Thursday, December 31, 2009
"I noted the grim irony that this principle of non-personhood had now been reintroduced into the law of the land by our first African-American president. (But this is only to be expected, given the law of opposites that so often governs American politics: only a lifelong Red-baiter like Nixon could make an opening to Communist China; only a supposed liberal like Bill Clinton could gut the federal welfare system. And only an African-American president could reintroduce the principle of slavery and get away with it. No doubt it will be a woman president who finally re-imposes a total ban on abortion."
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
So maybe the first one is partially right, if we let all the wall street banks fold we might be in big trouble right now, all the jobs lost, all the stocks and retirement funds lost. But its the way we saved them that bothers me. A great headline on huffingtonpost.com today mentions how we let the arsonist (Ben Bernanke) put out the fire and we called him a hero. Ok, so the whole house didnt burn down, but there wouldnt be any freakin fire without Bernanke, Geitner, Paulson and the top executives at the big wall street, Goldman, Bank of America, Citi Group, Chase. They should all be in jail.
When rocky returned from Russia in Rocky 5 to learn his accountant was a crook and burned down his economic castle did Rocky rehire the same account to get his economic house back in order? Oh no, thats right, Rocky fired his ass.
Sirota points out how that support means nothing when the President has the power to change the law overnight,
So this brings up my favorite quote from John Kerry talking about George W. Bush during the Presidential debates of 2004, just because the President said something, I believe in drug importation from foreign nations, doesnt make is true. Show us through your actions Mr. President.
Oh and a side note, most of our drug manufacturers have their plants overseas, so when you here politicians talking about this issue of posibly allowing the importation of drugs from overseas, number 1 its already happening, "40 percent of medicines on the domestic market right now were manufactured overseas", David Sirota.
And number 2 the drugs Americans want to buy at a cheaper cost from overseas are made by American corporations not third rate pill chop shops. As Americans shouldnt we pay less for drugs made by American corporations and shouldnt the rest of the world pay premium prices?
check out sirota;
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Chris Bowers @open left
Sunday, December 13, 2009
"The US military is in Afghanistan for two reasons. First to restore and control the world’s largest supply of opium for the world heroin markets and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents, especially Russia. That control of the Afghan drug market is essential for the liquidity of the bankrupt and corrupt Wall Street financial mafia."
"More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation in Latin America.”
Thanks war on terror.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
The same anti trust laws that were passed by congress to stop one company from taking over too much of the market place, effectivly removing competition and granting the one company the ability to raise rates and cut service, exactly what we have right now running rampant in the Health Care Industry. ]
So why are Republicans still going on telivision and arguing that insurance companies are not the problem the real problem is out of control lawsuits. Sure it is.
So while the health inusrance industry basically threatened to raise rates this week if any type of public option was passed, the Democratic Leader in the Senate Harry Ried finally grew a pair, and threatened to cancel the anti trust exemption given to the health insurance industy. How do you like. Dems have somewhat of a spine after all.
He points that on Wall Street their are two mindsets. One is to gather money for investment in business, to drive business growth and innovation. This was the original idea behind Wall Street. A business begins to sell stock so they have some extra money on hand to build a second factory or buy more machines to increae output.
The second philosophy is to gamble like you do in Vegas. So hedge funds have popped up gathering large sums of money and placing huge bets, not on stocks but on things like risk. With the so called subprime mortgage crash we saw Wall Street gambling on peoples mortgages, would they be able to pay or not, there is also bets on credit card debt.
Dylan does not like the second philosophy because you taking large sums of money away from companies that would use that money to grow, to expand and to innovate.
Makes sense. Especially when you look at all the companies that were short on money when the crash happened. Also makes sense when you try to find our exactly what America makes anymore.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Living in the twilight zone people. Wake up. If this action does not say the whole world is Alice in wonderland than you will never see it.
Just listened to a Bill O'rielly segment where he told viewers his choice for the Nobel would have been General David Petraues. Thats right a General. The man in charge of the many deaths and abuses that have occured inside Iraq. Bills reasoning was that he did the groundwork for peace. No matter that he killed people and destroyed lives to do it. This way oif thinking is just mind boggling to me. In order to create peace its ok to kill. In order to stop a murderer we must murder. We must all become terrorists to stop the terrorists. Doesnt bill see a problem with this line of reasoning. Eventual the word terrorist just defines what side you are on. To Americans Osama is a terrorist. To the people of Iraq George Bush was the terrorist. Who is right who is wrong? Are both right. Both Osama and George killed people to create peace. Both say they are justified in their killing. I say both are wrong. I say peace cannot be built on top of murdered human. Call me crazy.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
where he discusses how hard it is to find real facts and information about issue in todays world beause for every scientists you have showing actual facts and data you have a team of corporate lawyers and lobbyists deny these facts.
