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Monthly Archives: March 2013

To Bubba And His Big Ol’ Gun

Well, I think I might have myself back in my little niche on Twitter… you know, the one where I’ve managed to piss off just about everyone on just about every side of every question.  That’s good though, because if I pissed you off, at least you had to think about whatever it was you got pissed off about and I’ll settle for that.

On a far more serious note though… when the Newtown Massacre happened, I made myself a promise… this time I was NOT going to forget.  This time it was going to be different and I was going to find some way to make some small measure of difference in the national dialogue that I knew was going to ensue.

Disclaimer. I’m a lifelong gun owner, shooter and former NRA member who has no interest in “coming for your guns” or in any way restricting your right to adequately protect yourselves and your families. 

I didn’t set any impossible goals for myself nor did I did I develop any delusions of grandeur… or delusions of anything else for that matter… to the fact that world was waiting breathlessly for the pearls of wisdom that only I was going to be able to deliver.  I just vowed to do whatever little thing I could do within the scope of my own limitations to see that it never happened again.  Have to admit, I haven’t been too successful.  Haven’t been able to even convince Democrats we need to do whatever’s necessary to end the carnage. 

In the meantime a few thousand more people… many of them children as usual… have died as a direct result of firearms in the hands of people who shouldn’t have been entrusted with anything more deadly than a rubber spoon, whether it be because they couldn’t control their awn animalistic impulses or because they were too damned stupid or lazy to keep their weapons out of the hands of small children and blatant nut cases.

Our government has done exactly what it always does in cases like this when it was either too chickenshit to face down the merchants of death… or too bought off… they milked it for all they could get out of it politically and then, waiting until they thought we were distracted by the hundred other ways in which we are being forced daily to pay the price for the lifestyles of the rich and not always famous, they tried to sweep the whole thing under the rug.  Didn’t work this time.  Seems I’m not the only one who didn’t forget.

Harry Reid is once again making conciliatory noises in the face of criticisms for trying to avoid standing up to the gun lobbies, promising votes on the three major provisions that the public appears to consider most important… a ban on military style assault weapons that have no function other than to kill other human beings, detachable and extended magazines that turn these firearms into weapons of mass destruction capable of killing a schoolroom full of first graders and six adults in something like 3 minutes or so, and universal background checks for all purchasers of firearms, a measure designed to help keep firearms out of the hands of those most likely to use them to shoot up the nearest neighborhood theater, shopping mall or school.

But this obsession with having the biggest most badass gun on the block is not going to go away and sooner or later we need to face up to the question of whether this is something just ingrained… bred if you will… into a certain kind of person or if much of it is based on a totally false image and some horribly false assumptions that are being deliberately fomented and fostered by those that profit financially by the fact that we have almost reached a point where there is one gun for every man, woman and child in the country even though approximately 2/3 of the people don’t own any.

In fact, recent studies have shown that 2/3 of the firearms in the United States are owned by 1/3 of the population and that 2/3 of the guns in this country amounts to 1/3 of all the guns on the entire planet. Even given the breakdowns of “normal” sporting weapons (hunting rifles, shotguns, etc.) and given that sales of military style assault weapons are skyrocketing, even a conservative estimate of the number of those types means that there is a HELL of a lot of WMPDs out there.  How many guns can you “protect yourself” with at one time anyway?

We Americans tend to be somewhat myopic when it comes to the ills that have beset our country since the turn of this century, most of which, like it or not, have ben presented by extreme elements of the right wing.  That’s to say, we all have our own private little agendas and even though those agendas may overlap and pass back and forth through each other over the course of time, we tend to emote most strongly about the issue or issues that most affect us directly.  For some it may be the proliferation of assault weapons while for others it might be racism and bigotry or rape and women’s issues or immigration reform. 

We fail to see that all of these issues and more are part of an overall mindset based mainly in our far distant past origins.  European white people are simply the most hateful, misogynist self centered, greedy and… worst of all paranoid/schizo… people ever to walk upright.  The white races of northern Europe have done very little during the several millennia they’ve been in existence other than roam throughout whatever their confinement envelope has been at any given time, raping, looting and pillaging, taking anything and everything they felt entitled to which was… like David Koch says today… all of it. 

They fought among themselves for hundreds of years to establish their little pecking orders and decide who or was going to be the HMFIC and the very moment they were able they started exporting their brand of what would eventually come to be known as capitalism throughout the world.  They were able to do this simply because they made damned sure they always had the biggest, baddest and most efficient killing machines in whatever era they happened to be in at the time and an overwhelming urge to take whatever anyone else had simply because they had the means to do so.  The world belongs to he with the means to take it for himself… he with the biggest rock, the sharpest stick, the strongest bow, the biggest gun. And it’s been that way ever since. 

