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I really hate when people talk about the debt run up under Obama so far. It obscures the fact that most of this debt is still W’s. There is a whole litany of expenses run up under George that are still hitting and many that are yet to hit.

People like to act like the train has arrived in the station as soon as the engine arrives, but there are still a hundred cars and the caboose to boot, before we can call it done.

George W. Bush will still be adding to the national debt for years after he is out of office. The tanks and jets we are running all over Iraq and Afghanistan have a maximum wear, which is being quickly used up. This maximum wear is the point at which you cannot replace parts because the frame or body itself is used up. This wear means the total replacement of the tanks or planes, etc. This will easily add up to over a trillion dollars.

The cost to the country for the treatment of the soldiers mentally or physically injured in our longest wars will cost several hundred billion over the next decade, and may surpass a trillion dollars as well.

The biggest expense will be the payment for the wars we have been waging for the last decade. One of the ways Bush decided to make the war more palatable for the American people was by not raising taxes to pay for it. Instead he borrowed the money from China. We will be paying off that loan and the interest for decades.

These are some of the reasons why Bush is easily the worst president of all time, and a man that did more damage to this county than anybody I know. His policy of torture and wars against nations that did not attack us bankrupted us morally. His Patriot Act and reversing Posse Comitatus are among many of his acts that robbed us of our legal rights, and his agenda of favoring the corporations, banks, and the rich backfired due to rampant misuse of power to crash our entire economic system.

Mission Accomplished indeed.

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The central problem this country faces and the heart of the issues, all of them, to me, that is not understood by most Americans and is ignored by the media (“liberal” or not) is that our country is now a corporate state.

The reason we can afford $700 billion this year for the military is because the military-industrial complex says we can, via the politicians that our corporate  c— sucking Supreme Court says can be endlessly funded by those corporations.

The reason we can’t get sensible health care in this country is because the health care corporate complex is 1/6th of our economy. Obama would never have made meaningful reform during a massive recession of an industry that though it raises prices every year in return for lowering care, would have guaranteed he didn’t get a second term. To reform it would have meant they cut jobs to maintain profits, and that would have destroyed Obama’s chances to be reelected.

The reason the health care bill sucks is that Obama played to another devil–the pharmaceutical industry. The bill guarantees that American doctors will fulfill their role as pill pimps for the drug industry, which Americans won’t mind because they only pay for the pills indirectly through health care funded by taxes, instead of directly out of pocket, but the cumulative effect is that we are no more healthy.

We have by far the highest incarceration rate in the world, which means either we are the world’s worst people, or the prison industrial complex is being very successful at getting their lobby and politicians they own to pass laws to “be tough on crime”.

It was the prison complex that drafted, funded, and paid to promote the Arizona immigration law. It wasn’t Joe Six-Pack that was sick of illegals and decided to act, as the media promotes. It was corporate power looking to make more money. It takes 6 years to rename a post office in this country, but this immigration bill went from being drafted to being a law in one year. That is corporate power greasing the wheels.

There is a book out that says the average American commits at least one felony a day, mostly without knowing it, due to the massive amount of Federal, State, and Local laws. My half-brother is half Native American, and he gave me a Golden Eagle feather, which by law only Native Americans can possess. If I am caught with this feather, I will be charged with a Federal crime. Yes, putting me in prison for a bird feather will make the world safer for democracy.

The bank industry is so powerful it has circumvented and struck down all of the laws made to reign in dangerous betting activity. The last law passed to “reform” them was a joke, and the SEC is staffed by a mere handful of people, who have law degrees, but have no understanding of credit default swaps and all the other tricks of Wall Street. This is as the bank industry wants it, and wills it through the politicians it owns.

The media are owned by corporations, and the liberal bias so often cited is a joke. News is a product and won’t sell unless it is compelling. This is achieved through attacking politicians but not the corporate power behind it, unless that corporate power belongs to your rival.

The common thread of most of these massive corporations is that they are tax payer funded. They are given money to develop weapons, or drugs, that then become their property to sell to the government that funded it in the first place. The banks are given money to loan, etc etc.

The military budget has doubled from the already massive amount of $350 billion it was a few short years ago, and our “liberal” government is going to cut $78 billion over 5 years? Wow!  This equates to an incredible average of $16 billion a year. How is the military going to survive on only $684 billion dollars?

