Archive for February, 2009

Rich People: Shut Up Now

By Xandtrek

Rich people need to shut up now.

You rich people have been whining a lot lately about how Obama is going to create a vast socialist society that will threaten to make you less wealthy. Your right-wing nuts jobs are apoplectic: the President is going to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor. You are upset that you have to hide your jets and island paradises you purchased with our late fees and dead relatives who couldn’t afford your health care system. You are so persecuted. So what?

The opposite system has been in place for years. Wealth has been clearly and deliberately redistributed from the poor to the wealthy for over 30 years. Laws and policies have been written to promote this redistribution. Special interests and politicians have worked together to ensure that the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

So shut up now. You people were not content to get rich – you had to rape and pillage to the point that you have destroyed the global economy, and possibly the earth as a viable planet for human beings.

Your ideas are failed and yet you still promote them as gospel. Some of your wealth did trickle down – in a very, very, grudgingly slow process. And most of us got left behind in your dust. And some boats floated up with you, but a bunch sank to the bottom where you couldn’t see, or didn’t want to see. Globalization means other countries need to pay really low wages to workers, get rid of unions, and accept debt that they can never pay off. I’m sure the world is thanking you now.

Even if you are a decent wealthy person, who worked hard for your money, gave a lot of it away for a tax deduction and an interview on Charlie Rose, and maybe you didn’t sell your soul — you shut up now too.

So you were born in the right time, at the right place, to the right parents, or you got really lucky, or God decided you should be richer than him, or you just lied and stole your way to your privileged position. Guess what? It’s not your time anymore and you need to SHUT UP because we want to hunt you down and take it all away from you. Sleep well.

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As Usual, They’re Ignoring the Important News

By Gordon Solberg

All we’re hearing about these days is “The Stimulus.”  Speaking of which – our beloved masters of hypocrisy, the Republicans, are now taking credit for the stimulus “pork” that will be flowing into their districts, even though they opposed the stimulus en masse.  You’ve really got to hand it to them:  their chutzpah knows no limits.

But the big news got ignored, as it always does.  This is from Reuters, on Sunday:

Global Warming Seen Worse Than Predicted

The climate is heating up far faster than scientists had predicted, spurred by sharp increases in greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries like China and India, a top climate scientist said on Saturday.

“The consequence of that is we are basically looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we’ve considered seriously,” Chris Field, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

Field said “the actual trajectory of climate change is more serious” than any of the climate predictions in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report called “Climate Change 2007.” He said recent climate studies suggested the continued warming of the planet from greenhouse gas emissions could touch off large, destructive wildfires in tropical rain forests and melt permafrost in the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gasses that could raise global temperatures even more.

“There is a real risk that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for thousands of years,” Field, of Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science, said in a statement.

***

In other words, the runaway greenhouse effect.  I warned about this in the April/May 2007  issue of Grassroots Press:  “When temperatures increase a bit more, and the permafrost starts to melt in a serious way, enormous quantities of CO2 and methane will be released, which will double the percentage of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.  This will cause temperatures to rise even faster, which will release even more greenhouse gases, and so on.  Needless to say, the climatologists are keeping a close eye on this situation.”

So now we have respected climate scientists warning about the runaway greenhouse effect, but the average American is just as likely to believe the lies of the global warming denialists.   As long as the Republicans retain their power to obstruct, and the Dems remained locked within their status quo mindset, the prognosis for effective action remains bleak.  Obama’s stimulus package contains some worthy environmental initiatives, but they don’t go nearly far enough.  If this is the best we can do, then we can kiss our collective ass goodbye.

My blog now has daily eye candy!  http://newearthtimes.blogspot.com

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Bail Me Out!

By Steve Klinger

Here’s my recent letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:

Dear Tim,

I demand a bailout, and I want it right now!

It’s not easy selling ads for Grassroots Press. The peace symbol in our logo sends most enterprising capitalists running for cover, in case one of their moneyed conservative advertisers might spot their ad on our subversive pages. The progressive businesses are struggling just like I am and say they can’t afford to advertise. Printing and mailing costs have gone up. Subscribers increasingly opt to pick up a free copy in these challenging times. I tell you, I can’t go on any longer!

But I’m performing a vital service this nation needs: an independent voice providing a perspective on the news you won’t get from mainstream media. The future of democracy depends on little papers like mine that speak truth to power. You can’t let me fail.

