Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dear Conservative Thugs, I love you anyway.

Attention those of you who post about Obama being a traitorous "commie", you obviously don't know your history, recent or otherwise. I just wanted to make a few points, so indulge me.

Apparently what people are referring to as Obamacare, is like a sequel to Medicare Part D. Just did some research, and wow. Seriously, how did I miss this the first time around. If anyone wants to get shitty about Obama and the Affordable Healthcare Act take a look at a few facts about part D. 1.)Totally unfunded 2.)left the government unable to negotiate drug prices (which the VA does, legally) to save on spending (we could have been negotiating to save 40% or more) 3.)Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La., who steered the bill through the House, retired soon after and took a $2 million a year job as president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main industry lobbying group, 4.) expenditures of the program for 2008 was $49.3 billion and the projected net expenditures from 2009 through 2018 are estimated to be $727.3 billion. But this happened on Bush's watch, so that's ok. Him giving a huge handout to the pharmaceutical industry is ok. Obama on the other hand needs to be impeached, because Obamacare is a handout to the insurance industry. I totally see your point guys. Makes perfect sense. By the way, I actually support both of these things, but that would be because I am a traitorous commie (which means I don't believe that people should die because they can't afford healthcare in one of the wealthiest nations on earth).

To those who call anyone who calls for gun control "commies" (and you can't believe how often I read this idiocy), you are so far off the mark it is amazing. Read this- “The arming of the whole proletariat with rifles, guns, and ammunition should be carried out at once [and] the workers must … organize themselves into an independent guard, with their own chiefs and general staff. … [The aim is] that the bourgeois democratic Government not only immediately loses all backing among the workers, but from the commencement finds itself under the supervision and threats of authorities behind whom stands the entire mass of the working class. …As soon as the new Government is established they will commence to fight the workers.  In order that this party whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the first hour of victory, should be frustrated in its nefarious work, it is necessary to organize and arm the proletariat.” – Karl Marx, Address to the Communist League (1850). Do you know who Karl Marx is? Is it pretty clear from this that the communists believed in arming the people? Will you stop calling people who support gun control "commies". You are Idiots. Also, for the reasons stated I support the right to bare arms, though I feel we need far stricter laws governing access to them,  because mentally unstable folks with guns equals a recipe for disaster.

"Obama freed some terrorists and they are gonna go back to killin' american soldiers! He is a traitor! We gotta impeach him!". First, why don't you read the conditions of the prisoners release. Second, let's rewind to the Reagan era. The Iran Contra arms scandal to be precise. It was 1986 and senior Reagan administration officials had secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo (making this completely illegal). Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of several hostages (trading actual weapons for hostages, not people, but fucking weapons!) and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress (Obama side stepping congressional approval for this latest hostage negotiation seems to be a hot spot for you goons, but he is absolutely not the first President to do so). Handwritten notes taken by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on December 7, 1985, indicate that Reagan was aware of potential hostage transfers with Iran, as well as the sale of Hawk and TOW missiles to "moderate elements" within that country. Weinberger wrote that Reagan said "he could answer to charges of illegality but couldn't answer to the charge that 'big strong President Reagan passed up a chance to free the hostages'". After the weapon sales were revealed in November 1986, Reagan appeared on national television and stated that the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages (this is called "a lie"). The investigation was impeded when large volumes of documents relating to the scandal were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials(This exact thing caused quite a controversy when the IRS did the same thing after that little debacle on Obamas watch). On March 4, 1987, Reagan returned to the airwaves in a nationally televised address, taking full responsibility for any actions that he was unaware of, and admitting that "what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages". Do you regard Reagan as a traitor too?

