|March 05, 2012||Voting Your Own Best Interests||5 comments|
|February 20, 2012||Osama bin Laden is Dead and GM is Alive||8 comments|
|January 26, 2012||Orly Taitz is Sellin' Crazy; Buyers Aplenty in Georgia||1 comments|
|January 06, 2012||Newt is First Victim of Citizens United Decision||no comments|
|December 29, 2011||Feds Nix Vote Suppression Law in S.C.||3 comments|
|December 21, 2011||no comments|
|November 28, 2011||OWS Dead? Not So Fast||no comments|
|November 23, 2011||Pepper Spray: “Food Product” or Weapon?||no comments|
We all seek the health and wellbeing of our children and grandchildren so we can watch them grow and prosper. We want our homes, cars, roads, food, water, medicine, and air to be safe. We expect to be treated fairly in our personal and business lives. We all work for economic security for ourselves and our families, especially as we approach or enter our retirement years.
We take the guarantee of these for granted, but there was a time inAmericawhen none of them was assured. For the republic’s first one hundred years or so, it was anything goes, do as you please, don’t worry about the consequences.
In that political and economic climate, only a few managed to thrive. For everyone else, there was slavery and child labor; hunger; exploitation of workers; illiteracy; poverty; polluted rivers; disease; dangerous work places; ravaged landscapes; fraudulent financial markets; unstable banking; contaminated food and medicines; unsafe products.
Americans were not created equal in those days. Nor was everyone entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It took a Republican president to see the inequality of a system rigged to favor the wealthy and privileged. So Teddy Roosevelt pushed for reform. He broke up monopolies, advocated environmental conservation, fostered banking reform, protected food and drugs, and demanded railroad regulations.
Naturally Teddy was attacked, not by the many Americans he sought to help, but by the few who benefitted under the rigged system. Did TR succeed? His is one of the four faces onMt.Rushmore.
We’ve seen ample evidence that the system is once again rigged to benefit the few. The most glaring example was TARP. The banking and financial institutions that caused the economic disaster through reckless, unregulated practices were saved with hundreds of billions of tax dollars paid by the rest of us.
But it was we and not the perpetrators who suffered the consequences; tens of millions of lost jobs, foreclosed homes, drained bank accounts, and wrecked retirement savings.Many of us are understandably angry. But much of our rage seems blind and misdirected and the few who cashed in on the rigged system this time around want to keep it that way. They know if we ever open our eyes, we’re going to realize who the culprits are.
So media surrogates belonging to the few stoke our anger with nonsense about fake birth certificates, fictitious “wars” on (fill in the blank), and phony conspiracy theories. Anything to deflect our attention away from the things we should really care about, like the future of our kids, our health and wellbeing, and our economic security.
Meanwhile, to maintain political and economic power, the few benefitting from the rigged system relentlessly push two demands. First they want bigger tax cuts for themselves because they claim to be “job creators.”
So-called “trickledown economics” will benefit every American, they say, but there is scant evidence to support what George H.W. Bush once called “voodoo economics.” In the decade since Bush Junior’s tax cuts were enacted, we’ve seen the slowest period of job growth in decades.
The few also insist regulations kill jobs. Yet, most if not all regulations aim to preventAmericafrom sliding back into the dark days of anything goes. The few reject regulations, not because they kill jobs, but because they cost money.
Remember when the car companies claimed seat belts were too expensive to install in every automobile? They managed to avoid regulation for years. It turned out they weren’t too expensive and millions of lives have been saved since seat belts were made mandatory.
Thus, these two arguments in favor of the few are deceptive. Tax cuts for the few don’t benefit the many, and regulations are necessary to protect the many from the few.
So, what are the things we should support?
Our tax code is a good place to start. Do any of us really want to pay a higher percentage on income taxes than somebody making millions or billions? The few think we should.
New banking and finance laws protect you from the predatory lending practices of banks and credit card companies. Do you really want to see them repealed so you can pay higher interest rates and fees? The few would like that.Is your college graduate seeking a job? Do you really want your child going without health insurance while he or she looks for work? The few would prefer they do.
Is your teenager earning money for college? The few want to do away with the minimum wage.
Counting on Social Security and Medicare for yourself or a loved one? The few would like to eliminate both as we know them, the sooner the better.