In a related story Rachel Maddow of msnbc (which i cannot get on my cable tv service(verizon in NY) because it seems verizens competition, cablevision, and an exclusive contract), had a segment on the other day where she spoke with an industry expert who owns a well established PR firm, who has websites trying to convince us that transfats are not bad, there is no mercury in fish, sun tanning beds are safe, high fructose corn syrup is safe, and many many more, he does this all with a straight face.
And finally it seems in the face of untruthful corporate dominated cable news a real news castor working for America has snuck through the gates, who is doing real reporting but is beating up anyone who comes on his show who attempts to do an information for whoever they are working for. A sidenote, it seems every pundit, or expert that appears on corporate run cable news acts more like they are doing an informatial for whoever own them, instead of being a true industry expert who goes on the news trying to clarifying a complex issue. One of my favorite authors David Sirota has talked about the lack of transparency on these news shows so that you will rarely be told by say, fox news, that their military expert giving a supposed candid opinion on afghanistan is really a paid pr specialist hired by the pentagon, makes a difference to know this, eh?
Anyway Dylan Ratigan is kicking some major ass at msnbc and anyone interested in real, old school, muckraking journalist should check him out,
anyone looking for the same old, canned talking points, with no substance, being yelled back and forth, and lies should check out Fox news, cnn, abc, nbc, and cbs.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Just wanted to share with you a highlight of the story so far. The toxic pool of sludge is not regulated by the EPA because it is classified as nto hazerdous, yet the sludge is pollution from the coal burning power plant that previoulsy was pushed into the atmosphere as smoke. So why isnt it still released as smoke you ask? Well the EPA called the smoke hazerdous and didnt want to pollute the air anymore. So bingo, lets grab the smoke and make it ash, add water and create a pool of toxic sludge called fly ash and call it, uhhhhhhh, not hazerdous. Because we both know mercury cadmium, asrsenic and lead dont count as hazerdous when they are in sludge form.
So the toxic non hazerdous sludge burst out of its home (pool next to power plant) and in an effort to be free it covers the town in sludge. So why is the TVA( tennessee valey authority, the owners of the power plant) spending millions buying out all the homes in the area and cleaning up the mess? It makes no sense. Why clean up toxic non hazerdous material. I mean non hazerdous is non hazerdous. If i spill a glass of water in the street I wouldnt clean it up like I would clean up glass, now thats hazerdous.
The other story i wanted to share was a child with asthma who was rushed to the hospital. You see him and his mother walked on non hazerdous toxins in the dirt in town and than walked all over their house. Kid plays on floor with dirt, kid gets really sick. Doctor blames toxins and poisons found in non hazerdous sludge and tells the mom she should not go back to her home until it is cleaned out or child will stay sick. The TVA being nice and understanding and wantin to help the town they have shit on decide to put the mother and child up in a hotel room. But the child is still sick. hmmm. Could it be the TVA got the mother and child a hotel room in the same hotel occupied by those workers cleaning up the spill sit, and who have been tracking in mud and dirt from the spill site all over the hotel? Yes it can.
So in the last brain dead move of the year, the TVA buys mom and child their own home, too bad it was upwind of the spill site, and dust and toxic non hazerdous particles are blowing into the new house. Thanks but no thanks.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I have not been in the mood to search out real news. my only area has been openleft.com , my only source of sanity. Real people with real ideas, fighting the long, slow struggle against the corrupt that seem to control every lever of power.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Welcome to the wonderfull world of American politics.
Just imagine if the American public could pool their resources, knowledge, leadership, and join together and actually fight back against the business/political alliance that dominated every aspect of America for the last hundred years, except our SOUL.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The Democratic Party has mentioned they want a government option to compete with the monoply system currently running to force the monopolies into acting fair. The monopolies are crying foul, saying it would be unfair competition and would not be in the intereste of capitolism.
So lets remember that right now the government is already subsidizing the monopolistic private for profit insurance model. How you ask? Through medicare and medicaid, two government run insurance programs set up to help the poor and elderly have healthcare. The poor and the elderly are usually more unhealthy and costly to insure becuase the poor dont have access to better quality food, and more frequent preventative care, and its no secret that seniors bodies are aging and need more attention.
