Sunday, April 22, 2012

Benedict Arnold and Faith

The Republican Party has not only morphed into a party of charlatans and con men, as Annie Coulter pointed out, but its few cogent thinking members cognitively resemble the greatest anti-hero in American history, Benedict Arnold. Historians will remember that Arnold distinguished himself through actions of bravery and intelligence including the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and essential actions during the Battle of Sarasota. He spent much of his own money on the war effort as an American officer. Ultimately bitterness, money, and the feelings of his wife became more important to him than his patriotism. Arnold decided that his own well being was more important than that of his country's. Ironically, some prominent historians, including Willard Wallace, argue that his contributions were essential for American independence.

Faith without works is dead. A corollary to this statement is that faith without examination or knowledge of the impact and consequences of one's behavior is NOT faith. In actuality it is a rationalization that one's will is the will of God and therefore merely the ramblings of an insane individual or false prophet justifying one or more of the seven deadly sins.

Do Republicans really believe that vouchers will work better than the current Social Security system? Are all the people unemployed really lazy? Do Republicans really believe that climate change is a hoax? Have the major insurance companies- whose actuaries are now "factoring" climate change- gone socialists? Will the oceans take care of themselves, as Limbaugh and others have said? Or is God getting angry?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Are Republicans Right about the Ivory Tower?

Paul Krugman- an economist and an intellectual that I truly admire- wrote a column last December that warned President Obama not to conclude that Republican (specifically Romney's) philosophy, agenda, and behavior all are designed "to reduce middle-class Americans to serfs, force them to accept whatever wages corporations choose to pay no matter how low," and introduce "feudalism."

Since publication in the NY Times, quite a bit has transpired. Republicans on state levels, have attacked, voraciously, unions and voting rights. What is going on in the State of Michigan with the Emergency Powers Act, thought not feudalism, certainly is oligarchic rule.

Krugman, many years ago, stated that the health of the economy depends on the health of local economies. Krugman lives and works in New York City, the financial and intellectual capital of the world. The Tri-State area is the most prosperous area in America. And union rights, voting rights, women's rights; and democracy in general, are not under attack.

Though I often fail to remember, President Obama is black and he came from beginnings that were complex and beyond humble. For Romney to claim that Obama is out-of-touch with with working and middle Americans, is as crazy as everything else the Republicans have been doing and saying. Obama's experience is why he is so exceptional.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Obamacare: Are Some Members of the Supreme Court Stupified?

Some members of the US Supreme Court recently stated that requiring Americans to buy health insurance is akin to requiring them to eat broccoli every day. We, that still have functioning glial cells, should pray to whatever gods may be for sanity to be restored to our country.

A more appropriate analogy to the "broccoli" argument would be that requiring Americans to buy health insurance is akin to requiring all Americans to eat. You don't have to eat broccoli, but you do have to eat. Wow!

Even the most staunch Tea Partiers, illustrated by their vehement attacks on the food stamp program, which beg the question that food is a luxury; will acknowledge that all Americans will eat without any coaxing from that evil Federal Government.

It goes without saying, but must be said since the Stupification of America occurred, that health insurance covers, not only disease, but also accidents that occur in the course of human life such as insect bites and chainsaw mishaps.

The power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, and thus mandate health insurance, under the Commerce Clause, is clear and present if the justices view the mandate in the context of the true nature of health insurance and the insurance industry.

Finally, Scalia, in regard to Obamacare, recently stated:

"Do you really expect us to read these 2,700 pages? Do you want my clerks to?"

Yes, we the people, who you work for, want and expect you to read every page. We expect you to do the job you were hired for. And if you are unable, you should resign for the good of America.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Are People Corporations?

The Supreme Court ruling regarding Citizens United (Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission) concluded that corporations are people. Behold the creation of the Super PAC and a transformation of elections and democracy here in the good ole US of A.

If corporations are people, does it follow that all people are corporations? Certainly not. But certainly those corporations using the benefits of personhood, should be exempt from the protection, legal and tax-wise, afforded them by their corporate status.

Many individuals and small businesses use both "C" and "S" corporations. The incorporation enables the individual to avoid certain, often regional, taxation, benefit from certain tax advantages not available to ordinary individuals, and most importantly, shelter themselves from legal liabilities.

In the post Business and Democracy, I pointed out the differences between corporations and individuals (people) in the context of the framing of the Constitution by our Founding Fathers. The rights of the individual are protected by the rights of the many and the common good. Often people support causes and legislation that is not in their self-interests, but is in the best interest of the common good and our country as a whole.The most stark contemporary example of this is Warren Buffett's avocation of increased taxes on the wealthy. One could cite wars and other examples ad infinitum. It is tomfoolery to believe that our country can be run like a corporation, or that most corporations could endure without the government, for that matter. Besides, what are we, as a country, going to do with "fired and laid-off" American citizens? Send them to jail or worse? Somebody has to pay for that.

I am not a Constitutional lawyer. But it would seem to me that if the super rich and global corporations masquerade as people for the purpose of co-opting our democracy, a Constitutional scholar might explore anti-trust legislation, as the gap widens between the rich and poor, and thwart this perversion of American democracy and our Constitution.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Forget About Limbaugh, Obama is the Best Hope

The quality of life for the vast majority of Americans has declined in the last decade plus. And many Americans, without looking at the causes and conditions, and the Big Picture, express the belief that things will get better and they will return to a time when they had a sense of well being, if they just get rid of President Obama.

Getting rid of Obama will, in fact, make things much worse, and effect the very conditions in America in a very negative way. For replacing Obama will not address the causes of the decline of the quality of life. Quite the contrary it will exacerbate the decline.

Annie Coulter, hardly a liberal, recently stated that the Republican party has morphed into a party of charlatans and con men. I have been saying this since I began writing the posts for this blog almost 2 years ago. And I have tried to document the transformation. The Republican party has traditionally supported business, free markets, individual rights, and traditional American values; but has also made compromises to support the good of the American people, thus upholding the ideals and values of our democracy,  in essence, our country. The current Republican party, regardless of what its candidates say, has become a lapdog for the super rich and global corporations; and their legislation and policy will further erode democracy and the free markets in this country and the world.

Things are getting better, slowly. The American automobile industry was saved. There has been consistent job creation. Bin Laden and much of the Taliban leadership have been executed. But we have a long way to go. Not reelecting Obama will improve the quality of life in America as much as getting Limbaugh off the air will. The underlying causes and conditions must be addressed. Obama is making progress despite the Republican circus. Limbaugh is nothing more than an entertainer. And he has profited handsomely from the dimwits in America.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sex, Lies & Videotape

This country was founded on the notion of separation of church and state. And prior to the divine creation of the Tea Party, both Progressives and Reactionaries, including Barry Goldwater and William Buckley, believed that what happened behind closed doors between consenting adults, was their business, plain and simple. And if the couple did not want a pregnancy to occur, that was their business too. And "small government" Conservatives, held this belief more strongly, in most cases, than Progressives.

Whether ultra-Conservatives paint birth control as a religious issue, or as a funding issue that violates the rights of the individual to family planning and financial decision making, their attacks are nothing short of fascist intervention reminiscent of what was done in Romania in 1966.

The ultra-Conservatives are blaming the Obama administration for the price of gasoline. Lies, lies, lies. When gas hit $4.11 for regular (based on the national average) in July 2008, W. Bush stated that "there is little a President can do. It is a matter of supply and demand." And when supplies are restricted because of global politics or manipulated by Wall Street and energy traders, prices will rise.

