Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Obama's Endless Tax Cuts Meetings With Republicans: Bipartisanship or Capitulation?

President Obama's agreement to hold more meetings with Republicans in order to find ways to solve the Bush tax cuts problem speaks of one thing, and one thing only: that the assured and confident man who was overwhelmingly supported and elected has been broken by the powers that be.

It's a sad spectacle to see this once very calm and confident man stagger from one misstep to another almost sheepishly, and this latest attempt at "bipartisanship" should tell all progressives that our hopes have finally been really and truly dashed. This begs the question, whatever happened to the very effective and intelligent candidate Obama whom we elected to the presidential office?

He clearly is a different person these days. Gone are the confident mannerisms to be replaced by this almost timid and timorous person in whom you can clearly see self doubt. Sadly, also gone with the confidence are all the hopes and aspirations of the tens of millions of Americans who voted to put this man in office because they believed in him. They believed in him because they thought that he believed in himself and, also believed in the same things which they believe in.

Now, everybody is finding out, the hard way, that what we thought we saw in him was nothing but illusions. A mirage seen by people who had been both physically and mentally drained by years and years of denial and hardships. I guess we could be forgiven for falling so easily for the mirage given the condition we were in during that election, and given the need for a drastic change away from the way things operated. I guess we could be forgiven for falling for the first person who mentioned what we all wanted so much. change. I guess we could be forgiven for being very gullible considering all of the above reasons.

However, those of us who doubt a lot saw signs of this debacle early in the term of this president. We saw this lack of guts, or, as I love to put it, lack of the willingness to stand and fight. We saw the queasiness he always seemed to exhibit every time a little resistance was thrown in his direction and it looked like there was going to be a fight. That should have warned us of something like what we have now being a possibility. Maybe, if we had not been completely carried away, and had seen all the warnings, what is happening now wouldn't have been such a huge shock to us.

One example of these early signs that I'm talking about would be during the health care reform bill debate when the president clearly wilted under Republican onslaught, giving in to everything they wanted, even though they had broadcast it to everyone who was willing to listen, that all they wanted was to kill that bill in order to bring about the president's Waterloo. Finally, after he had bent over backward and contorted himself into unbelievable positions, in all directions, in order to accommodate every phony thing they wanted to add, and remove from the bill, he still got no votes from them. He ended up having to pass a very weakened bill through the reconciliation process.

A president with a little more guts and dependability would have passed the bill he wanted especially when it became obvious that all his opponents wanted was to kill his bill. That episode should serve as a warning to those of you out there who are still hopeful that, somehow, the president will impose his will during one of these meetings. We do have a precedent, actually, we have precedents and they all don't look good for your hopes.

Anyway, that is the way it has been since then, the president will bring up a campaign promise, the Republicans will start shouting their opposition and the president will capitulate in a very wimpy manner. If they did it successfully when they were in the minority and had nothing to look forward to except hope, what makes anyone think that now will be different when they have a majority and are simply waiting for January to assert that majority? This President has been defeated mentally and I expect the Republicans to stretch their advantage by making him appear weak and foolish all with an eye to 2012.

Now, the question is,  what can we do as progressives in the face of this great disappointment that has befallen us? How can we regroup and come back after having spent so much physical and mental energy in this fight during which we have received this blindsider of a sucker punch to the guts that has knocked all the wind from us? Do we fight back with even more motivation or do we give up and retreat to our dens to lick our wounds forever? Though hard it may be, I'm all for more motivated fighting because the result of giving up is simply unimaginable.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving Day.

As yesterday was thanksgiving day, I decided to make a list of the things I'm thankful for this year, 2010. I started by being confused about how I was going to decide the things that merited being thankful for and those that didn't, as, being a Christian, I've been taught to be thankful for all things, being that I wasn't supposed to know what was good or bad for me. After quite a bit of consideration, I decided to start by choosing the obvious things.

So, I'm starting out by being thankful for good health and family; wife, kids, parents, siblings and the whole works. I'm thankful for friends, good friends who are not back biters or back stabbers and who are reliable in all situations and under every condition. Then, I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head; not many people do in this climate.

I'm thankful that we can afford a thanksgiving meal even if the turkey had to, necessarily, be the smallest (cheapest) we could find. I'm grateful that Black Friday follow the thanksgiving day so I can have the strength to stand overnight, in line, after the heavy thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure I could have done that on any other night without the fuel of the thanksgiving meal.

Then I'm happy for the Black Friday sales, proper. I'm thankful that it makes it possible for me and others, to afford a lot of things that we couldn't, otherwise. I just got a 46 inch High Definition Television set for less than six hundred bucks at Wall Mart - doesn't matter if I need it or not. I'm also thankful that online Mondays has made it into the mainstream. I'm glad that those who didn't have the strength or the time to stand overnight for the Black Friday sales can hit up online shops like Amazon.com and still get in on the deal.

This thanksgiving, I'm glad for the Rogain foam for helping me and many men maintain a fuller head of hair. You wouldn't understand  why if you have never had to face the mirror with trepidation every morning not knowing what you were going to see. Then I'm grateful for the holiday rest that the Thanksgiving holiday affords me, and the opportunity the day provides, opportunity to spend time with family, and bond with the kids, and see the smiles on their faces when they realize that mom and dad are staying home for the day.

On the political end, I'm thankful that Obama is still president and I'm thankful that the tea party and the Republican Party fell short on their goals to take over the United States congress. I'm thankful that the Democrats were able to retain control of the senate. I'm grateful that the Republicans will not be able to repeal the health care reform law which would have taken us back to the dark ages.

I'm grateful that extremists like Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Joe Miller and idiots like Christine O'Donnell, among others, didn't make it into the senate. I'm thankful that Bristol Paling didn't win the dancing with the stars competition; that would have been a perfect example of what the phrase "travesty of justice" means. Also, thinking back, I'm thankful, again, that John McCain and Sarah Palin didn't make it to the
White House. I can't imagine what our lives would be like, now, if they had.

I'm thankful that Tom Delay, after so much delay, finally got a little of what he deserves. I'm thankful for people like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Howard Fineman, Ed Shulz and all good progressives out there, who love and care about their neighbors. Above all, I'm thankful that I have the privilege of living in a country which had been the greatest in the world and has every potential of getting back to that position.

Now, having stated all the things I'm thankful for, I wouldn't be human if I didn't have a few things that I'm not thankful for. This being an occasion for giving thanks, I will limit the number of these things to the barest minimum. The first thing that I'm not thankful for is the Republican Party take over of the House of Representatives. The second thing is the hard line stance they have taken against working with the president which will make for a very unproductive two years in Washington to the detriment of Americans.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The New Airport Check: Has Al-Qaeda Already Won?

The recent uproar about the new airport security check method got me thinking about the war on terror and the success, or otherwise of it. Our politicians keep shouting from the rooftops about how the waste of trillions  of dollars on this terror wars have kept us safe and prevented us from changing the way we live but everyday occurrences keep saying otherwise.

Therefore, my question is, who is actually winning in this war? A war we have spent so much, both financially and otherwise to wage for nearly a decade? We have destroyed Iraq waisting an inordinate amount of money and lives, both American and Iraqi. Now we are in the process of repeating the same thing in Afghanistan and what have we achieved?

In my opinion, we have only succeeded in spending ourselves into near bankruptcy while making more enemies than friends and we have neither become safer nor maintained our freedoms. Internally, our way of life has been turned upside down regardless of what our politicians keep telling us.

The freedoms we are supposed to be protecting with the terror wars have been the first to go. We give it up each time we have gone to the airport to fly anywhere since September 11, 2001. Recently, it has gotten worse with our most private of privacy now under attack all because of the fear of an enemy we claim to be on top of.

Furthermore, we have been turned into a paranoid country and every little thing that we would not have noticed before the start of our terror wars, now elicits the kind of reaction that can only result from paranoia. Every little bag in the street corner now has the ability to convene a huge gathering of our emergency services at great costs to cities that can hardly afford it. Yet we claim that our way of life has not been changed.

The fact is that Al-Qaeda has won this war already and all they need to do now is put out tapes and hints, from time to time, and they will keep us on this path to self destruction. That, really, has been Al-Qaeda's aim all along. I'm sure they must have known, coming in, that they can never destroy America with bombs or any weapons of conventional warfare.

Their fight has always been psychological and they are definitely doing great, even if not winning. They have aided, in very concrete ways, in our financial crisis, turning a very rich country into a country that now bickers over money. They have taken away a very crucial aspect of our individual freedoms forcing us to make laws and take actions which have, either taken away or limited those freedoms and that has led to these dehumanizing airport checks.

Finally, they have turned a once proud and confident nation into a group of paranoid people who now jump at every hint of our own shadows. What else could Al-Qaeda have asked for?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

America, The Republican Party and Stockholm Syndrome

I got thinking about how Americans always find their way back to a Republican Party controlled government even after that party has proven, over and over again, that it has nothing good to offer the country. A look at history shows that America has always fared very poorly each and every time the Republican Party has been in power. The party has always managed to leave behind, either a very poor economy or an outright recession.

The problem has been that after every single one of their debacles, the Democratic Party has always been the ones to step in, steady the ship and put it back on the right course. This very chivalrous act of stepping in and righting wrongs has exposed the Democrats to the anger of the people who simply have to blame someone for their pains at a time when the Republicans have stepped away from the scene. Funny enough, it seems, for some reason, like all the Democrats ever get for their efforts is the people's contempt while the Republicans, somehow, manage to reap a lot of trust.

This fact boggles the mind and I have tried to figure out a reason for it to no avail. The only semblance of a reason that appears plausible which I can come up with is the Stockholm Syndrome. The Stockholm Syndrome is defined as an emotional attachment to a captor formed by a hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and a need to cooperate for survival. It originated from an incident in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973 during which a bank employee became romantically attached to a robber who held her hostage.

I believe that Americans have developed this syndrome for the Republican Party or how else can you explain what has been going on in our relationship with that party? On a general level, how would you explain our handing the country back to the party only two short years after we threw them out for saddling our country with the worst economic crisis since the great depression?

And on a more individual and particular level, how would anyone explain the fact that groups like women voted overwhelmingly for the Republicans even after most of that party's candidates campaigned on anti-women policies? Policies like being anti abortion even in cases of rape and incest which will force women to carry and bear the children of their rapists even when the rapists are their fathers or brothers. What about the anti pay equality policy of the Republicans which supports women being paid less than their male counterparts for an equal amount of work? Why? Even many of the Republican candidates who are senators and congress men and women, today called for the abolition of the amendment in the constitution which gives women the right to vote. And yet!

How about a group like the gay and lesbian community casting more votes for the Republican Party than the Democrats? This after all the anti gay stance and actions that have been taken by that party over the years. It is the Republican Party which is the reason why gay marriage is still outlawed in this country. That party has done everything within its powers to see that gay marriage does not see the light of day. What about the attempt to repeal the United States military's Don't Ask Don't Tell rule that has kept gays and lesbians from serving their country's military openly? The Republicans have kept blocking every attempt by congress to end it and have sworn to filibuster any further try by Democrats to repeal it. All these beside calling gay and lesbian people every name imaginable from sinners to sickos. And yet!

Last, but not least, is the baby boomer group. This is the old people's group which, again, voted predominantly for the Republican Party. Once again, you wonder why, on earth, after that party's candidates openly campaigned on cutting, or outright scrapping, of all the lifelines on which most members of this group depend. Talk about something like social security which they want to either cut, scrap or privatize, all actions that can be mortally harmful to that major baby boomer safety net. How about medicare and medicaid which are the major health care refuge of this group but which the Republicans have pledged to put under the chopping block.

So, why would we as a country and as these individual groups vote to put the Republican Party back in power? Why would we vote to have them back oppressing us like they always have every time they are in charge? I conclude that it is because we have developed some sort of weird Stockholm Syndrome feelings for that party of oppressors, and the sooner we collectively and individually find psychiatric help for our condition, the better we will turn out. And our country, too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GOP Says No To Nuclear Treaty.

The fiscally responsible party that is the Republican Party is once again showing how good they are at saving money for the country. They have identified all the places from which they would cut spending in order to bring the deficit under control. The problem is that all the identified places for their cuts will affect the people who can afford it the least.

Republicans want to cut spending but only on the heads of the poor people. They want to cut social security, cut medicare and medicaid, end unemployment benefits which you and I pay into while we're working, have us work longer hours and retire later. Yet they want to give $700 billion in extra tax cuts to their rich sponsors. They want to keep spending trillions of dollars amassing weapons and fighting wars that benefit only their rich friends because they are the ones who supply the equipment, weapons and logistics and get to pocket most of the war spending.

Now they are holding an international peace treaty hostage because they want to keep producing nuclear weapons. They won't stand for the Nuclear Reduction Treaty because that will cut spending from the wrong pockets. America has more than 5000 nuclear war heads and, yet, they want to keep producing more. I wonder what for? Really, why do we need to cut unemployment benefits, social security, medicare and medicaid, and repeal health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans just to produce more nuclear weapons?

The truth is that this whole world is not big enough for you to explode 5000 nuclear weapons and not kill yourself too, and that's less than the number we have already. So, let's all ask this question of our Republican leaders, if you claim you want to cut spending, why not start from this obvious place?

Senator Murkowski Wins Alaska Senate Race.

While I don't usually concern myself with anything Sarah Palin, because I think she's an idiot who is not worth my time, I can't help but gloat at this confirmation of my thoughts, about her, by her fellow Alaskans. This is a very bold slap in the face for mama grizzly and food for thought if she's someone who has the thinking ability but we all know she lacks that.

My congratulations go out to Senator Murkowski and my advice to her is to keep doing what she's doing which is why the Alaskan people stayed with her, even when fools tried to take away her seat. Good riddance to bad rubbish is all I have to say about Joe Miller losing that election, and good for Alaskans too for not allowing themselves to be dumbed down to the levels that some others have.

Finally, Alaska has joined the ranks of other wise states like Delaware and Nevada who said no to a fool trying to decide who represents them in the senate. To think that Alaskans did this despite the many odds thrown in their way with the write in candidacy of senator Murkowski and all the challenges it presented shows the emphatic nature of their rejection of Sarah Palin and that, my friends, is music to my senses.

I can't wait for The  Republican Party to make Palin their flag bearer for 2012 presidential elections. Bring it on GOP!

The Republican Party's Crocodile Tears About National Debt.

The chart above is based on data from the Bureau of Public Debt up to September 8, 2008, the last reporting day before this chart was created. The 2008 Fiscal Year ends on September 30th. It seems likely that the National Debt will exceed $600 Billion (!) for the first time ever in fiscal 2008. Not that any of the Press, mostly owned by Republicans and right-wing foreigners, will report it.

I put up this chart from the Bureau of Public Debt for one reason alone. To show that all the Republican Party does when it screams endlessly about being the fiscally conservative party is lip service. The facts are there to be seen by anybody who is willing to do a little research because the media is obviously owned by the people who also own the Republican Party.

Everywhere you turn, all you hear is about how the Republican Party is very worried about our national debt and what increasing it means for our children and children's children. Right now, once more, they are all being very fiscally conservative-erly, making stupid and very useless gestures like pledging to forgo earmarks.That's good except that their track record says otherwise as you can see from the chart above. To prove that, even as they are forgoing earmarks, they are asking that $700 billion be added to the national debt just so their rich friends can be given extra tax cuts. And what does the media who are supposed to be the watchdog do? Absolutely nothing. If anything, they are in connivance with the politicians and only help in publicizing the lies they tell.

All you hear from the media are repetitions of the lies that are being told the people. They have, maybe inadvertently, given authenticity to the lies because citizens take the media to be experts in these issues and tend to believe whatever they see and hear. Therefore, when the media only repeat the words of the politicians without questioning the veracity, they serve as a rubber stamp authenticating those words in the eyes of the people. Just look at the chart above and try to juxtapose what you see with what you know about those two parties and fiscal discipline. Doesn't the media know this?

This is where I have problems with the news media in this country and my biggest grouse is with CNN who claim to be the only straight news organization. Fox news we know is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party and MSNBC do their best to tell the truth even though people say they favor the Democratic Party. Assuming that's true, what about CNN who claim to be for true journalism? I have just two questions for them; First, Is the above chart a true reflection of the debt increase according to party? And second, If I'm right why don't you report it? The answer to my first question is yes, unless they want to claim that they don't know which will, not only be ridiculous, but also a big dent on their credibility as a news organization. My second question I will leave for them to answer.

One thing I will say here, though, is that you cannot claim to be a news organization when all you do is report what people say they will do without looking at track records and reporting the gulf between words and deeds. This is because in that gulf lies the news, that gulf between words and deeds is the news and when you don't report that, when all you do is report words, all you're doing is publicizing for the people. America's media has become a publicity outlet for politicians and that makes it impossible for the citizens to make educated decisions as to whom to trust with their votes.

That's exactly what the Republican Party wants, in fact, they have got America and Americans exactly where they want us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Letter To President Obama

Dear sir,

I want to start by tendering my apologies because I've, very likely, addressed you incorrectly. You see, I'm not very versed in these  issues therefore, I didn't know whether to address you as your excellency or your highness, though I remember vaguely that your highness is reserved for royalty. I even flirted with using your honor before I realized that was used for judges. It was becoming too confusing so I settled for plain, old, dear sir. I hope that's good enough and I, once again, apologise if it's not.

Mr. President, the purpose of my missive is to intimate you of the general feelings of those of us, your loyal subjects, who voted for you, on the way you have performed your job over the past two years. I must warn you, however, that it is a, sometimes, confusing array of feelings ranging from great satisfaction to abject disappointment. I said it's confusing and it really is because I don't understand how it's possible that you can be graded from A+ to F- on the same paper but, apparently, you have been able to achieve that.

Your A+ to B+ graders cite what they call your greatest achievement which is the Health Care Reform law. Incidentally, your F- graders also cite that same law, as well as what they term as your lack of spine. When I ask for elaboration, the A+ to B+ group say that even though the health care law could be better, they are very satisfied with what has been achieved with the way it is. They mention the fact that many more citizens are covered, as well as the fact that insurance companies can no longer drop people when they get sick citing pre-existing condition, as two examples of how great a help that law is to poor Americans.

This class of your supporters, you must be pleased to know, all voted for the Democratic Party during the last elections but I'm sure you must have guessed that there are very few of them. In fact, this class makes up just about 5% of those who supported your election.

The next class is the middle ground takers. This group gives you from B- to C- grades on your performance. Again, the health care reform law was the criterion for the gradation and the major grouse this group has with it is the absence of the public option. Some, but not many, also mention the deal you made with big pharma. When pressed for elaboration, this class always praises the achievements of the health care law but regrets that big pharma got a deal that makes it impossible to import drugs from elsewhere thereby keeping drug prices sky high.
They also lament the absence of the public option which would have provided an alternative to private insurance gouging by serving as competition. They insist that this would have helped check things like this recent rate increases by the insurance companies in the wake of the health care law.

This class of your supporters - and I must confess that I belong in this group - which makes up about 40% of the whole mostly voted in the last election for the Democratic Party even though an indeterminate number of them stayed home. These home stayers were mainly among your C- graders and were very minute in numbers.

The last class I'll talk about in this letter, Mr. President, is the abjectly disappointed group. This group gives you the ultimate failing grade of F-. The members of this group look at your two years in office job performance as a gargantuan failure and these are their reasons. They see you as a spineless excuse for a leader who does not have the guts to stand up for what he believes in. As a matter of fact, some of them even doubt that you believe in anything, at all. When pressed to elaborate, they point, readily, at what they call your uncommon willingness to bend over backwards, in the name of bipartisan compromise, every time there is a policy disagreement with Republicans.

They say you keep doing this, over and over again, even though the Republicans have been consistently showing you, in very clear terms, that they are not willing to compromise with you on anything. This group believes that your lack of courage has been the bane of your administration. They believe that it is the cause of the dissatisfaction of the people with everything you have tried to do, from health care reform to Wall Street reform and everything in-between.
From what I'm able to discern, this group looks at the things you have done from the view point of what could have been achieved, if you had pushed with a little more courage. This view point, clearly, tints their perception of your achievements, or lack thereof, which might explain the grading they afford you.

Needless to say, sir, that this class of your supporters which, sadly, makes up the greater part (about 55%) of those who voted to put you in office, is the one that mostly sat out the November 2nd elections. I used the phrase "mostly sat out" because not all of the people who make up this group did that. A sizeable number of them participated but cast protest votes against you and the democrats. Clearly, sir, you can see, if you didn't know already, why you and your party got the "shellacking" you got in the last elections.

Finally, Mr. President, I am actually writing this letter because, from rumors I've been hearing, it looks like you are about to continue in the same direction that got us here, in the first place. What I'm getting at is the rumor about how you are considering another capitulation to the Republicans concerning the additional tax cuts for the rich. You must not forget that you personally ran against that tax cut during your campaign for president when you stated clearly that you will not extend it. Since becoming president, you have also consistently maintained that you will not budge on that, so, you can imagine what capitulating now can do to your already demoralized followers.

If I can give you some advice, I would say that giving in now -because that's what it will be even though you might want to call it compromising - will be a giant step towards achieving the Republican Party's main aim of making you a one term president. This is because giving in and extending that tax cut will be tantamount to saying to your supporters, "there's no point continuing to hold any beliefs in me:" That will be confirming the distrust your actions this past two years have created. I'm pretty sure that's not the message you want to send, and I continue to spread that message, but I need help from you sir. I and the millions of others who believe in you need your help in order to be able to convince those who doubt.

You can start with that help by taking a very firm stand against the additional tax cuts for the rich which you, yourself, has said will add an additional $700 billion dollars to the deficit over the next decade. I assure you that doing so will go a long way in reassuring those of your followers who have started to doubt you. I hope that you will give this concern of your base very serious thoughts every time you take decisions going forward.

Goodbye, sir, and good luck.
Yours faithfully,

I know it's virtually impossible that you will get to see or read this letter but I believe in miracles.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

High Divorce Rates: What Are The Causes?

Recently, I've heard and read so much about marriage, divorce and the high divorce rates nowadays that I have decided to give my opinion on the issues. I've read and heard very diverse opinions on what causes marriages to fail and end in divorce and why that is happening way too often nowadays. Many things have been offered as the reasons for this high rates. Things like money or lack of it have been blamed by some. Yet others have blamed it on the increasing success of women in the work place which has given them higher earning powers. The higher earning power school contend that the fact that more women earn more money than their male partners helps increase the divorce rates because, they believe, many men are not comfortable with women who are financially independent.

There are other schools of thought on this issue but I have decided to tackle this two because they contain, in part or in whole, the rest of the arguments from the other schools.

The first I'll tackle is the money, or lack of money school which believes that too much money or too little money could be bad for marriages. They believe that poverty can exert a very huge strain on marriages and in many cases causes marriages to fail and end in divorce. They claim that the many squabbles that can arise from a family's inability to take care of many of their basic needs have a tendency to accumulate into the kind of resentment, for each other, that can end a marriage. The too much money part of the school believes that too much money can also be a problem that can lead to the failure of a marriage. The argument by this school is based on when one of the parties already owns the money or wealth before the marriage.

They believe that many wealthy people can't find true love and, most of the time, get spouses who are attracted to their wealth rather than to them - the gold digger phenomenon. They contend that this is why the divorce rate is even higher in the realm of successful people. Because many who marry wealthy people go in for one reason; to grab a bit of the wealth and get out. This they insist, has nothing to do with sex as both males and females engage in this gold digging act.
Next school is the one that believes that men are uncomfortable with women who are higher income earners. This school believes that the increased earning powers of women in society has a direct or indirect effect on the increasing rate of divorce. This, they claim, is as a result of men who feel intimidated by these big money making women putting undue pressure on the marriages by trying too hard to prove their manhood. They claim this quest to prove manhood ends in extra marital affairs in many cases thereby causing divorce. They cite the recent divorce of the popular actress Sandra Bullock from her husband Jesse James as an example.

While I accept the truth in the arguments made above, I believe that those arguments look at the problem from a superficial point of view. The causes of divorce are much more deeply rooted than the points made in those arguments. To get to the root cause, we have to look deeper into much more than the marriages themselves, we have to look at our society and the behavioral traits that make the points made above possible.

The divorce problem is not a stand alone, it's a product of the society we live in today in which individualism and selfishness have become exulted qualities. Marriage is a part of our lives and therefore is affected by the qualities we have as a people. The root cause of any divorce is the selfishness of both individuals involved in that marriage and it's misleading to try to blame it on any one of them or on material things like money or lack.

The problems in our marriages didn't just start today, it has been with us for as long as marriage, as an institution, has been around but it became aggravated in the early sixties with the female emancipation movement, which is a very good thing on it's own merits, but, like most things in life, was taken to the extreme in practise. (This is not a vote against female emancipation, in any way, it's just a statement of the facts as I see them.) I say this because in every thing we do in life which involves two or more people working together, there has to be a leader. There has to be that one person who makes the final decision. There has to be that one table on which the buck ends, otherwise, what you will get is chaos. It was our wise forebears who put out this truism that "You can't have two captains in a ship"

What the female emancipation movement, as practised, helped do was kill the system that had been working quite well for marriage ever since it was instituted and replace it with this new one where you're supposed to have two equal partners without a first. Because, even in a partnership of equals, there has to be a first among the equals. Not having that is tantamount to having two captains in the same boat with each making decisions and nobody listening to nobody. I am a firm believer in the equality of the sexes, but I also know that for any union to succeed, there has to be a head, therefore, when equality means two equal heads, what you get is two people pulling in two different directions and you know that whatever vessel they're trying to move forward can't go forward.

We love to talk about traditional marriage values whenever we argue against gay marriage,as if it were some academic thing, but the truth is that it all but died when the female emancipation movement took this extreme turn. The traditional roles of the partners in the marriage have become things to be shared and that has not worked well for the marriage institution. I know that most men don't enjoy sharing in domestic work like washing plates and making bed and doing laundry but all that have become the hallmarks of a good husband. I also know that most women are not comfortable with being thrust into traditional male roles, like being bread winner. What this does is build resentment which boils to the surface with very little provocation.

