Witter, seeker, clown
The root canal of all evil is money. All intelligent sincere debates between persons of same or different political parties are useless. Job preservation for elected members of the senate and congress is their number one priority, even over any good for the people that they represent. Getting the job and keeping their job takes a lot of money and most of their time. Each day is spent raising funds for their next election from their very first day in office. Their daily fund raising dollar goal usually far exceeds the income of any of the people they represent.
There are eight healthcare lobbyists for every congressperson and every senator, four for each member from Wall Street, banks and other financial institutions. It’s a wonder there is room for our officials to walk down these crowded aisles to get to the bathroom. Hmm, maybe that’s why so many republicans have a constipated look on their face and why they are so mean. To be fair, this problem is with both parties.
Recently, Mr. Tan Man, John Boehner paid a visit to Morgan Stanley’s CEO and told him unless you want banking reforms you better start giving more money to republicans. An open, blatant shakedown, in the light of day, to sell out the American people. Americans will have to suffer through any future unregulated scams as we are now suffering from the last one, but next time it could be worse. At least the house passed a regulatory bill and the President to his credit is trying to get a meaningful bill through a very constipated senate. Constipation is the state you arrive at when you keep swallowing dyed green dollars.
After his visit to shake down Wall Street, Boehner the tan man then had the nerve to go before The Mad Tea Party and feed them lines to stoke the flames about democrats and Obama. The Tea Party and everyone else should be outraged, not by the sound bites hurled at them that have no basis in reality, but by what’s really happened to our system. Right or wrong we demand democracy from every other nation as we are losing our own.
America is on the way to becoming USA INC, a corporation instead of a nation. The Supreme Courts recent decision for unlimited contributions by a corporation to anyone’s campaign is not just troublesome, but is the beginning of the end of our empire. It is now perfectly legal for any corporate interests to give a group of elected officials billions to vote their way so they can make trillions. No concern for an appearance of impropriety or maintaining even a small pretension of representation for the people.
John McCann, whom I used to like in one of his past reinventions of himself, is now unfortunately best characterized by the line in The Beatles song Mean Mr. Mustard “such a mean old man.” McCann, Mr. Campaign finance reform himself, has been eerily silent on the court’s decision. Perhaps his hearing aid was tuned to off as creatures with black gowns that called themselves Supremes sang from their bench the hit from the 60’S “
“Nothing But Heartache,”
Our “leaders” by design have us divided and occupied by yelling at each other, as they sell off our interests to the highest bidder. Ever wonder why we are so behind other countries in transportation, infrastructure and more? Ever wonder why we do not have a real safety net for our people? Money, that’s why. It can be said that any nation that does not build on its infrastructure, care for its young, elderly and less gifted is doomed for extinction. We can save our country by demanding a box on every ballot that will allow us to vote for publicly financed elections and a complete ban on all lobbyists’ money. Lobbyists should be allowed to make their case, but not buy it.
Maybe we should be The Supremes and the song that we sing should be “Stop In The Name Of Love.”
Presidents Day and Valentines Day are upon us and I’m surprised the New Republicans have not tried to block them.
“Love! We don’t need your stinking love, and we don’t need your stinking President.”
It seems all the new Republican Party needs are tea bags to cover their faces, passed on to them from their new base, The Tea Klux Klan. Apparently white sheets have gone out of fashion.
The new republican definition of CUPID is, C - for corporate interests, U – for unified in being the party of obstruction, P – for power of the minority, even if that means a minority of one. Whatever it takes to ruin the day and stay in the pockets of their special interests. I – is for their selfish selves, it is all about them and them only, and the people be damned. D – is for bringing this President and country down until they are back in power at any costs. They made a political calculation that the only way they could win is for the President to lose everything and not get one bill passed, unfortunately they are succeeding.
Stop the madness, and revolt.
Revolt against the new Supreme Court decision to have unlimited corporate campaign contributions. America will no longer be a country but a corporation; this is at the root of all our concerns and why nothing meaningful ever happens.
Revolt against the misuse of the Filibuster and the 60-vote rule in the senate. This rule is finishing off whatever semblance of democracy we pretend to have left, by allowing a minority of one to stop any bill.