Before you shout “class warfare” or “Marxism,” take a moment to consider what Teddy Roosevelt had to say more than a century ago:
“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”
TR knew the American Dream could never be fulfilled for the many as long as the playing field was tilted in favor of the few. So, one last question: What are your own best interests and who is trying to serve them?
I watched a TV report on the Georgia birther hearing, a subpoena to which President Obama rightfully ignored. I was curious to see just who was behind this travesty. I wasn't disappointed.
Guess who showed up as the chief spokeswoman for the plaintiffs? None other than California Birther Queen Orly Taitz, the crazy lady who, a couple of years ago, breathlessly presented an Obama "Kenyan birth certificate" that quickly turned out to be a poor forgery. Taitz is now leading the charge in an Atlanta courtroom to "prove" Obama can't be on the 2012 ballot in Georgia because, the plaintiffs claim, he's not a citizen of the U.S.
Birth certificate duly issued by the state of Hawaii? Not good enough for Orly and her minions.
Having worked around television for 25 years, you see people like Taitz coming out of the woodwork all the time. At the height of the birther insanity, Taitz appeared over and over on TV and radio making her baseless claims. When nobodies like Taitz get hooked on being media "stars," they become like junkies. They can't live without the notoriety. Then, after they've been thoroughly discredited, as Taitz was, they wonder why no TV news/talk producers are calling anymore. Thus, it becomes critical for such sociopaths to grasp at any straw they think will help reignite their imagined "fame."
Welcome to Georgia Orly! I'm not buying your brand of crazy, but you'll find plenty of Obama Derangement Syndrome sufferers hereabouts who will.
In an effort to cloud the core issue - the one with which most everyone agrees - the far right noise machine has been working 24-7 to cast OWS and its supporters as (mix and match any of the following) unhygienic, law breaking, Communist, anti-Semitic, fascist, drug-addled, Nazi, whining, sex-crazed, nihilist, Marxist, spoiled, lazy, disorganized, unfocused, stupid, manipulated, socialist.
None of it really matters. A year away from the 2012 elections, GOP lawmakers seem determined to whistle past this graveyard in their effort to protect their well-to-do benefactors.
A group of peaceful students protesting tuition hikes at the University of California Davis were blasted with pepper spray at close range by campus police. This horrific, violent and unprovoked attack was caught by news cameras and scores of mobile devices before instantly going viral.
Bear in mind, in the very first amendment of the United States Constitution we find our right to peaceably assemble is protected. But what happened at UC Davis was eerily reminiscent of how police deal with protesters in Iran or China.
UC Davis police claimed they felt threatened by the crowd, but looking at the video shot by a local news crew, one sees only a bunch of heavily armed and helmeted cops poking batons at kids wielding cell phone cameras and iPads. The police officers who did the spraying seemed utterly nonchalant, as though they were using Raid on pesky mosquitoes at a backyard barbecue.
In an e-mail sent to students and faculty just hours after the police assault on the protesters, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi seemed to blame the victims: “We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested.”
A few days later, Katehi was backpedaling as fast as she could as the public relations fallout over the scandal rocked the entireCaliforniauniversity system:
"We told the police to remove the tents or the equipment," Katehi declared. "We told them very specifically to do it peacefully, and if there were too many of them, not to do it, if the students were aggressive, not to do it. And then we told them we also do not want to have another Berkeley."
Well, she got another Berkeley, except Katehi’s happened in the digital age. The visual evidence of her police officers’ abuse is irrefutable. Now calls for her resignation are mounting. UC Davis Professor Nathan Brown’s petition demanding her removal has at least 73,000 signatures.
“Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students,” Brown wrote in an open letter. “I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students.”
Chancellor Katehi’s fate remains uncertain. So far, only UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza and the two officers who pepper sprayed the protesters have been held to account. They’ve been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
The far right media, which claims to hold the Constitution in high regard, went into mitigation overdrive. Conservative blogger Jim Hoft said spraying the students was, “How to shut down a row of screeching libs in 4 easy swoops.” Fox’s Jim Starnes asked what should be done about “domestic terrorists” on college campuses.
“We don’t have the right to Monday morning quarterback the police,” Bill O’Reilly laughably pronounced. “Especially at a place like UC Davis, which is a fairly liberal campus.”
Pepper spray, observed Megyn Kelly of Fox News, is just a “food product.”
I carry pepper spray when I hike in Montanain case I’m attacked by a grizzly bear. It is an awful weapon, especially when used on humans. Maybe Kelly should sample a dose on the air, perhaps as a salad dressing.