Tag Archives: government

Speech Has Spoken

17 Nov

The 2014 general election is behind us and Speech has Spoken! 90% of all winning candidates spent more money than their opponents did. That’s a 9 in 10 chance of winning your elective office…if you spend the most money. And that’s after only 4 years of living with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which declared money to be the equivalent of free speech. Who knows what the percentages will look like in a few more years…when money talks…it pretty much gets what it wants.

I wonder what those Supremes were thinking? In their majority decision they stated that there was no reason to believe or assume that those who donate large sums of money to political candidates would do so in order to obtain political influence. So they were either being stupid, naive or disingenuous. After all, Who doesn’t know that money buys things? That’s what money does doesn’t it? And when it speaks it says…”How much?” and that’s about all it says.

So now here we are, America in the 21st century, with a Representative Democracy that is 90% representative of free talking monied interests and 10% representative of the rest of us, who, when we all put our own money together can barely manage to speak above a discordant whisper.

I think it’s sad that our political representatives can now be bought and sold on the open market …The Koch brothers just bought 5 more political “friends” this election cycle and I really have no idea how many “friends” they already own (excuse me: foster, champion, cultivate, nurture, feed) but I know it’s a lot plus they have 2 Supremes in their caring and supportive pockets…but what’s even sadder than that is the kind of representatives that we all end up with.

Our hallowed halls of government are now stocked with the kinds of folks who will do, say and believe whatever they are told to do, say and believe or whatever they think that their benefactors would be happiest with them doing and saying and believing…and all for money. And that makes them all opportunists, toadies, bounders, mercenaries, charlatans, speculators, fortune hunters,rascals, bullies, hypocrites, frauds, scoundrels and liars…or some combination thereof…doesn’t it?

We all work for money but when we work against our interests and the interest of others, or don’t even consider either, for money then who or what are we? Certainly not leaders nor legislators nor governors. What’s the point in following someone who is “in it” just for the money unless you’re getting a piece of the action too? And what piece of the action do Americans get if it’s not also attached to a corporate interest?

Is it any wonder that this current version of Congress will go down as the greatest “Do Nothing” Congress of all time…and the one with the lowest citizen approval rating of all time too! If you stand for nothing, and represent no one except yourself, then you might as well do nothing also…while you wait around for your greedy handlers to give you some instructions. So what’s to do except call each other names, block each others bills (they literally phone in their filibusters!) and form committees to investigate each others “scandalous actions” (what other kind of Congressional action is there?)

If money is speech then it has definitely spoken… and it has declared Democracy…dead!

And the War Continues…

13 Nov

Scott Walker, The governor of Wisconsin says that one of his top priorities now that he has been re-elected, is to pass a law requiring recipients receiving food assistance and unemployment compensation to be drug free in order to qualify for benefits. As part of his re-election campaign, Walker vowed to require “a drug test for those requesting unemployment and able-bodied, working-age adults requesting food stamps from the state.”  So with his re-election he now believes that he has obviously received a mandate from the people to do so.

In Wisconsin, an estimated 836,000 people receive Food benefits, but about 40 percent of those people are children, and as of last week, 39,958 people have also filed weekly unemployment compensation claims in Wisconsin.

So I guess the plan is that depriving the jobless and the hungry, should they also be drug users, of food, will make them want to get jobs…even if they are kids?

The governor says that he will work with his Cabinet in the coming weeks “to craft a specific proposal,” which will be designed to move people from government dependence to independence. And so far there are 17 other states in our union who have similar programs for either unemployment benefits and/or food stamp programs and their recipients…

But I’d like to see the states go even further!

I’d like to see the states drug test every college student within their state. College students are over 1 trillion dollars in debt to the states and federal government and I bet there are some drug users in that bunch, don’t you? That might explain why they keep borrowing money without even having jobs so that they can pay it back! And if we find that they are using drugs we should kick them out of school…and definitely deny them and their colleges any kind of state aid! Shouldn’t we?

I’d like to see the states drug test all physicians and pharmaceutical companies within their borders. How can we have a prescription drug crisis in this country if the prescription writers and drug makers aren’t in on it? Why keep making more drugs or prescribing more drugs if so many people are abusing them? These folks must be taking their own drugs? Why should we be subsidizing them with any government money?

How about having the states institute mandatory drug testing for all of the bankers and financiers that are in their state? Those guys lost all of their (our) money 6 years ago and they couldn’t even tell us how they did it? Bankers wrote mortgages for people who didn’t have any money. Then packaged them up into neat little bundles and sold them to each others banks! They had to have been smoking or snorting something! Don’t you think? And if they fail a drug test we could put them in jail so they could bail themselves out rather than us bailing them out!

Are politicians drug tested regularly? There is something the states could do. Many politicians don’t even know our nation’s history or how to use words correctly in sentences. Many couldn’t even tell their own elbows from a woman’s reproductive system…let alone their asses. I bet when they throw their big parties and festive balls and expensive donor dinners they don’t just drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. They must have some other drugs of choice available. What do you think? And if they fail a drug test they should be shown the door immediately! And no pensions! And no lobbying jobs! And definitely no free food!

And all of the states have costly public  athletic stadiums filled with costly athletes. Let’s drug test them too…well, OK we do test them now but what’s the penalty? 50 days of vacation and then they are welcome to come right back to their million dollar jobs and adoring fans as though they have learned their lessons and will never do it again. Let’s ask all of those drug user has beens how well they would be able to hit, pass, catch, kick and dunk now, if we had taken away their money and made it harder for them to find something to eat while they were suspended! Why should the state governments subsidize these wealthy teams and owners if any of their players use drugs for any purposes at any time?

And don’t forget…if any of these college students, university presidents, bankers, financiers, doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, owners, athletes, coaches etc. are caught using drugs…They are immediately fired from their jobs and their kids don’t eat too! Doesn’t that sound fair and reasonable to you?

Awww Heck! Are we running a war on drugs and unnecessary public subsidies here or not?…

Or is EVERYONE on drugs?… Are you?

Gimme Shelter

4 Nov

So far the survival rate for Americans who have become infected with the Ebola virus is 100%. We’re 3 for 3! In Africa where the disease originated it’s fatal in about 50% of all cases. That’s one of the big the differences between living in a First World country and a Third World country.

Here in the United States, on this election eve, the Republicans are eager and hopeful of winning a majority in the Senate. And right now it looks as though they have a very good chance. It is important to note that One of the things they are promising to do, should they obtain the majority, is to pull out all of the stops in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. At the very least their hope is to undo the law’s funding provisions through a special parliamentary process requiring only a simple 51-vote majority…without funding they hope to cripple the law’s ability to help people who don’t have enough money of their own to purchase health insurance. Why?

Because, as we all know, spending money on helping Americans to have better Healthcare is bad for the economy…or is it?

If you live in first world America then let’s be honest: You have little to fear from the Ebola virus…but if you live in third world America as 50 million fellow Americans do, then your potential future infection and survival of this deadly disease may just be…a vote away.

So, if you really are worried about the Ebola virus and about disease, pandemics and plagues, Please vote for health and not money this election day. Because in the long run voting for money may cost you and your family (1st, 2nd, 3rd world or not) more than you’ll ever know…and will that really be worth it?

Godless Christians?

1 Nov

Here in the United States you can watch your television at just about any time of the day or night and find someone who lauds our country as “The greatest democracy of all time” or “The greatest Christian nation in the history of the world”…

But last night I was watching a show on television and part of the host’s and guest’s debate focused upon whether the religion of Islam was an ill-conceived faith that directs its followers along violent pathways that all Muslims must adhere to (or not) and then if that is true all Muslims and Muslim governments throughout the world are ultimately culpable and accountable for jihadist terrorism wherever it may happen..is that fair to say?…or not?

Which got me to thinking…our U.S. Supreme Court has found that corporations (legal entities) are now equivalent to individuals, with rights and privileges that heretofore only belonged to human beings and that money (a thing) is representative of free speech, which is a right that until now belonged exclusively to people. And when we feel the need to defend or avenge ourselves against outside aggressors we now send unmanned drones (or robots) to do our bidding. They are very effective at killing the bad guys but they also kill many innocent bystanders at the same time that they are doing our bidding…

So would you say that these leadership decisions are representative of good Christian values and government or rather godless in nature?…and as good Christians in a good Christian nation are we then all just as culpable… or not?

And if I’m just too liberal to understand the difference, please someone explain it to me.

Happiness IS a warm gun

21 Oct

Well, the gun advocates were right! If you allow people to have more guns and more freedom to use them in public places, the world will become a safer place.

Case in point: Prominent feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, was planning on appearing at a speaking engagement at Utah State University last Wednesday to discuss the portrayal of women in video games, but the University received an anonymous Email that threatened “The deadliest school shooting in American History” if her appearance and speech were not canceled.

The Email even went on to describe the nature of the attack and stated:

“If you do not cancel her talk, a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center. I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs.”

Ms. Sarkeesian however had decided to go ahead with her presentation because she always receives similar threats whenever she plans a speaking engagement… that is until she was informed by Utah University’s campus security that Utah’s concealed carry laws meant it would be possible for guns to be present at the University’s speaking event.

Utah has an Open Carry law and permits the concealed carry of loaded weapons with a permit and in Utah a person may carry firearms into banks, bars, public universities, and state parks… and with a permit, a person may also carry those weapons into public schools…but Utah does not require concealed carry permit holders to notify police officers of their permit or possession of firearms…even when stopped by police officers.

So how would anyone know if there were a person or persons in the audience with concealed weapons who might be potential mass murders as opposed to law abiding avengers in waiting? In light of that simple dilemma, Ms. Sarkeesian decided not to try and find out and so she canceled her speaking engagement and everyone stayed home…where they were safe and at least knew who had the guns.

Sounds like a perfect solution wouldn’t you say?

Goodnight and Good Luck…

16 Oct

Well, I honestly don’t know where to begin…The television set is positively aglow with the Ebola virus: the wheres, the hows and the whyfors. It’s here. It’s on the move. Is it an epidemic? A pandemic? Can it be stopped? who’s to blame? How can we stop it? Can it be stopped?… And of course don’t forget to check out your favorite networks’ new fall lineups! Let’s not get too crazy, I guess.

Over at MSNBC there seems to be genuine concern over the growing crisis and their guests seem to be pointing fingers at the fact that it’s a very big world out there filled with lots of people on the go, which makes it quite difficult to keep them from going where they want to. And there’s the question of our country’s lack of investment and interest in our nation’s infrastructure over the last 2 decades or so. Even though corporations are still making billions of dollars and especially so in the healthcare industries, not a lot of that money is trickling down to the first response workers when it comes to equipment, training and proper regulations and protocols…perhaps you have even felt or experienced this trend as a worker in your place of business, wherever and whatever that may be. It seems that Money has a habit of rising to the top and then staying there these days.

But over at Fox News there was nothing but non-stop hysteria. We’re doomed! Hide under the bed and change your paper money into gold and silver and lock it in your safe! (seriously, it was one of their commercials) And Fox’s experts (All Fox employees) know exactly who is to blame. And it took only a few minutes to impart all of this info to me as I surfed by their channel… Fox News is like a lighthouse beacon that shines one bright light around and around and around all day so you can’t miss the message…

Anyway, it is all President Obama’s fault because he is an African and not an American and has personally seen to it to allow the first Ebola case to enter the USA. He chose Texas because they didn’t vote for him in the last election. He is not closing the borders and isolating Africa into quarantine because he and his henchmen (damn Democrats) mean to kill us all. This is why me must all vote for Republicans in the upcoming election so that they can stop him before he is allowed to complete his dastardly plan. (Even though they pretty much intimated that it was too late to save any of us…but just in case vote Republican)

Finally Bill O’ Reilly and resident Fox comedian, (er…expert comedian) Dennis Miller summed it all up with a few jokes and laughs about how sad things have gotten in America and even though it’s too late to do anything about it and we’re all gonna die, they wanted us to know that later this month they’ll be appearing together in South Carolina where I guess their comedy routine will be appearing on the road…no doubt they’ll be making lots of money and converting it to gold for their post apocalyptic shopping spree.

I just sincerely hope that somewhere in America tonight there are still serious people doing serious work, who are non-partisan, earnest and industrious and seriously interested in doing their jobs because it is the right thing to do and not because there’s a bucket of money or a re-election campaign to win.

Of course there is. There has to be, right? We haven’t jumped that shark yet…have we?

Goodnight and good luck…

Who Has the Mob Mentality?

21 Sep

Here is something I didn’t know…

From 1882 to 1968, close to 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress. Only Three passed the House and those were later filibustered in the Senate and never received a vote. Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 petitioned Congress to pass a federal law but none was ever passed.

A lynching is when a mob (usually a group of white people) kills someone, (usually a black person ) especially by hanging, for an alleged offense and done without legal authority.

I’m supposing that the mob felt that there was safety in numbers because since there was no federal law prohibiting mass murder of this type (with the mass being on the opposite side of the murder equation) so it was left up to the states to enforce or prosecute said lynchings…which they usually did not…even when photos of the perpetrators were taken and made available. (usually by the perpetrators themselves!)

I became curious about this subject while watching the new Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts (oddly enough this was never a topic of discussion in public school even though lynchings were still occurring and were “legal” in my lifetime)

Anyway, anti-lynching bills came to the fore during the years of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency and although he is well know as a social reformer President Roosevelt did not support the federal anti-lynching bills because he feared that support would cost him Southern votes during his many elections. (perhaps “feared” is the wrong word here) In any event he apparently believed that he could accomplish more for more people simply by getting re-elected and in 1939 he created the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and directed them to start prosecutions to combat lynching. How did they do?  They failed to win any convictions until 1946.

Things apparently got so bad that after WWII and during the cold war even the Soviet Union (of all unions) criticized the United States for the frequency of lynchings of black people and later in 1951 the famous actor Paul Robeson and the Civil Rights Congress argued at the United Nations that the U.S. government was guilty of genocide under Article II of the United Nations Genocide Convention because it failed to act against lynchings… The United Nations of course…took no action.

But then the FBI helped…by declaring people like Albert Einstein to be communist sympathizers for joining Mr. Robeson’s crusade.  J. Edgar Hoover (everyone’s heard of him) even went so far as to direct more attention to investigations of civil rights groups for communist connections than to Ku Klux Klan activities…like lynching.

So when exactly did the United States Congress pass legislation making lynchings a federal crime in America?

Amazingly, the answer is: Never

But On June 13, 2005, not Congress, but the U.S. Senate, formally apologized for its failure in the early 20th century, “when it was most needed”, to enact a Federal anti-lynching law… and by a voice vote no less (not a roll call)…I wonder why?

Thankfully people as a whole, or groups, have pretty much decided that lynchings are no longer in vogue and so we don’t have… any? or… as many? anymore… but can you imagine what must have been going through the minds of the protesters in Furguson Missouri while they were staring into the massed weapons of the police’s armored vehicles and automatic weapons following the shooting of Michael Brown?

Weren’t the police just daring them to go ahead and try something that night? To see what they might get? I’m sure the police had absolutely no doubt what they, the police, might get should they be “forced” to fire upon a goaded and angry mob of militant protesters…Off…does anyone doubt that?

Racism is not dead in this country. Dormant in most places, maybe, but dead? How could it be? Who has really tried to kill it or seriously eradicate it? I mean really… until it was just snuffed out…you know, like Native Americans at Wounded Knee… seriously, who?

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