Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Olympic's Ugly Side: the IOC vs. Its Own Athletes

There's a very telling, world-famous book titled
The Ugly American. Its lessons still hold, decades later.
This time, though, let's write a new, non-fiction expose',
call it the Ugly IOC, with their infringement on individual
athlete's free, grateful expression of thanks to their sponsors
on social media. But that's not all: no criticism of the IOC
allowed, being banned from the Olympic Games the
ultimate penalty.

The ugliness here stems from two motivations: the IOC's
overweening desire to control the games and greed for evermore
sponsorship dollars for THEMSELVES, thus the "non-compete"
policy of gag orders re: athletes thanking their sponsors on,
say, facebook.

Really, International Olympics Committee, I haven't forgotten
the scandal and corruption swirling around you only a few
short years back....was that ever resolved? Who do you
people think you are? Without the athletes, you're nothing,
could HAVE nothing. Try to acquire a sense of cause and
effect perspective, PLEASE.

Do Olympic athletes have legal rights of free expression a la
those in the USA's First Amendment? Perhaps not, but
they SHOULD.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Conceal and Carry.... Your Cell Phone

Conceal and carry regarding guns is not bright, no matter
how well-meaning ("if people in that AMC theater had guns,
fewer would have been shot") or fearful an average citizen
has become. So even more klutzes, the ill-tempered and poor
shots should carry guns? There are approximately 100,000
shootings in the U.S. each year, some sources have it, and
about 32,000 of those are fatal. Life sure is cheaply held here,
thanks to too many venerating a misunderstood Second
Amendment. Millions of "adult" Americans do NOT
constitute "...a well-regulated militia". (-!)

But after months of observing the snatching and grabbing of
"smart" phones in Chicago, it would seem smart indeed to
conceal and carry ....your cell phone.

Obama Understands What Many Republicans DON'T

--Granted, his remarks were not that articulate or enlightening
when he uttered his now-infamous sound byte, "You didn't build
that". I've read the whole speech and found it not well-organized,
his mini-history of the Internet not exactly accurate (--Arpanet,
Darpanet, Vingt Cerf, Al Gore and more made the technology and
public access possible). But despite these lesser flaws, his
understanding, intent and concern is what it has always been
--and I support it:

(1) Government collects tax monies and disburses it. These
funds are NOT just from small and large businesses, but
significant amounts are realized from the EMPLOYED who
don't enjoy loophole access like the 2% do.

(2) WHAT private business has ever built roads and
bridges in the U.S.? ONLY a NATION can mount mammoth
projects like a dam, a national highway system. Ask Eisenhower,
Hoover and both Roosevelts what they and Congress actually
had built: they made it happen with taxpayer money, from
workers' taxes and their bosses' taxes, when they actually pay
them. (Excusez moi, those little corporate access roads are built
by the corporations--mostly.)

(3) No one succeeds alone if they are a human being--
there are parents, family, neighbors, friends, teachers, the
occasional mentor, schools and university or journeyman
training, books, nature, TV, etc., just as the president
intimated, albeit clumsily.

(4) Few of the super-rich are like Ted Turner, Warren
Buffet, Bill Gates or George Soros, who contribute to the
general welfare far and beyond the expertise that made
their wealth. Instead, we have the likes of the Koch Brothers,
who donate to PBS -corporate image advertising-while
funding the most scurrilous right-wing extremist nuthatchery

(5) Bain Capital was not a job creator, it was a corporate,
kill jobs and create wealth-for-one (or just a "necessary few")
raider, period. All the information recently available about Bain
merely substantiates that description, the laughably lame excuses
by Mitt's rich related-industry friends notwithstanding.

My message to the many misunderstanding republicans is
an actual challenge: do a bit of research in Thomson
Research as I did decades back. You will find many
companies set up as essentially sole proprietorships, no
employees (or very few), companies that are NOT Mom and
Pop enterprises, yet raking in the big bucks for the proprietor.
Also understand what the implications of too many LLPs and
LLCs are, a situation ripe for eventual economic collapse.

The really idiotically ironic aspect of all this is, even the rich
must ride over the same crumbling roads and bridges as the
rest of us. "Ordinary" people built this great nation, as it has
all the others. This is one of the many concepts Obama
understands that too many republicans don't....

Or won't, without the wit to care.

Friday, July 20, 2012

To Stop Stun, Shock, Sorrow a Clarified Second Amendment is Key

Colorado public mass murder redux: another homegrown
terrorist episode in the U.S. has so-called experts scrambling for
a solution to prevent further episodes. But like everything else in
American life, no one really wants to get down to the basic
causative issues:

(1) The Second Amendment, as currently interpreted, apparently
allows any deranged, disaffected, disappointed person to obtain a
firearm, even though our Founders, men far smarter than the rest
of us, did NOT INTEND for everyone to walk around with weapons
24/7, nor to be permitted to own high-powered, military-gauge
guns. A clarifying amendment limiting the conditions of firearm
ownership should be a congressional priority, but won't be. The
NRA donates millions to legislators, who vote their own interests,
largely: great income and benefits, huge schmooze opportunities
with other "swells", etc.

(2) Too many own guns because they have no real self-esteem or
understanding of what personal power might mean. For those
lacking introspection, a gun (or even a few more) solves these
thorny image issues.

(3) The U.S., slipping in many major quality of life indices, still
manufactures more high-power, sexy firepower armaments
than any other nation. This is nothing to be proud of, other than
for purposes of self-defense. We sell these death-dealing arms
to anybody, no matter what hair-brained political or religious
philosophy they espouse--at home and around the world.

(4) The controversy and amount of work necessitated by actually
attempting to reduce the gun violence at home via a constitutional
amendment powerfully militates against a solution.

Meanwhile, the psychosocial, political, and police "experts"
continue to wail, wring their hands, scold and implore, ignore
first causes as they always have and will.

These horrifying episodes will, until the Second Amendment
is clarified, continue. Why be shocked, America? Dysfunction
happens here too often for true shock to be tenable.

I'm sad and outraged, yes, shocked or surprised, no.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New Normal: The Minimum is the Maximum

Slogans, slogans, get your slogans hot off the presses and at
political bus tours/town halls! Mitt Romney has a comforting
one: "Every Town Counts". Was this snappy sample created
to appeal to those in small towns jealous of/afraid of NYC,
DC, Chi and LA? That's what I get out of it. Here he comes,
the billionaire's man of the people!

Yes Mitt, every town AND every person DO count, but who's
doing the counting and why? Trolling/polling for votes, is a
judicious if quick answer. Like children, many adults
are trying to "believe", even with all the evidence stacked
against this Billionaire Billy-Silly.

Sadly, the new normal is "the minimum is the maximum,"
i.e., do the least that is required of one. I see this every
where I go, as the country's rush to the bottom accelerates.
Here is where the Grover Norquists and Rush Limbaughs
of the world wormed their way into to our national life,
to our peril.

We are being messaged/massaged to death, almost literally.
The right-wing nuthatches want to make the world safe
for them and theirs, NOT Democracy, which has never
actually existed anyway. The Koch Brothers and one of
their biggest properties, Georgia Pacific, sponsor some
of the best free TV, PBS programming. How do we escape
these dangerously dollared, tunnel-visioned players on our
national stage?

Other than 150 million or so adult Americans waking up,
weighing in with public participation (voting, contacting
/meeting legislators, I haven't a clue.

Do you??

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bain and Romney: Curiouser and Curiouser....

"Bain Explained" by Romney rings hollow and absurd.
How can the single stockholder, CEO, Managing Director
identified as Mitt Romney NOT be managing to the hilt?
If not, he lied in his filings to the SEC. If such misstatements
ARE legal, which factcheck.org claims it is, (factcheck can't be
authoritatively impartial, as it's paid for by the conservative
Annenberg Foundation) then truly, "let the Devil take the
hindmost" IS the law of the land--er, lawLESS, that is.

Bear in mind that Bain Capital Partners LLC is a limited
liability company. Look up what that means, as I have.
It is a wild west of permissions which includes foreign
ownership of U.S. companies, a great potential problematic.
Say, let's look more closely at the relevant Bain corporate
report--maybe it says 750 people laid THEMSELVES off!

So no one's accountable? --Curiouser and curiouser.
Harry Truman understood that the buck stops at the
top. He must be roiling with outrage, wherever he is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Has the U.S. House Seceded from the Nation?

--At the very least, by its almost anarchical, "symbolic" behavior,
the House of Representatives has shown little respect or concern
for the nation's present or future. What IS the point of passing the
same bill by the house THIRTY-THREE times which won't become
law, opposed as it is by both Senate and President? --To satisfy
its base come November 2012? --Just to avoid doing the nation's
real work, solving problems ignored by both political parties
entrenched for decades ? Repealing "Obamacare" won't be that
easy, extremist right wing-nut Republicans. Independents
(who read and pay attention far more than straight-ticket voters)
won't be won over by such arrant nonsense.

Constitutional law will have to change, denying dramatic
stupidities like filibustering with no meaningful content as well
as "symbolic" repetitive voting. Who exactly wants to pay such
people large salaries for essentially opposing a higher authority
they don't like (Mr. Obama) while not constructively dealing
with the national debt, trade imbalance, offshoring gone wild,
failing bridges, rails and roads, ad infinitum ad nauseam?
Congress enjoys much less respect these days than a whole
passel of unscrupulous lawyers, but many legislators don't care,
taking the money and running, running, running as they do.

But I care. We just waxed oh so patriotic once again on July 4th,
flags, fireworks, grandiloquent speeches and parades. Only a
relative few noted just how UNpatriotic the Republicans in the
U.S. House really are....throw the rascals out, they act like
they've seceded from the nation.

Maybe we should let them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mitt Romney "Believes": Movie Magic Strikes Again

"I believe, I believe", said Natalie Wood doubtingly yet hopefully,
when Santa Claus asked her to have faith in him, in the memorable
movie. Sadly, Santa is in imagination only. But others apparently
use imagination/inspiration rather than factual analysis appealing
to the rest of us, just like a child. (Or at the very least, such
speakers regard regular folk as credulous children.)

Mitt Romney "believes" that extending the tax cut for the 1% (oh,
and for the rest of us too) will stimulate the economy. But by now
the thought beggars belief--why hasn't that miraculous Bush II
tax cut done its magic ALREADY?? This tax law has been in place
for YEARS.

"Belief" in rigidly-held, factually unexamined political philosophy
is not going to cure current economic malaise here at home.
Actually, the "belief systems" of the Romney rich are suspect
in any case: It's still Let the Devil take the Hindmost, dressed up,
not nakedly avaricious.

I've seen this movie before.
So have you.