Archive for December, 2011

Iran- Why they hate the USA

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

This video is a basic overview of U.S. imperialism toward Iran that began at the behest of the British Government and big oil interests including British Petroleum also recently known as BP.

The United States’ own CIA led it’s first coup to overthrow a foreign leader against Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, The U.S. has suffered “Blowback: ever since, all the while the supposed leaders in Washington continue to demonize Iran’s leaders on flimsy grounds as more pretense to continued Middle East war and occupation by the U.S.

Video is located here

How Christianity was invented

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Christianity is a copycat religion created by Emperor Constantine (for political purposes) based upon a myth (The Persian savior god Mithra, crucified 600 B.C. ? 400 B.C.?), which was based on other similar myths, all the way back to Chrishna of India (a mythical god that some claim was “crucified” around 1200 B.C.). There were 16 mythical crucifixions before Christ. The belief in the crucifixion of Gods was prevalent in various oriental or heathen countries long prior to the reported crucifixion of Christ. Of the 16 crucifixions, most were born of a virgin and about half of them on December 25th.

There were too many religions in Rome in 325 A.D. A Council was called in an endeavor to amalgamate the many religions of the Roman Empire into one. Christianity plagiarized older myths and legends historicized to suit the Roman Catholic Church while combining the numerous religions existing at the time (Krishna, Horus, Mithraism, Osirian, Isis, and many other mystery religions). For unity and to stop all the conflicts between the numerous religions…

Christianity was INVENTED.

Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine “Father of Church History“) attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and was a friend of Emperor Constantine, who also attended and made the keynote speech. Constantine instructed Eusebius to organize the compilation of a uniform collection of new writings developed from primary aspects of the religious texts submitted at the council. Eusebius has been described as follows: Jacob Burckhardt (19th century cultural historian) dismissed Eusebius as ”the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity”. He has been also described as “a political theologian”. He favored doctoring his history in his own words to “be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity”. Edward Gibbon (18th century historian –“The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”) dismissed his testimony on the number of martyrs and impugned his honesty.

(To be clear on this matter, I say don’t trust Eusebius’s reports of the Apostles or how the Apostles died, and be suspicious of all of his writings.) – Author Samuel Butler

Eusebius then arranged for scribes to produce fifty sumptuous copies to be written on parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient portable form, by professional scribes thoroughly accomplished in their art (ibid.).

Story is located here

Of course the movie Zeitgeist has a tremendous description of how the story of Jesus came about and the specifics.  The transcript is located here and the video of Part 1 dealing with Jesus is located here

David Frum on CNN’s Reliable Sources: “People Who Watch A Lot Of Fox Come Away Knowing A Lot Less”

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Plus he covers why the Republican Presidential roster is so weak and several other topics as well

Video is located here

Last Place Aversion: Why Middle-Class People Fear Tax Increases on the Rich

Friday, December 9th, 2011

It’s usually assumed that the reason Americans specifically don’t want to see taxes raised on the rich is because, in spite of driving a defunct GM brand four-door, they think of themselves as the “soon-to-be rich.” But a paper published in the National Journal of Economic Research in July suggests otherwise. They offer that it’s not hoping to be on top that makes us not want the wealthier to be taxed more – it’s the fear of being at the bottom. It’s referred to as “last-place aversion.”

Story is located here

The Income Inequality Quiz

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Video is located here

Land of the Free, Home of the Poor
Financial gains over the last decade in the United States have been mostly made at the “tippy-top” of the economic food chain as more people fall out of the middle class. The top 20 percent of Americans now holds 84 percent of U.S. wealth, as Paul Solman found out as part of a Making Sen$e series on economic inequality.

Summary

While they were waiting in line for tickets to the David Letterman show, NewsHour Economics Correspondent Paul Solman asked a random sampling of people to look at three pie charts representing how wealth is distributed in three different countries. In one country, everyone had an equal slice of the wealth; in a second, the rich had slightly more than others; and in the third, the rich held 84% of the total generated wealth. Solman asked people to guess: which one of these countries is the U.S.?

