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Take the country back!

Yeah –
Take us back to when Banks were Banks and not investment houses.

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Egyptian Compromise

It looks like Egypt is about to devolve into a civil war around the ouster/coup removing President Morsi.
Not surprisingly at least one side of the conflict is dominated by radical Islam “activists”. So this will get messy. The sides line up with the Military on one side and the Pro-Morsi activists on the other. There is the segment of the population who are glad the Military took over the government. They lean on the facts that Morsi, even though he was legally, democratically elected, dismantled parts of the government and weakened the democratic checks and balances system. He gave himself too much power. The opposing “Pro-Morsi” segment has 2 components, as I see it. One component supports the Muslim Brotherhood that Morsi was a member of. This component sees Egypt with a government and constitution that is more influenced by their religion. They share some ideas with the other pro-Morsi-ites but their radical outcome is that when the Military ousted Morsi they committed some sort of insult against Islam. Other Pro-Morsi-ite components are just those folks who fought for Democracy and are angry that the Military didn’t give the process more time to work things out. They stand as purists in spite of the pain.

How about this as a compromise – before this blows even more out of proportion. Allow Morsi to resume his term of office but all of the changes he made to the government must be reversed back to the day he took office. That means he must live with the loyal opposition he was elected into and he can’t just disband the Parliament because they are slowing him down – or whatever. That way the Muslim Brotherhood gets their candidate in place, the Democracy purists get their Democracy and the people who wanted Morsi out because he was dismantling the government get their balances re-assembled.

At the next legal election they can elect someone else – if they stay awake long enough to remember what just happened.

Good luck Tut.

Boehner has a short memory

Dear Republicans –
I heard John Boehner thinks the American people can’t blame the Republicans for national damage from the sequester. But he’s very wrong. We are able to blame Republicans and we do.

I suppose it really could be the fault of corporate interests who, in order to keep their position in the marketplace, influenced the sympathetic Republican coffers with campaign funds. Their narrow corporate interests are responsible for bringing us to this point but Republican politicians did their bidding. That’s why we are blaming you.

We could point the finger at the super rich conservatives who used their influence over you to keep tax cuts from going away or new taxes from appearing. But it’s you who stonewalled the changes in the House of Representatives so we are blaming you.

We could blame the conservative movement Media. After 4 years of daily assassination attempts on the President by FOX and an ugly bias war against people who agree with him, we’re disgusted by them. But you are the ones who appear on their programs to get your facetime while confirming their bile. So, again, we blame you.

America would have been much better off today without the breed of Conservative Republicans we’ve seen over the last 4 years. All of the troubles faced by the majority of Americans today, including the weak economy, home foreclosures, job losses, high gas prices, rising food prices, out-of-control health care expenses, shrinking salaries – all are the direct result of stubborn, ideologically-blinded and inflexible Republicans in the House and Senate. We blame you.

the Cause of Violence in America – Uncertainty

Dear Congressman –

I hear a lot of talk about the “cause” of gun violence and the reasons behind the disturbing crimes against innocents being committed around our country. Without any research I feel sure that there have been more of these crimes in the last 12 months than in the last 12 years.

I am not one who believes that the cause is the proliferation of guns. However, I would like to see better screening of gun/ammo purchasers to weed out felons and clinical “crazies”. I think the cause is somewhere in the mental health arena, but even there – the imbalance is only a symptom of a greater, more pervasive problem.

I believe the real cause is the unrelenting uncertainty – economic and political – created by the dysfunction we see in the Federal Government. I believe that the gridlock created by the constant – and sometimes hysterical – posturing by Republicans is quite literally making Americans violent.

It seems that almost every day there is another straight-forward government function being blocked by some indignant Conservative. Whether it’s the President making an appointment to his cabinet, funding for FEMA for emergency relief, dealing with the nation’s long term financial commitments to elders and veterans, almost ANY issue effecting the running of the country – Republican members of the House bring an inflexibility to the table that frustrates the process, and wears down the patience of citizens. This frustration is festering in our psyche. It is infecting our dinner conversations, our work place interactions – indeed every situation is charged with it. I am not surprised that some people are acting out horrendous crimes.

Almost every day I hear some financial reporter use the phrase “the markets reacted negatively to the failure of Congress to arrive at an agreement on…” fill in the blank.
I often hear about businesses not making investments or hiring because of the uncertainty in the marketplace. “Uncertainty” has become a constant companion for Americans and it wears on the nerves. When I look at the issues and the players I conclude that the inability (or stubborn unwillingness) of Congress to work with the President and reach compromise is the root of this uncertainty. And it is conservative Republicans who are unabashedly refusing to compromise. Therefore – THEY are the job killers. THEY are keeping America unemployed. THEY are causing the ongoing mass frustration that is resulting in mass murders.

Add to this the minute-by-minute conspiracy theorists, shrill pundits and news-spinning journalists filling the air waves, and we have a pervasive atmosphere of rage – being sown in the name of Conservatism. I know you can’t control Rush or FOX.
But please use your influence to insert some gray area into the black-and-white positions being used to approach every issue. Please be the voice of reason and do what you can to move things forward. We need decisions. We need policies. We need some relief from this uncertainty and frustration. I believe it is making us unstable.

Respectfully

the Koch lies begin – Big Oil’s Agenda

During elections you expect a little off-the-cuff rant by some guy with a blog. But the Koch brother will spend millions to lie to you over and over. They do it as a diabolical smear scheme to confuse and weaken the resolve of America’s voters. They know that most voters are too busy to follow up to get facts. The Koch brothers believe that we are all fucking stupid morons who will accept any lie that is told to us often enough.

Turn back the clock on women’s rights.

This video on YouTube recalls some of his opinions, points out some of his “bed-fellows” and ways that Romney can turn back the clock on heath care and workplace rights that women have fought so hard for. This is the best the Republicans have to offer?

The most frightening thing to me here is that it’s not just the White House at stake. It’s governor’s offices, the Senate and House that could be over run by narrow minded, backward thinking Conservatives.

Conservative! The new “C” word.

Between refusing to take a stance on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, saying he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, and advocating the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Mitt Romney is pushing extreme positions that jeopardize women’s health and economic security.

Take a look at how radical Romney is on important issues, and what’s at stake for women this year.

Is the War on Drugs a gateway drug?

Let me be straight right now. Having pot be as illegal as it is just pisses me off.  And I think most Americans agree that it should be de-criminalized – if not made legal outright.  The “War on Drugs” is not working and I think partially because the enforcers are spread too thin wiping up potheads.  It has been and continues to be a waste of money with an extremely low ROI.

Is pot a gateway?  If you consider that you can only get it by dealing with a criminal element who can gradually make stronger drugs available – yeah – it’s a gateway.  But if I could buy my pot at the local liquor store or neighborhood church, I would be subject to THEIR gradually desensitizing influence.  Part of what makes marijuana a gateway is its illegal status.

Am I satisfied with the direction America is going?

That’s a question I see often on polls, like today from Political.com (non-partisan?). I’m always torn as to how to answer because I know my answer will be used to paint a picture of the citizenry. That’s what we want from Polls BTW. We want Polls to question individuals, batch answers together and then use them to paint a broad stroke picture of what we are ALL thinking. I like polls – especially when they agree with me.

Remember that last statement, and repeat it while staring in a mirror, as I continue my tirade.

The question “are you satisfied with the direction America is going?” might just as easily be based upon their assumption that I believe Barack Obama is the only one setting America’s direction. I know that is not true. Not when the conservative opposition places such a premium on Supreme Court appointments, Senate and House elections, etc. Not when an entire news network is spouting conservative dogma 24/7. The President is certainly pulling in one direction but with all the mammoth forces pulling the other way – the “direction America is going” is not so simple to discern.

This particular question about the “direction” is annoying because its always accompanied by a 1-to-5 range for responses or a Yes/No choice, and that leads to answers that can be used to feed both sides of an argument – which means the results are kind of meaningless. It’s the wrong question for a 1-to-5 or up-or-down response. Or at least it is phrased in such a way as to yield meaningless results. Here’s how I would like to have the opportunity to respond.

