McCamy Taylor's Journal
Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 06:05 PM
Number of posts: 14,678
Number of posts: 14,678
Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/
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Just curious. I suspect that a lot of people who post online at a forum like DU are also outspoken in their lives, on their jobs, at their childrens' schools, in their neighborhoods, at the organizations where they volunteer. How many of you were forced out for doing what you thought was the right thing---speaking up when a wrong was being committed, giving advice that went against the grain, making a complaint? How many of you were retaliated against? What happens when the group or organization doing the retaliation is one whose mission you believe in? Do you suffer pangs of conscience? Did you keep the retaliation secret, because you did not want to hurt the reputation of the group?
This is NOT about Edward Snowden, so let's not make it about him. If some of you will share your stories, I may open up and share mine.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Jul 14, 2014, 01:20 PM (26 replies)
This is about all the things that folks do for other people. Things like staying home to take care of an aging parent, even though it means giving up on one income in a two income family at a time when having two incomes is the only way most middle class families can rise out of poverty. Like serving two or three tours of duty in a war for oil in a desert country and then coming home to find that no one wants to hire you, because everyone thinks that the war was a big embarrassment that they would rather forget (and they have heard too many horror stories about PTSD). Like letting homeless friends sleep on your sofa and eat at your table, even though you aren't doing so well yourself, but you've done the homeless thing and you know how it feels to be in desperate need of food and a bath. Like giving your neighbor who is too old or infirm to drive a ride to her doctor's appointment and not asking for gas money, because you know her Social Security check is even lower than your minimum wage check. Like working days and then coming home nights to care for a dying partner who outweighs you by a hundred pounds----sometimes you feel as if your back will break when you try to help him to the bathroom, but it never occurs to you to leave, even though if you did, the state would assume him care and you would be much better off financially and physically. Like quitting work and home schooling your special needs child because your school district has cracks so wide she would fall into the sewer and be swept into the ocean if you didn't.
There are lots of reasons that some folks in this country are poor. The one that people tend to forget is that when you take care of a child, an elderly parent, an extended family or needy neighbors and friends, that pushes you into poverty, too. In this country, children, the elderly, the disabled and their caregivers are the poor.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jul 12, 2014, 12:14 PM (10 replies)
Yes, I am going here. The same press that called Gore a Liar and called Kerry a Waffler attacked Edwards before he was even out of the gate. They had their man, John Solomon on the case, reporting on Edwards house, his hair, his hairdresser. Solomon all but called him gay. I think Ann Coulter really did call him gay. At the same time, the national press--the same people who declared Gore a Liar and Kerry a Waffler---declared that Obama and Hillary were locked in a Two Man Race as early as Jan 2007. And they shunned Edwards. After the initial flurry of slime pieces, no matter what he did, he could not get any coverage. It was a total media lock out. Had Edwards walked on water, we would have heard about the cut of Hillary's pantsuit or Obama's new tie.
The press told Democrats: "You have two candidates. You can choose from Obama or Hillary."
When Edwards came in second in Iowa, we were told that Obama came in first and Hillary came in second. Edwards second place finish meant that he was out of the race. We were told this on Countdown of all places. But by then it was old news. Because the corporate bosses had been following the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Citicorp/J.P.Morgan/BlueCross/Pfizer/BigOil script all along.
Which president would have held war crimes tribunals? Which president would have made banksters do the perp walk? Which president would have gotten on television and pleaded with the nation to deliver single payer health care----for the memory of his departed wife. Yes, the GOP knew that Elizabeth would die. They remembered what LBJ was able to accomplish by asking Americans to do it for JFK. Think about the sheer impossibility of passing Medicare and the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. But LBJ and Humphrey did it---with the help of a nation in mourning. The Bushies and the GOP were absolutely terrified of what the widower president Edwards would have been able to accomplish for the memory of his wife---
And so they character assassinated Edwards, deprived the couple of all hope, more than likely contributed to him seeking solace in the arms of another woman when it became clear that there was no way that they could win against the odds that were stacked against them and there would be no third chance for Elizabeth...
