Monday, December 26, 2011

Ron Paul in 1998 John Birch Society Documentary on the UN Plot to take o...

Remember, Birch = Koch.


Nearly all of the predictions in this video, the horrible things the UN will impose on us, have instead been the goal, and in many cases the accomplishment, of the GOP, TeaParty, corporate-controlled media, and the billionaires that back these.

Central church with no exceptions allowed? We are now a Christian nation.

Property rights? We now can have our property taken away as long as it is for the benefit of billionaires.

Controlled elections? We've already had two completely gamed presidential elections.

Ron Paul is still an extremist, anti-American, racist, xenophobic side show.

This video shows the true nature of so much of the fringe that has overtaken too much of American political thought. Unlike them, I'm not afraid of being taken over from without, but I think it is all too clear that we are being taken over from within.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Keystone XL ≠ Payroll Tax Cut

Time and time again, our Worst Congress in History has proven its inability to govern.

One of the worst examples is the current bill to push through the extension of our current payroll tax cut only if the Keystone XL project is funded. These things have NOTHING to do with each other. If either of these is to be passed, I suggest that the leadership of the house be forced to actually read the bill, understand it, separate it into reasonable issues, and vote on each individually.

The payroll tax cut may or may not be a great thing mid- to long-term, as it may have an effect on the stability of social insurance programs upon which many of us depend It certainly is a tax cut, and one political party worships these over God and Country. It is a break for middle class workers during a time when jobs, families, and lives have been broken by legislation and policy dating back to January 20, 1980. It is a stimulus that more than pays for itself in today's rocky economic climate.

The Keystone XL project is a gift to a few billionaires which creates a few temporary jobs, encourages the rape on Canadian land, endangers the life and health of all along the length of the proposed pipeline, and will result in Canadian petrochemicals being sent to South American users. Magic benefits to America from this do not, and will not exist.

Please, stop any effort to pass this plutocratic pipeline, do what you can to extend this vital tax relief, and at any cost do not let them be tied together in a devil's bargain. Nobody benefits from deals like this - we all lose.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Real Americans redistribute: The payroll tax debate’s dirty secret - The Washington Post

Real Americans redistribute: The payroll tax debate’s dirty secret - The Washington Post:

Matt, you're forgetting the true redistribution that happens. We work for 40 years, paying taxes with few deductions. Those taxes go to help the wealthiest among us use the same roads that we do, be protected by the same army that we do, and collect the same SS that we do. We pay into social insurance programs at the top rate, and the wealthiest among us pay a tiny fraction of their incomes. The wealthiest among us pay much of their taxes as Capital Gains, forcing us who do the work to pay a much higher portion of our pay for the services that we all share.

We who work and consume pay a premium on the goods and services we buy. This premium gets spent financing elections, bribing politicians, and writing legislation, of which at least 50% is is direct opposition to the needs of most of us. This premium goes for money to bail out financial institutions who use it not to provide a better service but to bonus their C-Levels, board members, and institutional shareholders. This premium goes to finance hate. We have little or no chance to choose a proper recipient of our consumer $$ - when both Home Depot and Lowes are essentially evil and have driven out local stores, we have no option to give our $$ to a better organization.

The real redistribution is that which is UP from the combined wealth of the Middle Class to the pockets of the few already wealthy.
It's funny to read ongoing comments on NDAA news stories.

Right wingers blame it on Obama (and inevitably say "Ron Paul 2012"...), and left wingers blame it on back room laws written with John McCain.

The simple truth is that Congress does have the right and duty to pass laws to protect us, and they are attempting to do that in light of battles that our Founding Fathers couldn't have imagined. They have though, with the (un) Patriot Act and other law, stepped far over the line of law and into unConstitutional abridgments of freedom.

We have decades - in fact centuries - of experience fighting terrorists on our soil. Shay's Rebellion, Anarchists, (imagined) Commies, cross burning Klansmen, Weatherman bombings, armed hijackers in the '70s, abortion clinic bombers, etc. Existing law has kept the United States as an unlikely place to be the victim of a terrorist attack.

Every chip from our constitutional protections of rights to justice, equal treatment, etc., takes us further from the free nation we aspire to be.

