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Hometown: Poway, CA
Current location: Leucadia, CA
Member since: Sat Nov 22, 2003, 12:17 AM
Number of posts: 11,014

Journal Archives

Scapegoating the Public Sector

The politics of division.
Pitting the working class against themselves.

Oh how I despise the 0.01% ruling class.

At a time when so many are worried about obtaining or holding on to work, it’s difficult to rally around the guaranteed job security and high pensions of some privileged government employees. Not all public workers fit into this category, to be sure. But nonpublic workers who must struggle with the vagaries of private employment have seen more than enough examples of government employee unions, the last stronghold of organized labor, exercising their power to ensure what appears to be outsized compensation for their members.

Of course this argument is a red herring. The budget crises of state and municipal governments were not brought on by excessive pay to firemen, cops and other civil servants, but rather by a banking meltdown that has enriched those who engineered it. Housing values, and the local taxes dependent on them, are down because of financial shenanigans that wrapped mortgages into collateralized debt obligations, and that is the root cause of government red ink. But the job security and pensions of government employees make terribly convenient scapegoats at a time when so many Americans are lining up at food banks.

The electorate in Wisconsin, and San Diego and San Jose, Calif., that voted Tuesday against public employee unions were not expressing a rational response to the crisis, but rather a tantrum stoked by the lavishly financed demagogues of the right. The voters bought their story because the opportunism of the Democratic Party leadership has left progressives without a believable alternative to the tea party’s narrative. Indeed, job creation became a bigger issue than collective bargaining in the Wisconsin race, and the dismal national unemployment figures that came out just days before the election didn’t hurt the Republicans’ cause.



Hemp History Week 2012

Hemp History Week 2012 promoting Hemp For Health and Sustainability will be held June 4-10, 2012. More information at: http://www.HempHistoryWeek.com



US drone strike 'kills 15' in Pakistan

There have been eight US drone strikes in the past two weeks despite Pakistani demands for them to be stopped.

In the latest incident, the first missile struck the compound in Hesokhel before dawn, killing three militants, security officials said.

A second missile then killed 12 more militants who had arrived at the scene, they added.

The bodies of the suspected militants have not yet been identified, but there were unconfirmed reports that foreigners were among the dead.

It is the eighth and deadliest attack since 23 March, marking a considerable upsurge in the use of the controversial US drone programme, reports the BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad.



Public Pension "reform"

I wish the average citizen would realize that employee pensions (retirement checks) are quickly turned back into the overall economy for life's necessities and roll over at least two-fold in the general economy to benefit us all.

These corporate backed "pension reform" and "taxpayer advocate" groups dominate the airwaves and leave out this fact.
They act as if pensions are stored away somewhere, like the wealthy do with their profits to avoid taxes, in the Cayman Islands.


My health insurance costs

I am 55 and have put in 21 years of service where I work (public works).
My wife is 53.

We have the ability now to retire except for one thing...health insurance cost.
I have no retirement health benefits except for the ability of staying enrolled at full cost in my workplace's plan.
Since we both have had, and have, medical issues that prohibit us from venturing outside that "umbrella" due to insurance corporations denying us coverage for preexisting conditions.

I am hoping the SCOTUS does not screw up "Obamacare" and that he is reelected with a Dem majority in Congress or else I guess I work until my wife reaches 65?

We own a modest townhome and a bit of savings we do not want to risk by going uninsured.

This country's lack of affordable access to health care is sickening and I am not sure how, even with the reform enacted, that will change too much. I'd love to "get out of the way" and make room for other's at work to move up.

Here is what we are looking at if we retire now...and that cost goes up every year:

Rates for 2012 (per month) based on employee plus 1 dependent; they expire on 11/30/2012:


Anthem POS .......$1,986.59

Anthem HMO .......$1,714.64

Kaiser .......$1,538.31

Blue Card (out of area) .......$1,947.25


Anthem POS.......$1,305.76

Anthem HMO.......$918.90


Blue Card (out of area).......$2,434.28

Crashing the economy

The banksters win either way. If the economy crashes they still win plus with the potential bonus of getting more of their Repub buddies in office because a large section of the American people are willful idiots who listen to FOX and radio talkshows for their views. It's a struggle between the private corporate sector and our dwindling public service sector. 30 years of corporate media's blaming "government" is taking it's toll. The banksters are winning and they won't be denied their profit margins, for their investors, off the backs of our tax dollars.

All the focus by the rightwing on "deficits" when they didn't give a rat's ass about it while running up two credit card wars of choice, tax cuts for the wealthy, and Medicare part D.

Austerity (cutting government) is counter-productive to economic expansion but this is going to be a heavy lift of understanding for the braindead masses to grasp due to the constant barrage of propaganda from the finance/bankster/insurance sectors who own the airwaves and much of our political system.


Private Sector Job Growth Under President and Party 1961-2012

On May 8, Bloomberg News published an article by Bob Drummond about how more jobs have been created while Democrats were in the presidency from 1961-2012. This article, which was also discussed on dailybeast.com on May 10, not only references the recent growth in jobs, which have been less than expected, but also looks at the past. Clinton’s presidency is the main focus when Drummond examines the past. Bloomberg News created a graph like the second one below. However, we wanted to take the news outlet’s idea one step farther. Below you will see a bar chart where the number of private jobs created during each presidency is in sequential form, but separated by party. There is also a pie chart that shows the total number of private jobs created during Democrat and Republican presidencies from 1961-2012.


Financialization and gas prices

Financialization is a process whereby financial markets, financial institutions, and financial elites gain greater influence over economic policy and economic outcomes…..Its principal impacts are to (1) elevate the significance of the financial sector relative to the real sector, (2) transfer income from the real sector to the financial sector, and (3) increase income inequality and contribute to wage stagnation.

In short, we’re talking about the spread and growing supremacy of financial gambling – the ability to bet on the prices of goods produced in the real economy without actually owning those goods.

The vital activities of manufacturing, resource extraction and agriculture are turned into financial instruments that can be rapidly bought and sold. More to the point, financialization allows financial gamblers to extract profits from the real economy to enrich themselves without producing any real economic value for our economy.


Pat Robertson must be devastated

April 26, 2012

Hague court convicts Taylor of war crimes in Sierra Leone
(Reuters) - A United Nations-backed court convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity, the first time a head of state has been found guilty by an international tribunal since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg.

Taylor, 64, had been charged with 11 counts of murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers and sexual slavery during intertwined wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, during which more than 50,000 people were killed.

The first African leader to stand trial for war crimes, Taylor was accused of directing Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in a campaign of terror to plunder Sierra Leone's diamond mines for profit and weapons trading.



Pat Robertson Slams Bush On Liberia

By Joel Roberts
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson accused President Bush of "undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels" by asking Liberian President Charles Taylor, recently indicted for war crimes, to step down.

"How dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'You've got to step down,'" Robertson said Monday on "The 700 Club," broadcast from his Christian Broadcasting Network.


For He’s a Jolly Good Scoundrel

Posted on Apr 18, 2012
By Robert Scheer

How evil is this? At a time when two-thirds of U.S. homeowners are drowning in mortgage debt and the American dream has crashed for tens of millions more, Sanford Weill, the banker most responsible for the nation’s economic collapse, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


Weill is the Wall Street hustler who led the successful lobbying to reverse the Glass-Steagall law, which long had been a barrier between investment and commercial banks. That 1999 reversal permitted the merger of Travelers and Citibank, thereby creating Citigroup as the largest of the “too big to fail” banks eventually bailed out by taxpayers. Weill was instrumental in getting then-President Bill Clinton to sign off on the Republican-sponsored legislation that upended the sensible restraints on finance capital that had worked splendidly since the Great Depression.


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