When Hillary Clinton is president, I want her to make single payer a priority. And I want them to name it the Elizabeth Edwards Act. To prove that the MSM does not always get its way.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 07:05 PM (60 replies)
I am absolutely overjoyed that they are finally making a film about one of the most shameful moments of Mainstream Medium Whoredom---the Viacom conspiracy to get Bush re-selected so that Viacom could thwart media ownership rules. The price for Viacom? It's star reporter, Dan Rather. Here is what I wrote in 2007. Man, I was beginning to think that this day would never come! Go, Rather! Go, Mapes! Here's to Truth! Oh, and btw, after the Bush Was AWOL Story, 60 Minutes Planned to start investigating rumors of 2000 style voter suppression activity in swing states. That would have been very, very bad for W. and company. Good thing for them that someone pulled the plug on Mapes/Rather and Co.
To those who may be tempted to say "Get over it" not on your life.
Ok, here is what I wrote in 2007.:
As everyone knows by now, Dan Rather, who has the highest recognizability and highest favorability rating of any anchor in the US and who was dropped like a hot potato by CBS after the authenticity of a single document in a single program was called into question, has filed a $70million law suit against his former employer.
In the suit, filed a day earlier in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, Rather claimed CBS and Viacom Inc. used him as a "scapegoat" and intentionally botched the aftermath of a discredited story about President Bush's military service to curry favor with the White House. He was removed from his "CBS Evening News" post in March 2005.
As another DU member has posted, Viacom's chief, Sumner Redstone made no bones about which presidential candidate he favored in the 2004 election:
The chairman of the entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need. Speaking to some of America's and Asia's top executives gathered for Forbes magazine's annual Global CEO Conference, Mr. Redstone declared: "I look at the election from what's good for Viacom. I vote for what's good for Viacom. I vote, today, Viacom.
"I don't want to denigrate Kerry," he went on, "but from a Viacom standpoint, the election of a Republican administration is a better deal. Because the Republican administration has stood for many things we believe in, deregulation and so on. The Democrats are not bad people. . . . But from a Viacom standpoint, we believe the election of a Republican administration is better for our company."
What an understatement. The truth was, Viacom/CBS desperately needed a second Bush term if it was to hold together its media empire and watch it grow, and it feared a John Kerry presidency. Here's a summary of what was going on behind the scenes at CBS from CommonDreams.org:
In the spring of 2003, Michael Powell tried to hand over the airwaves and newspapers to fewer and fewer tycoons by further loosening restrictions on how many media outlets a single company could own. Powell tried to scrap 30-year-old rules that limited the reach of any television network to no more than 35 percent of the national population, and limits on cross-ownership that, for example, prevented newspapers from buying television or radio stations in the same city. The new rules would have allowed a broadcast network to buy up stations that together reached 45 percent of the national population.
The attack on the existing media-ownership rules came from predictable corners: Both Viacom, which owns CBS, and Rupert Murdoch's conservative FOX News Channel were already in violation, and would be forced to sell off stations to come into compliance with the 35-percent limit. The rule change would enable Murdoch to control the airwaves of entire cities. That would be fine with Bush and the Powells, since Murdoch is one of their biggest boosters.
It looked like Powell, backed by the Bush White House and with Republican control of Congress, would have no trouble ramming through these historic rule changes. The broadcast industry left nothing to chance: Between 1998 and 2004, broadcasters spent a boggling $249 million lobbying the federal government, including spending $27 million on federal candidates and lawmakers.
This would normally be called bribery. At the FCC, it's just business as usual.
You would think that FCC deregulation, affecting millions of Americans, would get major play in the media. But the national networks knew that if people found out about how one media mogul could own nearly everything you watch, hear and read in a city, there would be revolt. The solution for them was simple: They just didn't cover the issue for a year. The only thing the networks did was to join together — and you thought they were competitors? — in a brief filed with the FCC to call for media deregulation.
And then, something remarkable happened: Media activists — an unlikely coalition of liberals and conservatives — mounted a national campaign to defeat Powell and stop the corporate sell-off. The FCC received 2 million letters and e-mails, most of them opposing the sell-off. The Prometheus Radio Project, a grass-roots media activism group, sued to stop the sale of our airwaves, and won in federal court last June. These are hopeful signals that the days of backroom deals by media titans are numbered.