The ultra-Conservatives are representing themselves as job creators and stewards of the American people. More lies. At a recent Political Action Conference, GOP ringleader Grover Norquist talked about what he wants in the White House:

"All we have to do is replace Obama....We are not auditioning for a fearless leader. We don't need a President to tell us what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Paul Ryan budget...We just need a President to sign the stuff."

Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and the "Game Changer", recently defended Limbaugh's statements about birth control and Sandra Fluke by stating, with various degrees of severity, that he is an entertainer. It appears that many of these "candidates" often forget that they are not.

Finally, I awaited with keen anticipation for the Hannity tapes of President Obama. I was expecting to see the President standing in front of a Symbionese Liberation Army flag, holding an Kalashnikov, and raising a clinched fist defiantly in the air. A hug from his professor? This was a bigger letdown than when Geraldo perpetrated a similar hoax 25 years ago. The entertainers at Fox must be running out of material.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's All About the Perception

A year prior to entering college, and during the summers while attending college, I worked on commercial fishing vessels that were based in various ports in New England. Working as a deckhand enabled me to pay for my room and board during the college term. My father was of the belief that something that one had to work for would have more value and would be more appreciated than something that one was given. Though I was unaware of it at the time, the discipline and work ethic, the skills, and experiences I acquired through this endeavor were going to be as valuable to me as the education that the endeavor was financing.

During this period of my life, I drank a fair amount of beer. And like most fishermen I had a "regular" pub and got to know the bartenders and patrons. We use to bring lobster tails and fresh fish fillets to reward them for helping us relax, after the hard work and stress of a fishing trip, by serving beer and conversation.

Over the course of the years I got to know the owner of the bar quite well. We occasionally talked about politics and social issues and women. I remember one conversation that we had that sticks with me today. After recounting the perils of the sea, the courage of the captain and crew, and the bounty that was harvested by our nets; as well as the fat stacks of cash in our pockets, he told me that fishermen have a stigma attached to them and are viewed as undesirables by our society. This was back in the 70's and because the vocation of commercial fishing was a means to an end for me, and I was usually drunk during these conversations, I was not particularly offended by what he said.

Decades later I am still telling fishing stories, and viewing those times with greater appreciation, and I recently thought about what Vinnie said to me. Though my recollection of Vinnie does not contain anything pejorative; I do remember he took care of his mother, paid his bills, and was kind to everyone; I am taken by his perception of fishermen. For I am sure that Vinnie could not have taken a boat away  from the docks, navigated through storms, filled the hold with fish, repaired ailing pumps, and negotiated with fish buyers. And our patronage enabled him to prosper.

This story illustrates part of what's wrong with America today. We view corporate raiders, CEO's, the New Derivative Thinkers, and Republican Private Sector Vampires as heroes, when in fact they are not. Remember, for a long time, Bernie Madoff was a hero. And the ultra-conservative media paints them as job creators and stewards of American democracy. In fact, they are not. And they tell us that if we are good Americans, and eat our peas and carrots, go to church, and support the party, everything will be great and we'll have $2 a gallon gasoline, again. In fact, we will not.

Finally, though I find Limbaugh to be one of the most contemptible Americans alive, it is very interesting that he views and supports pornography as illustrated by his statement that he would buy all the women of Georgetown University aspirin to put between their knees, as long as they post their sexual activity online for him and his colleagues to view. I wonder if Romney and Santorum share this predilection with him?

Monday, February 27, 2012

America! America! God shed his grace on thee. And crown thy good with bigotry. From slick to shining slick.

I recently watched a television show that featured Rick Santorum's take on higher education. He stated clearly that higher education was a conspiracy, clearly orchestrated by Obama, to indoctrinate students into liberal thinking and undermine Christian faith. This notion is insane, and if one accepts and acts on this precept, it follows that America will cease to be a nation, will evolve into tribalism, and, in many ways, will come to resemble Africa in the 1700's and 1800's. And all the worship and prayer in the world, will not stop this decline and fall.

