Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Another Massacre

I will say that life gets very frustrating from time to time. It sometimes feels as though I'm standing on a mountain, futilely screaming at the top of my lungs. No one hears me. No one cares. They don't want to listen to what I say... I know a few too many truths that people aren't ready for. I know things that make people look bad.

No, I'm not going on an ego trip.

The attack by Adam Lanza has saturated every bit of news in every way. Some are scared. What's stopping this from happening to their kids? Others cry for the cameras... it's a photo-op. They use it to push their agendas, and to shout anyone down to cowering shame who tries to stop their agendas.

When Columbine happened, my high school banned wearing too much black. I suppose they somehow figured that it would prevent another such attack. It was easier than actually addressing any of the real problems, though.

There are always scapegoats... and make no mistake, blaming guns is no different than blaming music or entertainment, video games, lack of religion, lack of beating the crap out of kids. It's all the same.

If you actually give a rat's ass about preventing such incidents in the future... forget the damned scapegoats. Forget trying to appease the opportunists - they don't fucking deserve it.

Instead, look closer to the attacker. What would motivate someone to do this? Was he abused? If so, I doubt we'll ever hear about it... while I do support single moms, I also know from personal experience that there are some who get a lot more praise than they deserve. Was he bullied? Good chance of it. Again though, nobody is likely to come forward with such info. Anyone try to reach out to him? Of course, a lot of people will say they did. And who the hell neglected to pay attention to his cries for help beforehand?

Oh, what's that? People say there weren't any cries for help? Seems to me that he was rather twitchy and isolated. Are those not cries for help? How did those around him respond to him? Gossiping, calling him creepy? Circulating some rumors? You know, I recall those who knew him saying they weren't really surprised. Did they stand and gawk? Do you really think that someone goes on a suicidal rampage without making a few cries for help first?

None of that justifies what he did. Were I there, I would have put him down myself. What I'm pointing out is what the opportunists are ignoring. No, no... nothing to see here. Just keep focused on those scary guns. Don't pay any attention to the man behind the guns. He's such a great guy to give the anti-gun opportunists so much fuel, isn't he? I wonder if they are thanking god for him and the dead children much like Westboro thanks god for dead soldiers.

Who the hell am I to call out society like this? I'm one of those bullying and abuse victims. A son of a single mother who would hit me, insult me, demean me, and try to turn friends against me. One who would turn on the waterworks to sob about how she tried so hard with me, but the devil reached me through my music and the like. One who threw me under the bus to save face. One who made everyone think I was a lying brat. One who isolated me. One who made me an easy target for a molester.

I am not homicidal or anywhere near it... but I am one who slipped through the cracks and saw the grimy underside of society. That's who I am. That's why I can speak with some knowledge as to why these events happen. But again, few actually want to know. Not many people want to look inside themselves.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Let us all give a moment's silence for that delicious, slightly greasy, cream-filled sponge cake known as the Twinkie.

Yeah, I'll miss them every once in awhile.

But, as much as I believe unions are just as corrupt as those they theoretically protect us from, the blame for this does not rest on the unions. It does not rest on the 18,500 workers being laid off from Hostess.

I blame the leadership!

So... you go into a company that is supposedly already ailing, then the execs get nearly an 80% pay raise, and the CEO a 300% pay raise, and you can't afford to do jack shit for the workers? Then you blame them and the unions.

Bad leadership is easier to replace than one good, skilled worker. And this is 18,500 people out of a job because of a handful of greedy, already rich people boarding an already sinking ship and plundering it. They've got theirs, screw the workers.

So again, the rich people are whining about how they are suffering so much while they make themselves richer by screwing over the very people who got them there. Any of this sinking in yet?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tax Increase on the Wealthy

This probably won't be a long post, but I had a thought occur to me and nag at me just as I was on my way to bed after reading this article: Obama won't back down on raising taxes for the rich.

Basically, the taxes were lowered with an idea that it would "trickle-down." Doesn't seem like a bad idea, does it? Except that trickling down certainly wasn't a condition of being given said tax breaks. And the WTF moment comes when you realize that around this time, corporations were being given tax breaks for moving jobs overseas. Then it becomes very easy to question the benevolence of the tax breaks.

The deficit getting out of control the way it is can be attributed to any number of reasons. Government spending? Sure. Decrease in the value of a dollar? Why not. But, here's a big reason for you: less people are working, and more people are under-employed. Keep in mind that taxes are based on a percentage of one's income, and 15% of, say, $30,000 is less than 15% of, say, $50,000. And for the unemployed (as opposed to under-employed), 15% of 0 is 0.

But, the rich are doing just fine. They are holding onto their money and making record profits, and the stock market has done well in the recent years.

Hmm... people are profiting, but it's not making its way down to the middle class or poor, and we have a growing deficit which it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with.

Here's the deal, wealthy people: either employ more people and pay better wages so that they can share the tax burden, or pay higher taxes yourself. Pick one. The ball is in your court.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rich People Problems

So, Obama is president for another four years. Predictably, there are a bunch of blowhards talking about leaving the US, seceding from the US, or even assassination or armed Revolution. For my part, I'm happy to see him re-elected. In doing so, it's possible that we staved off an armed revolution. Romney would have continued and likely strengthened the policies that were inching us closer and closer to one.

The fact is that we are dangerously close to the same circumstances that did cause the American revolution. We probably have been closer in the past, such as perhaps in the Great Depression, or maybe before the birth of labor unions. But that doesn't change the fact now - the only thing that's changed is the people's willingness to take up arms compared to in the past. But what has also changed is how quickly and widespread information travels.

But let me go back to how close we are to the same circumstances that led to the Revolution. I've spoken before about the East India Company, and its role in the actual Boston Tea Party, and thus, in the American Revolution as a whole. To review, the East India Company had gotten so big that it pretty much owned the British monarchy. They had bought representation, had their own private armies, you name it. So, they had gotten too big for their britches and were about to crash. The monarchy took the taxes off tea from the East India Company while leaving taxes on all competitors' tea. A corporate tax break and a bailout at the cost of all smaller competitors.

Next, we have whining like this:
"People who don't have money don't understand the stress."

...and this:
Papa John's CEO says he'll cut hours in response to Obama being re-elected.
I mean, really? His own math comes out to a cost of fourteen cents per pizza. Big deal... I can dig fourteen cents out of my couch cushions. And have you seen the guy's house?
Casa de Papa John

I won't pick on Papa John too much here, partially because I do love their pizza, but mostly because he isn't the exception, he's actually a good example of the norm in corporate whining.

Call it class warfare if you want... but the fact is that in America, there weren't supposed to be any firm social classes. Remember that part about "no titles of nobility" in the Constitution? Well, we do have those again... just without the official titles. The rich are making sure they stay rich, regardless of whether they are successful or failures. And if they are failures, it's the ones under them who suffer. It's the ones below them who lose their jobs and all sense of financial security. The guy may as well have said, "you peasants don't understand our sacrifices!"

And that mentality is pervading the Republican Party right now.
A Rush Limbaugh rant.

If you're reading the news, it also seems they're trying to find new ways (or revive old ways) of keeping people who don't side with them from voting.
Supreme Court to hear challenge to the Voter Rights Act.

Scared yet? There may be good reason to be at this point, and I don't say that often.

The people have spoken decisively - we prefer Obama's approach over that of the Republicans. The Republicans don't care - they still want things done their way, and only their way. They say the common person is not educated enough to know what's best. Again, that sounds like something we'd hear from a monarchy, not a democracy (or even a representative republic). The rich are basically locking themselves into that status, as though a title of nobility, and are not downwardly mobile. Only upward. Everyone else can go up or down, and that's just capitalism. The rich ones get the bailouts and golden parachutes if they fail. The regular people just get walking orders and maybe unemployment checks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama won! But what does eet mean, man!?

Well, if you ask Fox News, it means that mainstream media (except for Fox News, of course - they're the only ones we can trust) has brainwashed us into a bunch of sheep, bleeting praises of Obama, and that it's the end of America as we know it. If you ask Rush Limbaugh, it means the rich, white men are being oppressed and all the people waiting in line for government handouts (the 47%?) tipped the scales for Obama... and oh yeah, it's the end of America as we know it.

Apparently, Wall Street feels much the same, as the stock market took a dive. I'm anticipating it to continue to dive a bit further down and bottom out for a few weeks, maybe a couple months, then start to go back up as people get tired of not making money. Keep in mind that the market was doing the best it had in a long time under Obama's watch.

Right now, think of Republicans as sullen children who refuse to play with the other kids, because the other kids won't bow to their rules. "No fair! You're cheating! I'm not playing anymore!" Much like in said scenario, the Republicans will get bored if largely ignored and start playing again. Meanwhile, I see Wall Street as a buyer's market. I bought some shares last night, actually. If you want to join in the fun, I actually use and recommend sharebuilder.com. Pretty simple and straightforward, not a lot of bullshit, and I've been using them and trusting them for years. And no, as far as I know, they're not paying me to plug them... although I quite honestly would accept it if they did.

Here's what it actually means: another four years of Obama. Some things will change - I like that he's come out in support of same-sex marriage. And he does seem to be on the right track economically, if the Republicans would stop their obstructionism. On the other hand, some things won't change. I don't like that he's kept quiet about the issues I really want him to address: things like NDAA and the Patriot Act. They need to go - sooner rather than later. But, it's not the end of the world. It wouldn't even be the end of the world if Romney was elected (although I probably would be pissed - I really don't want the fifties to make a comeback)

Obama's not perfect; I don't see him as anything resembling a messiah. But, he's a smart guy with good intentions. I'm sure Romney had good intentions too, at least from his own point of view... but as I've said, he is painfully out of touch. And it seems that the Republican party as a whole... well, any moderate voices have been drowned out by the extremists. And I'm also not saying that all who oppose Obama are racist, but I damn well know there wouldn't be this much fuss about him if he was white, or his name didn't sound middle-eastern.

Anyway, I hope that now the Republicans can settle down and actually play nice with the other side of the aisle, as they took a hell of a beating last night... but I'm not counting on it. Please, please prove me wrong, Republicans.

Of course, the other possibility is a cheerful one: people get pissed about the extremism and whining from the Republicans, they fall into third party status, and the Libertarians step up in their place. Gary Johnson 2016!!! Hey, I can dream... and it is doable.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day

While I was watching the news and Family Guy tonight, I noticed that it seemed like every single commercial was campaign stuff, back-to-back. It all followed a certain pattern: if it was local, it was about who spent the most time in the area, who grew up where, who hated/loved their hometowns, who was more corrupt. I even saw one local ad making issue of the fact the opponent had never married. That's getting rather personal and frivolous, in my opinion.

On the national level, the biggest issue of choice more predictably is the economy. I really wish I saw more about how Obama broke his promise on killing the Patriot Act... but of course, that wasn't going to be brought up by the Republicans, who introduced it and signed it into law. The ones who rightfully would make issue of it were never taken seriously by the media: the Libertarians.

Between the Democrats and Republicans, I find myself siding more with the Democrats. And ultimately, that's who I voted for (my state has early voting): Obama. Contrary to what Republicans would have us believe, he's proven himself a moderate. Perhaps too much for my liking. That's not to say I want an extreme liberal - I do not. What I want is a leader who keeps promises, stands up for what's right, and won't make the country move backwards. Obama has tried, although like I said, I'm deeply disappointed in him for the Patriot Act and NDAA.

I think I've mentioned before that the one and only reason my vote went to Obama instead of Johnson is because I want the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to have a chance to work.

Meanwhile, the Republican ads are reminding me of that one relative or frienemy that we all have. You know the one - they preach responsibility while doing every stupid and irresponsible thing you can imagine, and are probably on welfare while they do so. Nothing against welfare, but to preach responsibility while using welfare like a piggy bank... yeah. Pretty hypocritical.

You see, the Republicans have consistently increased government spending. While increasing spending, they cut taxes, particularly on the rich. This sounds nice, I guess. Work less, spend more.

That's exactly what it is. And we know as working Americans that this doesn't work. Bush started his presidency with tax rebates, tax cuts, followed by a war on two fronts, more tax cuts, and I think more rebates. That there's some "fuzzy math." And this is the party of fiscal responsibility? Really?

Come on, I like keeping my money just as much as anyone else. But, if I get a flat tire on my car, it has to be fixed, and I have to pay for it. Similarly, the government does provide services on a wide range of things. To break it down in private sector terms, the government provides security, insurance, transportation, infrastructure, etc. And as with the private sector, it's not free. Unless you want to tell a soldier why you don't think he deserves a paycheck or healthcare.

We all get several benefits from taxes that we take so much for granted that we don't even see them. And even if such benefits are pointed out to many nay-sayers, they will childishly say, "well, I don't benefit from it," or "I didn't ask for it."

Well, that's the way things work. With Hurricane Sandy, I didn't see any Republicans turning down help from the government. Even Chris Christie was happy to accept help, even going so far as to thank Obama. That took a lot of guts (and I will refrain from making a joke about Christie's ample gut... or does that in itself count as one? Damn). Of course, the more partisan Republicans (and Fox News) turned on him for doing so. But, let's be honest: these same ones that were graciously accepting help were griping about such government programs a month or so earlier. Wasn't Romney wanting to privatize and profit off emergency response stuff?

How does one profit off this? By gouging those who already lost everything?

Anyway, this is the start of election day. If you can do so, vote. Vote your conscience, and know the truth.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Voter Intimidation

Romney tells employers how to threaten employees with lay-offs if Obama wins.

Anyone else see a proposal that employers be entitled to vote on behalf of their employees in the not-to-distant future? "...but the workers don't understand what's best for them."