Sunday, March 29, 2020

Protection from our government

It is crystal clear that we now need to be protected from our own government. Who is willing to stand up and defend us from tyranny?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Has to Go

It is time for resignation.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The American Taliban

Last night's season finale of "The Newsroom" made some very important points that I think should be reiterated.  Jeff Damiels character, Will McAvoy, listed the similarities between the Taliban in Afghanistan and their goals and the Tea Party, along with some Republicans.  A few of the similarities I can recall from memory are:

  • A need to control women's bodies
  • Ideological purity
  • Compromise as weakness
  • Fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism
  • Denying science
  • Unmoved by facts
  • Demonization of education
  • Severe xenophobia
  • Tribal mentality
  • Intolerance of dissent
  • Pathological hatred of the U.S. government

 Although Jeff's character did editorialize quite a bit in this segment, I think he made great points that are worth serious consideration.  What has always seemed profoundly important to me are these similarities between radical Muslims and radical Christians.  Both groups espouse fundamentalist views that are a threat to civilization and peace and both are fascist organizations.  Personally, my view is that we need more rational thought and discussion about problems that are real and imminent and less faith-based sophism that only promotes one's own agenda as a religious person.  I would like to think that we can solve problems in this country, not by attacking each other but by realizing that we can only improve our country by AGREEING with each other. 

Monday, November 06, 2006

Please Vote!

As responsible Americans, it is our duty to get out and vote tomorrow. The fascists who are running our government need to be stopped. If we vote for change tomorrow, we cannot do any worse than the current government has done. Here's just one of a few things you need to remember tomorrow:

The response to Hurricane Katrina

If you think this government cares about minorities and poor people, then you are mistaken. The only thing this government cares about are special interest groups and big corporate business. Yes, the economy is doing great, but only for the most wealthy in this country. Although tomorrow is not a presidential election, it will provide us the means to take power away from President Bush. Without a Republican majority in Congress, President Bush will have a tough time getting anything pushed through Congress or the Senate. Some individuals have also suggested that if the Dems can take back the Senate, that their first action should be to impeach President Bush.

The list of lies and deceptions perpetrated by this government are numerous. First, there were no WMD's in Iraq and that was our only justification prior to our current occupation in Iraq. Second, the President secretly developed an operation that spies on American's without going through the court system and third, President Bush has been unable to capture Osama bin Laden. There are many others, but those are just a few. The litany of failures by this administration is almost inconcieveable. Unless we take some power away from President Bush, the next 2 years are surely going to be filled with more scandals, lies and deceptions. There is no reason to expect anything else.

So, please do your part and vote tomorrow. It is important that we as a people, as a democracy, change the way things are going in Washington. Let's send responsible, intelligent, competent people to Washington to represent our interests and our ideals and not those of special interest groups. Let's get out there and change the future!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Katrina Waste

I was watching the local news tonight and there was a story about how much money is being wasted in New Orleans. The funds being squandered are FEMA funds sent to house, repair and in some cases rebuild the homes of the victims of Katrina's devastation. Overpayment for services that could have been secured elsewhere at a lower rate along with non-delivery of items that were earmarked to go to New Orleans to aid in the recovery. We are all aware that due to it's size, complexity and just plain ignorance, our government is very wasteful. We become complacent by the messages that come out of Washington regarding the spending of $400 for a hammer and yet this is indicative of how poorly things are run. I have worked for corporations where every expenditure had to be explained, justified, researched with other competitors and scrutinized by managers before one cent could be spent and yet we don't think these principles apply to how our government should be run.

An example of the waste that is going on in New Orleans was surplus ice that was acquired and organized for transport to New Orleans by FEMA. Only 40% of this ice ever made it to New Orleans. Ice that cost $6,000 was found to be sitting in tractor trailers with the engines running 24/7 at a cost of $24,000 per day. The story did not investigate why the ice never made it to it's destination, only that it was not where it was supposed to be.

Another example of the inefficiency of our government is evident in the cost of putting tarps on the roofs of houses that were damaged in the hurricanes. The tarps are provided free by FEMA but over $2,500 was being charged just to nail down the tarp to the roof. By most estimates, it would have been cheaper to reshingle the whole roof for that kind of money. Our government is failing us because they are wasting taxpayer money and we are failing our government by not holding them accountable for using these funds wisely and prudently.