Now, that federal court ruling was a big problem for media giants like Viacom/CBS. After all its hard work and all its money (which had been essentially flushed down the toilet) it was back where it started in 2000---out of compliance with federal media ownership rules with no room to grow. (For those who like legal documents, here is one with lots of facts http://www.mediaaccess.org/filings/vcmcap.pdf ) Unless the case was overturned by the Supreme Court, it was stuck. And Viacom/CBS had another problem. W. was not doing as well as it had hoped, and John Kerry was not the friend of media giants that George W. Bush had been.
Media consolidation, an issue that galvanized millions of Americans in 2003 is nowhere to be found on the election map of 2004. That was until Sunday, when Senator John Kerry ventured forth on CSPAN to confirm that, had he been around to vote on last year's proposal to loosen rules against media ownership, he would have voted against it.
"I wasn't there for the vote, but I was 100 percent in favor of overturning his rule," Kerry told CSPAN executive vice president Susan Swain during an interview taped earlier in the week. The "his" Kerry was referring to is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell. And the "rule" in question was the FCC's ill-fated effort to allow media companies to buy up more local media outlets by raising an ownership cap from a 35 to a 45 percent reach of the national audience.
This timeline from Bill Moyers shows what was happening in 2003 and early 2004 about the media merger issue:
The Republican Congress was persuaded to raise the media ownership cap just enough to put NewsCorp and Viacom in compliance with the law, but they had no room to grow. (And since Viacom had been described as owning 41% of the nation's television channels in the court documents from 2001, I wonder if some one was fudging the math.) No problem, said the Bush administration. Just as soon as we win this re-election campaign, we are taking the appeal to the Supreme Court, which will raise the federal media ownership cap back up, so you guys in the entertainment business can start expanding again.
So, if you were Sumner Redstone and it was 2004 and you were faced with a choice of George W. Bush who was promising to write you a blank check for unlimited media acquisitions and mergers or John Kerry, who was really uncomfortable with the whole idea of too much media power concentrated into one set of hands, which candidate would you prefer? And if, as I suspect, you were actually out of compliance with the law (television holdings don't just shrink from greater than 41% down to 39% overnight), you might be a little nervous, too, that the current administration might decide to start enforcing the law.
The irony of it all is that the Bush administration never intended to keep its promise to launch a court appeal of the lower court ruling that threw out the FCC federal media owership rule changes. It was Michael Powell, who had done the administration's dirty work for years, who suddenly had a fit a conscience---or maybe he got pissed off at how they treated his dad, and he decided to get even in the best way he knew how, by turning the mainstream media against the Bush administration, by revealing them to be liars and cheats.
The Bush administration yesterday abandoned plans to ask the Supreme Court to allow a set of controversial rules to take effect that would have loosened restrictions on how large media conglomerates could grow.
The decision disappointed big media companies that had lobbied heavily in support of the rules and thrilled those who had fought to keep tighter rein on how much control one company should have over television, newspapers and radio stations in individual markets.
The rules would have allowed television networks such as CBS and Fox to buy a few more television stations nationally and let one company own the biggest newspaper and highest-rated television station in most cities.
Note the date on the Washington Post article. Jan. 28, 2005. When I read that, the curious behavior of the news networks over the exit polls made sense. I also knew that the Bush administration was in for a bumpy second term with the news media, because hell hath no fury.... The administration had waited until after W. was safely sworn in for his second term to admit to their flunkies in the corporate media that they had no intention of keeping their promises, probably because they knew that they would fail. When several of the networks got together to launch their own appeal, they failed. The result was coverage of DSMs, Cindy Sheehan and Katrina.
However, this revelation came too late for Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes, who had already been sold for 20 pieces of silver by their boss, Sumner Redstone, who preferred to dismantle the jewel in CBS's crown, 60 Minutes in order to curry favor with the White House in order to make money through mergers, rather than do it the old fashioned way, by producing quality programming.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 04:00 PM (14 replies)
"I live in the United States," said I, "but I do not know exactly where. My address is wherever there is a fight against oppression. Sometimes I am in Washington, then in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado. My address is like my shoes: it travels with me."
