Saturday, April 30, 2011

Inside Job

At the behest of my good friend, Sparty, I paid $4.99 to "On Demand" to watch a documentary film called "Inside Job" which was narrated by Matt Damon. It made me angry all over again.

"Inside Job" is a history of the economic crisis which befell the United States in the Bush years, and the roots of that crisis before the Bush years. It also depicts the corruption of much of the Congress and the Obama administration through their complicity in the crisis - and in the aftermath of the crisis - when they made themselves a part of the conspiracy to defraud the people of the world. There is a cast of characters, all of them thieves, who systematically pulled down the economic system and then used the money of the middle class to patch it back up. The people in the government who have been appointed to steal the people's money out of the treasury are the same people who destroyed hundreds of millions of peoples' livelihoods around the world by stealing their money, too.

Most of this story is composed of people and events which people reading the daily news over the past ten years, would have been well aware of.

When this crisis hit in 2008, I predicted that it would be the end of capitalism. What I didn't know then is that our government, rather than reforming the financial rules by which our professional thieves work, would instead mock those ameliorative steps. Barack Obama, preaching acts of reform, did nothing of the sort. The capitalist system was not allowed by our government to collapse despite the criminal activities which it has practiced against our people.

I once asked Sparty if he saw similarities between the pre-French Revolutionary society and our increasingly unfair society and he scoffed at me. I haven't changed my mind.

According to the documentary, the United States is now the most classed advanced society on earth, with the breach between those 1% or so who have almost everything and those 90% who don't have even a sense of security. This situation will not be getting better, only worse.

friends write

1. Amy says that when she hears someone say the schools should be operated like businesses, she wants to ask if they would fire the bad students just as they fire bad workers.

2. Dashmann says:
I just watched the wonderful movie " The Pianist" In it, some Jews in Warsaw , Poland ,volunteered to help the occupying Nazis in WW2 control the other Jews in the ghetto, thus gaining preferential treatment by the Nazis over their fellow middle and lower class Jews.
I find many similarities between those volunteers and todays middle class Republicans who blindly support the new Republican governors and Republican US House of Reps in their attempts to denigrate the lower classes.
But I wonder where their preferential treatment will come from ?? Why in a nation of plenty do we do these things to ourselves???

Thursday, April 28, 2011

quoted without comment

"Observers of the scene have made a mistake about Obama. He's not "eloquent." He's merely respectable. Being able to speak in grammatical sentences is not the same as having anything to say. It will be a sorrowful day when he is replaced by a genuine idiot like Michele Bachman, but it will happen because he wasn't able to set the tone for his times with something like a straight story, or a memo to his chief law enforcement officer."

anyone know a good teabagger?

I don't know a Teabagger who makes sense enough that we can carry on a discussion about what they believe.

Does any one of you few out there who look in here, know such a person?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

oh, now and then

This is not my usual blog topic, but this struck me as so funny, I thought I should run it past your sense of humor and see if it collides.

Friday, April 22, 2011

running for all he's worth

I was really pleased to hear Trump talking about his "worth".

He measures it all in dollars. He is worth billions, he says. But as for his value as a person, not worth a plugged nickel, so far as I know.

Sounds like a perfect Presidential candidate.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My "dream team"

For President and Vice President

War! Guess Who's Winning?

What is more disgusting than the shout of the wealthy that the liberals/progressives are engaging in "class warfare"?
CLICK FOR SOURCE and an article

There IS a class war going on, and the rich and powerful are winning. They have been winning for 30 years. But, they started the war.

Consider these political happenings.
1. Proposals to privatize (that means "end") Medicare.
2. Proposals to cut (that means, eventually, "end") social security.
3. Proposals and serious efforts to end "Obamacare."
4. The end of pensions, so far mostly corporate pensions, but also now probably public pensions.
5. The end of employer provided healthy care coverage.
6. Inflation of prices of food and energy.
7. Slashes to public school budgets.
8. Income tax cuts.
9. Huge budget deficits passed to the next generation.

Who do these steps benefit?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some odds and ends

Disney Cruise Ship leaves Canaveral for Caribbean tour

Seafood and friends at Port Canaveral

At Five Guys

Pat, enjoying a vacation

Don't criticize us for noticing.

forwarded by Jerry -- and on the mark!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Wisconsin really 'broke'?

Governor Walker keeps saying that. Is it true?

Not really: CLICK

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We suffer from falling dreams.