One of the pillars of our country's strength, from its inception, has been our country's commitment to education and its institutions of higher learning. I had the good fortune to spend most of my adult life in the State of Connecticut. During most of those decades, Connecticut boasted the highest per capita income of the 50 states. If viewed as a country, it also possessed the highest per capita of registered US patients. The spacesuit and jet engine are two of the most famous inventions.

In his borderline psychotic ramblings, Santorum fails to understand that, because of technological changes, the rest of the world is catching up to us. And these emerging powers, understand the link between education and prosperity and success; and place a high premium on higher education especially math and science.

Recently there have been rumblings by Republicans that Obama is responsible for high gasoline prices. In Florida outlaw biker turned Tea Partier Allen West has been complaining that it now takes 75 bucks to fill up his Hummer. Because other countries are "catching up to us", there is now a much greater global demand for oil than in previous history. China, of course, is the prime example.

Currently the US is a net exporter of oil for the first time in almost 4 decades. Domestic production is greater now than it was under the Bush administration, by a significant amount. And still prices rise.

If we truly want to cause meaningful change, in the price of domestic gasoline, we might consider restoring the 55 mph speed limit. And individual states could impose "cruel and unusual" penalties on motor vehicle violators. This would not only impact oil prices, as it did in the past, but would also slightly slow down climate change and help individual states financially.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Say it ain't so, Joe."

This economic downturn, more than any other in my lifetime, has been used by corporations and wealthy individuals to exploit the middle class and American worker. Academia and history used to teach us that competition is good for a free enterprise system. But those at the top realize that a rigged system is good for business.

The Bush administration, more than any other administration in my lifetime, realized the power of fear. And the administration used it to set in motion a sweeping shift of power from the people to those at the top. Since the administration, there have been drastic changes in Federal labor laws. In some states, low level employees are required to sign non compete contracts that protect employers but also give the "job creators" an incredible array of rights that include pre-employment endeavors.

What is really unnerving about what is going on is the acceptance, and the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude, in regard to what's going on. Many believe that it is socialist and un-American to not do so. Those darn pilgrims were communists, Maggie.

The values, mores, and accepted code of conduct are changing. After all, it requires much less work to extrapolate capital from someone else than it does to create, sell and market a product. Our system is beginning to reward theft more than merit. The best salesmen aren't the best salesmen, they're the most unscrupulous.

Awareness of what's going on, of this cognitive shift, is further clouded by the insanity generated by the Tea Party candidates that perturbates the atmosphere. If you believe that life begins the minute someone fantasizes about an attractive woman, and you expect that individual to raise and educate the resulting triplets, you ought to believe that there should be a civil structure in place that enables him to do so financially. If you don't you have no business conversing on the subject, let alone running for political office.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Of the People, By the People, For the People"

The quote is from Republican President Abraham Lincoln, again. I believe Lincoln was stating that here in America, our government, which governs our people, was created by the people themselves with the interests of the people at heart, rather then by a hereditary, aristocratic class; and that our government operated to serve the needs and overall good of the people, and not serve, exclusively, the interests of a select few that accrued great wealth in our country.

If you put this notion in historical context, during the time of the American Civil War, he was contrasting the social system of the blue states with the quasi-aristocratic, slave holding social system of the gray states. Further implied in this statement is the notion that the social system of the gray states represented a threat to self government.

Though the clear cut borders are gone, due to technological changes that have occurred since the American Civil War, the battle lines are clear. Tea Party Republican policy is designed to restore American to a social system that is remarkable similar to the social system of the gray states during the American Civil War. There is overwhelming data to support this thought,  from the suppression of voting rights and union busting, to the outright destruction of economic and social justice, et al.

Without a viable government- that does more than merely defend our borders- our system of self governance cannot survive. In the last decade plus, our government of the people, by the people, and for the people, has served our people, in one way or another. Currently, where labor laws are ignored, where predatory lending and business practices are common occurrences, and in a world where free market manipulations abound as well, many Americans must use government programs to survive. Some time ago Fox News cited that 1 in 5 Americans receive food stamps. And the implication was that the recipients were joyful about it.