Mother Jones (1837-1930)
Speaking more forcefully on human rights than any American dignitary has on Chinese soil, Hillary Rodham Clinton catalogued a devastating litany of abuse that has afflicted women around the world today and criticized China for seeking to limit free and open discussion of women's issues here.
If you live somewhere on this planet and want to preserve your right to have a child bride or commit infanticide against your newborn daughter because she was not born a boy or want to justify war "to protect the women" or want to "punish your enemy" by raping their wives and daughters or want to own African or Bangladeshi or "untouchable" slaves, then you should be very, very afraid of Hillary Clinton. The rest of us are looking forward to someone who thinks that other people's rights matter.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 03:29 PM (6 replies)
Leonardo Boff "This Pope Will Change the Church"/Hobby Lobby "We Want Our Workers Barefoot/Pregnant"
A little bit of Sunday free association: I found this article. It is not a new article. That's ok. It's new to me. It might be new to you. It surprised me. A lot. Leonardo Boff said "This Pope Will Change the World." Boff does not usually see eye to eye with the Pope.
Leonardo Boff needs no introduction at DU. He has his street creds. His book, St. Francis: A Model for Human Liberation is one of my all time ten favorite non fiction books ever. And it was reissued recently, meaning you can still get copies at Amazon (hint, hint).
Here's what the Liberation Theologist said about Pope Francis last winter:
Pope Francis is a pope of change. This is new. His predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI wanted the church to maintain its continuity. Francis has now started to reform the papacy.
And here is Francis, himself:
“The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.”(Pope Francis, Meeting with Students of Jesuit Schools—Q&A, 6/7/13)
It is time for the left to reclaim spirituality. And merchants, like Hobby Lobby who sell products made in third world sweat shops ought not to be held up as models of virtue or morality entitled to control their female employee's bodies because of their deeply held "beliefs." If a "belief" keeps your female workforce undereducated and underpaid because of an unplanned pregnancy, that is not a "belief", it is a business strategy.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Jun 29, 2014, 07:15 PM (32 replies)
In a move that has left many pundits scratching their heads, Republican political leaders have decided to re-enact the famous film High Noon. In this new version, they have chosen their nemesis, President Barrack Obama to fill the role once played by Gary Cooper as the high minded public official determined to do the right thing no matter the cost to himself.
Said the president "I couldn't be happier. Like my buddy, Bill Clinton, I've always loved that old movie. Being given a chance to act out the role of the sheriff who single handedly faces down a posse of bad men for the sake of his town simply because it is the right thing to do---it's the kind of thing that got me into politics in the first place. I was beginning to worry that being POTUS was going to be nothing but diplomatic receptions and Rose Garden signings."
The first lady added "Unlike Grace Kelly, I intend to stick beside my husband."
Oh, and BTW, the GOP has now officially lost this fall's election.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jun 28, 2014, 04:19 PM (0 replies)
Just as they did in 2008, the GOP is trying to muck around in the 2016 Democratic Primary the way Pat Buchanan taught them to do in 1972. Hillary has them scared. She has more balls than their ballsiest ex-pow military politician.
She has more real executive and foreign policy experience than their oldest, gray-est gray hair.
She beats the smart Bush...in his own state.
And, of course, no one in the GOP wants to see her debate this man
Therefore, the corporate media is now participating in the creation of a new Big Lie. This one goes something like "That Hillary is SUCH an Elite Snob. She may have started out cooking for Bill in a trailer back in Arkansas, but now she thinks her shit doesn't stink. Look at her globe trotting all over the world, drinking tea with queens. Look at all those $$$ that the press keeps putting next to her name in big, bold letters. How shameful! Someone like her would never understand the needs of an ordinary hard working American who has lost his job and his home."
This Big Lie is for Democratic Primary consumption only. If Hillary makes it through her own primary and is the nominee, the GOP will quickly remind its own party faithful that Hillary is an armpit hair toting, Marx reading, "cooks her own supper" trailer park trash slut of a woman who will never in a million years understand the special needs of corporate executives.