The food industry is another example of corporate greed and corporate welfare. The majority of the handouts going to farmers are actually going to corporate farms. They have managed to get the Supreme Court to say you can patent life, so they are now forcing genetically modified foods into the market place, so that farmers don’t own the crops they grow in their fields.

Corn is tax payer subsidized, making in falsely cheap, and then put in every product we consume from soda to soap, to a maximize profit. It is fed to cattle because it makes them fat quickly, but evidence points to it also creating an acid resistant form of e.coli that sickens our people, and kills the old, and young among us, but the profits are good.

This is why the tea party b.s. is just that. They talk about free market, and most of our major industries are tax dollar addicted and funded.

They talk about cutting taxes to make jobs, the banks and major industries have recovered and are making record profits, because they are keeping their money and not making jobs. Cutting taxes isn’t changing that.

The Tea party hates handouts, but only the ones for the poor. Corporate hand outs are somehow patriotic. Tea partiers are mad they can’t afford stuff, but it isn’t because the government is giving it all to illegals and lazy people, it is because the corporations suck it all up, and you guys defend them. When Malcolm X talked about the house slaves, he was talking about you.

The viciousness of this country against the poor and needy disgusts me, even Rome, one of the most vicious societies in history, guaranteed all citizens free bread daily, so that none went hungry. Even wolves take care of the old and weak in their pack, but not us. You have to work for it, and if you are too old, too sick, or too simple, then F— you.

None of the politicians are going against business. The Dems take it in the rear for business, the GOP says “thank you” while doing it, and the Tea Party whistles the national anthem as they are getting railed. I would love it if we did really have left-wing politicians. We NEED a labor party to give the common man some relief.

In order to explain and define the new lows to which our country is sinking, I have invented a new word.

Necrocracy—A government in which the elected representatives ability to understand the needs and desires of their constituency, or be concerned with their well-being, is effectively dead.

I have come to the conclusion that our government has gone beyond plutocracy, which is a government run by the wealthy.  Our government is still a plutocracy, but that word is insufficient to explain how brazen and callous the congressmen of this country have become.

It is not enough that they left the unemployed hanging without benefits while they enjoyed a long 4th of July weekend, waving to crowds, and hypocritically telling them that is the American people who make America great.

It is not enough that one of them apologizes to BP for making them pay for creating the world’s largest oil spill. God knows big business has suffered enough taking free money from the government, and making record profits, while we the proles kick back in luxury.

Now Jon Kyl, Republican Senator extraordinaire, has proclaimed the need to extend the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, even if doing so adds debt to the bottom line of the country. He won’t let the unemployed get benefits, because that adds to our national debt, even if it is far less than what it costs to let the rich pay less taxes, even as their income continues to grow. The gap between the rich and the poor is the only thing that is showing consistent growth in the country.

The money, fame, power, TV time, travel, and free government health care  for congressmen must be incredibly seductive, that must be the reason they are so dismissive of the needs of the real American people making shit wages and drowning under debt. How else can you explain John McCain repudiating everything he ever stood for, to maintain his position. It must be an addiction to power.

It is beyond my vocabulary to explain how appalled I am at the cynicism and cronyism shown by these people. I have never seen such frank and open glad-handing and groveling to the rich that pay for these bastards elections. And so, since it is beyond my vocabulary, I have made this new word: Necrocracy. It could also be used to explain how dead the souls of these politicians are.

I am sometimes accused of being anti-American. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I love this country, and I love it enough to read, study, reflect, and meditate on it and the issues facing it and the American People. I am nobody special, just a prole, but as a citizen it is my job to put time into being a good citizen.

Being a patriot is more than a flag sticker on your car, or playing Toby Keith songs, and a hell of a lot more than yelling at people who point out some of the areas we as a nation are not doing so well. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t patriotism. True patriotism is like true love, it isn’t that you don’t see the flaws in the people you love, it is that you do see them, and you love them anyway. If you can, you help them attempt to improve on their flaws, but you love them unconditionally.

A group of people whose patriotism I admire very much are the Brazilians. I have lived for short periods of time in Brazil on two occasions. That first time was during a horrible economic crisis, with inflation of 971% that year. Brazilians are patriotic, not because they have the biggest military in the world, or the most economic power, but because they are Brazilians. They know where their country has problems, but they still love it. Brazilians use to tell me, “My country is third world, but it is mine.”