So right our of the gate, the monopolistic, private, for profit, insurance model does not have to worry about insuring the most costly customers. This is a golden ticket for any business. And yet this is stil not enough. They still find ways in their hearts of hearts to relieve themselves of the burden of the second most costly group to insure, those that use their insurance a lot and need costly procedures.
So quick recap, monopolistic, private, for profit, wall street driven, insurance companies love when the government gets involed in health care when it benefits them, yet they hate when the government gets involved when it benefits the entire country. So remind me again why we are lisening to and believing talking points from a group of people who would do basically anything to keep the stauts quo?
Remember how much money we are talking about here. If we switch to the canadian model of a single government run insurance option with no more private insurance companies, that meens some right now stand to lose billions of dollars, i cant even fathom a number 20 billion dollars a year? In a sense these executives are fighting for their lives. Do you not expect them to do whatever it take, to spend whatever it takes, to use any lie it takes, to convince us that changing the current monopolistic model will be horrible for everyone?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Right now corporations offer their employees health insurancea and it cuts into the corporate profit. If the government took over this role it would have two benefits. ONe being that corporations would be spending less money on overall pay to their employees because health coverage is a large portion of what employees get paid. And since the goal of any corporation is to make money, i cant see why every corporation is not on board with this idea.
The second reason is competition. Our corporations compete on the world scene with Canadian, European, Chinese and other foreign corporations. Right now since all those nations i just mentioned have their government pay for their citizens healthcare, they have an advantage over our corporations right out of the gate. If our government can take this expense off the books of our corporations we can compete better on the world scene.
Remember earlier this year when the American car makers were in serious trouble and the first thing that was mentioned was the workers pay. Everyone on corporate news agreed that the union would have to make consetions with pay, retirement and healthcare. Now imagine if the government stepped in and said we will pay for all your workers healthcare, maybe Gm doesnt need the governemnt bailout?
So in one sense you have the health care industry made of hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmacuetical companies who want to keep the current system, and then you have every other sector of private business who would beneift from change, yet for some reason the powers of this nation seem to have alighned against any fundamental change. I am confused.
Friday, August 28, 2009
The myth is that the governmnet will ration your care, deciding for your and over your doctors decision what kind of procedure you can have.
As I pointed out in my long entry before this one, government run does not have to mean rationing care. The Canadian government currently uses a government run model that does not ration care. The rationing that will be done here has to do with unneccesary testing that is done so doctors can overcharge insurance companies to make some extra money. But if you trying to scare the nation about any changes to the current system so they would not support any changes you can talk about rationing emergency life saving care, because its scary.
So, in the new times article, an insurance company executive admits that they currently practice rationing care. So America, wake up. You dont want to reform healthcare and get the government involved because there is slim to none chance they will ration care that could cause you bodily harm, and you are furious over this idea of rationing care. But you do want to stick with the current system that currently rations care. America, you are schizophrenic.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
For some healthcare in the United States is a problem. 47 million are uninsured and 25% of those with insurance are denied coverage or their insurance is cancelled when they go to use it. That is a fact. Another fact is the model for insurance in the States is private for profit insurance companies are the gatekeepers for getting care. These gatekeepers are driven by profit motives. The more they spend healing people the less they earn, dropping the stock value, making wall street mad. Wall street is king in the States. You do not make them mad.
An honest debate has to talk about this. Is this the model that most Americans like. Does it seem fair that to make money insurance companies have to deny care? As i quoted from Bill Maher, why does a health insurance model have to make money? Other countries run not for profit insurance programs why cant we.
19 or 20 of the richest nations on earth give their country free public health insurance, run by the government, without the need to make a profit, except the USA. But when we find out about this the opposition who would do anything to keep the current system has begin a dishonest dialogue, because they would lose everything if an honest dialogue was allowed.
And the scary part is, that its so hard to know who is having an honest dialogue. All sides look at their opposition and think how can they be so misinformed, how can they be so dumb, i can believe they are buying those bs arguments. And that is exactly what they want.
If we continue to yell, and scream at each other, and name call, if we continue to have a dishonest debate guess what happens? Nothing. Guess who wins? Those who want to keep the current system. Who benefits from the current system? The for profit insurance companies raking in billions every year.
