Sunday, October 16, 2011

A GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE ?





The center for responsible politics estimates that over $3.6 billion was spent on the 2010 congressional midterm elections. In the House of Representative races the winner spent an average of over $1.4 million for a job which pays $348,000 ($174,000 x 2 years). In the Senate, the winner spent an average of almost $9.8 million for a one million dollar job ($174,000 x 6 years). Sounds like a shitty deal to me unless other compensation is involved. Who the hell do these people actually work for?

The Center for Responsible Politics has a great interactive chart to show you where this money comes from. About half of the contributions come from “large individual donors”. These are people who donate $200-$2500(the legal max) per candidate and per PAC. They are 0.35% of American adults. PACs (Political Action Committees) are organizations created to raise money and push the agenda of a party, corporation, ideology, union, an entire industry, or a very specific issue, or candidate. They are maxed at $5,000 per candidate. Well...this doesn’t sound that bad. Looks like it takes a lot of individuals and PACs to get that campaign money, so no one should have too much influence....right?

Here's where it gets tricky on purpose. Each party is composed of individual, national, state, and local parties. Each party can have several “fund-raising committees”. All these entities can be given individual contributions. Individuals can give to as many campaigns, parties , and PACs as they want. They can also form groups/clubs/organizations to pool their money and donate again to the campaigns, parties, PACs. Then the PACs can give to other PACs which can again donate to the campaigns and parties. Then the parties and individual campaigns can redistribute the contributions to campaigns who need it the most. The only limit that ends up having any real effect is a total cap on individual spending at $117,000 per election cycle (every two years). The $117,000 limit gets no press and is the only one that matters. These tricks alone allow those who can afford it (up to $117,000 every two years) to vote with their money, but it's just the beginning.

So far we have only been discussing the money officially given to and spent by the campaigns themselves, but there are other ways to influence an election. You can just skip a step and spend the money for them. That’s the purpose of a “Super PAC”. Super PACs can take UNLIMITED money from anyone, including corporations, because they don't directly contribute to campaigns. They run their own tv and radio commercials, send out their own pamphlets, and make their own phone calls. This is allows them to appear impartial; or even worse allows them to be as misleading and vicious as they want with no accountability to the actual candidate.  According to The Center for Responsible Politics, outside groups spent $489,289,288 during the 2010 election.

Then there are the lobbyists. These are the brokers between the clients/sponsors and the politician. Lobbyists usually have no agenda of their own, they are guns for hire (just like the politicians they pimp). They are paid to do whatever it takes to get politicians to vote a certain way or introduce certain legislation(often written by the lobbyists themselves). In 2010 $3.5 billion was spent on lobbyist. $3.5 BILLION! Instead of just throwing money at a candidate and hoping you get noticed, you give your money to a lobbyist and they make sure you get what you pay for. Lobbyist are practically a branch of government. Almost half of congressmen become lobbyists when they leave office. It's pretty much the next step in the corporate latter of U.S. Government. If your a really good lobbyist you might even get promoted to a sweet gig in the president's cabinet.

With few exceptions, these politicians are glorified actors, networkers, and salesmen. They are not statesmen, scholars, or experts on anything. Their ideas, opinions, and agendas are either paid for or contrived to tell voters what they want to hear.

to be continued......

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Candy Desk

This Wikipedia article will explain everything you need to know about how Congress works.  Please read it in that context.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sometimes Patriotism Means Having Higher Expectations



Am I the only person who cares that Osama has been in retirement, in a mansion, in a modern city, with wives and all the American junk food he could handle this whole time? THIS IS THE STORY and by my standards the story is MISSION FAILED. The news is gawking and salivating at the current events instead of doing their job, as usual.

THINGS THAT DON'T MATTER

Who did a good job?

  1. We have the best trained and most well equipped special forces on earth. A whole branch of the military full of nothing but “Jason Bournes”, “Chuck Norrises” and “Rambos”. What happens when we send about 20 of them to kill an old man in a silly white robe and a couple friends with AK-47's. This is what they do. They probably did this to warm up for some real dangerous mission later.
    Fantastic work AS USUAL!, but this is not the big story.
  2. Obama: Go find Bin Laden
    CIA: OK
    Obama: Go Kill Bin Laden
    CIA: OK
    Tough decisions. Yeah good job Obama, also not the big story.
What effect will this have on Al Qaeda? Imagine what would happen to McDonald's without Ronald. Nothing. Still kills you. I don't even know what the hell Al Qaeda is. If I decided today that I hate America and start praying to Allah, I think I would be an Al Qaeda; but I'm not sure.