Immediately after the disaster, FEMA paid $276 million to Carnival Cruise Lines to house victims whose homes were destroyed by the storm while mobile housing that was available to shelter these families went unused. In order to make sure that families had enough money to spend and to pay their bills, FEMA sent each victim a debit card with $2,000 on it. Many more were sent out than were victims of the hurricane, so where did the rest of them go?

First of all, I am appalled that our government gets away with this sort of madness and few people say anything about it. Our government is going to bankrupt this country by funneling tax dollars to special interest groups. These special interest groups are hoarding money and getting rich off of government contracts while much-needed resources to Hurricane victims never arrives. We should be storming out of our homes and driving to Washington and demanding that these problems be addressed and fixed. This is not acceptable. If I worked for a corporation and I was accused of diverting company funds to my buddies in exchange for kickbacks, I would be fired so fast that I would be standing on the street wondering what happened. Why should our government be allowed to get away with this? Why do we stand around and act like it's somebody else's problem? It is your problem and it's my problem and we HAVE to do something about it. It may be in contacting your Congressional representative or some other way, it's your choice.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

French Military Victories

Along with the "Miserable Failure" episode of google-bombing, you can now go to Google and enter the phrase "French Military Victories" to get a result that is rather comical.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wal-mart the Movie

Wal-mart the Movie

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have watched many clips from it on the above website. I have long been aware of how Wal-mart devastates small community businesses when they move into town and build a store along with all of the complaints they have against them for how they treat their employees.

Many people argue that Wal-mart is great because they bring low prices to communities and provide products not currently sold in these areas and that they offer jobs to people who are unemployed and so forth. What I think this movie does is illustrate the fallout from these things. Yes, they employ people, but at abysmally low wages and they are treated very poorly and often cheated out of their wages. Yes, they offer low prices, but they drive small family owned businesses into bankruptcy and that affects many lives.

This it a typical example of how corporate greed is ruining this country. Wal-mart is the largest corporation in the world and they regularly abuse that position. Low prices aren't always the answer. Selling low means putting incredible pressure on the organization itself to cut corners, shave payrolls and find the cheapest quality merchandise from the lowest bidder. Personally, I don't mind paying a fair price for a quality product. Of course, I like a deal when I can find one, but if the item is important, I don't mind paying a little more for it as long as it's good quality.

I think it's important for people to see this film so that they can get a better idea of what corporate greed does to this country. At a grass roots level, we should be careful as to where we spend our money because it's a powerful weapon to have the ability to "choose". If we choose to buy our products from somewhere other than Wal-mart, I guarantee that Wal-mart will suffer. Utlimately, we hold the power to determine whether or not Wal-mart survives and I think we have to evaluate our positions on these issues carefully.

An example is what has happened in my hometown. I have a friend who once lived in a quiet subdivision with an empty field behind it. It was on the edge of town but far enough away from the interstate to still be quiet and peaceful. Along came Wal-mart and decided to relocate their existing store from a boxed in strip mall to the area behind his house. I am sure that enormous pressure was placed on the owner of this land to sell it to Walmart so they could build a new Super Wal-mart on the land and bring other businesses to this area. I say this because I am sure he was offered a handsome price for this land and it would be difficult for any of us to turn down the kind of money that Wal-mart can offer for a few acres of land. It is this buying power which has made them into a huge worldwide corporation.

Now, my friend can sit on his deck around back where it never gets dark and listen to the noise coming from this Super Walmart. Foot traffic by immigrants and others through his property was non-existent before this, but now his dogs regularly bark each night at trespassers traversing through his property. In an attempt to mediate the constant flood of light, he planted trees at the edge of his property to block as much of the light pollution as he could. During the building of some of the structures, dynamite was used and there are now cracks in the foundation of his house, even though seismic monitors were placed in his yard to measure the effects of the blasting. He has never received any compensation for damages from anyone.

We should all think about these things and ask ourselves if these kinds of issues are worth the cost of Wal-mart's low prices. I encourage everyone to see this movie and to comment about your reactions here. I think this is a good topic and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions.