14 BIG Reasons We MUST VOTE On Nov. 4!

Sept. 29,  2014  By Jack Jodell.

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As I did not hear from Burr Deming this weekend, this will be a rare Monday in which one or more of his superb podcasts will not be posted here.  Hopefully, we’ll be back to our regular schedule of running at least one Burr Deming podcast every Monday. Instead, I’ll start out this week with the post you see below.

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In barely over one month from now, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, a VERY crucial election will take place. All across the country, Governors, Senators, and Congresspersons will either be elected or re-elected. Though this is a midterm and not a presidential election, it is still vitally important the we Progressives get out and vote! Below are some really important reasons why we must do so:  

1).We MUST prevent the Tea-Party infested reactionary Republicans from gaining control of the Senate!
2). We must overcome the efforts of self-centered billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson to delude low-information voters into voting for their kind of anti-worker, anti-poor, anti-middle class, pro-big business and pro-pollution type of candidates!
3). Here is our golden opportunity to throw out of office as many government-hating, pro-shutdown, and pro-obstruction Tea Party-infested, reactionary Republicans as possible!
4). This is our best chance to prevent and ensure we will never again experience another senseless, costly government shutdown!
5). This is our chance to elect someone who will push for a livable wage for desperately poor working Americans, thereby lessening our growing and unjustifiable record disparity in  wealth!
6). THIS is the only way we can overcome billionaire-financed lobbyists and special interests from bribing our government officials into enacting legislation harmful to US but beneficial only to THEM!
7). By electing enough true Progressives, we may prevent the neocon element of the Tea Party-infested, reactionary Republican Party and the military / industrial complex from once again involving us in a very costly, drawn-out war of plunder and profit!
8). Again, by electing enough true Progressives, we can enact badly needed, job-creating legislation that will help rebuild our rapidly decaying infrastructure!
9). By defeating enough government-hating Libertarians and Tea Party members, we can be assured of a much more cohesive Congress that will be far likelier than the current one to enact important neglected legislation like immigration reform and passing a realistic, livable minimum wage bill!
10). The ONLY way we can prevent far-right zealots like Paul Ryan from achieving passage of a disastrous austerity budget is to VOTE to throw both he and as many of his pro-wealthy, anti-middle class, and anti-working poor political allies out of office - permanently! To do this, we must VOTE!
11). We MUST vote to keep Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ benefits secure and safe from Libertarian and Tea Party dismantling or privatization attempts!
12). We cannot allow this country to slide into oligarchy, which would mean the end of anything even remotely resembling democracy! We are dangerously close to this downhill slide, and we must therefore remove as many brainwashed, bought-out, corporatist reactionary Republicans and conservative, bought-out Wall Street Democrats as er can from our government, replacing them with true, for-the-people-only PROGRESSIVES! 13). Feeling complacent, or that your vote doesn’t matter? Tell that to Socialist activist Kshama Sawant, who was elected last year, beating overwhelming odds, to the solidly Democratic Party-controlled Seattle, WA. City Council! She immediately hit the ground running on behalf of her middle class and working poor constituents and is a founder and big proponent of the  15 NOW movement (www.15now.org/) which is striving to make a livable $15 per hour minimum wage the law not only in Seattle but in a growing number of other cities and states as well! Here is a woman ALL Progressives can, should, and must emulate – rather than sitting around complaining, she is actually doing something to effect positive change for those who need it most! The ONLY way change like this is possible is if we and others who share our beliefs actually VOTES!
14). Last, but definitely not least,is the fact that paranoid neocon types like DICK Cheney were successful in robbing us of our civil liberties under the guise of pursuing suspected terrorists. This war criminal was directly responsible for the suspension pf our writ of habeas cs, which is, unfortunately still in effect today, a full 13 years after our the horrible 9/11 attacks! That’s right, people: DICK made it legal for the government to swoop in and take you, without warning, to any spot it wants if it suspects you of being or aiding a terrorist. We therefore MUST vote for Progressive candidates who will overturn this practice and end its tyranny once and for all!      

These are but 14 reasons for how vitally important it is for you to VOTE this year! There are many others…

Readers, it is completely up to US! We can no longer sit idly by, doing nothing, letting our democracy be stolen from us by the brainwashed or greedy, self-centered members of the wealthy, uncaring 1% elite. WE are the all-powerful 99% MAJORITY, and it is high time we started to behave like it! On November 3, VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE – damn it, VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                                                                                                              

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HOW TO SPOT A PROGRESSIVE IN A POLITICAL AD!

Sept. 25, 2014  By Jack Jodell.   

With the next crucial election only about  six weeks away, and with radio and television already starting to fill up with noxious lying political ads, it is vitally important that voters NOT  be tricked into voting for government-hating Tea Party candidates, cynical, obstructionist conservative and/or reactionary Republicans, or wimpy “blue dog” or conservative Wall Street Democrats. Instead, in order to restore more economic fairness, help prevent industrial pollution and further senseless military expenditures, and to also try to restore social justice and basic common sense to our government, our ONLY choice is to elect PROGRESSIVES to Congress and to governorships throughout the entire country. Unfortunately, true Progressives are rare in today’s field of candidates. Often, we must instead choose between the lesser of evils when in the voting booth.

Before mentioning how to spot a true Progressive, I will first reveal how to avoid voting for a regressive, backward-looking type of candidate.  

Should any candidate say they are fighting to “get government off your back” or to “restore liberty” or to end or repeal government regulation, or to arrogantly assert that we must “restore American or Christian values“, that person is NOT your  candidate! He or she is either an extremist, government-hating  Tea Party  member, a conservative Republican, or a bought=out, corporate shill Wall Street Democrat. Likewise, any candidate openly advocating military action against another country, or who supports “lower taxes” or wants to “repeal Obamacare” or end the minimum wage is also NOT your candidate, nor are those favored by far-right religious groups like Focus on the Family, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association, Council for National Policy, American Center for Law and Justice/ Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Concerned Women for America, Jerry Falwell Ministries/Liberty Counsel.Liberty University, American Family Association, or ANY group or candidate supported by narrow minded bigots like the the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson. These are all politically active, fundamentalist groups claiming to be Christian, yet, in reality, are preaching intolerance or hatred against others. Yet another type of candidate to avoid or vote against is one who is supported by anti-worker groups like the Chamber of Commerce or Americans for Prosperity, which is a front-group actually supported financially by the billionaire Koch brothers. The Koch brothers, incidentally, are closet Libertarians who are actively trying to abolish taxes (especially against themselves and their business interests). They also wish to put an end to not only Obamacare, but Medicare and Medicaid, Welfare, and even the minimum wage! They oppose conservation efforts and all attempts to limit offshore oil drilling. They ridicule and attempt to silence or marginalize  any and all efforts at gun control or preventing climate change. Those whom they support are definitely NOT YOUR candidates, either! So, if you ever hear a candidate endorsing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, or is in favor of more “free trade” agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), that candidate, too, is also NOT one to vote for! Nor are fearmongers who try to scare you with horror stories about the National Debt, or who advocate privatizing Social Security or want to further cut Food Stamps ot aid to the poor…

So how does one pot or support a PROGRESSIVE candidate? The first thing one can do is to mute all political ads running on mainstream TV. Instead, try FS TVwatching FREE SPEECH TV and see the intelligent documentaries and relevant programs they offer like Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, or  the Thom Hartmann Program, or the Bill Press Show, or Mike Papantonio’s Ring of Fire, or the David Pakman Show, or the Stephanie Miller Show, among many other mind-expanding offerings. By plugging each of these into your search emhomes, you can easily access each show’s or host’s website amd view past shows featuring such noted progressive public servants as Sem. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Al Franken, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Alan Grayson, and visionary progressive authors like Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Dan Sissen, and many others you will NEVER see on corporate-owned mainstream network channels! ANY candidate who speaks like these progressive figures is YOUR candidate, and one you can feel comfortable with supporting!  Incidentally, Free Speech TV is in the midst of its semi-annual fundraising drive, and, since it is completely commercial-free, viewer supported and is NOT beholden to any corporation  whatsoever, this blogger strongly urges you to contribute your tax-deductible donation to them before October 5! You may do so by phoning toll free 1-877-378-8669 or by going to their website at https://t.freespeech.org. Other great sourxes for viewing include LINK TV, Acronym TV, and RT TV.  

Basically, you can be reasonably certain that a candidate is trustworthy and deserving of your vote if he or she favors:

1). Keeping Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid  intact and even strengthening them.
2). Believes that Wall Street bankers who caused the Great Recession of 2008 should spend time in prison,
3). Wants to shrink our ever-growing wealth disparity.
4). Wants to shrink our vastly overbloated and far too powerful military / industrial complex
5). Is opposed to Tax Inversion schemes by big business.
6). Wants to tax the wealthy more heavily and wishes to lower taxes significantly on the working poor and middle class.
7). Supports gender equality and especially women’s rights.
8). Wants to end the outsourcing of American jobs and factories.
9). Strongly supports NET NEUTRALITY!
10). Is opposed to fracking and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and also opposes the use of nuclear energy.
11). Believes in climate change and is willing to devote federal funds to the development of solar energy and wind energy,  12). Believes the federal government has the duty and the power to act in the common good of all citizens, and is NOT “the problem” or “a burden on the people”

Candidates espousing those types of principles are most likely PROGRESSIVES, and definitely deserve your support!  

So, remember to BOYCOTT BURGER KING, and VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!                                     

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH KANSAS REPUBLICANS?

Sept. 22, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com – see my blogroll at bottom right).    

Happy start of a new week, fellow progressives! This week, we again feature a podcast doubleheader from the mind and heart of my good friend Burr burr demingDeming, the creator and chief author of the brilliant website called Fair and Unbalanced. com. Just click on the link below to learn what Burr has to say about twi orominent Kansas Republicans and the party to which thet belong.

http://fairandunbalanced.com/blog1.php/2014/09/15/what-s-wrong-with-kansas-republicans     

———————————————————————————————————  burr demingIn this second gem, entitled Regarding Humans as Less Than Human, Burr tells us,“It’s the sort of thing that surfaces about every other week from regionally prominent Republicans. It represents a large portion of a shrinking party.  

Referring to people as something other than human, with human feelings, with human worth, is wrong. It is wrong when a target is a black, or gay, or immigrant. The fact that this was not as widely recognized 60 years ago does not make it right.    

Such ways of talking and thinking come from those who are so used to the reinforcement of those of  like mind, some political figures imagine the policies they espouse, and to terms they use to describe their own thoughts, will find the same approval from the general public.”

To hear this thoughtful podcast, click on:  

UP NEXT: “HOW TO SPOT A PROGRESSIVE IN A POLITICAL AD!” coming up near week’s end…                                 
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MY COMPELLING REASONS TO BE A PROGRESSIVE! (Part III)

Sept. 18, 2014  By Jack Jodell.  

This is the third and final segment in my series of the compelling reasons I have found to be a Progressive. Over the entire 6+ year history of this blog, it has been clear for all to see why I could NEVER, in good conscience, be a Libertarian, a Wall Street Democrat, a reactionary Tea Partier, or a conservative Republican. I find far greater kinship with the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. and Robert F. Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Keith Olbermann, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich,  and even LBJ  –  than I do with Rand Paul, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, DICK Cheney, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, John McCain, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Milton Friedman, Grover Norquist, or Mitt Romney, to name but a few. For the former group is composed of visionary people who believed that government can and should be a force for the common good, while the latter either despised government, or saw it as an impediment blocking the paths of themselves or their buddies to obtain what they, themselvess, wanted, or, even worse, something to use for the purpose of obtaining wealth for private individuals. Some final issues on why I side with Progressives rather than with members of the other groups:  

8). TAX EVADERS – While nobody relishes the idea of paying taxes, fair-minded and practical people recognize that taxes are necessary to maintain our military, police, schools, and infrastructure, and can be used to help level the economic playing field to ensure that nobody gets too far ahead at the expense of all others, or becomes too powerful for the common good. They are literally the dues a civilized person must pay to live in a civilized society. Taxes pay for the roads that businesspersons use to move their products to and from the marketplace on, and to pay for the education and discipline that workers need to make them suitable employees. They also pay the salaries of the police  who protect businesses, as well as to provide for the needs of the military which protects the country as a whole. In this narrow sense, the paying of taxes is, therefore, a patriotic duty to be shared by all citizens. Naive, greedy, and selfish individuals, as well as a good number of Libertarians,Tea Partiers, and conservative (reactionary) Republicans may disagree, but they are dead wrong. Those who deliberately avoid paying taxes (the wealthy who shield exorbitant extra profits in overseas tax shelters) are detestably greedy, and the products they sell should be avoided by all fair-minded people. Greedy multinational corporations who typically underpay and exploit their vast labor force and then attempt to use tax inversion schemes (whereby they claim their headquarters is foreign-based and is therefore exempt from paying their fair share of taxes here) are equally detestable and should likewise be avoided. Burger King falls into this category, and that is why I encourage everyone to BOYCOTT BURGER KING!

9). PRIVATIZATION – For years, right-wingers have been trying to take as much from government-operated producers of goods and services as they could and put it in private hands. The focus has even extended to our military. This is a cause also championed by Libertarians. Progressives believe this is a fundamentally wrong action to take. For one thing, once a formerly government-run program becomes privatized, all transparency and accountability vanishes. Private companies keep as much as they can absolutely secret. PROFIT replaces the common good as the sole determinant for undertaking a particular action. This invariably leads to employee layoffs and stagnant worker wages, as well as the outsourcing of jobs, with not necessarily any increase in production. It enables a small circle of owners to greatly prosper while excluding those who actually perform the work. Regarding our military, once many functions became privatized, issues of soldier safety began to arise, as military contractors began cutting costs to increase profits. Corruption set in as former Vice President DICK Cheney awarded huge government=paid contracts to his old company Halliburton,  and cost overruns began skyrocketing. The oft-repeated claim that privately held companies operate more efficiently than government-run programs is FALSE! A perfect example lies in health care. Medicare does a superb job in delivering health care to seniors and those on disability, and does so with a relatively miniscule 4 – 5% overhead. Privately-held insurance companies and for-profit hospitals have typically operated with overheads of well over 20%! Regrettably, the hapless American consumer/taxpayer has been footing the bill for this difference, paying for non-health care related expenses like advertising budgets as well as CEO and Boards of Directors’  exorbitant salaries.So much for the efficiency argument! Privately-operated prisons have come into vogue in certain states, and once more corruption has reared its very ugly head. Numerous children have been recklessly and needlessly imprisoned on very flimsy grounds just to satisfy enrollment requirements for these institutions. This is unjustifiable in all senses of the wrd! For years, those who hate all government aid for the poor or working poor have insisted that those people (whom they don’t care about one bit and actually look DOWN upon) would be far better off if churches, rather than the government, would be providing their care. This is patently absurd, because NO church has either the funds nor the manpower to deliver the type of aid needed to properly do the job!

Once more, it all boils down into whether you believe the government can and should be a force fpr the common good (as I and other Progressives do), or whether you oppose all government intervention in business and in a person’s life (as the Libertarians, extremist Tea Party crackpots, conservative and reactionary Republicans believe).       

10). DISENFRANCHISEMENT – in recent years, there has been a disturbingly unified trend among far-right Republicans to find ways for them to keep entire blocs of their political opponents from voting. Those who usually don’t vote Republican have been prime targets. These have included blacks, Hispanics, Asians, students, ex-convicts who have served their time, the poor,  and even the working poor. To keep these groups from voting, a number of sinister tactics have been used. Voting hours at polls in poorer areas have been greatly reduced, making it very tough for those with 2 or 3 jobs to find time for voting. Entire blocs of voters’ names have been stricken from voting registers. The number of voting machines have been reduced in key precincts in hopes that very long lines will result, reducing the numbers of likely voters.Students have been made to vote only at their home polling place rather than at a spot near their campus.The ability for voters to vote early or by absentee ballot has been greatly reduced. There has been a growing push for voter ID cards, available at a fee, making it much harder for the poor to be able to vote. Circulars have been distributed in key areas deliberately misinforming voters about nonexistent changes in the election date. WORST of all, billionaires like Sheldon Aselson and the nefarious Koch brothers have pre-bought many thousands of hours of TV and radio advertising time, and are busy bankrolling and producing slick, misleading or inaccurate ads designed to fool voters into voting for the candidates THEY favor, rather than for the ones who may actually deliver what the voters want or need. Our very overly activist EXTREME Court  made this blatant, unfair interference possible with their preposterous 2010 Citizens United ruling. This insane verdict basically declared that money is free speech (even though it certainly is NOT!), and ended nearly all restrictions on the amount a wealthy individual or group can contribute to a particular political campaign. Young children often display far more common sense than the conservative majority of that blasted Court did in rendering this absurd ruling! Progressives recognize all of the moves listed in this section to be antidemocratic in nature, advocated by those who have no respect for democracy itself, and urge everyone to join us in our fight to end disenfranchisement in all of its forms, and especially un overturning the utterly ridiculous Citizens United ruling by adopting a new Constitutional Amendment declaring that money is NOT Free Speech! To this end, we urge you to visit and contribute to the website Move to Amend.org (https://movetoamend.org) !

In my next solo post: “HOW TO SPOT A PROGRESSIVE IN A POLITICAL AD!” Watch for it in the next week!                                                        

Posted in commentary, conservative Republicans, corporate greed, economics, extremists, libertarians, Lying TV ads, Politics, regulation, taxes, Tea Party, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans, wealth disparity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TAKING THE HOUSE OUT OF POLITICS – MOSTLY

Sept. 15, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com/).  

Happy mid-month, readers! Middle of September already – where in the world is the time going?!? Soon it will be election day again, and THIS year, rather than wallowing in disgust and misery, you had damn well better VOTE! For here is another  golden opportunity to destroy the government-hating Tea Party and prevent them from gaining a complete stranglehold over our Senate! These scoundrels all claim to be concerned with our national debt and say they want to “restore” our government to the people – LOL! They are sure going about it in a very strange way. For one thing, NONE of them have pushed for a cut in congressional salaries, and instead, they continue to do little or no constructive work in Washington as they keep on banking and spending their big paychecks. For another, the vast majority of them, when they do any work at all, ignore the needs and wants of the average taxpayer and work to pass legislation beneficial mainly to Wall Street, to major corporations, or to the piggish 1% wealthy elite – hardly “the people’s business”! Yes, by throwing out ALL of these phony, reactionary Tea Party shmucks and  corporate shills in both the Republican AND Democratic parties, and replacing them with true PROGRESSIVES whose only concern is for the needs and wants of the 99% MAJORITY = only THEN will we see meaningful change that will transform society as it so sorely needs! f course, if you choose instead to just sit idly back, NOT vote, and just complain, the reactionary, Tea Party-infested Republican Party and the conservative Wall Street Democrats will once more emerge victorious and will again arrogantly set forth to do the bidding of the wealthy – at OUR expense!  One of these arrogant Senators (as well as one arrogant wannabe Senator) are described in the first of this week’s Burr Deming TRIPLEHEADER of podcasts.

burr demingBurr states, “Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has been attacked, among other reasons, for no longer being a resident of Kansas. His declared residence turns out to be home of supporters in Dodge City. He pays them rent.

As a voter, I’m okay with facing reality. Maintaining a full time residence here in Missouri while attending to a full time job in Washington is an untenable requirement. My bet is I’d feel the same way if I lived next door in Kansas.

But the insistence that our Representatives must work for us in Washington but can’t live her continues. It doesn’t happen every election season. Just enough to be an irritant. I thought again of it all as I read about another scandal brewing in Maryland. The state gives tax breaks to residents. Tax officials are investigating whether a public official committed a crime by claiming to be a full time resident. Now I have to rethink whether the Housing deal should always be a non-issue.”

Click on the link below to hear this podcast.                                                                     http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-09-07T19_00_58-07_00
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burr demingThe second podcast in today’s tripleheader concerns a review about a book on slavery  that was later withdrawn from a magazine, and the lessons which can be learned from the incident.

Burr writes: “The literary storm which followed an unfortunate book review in the Economist magazine has been a combination of outrage and rage. The review was critical of a book by Edward Baptist about slavery. The reviewer presented the case that the book lacked balance, neglecting to present the case in favor of slavery.  

The Economist withdrew the piece.The recantation contained the review itself as a gesture toward transparency. It served as an admission of sorts: an acknowkedgment of the facts as part of an admission of guilt.The controversy brought to mind the lessons of my youth and a larger message about history itself. The reasons we were taught what we were taught can teach us more now than we could ever have learned then.”

To hear this gem, click on http://fairandunbalanced.com/blog1.php/2014/09/10/balanced-views-of-slavery
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Last, but not least is this observation  on how the conservative preoccupation with nearly nonexistent voter fraud is completely foolish and actually harmful. 

burr demingBurr tells us: “Voting restrictions are needed to prevent voter fraud, that’s all. That’s how conservatives justify the new voring changes. But election stealing always happens in backrooms, away from voters. Ballot stuffing, changing total, are what will work for dishonest politicians. Fraud by voters involves too many people. It’s too easy to get caught. The penalties are harsh. The backroom stuff is what works.  

But conservatives keep insisting they just want to prevent fraud. Keeping large numbers of legitimate voters from voting is just the sad price that must be paid. It certainly isn’t the reason for making voting harder. That’s what they say…except when they slip up and say in public what they are really trying to do.  

For example, this case in Georgia.”  

Click on http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-09-11T19_21_18-07_00  to hear… ENJOY!                           

IN A FEW MORE DAYS, WATCH FOR “MY COMPELLING REASONS TO BE A PROGRESSIVE (Part III)”!                                                    

Posted in Politics, Tea Party, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party, the 1%, THE MAJORITY 99% | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MY COMPELLING REASONS TO BE A PROGRESSIVE! (Part II)

Sept. 11, 2014  By Jack Jodell.  

Some years ago in this blog I outlined a great many reasons why I can NOT, in good conscience, ever be a Republican. That was even before the reactionary, government-hating Tea Party hijacked the Republican Party and succeeded in pushing it ever further rightward, completely off of any pragmatic political table. As I recently began reassessing a number of current political and economic issues, it became apparent that the only kind of public servants  worth supporting these days are true, bona-fide PROGRESSIVES. That, of course, eliminates ALL Tea Party candidates, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans, conservative Republicans, Libertarians, wimpy “blue dog” Democrats, and bought-out, corrupted Wall Street corporatist Democrats. In essence, it eliminates every politician whose primary concern is not what will best benefit the American public as a whole, but rather the betterment of special interests, the wealthiest 1%, greedy corporations, the vastly overbloated military / industrial complex, and the paranoid, warmongering neocon crowd which dominates our National Security Agency (as well as our CIA and foreign policy). In my last segment, I covered GLOBAL WARMING, WEALTH DISPARITY, and ENVIRONMENTALISM as some of the areas I believe need our immediate attention. In this segment, I will present three more below, starting with:

4). PUTTING AN END TO PERPETUAL WARFARE –  Ever since the unwarranted 9/11/01 attacks by al Qaeda terrorists on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the far-right, neocon faction of the Republican Bush-CheneyParty (led by then-Vice President DICK Cheney and Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham) have pushed for war whenever possible. Whereas this nation had previously only gone to war as a final measure, these warmongers began advovating preemptive military strikes. DICK and his cronies in the Bush White House even permitted the use of torture (waterboarding) as a justified practice for obtaining information from enemy combatants, something their predecessors had decried as torture and had even hung Japanese officials for following World War II. Beginning with Afghanistan and continuing to this day, our foreign policy has been dominated by war or the threat of war.  The military / industrial complex which President Eisenhower warned us about way back in 1961 has mushroomed into a dominant part of our industry and even our culture, and that is NOT good, nor is it completely justified.  Paranoid, trigger-happy neocons abound all throughout our government, (especially in our CIA and National Security Agency) and push for the deployment of U.S. troops worldwide, at the slightest perceived threat. Such craziness used to be called imperialism, but is now commonly accepted as a new norm. The insane NSA, through its shadowy cousin the Department of Homeland Security, has even pressured Major League sports teams to install metal detectors at their stadiums, a full 13 years after the 9/11 attacks occurred – how ludicrous is THAT? We Progressives see this as a case of severe overreaction and also as a direct assault on our civil liberties, and we advocate its complete halt! For the U.S. has no right to be the self-appointed policeman of the entire world, and its actions actually encourage and promote terrorism throughout the world. ENOUGH of this nonsense, we say!                                                       

5). GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS! – 2010 was a bleak year for our democracy. It saw the rise of a manufactured, completely fabricated “movement” known as the Tea Party erupt like a painful blister on our body politic. This “movement” was funded by Libertarian, government-hating  billionaires who preyed on the fears of the elderly as well as the chronically angry and not-so-bright, and deliberately courted cynical, low-information voters and turned this into a force which hijacked the Republican Party and won back the House od Representatives for them. With loud-mouthed, self-centered, narcissistic 

baked bachmannBITCH (2)lamebrains like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann at its helm, this poor excuse for a political party purged the GOP of all its moderates and turned it into a reacyionary mockery of what a conservative party should be. Obstruction off all but the most blatantly oeo-corporate bills became the norm and the federal government was shut down needlessly as extremist cruz lTea Party crackpots like smug Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas flexed his political muscle in a ridiculous show of force, which, incidentally, accomplished absolutely NOTHING. The nation’s highest court, the EXTREME Court, made perhaps the worst decision in its entire history with its preposterous Citizens United decision. This little lump of sooty coal forbade government from restricting the amount billionaires can contribute to political campaigns, saying, in effect, that “money is free speech” and can’t be restricted, period. Well, any 3 year old can tell you that money is NOT free speech, and that the pouring in of unrestricted amounts of cash by billionaires completely defeats and is contrary to the notion of “one man, one vote” which has been a mainstay of our republic since its earliest days. It gives grossly unfair advantage  in elections to candidates supported and/or sponsored by nefarious, ADELSON L2koch brosgovernment-hating billionaires like the snide, sourpussed Sheldon Adelson and the sneaky Libertarian Koch brothers, who never saw a regulation they didn’t hate or a form of pollution or economic exploitation  they didn’t want to protect. People like this should NEVER be permitted to sway elections using their money to flood the airwaves with political ads! To counter this insanity, I would strongly urge ALL voters to visit and support a great for-the-majority-of-the-people website called MOVE TO AMEND.ORG (https://movetoamend.org)!

6). GUN SAFETY –  Our very conservative, overly activist EXTREME Court has twice in recent years attempted to irreversibly alter our Second Amendment to conform to the wishes of paranoids like Wayne LaPierre, chief spokesman and lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. What was originally the right of all citizens to bear arms in a well-regulated militia has now slyly been changed to the right of all citizens to bear arms – individually – without question and without restriction. The decisions The District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010 attempted to overturn earlier, more practical and true decisions like 1939’s United States v. Miller.  This perverse and deliberate misinterpretation and misapplication of that Amendment has led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people – even children – in the pastfew years, and there is just no excuse for this whatsoever! In the past two or three years alone, we have witnessed one senseless shooting after another, from Congressperson Gabby Giffords’ near-fatal shooting to the cold and cruel MURDER of 20 young first-graders at Christmastime in Newtown, CT to the massacre at Columbine to thousands upon thousands of other victims before and since. The NRA has successfully brainwashed the public into thinking they are not safe unless each and every citizen is carrying a loaded handgun and that it is an individual’s God-given right to own these guns – how utterly pathetic, untrue, and absurd! Along with the military / industrial complex, which has turned the United States into the arms merchant for the entire planet, the NRA and the weapons manufacturers who support it have made the country the most gun-crazy nation on earth. Our citizens own FAR more guns per capita than any other nation in the history of the world, and that is NOT a statistic to be proud of! As a true progressive, I support the right of a hunter to own his or her own rifle, or an individual to own a pistol for their own protection, but those incidences of ownership MUST be licensed by the government, and be applicable only to adults, after a thorough background check. I do NOT  support the right of ANYONE (except for the police or the military) to own semi-automatic or automatic weapons, or military assault weapons. Those found to be carrying illegal or unlicensed weapons should face long prison terms, without parole. The incidences of ganf shooting and indiscriminate murder via cheap, unrestricted handguns MUST come to a screeching halt! There is no place in a civilized society for cheap, easy to obtain illegal firearms!  

7). NET NEUTRALITY – There is a push being made by huge multinational mass media corporations and internet providers like Verizon and others to increase their control over the internet. This would result in the imposition of user fees to access certain websites and/or would guarantee quicker access to corporate-owned or favored sites but a much slower access rate to other, non-favored sites. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE INTERNET REMAIN AS FREE AS IT IS TODAY, FREE OF CORPORATE CONTROL!!! As I write, the Federal Communications Commission – the FCC – (which regulates internet access) is preparing to rule on whether or not to allow such a two-tiered system. Tom Wheeler, an Obama appointee who heads the FCC, has a long background in the communications industry. We must flood his office with phone calls, letters, and emails  demanding that our internet access remain as it is now – fully FREE, easily and equally accessible to ALL of us - WE the PEOPLE!!! He can be accessed at either his personal official line of 202-418-1000; the customer service line of 1-888-225-5322, or by contacting him at http://www.fcc.gov/leadership/tom-wheeler-mail. CONTACT HIM TODAY!!!

IN THE NEXT SEGMENT (COMING SOON): TAX EVADERS, HOW TO SPOT  NON-PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES BY THEIR JARGON, and more!                     

Posted in economics, extremists, libertarians, Politics, reactionary Republicans, regulation, Tea Party, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party, the 1%, THE MAJORITY 99%, wealth disparity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

POLICE CAMERAS AND THE FREGUSON SHOOTING

Sept. 8. 2-14  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com)        

Greetings, fellow progressives! To start the week off properly, we will once again feature 2 new podcasts from gifted writer and podcaster extraordinaire Burr Deming, whose genius can be found regularly each day over at the superb blog site known as Fair and Unbalanced.com (see my blog roll at bottom right). Today, Burr muses first on the unfortunate  shooting in Ferguson, MO., and then waxes philosophically in a totally different vein.       

BURR DEMINGIn Burr’s own words, “One noticeable result from the slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, comes from the deeply troubling ambiguity of the circumstances of that death.  The plain truth is we don’t know what the plain truth is. Not for sure. The context of police mistreatment of the community does not tell us. The context of Michael Brown’s character does not tell us. The frustration that comes with a lack of knowledge has provided some momentum to an already existing movement to provide police officers with body cameras and to insist on their use.” To hear the podcast, click on

http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-09-06T07_26_25-07_00
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The second podcast in this doubleheader is quite philosophical and thought-provoking and addresses something completely different. It concerns an ages-old, still BURR DEMINGunanswered question, . It is called “FEARFUL FAITH,”  and of it, Burr says,

“I posed one of the traditional questions. If God had created all he had created 6,000 years ago, how would we explain fossils that were dated millions od years old? How about light from stars billions of light years away?

He had an answer. God had created his creation with the appearance of age. That was my introduction to what is known as the Omphalos hypothesis, named for a novel written in the MID-1800s. It has a certain chicken-and-egg logic to it. If God had created the egg, it would appear to have come from a chicken. If God created a chicken, it would appear to have come from an egg. Both would have the Appearance of Age.

I suggested that, if God had gone through that much trouble to give his universe the Appearance of Age, it seemed to me a bit unsporting for us not to surrender to his will and believe in all those contrived eons. My new friend’s unbending faith was strong enough for him to find my observation completely nonthreatening. In fact, he laughed appreciatively. It was hard not to like him.   Not all creationists accept the Omphalos hypothesis. I don’t much blame them. The big gaping hole in it is that it can support pretty much any theory of limited existence. God created the universe last Tuesday. He did it with the Appearance of Age, including memories, psudo-history, relationships, and a fictitious past. Why not?”

To hear this gem, click on  http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-09-06T07_06_47-07_00

 ENJOY!
  
UP NEXT: “MY COMPELLING REASONS TO BE A PROGRESSIVE! (Part II)”  – out in a few days…
                                                
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