Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Great Republican Traitorous Ponzi Society

Have you had enough yet? I have. I have had enough of corporate executive bonuses and stock options that suck this country dry. Every multi-million dollar bonus and stock option sale sucks money from the consumer, stock holder, assembly line, customer service, job, government tax revenue, community development, social service, school and any other aspect of American life you want to name. These guys and gals are traitors to this country. They use every excuse to justify their big bonus and millions of stock options. When their company is making money that could be put into company expansion or research, they say they deserve the money instead for their bonus and stocks because they showed a company profit. When their company is in a downturn, they say they deserve the bonus and stocks because they are saving the company from bankruptcy. When their company is bought out to prevent bankruptcy, they say they deserve their bonuses because they lead their company through hazardous times. When they ship jobs and manufacturing to other countries, they say they deserve their bonuses. In fact, everything they’ve done is to trickle-up the money to their own pockets at great expense to the United States.

The Republicans say, of course, that they should be able to keep their money in the form of tax cuts while they trade their honor for multi-million dollar corporate or lobbyist positions after their political lives end. At the same time, Republicans vehemently oppose giving to the poorest of the poor; those who don’t make enough to pay taxes. “Socialist redistribution” they call it. Bullshit! Enough! Is there a single Republican or super-rich willing to support this country? Corporate thieves, traitors to America, need to be in jail. I have had enough of million-dollar offices, corporate jets for the top dogs, multi-million dollar bonuses for people who already have million-dollar salaries, and multi-million dollar stock option sales that the companies ultimately pay. The whole Republican laissez faire philosophy for the past 40 years has been a great ponzi scheme to suck this country dry, and they nearly succeeded. They’re still trying.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dreaded Technical Support Call

If there is one thing I hate to do when I buy some new techno-gadget it’s making that dreaded technical support call. But, it is inevitable. I know I’ll be talking to someone in India with a heavy accent that I can’t understand and most of the conversation will be me asking “what’d you say,” “say that again.” And, another thing; it makes me mad that the technical support is not located in the United States where the manufacturer is located.

But, my old 2.4 gigahertz D-Link wireless router was on its way out. Besides Internet disconnects that occurred when I answered my 2.4 gigahertz home phone, it was disconnecting more frequently on its own. It froze; all port lights lit whether anything was plugged into the ports or not. I was constantly “rebooting” the thing, i.e., unplugging and plugging in the power cord. So, I knew it was time for a new router.

I bought a new Cisco Linksys Wireless G router and began installation. But, when the setup got to the Internet connecting step, it wouldn’t connect. So, after calling my cable Internet provider four times, resetting the cable modem four times and talking to the cable provider’s “home network” staff, all located in the United States and who spoke good English, I knew it was time to make the dreaded technical support call to Linksys.

After his introduction and I have explained my problem, “What was your name again?” I asked him to repeat everything at least twice, sometimes three and four times before I understood what he was asking me to say or do.

“Romeo.” (I know it really isn’t Romeo.) “Can you plug your computer directly into the cable modem? (I do that) Can you access the Internet? (Yes) Okay. Plug the cable modem either net cable into the router. (I did) Plug your computer either net cable into the router. (I did) Please open Internet Explorer and type in 198…. (He gives me the router’s IP address). Please uncheck ‘Do Not Allow Anonymous Internet Access’. (Jeeze. Why was it checked in the first place? The setup program did not give me a chance to uncheck it.)

“How is your day going so far?” (What?) “How is your day going?” (Christ! He wants to small-talk.)

“Not so good. I can’t access the Internet yet. Why didn’t the setup program allow me to change these settings?”

“It is best to setup the router using Internet Explorer.” (What?)

“That’s not what the instructions say.” He gave me a few more instructions, twice.

“Try accessing the Internet now.” (Guessing what he wanted, I navigated to It worked.)

“So, how is your day going so far?” (What? We just went over that.)

“Better now. I can access the Internet. What do you think of our new President?” (I can do small-talk too if he insists.)

“I think it is great. We are happy for America.”

“Me too.”

“We will send you a survey to rate my service. How will you rate me? (What?) We will send a survey to you. How will you rate me? (Ah, he’s more interested in keeping his job.)

“I will say that you did a good job. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Have a good day.” (What’d he say?) You’re welcome. Have a good day.”

“Same to you. Bye” (Finally, it’s over.)

Romeo did a good job. He solved my problem. My complaint is with Cisco, however. My questions for Cisco are: What the hell is your customer support for U. S. citizens doing in India? With all your smart managers, weren’t you able to figure out how to keep those jobs here and still be profitable?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

America Has Changed its Mind

Today I am extremely proud of America when a black man takes the oath of the Presidency. America has changed its mind. Today, our credit around the world becomes genuine. Today, respect for America is advanced untold limits. Barack Obama becomes our President.

And it could not have been any black man who could be our President. Mr. Obama, a calm, pragmatic, thinking man, is the man we want and need today. Jessie Jackson, for example, would not have made a good president several years ago when he ran for the presidency. Nor are there any other men, black or white, today on the national scene who can do what Mr. Obama can do for us today. Today is more than simply overcoming our racial prejudices. Today is a day where we declare a solid departure from self-defeating ideologies; that we want business to prosper for America, that we want communities to come together for America, that we want our government to work for America, and that we want individuals to contribute to America. It is a good day, maybe the best day we’ve had in a century and maybe the best day America has had since our declaration of independence.

Today, faith and hope are restored with a great symbolic explosion of well-being. Today is also my older brother’s birthday. I wish he had lived to see this day. I would like to talk to him. He too would be proud of America today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush is Going, Going, Gone

I didn’t listen to Bush’s exit speech. I know what he said, though. He said the same thing he’s been saying all along; he did what’s best for America, he didn’t sell his soul, blah, blah. Well, G. W. has been leaving for several months now. You should have seen, if you didn’t, Oliver Stone’s movie “W.” It is probably accurate. It depicts a man who fails at nearly everything, who quits before the job is done and who thinks everything is a joke and “Poppy” Bush, the 41st president, bails him out; except Poppy Bush couldn’t fix W’s gaffs as President. But, G. W. has a young (under 30 years old), starry-eyed speech writer from Danville, California who makes G. W. look good and can soften history for him. The fact is that G. W. is the worst president ever who will leave office without one single investigation into his abuse of power and unlawful actions. I guess it proves that “When a president does it, it’s not against the law,” as Nixon said. There ought to be a criminal investigation into his, and Dick Cheney’s, activities for the past eight years. They ought to go to jail.

But, January 20 will be an historical day. Someone said it would be a cold day in hell when a black man becomes President of the United States. Well, Washington D. C. is hell and it will be cold on January 20th. So, I guess they were right. The funny thing is that when you contrast Obama with Bush, it will also be the best day in Hell we’ve ever experienced.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coulter is Back – God Help Us

The Bitch is back. Yesterday Ann Coulter appeared on The View and before that she appeared on Fox. Jeez, why do they give her a stage? The stupidity of this woman and the extent she will go to deceive simply takes one’s breath away. Well, she has a new book out and she has to sell it. So far, my take is that the book is based on fantasy that Coulter purports as truth of empirical data. She will twist any fact to suit her own purposes. That a network would give her a stage to spew her deceit and lies on us is astonishing.

Ann is really a freak and her public displays should be considered nothing more than a freak show similar to Barnum and Bailey of the 1930s; ape men, a two headed calf, dwarfs, Siamese twins, all meant to leave us aghast believers in some reality but was really deception. Please, save yourself from ignorance; don’t buy the book. If you must listen to Coulter, see her as a confused freak for entertainment sake.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Sister-in-Law’s Father

…is dying, she says in her email. She is a realist, I believe, in that she knows his death is inevitable. I also believe that her family, and during all her life, has had faith in the concept of God and an afterlife. She doesn’t sound afraid and neither does her father and her emails speak of faith.

He has reached the stage in his cancer, and his 80-plus years, that he sleeps most of the time and is heavily medicated for pain. She relates that he has been having “crazy” dreams (her quotes, and maybe his too) that he saw his younger brother, Rick, who died in 2001. Rick is waiting for him, he says. Personally, I don’t find those dreams all that “crazy.”

There is a lot we don’t know about human life and this universe we live in. It is just as plausible that there is life after death as not. In a universe that contains a mysterious, invisible “dark energy” that pushes all physical matter farther apart it is just as plausible that there is “spiritual energy” in life that holds life together into infinity. The universe is so mysterious and life is such a miracle that it is simply unfathomable.

So, I must believe that those who claim that life is finite, existing only during the short years on earth or other life-bearing planets, the atheists in our world, are simply lying to themselves. I think they will be sad with disillusion if they believe that until the day they die and never have a spiritual awakening. They, like me, are spiritual beings experiencing a physical existence whether they know it or not. Atheism, like spirituality, is simply a belief, and nothing more. You only have to look at the life of Mattie Stepanek to understand that there is more.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Social Security Time Bomb

I’ve heard that the peak years of Social Security will occur around 2015, plus or minus a year or two. From that point on, Social Security will nose dive; a ticking time bomb. And, so far, no solution has been proposed that really works. Social Security is a good idea. If it isn’t saved in essentially its current form, millions will suffer.

Thank God that the voluntary program Bush proposed wasn’t approved by Congress. That’s not the answer. Had it been approved, J. P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch (now bankrupt), Lehman Brothers (also bankrupt) and other big investment banks that have been devastated would have lost the entire trust fund in speculative gambling in the markets. So, something else has to be done.

The Social Security program was always intended to be paid for by those currently employed. In the 1950s, the ratio of employed to social security recipient was nine to one and very few of the nine made enough money over the Social Security “cap.” Today that ratio is two to one and many make more than the cap. The whole idea from the start was that “full employment” would be a foundation element of the U.S. economy. So, what happened?

For one thing, companies began sending jobs overseas to avoid their tax burden, including their social security tax burden. They found that they could be “non-country” companies by exporting jobs; neither taxed in their home country nor under laws of the employee’s country. The idea of “Full Employment” hasn’t been a concern of corporations or on the Republican platform since before President Reagan, and for the majority of the time since Reagan Republicans have been in power. According to reports, Obama is going to impose an “extra” tax on U.S. companies that export jobs overseas. Part of those taxes should go to the Social Security Trust since exporting jobs has cheated the trust in the first place. The ratio of worker to recipient needs to rise, even if it considers the exported job.

The other obvious thing that has cheated the trust is the so-called Social Security cap, $102,000 in 2008. The cap raises a few thousand dollars every year. But, the cap actually represents a middle-income wage in the richer states, such as California, and many in those states are able to avoid social security contributions for most of the year. The cap should be eliminated entirely so that all employees contribute the full year. Of course the real reason for the cap is not to benefit the wage earner; it is to benefit the corporation who would have to divvy up its share. The cap is just another Republican scheme for corporations to rip-off our nation. There is no end to Republican duplicity.

Medicare is just as crucial and in as deep a hole as Social Security. It, too, must be saved by similar taxes. U.S. based corporations have to do their share, or we will have millions of aged poor in soup lines and in great need of healthcare. Of course there are still many stupid “Joe the Plumbers” out there who will end up on Social Security, but fight against their own best interests while they’re working. Social Security, and Medicare, taxes are the best investments you will ever make. They are your safety net.

I’ll say it again. I will never again vote for a Republican. They have damaged our country more than any foreign enemy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Ugly Republicans

…are raising their ugly heads again. Now that a Democrat is moving in, John Bolton and John Yoo are crying to restore Congressional Constitutional powers that require two-thirds Congressional approval of treaties. These two birds were on the other side of that coin when Bush was in the White House; crying foul and subverting congressional constitutional authority the whole time. Now they want the Republican minority to be able to subvert Democrats’ power through filibuster. Bolton, as our ambassador to the United Nations, was one of those Republicans responsible for damaging our international influence abroad more than any other in the past eight years. Yoo was one of the responsible architects behind our torturous interrogation tactics. Both should be in jail.

Then, there are the ugly Republicans raising their heads in Congress, threatening to fight, invariably delaying, Obama’s stimulus plan. Give them a few more months and the economy will dump into a full blown depression where we have no chance of quick recovery. A Great Depression II that will last years and, finally, the United States will become the banana republic with an ineffective government that the Republicans have been hollering for. Haven’t you heard them? They’ve been saying for years that, “the government is not the solution, it’s the problem.” “Good government” has never been on their platform.

I, too, would like to see Congress take back all of its constitutional powers it has given away over the past 30 or 40 years so that there is a true balance of power, but as long as the two-faced, hypocritical Republicans are in there America will lose. It’s too bad that there are still in this country stupid citizens who believe the Republican claptrap. But, as for me, I’ll not vote for another Republican skin-head for the rest of my life. It’s too bad the Democrats have a few self-serving crooks, but I don’t see any anti-Americans in it like the Republicans have.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Brent Walters and GodTalk

KGO Radio’s Sunday morning GodTalk with Brent Walters is probably the most interesting and original discussion on religion, and Christianity specifically, in the United States today. He puts Christian belief in historical context. Listen for a few shows and you’ll soon get the idea that most, if not all, Christian believers in this country who follow the established Christian sects don’t believe in Christianity at all. In fact, as a caller this morning said, they are atheists and not Christians at all. Closer to the truth, perhaps, is that they are pagans; practicing a polluted form of Roman paganism and false Christian gospel.

If we really did practice Jesus’ teachings, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in today, and you don’t even have to believe in Jesus to follow His teachings. We would be more charitable, more loving, more caring and less greedy, arrogant, angry and accusing. You would also turn off all of the well known Christian leaders in the U. S. today; Dobson, Warren, Perkins, and more like them because of their false gospel.

Even atheists, who claim to believe that dust is the final human form, can’t deny that humans are more spiritual than animal and that good supersedes evil every time. Doing good is good for the spirit. When are we going to get around to satisfying our spiritual needs instead of our animal gluttony?

The fact is that fear keeps us from doing the right thing. We’re afraid of not supporting Israel. We’re afraid of being poor. We’re afraid of being like all other peoples of the world; of not being exceptional or superior. Maybe there’s nothing to be afraid of. How can a spiritual being be afraid? What can a spiritual being be afraid of?

I came across the term "Spiritual Being" several weeks ago in Why Faith Matters by David Wolpe, a Jewish Rabbi, who, by the way, was a guest on GodTalk a few Sundays ago. It seems to me that that is the key to our existence and explains our immortality. If we humans are Spiritual Beings, then no boss, manager, politician, army or nation can make us afraid; the spirit will go on. Brent Walters puts things back into perspective along those lines and adds truth and detail to the religions we've corrupted over the past 2,000 years. We need to get back to the point of it all. It isn't religion that's bad; it's the religious manipulators.