WHAT DOES MATTER

This was not about stopping terrorism anymore. It was about justice. The news now says that Osama was not “armed” but did “Resist”. I don't know about you but I wanted a trial and a HANGING! That’s what we do. These Navy Seals specialize in hostage situations and are specifically trained to not shoot unarmed people. As more of the story comes out it keeps changing. It is becoming clear that taking him alive was not a priority which I find very disappointing in terms of “justice”. I like to see criminals answer for their crimes.

Now the news is starting to ask how its possible that Pakistan didn’t know. Why do we expect anything but this from them? They have the worst track record on terrorism. I say we get our 12 billion in aid(bribes) back and call it even.  I have a better question. HOW IS IS POSSIBLE THAT WE DIDN'T KNOW? This is not conspiracy, its common sense. You have to believe that WE suck or WE are lairs. I'm not pushing one over the other.

Wipe the smirk off your face America, we're looking dumb. Something stinks! I'm not really expecting answers just some acknowledgment of the smell.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Better Late Than Never.



That's all the story I get Obama? I waited over an hour for you to tell me what the news reader* told me an hour ago.

First the news says “this just in: the president will be addressing the nation in 30 minutes, all we know is it will be concerning national security”. For a good 20 minutes it was left at that, with no more information. I know anyone in the country who was watching the news for that 20 minutes was anywhere from nervous to loosing their fucking mind. I was a good 15 minutes into my zombie apocalypse/alien invasion/nuclear warfare game plan before they dropped the earth shattering news. Major fail.

I don't know why it took Obama so long to write a speech just to pat everyone on the back. I was expecting more than this. Sure a few more details will slowly trickle out and I'm sure we'll be watching an Oliver Stone movie about it by the end of the year but I'm confused RIGHT NOW.
All I got from this speech is that Bin Laden has been partying in a mansion for 10 years. That makes me mad.

I don't understand how the president can talk to me about what this means in relation to 9/11 without discussing and acknowledging Bin Laden's history and relationship with the United States, and his home country of Saudi Arabia (where 15 of the 19 hijackers were from). The same people who trained him, killed him. In the context of the blatant facts and unanswered questions which my government refuses to acknowledge or discuss, this only makes everything more ridiculous to me.

Don't get me wrong.....I'm still celebrating. The only difference there might be between me and you is that I KNOW that I DON'T know what I’m celebrating.

Dead men tell no tales. I guess the president doesn’t either. Now if he could just kill the monster that lives under my bed I would really get a good night's sleep.

Hand out some medals and get back to the printing press.

U-S-A GO TEAM!

*”reporters” will now be referred to as “news readers”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Distraction of the Week: Nuclear Energy


Lets say that a couple weeks ago I asked you this question. “What do you think would happen if a 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit a 40 year old nuclear power plant?” You would probably describe something close to what's on the news right now. You are also probably not a nuclear physicist. I think that allows us to file this concept under “common sense”.

This incident had not brought any new information to light yet all of a sudden my tv\radio\news paper is full of people debating the future of nuclear energy. Why? Nuclear energy is big business and they don't want their product recalled. They are doing their best to make sure everyone is arguing about all the wrong things and its working. Lets put this whole thing through the bullshit strainer and then sprinkle some reality on top.

As far as meltdowns go, nuclear energy is relatively safe, especially newer generation III plants. This is not the main point of concern.
THE PROBLEM IS NUCLEAR WASTE!
It never goes away. Some isotopes of the uranium and plutonium can have a half life of ten thousand, hundred thousand, even a MILLION YEARS. This shit has to be maintained FOREVER which means the cost of nuclear energy is INFINITY DOLLARS. That’s right INFINITY DOLLARS! The energy industry loves it. Your great grandchildren will still be paying for the energy you are using right now.
At every step of the process, profits are privatized and expenditures are subsidized:
  1. Mining Uranium
  2. Building The plant
  3. Running\Maintaining The Plant
  4. Selling Electricity 
  5. STORING THE WASTE
Before the meltdown, Republicans said its cheap and safe, Democrats (including the president) said its cheap and clean. Both are being blown by industry lobbyists (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2011/03/17/AB6sr0k_story.html). If they actually cared about any of these things they would be selling the people on solar, wind, geothermal, etc., but instead they make excuses which could be applied ten fold to nuclear energy. They say these technologies are not ready. They will never be ready because the corporate sponsors will never willfully give up energy revenue. In fact, despite over half a century of research and billions(maybe trillions world wide) of dollars, it is nuclear energy that is NOT READY. Theoretical gen IV and V reactors may produce little or no waste, but scientist say they are at least 20 years away from practical application. Even then, is this how we want to power the whole planet?

