Tag Archives: tea party

Permits, protests, and pepper spray

19 Nov

In the above video you can clearly see a police officer walk up to a group of students who are sitting down, and casually hose them with pepper spray. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common police response to peaceful protesters. Some of the more famous victims include an 84 year old woman, a 19 year old pregnant woman, a priest, and a small group of women who were just standing there before being penned in by police and misted with perfume de fuego.

A common argument I’ve personally seen and heard used to defend the officers is “They are just following orders…” and “the protesters did not have permission to be there.” Since when did the Nuremberg defense excuse someone from their behavior? Secondly, requiring “permission” to protest defeats the whole point of protesting. No shit we don’t have your permission to protest you, we’re protesting specifically because of you!

State and local governments have long been employing various tactics to crack down on dissent. Let’s not be coy here people. Bloomberg didn’t really send in the storm troopers to zuccotti park because he was concerned for the health and safety of the protesters occupying it. No, he wanted them gone and just needed some bullshit excuse since expressly crushing a protest because you don’t like the protesters is bad press.

No, permits and requiring permission from the authorities before you protest violates the freedom of assembly. Some might argue that permits and permission are needed so business as usual isn’t disrupted. Well what if the point IS to disrupt business as usual? What if the point IS to bring the whole system to a screeching halt? To make people be inconvenienced? What? No? We can’t have our protest in the first place? I’m sorry, you seem to be missing the point of the first amendment. It’s not there to protect people you agree with, it’s there to protect those you disagree with, no matter how fiercely you disagree with them.

Lastly, I just have to wonder about the contrast to how the police are treating the OWS protesters and the Tea Party.

The OWSers tend to be more liberal.

The Tea Partiers tend to be very conservative.

The OWSers show up with drums and tents.

The Tea Partiers show up with guns.

The OWSers protest the deregulated banks and corporations that destroyed the world economy and doomed my generation to a life of wage slavery, debt, and unemployment.

The Tea Partiers protest the half-assed regulation of the above mentioned banks and corporations along with universal healthcare.

The OWSers are a grass roots movement with no leaders.

The Tea Partiers are bank rolled by some of the largest corporations in the country.

The police do nothing to the Tea Partiers.

The police protect and serve the shit out of the OWSers.

I really have to wonder, how would everyone who is defending the police brutality respond if instead of liberals, the police were crushing the Tea Party? I bet they would be singing a different tune…

GOP leaders don’t care about USA

2 Dec

As much as these red blooded “Americans” like to beat their chest and scream of patriotism, the GOP leadership doesn’t give a shit about America. Actually, let me define my terms because according to them, they ARE America. By “America” I mean the 300 Million people living within the 50 states that make up the nation’s territory. To GOP leaders, “America” is themselves and the companies that own them. Think that’s an outlandish statement? Here’s the proof they don’t give a rat’s ass about the people that make up this country:

Currently America is in an extemely bad position. Unemployment is nearly at 10%, the education system is collapsing, prisons are overcrowded, our immigration system isn’t adequate, we’re fighting two wars, possibly a third and fourth in Korea and Iran, and we’re trillions of dollars in debt. These are just some of the massive problems facing congress. However, when the republicans took control of the House of Representatives was their top priority fixing any of these problems? NO.Instead top Republican Mitch McConnell came out and said: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

That’s right. “America can go fuck itself, we want political points.” You see, you’re naive if you think the game is about running the country in a way that best improves the lives of those who populate that country. No, that’s just the nice little lie, the scraps they toss from the table to appease us while they go about business as usual. “Yes, yes, daddy loves you, now go and be a good child and play outside.” As long as the politicians and the companies that own them get what they want and can retire to the Caribbean, that’s all that matters.

Obama, like a moron, spent the first two years of his presidency trying to compromise with people who viewed him as the anti-Christ. Now that the democrats no longer have the majority needed to pass any legislation that the voters asked for, the republicans have come out and publicly stated what has been their policy all along. No compromise. Right after the election another top republican, Mike Pence, echoed McConnell’s sentiment: “This election wasn’t so much about getting things done as it was about getting things undone.”

Earlier this week Obama had his first meeting with the republican leadership since they took power in the House. The meeting was called to find where they could compromise. This was actually the second time the meeting was called since the elections. The first time it was cancelled because the republican leadership told Obama to go to hell.  They got together this time to say a lot of pretty things, but with the underlying message of “go fuck yourself.” To make sure the blind, deaf, and dumb Obama got the message, the very next day the republicans sent a letter promising to filibuster EVERYTHING unless they got the tax cuts for their rich owners.

The absurdity of this “we’re going to deny everything no matter what it is just to stop the next 2 years from happening” view is starting to have it’s consequences.  Up for debate now is the New Start Treaty, a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia that would cut the number of nuclear weapons we both have. We already have enough nukes to sterilize the planet five times over, so cutting back has no downsides… except that Obama likes it. That’s right, for this sole reason the republicans are going to vote down the bill. Nevermind that it’s a win win situation, nevermind that it would help stabilize the planet; Obama wants it and that means no.

There is one republican who is fighting the madness: Dick Lugar. Dick’s served five terms in the senate and is an ardent conservative. With his track reccord, no one can question his conservative credentials. However, times are changing. Earlier this week Lugar came out and said that if the republican party has slipped so far to the right that they are going to veto this treaty, then they are “beyond redemption.”

Do you know how the other conservatives responded? They told him he was a dead man. They threatened him with a primary next election cycle. They’re going to replace him with someone who will tow the crazy line. They have gleefully vaulted off the cliff face into insanity and they don’t care if they take the country down with them.

Nobody fails at elections like democrats

5 Nov

As much as I really don’t want to write anything, I feel I must at least say something after the democrats just suffered the second worst defeat in their history.

The democrats don’t know how to run an election and they don’t know how to govern if by some fluke they do win. This became painfully evident after they won big time in 2008; riding on a wave of disillusionment and the public’s desperate (fool’s) hope that things might actually change. Like timid children afraid to go into the pool, they hesitated. Not trusting themselves, or the mandate the people gave them, they refused to go it alone, to stick their necks out and actually do something. Instead they compromised. Compromise, compromise, compromise. That was the strategy: compromise with the party of NO! (Which gives you runny, watered down versions of NO!)

The democrats got the shit kicked out of them by the republicans. Want to take a wild guess as to the democrats’ brilliant new strategy for winning back seats? Yep, you guessed it! COMPROMISE! (And if you honestly did think they had a new strategy, you’re delusional. Any scrap of tattered hope you have left should have been destroyed by these past 2 years) Harry Reid and Obama were quick to come out with their tales between their legs and grovel at the republican’s feet. It makes me want to vomit.

The infuriating thing is that attacking the republicans is SO EASY!

Unfortunately the majority of the American public doesn’t remember just how disastrous republican rule was because the democrats are to fucking spineless to run good attack ads. They sit there, twiddling their thumbs, all whilst letting the republicans frame the debate, define the terms, and them lead them to the slaughterhouse.

Obama got hammered on the economy. He let the republicans hammer him. He should have been out there, everyday, saying “Republicans left me a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit, republicans left me a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit, republicans left me a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit” until we heard it in our sleep. If someone is beating you to a pulp, you don’t stop them by saying “let’s compromise!”

The majority of the people in this country are democrats. If everyone voted in every election, the democrats would always win. However, the democrats haven’t given us anything to vote FOR. (And don’t say that gave us healthcare and financial reform. The healthcare companies practically wrote that legislation and now they have millions of new customers that have to give them money by law; same goes for the bullshit financial reform.) I firmly believe that this election was not a vote for the republicans, but a vote against the democrats. I think this is evident by the large numbers of liberals staying home. (Myself included) People don’t want appeasement, they want action.

The republicans might be the minority, but they’re a very well organized minority. I think it has something to do with their ideology and way of looking at the world. Conservatives tend to value order and cohesiveness more than liberals. (Hence why conservatives tend to be homogeneous and the liberals are heterogeneous) Republicans are better at falling in line and taking orders from the top, where as liberals are so diverse and independent, the often suffer from lack of focus. This tightly organized military mentality of conservatives allows them to organize effectively to win elections. Unfortunately I think the party of diversity, freedom, equality, and independence will always suffer from a lack of focus.