One of the great examples of this is in sports. It doesn’t matter what sport, or where it is, if a Brazilian is competing, you will find other Brazilians supporting him. It can be any sport, Judo, volleyball, even sailing. If they held a snow-cone making contest in Antarctica, you would find a group of screaming, dancing Brazilians, painted yellow and green, cheering on their guy. When you go and support your countrymen, win, lose, or draw, that is true patriotism.

Another great patriot was Socrates. He went about, exposing hypocrisy, and trying to get people to think. He was as he called himself, “a gadfly”, stirring the people to try to improve themselves, their people, and their city. He got himself the death sentence for that. I admire and in a small way, try to emulate the example of Socrates, that is part of the reason I write this blog. I will try to avoid the death sentence though.

The situation of this country is stark. Corporations have laid waste to our economy and our system of government, and along the way have convinced many people and politicians that the only way to fix it, is to give them even more power and free rein to do it again. The American people who still have jobs, are working longer, and getting less. They are yelling for more prisons, and more guns, to calm the fears put in their heads by a “free media” owned by corporations, that banks on ratings from fear-mongering and misinformation. The Americans that don’t have jobs anymore, are finding out that the chickens have come home to roost. Jobs, and manufacturing have all been sent overseas to China, so that the CEO’s can show a profit and get their bonuses. Many jobs are gone, and aren’t coming back, and we, the richest country in the world, have one of the worst support and unemployment systems of any first world country.

The glimmer of hope is this: we, the people of the United States of America, have the power to change it. The rights in our Bill of Rights, give us the power to speak, to assemble, and to make our representatives fix the problem, the way we want, and to do it now. We have those rights, and we still have time to use them, but the clock is ticking….

I didn’t want to jump on this one because it has been done to death. What I did want to point out however, is that it does show that congressmen are increasingly transparent in their concern for their most important constituents–corporations.

The politician of today is ever more aware of the need to coddle corporate america to ensure a steady flow of money. Your vote is of secondary importance, because he can get that with enough ads. The trick is the funds, and that comes from corporations.

I am sick to death of hearing about how what we need is to have savvy business leaders take charge of runaway government spending and bring sound business principles to running the country. It is a fallacious and myopic response to the perceived problems of government, that if it comes to fruition, will actually exacerbate the real issues we are facing as a country.

First, being a successful business person doesn’t prepare one for public service anymore than being a lawyer does, and possibly not as well as being a lawyer does. Lawyers make up more than half of the Congress, and they are terrible, but there is no reason to think it would be any better if the elected came from any other walk of life. Once you enter political life, you are absorbed into the culture already present, regardless of your former profession.

Bluntly speaking, let’s drop the whole notion of a guy out of the movie “Dave” going in there and making good ol’ American common sense decisions, that speak to the heart of the American people. The “businessmen” that are usually running for office are straight out of the corporate hierarchy, most of whom have made their reputations on keeping stock prices up by not just cutting, but slaughtering American jobs, and benefits and retirement for workers, while making everything they can in China, thereby destroying the long-term prognosis for the American economy for short-term returns. They remunerate themselves for insuring the future impoverishment of America, by rewarding themselves with millions of dollars in wages, compensation, and bonuses, and negotiate contracts guaranteeing that the company they helm will pay for everything from their penthouse to their dry cleaning for the rest of their lives.

Finally, lest we forget. These people who reward themselves so richly for changing volume sales of their corporations by tenths of a percent, and now so piously want to “get America back on the right track” are the very people who have corrupted the system with thousands of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions. There are no lobbyists in Washington working for you, you don’t have the money to hire one, so your congressman spends his day listening to the lobbyists of corporations, and doing their bidding to insure future campaign contributions. The only thing that putting these people in Washington will do is make them their own best lobbyist. They don’t give a shit about sending your job overseas now, why do you think they will care about you when they are your Senator?

That is one of the things that makes Rand Paul so refreshing as a candidate, he was just an eye doctor that decided to make a change in the world. Unfortunately, he is also an idiot that believes the same “business has the know-how to fix it” line of bull.

Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor spouting the same “business principles” crap. “The people of California are working, it is the government that is not working.” He said he would “eliminate redundancies and save money”. He criticized Grey Davis for wanting to borrow money to prop up the budget of California, as well as his plan to cut school money and money for poor families. Within 6 months, Arnold had borrowed money to prop up the budget, and cut money for schools and the poor for the first of what would be many times.  Now after 7 years of Arnold and his practical, business sensibilities, California, that if an independent nation would be the world’s sixth largest economy, is broke.

I don’t want government priorities to have fiscal responsibility first and foremost. There are many important things that lose money that we need. The people who tell me the Post Office is losing money and it should be privatized it so it will be more efficient, don’t live in a place like Sulfur Well, Kentucky. I like maps, but I have never seen it on any map. It is so small that the tiny post office doesn’t even deliver the mail. The residents just stop by to pick it up. Maybe it is not fiscally responsible, but it is a good thing to have in Sulfur Well. The people who talk about privatizing the post office, wouldn’t stand to privatize the military. I am sure that would save money too. We could get rid of the Air Force as well. Just rent planes from Fed Ex and kick the bombs out the back when we need to bomb something. The bombs are laser guided so you don’t need to have a terribly accurate bombing platform right? The post office was the only branch of government that turned a profit up until the late 90’s when everything started being done online. With the reduced volume came reduced income, but it isn’t that the Post Office made bad business decisions, and where the hell are all the 18-year-old kids gonna register for the draft if the nearest post office is 80 miles away? Changing where they do that will cost MONEY, and no matter where you decide to do it, somebody is going to call you  fiscally irresponsible. Part of the reason to have government is to do the things that are too big, too expensive, or too inefficient, that still need to get done.

Really if we were serious about electing people who were prepared for public service we would have to beef up the Political Science curriculum in colleges, demand a Master’s Degree in Political Science as well as at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Sociology out of potential politicians, and require at least a decade of service running and growing a Non-Profit, with full disclosure of all 10 years of financial records while at the same time having the person interning at local levels of government.  We should then require that all campaign finances be made public on the website of the candidate, and that once elected that his agenda be 100% public and availible on his website. This means every meeting with every lobbyist including lunches and every trip made and who financed it. If we aren’t able to get any meaningful campaign fund reform, than every congressman should be required to wear the corporate logo of his top 12 campaign contributors right below the ubiquitous flag pin on his lapel. Maybe then, maybe, we would have a better class of politicians in office. Then again, there is a saying that anybody who desires political office is unworthy of it because of the desire for political office.

What we shouldn’t do is presume that anybody is worthy of public office because he was a cop, fireman, veteran, judge, athlete, or god forbid, a corporate vampire. What makes a public servant good is serving the people and looking for their long-term as well as short-term good. We don’t get much of that here.

I keep seeing and hearing about the sanctity of the Constitution and how it must be protected and upheld. The problem as I see it is that the drive and fervor is not really to protect it as a whole, but only the parts that are of interest to whichever group is shedding alligator tears over its supposed demise.

Every time a Democrat is in the White House, the NRA rolls up into a fetal position, clutching its Glock, and catatonically mumbles, “From my cold, dead hand,” for four years.  Obama hasn’t done anything to take any guns.

What happened in this country to make perception more important than fact, myth more believed than reality, lies emailed and repeated more than truth? If you are reading an email about Obama taking “IN God We Trust” off the coins, you are already on the internet, go ahead and fact check it before you remail it to everybody in you contact list, for god’s sake. Why is this country so anti-intellectual? Why are people so willing to repeat to everybody they know, stuff they won’t take 3 minutes to google or check on snopes.com? To borrow a great line from “Animal House”, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

The next time a Republican takes the White House, I am going to buy every gun I can, and then I will just wait until a Democrat takes office again, and then I will sell the hell out of those guns. I will display one gun at a time with a sign that says “Last One Before the New Law”, I won’t say which law, because their won’t be any that have to do with guns, but I will print out one of those crazy emails you get that has an email address send list on it the size of the New York City phone book, about how whatever Democrat that took office plans on world domination, and when he was asked how he thought he could get away with it, he said it was because “you don’t have a gun to stop me, and that is why I am taking all the guns.” I will sell them the secret, extended, limited time only gazzilion round clip, and then sell the guy 2 gazzlion rounds to go with it.

I don’t have any idea when Wall Street is going to sky-rocket or plunge, but I will bet the house on the price of guns, just tell me who is in the White House.

I don’t really have a problem with guns. If you want some, then ok. It is your right to have some.  Where I have a problem is in all of the areas the Constitution is being carved into pieces.

Nobody ever talks about the seizure of property by the police. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but you must prove your property wasn’t involved in a crime to get it back. The police get to keep most of what they take. That was one of the issues that caused the American Revolution in the first place, and is why the Constitution says that you can’t do that. Amendment 4 says there should be no unreasonable searches and seizures, and Amendment 5 says that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. I would imagine that would also mean that public servants can’t take stuff without compensation either.  You never hear any politician standing up for the public on that one.

The Constitution says that only Congress has the power to declare war, but that is a power that has been allowed to go to the President. It is the people of the United States that are supposed to decide when we go to war, through the Congress. If we were to take the Constitution at face value, every President that has sent us to war since Truman has been guilty of violating the Oath of Office, and thereby committing perjury, and failing to uphold the law. If Clinton could be impeached for lying about a BJ, how is not an impeachable offense to send people to their death unlawfully and in violation of the Constitution?

The Supreme Court has been in fine form lately in tearing up the Constitution as well. They recently ruled that people who have been convicted of sex related crimes, can be left in prison after they have served their sentence, if it is thought that they are likely to reoffend, and that they can be left in prison indefinitely. Sex crimes are heinous, but no matter how you feel about the perpetrator, if you value the Constitution, then when he has served his time, he should be set free. You can require counseling, monitoring, whatever you want, but you have to set that person free. It is the same principle as with free speech, you can’t say you believe in it, unless you defend the right of people you abhor, to say things that disgust you. A good example is that church group that stands outside soldiers funerals, spewing hate about homosexuals. That is free speech, and it is never more free than when you would really like to sock that crazy preacher in the suck hole.

The most ludicrous rulings have been pronounced and affirmed regarding corporations. The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the same rights as you, a living, breathing, human being have. Not only is this absurd, but corporations have more rights than you do. You are not allowed to do many of the things that they are legally allowed to do. The corporation then, has become the quintessential citizen of this country. It is the paragon of political progress while you are merely a wretched human being.

Corporations are really a Frankenstein, a living dead entity.  It is a card trick done with legal filings and legal mumbo jumbo. It is making a solid out of thin air.

How can a corporation express an opinion? It is comprised of many individuals. It does not have the same goals, or methods of attaining them as you do, nor does it have the same needs to continue to exist. Maybe universities, and elementary schools should incorporate so they can have their voice heard, and church congregations and softball teams as well.

Maybe the corporation is the ultimate expression of human development. A human version of a hive of bees, with all of us workers serving the queen and a couple of drones.  How base and pointless if all our knowledge and capacity to reason leads us to the same organization as bees and ants. If God or evolution can’t do any better than this, I hope the Sun goes supernova soon.

Lastly, how can the Supreme Court rule that money is equal to free speech? We all have one voice to speak with, but some have a lot heavier wallets. This perverts and destroys the democracy those that buy elections so callously pretend to love.

I don’t have a problem with Bill Gates giving a million dollars to a candidate he supports, I have a serious problem with Microsoft giving one damn dime to any politician.

Financial Regulation Bill Will Hurt Main Street

Posted by: Orrin Hatch in Untagged  on May 19, 2010 Print

The following originally appeared as an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. -Staff

The words of Hatch will be in white, mine in red. This op-ed of the senatorial equivalent of Mr. Ed, explains why we are doomed unless we can get these jack-holes out of office.

The U.S. Congress should be forced to take the same oath that doctors take to “first do no harm.” Yeah, except doctors have to go to school and be certified competent to practice medicine, and you just have to be rich and willing to sell your soul. Because more often than not, under the guise of “fixing” a problem, Washington  You are “Washington”, 33 years of sucking on the taxpayers teat, the corporate teat, and the lobbyist teat. You are everything that makes Washington not work makes things much, much worse for hard-working middle-class families and small businesses.

That’s precisely the problem with the financial regulation bill that’s before the Senate right now. I was powerless to interject anything, or draft anything of my own. Instead of strengthening our financial system, this legislation will stifle (regulate) economic growth and job creation, (regulate) strangle critical credit, send U.S. jobs overseas and add more burdensome, costly and misguided regulation onto the backs of struggling businesses. It will be more of the same stuff I have been going along with for 33 years.

Thus, instead of the Obama administration’s promise to “fix” Wall Street, we’ve got a bill that squarely takes aim at Main Street instead. The careless overreach will have a lasting and negative impact on small businesses across Utah and America. We should do nothing, and trust the corporations that got us into this mess, to get us out. I mean if they didn’t know how to run a bank, they wouldn’t call them bankers, right?