Revolt against our employees, members of the senate and congress, having the right to any healthcare that we pay for, until their employers, the American people, are all covered.
Revolt for a bigger stimulus and jobs bill. You know you are having a bad week when Dick Chaney is the only republican you agree with. Dick said, “Deficits don’t matter,” of course he said this when he was the one spending, but he was right. When we are in a recession/depression you spend and spend until unemployment goes down. The workforce will create new tax revenue that will bring down the deficits, and then we can work them down further.
Revolt to spend so we can catch up with the rest of the world in transportation and infrastructure, this will also create new revenue and more jobs. We need forward thinking, for the long run, not just what is politically expedient. We need a real strong climate change bill that reflects these needs.
Revolt to get the democrats to use the reconciliation process on healthcare and pass a single payer system with 51 votes.
Revolt to have publicly financed elections, again the root cause of all our problems, money. So much money is needed to run an election that most of their time in office is used for raising more money just to stay in office, at our expense. That’s insane! Whatever positions they claimed to believe in, no longer counts, only what they are told to believe in and act on by the money people.
Revolt to have stockholders of corporations decide the salaries of CEO’s, which yes, are their employees. We need this reform and a major overhaul of Wall Street to prevent another disaster that may not be survivable.
Revolt to get your representatives, including the President, to go to the mats using whatever means necessary to get all of these important legislations passed with full, not half, measures. Plato said, “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
Valentines Day is love, and Presidents Day is sales. It seems the new republicans are going to combine them both with the spirit of the Billy Holiday song, “Love For Sale.”
I get it; you’re a progressive, now Barack off! Start by dispensing with euphemistic words like progressive. We are L I B E R A L S and that is a word that should make us proud. Look up the dictionary definition of each word and see which one best defines your views.
To be candid, my politics are more to the left of left, but I’m also a practical person who sees potential dangers. We are being too impatient and too hard on Barack. We are ignoring the facts and the current state of affairs that he is facing. If we don’t get what we want immediately, we want to devour him. This has been a trait of Democrats as far back as I can remember. While the Republicans stick together, we eat our own and then wallow in the remains. With this attitude we risk losing it all, the House, the Senate in 2010 and the whole bowl of wax in 2012.
FDR accomplished a lot in part because he served 4 terms, 16 years. Rome was not built in a day, if history was different and the Roman Empire was saved from it’s great fall it would show it also would not have happened in a day. We live in times of excessive communication, texting before speaking, heads buried in our hand gadgets wondering why there hasn’t been a response even though only seconds passed. A 24/7 news cycle is a monster that needs to be fed constantly, it doesn’t matter what it eats as long is it gets fed, and you can be sure the cycle will beat it to death until the next “breaking news,” hits the fan.
The Internet has given us short attention spans, a level of impatience that we have never known before. So it stands to reason that we have little time for anything more than capsulized news. If we do not get what we want right away from a website we move to the next one, we simply cannot let this be the clock that we live by to achieve our ideals.
President Obama was handed the worst situation any new or sitting President ever faced. FDR was elected in 1932 to face the great depression, but WWII was not until 1941.
Minutes after being sworn in, Obama faced the worst attack from the right ever in our history. The attacks consisted not only of dirty lies but were laced with thinly veiled bigotry and racism. Their thinking was the only way to win, which is the only goal of the right, is to beat this popular fighter down to size with a series of above and below the belt body blows, until he falls. Realizing that Barack was a thinking man, not a polarizing threat, they calculated a strategy to portray him as such anyway knowing that perception is reality. It pains me to see some of our favorite and most prized liberal OP ED columnists attack Obama so viciously and then to see far right wing talking heads quoting them. The right has only one policy, take it all back at any cost because being out of power is affecting our bottom line profits from corporate donors. They counted on the left to be disenchanted quickly, when they did not get all they wanted in the first months of his presidency. The left unknowingly and unwillingly became part of the right’s plan, which is to attack Obama from the left as well as the right and hasten his demise. Please let’s not give them the assistance.
