President and occupy

I am disappointed. I have looked at facts, I have done research, I have looked at timelines, I understand that the effects of momentum and inertia affect political and economic trends almost as much as they do things in the physical world, and I look for cause and effect relationships. Because I do research, and because I do not base my opinion only on what someone I was told to trust says, I have been mostly in support of President Obama and his policies. These policies have not been perfect, but they usually tend to guide our country in the direction that works for the overall country, at least when appropriate time was given to counter the momentum of the previous policies. Because of this, he has earned my support.

 

Due to the Tea Party takeover of the House of Representatives, his ability to get things done was hampered, and he had to start making compromises. This I understand to be the nature of the political beast. I do not like the policies that came after that, but I recognize his inability to have policy move through easily.

 

A combination of two things have left me disappointed. First, President Obama should have realized much sooner that the new idea was to block him no matter what, and so he should not have continued compromising. He should have strongly suggested to the public that elected these new Representatives to recall them, and any other Representatives who put the people in such risk. Second, he should have made a direct statement about the brutality that the police in certain cities have used to respond to the Occupy movement. Not only should he denounce the police violence, but he should have sent in the Federal Marshals to investigate, using the ample footage provided by the people there.

AND he should have attached himself to the movement, and used it’s power as the crutch he needed to stand back up to the idiots in office who want to make their puppet masters happy.

 

Just a quick (for me, anyway) rant about current politics. Pick me up on your way to the next protest… These middle aged knees just can’t walk that far anymore.

Published in: on October 28, 2011 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Discussion on drilling

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I participated in a conversation on a site that promotes drilling in the Gulf to solve our oil problems. My response to “we need to drill” starts below this paragraph. The sad thing is, that if oil companies took the money they intended to use to build new oil derricks and invested it in the ideas below, they would still be on the cutting edge of profit, while doing the USA and the global environment a good turn.

This is one solution [drilling in the Gulf]… The sad truth is that by the time the new drilling and processing could reach the market, we could go back to producing the fuels that the engines we use were designed to use before DuPont purchased legislation to make the more effective competitors of fossil illegal.

The “gasoline” engine was originally run and intended to run on alcohol (not limited to corn – we already could effectively produce alcohol from trash). With a few modifications, any gasoline engine could run on alcohol NOW. Manufacturers could easily (and without any more cost than the usual modifications) start putting engines already capable in new cars as soon as they change the engines over for the next model year. We could be running on cheaper, produced inside the USA, fuel in about as much time as new drilling could be rushed through.

When Rudolf Diesel introduced the diesel engine, his first words were “Vegetable Oil”. Current diesel engines can, and some do, run on filtered fast food oil. The modifications to make this the most effective fuel for new diesel engines could be made for new vehicles (and without any more cost than the usual modifications) as soon as the manufacturers make their model year modifications.

Then there is the other stuff like plastics, medicines, etc. that we make from fossil fuel. Before DuPont’s purchased legislation made hemp illegal(and by making hemp illegal, made researching with hemp illegal), research into the applications of the seed oil were already producing amazing results. The advances made with fossil oil could be slightly modified to produce very similar results from renewable oils.

The truth is that if the government were to step up and make these kinds of changes, then by the time new wells were drilled and producing, we could be close enough to oil free to not need more than the oil we already drill for and produce.

Another sad truth is that if the oil companies really wanted to, they could have set up large scale processors of fry oil and other oils to produce fuel for diesel engines, and they could have set up mass alcohol refineries, so that they could still be the primary producers of fuel in the USA. They could have cornered the market, simply with their ability to set up major production, which would make their product cheaper to produce than anyone else. Between their ability to set up mass production, and using the various fuel consumption reducing patents that the various oil companies have purchased and not put into use, oil companies could quickly revolutionize the energy market, and be so far ahead of any competition that their domination would continue. Sure, profits might not be quite as extravagant, but the overall economy would benefit so that their non-fuel petroleum products would have more demand…

Now, I know I am smart, but not so smart that their people that are paid to think of ways to keep business working couldn’t have seen this and worked it out. The final answer still ends up that corporations operate on greed. Nothing but greed. We need that “we the people” part of our history reinstated before this greed wipes out all that makes the USA great.

Published in: on October 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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GOP Picture commentary

Picture of 3 people holding a copy of the US Constitution, in a classroom full of kids. The kid in the middle looks like he is intently reading. Bush Jr. looks confused, and Rick Perry looks pissed. I understand the kid and we are familiar with Jr being confused. What was Perry pissed about? oh, yeah, he can’t handle the truth.

Published in: on October 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bob McDonnell’s Education Department Admits Obama’s Policies Saved Or Created 7,715 Teacher Jobs


Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

It amazes me how much a difference in perspective matters. It seems that the closer you are to a problem, the better you understand it. State level government deal much more closely with educational issues than federal level does. We have Republican state governors admitting that Obamas actions have had positive effect. Of course Perry is a good example of that change in perspective – as Governor of Texas, he requested a great deal of aid that was put in place by liberals – his state would not have been able to remain solvent without it. Now that his eyes are set higher, he condemns such programs.

 

I am not a great fan of Obama, but the ideas he has managed to push through have had positive effects, and the problems we still have often lead back to blocks to policies he suggested that look like they could have helped, if they had made it through.

 

I would consider any reasonable, self thinking candidate that could manage a campaign that answers questions without fear that someone would ask something that shows their mental compartmentalization of ideals. Right now, the only one in the ring that can keep his facts straight, (and I mean actual fact, not this corporate run, business leaning media twisting of half-truths flavored with out and out lies) is Obama. Until there is even one person throwing in their hat that can do that, then we need to support the man with the working plan.

Published in: on October 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Occupy in history

This photo by David Shankbone is  licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. 
Democracy Talking has an article asking if the Occupy movement will make history. We as Americans have a history. Granted, it is a short one, but we do have a history to look back upon. We, as a people DO something. If we feel oppressed, we move somewhere where we can write our own rules. If we can't move, we (slowly) stand up and make our voice heard. If that doesn't work, then we toss tea into the sea, drop bricks off bridges, and start riots. Look at the American Revolution in response to corporate and government greed. Look at the rise of unions and workers rights organizers to better the sweatshops. Look at the Civil War, which started about northern corporate greed, and ended on racial social justice issues. Look at our pushes for equality, such as race and gender rights.

A few of these movements were resolved (Pilgrims, Western expansion) by moving. A few of these (certain social justice issues, union picketing) were resolved during the “stand up and speak” stage. Others(American Revolution, Civil War, union violence when picketing didn’t get a result, even the threat and beginning of reciprocal violence in the Civil Rights movement) went to the step of violence before the government stepped in and corrected the situation.

The Occupy movement may be remembered in history, if it is the last step before the government takes it upon itself to fix the issue. If the government waits until violence (already started – Seattle docks, certain police responses to the various Occupy movements) gains precedent, then Occupy will be a footnote to the violence. One way or the other, change will occur. 

Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kids not CEO’s

I saw a Facebook advertisement for http://www.KidsNotCEOs.com/ that just made sense to me.  It shows exactly what allowing “conservative” thinking in legislation does to our country.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/qU4nmDTZUtU

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Early Draft Of No Child Left Behind Re-Write Reduces Federal Role In Education


Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Several people commented that it isn’t fair for the wealthy to be taxed for public education. Claiming that the wealthy do not benefit from public education shows a fundamenta­l lack of understand­ing of how business truly works. Those who use public education, or private schools receiving federal grants or funding, as their primary source of education benefit from that education once (their own education)­. The wealthy benefit from government assisted education for each person that they hire who used government funded educationa­l programs. The result? The working person gets one benefit from public/gov­ernment funded education: The wealthy person benefits hundreds or even thousands of times.

Refusing to see that the wealthy depend on federal programs at a greater level than the poor does not change the fact that the USA is falling farther and farther behind the leaders of the industrial­ized world in matters of education. To keep its workforce trainable and able to do that which is necessary to produce the products and services necessary for our country to financiall­y survive,we need to not only to fund public education, but restructur­e education to allow for education at a globally competitiv­e rate.

It is time for the wealthy to pick their heads up out of the sands of greed and denial and start paying for the benefits they depend on the government to provide for them. Public education is only one example.

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 9:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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Nobel Peace Prize Winners 2011: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman


I have argued that many previous “prizes for peace” have been badly chosen, due to the violent repercussi­ons of the recipients work. This is not one of those times. These women truely deserve their accolades.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Published in: on October 7, 2011 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Socialism is already here

Socialism was introduced to the USA a long time ago. It has interfered with business profits, and kept Corporate America from expanding for more than half the time we have been a country. Why did we let socialism interfere with capitalism? Because 12 year old factory workers complained about working 14 hour days, and getting paid wages that were enough to cover a loaf of bread. Because hard working laborers were stealing food for their family, so the wages that he, his pregnant wife, and 3 of his children could be combined together to keep a leaking roof over their heads. The USA adopted a touch of socialism, and laws were enacted that forced business owners to pay their employees enough to allow them to survive without resorting to illegal activities. Laws were passed to make sure that workers who were injured on the job were given appropriate medical care. What socialism is can be seen in the word social-ism. Social – society – looking out for the overall society. Like anything, socialism can be taken too far: for example, if everyone were expected to have equal possessions, regardless of effort put into getting them, then that, in my opinion would be going too far. He (or she) who works hardest should indeed have the nicest car, or biggest house, or shiniest shoes. Effort and accomplishment SHOULD account for much.

American Sweatshop in the late 1800's

This is where our reliance on the concept of capitalism becomes important. What capitalism is can be seen in its word as well. Capital – money, or wealth generating substance – accumulating substance through effort and accomplishment. Through capitalism, those who accomplish get rewarded, and can afford more niceties than those who do not accomplish. Effort is often rewarded by substance. Like anything, capitalism can be taken too far: for example, employers can increase their substance by using the efforts of others to build their business endeavors, but not rewarding the efforts of those workers what their efforts are worth. Effort and accomplishment should indeed be rewarded, but not at the expense of those who assist in that accomplishment.

To any reasoning mind, it quickly becomes obvious that neither capitalism nor socialism should stand on its own, if a society is to function. When left on its own, greed and ambition cause capitalism to eventually fail. Pure socialism can suffer a similar fate in the lack of ambition to excel and improve.

How does a society remedy this? There are two different ways.

First, business owners could step up to the plate, and provide workers with proper compensation for their work. Minimal compensation would have to include enough for food, medical care, safe housing and enough left over for amenities such as clothing, shampoo, and toilet paper for the workers entire family. If we wish to be known as a “first world” country, minimal compensation would also include funding for education, internet communication, and some minimal entertainment. Accommodation for supporting those injured on the job, or who work for the business until they are to old to work would also need to be considered minimal compensation. Workers who excel should, of course, be compensated even better.

The other way is for the government to make sure that these basics are met. The funding for providing these basics would have to come from taxes on the businesses who are not providing for the minimal needs. If government needs to become responsible for this, then government also has to look out for the well being (welfare) of those who, for whatever reason (such as injury, age, etc.), can’t work.

Businesses could step up to that plate now, but the extreme majority of them have not. Businesses of today care more for that “bottom dollar” than they do for their employees. Those running businesses forced the government into socialism.

We became the United States of America because our previous government backed the pure capitalism model, and allowed the East India Trading Company to operate without government censure. The forefathers of our country started the American Revolution based on the concept that individuals were more important than profit margins. When capitalism was allowed to go too far within our country, unions, strikes, and rioting workers caused our government to step in and regulate the greed inherent in pure capitalism that had caused us as US citizens to revolt against Britain and the East India Tea Company. If Presidential candidates like Bachmann have their way, we will once again be pushed to having to force our government to take action. It is happening right now on Wall Street. It happened a little earlier on the Seattle docks. If government does not balance our country on its own, the people will force it to do so again. It has already started.

We are in troubled times. The “Tea Party” is pushing the same agenda as the East India Tea Company. The Tea Party has stated that their goal is to pull the government out of business. Essentially, that means they wish to take our great country back to its most troubled time in history. The rational, the reasoning in our great country are beginning to realize this. The Seattle Dock strike, the people protesting on Wall Street – these are rational people recognizing how irrational our current situation really is, and reacting. They are putting themselves on the line to make a difference. They are being Americans. If our government doesn’t step up and balance this problem quickly, history tells us how this will end.

Tea Party = East India Trading Company

Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Time to think

I saw a ThinkProgress article that made me do some thinking. In a written statement about the Troy Anthony Davis case, Justice Scalia, who sits on our Supreme Court said the following:

This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.

Am I translating this right? Did Justice Scalia say it was ok to punish someone for something they didn’t do, even if proof arises that proves them innocent?

Now, lets follow this through. Statements made by witnesses not only provide “reasonable doubt”, but implicate police coercion. So, if this allegation is true, then the police officers who allegedly coerced these witnesses used the legal system as the weapon to murder Troy Davis. That would be first degree murder. The witnesses could be tried for second degree murder, and the judge and jury (having unknowingly participated in killing someone who could prove reasonable doubt) would need to be tried for manslaughter.

This Justice seems to have forgotten the concept behind the law. Innocent until proven guilty is there for more than just a reason to have laws. It is there to protect the innocent from undue punishment. Since he has lost sight of the reason behind the law, it is time for him to step down.

Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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