Its a simple debate. The rest of the rich world does it. Citizens in other countries are not losing their homes because of large medical bills. Citizens in other nations are not going bankrupt because of large medical bills. Citizens in other countries are not getting charged outrageous bills for the medication they take and for their hospital visits.
The voices against a government administered option have very small basis for their beliefs. Lets take their reasons one by one.
They dont want the government running healthcare telling people what they can do and what they cant do as far as medical procedures. But in Canada right now, the Canadian government has rarely if ever become involved in medical decisions, the doctors are the one's that deny and approve care. Isnt that what we want? But right now we dont have that. In the States today we have doctors who ask private for profit insurance companies to approve procedures. So ask yourself who do you want to approve procedures. If you say doctors than you must want change because that might not be happening right now. If you say you want government to approve your medical decisions your crazy, no one wants this. Its such a false argument. Americans, do you really think the democratic party wants the government involved in deciding what care you are allowed to have?
One analogy i read is that the government run public option would run much like the fire department. The government foots the bill yet they don't decide what calls the fireman go on. They only foot the bill. The firehouse acts the way it sees fit. Just in case this is not sinking in, right now if their is a fire in your house and you call for a fire-truck the fire house does not call the government to get approval to put out your fire, they just put it out and send the government a bill. So, is everyone happy with the way the fire department is set up? Do you sit around questioning the government run fire-department, wondering whats the deal with that socialist,russian-esque institution? And if so do you wish we had a capitalist, for profit, fire department?
Think about it. The fire department would have a public stock that you could invest in, they would have a ceo with a 10 million dollar a year salary, because thats what ceo's make, and every-time they got a call of a fire in town they would have to decide the cost benefit analysis just like every other for profit corporation.
The more i write about this analogy the more it makes sense. The goal of both the fire department and the health industry is to save lives. So why set up one as a public service to the community paid for by the government, through tax dollars, and no matter how much or little we use the service we all pay basically the same % of our income to fund it, and with the other, health care, we refuse to leave the capitalist model of a profit driven, wall street driven, with a multi millionaire ceo salary.
People in the streets are saying we dont want government run anything. But is anyone complaining about the government managed interstate highway system? Do you wish you have a for profit corporation fixing up only the profitable roads? What about government run safety standards like home electrical codes or automobile safety standards to make sure your car doesnt burst into flames when you use the break, or safety standards at work so there is not a 50% chance of you dying on the job everyday.
What I am basically trying to argue is that every day we take for granted massive amounts of government run things that we use and that kept safe since we have been alive. It might not be so bad. The rest of the rich free world does it.
The "we don't want socialized medicine" argument is pretty much the same as the "we don't want government run healthcare. Since when did supplying healthcare for everyone become a socialist institution? Canada has a government run, so called socialist plan yet they boast more private doctors than we have under a free capitalist system. How can that be? Because our doctors here cannot afford to own their own practice anymore instead they are joining large corporate health corporations.
And what is the deal with seniors who all have healthcare, GOVERNMENT RUN no less, and government run social security, coming out in massive amounts against a government run option. The misinformation has been so strong that some on medicare, a government run program, are fearful their medicare will be taken over by the government?@?#!?#?
The last part of the misinformation campaign is to talk about how long the wait is for government run care in europe and canada. I am sure there are some waits, but the bottom line is people are not dying because of wait times. Those happy with the status quo will tell you about all the canadians and europeans that come here every year for healthcare and argue if its so good their why come here. And the answer is because of the wait time and because of money. Most foreigners that come here for care are wealthy individuals, and our system does work very well for the wealthy. And people that come here might not have a long wait in another country, but any wait at all could be cramping their style. With this point i am trying to point out that if you tried to change european or canadian healthcare from not for profit to for profit they would flip out.
The huffington post website has a great flow chart that showing the dynamic behind the push to drown out the real debate with misinformation and half truths. Most of the misinformation is coming from those with the most to lose, the private for profit insurance industry, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. They have been bribing, i mean making campaign contributions to business friendly congressman and senators for years to buy their support in times of change like today.
Also ask yourself where are you getting your news? Do you watch corporate funded cable news programs who's interests are aligned with the current model of healthcare, or are you reading stories from people of all walks of life who have seen the horror stories of our current system, or have you watched congressional testimony of insurance executives who quit because they could no longer stand to kill patients by denying coverage to them, or where a mid level insurance administrator who told her story of being promoted after denying a very large claim for surgery.
Its not easy to find a balanced honest debate these days. Our congress is made up of millionaires, our president is a millionaire, most news anchors on corporate run cable news every night are millionaires. Who is out there working for me and you, the middle class and the poor class.