So here it is, in short. He is of Kenyan heritage (suspected by you of being a muslim traitor or a "commie"), but your most recent Republican Presidents pulled the same shit. The blame and name calling seems a little one sided. I absolutely do not support everything Obama has done as President, but I am sick of people picking and choosing, and forgetting what is inconvenient to remember. It appears that everything happening in this administration is just politics as usual, but you really need something to get amped up about, huh?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Some Tea to Occupy my time

Welcome back. #occupymyweek day 4

Today I would like to discuss the idea I hear bounced around occasionally about the Tea Party and Occupy being almost the same. Dude, we should totally join forces. O rly?

On the surface you can see the resemblance of leaderless groups upset at government excess, but underneath that shiny veneer... well, everything starts to crumble. Let's talk about this shall we?

I have been sitting here in front of my computer now for a couple of hours pouring over the Tea Partys main websites, the Constitution, and news articles galore. Informing and enraging. I read an article under the "News" heading at titled "Tea party is nothing like ‘Occupy’ movement" (we know that don't we?) in which they describe the chaos outside of a Tea Party event in D.C. caused by over 500 Occupy protesters who "were attempting to break into the building and were aggressive". It goes on to mention some people who were able to escape the buildings even though protesters were blocking all the exits with small children, and that the protesters would beat them, and that some protesters knocked down and surrounded an elderly woman. Hmmm. Interesting this didn't make the news, as the media loves this type of sensationalist story. Why someone would make up and disseminate this type of falsehood is completely beyond me. Making out non violent protesters to be blood thirsty wild animals. I guess some people will believe anything though. So after reading this and several other articles I realized that the Tea Party considers those aligned with Occupy to be a bunch of anarchist deadbeat socialists. It's all over their websites, total disdain for Occupy. Once more the chatter about how we just want a handout. We want the government to forgive all of our debts, that we overspent and now we're angry about it. I also was perplexed by their repeated animosity towards unions, which are apparently socialist bullies. So, they really don't like us, but they did seem to like the next guy.

I recognized in several articles their deep adoration for Ronald Reagan. Why? Because he embodied everything their party is about! Cut government spending, check. Reduce Income and capital gains taxes, check. Reduce government regulation, check (they seem to love making references to the free market). The public debt rose from $712 billion in 1980 to $2,052 billion in 1988, a roughly three-fold increase. So failure on point 1, right? And the inflation rate, 13.5% in 1980, fell to 4.1% in 1988, which was achieved by applying high interest rates by the Federal Reserve. Oh my, colluding with the enemy? Apparently the Tea Party kids don't remember or maybe know about that one. Also deregulation was a contributing factor in the downfall of the banks which ended in a government bailout (meaning Obama is a damn socialist!). By the way the claim about deregulation, that's not my opinion it's the governments, if you've been following this week you would have read that part already. So really all we have left is those awesome tax cuts, mostly aimed at the wealthy. Let me break it down for ya fellas: the share of total income going to the 5% highest-income households grew from 16.5% in 1980 to 18.3% in 1988 and the share of the highest fifth increased from 44.1% to 46.3% in same years. In contrast, the share of total income of the lowest fifth fell from 4.2% in 1980 to 3.8% in 1988 and the second poorest fifth from 10.2% to 9.6%. This is when the rich started getting richer and the poor started getting poorer. We like to call it "Reaganomics", or "trickle down" economics. This is one of their heroes.

After reading their rants about the Constitution, I took the time to read through a good deal of it. I didn't get what their complaints were about though. Although, I wonder how much most of them actually know about the founding of this country. Michelle Bachman can't seem to get her facts right. She mentioned that the authors of our countries founding documents fought tirelessly to end slavery, and singled out John Quincy Adams as one of the greatest heroes of this cause. He did campaign against slavery, she got that right. He was 9 however, when the Constitution was signed (therefore probably not an author), and died in 1948. The 13th amendment, which ended slavery, was not ratified until 1865. She also mentioned the shot heard round the world (referencing the start of the American Revolution) happening in Concord New Hampshire, not Massachusetts. Sarah Palin's quote about Paul Revere; "He who warned uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed." Paul Revere, first leader of the NRA. I find myself amused at the lack of a grip on history that some of their party seem to have, since they are supposedly all about getting back to what America was founded on.

