Sunday, August 2, 2015

Iran's Biggest Enabler Is The Republican Party.

This story began after the Republican party installed its worst political operative to the White House, after the questionable 2000 election, in the name of George 'dubya' Bush. It was a bloodless coup at the time, with the tainted SCOTUS decision being the final nail that sealed the coffin on American dignity. The citizens were overruled and their votes were considered of no use by the Republican elite.

In science it is said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  In that vein, Iran and Iraq largely cancelled out each other's power at the time, by each keeping the other in check.

While the balance of power between Iraq and Iran prior to the US invasion was arguably incident free under the watchful eye of the US, when Iraq was invaded two notable things happened. The ''standoff' and push back by Iraq against Iran was eliminated and the overseeing of that 'condition' was nullified as the US now had its hands full fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was not then able to police the region in any meaningful sense.

The US invasion of Iraq essentially removed it from being an opposing force against Iran, thereby providing the freedom for Iran to pursue its many goals, on of which was the realization of Nuclear independence. 

Republican operative George 'Dubya' Bush was so blinded by his party's thirst for war to feed the Military industrial Complex that he and his party largely ignored Iran in the first few years after the Iraq invasion...  Bloomberg; ' So by June 2004, there were 1,140 fully installed centrifuges at Natanz. In October of that year, Iran announced it had substantial feedstocks ready to enrich in the centrifuges.'

When Bush started the push to invade Iraq, Iran at that time had about 20 barely working centrifuges, when Obama was sworn in, by 2008, Iran had thousands of operable centrifuges ... and was by then also sitting on 2000 lbs of uranium that they had made themselves!... 'By the time Bush left office in January 2009, Iran had  just under 4,000 working centrifuges and an additional 1,600 installed. '... 

Defense One...'Zero is a fantasy, and you can blame President George W. Bush’s administration for that. It may have been possible to convince Iran to dismantle all its centrifuges when it had only a few dozen in 2003 and first offered to talk to the U.S.. Or in 2005, when it had a few hundred and was in talks with the European Union. But the Bush administration spurned any deal.' 

In short the Iranian lion cub had eight unimpeded years of growth and had become a different animal, one that was now full grown and had a deafening Nuclear roar.
Any chance of curbing or eliminating the Nuclear progress Iran had enjoyed under the Republican minions' watch,  was now a folly of unimaginative conservative thinking. They had created a monster which had outgrown its cage and shackles. 

The incoming Obama administration was by then saddled with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coupled with a deep recession that was fast becoming a great global depression, while combating internal sabotage by the republicans in congress at every turn... all these issues effectively tied the hands of the US government. 

Consequently Iran was able to build on its arsenal of 5,600 centrifuges in 2008,  increasing that number to over 19,000 in 2015.

The Republican cries over the recent nuclear deal with Iran is particularly concerning as the republicans are still of the mistaken mindset that Iran is just a fly that can be swatted and not be negotiated with, as they were in the early 2000's. Republicans decry the deal as if it was made by uninformed people from insignificant countries. 

Republicans are still not aware of Iran's stronger stature in Nuclear development. Their clueless talking points from all corners confirm that. Iran has now attained the power it needed to become a big player in the Nuclear race and must now be negotiated with, according to its standing. 

Most troubling is the upcoming 2016 elections. The republican roar of war rhetoric is being heard again. The republican clown car has turned into a bus, with each candidate flinging their own misguided versions of vague foreign policy at their base... much like the caged monkeys flinging their dung in the zoo. The world is indeed facing perilous times... and the Republican party is just warming up... again.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Danger! All Tattoos Are Poisonous.

So this is some really bad news because everyone has had or knows someone who has a tattoo. I was blown away with this radio episode on WNYC which really nailed down what everyone must know about tattooing. The show is 'The Leonard Lopate show' and I have included a link to the show so you can listen to it yourself.

So far tattoos cannot be removed, they are simply treated with lasers and broken down and now float around your body and may eventually be deposited in your lymph nodes. It is a permanent threat to you for the rest of your life.

From WNYC... 'The FDA lists several risks from tattoos on its website: Infection, Allergies, Scarring, Granulomas, and MRI complications. However, tattoo inks are regulated as cosmetics in this country, which means that there is no federal agency that reviews, or approves, tattoo inks. A study in Lancet revealed titanium, barium, aluminum, and copper are predominantly used as colorants in tattoos, and there is little scientific information about the lifetime internal exposure to these ingredients. Monona Rossol, industrial hygienist and president of Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc., will discuss the latest study on what is known, and what is unknown, about the safety of tattoos.'

