Monday, October 31, 2011

EVERYONE WANTS A PIECE OF MY PIE


While the rich get to have their cake and eat it too

My pie is not big enough to even spare a sliver, a small slice of that morsel to any of the people who ask for it. On a daily basis I get e-mails requesting donations; ranging from political to charitable. Just yesterday I added up what I would have given if I had been motivated by these requests: $635.00.

If you have ever donated any money to a political or charitable organization you are in for a deluge of requests for years to come. I donated $100.00 to the 2008 Obama for President Campaign because my mom who is 96 and doesn’t have a credit card gave me the money and asked me to contribute to it.

But that is not the worst part; yesterday I got a package in the mail containing some DVDs with some country western music which I had not requested. It came attached with a bill for $149.00. With all due respect to those who enjoy that genre of music I have no affinity for it; I only listen to classical music and that is when I am in my car because I don’t even own a DVD player.

Just this week I got my property tax bill for over $4,000, the house insurance bill for $3,600, the car insurance for $1,200 and repairs to the plumbing where one estimate is $4,500, and a $3,500 dental. There was a $900.00 termite treatment from the exterminator and I still have a leak in my pool which I have not even considered fixing because I am intimidated by what the cost might be.

That folks is called INCOME REDESTRIBUTION. When retired people like me have to dig into savings to pay current bills and extra ones that pop up along the way. Oh, sure, any senior who owns his house could go out and get one of those mortgages that are basically an effort by the banks to squeeze that very last remnant of wealth any of us in the middle class have…our homes. Mind you, the value of property has diminished to the point that my house is now worth half of what I paid for it.

I think that these negative mortgages are the most egregious, immoral, unethical financial transactions that were ever dreamed up by the banks…they are downright obscene.

PUMKIN EATER…”HELLO, PUMPKIN”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE



Artist Ray Villafane began carving pumpkins on a lark for his art students in a small rural school district in Michigan . The hobby changed his life as he gained a viral following online and unlocked his genuine love of sculpting. Here are images of pumpkin carvings Villafane created over the past five years.



























































Sunday, October 30, 2011

WHO IS ENTITLED AND WHO ISN’T


They are called entitlement programs because we are entitled

Arguably Social Security is the most successful of all the safety net programs; it is self-funded and solvent for many decades to come…and that is precisely the reason it is under attack. The Republicans…composed of that very wealthy 1% who own most of the wealth; the corporations that want people to be destitute and jobless so they can pick and choose from an unemployed population, hire them for peanuts, work them to death and give them no benefits…they love to get rid of Social Security.

Social Security is a black eye in the face of greed and conservative economic ideology. There are other social safety net programs not quite as successful but just as necessary and the Republicans despise as well. They would do away with all of these with a stroke of a pen if they could.

When we talk about why we feel that something like unemployment compensation, Social Security and even health care are ours, our very own little assurance that we will not fall through the cracks and lose everything we have; we are talking about programs that we contribute to, the public and employers have to pay into it to be ENTITLED…it doesn’t come free, it is not a giveaway as Republicans would like everyone to think.

The narrative coming from Republicans have been to make us feel guilty if we collect unemployment or even if we retire and go on Social Security. “GET A JOB” is the new battle cry of Republican-Teahadists…replacing “THEY ARE TAKING AWAY MY AMERICA” and to some extent it is catching on. But don’t let the right wing media and the demagoguery of the Republicans convince you otherwise because these are necessary programs for a civilized and fair society to function and do so with fairness and compassion.

All the while when we, the poor and middle class have been contributing financially to these programs to make them serve us, the wealthy and the corporations have paid little or in a lot of cases nothing in the form of taxes. That is so terribly askew, so unethical and immoral that it has to make the majority of Americans indignant.

Occupy Wall Street is but a reflection of our disgust with the unfair redistribution of wealth that has taken place and the unwillingness of the wealthy and the corporations to pay their fair share. Yet, they think they are entitled and we are not. The questions to be asked are: Do they not use public roads, bridges and benefit from fire and police protection? Do these wealthy folks not employ people who we educate with funds that originate from the taxes we pay and they don’t?

In the absence of government we never would have had a strong economy and the highest standard of living in the free world. Telecommunications, highways, ports, water treatment, and an adequate yet erratic judicial system that fairly handles business disputes are all taxpayer funded necessities that makes our free enterprise system work. So yes if you created a business that has been successful and brought you personal wealth you have certainly earned it. However, you have also benefitted greatly from services that today require you to pay a little more to maintain. But let’s get real here…who would give Donald Trump or the Koch Brothers credit for being either innovative or making their own fortunes when they inherited them? I too would be a successful entrepreneur if my father had left me millions.

Elizabeth Warren has been a thorn on the side of Republicans and that outspoken and chirpy woman who put herself through college and was able to keep her clothes on expresses it very well in this video:

SOURCE: http://www.minyanville.com/dailyfeed/2011/10/04/elizabeth-warrens-class-warfare-speech/

WHY WE ARE HOPEFUL ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AMERICA

Or put another way…why in the world would the majority of Americans vote Republican?

If you for one moment contemplated the question why ordinary, hard-working folks have gone Republican? Think again. Other than the usual suspects; those fucking Evangelical religious fanatics who will follow like sheep anybody who predicts Armageddon and blames the gays and abortion for America’s perils…the great majority of Americans who have always been moderate but leaning to the right are now divorcing themselves from this Tea Party madness, the racism, the protection of special interests to bank-rolled elections and most of all the realization that the poor and the middle class have been taken for a ride.

Yes, a ride…and a bumpy one, one that has proven to be disastrous for the middle class and the economy in order to make those wealthy folks richer and the corporations more powerful. Occupy Wall Street is but a small manifestation of the disgust that Americans are feeling with their lot in life, their systematic exclusion from politics, their dwindling opportunities and worst of all that CLASS WARFARE the very wealthy has been waging and winning.

It puzzles most people, most reasonable people that is, how the Republicans figure that we are going to not blame them for the economic crisis they created and are helping perpetuate; how keeping people without jobs would make them angry at President Obama when everyone sees clearly that the Republicans have time and time again opposed, delayed, sabotaged any attempt by Congress and the President to do something to solve this economic crisis.

The Wall Street Journal has posted some very illuminating charts on 2010 voter preferences that help us blow through the blather and by-pass the baloney.

Despite what you are hearing about Tea Party Populism and hopping mad Main Streeters, one thing is indisputable. The more money you make, the more likely you were to cast a ballot for Republicans in the 2010 elections. The GOP was swept into office by a green tide of affluence. The numbers do not lie, friends. And here they are.

Voters who said their income is…

• Less than 30K per year voted 58% for Dems, 40% for Repubs
• 30K - 49,999K: 52% for Dems, 45% for Repubs
• 50K-74,999K: 46% for Dems, 52% for Repubs
• 75K - 99,999K: 43% for Dems, 56% for Repubs
• 100K-1,999,999K: 43% for Dems, 56 for Repubs
• Over $200,000K: 36% for Dems, 62% for Repubs

Notice that as soon as you pass the average income level in the United States, which is currently around 40K per year, you see voters leaning Republican.

How can we interpret it? Contrary to what Republicans think, poor and working class people are not stupid. They know very well that Republicans are out to screw them. Make no mistake: they’re plenty mad at Democrats as well for all the bank-centric bullshit and backroom deals. The poor can’t understand how our President allows himself to be blackmailed and the American people held hostage so that Republicans can get all they want.

They are outraged that the same crooks that got bailed out are now kicking them out of their houses. But they aren’t fooled by the phony populism that the Right is spewing.

Ideas like cutting Social Security, extending tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, cutting unemployment benefits so that Americans will take any job they can get, (holding the country hostage to do it) no matter shitty, continue to come from Republicans in a shameless way, totally devoid of compassion. In other words, do more of the same that got us into trouble in the first place.

People are waking up, the scales are falling off their eyes and the results will be earthshakingly profound. Americans will reject the Tea Party, the Republicans, Wall Street Obese Pussies, Greedy, out of control banks and even if the Republicans rig the elections it is going to be difficult to hide one sweeping, overwhelming landslide in opposition of the Republican’s war against the middle class.

The disparity of wealth and income is not going unnoticed by the average American. Here is where the rubber meets the road and the Republicans are losing the battle all the while insisting that more tax cuts have to be given to the “JOB CREATORS” who have only created jobs overseas, have had tax breaks and loopholes for over a decade and I might add they have been paying the lowest percentage in half a century…while making enormous profits…You think people are stupid?



Saturday, October 29, 2011

WHAT IS WORKING AND FOR WHOM

Who are these Republicans kidding?

They call it CLASS WARFARE and yet, as Buffett says indeed it is class warfare but his class has been winning it. I don’t mean to bore you with the banal details of my finances but in just one week I have been hit with a $900 termite control bill, $4,500 plumbing, $3,600 dental, $112.00 battery for car and other miscellaneous smaller bills in addition to my normal household bills for the month.

It makes one question how other people are coping…how can they manage if they are underemployed, unemployed or just making a shitty salary at Wal-Mart or McDonalds; it is no secret that wages for poor and middle class look more like those flat-lines on those heartbeat machine while the incomes of the very wealthy have shot up erect like the hard-on of a seventeen year old.

Growth of Family Income

Posted by Linda H

We also know with very rudimentary knowledge of economics that what gets the economy going is spending, not austerity and the Republicans have gone out on a scorch-earth initiative to reduce government spending at a time when more spending is needed in order to stimulate the economy…let’s face it…those “JOB CREATORS” are sitting on trillions of dollars…hoarding the nation’s wealth and not investing them.

And as cruel and harsh at it sounds Republicans are rejoicing that the economy is not springing back, that the unemployment percentages keep at unacceptable levels and they sure as hell are not going to move one fucking finger to help the President and the Democrats fix the problems they created.

I wish somebody could tell me with a straight face why does Mr. Joe Wall Street or Mr. Obese Pussy Banker need that third mansion in the Hamptons; or for that matter, why do the Koch brothers think that they have to impose their father’s Bircher ideas down the throats of the American people…isn’t their wealth enough?

That is why I will adorn my car with the following sticker:

SOURCE: http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/10/growth-of-family-income.html

Friday, October 28, 2011

THE TEA PARTY IS NOT READING THE TEA LEAVES



And neither are the right-wing Republican radicals

Let us just imagine for a moment that any of these certifiably insane candidates for the Republican nomination does capture the spot on the ballot. We can continue to imagine that the American people would be gullible enough to buy into the radical Republican agenda of imparting harm to the middle class and the poor in order to give the wealthy and the corporations more tax breaks. Then we can deduce that after all the rigging of elections and their obscene treasure chests provided by the Koch brothers and other unpatriotic Americans and corporations…they will actually win the White House and the Senate as well as holding on to the House of Representatives.

In such an unlikely scenario, is it wise to read the tea leaves? Would it be preposterous of most Americans in the middle to expect prosperity and an equitable distribution of the wealth? The answer of course is no.

You have to be pretty dense not to figure out that as peace loving, law abiding, gentile and disengaged in politics as the majority of Americans are that they will be opposing most if not all of the scorch earth initiatives such as we have seen in Wisconsin and other places.

Is it not clear that the people will rise? Have we not seen but very small examples of people getting together and protesting? Do we ignore Occupy Wall Street, vilify them and paint them as extremist, dirty hippies who want to destroy our country or do we consider what it is that is causing such protests?

Oh, sure, the police departments in some of these cities will be successful in repressing the protests. You might even get the usual suspects who watch Fox news and listen to Rush to buy into their lies…but when a tyrannical, theocratic plutocracy is forced upon the American people it is not going to be just demonstrations and protests…it will escalate into more serious conflicts.

Then, given the fact that the Republicans are slashing public services like fire protection, city services and even reducing their police force…who do you think would be left to repress and prevent any such protests? Surely the National Guard would not be willing to go in and kill their brothers and sisters knowing full well that when they are out of the military they won’t even be able to find a job, the veteran benefits will be gone and all their sacrifices they have made for their country will translate into preserving the riches of that 1%.

That my friends is not going to work either because you can’t motivate the military to slaughter their own over unjust and unreasonable ideology…and that is what the tea leaves are telling us. So I suggest to you stupid Teabagger that you do read the tea leaves.

PHOTO SOURCE: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/03/14/tea-leaf-reading-foxs-summer-has-repeats-of-lie-to-me-the-chicago-code-but-not-fringe-or-human-target/85700/