By strengthening economic equality within our system, and by shared sacrifice including a progressive tax code, our economy, our country can get going again. By having the super rich and corporations, that have and continue to benefit from our country, pay back our country, to create jobs and maintain the middle class, maybe less Americans will require food stamps.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Good Spirits of the Universe Save the Day

It appears that there will be no compromise as the Super Committee, comprised of Republicans and Democrats, was unable to reach an agreement. And because there was no compromise, there will be a compromise, of sorts. What is going to happen is that tax rates will be restored to their preBush levels. Though the increase will have a more profound effect on the working poor and middle class, than those at the top, it is a step in the right direction. The lack of compromise will also trigger massive spending cuts. Again these cuts will impact the working class more than the wealthy. But the massive cuts in defense spending, which most insiders acknowledge will not impact our security, will wound the Republican base.

Since Bush, the Republicans have been utilizing the rights and freedoms of our democracy to gain wealth and power, and are attempting to disable those rights and freedoms for the majority. Despite the tactics, our country is a democracy, and by definition, "will not perish from the earth", regardless of what tactics the Republicans employ.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Chunks of Truth

One major problems that is facing America is the utter refusal or cognitive inability of the Republican Congress (and the Republican Party in general) to recognize what is going on in this country of ours. Most Republicans dismiss the 99% movement as merely undeserving citizens that are too lazy to work, and they fail to acknowledge, at least publicly, that this notion is far from the truth.

The 99% movement is comprised of a cross section of American people. The "movement" includes students, many who have spent 10's of thousands of dollars on education and are unable to find gainful employment that will enable them to survive and pay off their debt. It is also made up of working people that are barely able to make ends meet due to the economic stagnation coupled with the ever rising costs of energy, food, and health care. And it is becoming more apparent that the inflation is due to market manipulations by the Wall Street boys. The coffee market is a prime example of the manipulation I'm alluding to.

Regardless of what they do many working folks, middle class families, and recent graduates are unable to make any progress. The only ones that are able to save and prosper are those at the top. Unlike prior groups in our history, ones that became dependent on government handouts, the 99%ers, as a whole, have done everything right and they are stymied and it is not paying off for them. Ironically, it is many of the Republicans that now seek to prosper through the government.

Over Thanksgiving dinner, a longtime friend of mine, who works as a building contractor, said to me that the problem stems from the fact that there are too many people and not enough jobs. While we were debating, his wife was talking to her family via the internet. It made me think of a story I heard decades ago. Roger Smith, a former chairman of General Motors, implemented the use of computer controlled robots in one of the GM plants. When it was up and running, Smith invited Walter Reuther, head of the United Auto Workers, into the plant to observe.
As the two stood in the booth above the assembly line floor and watched the activity below, Roger Smith asked, "Aren't you impressed by the efficiency of the robots?"
Reuther replied, "Yes, Mr. Smith, but how many Chevrolets will they buy?" 

Progressives recognize that rebuilding America's infrastructure and a return to manufacturing is a necessary beginning. And that this cannot be accomplished without serious involvement by our government and the implementation of a progressive tax system. And then it goes back to Wall Street and the New Derivative Thinkers and the Republican "Private Sector" Vampires.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Q&A with the Latest Republican Presidential Nominee: Barney the Dog

Poor Will: Most thinking people believe that the American economy and job creation represent the most important issues that face our country. Taking into consideration global competition and the impact of technology, can you briefly outline your jobs proposal and tell us what measures you would implement to bring down the unemployment rate in this country?
Barney the Dog: Ruff Ruff
Poor Will: Barney, you have expressed that you support further tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that are systematically exporting jobs, the expansion of undefined investment credits and loopholes, and also the complete closure of most government regulatory agencies.
Barney the Dog: Ruff Ruff
Poor Will: Barney, you especially don't like the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Education, but you also expressed some misgivings about the Consumer Protection Agency and the FDIC insurance.  
Barney the Dog: Grrrrr
Poor Will: OK, we can discuss vouchers and Social Security at another time.
Poor Will: Barney, what are you doing? Good Lord, I almost stepped in it!

