Monday, July 4, 2016

In Spite of our Faces

As I continue to watch a large number of people in the world cut off their noses in spite of their face, I wonder why?  At first I believed it was just the 50% of the population that is below average intelligence being catered to by the press and political parties. Then I transitioned into thinking it was a belief that all politicians are liars and that it follows that the best liar would make the best politician.  I am getting more inclined to think that it is an attempt by both the politicians and media to divert attention from the real issues facing us in order to remain holding the strings of power.  The banks have convinced us that everyone has to be in debt in order for the economy to run.  The insurance companies have convinced us they are necessary to pay for our health care.  The lawyers have convinced us that it is necessary to sue in order to get justice.  The gun industry has convinced us that someone could possibly take our guns away.  The Chamber of Commerce has convinced us that minimum wage would hurt the economy and higher personal taxes would cause less hiring. 

These beliefs have turned into “truths” in order to create fear and anger so that the status quo can be maintained by the current gridlock.  Because we are resistant to change, many fear it and try their best to stop changes which may be inevitable.  Name calling is the way to media access, not position papers.  Fear and anger are necessary to block logic from minds.  I don’t see any solution until we can all accept the blame for giving our political power to the special interest groups, political parties included, and return it to our locally elected representatives. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Change isn't going to Happen

With our candidates chosen, it has become clear that the conservatives have taken over this country.  By conservative, I mean those resistant to change, not that strange creature created by the media, (“screw you, I’ve got mine”).  We are given one candidate who brags about buying politicians and another who has accepted millions from special interests and explains that it has no effect on her!  I believe the media is largely responsible for this state of affairs.  With revenues going down, the mainstream media has accepted the internet’s click bait tactics  for hateful headlines leading to non-existent news.  The Media is so worried about losing the ten billion dollars plus of campaign revenue that they totally ignore campaign finance reform; the reason both Trump and Sanders have attracted millions of followers.  As a country we will be subject to another four years of the GOP investigating Hillary for crimes that only exist in their minds.  We will also see a continuation of the GOP stopping every proposal to solve the country’s problems,(while proposing virtually nothing), and then blaming the Democrats for a country that doesn’t work.   What is obvious, is that big money is the only thing that counts in politics. Intelligence certainly doesn't.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Constitution is clear about this.

There are many parts of our Constitution that can be interpreted in more than one way.  One part that isn’t argued is that the people we elect represent those in the geographic area they live in.  Two Senators per state, one House Representative for every so many citizens living in a defined geographic district.  The political establishment, which I define as those involved in the business of campaign finance, (giving, receiving, raising, spending) are doing everything in their power to ignore this basic tenant of our form of government.  It is to the establishments benefit to be able to receive and spend money in manners that transcend these borders and as we all know, the more they can raise the more they can spend. 

We citizens have powered this process along with our realization that our special interest groups can get better action on our political concerns than our congressperson can.  The special interests can get to the committee members and target specific politicians that control their interests.  Our representative, if he is not on the committee, has very limited ability to address concerns.  This has led our representatives to represent our special interest groups rather than ourselves.  Obviously those groups with the most money will get the best representation.  This leads to the corruption that is represented by such actions as America’s Health Insurance Plans both writing and fighting Obamacare, the bankers eliminating Glass-Steagall leading to the 07 recession and their bailout, and I am sure you can think of many others.

The addiction of the establishment to this campaign gravy train is such that they are seemingly conspiring with each other to maintain the status quo.  The horror that both parties show to their “independent” candidates just goes to show the draw of all that money.  They hide behind the First Amendment, fear, lies , personal attacks, stupidity and ignorance to provoke a divide and conquer atmosphere. This effectively hides the real issues by keeping everyone on a war footing that makes change too fearful to examine.

The interventions that both Bernie and Donald offer do little more than point out the problem.  No one person can get rid of this corrupt government that we are suffering.  It will take the efforts of all of us.  I would offer the idea of a Constitutional Amendment reading:  “Notwithstanding the first amendment, efforts to influence elections for office shall be limited to those able to vote in said election.”  If we only support politicians that will support such an amendment we might be able to clean things up.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Campaign Gravy Train

I have yet to see one media speculation behind the real reason so many are backing Mr. Trump and Senator Sanders.  According to the Campaign Finance Institute spending in 2012 for House, Senate and Presidential campaigns exceeded 2.9 Billion Dollars.  This doesn’t include the “dark money” (money of unknown origin) that is spent thanks to the Citizen’s United Decision.  The public that is supporting both these candidates is fed up with the campaign gravy train that the media is the beneficiary of.  The billions of dollars that go through the politicians and their best friend’s hands coming from both your contributions and those of the special interest lobbies, eventually end up with the media on ad buys after paying for high salaried lobbyists and party bigwigs.  Instead of pointing out the ideas of government funded campaigns, term limits, laws that limit contributions to voters, or other campaign spending ideas, the media is only engaged in spreading campaign dirt, lies, and alarmist warnings about the horrible things the other side is doing.  Return on investment is the media’s concern--not presenting the news in ways that problems can be solved.

