars a year on medical treatment of gunshot wounds. The words a well regulated militia are no accident. Our forefathers knew a bunch of unregulated armed yahoos is a dangerous situation. They put the words well regulated in the amendment. Congress knows what has to be done but lack of testicular fortitude among many on the right (in both parties) guarantees no change. It is more important for these cowards to secure the approval of the NRA in order to be reelected than to keep the children of the people they represent safe. I think the people need a test: If the candidate who wants your vote supports unregulated gun ownership don’t vote for them. We all have a hand in making this problem go away.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Stop Blaming God for Bad Weather – Blame Political Ideologues

Epicurus asks a timeless question and Rabbi Kushner and George Lakoff, Cognitive scientist and linguist provide answers. To those on the fringe of the religious community who are quick to blame all catastrophic events on the perceived sins of others. To those who have “created” a definition of the deity that is angry at groups these religious do not like; to the many so called Christians whose descriptions of an angry, vengeful God sound like a sociopath …I refer you to the philosopher Epicurus who asked some 5300 years ago when pondering evil: "Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then, God is impotent. Is God able but not willing? Then God is malevolent. Is God both able and willing? Whence, then evil?" If Epicurus leaves us with a really profound question, then Rabbi Kushner provides a sane answer dealing with same issues. Fast forward 5300 years to Natick Massachusetts resident, Rabbi Kushner who said he had come to understand "God as moral," but "nature as not." "Nature is value-free," said Kushner, a rabbi of the conservative Jewish tradition. "It can't tell the role between the deserving the undeserving. God's role is not to decide where the hurricane goes and how severe it is. God's role is to motivate people to help neighbors and improve methods to predict hurricanes. God is found not in the problem, but in the resilience." I applaud the Rabbi for taking the weather out of the realm of the supernatural and I embrace the logic of Epicurus … The Rabbi says the role of man is to sort out the cause and effect of nature, that is to say, learn what makes natural weather systems tick and to follow the religious precepts to live in harmony with nature and our fellow humans on the planet. The Rabbi says that the forces of nature are not punishment from God; they exist apart from God and are independent from God’s will. God set the forces of nature into motion and these forces follow their own rules. We need to stop thinking that the violent storms are cooked up by an angry God. We understand the physics of severe weather. Thousands of scientists have spent countless hours constructing hypothesis, and then testing the idea over and over to get the same results and construct a theory. George Lakoff wrote on October 30 for Reader supported news: "Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy - and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let's say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation." Lakoff defines his terms thoroughly. He explains with examples the precise meaning of direct cause and systemic causation. Hotter oceans evaporate into the atmosphere with greater amounts of water vapor all caused by increased amounts of Co2 in the atmosphere because of burning fossil fuels such as oil. Lakoff defines systemic causation as follows: “Systemic causation is familiar. Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. HIV is a systemic cause of AIDS. Working in coal mines is a systemic cause of black lung disease. Driving while drunk is a systemic cause of auto accidents. Sex without contraception is a systemic cause of unwanted pregnancies.” As opposed to a direct cause as defined by Lakoff as follows: “Punching someone in the nose is direct causation. Throwing a rock through a window is direct causation. Picking up a glass of water and taking a drink is direct causation. Slicing bread is direct causation. Stealing your wallet is direct causation. Any application of force to something or someone that always produces an immediate change to that thing or person is direct causation. When causation is direct, the word cause is unproblematic.” Lakoff makes his point as follows: “In general, causation in ecosystems, biological systems, economic systems, and social systems tends not to be direct, but is no less causal. And because it is not direct causation, it requires all the greater attention if it is to be understood and its negative effects controlled. Above all, it requires a name: systemic causation.” When one’s immune system is compromised and weekend the likelihood of becoming sick is in direct proportion to the weakness and exposure to pathogens that under normal circumstances would have been fended off. We have compromised our weather system by weakening it because the earth has been heated up due the introduction of Co2 by burning fossil fuels; this is a measureable fact. We have two representatives who are teachers in their field. One who separates the idea of natural events being caused by a God, the other who is a cognitive scientist and is giving structure to the language in order to do one of the most important functions in fostering a clear discussion, i.e., defining ones terms. Science is facts. Facts are or should be a-political. It’s time to move on toward a solution. Sandy and Irene along with a host of other extreme weather events are a trend in more severe weather which causes orders of magnitude greater destruction. The Insurance Industry knows better than any politician how real climate change is. The US Army has commissioned studies to better understand how climate change will create flash points around the world leading to violence and social destruction. "A Pentagon-commissioned study warned in 2003 that climate change could bring mega-droughts, mass starvation, and even nuclear war as countries such as China, India, and Pakistan battle over scarce food and water." (Mark Hertsgaad, Vanity Fair 08-Nov-12 I say move on because the climate deniers have stalled progress long enough on setting into motion any meaningful steps that would abate the further excessive release of Co2 into the atmosphere. Let’s come down hard on those climate change deniers who through their own twisted religion, political ideology, or motivated reasoning have sided with big oil (for a fee) - Think Senator James Inhofe R. OK -who has declared global warming and the resulting climate change a hoax - for the bargain basement fee (campaign donation) of $900,000 from big oil. As a country - we no longer have the luxury of spending / wasting time listening to arguments that do not present an opposing, working, scientific theory. What we get from the opponents of global warming are arguments meant to obfuscate the facts by arguing that a scientific probability of 95% is not 100% and therefore inconclusive and we should do nothing. Why would any sane person give that comment any time or ink at all? How many Irene’s, Katrina’s and Sandy’s does it take to get the message? Shout down or better yet ignore those who stall. If there is a working alternative theory, one that has been peer reviewed and has widespread scientific support and one that is not funded by the energy companies then let’s hear it now. Otherwise, get the hell out of the way – the rest of us have work to do.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Tell them to STOP: We have had enough death and destruction