I believe that it is painfully clear, at this point, what is behind the Republican agenda. It has been awhile since America has employed the "trickle-up" theory of economics, though it was suggested by Ben Stein back in 2008, after the crash. Maybe, just maybe, this approach might work.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

99% Tea Free

It's all well and good in this country of ours to advocate the principles of our Founding Fathers. However, the Tea Party is as much about individual rights and democracy as the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers' Party) was about socialism and workers' rights. The Nazi Party, by all accounts, was a fascist military dictatorship and was opposed to workers' rights, socialism, and individual rights and liberties period.

The economic agenda of the Tea Party is not compatible with democracy, the free market, and individual rights; and the social agenda of the Tea Party is not compatible with its economic agenda.

Put simply, the regulatory, government and tax policies, including the disbursement of government funds, demanded by the ultra right wingers, seek to extrapolate monies from middle and lower classes and further concentrate that wealth at the top, creating a financial aristocracy in America. Further, their policies seek to have the middle class pay for this process as it ceases to be. The emerging plebeian/slave class will be forced to pay for its own enslavement through taxes, criminal business practices and the police and military. The right wing seeks "to have its cake and eat it too."

Under the Tea Party vision of America, their social agenda of no abortion/birth control will not only put additional strain on the limited food, fuel, and healthcare resources, but will serve to keep the masses young, strong, dysfunctional and uneducated. And there will be no government programs of any sort for them. Few among the masses will live to a ripe old age.

I can hear many of you saying that this scenario is science fiction. And I truly hope it is. We must institute a  very progressive tax rate. It is clear the Bush tax cuts did not create jobs or stimulate the economy. To the contrary, look at the record. We must close the tax loopholes so the wealthy pay somewhere close to their fair share. We must regulate derivatives- instruments that nearly destroyed this country- as well as predatory lending and financial practices. And finally, we must provide greater opportunities and protections for American workers- the source of our country's strength and the real heroes of America.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Do Republicans Want to End Democracy?

Never before in American history has there been so brazen an attempt to destroy American democracy. The wealthy and global corporations have and are continuing to use misconstrued interpretations of the principles that this country was founded upon, to rationalize profiting  from the destruction of this country. At least the robber barons built railroads and steel mills and, looking at the big picture, were much different than the "New Derivative Thinkers" of  today.

The Tea Party- a slick well funded invention of the upper classes- partially as a reaction to the election of a Black President, and also as a force to continue the destructive policies of the Bush administration that served the agenda of the 1%, appeared magically and permeated the consciousness of Americans. Using wealth to control the media, and propaganda techniques of historical dictatorships, the American people were and continue to be hoodwinked.

With America focused on this "grassroots" diversion, Republicans continued their traditional assault on democracy in Washington with their lobbyists, and the army of newly elected Tea Party "foot-draggers" (pun intended).

I truly hope that with the inception of the 99% movement, America is finally waking up. At least one of the perpetrators, Eric Cantor, is starting to get nervous.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Plan 999 from Outer Space

A flat tax is nothing new. Forbes proposed a flat tax- I believe it was 12%- during his run for the presidency some years ago. Few took him seriously. But, the fact that anyone would take this proposal seriously, and the fact that the main street media, Fox News excepted, is covering and analyzing it, makes me ashamed to be an American.

All sitting presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, including Reagan, and especially Eisenhower, understood the fairness and necessity of a graduated income tax. The vast majority of Americans hold as truth the notion that those who profit the most from America, should pay the most.

