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Thursday, February 28, 2008

What 8 years of "W" has given us, so far

'cuz someone needs to keep track:

1) The largest debt in the history of the republic

2) The highest petroleum prices in the history of the republic (we should have KNOWN to buy oil stocks in 2000!)

3) The lowest value of the dollar in the history of our union

4) The largest profits for any corporation in the history of the nation, and that by an oil company, 2 years successively--Exxon-Mobil (I'll be kicking myself for years for not buying oil stocks!)

5) An arbitrary war that is costing us American lives

6) The same arbitrary war that was AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LAW, since we attacked another sovereign nation (why isn't this emphasized?)

7) No end in sight for this same costly war--and costly in terms of lives, first, and money and materiel second

8) A horribly divided nation because he--W--and his ilk pits "us" vs. "them" in all aspects of his career (with such little imagination, it's always "us vs. them", black vs. white, good vs. evil, Republicans vs. Democrats, Conservatives vs. Liberals, "believers" vs. non-believers, America vs. everyone not "with" us, etc.)

9) A government that is, clearly, pitted against the little guy--against the "man on the street" and solidly, four-square for the corporations and the moneyed. I didn't think I'd ever see that. Not this blatant.

10) Tax relief that has been shown to be for the wealthy amidst all this war and debt (really, there is just no shame).

11) An Environmental Protection Agency that doesn't protect the environment--or the nation's citizens--but corporations, instead

12) A Consumer Product Safety Commission that also doesn't protect consumers but--again--protects corporations and their possible profits, instead.

There's more he's done to us--done to our country--but these are the most egregious. We'll be paying for this clown for decades to come.

I can hardly wait until January 19 of next year. In these last months, we have to be aware of what he'll try to get passed in Congress, to further benefit large corporations and, consequently, hurting "the little guy".

Heaven help us.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lessons on a Monday in February

Lesson one:

Societies shouldn't have mechanisms created that take large amounts of money and transfer them to people of formerly extremely small means. Put another way, it is nearly crazy for a society to have a lottery in which middle class or lower middle class people can win millions of dollars.

It's a mistake virtually always.

It doesn't make sense.

It's a mistake looking to happen.

Wanna' have a terrific documentary? Rush to Georgia right now and start filming the family who just won 270 million dollars in the "Mega-Millions" lottery. It'll be a runaway success. This has tragedy written all over it (unless this family is extremely lucky--or smart).

Lesson number 2: World leaders should NOT hand uncompeted contracts worth large sums of money (read: millions of dollars--again) to friends, colleagues or associates. (See "Day 2" below).

I was right. The contract given to former Attorney General John Ashcroft for between 27 and 52 million dollars, according to the Associated Press, was not competed by the government--yours and mine--that gave it to him.

I wish I had been wrong.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day of rest

Okay, it's the first Sunday of "the blog" and a couple things come to mind.

First, why don't people remember this part of the Bible:

Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

And if they did, why would they need so many bloody federal and state laws, declaring their need to pray in public? Some knucklehead here in Missouri just wasted the time of the legislators and so, the tax paying public, passing a law for just such nonsense.

Just wait, in a few years there will be Muslims and other religions, demanding the right to this prayer in public and people will be climbing off this little pedestal really quickly.

Then, two, this next one:

Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

This one always makes me think the Catholics took this right out of their book. There's NO WAY this could be in their bible. Holy cow, week after week those people say the same things. They show up, do their sitting, kneeling and standing, say the same prayers and punch out. All that matters is that they show up and go through the motions. (I should know, I was raised in this group).

I've come to think that Catholics, of all the religions, did heaven, hell, fund-raising and church attendance best, from a business standpoint. It's perfect. If you have rules, threatening members of the church with hell, for pity's sake, if they don't attend--right there, you've got great attendance. Those people HAVE to show, every week. That, in turn, is good for the collection plate. It's church-sanctioned extortion, plain and simple. And it's blessed by what's supposed to be the most sacred institutions in the world: your very own religion and government.

I tell you, it's the perfect business. You almost have no product at all and you've got people giving you money. How else do you build a place as big and beautiful as the Vatican?

Want a good read on religion? Get Robert N. Minor, Ph.D.'s book: "When Religion is an Addiction". Search for it at Target's website. Amazon.com has it, too, of course.

On a last, more immediate, completely different topic: Note that today it was 88 degrees in San Antonio, Texas, ladies and gentlemen and they call for the same tomorrow. This on February 24. That is extremely early for this warm a temperature, I can tell you. And they've had very little rain for the last 5 months. Global warming or no, that's not a good harbinger for the coming Spring and Summer. Food for thought.

Let's have a good week, campers.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hey!

It's a new day. It's the weekend. Yay! (trying not to be shallow).