There is a silver lining here. Hopefully the majority of appeasement democrats got eliminated during the elections. Hopefully the remaining few will disobey the president and Harry Reid and fight. (I know I’m just kidding myself and that’s not what’s going to happen) In reality they will become even more timid and scared. Obama will rush to appease them, like he is doing currently, having just come out saying he would give in on tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans.

The democratic party in it’s current form needs to die. Hopefully this election was the first step in it’s death and rebirth as a new party. History shows that you can’t defeat a foe through appeasement. They only become emboldened and demand more. Come primary season it’s time to vote out the appeasers and vote in people who will actual start to beat the shit out of the republicans.

The Amazing Atheist also touched on this:

Software License Culture

28 Oct

The other day I saw a really funny quote that made me think:

To most Christians, the bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it, they just scroll through it and hit ‘I agree’.”

While I agree that the majority of religious people in this country don’t actually give their faith much critical thought, I think this type of behavior extends beyond just religion. “Software license behavior” seems to affect every walk of life. Liberal, conservative, Christian, Muslim, and even atheists. You see this type of behavior even in areas outside of religion and politics. How often do people just flip through cell phone contracts, or medical papers, any type of form with content that requires critical analysis, and simply sign without reading?

I feel like it’s endemic to our life style. “I’m in a hurry, I just want to get in and out, I don’t have time to sit down and read all this crap. If it’s bad I’m sure I would have heard about it; I don’t want to make the effort to think.” It’s laziness pure and simple. We’re too focused on the here and now to worry much about the future. We tell ourselves we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, and that gives us the comforting delusion that we needn’t worry. Meanwhile, the average credit card in America is $15,788.

It has consequences! Yeah the cell phone salesman, the car dealer, or the medical secretary might get impatient if you take the time to read through the paperwork before you sign, but look what’s at stake! Is not making them frustrated worth all the harsh consequences you’ll have to deal with down the road? Of course not, so tell them to suck it up. But I’ve digressed from my original reason for posting this.

So given this software license laziness in our culture, I’m really surprised that when it comes to things that matter, big picture things like politics and religion; people will go out of their way to defend a position they were too lazy to even study in the first place! (Now again, this is a human thing so it affects everybody, but it has been my experience that this type of behavior tends to disproportional affect conservative religious types)

The bible and the constitution are perfect examples. Both are seen as sacred documents, and both are idolized by the conservative movement in this country. The funny thing is, it appears the conservative movement, despite worshiping these two texts, has never bothered to actually read them.

There is a little saying within the atheist community: “The bible is the greatest tool for making atheists.” Religious groups love to gloss over the bible and cherry pick the parts that best fit their agenda. There are hundreds of disgusting and disturbing passages in the bible that you’ll never hear in church, or hear a politician spouting. (Google them) If someone actually took the time to read the bible cover to cover, they’d see that the “good book” is anything but good.

Lately there have been a rash of conservative candidates around the country attacking the separation of church and state. They cite the constitution and claim that the concept is absent. Obviously many of them haven’t even read the document. Christine O’Donnell, the lovely theocrat from Delaware, apparently had no idea what the first amendment contained. “Where in the constitution is the phrase ‘separation of church and state’?” How about this? Where in the bible is the phrase “personal relationship with Jesus?” Apparently the Texas school board, while rewriting history books to fit their conservative christian agenda, was furious that the first amendment lessons completely ignored gun rights! The damn liberal conspiracy erased gun rights from the first amendment. Psst! Hey stupid, read the second amendment! These people get all fired up over facts they have completely wrong because they didn’t bother to read the facts in the first place. Furthermore, this ignorance is seen as a virtue! The less you know, the less you’re corrupted by that reality and its liberal bias.

I weep for humanity…

 

Why I’m not voting in November

25 Oct

Hear me out before you respond with how I’m neglecting my civic duty.