The notion of a flat Federal sales tax is insane, pure and simple. Without discussing elasticity of demand, there is an obvious difference between the impact of a sales tax and an income tax. The working classes and poor must spend most or all of their income to survive, unlike the upper classes. So, in effect, this tax burden will fall squarely on the backs of the lower classes. The upper classes will loose incentive to spend and create jobs because of the tax. They're doing it now without the tax. Now flash back, during George Bush's tenure, consumer spending accounted for 70% of all economic activity. The tax, especially without deductions to encourage spending, will disincentivize spending except for those that must to survive. Welcome to the jungle.

Purely as a didactic exercise, Will, poor and lame, proposes a 15-30-60 graduated flat tax. Households will pay a 15% flat rate on incomes up to 50,000$. This should appease Tea Partiers. A 30% rate will be applied to that portion of income that is above 50,000$ and below 200,000$. And a 60% rate will be applied to that portion of a household's income that is above 200,000. With some slight cuts and modifications to Social Security and Medicare as well as greater regulations and oversight to prevent guys like Rick Scott from ripping off the system; and without a federal sales tax, we are on our way. Heck we might even be able to make less defense cuts. My Boston Terrier is barking with joy.

In closing, the Wall Street protest has given this old guy some hope; something I haven't had since Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. And the innocuous, unbridled passion of the rallies makes me reminisce. They are focused on the institutions that, with the help of the oil patch boys and Republicans, played a major role in bringing about the state we Americans are in.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ugly Americans

The new American heroes are not teachers or doctors, nor even captains of true industry- though there was some coverage of the life of Steve Jobs; but rather repo men, pawn brokers, and people fighting over abandoned storage lockers. The predatory practices of the New Derivative Thinkers, not only have influenced Republican candidates like Rick Perry, but they have trickled down to Main Street.

The Tea Party philosophy of no government- except for a government funded by the middle class to protect the interests of the super rich is not democratic and certainly not free market. What Tea Party candidates advocate is destruction of the free market. To keep a football game fair we need referees. To keep our roads safe and functional, we need traffic signals, speed limits and courts and policemen to enforce the rules.

In order to maintain the values and ideals that were intended by our Founding Fathers, and to provide equal opportunity, and insure the preservation of "certain unalienable Rights" for all Americans, which includes the right to vote, we need government and a fair judicial system.

There is an old saying: "The Pen is mightier than the Sword." The wealthy and global corporations understand this well, witnessed by their control of the media.The medium for the 99 percenters is through their numbers and their right of assembly. I truly hope that the protests we are witnessing signal that the Revolution of Sanity in America has taken hold. And I hope that the American people say No More to the current Republican Congress whose mantra is just say no to progress and the American way. As a people we must unite and work together towards our common good if we are to sustain our beloved country.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

The quote is from Mark Twain. It appears that many, too many, Americans refuse to accept that our economic system has been corrupted and that our democracy has been co opted. The great values that this country was founded upon : hard work, self-reliance, truth, justice, and liberty for all; are values that define us as a people. To acknowledge, or even ponder the notion, that these "values" have been diluted or lost is beyond the comprehension of most true Americans.

We 99 percenters are partially to blame. Many of us have taken our democracy for granted. We failed to stay abreast of political issues. Often it was inconvenient to vote. We took our middle class prosperity and freedom for granted. Some of us became selfish and we felt entitled.

All the while we were "luxuriating" in our malaise, the super rich and global corporations were very busy buying the media and control of our political system. In anticipation of our discontent, they disseminated propaganda to confuse us. At the same time, the new Wall Street derivative thinkers, were working diligently on how to steal our savings and retirements, both private(401K's) and public(Social Security), our homes; and fundamentally our futures and the futures of our children.