It isn't too late to order your own copy of Mytholgies by Roland Barthes. Don't become road kill on the information superhighway. "Consume" the news, before the news "consumes" you.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jun 28, 2014, 03:15 PM (10 replies)
The federal government does not have enough money to keep the bargain it made with its servicemen and women when it sent them off to serve two and three tours of duty in Iraq. They can not get an appointment at the VA. They can not get their disability pay. They can not find a job. They can not find a place to live.
At the same time, the military always seems to be able to find the money to hire Lockheed or some other contractor to build a new bomber or new weapon that may not ever be used. Why? Because military brass--retiring generals---count upon second careers as private sector "consultants" with the companies to whom they award lucrative DOD contracts. So, the Pentagon always insists that it needs lots of money for new weapons and new jets and new toilet seats---and it is not be nearly as concerned about the needs of its discarded soldiers.
The math is crystal clear:
Military Admirals and Generals Need for Money Post Retirement > All Other Needs of All other Service People.
So, here is my suggestion. Rather than forcing our generals and admirals to retire on their modest military pensions, which encourages them to seek private sector consulting jobs with the companies that "owe" them, maybe we could save a lot of money by giving our retiring admirals and generals generous retirement bonuses. A million dollars would be a lot cheaper than spending a billion dollars making a jet that no one will ever fly. And, with the money we save, we could hire more doctors for the VA, fund for jobs programs, pay more college tuitions.
For those who say "But military spending is good for the economy!" consider Japan and Germany. When the US relieved them of the need for military spending after WWII, we allowed their economies to boom. Military spending is actually a very poor way to jump start the economy. Too much money goes into too few hands. The "product" sits on the shelf---or, if used, results in a net financial loss rather than gain. If you really want to use public spending to spread the wealth and make your economy grow, you invest in education first and health spending second. Lots of well paid jobs, and the "product"--better educated and healthier workforce---makes your economy even stronger. That is why Germany rules the European Union. That is why Japan is a world player.
This is not so far fetched. We pay farmers not to grow crops. Why shouldn't we pay military brass not to buy weapons and high priced toilets that we do not need? Spend that money in the education and health sector where it will benefit the economy. The improvement in benefits will attract better candidates to the military, making it stronger.
And, while we are at it, rather than paying trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives invading a foreign country so that a few oil companies can get oil contracts worth a few billion dollars---contracts that will become worthless once US troops pull out and the locals realign the government---maybe we should just give the oil companies a bigger tax break. Let them write off a billion instead of spending a trillion. Seems pretty obvious to me.
What do you think? Is the math simple enough for even a Tea Partier to understand?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jun 28, 2014, 02:39 PM (3 replies)
Citizens United--the controversial Supreme Court decision that grants the rich unlimited "free speech" rights in elections is many things. But the scariest is the fact that it is now a Get Out of Jail Free Card. Ever wondered why we are not seeing more Banksters doing perp walks? Ever asked yourself "What is this new 'affluenza' defense that is used to justify criminal behavior by the rich and privileged?" Ever wondered why a casino owner like Sheldon Adelson decided to try to buy a presidential candidate when he was being investigated by the feds? It's simple. The rich can give unlimited amounts of money to a political party. They can give unlimited amounts of money to both political parties. They can threaten to finance a third party splitter. They can personally end your favorite representative's political career.
And so judges have to think twice before messing with them. Prosecutors have to think about their potential future as judges. Elected officials have to be pretty sure of their private sector options. Parties have to treat them with kid gloves.
Welcome to the Brave New World where some folks are literally above the law because they are too rich. This is what the Supreme Court wanted. This is what Scalia, Roberts, Alito and the rest stand for. In Citizens United they took a big dump on the law---and plunged us back a few hundred years into the age when those with a title and land had privileges and the rest of us were obligated to do the bidding of our betters---
But don't hate them too much. Scalia, Roberts and Alito are among the peons doing the bidding of their "betters." They are serfs, too. Serfs in their own minds, which is the scariest place one can be a serf. Imagine thinking that you owe the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson anything. It must be a hell of a way to live.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Jun 25, 2014, 10:43 AM (1 replies)