Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gibson Guitar - An American Icon Under Government Attack

Aren't we supposed to be attracting jobs to America? BIG GOVERNMENT IS KILLING AMERICAN JOBS!

Updated in Comments Below

For Immediate Release

The Justice department bullies Gibson without filing charges

The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.

On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants.

Raid shut down Gibson factories and cost company money
This is the second time that federal agents have raided Gibson facilities and disrupted production – this time causing lost productivity and sales.

Wood seized was Forest Stewardship Council Controlled
The wood the Government seized on August 24 is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier and is FSC Controlled, meaning that the wood complies with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, which is an industry-recognized and independent, not-for-profit organization established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC Controlled Wood standards require, among other things, that the wood not be illegally harvested and not be harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights. See for more information. Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC certified supplies. The wood seized on August 24 satisfied FSC standards.

Nearly two years later, no charges have been filed
In 2009, more than a dozen agents with automatic weapons invaded the Gibson factory in Nashville. The Government seized guitars and a substantial amount of ebony fingerboard blanks from Madagascar. To date, 1 year and 9 months later, criminal charges have NOT been filed, yet the Government still holds Gibson’s property. Gibson has obtained sworn statements and documents from the Madagascar government and these materials, which have been filed in federal court, show that the wood seized in 2009 was legally exported under Madagascar law and that no law has been violated. Gibson is attempting to have its property returned in a civil proceeding that is pending in federal court.

The Justice Department has asked the judge to stop the court case indefinitely.

Information sought in raid was already made available
Since 2009, Gibson has fully cooperated with the Government’s investigation of wood and has provided substantial documentation regarding Gibson’s wood-buying activities over the years. Yet, the Federal Government raided Gibson’s facilities on August 24, 2011, without warning or communication of any kind. Had the Government simply communicated with Gibson, Gibson would have cooperated without having to stop its production and send workers home.

• Not about illegal logging, not about conservation, not about the environment
The U.S. Lacey Act does not directly address conservation issues but is about obeying all laws of the countries from which wood products are procured. This law reads that you are guilty if you did not observe a law even though you had no knowledge of that law in a foreign country. The U.S. Lacey Act is only applicable when a foreign law has been violated.

• Gibson is innocent and will fight to protect its rights
Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of ANY wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.

For more information, please contact:
Henry E. Juszkiewicz
c/o Gibson Guitar Corp.
309 Plus Park Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37217
(615) 871-4500 Extension 2405

In the News:

Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear

Gibson Guitar to fight U.S. probe of its wood imports

Gibson Guitar to Uncle Sam – “From my cold, dead hands”

Gibson CEO on Alex Jones (audio) Gibson employees threatened by FBI (You gotta hear this!)

Visit Gibson’s website at
For breaking Gibson News: Press RSS Feed.
Follow Gibson on Twitter at and Facebook at
Gibson, 1-800-4GIBSON (1-800-444-2766) or

Jeremy Singer / Gibson UK, 020 7167 2144 /
Chris O’Hearn / Gibson Australia 61 2 9929 2257 /

About Gibson Guitar:

Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. The Gibson Les Paul guitar is the best-selling guitar of all time and bears the name of the late, great Les Paul. Gibson’s line of Robot guitars, including the revolutionary new Firebird X, represents the biggest advances in electric guitar design in over 70 years. The Gibson Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Gibson Guitar Corp., and dedicates its time and services to making the place a better world for children through its support of music, education, health and human services. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.’s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Baldwin, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer.

Who Needs Bridges and Schools? I Don't.

To Hell with Bridges and Schools...I Don't Need Them.

Retiring baby-boomers, massive flooding, failing infrastructure, earthquakes, budget shortfalls, tornadoes, 16% real unemployment, and hurricanes. The country is falling apart, literally falling to pieces. But the Republicans absolutely refuse to raise taxes on the uber-rich or corporations to help get this country out of trouble.

Nor will the Republicans reform the tax code or eliminate tax loop-holes & government subsidies for large profitable corporations. The Republicans always say that NOW isn't a good time to raise taxes on "anyone" (as though corporations were real people, and the ultra-rich were just "anyone" you or me.)

So then, WHEN will be a good time to raise taxes? Tomorrow? Next year? Ten years from now? Or would ten years ago have been a good time to raise taxes...instead of lowering them with the Bush tax cuts?

It's just the same old Republican lie,* because for the Republicans, "NEVER" has ALWAYS been a good time to NEVER raise taxes for billionaires or multi-national corporations. The Republicans say we need more "certainty" in the market place. Another Republican lie.* And the Republicans want less government regulation too. They say it "stymies" business. Another Republican lie.*

* PolitiFact assigns false ratings to 39 percent of Republican statements compared to just 12 percent for Democrats since January 2010.

Are there any big corporations going out of business and claiming bankruptcy because of government regulations? Is Ford going broke because we want safe cars on the road? Are the airlines going broke because we want an FCC and air traffic controllers to keep us from falling out of the sky? Is the food industry going broke because we want an FDA to keep us from being poisoned? Are the toy manufacturers going broke because we don't want our kids swallowing sharp objects or suffocating to death? How exactly is government regulation stymieing business? I do know what happens when government doesn't regulate....just look at what the banks did (and continues to do).

Do you need worry about CO2 emissions from heating your home? All you have to do is just pass a smog test for your car. A small price to pay for clean air. Have you ever seen and smelled the smog in China? I certainly remember how bad it used to be in L.A. - - - 'bout burned my eyes out!

The Republicans want less regulation because it means less overhead for big businesses and banks, which equates to larger profits. It gives free reign to big businesses to do whatever they want in the name of corporate profits, no matter who gets physically hurt or financially swindled. Republicans want to remove and deny YOU protections from evil and greedy people.

Corporate America isn't patriotic. Despite what Mitt Romney says, they're only robber barons and profiteers...and the Republicans are their political enablers. Mitt Romney just said that America isn't safe anymore because of an emerging world power...China. Corporate America and the Republicans financially enabled China to become an emerging world power. (Read my Op-Ed piece The Enemy Within)

Republican front men like Eric Cantor says that before the government can dole out federal disaster relief, spending cuts should have to be made elsewhere. And where do you think he and the Republicans would like to make these spending cuts? 

Can we cut spending from the two wars we have? Can we cut spending from the government contracts the defense industry enjoys? Can we cut spending from corporate subsidies for the most profitable industries? Can we cut spending from Eric Cantor's generous congressional salary ($193,400), healthcare coverage, or retirement plan?

In a Or as John Boehner would say, "Hell no you can't!"

Instead, the Republicans want to cut YOUR salary, YOUR healthcare coverage, and YOUR retirement plan (and my food stamps). Corporations and their political lap dogs get to keep most of their money, but you have to lose most of yours.

It's that simple. The Republicans always want more tax breaks and less regulations for the rich and large corporations, while mercilessly hacking away at Social Security and Medicare for us. Case closed. This is "WE THE PEOPLE" being represented by their elected Republican officials in the United States of America.

Maybe we should eliminate ALL taxes and eliminate ALL spending. Would THAT make the Republicans happy? To hell with bridges, schools, or disaster relief...let them all go to hell! Let the whole damn country fall into utter ruin and decay. Who gives a damn anyway? The Republicans and their corporate masters certainly don't, so why should we?

If you're like the Republican Abraham Lincoln, and you do want a functioning government that looks out for the interests of the people, by the people, and for the people, then I would say, tax the uber-rich and multi-national corporate tax cheats.

If someone were paid by the hour (an hourly wage) instead of a six-figure salary with stock options, why would they ever vote for a Republican?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

40 Years on the Offense for Corporate America

(From TooMuch "Remembering the Moment Our CEOs Dug In") Forty years ago, U.S. corporate honchos saw their power ebbing away — to a ragtag mob of long-hairs and loony social reformers. So they did what corporate honchos always do. They asked for a memo.

A landmark historical anniversary passed by almost totally unnoticed last week. No front-page retrospective in a major daily newspaper. No ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. Not even a new postage stamp.

A postage stamp, to be sure, might have been a bit of a stretch. You can’t, after all, put a memo on a postage stamp. Not even a memo that helped change, 40 years ago this month, the course of modern U.S. history.

The writer of this memorable memo, Richmond attorney Lewis Powell, would later go on to national prominence as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. But Lewis Powell, back in August 1971, had no national general public presence.

Powell did have widespread respect within elite corporate circles. A former American Bar Association president, he served on top corporate boards — and had friends in pivotal places, like Eugene Sydnor, a mover and shaker at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Powell and Sydnor, notes corporate watchdog Charlie Cray, shared a sense of impending doom. The American “free enterprise system,” they feared, faced an existential crisis. The enemies of that system would surely triumph — unless business mobilized, as never before, to meet the threat.

The Chamber’s Sydnor asked Powell for a memo that outlined what the Chamber could do to jumpstart a crusade to save free enterprise. Powell's confidential August 23, 1971 response did just that.

Powell’s memo, reread today, can come across as wildly overheated and even, at times, laugh-out-loud paranoid.

Business confronts, Powell contends in the memo, critics “seeking insidiously” to “sabotage” free enterprise. “Extremists on the left,” he declares, have become “far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history.”

With “extremists” and “social reformers” working ever more closely in concert, Powell's memo laments, “individual freedom” itself may stand at risk.

In truth, “free enterprise” in America had faced significantly more threatening — and better organized — challenges before World War I and then again during the Great Depression. In 1971, those Powell labeled “extremists” had no significant political parties, as they had in earlier eras. And the social reformers of 1971, unlike their predecessors, rarely questioned any “free enterprise” basics.

But corporate leaders, Powell correctly understood, did face a hostile political environment in 1971. Progressives were making headway against tax breaks that benefit “only the rich, the owners of big companies,” as one Washington Post columnist put it. “Populist” tracts in mainstream magazines like New York were arguing that “the root need in our country is ‘to redistribute wealth.’”

“This setting of the ‘rich’ against the ‘poor,’ of business against the people,” Powell’s memo seethes, “is the cheapest and most dangerous kind of politics.”

Corporate America, Powell goes on to exhort, must respond with more than “appeasement, ineptitude, and ignoring the problem.” Business leaders must show more “stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics.” CEOs need to consider counterattacking “a primary responsibility of corporate management.”

Yet individual corporate leaders, Powell would acknowledge, can only do so much. An individual corporation, he understood, might be reluctant “to get too far out in front and to make itself too visible a target.” The answer?

“Strength lies in organization,” Powell's would explain, “in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”

The rest of Powell’s memo would detail the sorts of steps Corporate America could take — on campuses, with the media, in politics — to sweep away what Powell considered “inequitable” taxes on men of means and tame regulatory agencies “with large authority over the business system they do not believe in.”

The memo would remain confidential until syndicated national columnist Jack Anderson did an exposé in 1973. That publicity only served to whet corporate interest in Powell’s exhortations. By year’s end, a Chamber of Commerce task force — with executives from corporate giants ranging from G.E. to General Motors — had translated the Powell memo into action plan specifics.

Powell’s 1971 musings, historian Kim Phillips-Fein reflects, “crystallized a set of concerns shared by business conservatives in the early 1970s” — and gave “inspiration” to corporate leaders who would later become familiar names and powerful forces, men like arch Colorado right-winger Joseph Coors.

Together, these newly energized corporate leaders would unleash upon America what political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson have called “a domestic version of Shock and Awe.”

The number of corporate public affairs offices in Washington, D.C. would quintuple between 1968 and 1978, from 100 to over 500. In 1971, Hacker and Pierson relate, only 175 U.S. corporations had registered lobbyists in Washington. The 1982 total: almost 2,500.

Corporate leaders also joined together in new national organizations, most notably with the 1972 founding of the Business Roundtable, and bankrolled a series of new militantly “free market” think tanks and action centers: the Heritage Foundation and American Legislative Exchange Council in 1973, the Cato Institute in 1977, the Manhattan Institute in 1978, among many others.

Between the late 1970s and late 1980s, add analysts Hacker and Pierson, corporate PACs increased their outlays for congressional races “nearly fivefold.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for its part, would double its membership between 1974 and 1980 and triple its budget.

The end result of this all this political activity? Four decades of corporate pressure have transformed America. Tax rates on corporations and the wealthy have nose-dived. Lawmakers have “deregulated” corporations in one sector after another. Unions, across wide swatches of the private sector, have disappeared.

The United States has become, with all these changes, a far more unequal place. In 1971, the year Powell penned his influential memo, America’s most affluent 0.1 percent reported average incomes — in 2008 dollars — of $1,263,485, and America’s bottom 90 percent averaged, again in 2008 dollars, $31,324.

By 2008, America's top tenth of 1 percent was averaging over four times as much, $5,648,768, and the average income of America’s bottom 90 percent had actually dropped, to $31,324.

The irony here? These numbers would likely trouble Lewis Powell, who died in 1998. Powell saw business as a champion for prosperity for all. He considered unions and collective bargaining “essential” to the freedom Americans enjoy.

Today’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce, by contrast, acts as the lobbying ringleader against any and all legislation that seeks to help workers organize and bargain.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Jobless Aren't Lazy, Their Critics Are

People who spout their "all-knowing wisdom" on the state of affairs without actually knowing what they're talking about, or doing any research, are very lazy people. They don't bother taking the time to gather the facts before pointing their scrawny and greasy fingers at other people and blaming them for being out of work, without even personally knowing these people.

And family members are no exception: Dad blames the son, brother blames the sister, grandpa blames the grandson, and I heard my own mother had blamed me. It's almost as though they've all been living in some gigantic antiseptic bubble during the Great Recession, and are totally unaware of what's been happening (maybe they've been watching Fox News).

What I could never understand is why people WITH jobs think that those WITHOUT jobs are so vile. People WITH jobs can be so brutally hostile towards the jobless that it's almost obsessive in nature. They even take the time to post rude and threatening comments on blogs and news articles too. When I once had a job, I had been far too busy to take part in such a meaningless and time-wasting activity. If anything, I would have felt a little compassion for the poor bastards...I wouldn't have insulted and ridiculed them. I would have just been thankful that it wasn't me.

They hate me because I now rely on food stamps, and it's so odd because, it's almost as though they are SO SURE it could never happen to them. But unless you're a millionaire, it can. Three years ago I never thought I would ever need food stamps either, yet here I am...having rocks thrown at me because no one would ever rehire me. They blame me for my situation as though I never tried to do anything to resist living in poverty and improve my lot in life. They blame me for their problems too.

The "blamers" never even take into account anything like in-house or union seniority when layoffs occur. These "know-it-alls" automatically assume that only poor or lazy workers were the first laid off. Or they will say that your "poor attitude" or "bad personality" had something to do with you being laid off or not being able to get rehired again without ever considering the possibility of age or race discrimination. Aside from the family members, but as for the strangers, I would like to tell those ignorant critics morons: "Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."

(From November of last year) "Unemployment in Las Vegas is at 15%, almost six points above the national average. There are now nine unemployed individuals for every advertised job in Sin City, making it the nation's hardest place to find a job." SOURCE (It doesn't mention that there were also 300 applications for every opening.)

Where I live, the Las Vegas economy depends primarily on "discretionary spending" (conventions, vacations, gambling, etc.) I suspect it was one of the hardest hit cities in the recession and will be one of the last to recover. Falling home prices, foreclosures, and homelessness in Las Vegas led the nation. 