As an American, a student of political economy, and a person that extensively studied Marx and rejected his philosophy, I find it difficult to believe that our economic system is broken. I recently read an article that discussed group health insurance for small and medium-sized businesses. Companies are facing on average a 12% rate increase next year. And that rate increase is based, not on usage, which has gone down overall, because Americans cannot afford the co-pays and deductibles; but on anticipation by the major carriers that the economy would be better by this point and people would be able to afford the increase!

Philosophers differ greatly on the value of historical analysis. However, behavioral psychologists, tell us that the best way to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior. The economic policies- or lack there of- of both Cleveland and W. Bush are remarkable similar. Reagan began his presidency in the same manner but changed course in his second term and was bailed out by the tax increases of Bush Sr. Cleveland led us into the Great Depression where we remained until World War Two. "W" led us into the Great Recession where we remain today. The Tea Partiers will led us into Apocalypse.

The New Conservatives (RINOs) believe that it is their god-given right to do anything to obtain wealth and power, regardless of how many Americans are destroyed and what it does to this country as a whole. They do not possess the values that this country was founded upon and sustained with. These are truly precarious times for all of us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

It is the ten year anniversary of 9/11 and, since Obama was elected President, there has be less media focus on terrorism. Bush's infamous color code warning system has faded into oblivion. Obama's mission that led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden, was executed while he was telling jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Republicans have been focusing on tax cuts for the wealthy and global corporations, and the acquisition of absolute power. The debt issue, though a truly serious issue, appears to be their way of attempting to destroy the middle class. Democrats and moderates appear to be genuinely concerned about jobs and maintaining the standard of living of the middle class by the creation of jobs through shared sacrifice, greater taxes and government stimulus.

The war on terror is still a critical issue but it is best fought, not on Fox News, but behind the scenes by the intelligence agencies using covert and psychological tactics, much in the same manner the execution of bin Laden was carried out. In this manner, politicians and the American people can focus on the critical domestic issues at hand.

It is extremely important to realize that America's strength in the world is a result of the economic strength of its people and the freedoms we have, things Republican don't really care about. Remember what Perry said about Romney in the recent GOP debate. He stated that Dukakis (A DEMOCRAT) created 3 times as many jobs as Romney did as Governor of Massachusetts.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are Republicans PART of the Problem?

The principal fallacies of the Right Wing Spin Machine of this Millennium are entangled in dishonesty, selfishness and utter refusal to examine the big picture.  It is great to be in favor of the the historical American values of self-reliance and hard work, but impossible for these values to produce economic security or social justice in a society where there is no longer equality of opportunity and the power elites are rapidly creating an unlevel playing field so that their children can continue to rule the world while brilliant poor children are turned out to crime or hard labor.
It is a shame that the Republican party has turned it's back on it's great presidents like Lincoln, who articulated in the Gettysburg Address the idea that our country would never measure up to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence as long as we allowed a wealthy class to own a class of slaves; and like Teddy Roosevelt, who understood that keeping government small required government to keep the mega corporations and monopolies of his day (many of which were small by today's standards) less powerful than our nation's government.  Republicans have even turned their back on the not-so-great Republican Presidents like Eisenhower, who at least understood that the way to pay off war debts was to use the graduated income tax, and that the people who profited the most from the "wartime stimulus" that ended the last Depression should be willing to repay the most to put our government back on a sound financial footing.
It's a screwy world out there, and getting scarier all the time, and unfortunately the educational system and free press are under severe economic pressure at a time when we have never needed them more as a society.  And that is not to say that the lies and distortions of Fox News are any worse than the "Entertainment Tonight" mentality of the other major broadcast networks.
In order to solve a problem, you must be aware of the causes of the problem. You can not wish problems away by worshiping with snakes, citing platitudes that may or may not have been appropriate 100 years ago, or fortifying your own position, to "ensure" your own survival no matter how dire things get. And certainly not through the self-delusion of Republican archaism.

My father taught me that cliches are absolute truths, essentially distilled wisdom from the ages. He told me that I should never refute them and should try to never use them. In this case I am going cite one. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.