Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Coming Up Next On the Punch

When Capitalism Gets Sick
Addresses the symptoms, the cause and the cure for our sick American Economy.
The American Occupation Party
I will explore why the Occupy Movement must evolve into a viable third political party to insure that the protections laid out by our Founding Fathers will not be taken away from the middle class and the poor.

by Joseph M. Fasciana

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Will the 9/11 First Responders Law Do the Job?

by Barbara O'Brien

In the final days of the 111th Congress, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Act, also called the "9/11 First Responders bill," finally passed. The Act will provide medical monitoring and care for those who worked on the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, as well as for many who lived and worked nearby.

However, at the insistence of some senators, the final bill was considerably watered down from what it had been originally. More than $3 billion in funding was cut from s previous version of the bill, for example. Will the revised bill still do the job?

When the Senate passed the bill, initial news reports said that the monitoring and health care program would end after five years. However, the actual language of the bill provides for funding limitations for monitoring and health care after fiscal year 2016, which suggests the program might continue if Congress authorizes funding for it.
The monitoring issue is particularly critical. The collapse of the mammoth World Trade Center towers released thousands of tons of toxic particles into the air. For many weeks after the attacks, people who lived and worked in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn suffered burning eyes and hacking coughs from the foul air. Yet at the time, the federal government and the city of New York assured people the stinging fumes were not dangerous, just unpleasant.

Several days after the terrorist attacks, some independent researchers slipped past the police barricades to take samples. They found the air contained more than twice the number of asbestos fibers considered “safe,” as well as deadly levels of benzene, dioxin, and other toxins.

Why should people exposed to the toxins continue to be monitored? Asbestos in particular is a very slow killer. It has been well documented that the first symptoms of the deadly lung cancer mesothelioma may not show up for 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. But early detection should prolong lives and make mesothelioma treatment and other medical care more effective.
The final bill does close the Victims Compensation Fund in five years, which is separate from the health monitoring and care part of the bill. It also provides for more stringent monitoring of benefits, which might make it harder for people to get into the program.

Today — more than nine years after the attacks — many rescue and recovery workers are suffering deteriorating health. A study published in April 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that New York City firefighters and emergency workers continue to suffer from severe and persistent lung problems because of their exposure to the World Trade Center debris. Some of these 9/11 heroes already have died.

Firefighters, police officers, and other responders who had been begging Congress for help for nine years called the passage of the bill a “Christmas miracle.” Let us hope the final version of the bill will do the job.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

At the End of the Right Wing Rainbow

During President Obama's major health care speech on Wednesday, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson (R) yelled out "You lie!" when President Obama said the legislation would not mandate coverage for undocumented immigrants.

This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.

What else would you expect from an ignorant lying right wing nut job redneck congressman from  South Carolina, who couldn't control his hatred and rage during Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives.

Even though he was the one that lied about the proposal, he fails to admit it in his apology.

The non-partisan organization has debunked the claim that health care reform would mandate coverage for illegal immigrants.

False: Illegal Immigrants Will Be Covered

One Republican congressman issued a press release claiming that "5,600,000 Illegal Aliens May Be Covered Under Obamacare," and we’ve been peppered with queries about similar claims. They’re not true. In fact, the House bill (the only bill to be formally introduced in its entirety) specifically says that no federal money would be spent on giving illegal immigrants health coverage:
Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
Also, under current law, those in the country illegally don’t qualify for federal health programs. Of interest: About half of illegal immigrants have health insurance now, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center, which says those who lack insurance do so principally because their employers don’t offer it.
"Misleading GOP Health Care Claims" July 23

It is very obvious to me how the right wing politicians avoided the real issues and challenges that have to be addressed in order to overcome the problems to put health care in order. Instead they have chosen once again to insult the collective intelligence of we the people.

They did this by misinforming the people with bullshit.  Saying that health reform would be the start of Death panels, federally funded abortion, forced sex change operations, insuring illegals, rationed health care, government takeover of all health care, socialism, communism just to name a few.

Instead of stepping up and helping to solve health care problems they (the right) made up propaganda to instill once again the only thing they know anything about, "fear" into the people that really didn't take that much to make them believers of this nonsense, they already hate the left and Obama to begin with and they picked on the elderly for the obvious reasons, they are the easiest to upset and to scare.

Tort reform which is a republican idea, in my mind is a good tool to help lower health care.  I also think that cross state buying of insurance is another good right wing idea.  Congress has included 161 other republican amendments  in the package  I don't know them all, are to be part of this bill.

It is time to change health care, it is time to care about the families being devastated by health issues, this is not the time for our representatives to be worried about insurance company profits.  It is time for both parties to stop taking money from big Insurance and Pharma. 

It is our time to be represented by the people we elected to help us. Or else we will all end up in that dirty little shit house at the end of the rainbow.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the Jungle the Mighty Jungle the Lion Sleeps Tonight

" To whom much is given much is expected."

Ted Kennedy, the man upon whose shoulders was foisted the Kennedy family for better or worse.  In spite of all his flaws he was rock solid.  The fact that he faced his demons head on was remarkable.

He could have easily folded up his tent and gone away yet he withstood the barrage of blows after experiencing the deaths of his three older brothers.

While a young boy he lost his brother Joe to WW I I, then as we all know that ideological assassins killed his brother John and then Robert.  He also lost his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver just a few weeks ago.

When he drove his car off of Dike's Bridge and the resulting accident took the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, one would think that such a regrettable action would have certainly doomed this man, leaving him to broken to carry the unimaginable tragic burdens still to come at him and his family.

In spite of his personal frailties and surviving a plane crash, he still managed 47 years of untiring and unwavering service to his country.  He worked very hard for the less fortunate and he was well respected by his opposition.

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, released a statement early Wednesday morning on the death of Senator Edward Kennedy.

"While we didn’t see eye-to-eye on many political issues through the years, I always respected his steadfast public service - so much so, in fact, that I invited him to my library in 2003 to receive the Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service," President Bush said. "Ted Kennedy was a seminal figure in the United States Senate - a leader who answered the call to duty for some 47 years, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter in that body’s history."

Kennedy was the first American to receive the Bush Award. In November 2003, the Massachusetts Democrat received the honor from the former president at the Texas A&M-based library.

"We are not here to celebrate a partisan ideology," Mr. Bush said that evening, "but rather, the steadfast public service of a seminal figure in the U.S. Senate, and by extension, his remarkable family."

The widow of another president, Ronald Reagan, was one of the first to speak out from the Republican Party.

“Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family,” Nancy Reagan said in a statement from Los Angeles.

“But Ronnie and Ted could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another. In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research, and I considered him an ally and a dear friend. I will miss him.”

I too will miss Ted Kennedy, if you look at any piece of legislation over the past 50 years and if it had anything to do with the advancement of civil rights, education, equal pay, health or economic issues for the everyday man and woman it will also have his name attached to it.

Thanks for all that you have contributed to this country not only in mind but in blood too.  "RIP" Ted.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

United We Fall and Divided We Stand

                             FIND YOUR SPINE
No I didn't get my  "title" an age old adage upside down  and wrong.  Sadly it is the state that we find our nation in,  and its people are headed towards an actual physical clash of civil disobedience.

I usually try to highlight the differences between ideologies not by pointing fingers but by trying to hold both sides accountable.

However I feel in this instance when one side keeps pushing it is only going to be a matter of time before the other side pushes back.  That is if they ever get a spine.

As usual its the neo-con chickenhawks in our society fueling the ignorant with lies and misinformation to stoke hatred and fear, for their own corrupt corporate gains and to take care of their contributors and to fuck their constituents.  Instead of arming the right wing with policy talking points, and legitimate information to counter the left they (leaders and spokespersons from the right) are arming them with the encouragement of violence and subversion.  Counting again on the inability of a certain segment of society to know the difference between a disservice or a service. 

When people are shouting out "keep government out of my medicare",  you know they are ignorant dumb asses marching to the orders of O'Reilly and Limbaugh.

They call for them to compare the leaders of the left to Hitler, they preach to them the ills of socialism, and lie to them saying that part of health reform entails the government to euthanize the elderly.