I encourage all to listen to the episode which is titled 'Think before you ink,'
I'll give a quick synopsis; apparently most inks contain tiny, nano sized metal particulates that migrate from the tattoos and are deposited in the Lymph nodes, where they are falsely detected as cancerous cells, thereby causing some of us to undergo treatment and surgeries for cancer when in fact we are not correctly diagnosed. This means you will have organs incorrectly removed.

This has happened to at least one person who then went through the treatment and a hysterectomy for cancer. They later realized the mistake and said upon a review that they did find microscopic cancer cells anyway...(grain of salt needed for that one.)

Sometimes cancers show up in the actual tattoo, as has been observed in many sailors who were known for having inked up long ago. Now tattooing has become the norm and everyone is at risk. 

Tattoos are classified as cosmetics so there are no regulations per se, to control manufacturing of the inks, which even in the case of organic inks, there is still the risk of bacterial infections so they are infused with toxic chemicals, 
solvents and banned chemical preservatives to prevent infections.

Titanium oxide, mercuric oxide and cadmium are carcinogens that are widely used in cosmetics and inks. Aluminum, Barium, Copper, Lead, Arsenic, Cobalt,  Nickle and other products are still found in todays inks. Titanium Dioxide is also used in sunscreen... so yeah, there is that!

Doing an MRI is usually troubling and painful because the MRI is a magnetic process which actually attracts the metals in the tattoos as they are trying to rip away your skin through magnetic attraction to the machine.

The bottom line is there is no safe way to get a tattoo and not be at risk, so spread the word.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Every Body Needs An Asshole, Trump Is Doing The Honors For The GOP.

The Joke... The parts of the body were fighting among themselves over who should be the boss. The brain said it should be the boss because it does all the thinking, the mouth said it should be the boss because it nourishes the body by eating, the hands said they should be, because they do all the work, and so it went on all day with each body part saying why they should be the boss.

The asshole said nothing... it just shut up and shut down, doing none of its work. Two days passed and things got a little uncomfortable. Four days passed and everyone felt quite bloated and were finding it much harder to function; stuff was piling up. By the seventh day the body parts were all screaming to get some relief, all the 'garbage' had piled up and it stunk so bad the body was ready to pass out. Then the asshole spoke up... he was unanimously elected to be the boss.

The Reality... Donald Trump is right now fulfilling that job of being the asshole in the 2016 Presidential elections. He is spewing all the crap that the Republican party and the GOP base wants to hear but all their candidates are too scared to say. The candidates are all willing to say crazy things but only one crazy can drive the Clown Bus at a time... so they won't all look crazy. By letting out all their little 'nuances' and secret dog whistling calls, Trump is forcing everyone to put up or shut up.

The problem the Republican candidates face is that they have nothing to put up as Trump has cornered the market in the insanity area. The inmates are indeed running the ward. He has taken all the nice soundbites that the Republican base has swooned over in past elections, and he is spewing all that garbage, which we have heard over and over for all these years and he has left none for the others to spew.

We have heard other assholes present themselves in the past, Christine O'donnell had to say that she was not a witch... the jury is still out on that, Ron Paul said women can stick some aspirin between their legs if they needed, Romney's Veep Candidate Paul Ryan had to distance himself from his buddy Todd Akin, when they revealed that they considered some types of rapes to be ligitimate... 'Paul Ryan says that he personally believes that rape is just another “method of conception” and not an excuse to allow abortions'... and don't get me started about Sarah Palin!!

Donald Trump has now spewed all the good stuff and we see the Republican hopefuls being left in the dust, quite rapidly I might add. This has awoken the GOP base and the other candidates are scrambling for anything they could now say to make themselves appear valid, sane, smart and compassionate... somethings they have never been known for.

The Donald has republican candidates trying to separate themselves from him and the statements which they have all used in the past, by attempting to tell the truth... enter Ted Cruz. 

Senator (Canadian) Ted Cruz is now proudly representing himself to be a Cuban, (ok he is now a Canadian Cuban...American) and says that he will bring Cuban festivities like pig roasts to the White House if elected. His latest brush with truth telling is to stab his Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the back by admitting that McConnell is a liar, something the rest of the world knew all along.

Rick Santorum, famous for his 'man on dog' and other gay bashing comments over the years,  now admits to the world via a Rachel Maddow interview, that he does not know anything about LGBT people and if they are born that way. This is something he should at least spend some time thinking about since his decisions on the subject as President, would affect millions of Americans.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, while under indictment and facing a felony charge, has tried to wear glasses in a blatant attempt to secede from his deserved reputation of being a blockhead...ooops. This act of distraction has not escaped the watchful and trained eye of the Donald as he has had plenty practice weeding out the goats from the sheep on 'The Apprentice.' The Donald recently sold him down the river for the scam he is trying to pull...of trying to look smart

I could run down the list of the other 200 or so republican candidates running for the 2016 Presidential elections, but I'll leave that for another time.

Trump is waving the same boring clueless 'build the bridge' flag as those before him and none of them or their base even realize that Mexicans know how to do many things... like picking, gardening, washing dishes, babysitting... and digging tunnels under walls!!... remember El Chapo? It is stupid to think there are no shovels in Mexico!

Regarding that assinine wall idea... there have been as many or more people coming into America through the airports for decades and simply overstaying their visas. President Reagan gave an amnesty and republicans hate him for this. There are also many who drive across from Canada, so to think that the Mexicans are the biggest immigration concern, simply shows the more racist aspect of republican logic... or lack thereof.

So hopefully, the asshole wins the Republican nomination!

I can't wait to see the debates!!

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Does The Internet Spawn Global 'Capitalistic Socialism?'

Enter Zipcar, Uber, Lyft and AirBnB
Lest I lose this audience from the start, let me attempt to first outline certain terms that we may know, but as I realize, 99% of us do not understand. To this end I recommend a really great radio episode by an economist who really discusses these business ideas in great detail.  

The show is called 'Economic Update' hosted by Professor Richard D Wolff, from 9am to 10am, on WBAI radio and the episode was broadcasted on July 17th 2015. It is quite educational and one would be well advised to listen at the above radio links,  it will take you to the archive page of WBAI. At the page, just locate the program 'Economic Update' and click it.

Capitalist Enterprise ; traditional business model which focuses on a top down control and decision making structure with little concern paid to the workers' social well-being, or their ability to work safely and more productively on the job. The focus is mainly on profit without strong concern for social or environmental issues related to the result of doing business.

Capitalism is about 300 yrs old, starting in England in the 17th century and expanding outwards from there to Europe and the Americas... and globally. Called an individualistic system it is not well favored in most countries as the result is always a widening of the economic gap between workers and management while having some unsociable or damaging affects on society and the communities where they operate.

Socialism; Emerged in the 19th century and is more geared toward workers getting a better and/or more humane deal, and better social rewards as a direct result of employment. Geared to also socially serve the communities with greater affect in and around where they exist. Cooperating collectively to conduct profitable business while enhancing the society they exist in as a whole. 

In its largest form, Socialism is thought to mean using the government to have and maintain large economies that were socialistic in focus... this is a misunderstanding, as that is really State Capitalism; it is directly run and regulated by the State. 

Socialism has never been achieved anywhere in the world by major countries like China, Russia, Cuba or France, as they were still run and regulated by States, not private community sources.

State Capitalism is just a means to arrive at Socialism but it is not in itself Socialism... it is just a means to get there. Many people misunderstand this... including Stalin; and think State or Private Capitalism is actually Socialism, but it is not, if you have not transformed the production process into a community social structure or affair. 

A good example of a long existing social success in the form of a Cooperative is the Mondragon Corporation in Spain.

Workers' Self Directed Enterprise;  is an alternative to traditional Capitalist enterprise. This seems to now be the preferred mode of reducing company expenditure and realizing more profits for the company as a result of the reduction. There may be different ownership arrangements but the workers get a better socio economic result than being employed at  the traditional hotel or rental car company. Worker cooperatives are the oldest form of this business model, one example is religious organizations, where the workers are sociably interactive with the community/society they function within, with positive results for everyone involved.

The new trend for some business models has been greately re-done by the use of the internet and using new platforms that helps companies to grow much faster, spread the cost to a wider framework by letting owner/operators share in the operations and the profits, while not burdening the company with owning the hardware or product. 

This is a link to a WNYC Bryan Lehrer episode where the co-founder of Zipcar Robin Chase is interviewed and offers some wonderful ideas about how and why this business platform is successful. In Zipcar's case, the customers have a much better experience fulfilling the needs to get a vehicle when needed, while not having to deal with the rules and practices of a regular car rental company, or owning a vehicle that you only use on weekends.

With new business platforms using the internet, the actual owners of the products being used are in fact the actual workers as well, for instance Air BnB, where the home owners that facilitate the business also maintain their homes and are thereby the owner/operator of that empty room and property used.

In the case of Uber and Lyft, owner/operators are used by these companies via their exclusive app platforms, to connect riders to a privately owned car operated by its owner who is courteous and keeps within the high standards required by the company. The car owner is paid a premium price for their work and is able to fashion their work hours and work zones, around their personal lives, thereby beneftting from having enough time to have other activities including having a family. 

These new businesses are the epitome of having as close to a successful Socialistic business model in the 21st century as is feasible and it is only growing. It is far more cost effective for the companies, as they do not own a car but just an app and a payment system...and makes millions of dollars with it. Welcome to the 21st century!! Open your wings/minds and fly people!

This is the best example of what I call 'Capitalistic Socialism' in the 21st century. 
Could these business models be a boon to self described Socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election, as opposed to the traditional approach of Hillary Clinton? Well, it is Socialism... kinda

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Monday, July 13, 2015

And The GOP Clown Car Turns Into A Bus!

The GOP clown car turned into a bus today, with the addition of one more questionable passenger, Mr. Scott Walker. Walker's terrible reputation precedes him as one of the worst Governors to come out of the GOP's horrendous bag of tricks, only second in my opinion to Chris Christie, who had his state's credit rating drop eight times... maybe, I lost count, it may be up to ten times by now.

Unfortunately for Mr. Walker, his big splash of announcing his candidacy was overshadowed by Hillary Clinton's speech which was also scheduled for today and had the desired effect of drowning out Walker's announcement later in the day,  to join the Presidential race. Walker's speech was carried live on Fox and MSNBC but everyone with an eye for snake oil salesmen, seemed to yawn as he hit all the right 'run of the mill' talking points.

Walker's  main theme was just another right wing fanatical 'same old same old'... repeal Obamacare, cut taxes, cut regulations, increase use of the fossil fuels God has blessed us with, poke Iran and Russia in the eye, kiss Israel's ring, do away with common core and any other sensible educational tools and we could all have the government's support under his watch... to home school our kids. You all know I disagree with the home school idea.

Walkers speech this evening came hard on the heels of what is believed to be his main rival, Donald Trump's own riveting speech. The Donald still stands by the ridiculous claim that Mexicans are sent to the US by the Mexican government, and when they get here they rape and commit crimes to the extent that they are singlehandedly destroying America and deporting every one of them will save us.

I hasten to add that there has not been any blowback by the GOP or the Republican base to Trump's claim, which only confirms that he is indeed talking on behalf of the Republican party and their base as a whole. The RNC has not been able to muzzle Trump and the silence by the GOP and the base says a lot about the racist undertones of the fight wing... an undertone believed to become the biggest plague the party will have to face in this upcoming election.

Unfortunately for Trump, the great escape by the most dangerous drug lord in Mexico proves one thing... Mexicans can dig tunnels and thereby trump Trump's 'great wall.' The Donald has already seen the conspiracy by the Mexican government and has since asked the FBI to investigate the matter.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Don't Tread On My Nonreligious Liberties Please.

So apparently the majority of the citizens in the US are religious, comprising of many different faiths. Most of them are Christians, who unknowingly are treading on my rights and liberties by subjecting me and others to their religious biases, public religious practices and religiously based laws.

Christians are up in arms with the recent decisions of the SCOTUS and are hell bent on fighting some of these decisions even though some earlier decisions were alright by them... even the one in 2000, when SCOTUS gave Bush the win to beat Gore for the Presidency. I also remember the decisions of Citizens United v FEC and Hobby Lobby both of which were just great for conservatives whether they were Christians or not, but I think most conservatives are Christians as well.

Of particular concern to Christians right now is the decision by SCOTUS, to make same sex marriage legal in all 50 states of the US. Many conservatives are vehement in their opposition based on their religious understanding. 

The field of 2016 Republican Presidential hopefuls are voicing their opinions as well. Mike Huckabee said 'As president, I will never bow down to the false gods of judicial supremacy.

Ted Cruz had his own ideas to solve the issue..."This week in response to both of these decisions, I have called for another constitutional amendment — this one that would make members of the Supreme Court subject to periodic judicial retention elections," the other candidates were equally colorful in their opinions.

Many laws are made with the minority interest at heart, as the majority are usually the ones putting unbridled blame or stress on said minority. In this instance I believe the nonreligious in America are in the minority and thus deserve the benefit of having their liberties regarded with equal or more urgency. 

Our nonreligious liberties and freedoms are being infringed upon with each religiously biased law passed, as it makes us adhere to religiously dictated dogmas or opinions.

Contrary to popular belief. this United States is not a 'Christian' nation, nor was it ever so.

The nonreligious citizens are bombarded by the delirium of religion in numerous ways. When the majority religious population strive to get their ways or their laws imposed on a whole state or the country, they are violating the wishes and freedoms of the minority nonreligious population. 

The religious right's attempts to have prayers said in schools, their attempts to define marriage between only a man and a woman, their attempts to ban abortions, their attempts to replace the teaching of science with the teaching of Creationism, their attempts to make contraception illegal or to have religious restrictions placed on who can and can't have contraceptives through certain workplaces, their attempts to have businesses discriminate against patrons... are all wrong and against my rights. 

There are many more restrictions based on their religious opinions which are suppressing the wishes of nonreligious people like myself.

When they choose to not bake cakes or take photographs for Gay couples, or dispense prescriptions or issue marriage licences because of religious beliefs... they violate our rights and nonreligious liberties.

If they want to deny us of their services, then simply change the business names to... The religious bake shop... The Jesus Photo store...God's Pharmacy and Marry Before God services.... Then they will not be violating our rights by claiming their right to religious freedom. Until then, they are on the wrong side of the constitution and they tread on us.

I say if they can have religious liberties that they fight for, then it is imperative that my and other nonreligious persons liberties be held in equal regard and be upheld as  a right and individual freedom as promised in the Constitution.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Obamacare... Whocares?...SCOTUScare!!

Republicans are pissing mad! ... but relieved as reported by The Washington Post. The Republicans were so sure that they would finally see the end to their multi-pronged attacks to repeal or at least to derail Obamacare, also known as The Affordable care act, or ACA. 

They are relieved because  a decision in their favor, would have forced them to be on the spot to make an alternative to Obamacare. More than 6 million Americans mostly in red states would have lost it, and more than 16 million Americans have already benefited from the ACA.

They already attempted around 60 times to repeal the healthcare law, so they hoped for the SCOTUS decision going in their favor... kinda. Their plan for the 2016 election would have been to have the more than 16 million people who benefited, lose or at least be negatively affected by the decision, enough that the Republicans could say Obamacare caused their health woes and if elected, they would fix it. It would have been the perfect tool to win the upcoming election by using an old tactic they have used before... make the electorate forget their problems by giving them bigger problems... probably a new war.

Justices Scallia, Thomas and Alito dissented to the 6 to 3 vote. Justice Scalia huffed and puffed in his dissent that we should go ahead and call the Affordable Care Act,  'SCOTUScare!' 

The decision by the majority is being hailed as a strong statement that is pragmatic in its opinion.  The dissenting justices are said to have a more textualist wish list, while not interpreting the intent and context of the law or at least not holding that intent in higher regard.

Republicans have made multiple challenges to the SCOTUS in a bid to dismantle or destroy the Affordable Care Act... and after the SCOTUS decision today, President Obama said that the law is here to stay. This will now cement his place in history as the person who bucked 100 years of disappointment and dysfunction that has plagued previous attempts to fix our healthcare system.

WNYC has a quite informative discussion and call-in radio program on the decision and live statements by the President after the decision (click to 33.30 minutes on the recording). The President outlined some of the gains offered by the 'ACA' in his speech.

The majority opinion written by Chief justice John Roberts. says that the ACA is 'comprehensive' and 'working', he also says Congress 'wrote this act to improve markets not destroy them.' We now see him being the brunt of some nasty name calling, with slurs calling him traitor, Benedict Arnold, W's worst mistake, or possibly being blackmailed or intimidated.

Speaker John Boehner said they will continue to try to repeal it...ObamaCare is fundamentally broken, increasing health-care costs for millions of Americans,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement issued by his office. “Today’s ruling doesn’t change that fact.” the Washington Post reports.

One caller to the  WNYC radio show said it would have killed people. This is a statement that is widely shared among Americans.

The ACA was touted as a job killer by conservatives, a fact that has been disproved by the strong job creation that has been happening since the ACA was made law.
The rising healthcare costs have also since slowed from the 10% annual rate.

All the 2016 Republican Presidential hopefuls have of course voiced their vehement cries against the Scotus decision, with some still vowing to repeal and replace the ACA.

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