So in closing I will state that I feel the Tea Party is mostly comprised of ill informed and misunderstanding people, mostly from the upper middle class, who want to hold on to their money by not paying taxes. They want big business to be allowed to run amok, unfettered by any protection of worker rights, or laws to control excess. They have no empathy, for the people who got fucked by the banking collapse that they didn't create. If we are unemployed or broke, it's our own fault. We need to just go get jobs and stop whining. Have a work ethic, you know.

This merely brushes the surface, but it's late and it's been a long day. Occupy and the Tea Party share almost no goals in common. There is no uniting the two, so let it go.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is this thing even on? Mic check!

Welcome to #occupymyweek day 3

— noun
1. a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people

Hey guys lets talk about cops. More specifically the cops at the occupy protests. The ones who show up in full riot gear (which is only fitting considering they are about to start rioting, right?),with the mean mugs going, because it's all about intimidation.

There was a police presence from day one when the police surrounded the bull statue on Broadway near Wall St. I'm not sure what they expected, maybe violence against the bull? Or was the assumption that if they blocked off the supposed meeting area that the protest just wouldn't happen. Whatever the idea behind it, I know for sure that the statue stayed fenced off for at least seven weeks and it probably still is. It is also supposedly under 24 hr. surveillance. This is your tax dollars at work. Guarding a statue 24 hours a day in New York City, a statue that was never a target of violence or hatred from Occupy.

Try finding a single news report of violence involving someone definitely tied to the occupy movement, it may take a while. This was always supposed to be a non violent movement, and it has been. Violence enters the equation when you throw police into the mix. When they show up the violence kicks off. Some of these officers are there to do their duty and do it within the boundaries of the laws that they are sworn to uphold, others are bullies, plain and simple. I could list specific incidents or specific victims, but doing so doesn't do justice to the numerous victims I don't name. I have watched videos of police assaulting protesters until I feel physically ill. Beatings, draggings, pepper spraying peaceful gatherers with no real reason. The UC Davis pepper spraying debacle was probably the most widely publicized instance of this type of unnecessary and excessive action. I even found a couple of quotes from my city's own Norm Stamper (former Chief of Police during the 1999 WTO debacle) about this very issue “It is clearly an abuse of tear gas when it is used against passive demonstrators who are taking part in acts of civil disobedience which are such a rich part of our democracy,” and “Today it is being used indiscriminately and that is really appalling”.“We should recognize that we are a tool of community in the advancement of public safety and good. Police today have lost sight of their purpose.” Indeed sir, indeed. That, from Norms mouth really means something.

More surprising is the nonchalance displayed by these cops while perpetrating this violence. Pepper spraying a crowd of people who aren't even in a threatening stance and then just walking away. Some of them even flaunting the fact that they are doing it brandishing the cans to the crowds, "look at me!".  I wonder how these people sleep at night, are they complete sociopaths? Do they really believe that what they are doing is some how protecting society?

New York City, the place where it all started. The city whose Mayor stated "I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world." A rather telling statement of his opinion on using the NYPD as his own personal mercenaries. The Mayors army has also been accused of assaulting reporters who are trying to cover the protests and even arrested, assaulted, and jailed a member of the City Council. Way to go guys, because as you've already been told "the world is watching".

There is an unsettling bit of truth behind Bloomberg referring to the NYPD as an army. A lot of the current trend of more hostility from the police may be linked to the post 9-11 militarization of police forces nationwide. With Police Departments purchasing more military gear, sometimes seeking military training, and in some cases adopting a more military mentality, a side effect of our war on terrorism. The problem is it's being used against peaceful Americans who have repeatedly demonstrated that they do not condone resorting to violence, even when faced with it.  I gotta ask, is this protecting and serving?.

In ending I will say that I don't hate all police, but I do believe that some of them aren't afraid to cross the line of the law. Unfortunately, you can't tell the difference until it's too late.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Can you hear me now?