I am not going to vote this November. It will be the first time I have ever not voted. Contrary to how this  might sound, civic engagement is very important to me and I am not apathetic about this. In the last presidential election I drove my friend home, four hours away, just so he could vote. In essence, I care. This is exactly why I am not voting this November. How the hell does that make sense? I’ll explain:

I am furious with the democrats in this country. I am furious with Obama. No matter how loud you scream, they just don’t understand; it’s like they’re in a sound proof bubble. This is where the three major political parties in America fall on the spectrum:

As you can see, the democrats are a center right party. The Obama administration is currently fighting against all types of liberal causes. They’re fighting the legalization of marijuana in California, they’ve fought against gay marriage (likening it to pedophilia), they continue to torture and extradite prisoners, the list goes on. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the democrats as a whole never miss an opportunity to cave to the republicans. I cannot stress this enough! Despite controlling the congress and the white house, the democrats collapse at the mere thought that they might hurt the republicans’ feelings. Obama (who idealizes Reagan btw) is notorious for compromising to the republicans. He’s a fucking imbecile for doing so because the republicans, knowing he’ll compromise at any cost in a desperate and misguided attempt to appear “bi-partisan”, then ask for the most insane shit!

A perfect analogy is haggling with a merchant. He starts with asking for 20, you say 10, he offers 15, you accept. The merchant was never expecting to get 20, he really wanted 15, but he knows how to play the game and so he asks for higher than he wants, knowing he’ll lower it to 15 and you’ll feel like you’re getting a deal. The republicans are doing the same thing! They know how to play Obama and the democrats to get what they want! That’s why everything the democrats pass is extremely watered down, if not slanted in favor of the republicans.

The rest of the progressive base sees this and we’re furious. But pay attention because this is the worst of it: Instead of comprehending what we’re upset about, the democrats see everyone’s anger and think it is because they are not conservative enough! It just makes my head want to explode! “Golly gee wilikers! The people are mad! Maybe we’re not being like the republicans enough!” And so they move farther to the right.

There is no way to get them to move towards the left. They have conceded in their hearts that the republicans are right, that they are un-American frauds, that to be liberal is to be a dangerous radical. You can hammer on their bubble till every bone in your body breaks, but they will not hear you. Even worse, Obama is disappointed in the base for being disappointed in him. That’s right, the elected democrats are chastising the progressive base because the base is mad with them.

But here is the central reason why I am refusing to vote, and this is very important. I will not let myself be blackmailed. That is exactly what the democrats are doing; they are blackmailing their base. You would think that if you threatened not to vote for a party, that party would be concerned about the reasons why you are not going to vote, but no. Instead the democrats respond with threats of their own. That’s right: they are threatening their own base! “You don’t have a choice! If you don’t vote for us, the republicans will win!”

Newsflash: you are the republicans. Liberals are offered two types of shit. One is to vote for the republicrats and the other is to vote for the flaming radioactive shit that is the tea party. But the democrats are wrong. I DO have a choice. Casting my vote for a democrat, even if cast in fear of the tea party, is still an endorsement of the democrats. I refuse to endorse them.

So no, I will not be voting this November. In effect my refusal to vote is in a way voting. There will be those who will completely not understand my reasons, no matter how simply I try to explain them, they will continue to accuse me of being apathetic and unpatriotic. In reality I am refusing to vote for exactly the opposite reasons.

A very valid question to ask of me is how I expect to change things by doing nothing. I would argue that I am not “doing nothing;” I am doing quite the opposite. My silence is my action, and hopefully if enough liberals remain silent in the face of this blackmail, that silence will be deafening.

I want the tea party to win by a landslide. I want Obama to crash and burn. I want the entire house of cards to come crashing down. As horrible as it is, the only way to save the liberal cause is to let this virus run it’s course. Only when this country is turned into a conservative theocratic hell-hole will people rise up in a liberal backlash. It’s the only way to shatter the democrats’ bubble and get us out of the conservative doldrums.

*** Edit***

I’m starting to think that last paragraph is a bit extreme. I don’t actually want the tea party to win by a landslide, that would be my worst nightmare come true, I just don’t know what else would jolt people into electing real progressives who do something other than cave to the republicans.