Let’s be honest, Wall Street is going to have armies of accountants, lawyers and experts figure out a way to get around any of the new rules in this bill. Let’s be honest, I am one of  only 100 senators for the most powerful nation in history, this makes me completely powerless to make any effort to close up loopholes these guys use, so that I can protect you. I would really like to, but again let’s be honest, you don’t have the cash in hand to make it worth my effort. No wonder Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of the New York investment giant Goldman Sachs, said “that the biggest beneficiaries of reform will be Wall Street itself.” I quoted him, because Goldman hasn’t dropped any loot into my campaign funds for several years. Luckily, I have been doing quite well with health care industry contributions. That’s a luxury our small businesses in Utah can’t afford when they’re saddled with this legislative monstrosity. I like to use monstrosity and any other word that gets you to think about big, out of control government. It is much more logical to think that a piece of legislation dealing with massive unregulated transactions of huge amounts of money across international borders, at the electronic speed of light, should be able to fit on the back of a napkin, you know, keep it simple, stupid.

Furthermore, at a time when public trust in Washington is at a record low, the White House and its Capitol Hill allies grab more power for federal bureaucrats at the expense of states and our judicial system. Yeah! Power grab, that gets um every time. They are grabbing your right to be financially sodomized away from you. Now you may not like having your 401k disappear, but it is your right, to let it happen to you.

When companies get in trouble, bankruptcy courts should be in charge to ensure transparency and accountability. Instead, the bill creates “expedited liquidation authority” that permits the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s politically appointed bureaucrats to take over large, complex, intertwined financial institutions. Yes, politically appointed, how else would they be appointed? Again, the logic of it is too complicated for the federal department in charge of finance to handle it. The bankers know the best way to do it. It is like saying that nobody knows more about booze than your alcoholic Uncle Billy, so he knows just what to do to stop drinking. In addition, the bill contains a provision that would allow the FDIC to play favorites — and give more money — to certain creditors if the FDIC determines a particular creditor poses a systemic risk. Any financial institution that takes undue risk, regardless of size should be given less free reign to ruin my 401k. Doesn’t this put the large banks at an unfair advantage over smaller institutions?

The White House is pushing for a new consumer protection agency. Why a big new bureaucracy? The real solution lies in taking a closer look at why these agencies failed to protect consumers and fix the problem existing within the system. Yes, the right solution,  2 full years after the collapse, is to form a committee to discuss and debate the issue for another 4 years, by which time we should be ready for our next financial meltdown, because we haven’t regulated anything. We do not need to add more layers of regulators that will make it more expensive and complicated to get a car loan or credit card. Maybe because you and your cronies gutted the ones we have, maybe because this is a whole new area that needs to be regulated, maybe because we the regular people have to pay for the shit you get for free.

But the worst part of this legislation is what it’s missing — reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two mortgage agencies caused the financial crisis by backing loans to people who couldn’t afford it. But that certainly didn’t stop Uncle Sam from bailing them out and continuing to bail them out at a cost of $145 billion to the taxpayer. Yes that is the worst part, not the banks or the corporations, certainly not the system of modern serfdom created by the credit card companies. It is the people who wanted a house, and were told they could live the american dream and get one. All these people knew was they were told yes, signed a bunch of stuff, and then had two years of bliss before the clouds rolled in. The bankers and real estate agents got what they wanted, the people got the shaft, and the mortgage agencies did what they were told to do. They didn’t start it, they just went along with it. They backed the loans the banks sent them.  Just like you do Mr. Hatch, on everything your corporate masters tell you to do.

Why is it that people don’t know how much debt these two agencies are piling onto the backs of our children and grandchildren? Well, that’s because the Obama White House decided not to put their debt on the books where it can be seen. Now if that isn’t outrageous, I don’t know what is. You are outrageous, you have piled debt onto the backs of the american people for 3 decades. You do everything you can to produce bombs, and tanks, and jets, but fight tooth and nail against help for the poor, the sick, and the undereducated.

We can’t hide from this problem. Which is why they created this legislation. This administration has to stop propping up Fannie and Freddie with taxpayer dollars while refusing to push significant reform. Utah families have had to make tough choices; it’s time these Washington bureaucrats did, too. Can one of those choices be that you drop dead?

Does our financial regulatory system need reform? Absolutely, but this legislation is a prescription to make things worse for Main Street all in the name of fixing Wall Street. Again, my master likes when I bark at the dark, so that’s what I did. Have I come up with anything to reform the financial regulatory system, well no, because sometimes your friends and bosses do things you don’t like, but you just look the other way and pretend it isn’t happening, and pray to God it doesn’t happen again. The worst thing in the world is to have to say harsh things you don’t mean to your friends in public, so that you can protect yourself and your friends from the public.

Lets be honest, to borrow a Orrin phrase, I always say politicians are politicians are politicians. The reform bill in the Senate is pathetic, it is weak, and it is too late, but at least it is something. To side with Wall Street is the height of hypocrisy. Orrin Hatch, you are a cancer to the American People.

I had wanted to write about Israel for a few weeks and with the news of their attack on a convoy of aid ships, I figure now is the time.

I am not Jewish, but I like Jewish people. I bought and read the Torah and I really liked it. I have collected many quotes by great rabbi’s and sages of the Jewish religion. I used to read regularly on aish.com, it has some really great stuff. For a while I really wanted to go to synagogue, but I was nervous about just showing up. I still want to go sometime.

I believed that Jews were among the wisest people ever. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned from the Torah, the Talmud, and Jewish history. Part of the reason I think there is such a rich tradition of wisdom with the Jewish people, is because of their suffering.

In my own life I have seen that suffering teaches, it creates compassion, and understanding, and forgiveness. Getting what you want doesn’t teach you a damn thing, besides to be careful what you wish for, maybe.

Yet, I wonder if this wisdom and especially the compassion that was manifest in the Jewish tradition through all the history of oppression and exile, pogroms and inquisitions has been lost. Have the Israeli’s forgotten all their history and become like the people who tried to exterminate them?

The Israeli’s barricade off the Palestinians into cramped, hopeless shantytowns, like a thousand Warsaw Ghetto’s. They demand papers, deny aid, cut power and water. They attack and kill and maim, without reason or provocation. This is the history of Nazi’s against the Jews.

I am well aware that the Palestinians are also guilty of cruelty and indiscriminate killing. I know the history of the slaughter of Jews by the Palestinians before Israel was a state. The attacks on Israel by the Arab nations. In the end, where does it end, and with whom? A man with a bomb strapped to him, blowing up a bus full of people just trying to go home is wrong. So is a helicopter blindly firing rockets into a neighborhood. Just because one group is recognized as a nation by the U.N. doesn’t mean that it is not a terrorist act, they both are. It has to end. Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”

It can start by letting the Palestinians have a real economy. Real jobs, making real money, gives people real hope. A man with hope and a little money in his pocket wants to deck his car out with a stereo and a ton of speakers, not a detonator and a ton of tnt.

I understand that Israel is in a tough spot. Israel cannot afford to trust anybody. Every once in a while somebody here in the U.S. will be caught spying for Israel, and nobody here can understand why they would do that. I understand why, think about this: toward the end of WW2, the Allies ruled the skies over Germany. Thousands of planes flew over Germany day and night, attacking anything that moved. We had liberated some of the camps and knew the Germans were shipping Jews to the camps by rail, but despite literally having thousands of planes to blow up the rails leading to the camps, we never did.

Even the creation of Israel was really Anti-Semitic. The Vichy French, and many of the other countries conquered by the Nazi’s had gleefully helped round up Jews to be shipped to slaughter. They didn’t want the Jews back after the war, and the U.S. didn’t want to bring them back here. We kept them in the death camps while we figured out what to do. Finally, we decided to send them “home”, except there were already people living there. It would be like the U.N. deciding to give California back to Mexico. The Mexican’s might be happy, but I don’t think too many Californians would be pleased.

I have long suspected that the real reason we support Israel is because it foments so much dissent in the Middle East. It keeps all the bees buzzing and angry and leaves the honey to us.

I sometimes wonder, with all the history of the Jews trying to go home to the Promised Land, if the death of 6 million Jews was the price, and if that price was worth it? Now, I wonder if the price was not only the cruel death of all those people, but the abandonment of Jewish wisdom and compassion and understanding.

Does the Holy Land render God’s Holy People unholy?

If it makes them the agents of the same hatred and violence that the very nation of Israel was recreated to allow them to escape, than what is the worth?

Maybe I was wrong that the lesson is that wisdom comes by enduring and overcoming suffering, maybe the lesson is that you just grit your teeth and bear it until it is your turn to crack the whip.