By this means, the people of a relatively small island kingdom off the coast of what we now call France came to rule the largest empire in the history of man, eventually holding dominion over a fifth of the world’s population at the time as well as almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area. 

And of course, these are the people that eventually gave birth to the United States of America and bequeathed upon it that sense of manifest destiny and the intrinsic belief that it was not only the right but the duty of the white man to rule over the other “lesser” races.  This dogma provided the agenda by which the British Empire would, by the early part of the 20th century, hold sway over half a billion people and is the primordial basis for the unspoken belief among many that they need a bigger gun to make them feel like a bigger man.

You can talk all you want to about self defense and safety and security and all the usual NRA pap but come on Bubba, the only REAL reason for having a gun that can kill two dozen people in less than two minutes is so you can kill two dozen people in two minutes, am I right?  And the only reason for wanting to be able to do that is so that you can impose your will on the guy that doesn’t, am I right again?.  Doubt me? 

ted nugentIf so take a look at all the pictures of of your “everyman” pants crapping hero, Ted Nugent masturbating his favorite toys and uttering “tough guy” threats against our elected officials.  That’s who the NRA has chosen to be the face of gun owners everywhere, including gun owners like me who get tarred with the same brush broken down old has been publicity whores like him do.  

The rest of it is nothing but pap for the masses to try to convince them you and your big gun are no threat to them when the statistics are making a liar of you daily and thousands of American citizens WITHOUT assault weapons and 30 round clips… a huge number of them innocent children… are dying every year so YOU can feel like a big shot, impressing your like minded friends and intimidating your “lessers”. 

The only person you really need an assault rifle and a 30 round clip to protect yourself and your family from is another guy… just as paranoid as you are… with an assault rifle and a 30 round clip and the only people I would need such a weapon to protect myself from is the two of you.  I’d rather not have to deal with it if you don’t mind.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The Petty Little Games People Play On Line

Apparently someone at #UniteBlue has decided I still need to be on their “enemies” list.  When this whole kerfuffle first blew up, I did a little research and decided it wasn’t for me.  I did a quickie blog entry to that effect and later on as more info became available and I personally got my first taste of the junior grade Rovian “dirty tricks” they had been using on their “enemies” I made a second post describing the tactics they were using on me.

Subsequent to that post, I have posted tweets whenever something in the #UniteBlue tweet wars would catch my eye but nothing that would readily fit into the “attack” category unless you’re some kind of paranoid dork.  Things actually died down for a few days but I was reminded this evening that this little outfit brooks no criticism and that they will do whatever it takes to strike back at anyone they feel is “dissing the #UniteBlue they believe in”.

Tonight I signed on to Twitter and was informed by one of the anti #UniteBlue folks that an organization apparently calling itself Unite Blue Dilemma… apparently everyone was familiar with the alleged organization except yours truly… had posted an article on their home page… shown in the Google search snippet as UniteBlueDilemma.com. There’s not enough in the search snippet to determine if it was favorable or derogatory to the organization and if you click on their listed URL it doesn’t take you to any web site.  It brings you to THIS page… the one you’re reading right now… and you get a 404 error message that the file can’t be found. 

It can’t be found here of course because it was never here in the first place but the entire setup appears designed around making it appear that the article was here at one time but that I took it down. Once again I have no idea whether this crap is being carried out by the #UniteBlue leadership or simply by a couple of overzealous members but if this is what they mean by “uniting” people from the left, then the surer I am I want nothing to do with them. 

Look people… I’m going to put this bluntly and in the same language I’d use if we were face to face.  I don’t give a rat’s ASS whether #UniteBlue exists or it doesn’t and I give an even smaller rat’s ass who belongs to it and who doesn’t.  I have nothing to fear from anyone in the organization… other than childish annoying little bullshit like this anyway… and I goddamned sure don’t post blog entries and then delete them because I’m afraid of what a few little sheep and their shearers think about it.  

I’m 70 fucking years old.  I outgrew this petty little shit about the time I grew up and had to go to work for a living… at 13.  If I’ve got something to say about you, I have no fucking qualms about saying it TO you and I damned well figure if you’ve got a problem with me then you can also have the goddamned balls to say so outright instead of playing these stupid cowardly little games with fake Tweets, redirected URLs, spamblocking and whatever other cute little gimmicks your dumbass Anon wannabe can come up with.