The unemployment rate (U-3) in Las Vegas is now 13.8% in August 2011, but it doesn't include those who are no longer counted because their Unemployment Insurance benefits expired, such as the (the "99ers"), who have been out of work for over 2 years. They may not even be included in the U-6 rate, which includes "discouraged workers" and the "marginally attached", which would put the unemployment rate in Las Vegas closer to 20%. That's 1 out of 5 people between the working ages of 16 and 65 years old. 

And here in Las Vegas, especially in the casinos, younger people are usually hired first. Discrimination for age and just for BEING unemployed runs rampant.

In case you're wondering, place like McDonald's only offered temporary part-time jobs as summer help to mostly teenagers who are still living at home. Some adults who might work 2 of these jobs (just to make ends meet) are called the "under-employed", and this is another reason why even these low-paying jobs are so hard to find.

The portion of men holding a job (any job, full or part-time) was 63.5% in July 2011. Among the category of prime working-age men between 25 and 54, only 81.2% held jobs. During the Great Depression employment among prime-age men never dropped below 85%. In contrast, in 1969, 95% of men in their prime working years had a job. SOURCE

Men and women in our Armed Forces keep re-enlisting because of the jobless situation. When they do enter the civilian job market (in the public or private sector), they are (rightfully so) given job preferences for being military Vets.

And because millions of other people are in the same boat, Social Security disability is now on the verge of insolvency. SOURCE:

Yet I'm always hearing how the unemployed are lazy and it's their own fault for not finding a job. But 14 million jobless Americans, and another 14 million "under-employed" Americans, and about 6 million 99ers, and our unemployed Vets, knows this is simply not true. I write extensively about all this in my soon-to-be-released book.

Do the critics (and ignorant and immature trolls) really believe that there are millions and millions of jobs being left unfilled because all these people are lazy? Even those whose unemployment benefits ran out over a year ago? Get real man! Don't be so damn lazy and get off your ignorant asses and do some research. It's called a "recession" for a reason. You can't blame a bad economy on all the jobless people you idiots! Especially since most off them have probably worked harder and longer than you ever will.

But truth be known, the Republicans want to divide these two classes of people (the employed and the jobless). Fox News has been hammering their message for almost 3 years: First to turn public sentiment against the jobless to keep from paying them benefits; and second, to use the unemployment numbers as a weapon against the Obama and his economic policies. But when the Republicans go full throttle to cut Medicare and pillage the Social Security Trust Fund, then they can expect more push back...even from people WITH jobs.

And this also makes me wonder...why do so many ignoramuses such as the "blamers" still have jobs when so many much more qualified and intelligent people still remain unemployed? That's the biggest mystery of all.

“Three or four million heads of households don’t turn into tramps and cheats overnight, nor do they lose the habits and standards of a lifetime. They don’t drink any more than the rest of us, they don’t lie any more, and they’re no lazier than the rest of us. An eighth or a tenth of the earning population does not change its character which has been generations in the moulding, or, if such a change actually occurs, we can scarcely charge it up to personal sin.” – Harry Hopkins, Federal relief administrator under Franklin D. Roosevelt – 1933

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why Are Republican Voters So Stupid?

Mark Twain popularized the phrase "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" and it's used to describe the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions.

The Republicans have been using this strategy for decades to get average American workers to vote against their own best interests. But it's usually just ignorant Republican voters who believe all those lies. (It's a pity there are so many!)

Those corrupted Republican politicians absolutely REFUSE to:

But what the Republicans WILL DO is:

  • bust labor unions for the working-class,
  • cut unemployment benefits for the jobless,
  • end Medicare and Medicaid for the sick,
  • reduce food stamps for the poor,
  • and steal Social Security from the elderly.

They will also:

Oil subsidies? With a $14 trillion national debt? It doesn't matter at all if ending oil subsidies won't reduce the price of gas, taxpayers shouldn't be giving ANY corporation taxpayer-dollars when they are making record profits! The Republicans don't represent ordinary Americans, they only represent their corporate sponsors.

And Republicans really do believe that corporations are REAL people! Multi-millionaire and presidential hopeful Republicorp Mitt Romney (corporate raider and lay-off king who is plowing down a $12 million beachfront home to build a much bigger one) admitted this publicly at a town hall meeting. (READ > Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) and (Read my take on this here and here).

And why have the Republicans been so obsessed with outlawing abortions, imposing restrictions for young and minority voters, and attacking women's healthcare (such as Planned Parenthood) rather than creating jobs? Instead of taking responsibility for the huge mistakes they made in the past, they'd rather just blame one man for all this country's woes.

Real Time with Bill Maher: "30% of this country will always vote Republican...I'm just asking, why?"
(I wonder if he gets hate mail from cyber-stalkers too.)

Republican think tanks are financed by corporations, to tell us that corporations are good for us. When was the last time a corporation put the worker first? NEVER! (Henry Ford was the last CEO to pay a fair and equitable wage when he built the Model-T over 100 years ago.)

The Republicans deregulated the banks, outsourced our jobs, held unemployment insurance hostage to tax breaks for the rich (but now is reneging on the deal and is now trying to de-fund it), is trying to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, has been actively busting labor unions, and advocates for "Right to Work" legislation. So everything Glenn Beck has been telling us for the past 3 years has been nothing but "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

"30% of this country will always vote Republican...and I'm just asking, why?" ~ Bill Maher

Fair question Bill. I'd like to know why too! They can't ALL be that friggin' stupid!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Blockbuster Movie

Click photo to enlarge

If the territorial waters off the Gulf of Mexico (and elsewhere) belong to the people of the U.S. Government (the people of the United States), why do natural resources (such as oil) that's pumped from the bottom of the ocean floor, belong to the companies that remove them? Shouldn't the companies that extracted it for us just be paid a finder's fee and compensated for their expenses? Doesn't the oil really belong to the people, as it really does the people in the Middle-East? Just as the gold in Fort Knox? Just as the water in the Great Lakes and Lake Mead? Just as the trees in our national parks? The Corportati already charges for the basic necessity of water; when will they start charging us for the air we breathe?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thank a Republican

Yesterday the Huffington Post reported that a survey of economists found that 56% preferred spending cuts over tax increases, while 37% said they favor equal parts of spending cuts and tax increases. The remaining 7% believe it should be done only or mostly through tax increases.

As for how to reduce the deficit: Nearly 40% said the best way would be to contain Medicare and Medicaid costs. Nearly 25% recommended overhauling the tax system and simplifying tax rates and exemptions, and about 15% said the government should enact tough spending caps and cut discretionary spending.

The majority of those economists say it's better to tax the rich less and cut spending on the poor...but wait a minute...isn't that The Republican Plan?

And we've seen how "smart" all these "economists" were in the past, haven't we? It's a guessing game, and it's partisan as well - it usually just depends on who's in office at the time. And just like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Congressional Budget Office, they tend to be biased, depending who their bosses are at the time. It's political, where ideologies can influence the results of the numbers and manipulate the statistics in such a way that sets policies and affects real people's daily lives.

Mark Twain on statistics, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Cash/fiat currency (like oil, gold, wheat, pork bellies, etc.) is a commodity. If a small group of individuals own/control the majority of a commodity, they hold a monopoly. With $2 trillion* in cash already "sitting on the sidelines" (hoarded away in off-shore bank accounts), more tax cuts would only be hoarded away, not circulated into the economy.

* On August 2nd the Senate passed, and President Obama signed, legislation to cut spending by more than $2 trillion. Coincidence? How much tax revenue did we lose with the Bush tax cuts? Was it $2 trillion?

Corporations exist for one reason only - to earn profits. It doesn't matter what their tax rate is, they will do everything possible to earn a profit, whether it be a 1% profit or a 50% profit. If there was money to be made in the current economy, that $2 trillion (or a portion thereof) would have already been invested (circulated within the economy, creating jobs, and earning profits). Large sums of cash are being invested in U.S. treasuries (paying a VERY low rate of interest) because there is nowhere else to invest. More tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations would only equate into more buying of these bonds...or perhaps, investments in precious metals such as gold and silver.

