Saturday, October 02, 2010

Florida Race For Governor Is A Tossup…


  …as of Fridays polling results conducted by RasmussenReports, one of the finer polling organizations in the country. New comer Rick Scott  (R) is holding a very slight lead over political pro and Democrat Alex Sink.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida finds Scott with 46% of the vote, while Sink’s support stands at 41% when leaners are included. Five percent (5%) favor some other candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

That’s little changed from Scott’s six-point edge a week ago, but enough to move the race back from Leans Republican to Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard. At the beginning of September, the candidates were essentially tied.

   What a choice to choose from! A former top dog at a healthcare corporation who somehow managed to avoid being convicted of fraud against the government, and a woman who just doesn’t get it either when it comes to what the working people of the state really need.

   The campaign theme on both side are more “tax cuts” and less  government spending. Where have you heard that shit before?

   “None of the above” may be my choice this election season.

Friday, October 01, 2010

America Is Bleeding And The World Is Watching…


…and that isn’t a joke, folks. For those of you who may not know it, not all of the rest of the world is third-world. In fact, when it come to healthcare and a somewhat better standard of living, America is rapidly slipping into the third-world category. America should be ashamed of itself, The wealthy and the larger corporations especially. Oh. then there is Wall Street.

   From  Belgium via Watching America:

De Standaard, Belgium
America Is Bleeding —
Not Only in the Movies

By Bjorn Soenens
Translated By Niek Hendrix
24 September 2010

Edited by Gheanna Emelia

Belgium - De Standaard - Original Article (Dutch)
Twenty-three years after the first "Wall Street," director Oliver Stone paints a portrait of a superpower in decline. Bjorn Soenens thinks that this fiction gets close to reality.
"I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal!"
It's the perfect summary of the era that began in 1981. Ronald Reagan and the magic of the market: no rules, free enterprise, fanatic privatization and, above all, a lot of speculation. The system collapsed 30 years later. Hordes in Middle America descended into misery. The number of Americans that are officially below the poverty line stands at 44 million. That's one in seven.
“The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
Gordon Gekko leaves nothing to the imagination: Getting rich is the message. The numbers do not lie. In 1970, 8 percent of American wealth was in the hands of the richest 1 percent of the population. A quarter of all wealth is in the hands of the same 1 percent 40 years later. The consequences are devastating: Ordinary people have seen their expenditure budget melt away. American sons and daughters, for the first time in 100 years, are poorer than their fathers and mothers. While the Gordon Gekkos were speculating and letting their wealth grow, the American middle class tried everything to maintain its standard of living. The average citizen suffered more debts — by credit card, by mortgages and by student loans. He stopped saving, took a second job, and a third, but eventually drowned when the fraud of Wall Street came to light. And in the meantime nobody noticed that the bridges and roads were deteriorating for 30 years, that schools were no longer up-to-date, and that social safety nets were weakened.
Nearly 15 million Americans are officially unemployed. America is bleeding. People over [age] 55 who, after 30 years had lost their jobs and their benefits after two years, have nightmares about how they will reach retirement. As a wanderer? A bag lady? More and more Americans of different generations are living under one roof: back to mom or dad on the couch to avoid homelessness. The alternative? Sleep on subway grates, in the park or in the restrooms of the Wal-Mart.
“Someone reminded me I once said, ‘greed is good.’ Now it seems it's legal."
Gordon Gekko, just released from prison, sees his grabbing techniques have now become law. The Republican agenda since [the] Reagan [era] is devoted to tax, reducing of regulations, dismantling of public services and even more tax cuts. The Ownership Society. The model of Milton Friedman, the laissez-faire model. A strong reduction — in some cases, the elimination — of taxes on income, dividends and real estate would lead to more investment and more economic growth. The belief that government regulations inhibit the free market, and that benefits for the weakest [citizens] breed dependence and kill all initiatives. As Reagan put it succinctly: "The government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."
Obama has turned away from this view because the economy had a cardiac arrest in 2008. Keynes made his re-entry: To deal with a recession, you have to put more disposable income into the pockets of the people. Put more in to save the free democracy. Franklin D. Roosevelt said in 1944: “People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” That's why Obama is a Keynesian; he thinks that only decent wages and working conditions can create a middle class that stabilizes the U.S. economy and is the engine of new growth.
Yes, there is growth again. But the companies grab their profits, and no new jobs are created. At the current rate, eight years are needed to make up for the number of lost jobs since the recession (8 million!). The Americans were very shocked about the meltdown of 2008. They save more now, because they are terrified of the future. But that's bad for the economy also: Saving more means consuming less, making the economy jam again. Gordon Gekko notes that his way of life actually killed America.
“More? I would say, enough!”*
Americans are furious about what Wall Street has done to them, angry with their president, who plunders the public treasury to save the banks and the auto industry with large holes in the budget. Public opinion is also further incited by the tea party and the Republicans who act like they are stung by a wasp when it comes to government intervention in the free market or impeding their right to bear arms. But many of those same conservatives care very little if the government eavesdrops on people without authorization or tries to conduct war on terror in foreign countries. In a country as diverse as the U.S., there is always a strong debate about where the influence of the government must cease.
As Gordon Gekko thinks he can make the laws, so do those who are right. But those who are right don’t always get their way, while those who persistently make the loudest arguments do. President Obama has no answer and responds to emotionless calm, making him lose touch with the land and its people. As Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” says: “If you need a friend, get a dog.”

*Editor's Note: This quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.



Windows Live Writer 2011 Is Available…


…and it is about time! I’ve been using the beta version for quite some time and you have probably read a little about my trying times with this newest Microsoft version.

  Well, it is now out of beta and is ready for all of you bloggers and writers to give it a try. So, go here to get your copy. Thus far it seems as if the problems that I had been have been worked out in the final version.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

President Barack Obama’s Interview With Rolling Stone …


…makes for an interesting read,which you can browse right here if you have the time. The article will be out on October 15,2010,and the interview was conducted by Jann S. Wenner

    Below are a few excerpts from the interview.

When you came into office, you felt you would be able to work with the other side. When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you and create bipartisan policy?

I still remember going over to the Republican caucus to meet with them and present our ideas, and to solicit ideas from them before we presented the final package. And on the way over, the caucus essentially released a statement that said, "We're going to all vote 'No' as a caucus." And this was before we'd even had the conversation. At that point, we realized that we weren't going to get the kind of cooperation we'd anticipated. The strategy the Republicans were going to pursue was one of sitting on the sidelines, trying to gum up the works, based on the assumption that given the scope and size of the recovery, the economy probably wouldn't be very good, even in 2010, and that they were better off being able to assign the blame to us than work with us to try to solve the problem.

    On the subject of The Tea Party;

There's no doubt that the infrastructure and the financing of the Tea Party come from some very traditional, very powerful, special-interest lobbies. I don't think this is a secret. Dick Armey and FreedomWorks, which was one of the first organizational mechanisms to bring Tea Party folks together, are financed by very conservative industries and forces that are opposed to enforcement of environmental laws, that are opposed to an energy policy that would be different than the fossil-fuel-based approach we've been taking, that don't believe in regulations that protect workers from safety violations in the workplace, that want to make sure that we are not regulating the financial industries in ways that we have.

    Of course, it would not be a complete interview if President Obama were not asked about his feelings for FoxNews.

What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for democracy?
[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.

    The complete session at Rolling Stone.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Government Seeks New Internet Laws


    All of the major law enforcement agencies in the United States want new laws for the internet in order to track terrorist and their activities more easily since those groups are now using the net more frequently to communicate with each other. So folks, look out because we are about to get fucked by the government once again in regards to our civil liberties.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.                 New York Times

    I am a very heavy user of Skype and for many years governments all over the world have been trying to get this p2p to make it easier to track communications on the network.

   The Barack Bush Obama administration plans on introducing a bill to our lawmakers next year, one which will no doubt have the backing of the Republicans on the other side of the isle.

James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had “huge implications” and challenged “fundamental elements of the Internet revolution” — including its decentralized design.

“They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet,” he said. “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.”

   One of the joys of the digital age is that law enforcement can track you down at the snap of a finger if they have the authorization to do so. Do you remember those illegal wiretaps that the Bush administration did with the help of ATT? Can you imagine the information that could be gotten on the net with the help of a company such as Comcast?  I can, and it is a scary thought.

“We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”

Investigators have been concerned for years that changing communications technology could damage their ability to conduct surveillance. In recent months, officials from the F.B.I., the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, the White House and other agencies have been meeting to develop a proposed solution.

    Where have I heard similar words before?

    Read more on this


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Republican Supporters Out In Full Force To Keep Bush Tax Cuts Going…


…and they even have a few of their former wannabe presidents out in the countryside with their petitions to Congress urging them to not let those cuts expire at the end of the year.

   Fred Thompson (remember him?),the man who did for campaigning what George Bush did for reading, has an urgent video message posted over at The League of American Voters telling you how much your taxes will go up if Bush’s bullshit cuts are allowed to die. We get to hear that with an economy that is in such bad shape that now is not the time to be forcing a tax increase on the American public.

   I have not had time on this Sunday morning to verify the accuracy of the numbers which the league has on their post, but here they are:

  • 35% bracket which will increase to 39.6%
  • 33% bracket which will increase to 36%
  • 28% bracket which will increase to 31%
  • 25% bracket which will increase to 28%
  • 10% and 15% will condense to 15%

Whereas the capital gains tax will increase from 15% to 20%

Whereas the tax on dividends will increase from 15% to 39.6%

   One more time for those of you who may have your heads stuck up your asses. Those Republican tax cuts that they all seem to love so much are partially responsible for our current economic bag of shit in the first place. How many times have you not read,or seen some of the results from the cuts, which have trickled down from the federal level to your neighborhood? You local news stations and the local papers call them “budget cuts” when they should be called “tax cuts.”

    It is because of said cuts that the budgets are being slashed in city’s and town all over this country. Those cuts are responsible for many police departments having to fire or lay off their officers,as is the case here.

Dow Constantine, the county executive, directed the sheriff’s office to cut $7 million from its budget to help close a $60 million hole in the county budget. The cuts in the sheriff’s office include laying off 28 deputies, which according to Maple Valley City Manager David Johnston, could cause serious problems for the city.

Maple Valley, like Covington, contracts city police services from King County and Johnston said the city has been able to maintain a smaller police force because Precinct No. 3 is located in the city. The city manager said on top of the layoffs, the precinct is on the chopping block and is to be closed by the end of 2011, if not sooner.

   This means less services and more concern about public safety.

   If you have an I.Q. over 1, you’ll be pushing for those cuts to be left to die a painful death at the end of the year. If not, then you and I both will be going through more pain than we care to go through.