Tea party craziness

5 Oct

Ok, we  know that the tea party claims to be about smaller government and doesn’t officially take a stance on social issues. We also know that the tea party complains that “the main stream media” maligns them by calling them racist extremists. Maybe the media only showed pictures of a few crazy people with Obama=Hitler signs and the rest of them are calm, rational people who only care about economics. I doubt it, but it’s possible. All that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the tea party says they stand for, and it doesn’t matter how the media portrays them. What does matter is who they elect to office and support. Their actions transcend any superficial image they may or may not be projecting. My interest is in the tea party’s social agenda and whether or not the candidates are sane. I may have some libertarian leanings when it comes to economics, but for me, social issues will always trump economics. So lets look at some of the tea party canidates:

Sarah Palin. I don’t need to say anything. You know. We’ve been talking about her since the 2008 elections. There are posts all over about her draconian social policies, her anti-woman’s rights stances, her end-times theology, and various other scandals. So, moving on.

Christine O’Donnell: “Aka, younger, dumber Palin” This woman is a strong social conservative christian. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about her anti-masturbation stance and seen the old video clips of her talking about masturbation and the bible, along with her claims to have “dabbled in witchcraft”. Back in 2006, while running for another office, she claimed to be privy to secret information obtained by christian missionaries in China that revealed China had an elaborate plan to take over America! Recently Palin advised her not to give any national interviews (gee, I wonder why?), but before she shut her mouth she said that god was keeping her campaign alive. She’s strongly anti-science, thinks mice have human brains, and believes birth control is “anti-human”.Where you got your college education is not overly important when running for office, but O’Donnell has managed to make it a huge issue by repeatedly lying over and over about her education background. She’s claimed to have her college degree for years, yet never graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University until last month. She’s claimed to have done graduate work at Princeton, Oxford, and Claremont. All liesEven Karl Rove thinks she’s insane! Look, I could go on and on about this lady who needs to be put in a straight jacket.

Jim Demint: Another winner. A senator from South Carolina and the tea party’s man in congress, he’s fiercely homophobic and believes unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in schools. He’s also strongly anti-woman’s rights and fits nicely into the conservative christian mold.

Michelle Bachmann. Like Sarah Palin, she’s been around for a while and there are so many posts on just how bat shit insane she is that I needn’t bother. Just google her. Here, if you’re lazy, are 10 quotes from her, only 10, and she’s been at this a long time so there are plenty more.

Chuck Devore: Running in California, not nearly as crazy as the above people, though on legislative score boards he’s received a 0% from Equality for California, 18% from Planned Parenthood, 30% from the California National Organization for Women, and 29% from the Lambda Letters Project (LGBT), so he’s also votes socially conservative.

Trent Frank: Strongly Conservative, Anti-choice, and anti-gay equality. He also believes that current abortion rates in the black community means black people were better off as slaves.

Glen Urquhart: I quote “”The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State, ASK THEM WHY THEY’RE NAZIS!” He’s running in Delaware like O’Donnell. He is also a strong social conservative and is backed by the anti-woman’s rights group “Concerned women for America”, the National Conservative Fund, and the vehemently homophobic Family Research Council.

Sharron Angle: You might have heard of her. She’s running against Harry Reid and thinks healthcare reform should be replaced with the barter system. She’s also counseled rape victims and women who might die if they carry a pregnancy to term to go ahead and carry the baby. You can find a list of her crazy history here.

Carl Paladino: Thinks housing poor people in prisons is a great idea: “These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities!” He also threatened to kill a NY Post reporter. Lately he’s been in the news for a slue of racist e-mails and e-mails containing porn and women having sex with horses.

Steve King: Thinks Al-Qaeda supports Obama and cheered his election. He is also an extremely strong social conservative. Best friends with Bachmann, even shares congressional staff with her.

Louis Gohmert: Wants to overturn the birthright citizenship part of the 14th Amendment, believes there is a secret plot to have terrorists born in America and then trained to attack in 20-30 years.

Lamar Smith: Feels the greatest threat to America is not a recession or terrorists, but the “liberal media”. It’s all a conspiracy you see. He’s also another extreme social conservative.