More tax breaks are NOT going to induce large corporations to build factories in America and hire U.S. citizens paying a living wage. The rich will just buy more gold. Those "economists" are just plain silly. We have budget shortfalls because of an unfair tax code.

Over the last 40 years our population rose from 200 million to 300 million, but instead of keeping an even balance with the tax revenues, we've allowed the hoarding of our money supply by a small group of individuals. According to 2007 tax returns, about 200,000 Americans earn over million a year, and of those, about 8,000 are defined as the uber-rich...and they ALL pay a lower tax rate than you do. For that, you can thank the Republicans.

Republican Paul Ryan, who wants to cut your Medicare and Social Security, says "We're talking about keeping revenues where they are, but having a better tax system to collect those revenues with an eye on economic growth and job creation. You have to remember, the people in the top tax brackets are the ones who enjoy most of the loopholes and deductions."

But yet, if look at Paul Ryan's record since he was elected to Congress in 1998, it shows that he has tried to create an array of special tax loopholes for his top campaign contributors. As always, it's the usual political hypocrisy by ambitious congressmen who are more concerned about their own $174,000-a-year job than they are about everyone else's. Republicans are ALL evil and corrupted pieces of $hit. They are not the humble servants of the people, they are all just greedy opportunists (such as Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, who travel around the country in those fancy buses on their book tours, while almost everyone else is slaving away at low-paying jobs that they most probably hate.)

Closing tax loopholes and taxing the rich - - - WOW! - - - What a concept! We could even get Democrats like Charlie "Tax Cheat" Rangel and John "Heinz Ketchup" Kerry to contribute more to the U.S. Treasury...but the Republicans refuse to raise their taxes. But political shysters like Paul Ryan wills always talk the talk to get ignorant people to vote for them, but they never walk the walk...because they're all just scummy lying hypocritical ambitious politicians who only care about themselves and their families. They offer YOU a path to austerity while THEY travel the path to prosperity.

In a NBC interview with Tom Brokaw, Warren Buffett bet $1 million against any of “his fellow rich guys” who might choose to challenge him, that all the billionaires on the annual Forbes 400 list were paying, on average, less of their incomes in federal taxes than were their receptionists. No billionaire in the Forbes 400 ever took Buffett up on that bet. But yet those "economists" don't think they should be taxed more.

And the Republicans want to raise YOUR taxes! They are totally against temporarily extending cuts to payroll taxes for those earning less than $100,000 a year, but the Republicans have no problem what-so-ever asking for permanent tax breaks for those earning over $1 million a year. Go figure. For that, you can thank the Republicans. Yet there are still millions of "Joe 6-pack" taxpayers that keep voting for Republicans! WHY???

The majority of those brilliant NABE "economists" must also believe that those same 8,000 uber-rich people should have all the damn money, and that all the old and poor people shouldn't have any damn money at "better balance the budget". My survey found that only 7% of economists don't believe that 8,000 people out of a population of 308 million should control (hoard) 90% of the money supply.

The Republicans like to use the catch phrase "create a business environment that is conducive to job growth", and they want you to believe that by taxing the rich less, spending less on Medicare and Social Security, and regulating the banks less, will fix everything for the average working and unemployed American. (I also used to believe in the Tooth Fairy.)

As an aside: Republican Presidential hopeful and mega-multi-millionaire Mitt Romney, who owns many homes, is tearing down a 3,000 square-foot beachfront home worth $12 million to build an 11,000 square-foot home in its place, saying the smaller one wasn't "adequate" enough for his family's needs. What are those "needs"? I live in someone's 9 square-foot room and my only "need" is food stamps to eat. But instead of raising taxes on people like Mitt Romney to balance the budget, the Republicans want to LOWER his taxes and eliminate my food stamps to accomplish this. The Republican's theory is, that by lowering Mitt Romney's taxes even MORE than the Bush tax cuts did, he will become a "job creator" and hire someone like me to get me off food stamps. (Are you still waiting for Mitt's phone call? Have you applied at Taco Bell lately?)

Also, Google recently announced it's buying Motorola’s mobile phone operation for $12.5 billion. But just two weeks before the Google blockbuster announcement, Motorola’s board of directors conveniently filed a new severance plan for chief executive Jha. On his exit from Motorola Mobility’s CEO perch, Jha now stands to walk off with $90 million.

So I say: Give them ALL more tax breaks, but be sure to cut off my damn food stamps that way we can "balance the budget". (I used to believe in the Easter Bunny too.)

One of the major reasons we have a Great Recession today is because of the Republican-sponsored Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that was passed in 1999 (just before the Republican-sponsored Bush tax cuts for the rich in 2001 and 2003). It repealed part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, opening up the market among banking companies (i.g. Goldman Sachs), securities companies (i.g. Enron) and insurance companies (i.g. AIG). The Glass–Steagall Act had prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company. For that, you can thank the Republicans.

Just remember, the next time you get hidden charges in your phone bill, or excessive late fees on your credit card, or a home foreclosure, or an auto repossession, or outrageous over-draft charges, or higher ATM fees, THOSE are the people that the Republicans represent. When heating oil and gas prices go up, THOSE are the people that the Republicans represent. When food prices and your electric bill go through the roof, THOSE are the people that the Republicans represent. If you get laid off from your job and your unemployment benefits or food stamps are cut off, thank a Republican. If you don't see Medicare or Social Security when you get old, thank a Republican. If you are sick and lose your healthcare insurance, thank a Republican. If you are poor and can't get Medicaid, thank a Republican. If you like paying taxes to subsidize the oil and tobacco companies, thank a Republican. And if your job goes to China, you can usually thank a Republican for that too, because of their trade agreements and the corporations they represent.

So tell me, how's that "trickle-down" economy workin' out for ya? Did the rising tide lift your boat? If so, then thank a Republican. And if not, and you earn less than a million dollars a year, then why in the hell did you ever vote for a Republican?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poor Joe 6-Pack

Joe 6-pack used to work for the steel mills in Pittsburgh, until those jobs went away. Then he moved his family to Detroit to build cars, until those jobs also went away. So he packed up the family and moved to Wisconsin to get a state government job as a sanitation worker. And all his life he had always voted Republican - as did his daddy and his grandpa. After he was married, Joe 6-pack had convinced his wife to vote Republican too. And then the same for his three kids when they were old enough to vote.

One morning, just before going to work, he was having his morning cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. And according to one New York Times article, it said that if you owned stocks, “dividends are doing extremely well." And those investors only pay 15% in taxes; much less than Joe 6-pack ever paid. Just owning stock doesn't make one a "job creator". Hedge fund managers and stock brokers get paid huge fees just for buying and selling stocks, whether for gains or for losses. Long-term capital gains are only taxed at 15%, while many capital losses can be written off.

How does average Joe 6-pack benefit from this if he doesn't own stock? He doesn't. What spare money he has goes into the gas tank of his old car. And those hedge fund managers aren't paying into the Medicare and Social Security fund either; that evil fund that the wealthy don't want to pay into. How does average Joe 6-pack benefit from paying a higher tax rate than the wealthy do? He doesn't. It seemed as though he'd been working harder every year, literally busting his back, but his wages only went up 1% while everything else was going up 5%.

"Hey! Joe 6-pack! What's left of your paycheck after you pay your taxes?"

His money usually went right back into the economy, paying the banker's mortgage, making the car payment, and paying the ever rising electric bills. A rich man will only buy so many mansions, yachts, and private jets before he just sits on his cash. Maybe they'll buy gold or treasury bonds. A corporate treasury that doesn't pay taxes or hires people doesn't help Joe 6-pack at all. He'll just have his government services reduced, standing in longer lines; or he'll have his Social Security benefits threatened by a lack of tax revenues going into the U.S. Treasury. Rich people don't NEED this, they can live in luxury just on the interest alone that they earn in their foreign banks accounts.

