Sunday, January 30, 2011

What it Means to be Lazy (Written by a Lazy Man)

Definition of LAZY from Merriam-Webster - disinclined to activity or exertion : not energetic or vigorous : encouraging inactivity or indolence : moving slowly : sluggish : droopy, lax : not rigorous or strict.

The "Lazy" Debate

Many people that have had, and have managed to keep, their jobs during The Great Recession (and didn't fear losing them) have been bitterly critical of the unemployed, those who were laid off during this time. The gainfully employed have been accusing the unemployed of many things during The Great Recession, most of them being totally unfair and completely unfounded. Besides just cruel barbs being hurtled at the jobless, the more fortunate among us (those who still work and earn a full paycheck) have been blaming those who were laid off from their jobs due to lack of work as being "lazy" (as though they all had been fired for willful misconduct).

They believe that most or all 15 million unemployed American workers are "lazy". All those college grads, single moms, and factory workers - all their grandmas, neighbors, and friends. They're ALL lazy. Or most are.

I find it so odd that those who were lucky enough to have found a chair to sit in when the music stopped when the stock market crashed in 2008 (as in a game of musical chairs) were so quick to blame the unemployed for losing their jobs (saying they lacked skills, weren't as competitive, or were just lazy). I find it so odd that those WITH jobs were so quick to believe that in the last 3 years of American history, our society had suddenly created 8.5 million "lazy beggars". Almost overnight, American citizens who worked for the last 20, 30, and 40 years were now being called "lazy" by many people who may have only been in the work force for only 5 very short years themselves, doing a soft desk job, and who might also still be living with their parents.

Where do all these immature and pompous morons come from? Let me explain to all these idiots what a 55-year-old lazy man really is. Maybe I might be a good example of someone who is only trying to game the system, and who would do anything I can (lie, cheat, and steal) to get a free government hand-out from all those good, hard-working, God-fearing, and patriotic American citizens.

My Own Laziness

Laziness is a scourge on America, a disease that starts early on in an American bum's life, usually around the age of 9 when they are first assigned weekly duties by their parents such as washing the family car, mowing the lawn, and taking out the garbage. Sometimes a job poorly done is rewarded with a big fat allowance.

These simple tasks are the seeds to a life of free-loading in their later years, and should be outlawed!

Laziness gradually progresses into one's early teen-aged years when he/she wishes to work at the local mall to earn money for trendy clothes, cds, and going to the movies with their friends. I was a late bloomer myself; it wasn't until I was 17 years old before I finally took a full-time job, working 40-hours-a-week at the Spaulding's factory while I was still in my senior year of high school. My father was so disgusted with me that he left me dinner warming in the oven for me when I got home from work late at night.

This was back in 1973. I was so lazy in those days that I actually slept 6 hours a day! It must have been the way I was raised by my strict military father. Everyone knows that the U.S. Armed Forces encourages laziness. How else could we have won two World Wars?

As I got older my laziness quickly escalated. I began working two jobs, one in a sheet metal shop, the other in a textile mill....60 hours a week. I had no shame, no self-respect, and no respect for others. I was that damn lazy. I cared about nobody except for myself.

One place I worked was so hot inside during the summers (over 110 degrees) we took salt tablets to keep from dehydrating. Another place I worked required steel-toed shoes, a hard hat, safety goggles, and ear-plugs. Hard-working people never needed such sissy gear.

As I got older my laziness went into remission for a few years, and during this time I only worked 40 hours a week while I completely restored a 1967 650-cc Triumph Bonneville from scratch and customized it with an extended front end and Harley parts. I had sanded the original paint off the frame my hand, and then replaced the wiring harness, which was all easy enough to do for even the laziest of people!

During this remission from my self-inflicted laziness, for a short time I also helped raise a small child, taught myself how to play the guitar, read almost two thousand books, took the civil service exam for the post office, and bought a house - and during my much un-deserved vacations, I sometimes traveled around the country by jet. I was a real American hobo by this time.

One job I held was as an apprentice brick layer, mixing mortar using cement, lime, and sand - which ate through my leather gloves and cracked the skin on my hands until they bled. I carried two 5-gallon buckets of mortar and 12-inch solid concrete blocks up a ladder to the scaffolding. I was so damn lazy that the owners of the company used to invite me into their homes to share their prized home-made wine with me after a 12-hour day's work.

And the short stint I did as a roofer with asphalt (black tar) in a bucket with a mop on top of a roof in the hot summers was always fun too. Something that only a lazy person could appreciate.

Oh, and did I mention the cardboard factory? Being a young and wiry young man, I was still expected to lift up my end of the 50-pound bundles when working with the bigger and much stronger men...all day long. That was the first time I injured my back, trying to keep up and to prove myself. I suppose even lazy people screw up sometimes and exhibit pride once in a while.

I used to go to sleep tired and sore every night, and I'd wake up tired and sore every morning...that's how lazy I was, can you believe it? I was scum.