Joe Miller:  Encourages people to bring guns to rallies, called his female running opponent a prostitute, and believes women should be forced to carry their rapist’s child.

Ken Buck: Also would love to force women to carry their rapist’s baby, opposes birth control, believes a 13 year old girl raped by her 14 year old brother should be barred from the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy, and wants to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Yet another religious nutter.

Dan Maes: Despite also having resume issues with lying, like O’Donnell, he is best known for revealing what his is certain is a dastardly conspiracy to deliver Colorado to the “Marxist United Nations” by ways of a bicycle sharing program!

Mike Lee: Like Gohmert, also wants to over turn the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship if you’re born in US territory. Also wants to get rid of a woman’s right to control her body, and is against marriage equality.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. It doesn’t matter if the tea party claims to be focused on only economic issues, if and when these people get elected, they will have to deal with those issues. It is important to know where they stand. It doesn’t matter how the tea party started out, if the core founders where socially liberal and economically conservative libertarians or not; what matters is what the tea party has become. It’s been hijacked by people who were so fringe, the republican party didn’t want them. It’s been hijacked by 9/11 truthers, birthers, people who believe Obama’s a secret muslim, and other conspiracy theorists of all stripes. It doesn’t matter what they claim to be, but the people who they put up for election and those already elected whom they support.  The people they have put up so far on the national level have muddied pasts with problems writing factually correct resumes, believe in draconian restrictions on women’s rights, wish to repeal parts of the constitution, view the civil rights movement as a black spot on US history, and support a host of conspiracy theories from Chinese takeovers to Trojan bicycles. While I might like to see a smaller government and less debt, I could never bring myself to vote for a party that tries to shift focus off their barbaric social and religious policies.

Just a few minutes ago I stumbled across this study done by the Pew Research Institute looking at how religion and social values factor into the tea party. Really interesting stuff and confirms my suspicions.

Just watched “Capitalism: A love story”

7 Jun

I will state up front that I consider myself a socialist. Not the “Zomg! Obama’s a fascist/socialist/communist/racist/muslim!!!11″ kind that the people with tinfoil hats seem to think is socialism, but the one of the actual kinds of socialism.

To be completely honest, I’m not quite sure exactly where I fit on the socialist spectrum. I think I land somewhere between “progressive” and “democratic socialist“.  (At least those were my top too according to this test)

I’m of the position that a government, formed by the people, should be charged with conducting itself in a manner that best protects the interests of the people as a whole. In other words, the government should work to make sure the greatest number of people possible have the best standard of living possible. (Yet the rights/views of minorities should be protected, hence why I don’t believe in direct democracies that lead to mob rule, but I digress)

I feel that hard work should be rewarded, and that people should benefit from their labor. But then this is where my views get confusing, even to me. I do not feel that the wealthiest people in America are necessarily “hard workers”. I feel they cynically game the system much the same way welfare freebooters game the system.

My view that the wealthiest people unfairly manipulate the system was really confirmed by this movie. Now before you make the assumption that I am some Michael Moore fan boy, there was a lot about this movie that did not sit well with me. I felt the lion share of this movie was an appeal to emotion, which makes sense, Moore is trying to outrage you into action, yet I would have preferred he focus more on facts rather than sensationalist teary-eyed families being forced out of their homes.

The facts that are in this movie should speak for themselves. The most compelling part of the film is when Moore weaves together the story of how America became a plutonomy starting with the recession of the Carter years and the capturing of the government by Wall Street during Reagan’s presidency. The scene where Don Regan tells president Ronald Reagan to “speed it [his speech to the NY stock exchange] up” is amazing.

The whole tale of a calculated and organized hijacking of the nation by Wall Street’s CEOs seemed to smack of conspiracy theory. It’s an amazing, and infuriating, story, but I would like to find some evidence outside of Moore’s documentary in order to decide for myself if it’s true. There is one thing, however, that this conspiracy story has going for it that others don’t:

In most conspiracies, the actors are the government. The problem with this is that the government is notoriously incompetent.* The “9/11 was an inside job” conspiracy is extremely improbable merely because of the high level of planning and competency required to pull off such and act and then cover it up. A government is just not capable of that level of finesse. (Especially under Bush’s incompetent reign) In this conspiracy story, however, the actors are not some clumsy government, but a small collection of some of the smartest, most brilliant people in America, the CEOs on Wall Street.