Although most people guessed that the middle pie chart represents wealth distribution in the U.S., the third pie chart, with the most income inequality, is the correct one. Economists say that most Americans don’t realize this inequality exists in their country because they rarely look beyond their own communities, which tend to be more homogeneous.

One high school student says she thinks it’s getting easier for wealthy Americans to ignore the income inequality because they insulate themselves from the rest of the population. However, when asked to identify the country they would like to live in based on the pie chart that represents its income distribution, most Americans chose the chart that represents Sweden.

Quotes

“We had 7,000 people distributed around the U.S., different levels of income, education, wealth, political opinions — 92 percent of the Americans picked Sweden over the U.S. When we broke it by Democrats and Republicans, Democrat, it was 93 percent, Republican, it was 90.5 percent.” – Economist Dan Ariely

“Part of the success of the United States’ economy lies in the fact that, if you succeed in a big way commercially, you’re rewarded for that. And the taxes on your success are modest, say, compared to what they are in a country like France or in the Scandinavian countries.” – Economist Steven Davis

“We’re high for a poor country, in terms of inequality, and we’re a rich country. We’re about the same level of inequality as China. And, of course, China, half the population are rural peasants who are not part of the modern world.” – Economist Richard Freeman

Related Resources

Video Transcript: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec11/makingsense_08-16.html

Understanding the Bush Tax Cut Plan: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/general/tax_cut_5-07.html

April Looms Large for American Taxpayers: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/jan-june09/taxes_04-14.html

Raising Taxes on the Rich: Not Whether, but How

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Bruce Bartlett held senior policy roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and served on the staffs of Representatives Jack Kemp and Ron Paul. He is the author of the forthcoming book “The Benefit and the Burden.”

Saying that they are now concerned about the impact of the payroll tax cut on the deficit and its lack of stimulative effect makes Republicans sound a lot like Captain Renault in “Casablanca,” when he said he was shocked to discover gambling going on as he was handed his winnings.

Republicans like to pretend that cutting spending is economically costless, even stimulative, whereas raising taxes in any way whatsoever is so economically debilitating that it dare not be contemplated. This view is complete nonsense.

Careful studies by the Congressional Budget Office and others show that certain spending programs are highly stimulative, whereas tax cuts provide very little bang for the buck.

Story is located here

Prosecuting Wall Street.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

It’s been three years since the financial crisis crippled the American economy, and much to the consternation of the general public and the demonstrators on Wall Street, there has not been a single prosecution of a high-ranking Wall Street executive or major financial firm even though fraud and financial misrepresentations played a significant role in the meltdown. We wanted to know why, so nine months ago we began looking for cases that might have prosecutorial merit. Tonight you’ll hear about two of them. We begin with a woman named Eileen Foster, a senior executive at Countrywide Financial, one of the epicenters of the crisis.

Behind the financial crisis: A fraud investigator talks

Steve Kroft: Do you believe that there are people at Countrywide who belong behind bars?

 Eileen Foster: Yes.

 Kroft: Do you want to give me their names?

 Foster: No.

 Kroft: Would you give their names to a grand jury if you were asked?

 Foster: Yes.

 But Eileen Foster has never been asked – and never spoken to the Justice Department – even though she was Countrywide’s executive vice president in charge of fraud investigations. At the height of the housing bubble, Countrywide Financial was the largest mortgage lender in the country and the loans it made were among the worst, a third ending up in foreclosure or default, many because of mortgage fraud.

 It was Foster’s job to monitor and investigate allegations of fraud against Countrywide employees and make sure they were reported to the board of directors and the Treasury Department.

Video is located here

Newt Gingrich and his sleazy ways: A history lesson

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Young conservatives were apparently taken aback by recent revelations that late-surging GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had, between 1999 and 2008, received at least $1.6 million in payments from the now-seized mortgage giant Freddie Mac. While Freddie was, in anyone’s book, a contributor to the great financial crisis that still afflicts us, it was, in the view of most Republicans, an archfiend on the level of Lex Luthor.

But aside from the substantive questions Gingrich’s lucrative assignment raised—exactly what services had he performed for Freddie?—it was also an embarrassment at a more elementary, glass-house-stone-throwing level, since Gingrich had so recently and contemptuously denounced Rep. Barney Frank for his ties to Freddie (FMCC).

Then, as Gingrich bullied his way past questions about his Freddie assignment, his hypocrisy was soon eclipsed by his breathtaking lack of candor. He offered a series of belligerently delivered but utterly inconceivable explanations of his work for Freddie, beginning with the inevitable whopper: He had been acting as its “historian.”

I say “inevitable” because, as we oldsters know, Gingrich has always invoked his status a “historian” or “educator” to excuse his grubbiest, borderline-illegal politicking. It’s his calling card, his tell-tale modus operandi, and—when in trouble—his reserve-chute rip-cord.

So gather round, young voters, and I’ll tell you the story of how Gingrich became Speaker. Fellow oldsters may find this enlightening, too, because when you live through a story that dribbles out of a period of years, with professional spinners raising smokescreens and barking denials at every turn, it’s often hard to keep track of the big-picture story line.

If some readers find this piece unusually partisan for Fortune, I protest that I am simply acting here—as Gingrich has so often claimed to—as a nonpartisan educator. Nevertheless, as readers will see, I will depart from the Gingrich educational paradigm in one important respect: I won’t force taxpayers to subsidize the costs of disseminating my vitriol.

Back in 1990, when Democrats still held the House and before many of today’s young voters were born, then Rep. Gingrich conceived a plan to produce a series of television programs that would be played at workshops in 600 cities around the country. The project was said to be designed to create “a citizen’s movement,” but it was also intended as “a tool to recruit non-voters and people who were apolitical to the Republican Party.” (Unless otherwise indicated, quotations in this article come from the Report of the Select Committee on Ethics that studied Gingrich’s conduct throughout 1996. Since Republicans took control of the House in 1995, Republicans controlled this committee throughout its investigation. Its conclusions were nearly unanimous—endorsed 7 to 1—and were then ratified by the full House by a 395 to 28 margin.)

Story is located here

Woman With Breast Cancer And No Insurance Changes Her View Of ObamaCare

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

If you are fortunate enough to still be employed and have insurance through your employers, you may feel insulated from the sufferings of people like me right now. But things can change abruptly. If you still have a good job with insurance, that doesn’t mean that you’re better than me, more deserving than me or smarter than me. It just means that you are luckier. And access to healthcare shouldn’t depend on luck.

Fortunately for me, I’ve been saved by the federal government’s Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, something I had never heard of before needing it. It’s part of President Obama’s healthcare plan, one of the things that has already kicked in, and it guarantees access to insurance for U.S. citizens with preexisting conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months. The application was short, the premiums are affordable, and I have found the people who work in the administration office to be quite compassionate (nothing like the people I have dealt with over the years at other insurance companies.) It’s not perfect, of course, and it still leaves many people in need out in the cold. But it’s a start, and for me it’s been a lifesaver — perhaps literally.

Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.

So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”

Story is located here

The Worst Thing You Can Do to an Employee

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

We are talking about situations in which employees are paid 50% or 100% more than they could get elsewhere. If you think that doesn’t happen, think again. We’re aware of a company that has to pay low-skilled employees working on a government job $12.50 per hour while their other employees, doing exactly the same work for private-sector customers, are paid $8.00 per hour. The reason: the government requires that the workers on its jobs be paid on a union wage scale. If the workers making $12.50 per hour were to lose these jobs, could they find jobs paying as much? Not likely — they are making 56% more than the free-market wage.

When an employee is significantly overpaid, several things happen. In most cases, employees do not recognize that they are overpaid. It’s human nature: most of us believe we are worth more than we are paid. At the least, we think we are paid fairly. It’s a very unusual person who recognizes that his or her compensation is well above what he or she could earn elsewhere and adjusts his or her lifestyle to compensate.

The second thing that happens is that overcompensated employees, not recognizing the precariousness of the situation, build a lifestyle that cannot be sustained by less than the their current income. For most, even if they know they can’t replace their income, they behave as though they can. People stretch to buy the biggest house for which the bank will approve a loan. They buy new cars with debt and leverage themselves to the hilt. Spending on “extras” chews up cash, and savings are minimal. Often it takes the current level of income just to service the debt.

Then, the unthinkable happens. The goose that laid the golden eggs is gone. It could be a plant closing or a layoff, or perhaps a company could replace the overpaid employee at a substantial savings to the business. For example, a company that operated call centers wanted to be on Fortune magazine’s list of best places to work in America. To achieve that, it offered above-market-rate compensation, extremely generous benefits, three to five weeks of vacation, and numerous other perquisites such as fun days. The company made Fortune‘s list. Then, the economy turned down and things got tight. A bright, young analyst figured out that the company could save millions by outsourcing its expensive call-center operations, and the party was over.

Story is located here

Obama speaks in Osawatomie, Kansas

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Full video and transcript is located here

This tremendous speech is being compared to Teddy Roosevelt’s speech from 1910 in which he explains how the Gilded Age is killing the average American through a transfer of wealth.  Transcript of Roosevelt’s speech is located here

I’m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we’re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.

You see, this isn’t the first time America has faced this choice. At the turn of the last century, when a nation of farmers was transitioning to become the world’s industrial giant, we had to decide: Would we settle for a country where most of the new railroads and factories were being controlled by a few giant monopolies that kept prices high and wages low? Would we allow our citizens and even our children to work ungodly hours in conditions that were unsafe and unsanitary? Would we restrict education to the privileged few? Because there were people who thought massive inequality and exploitation of people was just the price you pay for progress.

Theodore Roosevelt disagreed. He was the Republican son of a wealthy family. He praised what the titans of industry had done to create jobs and grow the economy. He believed then what we know is true today, that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history. It’s led to a prosperity and a standard of living unmatched by the rest of the world.

But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you can from whomever you can. He understood the free market only works when there are rules of the road that ensure competition is fair and open and honest. And so he busted up monopolies, forcing those companies to compete for consumers with better services and better prices. And today, they still must. He fought to make sure businesses couldn’t profit by exploiting children or selling food or medicine that wasn’t safe. And today, they still can’t.

And in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came here to Osawatomie and he laid out his vision for what he called a New Nationalism. “Our country,” he said, “… means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy…of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.”

Now, for this, Roosevelt was called a radical. He was called a socialist—even a communist. But today, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what he fought for in his last campaign: an eight-hour work day and a minimum wage for women—insurance for the unemployed and for the elderly, and those with disabilities; political reform and a progressive income tax.

Today, over 100 years later, our economy has gone through another transformation. Over the last few decades, huge advances in technology have allowed businesses to do more with less, and it’s made it easier for them to set up shop and hire workers anywhere they want in the world. And many of you know firsthand the painful disruptions this has caused for a lot of Americans.

Factories where people thought they would retire suddenly picked up and went overseas, where workers were cheaper. Steel mills that needed 100—or 1,000 employees are now able to do the same work with 100 employees, so layoffs too often became permanent, not just a temporary part of the business cycle. And these changes didn’t just affect blue-collar workers. If you were a bank teller or a phone operator or a travel agent, you saw many in your profession replaced by ATMs and the Internet.

Today, even higher-skilled jobs, like accountants and middle management can be outsourced to countries like China or India. And if you’re somebody whose job can be done cheaper by a computer or someone in another country, you don’t have a lot of leverage with your employer when it comes to asking for better wages or better benefits, especially since fewer Americans today are part of a union.

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes—especially for the wealthy—our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

The Slogan Was Meant To Be ‘Yes We Can’ Not ‘Yes He Can’

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

A significant challenge facing the Obama Administration as it gears up for the 2012 re-election campaign is that the President is not positively defined in the minds of many voters. A look at the entire record of President Obama shows that he has been a pragmatist who, while far from perfect, has led our country through daunting times and achieved significant progressive victories in the face of intractable opposition. Yet far too many progressives see him as a compromiser, always ready to sell out progressive values, while many moderates see our President as a failure who has achieved very little. Neither of these views is accurate and, consistent with the slogan “Yes We Can,” we must all pitch in to help get out to the public an accurate portrayal of the Obama Administration, its successes, and the areas where improvement is needed.

Story is located here

13 Reasons Why Newt Gingrich Won’t Win the Nomination

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Newt Gingrich is flying high. The former Speaker of the House has rocketed to the top of the Republican polls, taking a 30-point lead in Florida and giving one-time GOP front-runner Mitt Romney a run for his money in New Hampshire. What’s more, the competition around him seems to be collapsing. Herman Cain is history; Romney has slowly but steadily lost support nationwide; Rick Perry is still making fun of himself for a gaffe everyone else stopped talking about last month; Michele Bachmann fell in a crowded primary forest and never made a sound. Gingrich, for one, is ready to declare victory. As he told ABC’s Jake Tapper on Thursday, “I’m going to be the nominee.”

Story is located here

Obama Gives A Speech On Inequality, Fox Hears An Assault On Freedom

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

 

On December 6, President Obama gave a speechin Osawatomie, Kansas, in which he called for a more “fair” society that has less “inequality” and “rebuild[s] the middle class in this country.” Predictably, Fox News figures — who have proven they will defend the rich at any cost — reacted by calling Obama a “socialist” who was promoting “class warfare,” then even went on to falsely claim Obama said that ” ‘liberty’ doesn’t work” and “freedom doesn’t work.”

The attacks began in the first minute of today’s broadcast of Fox& Friends. Following a montage of clips of Obama using the word “fair” in his speech, guest host Juliet Huddy said, “Will [Obama’s] strategy of class warfare really work?” Later, Huddy hosted Fox News contributor Dick Morris to call Obama’s speech “awful” and claim it promoted a “collectivist European socialist philosophy.”

At one point, the co-hosts brought on Fox Business host Stuart Varney to launch similar attacks. Co-host Brian Kilmeade opened the segment by claiming that Obama “said prosperity for all is more important than freedom.” Then Varney claimed Obama said “rugged individualism doesn’t work” and claimed that Obama thinks “capitalism created this [economic] mess.”

Story and Obama’s full speech from Kansas is located here

The Real War on Christmas: Pilgrims Outlawed It; Congress Stayed in Session on Christmas Day from the 1790s until the 1850s

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Culture warriors who are invested in the idea that there is a secular, anti-American “War on Christmas” should avoid watching the History Channel’s documentary, “Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas.” Exposure to the historical facts about the holiday could well make their heads explode.

And we wouldn’t want that. Not at Christmas.

As is widely known, it is unlikely Jesus was born in December, a time when it was usually too cold in the Holy Land for shepherds to be watching their sheep in the fields by night. In fact, the holiday wasn’t dedicated to Jesus’ birthday until centuries later — and only after early Christians had co-opted popular pagan mid-winter festivals from Roman and northern European traditions. Christmas primarily took the place of the Romans’ Saturnalia, which was a celebration of debauchery.

According to the History Channel’s overview of the documentary:

 

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens…

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas.

History-challenged readers should note that Cromwell and the Puritans were Christian radicals who opposed the monarchy (and so would have been liberals in that era) but who believed in theocracy, the melding of church and state. Ironically, these Christmas-haters are direct ideological ancestors of the militantly pro-Christmas right-wing Christian extremists of today.

From the documentary’s narration: “The tension between piety and revelry at Christmas would reach it’s logical and extreme conclusion in Puritan England, when the holiday would be considered so un-Christian, it was done away with altogether.”

Later, under Cromwell, laws were passed forbidding businesses to close and churches to open on Christmas Day.

By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston.

Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident…

Here is the part that will cause the pro-Christmas warriors’ heads to explode:

NARRATOR: “After Independence, all things British fell out of favor in America — Christmas included. In fact, on Dec. 25, 1789, the United States Congress sat in session and continued to stay open on Christmas Day for most of the next 67 years.” (Emphasis added.)

Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked [sic] American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

The right wing’s promotion of the War on Christmas over the past decade and a half or so — it started after the launching of the GOP’s Fox channel in 1996 — is a prime example of how they have learned to use both their own Fox propaganda outlet and the “liberal media” to commandeer political discourse with positions that are so anti-factual as to be laughable and really should be unworthy of serious consideration.

The historical fact is that the Christmas traditions we know now are largely re-purposed pagan practices mixed with commercialized Victorian-era sentimentality and a dash or two of religious imagery.

The right wing’s imaginary secular war on Christmas today pales in comparison with the real anti-Christmas practices of the Pilgrim settlers and policies of the Founding Fathers and the American political establishment in the first six decades after Independence.

War on Christmas? Bah! Humbug!

Story is located here

Jon Stewart also had quite a segment on this topic with video located here

A look at the failed Bush Tax Cuts and the added damage they do to the economy. Huge overall view.

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Hundreds of economists strongly oppose the Bush Tax Cuts.  Story is located here

GOP leaders cannot explain why the Bush Tax Cuts failed to create jobs.  Story is located here

Bush lied about the prospect of the Bush Tax Cuts leading to balanced budgets by the end of his term.  Story is located here

It was the Deregulation atmosphere started by Reagan…given to the Republicans during the Clinton years and then put on steroids during the Bush years that resulted in several bank failures.  It was a failure in 1986, 1991 and then the big one in 2007.  All brought on by deregulation of the industry.  Story is located here

Thom Hartmann has much more on the aspect of deregulation being a huge influence on the economy heading down.  Video is located here

The backwards thinking of the Bush Administration was holistic and the thought was that sending jobs overseas would aid our economy here when in fact the jobs went away and were not replaced here resulting in a lack of nearly 20 million jobs.  Story is located here

Even Reagan stated VERY CLEARLY that the US Government employing workers is a huge positive influence on the economy overall.  Today’s Teaarty thinking Republicans claim to be Reagan Conservatives but they don’t know or they refuse to learn that Reagan saw government projects as a huge positive in raising the economy of the nation overall.  Reagan simply agrees with Obama that government jobs are REAL jobs and the TEAPARTY is simply lost.  Video is located here

This was ABSOLUTELY the POLICY…not a fluke but the POLICY of the Republican Party to move money to the top of the economic chain.  Story is located here

The result of moving the money to the top via tax breaks to the super rich has resulted in unprecedented deficits even challenging the times in which we were in serious wars.  Story is located here

Alan Greenspan said himself that Clinton was going to be paying down the debt in about a decade….and Alan Greenspan said THAT COULD NOT BE DONE.  The father of the Ayn Rand Supplyside concept stated that it would be bad for the nation if the nation paid off its debt.  Story is located here

The concept of Supplyside Ecomics was rooted in the concept that the Democrats were seen as Santa with programs assisting people and Republicans were seen as Scrooge.  So as a way to change the perspective the Republicans began a program under Reagan in which the Republican Administration would spend as much as they can and then once Democrats were in power the Republicans would complain about government and the debt.  Yes, the Republicans created the debt but due to the grand ignorance of the American populace this fact was easily forgotten and many people would shake their fist as the party in power, the Democrats and demand cuts.  Two Santa Claus Theory story is located here.

Here  is a powerful chart showing that the tax breaks for the richest among us are the bulk of the deficit that we see every year.  Chart is located here.  The needless wars are also a huge part of the deficits adding up to the debt.  AGAIN…these are all Republican POLICY and not flukes.  America began two wars and lowered taxes which has never happened before in the history of the world.

It is crystal clear.  The Republican concepts for today do not coincide with the Republican policies laid forth in the 50s 60s and 70s.  They are following Supplyside Economics which was never proven to have worked in the history of the civilized world.  The TEAPARTY follows this direction by saying they are following Reagan who negated everything they are saying.  Reagan raised debts which fueled a bubble however the result was crushing debt which the TeaPublicans hate today.  This debt was driven down to the point of Alan Greenspan admitting Clinton was going to have 0 debt but this was not acceptable to the Republican view of the economy.  Then George W. Bush came to be President and he put these concepts on steroids and made it much worse.  How clearer can it be?  How else can people explain this?  Why are the people that believe this not believing the simple facts that revolved around them when in fact the facts are hurting them so much?  It is stunning to see people who believe something that never was and can never be as the result is so bad it is destroying the nation and world economically.

Guy Fawkes masks. V for Vendetta

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

David Lloyd, V for Vendetta‘s co-creator, has admitted going along to a demo in New York to see the masks in use. The extent of Moore’s own activism has been “a good moan in the local pub”; he does not see himself donning a mask (“Be a bit weird, wouldn’t it?”). But his sympathies are with the protesters, and there is a clear sense of pride for him that so many people – if not “the 99%” then a great, unignorable bloc – have caused such a stir. “It would be probably be better if the authorities accepted this is a new situation, that this is history happening. History is a thing that happens in waves. Generally it is best to go with these waves, not try to make them turn back – the Canute option. I’m hoping that the world’s leaders will realise this.”

Back in the early 80s, approaching the end of Vendetta‘s epic 38-part cycle, Moore was struggling to think of another “V” word with which to title a closing chapter. He’d already used Victims, Vaudeville and Vengeance; the Villain, the Voice, the Vanishing; even Vicissitude and Verwirrung (the German word for confusion). “I was getting pretty desperate,” he says.

He eventually settled on Vox populi. “Voice of the people. And I think that if the mask stands for anything, in the current context, that is what it stands for. This is the people. That mysterious entity that is evoked so often – this is the people.”

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Bill Hicks routines

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

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The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today-Hallelujah!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Whether you are a believer in the benefits of single-payer health coverage or an opponent, mark this day down on your calendar because this is the day seismic shifts in our health care system finally get under way.

If you thought that the Obama Administration chickened out on pushing the nation in the direction of universal health care for everyone, today is the day you begin to understand that the reality is quite the contrary.

If you believe that the end of private, for-profit health insurance is some type of nefarious step towards a socialist society, then you might want to attend church this Sunday to mourn the loss of health insurers being able to worm out of covering the bills of a cancer patient because she forgot to write down on her application that she had skin acne for three months when she was a teenager.

Of course, those of you who fear the inevitable arrival of universal health care really shouldn’t be too fretful. There will always be a for-profit health insurance industry for those who want to pay for it. The only difference will be that those who cannot afford private coverage will also have an opportunity to get their families the medical care that they need

Everyone wins-except the for-profit health insurers.

I can live with that.

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29 Amazing Stats Which Prove That The Rich Are Getting Richer And The Poor Are Getting Poorer

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The following are 29 amazing stats that prove that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer in America….

#1 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#2 According to the Economic Policy Institute, between 1979 and 2007 income growth for the top 1 percent of all U.S. income earners was an astounding 390 percent. For the bottom 90 percent, income growth was only 5 percent over that same time period.

#3 According to a joint House and Senate report entitled “Income Inequality and the Great Recession“, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States brought in a total of 10.0 percent of all income in 1980, but by the time 2008 had rolled around that figure had skyrocketed to 21.0 percent.

#4 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 1 percent is the only group that saw its share of our national income increase between 1979 and 2007.

#5 The wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.

#6 More than 50 percent of all stocks and bonds are owned by just 1 percent of the population.

#7 The poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#8 The top 0.01% of all Americans make an average of $27,342,212. The bottom 90% make an average of $31,244.

#9 Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty. Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.

#10 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 6.7% of all Americans are living in “extreme poverty”, and that is the highest level that has ever been recorded before.

#11 Back in 2001, the ratio of wages to GDP was sitting at approximately 49 percent. Today, it has fallen all the way down to about 44 percent.

#12 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#13 According to Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, about 53 percent of all income went to the middle class back in the 1970s, but today only about 46 percent of all income does.

#14 In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”. By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.

#15 According to a recent report produced by Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately one out of every three Americans that grew up in a middle class household has slipped down the income ladder.

#16 According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of all income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1 percent of all Americans.

#17 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#18 According to a recent report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

#19 Last year, 2.6 million more Americans dropped into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

#20 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

#21 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.

#22 The poverty rate for children living in the United States rose to 22% in 2010.

#23 Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#24 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

#25 We are told that the economy is recovering, but the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by another 8 percent over the past year.

#26 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#27 The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer on a global scale as well. According to Credit Suisse, those with a household net worth of a million dollars or more control 38.5% of all the wealth in the world. Last year, that figure was at 35.6%. As you can see, it is rapidly moving in the wrong direction.

#28 According to the same Credit Suisse study just mentioned, the bottom two-thirds of the global population controls just 3.3% of all the wealth.

#29 If you can believe it, more than 3 billion people currently live on less than 2 dollar a day.

Unless something changes, the income inequality that we are seeing all over the world is just going to get worse and worse and worse.

In a previous article, I discussed a recent University of Zurich study that found that a “super-entity” made up of 147 gigantic corporations basically dominates the entire global economy….

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Anonymous Operations supports OCCUPY

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

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How the Republican Presidential candidates are seen by the world – A Club of Liars, Demagogues, and Fools

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The German newsweekly Spiegel takes the latest disclosures concerning Herman Cain and the rise of Newt Gingrich as an opportunity to offer a foreign bird’s-eye view of the current Republican Party and the American media froth around it. My translation:

“Africa is a country. The Taliban rule in Libya. Muslims are terrorists. Immigrants are mostly criminals, Occupy Wall Street protesters are always dirty. And women who claim to have been sexually molested should kindly keep quiet.”

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Republican Party. Or rather: to the distorted world of its presidential campaign. For months it has coiled through the country like a traveling circus, from debate to debate, from scandal to scandal, contesting the mightiest office in the world — and nothing is ever too unfathomable for them… These eight presidential wannabes are happy enough not only to demolish their own reputations but also that of their party, the once worthy party of Abraham Lincoln. They are also ruining the reputation of the United States.

They lie, deceive, scuffle and speak every manner of idiocy. And they expose a political, economic, geographic and historical ignorance compared to which George W. Bush sounds like a scholar. Even the party’s boosters are horrified by the spectacle…

Platitudes in lieu of programs: in serious times that demand the smartest, these clowns offer blather that is an insult to the intelligence of all Americans. But as with all freak shows, it would be impossible without a stage, the U.S. media, which has been neutered by the demands of political correctness, and a welcoming audience, a party base that seems to have been lobotomized overnight. Notwithstanding the subterranean depths of the primary process, the press and broadcasters proclaim one clown after the next to be the new frontrunner, in predictable news cycles of forty-five days.

Spiegel ties the disintegration of the Republican Party to the Tea Party, “a ‘popular movement’ that was sponsored by Fox News and never showed any interest in the business of government — neither in information nor intellect, which are its requisites, but rather in a self-marketing exercise driven by commissions and millions.”

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