Category: Other Waste


How to Sum Up #OccupyWallStreet

http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/19/news/economy/ceo_pay/index.htm

There is class warfare going on in this country.  It has been waging for the past 31 years and it has been a slaughter.  The most wealthy individuals in this country have gone from making 60 times more than their average employee to making 300 times more than their average employee.  My dad once supported a family of 4 in the early 80’s by being a manager at K-Mart.  We had a four bedroom house and an acre of land in a nice suburb.  Do you think anyone aside from a director at a large corporation can do that now?  Do you think a K-Mart or Wal-Mart manager could ever swing a mortgage by himself?  Oh course not.  That is what Occupy Wall Street is all about.  Taking back the American dream that has been stolen.

Anyone “lucky” enough to still have a job knows the harsh reality of the American worker.  We are getting paid less to do more.  That is the simple truth.  At my job I have seen several people laid off while they are simply either not replaced or replaced by someone at a lower level, increasing the work burden for everyone in the department.  This is American business 101.  Put the screws to your workers while skimping on their bonuses and making them feel guilty about using their vacation time because where are they going to go?

Americans are offered less vacation than any other developed country in the world.  We take even less vacation than we are offered because people know that their work doesn’t go anywhere when they go on vacation.  It just sits there and waits for them.  So if they don’t want to be working late for a month to catch up on stuff, they take a “working vacation”, which is another name for no vacation at all.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/61122/

All of this leads to the health care crisis we are currently having.  Overworking and overextending yourself leads to both mental and physical health issues.  That is reality.  When you work too much and your job is extremely stressful, it takes a physical tole on you.  This is the reality of the American worker.  Things have gotten out of hand.  The rules of the game are being made by the few to screw the majority.

That is what Occupy Wall Street is, it is our generation’s Network moment.  We are as mad as hell and we

This is what the one-sided class war has created. A bunch of Howard Beils. It's about damn time.

aren’t going to take it anymore.  It can mean different things to different people but that is what it means to me.  People can only be lied to so much before they realize that what they are being told and what they are seeing with their own eyes.  I have seen a person suffer serious health problems because of the stress of their job, go on short-term disability and then get fired because they didn’t come back to work fast enough.  I have seen grown men cry in their office because of workplace stress.  I have seen people work for twenty-four hours straight and fall asleep at their keyboard.  These are all common occurences in our 10% unemployment reality. 

Meanwhile I go to meetings and listen to how well the company is doing.  They talk about new businesses they acquire to strengthen their portfolio while they refuse to hire enough workers to properly do the work that needs doing.  They hide behind economic fears and put the screws down on their workers to try to squeeze every last drop of effort from them before they are discarded.  That is the reality of our new American workplace. 

Occupy Wall Street is the workers of this country saying no.  It is a revolution armed with nothing but the knowledge that the majority of the people in this country are getting screwed and we aren’t going to continue to sit back and let it happen. 

As we have seen, the only effective way to end this class warfare is through non-violent non-cooperation with evil.  In this case evil is our oppressive government that no longer cares for the will of the majority of their constituents.  Our elected officials are painted into a corner, either stand up and get bounced from their job, or be a good puppet and allow their non elected money masters continue to pull their strings.

Fixing this problem is going to take more than just the Occupy Wall Street people putting their necks out.  It is going to take the Wall Street people working WITH the Tea Party.  It is going to take honest elected officials banding together and working WITH people from the other side of the aisle.  We need to put an end to the liberal and conservative bashing and come to the understanding that we are all Americans and we are all getting screwed.

So stand up and rally on.  Just keep everything non-violent and be willing to take their abuse and suffer their oppression.  Through this suffering their true tyrannical face will be revealed for all to see.

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The whole Weiner thing is retarded.  It is Bill Clinton part deux.  It is nearly totally meaningless, yet we love it.  That is what is wrong with American politics in a nutshell. 

