In 2010, Rick Scott was promoted and elected by the tea party — we are now living through the callous dismantling and privatizing of Florida government.Vote and send the creeps and the groups that support them to the rubbish pile and label them the past.
Doesn’t Florida Governor Rick Scott and his posse cause mental discomfort for the GOP? I would think so. I would be mortified if someone I voted for continually bullied the masses and carried on with his innate criminal greed while serving the people of Florida. Without a doubt I feel bad for the Republicans who did not realize what he would do when they voted for him and are now outraged. They voted for him. Message to the GOP –>please please learn from this guy and don’t nominate tea party candidates.
And furthermore — It is essential to re-elect our President. I feel much safer and more represented. His National Security policies and his health care policies are for all of us, including those who don’t like him. The Republican nominee seems to want only what is right for his money cronies. Although, he may be lying just to get their money (he’s been known to do that). His healthcare policy in his home state was actually copied by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which was designed by a nonpartisan government committee after single payer healthcare was rejected.
Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down $2.4 billion in Federal money for a high speed rail project despite knowledge of a newly revealed Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) study that forecast the venture would net a $10 million surplus in its very first year of operation.
State and Federal court battles are holding back the entire industry of high speed rail. Meanwhile war machines carry on unobstructed?
One great train and track needs to be built to prove its usefulness. A wonderful provider of jobs and a peaceful industry of builders and innovative minds to do their thing. Not to mention a very comfortable way to study, read, sleep off a hangover, prepare a power point, get your homework done, have some lunch, cuddle with a loved one, make friends with strangers, decrease your footprint, meet a famous person, pee without stopping at a scary rest stop, do needlepoint, or just enjoy the view without worrying about driving into the swamp, while getting from point A to point B.
The United States government pays companies to build tanks and jets to provide security and to protect the nation from bad guys. But if the government pays a corporation to build solar panels, high speed rail, or windmills to provide energy independence (which is a better source of security) than it is called socialist government intervention or “Big Government”. Why isn’t it called socialist government intervention for us to subsidize the building of war machines?
Socialism is when the state owns the tank building company. Capitalism is when the tank building company is owned by the corporation. Subsidizing is when the state pays the corporation to build the tanks. We have been doing this subsidizing for years. The Federal Reserve loves it and so do the folks who build the tanks and especially those who own the tank building company.
Everybody is happy until the state says it would rather subsidize high speed rail. The tank builder doesn’t know how to build high speed trains and therefore shouts SOCIALISM. Corporate backed media gets on TV news and separates us. Before you know it Americans are telling other Americans to leave the country if they’d rather have trains then tanks.
Did you know Tanks are only useful for war? Tank builders therefore need war. Good tanks protect our soldiers. So here we are gladly subsidizing tank building to protect our sons.
Why can’t we also subsidize weapons of peace that contribute to energy independence? Things like high speed rail, and Renewables. Things that keep the planet clean and alive, and we get to live out our 70 to 80 years in peace? Unfortunately, some people just don’t get peace. Maybe a nice long clean peaceful life is just too boring to be enduring.
Exxon-Mobile is running frequent ads on TV claiming they care about teachers and education. One thought on this could be they are interested in controlling what is taught in universities. They might cause universities to back off on the Environmental education and focus more on finding oil, extracting oil and refining oil. Frankly oil sells itself so that is a no brainer.
There are lots of bright young minds with brand new engineering degrees planning to go to Texas, Mexico or Canada and work for an oil company. They don’t need to be recruited or guided — money talks. Money also talks to the legislators of various state run Universities. Like a big circle, politicians give subsidies to oil and educators.
Geothermal, solar, wind, biodiesel, and other renewable sources of energy aren’t at the Universities recruiting these brilliant young minds. They don’t have the politically backed funding for that. Oil and coal receive federal funding and they use much of it for recruiting brilliance and luring them with buttloads of money.
Meantime, we’re building tired old SUV’s in our auto plants and wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t want them. Because the rest of the world has young brilliant minds too. They are being recruited into the renewable energy industry and making fast and powerful cars that run on batteries and biodiesel.