Another pertinent reason for increased divorces is that we have all mostly become little entitled kids and always want everything to go our way. We live in a society that exults selfishness over selflessness and that has turned most of us into this little army of people who only care for nobody but us. Nobody wants to compromise or bear with another person even when they're married. Everybody wants the perfect partner and every little misdeed that our parents and grandparents would not even notice in their days has become a cardinal sin. In our foolishness, we forget that we ourselves are not perfect and yet we want perfect partners.

This foolishness is the reason why divorce is becoming a cluster thing. What I mean by cluster is that most divorcees usually go on to get other divorces. If you get a divorce, your chances of getting another divorce are higher than for people who have not had any. What this says is that, most of the time, we are the reason why we divorce and if we fail to deal with that reason, we'll likely go on getting divorce after divorce until we do.

The truth is that, with the way we're going, divorce rates will keep rising until, finally, we'll realize that there's no point getting married at all because we'll all be too selfish to share our lives with other people. And this will be because we all suppressed the truth, when we know it, because we want to conform with political correctness, which, to me, is nothing but forcing ourselves to believe the lies we tell ourselves.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

GOP's Tax Cuts: The Myth, The Reality.

Much has been said and made about the very popular Republican Party staple of tax cuts. A lot has been said about how it is the magic elixir that cures everything that ails America economically and financially, and even socially, if you can believe the Grand Old Party. It has, believe it or not, been proffered as the cure to, from failing banks to deteriorating state of education. From health care inadequacies to the Wall Street malfunction; the Republican Party has presented the tax cut as the answer to all. But, chief among these myriads of excuses is the job creation myth in which they claim that giving hundreds of billions of dollars, each year, in extra tax cuts to the rich, will help create jobs.

Having been assailed by this so-called solution everywhere I turn, for so long, I decided to take a really good look at this tax cut answer in order to try and familiarize myself with its merits, and demerits if it has any.What I found was that for eight years, under the George W. Bush Republican Presidency, the extra tax cuts given to the richest Americans did not, in any way, help the economy. Job production, which is the major reason the GOP gives to justify these tax cuts, was stagnant during this eight year period. This was despite the rich having the same extra tax cuts that is being touted, right now, to be the only hindrance to job creation in America.

Now they claim that this extra tax cuts for the rich will benefit small businesses who we all know are the major job creators in our economy. This is a very good point that they make except that what they don't tell you is that the small businesses they talk about are not the same ones me and you are talking about. This you will realize when I tell you that fifteen thousand of the small businesses the Republicans are talking about are companies that make up to, and above, $150 million in annual turnover.

Companies like News corp, the parent company of the Fox group is classified as a small business under the GOP classification. Other companies that are under this classification include General Electric, Bechtel, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Tribune Corp, to mention a few just to give the reader an idea. The only reason these companies call themselves small business is because they are privately owned and their owners are able to dodge corporate taxes by reporting profits on their income tax returns. Of course, this is another loophole put there by the Republicans to favor their rich patrons and you can see why they are fighting very hard to maintain it.

Republicans are claiming that Obama's tax plans to exclude this top three percent of the "small business" tax bracket from the tax cuts when the Bush cuts expire will affect half of all small business income. This is a fact because this 3 percent of behemoth "small businesses" produce fifty percent (half) of all small business income. Question is, can you still call a 3 percent that produces half of all the income small business?  To put this in better perspective, When 3 percent produces as much income as the remaining 97 percent, is it right to continue to keep them in the same group?

The Republican Party thinks so and that is the major reason they are holding everybody else in the country hostage insisting that they won't consider any other tax cuts unless these large corporations, fifteen thousand of which have an annual turnover of $150 million or more, get extra tax cuts. This is after every economic expert that is not a Republican strategist has come out and said, with proof, that extending the extra tax cuts for these businesses will only add to our deficits and not produce any benefits. The proof being the eight years that we have already had the tax cuts and still fell into a recession.

Despite all the attempts to deceive by the GOP, the reality is that extending the Bush extra tax cuts for the top two percent will only add to our already bulging deficit without achieving anything by way of job creation or stimulating the economy. Even when the current cuts expire on December 31st 2010, the country will still be paying for it for years to come due to interests accruing from the borrowed money. Considering that it has done absolutely nothing to help the economy since it was passed, extending it should be the last thing that should be considered in this hard economic times.

The government could more effectively stimulate the economy and job creation by letting the Bush extra tax cuts for high income earners expire and using the money for aid to the states, extension of unemployment insurance benefits and giving tax credits that specifically target job creation. Dollar for dollar, each of the above measure would have about three times the impact on the GDP as continuing the Bush extra tax cuts for the very rich.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Obama's Trip To Asia; What's Behind The Conservative Media Lies?

We woke up this morning to the cacophony of noise being made by the conservative media about, of all things, the president's official and legally scheduled visit to Asia. A visit that has already been cancelled twice before now, in order for the president to attend to emergencies and pressing issues here at home but which he now sees a window of opportunity to get out of the way. And what was the source of their noise?

A newspaper in India had reported that the president's visit to India will cost $200 million per day, a quote which will be immediately suspect to any human being that has a brain but, clearly, not to people like congress woman Michelle Bachman, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Of course, that's to be expected from brainless conservatives, latch onto some crap written by some crappy newspaper in some back of beyond place in India and start criticizing their own president without any attempt at verification.
They've already calculated the cost of the trip to be $2 billion after breaking down the cost per member of entourage, including the camels and horse drawn carriages, not forgetting the slaves and servants.

That's what conservatism means in the age of Obama; people losing their cognitive powers, clearly on purpose, in order to attack the foreigner in the White House. Anybody remember their reactions to the Desouza vomit in Forbes magazine? I'm thinking that, maybe, that same Desouza runs this rag sheet that ran this lie in India. Anyway, like they always do, the White House has come out to deny this ridiculous accusation - I don't know why they feel they have to respond to every nonsense - and, as usual, non of these shameless things will have the decency to apologize for lying against the person and office of the President of the United States.

That brings me to the main question of this article which is; why all of these ridiculous accusations against the person of Obama? Is it because he's black and not deserving of the same dignity and respect as other presidents of the United States? Why has everything he's done been so radically scrutinized and personalized even though they're things that are an integral part of the presidency and that have always been done by every president before him?

Remember the hullabaloo about vacations taken by president Obama even though the president before him had taken many more vacations at the same point in his presidency? Remember the flak about president Obama playing golf, almost as if he was some second class citizen who's not qualified to do that while president? How about the outrage over Michelle Obama's European vacation during which the conservative media questioned everything from motive to finances, or the White House redecoration which, by the way, the Obamas did with their own money. That fact wasn't still enough to stop them from criticizing and questioning.

So, what is the underlying reason behind this treatment of the person that was duly elected the President of the United States by those who claim to be the only real Americans? Might it be because, like they've always maintained in their idiocy, he's Kenyan and Muslim? Or, is it, as I and many other Americans believe but are not allowed to say, because he's black and blacks are simply not allowed the same dignity as other people even when they're president of the United States?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


And, finally, they got their country back! I say congratulations first and then I ask, Now what? I invite everybody that reads this to leave a comment saying what they expect now that America is in the hands of "Real Americans"

As for me, I would expect that the "real Americans" put everything they said they were going to do during campaign in practise. I'd expect that they would privatize, or better still, scrap social security. I'd expect that they would repeal the health care law and take the country back to the days when health insurance companies would drop you when you fall sick for failing to disclose that you had eczema when you signed up. I'd expect that health care law will be repealed so that all those young people hoping to get on, and stay on, their parents' health insurance plans until they are twenty-six will go back to being uninsured.

I would expect that medicare and medicaid will be privatized so that the health of our elderly, who by the way, voted overwhelmingly for the "real Americans", will be at the mercy of, an unregulated, Wall Street do with as they wished. Better still, I would expect that both of those socialist entities be completely cut and scrapped so that these elderly who hate socialism will have the opportunity to take care of themselves, in their old age, the way real capitalists should; alone and without assistance.

Then I would expect that the VA funds be cut or, better still, scrapped so that our veterans who go to fight to defend the country will not have to depend on sponging off of the rest of Americans like they're doing right now. It's complete socialism for them to be doing that therefore, they should be left to fend for themselves and their injuries sustained while protection our "freedoms". That's the capitalist thing to do and that's why we voted for "real Americans"

Furthermore, I'd expect for our "real Americans" to ship more jobs abroad to places like India, China and Indonesia. That's what they said they'd do before they got this overwhelming mandate and I believe that will be wonderful for this new America. That way, we will have cheaper things to buy with the little money we are able to scrounge out. After all, what is capitalism, the love of our lives, if not that we suffer and drudge for everything we get?

Also, I'd expect that the Wall Street reform law be repealed so that the streeters will go back to helping America just the way they were before the financial collapse. Because we appreciated what they were doing so much, we have to give them another opportunity to go back to creating jobs and wealth for us like they were, so competently, doing.
I would expect the repeal of the student and financial reform law so that credit card companies and banks can go back to charging you for everything from the ones you understand to those you don't. Students loans will also go back to what they were when banks made them more costly by simply putting about twenty percent  into their pockets for no other reason than that the law said they could.

Now that "real Americans" have taken over the government, I expect that they'd enact a law that bans all American women from abortion even when they have been raped by their own brothers, or fathers. That was what they campaigned on, and I believe, were voted in to do. I would also expect them to enact a law that bans every other religion that's not Christianity because such other religions are evil. In doing that, I'd expect them to repeal the second amendment so that Christianity will be declared our national religion.

While they're still legislatively hot, I'd expect them to repeal the fourteenth amendment so that Mexicans and other Hispanics can no longer sneak across the border to have "anchor" babies. Plus, so that Muslims from Arab countries can no longer enter America to have "terrorist" babies who will grow up here with the intent of bombing America when they're grown. After they have secured that victory, then they can go ahead and deport every illegal immigrant in America thereby freeing up highly needed vegetable picking and domestic servant jobs for the still jobless real Americans whose jobs have been shipped to Asia.

After they have done all of the above, which will be the first on their agenda, I would expect that they will turn their attention to the Kenyan in the White House and subpoena him to produce his birth certificate in order to prove that he's qualified to be president. When that fails, I'd expect them to start holding inquests into all the anti-American acts that he and his allies had committed since taking office. Anti-American acts like enacting all the afore mentioned laws which had already been repealed.

Only after doing all the above things, with dubious results, can they turn their attention to the thing that has been the most important on their agenda. That is reducing the deficit, and they'd start by giving the "real Americans" about $700 billion in extra tax cuts after what everybody else will get. I'd expect that they will justify that by saying what they've been saying all along which is that those "real Americans" are the people who create jobs. I expect them to try very hard to take our minds away from the fact that the "real Americans" had the same cuts for eight years under Bush and all they created was a recession. I expect that they'll work very hard to convince us that this time will be different.

Finally, I would expect that, by the time they've done all these, it will be 2012 and time for another election. I'd expect that by then, Americans will have realized that it was a mistake handing the government back to Bush era policies because they'll have become completely convinced that the only thing that can come out from a policy like that is what we've already experienced. I'd expect that the party of "real Americans" can no longer hide behind "NO" now that they're in charge and would actually have to put forward their solutions to our problems. I'd expect that, now, all of America, the fakes included, will have the opportunity to see and examine "real America's" solutions to America's problems. And, I expect America to not be impressed by it and to roundly reject it in 2012.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Just vote Democratic today for the simple reason that it's the party that has proven, over time, to have the interest of the masses at heart. All you need to do to realize this fact is to look at history and compare the condition of Americans when Democrats are in power to when Republicans are in power. It's simple enough to do and what you'll find will surprise you.

One simple fact you'll find is that Republicans always seem to leave recessions as an aftermath of their rule and Democrats always seem to find a way out of the recessions and leave surplus when they leave office.

Think about that!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

America's Deficit: Who's To Blame?

The Republican Party and their candidates are shamelessly talking about America's national debt as if it were the Democratic presidents who caused it. The record is clear about the contributions of American Presidents to the increases in the federal deficit in the last thirty years. This record clearly shows  that Republican Presidents are responsible for the bulk of the deficits. What this proves is that, despite what they will lead you to believe, Republicans are less fiscally responsible than the Democrats.

Today, the Republicans are shouting it to the high heavens about how fiscally responsible they are but the numbers simply does not agree with them. The wax strongly poetic about the Reagan era and how great a President he was and try to convince you that his presidency was the best in American history. Sadly, for them, the numbers, once more, disagrees with them. This is because under Reagan, our national debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 29.6%.

The two Bush Presidents contributed a combined 42.1% to our debt to GDP problems while the only Democratic President that had enough time to deal with the economy lowered it by 9.7%. That President was Bill Clinton under who's presidency America and Americans enjoyed a sustained period of growth and prosperity.

Incredibly, the George W. Bush administration's deregulation of the banking industry which resulted in the financial crisis and the two unpaid for wars never get a mention as Republicans lie through their noses in an effort to blame the Democratic Party and President Obama for the current economic woes. Neither do they mention  the unpaid for Bush tax cuts which will have contributed $1.8 trillion to the deficit by the time it expires later this year.

To solve any difficult problems, you have to, first of all, find out how you got there but the Republican Party's lies are confusing a frightened America about how we got into this mess. The lies, unfortunately, represent the interests of the richest one to two percent of Americans who are afraid that the government, if it remains in the hands  of the people, might tax them a little more. They are afraid that a government in the hands of the people might stop their outsourcing of American jobs to slave laborers in Asia and around the world.

The rich one to two percent are afraid that a true democracy might actually force them to do business the right way by putting regulations in place to get them to do things; from providing a safer working environment to making sure that American jobs are not shipped overseas, so that corporations can make more obscene profits. That's why they're fighting, tooth and nail, through their representatives, the Republican Party, to convince Americans, through lies, to vote against their own interests.

Obviously, President Obama and the Democrats are in a very difficult position. The jobs are not being created fast enough. That's not surprising given that America has been turned into a consumer society with everything we use in this country being made somewhere else. This is so that the corporations, our corporations can make more profit by paying people elsewhere much less than they'd pay here if Americans did the jobs. Even with that, it must be noted that the President and the Democrats have still created more private sector jobs in the past two years than the Bush administration did in the eight years they were in office.

In addition to us being a consumer society, we can only apply a 25% tax on all Chinese imports or we will face the wrath of American corporations who have had a taste of slave wages in Asia and discovered how much it increases their profits here in America. The slave trade was stopped hundreds of years ago but today, it's alive and thriving around the world and we don't care because we get cheap goods as a result. These corporations have gone as far as influencing a major United States Supreme Court ruling which has allowed them to literally buy this country.

The Citizens United ruling recognizes corporations as individuals thereby giving them the same rights the individual has to contribute to electoral campaigns without taking responsibility. What this means is what we have seen during this election campaign period  where an organization like the American Chamber of Commerce has taken over the air waves with ads upon ads funded by money from corporations, some of which are suspected to be foreign. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, Americans will never be able to know where the influence playing such a controlling part in electing their leaders are coming from.

All the ads by the Chamber, which has become the rallying point of the corporations trying to buy America, claim that reducing the deficit, fiscal responsibility and job creation are all that matter. What they fail to point out is the fact that they have supported outsourcing, for over 30 years, which has sent millions of American jobs overseas. They fail to tell you that they have facilitated the free trade agreements that have made this sort of outsourcing possible. They fail to tell you that they have been highly against all effort to try and renegotiate these free trade agreements with countries that ignore the rules put in place to govern trade between nations.

No, they'll not let you know all this because then you might actually realize that they are the enemy and not you who are the victim. They will try their best to deceive and confuse you so you will blame yourself and the government you elected for the problems they caused. That way, you will go to the polls and cast a vote against yourself by bringing their minnows, the Republican Party, back to power to continue from where they left off. Should we let that happen?