It is a lot to ask any people to find mercy, and kindness, and justice in a place of so much anger and pain and hatred, but if the Chosen People of God cannot do it, who can?

Americans are the worst people ever! Do you believe that? I don’t either, but that is the only logical conclusion you can reach if you examine the statistics for incarceration in this country.

If we weren’t the worst people ever, committing the most rapes, murders, thefts, drug deals, and swindles in the world, than why would we have the most people in prison in the history of the world?

1 out of every 31 adults in this country are in jail, prison, on probation or on parole.

Every time I hear somebody saying that we need to get tough on crime, I wonder how much tougher we can be? Maybe when we get to a full 10% of adults in this country incarcerated, then we will finally being putting our foot down.

Here is the really great thing about prisons: they are privatized. They are for profit, private corporations, subsisting on your tax money.

The prison system is like your uncle Billy, who lost his job and moved into your basement. He can’t find a job so he watches tv all day and has put on 50 pounds, because he is eating you out of house and home, but he feels like he is contributing because he brought his .357 and says he keeps the house safe while you work.  Oh, and he wants you to upgrade your cable package. That is the American Prison System. Proudly taking more of your tax dollars every year.

The levels of violent crime have remained the same for the last 40 years. There are more murders than in 1970, but only because there are more people as well. Per capita, murder, rape, armed robbery, etc is still on the same level as it was. You are statistically no more likely to suffer a serious crime now, than you would have been in the 70’s. Lets take a look at a chart of prison population however.

You would expect that there would be more people in prison, because the population has increased, but clearly the levels of incarceration have exploded. It seems to have really taken off around 1980 when we started the “War on Drugs”. I have spoken about that fiasco previously. But, we are doing more than busting drug addicts and putting them in the pokie. With the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, prisons are now the largest mental health caretaker in the world. In the eyes of the court a crime is a crime, even if you are too mentally ill to know better, or be able to do anything about it.

Actually, with the heavy emphasis on punishment in this country, it makes perfect sense to incarcerate the mentally ill, along side predatory criminals. Americans love to punish.  Being mentally ill is as good a reason as committing crime, in order to merit punishment. I don’t understand exactly why it is that Americans are like this. I think it might be partly the successful indoctrination of most people by the elites that the poor are to blame for the difficult situation the middle class finds itself enduring. The rich continue to prosper by corrupting laws and elected officials, by demanding corporate welfare and subverting representational democracy, but the middle class, whose earnings continue to shrink, while they work longer hours, continues to blame to poor for receiving handouts and committing crimes.

Certainly a portion of the increase in incarceration does relate to better police tools. DNA, forensic science, etc have all improved the ability of police to solve crimes, but most crimes don’t require much police work to solve. Most murders, for instance, are committed by people known or related to the victim. TV shows make us think it is difficult, but that is rarely the case.

It is also rarely the case that once you are charged with a crime that you will be acquitted. Once again, public perception is shaped by TV. The lawyers on the shows make impassioned speeches, or use clever legal sophistry, or technicalities to win freedom for their clients. This belief is furthered by the famous cases of our times. O.J. Simpson and Kobe Bryant come to mind. For you and me however, a good lawyer is going to try hard to get your punishment reduced, the conviction is rarely a question. The DA has a virtually unlimited budget so they can use as many lawyer’s, investigators and time as they want. Plus, the cops that investigated your case are always called as expert witnesses. What they are experts at, is leaving out any information that shows you are innocent, and emphasizing anything that tends to make you look guilty.

Here is another great thing about prisons. Not only do prisons cost us a ton of money, they have evolved in our corporate-fascist society to take your job. The large, private corporations getting fat off of your tax dollar are not satisfied with the skyrocketing prison population. Profits are good, and the tax money that funds them is guaranteed, but now prisons are being used for slave labor.

The Prison Industrial Complex is pimping out their prisoners to other corporations for cheap labor, and I don’t just mean picking up trash along the roads.  Chevron, IBM, Motorola, Compaq, Texas Instruments, Honeywell, Microsoft, Victoria’s Secret and Boeing are among the corporations taking advantage of this labor. Forget college, pretty soon, the best way to get a job will be by going to prison.

Covert Action Quarterly covered this subject 10 years ago. I really miss that publication. Here is the link: http://covertaction.org//content/view/59/0/

A recent post I have found will tell you the same things: http://www.theurbanpolitico.com/2010/05/unmasking-prison-industrial-complex.html