I can’t fully decide if the story is so big because his name is wiener and he sent pics of his weiner.  Part of me thinks this is, if fact, the case.  That is the same part that thinks we are 50 years from turning the film “Idiocracy” into reality and Mike Judge into a modern-day Nostradamus. 

However, another part of me thinks this is just a continuation of all the other sex scandal that have happened before.  Look at Larry Craig and the bathroom.  Bill Clinton and the cigar.  Whatever.  As long as it isn’t with little boys or girls, who cares. 

Seriously who cares that this dude was sexting?  Is that the worst thing that someone has ever done.  Before you answer that, please know that Italy’s president is currently under investigation for paying to have sex with an underage girl:

http://www.npr.org/2010/11/11/131251668/italy-s-berlusconi-embroiled-in-fresh-sex-scandal

Mama Mia She said she was 19!

 This is why our country is in the mess that it is in.  We are like cats surrounded by balls of twine, only we call them iPads, iPhones and Charlie Sheen.  This guy shows his PP to a few “ladies” and that is all you read in the paper for weeks.  We lose 6.6 billion in Iraq and it is on the front pages for a day.  What the hell is wrong with us?!

It’s like we have people robbing our house and we only care about the homeless dude on the corner and the couple doing it with the shades down across the street.  People are literally losing our tax dollars by the plane full.  Not giving them to their friends, not using them to pay for blow jobs, but actually just having no clue what happened to 6.6 BILLION! 

We deserve this.  We deserve this never-ending recession.  We deserve to have leaders like Obama and Bush lie to our faces and then rub our noses in it.  Why?  Because we are too damn lazy to even pay attention.  Like good little kittens we allow ourselves to get distracted by meaningless crap while we get robbed blind.  Then we are too big of wimps to confront the bullies who robbed us so we kick some elderly and homeless people. 

If we want to call ourselves a christian nation, don’t you think it’s about time we started acting like one?  Let’s start with forgiveness.  Weiner is a total perv, but honestly don’t we have more important things to worry about?

As we are seeing with our current budget debate, free press in America is a total illusion.  The debate is framed by the Dems and Repubs in Washington.  There is zero talk of scaling back military spending.  It might be brought up here and there, but it is always dismissed as a threat to “national security” whatever that means. 

According to this website: 

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/fbi-memo-reveals-abc-journalist-was-kept-as-potential-informant/

“A declassified memo discovered by lawyer Jesse Trentadue, whose brother died in the Oklahoma City bombing, has revealed that, in the 90s, the FBI had considered a top ABC News journalist a potential informant in the wake of the bombing The unnamed journalist is described as having been cooperative in helping the FBI determine the confidential source of a tip sent in to the network.”

What this means is that a very serious line has been crossed, however, this is nothing new.  Operation Mockingbird has been happening in this country ever since 1948.  If you don’t know what that is, educate yourself (with Wikipedia lol): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

This unnamed ABC “journalist” was giving information about his/her sources to the FBI from 1995/1996, nice journalistic ethics there.  Just rat everyone who talks to you to the feds.  A free and independent press is necessary in a democracy.  The fact that a reporter for one of the biggest news agencies in the country was a FBI informant should tell you all you need to know about American democracy.  It has been dead for a long time. 

There are flashes of life in the media, like Watergate and Iran/Contra but mostly our government can break any international or national law it wants without fear of exposure. The media plays a big role in this because the government has nothing credible holding it in check.  It is like having no parents when you are a kid, you will just do whatever you want to make you happy.  What makes our government happiest is spending on weapons and tools of repression. 

That is why they are allowed to spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on the military and have more citizens in jail than any other country.  The media simply ignores these facts when the discussion of government spending comes up.  It is always about “entitlement programs” (a phrase coined by the GOP and adopted by the media).  They don’t even scratch the surface to look at both the human and financial toll our four wars are costing the country.  Why?  Because that would involve going against what the government wants.  As seen with this article, why would a journalist go against someone they are working for?  That is one of the biggest threats facing our country today.

Look at what happened during the run up to the Iraq war.  Every “expert” on TV was a paid government military operative.  This wasn’t just on Fox, it was on every freaking station.  The media were used by our government as a propaganda tool to push its war agenda onto an unsuspecting public still in shock from the horror of 9/11.  They created a drumbeat of war without even bothering to check to see if what they were being told by our government was in fact true.  When it turned out to be all lies, what did the news media do?  NOTHING!  These guys are so lazy they make “The Dude” look like Woodward and Berstine. 

Ultimately the responsibility for finding the truth resides with us, the American public.  The internet allows us to have access of thousands of declassified documents that speak the truth about our past.  Now, thanks to wikileaks, the truth about how our government operates is right in our face and we STILL refuse to listen and hold their feet to the fire.  This desperate shell game that our government plays can only happen as long as we refuse to inform ourselves of the truth.  The truth about what our government spends its money on compared to other nations.  Ultimately that is our only comparison because we compete with these nations financially. 

When China has a billion more people and has 2 million fewer people in their jails, you know there is a problem.  We feel the need every time they come here to point a finger at them and say they violate human rights and are repressive towards their people.  They are repressive, but not nearly as repressive as us.  That is a sad fact that, thanks to a complacent media, will never be told.

So NPR is clearly the problem in this country.  Not the endless flow of money into the repressive, ineffective “drug war”.  This week Senator Charles Grassley asked the ATF why the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the Southwest border area and into Mexico.  That was a direct quote from his letter.  Their response?  (Enter circuit noise).

They didn’t get back to the Senator of course.  The official story is that the ATF wanted to track where the guns went, that’s why they asked gun owners to sell guns illegally to drug cartels.  Our tax dollars hard at work!  Who does this?!  Who thinks it is a good idea to sell fire arms to drug dealers just so you can find out what drug dealers the guns go to?!  This is all insane, yet it is just another chapter in the long, horrible history of the war on drugs.

Controlled delivery is what they call this kind of law enforcement technique.  However using drugs to do it is one thing, using assault rifles to do it is a whole other can of worms.  Those guns can be used to kill ATF agents for god’s sake.  Do they not get that?  In fact one of the very guns shipped over there, according to a Fox News (god help me) article, ” two of the weapons that the ATF allegedly sanctioned to be sold to straw purchasers were sold to Mexican gangs and “were then allegedly used in a firefight on December 14, 2010, against Customs and Border Protection agents, killing CBP Agent Brian Terry”.  So their actions has already led to one guys death.  Is it not clear what this war on drugs is all about?

This war is not about solving America’s drug problem.  It is about keeping the war going.  If the drug problem was solved, there would be no ATF or DEA.  Many prisons would be closed costing thousands of guards and warden’s their jobs.  They don’t want this war to end because it is job security for them.  However it is part of what is bankrupting this country.  We can no longer afford to have 10% of our population in jail.  Tax payer dollars that can be used for education or jobs or anything that doesn’t involve locking people away for doing something they want to do.

This is the ultimate right-wing issue, yet they are on the wrong side of it.  Tax payer dollars being used to repress freedom and all they can talk about is NPR.  Who gives a shit about NPR!  That money is peanuts compared to the waste that goes on in the drug war.  We need a sensible national drug policy.  One that involves taking away major sources of income for drug dealers rather than supplying them with guns!  I should have to even type that but that is how far we have fallen in this drug war.  We are now arming the bad guys so they can shoot our guys and then the ATF can demand more funding.  That is the level of insanity this war on drugs has reached and it needs to end!  Here is the Fox News article.   

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/02/senator-calls-atf-allegations-agency-allowing-guns-mexico/

The word crisis in Chinese means disaster and opportunity.  As we watch the horrific disaster unfold on the island of Japan, many of us can’t help thinking how America would respond to such a disaster.  As we see Japanese nuclear plants continue to have minor meltdowns (whatever that means), rational people all over this country have to worry about what would happen to our nuke plants if there was a similar natural disaster.  As usual our current energy policy has a direct impact on national security.  In this case, our energy policy could be the means of our destruction. 

We have 104 nuclear power plants in America now.  23 of those plants were built similarly to the ones now experiencing meltdowns in Japan.  We need to look at this reality and ask ourselves, is this in our best interests?  Is having 104 nuclear plants dotting our landscape across the country in our best interest?  These plants do give us a degree of energy independence but at what cost?  If just one of them has a meltdown due to damage caused by an earthquake, is it worth the potential catastrophic loss of human life? 

Since 9/11 our government has done a great job of securing these plants and trying to update them to prevent this very situation.  However can they guarantee total security for these plants?  Of course they can’t. 

What this situation and the current developments in the middle east and last year’s gulf oil disaster show us is that we are in desperate need for clean, safe, renewable energy.  This will take a lot of federal funding to get done and we have very little to spare.  Our elected officials need to start looking at what we are spending on energy and if it is worth it.  Why take the risks associated with nuclear energy when we are on the cusp of clean, renewable energy.

Most of the nuclear plants we now have are safer than the ones in Japan, but no nuclear plant will ever be 100 percent safe.  Why continue to

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/13/ftn/main20042619.shtml  Contact your representative and ask them to support it!

I am not a big fan of unions.  They can be corrupt and abuses of power happen time and again within union leadership.  This is because the real issue that we are dealing with in America isn’t capitalism or socialism, it is greed.  Human greed leads to the majority of the problems in our world.  From war, to hunger, to poverty, human greed is the cause of it all.  Sadly unions are needed now more than ever because the leaders of the corporate world cannot be trusted to treat their employees fairly.  This is clearly demonstrated in a report released in September of 2010 entitled  “Executive Excess 2010: CEO Pay and the Great Recession”.

In this report it shows that CEOs of the top 50 corporations in this country laid off 531,363 workers in 2009.  Of those companies, 36 of them announced layoffs even as profits were up.    These CEOs are trying to make the most for themselves and their companies, they don’t care what the overall effect of laying off so many workers has on the country.  For them it is all about raising their own profile and making more money for the corporation that employs them.  What they don’t understand is how much of an effect laying people off and not replacing them has on their remaining workforce.  People who are “lucky to have a job” end up working endless hours just to be given scraps at bonus time with the executives get massive pay days. 

For thirty years, compensation for corporate managers has skyrocketed from an average of 30 to 1 (compared to the average workers pay) in 1981 to 260 to 1 today.  This is Reganomics at its worst.  The free market is a great thing if used properly.  It encourages growth and prosperity.  However it has been used by greedy management types as a tool to fill their own bank accounts while leaving the hard-working employees with pink slips and foreclosed homes.

These management types have used the bad economy as an excuse to cut jobs and pay back even further.  When is it going to end?  When are the American people going to stand up and say “I deserve to be paid more”?  When is our government going to demand that these companies start hiring real jobs?  These corporations stole our tax dollars that we gave to the government at gunpoint and then FIRED MORE WORKERS AND KEPT THE PROFITS.  When are we going to wake up?

The current business climate is the wild wild west of greed.  The sad thing is it doesn’t seem to matter how these companies actually perform.  The second highest paid CEO, William Weldon, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, was at the helm when several of their drugs were recalled the previous year.  He was punished for this by getting a 2.6 million dollar raise.  He made sure he could get this raise by laying off 9,000 employees.  It is insanity and it is allowed to continue because the majority of Americans don’t do anything about it.

It is time for the workers of this country to stand up and be counted.  We want to work, we want to be fairly compensated for the time we spend at work and away from our families.  When CEOs are allowed to give themselves endless raises while firing as many employees they want just to make more money, there is something wrong with the system.  The politicians who gave them our money are clearly on the take from these companies.  It is up to us to rally and put an end to this madness.  Support the workers of Wisconsin and help to spread the message that this greed is no longer acceptable.  We can’t afford to wait until another financial meltdown to realize these people are out of control and need to be stopped.  Below is the article I used as a reference for my blog. 

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/sep2010/exec-s03.shtml

I really don’t get the right wingers in this country.  I admire the passion of the Tea Party, I just think it is misguided.  They don’t trust the government, yet they allow them to spend more money on weapons of mass destruction than any other country in the world.  They claim they want individual freedom, yet we have more people in prison in this country than anywhere else in the world and nothing is said about it. 

Wisconsin currently has 23,000 people in state prison.  That amount is 2.5 percent higher than neighboring Minnesota which has a similar population and crime rate.  According to an article in a local paper called Eau Claire Now (weird!)  http://bit.ly/brxD8b “The difference is Minnesota passed a community corrections law in the early 1970s and felony sentencing guidelines in the 1980s in an effort to contain the state’s prison population. As a result, growth in Wisconsin’s prison population was two times as fast as Minnesota’s in the 1990s.”   The cost to have each person in prison is $31,806 in Wisconsin http://www.nicic.gov/Features/StateStats/?State=WI.  That is pretty close to the 52,644 that a teacher makes.  Why aren’t they trying to fix a broken corrections system rather than fighting teachers unions?

We never really ask ourselves these kids of questions.  We never face the reality that we are a country that was founded on personal freedom yet we have more people in jail than every other country in the world.  Instead we pick on the poor and undermine our children’s educations all in the name of “safety”.  What we don’t understand is that every other country in the world is just as safe as we are and spend dramatically less on locking people up.  We need to deal with problems like drugs in a realistic way.  Locking people in cells doesn’t solve their addiction issues.  It just puts them side by side with violent offenders for years.  What do you think will happen when they get out?  We need to start facing these realities.

The answer to the current budget crises in this country is pretty simple.  Look at EVERYTHING we are spending money on and try to create efficiencies.  What they Tea Party does is to only look at things they don’t like, like unions and NPR, and only cut those things while disregarding other wasteful government spending.  Although they are starting to target defense, they are doing so on a very small-scale.  We need to start looking at where ALL of our tax dollars go and see if we can improve things.  That is what successful business do and we need to start doing the same kind of thing if we want to stay on top. 

Mandatory sentencing needs to be eliminated.  We need to stop locking people away for property crimes and start coming up with different, more effective ways of dealing with those issues.  Violent criminals make up a small part of the prison population.  Our prisons are filled to the max with non-violent offenders who are mixed with violent offenders.  Is this really what we want, to take someone who has made some bad mistakes and lock him next to a murder?  How does that make our society more safe?  We need to start asking ourselves these questions and having these kinds of conversations rather than attacking education.  Teachers unions need to do a better job making sure teachers are doing their jobs but that isn’t the real problem in this country.  The real problem is living in a country that claims to be the home of the free while having the highest prison population in the world.  That is hypocrisy of the worst kind.

Now that Egypt has clearly showed us why supporting a dictatorship that represses the rights of its citizens is a bad idea.  I think it is time to turn our attention to our biggest ally in that region, Saudi Arabia.  Let us not forget that this is where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from and Al Qaeda still receives the majority of its funding from this land.  Yet they are still our buddies or our “dawgs” as Randy Jackson might say.  Have you ever seen a president give the kind of PDA that the Saudi’s get?

Abdullah let Bush totally get to second base behind the rose garden. Pass it on.

We love to deal with dictators in lands rich with natural resources.  It just makes things so much easier for us.  Afterall elections and personal freedom are a pain in the ass.  Some people getting into power might not like us, and we can’t have that.  We would rather get nice and cozy with a dictator that has been there for years and who is easy to buy off.  So what if they say, have public beheadings.  At least they sell us oil at a discount.  Big deal if they repress all religious freedom, it is what OUR country is founded on.  These guys don’t need that kind of freedom.  In fact, Obama wants approval from congress to sell 60 Billion in high tech planes to this very country. 

China has a crappy human rights record.  When they recently came here, Obama and our congress let him know how displeased we were with their record of suppressing religious freedom and treating their people like crap.  It’s weird how that message seems to be very selective.  According to a Amnesty International report in July of 2009 entitled Saudi Arabia: Assaulting Human Rights in the Name of Counter-Terrorism, they king and his flunkies tried 330 people in closed terrorist trials without revealing the names of the people or what they have been charged with.  These are their own citizens that they just pick up and put on a private trial without telling anyone what they are being charged with.  Sounds like a thriving democracy that we claim to support throughout the world doesn’t it?

The same report details the Saudi government targeting peace activists who criticize the government for detention.  What I don’t get about all of this is why do we pretend to support world wide democracy?  Why do we lie about it?  Why do some people in this country still insist on believing the non-reality of our foreign policy?  We are clearly serving our own best interests.  The true irony in this is the Egyptian situation.  We support a guy for 30 years with billions in aid and then he gets thrown out by his own people who actually want the thing that we pretend to support.  The House of Saud would do well to learn a lesson from its Egyptian neighbors before they are dealing with their own uprising.  It is also high time that the American people become more aware of what kind of countries we align ourselves with.  In many ways our friends are a reflection of ourselves, in the case of Saudi Arabi, it isn’t a pretty picture.  I have attached links to some of the information I referred to in this article.

He wanted an informed citizenship, and you wonder why he was killed.  Just look at how far we have fallen. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxnpujfanUM&feature=related

This stuff has kind of happened under everyone’s nose.  No one is really aware or really seems to care about why people are going to jail or if we are safer with these people in jail.  As I have said before, we have 2 million more people in jail than China and they have a billion more people in their country.  This statistic should shock many of you, but I doubt it does.  America is the land of crime and punishment.  The biggest shows on TV are usually crime shows like Law and Order, CSI and whatnot.  We just love to watch the bad guys get what they deserve.  However what happens when the people we have in jail aren’t really that bad?  What does that say about us as a society.

Crime has always been the skurge of democracy.  People taking advantage of a free society is nothing new.  However giving someone 6 years behind bars for stealing a piece of pepperoni pizza or life without the possibility of parole for refusing to pay 120.75 for shoddy air-conditioning repair work.  It seems like our government is literally looking for news ways to throw people behind bars.  These people all had prior convictions, but really?  Is this really giving society something?  All these people going to jail are getting taken care of for 50,000 of your tax dollars every year they remain in jail.  In this economic climate, we need to start taking a real close look at our laws and what we are getting for our money. 

Keeping non-violent offenders in jail is not a worthwhile enterprise.  It is expensive and does not reduce the amount of crime in society.  In fact the “Three Strikes Laws” have had a devastating effect on the economy of California.  Their jails are overrun with non-violent offenders, leaving it up to judges to make tough calls on who to let out of jail.  Why do we allow ourselves to get into these situations?  We seem to think that our society is more safe with the more people we have in jail.  However 95% of the people currently in jail will be getting out one day.  Do we really want to be exposing our citizens to this environment and then bringing them back out to society?  It isn’t like they are learning anything constructive in jail other than to hate the society that jailed them. 

Mandatory sentencing comes with a steep price.  I know some good intentions were behind the original idea, but it has had dire consequences for non violent offenders taking up jail space that could be used to keep killers in jail.  They could also empty the cell completely and save the tax payer 50 grand a year.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  We need to start thinking of new ways to approach crime and punishment, clearly the old way of more walls and more bars isn’t stopping crime.  If the recidivism rate in this country is any indication, prison is only good for making more prisoners.  We need to break the cycle.  I have attached some links to cases of people in jail for some pretty silly things.  I hope you are as concerned about our countries prison epidemic as I am.