When people are supporting the continuation of the preexisting clause in health insurance and the escalating costs of even the shitiest HMO,  you can be sure that they are ill informed especially when they actually think that the government wants to euthanize them, and that Obama is not an American citizen.  If you believe in any of the things mentioned in this paragraph then there is a good chance that we will remain a divided country from here on out.

Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh to name a few along with some elected officials from the right are on a daily crusade to cause physical harm to elected officials from the left and in general anyone that doesn't buy into their sick version of conservatism.

They and others like them are taking the principles of conservatism and are distorting the truth about matters that will help all Americans.  They like to hide behind the shield of conservatism while spewing hatred and hoping for the worst possible outcome of left wing policies without any regard for America or Americans.

They are no better than the Islamic terrorist that hide behind their religion to propel their agenda at any cost too.

When Bush and company had to deal with 9/11 the whole country rallied behind him including the left, not to mention most of the world.

Now with America facing two wars, rising unemployment, record home foreclosures, a collapsing economy on the brink of a deep recession or depression.  Where was the support from the right?

Maybe it is time for this country to split.  I am certain that I don't want to live in a country where the ideals of this type of conservatism are shoved down my throat.

Whatever happened to the Eisenhower Republicans? Now that was principled conservatism that you could live with.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Beyond the Horizon of Scandal

Big deal, its just another sex scandal.  I guess if you look at these types of behavior and take them at their face value then so what.

Yes this would be the case if you are a selfish insensitive person that has a mind overwrought with ego and fueled by power and greed.

It is fodder for the pundits, and since they think they are not victims of the sexual scandals perpetrated by politicians, its accepted by the ever apathetic public as  nothing more than business as usual.

There is never any mention of the victims of these scandals, and the public at large remain just to stupid to realize that they have just been victimized themselves.

Since there has been an overwhelming plethora of scandals involving men as the aggressor I will write this post in the masculine gender, mind you I know women also do these same things, but not in the realm of politics, in this milieu it has been for the past 200 years an all boys club.

Without further ado let me introduce you to the victims of these blowhards.  The first to suffer are the immediate families that are through no fault of their own forced to swallow this betrayal.  To a loyal wife and her children it is mentally devastating, and sometimes it even affects the physical health and well being of a wife and her children depending on their age.  The extended families of mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa these are just a few more of the shamed and hurt members of the family that are victims.

In some cases these men chose patronizing prostitutes, then shamelessly parade their innocent wife onto a TV station to stand there and act supportive after being battered.

Others chose to be more discrete and have sexual affairs while their wives lay in a hospital bed fighting cancer.  Yet some tried to have a homosexual tryst with strangers in public restrooms.

Some chose to abandon their public office for weeks at a time and run to another continent then profess publicly, true love, not to his wife but to a mistress. How humiliating!

While some even donked their own close associates wife, then paid hush money, dragging his parents into his lurid life.

Others while on America's dime tried to lure young underage pages into homosexuality. 

Betraying your own flesh and blood and the woman that carried your child is a sin in of itself.  It stands alone and shows all the world to see that these men do not even have any self respect, yet alone respect for their own children.  Think for a moment who is closer to you than your child?  While supposedly serving the public they engaged in a cabal of deceit, shame and dishonor and they scarred their victims forever.

What makes you think that a man that is spineless and lacks integrity and puts himself above his own wife and children and even above his own parents cares about you or your needs?  You are nothing to these types of men, and you have to be an idiot to think that your needs are on their minds, and you would be a dolt to lend further support and vote for them, are you like those people?  Would you dishonor your family too?

You cannot cheat on your own flesh and blood and destroy their hearts and souls, and then in the same breath care about the needs of your constituency that happen to be total strangers.  An oxymoron to say the least.

It is time that we the people demand that in order to run for public office that candidates take profile tests along with some psychological and IQ tests to assure that they possess some intellect, and that they reach certain profile benchmarks.

The higher the office the harder the tests.  From what I have been exposed to about our public officials and not just about sex scandals, but about governing in general there are some very scary and incompetent people in who's hands our destiny lies.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

He Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth

This clip of Bill Maher pretty much sums up how I have been feeling about Obama and his administration. 