“But wouldn’t market competition dictate that different CEOs be working against each other?” Yes and no. While they most assuredly were in competition with one another, it makes more sense for them to work together on something that would benefit them all greatly. (Like no regulations) However, the ultimate “winner” was Goldman Sachs. Under Clinton and Bush, Goldman Sachs managed to fill top Treasury Department positions with its “former” employees, including even the position of Secretary of Treasury with Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs. (His net worth was $700 million when he left to become Sec. of Treas.) With this superior posturing, Goldman Sachs was in prime position to pressure its will on the government.

(Goldman Sachs also had their CEO in the Sec. of Treas. position with Robert Rubin. (Who also served as CEO of Citigroup) The current Sec. of Treas., Timothy Geithner, is a protegee of Rubin’s)

The most shocking and outrageous part of the film for me came when Moore discussed the recent bailouts of the super banks.  Two months before elections, Sec. Paulson drew up a 3 page plan to bail out Wall Street. (Keep in mind, usually legislation passed by congress is hundreds, if not thousands, of pages long) In that plan Paulson stipulated that all laws, including court review, would be waived:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Checks and balances anyone? The American people were rightfully outraged, but Paulson and his goons ramped up the fear factor, hoping to cram through the bill with a little debate as possible, just as Bush had done for the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq. Amazingly, for once, the American people fought back and the bill was defeated, by 12 votes. Congress then went home to prepare for elections.

Here is where I become really furious: Enter the democratic party leadership. Paulson and company rush back to DC and enter in backroom deals with the democrats. Promises are made, futures are sealed, and then congress does a complete 180, the American people be damned. Paulson gets the key to our pockets and makes off with 700 Billion; proof Wall Street has muscles to flex over our government.

The film is very thought provoking to say the least. It’s clear that our “free market” system is being manipulated to the benefit of a very select few. Employment near 10%, thousands of people being evicted from their homes, corporations making millions off of “dead peasant” policies, meanwhile banks take billions in our money, only to send their executives on luxurious vacations and the CEOs retire with unholy amounts of money. This isn’t working, but what’s the answer?

Despite the film being directed by Michael Moore, a person people on the right hate as strongly as they love Reagan, I feel a large portion of the movie would appeal to the right as well, especially the Tea Party movement. The fact that we’re being universally fucked by our leaders is something we can all rally behind, and I think this is one of the great points the movie tries to make. Moore references a Citigroup memo that was leaked where Citigroup explained to it’s top investors that they [Wall Street] had successfully turned America into a plutonomy, and that it was no longer a democracy. (Seriously, go read it, it’s scary) The memos explained that the top 1% of America now had more wealth than the bottom 95% COMBINED. Here’s the real kicker: Citigroup states in the memos that the biggest threat to their “gravy train” (yes, that is a direct quote) would be if society demanded a more equitable share of the wealth. The biggest problem was that despite having more money, a rich person can only cast as many votes as a poor person, 1. In other words, if the peasants realized that they were never going to get that carrot, the “American dream” of wealth, that they would revolt and vote the puppet government out of office. (Seriously, go read the memos)

I certainly feel communism is just as evil as American style unregulated capitalism. While we have vast economic inequity, communism, as practiced as a political system, is totalitarian and oppressive. I want there to be a middle ground, that’s why I call my self a progressive socialist. But do my views work? I don’t know. To be honest, I’m not sure how closely my views fall to those in Europe. I’ve always dreamed about moving to Europe because there they work to live, whereas here we live to work. Unfortunately, Europe is going through a financial crisis right now because Greece took that to the extreme, completely unbalancing their budget. I’m interested to see how European style socialism weathers this crisis.