Not going to try to appeal to your maturity or common sense because it’s obvious if you had any measurable level of either I wouldn’t be making this post right now.  Instead, I’d be advising you grow the hell up and try being an adult for a change. If nothing else, the change of pace might do you some good. 

And there’s always this:  As some of you well know, karma has a way of catching up eventually no matter how slick you think you are. Sooner or later, you’ll step over some line you don’t even know is there and have someone sniffing your whitey tighties like a dog in heat.  Somehow, I don’t think you’ll be sniggering like a pimply assed school kid in his first circle jerk when that time comes.

Oh… and for the more gullible amongst you… ask yourself why I would take that post down and then turn right around and out this one up?  Uh huh.  Think about it.  

-30-  

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

American Exceptionalism_Why We’re Hated Throughout the World

Way back at the beginning of  President Obama’s first year in office The Spoof, a parody news site and cheap knockoff of The Onion, ran a story in which he supposedly apologized to Mexico for supposed criminal acts by Mexican drug gangs against American citizens. 

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make much sense to me either but did I mention that The Spoof is a CHEAP Onion knockoff?  The story of course, pretty much went viral in the wingnut world and thoroughly “outraged” the low rent working class folks on the right.  This did not go unnoticed by those directing the Great Right Wing Propaganda and Noise Machine who realized immediately that they had themselves a gold mine. 

I’m fairly certain they had to know the original story was largely a sack of crap… simply reading through it will convince anyone with the reading comprehension of a 2nd grader that it was strung together by someone with no sense of grammar or syntax but at the same time they realized their base is made up of folks who are not heavy into the reading thing and who thrive on being outraged about something 24/7. 

Hook that up with the fact that a lot of rank and file Teapers are more than willing to swallow anything derogatory toward PBO if someone spoons it out to them in big enough doses and thus was born the Legend of the Great Cathouse Thursday Magical Apology Tour which chronicles the many times the president has “apologized and sucked up to anyone the Tea Party judges to be an enemy… which is just about anyone except the Tea Party.

Have apologies been made by this administration? I certainly hope so because we’ve damned sure done some things to the people of this world that need apologizing for or else we wouldn’t find ourselves in the position I’m about to allude to here.

Sourced in part from: The World Is Not Billy Bob’s Rib Pit by Fred Reed, World News Daily.  As Mr. Reed quite bluntly puts it, The United States is quite simply the most hated country in the word, followed only but closely by the Nation of Israel which shares a similar view of the rest of the planet and the people who live on it.  And that’s pretty much it.  No other countries even make the list.  

If you have lived abroad, as so very few Americans have, the explanation for the hatred is obvious: Meddling. Relentless, prideful, uncomprehending meddling, frequently military, often with horrendous death tolls. Americans, adroitly managed by a controlled press, historically illiterate, incurious, decreasingly educated, either have never heard of the American behavior that angers others, or believe it to have been inspired by virtuous motives.

Nobody else thinks so. Add to unfamiliarity with the wider world the constantly inculcated assertion that America is the greatest, most wonderful nation ever to exist, a light to the world, a shining city on a hill, and you get a dangerously delusional state. Especially now. In the past, American economic and military supremacy were such that the US didn’t have to care what others thought. The times, they are a-changing.

It might be wise to compare briefly the view through American and foreign eyes. Consider Iraq. To most of the world, the war on Iraq was brutal, unprovoked, and murderous. More than a few, looking at the ruins of Fallujah, thought of Guernica—of which few in the States have ever heard.

If any of you less intellectually stimulated right wing folks are interested in understanding the Guernica analogy the rest of us will wait while you do the little Google thing.  I’m sure you’d find something in the comparison to outrage you but hopefully a little insight will seep in along with it.  OK, moving along:

The rest of Mr.. Reed’s article SHOULD provide a lot of people with some pretty good ideas as to why the only other people in the world who want anything to do with us are in a country pretty much just like us in our attitude of tribalistic entitlement and that acts as our surrogate in the Middle East.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid for many it will simply reinforce the “We’re Merkins _Fuck the rest of the world!” attitude hat has totally squandered every ounce of good will with which the free world once regarded this country.

That’s going to be your legacy Tea Party.  Hope you choke on it.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Thoughts On Democrats Trying To Cut Social Security (And Other Stuff).

The Republicans used to have a saying during the Bush years when their boy was coming under copious amounts of criticism for being an ignorant dick that was killing our kids for the financial benefit of his daddy’s Wall Street cronies. 

After they made sure we understood what lowlifes we were by inserting the word “libs” into the first sentence of any dissertation they were engaged in, they’d nearly always conclude with some variation on, “If you can’t respect the man, at least respect the office.”, followed by some form of “otherwise you’re a rotten commie fag terrorist loving traitor who wants America to lose.”.

So here we are in the Obama era and we’re still hearing pretty much that same refrain, couched in pretty much the same kind of simplistic terms, always admonishing liberals and “lefties” that any criticism of the president is tantamount to treason. 

Of course we’re not hearing it from the Republicans anymore.  Hell, they did a total 180 degree flip on the subject just during the length of time it took Mr. Obama to mount to the podium and take the oath of office and the poor guy can’t even get a dog for the family or change his necktie without loud squeals of outrage and mass epidemics of the vapors on the right.  But hypocrisy is one of the foundation blocks of Conservatism these days and nobody really expects anything different out of them, least of all, yours truly.

Nope, this time, we’re hearing it from a certain small but very vocal group Democrats, many of whom are actually calling themselves liberals. And the treason we’re supposedly committing is not so much against the country, but against the man himself.  The office of President of the United States itself doesn’t even enter into it, this is all about Barack Obama.  It’s one of the pitfalls of having a highly popular president wherein the personality becomes far  larger than the job itself.

Just the mere whisper that, for example, Mr. Obama might not be the knight in shining armor come to rescue us from the elites and overlords that daily suck the life from us to feed their insatiable greed we think he is and right there, immediately after they insert the word(s) “lib” or “Emo” or “lefties” (being smarter, Dems are naturally more creative when it comes to epithets) into their opening gambit… in that split instant… you become a rotten RWNJ plant GOP/Tea Party loving traitor who wants our president to fail and the GOP to win

Not that there aren’t any of those around, mind you.  My own favorite fringe left targets, Glenn Greenwald and David Sirota fit that description to a gnat’s ass.  The average tweeter that simply asks, “Why are the Democrats doing this?”, huh uh.  

Makes no difference that you spend most of your time tweeting and/or blogging against Republicans, their policies and their hypocrisies or that you devoted every ounce of your energies to do what you could to help reelect him.  You have taken the name of our president in vain and must be pilloried and stoned like the filthy cur you are. 

I have actually seen numerous tweets in recent weeks advocating a repeal of the 22nd Amendment so that Mr. Obama could run for a third term ala FDR and a handful in which the tweeters stated that they would be thrilled if Mr. Obama became their president for life to which I can only say, Whoa people! Get a goddamned grip here. 

I’m second to none of you in honest respect for the man, his family AND the office he holds. I think history will judge him to be one of the best presidents ever, and I agree even while disagreeing with some of the reasons they will. I even supported his landmark piece of legislation, the ACA, in spite of the fact that it’s enactment helped to REDUCE my own level of health care significantly.  I supported his reelection wholeheartedly even though I knew that he would once again offer up cuts to Medicare and chained CPI simply because it’s what he wants to do.  In other words, I’ve PUT my money where my mouth is.  It’s YOUR turn for some of this “shared sacrifice” everyone loves to talk about.

But when admiration for any public figure starts turning into a personality cult-like worship and especially when it’s coming from that segment of the political spectrum heretofore thought to contain the serious thinkers and the pragmatic practical users of logic as opposed to mindless rote and emotional superstition based knee-jerk reaction… well I can foresee a few possible outcomes, differing only in detail and none of them good.

Mr. Obama is a good man.  He’s still however, just a man.  He’s not going to magically make things better and there’s no magic wand he can wave to make the GOP/Tea Party go away.  This country has operated for far too long built on a foundation of greed and elitism for any one person to make the banks and corporations behave if not vanish completely in a puff of smoke now, even if he wanted to… which I seriously doubt Mr. Obama does since he’s the first Democratic President ever to not only propose, but to practically insist on, cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of his “Master Plan”.

The political system we have now is damned sure not capable of it because that isn’t what it’s designed to do anymore.  On the contrary, the system, as it’s currently constructed, can do nothing but take us farther down the road to failure as a republic and if you think it was cobbled together to do anything but that I’ve… well, never mind, I did the bridge thing a couple of posts ago.

And if I live long enough to actually see the total destruction of the middle class, there is one thing of which I have no doubt. The 1% that will make up the nobility will still be ensconced on their little thrones gleefully plotting further depredations against the masses and stirring them up against each other, while the commoners and serfs… left, right, poor, former middle class, ESPECIALLY the former middle class… will still be so totally bound up in pointing fingers at each other over who’s to blame, they won’t know it.

-30- 

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Back To Business (Long Winded Rant)

I’d like to say a few words about liberals and the “professional left” but I can’t do that without a few HUNDRED words in regard to my feelings on this whole left/center left/center/center right/right/batshit crazy right  thing that our political spectrum has turned into.  If you’re going to read it I ask that unless you just get too bored to continue, you do read it all the way through because the fact that I’m pretty much non-aligned with any party, ideology or “ism” makes my views and positions as an observer of the American political system a tad harder for those locked within the confines of an unyielding ideology of any persuasion to ferret out sometimes.  Thanks.

I think we’ve just about reached the point of no Return and while the road ahead looks empty and seems to go nowhere, it’s way too late to try to turn around.  The only hope we have is to wearily continue to put one foot in front of the other and plod along the path that was marked out for us when we sold our birthright as Americans, our childrens’ futures and our spines for a mess of, if not pottage, then bread and circuses and shiny objects wrapped in empty slogans and… these days… hashtags. 

I have no idea what’s at the end of this road but try as I might I am unable to escape the conclusion that the land we find there is going to be nothing like the America I thought I was growing up in or even the America that I spent my comfortable middle class adulthood in up until the gremlins in my cardiovascular system started their little tantrums.  The only thing I’m reasonably sure of is that as far downhill as we’ve come in terms of freedoms, liberty and democracy lost, it’s still all downhill from here

This is where “lesser of two evils” politics is taking us and it’s a one way road.  There is absolute no chance that a third party will ever come together to challenge the death grip the Republicans and center right Democrats have on our throats so our elections are always going to boil down to a personality or “charisma” contest. 

Of course  the Dems will always win that kind of contest hands down especially if the GOP keeps coming up with McCains and Romneys to throw at the voters but if… after winning… they’re going to govern from the right or at best just slightly to the left of whoever the fringe lunatics from the GOP DID put up… we’re never going to regain anything we’ve lost and we’re going to continue to lose the little we still manage to cling to.

I think it’s a good sign that at least a few people are starting to realize that Barack Obama is not the second coming of Christ and that he cares no more for “little people” than a lot of his opposite numbers nor is he going to prosecute the bankers or the war criminals or the energy companies or get the money out of politics or… my own pet bugaboo of course… stop trying to sell off bits and pieces of Social Security and Medicare.  He just understands the value of playing to the “middle class” far better than the Republicans do. 

Mr. Obama prefers to accomplish with charm, wit and undeniable intelligence what the GOP tries to do with sledge hammers and meat axes.  I used to buy and sell horses and I met a lot of people like that.  He’s damned good at it too.  He works his base… the right of center “progressives”, better than any Tea Party redneck or GOP corporate tool could ever dream of doing with theirs.  And none of it means a damned thing because once you get elected everything you said before election day goes right into the crapper and you start with a clean slate.

For five years now what the “progressive” democrats have referred to as the “crybaby professional left” has been the only group willing to publicly point out these little “warts” on the body politic.  They had fallen for Mr. Obama hook line and sinker and busted their collective asses for him 2008, thinking there would be a place for them at the table but once the job was done and their votes counted into the victory they were once more shunted shunted aside to eat with the kids in the kitchen while progressive “adults” got the seats at the big table.

In 2010, they decided they weren’t going to subject themselves to being cast in the role of poor relations and fed scraps again and they stayed home in droves rather than to once more deliver themselves into the hands of the progressives to be milked for their votes and then ignominiously kicked to the curb until the next rodeo. 

And of course the GOP retook the house and enough of the senate to assure that they would be able inflict their will on the American people for at least another two to four years and had the GOP run candidates for president and vice president with the intellectual capacity to attract voters with an average IQ higher than a cockroach, they could have damned well won the White House too.  I’ve often thought that rather than excoriating Sarah Palin, progressives should probably be thanking her for bringing a level of ignorance and woeful inadequacy to the GOP ticket that let the Democrats get by with just the losses they endured.  It could have been a whole lot worse.

So did the progressives learn anything at all about beating the crap out of someone like a bunch of schoolyard bullies for two years straight and then demanding that the victim drag himself to the polls and vote for them?  Oh HELL no.  Just like RWs anywhere and everywhere their answer was to double, triple and quadruple down on the bullying and hatefulness.  Hell the GOP/Tea Party didn’t even have to castigate liberals anymore because the progressives were doing it for them.  Left all those RWNJs free to practice their own brand of “hate is good” magic on the progressives themselves.

As for Mr. Obama himself… first shot out of the bag, Robert Gibbs, then White House Press secretary, let liberals know where they stood with this particular Democratic White House and in fact he was the person who originally coined the term “professional left”.  His little “Go fuck yourselves” speech couldn’t have been a whole lot clearer had he actually used those words.

Now we’re up to the 2012 campaign.  It was hard to get a feel for the official Democratic party line in regard to liberals, basically because it was hard to separate any real party line from the incessant bile… downright venom actually… spewing from the progressive Democrats against the liberals that they still blamed for their humiliation in 2010.

I came onto Twitter with my own little not exactly pro-progressive but damned sure anti-conservative mindset while the campaign was just getting it’s full roar on and the first thing I had to do was try to figure out which hateful invective laden screed against liberals was coming from RW Republicans and which from the RW Democrats.  It all sounded and looked the same to me.

I do remember some tweets alluding to the fact that this would be Mr. Obama’s second term, and he would be much less inhibited due to the fact that he wouldn’t have to run again and that he would not only kick ass for the next four years but might even go back and start keeping some of the promises he made to secure that liberal vote in 2008 but they were pretty much drowned out by the noise from the right wing of the Democratic Party hammering everything that even looked like a liberal position an anything. 

In any event, once again the GOP managed to come up a perfectly horrible slate of candidates and run a perfectly horrible campaign and Mr. Obama won reelection handily.  Honestly not sure how much the liberal vote had to do with his rather impressive margins but if the liberals stayed home again, then Mr. Obama made up for it by pulling Republican votes in numbers that no true liberal could have. 

Hasn’t all been one way though.  As for the liberals themselves, If it sounds like I give them a pass for their part in bringing us to this particular hole in the road, rest assured, nothing could be further from the truth.

Put as simply as I can, I also fault the liberals for the 2010 debacle, even though I think I understand their motives far better than the Progressives on Twitter do. We should not have had to go through the last two years and I lay the sacrifices that have had to be made by those of us in the poor and working poor classes directly at the feet of those who made the idiotic gesture and those that manipulated them into doing so.  I reserve my special premium blend of blame and contempt for people like Glenn Greenwald and David Sirota for deliberately, and with malice aforethought, inciting them to do what they did.  

It was childish and counterproductive and it lost them any semblance of support they might have had from independents and non-aligned voters like myself.  It was so obvious what the GOP had in store for this country that there is no way possible any of them could claim not to have understood fully the consequences of their actions. 

But… it’s flipping done and neither side can go back in time three years and undo any of it, capice?  This ain’t no H.G. Wells story.  It’s over, done with, water under the bridge, spilt milk.  There is only ONE enemy that’s any threat to anyone and that’s Wall Street with their stooges and turdminions firmly ensconced throughout every branch of government in virtually every position of power and influence and it’s happened because the left was so busy biting its own ass they didn’t flipping notice that it was happening during Democratic administrations and majorities as well as Republican ones.  The frog was put in cold water, the heat turned up and he never saw it coming.

It’s an axiom in politics that nobody is going to get everything they want but thanks to total intransigence on the part of BOTH wings of the Democratic party or liberal or progressive movement or whatever the hell the opposition… and I use that term loosely… to the right is calling itself these days the GOP continues to get 98% of their heart’s desire while the only thing the left can is cough up one hairball after another in the form of hashtags, slogans and offers to compromise.

I don’t know where folks got the idea you could continually compromise with evil without eventually giving the whole damned farm away but I am becoming firmly convinced that those that continue to preach it as if it were some kind of gospel have no interest in winning the battle the rest of us think we’re fighting. 

You’ll have to make up your own mind as to who or what your personal demons are and hopefully they’ll be something besides liberals and other Democrats that you don’t happen to see eye to eye with.  I made mine up a long time ago and I’m just gonna keep doing my little thing.

As always, thanks for bearing with me this  far and I hope I haven’t trod on too many toes or gored to many personal oxen.  I always figure if I piss someone off it’s because they’ve seen themselves in something I’ve said while those that haven’t don’t have any reason to be pissed.

-30-

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Wow! They Even Have Their Own Anon

A couple of days ago I did a post here about the negative feelings I was having about the newest Twitter sensation, #UniteBlue.  In that post, I tried to explain my reasons for not wanting to be a part of the organization.  I made it clear that these were not accusations, but only my own reasons based on gut level feelings for staying out of it.

My own firsthand experiences with the organization have been somewhat limited, being restricted to winding up on some folks’ “enemies” list for daring to question the motives of their Guru, a Mr. Zach Green… who makes his living mining and manipulating data on Twitter users and selling the resulting “lists and databases to the highest bidder… and some of of their “advisory board” members in regard to the monetization of Twitter User Info by one or more of his many family “enterprises and the following rather bizarre episode.

Nut Cracker 2

The illustration at left is a screen grab from the Twitter time line of one, @ibUB2, aka Nut Cracker.

Mr. Cracker sports an Anon avatar although I seriously doubt that he is actually a part of that organization or he wouldn’t have to resort to the cheap tricks and cobbled together bullshit he and some of the most vociferous members of #UniteBlue have resorted to in their never ending attempts to silence their detractors.

The screen shot shown is in reference to Mr. Crackers attempt on behalf of #UniteBlue to silence the most vocal of the organization’s detractors, referred to herein as simply “X”, by posting his/’her personal information, including information on his/her family, on his little blog site for use in attacks on the person.  Apparently, this is called “doxing”.  I wouldn’t know, having never encountered anyone low enough to employ it before.

The simple truth is, I had never heard of Mr. Cracker and  had definitely never followed Mr. Cracker (Which Twitter should easily be able to confirm unless Mr. Cracker is a better Twitter hacker than I’m giving him credit for). 

I had had some open screen contacts with “X” on Twitter and apparently that, coupled with my own published observations on the organization was enough to make me either a secondary target or simply a ready means by which to create hate and discontent amongst the opposition.  What you see is an attempt by the two highlighted accounts to make it look as if the “doxing” was being done at my request and that Mr. Cracker was only waiting until the information “I” had requested was made fully available, I suppose by one of his “Anon” colleagues. 

This is rather feeble minded on the face of it.  In the first place, if it was actually happening, the wrath of the Twitter Gods would… or damned well SHOULD… have descended on this account long ago.  Provided there was a long ago.  I have had my own suspicions that this is either a fake account created for the purpose utilizing the organization’s Twitter API or a manipulation of an existing account by the same means.

However, in the absence of any proof regarding my own suspicions and therefore on the assumption that the whole thing might be genuine, I’ve asked an attorney friend to draw up a letter of inquiry to Twitter to request a C & D and also to attempt to determine if the operation was sanctioned by #UniteBlue or just a stupid gambit by a couple of its more low rent and unscrupulous members acting on their own.

In the meantime, the beat goes on,  The new line of attack seems to be altering tweets from members to distort content and then posting tweets that are framed as “replies” to the altered tweets or tweets that were never made by the people the so called replies are aimed at. I haven’t found any directly aimed at me yet but I haven’t looked through my entire time line nor have I received any notifications via email although I suppose that even a mediocre Js hacker or Tweet/data manipulator or especially someone with access to the Twitter API would have little trouble avoiding any safeguards or requirements of that nature.

The more I watch these people in action, the more certain I am that I was right not to become involved with #UniteBlue.  Add to the reservations I expressed in my original post the fact that I simply would not care to belong to any organization that either employs the tactics and techniques we’re seeing arrayed against their  “enemies” or that sanctions their use by individual members against their own personal bogey men in the name of the organization.

Again, there is no attempt on my part to tell others what they should or should not do, only to explain some of the reasoning for my own personal opinions and reservations that can’t be stuffed into a 140 character tweet.  One of the things I’ve learned from all this in view of all the disappearing tweets and “dematerializing” of links to information, the screen grab can easily become your best friend.  Get it while it’s there because two minutes from now it may be gone.

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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

There’s No Such Animal As An “Unimportant” SS Benefit Cut

Seniors in America might as well wake up to the fact that Democrats, while possibly more well intentioned than their right wing counterparts, are not any more likely to oppose all these niggling little “adjustments” that are supposedly designed to “strengthen the operation by making cuts that don’t really matter” than are their right wing counterparts.

It seems that a majority of rather smug, middle class Democrats have come to feel that these cuts are justified by convincing themselves that they are in areas that really don’t matter and that seniors can always adjust. We’ve been seeing it lately in the chained CPI concept favored by our president and most in his administration but it goes back farther than that.

While many Democrats have been standing up and declaring that they will defend Social Security to their dying breath and demand that no cuts in benefits take place, they’ve also been doing two things. A) they’ve attempted to convince seniors that those little cuts they DO favor aren’t really all that drastic or important and B) they totally ignore the cuts in health care for seniors, many of them not so minor, that have been taking place since even before the advent of the ACA or “Obamacare” as both sides like to call it now. Remember, these are cuts in the level of health care services being received overall, not just in Medicare, which is a (admittedly the major) component in an overall system of benefits that go together to determine the quality of life.