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Now America Reaps What Bush and Cheney Have Sown

When I heard the disturbing news Tuesday morning that two American journalists had been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor by a North Korean court for the "crimes" of illegally entering the country and committing "hostile acts." We can only hope that the reclusive, bizarre and barbaric leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, is putting on a show to get the attention of the rest of the world, that's what he seems thrive on, and that the two TV reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, will be allowed to return home soon.

So as we all hope for the safety of the two American journalists being held in North Korea, and as we support actions to help secure their release, let us not forget that what makes the United States the country we are all proud to live in is that we stand for the very freedoms not available in North Korea, and that we oppose the kind of abuses used by that nation, and is currently perpetuating on two of our innocent citizens.

But the problem before us is we didn't exactly think that way for about the past eight years while Bush and Cheney ran the show, and kept their followers is lockstep.

I also read about Lakhdar Boumediene, and the truly disturbing story of what happened to him after the 9/11 attacks. An Algerian man living with his wife and two children in Sarajevo, Bosnia, he was working for the Red Crescent in October 2001 when he was arrested and charged with conspiring to blow up the American and British embassies in the city. An investigation revealed no evidence of his involvement in any plot, so a Bosnian judge ordered him released, but the Bush & Chenney administration intervened, and in January 2002 he was shackled and flown to Guantanamo Bay.

He was the name plaintiff in the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case that, in a rebuke to the Bush policy, found that detainees had a right to challenge their detention in court, and a federal judge (a Republican appointed by Bush) later found that the evidence against him was a joke and ordered his immediate release. France agreed and accepted him, and he is now living as a free man in that country, reunited with his family.

In the end, Boumediene was held for 7 1/2 years in Guantanamo, during which time, he says, he was tortured. He says he was kept up for 16 days straight, beaten, and forced to run while chained to guards, and if he could not keep up, he was dragged until his body was bloody and bruised. Soon after he began a hunger strike, he had food tubes put up his nose and, he alleges, soldiers would purposely poke IV needles into the wrong parts of his arm, just to induce pain.

Guess what the one thing that was never done to him was? Nobody asked if he was ever involved in a plot to blow up the U.S.A. and British embassies in Sarajevo. Rather, all he was repeatedly asked about was his connections to al-Qaeda and to Osama bin-Laden and his answer for 7 and a half years was still the same, a resounding no.

Now we have two Americans at the hands of a Korean madman, who unfortunately has gotten his Q's from Cheney and Bush. Hopefully he won't be as stupid as Cheney and Bush, but he only need say to us, look what you Americans have been doing for the past 8 years so don't tell me who I cant capture and don't tell me how I have to treat my prisoners.

The part that is problematic for me is that all the while the Bush administration had been repeatedly warned, by Generals, and POW's even John McCain just to mention a few, not to break the rules of the Geneva Convention for the sake of protecting Americans.

But these two had plans of their own, and listened to nobody.  Now two lonely, helpless frightened American women may pay the price. 

This North Korean jack off has only to point his finger at the past administrations actions and pretty much do whatever he wants.

If we would have taken the moral high ground in the first place we would have a leg to stand on in this argument. One thing we can't effectively do is stand up and order some one else to act lawfully, when we didn't.

I'm sure Bush and Cheney will figure a way to blame this on the Clinton or the Obama administration. Cheney just sickens me, we have much to pay for the sins of this past administration and it will take quite a while before the healing begins.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Neo-Con Lasts 6 Seconds of Waterboarding

There was never any doubt in my mind that waterboarding is torture, plain and simple.  I have seen it done in Vietnam and I knew instantaneously how cruel this act was.

Mancow is a conservative radio talk show host who in the past has repeatedly ridiculed the idea that waterboarding rose to the hieghts of torture.

To prove his point he volunteered to let himself be waterboarded in front of media camera's.  He changed his tune about the subject in a quick but terrifying six seconds.

Listen to the man as he has to recant his right wing belief that  waterboarding was not torture.  Proving as most sane people already know that Cheney is a fraud and a liar that has cost Americans their lives.

In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex. The technique does not inevitably cause lasting physical damage. It can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, ultimately, death.  Adverse physical consequences can start manifesting months after the event; psychological effects can last for years.

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