 Realistic campaign finance reform threatens the leaders of both parties, all the special interest groups, and the politicians that rely more on special interest groups than their constituents.   In fact, all those with power wish to maintain the status quo of their power.  They can only do this by diverting our attention away from reforming campaign finance and pointing it to “bogus” issues.  They don’t report the issues as news because they can be paid for reporting the candidates’ views of the issues.  By reporting on the mud throwing, they can increase readership/viewers because we seem to like hearing about other’s mishaps and trouble.  We’re mad that the politicians are representing the special interest groups instead of us. There are more important things than money.  It should be up to the media to help us change this. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We're all members of the mushroom club

I worked for five years for a employer that was so horrible that the middle managers displayed a mushroom on their desks to signify their membership in the Mushroom Club. They were kept in the dark and feed nothing but manure.  I continued to work there because they had convinced me that it was the same everywhere.  I finally came out of the dark when I found a job where managements philosophy was to share the wealth.  If the employees did well they would make sure the managers did well and met all goals.  The first company changed its name, was bought out, downsized and sold again, it is now just a shell of what it could have been.  The second company was the fastest growing in its industry and when it was bought out by the giant in the world, the lowliest employee came away with thousands of dollars and hundreds were turned into millionaires.  The United States faces similar choices today with some presidential candidates saying how awful things are without offering any real solutions (like Nixon’s secret plan to end the Vietnam War) and other candidates saying “That’s the way things are. We have to be pragmatic”.  It appears that Goldman Sachs will continue to run the country when one likely president is married to a Goldman Sachs banker and another has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a speech.  Meanwhile the heirs of George Wallace’s troglodytes are hogging all the headlines in an effort to keep our eyes off the real problems in the country.  If we are fearful and angry we don’t think rationally about the problems and simply try to place blame and pursue personal attacks.

I am angry about government bureaucracies whose primary purpose is self preservation rather than what you read in the mission statements.  The arrogance of many of these bureaucracies has lead them to ignoring warnings about both the Challenger disaster and 911.  Both could have been prevented.  It includes the BLM interpreting the laws that govern them according to their wishes.  The Veterans Administration is more concerned about their bonuses than serving Veterans.  We’ve given guns to drug dealers in Mexico. If we enforced existing laws, illegal immigrants wouldn’t have jobs.  The SEC has handed over much of their watchdog responsibilities to a group of brokerage firms and exchanges that came up with a name that makes you think they are a government operation, Financial Industry Regulatory Agency!

I am angry that the health coverage debate is run by America’s Health Insurance Plans Association, the gun debate is run by the NRA, and the financial regulation is run by the bankers.   Their crimes are paid for by the shareholders, while the culprits continue with million dollar plus salaries.   I’m astounded that the Pharmaceutical industry is so brazen that they are advertising opiate constipation relief now that they’ve got enough of us turned into junkies.

 I’m angry at the Media that is much more concerned with losing all the money that derives from campaign contributions, that they refuse to cover campaign finance reform.  The traditional media has learned about ‘click bait’ from the internet and now is more concerned with name calling and scandal than what the candidates are actually saying and proposing.  They claim that  to be fair and unbiased they have to report lies that are said by the candidates without any reference to the facts.
Just like the bureaucracies the people in power are much more concerned in retaining and gaining more power than they are in serving their constituencies.  In order to be reelected our representatives have to spend considerable time raising money, and we all know it’s easier to get a few big contributions than a lot of small ones.  They are also governed by the knowledge that if they vote against some lobby’s

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Some Christians need to "Tame thier Tongue"

I’m sick of so called Christians denouncing Muslims.  It seems that all you have to do to call yourself a Christian or a Muslim is to have at least one parent who also called themselves Christian or Muslim.  I believe that many of these so called experts on religion should take a look at James 3 and learn about “Taming the Tongue”.  It wouldn’t hurt to look at the Sermon on the Mount a couple of times as well.  Spreading fear and hate is a pathway to power that overrides rational thought.  Those that try to create fear, hate and anger out of events that have a very small likelihood of ever happening to you certainly aren’t following the teachings of Christ.  An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind!  According to the Quran anyone who kills innocents or commits suicide is not a Muslim.  James says about the tongue; “can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?  Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”  What kind of a world do you want to live in?

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Fraud of Fear

Fear and Loathing are the paths to power in the United States.  It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.  We as a people have been lied to by those that hold the power in this country and the sooner we can admit to it the better.  “The Art of War” and “The Prince” are the current bibles of power brokers.  Espousing divide and conquer tactics is the way those in power keep it.  Fear, anger and hate tend to overwhelm reason and logic. They have kept both the right and the left in an agitated state that forbids compromise.  The NRA with their masterful ‘Astroturf” movement has convinced most gun owners that a Democratic government will take their guns away.  This increases gun sales at every mass shooting.  Gun owners scared that their hobby will soon go away haven’t taken the time to think through how anyone could take American’s guns away.  By focusing on this “issue” many gun owners won’t even think about how to keep guns away from the inner city gangs and others that shouldn’t own them.  Equally rabid liberals seem to think that we could somehow become Canada or England and eliminate gun ownership.  The hate from the fringes stops dialogue and moves the Country in the direction that only the most powerful want.

The media is complicit in this fraud on the American People as conflict and outrageousness are a lot more interesting than issues and peace.  Our reliance on the virtual world means we are interacting with fewer people on a daily basis and those we do interact with are more likely to be just like us.  This makes it easier to demonize those that are different.  By creating stereotypes of the “Conservative”  and the “Liberal”, that don’t exist in any number, they stoke the hatred.  The virtual world is the prime stomping grounds for phony outrage.  Both political parties  have stooped so low that they are only obsessed with gaining more power;  Democrats are only communicating their need for money to stop the Republicans.  The Republicans have spent the last seven years on the idea that they have to stop everything the Democrats do whether good or bad.  The Citizens United decision is one of the best things to happen to the press in a long time.  The idea that the media, which is the recipient of all the campaign finance funds, should help get the money out of campaigns is fantasy.   As long as politicians are elected with money that comes from sources that can’t vote for them, politicians will pass laws that are not in their constituents’ best interest.  Making this happen will require a true grass roots movement which realizes that the only way for all to prosper is to unite.