Please, President Obama, Senators and Congressional Representatives, do not let the NDAA pass with provisions to declare our land as a battleground and our people as enemy combatants.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prohibit the use of corporate funds ... for political purposes

The Other 98%: "It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced.
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1910."

'via Blog this'
"Let us not be afraid to help each other—let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and Senators and Congressmen and Government officials but the voters of this country."

Read more at the American Presidency Project:Franklin D. Roosevelt: Address at Marietta, Ohio.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15672#ixzz1e4RqxqCp

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A good day to be a Democrat?

(I'm not a Dem, but I usually vote with them)

Were Democrats having  bad day on election day in November 2010? Did they have an array of hopeless candidates, each more abusive or nuttier than the rest? Did they have unelectable candidates that were still the main attraction in the 24/7 news cycle? Were they proposing legislation in many states to disenfranchise voters? Were they proposing legislation to make women 2nd class citizens?

No.

Democrats, perhaps from some funky mix of lethargy and overconfidence, just plain did not go out and vote. For this, we got shocked toward banana republic political status, retreating on the economy when we should have been charging forward, and let union workers, teachers, firefighters, homeowners, etc., be blamed for what Wall Street did to the Global economy.

The lesson, today, whether we vote to repeal union-busting in OH or vote to declare zygotes persons, is that if we don't vote, things will change. Not for the better.


Saturday, November 05, 2011

How Bank Transfer Day Will Help The Banks It’s Trying To Hurt | The New Republic

Simon Van Zuylen-Wood: How Bank Transfer Day Will Help The Banks It’s Trying To Hurt | The New Republic:

Typical of propagandists, Zuylen-Wood chooses not to mention the single-most important aspect of a story, in hopes that we will take his fractured journalism as fact.

Banks make their profit from each depositor by reinvesting their money at a profit. Some accounts are more profitable than others, but each enlarges the pool - as the saying goes "it takes money to make money" and we give them our money so they can make money with it. Traditionally, banks have not charged fees or given interest on small accounts, but the trend is obvious: to charge fees and only give interest on huge accounts.

If a bank can not turn a profit on the money I give them, they don't deserve to be in business.

Name and Shame? Obama May Go Public with Lawmakers' Funding Requests - Reid Wilson - NationalJournal.com

Name and Shame? Obama May Go Public with Lawmakers' Funding Requests - Reid Wilson - NationalJournal.com:

Go Big, President Obama.

You have much Executive Power that you have not used. We see that you came from the Senate to the White House with a sincere desire to unite and to use compromise as a way to involve all sides in solutions to our big problems. We also see that you have run into a brick wall from a united Republican front, whose only desire is to drive you out of office.

The Republican establishment is still seething from, of all things, Watergate, and they feel that Executive Power should be pumped up so presidents can operate with impunity in getting elected at any cost to our Democracy. At least use powers at-hand to right some of the abuses that have been allowed to happen in our government. At this point, every election, legislator and legislation are bought and paid for by powerful and wealthy interests - the People, and voters have been robbed of their voice.

You have the support of over half of the American People, and Congress has the support of less than 10% of us. Reflect the will of the People.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mr. President, I am among the lucky few.


Dear Mr. President,

I am in the lucky (and add many more luckies) position to make a home purchase today, in Southern California no less. I have been renting since 1997, hoping to buy, but watching prices bubble up while the sanity of loan offerings turn cold and my income has shrunk to 60% of what it was the last time I owned.

There are many forces at work here, and many forces that you have Executive Power to address directly, and vast influence to address otherwise.  One example is your proposed changes to HARP, which are a start but won't address the fundamental problems. The other is the failed Bowles Simpson plan and the pre-failed Supercommittee; they presume to cut our way out of a hole, which only makes a bigger hole, and they need to be told to address the debt problem by only addressing those elements in our government that caused the debt such as taxation changes and wars, not addressing it by cutting social insurance programs we already paid for or with any other cuts that only hurt those who did not cause the economic meltdown.

The fundamental reason why many of these homeowners are underwater, behind in payments, or foreclosed, is simple, and clear. They were sold mortgages, which were then resold and collateralized, and these securities tanked with small changes and cycles in the global economy taking the rest of the economy with them...our worshipped billionaires faltered, demanded bailouts from the government, fired their employees, and mortgage debt couldn't get paid.

In other words, we deregulated our way to this.

Banks shouldn't be allowed to be brokers, they shouldn't be allowed to sell short to make a profit from their own failures, they shouldn't be allowed to collaterralize debts without potential for devastating loss, they shouldn't be able to socialize the loss while we privatize the gain.

I wish everyone the opportunity to buy a house, if they want, like I can right now. I'm afraid if we let the bankers and brokers buy our elections, legislators, and legislation as they do now, my children and theirs won't have a chance for a home, a good job, and a secure future. I can see that my chances for these have required more work - I work three jobs, and my dad only worked two - than my parents, and I hope that we can move forward to a better system that allows opportunity for all, not just the few.

Debt, Defaults, and Defiance - It couldn't be simpler.

The corporate media continues to paint a picture of overspending Walmart housewives throwing our global economy into chaos. Who Do "Wal-Mart Moms" Blame for the Down Economy?

People want to buy houses. Banks lend them money. Banks sell the mortgage. Mortgages are combined into a security that is traded on the global market. The global market slips a little, jobs are lost and people can't afford the mortgage after adjustment, but the banks make money on the losses, after selling short! The mortgage owner forecloses and gets to sell again!

Do we blame the homeowner for wanting a house, taking a mortgage, or losing their job because a few Banksters, Brokers, and Billionaires bet the farm? Of course not.

Do we blame people for taking to the streets because for 30 years we have wasted the wealth of the middle class on an increasingly smaller and wealthier few? Of course not! It's not Life Liberty and Happiness for a few Oligarchs, it's Justice for All. It looks like the Occupy movement has started to give a voice where one was needed, but it's just a start.

We must first stop blaming the poor, the immigrant, LGBT, abortion, teachers nurses & firemen, liberals, those born with brown skin, the elderly, the sick, the homeless, Muslims...those not born White, Christian, and Wealthy. In fact, we must stop blaming. We have to learn from the past, look deeply at where we are today, and design our fix for tomorrow.

There is a Supercommittee in Washington preparing a fix for our global economic meltdown, and they are first and foremost planning do do this by decreasing the debt we owe by punishing those Americans least able to afford it, and those who didn't cause it. Each and every member of this Supercommittee is part of the 1%, with their elections, jobs, and daily lives bought and paid for by wealthy and powerful interests, and these legislators should be the last people to have extra power and influence over this critical Super-Issue.

We are in a Depression. With little hope for 99% of us every having hope for prosperity, health, and a secure retirement because we as a nation redistribute these to a few already-wealthy individuals, there is no other word for it.

Debt did not cause this. The poor, sick, elderly, etc. did not cause this. A few miscreants playing the rest of us like dominoes did. They deregulated banks and investing, they ran wars for profit like Bernie Madoff ran retirement accounts. They bribed seniors with Medicare Pt D, unfunded and unneeded. And now the rest, and most, and best of us will be paying for it for the rest of our lives.

Walmart mom - you may have spent too much, but they convinced you to. They run bright shiny Chinese-made objects and expect you to buy more, they run bright Kardashian shows on TV and expect you to watch more and want more, they pay for issues to be hoisted up like scarecrows during elections, issues that will never  come up for a vote, in order to get you to vote against your self interests.

Instead of wondering which of the GOP candidates in their Reality TV Debate series will be the next president, use your new voice. In body or spirit, don't join the self haters that think they caused the global economic meltdown - join the movement that has given voice to the 99%.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pandit Says He’d Be Happy to Talk With Wall Street Protesters - Businessweek

Pandit, Dimon, Paulson, etc. are obviously in self-denial, or choosing some bizarre form of willful ignorance.

Pandit Says He’d Be Happy to Talk With Wall Street Protesters - Businessweek:

They, and the #TeaParty, #GOP, corporate media, etc. can't conceive of an organizational structure other than one that is top-down, hierarchical, and paternal. It's no surprise that their money - #Koch and other corporate supplied, which is a tax on all of us as we pay for it in our goods and services - pays for a message, which is spiced with enough religion to keep their dominionist minority alert, disseminated through their propaganda arms of #FOX, #CNN, #WSJ, and used to elect a herd of incompetent #GOP legislators to either pass law (written by the K-Street lobbyists) or block any legislation actually beneficial to most of us. And of course they have marching orders to block any legislation that might actually make us more prosperous, free, or secure, because that would serve to re-elect Barack Obama.

Their unwarranted and illogical hatred for our current President gets expressed as nonsensical non-fact, but the dog whistles come across clear: there is a black man in the white house. Obama, of course, operates in the White House as a pragmatic centrist, wanting compromise, understanding legislative and constitutional issues deeply, but gets portrayed as "other," socialist, un-American, etc. This constant portrayal, in nearly all media and through direct means with email, blogs, social networks, etc., serves to swell the minority that is always pulsating on the underside to numbers that can sway elections (and to discourage the real majority in the center not to vote, for a variety of reasons).

Obama, like all other politicians, must serve Wall Street. They produce no product, employ few, and redistribute wealth from the poor and middle class to the already wealthy few, but they fund elections. The fact that Wall Street money pays for Federal,
State, and Local elections should be screaming at us to remove money from elections, but we are either deaf to that, thinking that we, too, someday, will be one of those Masters of the Universe, or cowed by the fact that we have chosen this situation, to the point where a bought and paid for Supreme Court is allowed to operate as a Board of Directors for a few billionaires, instead of an august body of American Justice.

But, as Wall Street money buys elections, legislators, Governors, writes law, and proselytizes the will of the Billionaires to the rest of us, we suffer from economic Stockholm Syndrome, held hostage by people, like Pandit, who just don't get it. What's the Matter With Kansas, indeed, but What's the Matter with America?

The Occupy movement has a message that is clear as a (Liberty) bell. It rings to alert us to the few people in the world who control the fate of the many.

The frustration of the Occupy movement is from the same storm as the original tea partiers, but from the start they of the tea bags were incited by a broadcaster and Wall Street trader exhorting against a suggested bailout of actual people, which he implied should be met with opposition by...these same people...and substituted with a bailout of a few Billionaire Bankers. The same amount of Federal dollars spent to bailout homeowners, who largely were in trouble through forces beyond their immediate control, instead of a few banksters, could have stabilized the global economic system just as well as the subsequent bank bailout and actually saved a few jobs, families, and lives. If the tea partiers could free themselves from the yoke of #Koch funds and false #FOX news, they might see that their interests are served better by the Occupy movement.
If Pandit or any of these clueless oligarchs would listen to the voice of the Occupy movement, they would be confused and disoriented. The Billionaires wouldn't see the money in the movement. They couldn't see the true profit to be obtained by restoring some fairness to our economic system. They couldn't see that the message of the Occupy movement is the true Voice of America.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lacey Act Myths & Gibson Guitar

Lacey Act Myths:

Trees, like other plants, and animals, can be endangered species.

Guitar makers did not use so much of these precious resources that these trees are now scarce and under threat of extinction, but other forces have. Furniture makers and the construction industry, along with an ever-expanding human population, have cut down trees at an alarming rate. Many of these trees have been cut simply for charcoal, or for more room for global agri-business billionaires to extract what profit they can from a dying land.

Yet here we are, with Gibson Guitar being raided twice for not complying with this century-old law. Competing manufacturers Martin, Fender, and Taylor have had no trouble with the federal government. Their owners say that while the paperwork is tedious, it is not incredibly expensive, and it's certainly not impossible, as Gibson seems to think.

Gibson, the ultra right wing Murdoch mouthpiece Wall Street Journal and FOX News, etc. have all pointed a finger and a toe toward Obama, the great and powerful offender against freedom who puts trees before jobs. Gibson is hosting a rally for support, in their right-to-work state of Tennessee, sponsored by, among others, the Tea Party Express which is wholly funded by Koch Industries as part of their attempt to stage a corporate coup d'├ętat of the United States of America.

Writer Zach Plillips- "...musicians transporting said instruments across state lines will be arrested and hauled off to prison in droves; that retailers will be responsible for documenting the genus and species of wood for every guitar they stock. Folks, this just ain't gonna happen."