I believe that the "American Dream" pursued by millions of Americans over several generations, has always included certain ingredients that were understood as particulates of this living dream:
1. decent working conditions
2. good wages
3. better and better opportunities for each generation, including college for the kids.
4. a chance to own one's home
5. health care and a safety net
6. lots of leisure time
7. assured pensions and social security

Now I have that dream, it's in my possession. I live better than my parents, who lived better than their parents, and so on. I have some level of health care so that if I face a health crisis I won't have to bankrupt the family. My children went to universities and got good jobs.

I own the home I live in.

I have a pension. Ah, now there's the rub. While millions of Americans stood silently by, their corporations and companies (with the complicity of their government and the complicity of the wealthy class of people who control our economy) stole their pensions. Sometimes, they didn't take it all, they just swiped whatever they could reasonably get away with.

But, I still have a pension. This is because I was a teacher. And this galls people. It galls the next generation which will have to provide for its own pensions because this society has tossed out the American Dream. Even one of my children speaks bitterly of my pension.

My pension also galls a lot of those folks who lost their own pensions --- that is, who watched while these were stolen from them. It also galls the government of this state which made a deal with me to provide this pension, and which now cannot believe they are obligated by it. That agreement was no secret. It was nothing done by surprise or fiat, nothing accomplished in the dark of night. It was not a crooked deal. It was a system established long before there was any teachers' union or any teachers' contract. Teachers would get pensions that they paid into during their working years. Yes, they paid into them, and they still do.

It galls the Republicans. Those Republicans have bankrupted the federal and state governments, and now they say, "We're broke!" They took the treasury of the United States and gave it to the wealthy. This was not done ignorantly or by mistake. It was deliberate. Now suddenly, society cannot afford to pay my pension. Now suddenly, we must "share the burden!" Or as one of my closest friends told me, "It's the teachers' turn to take the hit."

Don't you know that it isn't the teachers? It's also all the government workers. It's also the police. It's also the fire fighters and the park workers and lots of other folks who belong to one of the last unions willing to fight. I guess what people believe is that if one group (say, industrial workers) gets robbed, then everyone else should get robbed as well. Otherwise, we're not "sharing the burden". And meanwhile, those who were handed billions are asked to give up nothing. In our state, Michigan, the governor proposes that the wealthy be given more, out of the pensions of government workers to "business" which might produce us more jobs.

So, in this society, the wealth trickles UPWARDS. From the lower incomes to the higher ones. From those with little up to those with a lot. This is the morality of the current age. It is a morality without goodness or fairness. It is the morality of modern unbridled capitalism which expects all of society to pay its way.

This is a morality built on a set of deceptions which some people can pay to spread, and the rest of us cannot afford to fight.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wisconsin corruption.

What? Crooked Republican? You don't say.

It's just all so common these days, and no one investigates, and most politicians don't even think of it as corruption.

Read it and weep, friends:

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.

How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?

It's all in the family.

His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-basedWisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year's governor's race.

Whole Story: CLICK

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One step forward, and ...

Obama Care when the Republicans get done with it.
(Click on cartoon to enlarge it.)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

We, the fools

You have to go read this, all you working class and retired suckers out there.

CEO pay soars while workers' pay stalls


haunted Florida

I took these pictures of a haunted house in Florida. You can clearly see the ghosts.

Anyone doubt this?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Update on Libya Opinions

Just a reminder. This is an illegal attack on Libya. No matter how much they deserved it. A lot of people deserve to be "reprimanded" I don't doubt. But THIS is not our job, it's not our business, it's not our fight.

I never wish ill for our troops and armed forces, and I never hope they fail in their missions. It's the government I criticize, and especially Obama.

home and spring

We have made it safely home from Florida. The biggest reason to be here is because we needed to see and touch our family and catch up on goings on with all of them.

Another reason is that friends matter, so we need to reestablish ourselves with so many of them. We have discussions and debate to conduct and coffee or beer to drink. These things are important in the existential fulness of our lives.

Another reason is that spring will be here within the next 6 weeks or so. By spring I mean, warmth and birdies tweeting and no snow and some bright days. This should reward us with a show of spring flowers. We had planted so many bulbs and want to see the result.

Many people say they like spring, but they don't mean all of spring. They mean the alive and, bursting-with-new-growth spring. This, we hope, is going to be soon and fulsome! I may not survive to see another, after all.