So listen here, Geithner, and Summers too: If I lose this gig and go on the dole, the entire nation will be impacted. I won’t be buying the big HD television or that slide-in camper. No summer road trips to the Rockies. No visits to the dentist for another four years.

And a tax credit worth $13 a week won’t cut it either! I want more. Let’s start with at least a billion, and whatever you give me, it may not be enough. I may be back.

I know I didn’t keep my promises to pay for health care for all my retired employees, but I can’t afford it. Turn my pockets inside out; it’s just not there.

I’ve done my part to jump through your hoops lately, haven’t I? Enclosed is my plan to shrink distribution and cut back on color in future issues.  We’ve curtailed our plans for worldwide expansion. We’ll be a leaner, meaner company and we’ll repay your loan with interest. Or not. What are you gonna do, sue me?

Here’s Geithner’s reply:

Dear Editor,

Thanks for your recent request. The new administration is all about change so I’m enclosing a few quarters to help you out. I’m sure you’ll understand we have to save the big bucks for the big-ass companies that finance the campaigns to get our great leaders elected.

I don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re not quite big enough to be a must-save. You haven’t reached the critical mass worthy of a bailout. If you’d have thrown in with the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, we might have been able to do more for you. But right now we’re kind of busy with General Motors and Chrysler.

If you want to scrape a few bucks together, you might think about making some innocent mistakes on your taxes.  But you didn’t hear that from me.

Have a great day!

Tim

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Waterboards for water pipes?

By Steve Klinger

Let’s see: What could South Carolina police charge Michael Phelps with in their endeavor to treat him just like anyone else who had his picture taken smoking marijuana from a bong?

Is there a law on the books against setting a bad example? How about a law against disappointing one’s cereal sponsors? Actually Phelps has already paid that penalty, but it’s of the economic variety, as in losing a very lucrative endorsement.

The Olympic swimming champ, perhaps the best athlete in the world, certainly the most successful amateur, has already apologized profusely and said his suspension from USA Swimming for three months is fair. But this evil must be rooted out at its core, so meanwhile, Columbia, SC police have arrested the two former renters of the house where the party was held and are trying to dig up information to use against Phelps in a criminal case.

It’s a good thing they’re ignoring Phelps’ celebrity status. I’m sure there are no crimes more serious for police to investigate in Columbia than getting your picture taken puffing on a bong. As one blogger wrote, he’s glad that even though he pulled a label off a mattress once in South Carolina he managed to get away with it.

So, what we have is a government that won’t decriminalize possession of marijuana and on the federal level won’t even sanction its use for medical purposes, and continues to alarm the citizenry about how dangerous and debilitative smoking pot can be, and now the moral pillars behind the War on Drugs must explain how it is that this guy smokes pot and yet he won more gold medals in an intensely physical sport than any Olympian who ever lived.

So punish him they must, if only so they can say to the kids, see what happens when you break the law? And meanwhile a president and his henchmen suffer no consequences for their high crimes and misdemeanors, and Wall Street bankers get rewarded for swindling investors, and a tax cheat becomes Treasury Secretary, and those who indulge in legal mood-altering substances like alcohol consider themselves morally superior to their lawbreaking pot-smoking brethren. And athletes like Alex Rodriguez, who used banned substances to destroy the game that enriched them, will mostly continue to make their millions, thanks to professional sports organizations that looked the other way until there was no other way to look.

And this week in Juarez or some other Mexican border town another couple of dozen people will get brutally gunned down because they were the unlucky pawns on the drug chessboard or just happened to be innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the dehumanizing border wall will be extended another few yards, to keep the drug runners from delivering what Americans are craving and consuming, in no small part because of its illicit allure. And the city council in a border town like El Paso may be horrified again that one of its members has the audacity to propose discussing the possibility of decriminalizing marijuana to alleviate the crime and suffering on the Mexican side by bringing the price down on American streets.

So the status quo is maintained, because we are a nation of laws, and to the powerful go the rights to make those laws, and when a celebrity screws up and gets caught with a bong we must see to it that the law is indiscriminately enforced so our kids learn that we adults know what’s best, and nothing is our fault as long as we all obey the law because we are a nation of laws.

Now it all makes sense to me. Let’s throw the book at Michael Phelps and his pot-smoking cohorts. In fact, let’s waterboard anyone who won’t tell us where they got the dope. We have our standards to uphold, after all.

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Stimulus: Geh

By Gordon Solberg

I’m finding myself curiously unengaged with the stimulus drama unfolding in Washington.  I feel like an anthropologist observing tribal behavior on an alien planet.

Several questions come to mind:

Was Obama really so naive as to seriously believe that Republicans would support him in any way?  Or did he have some other agenda?  Will he persist in his “bipartisanship” nonsense, or has he finally learned what we amateurs out here in the sticks already knew?

I finally came up with the correct terminology.  I’ve been experimenting with “aristocracy,” “ruling class,” and “Lords of Finance,” but none of these terms really caught the essence of what I’ve been trying to say.  So from now on (at least for now) I’ll be calling them what they really are:  PARASITES.

A couple of weeks ago I proposed a simple litmus test to help us determine if fundamental, significant change was really happening.  The litmus test is:  Will taxes be raised on the Parasites?  If so, then perhaps there is really hope.  The answer is now in; that didn’t take long!  As expected, the Parasites remain in total control.  They are STILL getting tax cuts!  I’m amazed that they still have any taxes left to cut.

The whole reason for cutting taxes on the Parasites is… I hope you’re ready for this… cutting taxes on the Parasites!  Reducing their tax burden!  Transferring the tax burden from the Parasites onto the rabble!  Nothing more!  All this so-called “stimulus effect,” or, as they used to call it, “trickle-down prosperity,” is mere voodoo, mumbo jumbo, meaningless bullshit.  There is no “trickle-down stimulus effect,” never has been.  “Tax cut” is such a simple slogan; two three-letter words which, through constant repetition, have achieved a religious significance, like saying “Jesus saves” over and over again.  Tax cuts are sacred.

As taxes on the Parasites continue to be cut, we will now be hearing a steady drumbeat of “entitlement reform.”  Which is code for, “screw the rabble.”  There will be (literally) uncounted trillions of dollars for the Parasites, but basic services for the rabble will have to be cut, wouldn’t you know.  Fucking greedy rabble; who the hell do they think they are, anyhow?

Geh.  It’s not a particularly inspiring spectacle.  It makes me weary writing about it.  Personally, I would bleed the Parasites until they weren’t so bloated anymore — pop them like engorged ticks — but that’s not going to happen.

(I’m still plugging away on my blog:  http://newearthtimes.blogspot.com )

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The New GOP

By Steve Klinger

I wish people would quit picking on the Republicans. Like the compassionate Americans they are, they’re trying to prevent the spendthrift Democrats from ransoming our children’s future with a bailout bill that would use gobs of taxpayer money just to save the country. And critics are so mean as to remind them they didn’t give a fig about the deficit when they were spending the better part of a trillion dollars on the war in Iraq? How petty can you be?

Here they are trying to be fiscally responsible public servants and they have to hear complaints that their lax oversight allowed Wall Street greed to get us into this mess? These perennial comforters of the afflicted are being vilified because they’re calling for status quo while the tsunami of economic ruination towers above us? Enough with the details: How can you assail such noble motives?

You’d think they were behaving like ideology-driven zealots, to listen to the lefty bloggers and the voices from across the aisle.

What could be more altruistic than to guard the public coffers against expenditures that would help victims of the recession keep their health insurance when they lose their jobs? Who else will keep the lazy legions from taking advantage of the food stamp program and will defend us from the bigger government that is driving our society toward the dreaded S word? Who else will draw the line so state governments don’t provide entitlements they can’t afford?

Why can’t people understand that what businesses and rich folks really need is a tax cut so they’ll produce more widgets and buy more yachts, which will give the rabble more jobs making those widgets and polishing the brass deck rails. Wait, strike that, we don’t make widgets or much of anything else any more, do we? Well, anyway, if the rich have more money to spend, the rest of us will get the table scraps, and someday, when we figure out how to be on the other side of the grand Ponzi scheme known as the American Dream, we’ll be glad they were here to safeguard our nest egg.

So leave our Republican friends alone, and no more jokes about the Grand Obstructionist Party. The next thing they’ll be accused of is wanting Obama to fail so they can do better in the next election. How cynical can you be? Next thing you know, they’ll be picking on Rush Limbaugh.

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