 Welcome back to #occupymyweek day 2

Let's see if I can keep this up.

Today let's talk about intentional disinformation, let's talk about the media, let's talk about the smear campaign launched against Occupy.

Did anyone else notice a complete lack of coverage when this movement started, kinda like maybe it wasn't happening? The problem was people were serious about this issue and so they stuck to it. The media HAD to cover it at the point when it looked like it might take off. So Occupy groups popped up all over the country, city to city. Hallelujah! All rise. Media coverage was quite scarce, and never dared to show, or even admit to the size of the crowds or the amount of support behind this movement. So the people took it upon themselves to show the truth, through the wonders of the internet we all got to see photos and videos of throngs of people participating in one of the most massive civil upheavals of the last 30 years at least. Now the media is fucked, whatever will they do? People are getting accurate information, which is something they are not supplying. Uh oh. So, yes indeed, what will the media beast do?

Cue the smear campaign. I felt that the attempt to discredit this movement began very quickly, perhaps to try to keep it from gaining momentum and spreading. "This movement doesn't have any real identifiable goals". "It's just a bunch of lazy trust fund kids". "Shiftless roustabouts". I have seen interviews with eloquent folks who were participating, just not on the news. It was better for them to piece together clips of eight different people with eight different takes on what the issues and possible solutions were, it made it look like a muddled mess. One thing stands out to me though, everybody shares one idea in common, that there is something wrong with the economic system in this country. So it's possible that everybody was unified by that alone.

The disinformation machine also vomited up the notion that the people who support this movement all want something for nothing. We all want a free hand-out at somebody else's expense. When in actuality that was part of what was being rallied against, the banks getting a free hand out at the tax payers expense. Because of bad business practices standing on the back of greed, these banks were failing. The U.S. senate issued Levin–Coburn Report found "that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street". The government said it first guys. So WE are not the ones looking for a hand out, we were mad about the last one.

Now the shift has changed again. The average Joe is caught in the financial bind right now, so tell Joe the economic impact of the protesters on his money. That's right, all protesters are hypocrites because we are throwing away millions of dollars of tax payer money on Police. We need them there to have a peaceful protest. It is all our fault, sorry we invited them. I have read so many articles about this recently, just how much the protests are costing America (although it's probably not as much as that little war we started in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction that have yet to materialize). The massive Police presence was the ideas of the politicians in the cities where these protests occurred, not the idea of the protesters, and just so you know, I think some mayors might have over reacted. Peaceful protests don't require armies of cops in full riot gear to show up and start the riot themselves... but I'll cover that tomorrow.

How many friends can I lose with this?

welcome to #Occupymyweek day 1

OK. Time for me to weigh in on this current situation. For a week. Srsly.

First a few words about partisanship. There is lots of finger pointing and ugliness along party lines. "Republicans are bad","No, democrats are bad". I say fuck them both.
Due to certain lines drawn in the sand by these two parties I would side with the Democrats if anybody, but wait, I'm not done yet. While the Republicans tend to villanize the Occupy movement, the Democrats want to spoon with them. But that doesn't mean I trust them, they haven't delivered the change we demand yet either. A lot of my lefty friends might be upset about this post, but look who's in office and look what's happening (yes, i understand the seeds were planted earlier than this administration, but nothing has really changed, and yes, Obama [don't give me any crap! Seriously. Gays can now join the military and go get killed in wars but still can't get married? Washington state works towards legalization of marijuana, but federal drug laws take precedent, and 14 of our dispensaries are raided? wasn't the war on drugs a Reagan thing?] is sleeping with the enemy). I understand some people will get in line with the Republicans based on religious and gun issues alone (which is interesting to me as church and state are supposed to be separate, and it has NEVER been illegal to own a gun in the U.S. and I don't suspect that it ever will be). But all of that aside we need to recognize that ALL politicians are responsible for the current mess we are in, not one or the other. The problem is with our system. If anyone thinks that special interests and lobbyists never gave anything to Obama then they are fools. Obama is bought and paid for like every other politician in America. I am not hating on him specifically, I just find it interesting that the ire of many seems to be leveled solely at the Republicans, as though they alone are the problem. Newsflash! You are wrong. the capital in our capitol is the real problem.

