Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why Did This Happen?

"In my administration," Bush told voters in Pittsburgh in October 2000, "we will ask not only what is legal but what is right, not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves." What happened to Bush that made him denounce his own paradigms? Was he so weak minded that he was easily influenced to go against his own moral values, or was he born an amoral person? His actions clearly demonstrate that he had no reasonable understanding of what he had uttered in October of 2000. The questions about this man are not fostered from any enigmatic or profound unexplained complexities of how he processed information. They rose instead from the traits he readily exuded and paraded around like the beautiful fanning feathers of a proud peacock. The problem was, what he was strutting out for all the world to see was the ugliness of his hubris, and his lack of common manners. He was a poor example of American etiquette and his behavior was proof for anyone to see. He drove the stakes of morality by his administration into thin air instead of the terra firma of mother earth. As his second term of incompetence began, the hardships and burdens being foisted upon the poor and the middle class continued to take it's vile and shameful toll.

For Bush, his administration and their cronies it's been a solid eight years of breaking or bending the laws of our land, including the Constitution. They have ravaged America and the majority of it's populace. The largest redistribution of money from the middle class to the rich has taken place in all of modern history during his watch. They after eight years are leaving our country in shambles. They took so much that they were very close to destroying their own political party. It isn't the money that Bush, Cheney and his administration stole that is problematic. It is the arms and legs, that they took, it is the lives of the Americans made to go on combat tour after combat tour without proper breaks and proper equipment, it's all the collateral damage to the tens of thousands of men women and children, its to all the families that they destroyed, all the American good will that they vanquished. In the end, Bush and Cheney's greed and need for power took precedent over life and limb.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

To Help Or Not to Help ?

That is the question. After trying to balance the many pro and con ideas of why the U.S. tax payers should or should not loan the Big Three automotive industrial complex more money in order to save them from total collapse. Well for me to arrive at what I think is a thoughtful answer I had to look at the big picture of government spending. I will attempt to include certain data that is pretty much fact in order for you to make your own conclusion. So lets start with foreign and military aid that we the taxpayers pay for via the administration that happens to be calling the shots at the time they are in power. I will concede that I will not be able to recount everything perfectly but I will use only the numbers that I have done the research on.

I think the Mideast is a good starting point so here we go. More than one hundred countries, though a small handful of them receive the largest share. Israel and Egypt have traditionally been the single-largest recipients of U.S. aid, dating back to the 1978 Camp David peace accords between the two countries. For both countries, the majority of this is military aid—$2.4 billion in military aid is requested for Israel in 2008 and $1.3 billion for Egypt. Afghanistan and Iraq, involved in massive U.S.-led nation-building efforts, and Pakistan, an important ally in the war on terrorism, also receive huge amounts of foreign aid. Separate from the aid disbursed by the State Department, the Defense Department also has a growing role in post-conflict situations, providing billions of dollars in reconstruction aid in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I will give you those 2009 budgetary numbers in a bit. In the meantime lets go right to Israel. Since 1949 the U.S. has given Israel a total of $83.205 billion. The interest costs borne by U.S. tax payers on behalf of Israel are $49.937 billion, thus making the total amount of aid given to Israel since 1949 $133.132 billion. This may mean that the U.S. government has given more federal aid to the average Israeli citizen in any given year than it has given to the average American citizen. Since the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan has become one of the largest recipients of US military aid – reportedly more than 10 billion dollars. Since 1950, the US government has provided over 91 billion dollars to militaries around the world from a single fund. There are a number of additional funds, so the total is substantially higher. Most of the money comes from the Defense and State Departments. Pakistan rocketed from receiving 9 million U.S. dollars in military aid in the three years prior to Sept. 11 to receiving 4.2 billion dollars in the three years after the terrorist attacks, going from 56th on the list of U.S. military aid receivers to No. 3. Israel and Egypt retained their positions on the list at first and second. Jordan retained its fourth place on the list and Afghanistan moved from 64th place to fifth.

Bush released a $3.1 trillion budget, "We all understand that there is a level of unpredictability with such budget estimates, but it is critical that we attempt to plan for expenses we know are coming," said Rep. Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat who chairs the House Armed Services Committee. So lets get back to those 2009 numbers and the current numbers to date. Bush has already asked Congress for $70 billion to pay for the wars, and more money will be sought later this year. Last year, the Pentagon asked for $189 billion in war spending. For all of the 2009 fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, the Bush administration said it planned to spend $651.2 billion. That includes the $515 billion request and anticipated supplemental spending bills.
The request will allow the United States to maintain its "technological advantage over current and potential enemies," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

So folks by citing just a few of the situations that we humble tax payers are already spending trillions of our hard earned dollars on foreigners and some of which really hate us is not a pleasant feeling, any way for me it is not. Now really I only mentioned a few things here to put a little perspective to the money coming out of your pockets and being well you know redistributed, by the way the last I heard that was a dirty word if your from the right. Let me mention the other agencies that redistribute your money, there are many, including the departments of agriculture, commerce, defense, homeland security, justice, labor, treasury, transportation, health and human services, and interior. Separate permanent authorizations exist for foreign aid programs such as the Peace Corps, the Inter-American Foundation, and the African Development Foundation, as well as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. If I were to include all of the cash we give out without preconditions from all of these other agencies of redistribution, well I think you get the picture here. I haven't even mentioned the money that you and I give to all these countries for just plain old economic foreign aid, that's another story in itself. What galls me the most is that while all these trillions are going out of our pockets to spend on military budgets, we still have not taken care of the victims of Katrina and Ike, and the victims of the floods this year in the Midwest. This money that our government seems to give away without accountability is so enormous that they have already tapped the pocket of your children and the pocket of their unborn children. So armed with this information I say if helping the American auto industrial complex actually keeps three million Americans working then do it. Compared to the trillions that we give to dictators and our enemies the world over what's the big deal when it comes to helping American workers ?

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla

In today's New York Times, Dick Cavett offers up a humourous look at Sarah Palin's use (or abuse) of the English language. A sample:

My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.

And, she concluded, “never, ever did I talk about, well, gee, is it a country or a continent, I just don’t know about this issue.”

It’s admittedly a rare gift to produce a paragraph in which whole clumps of words could be removed without noticeably affecting the sense, if any.

(A cynic might wonder if Wasilla High School’s English and geography departments are draped in black.)

Read the full article here.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Post Election Fun

Just this morning, I stumbled across this most excellent motivational poster:

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

For the complete collections, check out:

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Purely Opinion

Now the election is over, but I don't think that from what I'm hearing from Fox news, and pundits like Bill O, Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, and others that there will ever be anything that will lessen the divide that is etched upon the land of our people. So I guess you read the first sentence of my post and by now your saying there goes Joseph again, his party won the election and he is still complaining. Well if that is what you are thinking you are partially correct in coming to that assumption, because when it comes to politics I am never really content with the status quo, no matter what party is in power at any particular time in my life. I really want you to know why I'm coming at you this way, and it's simple. I am being influenced by the words of the people that I mentioned in my opening sentence. If you are of the right wing persuasion no doubt you have heard them yourself, if you are from the left I will tell you that it is not worth the time it takes to report their quotes. I'll just paint a broad picture of all their comments in combination to give you the feel of their underpinnings. They are all indicating in one way or another of the impending doom that the commie socialist Obama will throw down on our country. The point is Obama, has not been sworn into office yet, and they are already on alert and ramping themselves and their flocks of loyal followers up, so that by the time he does get sworn in, they will (right wing)be ready for an all out "ambush". So now that we are talking about Bush, what about those last eight years of compassionate conservatism. Most people have suffered as a result of this administrations interpretation of compassionate conservatism. Yet certain people of the conservative movement are all upset because they have lost the bully pulpit, a tool that they used most effectively to override sense and sensibility. It would be hard for me to believe that every conservative is upset about this presidential election, in my heart of hearts I believe many are upset with their party for sure, they lost many house seats in the process. But why be upset now? That is the question I mean they had 8 years to demonstrate to the world and the dirty anti-American liberals how superior conservatism is and how pro American it is.

If I were of the right wing persuasion I definitely would have been disgusted with the outcome of this administration on every level. If the left wing was in power and committed the same crimes and neglected this countries needs, and broke constitutional law, I know I would be feeling the same way absolutely bewildered, even more so because they are in my party, and to tell you the truth I still feel that the democrats displayed their usual amount of spinelessness by not fighting back on certain issues. Well although I may seem biased, if the new administration doesn't do all that is possible to correct the situation that the good old US of A is in and to help the citizenry on all levels I will pound them on this blog just the same, probably even more. So to put this in perspective, from what I have studied about conservatism, I saw absolutely none of its dogma's enacted, except for maybe, yes they did cut taxes for the 5% of the wealthiest of Americans and they did dole out trillions in no bid contracts to their cronies, and billions in tax incentives for corporate America, as a matter of fact they did more than I thought they did. The government has grown twofold. They even have two wars going on and manage to neglect the veterans that have repeatedly fought in them. I wonder what's wrong with me how could I forget all of that compassion. I really thought that letting the poor citizens in New Orleans and Mississippi drown in real time on TV while Anderson Cooper was reporting the news that Bush knew nothing about as Rice was out shopping for shoes, yeah that was pretty compassionate too.