I moved to Philadelphia in 1979. I left the factories, the mills, the shops, and the brickyards to start a new career in the hospitality industry. I started out as a busboy and 6 months later I wore a suit to my job, working as an assistant manger in the Room Service department of the 5-star Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. I did scheduling, payroll, and sales forecasts as well. Evidently, upper management had realized and appreciated my well-tuned laziness and thought I should be supervising other, less lazy people.

Several short years later my laziness was almost out of control. I ran a small business (a video store) and I had the pleasure of working 80 hours a week for almost 3 years straight, many times sleeping at work and bathing in the office restroom. Those were the best (and most relaxed) days of my life.

In 1989 I was forced out of business my a much larger competitor (it's all my fault, I should have worked 168 hours a week, but I could never get over my infliction of laziness - something that I've always had since the day I was born.)

So I moved to Las Vegas to become a casino bartender. I was very disappointed because I only got to be on my feet 8 hours a day, and being lazy requires much less effort. Working every holiday, all week-ends, back-to-back shifts, double shifts, and being "on-call" with an hour's notice had really softened me up...I became so lazy that I was earning more money than I had ever earned in my life.

I lounged around, sitting on my lazy ass for the next 20 years doing this. During this same period time I also learned how to fix computers and design web sites - and I also wrote a novel.

Then suddenly one day, I had had enough of this life of leisure, so I destroyed the whole U.S. economy...just so my boss would lay my lazy ass off. Laziness knows no bounds, bums and hobos such as I would do almost ANYTHING rather than do any type of work. Just the word "work" can make us very tired.

Finally I had the chance to sit on my couch with my very cheap wide-screen HD TV and do absolutely nothing all day long while watching Oprah - and I could finally squander my easily-earned life's savings on frivolous things such as rent, electricity, and a dumb internet connection - something that was both un-needed and wasteful, as computers in the New Millennium held no true value at all. They weren't tools, they were merely toys.

Two years later I woke up penniless and I was being evicted, to become a homeless man, with no way to eat but to scavenge for food in garbage dumpsters. At last, my laziness was paying off. My life-long dream was coming true. Because everybody knows how easy life is when you have the privilege of living on the streets and sleeping on a cold sidewalk. A lazy man's Utopia. (I had been so relieved, that after submitting over 300 job applications, I was always ignored or rejected.)

But the best is yet to come! I can't wait until I die. Because then I won't even have to make an effort to breathe!

If I have led a lazy life, then yes, I'm "lazy", and I'm damn proud of it!

And for those of you who are still working in 2011, I'd hate to have your job, because you must have much worse back-aches than I do, be much older, and are still working much harder than I ever did. God bless YOU for not being as lazy as me, and for not begging for a free-government hand-out. You are a true American patriot. Thank you for not tolerating the likes of me. You make me so proud to call you an American!

Now I have to go. I smell horrible, and people are looking at me funny. Security is on the way over to kick me out of the public library.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tax Cuts and Outsourcing: The Double Whammy

How a combination of tax cuts for the rich and the elimination of American jobs ruined the economy and brought this nation to near collapse. A brief look at how the past decade under George W. Bush has brought us to where were are today in 2011.

In 2000 at the end of President Clinton's term in office there was still a $230 billion budget surplus. The unemployment rate at that time was 4% - the same as is in China today in 2011.

Immediately after first taking office, in George W. Bush's address to the joint session of Congress in February 2001, he asked for his tax cuts.

Before this, we already had a budget surplus and low unemployment; and the DOW Jones Index was healthy and humming along at well over the 10,000 mark at the time. And the housing market was really starting to take off too. So what was Bush's reason for cutting taxes then? (See Halliburton and Hunt)

Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) had said at the time, "If you're a millionaire, you'll get a $46,000 tax cut, more than enough to pay for a Lexus. But if you're a typical working person, you'll only get $227 - about just enough to buy the muffler."

On Memorial Day in 2001 the Senate passed Bush's $1.3 trillion tax-cut plan: lowering tax rates 3 to 5 percent in all income brackets, phasing out the estate tax, reducing the marriage penalty and doubling the per-child credit to $1,000.

And then two years later on May 23, 2003 George W. Bush got his wish again in reducing taxes on capital gains and dividends as well (think of hedge fund managers, investment banks, stock options for corporate salaries, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, etc). Vice President Dick Cheney had cast the deciding vote - breaking a 50-50 tie, pushing forward a second round of cuts with the provision that they too expire at the end of 2010.

Now let's look at the layoffs during this same period of time (the Bush Tax Cut Era), from January 2001 to January 2009:

Almost a year later after the bansksters and CEOs got their tax windfall, in February 2004 Forrester Research issued a report that said: "Some 3 million private-sector jobs have been lost since the U.S. economy peaked in 2000, most of them in manufacturing. In the longer term, the latest wave of outsourcing will lead to a significant shift in the kinds of U.S. jobs, even as the total number of jobs continues to increase. Just as the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to overseas markets has caused layoffs and difficulties for millions of American workers, so will this latest round of offshoring cause thousands of white-collar service employees. By 2015, Forrester predicts, roughly 3.3 million service jobs will also have been moved offshore, including 1.7 million "back office" jobs such as payroll processing and accounting, and 473,000 jobs in the information technology industry."

