Thursday, November 10, 2011

American excellence in health care costs

Sarah Kliff has an interesting chart posted at Wonk Blog which shows how bad care-inequality is in America:


Following her source to the OECD I found this quote:

"In the U.S., 42 percent reported not visiting a doctor, not filling a prescription, or not getting recommended care. This is twice the rate for every other country but Australia, New Zealand, and Germany."

What is dangerous about this is disease only gets stronger when treated with half-measures. It is where penicillin-resistant strains come from.

Will the masters of America ever realize that their own health depends upon public health, and that disease doesn't grant pardons?

The clown-car called the GOP doesn't have an answer for this except to say, "Pay more or die".

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Keep Wall Street Occupied

Here is a simple way to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Wanna see a great video on #OWS?

Wanna read a great article about what motivates #OWS?

Cheat, Cheat, never beat

Have people finally had enough of the fascialist (fascism/socialism is domination of government by a ruling class) governance that is currently tear-gassing peacefully assembled people petitioning their government for redress?

We are at the point that the very idea of America is being pepper-sprayed, cuffed, and jailed. Can it be resurrected? It'll take the morality of the common good. The belief that out of many, we are one, that together we are stronger if we work towards something higher than our own narrow concerns.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Like a wet blanket

Al-Qaeda's central strategy was to draw its Western foes into economically ruinous wars in Muslim lands


That is something worth remembering as we look back on 911 and forwards on our budget.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Exceptional incompetence

Here is an opinion piece from the New York Times that I quite like. It is called, "What Happened to Obama's Passion?" and you can read it here:

History's Arc

Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

"...when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze"

People are still charitable towards Obama, a sentiment I cannot rally in myself. They see him as misguided but pitted against the forces that supported his presidential campaign handsomely. They see him as a man struggling with exceptional incompetence, I guess, to overcome the forces of evil which were his largest campaign donors.

I assume that believing the obvious is too painful, and so people make up stories with better narrative. The obvious is that Obama isn't on your side, doesn't intend to be on your side, and lies to you every time he pretends to be on your side. You keep falling for this obvious deception because you find it comforting to believe your presidential vote was correct, but for exceptional incompetence.

America is being methodically destroyed, for as go her finances so goes her military, for as goes her middle-class so goes her stability. America will suffer the death of a 1000 cuts and Obama will wield the sword with the pride that goeth before the fall.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The soft bigotry of low expectations

I've talked to plenty of democrats that claim president Obama is doing his best to promote democratic values in a hostile environment, but I have been unable to swallow this fork-full of bull-crap. The president knows the policies he passes comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. Here is an unambiguous statement he made recently, which demonstrates he knows what he is doing before he fails to act:

"If you don't have revenues, it means you're putting more of a burden on the people who can least afford it."

- President Obama -

The president has veto power, and he has support in the Senate, and he has the support of the electorate (even 66% of Tea Party members supported revenue increases if accompanied by spending cuts). If he fails to act it is not because he is a lone guppie in a bowl full of large-mouth bass. If he fails to act it is because he lacks the will to do what needs to be done.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Obama and the economy

Perhaps, now that the Bush-Obama economy is still sputtering, job-killing, and larded with favors like too-big-to-jail it is time for everyone to admit the Chicago School of Economics is mostly wishful thinking directed at the comfortable.

Is there an example of a country penny-pinching its way out of a liquidity trap? Greek austerity efforts aren't helping, and in fact seem to be applying downward pressure to Germany's economy.

President Obama either enjoys comforting the comfortable, or else is caught in the headlights of the on-rushing economy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The art of lying

Crude lying is simply making false statements. This type of lying falls flat or is quickly rejected. The secret to sophisticated lying, or sophistry, is making false statements that your audience wishes to believe is true.

The converse of this thought is true as well. Upton Sinclair put it like this, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." In other words, it can be just as difficult to spread Truth as it is to spread lies.

When I look at the modern GOP, and specifically the Tea Party element, I see people that believe you don't need taxes to balance a budget, and that people left to their own vices will create a stable society. The first belief leans on the cheapskate in all of us, and the second belief in the inflated opinion of our own self worth.

When I look at the modern Democratic party, and specifically the "centrist democrats", I see people that believe you don't need Justice to have a good society, and that jobs will come when the tycoon class is properly coddled. The first belief is rooted in the desire for campaign contributions and the second belief is rooted in the desire for campaign contributions.

There is an old saying that you can't share wisdom and it isn't accurate. It is more accurate to say that wisdom is easy to share but easier to ignore.

I fear we are ignoring too much wisdom these days to last for much longer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turn off the Fox News

There is an expression that goes like this, "Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it." The converse is usually assumed to be true, that is, that those who know the past can prevent the worst elements from manifesting themselves again.

Here is a quote from the past that I find relevant to contemporary American affairs:

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism... They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

Henry A. Wallace, 1944


In this article by Fareed Zakaria, it is posited that Conservatives used to base their policies on sound reality-driven assessments. I am more inclined to believe they have always whored for monied interests and taken as much as they could get for their constituents. It is just that, in times like these, there is no pushback and the taking knows no restraints.

Perhaps I am being uncharitable. Fareed, to his credit, looks at the ideology of his party and searches for the substance behind the doctrine. When he doesn't find any he does not soften the blows that come from reason.

For instance, he says:

Taxes — federal and state combined — as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies. So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts but is simply a theoretical assertion.

Conservatives gone wild

The uncharitable view of this revelation is that Republicans are not so much wrong on their facts as spinning them, but of late need not trouble themselves with the masks that come from sophistry.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The pledge

There is an old saying, "If you don't change direction you will go where you are headed."

What is Grover Norquist's tax pledge driving America towards?

Financial Oligarchy

I wonder how he has so much influence, it's like all these Congressional people can't read maps.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I wonder if the Nobel prize committee can take back what it gave president Obama?

He is lawlessly fighting one war in Libya, using drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen, maintaining the Gulag Guantanamo (interestingly, the phrase "enemy non-combatant" marks it as such), and seems to think peace is a thing best delivered in the nosecone of a cruise missile.

Domestically he is working hand-in-wallet with plutocrats and fascists, ignoring laws when it suits him, and investing heavily in warfare while cutting aid to school aged children.

If these are the actions of a "peace prize" laureate, then the Nobel committee would better spend their time crafting urinals.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Big top

Republican presidential candidates are apparently having a political debate tonight. My only question is, "Will they all enter via the same tiny car?" I love it when clowns do that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Horrific Maine mystery solved

For days the people of Maine were alarmed that a dead child was left on a small communities' road, with nobody reporting him missing, and police unable to identify him.

It turns out that the boys mother, a woman from Texas, confessed to suffocating her son. She has been charged with second-degree murder.

Boy's mother confesses

I'm sure parents in the area will rest a little easier knowing there isn't a dangerous child predator among them.

If ever there were a case for hating the crime, but not the criminal, this is it. Is it possible to conceive of a punishment worse than facing these actions?

It is time to be thankful if you were born to loving parents.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

American wealth

I look at CEOs a bit differently than most people. For me, CEOs are to the rightful profit of investors as pedophiles are to the children of others. When an investor sticks with a company and bears the risk of that investment, a parasitic leach should not lavish himself upon the proceeds of a good upbringing.

When "the street" whines about regulation that is too restrictive, I like to think of a pedophile complaining about law enforcement that is too restrictive. That kind of whining most Americans know how to treat.

Profit belongs to the risk takers as surely as innocence belongs to the children.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Running Races

Sung to the tune of Camptown Races by Stephen Foster

I'll tell you folks how it will be
Doo-da, Doo-da
I'll lie all day and you'll vote for me.
Oh, de doo-da day

Goin' to run all night
Goin' to run all day
My campaign promises mean nothing
Oh, de doo-da day

Guantanamo is open still.
Do dah. Do dah.
Obamacare is a lousy bill.
Oh, do dah day.

Goin' to run all night
Goin' to run all day
My campaign promises: wink, wink, wink
Oh, de doo-da day

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Paper Tiger

Here is a line from George Lakoff's analysis of president Obama's speech, called "The country we believe in", that resonates well with me:

"The fact is that the rich have gotten rich because of the government -- direct corporate subsidies, access to publicly-owned resources, access to government research, favorable trade agreements, roads and other means of transportation, education that provides educated workers, tax loopholes, and innumerable government resources taken advantage of by the rich, but paid for by all of us."


I think that if we had a president that we could believe in we might have something. I have noticed, time and again, that president Obama serves Wall Street exclusively. This was highlighted by the BP oil spill, for which no laws have been passed, by The Great Recession, for which no bad reckless deed went unpunished, and total silence on labor issues.

If it weren't for the GOP's field of candidates for the top job, Obama could not sink any lower in my esteem. It's a pity, since on paper he is a tiger.