But that does NOTHING for Joe 6-pack. But yet Joe 6-pack always voted for these very people who tax him more than millionaires. Why was this? Because the millionaires have people to convince Joe 6-pack that the Republicans are going to eliminate "wasteful" government spending. Poor Joe heard them say that on Fox News, so it must be true. Poor Joe 6-pack had thought they meant the $700 toilet seats for NASA and "bridges to nowhere"; or even those 5-star offices that congressmen have...not his healthcare and retirement fund!

The Republicans smiled, and sounded so smart and sincere. Poor stupid Joe 6-pack, voting for Republicans because they all seemed so to be such "All-American" good people - - - apple pie and patriotic. After all, they supported our troops! They believed in the Pledge of Allegiance and stood by the American flag too! Those liberals only wanted to give hand-outs to lazy people!

Poor Joe 6-pack, for believing that what's good for the Republicans and big business was also good for him too (trickle down economics - ha-ha!!!) I felt so sorry for Joe 6-pack because he meant well. It wasn't HIS fault that the Republicans had tricked him. They have been using scare tactics and political trickery for decades, and they've became every good at getting people to vote against their own best interests.

Ronald Reagan seemed like such a nice man. And the Republicans even promised to stop crime too!

All his life Joe 6-pack worked very hard, he was honest, and he stayed out of jail. He even served in the military for a few years. He did all the right things, got married, raised a family and paid his bills on time. He thought the Republicans were just like him, and that if any of the GOP leaders had ever met him, they would strongly approve of him and his support. Poor dumb Joe 6-pack didn't realize they would only laugh in his face; and that as they sat around the country club in their expensive suits they mocked people just like him - behind their backs - all the time.

Poor dumb Joe 6-pack, who worked a blue-collar job all his life. Hating the welfare people for being lazy, and all those illegal Mexican immigrants, taking all those jobs that good Americans wanted to do. Poor dumb stupid Joe 6-pack, who always thought he was just a regular all-America patriotic guy. He didn't know he was just another dumb smuck that the Republicans and bankers and corporations used. He would be so ashamed to know that they despised him for being so stupid, for just being another ignorant "sheeple" among the masses.

He always thought his congressman was too busy looking out for him, rather than returning any of his phone calls or letters he wrote. Poor Joe 6-pack didn't realize that they just laughed at his stupidity. I really pity Joe 6-pack, the guy that busted his ass all his life trying to do well for himself and his family. If prices went up, it was because of those damn Democrats, or the illegals, or the blacks, or those damn a-rabs! Poor, poor Joe 6-pack. All his life he was played for a sap, like a hamster spinning his little wheel in a cage for the big corporations.

And Joe 6-pack always tried to buy "Made in USA', not knowing that all the parts were actually manufactured in China or elsewhere. Big dumb and fat Joe 6-pack, who went to church every other Sunday, trying to be a good Christian, believing that the Republicans represented good all-American values and saintly Christendom.

Poor Joe. Poor, poor dumb Joe. He knew deep down in his heart it wasn't his fault that his past jobs went to the damn commies. And if McCain had been elected, he might not have ever been laid off. He might not have been out of work for the last 3 years. And who knows, he might have even lived long enough to collect his very first Social Security check, which would have been just three days after he had had his massive heart attack, brought on by stress...and because of all those damn bums on food stamps!

That poor Joe 6-pack, until the very day he died, he lived as a poor pathetic and proud old man, he never knew. Poor Joe 6-pack went to his grave, never knowing all these things. Maybe it's better this way, that he could have died in peace, thinking he did right and was a good Christian American...loyal to God and country...a respected family man who always did the right thing and voted for Republicans.

A few months later after he died, Joe 6-pack's wife lost the family home to foreclosure, a wonderful house that he and his loving wife had shared together for the last 15 years. The home that he had lovingly maintained for his dear wife. Joe 6-pack had spent most of his life's savings while unemployed, paying the bills and for he and his wife's medical bills. The Social Security death benefits weren't enough for Mrs. Joe 6-pack to live on; their children inherited nothing for their father's life-time of hard work. Thank the good Lord that Joe 6-pack wasn't around to see that, or he might have died from shame.

Rest in peace Joe 6-pack. Millions of other dumb smucks are right behind you. They too left their cheap trinkets behind to loved ones in their pathetic last wills and testaments. Poor stupid Joe, I'll be right there behind you too. We all will be. The best part is yet to come. Because where we'll all end up, there won't be any rich and greedy CEOs there to rip us off anymore. But don't you worry Joe. You've left a loving and faithful wife behind, and three grown children to carry on the family tradition in Wisconsin. They'll all continue to vote for Republicans until they too can be buried in their cheap Sunday clothes, just like you Joe 6-pack. Rest in peace you poor bastard, rest in peace poor Joe.

"Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"

The Republicans message has been: "To create jobs and economic growth, you have to tax less, spend less, and regulate less."

  • Tax less: We've seen the massive budget shortfalls, inhumane cuts to government services, and a rising deficit because the GOP didn't want to tax the rich. The disparity in wages has widened considerably over the last 40 years. We've seen depressed wages while at the same time, tax rates for big corporations and the wealthy have steadily gone down. They're already "taxed less" (Remember the Bush tax cuts?) The GOP calls the rich "job creators", and they don't want to raise their taxes at all, even though they have trillions hoarded away already. More tax cuts will just put more uncirculated money into their corporate treasuries. But what do the Republicans say? "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"
  • Spend less: The "excessive government spending" the Republicans keep referring to isn't REALLY just about President Obama's fancy new Canadian-built buses. What they REALLY mean is spending less on Medicare and Social Security, programs that the rich don't need or want to pay for. The GOP also wants to cut Medicaid and food stamps for the poor...things that rich people and people with good-paying jobs don't need. And the GOP wants to cut more teachers too (their privileged kids go to private schools); and ironically, they also want more cuts to the very police who protect all their ill-gotten wealth. And yet the GOP didn't want to cut billions of tax dollars in corporate welfare, government procurement contracts, and subsidies for big oil companies. "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"
  • Regulate less: We already saw "bankers gone wild" with less regulation, and the GOP wants more of the same, only to enrich them more. Now the GOP wants to repeal the Frank-Dodd Act, and they also denied consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren a chance to chair the new agency that would have mandated fairer banking practices, and reigned in some of their filthy and obscene greed. "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"

The Republicans are all saying the exact same thing: "To create jobs and economic growth, you have to tax less, spend less, and regulate less.". But we all know that it's just one carefully memorized GOP message, one big GOP lie. Those in the GOP all know perfectly damn well that their plan won't help someone like me one damn will only help those earning one million dollars a year.

Why do the Republicans want to hurt the middle-class more, just so that the wealthy can enrich themselves more? Much more than they already have? When will enough ever be enough for them? When will their class-warfare against the poor and working-class ever end? Why is the GOP so adamant about hurting those they've already imposed so much suffering on, those of us who are the majority, but earning less than a million dollar a year?

Why didn't the Republicans ever care about me when I once earned $40k a year? And why do they care even less about me now that now I'm dependent on food stamps? Why can't the Republicans care about people earning less than one million dollars a year? "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"

The Republicans are only telling us HALF the truth when they say they're concerned about creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. The GOP's big corporations could care less about creating domestic jobs, or they would have done so already, but instead they've outsourced millions of American jobs to foreigners. The "rich suits" only offer low-paying jobs these days, so that they may buy even better tailored suits...those with expensive hand-sewn monograms to identify themselves to others as the rich and pampered. Nifty!

And those wealthy CEOs and bankers, as well as their Republican lap dogs, have only one primary concern about "emerging markets", which is all about foreign economic growth. They don't give one goddamn about America's economic health. They've already reduced our wages and squeezed most of what they could from us - but they keep squeezing anyway. We can buy very little these days when they keep raises prices on housing, energy, healthcare, and food - - - while lowering our wages to give the CEOs ever increasing pay wages, bonuses, and stock options.

Their is no end to their greed.

The people all throughout the Middle-East have recently had one reoccurring complaint, one prominent thyme in their demands while rising up against their tyrannical leaders: Taking back a country where only a few people control the majority of their country's wealth. Their despots have been in power long? 40 years? Hmmmmmmmmm. About as long as corporate American and the Republicans have been raping and pillaging this country and sucking us dry like blood-thirsty leeches.

Might America also have another revolution for the same reason as those in the Middle-East? What's the biggest reason why the GOP won't cut back on "defense" spending (besides just enriching their buddies with government contracts)? They don't need soldiers to defend us from a foreign country's invasion do they? Or maybe the GOP and the wealthy need an army to defend themselves against us, their own people, average Americans, the people who are earning less than a million dollars a year, the people that the Republicans don't give a damn about.

Why won't the ruthlessly ambitious Republican politicians, those who always hunger and lust for more and more power, ever give a damn about me? Is it because I can't stuff a ton of money into their greedy pockets? Will the seedy Republicans ever start treating me like a corporation a REAL human being? "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"

Will the Republicans ever do anything to save the lives of millions of men and women who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the Great Recession - - - those who are called the "99ers"? Will the GOP at least allow them a chance to survive - - - to let them live? "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"

Why do those stupid and moronic idiots who earn LESS than a million dollars a year keep voting for Republicans year after year after year? We just saw a bunch recently in Wisconsin. I thought they were SMART people! Are they really all brain dead? Will they ever take their stupid heads out of their asses and wise up? "Oh no!" the Republicans cried, "We can't do that!"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The 99ers - Most Have Permanently Shattered Lives

Some notable economists have defined a recession that lasts longer than 2 years as a depression. I believe this is one of those times. But "they" call it recession because it sounds better.

A recent NY Times article comparing the Great Depression to today says, "Even by the highest estimates — which include people discouraged from looking for a job, thus not registered as unemployed — the jobless rate reached around 16 to 17 percent. It’s a jobs disaster, to be sure, but not the same scale as the Great Depression."

Two points on this statement:

1) People aren't "discouraged" as the BLS reports. When unemployment benefits run out, the government has no way to know if people are actually still seeking work. This is a myth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPA (household survey) is extremely flawed, and I can give you 6 million reasons why (HINT: Their called the "99ers".)

2) We had 12 million unemployed in 1933 - and now we have 14 million unemployed in 2011. We have MORE people unemployed now than then; and while although it may be a smaller percentage of the population as a whole, we're still taking about millions of REAL people with no income at all to live on.

The article also stated, "The heavily leveraged sector more than 100 years ago was not housing but rather agriculture — a different play on real estate."

Yes, since the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl (which was 80 years ago, not 100) people left the farms and moved to cities during the early Industrial Age. A great many of the farms that people lived on were foreclosed by the banks. Now today it's their suburban homes that are being foreclosed on. So it doesn't really seem like a "different play" on real estate at all. We hated the banks then as we do now.

The banks do everything they can to get you to deposit your money with them, but when you try to take out cash or close your account, many times they give you a hard time. If you're a penny short in your checking account they might charge you $25 for an overdraft fee. And they never offer you a free toaster anymore!

Our banking system is one of the biggest flaws in capitalism. They control the money supply; they manufacture recessions and depressions, and they take the risks that subjects everyone else to stock market crashes, business failures, job losses, foreclosures, and personal bankruptcies. And banks finance wars and other nefarious enterprises just for profits.

Much stricter regulation of the banks (or complete nationalization of the banking system) is needed; but since the banks literally control our system of government, this will never change. Already we see a very weak Frank-Dodd bill that's under fierce attack by people who accept campaign contributions, and we have the Republicans blocking Elizabeth Warren from heading the Consumer Protection Agency. It was the GOP sponsored Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was the main contributor to this last recession.

ALSO: The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) puts out politically biased reports as does our CBO (congressional budget office). They are supposed to be nonpartisan, but that too is a myth. After-the-fact we'll have historians that usually generate much better data, as they don't solely rely on what the government tells them (like myself).

The NY Times article mentioned "registered as unemployed". People can't "register" anywhere if they're unemployed, unless they are in the state system for receiving jobless benefits (or if they sign up for a job service like MONSTER). Once they exhaust all their jobless benefits, they are no longer counted in the U-3 unemployment rate. And after a short time, and for no good reason given, they are no longer even counted in the U-6 rate either (such as the "99ers"). These people fall through the cracks until the Social Security office and the IRS can report activity on someone's SS number, and that's only AFTER they are either rehired, file a tax return, apply for Social Security retirement or disability, or maybe if they die.

By the end of this year, unless the funding for federal extended jobless benefits is continued, we will have about 10 million people with NO INCOME AT ALL to live on. But if by some miracle the Republicans begin feeling compassion for human beings (or another tax break for the rich is offered) and the funding IS extended, there would still be about 6 million "99ers" who have already exhausted all their qualifying weeks of jobless benefits.

And then (like me) they become eligible for food stamps and state Medicaid. That's why the Republicans accuse Obama of being the "food stamp king". And many people (like me) may apply for SS disability because either they are disabled, or because their jobless benefits expired (and then hope they qualify or the fund doesn't go broke); and some people will retire early at 62 with reduced benefits and pensions. Most people (like me) have already lost their life's savings. The long-term unemployed are generally older (like me) and won't have time to rebuild any of their retirement savings that were lost.

Homes were foreclosed on; belongings were either sold or left behind; spouses divorced; upswings in domestic violence were reported; and children were taken away by social and child protection services. Child support couldn't be paid. Many lost their self-respect and dignity and sought mental help. Identities and reputations were trashed; the jobless were insulted and accused of being lazy, drunks, and drug users; years of credit histories were ruined; and many lives were lost to suicide.

But no matter how you slice and dice it, or sugar-coat the numbers, millions of people's lives (like mine) were permanently shattered over the last two years.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hey 99ers, the Jobs are Everywhere!

(Originally posted on August 14, 2011 by Henry Shivley)

With My Edits: Wages are on the rise, help wanted signs are everywhere, and employers are offering additional benefits in an effort to entice employees. Of course it’s not here. We are talking about China. You know, those people across the ocean enjoying what used to be our economy. You know, the ones manufacturing our raw resources. Yeah, that’s them.

And what does this mean to us in America? Well our Chinese Christmas is going to cost more this year in paying the Chinese factory worker more. In fact, way more; because you see, our dollar is also continuing its decline. But not to worry, despite the massive declines in the stock market, the international businesses based in the United States continue to make record profits.

Who are all these people out there talking about change - Ron Paul, a Progressive like Bernie Sanders* (my edit) and some revolution? Crazy talk, that is what it is. Why would we want to change anything when the international corporations are richer than ever? Must be those lazy ass 99ers kicking back in their swimming pools and bitching on their cell phones because their welfare check is late.

Thank God Rick Perry is coming to save us from this madness. With the kind of money his Super PAC is wielding he can either buy the 2012 election, or probably cheaper yet, have Ron Paul a Progressive like Bernie Sanders* (my edit) killed with a predator drone strike.

And wouldn’t Michele Bachmann make a fine Vice President? The people obviously support her as she won the Iowa Straw Poll.

Just one little problem – Rick Perry is an international elitist Bilderberger who wants to help his international bankster backers enslave what was, and some of what still is, our middle class. And Michele Bachmann won that straw poll in an election that required a $30 per voter poll tax.

Maybe that is how they intend to take this next election. If a $30, hell no, $30,000 poll tax could be enacted as the law of the land they could actually buy one more election. That is the only way they could possibly win because the only poor or middle class person of any age that would vote for anyone but Ron Paul a Progressive like Bernie Sanders* (my edit) would have to be a damn fool. And all the damn fools have been separated from the rest of us.

They are pathetic, and this whole circus is pathetic. I just wonder what is going to happen when they realize that we all see them for what they are, and that we all know that not a damn one of them, except for Paul a Progressive like Bernie Sanders* (my edit) has any intension of lifting a finger to help we the people. The whole field, including Obama, is nothing more or less than a pack of corporate lapdogs waiting at the feet of their masters to be tossed another bone.

Oh what a day it will be when we are watching Ron Paul’s a Progressive like Bernie Sanders'* (my edit) inauguration, and oh the days that will follow with the Commander in Chief of our Army ordering the absolute enforcement of our Constitution.

Oh what a day when we will behold justice as the innocent are removed from our prisons and replaced with the guilty. Then we will see all the old Republican (my edit) crew again, all linked together with shovels in their hands working on a chain gang - out in the middle of Arizona would be fitting. I hope it is co-ed so I can see Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann staring at one another as I drive by, burning the gas that I will be able to afford again, headed to a home I own as compensation for all that has been stolen from me. And from that day forth the word "99er" will be synonymous with Rick Perry-and-company as it will equate to the average prison sentence these bastards receive - 99 years without parole! (my edit)

God bless this Republic, death to the international corporate mafia, we shall prevail.

Re: HR 589 Unemployment Extension

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tell Christine O'Donnell : "Jesus Died for Gay People too."

"I'm not a witch. I'm just like you straight people."

Earlier this week Tea Party witch former political candidate Christine O'Donnell walked off the set of CNN's Piers Morgan's show, upset with his questions regarding her stance on gay marriage (even though she herself has said she discusses it in her book, the one that she was trying to promote on his show that night).

To put this issue in some perspective, let's first go back to the era of Cro-Magnon man, who has only been around for the last 50,000 years...not near as long as the Neanderthals. Yet modern men once believed that according to the scriptures in the Bible, the Earth was only 8,000 years old. Now scientists tells us it's 4.5 billion years old. So if some people misinterpreted the Bible on this fact, how can we say for sure that the Bible defined marriage as only being between a man and a woman? What else has the Holy Bible been very inaccurate about - - or was it always so misunderstood? The Bible never mentioned dinosaurs either, or did it?

Some argue that it's only "natural" to have marriage between and man and woman, because it takes a male and female to procreate. But some living organisms impregnate themselves, and some need not have intercourse at all to reproduce themselves. Single-celled organisms simply divide and multiply. How did the Virgin Mary become pregnant with Jesus? Yes, that was a miracle! That's what Christians have been taught. I think it would be very pompous for a mere mortal human to interpret what God meant to say, when I would think He would be very capable of saying very well what He actually means. I don't need someone like Christine O'Donnell to dictate my moral principals and beliefs to me. Does she think she's superior to me when the Constitution clearly states that my rights were endowed by my Creator?

The Bible also says that we shouldn't judge others. I myself believe in "live and let live", so long as other people's actions don't harm others. So long as a gay person (or a religious zealot or a violent terrorist) doesn't try to force or impose their lifestyles or beliefs on to me or others...such as Christine O'Donnell and the far right-wing "socially conservative" evangelists - - those who are the most radical and self-righteous of the Tea Party bigots.

And don't you think for one minute that I don't see the sinful and ruthless ambition in those politician's lying eyes - - they only lust for power, to dominate others, just enrich themselves, which is sin.

I believe in God, and that God created the Universe. Gay people are made from the same stardust as are straight people. The people who try to tell us what God actually said, or what God actually meant, can no better interpret the words of Jesus from 2,000 years ago than can our Supreme Court interpret the Constitution from only 200 years ago.

If someone is gay, I believe they no more choose to be gay than I made a conscience choice to be straight. We are what we are. I didn't have a choice as to the color of my skin either. Some may have sub-consciously transitioned into gaydom during their adolescent years, or some may have been molded by their environment (such as the homosexual activities that some people first initiate while in prison). And who knows...maybe certain genes in our DNA decides this. Why are some creatures bi-sexual or asexual? If homosexuality doesn't promote pedophilia or violent rape, or turns them into sadistic serial killers, then why should anyone condemn gaydom if it doesn't harm them or their loved ones?

But the far-right Republicans think that homosexuality is like a "gateway drug", leading to more perverted sexual marijuana leads to heroine. I once smoke pot for six years, and not once did I have any desire to stick a needle in my arm. Just the opposite. I got bored with pot and went on to harder drug called alcohol. I drank beer for most my life.

Homosexuality has been around since the dawn of mankind. When God created Adam and Eve, which one was gay? Or was it Cain or Abel who first put this Satanic scourge upon us? Or if we evolved from another species or genus over millions of years of evolution, where did the first gay guy come from? Did the devil make him do it?

The Tea Party says they want "smaller government", but then wants to pass laws dictating social and legal living arrangements between two consenting adults. They ridiculously argue that: "That's the slippery slope we're headed for....where does it all end? Fifteen wives? Ménage à trois? Married children? Marriage between a man and a donkey?" Get real man! Stop drinking the damn tea! I'll bet there are a lot more gay people than there are Tea Party people.

If a gay man told me he thought I was "cute", winked at me, and grabbed my ass, I would construe that as sexual harassment; and that might be one reason why some people might feel hostile. I wouldn't want an unsolicited sexual advance put upon me either. But if someone were to just tell me that someone else was gay, I would only shrug my shoulders and say "So what." If I passed two big burly macho construction workers walking down the sidewalk holding hands together, despite whether I'm comfortable with it or not, or if it just looks plain silly to me, I don't have the right to make it illegal. Live and let live. Just because I might not agree with something, or feel exactly as someone else does about a moral issue, it doesn't make me "right". I've been wrong about many other things before.

I believe that it's cruel and ungodly to discriminate against others because they are different from me, whether it be their color, religious beliefs, or sexual preference. In America we have a democracy and freedoms of choice. By imposing laws against gay people (or withholding rights that straight people enjoy) is mixing church and state, and therefore is unconstitutional.

How many gay soldiers have already died in wars for the politicians and people who thought they didn't have the same rights as straight people? I've heard that the majority of our soldiers today in Iraq and Afghanistan don't have an issue with gay soldiers. The generals might, those same ones who once believed that African-Americans weren't fit to serve in the military either (such as the Tuskegee Airmen). Our young soldiers bond in boot camp, become a band of brothers, who watch each others back...and they die protecting their comrades-in-arms, even the gay ones. What could someone like Christine O'Donnell possibly know about this?

And why are gays being discriminated against and face recriminations JUST for openly admitting to being gay. People of color never had to openly admit to being black or Hispanic to be discriminated against.

Not only does the government (state or federal) NOT have the right to sanction or condone ANY marriage for consenting adults of legal age, it also doesn't have the right to withhold other rights and services from gay couples that straight couples otherwise enjoy - - - couples who are committed to each other monogamously and love one another. The divorce rate for gay couples in no higher than that for straight couples. Gay parents don't abuse children any more than straight or single parents either. So what's their argument? Because THEY don't think it's "natural"?

If your religious beliefs convinced you to believe that being gay is sinful, that's your personal business; but your beliefs should not be imposed on me (who is straight) or on gay people. My religious beliefs convinced me that being gay is not sinful. Does your religion or belief in your god have superiority over my religion and belief in my God? Whose god mediates between us?

I neither condone nor condemn gaydom. Judging is not my job, that's far above my job classification. I myself am not gay, and I don't promote gaydom, but I have friends and family members who are gay, so therefore I'm not going to deny them anything that I might have a right to. Especially since, as decent human beings, they are far better people than I am. Being "straight" does not make me superior or more entitled. Democracies are supposed to protect and represent the minorities too. Gay is a minority status.

I would tell those in the Tea Party that ten percent of their organization could statistically be gay, and statistically ten percent of the women may have had abortions. I believe hypocrisy is just as evil as dishonesty, maybe more so, in that their two-faced actions hurt and punish others for things that they themselves engage in, but yet advocate against.

But even then, God would still love THEM. “God must love poor people because He made so many of them." - Abraham Lincoln. So if ten percent of the population is gay, then God must also love gay people, because He made so many of them too.

People who live in small worlds are more bigoted than those who expand their horizons. Bigots say homosexually isn't "natural", as thought only THEY had the moral superiority to define what is natural (made by God) and what is not (created by Satan?)

While yes, in our society, we do "traditionally" think of marriage as being between a man and a woman. And I'll admit, I do feel uncomfortable when I see two men kissing each other in public. But I could care less what they do in the privacy of their own home, no more than I care what straight people do. So long as they aren't building bombs to blow me up.

Sometimes people are taught to hate by their parents when they're just small children, and they grow up firmly believing what they've learn as young impressionable children. But then they're expected to one day grow up and mature, and to stop believing in Santa Claus. Just as they must eventually learn that the Earth isn't flat, Iraq didn't not have a nuclear bomb, and gay people aren't evil. So get over it already. I would be more concerned about what people like the Koch brothers are striving to do...such as ending Medicare and Social Security.

Banning same-sex marriage is like banning alcohol during the prohibition can outlaw it, turning law abiding people into criminals, but it won't change them. And God will still love them either way, no matter what you might think or say.

Was Mary Magdalene really Jesus' lover/wife/prophet/apostle, or was Jesus really gay? We can never really know for sure. But it doesn't really matter because, if Jesus had died on the cross for your sins, then he died for gay people too.

As an aside: On Piers Morgan's show Christine O'Donnell also said [paraphrased] "when family households are over extended with debt, they don't continue going to the country club...they cut back on their frivolous expenses.

First of all, most families don't belong to a country club, and their "frivolous" expenses (such as rent and food) can't be cut back on if their only source of income is Socially Security...which is what the Republicans think is unnecessary and frivolous spending.

Is rent and food and heat for poor people really just "frivolous", or is it just something that Republicans, rich people, and Christine O'Donnell don't want to contribute to (i.g. Social Security and Medicare) because THEY might not need it when THEY get old. Is that the Christian thing to do? Would Jesus say, "Let the old and poor people go without shelter, food, and healthcare. Allow them to go hungry and to live in squalor. They are a drag on God's economy, so they must be abandoned so that others may prosper more."

Yet, for Republicans, cutting a few million dollars from the budget by eliminating the NPR is more important than taxing things such as corporate jets, which the Republicans argue will only save a few lousy billion dollars (as opposed to a few measly million dollars with NPR?)

Tea Party sinner Christine O'Donnell has just a good of chance of going to hell as me or any of my gay friends and family members. She and her ilk are no more morally superior than we are. Maybe less so, because they pass judgment, and that's God's job.

And speaking of jobs, shouldn't we be more focused on that issue rather than on Christine O'Donnell and all the Tea Party's radical sideshows? Rather than spending all their time and energy on reversing the decision on "Don't ask, don't tell", or repealing healthcare-for-all, or aggressively going after labor unions and worker's rights, or trying to make it more difficult for minorities to vote, shouldn't Christine O'Donnell and the Republicans be more focused on putting 14 million unemployed Americans back to full-time work paying a living wage, instead of bashing gays, cutting food stamps for poor people, and coddling the uber-wealthy like the billionaire Koch brothers?

I don't want BIG GOVERNMENT telling me who I can marry and who I can't. I'll believe in my God, you believe in your gods.

I think I'm qualified to speak on this topic. I had a very diverse military upbringing. I've dated women "of color" on a couple of occasions, my best friend was not only black but also gay, and I have family members who are also gay (one was married). I loved them all. You see, Jesus didn't just die on the cross for me, he died for nice compassionate gay people and mean ambitious witches too.

Click photo to enlarge

* If I started my own super PAC, would you donate?


Imagine a game of Monopoly, where the entire world economy is represented by properties on the game board, and the U.S. is Boardwalk.

And just like a game of Monopoly, there is a finite money supply. After someone buys up all the properties and aquires all the cash that was once in the bank, they're declared the winner.

In real life, after the corporations and banks win all the properties and cash from us, the Federal Reserve has to print more money so we have a money supply, which devalues the existing money (causing inflation) because there's so much money in circulation (even though it's not actually being "circulated", but being hoarded by the corporations and banks).

This could easily be rectified if we had fairer rules and taxed the corporations and banks more, thereby collecting the necessary revenues needed  to run the government. But because the corporations and banks literally own the politicians, congress won't pass laws to tax them...even though we all want them to.

The Republicans call this Socialism and Marxism. They say this is "redistributing the wealth", but not as in circulating the money supply, but as in stealing from the rich, all their hard earned money. boo-hoo!

The Democrats call this social justice and fair taxation by taxing the richest at the same rate as the government taxes the poorest. The way it is now, it's more like a reverse Robin Hood economy, the corporations and banks keep stealing from the poor (us) to pay the rich (CEOs).

If we protest the growing inequity and disparity between the rich and poor, we don't pass "go", but go directly to jail. The bankers and CEOs rob us with "financial instruments" and charge us unfair fines and petty fees, nickel-and-diming us to death in fine print on the back of their "legalese" contracts and invoices - even breaking many laws to do this. The corporations and banks are forever trying to squeeze every penny they can get from us. The cost of housing, healthcare, energy, and food is going through the roof. Our standard of living is in a steady decline. Every time we get a meager raise of 1%, the rent goes up 10%.

But the bankers and CEOs always get away with this because they hold all the "Get out of Jail Free" cards, and their corporations have legal rights like real people; and the CEOs are allowed to operate under the protections of "limited liability", while we are being bankrupted one by one, tossed to the street, and denied jobs and food stamps. Corporations and banks aren't people, they feel no empathy for human beings, and they never want to share.

It's a fixed game, the bankers and CEOs always win while we always lose. We don't self-govern, the bankers and corporations rule us through their bought-and-paid-for political henchmen. And there's not a damn thing we can do about it because they own and control the FBI, the police, the National Guard, and the U.S. military.

Welcome to Corporate America and the Corporate American Dream, where the rich get richer and the poor always gets fucked.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama is Giving Away the House

Obama wants a new trade deal. I just heard him say the other day at a townhall speech in Iowa: "I see Hyundais on American roads. I want to see Chryslers and GMs on Korean roads."

The problem with that is, Chrysler and GM won't build their cars in America and export them to Korea; they will export American factories to Korea and build their cars Korea...with Korean workers...who'll be paying taxes to the Korean government...and spending their Korean wages in the Korean economy.

And Chrysler and GM won't be paying corporate taxes to America, but to Korea. What the f*ck does America get out of this trade deal?

This has been going on for 40 years - This is exactly why we've lost millions of manufacturing jobs to China and elsewhere; and we've also lost many other jobs that would have been created by those American workers if they had spent their paychecks here in the USA.*See example); and this is also why we have had a shortfall in tax revenues (and because the wealthy and corporations have not been paying their fair share of taxes).

*Example: Starbucks wouldn't have had to expand so many of their stores in China; instead, they would have built more stores in the USA to serve American workers; and those new Starbucks workers would have spent their paychecks here in America too, creating yet more American jobs (and so forth, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth...)

But instead, we now have 14 million unemployed Americans and another 14 million who are "under-employed" (working two part-time low paying jobs).

Obama will just be enriching corporate CEOs even more with new trade "deals", rewarding those who are already earning record profits and salaries already, and paying too little (if any) in taxes. This supposed "free trade agreement" does NOTHING AT ALL for this nation, or us. Look at the people who support this trade agreement in a letter to Obama...a laundry list of GOP backers!

Why don't I hear any enraged outcries?

Trade Agreement (TAA) Held Hostage for Jobless Benefits
Big push by massive multi-national corporate conglomerates for "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA) 

Read this article and watch this video "America's Race to the Bottom"