On February 9, 2004 when President George W. Bush's chief economic adviser, N. Gregory Mankiw, released the annual White House Economic Report, he praised offshoring of U.S. service jobs as a "good thing."

"Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," he told reporters.

Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts differed: "They [the Bush administration] have delivered a double blow to America's workers, 3 million jobs destroyed on their watch, and now they want to export more of our jobs overseas."

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (a fellow Republican of Bush at the time) also differed: "I understand that Mr. Mankiw is a brilliant economic theorist, but his theory fails a basic test of real economics. We can't have a healthy economy unless we have more jobs here in America."

(* For more detailed information, go to the Labor Department's Mass Layoff Statistics)

And THOSE reports came out 7 years ago in 2004! Long before the mass layoffs we saw in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Can you comprehend the ramifications of this today in 2011 when home foreclosures haven't yet peaked? (They are expected to peak this year.)

Late last year the GOP had said those very same tax cuts had been needed to create more jobs, but in 2001 (before the tax cuts and massive layouts and much of the outsourcing) we already had jobs. So what happened? Why were so many more jobs lost AFTER all the tax cuts were put in place?

The day that Obama had been elected as president in 2008 the national debt had already soared to $10,556,177,748,045.21 - now in 2011 America is over $14 trillion in debt while the Bush's tax cuts were just recently extended.

It's only because of outsourcing (less people working and spending), that we have much less revenue coming into the treasury, and with tax cuts being extended for the wealthy, that revenue further declines...and the spiral down continues. The double whammy. Outsourcing to further enrich corporate CEOs and less taxes paid by corporate CEOs...they have the best of both worlds. (And our deficit suffers another trillion dollars in lost revenue...further advancing the GOP's claim that it is "a debt that your children and their children will be burdened with.")

Re: Extending the the Bush tax cuts: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." But it really wasn't we who were fooled at all, it was just our congress who were (and have always been) beholden to the wealthiest of this country - corporate interests and the big banks.

After all, with an annual salary of $174,000 a year, members of congress aren't living on peanuts either! (They empathize and relate more to these big businesses and banksters than they do to "Joe Average" you.)

And all the while the "99ers" (those who are at the very bottom of this "socio-eco" system) have only been living on a prayer, because even people who receive government welfare earn more than the "99ers".

It's a shame our government leaders will allow the continued corporate outsourcing of more American jobs for dirt-cheap labor overseas, and to keep giving the very rich more tax breaks that they don't need; but yet at the same time cut unemployment benefits and other programs for the very poor and/or very desperate.

Is this still the once great America I was born in?

And here we sit stupidly in front of our TV sets and wonder why they protest in the streets of Iran, Britain, Greece, and now Egypt today. Is this what Glenn beck fears may happen in America? Now why would he think that? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

As for Egypt, I heard this morning on CNN that it also had something to do with the majority of the wealth being accumulated by the very few...or as Beck would say, "a redistribution of wealth."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Albert Einstein's Job Outsourced to China

To say we have high unemployment in America is because we lack the technical skills is hogwash. If American companies stayed in America, all the foreigners with the technical skills would come here for their jobs. Education alone doesn't dictate where business is done. It's the salaries that do.

Corporations can hire people with more advanced educational skills overseas just as they can hire much cheaper laborers overseas. You can live in America and have every job skill in the world, but if someone else in China has those same exact job skills and will work (and CAN work) for less, they will be the ones to get the job, because American corporations moved their businesses their specifically to take advantage of this cheaper labor force.

The consumer price index in China is much lower than in America...the cost of living less, so people in China can sustain themselves earning less than average U.S. wages. American corporations have been exploiting this situation for decades.

American corporations have been making record profits and by increasing the size of the Chinese labor force, they have also increased the size of the Chinese consumer force. They now buy more GM cars and trucks in China than GM sells in America. American workers are unemployed and can't afford to buy new cars. Their cars are being repossessed by the banks because they don't have jobs, which is sadly ironic.

American CEOs and the media is trying to tell the American public (and with the help of President Obama) that it's our educational system and lack of job skills that's holding America back in the market. But American companies are doing very well in the global market, just not in the U.S. market, because Americans no longer have the wages (jobs) to be the consumers they once were. Hence the term, "emerging markets"...meaning new people to buy all that crap that American companies are making in China and are always trying to sell to you on TV.

Outsourcing has been going on for decades, escalating just after the Viet Nam war when Chinese-backed soldiers stopped killing Americans GIs. Then American corporations shared technology with China - technology that U.S. taxpayers paid for, usually used first through research and development in the military and space programs - to open up "emerging markets" in China, India, South Korea, Philippines, and Mexico, etc.

Now if we need a TV, stereo, cell phone, or most other essential commodities, it's difficult to find anything that's made in America anymore. This country's economy is not based on manufacturing anymore, we have a "service" economy now.

Even if one were to acquire new skills (and re-train for "green jobs"), solar panel companies use taxpayer money to establish businesses and still go overseas!