*unless you work for the Coast Guard

Proof Tea Party not in touch with reality

17 Apr

Ok, just the other day was tax day. Obama and those damn liberals raised your taxes again didn’t they! Golly gee willikers! Turn off Fox “news” for two seconds and take a moment to actually look at the check you’re signing to the IRS. I’ll give you a moment to recover from your shock.

Ok, breathing again? Yep. You got a tax CUT!  That’s right. The damn “tax and spend” liberals CUT your taxes. Yet despite this, most Americans have no idea this happened. I blame 2 things. Poor PR on the part of the liberals, and the boundless stupidity of the American people. Apparently many believe that by hoping and prayin and wishin and willin hard enough you can actually change the fabric of reality.

It’s really scary that now-a-days people are more willing to believe whatever bullshit Fox shovels them instead of actually looking at the check they’re signing.


Political violence in the US

29 Mar

Political violence in the US quickly escalating since the passage of health care reform. People have been shattering windows, ramming cars, sending powder laced letters to representatives, even cutting gas lines! Meanwhile, politicians offer half hearted, limp wristed calls to stop the violence.

(The above incidents were all targeted at democrats, but apparently some thought it would be a good idea to do the same thing against republicans in Albemarle County…..)

All this violence is really quite disgusting. People don’t get their way, and instead of working to change things in the next election, they take to sending representatives death threats and vandalizing property. People on both sides need to calm down; this is not some banana republic, it’s the United States. I’m afraid that if things keep going the way they are now, people are going to start shooting.

Terrorism: -noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious

View of Tea Party changing

28 Mar

Despite my usually hardline attitude on this blog, I’m not an unreasonable person. If someone calmly presents their case for an argument I’m willing to listen, and depending on their points, might even change my mind.

This has recently happened with my view of the Tea Party movement….sort of.

For the longest time I felt nothing but disdain for the group that I saw as silent during the Bush crimes and record deficits. I viewed them as completely created & led by Fox “news”; gullible angry people being manipulated by big business and special interest. I viewed them as the people who felt the republican party was not conservative enough. An angry mob that claims to love the constitution without ever having read it.

Well, my views have changed a bit.

As for the origins of the Tea Party movement, as it turns out, they did exist back during the Bush ear as the Pork Busters. Apparently they targeted the republican big spenders who were running the deeper and deeper into debt. This is a cause I can applaud. I hate earmarks on both sides of the aisle, and any attempt to cut the pork is good with me.

So what about my view of the tea partiers being silent during the Bush years? Well, if they were supportive of pork busters, then that’s obviously not true. Yet I still feel a bit the same way about the people who are only now just joining up with the tea party. Some attribute this to the economic collapse, but that still doesn’t address the issue of destroying the constitution.

I hear Tea Party protesters claim that Obama is destroying the constitution, and they are furious. (I have looked, and I can’t find any examples other than some people complaining about guns) But for the people who just recently joined up with the Tea Party movement after the republicans lost power, I’d like to ask “Why were you not  joining massive protests against the patriot act, or warrantless wiretaps, or indefinite detention, or the suspension of habeus corpus?” Those were far more drastic and real attacks on the constitution by Bush than anything Obama’s done. Or do you only care about the constitution if your wallet is being threatened?

As for my view that Fox “news” created and have been leading the Tea Party movement, that’s also changed. I accept that I was wrong about that, but it does look like Fox is trying its damnedest to capitalize on the Tea Party by portraying these protesters in a light drastically different from how they portrayed the massive anti-Bush agenda protesters. (But that is more of an attack on Fox than the protesters, for what “fair and balanced” news station would go to such lengths to promote one agenda over another?)

I can empathize with the anger of the Tea Party protesters. The rage they’re feeling now is something I grew up with. That type of anger, but directed at Bush, was constant. I can recognize that some of their aims are good. Smaller government, less waste, reducing the deficit, those are things I can get behind, yet it’s the side effects of the medicine that worry me.

While the Tea Party tends to avoid social issues, if they get power and the issues are laid at their feet, at the end of the day, a great deal of them are conservative. (Or I could be wrong, perhaps they are mainly true libertarians, socially liberal and economically conservative. But I get as riled up over social issues as they do over economic ones, if not more so.)

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