Mandatory arbitration is a part of every credit card and cell phone contract that you sign. In so signing you agree to not take the card company or cell phone company to court. Did you know that? Tort reform makes it so companies are not found liable for harm. They use the term frivolous but includes third degree burns and death. An example of State mandated caps–> in West Virginia miners are often killed in mining accidents their families can ask for and win millions, but the cap is about $10.000. Susan Saladoff’s film “Hot Coffee” is effective and makes these confusing terms easy to understand. Who would think the US government would allow this kind of abuse to happen to citizens of the USA?
This prompted some inquiry into lobbying groups who support arbitration, caps and tort reform. Then you look up the politicians those lobby groups support and you realize why the government has allowed this abuse.
Two lobbying groups were made the focus–>Americans for Prosperity supported by Charles and David Koch and the US Chamber of Commerce which was created by US president William Howard Taft as a counterbalance to organized labor in 1912. You may not realize that the US Chamber of Commerce is not a government agency it is a private astroturf lobby. (I’m not talking about football fields)
The term astroturf is the billionaire version of grassroots. Astroturf coalitions are created and funded by corporations and industry trade associations. They fund lobbying groups who’s job is to win over the middle class and manipulate facts. Many describe (or disguise) themselves as public relations groups like Bonner and Associates.
In 2009, Jack Bonner and his Associates were working for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and were caught forging letters to Representative Tom Perriello. The letters were supposedly from true grassroots groups, like the NAACP — urging him to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill. Perriello is one of the co-sponsors of the Clean Water Protection Act. The Coal industry didn’t want this Act signed because it would slow the practice of Mountaintop removal.
Jack Bonner had his company design a fictitious web calculator. This calculator convinced users the cost of fuel would rise exponentially if legislators signed the Kyoto treaty; while accusing real scientists of being eco-wacko. They have pulled off the same brilliant shenanigans for pharmaceutical companies, Mobile oil, US tobacco, Citicorp and so forth. The Kochs love these guys and have them working for them through “Americans for Prosperity” and probably many others.
The US Chamber of Commerce seems to have morphed into a completely self-serving machine. It is a private lobbying group funded by 45 billionaires. Their common denominator is a dislike for public education and healthcare reform. These billionaires love funding tort reform and judicial races. The US Chamber of Commerce helped to shield AIG from liability lawsuits, funded the Tea-party in the 2010 midterm elections, distributed books on energy to children, funded the fight against SCHIP (healthcare for poor kids), and so forth. They are drooling over social security money and wanting to legally manipulate it by lobbying for social security, medicare and medicaid to be privatized. They are funding politicians who get behind this agenda with their pens. Rick Scott has quickly signed legislation to privatize medicaid in Florida.
If you have ever seen the term “Fair Trade” on labels, you may have wondered what that meant. I would like to explain.
It is a marvelous system of guaranteeing the buyer that the product they are buying is not harming people or the planet. For example: In Papua New Guinea the farmers grow cocoa on land they own. The cocoa was sold to middle-men that in turn sold it to chocolate makers who in turn sold it to us. The farmers profits were miniscule in comparison to the middle man. Logging Companies wanted to buy these lands from the farmers and since the farmers weren’t making much money growing cocoa they were willing to sell. The Nature Conservancy came along and explained to the farmers that the sale would be a short lived income. With Fair Trade certification their profits would be greater and last as long as they were willing to farm sustainably. Keeping their lands to sell Fair Trade cocoa will provide income forever (or until we stop loving chocolate).
The farmers were granted the fair trade certification after a long (three years I think) and arduous process of sustainable growing and marketing education. The middle man was removed so they had to find their own fair trade buyers. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to find buyers for this wonderful cocoa; it helps to understand these farmers have limited sources of communication and funds for travel. These photos might help explain.
The purchase of a fair trade product means paying a fair price to the producer, and creating lasting trade relationships that can guarantee the financing environmental development. When you buy fair trade product you establish a more direct and concrete partnership with the producer.
So remember when you buy fair trade certified products you are participating in saving families, forests, and ways of life we can never enjoy.
If you think fair trade clothing is ugly hippy crap take a look at Colin Firth’s wife Livia in a gown designed by Jeff Garner who used fair trade Ahimsa Silk for the beautiful gown she wore to the Golden Globe awards.
So to summarize, fair trade and rain-forest alliance are providing decent wages for countries like India, Mexico, Guatemala and Ethiopia. If you complain about immigration then buy fair trade products. The immigrants will go home and grow stuff for us to buy rather than coming here and taking our jobs cleaning hotels and picking tomatoes.
If they keeping taking from the middle class the American dream will cease to exist.
We’ll exile ourselves to places like Costa Rica, Italy, Germany and Norway for the same reasons our forefathers came to America. Us worker bees will leave the tyrannical hedge fund managers and their big oil buddies to play with their – own 401k’s.
It might be a good thing — no one left to fight their wars. Perhaps they’ll stop booting out the illegal aliens; who may be needed to clean their mansions and perform CPR on their stressed out hearts?
I asked many of my co-workers and friends what they know about the Federal Reserve. Some never heard of it and others just “stay out of politics”. Congress either understands the Federal Reserve about as well as me and the people I work with or they understand it very well and use it for their own purposes. My guess is there is a little of both.
Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law in 1913 with hopes of keeping the American economy stable. The great depression happened after the stock market crashed in 1929 so apparently it didn’t work. Conspiracy theories portray that It worked out nicely for the guys funding the Federal Reserve.
By the way did you know Woodrow Wilson’s second wifeEdith was a descendant of Pocahontas and he was instrumental in women gaining the right to vote as well as creating the IRS and involving us in WWI.
It seems that Wilson’s purpose, which was passed by congress, was to establish a system of banking that would remain independent but overseen by congress to protect the American economy. My smart friend Fred says… ‘ There is evidence that no one in government or banking has been properly taught recently. At least they don’t seem to be interested in financial stability as much as in how to flip securities and create new “products” to flim-flam investors, other banks and foreign governments. ”
Oversight of the Federal Reserve is quite obviously an important issue that we need to understand and pay attention to. As Fred stated “Money is a debt of the government with no interest rate. When you have a hundred dollar bill it means the government owes you a hundred dollars. You can take it to any bank and exchange it for another or a combination of smaller currency or coin equal to $100. You used to be able to get gold or silver but that was eliminated in 1933. Can you imagine trying to keep track of a $5 gold fleck?”
So, we can’t run around with little gold flecks in our pockets or chickens or buckets of oil or items of value so money is printed. A loan from the government covered by the value of the US treasury which is manipulated by the individuals at the Federal Reserve. We vote for congressmen to keep an eye on the Fed, AKA oversight.
In 1895, the Federal Treasury was nearly out of gold. President Grover Cleveland arranged for J.P. Morgan to create a private syndicate on Wall Street to supply the U.S. Treasury with $65 million in gold. JP Morgan pretty much owned the US treasury, as a consequence Cleveland, a democrat, angered his democratic constituents, and lost the presidency to Republican William McKinley. Mckinleyestablished gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money with the Gold Standard Act in 1900. He was assassinated in 1901.
Another panic in 1907 was a financial crisis that almost crippled the American economy, yet again. Major New York banks were on the verge of bankruptcy and there was no mechanism to rescue them until Morgan stepped in, yet again and personally took charge, resolving the crisis.
Morgan organized a team of bank and trust executives which redirected money between banks. A delicate political issue arose regarding the brokerage firm of Moore and Schley, which was deeply involved in a speculative pool in the stock of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company. Moore and Schley had pledged over six million of the Tennessee Coal and Iron (TCI) stock for loans among the Wall Street banks. The banks had called the loans, and the firm could not pay. If Moore and Schley should fail, a hundred more failures would follow and then all Wall Street might go to pieces. Too big to fail was going on back in 1907. Morgan decided they had to save Moore and Schley.
Vowing to never let it happen again, and realizing that in a future crisis there was not likely to be another Morgan, banking and political leaders, led by Senator Nelson Aldrich devised a plan that became the Federal Reserve System in 1913. The crisis underscored the need for a powerful mechanism, and Morgan supported the move to create the Federal Reserve System. Yay!! it’ll never happen again and we don’t have to pay attention. Then you may ask “Why did the great depression happen if the Federal Reserve System was established to protect the American economy”? Well, either something evil was going on or just plain stupidity (on our part) and greed.
President Lincoln didn’t like the idea of a Central Bank and stated…
“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.”
Shortly after he said this, he was assassinated.
Banks store our money for us so we don’t have to walk around with our wad in our boots. It isn’t sitting in a vault waiting for us to come and get it. The bank has devised ways to turn our little wad into a bigger wad for themselves through speculation and manipulation of fractional reserves (watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYZM58dulPE to understand it better).They also extend credit to us based on our wad and make money off the interest.
We all need to treat our credit cards like a 30 day note, you borrow to get things you want in the immediate sense rather than having to wait for your next paycheck. If you pay it back before the 30 days is up, you don’t have to pay interest, you just pay back what you borrowed. So we can live happily ever after surrounded by the ones we love. Isn’t that the ultimate goal? for our money to buy our happiness? Like a patient said to me once “you never see a hearse pulling a U-haul”.
I ran across a website that visually represented how much money BP lost due to the oil spill. I was incredulous. That much money exists? It is a loss they plan to recoup. How do you suppose they will make up the loss?
They have convinced us to drive bigger cars, drink our water from a bottle, use more plastic and carry on with war, any war. Oil men love war. War is what truly feeds Seymour. You remember the insatiable plant from “Little Shop of Horrors”. I liken the oil (and coal) industry to Seymour’s need to keep his plant alive. In the beginning it was a nice fun little plant. Harmless, at least relatively. The plant like the oil industry has gotten so big it is devouring the planet through wars and plastic and large ships and cruise liners that carry us and our crap across oceans.
We are convinced that if we all pile on a giant boat together life will be more fun. We are convinced that the stuff we have is not good enough. It all needs to be replaced by better stuff. Most of the stuff is plastic and plastic is made from oil and the plastic is brought to us on giant boats that require massive amounts of oil. This insatiable need has been brought to you by the oil industry.
We can’t blame oil entirely. Coal is what fuels this nations heat and air and lights. The current grid was set up by the coal industry and subsidized by the US government. It was harmless and useful in its beginnings. What a blessing to have heat and air and light due to the fabulous grid work that traverses the nation. Except, now it too is like Seymour’s plant. Dividing and devouring and convincing us that nothing else will do.
So let me share the website that prompted this blog…
I wrote to my smart friend Fred who gave me this reply…
BP ‘s profit last year was $16 billion. The year before was $22 Billion.
We gave one bank $150 billion of the $750 billion bank bailout.
Bernie Madoff swindled $65 billion from investors.
So you see in the world of business BP’s loss isn’t so much. Don’t feel sorry for them. Don’t think how much good this money could have done because it pales in comparison to the money we waste on wars. Iraq I believe was $1,000 billion. That’s 112 times what BP wasted.
When you look at it this way — it isn’t oil and coal that feeds Seymour’s plant. Economics feeds the plant. How often does economic advantage take precedence over doing good? Goodness faces doom when it gets in the way of the economy.
What truly amazed me is that 3.4 billion dollars would buy an ice cream sandwich for everyone in the world and yahoo is worth 20 billion. Wouldn’t it be cool if yahoo bought an ice cream sandwich for everyone in the world? There is probably a soy version for the lactose intolerant.
It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.
Nina Totenberg of NPR wrote…
“It will undoubtedly help Republican candidates since corporations have generally supported Republican candidates more.”
Freedom of Speech
five members of the United States Supreme Court gave new meaning to the phrase “Money Talks”
While I was busy advocating for healthcare reform. The supreme court decided campaign funding needed to be addressed in the immediate sense? We get healthcare only if we can afford it and now we get free speech — only if we can afford it. We don’t need to be afraid of big government. We need to fear this corporate takeover of American Democracy.