Corporate stocks have continually risen since the March 9, 2009 lows almost two years ago. Apple (whose LOVES China!) is the first company ever in the world to be on track to break the $1 trillion market cap for any company, ever!

American corporations outsourcing jobs overseas is the NUMBER ONE problem for America's economic system. For every job sent abroad to enrich a corporate salary, two jobs are lost in America. It's a downward spiral.

Yes, we need to be more competitive and better educated, but that won't stop jobs from going overseas...even if every single person in America were Albert Einsteins. Not unless we worked for 75% less in our wages. As it is now the disparity between CEO salaries and their American workers are as high as 400-1. But if corporate America's CEOs hired ALL Chinese workers, their salaries compared to their Chinese workers might an average 1,000-1.

It has never been about Americans not having the skills, it has always been about corporate profits, and at any cost...even if it means destroying America's working-class and the demise of our country.

If Albert Einstein was still a young man and alive today, he would either be working in China or collecting unemployment benefits in America.

Albert Einstein on Economics and Employment

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of evil.

If two factories produce the same sort of goods, other things being equal, that factory will be able to produce them more cheaply which employs fewer workmen - i.e., makes the individual worker work as long and as hard as human nature permits.

From this it follows inevitably that, with methods of production as they are today, only a portion of the available labor can be used. While unreasonable demands are made on this portion, the remainder is automatically excluded from the process of production. This leads to a fall in sales and profits. Businesses go smash, which further increases unemployment and diminishes confidence in industrial concerns and therewith public participation in the mediating banks; finally the banks become insolvent through the sudden withdrawl of accounts and the wheels of industry therewith come to a complete standstill.

In each branch of industry the number of working hours per week ought so to be reduced by law that unemployment is systematically abolished. At the same time minimum wages must be fixed in such a way that the purchasing power of the workers keeps pace with production.

Further, in those industries which have become monopolistic in character through organisation on the part of the producers, prices must be controlled by the state in order to keep the issue of capital within reasonable bounds and prevent artificial strangling of production and consumption.

In this way it might perhaps be possible to establish a proper balance between production and consumption without too great a limitation of free enterprise and at the same time to stop the intolerable tyranny of the owners of the means of production (land and machinery) over the wage-earners, in the widest sense of the term. (Albert Einstein, 1934)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why Not Blame the Homeless?

American CEOs and the GOP have been making excuses as to why they sent jobs to China and India. They are making the excuse that average American workers no longer have the necessary job skills to compete in the job market.

This is nonsense, and their false claims have created yet another major problem for the already 15 million Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Scams.

These CEOs and the GOP have convinced many of the unemployed that there was "something wrong with them", so hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans went back to school to retrain, learn new skills, and further their educations. They're going to community colleges, nursing schools, and vocational schools. But the problem is, after completing their additional training, and acquiring the "necessary job skills", they are still finding themselves jobless.

Those poor people spent money they didn't have - and couldn't afford to borrow - to pay tuitions to these schools that promised them job placements. These poor people borrowed from friends and family, studied hard, and often relocated or drove vast distances to acquire these "necessary job skills". Then they later discovered that not only were they scammed by American corporations and the government, they were also scammed by the schools too. (Profits can still be made during an economic calamity.)

It's almost like being punished twice for the same crime - double jeopardy. But unemployment isn't a crime, it's what made them jobless in the first place that was a crime...yet those who created the economic collapse will go Scott free. It's only the average American citizen who will pay for their crimes.

American CEOs and the GOP has caused additional harm to these already injured and suffering jobless people by perpetuating the myth that it's a lack of jobs skills that's holding them back.

The long-term unemployed have been called everything from lazy hobos to drug addicts by those same people that pay homage to the big corporations. The guilty ones always point the finger of blame at someone else - in this case, the CEOs blaming the jobless - saying that "they lack the necessary job skills".

The plain truth is that there are not enough jobs...they're now in places like China, India, South Korea, and the Philippines. The BIG LIE that the CEOs and GOP perpetrate is only more public relations bull-crap...they know perfectly well that America is angry with big business for outsourcing their jobs and destroying the middle-class, but the corporate big wigs and the Republicans want to point the finger of blame at the labor force (you), as though somehow it's THEIR fault (YOUR fault) that there are no jobs any more.

And that's what makes me the angriest...them knowing they sent your job to China to hire a cheaper worker, then blaming you! It's your fault you're unemployed because you wanted to earn enough to live on. And why do they blame you for being unemployed when they hire younger people with LESS job skills than you possess? Or accuse you of having TOO MANY job skills, as in "over-qualified"?

Rather than help the fragile and weak economy, or help the desperate and unemployed, and rather than restoring America to its greatness, the CEOs continue to ship jobs off overseas and put the blame on others. The GOP refuses to pay more extended unemployment benefits to those whose lives were destroyed by these practices of outsourcing and discrimination, and the U.S. government in general (in both political parties) have been beholden to big corporate interests and the big banks - - - so it is THEY who are responsible for America's demise, not you and not me!

Do you hear me mister Glenn Beck?

