Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category


Rick Santorum seems to have forgotten about – or perhaps has never heard of – the American dream. Read this statement:

Barrack Obama wants every child in America to have the chance to go to college. What snobbery!

Snobbery? What is that all about? Since when is it snobbery to want your child to go to college?

Oh, and let us not forget, lest we lose sight of what this statement really indicates from Santorum. Rick Santorum obtained an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a law degree degree from the Dickinson School of Law. Hypocrite much, Rick, old buddy?

I would be willing to place bets that all of Santorum’s children either have, are, or will be attending college. And to me, this is where the hypocrisy comes in: It’s important for his kids to go to college. That’s normal. That’s not snobbery. But when it’s a low-income kid, it’s suddenly snobbery if that kid wants to go to college.

The American dream, Mr. Santorum. To have a good job with a decent wage, to own your own home, and for your children to look forward to doing better than you did.

Apparently, the American dream, to Rick Santorum, is just snobbery unless it applies to those who can afford far more than the average working family.


Read Full Post »

Christians, Just Shut Up

For a small variety of reasons, I have been devoting some time to thoughts of God and religion lately. I’ve noticed, not for the first time time, that almost without exception, each denomination of the Christian faith, as well as the Muslim faith, and some others, all claim that theirs is the only valid belief set regarding religion.

Now, we know that they can’t all be right. As I said, there are some exceptions to this phenomenon – Buddhists, Native Americans, Wiccans etc., seem to have the ability to fully accept the beliefs of others without judgment.

And the denominations that seem to be the most intolerant of other faiths? Radical Muslims, and Christians. Yes, yes I did – I lumped Christians in with radical Muslims, at least in terms of the ability to be tolerant of other faiths.

I have a feeling that this is going to spawn some hate mail for me, but who cares?

What this attitude comes down to, really, is at best arrogance – in the sense that these people claim to “know” the will of God; at worst, it is blasphemy, for the same reason. The bible, and in particular the King James bible, is a translation that has been, you’ll pardon my expression, fucked with until it probably bears little, if any resemblance to the original writings upon which it is based.

All of these students of the bible – and I’m talking now about the bible thumping, arrogant morons who try to shove their beliefs down the throats of everyone that they come into contact with – do not have the ability to speak with any kind of knowledge about the bible, because they are incapable of reading the original writings that the bible is based on. Unless you can do that, then you’re talking out of that little orifice nestled between the cheeks of your butt.

Furthermore, these people absolutely refuse to even listen to the beliefs of others, because they “know,” based upon their very limited knowledge of the bible, that their point of view is correct, and no one else has a valid opinion.

I have little to no use for the Catholic church, however, there is one thing that I agree with them on. While they do not prohibit their members from reading the bible, they highly discourage it. Why? Because the average person is not equipped with the knowledge to properly interpret what they are reading.

Guess what? Probably 90% of the so called Christians you’ll ever meet don’t have that knowledge, either.

So do me a favor, all of you so called, self-labeled Christians: Until you actually know what you’re talking about, shut the hell up and stay out of my face. I don’t try to shove my non-Christian beliefs down your throat, please show me the same courtesy. Just shut up, stop criticizing my beliefs, and get out of my face.

I’ll risk hell. I don’t think God will condemn me to hell for not being a Christian.

He may send you there, though, for being an un-Christ-like little twit.

Read Full Post »

On Foreign Policy

Since announcing that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year, Barrack Obama has, for all intents and purposes, ended that war – or at least, America’s involvement in it. While this should be a cause for celebration among all Americans, it seems that the Republicans simply cannot find it within themselves to give him credit. Instead, they are calling him foolish, saying that this is a premature action to take.

Since the end of the Cold War, Republicans have not been happy unless this nation is at war somewhere in the world. While we are still involved in Afghanistan, this apparently isn’t enough to satisfy them – perhaps because Obama is in the process of trying to reduce our involvement there, as well.

It seems that the Republicans are going to be left floundering during this election campaign, because really, all they have left to say about Obama’s foreign policy record is that they think the war in Iraq should last longer. Well, with the single exception of Ron Paul, who isn’t, as far as I can tell, in much danger of actually gaining the Republican nomination.

Let’s think about it for a moment. Since taking office, Obama has authorized the killing of a band of Somali pirates, Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and played an instrumental role in taking out Qadaffi. To paraphrase Bill Maher, this is one badass president when it comes to fighting terrorists.

It would seem, at least to me, that the war on terror is effectively over, and that we’ve won. What’s left is pretty disorganized.

Remember how the right attacked Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience during the last presidential election campaign? I think he’s pretty much proven them wrong. So wrong, in fact, that at least one of them, Mitt Romney, has been reduced to uttering complete fabrications. Romney has stated that if elected, he will reverse “Obama’s massive defensive cuts.”

Excuse me?

Under Obama, defense spending has increased, not decreased. His first year in office, the defense budget was $594 billion. Last year, the defense budget was $666 billion. And next year, he wants to increase it further, to over $700 billion. I disagree with that idea, but that’s not the point. The point is that it seems the Republicans feel they can simply lie and get away with it.

They think we’re stupid. And Mitt Romney is a bald-faced liar. If Obama’s foreign policy record says anything, it says that he’s been very, very effective as the commander-in-chief.

And speaking of being weak in the area of foreign policy, the only thing Romney has had to offer regarding Afghanistan is to form a committee to study what we should do. How very decisive of him.

Obama has been so effective, at least in part, in our ongoing military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan for one reason: He does not have to ask for Republican permission to act. There can be no obstructionism on this front, and so, he is able to accomplish the goals that he sets to bring about an end to our country being at war.

Can you imagine what he may have been able to accomplish domestically if he didn’t have to face the kind of obstructionism that Republicans have set up? We might well have a single-payer health care system, or at least a public option. We might well be on our way to a faster economic recovery.

And not one Republican has stepped forward to give this president credit for any of the things that he’s been able to do. Again borrowing from Bill Maher, it’s as though there’s some sort of hidden Republican clitoris, and they won’t let him find it. Every time he tries, they say, “No, that’s not it.” A crude analogy, perhaps, but pretty damned accurate, in my opinion. They simply can’t bring themselves to give him credit for anything that he does right.

And they have the nerve to attack his foreign policy decisions. I only have one question:

A committee? Really, Mitt?

Read Full Post »

I heard an interesting statement come out of Herman Cain this afternoon. In an interview on CNN, John Anderson asked Cain how “President Cain” would deal with the problem of illegal immigration in the United States. I’m not going to focus on the topic itself – I’m not in the mood to try to dissect and analyze our illegal immigrant situation here.

However, during the exchange, Cain said that he would put the power back with the states, and let them do what the federal government has not done. When asked why he would do it that way, Cain said, in part, “Because I trust the government.” The implication is that he trusts all governments in the U.S., which would mean that he also trusts the federal government.

“Because I trust the government.”

If you trust the government, then by default, you trust the elected officials who are in charge of that government. Herman Cain may not be a career politician, but the above statement gave me pause. I can only think of three ways to describe someone who actually trusts the government, and the people who are running it. You are either extremely naive; incredibly stupid; or a flat out liar.

Okay, so there’s a fourth way to describe you: You are a politician.

I don’t consider Herman Cain to be naive. You don’t run a business as large as Godfather’s Pizza for the length of time that Cain was CEO if you’re naive. He also doesn’t strike me as being stupid – for the same reason. So, this brings me to the sticky part.

Cain is showing himself to be either a liar, or a man who is learning the fine art of political rhetoric, which basically boils down to telling people what they want to hear.

“Because I trust the government.”

When people begin to place too much trust in their own government, the situation becomes ripe for all kinds of negative results. Just ask the people of Germany. They trusted Adolph Hitler initially. He was seemingly putting the economy back on track, jobs were being created, highways being built. After the long years that followed World War I and the despicable Versailles Treaty, he must have seemed like their Messiah.

But eventually, the German people learned something.

Once a society has given its government unlimited power, that government will – not if, but will – eventually use that power against its own people. Or, as the cliche says, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I’m going to blaspheme here, and tell you that I don’t even trust Barrack Obama completely. I trust him a lot more than I do most other politicians I’ve listened to and followed, but I do not have implicit, unwavering trust in him. I cannot, because he is a career politician, and part of his job is to tell me what I want to hear. I am proud of having voted for him, and I intend to vote for him again.

But he is a politician. I will never completely trust him. While I trust him far more than the majority of our elected officials, and believe him to be a basically honest man at heart, I will never give him or any other politician my complete trust.

While seeking out some interesting little tidbits that I might be able to use in writing this, I stumbled on this little gem:

“Why should the Government be trusted or not be trusted?”

It should be trusted because it is a democratic institution and directly answerable to the people.

It should not be trusted because representatives may be corrupt, it can use false information to mislead people into voting against their best interests, it can persecute minorities with the approval of the majority, and because it has all the flaws of the average voter.

A good system of checks and balances and an informed, rational electorate are important safeguards against bad government.

I really don’t think I can add anything to that statement. I found this at, of all places, Yahoo Answers. Will wonders never cease?

Representatives “may be corrupt?” I think it might be more accurate to say, at least in our present society, that the vast majority of our federal representatives are corrupt. Yes, I’m comfortable saying that. When corporate entities are designated as “persons” for the purposes of political contributions, corruption is absolutely inevitable.

Governments “can use” false information? When, over the past fifty years, at a minimum, have you known of our government NOT using false information? Does anyone remember the USA Patriot Act? I do, and I still shudder in fear when I stop to think about the power that it gave our government officials.

Government “can persecute minorities,” with at least the tacit approval of the majority? When, in this country, have minorities not been the victims of persecution? Even “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a form of persecution. Quiet and crafty, but it was persecution no matter how you look at it.

“Because I trust the government.”

Where has Herman Cain been for the past two years? We have watched our elected government officials do everything in their power to stop this president at all costs, no matter what the man may propose. We have watched our government betray us at almost every turn. We have watched our officials acting like schoolyard bullies at every turn. We have watched our elected government officials, in the face of the absolutely undeniable facts about what the majority of the American do or do not want, utterly ignore those facts, and proceed to tell us a completely different version of what it is that we want.

But Herman Cain trusts our government.

I’m sorry, Mr. Cain. I cannot trust a man who is either that naive, that ignorant, or that much of a politician. For me, the word “politician” is a synonym for the word “liar.” I’ll trust them to a point, but only as far as I would trust anyone that I know is not honest.

An honest man doesn’t stand a chance in government these days.

Just look at Barrack Obama…

Read Full Post »

Cutting Entitlements

According to the Oxford English Dictionaries, an “entitlement” is:

Entitlement: noun

the fact of having a right to something:
full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered
you should be fully aware of your legal entitlements

the amount to which a person has a right:
annual leave entitlement

And according to Wordsmyth, the word “entitlement” is derived, obviously, from the word “entitle,” which for our purposes is defined as:

Entitle: verb

to give a right or legal claim to.
You are not entitled to the proceeds of the sale.
Are we entitled to freedom?

Let’s talk for a few moments about entitlements. I keep hearing a lot of buzz about entitlements, and how we need to cut the levels of spending on these programs to help stave off an economic disaster. When talk of entitlements begins, the three programs that immediately come to mind are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

I’m not the first person who has tread along the path I’m about to follow, but, I don’t recall ever hearing or reading anything that uses the word “entitlements” when talking about something other than Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

I am happy to announce that I have, single-handedly, solved the debt crisis in America. I have also made sure that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will never have to be touched. Nor will educational programs. Nor will housing programs. Hell, we can even afford to give every man, woman, and child in the United States free health care. Okay, so it wasn’t a solo job – I had some help around the web. Be that as it may…

All we have to do is get strong, and cut out the entitlements that no one ever calls “entitlements.”

I’m talking about corporate welfare. Tax incentives for big business, to use a tired out old euphemism. But, by definition (remember, “to give a right or legal claim to”), these incentives are nothing more than entitlements. So, let’s look at those entitlements, shall we?

I’m going to go out on a limb here. There is no fiscal crisis. There really is not. Or, there wouldn’t be, if we could force our lawmakers to cut out the two trillion dollars in corporate welfare. Yes, you read that correctly. Two trillion dollars, with a “T.” So, where does it go?

Well, I’m going to show you where it goes. I’ also going to show you just how much money this country could save if we could simply get the corporate welfare queens off the government teat.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2015: $80 Billion. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, oil companies will receive $80 billion in tax breaks and incentives. This, to an industry that recorded more than $855 billion dollars in profits over the past decade. Do they really need these tax breaks? Really?

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2015: $199 Billion. The deferral of taxes on income of U.S. controlled corporations abroad has to end. Our government rails at industry for shipping jobs overseas, and then gives those same companies who are shipping the jobs out – I hope you’re ready for this – $199 billion in tax deferrals, according to an estimate by Citizens for Tax Justice. Wait, Mr. President – I thought we were supposed to encourage companies to keep jobs here? Why are we rewarding them for sending jobs out of the country? Personally, if you’re serious about creating jobs, I would take the opposite tack – penalize the hell out of any corporation that ships jobs overseas.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2020: $550 Billion. The Sustainable Defense Task Force states that weapons research, development, and procurement activities “now routinely cost taxpayers over $200 billion a year. Procurement costs are up 110% in real terms since 2000. Setting aside war-related expenditures, DoD ‘peacetime’ spending on research, development, and procurement has increased 75% in real terms.” According to the Task Force, this estimate focuses on cuts that reasonably have a “corporate welfare” component, primarily weapons systems that don’t work and/or aren’t needed to fight an enemy that does not exist. Yes, I did indeed say it: Cut the freakin’ military budget, already.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2015: $141 Billion. Citizens for Tax Justice states that accelerated depreciation on equipment can result in a very low, or even negative, tax rate on profits from a particular investment.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2020: $52 Billion. Small, family-run farms are disappearing. Trust me, I live in a farm state, and they’re pretty much a thing of the past. Instead, we now have factory farms, run by huge “Agri-businesses.” Cutting subsidies to Agribusiness wuld both help to sustain the family farm, as well as saving the taxpayers over $52 Billion. Taxpayers for Common Sense

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2015: $76.7 Billion. According to a Citizens for Tax Justice estimate, this is the amount of money we could save if we were to end this corporate tax deduction that provides virtually no benefit to the economy and is blatant corporate welfare.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2015: $24.2 Billion. The legal method of “cooking the books” known as Last In, First Out (LIFO), must be prohibited. This is legal fraud. Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that we could save $24.2 Billion over the next four years by ending this accounting practice, which companies use to hide their true profits.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2022: $650 Billion. Wall Street receives indirect corporate welfare/subsidies via a regulatory system and infrastructure investment for which it pays virtually nothing. the Congressional Progressive Caucus estimates that some $650 Billion could be saved by encating a very tiny Derivatives & Specualtion tax.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2021: $70.9 Billion. By imposing a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee on the largest banks as a repayment of the corporate welfare extended via bank bailouts for financial crisis, which was precipitated by those banks to begin with. The Congressional Professional Congress estimates that his is worth $70.9 Billion to the American people.

Potential Savings – 2011 – 2020: $50 Billion. According to estimates based on figures by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D, New York), We could cut $5 Billion in spending every year by eliminating this tax break to drug companies, a break given to help pay the cost of direct-to-consumer advertising. Think about that – we are paying the drug companies so that they can advertise to us.

Potential Savings – 2012 – 2021: $157.9 Billion. The Congressional Progressive Caucus states that barring the government from negotiating Medicare prescription drug prices is just an indirect corporate subsidy. The government must be allowed to negotiate these prices.

So, there you have it. Do the math, folks. I did, and I came up with a total savings by the year 2022 – eleven years from now – of $2,049,027,000,000. I want to put that in words rather than digits, because I think it might have more of an impact. That is two trillion, 49 billion, 27 million dollars.

Debt crisis solved.

You see, all of those things listed above, in some sense of the word, can be quite correctly labeled as entitlements. But I don’t hear much about cutting them. Perhaps now that I’ve laid them all out so conveniently, someone will find some common sense.

And now, returning to reality…

None of these things will be cut. We all know it. This is the ultimate government betrayal.

They have had their way with us. They didn’t bother with dinner or a movie, they didn’t ask for our consent, and when we said, “Stop!” they refused to listen.

Welcome to America.

Read Full Post »

Is It Time For Armed Revolt?

I don’t know about you, but I’m angry. Deep down, to the very core of my being angry. No one in Washington – not Republicans, not Democrats, not Independents – can seem to rise above their urge to continue acting like a gang of elementary school children, and get to work. Not even the man I placed so much hope and faith in during the 2008 Presidential elections can seem to take a firm stand on anything that needs to be done.

I’m not alone in my anger. According to a CNN poll, fully 80% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way that government is going about supposedly taking care of business. All of them – every single, self-serving, self-righteous, hypocritical moron we’ve elected into office is doing nothing to get this country back on the road to recovery. And yes, at this moment, I’m lumping Obama into the category of moron. He doesn’t seem able to take a firm stand – and face down the Republicans – on any issue. Even Dubyah managed to do that, though he was dragging the country to its knees in the process.

Periodically, we hear conservatives and the right wing religious nuts get all fired up about the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. I’m not going to debate who’s right and who’s wrong. Not being a hunter, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about our gun laws. But I know this much: One of the reasons – perhaps the most important reason – that the second amendment was put into place was to help the citizens of this country to protect themselves from their own government, should the need ever arise.

Do we need protection from our own government at this point in time?

You bet your ass we do.

I’m going to turn my anger towards the segment of our population who actually takes the time to do their civic duty, and takes part in our electoral process. You are the freaking idiots who decided that we needed to put the reins on this president, and vote out most of the people who might actually have helped him to accomplish something. You are the people who voted into office a bunch of ultra-conservative, fundamentalist-backed Republicans – some of whom, I’d imagine, still think that Obama is a foreign-born Muslim – who are now refusing to listen, or to give damn, about what you and I and the rest of the citizens of this country want them to do.

Thank you so very much for that…

We are facing a major crisis in this country. I’ve come to the conclusion that America is standing at a crossroad, and what takes place over the next few months has the potential to either help us get back on track, or utterly destroy us. And what are our elected officials doing about this crisis? They are standing defiantly, pointing their fingers at one another, calling one another names, and even though they are all aware of what the people of this country want, they honestly – forgive my language – don’t give a fuck. Make no mistake – these people know what their constituents want. They simply don’t care.

What they do care about is playing politics as usual. They care about retaining their power in government. They care about advancing the cause of their wealthiest contributors, which include the largest corporate entities on the planet. As for you and I, frankly, I don’t believe that a single one of them gives a damn what happens to us, so long as they continue to hold on to their political power, and the money that pours into their coffers from the wealthiest individuals and businesses.

I say, it’s time to take this country back. And while I do not encourage anyone to enter into any kind of armed conflict, the longer that this situation continues, the more possible that scenario becomes.

Sometimes, governments need to be thrown out, so that a country can start fresh. I think it’s time that we toss these hypocritical, lying, thieving, dishonest and corrupt losers out of office, every last one of them. And if it takes force to do that, then so be it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m near the end of my rope. If it gets any worse, I fear I’ll be left with two options: Armed revolt, or renounce my citizenship, and leave this pit of corruption and indifference forever. And since I’m not much of a fighter, I’ll leave the armed revolt to those who have the skills to carry it out.

I’ll watch from somewhere beyond the borders of what was once the greatest nation on earth.

Read Full Post »

So, I saw a commercial this morning that’s railing against the idea of taxing certain food items. Please note that I’m using the word “food” very loosely here. I’ll explain that in a moment.

The commercial, which is paid for by a group called Americans Against Food Taxes, features a woman in the grocery store complaining about the once-proposed taxes on some foods. Known as the “fat tax,” it targeted, basically, junk food. It’s important to note that this tax is no longer being considered on the national level, though some states are still contemplating it. In the commercial, a two-liter bottle of soda is placed in the woman’s cart, and then shown again, in a close up, as she starts to check out her groceries. Here’s the commercial:

Now, here’s what bothers me about this commercial. First, the actress states:

“…trying to control what we eat and drink with taxes. Give me a break! I can decide what to buy without government help.”

Can you? Really? Statistics would tell us that in fact you can’t. More than one third of American children are overweight or obese. Did you catch that number? One third – as in 33% – of the kids in the United States are overweight or obese. Almost every expert on the planet will tell you that this is the result of the kinds of foods kids eat and a lack of adequate exercise. As a nation of adults who grew up on fast food now begins to have children of their own, more and more junk food is being stuffed into the mouths of kids who are more and more overweight.

So, please don’t tell me that parents can make responsible decisions about what their kids are going to eat. Too often, it’s completely out of their hands; if it’s not, then too often those parents give in to the whining and let their kids demand to be fed a diet that consists primarily of utter crap. If taxing that garbage will help cut down on how much of it kids consume, then I’m all for it. We already tax tobacco and alcohol because of health issues, so why not junk food? It makes sense to me.

After seeing the commercial, I decided to go and take a look at the group’s web site. A couple of things became glaringly clear to me. Remember, the food item focused on in the commercial was a bottle of soda. When you visit the site, this is one of the first bits of reading material that greets you:

Our coalition members are doing their part, too. Beverage companies have cut calories from beverages available in schools by 88 percent by removing full-calorie soft drinks and replacing them with lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverage choices. They have also committed to placing new labels clearly listing calories on the front label of their beverages. Not to mention they are producing fewer total beverage calories for the marketplace through the innovation of more no- and low-calorie beverages. From 1998-2008, industry cut the total beverage calories it brought to market by 21 percent.

Visit the web site by clicking HERE

So, guess what? A little more digging for facts, which aren’t exactly concealed on the website (How many people actually read those “About Us” links on a web site?), turns this up:

The group [Americans Against Food Taxes] is spearheaded by the American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of sodas and other drinks. According to Advertising Age, the American Beverage Association decided to form the coalition in June 2009, when the idea of taxing sodas and other sweet beverages was being considered as a way to fund the Democratic health care bill. The coalition includes dozens of members, including 7-Eleven, Inc., Burger King Corp., Domino’s Pizza, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, McDonalds, the National Association of Convenience Stores, Snack Food Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc.

From Politifact.com – read the full article by clicking HERE

You’ll forgive me if I tend to be cynical about the motives of these companies. They are profit driven; the health of the people who consume the crap that they produce really doesn’t enter into their business model, except when it might affect those profits. I mean, please – are you shitting me? McDonald’s as a champion of healthy eating by kids? Yeah, and I was abducted by aliens last night who performed all sorts of interesting and invasive experiments on me before returning me to my bed this morning.

I’m not a fan of having to pay more taxes, believe me. Let’s face it, though, if something isn’t done to stop the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country, the long-term costs are going to be a whole lot more expensive than the couple of percentage points in taxes that might be placed on junk food. Bluntly – and harshly, I admit – parents need to grow a pair. They need to get firm: “No, you cannot have a Happy Meal for dinner again. Now, be quiet and eat your broccoli!”

Unfortunately, it seems that the parents of 33% of our children just can’t find it in themselves to do that. Until they do, perhaps the government needs to step in and make them pay for it.

If you’re going to neglect your kids to that extent – and I do consider it to be, at the very least, neglect – then you deserve whatever price you have to pay for your inaction.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »