Saturday, October 23, 2010

Political ads.

Is it just me or is anyone else fed up with the political ads in the media nowadays?
They ALL make these outrageous statements, most of which have NO basis in fact! (In other words, they are quite simply - lies.)
The problem I think is that many people still think that if it is in print or on the TV or Radio, "It must be true." Yes, there are still people who think that, instead of knowing, "The New Truth." which is, in my experience, that if it is on the Internet, it is untrue - at least 90% of the time - and in many areas closer to 99% of the time!! Yep, untrue - otherwise known as lies - or VERY occasionally a mistake, but not often, almost always out and out lies.
If it is not a political ad, which I pretty much know is going to be lie so I ignore it, but is anything else on the TV or Radio or in the newspaper, I treat it with suspicion. These media outlets have lots of good reports. Unfortunately the level of ignorance out there nowadays is so widespread that you just have to take everything with a pinch of salt. Use your own common sense and if you are not sure check it out.
A couple of 'facts' that I have caught myself recently - just mistakes really, not anyone actually lying.
"The second earthquake was a 6.0, just slightly stronger than the first one which was a 5.0." Wrong, earthquakes are measured so that a 6 is 10 times stronger than a 5! So a 7 would be 100 times stronger than a 5 ! And an 8 would be 1,000 times stronger than 5. A simple mistake. But wrong nonetheless.
Others have been, "It only takes about ten minutes for a radio signal to reach the moon." (Actually it takes just over 1 second, that's less than 1 1/2 seconds.)
"It took 30 minutes to cut Ms X out of the car." The time - 30 minutes - was right. It was the person who was wrong. I happen to know the person and it was Ms Y, not Ms X.
The list goes on, and my only point here is that we need to guard against believing everything, or how about anything, that we read or hear. If it is a political ad it is almost certainly a lie. And if it on the Internet, it almost always wrong - usually an out and out lie. I check out every story that I get on the Internet and have found almost none to be true - maybe one or two or three out of every 100!!! There are stories attributed to Andy Rooney, all wrong or lies. To Bill Cosby - he denies saying any of them. And so it goes, someone wants their favorite quote to be read so they attribute it to someone famous.
Someone probably was fired from Starbucks, so they start a rumor that Starbucks would not send coffee to the American troops in Iraq. And it spreads like wildfire. Everyone believes it - "It MUST be true, it is on the Internet." In fact nothing could be further from the truth Starbucks did send coffee to the troops in Iraq. In fact they set up coffee houses there.
There are dozens and dozens, probably hundreds, even thousands more cases where some unknown person starts an untrue rumor about a business or a person, and before you know it millions if not hundreds of millions know about it and most probably believe it!!
So PLEASE, PLEASE, don't believe ANYTHING that you read on the Internet, and think carefully about everything else.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I keep hearing bad stuff about our President, but after reflecting on the last what - 18 months, he actually seems to have accomplished quite a lot.

Lets take Health Care, a lot of Presidents have wanted it, and not been able to get it. Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Trueman and a whole bunch more, but Obama succeeded where they failed! And it is not going to bankrupt the country as many are trying to say. In fact by all accounts it will extend Medicare's life by about 12 years AND cut $143 Billion over the next 10 years! Not too shabby. And the insurance companies can no longer cut your coverage if you get sick!! Now THAT is a biggie! Another plus - in my book - is that people with pre-existing conditions can get covered, no more "Feel Good" stuff like denying coverage to sick kids. You can keep your kids on your policy until they are 26 now as well. As Joe Biden said "It's a Big Fucking Deal." Obama managed to cut $136 Billion from what health insurance companies charged the government for being middlemen between Medicare and patients too!
How about the $60 Billion savings that banks charged to do the paperwork on student loans? The US government sets the rate and assumes the risk. The Banks collected big bucks for doing almost nothing. No wonder the Banks hate him. The new law also caps payments on student loans at 10% of income and forgives loans to students who go into public service. Several Presidents have tried to do this before. Obama succeeded.
I've seen studies by reputable companies that say we'd have lost 16 million jobs if we had not had TARP and the Recovery Act - double the 8 million jobs we did lose. Without those acts unemployment would have been more than 16% - with double this years deficit. TARP cost has gone down from $700 billion to $30 billion. The Recovery Act produced 26 and a half million jobs. Just think where we would have been without that stimulus! We were going 'down the tubes', probably to a new depression, I don't know how we didn't, Obama's enemies were surely hoping we would! Some people wanted a bigger stimulus than he got. But according to Mark Zandi - John McCain's adviser - "It ended the Great Recession and jump started a recovery." But Obama is getting a bigger stimulus, he got the unemployment benefits extended, three times, we had the Cash for Clunkers program, Aid for States, then there was that $170 Billion loans and tax cuts for small businesses. All fought against by the Republicans - who keep shouting about the tax increases since Obama got in, when in fact almost everyone is paying less taxes since he got in. The Trillion dollar tax break, only to the rich helped get us into this problem!
The Recovery Act in fact: - Reduced taxes to the middle class. It delivered benefits to 95% of working families. It also invested in Clean Energy ($94 Billion) and we sure need to clean up our environment, especially our air and water. It also put $100 Billion into improving education.
It took Bush 8 years to almost destroy America, we were bleeding to death from several wars, some legal, most illegal, tax cuts galore to the Richest of the Rich, as well as just the Rich, and of course to Big Business and Big Banks. Evisceration of The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and a host of other Anti-American, Pro Big-Business moves. But Obama got the Stimulus/Recovery Act going within his first month in office! He has stopped the bleeding and is getting America back on its feet. I never thought it would happen, it seemed that Bush, in the Worst Presidency Ever had brought us to out knees and it would be at least years if not a decade or more before we could recover from such a beating. But here we are after only 18 months, officially out of the recession (it may not seem like it but the economists on both sides say we are) back on our feet and climbing out of the hole. Seems to me that is a remarkable achievement especially as he is being fought tooth and nail all the way by those desperate to see that he doesn't succeed under any circumstances. I would respect the opposition a lot more if they would get both sides together to help us out of this hole instead of putting up as many blocks as possible. Obama has held out his hand "across the aisle" repeatedly, only to be rejected repeatedly. Even when he does what the opposition wants, like a tax cut or to stimulate the economy or save Detroit they change their minds and fight against it. At this point in our dilemma we should have some kind of Coalition Government, with both "Sides" on the same side - the side of America. But the extreme right has shown that they are not interested in putting America back on her feet, they are only interested in seeing that Obama does not do it.
Well, he is doing it without their help, it is slower, without every ones help and with almost half of Congress and the Senate sabotaging his every move, but he is succeeding, much to their chagrin.
How about Detroit? Save them, everyone said, even the Conservatives, until he started to save Detroit, then it was "let them go under." Well he proved them wrong again. Remember that old adage "As goes GM so goes America."? To have let GM go under might have been the last straw for us. Now GM and Chrysler have recovered, sales are rising. A million jobs were saved. I don't hear any Conservatives saying "Good job Barrack." (As a matter of fact I don't even hear any Democrats saying it.) One of the biggest problems with Democrats seems to be they don't crow about their accomplishments - and as you can see from this here Blog, there have been a lot - they need to, instead they just seem to be getting on with what has to be done, with no help from "The other side." In fact with the other side spending all their time and money berating what IS being done, while not doing ANYTHING constructive themselves at all. Talk about a bunch of whiners. First they put the country on it's knees and then they say "Put us back in" and we'll . . . .What - Do the same thing over again?
Hey and guess what, approval ratings of the US in the rest of the World are rising. Countries everywhere were laughing at us when Bush was in office, well, really they were laughing at Bush, but they actually like Obama! He is restoring our damaged reputation in the rest of the World.
And how about this Black President - or should I say Green President? - and his clean energy commitment. Re-power America in a Clean Way! There is a chance we will double our renewable energy in the next year or so (Unless The Party of NO get back in, in which case all bets are off on anything that could help Clean up the Air or the Water, in favor of giving Big-Business a free rein to Pollute us as well as rob us) The EPA (That's Environmental Protection Agency), is in their sights - because it is "Anti-Big Business" - which means in my mind that it is Pro-America and Americans. It's name says it all, Fat Cat Big Business wants the "RIGHT" to destroy, pollute and dump whereever they want to. So I think the EPA is headed for extinction as soon as the "Greed is Good" party gets back in. I still think the Clean Energy movement does not go nearly far enough, but I guess its as far as he could get it against all the resistance from Extremists, Haters and Fat-Cat Big-Business people. The Cash for Clunkers got 700,000 gas guzzlers off the road. Automakers have been required to cut CO2 emissions and raise fuel standards. Big polluters like Cement Factories, Coal Plants etc are having limits set requiring them to reduce their carbon pollution by 28% in the next ten years.
I think he is doing a remarkable job, considering the Resistance. If only he and the rest of the Democrats would tell us what they have done. To sum up a few accomplishments : - Saved the Auto Industry, Health Care Reform, Getting at least some of our service men and women out of Iraq, (Where we never should have been in the first place) Helping the Environment, Cutting Taxes, a Stimulus that boosted the economy out of a depression. Why can't he capitalize on these accomplishments? Maybe because he is too busy focusing on a better future for the country, instead of doing "Politics stuff" He sees the need to get us out of a hole and getting us going again and just can't be bothered with wasting time on politics. Unfortunately "The other side" is concentrating all their efforts on thwarting those efforts, instead of helping him as they should be. Making up outrageous lies and accusations. I see what is going to happen, he will be ousted, the country will recover because of all the Recovery Stuff he has put into place, and the incoming party will claim that it was their doing because they will immediately undo all his accomplishments in finance reform, environmental reform, health reform etc. I further predict that we will have the worst depression ever within a few years as Big Business and Big Banks continue, and even accelerate their "Business as usual" attitude whereby they steal, pillage and plunder the assets of the middle class and the poor for their multi-million dollar bonuses, sacrificing our air, water, food and anything else that can pull in a few more dollars to their over-stuffed bank accounts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lets cut our dependence on foreign oil.

O.K. - how to cut our dependence on foreign oil, Congressional style.
Get inside our politicians heads with this way to cut our dependence on foreign oil: -
Give a $100,000 tax break for people buying large SUV's, such as the Hummer (which gets 11 mpg)That should cut down on how much gas we use right?
Some "smart" guy also said how about giving a tax incentive to buyers of Hybrids (Some, such as the Toyota Prius get over 50 mpg) Reluctantly, this was also passed - but only up to a maximum of $2,000. And a rider was added on reducing the allowance by $500 a year until it phased out in 4 years. Another rider was added in, in case too many people took advantage of this generous offer, the tax help would only be allowed for he first 60,000 people to buy one.
There, job done, aren't we smart, THAT should help with our dependence on foreign oil!!
(By the way, just in case you think I was being funny, that IS true. The $100,000 tax break on BIG fuel INefficient fuel guzzlers and the $2,000 tax break on small fuel efficient gas sippers.)

Now, question, does that make sense to anyone? It sure doesn't to me.

Hows this for an idea? Give MAJOR incentives for anything that involves the reduced use of oil. How about Solar Hot Water Systems, Solar Electric Systems, Wind Systems, Generation of electricity by any kind of sun, wind, water, wave, geothermal system - you name it - that is produced in this country! That would give us at least two results - reduced use of foreign oil, which would in turn produce reduced oil prices, and increased employment in the US. In case our politicians don't understand how that would work, it would mean that the systems would be made here, in America, which would mean American workers would be used to make them. Understand, comprehend, politicians? AND more American workers would be needed to install them. And service them. And sell them. This would give more Americans jobs - thus REDUCING unemployment. That was REDUCING not increasing unemployment. (You gotta explain it in VERY simple language to Politicians - or as a very good friend likes to call them "Pileofshitens")
I could probably come up with a hundred other ideas to reduce the use of foreign oil, and other stuff, most, if not all, of which would result in decreased use of foreign oil AND increased employment in the USA.

Monday, October 18, 2010

No Soc Sec rise again next year!

It seems that "Prices have not risen this year", so Social Security payments will not go up next year - for the second year in a row. Whoever decided that apparently has not been in the grocery stores and supermarkets that I use! I guess they run in different circles to me. The big screen, flat and the 3D TV's are dropping in price as are the big houses they enjoy. The stocks and bonds they like to buy are at record lows as are vacations and air flights. So overall "Prices are stable"! Unfortunately the people who rely on Soc. Sec. don't see things the same way as the robber barons that rule us. First class air fares may be dropping but the unleaded gas for the old 'uns ancient car is rising. House prices may be dropping but, if your old parents are fortunate enough to be homeowners, their property taxes are rising. Hey a fancy meal at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse may be on sale, but ground beef and beer went up, again.
So what is the deal here? I'll tell you what I think it is - the wanker Bankers have to get their multi million dollar bonuses, and someone has to pay for it. Who better than all those old people? What do they need money for, they'll only use it to buy stuff like newspapers, cigarettes, beer and food. And a movie once in a while. And they waste so much on drugs too, nasty stuff like Celebrex, various Statins, Ibuprofen, aspirin. Hey have you seen how they cut them in half? What is with that anyway? Say waiter, "Could you make that two lobster tails please?"
Where was I? Oh yes, the Bankers and their multi million dollar bonuses - did you see that the Wall Street bonuses are UP this year? Way up, $144 BILLION, well after last years puny payout, I ask you! I was worried, as I am sure they were, about how they were going to keep their big boats going, not to mention the helicopter and the his and hers Lear Jets.
Then there are the rich people with their TRILLION dollar tax cut, got to keep that going, or where would they be? I'd hate to see them dump their Porsche and have to drive a pissy Jaguar Or have to fly business class instead of first class.
No, the only thing to do if we are to keep our standard of living up is to pull in our belts and forgo that Social Security rise.
"You know Bill, it's hard to believe, but some of those old bastards still have some money left, they hang onto it like they hang onto life. I was thinking if we cut the interest rates down, we could keep even more for ourselves." "Good idea Clyde, but I've got an even better one, lets cut the interest rates down to just about nothing! Then see them squirm, they'll have to part with their money then. So we''ll get the interest that they were getting AND we'll get their money too!" "Fabulous, you'll get a BIG bonus for that idea alone Clyde. I can see that we'll be able to order another jet and a couple of new Mercedes for our first class trip to that "Conference." Clyde & Bill rub their hands and smirk at each other.
(SOCIAL Security - doesn't that sound a bit too much like Socialism to you Clyde? Maybe we should work on getting it eliminated when we get in again next year, can't have all those blood sucking Socialist Old People hurting our standard of living.)