It's not my fault I can't get a job, it's their fault - the CEOS, the banks, the corporations, and our government leaders...the greed-meisters. Why always blame the unemployed? Why not blame the homeless as well?
And if Fox News and the GOP sticks their greasy and smelly finger in my face again to blame me, I'm going to break the damn thing off. And then I going after their first born...the next generation who will further continue the destruction of America's working-class.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vote Bernie Sanders TIME Person of the Year 2015

Who should be TIME’s 2015 Person of the Year? The current poll results shows Bernie Sanders leading the 2nd place nominee by DOUBLE. 

You can vote "YES" for Bernie Sanders here. NOTE: You will need a Twitter or Facebook account to log in and vote. 

To Tweet: Vote for #BernieSanders as TIME's Person of the Year at  #TIMEPOY

There's also several "face-off" polls — this link is for Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton (Bernie is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead!) Just click on your preference and log in with Twitter or Facebook to register your vote. 

To Tweet: I think Bernie Sanders should be #TIMEPOY. Vote now  via @TIME 

NOTE: Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 4th, and the combined winner of TIME's reader polls will be announced on Dec. 7th — and TIME’s "official" Person of the Year will be announced Dec. 9th. (You can also go here to vote "NO" for Kim Kardashian). 

To Tweet: Vote for #BernieSanders as TIME's Person of the Year at  #TIMEPOY

* You can also go here to vote "NO" for Kim Kardashian. 

On the TIME list [so far] Bernie Sanders garnered more than 12 percent of the vote, putting him well ahead of runner-up ... The next U.S. presidential candidate is way down the list, the bombastic Donald Trump, with 1.9 percent of the vote ... The Donald isn't giving up hope, though. He's using reverse psychology on Time's editors:

"I say there's no way they give it to me," he said last week. "They can't. Because, mentally, they can't. They just can't. They can't do it. Even if I deserve it, they can't do it." 

* Kardashian, in case you're interested, is in 51st place at the moment, earning less than 1 percent of the vote.

More here...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Rich Don't Need Government, Only We Do

I can hear them all screaming now, "We'll have to cut teachers, firefighters and police!"

That's pretty scary huh? The next generation of Americans being morons, our cities and homes reduced to ashes, and killers and rapists roaming our neighborhoods at will. Chaos, the end of days.

These are the government services that the GOP usually says are the first to go because of government debt. They paint a horrific picture of Armageddon. I can almost see the Fox News commentators carrying signs proclaiming, "THE END IS NEAR!"

Teachers, firefighters and police...these are government services that both the poor and the rich can equally benefit from. There's little mention of museums, zoos, parks, fountains, bike trails, information centers, fancy (little used) inner-city mono-rails, or other non-essential governmental maintained facilities.

If Fox News would have threaten to cut services at the Department of Motor Vehicles, THEN I might have REALLY panicked!

There's so little mention of the much larger programs that aren't usually threatened with a blood thirsty budget axe - such as the space programs and other taxpayer-paid scientific research, the military industrial complex and its related research and development (Area 51), the nation building we do in foreign countries such as the building of roads, bridges, and schools in Afghanistan and Iraq - infrastructure that our country has that is in dire need of repair - and upgrading our power grid as well.

The GOP says if the debt isn't cut, teachers, firefighters and police will have to be reduced, thereby threatening our way of life as we know it. But the U.S. seems capable of affording the build up of a massive police force in Iraq where there's oil; and the U.S. seems capable of building an infrastructure in Afghanistan where huge deposits of emeralds, ores, chemicals, and minerals have been discovered. (Do I detect a new "emerging market" here?)

Why is there so little criticism by the GOP and Fox News of congressional salaries, tax breaks for the rich, massive bank bonuses, CEO's outsourcing, a growing disparity in wages, favorable financial regulations for larger corporations and banks, but so little reform for the consumers in home foreclosures or small businesses?

Why is it always the working-class that has to sacrifice, to do without, or lose benefits whenever the budget is in jeopardy? Teacher's, firefighter's and the policemen's jobs are always threatened first - as a scare tactic. Why don't we lose one aircraft carrier instead? Our military might already far exceeds the rest of the world's. And do we really need to know (this year) if intelligent life exists on Mars?

What about all the congressional "pet projects" like those bridges to nowhere, or the newest and biggest presidential libraries that always have to out-do the previous one? Has anybody noticed how extravagant and expensive all the new federal buildings are?

Why do members of congress have and maintain such elaborate "offices" all over the country from San Francisco to Washington DC? Who are they trying to impress, the CEO of Exxon-Mobile or the president of Liberia? These "offices" are nicer than penthouse suites at 5-star hotels!

Instead of paying for Japan's and Europe's military budgets (and sustaining U.S. bases there), why can't they pay for their own defense?

If we can't even afford to take care of our own people anymore, why do we insist on sending aid to everyone else whenever they have a disaster? That's great if we can afford to do so, but that's only if we have a growing economy - but why now? We're having our own disaster. Haven't we helped others long enough? Let's help ourselves now!

All the "corporate philanthropists" help poor people in foreign countries as a marketing tool to make nice-nice with their governments to open emerging markets...not because they just want to help poor people. America has lots of poor people, why not help them first?

Because with 30 million under and unemployed (approximately 10% of Current U.S. Population and 20% of the labor force), we can buy enough of their widgets anymore? But instead, with China's ballooning middle-class (thanks in part to American CEOs, China now has a labor force of 800,000 million people), American corporations are more concerned about THAT "emerging market".

Americans helped Mister Bill Gates to become a billionaire by buying his Windows 98, but his most favorable charity work is done in India (I saw all his posts regarding this on his Twitter page last year).

The GOP (Fox News) wants us all to think that it always has to be teachers, firefighters and police who will always have to be the first let go if we don't cut the budget. And guess where they want to cut the budget? Not with NASA, the military, pet projects, or the presidential libraries...things that rich people like. They start with food stamps for the poor and unemployment insurance benefits for the jobless (because their jobs went to China).

This was recently well high-lighted with the supposed "Obama Comprise" - when the GOP held hostage unemployment benefits for 2.5 million people so that the richest 500 hundred thousand people could have more tax relief. The "compromise" gave the poor people 13 more months of funding for said "benefits" (if they still qualified), while the richest got 24 more months of continued tax breaks.

Why? Even Warren Buffet said [paraphrased], "We don't need more tax breaks and we won't create more jobs." Even acknowledges this admission.

The rich have had the tax cuts all along for the past 10 years: when the housing market tanked, when congress was asleep at the wheel, when Fannie Mae became a money pit, when Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns went bankrupt, when AIG and Goldman Sachs sold toxic assets, when Bernie Madoff ran his pyramid scheme, when the SEC was watching pornography at work, when jobs were leaving the country, when the stock market crashed, when we became $14 trillion in debt, when our economy collapsed, and when we saw 30 million under and unemployed Americans struggling just to survive.

How did those tax cuts for the rich help when 8.5 million people lost their jobs just since 2007? Glenn Beck asks,"When was the last time a poor man hired you?" And I'll ask Glenn Beck, "When was the last time a rich man has hired you?"

Fox News (the GOP) always fear-mongers with the threat of teachers, firefighters and police because these are ESSENTIAL services to a modern and civilized society; but to pay for these services Fox News (and the GOP) is saying that the only way is to cut services that only the poor need, not the services that the rich enjoy. So they threaten just those services that everybody else needs.

After food stamps and other assistance for the poor is cut, and after jobless benefits are reduced or eliminated, the next target for the GOP (Fox News) will be Social Security, Medicaid, and healthcare. After being bent over an assembly line or lifting heavy objects in a factory for almost 50 years (67 years old minus 18 years old), they want to raise the age to qualify for Social Security again! They want the working-class to bust their backs harder and longer, and to eventually drop dead at work with NO "golden years" at all!

Most of THOSE people who advocate this might wear nice suits to work and sit at desks when THEY sweat on THEIR brows! They haven't a clue as to what actual "manual labor" is - that, or it's just a distant memory for them when they were once 18 years old.

The rich, the GOP (and Fox News) only want to cut the budget for services that only the poor need.

If jobs hadn't first went to Mexico, and then went to China and India - if there were less congressional pet projects (congressional corruption) - if the rich weren't allowed to have extended tax breaks - and if corporation couldn't bribe our political leaders with "political contributions", we'd have a healthy economy and a robust U.S. Treasury. And we could easily help the jobless, pay old people an income to live on in their "retirement" years, and provide them all with reasonable and affordable healthcare.

We could also keep all our teachers, firefighters and police as well; and the GOP (And Fox News) could then rest easy. It wouldn't have to be the end of the world (or the demise of America) at all.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bernie Sanders - TIME "person of the Year" -- VOTE NOW!

Who should be TIME’s 2015 Person of the Year? The current poll results shows Bernie Sanders leading the 2nd place nominee by DOUBLE. 

You can vote "YES" for Bernie Sanders here. NOTE: You will need a Twitter or Facebook account to log in and vote. 

To Tweet: Vote for #BernieSanders as TIME's Person of the Year at  #TIMEPOY

There's also several "face-off" polls — this link is for Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton (Bernie is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead!) Just click on your preference and log in with Twitter or Facebook to register your vote. 

To Tweet: I think Bernie Sanders should be #TIMEPOY. Vote now  via @TIME 

NOTE: Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 4th, and the combined winner of TIME's reader polls will be announced on Dec. 7th — and TIME’s "official" Person of the Year will be announced Dec. 9th. (You can also go here to vote "NO" for Kim Kardashian). 

To Tweet: Vote for #BernieSanders as TIME's Person of the Year at  #TIMEPOY

* You can also go here to vote "NO" for Kim Kardashian. 

On the TIME list [so far] Bernie Sanders garnered more than 12 percent of the vote, putting him well ahead of runner-up ... The next U.S. presidential candidate is way down the list, the bombastic Donald Trump, with 1.9 percent of the vote ... The Donald isn't giving up hope, though. He's using reverse psychology on Time's editors:

"I say there's no way they give it to me," he said last week. "They can't. Because, mentally, they can't. They just can't. They can't do it. Even if I deserve it, they can't do it." 

