Sunday, December 30, 2012

Republicans Still Show No Concern For The Poor.

After watching CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, I came away feeling that I have to write an obituary for America! Candy's guests were quite succinct and more than convicted in their veiled disgust and nonchalant lack of concern for the poor of America. They keep bandying about words like 'entitlements, Spending cuts and deficit reduction' without batting an eye, as to the destruction to the poor that they are proposing.

First of Candy's guests was outgoing senator Olympia Snow. She was all too eager to project that republicans really care and want to keep tax rates from going up on anyone, but insists that any fiscal cliff deal has to include some plan for reducing entitlements. That would be all well and good except it's obvious she thinks Americans are too stupid to realize that entitlement cuts really mean cutting programs for the poor that they need to live, feed their kids and stay healthy.

Next up was CNN Correspondent Dana Bash who reported something really shocking. She said that Republicans refused to go along with Democrat's suggestion, that some of the extra income that will be raised with the new tax rates can be used to pay down the debt. Republicans insisted that debt reduction must be done instead by entitlement cuts thereby ensuring that any pain and suffering to pay down the debt and curb spending is placed squarely on the bleeding backs of America's poor. 

Next up was Senator for Wyoming John Barrasso who commented that infrastructure spending was off the negotiation table as it is just another way of running up the debt, suggesting that we should first grow the economy... by following the Republicans' mantra of cutting spending by entitlement reforms. Notice how republicans say that having infrastructure programs is 'spending' on infrastructure, instead of it being 'investing' in those programs and creating jobs which will grow the economy...something that was done after WWII. 

Of course when a major bridge falls in their area or they are stricken in some way by natural disasters they do not say that their pleas for help requires government spending, instead they are quite happy to praise the same departments that they are still trying to do away with, FEMA is just one such example.

They are wordsmiths of the highest order, 'entitlement reforms' simply mean cutting programs to the poor in order to scrape off massive profits for the rich in the form of lowering taxes and keeping them low, regardless of how much pain and suffering they cause to the bottom 98% of Americans, half of whom are poor republicans who need these programs to live and feed their families.

The Fiscal Cliff  and Debt Ceiling talks have one thing in common, the willingness by the Republicans to do everything they can to bring pain and suffering to America's poor and needy, who just want to live. 

Republicans maintain that there is no leadership from the President, by which they mean the President should fold to their demands to inflict pain onto the poor, and lead the rest of the Democrats kicking and screaming towards the Republican's evil way of thinking.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Don't Ban Guns Or Large Capacity Clips, Just Insure Them

The biggest obstruction to sensible laws against gun violence and other gun related concerns is the Military Industrial Complex and their lobbyists who effectively tie the hands of politicians who are indebted to them.

So my simple solution is to make it law that guns are to be annually insured against the risk or danger they present. I suspect there will be a drop in gun ownership by an estimated 60% within the first month as the majority of owners will not be willing to pay insurance fees for excess armaments, keeping only the minimum necessary. There will be very little stockpiling of weapons.

I myself see the need for Food, Guns, Viruses and Medicines which right now, are mostly toxic in nature, but do serve a good purpose. They all have their place in a growing Global society.

No one's rights to keep or bear arms will be affected as the weapons will not be banned or restricted, but will simply be charged an appropriate fee for the different levels of risk they present to human beings, as determined by the insurance company, with no government input or restriction.

The insurance cost of guns and bullets will be on a sliding scale which will be solely decided by the Insurance companies thereby keeping with the Republican mantra of letting the Capitalistic 'free markets' control where the market will go. There will be no government involvement when it comes to how high a fee the insurance industry will charge against the risk the various weapons and their bullets or extended gun clips present.

A company can charge from 10% to 100% of the cost of the weapon as an annual fee and the same scale can be applied for the cost of each bullet in any sized clip, resulting in higher annual fees for larger clips or automatic and semi automatic weapons than older less efficient guns and bullets.

In effect, a six bullet .38 special will cost far less to insure than a newer model gun that carries 10 bullets or more. Each bullet can cost up to 100% of its purchase price to annually insure it. The same applies to each gun, resulting in an immediate drop in the hoarding of guns or bullets.

More specialized guns and bullets would be charged whatever fees the insurance deems necessary, so 'hollow point' or other special bullets would be more expensive to annually insure than regular non specialized ammunition. 

The insurance companies will be allowed to charge fees for home insurance where the guns and bullets would be housed, including commercial buildings. Fees would also be allowed for vehicles that will house or transport guns and ammo. 

Added to this insurance requirement, there will be 'Buy-Back' programs at all police stations, just as is done at present, in order for owners to get rid of excess equipment. 

Whatever health requirements and registration  requirements the insurance companies deem necessary will be as the insurance company sees fit. This one first step will be enough to curb most of our gun concerns, after which we can address any unforeseen problems with the remaining guns.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

While Republicans Were Fighting Against An Alleged "Muslim Agenda"

According to many including myself, the Citizens United decision famously made by SCOTUS was an opening door through which foreign countries and companies could now pump anonymous monies into American politics and elections, and thereby sway election results and indeed the elected. 

There has been recent articles released that support claims that foreign monies did in fact  take anonymous root in US politics. Saudi Arabia is just one of many possible countries and donors who, it has come to light, has spent millions of dollars to run negative ads against the Democrats in an effort to change the 2012 Presidential election results in a way that would be advantageous to themselves. 

The "The “American” in American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest oil lobby group, is a misnomer. As I reported for The Nation in August, the group has changed over the years, and is now led by men like Tofiq Al-Gabsani, a Saudi Arabian national who heads a Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) subsidiary, the state-run oil company that also helps finance the American Petroleum Institute. Al-Gabsani is also a registered foreign agent for the Saudi government.
New disclosures retrieved today, showing some of API’s spending over the course of last year, reveal that API used its membership dues (from the world’s largest oil companies like Chevron and Aramco) to finance several dark money groups airing attack ads in the most recent election cycle. The disclosures also show that in 2011, API spent over $68 million for public relations/advertising with the firm Edelman, $5.4 million on “coalition building” with the firm Advocates Inc, and $4 million with DDC Advocacy for “advocacy.” DDC is the firm led by Sara Fagen, the former Bush White House aide ensnared in the DOJ purges scandal. DDC now works with corporations to help them communicate with workers on how to vote."
This foreign interference in our elections is disturbing but it is not the whole of my concern...there is more. According to the most asinine Republican claims, there is a hidden Muslim agenda to install Sharia law in the halls of American policy institutions and courts around the US. This fire of hatred for another religion that is not of the Christian persuasion, is fueled regularly by the likes of 'conservative' radio and TV hosts, most notably Sean Hannity. Someone should tell Sean that one major shareholder in Fox News' parent company is a muslim Prince who offered then NY Mayor Guiliani 10 million dollars after 9/11!!

For the past two years, while gearing up for the 2012 Presidential elections, republicans have been all but lost on exactly who was paying for their hateful and vehement message against Muslims, to be carried on advertisements on radio and TV. It is shameful to see that the republicans in their haste to hate Muslims, do not see that those said Muslims are the ones who are using the republicans as mindless pawns to elect politicians on the right who will forward whatever agenda those foreign donors wish.

It is not obvious to me what agenda is being put forth by any foreign donors, but it is apparent that the republican party and its supporters will blindly go to the highest bidder, regardless of who they are; this certainly opens the door for Iran, North Korea and even China to buy the republican party's favor and condemn America to the wishes of foreign powers. This borders on Treason.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

K.I.N.D. Kids In Need of Desks...My Xmas Wish

All I wanted for Christmas was my home back in the Rockaways... yes, the same Rockaways that was washed away by Hurricane Sandy a few weeks ago. But I think I have found something that I want more...

There are kids in Malawi who sit for hours on the ground, a ground made of dust, a ground made of wood, or a ground made of cold, hard, unapologetic...concrete.

I have seen Lawrence O'Donnell make this heartening plea for some of us...any of us, to make a gift of a desk for these kids, desks which will give to a child more that we ever could.

Who could think that some pieces of wood and steel pipes could give to these kids more than we ever could... well...a desk could give a child a sense of direction, a sense of worth, a sense of pride in learning, a place to sit while learning, a table on which to write the work they learn in school... and just as important, or even more so, a place to eagerly return, day after day... to educate themselves, to change their lives for the better, by their own hand. 

This is what I want for Christmas... someone, anyone to help make a dream come true, for these kids. 

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Make a gift to these kids today, help us to do that which needs to be done, and the kids will do the rest themselves...

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