If 47 million million people dont have health care why are they being so quiet and letting those with health care control the framing of the debate.
There are many things wrong with this country and the world. Why is it that anyone who cares and would like to talk about these things is labeled a communist or socialist? I thought the roots of those words come from community and society? If you are a party working to better community and society why is that made to seem evil and wrong? Why is it the corporate media hate people who try to discuss problems in this country. We can never grow if we only focus on our best attributes
Friday, July 24, 2009
He argues there was a time in America where things like hospitals were run by nuns, who were not in it for the profit, while today "In the U.S. today, three giant for-profit conglomerates own close to 600 hospitals and other health care facilities. They're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans." These conglomorates now have publicly trades stock. So when they deny you care the stock goes up and someone makes a profit.
Prisons used to be run by the governemnt, not for a profit, not anymore."A company called the Corrections Corporation of America is on the New York Stock Exchange, which is convenient since that's where all the real crime is happening anyway."
Every aspect of war used to be handled by the soldiers. Today there are more private contracters in our war zones than soldiers.
"Television news is another area that used to be roped off from the profit motive. When Walter Cronkite died last week, it was odd to see news anchor after news anchor talking about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it." "
"If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private health care "soulless vampires making money off human pain.""
"And if medicine is for profit, and war, and the news, and the penal system, my question is: what's wrong with firemen? Why don't they charge? They must be commies. Oh my God! That explains the red trucks!"
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
The article talks about the problems facing California States Nursing Board, where a few board members were fired this week by the Governator.
The problem was;
" board charged with overseeing California's 350,000 registered nurses often takes years to act on complaints of egregious misconduct, leaving nurses accused of wrongdoing free to practice without restrictions, an investigation by The Times and the nonprofit news organization ProPublica found.
It's a high-stakes gamble that no one will be hurt as nurses with histories of drug abuse, negligence, violence and incompetence continue to provide care across the state. While the inquiries drag on, many nurses maintain spotless records. New employers and patients have no way of knowing the risks."
"Among the findings:
* The board took more than three years, on average, to investigate and discipline errant nurses, according to its own statistics. In at least six other large states, the process typically takes a year or less.
* The board failed to act against nurses whose misconduct already had been thoroughly documented and sanctioned by others. Reporters identified more than 120 nurses who were suspended or fired by employers, disciplined by another California licensing board or restricted from practice by other states – yet have blemish-free records with the nursing board.
* The board failed to use its authority to immediately stop potentially dangerous nurses from practicing. It obtained emergency suspensions of nurses' licenses just 29 times from 2002 to 2007. In contrast, Florida's nursing regulators, who oversee 40% fewer nurses, take such action more than 70 times each year"
I suggest you check out the full story. Scary Scary stuff.
Monday, July 13, 2009
One major issue that Matt touches on is a change in the culture of Wall Street beginning in the early 90's. He argues that that is the time when most investment banks went public with stocks. So the investment banks began to gamble with other peoples money and not so much of their own, as had been the case in the past.
With the tech bubble of the 90's, Matt argues the standard for taking companies public and selling their stock to the World was dropped. So that in the past when companies were taken public they had to meet certain criteria, you had to be around for 5 years, you had to be profitable for 3 years, and you must have great potential to be profitable in the future. In the 90's companies were created the day their stock went public. The world bought these stocks trusting in the investment banks that took them public. Who was the largest undewriter(who took them public), for these tech companies, Goldman Sachs.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The first is that Goldman called up the Justice Department to have the theif arrested because he would have an unfair advantage in the stock market by having this computer program. Yet Bloomberg news' Jonathan Weil asks, why is Goldman not getting any flack for having this unfair advantage to begin with? So only investment banks are legally allowed to have unfair market advantage.
Second is that this man was arrested within 48 hours of Goldman Sachs calling in the crime to the Justice Department. Talk about pull in the government. How long would it take for our calls to no even be acted on but just listened to?
Monday, July 6, 2009
Their is war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, trouble brewing in Pakistan, a revolution in Iran. Over the past few years we saw Coup like shananigans in Georgia, Ukraine, and Venzuala, and Haiti. Do we still have to pay attention to all these coups? Is Hondorus any different. Im not sure yet.