* Kardashian, in case you're interested, is in 51st place at the moment, earning less than 1 percent of the vote.

More here...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sunset of America

Just because I say this country is in decline doesn't mean I'm anti-American or unpatriotic - I'm just making an observation. People my age and older have been around long enough to know the difference. If you're only 21, what do you know? Trust me, very little. I know. I was once 21 too.

And I'm not just referring to the financial decline of this nation, or because of the downfall that began since the housing bubble and the collapse of AIG (Joe Cassano). I saw the excess greed long before everyone's houses started quickly going up in value, and then when they started taking out home equity loans to buy brand new SUVs and big flat-screen TVs. Maybe had they been paid fairer wages, they wouldn't have felt compelled to put themselves in so much debt to enjoy the same things that they thought everyone else could easily afford (which they couldn't either). Corporate America sold us debt, and put America's citizens in slavery. We worked for them and we also owed them.

I think the biggest part of our decline started back in the mid-70s to early 80s (about the time of the oil embargo when America's oil production had already peaked and we became dependent of Mid Eastern oil). This was when we had disco, cocaine, dot coms, John DeLorean, L.A. gangs, Senator Gary Hart, ABSCAM, Watergate....everything that happened just after the Viet Nam War when American corporations escalated the outsourcing of jobs overseas. Had America "won" that war, South Viet Nam would have looked much like South Korea does today. The U.S. would have a Army installation on the DMZ and it would be in a constant state of military readiness.

Every generation complains about the younger generation, and every generation rebels against the previous one. When I was a teenager I used to wear Navy surplus bell-bottom jeans with patches and march in protest rallies against the Viet Nam War. When my dad was a teenager he wore bell-bottom jeans too...the difference was, he was IN the Navy on a war ship fighting in the Korean War, not protesting the war. But even though I disagreed with my dad many times, I still had values and knew right from wrong (and sometimes I did the wrong thing).

America's decline wasn't JUST because of corruption in politics - or JUST because of corporate greed either. It's was also because of a decline in family values. Even though I rejected authority as a kid and I rebelled and fought with my parents, as an adult I can look back and see my parents - and not just as authority figures, but as regular people. I'm older today than my parents were then, and I sometimes imagine relating to them as my equal peers, or as though they had been much younger than myself today. How would we inter-relate with one another had they not been my parents?

I used to disagree a lot with my parents when I used to be a lot more ignorant than I am today. I thought I knew everything, and that it was always THEY who were the ones who needed a little modern "enlightenment". But I mistook their old-fashioned ways as being "square", when all it was were their "values" I was criticizing - values that their parents had instilled in them when they were kids themselves. Values that are almost lost today, fading little by little, with each progressive generation. Being "politically correct" has replaced "moral decency".

Corporal punishment (not price gouging, but parental spankings) was once "normal" in child rearing. I was raised with the occasional belt to the ass, just as my father was with the occasional switch in the wood-shed when he was being raised on a farm. Today they call it "child abuse". While I still don't condone it, I'm beginning to think that THAT has something to do with our decline as well. As my dad used to say, "If you won't learn to respect me, then you damn sure will learn to fear me." Kids today don't fear authority as much, and they don't respect it at all. Hell, they don't even respect people like me...the elderly. And I once thought I was pretty cool!

The Greatest Generation (the baby boomer's parents) weren't called the "greatest" for nothing. They lived through and survived the greatest economic depression, then fought in the greatest war, and afterwards built this country into the greatest nation. There's so few left of those men or women of yesteryear; you'd have to watch an old black-and-white movie on TV to see them now. Their parents spanked them when they were bad, they had respect, they had values.

China will soon be the world's number one economic powerhouse, over taking America as they have already over-taken Japan has the second largest. China's middle class will soon dominate America's. We have 10% unemployment, China has 4%. I'm not bashing the United States (even though most of our leaders are liars and crooks); I'm just sad to see this once mighty and morally decent nation in decline, and it's because we lack values. Greed now governs every aspect of our society today.

Almost every congress-person will tell you about God and country, and will proclaim the merits of patriotism, tell you they support our soldiers, tell you about church and family values, and will try to convince you they are concerned, honest, and fiscally responsible. But if this were all so, why are we where we are today? Why do the banks and large corporations continue to destroy the working-class in this nation for ever more profits? Where is all this congressional "concern" when they still allow millions of people to suffer without an income while the wealthiest 2% are allowed to have everything they want?

Because congress, just like the rich, think, "We got ours!"

The average older unemployed American is most likely a baby boomer - a son or daughter of the Great Generation. They worked the longest and the hardest for the last 20, 30, or 40 years. Now they have been forced to spend their life's savings and retirement funds just to live because American corporations would rather hire younger people with iPods glued to their ears - those with NO experience at all. That same kid could have still been living at home with their parents, but instead they can now rent their own apartment, or even buy their own house (a great buyer's market today). Meanwhile, all the "old people's" parents (the Greatest Generation) have already passed the unemployed Boomers can't go home to mom or dad any more.

