Saturday, October 22, 2011

Middle-Class Decline is Directly Correlated to Decline in Unions.

There is direct correlation between the decline in the unions and the decline in the middle-class; as well as the subsequent rise of the top 1%. This graphic isn't rhetoric or hyperbole; numbers don't lie.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Death of Gaddafi and the Obama Doctrine.

PHOTO CREDIT: "Shadow Dunes" by Giddion Lubbe for Free Digital Photos

The death of ex-Libyan dictator, Moammar Gaddafi is the latest success of President Obama's foreign policy. It has been reported that a U.S. led, NATO airstrike stopped the escaping convey of the Libyan dictator long enough for Libyan fighters to capture the "Mad Dog Dictator of the Middle-East" (as Ronald Reagan referred to Gaddafi). President Obama's decision to offer limited air support to the Libyan rebels turned out to be a huge success; and it was done with a fraction of the money Bush poured into Iraq. Remember, Gaddafi was responsible for the deaths of Americans with the tragic, Pan Am terrorist bombing; as well as the bombing of a German nightclub that killed a couple of American service members.

It was the use of a limited but well-experienced, and highly-trained team of special forces that enabled the swift kill and capture of Osama bin Laden; without losing any American lives. The death of top terrorist Anwar al-awlaki was possible through the use of Predator drones, which also kept American lives from being at risk. It enabled a smart, tactical strike on an elusive target that otherwise would have required hundreds of American soldiers on the ground.

The use of limited but targeted airstrikes combined with diplomacy and use of special forces teams is proving to a well-establish policy of President Obama's; and it is paying off. President Obama understands what Bush didn't; the modern world threats require a smarter, leaner use of special forces and highly-advanced technology. And when intervention in another country is required to stem the tide of genocide, it must only come at the invitation of the country involved. But more importantly, it doesn't require invading countries with hundreds of thousands of ground forces. This allows the people of those countries to do the ground fighting that their pride and national sovereignty deserve.

In following this path in Libya, we didn't have to abide another Arabic, Muslim backlash against America. There were no American flags burned in Libya during this operation; unlike what our ground presence did in Iraq. The Iraqis resented us for not understanding the complexities of their country on the ground, and in so doing, we made a lot of enemies. But, with Libya we have helped them win a victory without over-stepping our place; and that has gained us a lot of friends and respect there. President Obama is showing how military intervention in this modern world of asymmetrical warfare is possible; without losing a lot of American lives and pissing off the populace in these countries where action is required. I applaud President Obama's ability to defend America and it's allies in a smart and tactical way. It's a breath of fresh air from the "shoot first and ask questions later" cowboy approach of President George W. Bush.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Poll: Marijuana Legalization Support Reaches New High.


In a new poll from Gallup, a majority of Americans now support legalization of marijuana. Fifty percent now favor the end to prohibition, whereas 46% oppose it. Just last year, that support for ending prohibition was at 46%. Americans are finally seeing through the propaganda that has incorrectly labeled marijuana as a dangerous drug.

Not one person has ever over-dosed from marijuana; compare that to alcohol, and yet alcohol is as available as Starbucks coffee. Marijuana isn't physically addictive like tobacco and yet tobacco can be easily purchased at convenience stores!! Anyone who says marijuana is physically addictive is misinformed and has obviously never tried the herb. I have used marijuana throughout various times in my life and it has never been hard to stop when I wanted to.

Then there is the fact that marijuana pacifies people and therefore you just don't see the violence associated with it that you do with alcohol. Think about all the violence on the border with Mexico over drugs; sixty percent of that drug trade is in marijuana!! If we legalized it then that crime would drop drastically. Some people say that drug cartels would still have other drugs to sell but who in their right mind would oppose putting a 60% dent in their business?!!!

And, the cost to tax payers of enforcing a failed 70 year prohibition in police resources has been atrocious. That is time that the police could be chasing violent criminals and solving cold cases. In addition, we already clogging up our already crowded prisons with non-violent marijuana users and growers while pedophiles and rapists get light sentences!! The warehousing of those marijuana "offenders" also costs the tax payer ridiculous amounts of money. The money is flowing the wrong way--out of our pockets; legalization and regulation similar to alcohol could be bringing in millions (if not billions) to state and federal coffers to balance budgets and fund schools.

The last time I checked, America was a country where we have a right to personal freedom and unreasonable searches and seizures. Tax paying, law-abiding citizens should have the freedom to enjoy small amounts of marijuana in the privacy of their own homes. Whatever happened to the pursuit of happiness?!! For these, and many other reasons, marijuana should be legalized and it appears that America is ready to do it. The tipping point is upon us and now it just looks like it is being opposed by "do-gooders" who oppose it purely on religious, moral grounds. However, a religion shouldn't have the right to deny others personal freedoms; this is a country after all that allows for the practice of no religion, too. Even amongst the religious there are many who agree with legalization, so the time is now.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Mitt Romney: Wall-Street's Favorite Politician.

Mitt Romney picture surfaces flaunting money; (Romney pictured center) taken during his days at Bain Capital where his job was to buy distressed companies and liquidate the employees to make them profitable again. That's not gonna bring back jobs. I don't begrudge the guy making money but he has shamelessly been the biggest taker of Wall-Street money in this 2012 presidential race. The same Wall-Street that took all our money and never paid it back. The same Wall-Street that has had a boom in the stock market while the middle-class on Main Street keep struggling just to stay in our homes!! The same Wall-Street that gives themselves obscene bonuses despite tanking the economy. The same Wall-Street that Americans are rallying against right now with the "Occupy Wall-Street" movements.

President Obama may not be FDR but he's tried to work with the big money guys to not just fix Wall-Street but bring back the middle-class. But, instead of co-operation, he gets the back of the hand from them and their Republican surrogates in Congress. Wall-Street will always have enough influence to get whatever they want, but the only person standing in the way of Wall-Street completely devouring the middle-class is President Obama. We can't expect him to work miracles when the other party (Republicans) is entirely opposed to anything he proposes; even ideas that Republicans would have supported in the past!! It's clear that they are willing to let the economy tank further and keep jobs bills from being passed just to defeat Obama and get back into the White House. Given that reality, I'll be voting for Obama and I hope you will too.

If we vote in further Republican rule then we might see the total and final collapse of the middle-class. I refuse to see a return of the gilded age and the days of the robber barons. If you want to see where the Republicans want to take this country then look into the history of the gilded age. I refuse to give into their cynical power grab while average Americans wilt on the vine of the economy. We can't afford to see Bush style economics return to the White House.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Anita Perry Whines About Presidential Campaign and Religion.


Presidential campaign candidate, Rick Perry, has been exposed as a presidential light-weight through the vetting process of the Republican primary debates. This has caused his wife, Anita Perry, to whine about her husband's down-fall; blaming on everyone but himself. She has been bellyaching about how scrutinizing the press, and other candidates, have been toward his positions and experience. Well, as the saying goes, "If you don't like the heat, stay out of the kitchen!!"

The American presidential campaign isn't meant to be a high-school student council contest. If she thinks the pressure is too much now, then she couldn't handle being the wife of a president where the stress and pressure is infinitely more intense. Instead of blaming her husband for his poor debate performance, she whines that the debates have been "unfair" toward him. Look, lady, this isn't kindergarten sports where everyone gets a medal; this is a job interview for leader of one of the biggest and most powerful countries on planet Earth!! Quit "complaining to the referees" and tell your dim-witted husband to get his head in the game.

To make matters worse, she went on to actually say that one of the reasons Governor Perry has been doing poorly in the polls is because she feels he's being discriminated for his Evangelical faith!! I rolled my eyes and laughed hysterically upon hearing that bullshit excuse. Her husband is the one who has made his religious beliefs part of the campaign by shamelessly preaching to voters to curry favor with the dominate religious believers in this country -- Christians.

It's both hilarious, and annoying, that Mrs. Perry seems to think her husbands Evangelical Christian beliefs makes him a persecuted minority in America. Evangelical Christians are one of the biggest, popular (and fastest growing) subsets of the dominate, American, religious belief of -- Christianity. As a Buddhist, and therefore, a true religious minority, I find her complaints of discrimination to be misplaced, at best, and pure bullshit at worst.

So, either drop out of the campaign or stop complaining because there are plenty of people who would love to take your husband's place; Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico being one. He is a strong Libertarian but isn't allowed in the presidential debates because he has some views that the mainstream Republican elite find threatening -- such as marijuana legalization. Just be happy you're not one of the millions of Americans without a job, home, and/or retirement savings. It's hard to have much sympathy in these difficult times for rich, priviledged assholes like you, Anita Perry. Go back to Texas and dry those tears with your piles of money that you have lying around. Leave the rest of us alone because we're tired, penniless and without jobs; and frankly, we don't want to hear it anymore. Hearing rich people complain is like a spoiled kid crying because he only got 30 Christmas presents instead of 35. Just shut up already, ok?

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Get Money Out of Politics with Dylan Ratigan.

We are at a crossroads America. By now most of us have woken up to the cold, stark, reality that our Congress is corrupted to its roots by special interest money. It pours in from the right by mega-corporations, and it pours in from the left by their special interests. Both sides are to blame, which is why, we, the American people have to stop blaming each other and blame the system that got us into this mess.

Whether you are Republican, Tea Party, Independent, Democrat or Liberal; none of us want a corrupt government. Our system has become so corrupt that all we see from Washington anymore is gridlock and partisan bickering. Corrupted politicians are preventing reforms in the follow industries: healthcare, energy, banking, telecommunications, trade and agriculture.

So, we agree on the problem but what do we do about it? I am joining Wall-Street whistleblower, and MSNBC journalist, Dylan Rattigan’s campaign to get the money out of our political process. He has drafted up a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban money from politics at www.getmoneyout.com.

Whether you are a conservative who thinks lawyers have too much monetary influence on Congress or a Liberal who believes the oil companies own the place, we all want our government back. We can’t afford to fight each other right now on ancillary issues when government (on both sides) is failing us because of corruption. I beg you to go to the website, read the amendment and sign this petition; not as a Liberal or Conservative, but as a fellow American struggling in the dwindling middle-class. This doesn’t mean that the two political sides won’t still have disagreements but on this matter we can’t afford to disagree.

Again, that website is www.getmoneyout.com. This is a very serious campaign and the website won’t spam you. And, when you finish signing, email the petition website to a friend or two and join us in this great American wave of freedom!!

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Monday, October 03, 2011

Is Chris Christie's Weight an Issue?

Should he run for president, there are numerous reasons to not support Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. First and foremost, the man himself has said over and over that he won't run; including a statement from him stating he doesn't feel he's ready for the job of president!!

If he doesn't feel he's ready for the job then who am I to disagree? But, just as important, Christie stands against women's rights in changing his view from "pro-choice" on abortion to "anti-choice." That's not something that's going to ingratiate himself to a lot of women; nor, is his propensity toward anger, bullying and intimidation. It's a terrible example in a time when we are trying to reduce bullying in our schools and amongst our young people.

He's also a big defender of the ultra rich paying lower taxes; this at a time when everyone else is getting squeezed financially. So, defending the rich from having to sacrifice too won't go over too well with the dwindling middle-class. Then, there's his weight--yes, this is a real issue. Let me explain why:

Governor Christie is a big man--he looks to weigh at least 300 pounds, which means he probably has high blood-pressure, high-cholesterol, possible heart issues and possible diabetes precursors. In a normal job application, weight should absolutely be a non-issue. However, President of the United States isn't just another job--it's high stress, long hours and demanding schedules. It requires having a near inexhaustible amount of energy and being a good role-model for our young people. Unfortunately, Governor Christie doesn't fit that criteria. The modern American presidency is much more demanding than it was when President Taft served; weighing in around 400 pounds.

Today, the presidency is simply too stressful a job for someone of his health. It's simply not wise to have someone in such poor health leading the free world, in probably the most demanding job in the world. We don't want a president who very well could have a heart attack every year or so; and I don't mean that jokingly. A president's weight is a serious issue, especially in an era when so many American adults, and kids are obese. If we are committed to reducing weight in this country then we should probably start with the president. Having a morbidly obese president does not exactly send a message of strength and vitality to the rest of the world--or our young people.

I'm not saying that I'm in tip-top health, but I'm not considering applying for the most important, stressful and physically demanding job in the United States. Our presidents don't have to be marathon runners but weight is a real issue to consider for a job whose duties have multiplied since the old days of Taft. Some might say that President Obama shouldn't be president because of his smoking. However, Michelle Obama stated to ABC News in February that he has quit smoking altogether. "Michelle Obama takes credit for originally getting the president to quit smoking, making it a requirement before she’d agree to his run in the 2008 presidential elections." President Obama has even convinced aides in the White House to quit smoking along with him.

I'm honestly trying to look at this weight issue in a realistic way because the health of our modern presidents is vastly more important than it use to be. I welcome Governor Christie running for president in a few years when he's at least lost 100 pounds or so. Until then, I don't think he'd be able to physically handle the pressures the jobs places upon the body. The stress is unimaginable, and Chris Christie's body doesn't look like it can handle much more stress. It is a legitimate issue.

PHOTO CREDIT: Grant Cochrane for www.freedigitalphotos.net

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