And The Flag Comes Down And The Bullets Keep Flying

In an instant the Confederate flag becomes as unacceptable as the N word. Is the world better as the flag comes down? Of course, it would be better with no flags for that matter; but this victims were not killed with a piece of cloth, they were kill with bullets. 
As each bullet tore through the body of each victim, somewhere, somebody was producing new ones for profit, just as they profited from the sale and manufacture of the ones inside the victims's bodies. True enlightenment would be putting the death profiteers out of business and behind bars.   


Ten years ago we were attacked, but most of all we were provoked. And we reacted.
Ten years later, in the name of security we have surrendered our freedoms, we have sacrificed the lives of so many more of our citizens than those killed during the attack, we have lost our prosperity, and given the non reaction to Cheney latest confessions, we have lost ourselves.
And for what? Al-Qaeda has been decimated, but security, or the lack of it comes in many shapes. Do most Americans feel secure when their job is gone or threaten? When the future looks worst for our children than it did for us? When the present looks bleak and the future hopeless?
To all the victims of 911, to the children who died since, to our freedom, to our prosperity, to our morals and our souls, to us, RIP  

Money in Politics

Money is not free speech, it is paid speech, and the ones collecting the the jackpot are those we trust to give us the news.

Celebrate Workers, End the 15% Passive Income Tax Rate

Warren Buffet's commented that his secretary paid more taxes than he did. And this is how this came to be:
We have a somewhat progressive tax chart, the more you make, the higher your bracket is. Now, that is only true for people who make just enough to live on, but for those rich enough to make most of their money from interests or stock investments, that is just not true. The tax rate for capital gains is a flat 15%.
So as the argument over a tax increase for the rich progresses the main point and main source of revenue is not even up for discussion: millionaires will mostly still pay less than you and me: 15%
This was not alway the case, it is part of the new reversed redistribution of wealth of the last 30 years. Since most people do not have the luxury of making a living by letting their money get up early in the morning and go to work instead of doing the work themselves, this huge inequality has largely gone unchallenged except for Sen, Sanders.
It is time to do just that, at least make this part of the conversation.
I propose that we celebrate workers by bringing the passive income tax rate of 15% to the same rate as income for actual work. If Bill Gates retired tomorrow and turn all of his net worth into CD accounts, he would earn about $ a year in interest, (yes 80 million). He would pay capital gain taxes at a 15% rate, half as most middle class families. That is it sound fair to you?
Please pledge to send this to at least one of your representatives, the White House and share with your friends.

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Hmm... socialism you mean?

Last week Hilary Clinton was explaining the economics behind the growth of Latin America GDP and their booming economies. -Governments have implemented "inclusive economic policies"- Hmm... socialism you mean?
Broken down, inclusive economic policies are: a progressive tax base, huge investments in education and healthcare and building a modern infrastructure. 
She was selling the importance of this economic boom as "the larger the middle class, the larger the pull of consumers for American goods".
Just as once we invested in a Marshall plan to create consumers overseas, we should do the same for ourselves today.
So, if western style socialism can be wrapped in a consumerism gift bag, and sold as capitalism when explaining the presidents trip to Latin America, so be it.
Now let's try the same approach at home and sell it as our budget.

Arizona shootings

For those who believe that this should not be politicized I agree; this was the act of one very sick man. A very sick man who found access to an automatic easier than access to healthcare. Not political at all.
Politics is everything involving how a society governs itself, therefore anything related to human behavior in such society is political.

Democratic congresswoman shot, judge killed. First amendment or conspiracy to commit murder?

"Only the good die young” because only the bad guys do the killing. Now, the hell with bipartisan bull, the history of assassinations in this country is hardly bipartisan, with the exception of Meir Kahane, all victims have been liberals, all murderers have been right wing haters. Now, could someone please explain to me the legal difference between Charles Manson and Glen Beck and company? Inciting to commit murder is NOT protected speech, Hitler didn't kill anyone with his own hands either, but hate speech, together with second amendment remedies rants and fear mongering make a deadly cocktail, anyone, not in the airwaves, would be prosecuted for plotting this; when you add the fact that the judge's home address was made public domain, just like Dr. Tiller's was, the intent is clear. It is time to shut them up.   

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is the last bastion of truly free speech. Really free speech can not have a price tag, if we allow this to happen we might as well re-write the first amendment; some ideas: "competitive priced speech?", "luxury of speech?", "pay so say?...
The information nuke of wikileaks could be dead on arrival, it could also be the explanation for Obama's latests betrayal. 
Sign the petition, join the fight:

Paris Hilton estate tax

Paris Hilton estate tax has passed; whomever Obama is working for it is certainly not "we the people". The puppeteers keep running the show, more of the same; that I can believe. Check out Historical Marginal Tax Rates and weep.

The Way We Are Going the Very Few Will Own a Country Not Worth Having.