Just because I say this country is in decline doesn't mean I'm anti-American or unpatriotic - I'm just making an observation. Politicians and corporate America destroyed our once mighty nation. I'm not bashing America, I'm mourning its loss and the middle-class's demise.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm So Tired of Being Tired

(Reported on CNN by Ali Velshi today)

I'm tired of the waiting. As I see my life winding down in about three more weeks I have pondered the absence of relevance in my past life, and the lack of significance my passing will be to the world. I am nobody, just another ant on the ant hill. I am just one of over 6 billion humans on earth. An easy sacrifice for those who profit.

I'm tired of ranting and railing against the media, the politicians, the bankers, the CEOs, and all the rest who contributed to the abbreviation my life. Why bother wasting what little time I have left after wasting so much already? That's insane. I was defeated, I surrender. I lose.

I'm tired of the struggle, the meaningless attempts to find gainful employment - to sell myself to others who aren't interested. I feel foolish for even trying now. When does one finally realize that nobody wants you? Just like all my complaints, my job applications were falling on deaf ears. What a terrible waste of precious time. I wish I had the last two years of my life again - I would have done things so much differently.

I'm tired of hoping when after all I've had for over two long years has been isolation, loneliness, disappointment, anger, frustration, and depression while engaging in useless efforts to find work and survive. But no matter how difficult that has been, now I must face the stark reality of the last three weeks of my life.

I'm tired of busting my ass so that others can benefit from my labor when all I could ever afford in life was just a constant and daily struggle to survive. Looking back, I ask myself, "For what?" Just to eat and breathe - something that the taxpayers, employers, and government leaders don't feel is important enough to maintain. Maybe it's time for a long rest. Maybe they're right, I'm not worth the financial investment any more. A waste of resources.

I'm tired of living in fear and the dreams I have at night. I'm tired of always peeking through the living room blinds, waiting for the car to be repossessed. I'm tires of wondering when I'll lose my electricity, heat, and cable service. I'm tired of the holes in my socks. I'm tired of asking for help or understanding. I'm tired of those who feel no empathy - those who still have jobs and go about their lives as though people like me don't exist. Apathy is all I see.

I'm tired of being made to feel like dirt because I lost my job, used up all my funds, and can no longer pay my bills - as though I never worked a day in my life and have been on the government dole like a blood-sucking leech to the taxpayers all these years. I'm tired of being talked to and treated and looked down upon as a big loser because I lost my means of supporting myself at the age of 55.

I'm tired of waiting for a family reconciliation. Strangers have come to feel more sympathy than anyone who used to be a family member. A bitter pill to swallow to know that someone you loved since birth allowed you to perish. It's been that way since Kane and Abel I suppose, no one can be trusted or depended upon. People lie, cheat, steal, and kill for earthly goods as though hell doesn't exist - death is just nothingness to those who don't believe in a superior entity.

I'm tired of being so alone. Although there have been other jobless people I've come to know and admire through the internet, they've mostly been jobless strangers who have banded together from across the country who feel this connection to one another. Our commonality may be our desperation - a pitiful thing to share with others when that is the glue to a friendship. But I am most appreciative to those who have reached out to me and have showed me support and offered their kindness and help to me. But like everyone else, I can never repay them back either.

I'm tired of things breaking or getting old because I can't afford to replace, fix, or repair anything. Like my own life, all my possessions are coming unraveled as well. It's been a downward spiral that's been quickly escalating lately. I've been frantic while watching things like my previous web sites go down, and by the end of the month I will also lose my cable TV and internet connection (I begged them to allow me this much added time with a promise to pay them with a non-existent tax return next month.)

I'm tired of waiting for a miracle to happen or someone to save me because I wasn't capable of saving myself any longer. I'm seven years away from Social Security benefits and a union pension, so that is not enough to hope for. Seven years living as a homeless man at my age and with my health is impossible. After being refused a job for over two years I have atrophy and back pain - and shortness of breath from too much stress-related smoking.

I'm tired of being tired - I'm so depressed that I can barely leave my home to buy food, but I must - just one more time while I still have $157 cash and a car that the bank hasn't taken yet. I MUST force myself to stop procrastinating and get dressed and shaved and face the world one more time. Put on my happy face, and act polite and "normal" until I can return to the "safe" confines of my dwelling.

Only three more weeks, and I won't be tired any longer. I will finally be able to relax and not worry anymore about my worth, what people think of me, how I feel, or how I will survive. I will have solved all those problems and more...I will never have to file another federal income tax return or ever worry again about how I will buy food or pay my rent again.

I'm so damn tired of being a "99er". Had there been a "Tier Five", I might have survived to be tired a while longer.

(* My website is presently down. It may, or may not be, resolved.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stop Slamming Your Doors!

From Wiki-How: How to Shut a Door Quietly in 6 Easy Steps (with pictures):

"Closing a door without a resounding slam is a tricky process, one that can take a lifetime to master. Some people are born with the innate ability to close a door quietly, while others can't seem to grasp the concept. This guide is for that latter type. It will take you through each step of closing a door quietly."

How to Close a Door for DUMMIES