On the positive side I have received some surprise emails from a few people around the world. They expressed a general theme of, glad to see Obama win, he will do much to unite the world. I can't say that I agree with them wholeheartedly about the uniting the world stuff, but I just hope an Obama administration restores some of all the good will that was squandered by King George and Prince Dick.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

A Well Deserved Victory

Good morning to all. I did not want to begin this post with any ill will, but how it may end I can't say for sure. What I am sure about is, this will be a historic event of epic proportions, when Barack Obama is sworn into office this coming January. The election of Obama to the highest office of this country will be seen not only as racial barrier breaking sea change, but it also radiates through out the world that we are a true democracy. This election was not only decisive I believe it left Obama with a clear mandate to govern just a little left of center without much room to go to far to the left, especially if he wants to unite this nation. If he chooses to govern as Bush did, saying he was going to bring us together then instead Bush stopped governing and started simply to rule over anything that stood in his way and if it wasn't far right it was not going to happen. He shut over half of America out for eight years.

I can't imagine how proud that the African American community is. It must be especially poignant for those black and white Americans who fought and suffered through the civil rights movement leaving many killed or severely injured. Let us not forget the black men, women and children that suffered segregation and humiliation at the hands of the unjust laws that violated the civil rights of our fellow human beings, these laws where not only abusive but degrading to any human being, and they were meant to be shouldered only by certain individuals of our society because of the color of their skin, and for no other reason. That is why men and women like Dr. King and those before him going back to Harriet Tubman did what they did. It will be ninety six years after the death of Harriet Tubman that Americans can finally reap what she had sown. I hope that this event will help ease some of the racial tensions that will sadly always seem to exist in our great country, but it is what can be hailed as a good start towards equality.

Another reason why my hat is of to Obama, he not only had to overcome the racial prejudices which are still prevalent in American society, he also had to overcome his own name, then he had to defeat the Clinton machine, and Hillary was tough as nails no doubt about it, she gave him a run for his money. Then there was all this, be afraid of Obama, the GOP warned us. Be afraid of something new, something different. He would meet with our enemies. His middle name is Hussein. He "pals around with terrorists," consorts with the radicals at Acorn (which is "destroying the fabric of democracy"), and doesn't see America "like you and I see America." A vote for Obama would be "dangerous" and "too risky for America." Obama is a socialist he want's to take your money and spread it around, he's a communist, he's a Muslim terrorist sympathizer the GOP shouted. I mean a lot of people believe all this crap. It's like, did they forget that we have a Department of Homeland Security, did they forget that the Bush and Chenney oligarchy were taping Americans phone conversations, I mean how dumb can someone be to think that with the FBI, CIA, Special OPS, and all the other government agencies invading our privacy, don't you think they would have stopped a commie or a socialist or a terrorist from running for any office let alone the presidency, well I knew I couldn't stay totally positive, because when I think of how the right wing can't figure that out for themselves it just boggles what little is left between my ears. They just believe in the Rovian politics of fear and "amen".

Well anyway it didn't work this time and more people smartened up. Frankly the GOP ran a pretty insulting campaign, they never mentioned any solutions or plans to solve any kitchen table problems. They just kept warning us and trying to instill fear. Even the intellectual republicans that were embarrassed enough went on record to support Obama and give their assessments of Sarah Palin. In the end the man against all odds simply won in a landslide. He won because he does have an intellect that people think might be useful in these tough times. Most of all Obama won because he was disciplined stayed on message had a ground game that no other campaign has ever come up against, and that changed the electoral college map that actually turned
Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada all red states into blue states. The future in American politics belongs to the party that can win a more racially diverse, better educated, more metropolitan electorate. I think right now the Democrats get it and so does Obama.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

T'was the night before the elections and all through the house
all the parties were a stirring even the mouse.

Brother Tom says for McCain and Palin he sees nothin but clear sailing
and even Aunt Jayne wants Johnny McCain
but Uncle Neal won't whimper he's not gonna reveal

And Sis is a bliss with Mama because they both want Obama

Cousin Pete thinks republicans will be certain to repeat
While Grandma LuLu thinks they will be losing many a house seat

But Dad says, Hey! screw them all I'm not voting for no one this Fall.

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