Monday, June 28, 2010

In The News

California welfare cards used in casino ATMs will be stopped according to state officials. Darn. Now folks will have to stop at the corner store ATM before heading to the casino.

Robert Byrd (D-WV), the Apologizer, finally succumbs to nature's term limits. Former KKK member (1942-52) , in 1997 Byrd explained the office he held in the KKK was a youthful indiscretion. He dropped out of the KKK after 10 years because he saw a similar, more lucrative group, suited to his talent and ambitions - Congress. In 2005 he continued to apologize for his KKK activity, because he no longer used terms like "race mongrels." He later claimed he regretted filibustering for 14 hours the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The King of Pork - a life spent having political epiphanies. A classic liberal progressive man of the people (white people).

The Obama administration's bungling incompetence in handling the Gulf of Mexico/BP oil disaster makes hurricane Katrina/Bush look like a job well done. Coastal southern states - is this collective karma or what?

Elena Kagan - Supreme Court vapid and hollow charade nominee. Kagan has never served as a judge, never married, never had children, never came out of the closet. As with many of "the chosen" the past decade or so, SCOTUS members are no longer chosen on ability - but on quotas. We are missing a dwarf/midget though. In 1995 Kagan said Senate confirmation hearings had become a "vapid and hollow charade." How true, especially hers.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal relieved of command to be replaced by Gen. David Petraeus (or if you're a liberal progressive democrat - Gen. Betrayus). The Runaway General and his staff's disparaging comments to Rollingstone, however true they may be, should not have been spoken to a reporter. One cannot publicly call the boss and/or his minions, terms like Joe Bite-Me, clowns, etc. Does this mean Rollingstone mag is now in charge of foreign policy?

Obama says he is serious about tackling the deficit. At the Group of 20 summit in Canada Barry endorsed a goal of cutting government deficits in half by 2013 and stabilizing the ratio of public debt to gross domestic product by 2016. Not expected to meet these targets but ouch ouch ouch when they try. Sources close to somebody said "Most of the savings will come from winding down the war in Iraq, increased (tax) revenue from those making more than $250,000 a year, and savings from making government work more efficiently and eliminating programs that do not work." The newly formed Ministry of Smoke and Mirrors will implement this policy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Government Intervention

Commiedreams still dreaming. Right to Rent: "When the foreclosure hurricane first hit, subprime borrowers absorbed the brunt of it. Homeowners who had been fooled with teaser rates suddenly faced balloon payments they couldn't afford. Others couldn't refinance because of prepayment penalties they hadn't been aware of. And some people had made bad decisions and were now paying for it with their homes."

One would think as loud and long as "progressives" have been screaming about the evil greed of Big Business, particularly bankers, that folks would not be so easily "fooled" by big business and bankers.

"From the outset of this crisis, little relief has been in sight for foreclosure victims. In contrast, the big banks were on the receiving end of a $700 billion bailout and have been given the right to decide which homeowners sink or swim ever since."

Although I'm against the bank bailouts, are you prepared to experience what would happen to the economy if the big banks fail? Would those fooled folks, clueless about their own mortgage contracts, be prepared for mass worldwide bank failures? Can the FDIC just print the money they need to cover millions of depositors, and by the way it could take years to get your insured funds. Can you tread water that long?

The five most foreclosure troubled states, last I read, were California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Nevada. Hmmm. Now why would those states rank the top 5 ...

"Instead of foreclosures increasing blight, crime and homelessness, neighborhoods would keep people in their homes who care about them and their communities. Instead of decreasing property values and tax revenues, and consequent layoffs and cuts in services, communities would be far more stable and better able to contribute to the economic recovery. And Baker points out declining property values-especially in bubble markets-mean that people are sometimes paying twice as much on their mortgage payment as they would pay to rent the same home."

"... consequent layoffs ... if layoffs come after the foreclosure then why are folks not making their mortgage payments? Rent the same house for half the price of the mortgage? How often ya think that's happening. How many folks used the "foreclosure hurricane" as an excuse to get out of the responsibility of home ownership? There's a huge problem now with renters trashing rental property - think losing a home and having to rent it will make them better caretakers?

Fact is most home loss/foreclosures are due to: Job loss. Divorce. Too much debt. Filing bankruptcy and the home liquidated to pay debts. You could say this hurricane is often caused by personal behavior. How many helpless victims will draw every last dime of unemployment insurance and government foodstamps/medicaid before getting serious about job hunting?

Other facts: Foreclosures are heavily concentrated in Latino and black neighborhoods, particularly Latino immigrants. Oh my, is that politically incorrect or what.

Some try to make the case that this is the result of heartless greed and taking advantage of helpless minorities by evil corporations. The truth is a lot of mortgages were given to people who turned out not to be creditworthy. The granting of such mortgages was encouraged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which promised to take them off lenders hands, and then injected $1 trillion of what turned out to be toxic paper into financial institutions all over the world.

