After the harrowing ordeal of the government shutdown, I began to reflect on what all this means, what everything is really about. Imagine if the company you work for was actually the country in which you lived. Think about that. You have no say in who your boss is or what direction the company is going. If you do not like it, then you can leave with no health care, no way to feed your family, no way to pay for their shelter... or you can go to another corporate country and follow their laws and find out you have no say there as well. In these corporate countries, you have no freedom of speech, no privacy, no rights at all really. They can even require you give them passwords to your social media, make you piss in a cup so they can see what you do when you are not at work, require you not to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol in your own home, check your credit history to see if you pay your bills, require you to take lie detector tests and background checks and on and on and on... More and more often, they can banish you for any or no reason whatsoever. There is almost zero accountability to the corporate country for any violation of any supposed rules they are supposed to obey. You are required to give them between 25% and 50% of your time (33-66% of your waking hours) and you are required to use what meager resources they provide to sustain yourself and your family on your own time. Your only value is how much money you can make for them and they want that value at the least possible cost. Welcome to corporate America!
While reading another CNN article about Benghazi (I like to keep up with the craziness, it helps me feel sane) I came across something that made me sit up and take notice. They quoted their source as saying if anyone talks, "You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well."
I don't know if that is true or not but even suggesting it should be considered an accusation that we have become a fascist government. Think about that, CNN, a supposed Main Stream Media outlet is claiming that if these CIA operatives talk, they will be putting their families in jeopardy. That is what evil dictators do. That is what mobsters do. That is not what any democratic Republic would do.
I am not a Hillary Clinton fan. It is not that I do not think she is capable, I do. I am afraid though that there is not enough difference between her and Bill and President Obama to make a lick of difference. So the question always come up, then who do you want to run? After a lot of thought, I have finally decided on my dream team. Follow me beyond the orange ribbon laced puffy cloud if you want to know who they are.
One of my favorite comedy routines has always been Bill Cosby's stand-up performance "Bill Cosby: Himself". It is the routine that spawned the Cosby Show. One of my fovorite excerpts from it was when his wife "Holds a yard stick over her head like a samurai sword and announces the beatings will now begin by say, 'I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!'"
Well, that is how I feel right now. I have had enough. I am sick of the constant barage of e-mail right wing jokes, modified pictures (or pictures with blantant lies as captions), deceptively edited videos, stories that are pure fabrications being represented as truths, horror stories about Obamacare denying older people medical treatment, patriotic rants, NRA bullshit, secret Muslim bullshit, FEMA camp bullshit, lies, lies and more lies, and on and on and on.
However, here is the real kicker though, I am not mad at the conservatives for all of this. That would be like getting angry at a skunk for smelling badly or getting mad at snake for biting you. You cannot be angry about that because that is what they do, it is their nature. I am angry that we seem to be to satisfied just trying to counter all of these nonsensical claims one by one or sometimes we may brush them off by saying clever retorts like, "You must get your information from Faux news" or my personal (non) favorite, "I am not going to dignify that with a response".
The rant continues beneath the orange cloud of shit storms...
Before the election, I received several fund raising e-mails promising a chance to have dinner with the president. Like I imagine what I would do with my lottery winnings should I ever hit the "Big One", I began thinking about what I would ask him if I ever got the opportunity. How woould I approach the conversation? It has become a thought exercise for the last six months that changes with every new revelation about drone strikes and his willingness to chain the consumer pricing index.
I would like to know what other people would ask. What is the most important thing for you to spend your once in a lifetime opportunity? Remember, if this were an opprtunity, like the dinner offer, based in reality, there would be no magic truth serum and no way to make him answer. What is it that you want to tell him or want him to tell you? How would you do it and why would you do it?
Below the fold is my approach, at least for today. It will probably be different by tomorrow.
In pro wrestling, wrestlers are actually actors who act like they hate each other. They appear to fight ferociously for their audience, kicking and screaming and yelling. They make bold claims about ripping one another to shreads but the reality is much different. In reality, every fight is choreographed, every winner is predetermined and every detail, down to the outfits and injuries predetermined by the actual owners of the show. At the end of the day, they all go out to eat together and share in the profits. Show business at its finest (at least to some). However, to this day, there are believers who will argue with you about whether it is real or not. I have been to a pro wrestling show back in the eighties in North Carolina and believe me, those people believed. I saw a guy who didn't weigh 160 lbs soaking wet jump from the audience into the ring and punch Ivan Koloff because he was patriotic or something. I watched the cops take him out and beat the crap out of him for it. There was my friend's grandma who used to tell me that they didn't let high schoolers like me REALLY wrestle. You had to be a professional before they let you REALLY wrestle.
What if our government was like that? What if they pretended to fight for our sake but in reality, every fight had a scripted ending. What if they actually agreed on everything but knew that if we didn't think there was a difference, we would start a new opposition party. What if at the end of the day, they all go out and have dinner together and split up the profits. How would we know? How would it look any different than what we have here today? How would we be any different than all of those suckers aguing about whether Ivan Koloff can beat Rick Flair or whatever? Do we look as silly fighting for our candidate as that 160 lb kid looked jumping into the ring against that mountain of a man?
What is it that makes us believe that this is not exactly what is happening in our government today? From that perspective, maybe Linda McMahon doesn't seem like such an idiotic candidate after all.
This has not received the media coverage it deserves. Nathan Blanc, an Isreali teenager, faces his eighth jail sentencefor refusing to join the Isreali military on ideological grounds. This, to me, is courage comparable to the Tiananmen Square tank man If you do not think that the Isreali government deserves that type of comparrison, ask Rachel Corrie.
A bit more about Nathan Blanc from the link:
Following his refusal to enlist, Blanc expects to be arrested and sentenced to between 10 and 20 days in jail. He will then be taken to Military Prison Number 6 to serve his time. And then, following his release, the cycle will begin over again.And trying not to press my luck on fair use but:
The reason why Blanc knows what to expect is that this will be the eighth time the teenage conscientious objector has been jailed in the past 19 weeks. Since the date of his original call-up for military service, Blanc has spent more than 100 days in prison;
Blanc rejected the option taken by some objectors of claiming a medical condition that would exempt him from military service. "I didn't want to lie. This is a point of principle."Peacefully standing up to your own government, inspite of the consequences, is the true work of heroes that give me hope for the future. I know soldiers risk their lives for their country but once you enlist, you are basically just following orders and hoping that you and your friends don't get killed. I'm not trying to disrespect soldiers but true heroism is doing what is right regadless of what your orders say or what the law is or whether it may cause you great harm (either physically, emotionally or finacially). There are true heroes who wear their country's uniform with integrity and make us all proud for their selfless acts of courage and humanitarian relief. However, in my opinion, there are just as many, if not more, that fight for freedom everyday, in their own way, like Nathan Blanc. In my eyes, he is a real hero and an inspiration to the entire world.
Keep on fighting for peace!
I know that social issues are important. I am not trying to say that equal rights for anyone (women's, minority, gay, etc...) are not important. Each of those issues are extremely important and need to be fought for. I am also not saying that other social issues like gun control, abortion, contraception, the war on drugs, incarceration levels, immigration and quality education issues are not important. They are extremely important and they are worth fighting for.
Just for a momemt though, let's take those things off the table and look closely at our government. Not at what they say they believe in and not what they psuh when they know their vote doesn't matter. Let's look at what they do. Specifically, let's look at how they treat the financial industry, the defense department, the healthcare industry, individual rights and social entitlements and let's look at it from the standpoint of who benefits and who gets hurt.
I have always been strong. Even though I am out of shape at the moment and a lot older than I used to be, I am still strong. It may be sexist of me to say this but I have always considered it my duty as a man to look out for those weaker than me. In any emergency I have ever been involved with, I have always considered it my responsibility to carry more than my share of the load. Maybe it is my way of showing gratitude for being blessed with the strength to do it or maybe it if my upbringing or maybe it is just a sense of fairness but I always try to carry more than my fair share of the load. I am proud of that. I think men in general are proud of that and I think society pressures men to take on that roll through the entertainment industry and social rewards and punishments. It is our custom and it is as American as baseball and apple pie.
What I do not understand is why there does not seem to be the same social pressure on the rich to take on more of the burdon in much the same way. Why is there all of this talk of shared sacrifice when over the last thirty years only one side (our side) has had to burdon the majority of the sacrifice?
Think about this, when everyone is talking about shared sacrifice and compromise... compare what they are offering to 1998. The worst case anyone is talking about for the republicans is going back to 1998's tax policy after twelve years of the biggest tax give-away in history. Compare that to the cuts in social security they want the poor and middle class to take. They get to have all of that money for twelve years that they swore would bring an economic jobs explosion (which actually lead to the greatest jobs implosion in history) and get to significantly alter social security, which they contribute a paltry percent of their income to, a benefits cut for the lower classes. Where are the mighty stewards of our country stepping up and saying they are (financially) stronger so they should bear the heavier load (Warren Buffet aside)? Where are all of those gun toting, misogynistic manly men who feel they are powerful enough to tell women what to do? They should be the first to step forward and say, "I got this, give me more burden to carry. I'm strong enough to handle more". Where are the financially strong who "Love America" and want to do everything in their power to help her be financially strong again?
I may not be financially as strong as many out there but I am strong enough to make a difference and I will accept more responsibility because that is what a real man does... Where are the republican "Real Men"? If there are any of them out there, I invite them to step up and start helping. I'll be the guy whose is out there bustin' my ass trying to get something done... feel free to join me.
The church and its anti-gay agenda has crossed yet another line in the sand that I cannot believe they have the audacity to cross. This is not about the election but it is about the amount of hate that Christian churches now spew in amazingly more and more brazen ways...
Should President Obama propose simply treating all income as earned income and taxing it the same way they tax the so-called moochers? Make everyone pay the same taxes on capital gains (payroll taxes including social security) and remove the cap on social security. This would have to raise tens if not hundreds of billions in additional tax revenue and it would be sold as just making it fair.
I think that the average person could really identify with making things fair so that Romney would have to argue that he somehow deserved to be treated better and deserved to pay less as a percentage. This would highlight the disparity between what the 47% really pay as opposed to the myth that they pay "NO" taxes. It would also put new pressure on him to show his actual tax returns. Has anyone figured up what he pays to social security as a percentage of his income as opposed to the common person making below the cap?
President Barack Obama may have trouble winning the next debate alone. He should bring backup along just in case things start getting tough from him again. Who should this guest be? George Bush.
Obama should bring up the former president and leader of the GOP early and often. The economy sucks? Ask George Bush (the guy who crashed it) how giving tax cuts to the wealthy while simultaneously starting two wars worked for him. Worried about the security of Ambassadors in foreign hostile countries? Ask George Bush, the Republican president who ignored warnings and let 3,000 Americans get killed on our on soil after repeated warnings. Worried about the solvency of Medicare? Ask George Bush, the Republican president who never funded the pharmaceutical company give-away that has led to Medicare being underwater in 2014 if it were not for what you call Obamacare which you republicans vow to repeal. Let's remember who was president when this economy collapsed... George Bush. Let's remember whose advisors are working as advisors to Mitt Romney... George Bush. Let’s remember who said that tax cuts for the wealthy would stimulate the economy and create jobs while in reality creating fewer private sector jobs than any president before him since Herbert Hoover (another Republican President who left the country in dire straights for a Democrat to fix).
Which president left his successor a surplus when he left office? Well, that was a Democrat, Bill Clinton. Who turned that surplus into a trillion dollar defecit and doubled the National debt? You guessed it... George Bush.
Bring George Bush to the debate, handcuff him to Mitt and let him own the principles he wants to bring back to the United States (on steroids).
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