For example, when I first went on my own combination of SSDI/SSI/Medicare/Medicaid in 2005, I had vision and dental care as well as counseling and mental health services included in my package. I was able to see the doctor of my choice under Medicare and/SSI Medicaid picked up the slack by paying the difference (copay) between what Medicare allowed and the doctor demanded for his services. I had regular eye and dental exams and glasses and health related dental work were fully covered in the same manner. While I never availed myself of any of the counseling or mental health services (there’s a stigma attached for some of us older types) they were there in the event that they were ever needed.

In addition, I had an SSI stipend of $157 per month which by it’s very existence made me ineligible for nutritional programs (SNAP, Food Stamps) but which allowed me to cover my nutritional needs adequately while over half of my regular SSDI allotment was used to pay my rent and the rest used to cover all other normal household expenses.

All in all, a vast improvement over the years that lay between my medical retirement from a lifelong job and the use of my state retirement to stave off a medical bankruptcy including a couple of years of homelessness and dependency on the charity and good will of family members and friends while I had to fight the U.S. Government for my SSDI benefits although it was only slated to last for about a year until the “adjustments” started.

Flash forward to today. After numerous “small” adjustments to the amount Medicare will reimburse care providers, something I’m being told our president is proposing yet again, private practice physicians in my area all got together and decided they wouldn’t accept Medicare patients any longer. Today, I get my primary health care services from a privatized “public” health clinic that is paid by the number of patients seen and not the quality of care provided.

This is literally one of those “4 minute per patient” situations the Republicans were predicting if the ACA passed. I was recently assigned a new physician, the old one having departed because she was only allowed to see patients, not treat them. The new dude asked me what my problems are and when I started enumerating them, told me he didn’t have time to hear my whole history and to just hit the “high spots”. I consider that a benefit cut.

I no longer have vision care. Haven’t had an eye exam or new glasses in about 10 years even though I suffer from cataracts. I have the last pair of bifocals I got 10 years ago and I buy reading glasses off the rack at the drugstore for reading and looking at a monitor screen. I consider that a benefit cut.

I no longer have dental coverage. I was just getting ready for major reconstructive dental work when Medicare/Medicaid dropped the coverage and the surgeons dropped me because I didn’t have cash or private insurance to go through with the treatment. I consider that a benefit cut.

Can’t say I really lost much on the mental and counseling services since I never used them while I had them but they were a benefit I once had and no longer do, hence a benefit cut.

MediCal, our name for Medicaid, has also been ripped to shreds by successive waves of state budget cuts (made on the same basis and for the same supposed reasons at the federal level) and I now pay copays on many of the numerous meds I take regularly. Not huge ones to be sure but enough to impact things like my grocery budget and eliminate things like recreation and entertainment. The $157 SSI stipend that USED to buy my groceries has now shrunk to a magnificent five whole dollars a month. Benefit cuts.

Luckily my rent has shrunk by about 50% due to finding a little HUD subsidized apartment in a senior housing project but even that’s coming under attack by the RW and being basically ignored by the Democrats also and for the first time in 7 years I’m actually having to think about being homeless again and in worse shape health wise than I was before.

And the sorriest part of it is I’m better off than so many of my contemporaries! I HAVE a place to live, at least for now. I HAVE food albeit processed, plasticized and genetically engineered. I have health care even if it’s centered on profit for the corporation running the clinics rather than my actual health, which is better than no care at all, right?

And I’m also learning that there are elders out there who honestly feel that they are BETTER off today than before and I would imagine that under various combinations of circumstances that this is so. My references are to the elderly working class POOR who spent a lifetime living from paycheck to paycheck and were unable to set themselves up for old age before it was upon them and who can’t afford things like custom supplemental plans and the like, not those in the AARP ads.

All of this adds up to a net loss in real income for seniors such as myself over the past five years and if anything is going to stop it, it’s going to be standing firm against ANY encroachment by the right wing and their corporate leash holders, no matter how “small” or unimportant some of you think it might be. Why would you want to open up even the smallest crack for eventual privatization to slide a tentacle through?

There is no such thing as a “small” or “unimportant” benefit cut when we’re talking about the bare necessities of life. And now I’m going to have that song from “Jungle Book” running through my head all day. Damn!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized