Monday, November 12, 2012

So Very Pleased...

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that we managed to avoid having Mitt Romney as our next President. 

So I'll simply preface by saying that the best man who ran - won.

Our second greatest triumph as a nation is a new female senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. 

Warren is a person of great conviction, who truly understands that check's and balances are a requirement for any society who's economy embraces capitalism. She understands the importance of maintaining our membership in the world economy, but never forgetting our roots, the place we call home, and the need to maintain our ability to self sustain in any crisis.

She understands the risk of capitalist extremism, and recognizes it's scattered footprints, the result of which gave us The Great Recession.

Warren captured my attention when she uttered this statement (later butchered by Obama)...

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own – nobody. ... You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless – keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

If you cannot see the basic and fundamental truth behind that statement, then you have crossed a line into full tilt ignorance of reality, and probably make all of your decisions about politics based upon what FOX "News" spins as "Fair and balanced reporting".

To you I say, do your self and everyone else in this country a favor. If there is any shred of doubt in your mind about what extreme conservative - gone so far to the right that they cannot drive in a straight line, republicans have fed you...try detox. Begin a cleanse routine, stop watching Fox "News" and start watching any other source of national media.

Try reading, there are a lot of great sources on the Internet for you to choose from. Finally, and this will be both difficult and painful for you to do... try tuning into a progressive talk show. 

I say painful, because it will be for those of you who've so heavily consumed from the great TEA POT. Every conditioned response in you will scream, "LIES all LIES!" Just do it, force yourselves to, hell if you don't agree with them, call them up! They love to illuminate those living in the dark.

I said difficult, because truth has a tendency to be suppressed by those with most of the money. So try is what you must, when attempting to tune one of these stations. If you cannot find on the dial, listen to them via your computers or your smart phones. Good luck with that.

In closing...

We are a society, we live together in a sea of other, races, creeds, religions, and politics. We are social by nature, we interact, we connect, our children play together, go to school together. In order to sustain this society, we must maintain a balance of all things.

We must remember that by default, as citizens of this country, we have sworn ourselves to that social contract that Warren spoke of.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WHY WE FIGHT!

So it's October 14th, and many of us have received our absentee ballots. Given the time left, I have decided to make one last entry in regards to this electoral campaign cycle.

For those of you who've made your decision's, I don't expect to change your mind, I'd love to think that I was that convincing, but I've no expectation of that. This is more a statement of how I have arrived at my own personal choice to vote for the Democrats.

Notice that I didn't specify who, or for what office, but for a party. For those of you who're wondering where this sudden dedication to a party has come from, please don't be fooled. I am not a party person, I don't typically vote for parties, I prefer to vote for people. Political parties, are to my mind as divisive and corrupting as special interest lobbying groups. But it's the system we have, and we have to work with what we have before we can change it.

So what is my motivation towards voting specifically along one party line? Simple, I want to defeat the party that is absolutely determined to gut the last few socially responsible plans we have that make this country great.

I want to prevent, a third and quite possibly fourth military action/occupation of a middle eastern country. I'm not sure your aware of this, but we've been hemorrhaging money at a sickening pace in Afghanistan.

I want to punish a party whom after 12 years of domination in the House & Senate, eight of which included  a republican puppet president,  who ran up more debt than any other group before them. Case in point, two wars on credit - i.e. not included in any budget until after they lost the 2008 campaign cycle. This is the same party that has the gall to lay blame and point fingers at an administration that on day one entered an office with well over a trillion dollars of DECLARED DEBT, a near depression and certainly the worst WORLD RECESSION we've seen since.

Clearly the focus of this election cycle is on the Executive Office, and while I will concentrate on that in a moment, I would remind you of who and what branch of the government holds the greatest blame for all of our biggest complaints.

The easiest way to remember this is a familiar saying, "The President proposes, Congress disposes." 
  •  The President (Executive Office) can only propose idea's to deal with problems, such as debt, unemployment, immigration, health-care, budgets, economic stimulus, etc...etc...
  • The Congress disposes of those ideas and all others presented, I.E. - they have primary responsibility for the creation, passage and promulgation of laws that effect us every damn day!
So when you direct your frustration at the President, you better damn well look at the facts about who's constantly reached across the aisle, and with concessions so large he incurred massive decent within his own party. Shit, I've said it more times than I can count, "Obama has been one of finest Conservative Presidents we've ever had!"

The Republican Party has been working towards one end since their 2008 Presidential Campaign loss. They have at every turn rejected or filibustered nearly every proposal suggested by this administration, and they have done so with no regard to the outcome.

No group, no party of any kind bares more responsibility for the near financial default that occurred last year when the Republicans balked at signing a budget, and they are entirely responsible for the resulting credit downgrade of this nation.

Personally, I would like to ask them who the hell they believe they work for? The public, or the anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist? Why does this man have more power, more influence over the Republican party, than the people who voted for them?

Please remember, this election isn't only about the Presidency, it's about the party that will either have a majority or minority large enough to effect real change. Even if the Democrats gain majority in the House and Senate, it's got to be large enough to counter the threat of a wildly abused filibuster.

WHY AM I VOTING OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT?

The answer to this question for me, goes back to what I said earlier, I prefer to vote for a person rather than a party. The criteria I use is basic, their words, actions and accomplishments.

I've not been thrilled with this administration on many fronts, but I have never felt at any time that the man in that office was working for any other reason than the greater good of this country. The fact that this nation didn't suffer a full blown Depression, is a testament to this administration and I think will one day be acknowledged by those who record history.

Obama's opponents not only represent a political Party that has brought us to near financial collapse, but their own history of words, actions and accomplishments, provide all the reasons I need to vote against them.

I'm not going to further bore you with the facts behind their glorified biographies, they are freely available online. Do your research, don't rely entirely on the primary media outlets, and certainly not FOX "NEWS".

Ultimately it comes down to a catch phrase I keep hearing, "This is not your father's conservative party." Have you heard that? Well, it's the truth. The Paul Ryan Party, the Tea Party, call it what you want, those who call themselves members, consist of two groups. Those who want all the benefits they've been provided since the founding of the Constitution, but don't want to pay for it, and those that know the easiest way to pillage what's left of this country's greatest social programs, is to convince that latter half, that they don't need them.

Imagine if you will, had George W. Bush been successful with his privatization of Social Security prior to the financial meltdown of 2008, and had I taken all my then earned benefits and asked some money manager to invest them? Holy shit, I'd have nothing, and the big money supporters of privatization would have had even bigger offshore bank accounts.

These extremist groups want to run our government based upon the purest model of Friedmanist economic principles they can get us to sign off on. If you're not familiar with Milton Friedman, or his economic principles, you can easily perform a Google search and read the brief bio on him in Wikipedia. It provides a rather benign portrait of who he was and what he was responsible for, but I put it to you that this man, and his economic principles were the worst kind of idea's ever. There is a reason why they were so very admired and administered by dictators throughout South America.

If you want the best example of what can happen to a progressive economy when a democratic society goes full tilt Friedmanism, look no further than Chile in the mid 1970's. Or read the book, "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein.  I guarantee you will find it to be one of the most riveting and at the same time, hardest reads ever. I had to put in down multiple times, not because it was poorly written, but because it was so damn well written.

09/22/13: Had to update this...latest location for a video link to "The Shock Doctrine".


Anyway, if you've managed to read this far, thanks for putting up with me.

Much Love,

Just Joe

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dropped - Google+

So I'm a little bummed, cuz I sorta liked Google+, but Google has decided that it's important for me to reveal who I really am.

I get it, they want to insure people that their children aren't having conversations with known pedophiles. They feel it's better that everyone be up front with who they are, it's simply better that way. It's safer and more conducive to Googles bottom line, profit.

No problem, I still have Facebook, though I won't be surprised when they come calling to say, hey...we really need you to publicly provide your actual name. To whom I will also respond with a simple, goodbye.

Folks I'm sorry, but in this day an age where people can pretty much guess at your social security number, steal your ID, and rob you blind with a name and a birth date... Internet anonymity is important to those who've experienced such things already.

Google and Facebook provide a service, and while they'd like you to think it's free, they are gladly providing as much marketing information as they can glean about you to those willing to pay. Which is why the right to maintaining my anonymity is important to me, certainly enough so to drop their service the minute they have the nerve to say it's not important to them.

JustJoe


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Where Is The Outrage?

Are you as shocked as I, or have you wrapped yourself up in the blankets of apathy that the religious right, and politicians who'll do anything to get their votes, have handed out?

I have friends and family that are still unsure about re-electing Obama, and some that are very much considering a republican. Folks, I understand your not happy, I get it. I am in no way thrilled with this administration, I share with you the disillusion and disappointment.