But the one difference that I have seen in Venezuala lead by Hugo Chavez, and Hondorus lead by the former President Manuel Zelaya is the way they have actually delivered on their promise to give back to the poor everyday man and women in their nation. For example Zelaya of Hondorus increased minimum wage by 60%. And Venezuala's Chavez created such a good economic model that 60% of the population, the poorest members of society, saw their income grow by 130%.
This of course has the effect of taking away from someone. In Venezuala and Hondorus the losers were the rich, elite, businessmen. The elite of Hondorus owns 45% of the countries wealth. Does that seem fair?
I believe this is a problem for the American elite. They cannot sit by and watch the poor of Venezuala democratically elect leaders that will roll back centuries woth of Western elite philosophy, being that the rich should take a larger and larger share of the pie. Venezualians and Hondorans and Iranians are standing up and saying we are fed up with having small sections of our nation own almost everything, and who are able to have laws passed to legally make the rich a more important class. The elite in the US better wise up or they will be next to be chewed up by the working poor of America.
FDR gave back to the poor not because he was a kind hearted man but because he had to throw some scraps to the poor or else the whole scam being run by the American elite could have came tumpling down.
In the United States for example the richest 1% own more than the poorest 90%. This is not fair, this is not right, and this is not what the United States is all about. A cool teacher i had at Nassua Community said you cannot have vastly wealthy nations like the United States without having poor nations in her wake. Well the same goes for inside the United States. You cannot have the extremely rich owning it all without the extremely poor owning nothing.
This becomes a philisophical debate. Do you take away the wealth and redistribute it? How do you do that without sending a message that says, if you work too hard and become too much of a success the government will take away your shit. How do you also deal with the opposite message being sent, you can sit on your ass and do nothing and the government will provide.
Maybe Communism is best. Everyone gets the same. Im not so worried about the argument that says where is the incentive to work hard and innovate. For one, we can give bonuses, or set up some kind of system that turns innocators and hard workers into superstars, using the same system we have that makes movies stars and professional athletes the bees knees.
But what is the deal with working only for money. What happened to good old pride and work ethics. A coworker of mine is constantly saying, "well i wouldnt worry about it we dont get paid that much to go overboard". I just cant wrap my head around that line of reasoning. I work hard no matter what job or how little the pay. I do it for personal pride and ethics. I believe if you slack off in one area of life it will spread to others areas of your life.
And what about reputation. Would you like to be known as the worker people can call on to get things done or the worker that does just enough to get by who is rarely in his office, cannot be gotten on the phone and does not return emails.
What happened to the guy who goes to work to kick ass to make American and his neihborhood better. Am I the last one? I hope not.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The author of the article quotes some young men in Tehran who dont mind sleeping around before marriage but would only marry a virgin. They also admit the surgery is so popular and sex so prevelant that their are no more virgins left in Tehran.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Some companies, ahem ahem, Goldman Sachs, Ahem, have so much power that they skip to the head of the line. Matt Taibbi, a reporter with the Rolling Stones Magazine has a great peice coming out about the power of Goldman Sachs, over the past hundred years. But more importantly, Goldman has slowly been placing its loyal worker bees throughout the halls of power, so that when Goldman wants policy made they just ask the Treasury and its done, no congress, no vote, no democracy.
Matt tells the story that in 2004 Goldman asked the Treasury Department (which was run by ex Goldman CEO Paulson), to allow them a loophole so they dont have to follow the regulations requiring 1 dollar to physically be in your bak for every 12 dollars the bank lends out. Paulson simply walked over the SCC, the bank regulaters, asked for an exemption for four banks and was granted it. The end result being that now these four banks were able to lend out money without having any money physically in their bank.
Some gig huh. Well at least for two of the banks. Because the other two are no longer operating, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Sterns. As Bruno would say, "Coincidence, I think not."
Must be sweet to have that much pull. What would you ask for with that much pull? I would ask for all these banking shmoes, all the oil company execs, all the health insurance deniers (of claims, not those who deny the existance of health insurance, that would be an interested Dave Chappelle skit), to be investigated and arrested along with all the government officials who act in a manner unbecoming of a US representative.
That would be a good idea for a movie. A few regular guys that have more pull with the government than anyone else. And anything they ask for they get.
What would you ask for?
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
But an article by Thomas Frank highlights and idea that Democrats have been trying to discuss for years, that maybe when Republicans have control of the Legislative and Executive branches of the government they make sure the government fails to prove their point. Thomas Frank points out that all the time periods the Republicans point to and say look we told you so, the government failed, is a time period when Republicans controlled the branches of government.
As a response to the budget crisis going on now in California, the state had public meetings where any citizen could walk up to the microphone and talk to their local representatives, to tell them how the budget cuts are effecting them and their town. One lady stood up and yelled at the representatives, "if you dont believe in government step aside and let some one who does believe in government to step up and try to fix the problem.
When President Bush spent the nation into the largest deficit in the history of our country, many on the left argued it was part of a grande Republican strategy to spend all the money so when Democrats take back the reign of power they will have no money to impliment any of their ideas.
And when the Democrats are trying to spend their way out of this economic crisis as FDR did to save this country, what is the Republican response? How dare you spend so much money, the country can't handle it. It's hysterical, yet i know people who walk around repeating this mantra, "Barrack Obama is spending too much money, he is ruining this country."
check out Thomas Frank is a rare bread among political writers.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Democrats in washington are claiming (according to sam stein) that Nancy Pelosi allowed 44 Democrats to vote aganst the bill because she knew the bill would pass, making their votes not vital. And that if she did not have the votes to pass the bill these 44 would have supported the bill to get it passed.
The reason they voted against something they wanted to pass is classic Washington strategy. These 44 Democrats hail from conservative leaning districts. And in thinking of the next election, they want to show their constituents their conservative street credability. And in a a few years when we have the next election no one will remember this little strategy and these 44 Dems will look like they stood up to the envirnmental rights bill.
This also works the opposite way. Republicans that voted for the bill are hoping it won't pass the senate and become law. This way they get some street credablity for standing up yet they did not actually change anything and so cannot be held too accountable.
So once again America, we are last on our elected representatives priority list.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In the early 1900's we saw women protest en mass for their equal rights. In the 1960's we saw black protest as well lead by the famous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Preacher Malcolm X amongst others. Today we see gay people fighting for their right to legally wed.
For whatever reason, fear, hate, not wanting to give up power, the leaders of our nation did not want to give these equal rights away without putting up a fight. Right now I think its time for a new group to begin its march for equal rights. The poor and the middle class.
This group is constantly being stepped on by the leaders of the country. The uneducated. The immigrants. The home with two working parents just making ends meet. The person who is just barely staying afloat and gets sick and loses their job and home. The guy who retired ten years ago thinking he would be comfortable with his small retirement package from GM until they went bankrupt and decided to cancel all health insurance for those already retired.
Those people from the Michael Moore documentary Sicko who have health insurance but are getting squeezed by their Health Insurance Company who wanted to save money, so they had to decide, between which fingers to save after a machine accident, or having to decide between food or surgery.
Or the family's in one of the Carolina's who can't leave their home because they happen to live next to one of the world largest pig farms that is producing so much pig feces waste and not properly removing it, resulting in poisonous fumes that make it too toxic to go outside. Or those who chose to gamble on the stock market, who thought the game wasn't rigged, and found out it was and they lost a lot.
Or the poor in Californian who have no health insurance and use free clinics but will soon be told sorry we cannot help you anymore because of the crisis going on right now with the California budget. One Californian activist predicts people will begin to die on the streets of LA because there wont be enough free clinics and supplies to treat everyone. Or the teachers in California have to worry about their jobs after the Governator approved the firing of 1/3 of all California state teachers.
Millions and millions of us are falling through the cracks with out anyone coming to the rescue. Yet we see the richest of us being saved by the same government that is failing the poor. As a wrote in a previous blog after hurricane Katrina it tooks days to get water into Louisiana. Which was more time than it took for Congress to pass a bill to make trillions of dollars available to wall street thieves who stole it all to begin with, almost crashing the entire economy of United States in their wake.
To me, it may not be as obvious as having separate bathrooms for two people with different skin colors. But the size of my bank account definitely determines what laws I am asked to follow . Just ask OJ Simpson, and every corporation that ever dumped toxic waste into the environment who destroyed peoples health and were not responsible under the law. Just ask the people in Michael Moore's Sicko who lost a loved one because the insurance company refused treatment that would cost a lot of money, legally killing people. Just ask the government lawyers who sued Microsoft for monopolistic practices and who won while Bill Clinton was still in office and than when Bush took over he threw out the case, after the government won the case!?!?!?
The size of my bank account also determines what laws are passed. Rich banks too big to fail get trillions in cash to shore up their bankrupt tyrannosaurus rex size companies. The rich lobby of the health insurance gets laws written that favor their profit margin over the public interest. Just now being talked about in congress is a clean air act that will prohibit the regulating of power plants if they are related to global warming, because the regulation would effect the companies bottom line.
When did the bottom line become the new mantra of the nation. The bottom line is the rich in the country get laws passed, everyone else doesn't. Everyone in Congress as well as the past dozen presidents have been millionaires. If we having millionaires running the country are we surprised that laws are passed to benefit only millionaires.
I am merely saying it seems those laws are discriminatory in nature. If a jury is not made up of peers it is not a legal jury. If our government does not represent the people it might not be legal.
Any time someone on the corporate run news brings up any of these points they are jumped on for using class warfare. But i cant think of anything else to call it. If it walks like a duck, well you know.
If you begin to slowly crush me under you boot for over a hundred years than i quickly trip you to get you off of me how can anyone of reason believe i am the trouble maker.
So who is with me? Any lawyers in the house? Any ACLUers up in here? Could this be my calling in life?
So why weren't the Republicans this sympathetic when Bill Clinton cheated, they tried to impeach him right?
Thanks washington for being a model of true leadership.
After the week of protests the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomenei gave his Friday sermon basically warning protesters that he has been reasonable and if the protesters are not reasonable the full strength of the law will be felt.
The next day Mousavi held huge rallies. The biggest since the Revolution and the army cracked down. Up to 20 dead, hundreds arrested.
But the most important part of the battle was being fought behind the scenes in Qom, the religious headquarters of Iran and the Shia world. A Mousavi ally, Rasfanjani took the battle to Qom to fight for the support of the powerful clerics. And it looks as if he succeeding according to the daily beast writer Reza Aslan, where some kind of power sharing agreement might be arranged.
Rasfanjani is one of the most powerful figures inside Iran. He was a close friend of the first Supreme leaders, and was crucial in the selection of the current one. He also leads a committee that has the power to oust the Supreme Leader if he fails to do his duty, the Council of Experts.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I mean we just had an 8 year term of elites running an operation in the white house who overthrew a brutal middle eastern regime. We were told that America fights for freedom and democracy all across the planet. I am confused (sarcasm)
As my dad would say, " whats that old armenian saying, (the country of origin changes each time) your mama"
The discussion is about how the middle east feels about the events in Iran. The findings are split. Many are happy that the people have the fight and will to stand up and fight the regime. Yet the leaders of the Middle Eastern Nations are worried. Could it happen here they think. Most Middle Eastern Nations are not ruled democracy and many fear the spread of grassroots uprisings taking their power.
And while many would like to see the the regime topple because of Iran's goals of exporting the revolution to places like Lebanon and Iraq, they also enjoy the way Iran stand up to the west, the US, Israel, and the UN.
According to the blog, http://americanbedu.com/2009/06/05/saudi-arabia-payment-of-diyyah/,the going rates for mercy is the following;
* 100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man
* 50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman
* 50,000 riyals if a Christian man
* 25,000 riyals if a Christian woman
* 6,666 riyals if a Hindu man
* 3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
some of the most blatent abuse on video to date.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Reports during the day were that the police were watching the protests without interference and that only the basiji security forces and the Revolutionary Guard was still beating people up and shooting at them.
Monday night security forces ransacked Tehran Universtiy, destroying computers, killing many, and arresting hundreds maybe. Faculty have cancelled finals and resigned in masses.
On the twitter front government forces have set up fake accounts to spread false information. Twitter also pushed off their scheduled maintenance when they were asked by the State Department. Iranian users of twitter have also asked twitters users from arount the world to change their location to Tehran and time zone to gmt +3:30, this will help confuse the Iranina intelligence services who are looking for Iraninas twitters users so the accounts can be shut down.
The Guardian Counil, upon reviewing the election have decided to recount part of the votes, not making many protesters to0 satisfied.
The most influencial cleric in the nation Montazeri has declared the election results a fraud. Montazeri was once the chosen cleric to take the reigns from the first Surpeme Leader of IranGrand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini before he became pulblicy outspoken about the governement.
Articles around the web starting to break down the power structure in Iran, and they are saying the battle in the streets is just a proxy fight between the two powers that run the nation.
One power is the Supreme Leader, and Ahmadinejad, and the military and security forces like the basiji and the Revolutionary Guard. During Ahmadinejad's first time he put many Rev. Guard offices in charge of many levels of power, the first time in Iranian history where military figures held political posts.
The other power structure represented by Mousavi, is made up of the clerics, the university's the students, and it is lead by the ex president/billionaire Rafsanjani.