What if we put (or had put) these resources into real renewable energy? Nuclear energy is a distraction and we don't need it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Old Writings From September 2008. Still Relevant.

McCain - Palin is Not a Government Shake-Up it is a Government Shake Down

Rudy Juliani is speaking at the RNC as I write this. Let's just get straight to the point. For the last 100 years the people selling us our energy have become the richest people in the world. Fact is energy is FREE and it is EVERYWHERE. Solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal, and on and on, we could have had it all 10 years ago. You will never get any of it until they figure out how to charge you for it. As I write they are shouting drill! baby drill! on my tv.

Fact: ¾ of public land that is already leased to oil and natural gas companies are unused
Fact: Drilling in Alaska won't yield anything for 10-15 years
Fact: When is does it will affect the price of oil by as much as only 2%
Fact: America does not get this oil! The oil companies put it on the world market and it gets sold to whoever wants to buy it for whatever the going rate is.

Here is what is really going on. Land leases are assets. The more assets your company has, the more it is worth. If you lease land from the government that is expected to have a billion dollars worth of oil in it, then your company is now worth a billion dollars more and you're your stock is worth more. The land will never be drilled. Why would you? Producing just a little less means you can charge a lot more.

That's why ¾ of the land they already have isn't drilled. That's why they want you to hate countries that fuck up their hustle i.e. Iran & Venezuela, but ignore their friends i.e. Saudi Arabia (home of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers). That's why they tricked us into invading Iraq. Before the invasion, Iraqi oil exports were growing because Sadam was investing in oil production. Sadam was also selling oil under the table to Syria for a big discount. This was driving the price of oil way down and had to be stopped.

The Iraqi invasion is a money making scheme on three fronts.

1. With Iraqi oil off the market prices go through the roof.
2. One trillion plus dollars of no bid contracts for defense contractors.
3. When the oil does start flowing again it will be because the oil fields have been leased out to private corporations. Assets. Stocks go up. Yey!

When Sadam was at war with Iran we gave him military support and sold him weapons. When Osama Bin Laden and his Taliban were trying to remove the Russians from Afghanistan we trained them, funded them, and gave them weapons. All motivated by oil assets. And let's be very clear, this is not oil for America. It's oil for private corporations who will sell it to America. Oil that we don't need!

Six corporations control virtually all the private oil in the world. Five corporations control virtually all the media in this country. Their board members interlock along with the major defense contractors and consumer product mega giants. This country has a ruling class. They buy politicians without blinking and eye or they become politicians themselves. The Republican Party's current sole function is to push the ruling class's agenda by any means necessary along with the help of the media oligopoly. Everyone who doesn't drink the coolaid trickles over to the bullshit Democrat Party. The current sold function of the Democrat Party is to have a place for these people to go where they won't cause too much trouble. And that's your current political choice: Brainwashing or Sedation. Campaigns cost millions and public office doesn't pay millions so unless politicians get a lot of small donations they don't work for you, they work for the corporation(s) that sponsors them. Tax burden gets shifted to the lower-class. Everything gets privatized, deregulated, monopolized. Republicans get paid to write the legislation and Democrats get paid to not vote against it. While Rome is burning both sides debate whether gays should get married or women should do what they want with their own bodies or whether global warming is real.

So here comes Barak Obama. Is he bullshit too? I really don't know. I don't like Democrats but I like most of what he says and I like where most of his money comes from. Is he a risk? MASSIVE! McCain on the other hand is a sure thing. You know exactly who he works for and what he will do. More corporate welfare, more war for profit, more privatization of government, more politicization of justice, more corruption, more cronyism, more sacrifice of freedom for so called "security", and more suppression of technology. I could get the same with Obama but at least I feel like I have a shot. Unfortunately the only sure way to know he is for real is if he gets assassinated between now and Election Day. If he makes it I'll still take the chance and vote for him.

Mind?Full

***Update***
So would we have been better off with McCain? Doubt it. Is Obama ineffective and disappointing? Yes! For the most part it's more of the same.
As of now my verdict is Obama=Bullshit.
What do you think?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pro-Life=Bullshit


When someone tells you they are pro-life, they aren't trying to make a statement about themselves, they are passive aggressively commenting on others.  Have you ever met a sane adult who is anti-life/pro-death?  If you support the legality of abortions this is what is being implied about YOU every time someone calls them self "pro-life".

Abortion is a very serious issue.  Adults cannot discuss serious matters when framed in a intellectually dishonest manner.  According to polls on Sean Hannity's website if you call yourself "pro-life" you probably also support capital punishment.  I would say there a good chance you love the military as well.  Many would call you a hypocrite but you are not.  You did however allow us to have a conversation about abortion without talking about abortion.  Thanks!

No one likes abortions.  Everyone likes life.
Pro-Life=Bullshit

As you may know republicans are in the process of defunding planned parent hood.  You also may know that while democrats love to spend money on things that don't work republicans love to cut spending on things that do.

Planed parenthood works, especially for "pro-lifers".  Why?  Well I'm going to make some more assumptions about "pro-lifers".  They probably don't talk to their children about sex other then to tell them its bad/evil or its only for married people.  This works great on an Amish commune.  I don't live there.  If your reading this, neither do you.  Maybe you should prepare your child for reality since that's where you live.  It's your disconnection from reality that creates the void that planned parenthood fills.  They provide education and contraceptives/birth control and other medical services that could not be acquired otherwise because of money or embarrassment.

Against abortions+Against birth control+Not living in a commune=Madness
Madness=More Abortions

If you don't do anything constructive to prevent unwanted pregnancy (telling people god doesn't like it, does not count) then we cannot take your opposition to abortions seriously.

The argument is, "we don't want tax dollars paying for abortions".  Planned Parenthood says tax dollars only go toward education, contraceptives, other women's health services, etc, and woman pay for their own abortions.  I agree money is fungible and it seems kinda gray, but I don't care either way. Why?

1. Because regardless of who pays for it and whether or not it's legal ABORTIONS ARE NOT GOING AWAY. Just like drugs, they only become more dangerous and allow the government to unjustly label more of our citizens as criminals.

2. (WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ UNADULTERATED TRUTH) It's not just the mother who has to live with her mistake. It's all of us, and to illustrate my point I will quote one of the most ridiculous “pro-lifers”. The following is from Ann Coulter's book Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America:
By 1996, 70 percent of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long-term sentences were raised by single mothers. Seventy-two percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents, and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers. Girls raised without fathers are more sexually promiscuous and more likely to end up divorced. A 1990 study by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that after controlling for single motherhood, the difference between black and white crime rates disappeared.
Various studies have come up with slightly different numbers, but all the figures are grim. According to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of all teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of all adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children.
A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes 'are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.' Single motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts.
....Many of these studies, for example, are from the 1990s, when the percentage of teenagers raised by single parents was lower than it is today. In 1990, 28 percent of children under eighteen were being raised in one-parent homes (mother or father), and 71 percent were being raised in two-parent homes. By 2005, more than one-third of all babies born in the United States were illegitimate. That's a lot of social problems coming.
...Imagine an America with 70 percent fewer juvenile delinquents, 70 percent fewer teenage births, 63 to 70 percent fewer teenage suicides, and 70 percent to 90 percent fewer runaways and you will appreciate what the sainted single mothers have accomplished." -- P.37-38
"A 2008 study led by Georgia State University economist Benjamin Scafidi found that single mothers -- unwed or divorced -- cost the US taxpayer $112 billion every year." -- P.51

So, you see the same people who don't want to pay for abortions also think single motherhood is a bad idea and do not want to pay to support the the children and mother.

More Madness.

If the mother cannot support the child (and maybe even herself), will you? Yes! You will, one way or another. Instead of protesting outside the clinic why don't you just offer to adopt all the babies? You won't because you can't, and neither can the government. If you are appalled by this, I would like to welcome you to reality. Go volunteer at the human society and get a stronger grip. Stop name calling while the adults are actually doing something to prevent what we all hate.