A good friend saw in greater detail what most of us did not, I heard her, but I insisted I felt Obama was going to follow through on his many promises. She recognized him better than I, she saw clearly what I didn't. That isn't to say she wasn't going to vote for him, her disappointment was that she'd have to pick the least of all evils, again.

It's really hard to speak for her, as she is no longer with us. I wonder at the bittersweet nature of the last presidential election for her, I know she was a big John Edwards fan, and we all know where that went. I think she knew that this was the last great political game that she'd ever bear witness to, and even all the while Obama was talking about revolutionizing health care, she saw through the veneer and realized that the outcome would be far less shiny than was promised.

For those of you confused about how the promise of "Healthcare for Everyone" turned into what we have, there's a very well done, FRONTLINE documentary called, "The Obama Deal" I highly recommend it.

This blog isn't meant to pick at the Obama promises not kept or the twisted results were reaping, it's more about the other choices we have, for President of the United States of America.

Anyone who can look at the current contenders, and not see the grime under the veneer their selling, is really working hard at not seeing it. OK come on people! You want one of these nut bags to run the country?! Really?

All right, let's just check with the woman out there. Are you really thrilled with the idea of funding for Planned Parenthood to be completely cut? Are you really that enthusiastic about having religious zealots determine the only proper place in society for you, as barefoot and pregnant? Are you as happy as all the wife beaters and rapists out there, that they're voting against the Violence Against Woman Act?

Good grief ladies, do you really feel the need to have so many of the advances you've made in gender equality backslide? Where in the heck is the outrage, and why in the hell would you be considering any other option other than Obama?!

If your on a date with the best looking guy ever, but he's just told you that his personal opinion of a woman's rights are only slightly elevated from that of solid farm breeding stock, why would pretend not to hear that?

I know my friend would have told the guy to go fuck himself.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bain Capital LLC - FYI

An interesting tidbit about BANE from Wikipedia...

Bain Capital was founded in 1984 by Bain & Company partners Mitt Romney, T. Coleman Andrews III, and Eric Kriss. In addition to the four founding partners, the early team included Fraser Bullock, Robert F. White, Joshua Bekenstein, Adam Kirsch, and Geoffrey S. Rehnert. Bain Capital's original $37 million fund was raised entirely from private individuals in mid-1984. Romney led the business during the periods 1984 to 1990 and 1992 to 1999.

One of the fund's first start-up investments was Staples, Inc., the $15 billion office supply retailer. The funding enabled Staples to expand from one store in 1986 to over 2000 stores in 2011.

In his 2010 book The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Is Destroying Jobs and Killing the American Economy, Josh Kosman described Bain Capital as "notorious for its failure to plow profits back into its businesses," being the first large private-equity firm to derive a large fraction of its revenues from corporate dividends and other distributions. The revenue potential of this strategy, which may "starve" a company of capital, was increased by a 1970s court ruling that allowed companies to consider the entire fair-market value of the company, instead of only their "hard assets", in determining how much money was available to pay dividends. In at least some instances, companies acquired by Bain borrowed money in order to increase their dividend payments, ultimately leading to the collapse of what had been financially stable businesses.

Bain Capital's ownership of American Pad & Paper (Ampad), acquired in 1992 from Mead Corporation for $5 million, is estimated to have generated more than $100 million in revenues for Bain and its investors through advisory fees, sale of stock, and other revenue that resulted from an initial public offering and assumption of other debt. Hundreds of jobs were eliminated by the closing of production facilities before the business was liquidated in bankruptcy in 2001.

Yeah, anyone who thinks Mitt is gonna run this country any differently, is sadly mistaken.

Just Joe

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A message to the folks who messed with the format on Green 960

I'm sorry,

Did you idiots forget your audience? Well guess what you morons, your playing in the Bay Area! With every additional hour of that crap happy, neocon, lunatic fringe that you choose to add to your programming, you can expect to lose that much time that we listen to your commercial advertising.

You people make me sick, you'd sell your mothers soul if you thought it might get you a greater profit margin for the year.

For those of you who are truly responsible for the programming change, you know - the corporate puppet masters at Bain Capital LLC, I hope that there is a Heaven and a Hell. I hope that in hell there's a special place for each and every one of you. It's my most fervent wish that in that place, you can all relive the worst moments of those peoples lives that your greed has effected, for eternity.

Happy New Year!

Just Joe

P.S. I really think you ought to re-examine the spelling of your company, Bain Capital LLC?  Bain? Who the heck do you think your fooling, try BANE, it's far more fitting.