The fact that we elect officials who in turn allow themselves to be bought off by big business feels like the proverbial slap in the face. It kills me that some people are only upset with big business, (and maybe those "damn Republicans"). The politicians are elected by the people to serve our interests, yet they sell us out regularly for any special interest group (i.e.- big oil, banks, tobacco, corn, Halliburton) that gave them enough dough. That is the root of the problem. I saw an interview with Michael Moore (the left-wing liberal poster boy) on Piers Morgan Tonight where he basically placed the blame squarely on big business. He stated (non-verbatim) that politicians who supported big business interests over that of the common man were just being good employees, as they work for these corporations that paid them off, so we can't get mad at the politicians only the corporations who pull their puppet strings. WHAT?! Are you fucking serious?! WE elect these politicians, they should never have sold themselves off to begin with, the blame lies squarely on their shoulders for that. The spineless money grubbing bastards need to be reminded that they serve the people and not money.

Hopefully thousands of Americans taking to the streets and expressing malcontent for the current state of political affairs will make the politicians take notice that they are being watched and that we are fed up. We will see. Or maybe this raging smear campaign/PR war we see on the nightly news will prevail, but that is another topic for another day this week. Stay tuned true believers...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Go team!

I have been reading a lot about the death of Bin Laden in the news lately, I couldn't avoid seeing it if I wanted to.

What I find most surprising is the comments section of the articles I read, and that the idea of "you are with us, or you are against us" has reared its ugly head again. Apparently if you believe that celebrating someone (anyone's) death is inappropriate then you are a non-patriotic terrorist loving son of a bitch. Do I mourn the death of Bin Laden? No. Do I think he was a nice dude, and would be cool to have some beers with? No. Is the world better off without him? Yes. He was a person guilty of planning and coordinating acts of violence (terrorism- the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes) to satisfy an agenda. No sane person can stand behind terrorist tactics with a clean conscious, so no, I am not a fan. Do I see a point to celebrating his demise? Not really. It's more "United We Stand" bullshit, flag waving propaganda. Consider for one moment the political rifts that are currently going on. Tea Party, Birthers, Donald Trump, all the Republicans claiming that this Democrat President isn't doing a good job... now tell me, where is this "unity" that binds all of us Americans together? Obamas election has created a decidedly divided political landscape, but I bet there were no separate lines for chanting USA outside the White House. So ease up on the us against them, black and white rhetoric, real unity in America is still just a dream. It's you versus me versus Bob versus them.Stop pretending we were on the same team before.

I also read multiple comparisons of Bin Laden to Hitler. Seriously? Have any of these people making those references read a history book? Hitler was an elected political leader with powerlust, and a racist agenda. Was Hitler a nice dude? No.  Is the world better off without him? Assuredly. People kept asking if we shouldn't have celebrated his death. Hey guys, wanna know a little secret? No one did. People celebrated the end of a war that killed an estimated 60 million people, people celebrated not having to live in fear of being dragged away by an oppressive regime, not the death of Hitler. Bin Laden was not an elected official, he was a religious figure mostly, running a rogue operation not associated with any country, and certainly not responsible for 60 million deaths. He is also not the Team Captain of all terrorists worldwide. We will not be pulling all troops out of the Middle East immediately. this was not the Super Bowl winning field goal in overtime. This was one person, a person I would consider a "bad guy" in the simplest of terms. He is dead. The world is probably better off. Save your celebration for when the very last terrorist alive is dead (and consider the absurdity of this statement while you're at it), then we will have scored that field goal in overtime. Then you can crack open your can of Miller and drink to the death of another man, like you had anything to do with it. You wouldn't even know his name.