"A right to rent sure beats listening to Obama administration officials continuing to promise to punish banks that aren't modifying mortgages and somehow never getting around to doing it. And it definitely beats continuing to watch our nation bleed generations of wealth, entire communities and human capital."

...bleed generations of wealth and human capital." Now doesn't that evoke strong emotions, sounds like progressive tabloid writing.

Another piece this week, from World Socialist website, a demand to nationalize public utilities, particularly Detroit's DTE:

"In an article that appeared on the Huffington Post web site Thursday, Mike Langford, the president of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and an executive board member of the AFL-CIO, called for private utility companies such as Detroit-based DTE Energy to be placed under “public ownership.”

The transformation of DTE into a genuinely public-owned utility, which serves the interests of working people, not the super-rich, requires a fundamental restructuring of the entire economy and breaking the stranglehold of the financial aristocracy. Not only would the utility companies have to be nationalized under workers’ control but also the banks and major industries.

Hahaha, "placed under" rather than confiscated, good one.

As in many cities and towns across the nation my local Board of Municipal Utilities is publicly owned and a member of APPA (American Public Power Association). I will grant that our area has one of the lowest rates in the state, but still comparable to Michigan's rates.

Supposedly a not-for-profit status – lowers costs and prevents any split allegiance between customers and stockholders, although you could be a bondholder. Still, our public owned utility cost goes up every year - as they have most everywhere.

Socialists fail to mention, as always, that regardless whether utilities are owned by for-profit corporations or publicly owned - your monthly utility bill has to be paid and profits have to be made to cover salaries, maintenance, improvements, repairs, upgrades, pay bondholders, and to fund attempts at keeping rates lower, etc. etc.

Publicly owned utilities shut power off for nonpayment too. Publicly owned utilities have the same problems as those in the private sector - corruption, cronyism, political agendas, lack of competition, subject to state and federal regulations, rising costs, becoming local monopolies, etc. etc.

In many developing/third world countries the public owned utilities more often than not provide service only to wealthier neighborhoods, to tourist spots, industrial parks, i.e. folks who pay for it. Barrios and shanty towns do not have utilities.

In China there are communes/co-ops where local government provides healthcare, education, heat, electricity, housing, basic foodstuffs, and even furniture. At the mere cost of 70% of your paycheck from the job the government has given you in a village-owned company. But, once a month the community bosses make inspections to determine that you are taking proper care of what has been provided, that you are still worthy of your cracker-box house, 1 child, couch and bed, the dim light bulb dangling in home sweet home. All part of your "benefits" package. These benefits are awarded on a point system - points for cleanliness, progress toward "behavioral goals", and obedience to the Party line.

Already in the US too many folks depend on the commune to provide housing, food, education, utilities, jobs, healthcare - once the majority is dependent, you can be sure of the necessity of implementing a point system. Nearly all the folks shut off today will be shut off under a "publicly owned" system. But we won't hear about it and such folks will be sent to some euphemistic "zone", so as not to mess the mood of those who are obediently earning their points.

Remember, "those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Glorious Future

PIRAEUS, GREECE -- Nearly bankrupt and sullied in the eyes of foreign investors, Greece is moving to rebuild its economy by tapping the deep pockets of another ancient civilization: China.

Spurred on by government incentives and bargain-basement prices, the Chinese are planning to pump hundreds of millions -- perhaps billions -- of euros into Greece even as other investors run the other way. The cornerstone of those plans is the transformation of the Mediterranean port of Piraeus into the Rotterdam of the south, creating a modern gateway linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa.

The Chinese have plunked down billions from Angola to Peru to ensure the delivery of natural resources to feed China's red-hot economy as well as to guarantee unfettered and cost-effective shipment of its exports abroad. The investments here in Greece, analysts say, are part of China's plan to create a network of roads, pipelines, railroads and port facilities -- sort of a modern Silk Road -- to boost East-West trade.

--------- Latin America, Africa, Europe, US. Your made-in-china spending, trickling around the world. Chinese corporate leaders creating personal fortunes like all self-made billionaires - through government contracts.

Some on the "right" claim China's coming world dominance is galloping right along due to Obama policies but come on ... you could blame it on Nixon and Kissinger for opening the door to China in 1972 and lifting the US trade embargo.

Or blame Jimmah Carter, the crypt keeper of global human rights - he granted the Chinese communist regime formal diplomatic recognition on January 1, 1979, and has expressed his belief that the U.S.-China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. Never mind China's pesky human rights violations and that one party rules the whole show. The US puppet leader sends an emissary at least once every 4 years to scold the Chinese emissary on human rights violations, and cable news will show a 30 second soundbyte to prove it. Good job Mr. or Madame Bureaucrat.

You could blame it on Reagan who did nothing to keep US manufacturers at home and even held the door for them as US corporations sprinted for cheaper labor and tax packages in China. You could definitely blame Clinton-Gore who used a good amount of Chinese yin yang to further their campaigns, although they don't seem to have personally figured out the unity and harmony part - what with all the yang and hankyspanky in the oval office, and 40 years and a Tipper looking for oneness.

Or blame it on Theodore Roosevelt who favored the emergence of a strong and prosperous China, expecting China to favor the US. The early half of the 1900s, Americans spent a lot of time and money building schools, hospitals, finding Jesus, etc. in rural China, and of course leading the fight to liberate China from Japan's aggression in WWII. But along came Mao who would have none of that US friendliness. Mao had difficulty getting along with folks - other than buddy Stalin. After Stalin's death Mao didn't play as well with Khrushchev because Mao believed the USSR Marxists were "revisionists" and that he, Mao, had a superior understanding of Marxism.

The first time I heard the phrase "cult of personality" was decades ago in regard to Mao. And as stupid would have it, black Americans, in particular Black Panthers, studied Mao and his Little Red Book for guidance on establishing a peasant-led revolution that would expose decadent American society and take what is due. China is one of the most racist, class-ist, nationalistic cultures on the planet - what a role model. History has been kind to the BP though. Personally, in the '60s, every Panther I new was immoral, thuggish, thieving, and worse. I used to think maybe I was wrong, maybe I was just unlucky and met the felonious party members. But now ... I think maybe the panthers morphed into ACORN.

Shock and awe, in 2006, the government in Shanghai issued a new set of high school history textbooks which omit Mao. Socialism is still said to have a "glorious future" in China, but not so much the old-style revolutionary peasant struggle or "people power" that left millions dead, but a new "industrial revolution" a new "information revolution." Market-based socialism - ka-ching ka-ching ... and you thought only rich white men could b.s. the world.

Hmmmm ... Stalin, Mao, the men of purge - purged from their pedestals. Karma I tell ya, karma.

I wonder ... as the new China replaces the old US ... will the US become more the old China? You know ... a nation of struggling peasants and workers ... a little thinning of the herd when the collectives become overcrowded or disagreeable ... knowing our place in the world, as we lemming onward to our glorious future.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Adriano Celentano

Pregherò 1963 (Celentano is the Elvis of Italy)

Il Ragazzo della via Gluck (live 2006)

Eros and Adriano

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It's Karma

Helen Thomas - long time grand dame of liberalism, the doyenne of the WH press corps, supposedly asking for decades the "tough" questions of several presidents, Kennedy through Obama, has finally retired. Some say "forced to retire" because of recent comments she made.

The episode apparently stems from Thomas' comments suggesting that Israelis should go somewhere else, that Jewish folk in Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back to where they belong," (Poland, Germany) or something along those lines.

Hmmm seems I remember agitated white folks in the '60s yelling "go back to Africa" where you belong.

I remember Thomas asking, not "tough" or even objective, but intelligent questions of Ronnie Reagan - regarding the US and USSR, peace/disarmament, etc. but recall no tough or intelligent questions posed to Slick Willy, in fact Thomas thought the Clintons were unfairly dogged over Whitewater, Paula Jones, Monica, etc...

Her supposedly tough posers to Bush II and Obama seem to be more "leftwing" heckle than "tough" questions.

Her "inaugural" question to Obama was "Do you know of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?" Duh, we know with 99.99% certainty that Israel does. That's not posing a tough question, that's baiting. We all know any presidential answer to that will be "I cannot speculate..." or similar yadayada. Is the Lebanese Helen trying to show us Obama is a Jew lover? That the US is one-sided when it comes to Israel? And that she supports the other side?

Thanksgiving after the election, she was "thankful for having a black president"? Yessssam Mz. Helen, you sound like one of those liberals who thought black folks didn't bathe before Obama was elected. Is he now not liberal enough, black enough, what? (You're not alone Helen, millions who thought Barry was a flame burning bright now see only a flicker.)

But thankful? Thankful? Why? What did the election of Obama signify for you? Imagine if McCain had won and a public figure had said he/she was "thankful for having a white president."

Will Helen's press chair in the WH be sent to the Smithsonian? She is the symbol after all of the first feminist movement token female in the White House Press Corp. Will she have sufficient years left to write a good and dirty tell-all? Will she go back to where she came from?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Days of Whine and Roses

I'm just really content this spring/summer to not watch news or politics - roses and honeysuckle bloomed, the purple Clematis. Azaleas grown a foot already. Have picked a few garden tomatoes for a salad - this early. The pepper plants look a bit puny but the season is young.

BP, latest anti-planet evil-doer, has not aggravated me. Mother Nature has seen worse spills and survived. The usual pundits claiming the usual cause for the Horizon Deepwater disaster - greed and capitalism. Although I fail to see how greediness is helping their bottom line now, stock falling 15% - as of today a 70+ billion dollar whuppin' . Not to mention future lawsuits and cleanup, and heads rolling. Valdez didn't ruin Exxon .... And never fear, top cop Eric Holder will launch tax payer paid loooong criminal investigations and for millions of dollars we get to see someone at BP smacked on the buns as they tap dance off stage to a well-paid job (probably government employment in a new department with an oily title). Only makes sense, as with each natural or manmade disaster we get another agency to create new legislation promising to protect us from the next dilemma - never does, but maybe that's where "hope" is supposed to come in. You know, hoping that doing the same old thing will produce different results. Or, sometimes as happens, a honcho or two will commit suicide and/or have a heart attack. Case closed. Open for business. Stop whining.

Let's see... what else has been in the news... oh yes, those awful Israeli (Jews) are at it again. IDF killing innocent foreign activists on a flotilla to Gaza in international waters, leaving 3 to 16 dead, depending on who you read, unarmed activists or armed, again depending on who you read. Both sides claim the other side's actions are deplorable. Aid ships have been allowed previously but for a couple of years now, since the blockade/offensive against Hamas rulers, IDF has said no flotillas. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me the activists planned and wanted this "bloody raid." After all, they knew they would not be granted passage as Israeli, told them: "The Israeli government had urged the flotilla not to try to breach the blockade before the ships set sail from waters off Cyprus on Sunday and offered to take some aid in for them." But who you gonna believe - Israel with its bad rep or Euro-activists who have no problems to whine about in their own countries?

Al and Tipper Gore separating after 40 years of marriage. Kinda late for a mid-life crisis don't you think? Maybe the inconvenient truth is it was too politically inconvenient to quit sooner. I'll never understand how you can put up with someone 40 years and then part company. Geeeeze. I'm still mentally scrubbing the image of the Gores liplock during the 2004 election. The only kiss worse was Michael Jackson and that Presley woman.

Obama Obama. Ho-hum. Read a rant somewhere this a.m. about Glenn "Goofus Grubworm" Beck picking on and making fun of the Obama children. I think it was HuffPost I read that on. Something about a radio show and Beck pretending to be Malia talking to Daddy about stopping the oil spill. I'm not sure what Beck's point was, unless illustrating that Obama's kids think their dad can work miracles, plug leaks and part the waters or something. But all little girls with good dads think that. I know for a fact the sun rose and set with my mom and dad. Beck will do an episode apologizing for it. I can't remember the last time I had to apologize for something I said - don't folks think before they speak? Guess not, too many seem to think if it comes from their brain and across their lips it must be great - no weighing of words - just throw it out there, until the junkyard pundit dogs jump on it. When was the last time you heard an apology from a public figure that sounded sincere? Expedient, practical, well-written, but sincere? They claim to misspeak, regrettably, while defenders shout and whine it was taken out of context.

What else, what else. The repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." The House of Representatives voted by a 234-194 margin last Thursday to repeal the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the military. A vote to repeal the ban on gays serving in the military is on the horizon. President Obama said in a statement that he was "pleased" by the House vote. Yeeehar. With 0.75% of military personnel being gay, maybe more will rush to enlist when this is repealed. Does this cover the transgendered, transvestites, cross-dressers, bisexuals? Are those redundant? What kind of sentences will be handed out to those jarheads who slug the gay guy? After all, the progressives tell us our troops rape and mistreat their fellow female soldiers, so when they beat the crap out of a gay soldier, will that be a hate crime? While the younger generation is more acceptable of homosexuality, will it stop large numbers of straight men from enlisting? Seems to me repealing the policy is begging for trouble. My granddaughter has a good friend who is gay and joined the Army 4 years ago after high school graduation. He's doing well and plans to re-up. For the life of me though he is so obviously gay you wouldn't have to ask to tell.

And, I'm not keeping up with the celebrity perverts and addicts and citizen baby killers, other than the occasional sound byte or two from Nancy "Ain't I The Most Caring Person On Earth" Grace and her former panelist Jane "Loudmouth Lesbian and Former Drunkard" Velez-Mitchell - both rolling in the dough of following other people's tragedies, and still, when opportune, dredging up their own lives to milk it for popularity. Can't we find anyone who has led a somewhat typical mundane life anymore to host anything? Do they all have to be former something-or-other, previous victim, past addict, snot-nose minority of some sort, blinking and glistening tears on cue?

Time to go out and smell the roses. I'm so laaaazy I don't even want to provide links...

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