And I missed a post. Yesterday was busy.

So, great news! I've been trying to put something more positive out here--something not so heavily political and yesterday I found it. Eureka!

Did you see where a "huge" solar plant--according to the AP article I saw--is planned out in Arizona? I tell you, that's good news. We, as people in the United States separately, but also everyone else on the planet, too, need to see and understand that solar power is a way to get us out of all the biggest messes on this little planet. I mean this.

If we do more solar, even this way, with big solar power plants, but particularly if we developed more, better and cheaper photo-voltaic cells (so we could put them on our houses and office buildings) then 1) we wouldn't have to stay in the Middle East, where all the ignorant, centuries-old religious battles are still going on and 2) we would have FAR less pollution. And aren't those our largest problems on the planet? It seems as though they are. A third benefit would be the reduced likelihood of contributing to carbon dioxide output. (Did you notice I avoided saying "global warming"?).

Anyway, I see this as very welcome news, especially now, at the end of winter, when we're so cold-weather/gray skies intolerant. We need some encouragement.

Can you imagine NOT needing an electric company's power plant/pollution/bill in the mail? Wouldn't that be nice? No need for radioactive waste, either from using nukular power (thanks, Mr. President). That would be possible if we create those cheaper, more available photo-voltaic cells. It would help the US's security in so many ways, if we create them, rather than letting the Japanese or Chinese get on this first.

But first we have to get this knuclehead out of the White House.

Oh,well.

More fun for us today:

Check out these websites.

The first on the hypocrisy of Senator John McCain:

http://bravenewfilms.org/watch/18252086/30016 (Thanks again, Bryce!)

The second, a terrific, tongue firmly planted in cheek riff on the "Christian gene":

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qCzbNkyXO50&feature=related

(and thanks, Bob, for this one).

The next one is WAY overdue. It's a clarification for 94.3% of Americans (you know how geographically-challenged we are, right?):

http://www.kansascityisinmissouri.com/

(Thanks, Michael!)

And finally, if you missed Dilbert today, you should go see it. It's a hoot and shouldn't be missed.

http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/


Yeah, great stuff for the weekend! Get out there and have a good time!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

did you ever have a friend...

...to whom you gave everything--all committment, everything? You thought you were so close. Really tight, right? The tightest?

And then you found they lied to you? Big time?

That's how the United Kingdom must feel right now.

An AP story today: "The United States said on Thursday it had expressed regret to close ally Britain over inaccurate information Washington gave about U.S. planes carrying terrorism suspects that refueled on a British island."

ew.

ow.

That smarts.

You know what? "Inaccurate information" from a close friend sure sounds like "lie", doesn't it? It does to me. It would if I were Britain. Especially given this administration's penchant for doing whatever it wants, with whomever it wants, however it wants, whenever it wants. If ever there were an organization whose "ends justified their means", it's this bunch--especially Mssrs. Cheney, Rove and the guy who's supposed to be in charge.

Oh, well. Another day in the neighborhood, eh? "We're sorry, we swear." "We didn't lie to you, honest." "We won't do it again, we swear."

Yeah. Right.




Let's have a great weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

intention

It was never--and stil isn't--my intention to make this a daily round up of what this current administration out of Washington has done and is doing to us and the country. And yet, here it is, day 3 of the blog and we have yet another example. I swear I'll quit this. Who knew it would be this easy--and relentless? (And why isn't there a long list of searching investigations into all of what seems to be massive corruption and/or incompetence? That's fodder for another day).

The current story? Another federal agency horribly mismanaged. If we can count on this administration for anything, it's ineptitude (yeah, and the corruption and graft, sure). Besides the billions we've given away, literally, in Iraq, it seems "FEMA misspent millions of dollars it received from selling used travel trailers--as allowed under the law." "FEMA used more than $13 million dollars toward fully-loaded sport utility vehicles,travel expenses and credit card accounts, according to a draft report to be released Friday.

Holy cow.

For people who hate government (and profess to dislike big government spending) these people sure like having a good time on taxpayer's money, don't they?

Can you imagine what the right-wingers and Republicans would do if this were a leftist, Democratic administration?

And why doesn't our own Congress do anything about all these abuses? Those very Democrats, anyway?

I have a friend who seems to say it best: "Democrats are stupid. Republicans are evil." (Thanks, Bryce).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 2

It never ends.

So now friend of the Bushies and ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft's firm got--no huge surprise--a 27 to 52 MILLION dollar contract from his palzy's government (that would be yours and mine). Let's watch and see if it was competed or just handed to him.

Any bets?


Oh, and did you see where the acting chairperson of what is jokingly known as the "Consumer Product Safety Commission" "lashed out at the toy industry for a lack of safety controls that led to a string of highly publicized recalls"? Ain't dat a hoot? Yeah, she's upset they put out toys that can at least screw up our kids. Yeah. Right. Her solution? This is rich: "She warned that the industry has an obligation to regulate itself." "IF YOU KIDS DON'T QUIET DOWN, I'M GOING TO COME UP THERE!"

Why does this administration even pretend to care?

Why isn't the press--all the media--and the American public outraged?

Oh, that's right. We have our NASCAR, beer and cigs. What the hell.


As for Castro--a McGlaughlin-like prediction: he'll be buried before we celebrate the New Year. Understand, I'm not wishing it on him, certainly. It's just that he wouldn't bow out now if he weren't extremely ill.

And a final, rather ominous financial note: before last August, our own, United States-based Citibank was the largest bank in the world. Now, due, of course, to the subprime disaster and collapses, it is not only not number one but the top three are from--guess where? China, folks.

"Hang on to your seats. It's gonna be a bumpy ride."

Monday, February 18, 2008

the day begins

I've thought for a long time that I wanted to put something "out there" There's so much to say, so much to notice, so much to be aware of। It seems like not enough people are paying attention (can you say "subprime meltdown"?) But at the same time, it should be a place for some fun। If you can't laugh while the house is burning, what fun it that?

So here goes.

It seems that there's a hell of a lot out there in the world that's really insane, doesn't it? Really crazy? Zany? The guy in the White House, for starters. How does someone with so obviously little imagination get into a place like that? (Oh, yeah, wealthy multinational corporations and lunatic-fringe right wing fundamentalist Christians put him there).

Talk about "1984". Orwell couldn't believe this guy. A "Consumer Products Protection Agency" that doesn't protect the consumers. An "Environmental Protection Agency" that doesn't protect the environment. A President who can barely talk. Sheesh. It goes on and on.

But at the same time, while all this stuff is being done in our name, not only is the media not investigating or writing about much of it, hell, not that many people are having the kind of fun with it you might expect. Other than Bill Maher--who isn't as funny as he is poignant--and Lewis Black--now that's funny--with all this material, you'd think someone would be makin' a bloody mint, writing hilarious stuff, based on our real lives. SNL is lame when it should be rippin' somebody.

I think the corporations are holding stuff back, at least on the tube. Thank God (if there were one) for the 'net. The really good stuff can come from there.

Did anyone notice the other day that this Administration is going to let a British company, of all things, explore outside Grand Canyon National Park for bloody uranium? You gotta' be kiddin' me. For real? The British? Why them? Why there? Why now? Is there ANYTHING we won't sell? It's unbelievable. Holy cow. What is NOT for sale in this country? God knows our kids are.

Do you know there are school districts that have MULTIPLE "Picture Days" at their schools, just so they can raise more money? It's like the now old saying goes, we should spend as much on education as we do on defense and have the military have bake sales. (Not literally, but you get the meaning).

It would be nice if we gave a hoot about education in this country. We really don't. Get real. We cut Physical Education. We cut the arts. We cut Music. We're cutting History and Civics. If you don't know this, check it out. Maybe not all school districts but too many. And then we wonder why people end up in jails and prisons. Hell, people, it's because we don't educate them and WE DON'T WANT TO. Everyone is supposed to totally, completely pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

And that includes their health.

Everyone is just supposed to stay healthy. That's all there is to it. And if you don't? Then go to the doctor and/or the hospital. Can't afford it? To quote the song from "Avenue Q", "It Sucks To Be You." That's the way it goes. You're done. Pull yourself up, man. No support from yer fellow man. Yer done.

And taxes? We don't pay no stinking taxes! We want things done for us like roads and schools and bridges and infrastructure but we don't wanna pay no stinking taxes! People who pay taxes are suckers. Check it out. If you pay taxes, you get no respect. Leona Helmsley was speaking for most of this nation when she said==paraphrased--"Only the little people pay taxes."

We don't respect the nations around the world who have national health care. They're suckers. They pay high taxes. They're stupid. Yeah? Well, they also have much lower mortality rates than the United States, too. They have much lower costs for health care. And do you know why? Because they've taken the profit motive out of health care, the way it ought to be. Once you take the profit motive out of health care--like you do for utilities, etc.--the doctors, lawyers, insurance agencies, pharmaceuticals, hospitals and all the other agencies involved with draining the system, it is, then, what it ought to be, and that is, a system set up to help us stay healthy. It's not what it is now, today, in the United States. The health care system in the United States today is a place people go to get and stay wealthy. It's for rich doctors. It's for rich attorneys. It's for corporations to get rich.

Face it, the corporations are in charge. Ralph Nader has always been right. And the American people are letting the corporations clean their collective clocks.

Suckers.

More later..........................................Scroll to pictures below.