Yes, this just ain't gonna happen, yet willfully ignorant thousands of people have adopted this as part of their quest to make Barack Obama a one term President.

I'm not saying we should stand against Gibson - I own and love a few of their great instruments. But we have to wonder how far a once-great company has fallen that they fail to comply with paperwork vital to their organization and use this to misdirect people to new heights of division and rancor.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A California tuneup - latimes.com

A California tuneup - latimes.com:

First, remove money from our election, initiative, and legislative process: no corporate campaign contributions or sponsorship of initiatives, private contributions limited to an amount that would let any Californian participate and influence, and a very high bar set for Constitutional amendment by initiative.

Second, before any intiative becomes law, it must pass a stringent Constitutional review. Most initiatives, including the ones I have supported, have been fatally flawed from partisan origins and corporate sponsorship.

Mercury Insurance has twice tried to supercede our government through the initiative process, and I finally had enough. I took my business elsewhere, sending the definition of Fascism to Mercury CEO George Joseph along with my cancellation after decades of coverage.

You might still be laboring under the delusion that Proposition 13 was a grassroots, populist, anti-tax, save-Grandma movement, but it was nothing more than a corporate grab for Sacramento power along with a welfare program for commercial real estate titans. P13 and the shadow organization HJTA was funded by commercial property owners, not bad people in themselves but certainly not representing a majority of homeowners. P13 destabilized local tax collection, robbed local governments of power to run their cities and gave it to Sacramento, helped destroy manufacturing in California in favor of Big Box retailers (so some of the state tax revenue could be sent back to locals, while capping property taxes on the established manufacturers), and set the stage for our current un-equitable real estate market. All because of a corrupt initiative process, misleading the public.

Third - many of us remember when California tried to be great. When we tried to educate each of our children, when a decent home in a safe neighborhood was affordable to anyone who worked, when we had a secure future. Instead, we have an economic landscape corrupted by the ever increasing demand to rob from the middle class to stuff the pockets of the wealthy, who turn around and pay people to lie to us in grocery store parking lots in order to gather signatures for initiatives benefiting only the top 1%. We can aspire to greatness again, but our current initiative process only throws us a shovel when we are down in a hole.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Rally to Support Gibson

Rally to Support Gibson:


Looking at the sponsors, I think I'll opt out.

#Koch Brothers Astroturf TeaParty Express?

In fact, this is nearly enough to make me sell my Gibson Guitars. I have a great ES-340 TDN. It is a natural-finish semi-hollow electric guitar from about '71 that I bought second-hand, in new condition in '75. I had been playing my '65 Gibson Melody Maker or my Ovation acoustic with a Barcus Berry pickup in ensembles and lessons at Berklee College of Music, and neither of these were cutting it. This was when Berklee was expanding from being a strictly jazz school to a music school for all (pretty much all who had some skill and a means to pay), but most guitarists had full hollow body guitars like Gibson L-5s and ES-175s.

I went home for some kind of a break, and my parents were willing to buy me a more appropriate guitar (thanks, Mom and Dad!). The shop had this ES-340 on the wall, and I asked if I could play it. They warned me that the customer had returned it because it was wired funny, and it had hung on that wall for a few times. I played it, through a Leslie rotating speaker amp (think George Harrison Here Comes the Sun) and I was hooked. We worked out a deal - very reasonable - and I now had an appropriate guitar. It turns out that this model had deliberately different wiring from most, and I've grown to love this aspect. It has a master volume instead of a volume knob for each pickup, and a blend control to continuously vary from one pickup to the other with the middle position being both. The pickup switch was off (very useful)/pickups in-phase/pickups out-of-phase. I found many uses for the out of phase sound, and this is the first Gibson that I knew of with this factory feature (Fender Stratocaster players could put their pickup switch carefully between positions to get out-of-phase sounds, and Fender recognized this and later included 5-position switches to make this an official feature).

Five years or-so earlier, I wanted my first electric guitar, and I bought that Gibson Melody Maker along with a Vox Berkeley Super Twin Reverb (rare tube model) which served me through my awful high school bands.

I still have both instruments.

Henry Juskiewicz has been a controversial leader of Gibson. Buying companies for their technology and then burying it. Announcing advanced tech that never comes to market, or finally arrives a day late and a dollar short. Failing to design modern innovative instruments that don't rely on last century's style and substance. Manufacturing products that are either too expensive for most, or not a good value considering their price premium over other US and imported brands. Just a CEO kind of guy, not apparently a Guitar kind of guy.

And now, for the second time, they have been raided for using endangered species of wood. People are crawling out of the wood-work to defend Gibson, saying this is politically motivated, it's just a bunch of trees, it's just a paperwork error, etc. But in reality, Gibson's competitors have done just fine adhering to the century-plus-old Lacy act. Martin, Taylor, Fender, etc., use the woods we guitarists value for sound, feel, and aesthetic qualities, yet they have yet to be raided.

Gibson plans this rally to engender support, and look who supports them. The billionaire-brothers paying to destroy our democracy, for one, in the form of the Koch-sponsored TeaParty Express. Ted Nugent, an off-his-rocker long-time Gibson player and musical has-been, Newt Gingrich (I didn't know Tiffany sold guitars).

One of the most important things in this country is to vote. One of the best ways to vote is with your dollars. I recommend that no one buys a Gibson, Epiphone, Maestro, or other Gibson product, until they can prove to be good members of the community.


Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Associated Press: Jobs said little about pancreatic cancer struggle

The Associated Press: Jobs said little about pancreatic cancer struggle:

One quarter to one half of us in the U. S. would have been dead for seven years.

We have the best medical care in the world. We have enough medical care to treat every one of us. We have the means to give each of us the same chance as Steve Jobs to beat even a disease like pancreatic cancer, or at least survive for seven years as he did.

Yet, the for-profit, corporate, employer-based health care system we have in the United States denies this to many of us.

Efforts for over a century to right this wrong have failed because powerful and wealthy interests own politicians, buy elections, write legislation, and redistribute the wealth of the nation, that of the middle class, to a rich and powerful few at the top. When a health care system ceases to be run simply for the health of its customers and is gamed to provide funds to be invested in global markets to enrich the C-Level executives, board members, and institutional investors, such a system is broken. Fixes aren't easy, but concepts for fixes are simple.

Single payer, not-for-profit systems work well in the rest of the civilized world. For every complaint you hear in the UK, for example, about waiting months for a hip replacement, you can hear a million stories of immediate and effective treatment being given for diseases such as pancreatic cancer. Systems such as this pay caregivers well, generally provide fast, effective treatment, and cost far less than our current broken U. S. system.

Sure, we wish that each of us, down to the poorest, made enough money that we could pay retail rates for any medical care necessary, but employers are not willing to forgo the small portion of their profit necessary for this. Sure, we wish that medical insurance was affordable to each, but insurance companies insist on using consumers as an endless supply of funds to invest in global markets, with the proceeds going to the wealthy few at the top and certainly not back down to compensate their lowest-paid worker or improve service.

The free market is not free. It has failed millions of us, and only serves to keep the Steve Jobs' of the world confident that they can live each day as if it were their last. Jobs was an intelligent and driven guy who thought up great things, envisioned neat devices, and started companies that employed many. We need to un-game the market, so the best medical care is truly available to all of us, and opportunity is available to the next Steve Jobs.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ron Paul, Herman Cain et al: Why are so many GOP candidates running? - CSMonitor.com

Ron Paul, Herman Cain et al: Why are so many GOP candidates running? - CSMonitor.com:

1. None of these people will ever be President of the United States.

2. FOX and most of the media are owned by these people, and used as a propaganda arm for a political movement.

3. They have billionaire backers in the Koch brothers and others who have essentially completed a corporate coup d'├ętat.

4. They have a willfully ignorant, dominionist, and racist rabble in the TeaParty, claiming to be some sort of anti-tax or anti-big government group while they just serve the needs of the richest global.

5. The more candidates, the more completely they take up every bit of oxygen, every word in print, every moment on TV, and every click on the Internet.

The other 98% of us have no voice essentially as these candidates, the voice of nobody, get pulled up their flagpoles and waved around every week in front of a television audience as if they have something to say.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Dear President Obama - Jobs!

Every tax cut, budget cut, deregulation and privatization destroys jobs, families, and lives.

The current unemployment rate is simply a reflection of the public sector jobs purposefully destroyed in the US over the last two years. Without these firings at the Federal, State, and local level, our unemployment rate would be half what it is today. To continue this bizarre austerity policy is to play in to the hands of a small minority of Americans whose ideology is far to the right of most of us, and whose goal is simply to keep you from being re-elected.

The current deficit is big. It was caused by spending (wars, etc.) and decreases in revenue (tax cuts). These were choices! This deficit will shrink as the economy grows.

So much good has happened since you took office. We are no longer shedding jobs at the rate the last administration left us with, we have an end in sight to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, illegal immigration is down, our standing in the global community is light years ahead, etc., but no one hears this message. The media is owned by that tiny ideological minority, but you have a megaphone unmatched in the world. Please use this to get the message out. Speak weekly in primetime, use social media in new ways so you reach those outside your bubble, directly address the Kenyan/socialist/Muslim/spender charges. Speak the truth!

You have vast, untapped, Executive powers. Please use them. Don't let this faux Super Committee steer us toward a 1937-style re-depression.

Stay strong and consistent and deny the cutters! Draw your line, and stand quietly and firmly - the economy will grow and the country will stand with you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Balance - Jim Davis, you've lost my business forever

New Balance Distances Itself From Donation to Romney

to: Jim Davis, Chariman, and Rob DiMartini, President:

I have been a big supporter of New Balance since the late '70s.

I appreciate your commitment to keeping some manufacturing in the United States. I recently purchased a pair of custom 574s and couldn't be happier with your service, quality, and design.

Mr. Davis, your recent contribution of a half million dollars to the Romney-supporting PAC Restore Our Future has forced me to pledge to never buy another New Balance product, and to encourage as many people as possible to follow my lead.

A PAC like this shouldn't be allowed to exist - only a bought and paid for Supreme Court could establish corporations as persons and money as speech. This is in opposition to our Democracy and counter to the interest of 99% of your consumers.

A donation to a political group or candidate in this amount shouldn't be allowed. That this is in-part MY money, since I've purchased products that generate revenue that pay your salary, I'm ashamed. Can I get my share back?

To think that you can afford to throw money at a candidate so full of hate as Mitt Romney, money that I helped give you, makes me physically sick.

I wish you, your family, and everyone at your company good health and happiness. How can you expect to be entitled to either of these as you run your life hell bent to destroy everything that is good about America?

Sincerely...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

peter.w.thonis@verizon.com

Your stakeholders aren't your C-Level execs, boardmembers, or shareholders (including me!).

Your stakeholders are your consumers, your employees, and their families. You are nothing without them.

Cultures and industries change all the time. When you game the system by buying legislators and legislation to promote your changing business, we all suffer. Learn how to run Verizon to compete on a level playing field. Learn how to compensate your lowest-paid employee first.

If your business is truly changing, lets reflect that change in compensation from the top! That's capitalism, as well as common sense.

...


On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 2:14 PM,  wrote:
Thank you for your email to the COO's office.

Verizon remains committed to working with the unions to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract. Our intent is to secure a new contract that ensures Verizon employees will continue to receive competitive pay and benefit programs, while also providing a fair return to our shareholders. Our wireline business has declined significantly in the last few years and we need a new contract that reflects today’s economic and business realities, as well as the needs of all of our stakeholders.

Our goal is to keep Verizon strong now and in the future for our employees, shareholders and customers.


Peter Thonis
Chief Communications Officer
Verizon

To Lowell McAdam, Verizon


Dear Mr. McAdam,

I stand in solidarity with the 45,000 workers who are on strike.

I am a long time customer. I give you quite a bit of money each month for a 3-phone VZW unlimited family plan, and a nearly-loaded FiOS triple play. For each of these services, you have competitors and I have no problem switching my service to a company that behaves as a good citizen.

I grew up in a time when my father could work as a CWA member for Ma Bell to feed, clothe, house and educate a family of four, while providing for a secure retirement for him and my mother. Corporate behavior such as yours now is designed to destroy that way of life. I want a road back, and you can help.

Over the past four years alone, Verizon has made $19 billion in profits while paying its top five executives $250 million in compensation and bonuses. It’s outrageous that you are demanding huge givebacks from workers at the same time.

With middle-class families already struggling, it’s time for Verizon to share its success with the hardworking Americans who made it possible. This is not a time for corporate greed. It is time to do the right thing.

Verizon kicked off bargaining with dramatic concessionary demands and has not budged. And you continue to refuse to bargain seriously with the CWA and the IBEW.

That’s why 45,000 of your employees aren’t at work but will return once you agree to bargain fairly.

Please drop your unfair demands and return to the bargaining table to negotiate a new contract in good faith.

Uncertainty is in the Eye of the Billionaire


Role Reversal...

We have turned into a nation that worships billionaires and personifies corporations. When did these titans of the universe suddenly become scared little children?

We have demonized our government, which is US, as well as teachers, people who work for a living, etc. - why have we, for 30 years, distracted ourselves from doing true work that helps people?

We let politicians, elections, and legislation be bought by wealthy and powerful interests, and these interests can't see fit to invest in anything but their own short term profits?

The lack of confidence that people have toward the Republican Party as they cheerlead the destruction of our Democracy has created a great deal of concern and IS the reason why cash from corporations is not being used to help grow the economy.

Billionaires and Corporations have NOTHING without the work and wealth of millions. We must turn this country around to show that these millions are not beneath the Billionaires and Corporations, but we are their bosses. An uncertain economic future can only be turned around when we get the Billionaires and Corporations to do their patriotic duty and invest in Americans.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why THIS Filibuster?


The Super Committee Precedent: Why End The Filibuster Just For Deficit Reduction? | OurFuture.org

Every tax cut, deregulation, privatization, and budget cut destroys jobs, families, and lives.

The filibuster has made a mess of our democracy during the last few years, and yes, this Super Committee is another facet.

To accept as fact that our debt is our number one problem plays into the hands of a few billionaires no matter how you look at it or how it is approached.

Pay down the debt, and you redistribute the wealth of the many - the Middle Class - to the few. This will have zero stimulative action and would simply serve to divide America further into a wealthy class and a huge poor class. It would create no new jobs - direct government jobs would be destroyed, along with secondary and tertiary employment from the business these cuts would eliminate. This austerity would create further pressure on governments to support people as we stir up discontent, and stir up extremist feelings in voters to keep racist, extremist groups like the TeaParty in some position of influence.

If we stop creating debt and spread out payments, interest (admittedly low these days) goes to the very banksters who willfully destroyed our global economy, and received the assets of smaller institutions along with taxpayer bailouts.

What should be filibustered is anything anti-stimulative. Any House or Senate bill that spends money that doesn't create jobs. Any bill that spends money that goes into the hands of billionaires without benefiting the MOST of us. Any bill that allows billionaires to send money overseas whether this creates jobs there, wars there, or fortunes there.

Instead, we live with our broken, FOX and KOCH poisoned system, and we accept it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

...weinergate

Why should we even be distracted by this. A politician embarrasses himself and his family, and the sky sometimes is blue.

Anthony Weiner has not broken any laws or violated any Congressional ethics (oxymoron?) rules. He needs to zip it up, tame the tweets, fix his family, and let the voters decide.

His district might get redistricted out of existence anyway, so the outlook for the next election is not clear. As far as I know, Weiner had no plans to run for higher office.

The story here is that Weiner has been emerging as a strong liberal voice. The never-has-been-liberal media has been turning to Weiner more and more as an alternative to the never-ending parade of McConnells, Boehners, and Cantors filling the airspace in their perversion of balance and fairness. His speeches in Congress like if Republicans are legislating, it must be chilly in Hell are sometimes a lone voice of reasonableness in the face of the Orwellian twists of modern politics.

Dukakis gets Willie-Horton-ed, Kerry gets Swiftboated, Gore gets SCOTUS'ed, and no one quits, no one goes to jail. Racist idiot Breitbart carries naked pictures of congressmen in his cell phone and displays them on national media, and suddenly this non-journalist miscreant gets hoisted up as legitimate. The machine turns swiftly and strongly to silence any voice that supports the most of us.