To be honest, I am pretty discouraged. The reasonable American people are the silent majority; the upward redistribution of wealth may have hit the tilting point of no return, a few all too powerful, the rest to stressed, tired, scared and powerless. We protect Social security and Medicare while we take money away from schools and fight against healthcare for the young unless they are in jail, and way too many are. It is all too immoral, there are a handful of good guys, but Barnie Sanders, Soros, Feingold, Grayson and Kucinich are not enough on their own, we need a leader, and TV station to rally the troops. When Obama blames the message, and he is the messenger, he is saying he cannot lead, and sadly, he is right.
The marginal tax rate during Truman was 92%, 91% during Kennedy and so on, when Reagan took office it was 70%, 28% when he left. We have not build a dam, an airport, a bridge since. 4% raise is a joke to begin with, how about people who make 10000000? a billion? It is time for a Marshall plan for America.
Who will the rich sell their goods to? How are their employees going to get to work?
The way we are going the very few will own a country not worth having.
Mr. President, if you cave on this "change we can believe in" will be the joke that will define your legacy.

Journalism in the World of Citizens United: the Keith Olbermann Lesson

Let's be objective         
Human objectivity is a myth; the pretense of it is fraud. Keith is not a fraud, and no one is objective. From "gotcha" questions to softball ones, from editing to news prioritization, humans are biased by nature. Honesty in reporting should never pretend otherwise. On the other hand, the facts have to be true; those two requirements are what make Keith, Ed and Rachel honest journalists. It is the latter that separates them from Fox, not their difference of opinion, but their fidelity to the facts. The former is what separates them from the mainstream media. As any movie director can tell you, a story without a point of view is not a story, it is just raw data, and even then, the choice of data will depend on the reporter's bias. In other words, allowing the viewer to know the source is not less objective journalism, just more truthful.
One example, taken from the Daily Show, has Jon Stewart playing a clip from Savannah Guthrie asking the President if voters might conclude "you are still not getting it?" Without going through Stewart's routine, that is not an impartially minded question.
Had it been me, I might have asked, "Okay, so if the message is the problem and you are the messenger, wouldn't then the problem be your lack of leadership?" or "Most of the supporters you lost did not go Republican, they just stayed home, do you believe you have traded your roll as leader for the one of conciliator? That those who stayed home needed you to fight for them, not to make friends with the enemy?" Perfectly valid questions. But again, not impartially minded. No such mind exists; it is time to debunk the idea of unbiased reporting. Just tell me where you are coming from, and do not lie about the facts. That is honest journalism.
Where do we go from here?
A long time before Citizens United, I remember when Congress barred Ted Turner from taking over a network, questioning his editorial hands off promise and at the same time, allowed GE, the country's largest defense contractor, to take over NBC. No conflict of interest there, right?
Regardless of whether Keith's suspension is lifted or not, with the Comcast takeover of NBC and Hollywood liberal Universal and given its death to Net neutrality agenda, if progressives are to have a voice, they will have to find it somewhere else. The world as we know it is squeezing us out.
Just days before the suspension, Howard Fineman was evaluating the predictions on effect of the Citizens United ruling, he said: "Well, the Supreme Court was wrong, but we were wrong also because, obviously, we are still here."
GE/Comcast are actually validating the Tea Party paranoia (or not) of having our country and freedom taken away by the "powers that be". Once all rational voices have been silenced, it will be too late for even "second amendment remedies." There will be nothing left to fight for, as there will be no one left to tell us the meaning of the silence.
I think it is time for liberals and progressives to rise or there may be no time at all.
We need our own news outlet. Keith, Ed and Rachel, Feingold and Grayson, the congressional progressive caucus, George Soros and Arianna and The Huffingtong Post, it can be now or it could be never. Please help us organize, we need a leader, we need a channel to keep the light on; ideally a co-op, such as Southwest Air, owned by the workers, safe from takeover or corporate greed.
For all that is rational, for those who remember McCarthy, for those who have seen repression, let's turn a bright light on before a new era of darkness sets upon us.
Soon there may be no one standing. I lived through the same process many years ago. Today is Keith, tomorrow maybe a friend, then as it goes down the list of all us writing here, all you will hope for is that when you hear a door being knocked down, it is your neighbor's and not yours.

The complicity of sheep

Hate and ignorance are being manipulated to distract us as the most obscene redistribution of wealth robs this country of a future. 
Of all the accusations thrown at Obama during his campaign, one turned out to be painfully true: in the face of evil, appeasement is no better than complicity.
As for the rest of us, history will one day judge Americans as guilty of bystanding.

The Two Obamas

The progressives in our country are growing impatient as common sense solutions are pushed aside and labeled extremist; the pragmatists among us are concluding that patience is no longer a virtue, but just a waste of time.
As a naturalized citizen, I hold dual citizenships, and dual political points of view that see two presidents.
One is President Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, the man who, in weeks, obliterated the world's perception of the United States as an imperialist bully. The other is President Obama and his domestic trail of broken promises and wasted opportunities.
The immigrant in me sees the President as an improbable day dream of how the world should be. No more, "he is a bastard but he is our bastard." No more Iran contra, no more political assassinations in Chile, no more secret police in South America, and no more operation Paris keeping our hostages in Iran. No more torture, and I do not mean just, "I am shocked there is water boarding going on in Guantanamo," I mean just dunk their head in the toilet, Chile-style. No more El Salvador, no more United Fruit Company, no more Shah of Iran coups, and no more arming the Taliban to "protect the Afghan people from the evil empire."
In an instant, Barack Obama became the impossible dream and ended not eight years of imperialist policies, but 60.
Then there is the American in me - most of me, since I have lived here my entire adult life. This American citizen is completely disillusioned. President Obama has broken or fudged every single domestic policy promise made during his campaign, leaving most progressives to wish Dennis Kucinich had been a better candidate. This is just a short list: reverting the Bush tax cuts, protecting gay rights, investing in infrastructure, putting an end to mandatory sentencing, closing Guantanamo, fixing the education crisis, and of course, how he blundered and delegated health care reform.
I suspect that someday, history will remember his Cairo speech and the jaw dropping moment when he spoke about the US overturning the government of Iran as a pivotal moment in the relation and perception between the United States and the rest of the world. In a passing comment, the president of the United States said the emperor was naked.
President Obama's Afghanistan policy does not make him a hawk. He will not let the Taliban stone rape victims to death - the Taliban that Reagan helped bring to power in the first place. We should not need a self serving reason to stay; the consequences of leaving would be horribly inhumane. I think I can live with the president's decision to stay, and so can the Nobel Peace Prize committee.
Yes, he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, but don't we deserve the progressive government we thought we were electing?
During the first weeks of his presidency, as his left hand kept putting pen to paper, one executive order after another, I was expecting to be just as awe struck, but the ceremony failed in substance and impact again and again. I wanted to hear, loud and clear "elections have consquences." Instead, I got "bipartisanship," aka, one-partisanship. I wanted to hear, "as of right now, Medicare will comply with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and protect all citizens regardless of age." Instead, I heard, "I will delegate health care reform to Olympia Snowe." I am sure Senator Snowe did not vote for President Obama, just as I am sure we did not elect her president. Anything less than single payer is just one more entitlement the middle class cannot afford. Anything less than Medicare for all does nothing to mitigate the competitive handicap for American companies in the global market.
I wanted to hear the gates of Guantanamo slam shut. Instead, I got, "not in my backyard, fine, send them to The Hague."
I wanted to hear "our education will rise to international standards and implement an international baccalaureate equivalent nationwide."
I wanted to hear soldiers ask and tell.
I wanted to hear our pot smoking president rethink the ten years mandatory sentencing for marijuana.
I expected this day dream president to bail out Main Street, not Wall Street. I had the audacity to hope that when a bank too big to fail, fails, my president would nationalize it; excuse my language; he would buy it, giving the United States of America something every other country in the world has: a National Bank. This bank would keep credit flowing and avidly refinance "the toxic assets" most people call homes. Our National Bank would be the financial equivalent of the public option and would assure that no bank dare hike credit card rates up to usury levels to lend us our own money. Yes, I want the bank I paid for.
I expected infrastructure, the kind that builds a country and creates jobs: freeways, airports, public transit, all of which we desperately need. Instead, the stimulus package "saved" jobs by giving the states a one time reprieve - jobs that will not survive another fiscal year.
I want the president I voted for, the president candidate Obama would support.
I expected a new deal, the Second Bill of Rights. But while F.D.R. wanted to be judged by the enemies he made, President Obama wants to be judged on how many friends and compromises he makes.
Yes, the world should love him; they have all the right reasons to, and for those reasons, so should we. But after twenty five years of trickle down free market Reaganomics, the American people desperately needed a president for and of the people, fearless of change, fearless of rival opinions.
Those of us who put Barack Obama in the Oval Office have been pushed aside, our loyalty taken for granted. It would seem his leadership ended at the front doors of the White House.

To the congressional progressive caucus

The Democratic Party is still far to the right compare to the conservative parties of most civilized countries.

    I do not want affordable health care, I want to pay a fair premium to the government and get the care free.
    Bring the standards of education up to par with the International Baccalaureate.
    Revamp the economy by taking the load of healthcare of the shoulders of employers; revamp the real estate market by taking medical bills out of home buyer’s credit scores. Pay for it by ending not just the war in Iraq, but the war against drugs. 
    Abolish mandatory minimum sentences
    Raise the minimum wage for adults to a living wage.
    Make civil unions the only legally recognize domestic partnership for everyone, the sanctity of marriage makes it incompatible with the first amendment.

Get your Medicare today

Equal protection under the law from illness also

Paying for universal healthcare
To raise taxes or not to raise taxes? That is not the question. Paying premiums to an insurance company or paying premiums through payroll withholdings, that is the question

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