Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pulling a Boehner--Jobs and Income Inequality

I'm so completely disenchanted, annoyed, pissed off, Rush Limbaugh-purple-with-rage at McConnell, Cantor, Ryan, Boehner, Republican primary presidential field, et. al. in their dogmatic devotion to Job Creators. Dum duh nuh nuh! We can't raise taxes on a bunch of people that pay the 2nd lowest corporate tax rate after breaks and loopholes have been accounted for.

What have these Job Creators done with their record profit margins, bailout money, tax breaks, and subsidies? Well Goldman Sachs sent 1,000 jobs to Singapore, Nike paid another 400 children $0.50 an hour in Indonesia, and nobody created a single goddamn thing in August of 2011. Listen, I'm fully aware that anybody who has read anything about anything knows this Tea Party philosophy bullshit doesn't work. I know it, Clinton knows it, Obama knows it, you know it, your wife, your kids, Antoine Dodson fucking knows it. Hell, the GOP and Congress even know it.

I know we all know why the Cantors and Boehners of the world defend the interest of these poor, billion dollar companies ("people" if you're into that Romney rhetoric). Lobbbbyying. Yes. Like you've never heard that before. The GOP has no interest in bettering this country. Do you really think that the richest 0.2% of households in the U.S. would have noticed a 0.5% surtax for $35 billion to save jobs for teachers and first responders? Oh wait, sorry that's the public sector, so that doesn't count. Do you think any millionaires will notice a 0.7% on adjusted gross income over $1 million? We may never even fucking know.

This is the difference between the Tea Party and GOP, "I've got a corporate dildo in my ass moving my mouth up and down like a gay sex puppet" philosopy and the Democrat proposals and American Jobs Act. We have the lowest revenue in 60 years. Corporate profits are sky high, so much so that they're sitting on a couple trillion dollars for shits and gigs. Taxes are lower than under the Republican second coming of Christ, Reagan. Why are there no jobs? Well, unfortunately, the canon of capitalism has never been to create jobs or hand out benefits to workers has it?. It is about unrestricted profit increase. Again. And again. And again. That's why since 2009, 88% of income growth has gone to corporate profits while 1% has gone to workers' wages. That's why 95% of the country is getting poorer every year. That's why 37% of young families in this country are in poverty. That's why in the last 32 years, the top 1% of the country saw after tax income grow by 275% while the bottom 20% saw it grow by a mere 18%. That's why 1% of America controls 40% of the wealth (depending on the interpretation of several statitsics).

The billions of dollars they spend on lobbying each year is why the richest 400 Americans' wealth has nearly quadrupled with their taxes nearly being halved. That's why when the Tea Party has been clamoring about "No new taxes!" they meant for the CEOs of their companies. That's why 1400 millionaires paid no federal income tax last year. That's why 25% of millionaires in this country pay less taxes than middle America. That's why Warren Buffet paid a lower tax rate than his secretary. And finally, that's why we won't see what a measly 5.6% surtax on millionaries would do to fund the entire $447 billion American Jobs Act.

I've said it once, I've said it a million times. At this point in our evolution, we still have these residual Darwinian evolutionary mechanisms to hoard resources and power. By "we" I mean our fellow human beings occupying public office and corporate scum, the least evolved of us all, whose time on this planet is winding down. Capitalism is not necessarily the problem. It works because it is driven by our own competitive nature. However, when it goes unchecked, unregulated, this is what happens. The wealth is held by a few and benefits are not extended to the rest. Trickle down economics is, and will always be a fallacy, created by the rich that have controlled Washington for the last 30 years, preaching this great chain of being, Calvanistic bullshit to keep us down. Pretending  like we don't all drive a Mercedes because we don't try hard enough or it must be God's will. Pelting us with the Beattitudes and patronizing being poor and out of work as a war of attrition in realizing this phantasm we call American Exceptionalism. This is why we are occupying all these cities. Adam Smith's "invisible hand" must have been out whacking off because it never showed up. That's why we needed unions to create our middle class and make sure workers could make enough just to put food on the table and not have to worry if one of their family members got sick without health insurance.

To create jobs, we need incentives for altruism. These people don't do the right thing without reward. That's just the cold, hard, Clint Eastwood stare, truth. $9,600 tax credits for hiring wounded veterans out of work for 6 months or longer. Payroll tax holidays for new hires and worker benefits. Money to rebuild infrastructure. Saving the jobs of teachers and first responders, you know, those people that raise our kids for us and save our asses when we're in a bind without asking for any reciprocation? $4,000 tax credits for hiring the unemployed. Allowing families to refinance mortgages at a lower rate. Tax cuts for working American families. That fucking socialist we have running our country is at it again! What do we do?

These assholes who caused and are now exacerbating this collapse and recession shouldn't be rewarded preemptively and begged, "Oh please, pretty please create some jobs now?" They should be watched like Commies on the turf of the Wolverines and given incentives for doing the right thing, not just for us, but for themselves. I don't recall electing Goldman Sachs, or Chase, or Pfizer.

Out of 21 developed countries, when taking social problems into consideration, the U.S. ranked dead last followed by Portugal and the U.K. in quality of life. All of this spurred by income inequality. If this is the American Dream, when the fuck are we going to wake up?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10 Reasons why Marijuana is better than Jesus

Let's be honest. Jesus is a motherfucker. Jesus=God=Holy Spirit who impregnated Mary, Jesus's mother=Jesus. Jesus is a motherfucker. But that has nothing to do with this post at all, does it? I actually think Jesus was a pretty chill cat, y'know. He sort of ironically reminds me of Tommy Chong mixed with the Dos Equis guy and late John Lennon. However, some pretty un-rad things have been done in he name of Jesus and as Herman Cain recently reinforced, there's a demographic that aligns him with the conservative movement that undermines everything he taught. The God of the Bible on the other hand, Jesus's sidekick, pappy, subordinate, and superior, was kind of a dick. He was just like my last 13-year-old girlfriend. Jealous, you have to call him every day, greedy, gold-digger, if you don't worship him he eternally damns you to torture and combustion. You know, standard 13-year-old girl stuff.

Christians have developed an uncanny ability to ignorantly spew hatred and disgust without reason. I blame Kirk Cameron. In thousands of years of use, marijuana has never been directly linked to any deaths by overdose. Even when adjusted for possible related deaths such as use in car accidents that number is well below 50 in America. This pales in comparison to acetaminophen (Tylenol): ~450, heroin: ~8,000, alcohol: ~75,000, prescription drugs: ~100,000, tobacco: ~450,000, medical mistakes: ~750,000, or seeing Nancy Grace's boob pop out on DWTS: ~27,000,000. 

However, Christian conservatives don't attack any of those other, dramatically more deadly compounds or problems. Well, I want to avoid getting political and into why weed is illegal: originally because it threatened the timber industry, how it today threatens the pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco industries, how there are an array of federal agencies that wouldn't be able to maintain funding without marijuana being illegal, or the mass amount of wealth and influence drug cartels have accrued. However, outside of being illegal, there isn't a logical explanation why conservative Christians directly attack illegal drugs, in particular marijuana, but advocate the use of alcohol in moderation. I assume they're okay with alcohol; Jesus turned water into Four Lokos or something like that.

Evolutionarily, religiosity may very well be a detailed mating strategy that is upset by recreational drug use. This is still hypocritical considering the advocacy of alcohol use, even in religious ceremonies. Especially considering alcohol is associated more with reduced inhibitions and hedonism. I'm not aware of any mainstream religions using psychedelics in rituals, either.....anymore.

Anyway, it becomes apparent that if you want to be a good Christian, you have an ultimatum. You either have to choose drugs or God (although judging by his hair, beard, progressive ideology and those he associated with, I think Jesus may have chosen drugs---if he wasn't  the personification of a sacred mushroom himself). Marijuana is the easiest drug to condemn due to its availability, widespread use, and association with the expansion of the mind and questioning established social constructs. Here are 10 reasons I think you should choose weed over God :

1. Weed burns itself, not you.

2. Weed is a plant that makes you feel good; God makes you feel bad because some chick ate a plant.

3. Millions have been killed under the influence of God, damaging the free market. Millions of Cheetos have been bought under the influence of weed, fueling the capitalist economy.

4. It took God 6 days to create the universe. It takes weed 5 minutes for you to doubt that.

5. For God you have to pick up your cross and follow him. For weed, you roll it into a cross and get twice as high.

6. God encourages you to fast. Weed convinces you that might not be the best idea.

7. To God, Communion is crappy wine and yeastless bread. To weed, it's a 40 and a box of Dunkaroos.

8. God tells you to clothe the homeless. Weed goes the extra step and can actually be made into clothes for the homeless.

9. God condemns your sins, including pre-marital sex, homosexuality, indulgence, eating pork and shellfish, adultery, envy, and hating your asshole neighbor. Weed is okay with all of those things. The only sin against weed is not sharing.

10. God flies you into building, weed flies you to the nearest White Castle.

Monday, October 3, 2011

99 reasons you shouldn't ignore the protest of the 99%--99-51

99. As of 2008, 1 in every 99 Americans is in jail. We incarcerate more citizens than any other country in the world.

98. 98% of Americans make less than $250,000 a year, yet perpetuating the Bush tax cuts for the rich under the guise of wanting a less meddlesome government is fought for vigorously by lobbied Congressman and the Tea Party. Despite claims that a higher top tax rate would hinder small businesses, only 2% of small business owners would even be affected by the Buffet rule or expiration of Bush tax cuts. 

97. 97% of scientists believe in man-made global warming despite constant conservative rejection of the concept in concert with the interest of oil companies. It is predicted that 1 in every 10 species could face extinction by 2100 and recent data from MIT suggests that Artic ice is thinning 4x faster than previously believed.

96. Despite constant Conservative scrutiny and attack Medicare has proven to be a more accurate payer than private insurance at 96%. 

95. 95% of Americans are getting poorer every year.

94. 94% is the percentage of terrorists that are NOT Muslim extremists. Contrary to this fact, conservative media had no problem falsely attributing the right-wing Christian extremist Anders Breivik's mass murdering spree in Norway to Muslims in the beginning.

93. In the first quarter of 2010, BP posted a profit of $93 million a day after spending $16 million in lobbying in 2009.  However, this profit margin was too small to avoid taking shortcuts that led to the Gulf spill which took 87 days to get under control and many years to clean up.

92. A $92 million contract was awarded in Blackwater in 2007. Earlier that month, the group was responsible for the fatal shooting of 11 Iraqi civilians.

91. In a study from 1984-2006 of 91 cities in the U.S., a correlation was found between alcohol store density and violent crime rates among youth. Despite this finding, the government continues to prevent those who could benefit from medicinal marijuana from procuring it, while alcohol is stocked on the shelves. Could it be that The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America spent $260,000 lobbying Congress in the second quarter of 2010?

90. Kenneth Melson, Chief of the ATF, resigned recently due to the fact his "Fast and Furious" gun policy led to 90% of the arms used by drug cartels to be from the U.S.

89. 89% of people view home ownership as part of the "American Dream." However, a record 2.87 million properties got notices of default, auction or repossession in 2010.

88. Since 2009, 88% of income growth has gone to corporate profits, with only 1% going to wages.

87. Georgia's Arizona-ish immigration law, House Bill 87, left Georgia farmers 11,000 workers short of what was needed to operate.

86. Insurance companies gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million in premium dollars to “oppose the health-care overhaul law." This money went to undermine health reform and the bill that would provide 32 million uninsured Americans with coverage in 2010.

85. The Koch brothers have contributed $85 million dollars to 85 right-wing think tanks to oppose government regulation, protect the interest of big business, and perpetuate their massive wealth totaling over $44 billion collectively.

84. Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman topped the corporate payrolls last year, bringing in a total of $84.5 million

83. In the 1940s, 83 people in Guatemala died after being forcibly injected with STDs without consent to study the effects of penicillin. They ranged from prisoners, to sex workers, to psychiatric patients.

82. 82% of Americans believe Congress should take a pay cut until debt deal is reached. Not sure the 44% that are millionaires can handle the cut from $174,000.

81. In Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981–1987, Bob Woodward unravels the Iran-Contra affair in which the Reagan administration, headed by Oliver North, sold arms and drugs to Iran to fund support for the Contras in Nicaragua. North was charged with a variety of felonies and charged with three. He was later granted immunity and is currently a host of a Fox News television show.

80. In the 1980s, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was the 3rd largest recipient of U.S. aid, which included $40 billion under Reagan to oppose Iran, mostly on credit.

79. Rep. Mike Pompeo received $79,500 from Koch Industries to push for the rejections of amendments recognizing the reality of climate change, despite the fact 97% of scientists believe in man-made climate change. So much so that Dr. James Hansen of NASA was arrested at the White House for protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

78. The average sentence for a crack cocaine offense in 2002 (119 months) was more than three
years greater than for powder cocaine (78 months), targeting African Americans. 

77. The JPI analysis of recent United States Justice Department data showed that over the past 20 years, the nonviolent prisoner population has increased at a rate much faster than the violent prisoner population, and that 77% of the people entering prisons and jails were sentenced for nonviolent offenses. This is correlated to the increase in private prisons. 

76. Apple Inc. has about $76 billion in cash on hand. That's more available funds than the U.S. government.

75. In the 1930s, about 75% of the people going to prison were white (consistent with national demographics). Today, minorities represent 70% of new inmates. 

74. 74% of Americans support ending tax cuts and credits for gas and oil industries.

73. Between 2002-2009 the U.S. private prison population has grown by 73% while lobbying has increased by 165%. 

72 percent of Americans think that taxes should be raised on those earning more than $250,000.

71. In America, mortality rates for 18 procedures are 71% lowers at top-rated hospitals. 

70. 70% of employees cannot access domestic partnership benefits. 

69. In 2002, the average prison term of 105 months for African Americans was 69% longer than the average of 62 months for whites.

 68. With the $1.2 trillion spent on war since 9/11 America could have provided 20.68 million students with Pell grants of $5,500 every year for 10 years.

67. Young adults (aged 16-29) have a total employment rate of 55.3 % which is down from 2000 at 67.3%.

66. 66% of Americans agreed that birth control should be provided by insurance companies at no additional cost. 

65. There is projected to be 65 million more obese adults in the U.S. by 2030. 

64. 64% of jailed male inmates have no violent offense history and 82.4% are not jailed for a violent offense.

63. A CNN poll found that 63% of Americans wanted higher taxes on the rich to be included in the Super Committee's debt deal. 

62. 75% of scholarships go to white students, despite them only making up 62% of the college student population. 

61. According to disclosure forms filed at the end of July, 61 lobbyists and 5 lobbyist-linked political committees donated $137,650 to Mitt Romney's campaign between Jan. 1 and June 30.

60.  Our government is operating on the lowest revenue in 60 years. 

59. In August, corporate cash holdings had grown 59% to $1.12 trillion since 2008.  

58. 58% of Americans want a third party. 

57. Only 57% of Americans use all of the vacation they're entitled to, in contrast, 89% of the French use all of their vacation. 

56. According to NAS-based measures, over 56 million Americans live in poverty.

55. Agnus-Reid shows that 55% of America support legalizing marijuana. 

54. A study conducted in 54 nations, to be published in the upcoming issue of Psychological Science, shows that a more progressive tax system makes people happier. 

53. 53% of black 4th grade boys cannot read at the basic level. 

52. Only 52.4% of sentenced prisoners in state prisons at the end of 2008 were in for violent crimes.

51. 51 million Americans live with extended family.