 

I am NOT satisfied with the direction America is going when there is a political climate where educated people are called snobs, where the scientific method is called trickery, and where facts can be silenced with money while people suffer and die in ignorance.

I am not satisfied when one political party’s passionately stated strategy for a better future is simply to defeat the incumbent.

I am NOT satisfied with the direction America is going because some nimrod with a do-or-die “tax pledge” holds such powerful sway over the government process that perpetual gridlock and public exclusion is guaranteed. I can’t help thinking that Grover’s extortion of Congress rings of a tactic used by the Taliban. If you are a “devout” believer you must enforce the policy no matter what. Of course the Taliban Norquist's extortion is similar to the Taliban's.are evoking eternal ideals with heavenly rewards and punishment but the implication is the same. If you do not absolutely and eternally adhere to the policy, we we will destroy you. Grover has succeeded in branding the R’s as 2 dimensional tax-haters whose doctrine is based on the actions of a President who raised taxes 11 times. So – what’s good for the goose was not good for the Gipper. But we’ll be coming around with our sabres to cut off the careers of anyone who dares consort with infidels. I am very dissatisfied with the direction they are taking America.

I am not satisfied with a political discourse that is fraught with distortions and half-truths. I recently heard, during a televised news conference by a man purportedly qualified to lead America that the day after his 2nd inauguration Barak Obama will declare war on the Catholic Church? This from a twice divorced man whose addiction to hyperbole is costing him his credibility as a candidate – again.

I am not satisfied with America being taken in a direction that is chosen by a few wealthy individuals. My suspicion – and this may be nothing more than fiction – is that some Americans are being duped, bought and sold by a wealthy minority then thrust into a cause that inevitably weakens their own rights. Surely the people who shout down speakers at Town Meetings can’t believe that their life will improve if tax policy were to starve Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to death. Surely they know that the funding that keeps their wafer thin ideal of fair government alive comes from magnates who relish the idea of a populace without government protections from the abuses of profit mongering corporations. Can the Libertarians be so naive to think that their fight for “Liberty” will not leave them with little more than “just enough to get by”. These people who scream for “Freedom” forget that “Justice” can easily be sacrificed in their utopia – reserved for those who can pay for it. While they cry for “individual freedom” they so conveniently forget that it is only through Unity that we remain strong and that the resulting Plutocracy is not Democracy.

I’m not satisfied with the way things are going because I see the idea of perfect “individual freedom” being sold as a solution for a problem that individuals don’t have. A solution being sold by people/organizations/entities who can afford to live isolated and insulated from almost any societal problem, revolution or disaster. People who can afford to incite individuals to disrupt progress by making them believe they have no freedom.

Its just more proof to me that wealthy conservatives have a vested interest in keeping society at large uneducated and antagonistic towards government – unless that government is itself conservative and friendly toward the wealthy. At that point, anyone who is antagonistic to the government can just be dismissed as “unpatriotic”.

The wealthy can buy whatever influence they need to gain more influence so that they can increase their wealth. To hell with “by the people, for the people”. What annoys me is that the grassroots people don’t see how they are being purchased and sent to protest for something they think is good for them – when it won’t be good for them at all. Ultimately it’s only good for the people paying them to protest. Ironically the protest is for something the people already had – against someone who wasn’t trying to take it from them. Around and around we go – and I am not satisfied with that direction.

I’m certainly not satisfied with the hysterical clamor and media frenzy being lavished upon these crazy, two-faced mobs. The same people who are now calling the free distribution of birth control pills an “attack on religious freedom” were protesting against the building of a Mosque in New York City. The same people who coined the phrase “soft on terrorism” decry every method for stopping terrorist attacks on aviation as intrusive and Unconstitutional. These same people who SAY they want to discover and destroy enemies with secret agendas and secret memberships insist the discoveries be made without disrupting anyone’s privacy. The people behind this push-me-pull-you mentality want us to believe that they are wise, righteous and deserving of our support. I think they are creating these insane, knee-jerk disruptions as distractions so that they can help take the country in the wrong direction.

The same people who cry “get the government out of our lives” want to make laws that prevent women from making choices about their own health and futures. They justify this high-brow high-ground by televising discussions on the subject of women’s choices and health issues by employing a panel of 12 men. This is what passes for intelligence in the conservative realm.

In my mind – conservatives in power don’t give a shit about social issues. They don’t care about the Church, Gays or abortion or anything the drone at the convention cares about. Conservatives in power only think about getting more power so they can take this country in what I believe is the wrong direction.

The same people who stamp their feet insisting on freedom of speech use that freedom to read from a list of one-sided conservative talking points dictated by a political strategist. So they are really exercising their handler’s freedom of speech. These people, by the way, work for a guy whose first fortune came from British tabloid news and who now leads an organization being exposed for bribery and phone tapping. They have the freedom to speak and I have the freedom to consider the source.

I am not satisfied with taking America backwards.

Not good enough?

<a href="http://www.barackobama.com/jobsrecord/embed” title=”Jobs report” target=”_blank”>

Check out this interactive chart that graphically depicts the jobs numbers since December 2007. Hey wait a minute! Obama wasn’t in charge then (and probably isn’t fully in charge now – but I digress)! Why go back to 2007? For contrast. It makes a good chart.

But there are those who piss me off by saying it’s not good enough. It may not be good enough but no other politician could have done better without dismantling something else. Obama kept the whole show going. 2 wars, and a military action in Libya for good measure, get the auto industry on it’s feet, keep Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid intact. He did it all. And THAT makes this good enough AND some.

To get all of Obama’s claims read the entire page from his personal page.

Why must I Submit?

I just finished a bill paying session with my Credit Union. I’m a lifer with this outfit – love their service, their stability and their new website. There is one thing that galls me though – and it’s not just my credit union – its most websites where you fill out a form or perform a transaction.

Think back to the last time you were filling out a form to pay a bill or buy something online. You fill in name, address, etc and at the end of this list of information there is the inevitable button that will allow you to move to the next step. It says “SUBMIT”. I get uncomfortable for that second. Why must it say “SUBMIT”. That’s not a nice thing to say to someone under any circumstances. Here I am as a customer or a member and you’re telling me I have to submit?

First of all – “Submit” is a long-standing web development name for a button. There are actually 2 Form buttons that come “standard” with any HTML Authoring or WYSIWYG software. SUBMIT and RESET. But just as standard is the ability to use a different word on the button. It takes the web-guy a second to change the display on the button. And the sky is the limit. It may still be a button that RESETs the page but you could have it say “Start Over”. Isn’t that much nicer? Friendlier? More polite?

When it comes to “SUBMIT” I get a little queasy every time. I feel like if I click the button I will be automatically admitting that the website is a superior force. Or that I’m consenting to undergo a treatment of some kind. Or that my list of information is being offered for judgement by some authority organization. It’s not a pleasant thought – submitting.

I’m at a retail website – Ticketmaster for example. I’m looking for an event, then selecting a ticket. They already have a timer on – “You must complete this transaction in 3 minutes or you will lose your tickets and have to start over”. And then – after you pick your seats, enter payment information, you beat the clock – the Master of Tickets says SUBMIT! How about “Thank You” or “Continue with your purchase” or even just “Next Step” or “Finished”. Why must I Submit like I’m making an argument in court. “I submit, your honor, that I completed the purchase within the required time and I should be judged deserving of my tickets.”

Its just one of those things. Don’t these web developers have any sense of what their asking? Don’t they have any imagination? Do they think people will be confused if they used another word or phrase? I know there are some thick headed people around, but Submit is such a demeaning term. And it doesn’t really tell me what’s going to happen when I click the button. Do I go to another part of the page? Another step in the transaction? Do I fall to my knees in submission?

I just want to go on record as saying that the Submit button must go. All you web designers and form designers are on notice. I will criticize you until you submit to my wishes. There! How do YOU like it.