What is in it for Iran to attack any nation? The same thing that they have determined for the last 100 years … nothing? That’s right, Iran has not attacked anyone in over 100 years. The opposite is true however for the USA and Israel: In 1953, the CIA worked with the United Kingdom to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh who had attempted to nationalize Iran's petroleum industry, threatening the profits of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Declassified CIA documents show that Britain pressed the U.S. to mount a joint operation to depose the prime minister and install a puppet regime. It was the USA and Great Britain who ousted Democracy from Iran in 1953. Twenty seven years later the USA used Saddam Hussein as a proxy to attack Iran 1980 - 1988 when he was our buddy. If you are keeping score we are not making a lot of friendly gestures toward Iran. The Iranians are not suicidal; they have an address. We know where they live as does the English and the French. Stop believing all the moronic reasons and arguments from right wing nationals of any given country; war mongers all. I once heard it said that that if the only tool you have is a hammer then all problems look like nails; the right wing solution to all problems is war. If Iran launched a single missal toward Israel the end of Iran would be swift, complete and they know it.
Noam Chomsky writes recently for the New York Times Syndicate: “There is little credible discussion of just what constitutes the Iranian threat, though we do have an authoritative answer, provided by U.S. military and intelligence. Their presentations to Congress make it clear that Iran doesn't pose a military threat.”
“Iran has very limited capacity to deploy force, and its strategic doctrine is defensive, designed to deter invasion long enough for diplomacy to take effect. If Iran is developing nuclear weapons (which is still undetermined), that would be part of its deterrent strategy.”
“The understanding of serious Israeli and U.S. analysts is expressed clearly by 30-year CIA veteran Bruce Riedel, who said in January, "If I was an Iranian national security planner, I would want nuclear weapons" as a deterrent.”

Given our inability to have our way in Iraq and Afghanistan after years of using military force, why would any sane American want to invade a third country. Declare to the world that we do not support military action against Iran and further we do not support any plan by Israel to launch military action against Iran. If Israel attacks Iran then they are on their own without support from the USA and they will suffer the consequences of their own actions. Find a better way to solve problems to prevent violence…bombs and bullets do not work.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Crab Grass On The Putting Green Of Life

As for Limbaugh's remarks, Fluke said, "I just thought that they were really outside the bounds of civil discourse."
Frankly, I share Ms. Fluke’s sentiments regarding Limbaugh’s remarks. However, Limbaugh consistently figures out ways to say things to elicit the maximum approval from his fans who get off on his lewd remarks. It is the rest of us who are like pedestrians in New York hurrying to work on a rainy morning when a big limo speeds by with Limbaugh in the back seat and splashes muddy water all over the unfortunates. Limbaugh splashes mud over the whole country. He drags his fans down to his level by virtue of their continued support, loyalty and their approval of his hateful antics; the pedestrians on their way to work are dragged into the mess by his vulgar proclamations and the resultant effluent that is splashed up by his uncivil remarks.
Remember this. Limbaugh has twenty million fans. I would hazard a guess that not one of them voted for President Obama in the last election. Like crabgrass on the putting green of life, that makes Limbaugh irrelevant to the election. The Republicans, on the other hand, need every one of Limbaugh’s twenty million fans who rejoice in his lewd remarks. I wonder which candidate(s) will kneel before Limbaugh to be anointed for the next election?

Friday, March 02, 2012

Scott Brown refuses to stop distorting Ted Kennedy’s record

Senator Kennedy believed our country couldn't afford to wait, or to fail to provide the highest quality of affordable health care to every American.
As Patrick, Senator's Kennedy's son, wrote to Scott Brown:
"Providing health care to every American was the work of my father's life. The Blunt Amendment you are supporting is an attack on that cause... My father never would have supported this extreme legislation."

"You are entitled to your own opinions, of course, but I ask that, moving forward, you do not confuse my father's positions with your own. I appreciate the past respect you have expressed for his legacy, but misstating his positions is no way to honor his life's work."
Scott Brown's refusal to honor this letter is really unbelievable.
I hope the voters in Massachusetts will see that Scott Brown is nothing more than a rubber stamp for an increasingly extremist Republican Party and vote for Elizabeth Warren for Senator from Massachusetts.
Given the above, I say to Scott Brown:
To equate Senator Kennedy with the Blunt Amendment (which in part denies the right to contraception to women) and then claim to "know Senator Kennedy" (who never would have supported this extreme legislation) is beyond belief, a fiction that most will see through. By aligning yourself with the rigid dogma practiced by the extreme right will push you too far from the center where most reasonable people live. The greats have the guts to stand up for the least of their brethren. The far right stands up for ideologies and their dogma not the least of their brethren. We saw the complete failure of those ideologies under eight years of George W Bush. A failure to protect the country (9/11), two unfunded wars, two stock market crashes, the worst financial meltdown since the great depression and the worst job creation record of any president since Hoover; under the guise of job creation, Bush championed the biggest tax cut to the rich the country has ever seen. Given the size of the tax cut everyone should have a job. By the way, the tax cuts had 8 years to work. All we have to show for the tax cut is a bigger deficit and no jobs. How do you explain that? Rather than voting for the Blunt Amendment and trying to convince everyone you’re Ted Kennedy, who was the number one liberal in the country, why don’t you ask Olympia Snowe how to be a Senator for the people in your own state.

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