Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pepper Spray: Carcinogenic, Destructive to Cardiac and Pulmonary Function...United States Army Findings, 1993

The violence of police actions  against several 'Occupy' venues is difficult to understand.   The disturbing images, ( male officers unleashing streams of pepper spray in the faces of women or dragging them through  streets by the hair), might better describe the actions of an invading force of mercenaries, not Americans on Americans. 

Escalation to chemical spray and poison gas violates, at minimum, the spirit of the international treaties enacted after the First World War prohibiting use of such horrific weapons. The nationally coordinated use of tactics and weapons against our own citizens raises serious questions. What are our police forces anticipating? What eventuality are they practicing for?  Whom are they protecting? 

Even if you believe the distortions by Murdoch's FOX reporters, the protesters are Americans exercising protected freedoms that, in theory at least, make us more of a democracy than any other country on the planet. It's OK to pitch a tent in front of one's favorite Walmart while waiting overnight for the store to open on Thanksgiving Day. It's apparently not OK to do the same to support the 50 million Americans without health care,  the 25 million children who go to bed hungry every night or the millions evicted from their homes this year. 

As our once great country collapses on the backs of 'the 99%,' the CEO of Goldman Sachs searches for ways to spend the bonuses he paid himself for implementing the mortgage ponzi scheme that caused our economic collapse. The greatest irony is the CEO's brilliant manipulation of his congressional and Treasury allies to stage the taxpayer bailout which funded those bonuses.

US politicians, while quiet on the home front, had voiced broad support for the 'Arab Spring'  and the brave activists throughout the Arab world.  Imagine the frustrated embarrassment as the worldwide media captured the circular hypocrisy of our 'leaders'.  Broadcast for the world to see were the images of spent tear gas canisters held for the cameras, (in the hands of Egyptian demonstrators), to reveal bold markings spelling out,'Made in the U.S.A'.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama Plays 'Guts"

President Barak Obama has reached the pinnacle of leadership. He has essentially risked reelection to a second term by committing to a balanced, fair allocation of responsibility for the deficit and national debt. That mega corporations enjoy loopholes that significantly reduce their tax burdens, (to zero, in some cases), while collecting government subsidies as well, is pure exploitation of middle class workers who can’t afford the tax lawyers and lobbyists advising these companies.  
Fund managers have structured their income to be taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%, while middle class workers pay a higher rate. This is nothing but a slick coup by the same tax attorneys and lobbyists who proclaim that we must provide incentives to those who make their living managing money. Why? If they are required to pay a blue collar worker’s typical tax rate, do we fear they will quit money management and compete for plumbing jobs? Probably not.
Tax attorneys, lobbyists, mega corporation CEOs and fund managers, enjoy gathering to plan strategy during three or four day ‘business retreats’ at sun drenched, ocean side golf resorts. Later, they write off the rounds of golf, poolside luncheons, extravagant dinners and hotel suites, as business expenses. 
The tax revenues lost to golf outing write offs, become part of the deficit which John Boehner wants to recover by increasing the burden middle class Americans. At the same time Mr. Boehner maintains his handsome golf tan through the incredible generosity of lobbyists’ expense accounts.
President Obama has decided to play two card ‘guts’. It would be inspiring to see Democratic members of the House and Senate, choose to remain in the game with him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Paul Ryan's Got Coverage

Paul Ryan is leading a crushing charge against healthcare, specifically, the availability of healthcare to those who most need it including millions of America's children. A surprising number of the populace victimized by Ryan's faux 'free market' ideology, blindly supports the exclusion of a right to be protected from the ravages of serious illnesses. Those who oppose Ryan believe guaranteed healthcare  is as fundamental as the nearly universal support for the strong military that protects us from other threats to our health and well being.

Why do affected Americans  refuse to stop and ask the question, 'who's making out on this deal?'  Though other countries have better health care we Americans refuse to consider the alternatives because the Tea Party will label us 'unpatriotic'. How can it be unpatriotic to think about where your kids' healthcare will come from after Ryan gets through dismantling the system?

Of course, he presents his arguments with the misty eyed fervor of Abe Lincoln giving the Gettysburg address; except Lincoln was trying to preserve the Union for all,  while Ryan would divide us into the have-nots and the Koch brothers. Can you imagine how well he'll be taken care of after demolishing healthcare for middle America?

The executives running private insurance companies, multinational pharmaceutical corporations and for-profit medical care facilities, are elated at ever growing profit margins, and the prospect of even greater returns as Paul Ryan shifts  risk and expense from their businesses to the individual. They in turn oil the machine with billions of dollars in campaign contributions, executive compensation, payments to lobbyists, (former members of congress), and the astonishingly effective, anti-health care ad campaigns.  It's no mystery that the quislings in Congress,  ignore the needs and demands of constituents whose support in the long run is financially insignificant to their quest for personal wealth.

Where does all that loot come from to pay these executives, lobbyists, and the ad agencies? Of course  it's most of every dollar we pay for healthcare no matter how we buy it as the system is currently configured.

Worse than Ryan, (he makes no excuses for pandering to the monied elite ), are the so called Democratic members of both houses. They meekly abide the lies, the misrepresentation of facts and the lobbyists' spin, so they can 'Get Some' in the scramble for the stream of dollars sprayed in the direction of any rep and senator willing to play ball.

Worse still is 'we the people' obliviously standing by while the 'mob' running D.C. laughs up its sleeve. Our so called representatives in the bicameral legislature have no respect for us, nor should they. We do not hold them accountable for their actions and we allow them to turn our tax dollars over to the wealthiest Americans, while health care and pension services are raped to 'balance the budget'.

In an earlier day they may have feared our retaliation, made strong by aggressive union action, a free and outspoken press, and the tendency of its citizens to organize. Acknowledging Jeffersonian freedom of speech, away from a rigged electoral system, citizens once protested on a massive scale whenever our government wandered towards tyranny.  But, it seems the neo-con infiltration of our government has facilitated a style of governing leading to a concentration of power and equivocation of purpose.

They have emasculated the unions, redacted transparency in government, and by engineering a coup for the control of all media, disrupted the free flow of information around which an opposition might be sustained. Paul Ryan is a pawn in a game being won by a powerful, superbly organized few, with a focused, singular agenda. The continued existence of a free and democratic United States of America has no doubt been threatened before, but never with such overt disdain for public sentiment. Healthcare is but their first major victory.