I believe that if George Lakoff says this speech is important for the vision it projects, then voters ought to read the speech. They must guard against getting their hopes up, however.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Jesse "The Body" Ventura

Jesse has a new book coming out. Here is an interview on Russia Today (of all places). He advocates voting for "anyone else beside Democrats and Republicans".

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What's up with Libya?

Have people in Washington just lost their minds?

What national interest is at stake that would make president Obama pick the weak side in a civil war and make Congress abdicate all oversight responsibility?

And how crazy are Republicans going to get? During three wars they seem elated about shutting down the government!

Some days it is hard to open your eyes.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Where free unions and collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost."

Former president Ronald Reagan

Link to the video: From the Gipper's lips

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Have workers in America "had it"?

Do we have 400 Mubarak's ruling in America?

Here is Michael Moore speaking at a rally in Wisconsin:

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I thought of a simple rally cry for Egyptians:

"Fuck Mu"

The situation in Egypt can be mathematically expressed like this:

Barak * Mubarak = Mubarak²

It seems that president Obama has managed to make himself a disappointment to believers in democracy all over the world.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Walls and bridges

When president Ronald Reagan said to Mr. Gorbachev, "Tear down that wall." he was demonstrating an understanding of the moment and stepping into it. His message was simple, direct, and memorable.

As Egyptians rally for democratic rule and to escape the domination of Mubarak, what is president Barak Obama's message to the world?

If president Obama were president instead of Ronald Reagan would he have had a message for Mr Gorbachev?

The thing about a moment is, it doesn't last very long. Well, unless you embrace it, then people never forget it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

God's Will

I've always found it impossible to understand extreme selfishness and manic power lust, but in Mubarak's case I find it pitiful as well as perplexing.

This man has always put his own priorities (hanging on) above all else (Justice, Love, Human Dignity) , but to be decrepit from age and clinging with a skeletal hand at such a time is a sad, pathetic commentary on his state of mind.

One rationale that religious people offer for their beliefs is the notion of "free will choices". The argument goes something like this, "Yes there is evil in the world, but it is because God wants us to have free will." In my opinion this argument gets them out of the skillet to stand in the fire, as it means the will of the rapist is just as important to God as the will of the victim, and that the will of the tyrant supersedes that of an oppressed population.

Is the free will of a geriatric tyrant so important?

Friday, January 28, 2011

What ails America?

In Egypt the people are taking to the streets demanding democratic freedoms and American leaders are backing the dictator.

Wasn’t there a time when Americans believed in the right of the People to rule themselves? Wasn’t there a time in America when freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and equal protection under the law meant something more than two gold coins rubbed together?

Has dollar worship polluted our spirit?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MLK Quote

One of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes is:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

My all-time favorite is:

"We have guided missiles and misguided men"

Both of these quotes make you realize that there is something structurally wrong with the way we have organized our society. We give up too much happiness to inflict too much pain, and that is a fool's bargain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What nobody is saying

Isn't it time for the National Rifle Association to back a bill that will keep guns out of the hands of lunatics?

I support gun ownership, but that doesn't mean I think criminals and insane people need unhindered access to automatic weapons.

There is a do not fly list, how about a do not allow this person to buy a gun list?

There can be clear-cut rules for getting people on and off the list, with an appeals process.

We have to start repairing some of the damage to our society and that means reasonable approaches to solving problems. I have heard the tired old canard that if guns are illegal only criminals will have guns. Well, I'd like to see a system where criminals didn't have guns but law abiding people did. That means some type of list.

Hunting is a way of life for many people and we should be able to encourage that without making it easy for lunatics bearing grudges to gun down children.

A good place to start with the list is to look at the recent rampage in Arizona and ask, "What would have stopped this guy?"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy to see, hard to stop

For a very brief time the use of incendiary political rhetoric will be tut-tutted. Immediately after that period such rhetoric will become headline-grabbing, and attention-obsessed people like Sarah Palin will step into that “opportunity”.

No patience

After a nine year old girl has been murdered I’ve no patience with people that identify as Repulicans and who defend Sarah Palin or listen to Glenn Beck.

At best Sarah Palin is a careless, ignorant woman, obsessed with self-promotion at any cost. She condones  violent behavior by using violent speech, using violent imagery, and tolerating violent behavior in her supporters.

Glenn Beck would be laughable if not for the size of his audience. He might be a jackass braying in a field, but he influences a sizeable crowd that stops to bray back.

This is the time for the “moderate” GOP members to put up or shut up. Either you get control of your party, or your party will get control of you.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin