Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Queen Maya Angelou: And still I Rise

 Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 
Maya Angelou

The Big Gov. from New Jersey: The war on drugs is a failure

Obama &the Gov
The Urban dictionary definition of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie should read:

Be warned. He is a loud, blustering, bloviating ignoramus who insists on channeling his inner Tony Soprano.( see video )

So, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the Gov keeping it real about the War-on-drugs failure.

"The war on drugs, while well-intentioned, has been a failure," Christie said Monday during a speech at The Brookings Institution. "We're warehousing addicted people everyday in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment."

Christie stressed the merits of legislation recently passed by New Jersey state lawmakers that institutes a year of mandatory treatment for first-time, nonviolent drug offenders instead of jail time. The mandatory treatment program, slated to be put in place in at least three counties during its first year, will eventually expand statewide over the next five years.

Christie, one of the few Republican lawmakers to actively speak out against the effects of America's drug war policies, sought to put a conservative moral spin on his position. 
"If you're pro-life, as I am, you can't be pro-life just in the womb," he said. "Every life is precious and every one of God's creatures can be redeemed, but they won't if we ignore them." source
And Gov CC went on the compare/contrast treatment vs throw away the key
Perhaps to blunt conservative criticism of the cost of such a program to the state, Christie argued in favor of the economics of drug treatment over incarceration.
"It costs us $49,000 a year to warehouse a prisoner in New Jersey state prisons last year," Christie said. "A full year of inpatient drug treatment costs 24,000 a year." source
Mega kudos to Governor Chris Christie
Gov CC is nationally well respected among conservatives: his East-coast swag -- kick ass and ask questions later -- is a hit within the rank-in-file of the GOP.  And having someone of his stature (hmm... I won't go there -- pun not intended) speak bluntly and honestly about treatment over incarceration is validating.
The USA prison industry is one of our country's true top scandal that is under-reported -- meanwhile most of his party members focus on Fast & Furious scant attention is paid to this International Embarrassment of our Democracy: 
Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million - mostly Black and Hispanic - are working for various industries for a pittance. 

For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don't have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don't like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, "no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens." 

The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world's prison population, but only 5% of the world's people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners' work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself," says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being "an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps."

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. "This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors."

The Tale of Two Romneys: Both ran for president

George and Mitt Romney
By Paul Krugman of the New York Times

Once upon a time a rich man named Romney ran for president. He could claim, with considerable justice, that his wealth was well-earned, that he had in fact done a lot to create good jobs for American workers. Nonetheless, the public understandably wanted to know both how he had grown so rich and what he had done with his wealth; he obliged by releasing extensive information about his financial history

But that was 44 years ago. And the contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt — a contrast both in their business careers and in their willingness to come clean about their financial affairs — dramatically illustrates how America has changed. read entire story

Monday, July 9, 2012

Without GOP, Unemployment Would be Under 6%

Without GOP, Unemployment Would be Under 6%

The above title has been my political thesis for the last 3 1/2 years: our economic progress is being deliberately stalled by the GOP. The Republicans, via a coordinated two tier attack, want to sabotage the economy so that they can regain power.

Tier 1: The congressional GOP have effectively obstructed any legislation designed to bring tax relief, employment opportunities and mortgage assistance for middle and working class Americans. Each time our economy seems to gain a little muster, the GOP congressmen threaten to bring us back to the brink of collapse over debt ceiling demands.

Tier 2: As the American economy began to create new jobs -- no small task when you consider that under Bush we were losing 800,000 jobs per month during the 2008 economic meltdown -- many states controlled by Republican governors began laying off teachers, police, firemen and other government workers. In states like Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan etc., GOP governors declared war on labor unions and collective bargaining.

In each of the above case: the GOP argued that American debt was the reason behind their actions. They exclaimed, now is the time to make significant cuts in our multi-trillion dollar deficit. They declared that government, like a household budget, can not continue to spend more than the revenue available

Sounds plausible. Sounds prudent. Sounds financial sound.

The problem is: our country was in the midst of a Great Depression like economic free far. No business, bank, financial institution or corporation was investing in economic growth or job creation. And if government did not intervene -- Stimulus Bill -- millions and millions more Americans would lose their jobs, homes, bank account and stock portfolio.

The following article was originally posted on AlterNet

The GOP has been on an economic wrecking mission ever since the election of Barack Obama - indeed we now know that leading Republican strategists and legislators met and planned a course of economic sabotage and complete obstruction on Obama's very first day in office.
This obstruction has had a huge price - a deliberate price that the GOP is betting the American people will blame on President Obama. GOP obstruction did not prevent the passage of ARRA - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - popularly know as "The Stimulus" bill of 2009 during the height of the economic disaster as the economy was falling off a cliff - the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that ARRA has saved up to 3 million jobs. But nearly every economic measure since then has been blocked by GOP obstruction, filibusters and brinksmanship.
What has been the result of GOP obstruction?
It is hard to quantify what constant obstruction has cost - you could tally up estimates of every measure that came along, but not all would have passed - nor even been introduced if previous measures had been adopted that obviated their need. But we can look at just two big examples and get a minimal measure of the human cost to American citizens of a deliberate policy to destroy the economy in order to bring down the president; 1) austerity, and 2) obstruction of the 2011 American Jobs Act. Taking just those into account, the unemployment rate would be under 6% were it not for deliberate GOP wrecking

Austerity is madness - many in the GOP actually believe that austerity during an economic downturn is the right thing to do - even 'socialist' Europe was convinced of this - although most realize it is not true, and has no history of success - even Mitt Romney unwittingly admittedas much in an unguarded moment. But that hasn't stopped savage austerity on the state and local level - which has cost over 600,000 public sector jobs so far.
Normally in a recession and recovery government at all levels increase public employment - this has happened in every GOP administration - and much of that increase is funded by federal government grants to the state and local governments. But since the Stimulus, the GOP has blocked any substantial help for the states, and in GOP led states severe austerity cuts have been the rule - even including GOP governors rejecting projects fully funded by the federal government. The economic cost of this is far more than just those 600 thousand jobs - the spillover effect on private business and local economies has been devastating - when you factor in all these effects the total job cost of austerity has been estimated at 2.3 million jobs.  read more

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hating on Chris Rock and Loving on that ole time conservative hate

As we all know, Independence day, traditionally capped off with a spectacular display of fireworks, is a holiday celebrating the birth of our nation.

The majestic aerial displays that illuminate the night skies from coast to coast of these United States represent a jubilant America declaring her freedom from Great Britain.

As John Adams wrote:

"The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."  source

However, Chris Rock -- like that drunk uncle at Thanksgiving dinner who insists on recalling family secrets of yesteryear -- in a tweet, tongue-in-cheek, set off his own fireworks by stating:

"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks."

In most right-wing blogsphere worlds, Rock has certainly sparked a fiery storm:

In response to Rock’s joke, several people have taken to a wide variety of social networking sites to express their disappointment with the comedian, going as far as to say they intend to swear off his movies entirely. Others took their anger and fashioned it into a micro-blogging response of their own, many of which you can find at the bottom of this article.  source

But in his defense, Chris Rock says Chris Rock things:

Every town has the same two malls: the one white people go to and the one white people used to go to.

If you're black, you got to look at America a little bit different. You got to look at America like the uncle who paid for you to go to college, but who molested you. 

There's a lot of racism going on. Who's more racist, black people or white people? It's black people! You know why? Because we hate black people too! Everything white people don't like about black people, black people really don't like about black people, and there's two sides, there's black people and theres niggas. The niggas have got to go.  source

Chris Rock, as you see, has never conformed to the political correctness police from the left, right or black community. He tells it like it is and sometimes folks don't want to hear the inconvenient truth wrapped in his jokes.

On another note: this same folks hating on Rock, never seemed to muster the same amount of outrage when Tea Baggers, GOP leaders and Hate radio/TV continue to disrespect -- often with racial overtones -- our president.

Ted Nugent:

I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.

Nugent warned that he would either be “dead or in jail” by this time next year, should President Obama win reelection in November. “We’ll be a suburb of Indonesia next year,” said Nugent.
Finally, Nugent concluded his attack on the Democratic party by saying that voters need to decapitate those politicians with whom the rock star disagrees. “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” said Nugent bluntly. “Any questions?”  source

Conservative His-storian David Barton:
He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-Biblical source
Fox Host Glen Beck (at the time he was the most watched program...he later parted ways with Fox but not for these on air comments):
This morning on Fox and Friends, Fox host Glenn Beck accused President Obama of being "a racist."
The group was discussing the recent Gates controversy, and Beck exclaimed that Obama has "over and over again" exposed himself as "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is..."  source

GOP National Committee Chairperson Reince Priebus (he frequently calls the Obama anti-American):
Mitt Romney must be elected in November in order to "save America," arguing that if President Barack Obama gets reelected, "our way of life" is at stake.
"I don't think people are begging for another four years of this misery ... with a president who acts like he's not living on Earth. source

Chis Rock tells the truth via his jokes, the above clowns sell hate with no impunity!