A few facts about our prized social and rights programs, they all started from much less than what they now consist of, for example Civil Rights: the first bill passed in 1957 and was nothing more than an ineffective watchdog with limited rights that later flourished under JFK and led the way for improved legislation in the sixties.
Social Security in its original form was not very social; it excluded most women, minorities, anyone who worked in agriculture, nurses, hospital workers, domestic service workers, and more. They came back several times to improve these bills as we can and will do so, with the healthcare bill, if we not only keep but also strengthen the democratic majority.
President Obama may not be all that we thought he was, then again he may be more, but he is all we have and probably the best that we will get in our lifetime. He needs our constructive criticism and our support, as he is a good man in a bad system.
If you want to attack why not go after the system itself? A movement to get publicly financed elections and remove the money from politics would be a good start. Let’s go after this 60-vote rule in the Senate that has given us a government where the majority loses and a minority of one can win.
The Rolling Stones once sang, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need,” let’s not throw both what we want and what we need away.
The Confusing mirror. I have come to a place in my life where after a lifetime of being an activist I’m trying to take a more philosophical view of world affairs and its star players. I tell myself that the leaders and circumstances that come up are a reflection of our own selves. I seem to alternate between this ideal place and familiar rushes of political anger when I perceive any injustice.
I tend to view leaders in two categories, wolves in sheep’s clothing or sheep in wolves clothing. Just when my view is certain I take another look in the mirror and I see a fuzzy reflection, then I’m no longer sure what I see.
Are the images I see through the haze the same leader that invoked positive emotions that reached the very essence of my being, just last week? Do I see my image blended in the mix because the feelings really came from me and I attributed them to him?
When I get anxious, I convince my self the state of affairs inherited by the reflection were the worst set of circumstances in our history, and this pacifies me for a while. Yet, underneath it all, I have an unsettled feeling. I then tell myself that this feeling stems from being at an early stage of the game, a complex game, which is only fair to score at the finish line.
I hope and pray that during the game the reflection will become clearer, stronger, remain there and not vanish into that huge pile of broken dreams.
Hollywood’s Wall Street. On Wall Street they found and continue to find ways to make unearthly sums of money at the expense of others, with no concern or regard for negative impact. People losing their jobs so stocks can rise, losing their homes so bundlers can score big. I’m sure that hedge funds have by now figured out a way to hedge the hog and somehow make money off of the swine flu.
Television producers have created a similar situation with what I call Hollywood’s Wall Street, a collection of so-called reality TV shows. These shows appeal to and reduce us to primitive instincts, while making record profits for unconscionable producers. They are so inexpensive to produce compared to an episodic series or sitcom. No sets, no actors to pay, no stars huge salaries and other demands to meet, which in Wall Street speak are nice derivatives. Run out of material? Never! Not as long as we keep watching.
To watch someone subjecting themselves to embarrassing levels of humiliation is quite a price for them to pay for a few minutes of fame, while lowering our collective level of intelligence, not to mention our youth being fed a super size diet of this utter garbage.
In ancient Rome they kept the masses in line with games at the local coliseum and amphitheaters. To illustrate the exaggerated state of these shows a few years back I was going to do a cooking show that never aired because as I was told at the time, get this, “NO! It’s about food and we no longer produce cooking shows that are about cooking or food.” I remember telling a good friend about this and said “if I pitched a show about two chefs that cooked naked in front of a live audience and with cleavers kept slicing off each other’s body parts until only one was left standing, then proceeded to cook the loser and serve him to the audience, they would of bought the show.” My friend was having a drink with someone in the business, he laughed and repeated my analogy; the other party did not laugh but sadly was contemplating the potential show’s content to the shock of my friend.
In 1987 there was a film that stared Arnold Schwarzenegger called “The Running Man.” Set in a post apocalyptic world, the government frames Arnold for a bloody massacre. He's given the option of staying in jail for life or participating in a "gladiator"-type game show that usually leads to death and enormous cheers from the spectators. He opts for the show, teaming with other contestants to survive the game and overthrow the corrupt system.
Today, there is a new show called “V” about what we assume are friendly aliens who have taken over our planet under the guise of helping mankind. A powerful resistance forms to encourage others not to succumb. Maybe we should combine both of these and overthrow a corrupt system with our resistance by not tuning in to Hollywood’s Wall Street.
Once upon a time there was this space, a block of years, here on earth that we called The Sixties. During that time Led Zeppelin sang a song called “Communication Breakdown,” never did I think such a gap in communication would become such a profound reality.
It was a time of vibes where you met the person inside the body you spoke to. A realization occurred in the course of an exchange when two people touched the spot of understanding in each other, it was like a bell rang, and thus the phrase “I hear you,” was born.
Picture a time on a parallel universe where people become so overly communicated that they can’t even speak to one another. Picture masses walking around with their ears closed in by plugs playing loud music to block out all the natural sounds of the world that create our characters. Picture these people holding a gadget in their hands that one can use to connect to the internet so they are not out of touch for even one relaxing moment.
Imagine people who for generations were raised by nannies forgoing all practical forms of communications as they grew up. Reductions in the communication process have now brought this new species to conversing by texting with these hand held gadgets that by the way are also telephones. It has become much more non-committal to text rather than speak. Is it any wonder that this new species is a weak group?
Perhaps this will evolve full circle and the next phase will be communicating with vibes only. That would be a positive step, but would this new species after so many reducing years know how to read vibes?
Picture all of this, naw, never mine, save your precious imagination for something more possible.
The no bell piece prize? Yes, Mr. President you received a prize but now it’s time to pull together the pieces so we can all cheer once again to the sound of your bell. I was an avid supporter of your campaign and I enthusiastically voted for you. Like millions of Americans we projected our wishes on you after being starved and deprived by the worst governing in our history for the previous 8 years. We believed in you and our collective enthusiasm propelled you to the Presidency.
When I was a teenager I worked for the Bobby Kennedy campaign as a coordinator of the college youth vote. I can say that I have not been excited about anyone else since 1968, until I saw your Iowa speech as the tears rolled down my cheeks. You were given this prize because the Nobel committee also believes their projections on you will result in the change you yelled about from the rooftops of the world. I know you wish to also change the tone of politicians but domestically that may not be possible, so please if you can’t get the other side to agree, mow them down. They live every moment looking to chop you apart and discredit you in anyway they can up to and including their silence on the outrageous lunatic fringe comments about you. They literally are praying for your failure. If they needed to cross the water and you parted the sea for them they would accuse you of messing up the environment. If you single handedly found a cure for cancer they would call you a murderer and say that you had this cure as you watched people die.
This week you were given two gifts, one was a non profit health care provider denying coverage to a healthy 4 month old child because in their view the infant was over weight, and the big one was Monday’s report from the insurance companies that no matter what bill is passed they will raise rates to over 100%. They dissed you sir as you were trying to keep them at the table with apparent cooperation. Just as Senator Grassley dissed you as you were giving speeches singing his praises, as a republican who is working hard for a decent bill. He too was giving speeches saying he was against everything that he helped put in the bill and that you were out to kill grandma. Enough! It seems everyone has a seat at the negotiating table except the people. The American people are for a public option by nearly 70% including the blue dog states. Now you have your cover for passionate support on a public option. It’s unseemly to me that what the people want can’t happen because a handful of servants of the people are standing in it’s way in order to earn their checks from insurance companies. This sir is not change.
There is also the irony of being a war president and getting a peace prize. We spent 8 years in Afghanistan and we don’t want to spend 10 more there, so please earn your prize and don’t get us into another quagmire in a war that cannot be won by traditional means, as was the case in Viet Nam. We trust your judgment and your intelligent powers of discretion to come up with a creative solution.
Please sir fulfill all our projections and be the man that the whole world knows that you are and give us a meaningful healthcare bill that works for the people, with a now obviously badly needed public option. The Max Mucus bill as it stands makes me sick. Although there are good points in it the main purpose seems to be to placate all the special interests involved so they will support the bill. This is supposed to be a process to get the people what they need, not what various interests want.
One of the best lines that I ever heard came from John Lennon “Life is what’s happening to you as you are busy making other plans.” Now is your moment, seize it, stand tall and make us hear the sounds of your bell once again, by putting together the right pieces.
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