Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
At times, the movie is raw and emotional, regardless of Moore’s politics. There is a story of a family that loses their house in foreclosure and then is paid $1,000 by their lender to clean out their belongings. It’s a job usually left to a private contractor but the family needed the money. Or the story of how Wal-Mart Stores profited from a life insurance policy it took out on a young woman who died unexpectedly leaving behind her young family. The family of course got nothing, not even to pay for the funeral.
The movie is supposed to expose the suffering caused by the Wall Street profit machine, which had been facilitated by systematic and pervasive deregulation during the Reagan, Clinton and Bush administrations. The final insult was the financial rescue of 2008, which Moore says was a ploy to enrich the likes of Goldman Sachs, led by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and with the help of the Congressional Democrats, who stoked fear there would be mass chaos if taxpayers didn’t shell out billions of dollars for the banks.
There is absolutely nothing I didn’t know that Moore exposes in this movie. It is a harsh, only one sided view of a very complex problem that we are facing in our country. There are other mitigating circumstances and equally valid reasons for the economic meltdown like the irresponsible home buyers who took out mortgages they could not possibly afford.
What I got out of watching this film is that Moore’s message is something hopeful, that the American people will somehow find it within themselves to gain strength and fight with their votes and their ability to muster up grass root organizations to assert their superiority over the rich and the corporations. But I say: good luck; the rich and the corporations are not going to let go of their teat and will continue to suck that cow until it is dried up and falls over dead from dehydration.
The way our society has been functioning is to take away from the poor and the middle class, the rich will continue to take action to protect themselves from the rift-raft trying to deprive them of their ill gotten riches. In some cases they will be cruel and ruthless. We now have a new Supreme Court decision that gives the corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. We also have the involvement of religious organizations not only providing funds for this or the other political causes or candidates, violating the long held concept of the separation of Church and State.
The movie leaves you with some hope that perhaps with the election of President Obama things might be changing. But one year into his Presidency we see that the realities are very different. President Obama has fought one of the most energetic and vilest fights ever seen in American politics just to pass one piece of legislation that ended up being watered down and imperfect. In his desire to be inclusive and bi-partisan, he gave in to the many demands from the opposition and got nothing in return, on the contrary, all he got was more obstructionism and opposition and the promise of more obstruction to come from Republicans.
I really don’t see how we can have even effective government if the premise that the opposition has is that “the best government is that which governs the least” and “government is the problem” a long held Reagan idieology like “trickle down economics” which is flawed and erroneous. I really don’t see how Obama and the Democrats will be able to fight again and again for much needed legislation. We are tired and we are sick of gridlock. We are disgusted with the Republicans and with the Tea Baggers. Some of us on the liberal progressive side unfortunately have a very bleak outlook for our nation.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The owner of a Venezuelan that takes a hard line against President Hugo Chavez has been arrested for remarks authorities deemed offensive, sending a powerful signal to government opponents that they should watch their words.
Opposition leaders and human rights groups condemned Thursday's arrest of Guillermo Zuloaga, the owner of Globovision, who was detained on a warrant by military intelligence agents and released hours later after appearing in court. Critics called the case a major setback for freedom of speech, saying it shows the government is growing increasingly intolerant and authoritarian as its popular support has slipped.
How long has it been since the former Cuban Minister of the Interior arrived in Venezuela? Do you think that there is any connection? Nah, that is just what the anti-Chavez reactionary right wingers are saying.
Maybe we could do the same here in America and arrest Beck, Limbaugh and the FOX NEWS owner…do you think it might work? Or are we to continue our tradition of freedom of the press and speech?
Friday, March 26, 2010
We heard recently from this asshole that the reason that a massacre took place in Bosnia (from retired Gen. John Sheehan's at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday)
Sheehan claimed that Dutch military leaders had called the presence of gay soldiers in the army "part of the problem" that allowed Serb forces to overrun the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia in July 1995 and kill some 8,000 Muslim men.
Nor can we ever forget for whom we fight this battle because each and every day service members pack up their uniforms for the final time due to nothing more than being who they are. It does not matter if you are a Jen Kophstein or Mike Almay or Victor Fehrenbach, honorable and courageous service is quickly tossed aside when the investigative services begin their work. That is why when it comes to this fight, all of us are fighting like hell to secure votes every day.
Patience is a virtue, we are told. Sometimes, in the course of a struggle, the need is always to know when and how to strike. Lt. Dan Choi and James E. Pietrangelo’s decision to handcuff themselves to the gate of the White House was, according to many, the wrong thing to do. Indeed, there are signs that it has undermined the resolve of some Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell supporters and strengthened the hands of men like retired General John Sheehan who, that same day, uttered a slanderous, inaccurate, and outright false accusation which caused a minor diplomatic incident with the Netherlands. On a day when the story should have been the lengths at which homophobes such as General Sheehan will go to in order to prevent gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, the story became about how two men in uniform chose to, in the eyes of LGBT critics, disrespect their service.
I think the main reason why there is a misconception among the military is because they operate in an atmosphere of a machista culture. You are a warrior, a fierce and ruthless son of a bitch and you have to be devoid of compassion. They have bought into the stereotype of the weak, flamboyant and effeminate homosexual, incapable of defending himself let alone his country.
But we all know that this is an erroneous generalization since most gays are neither flamboyant nor devoid of compassion. Most of us fall somewhere in between but the fact that we can defend our country and love our country just as much as any heterosexual can has not dawned on these people. Or are we to believe that only if you stick your dick into a dirty cunt you can join the military and serve your country?
It’s not going to make the military soft or anything. I mean, they’re soldiers. We’re talking, yea, they’re gay, but we’re not talking Ru Paul, Elton John gay, we’re talking “Brokeback Mountain” gay.
- Wanda Sykes regarding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Our brave soldiers are capable of compassion too.