Even Mobsters Had a Heart

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Even mobsters had a heart! RT@HistoricalPics: Al Capone’s soup kitchen during Great Depression,Chicago,1931

I retweeted this pic this morning, then again just now. It really is shameful that the United States Congress, more specifically the tea party and GOP would rather have people go hungry, live in their cars than extend unemployment insurance.

Create Jobs, extend unemployment insurance. Do what the American people want.

I wanted this pic on my blog so more people would see it. A sad day in American history.

Why Aren’t They In Prison? #Greed

Driving up to the mountain where we will hike to Upsala GlacierThis is a question I have often asked myself about many different businesses and people in their employ.

Let’s start with the car companies. Today Toyota agreed to $1.2 Billion in fines and accept full responsibility. The new CEO at GM was quoted as saying regarding safety and recalls “there is something very wrong here.” When people have died because companies put profit over safety that should be a criminal act and they should be tried for murder. What’s $1.2B to Toyota when they made $5.7B last quarter alone? Fines alone are not enough. Whomever it is in these companies that makes the decision to keep things quiet should be tried in court on first degree murder charges. If people knew they personally could go to jail they might be less likely to cover things up.

This brings me to pharmaceutical companies, Vioxx in particular. I don’t remember which of the Big Pharma companies that made the drug, but that company knew of serious potential problems with it before it went to market. When it did go to market there were a number of deaths. But, the number was probably 1% so they did nothing about it. I don’t remember how many people did die, I think it was thousands. The drug was taken off the market and the company paid fines. Again, just like with the car companies, whomever it is that makes that decision to take the risk, put peoples lives in danger, and put the drug on the market should not just have money taken away. They need to be on death row like any other common criminal.

The Big Banks who are now paying massive fines, in the 10s of Billions of dollars I see as also in this same boat. If they were doing things that were not legal and were putting their clients money in danger they should also be tried as criminals. It doesn’t do much good to fine JPMorganChase $12Billion when that is a drop in the bucket for them. The big shots there still have their fancy offices, huge salaries and bonuses. The clients? They’ve lost their homes. Their homes are underwater in their mortgages. The crash of 2008, the 20 million longterm unemployed people it’s all on the backs of the banks and their shady lending practices. The decision makers, whether they be the CEO or traders, should be tried in a court of law. Also lose any kind of ability to stay in banking, any licenses they earned.

I would go harder against corporate illegal behavior, so called white collar crime, than I would common criminals. Why am I coming down so hard on them? Because the hasher the penalty the less likely is it that people will repeat the behavior. Maybe they will do more testing on that drug that’s about to be released. Maybe car companies will take safety recalls more seriously. If the people themselves thought they would be in a maximum security prison.

Choosing profit over peoples lives is not only unacceptable, it’s criminal.

Democrats As Close Minded as Tea Party? Read On…

IMG_0126In today’s world I think of the Democratic party as the ones who will listen to ideas before forming an opinion; and conversely I think of the tea party people as close minded and form their opinions from talk radio. This morning I found that is not quite the case.

We have a crisis going on in Russia that could have catastrophic results. I tweeted that Condoleeza Rice is an expert on US/Russian USSR relations and has been for 30 years and that the White House should seek her advice. I can’t even count how many unintelligent responses I received. I was actually a bit shocked that DEMS would be so close minded.

When in crisis consult an expert. Someone that was serving in the White House during the Cold War under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whatever she is accused of doing after that time she still has expertise that might be of value. So, why not? If her counsel isn’t any good no harm done.

I remember when Condi was first in the Bush administration thinking this is a really great thing. The woman is brilliant, she is black, and maybe she would be able to elevate both women and minorities with her expertise. Instead, what I and almost everyone I knew, thought “what a disappointment.” From the ‘mushroom cloud’ to the ‘bin Laden to strike in U.S.’ memo she just seemed a stooge for the administration.

If you dig a bit deeper you will realize it was Cheney, Rummy and Bush who were pushing for Iraq. Condi wasn’t responsible for the complete failure of the administration to tame Iraq and Afghanistan. None of this excuses the part she played, however you do have to take in proportion.

For those DEMS that are so bitter about the Bush years, what I have to say to you is that when in crisis you should listen to people who are experts in their fields, if you aren’t willing to listen are you any better than the tea party people? No, you aren’t.

My motto is Country First. Put grudges aside and seek the best info you can. I wish our government and citizens felt the same.

 

My Response To John McCain NYT Piece

IMG_3782Mr. McCain you do make some valid and some interesting points. I think your general thesis for your argument is incorrect.

American weakness, as you called it, I believe started with George W. Bush. The utter failure of the Afghan and Iraq wars is the time people around the world stopped seeing us as invincible. I remember seeing you on the Sunday talk shows during the Iraq war, talking about how poorly it was being handled. You made suggestions on what should have been done. While our military is the best in the world, the strategy that was used in both wars made the U.S. look not only weak, but incompetent.

An incompetent opponent is not one to be feared and not a strong one. It was not in Crimea where Mr. Putin showed his disregard for America’s place in the world. Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 would be a better example. Putin was not afraid of W. and W. did nothing about it.

It’s not right to criticize President Obama’s ‘reset’ with Russia; when you can look back to hear George Bush ‘seeing in Putin’s eyes’ or whatever he said. Sometimes it’s not our POTUS, sometimes it’s Putin.

As far as Iraq goes, you have said it is Obama’s fault for the chaos there because there isn’t a residual force or 5 or 10,000 American troops. That is completely wrong. The U.S. could not control Iraq when we had 200,000 troops there. Ten thousand wouldn’t help them now. The fact that an al Qaeda flag flies in Fallujah is sickening after so many Americans lost their lives their freeing that city.

As far as Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, Crimea; the U.S. needs to decide if we want to be on a constant war footing. Because of the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan the American people don’t want to be involved. That’s a direct result from the fiascos of the last 2 wars. Many have lost faith and trust in all government, more I believe have lost faith in the governments ability to best utilize the military.

While I do agree that Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is opaque at best, I don’t think it’s fair to criticize him for each and every global crisis we have had. I would like to hear a clear foreign policy from the Obama administration, but not holding my breath.

The point of this piece is to disagree with almost all of your conclusions, not to slam President Bush, although it would have been helpful if he knew about Sunni and Shia being at war for 700 years, the point is that America being the place everyone feared is not on Obama’s shoulders.

I don’t know the answers to all of these questions, but one must learn from history in how to move forward.  You seem to have selective memory. I hope you read this. And, I thank you for your service to our Country.

Are We Really In This Place Now, Is This Really Happening?

IMG_1894The short answer is yes. For the in detailed answer keep reading.

I woke up this morning and one of the first headlines I see is that Paul Ryan thinks that poverty comes from the “laziness of ‘inner city’ men.” I.e. black or brown are the cause of their own poverty because they are lazy. I couldn’t believe I was reading this, what’s next showing pics of those lazy men eating watermelon?

Next I read about American Companies hoarding over $2Trillion overseas so they don’t have to pay taxes on it. How is that something that is legal to do? Do lobbyists and big money donors really control that much of the U.S. that companies can legally do that? I mean I can see offering lower taxes for 10 years to companies if they build plants in a certain area; that would create more jobs and industry and revenue in a place that might not otherwise have it. But, keeping your money overseas is legal? At a time where unemployment is staggeringly high, job creation is incredibly weak, and Congress wants to cut food stamps for people that are hungry and unemployment insurance for people who can’t find jobs.

Who is in charge of this Country anyway? Surely no one in the U.S. government is looking out for the American people. Otherwise these issues would be dealt with. But there is no interest in changing the tax code. Why? If there really is a 1% what is everyone else doing? No one in Congress is part of the 1%. Ninety-nine percent of their constituents are not part of the 1%, so why aren’t tax codes being changed so U.S. corporations can sit on $2Trillion dollars overseas and pay no taxes on that. That is not in the best interest of anyone. Most especially not the so called 1%.

If the other 99% of people aren’t earning a decent wage they don’t have the money to buy things, that means the 1% suffers from lack of revenue coming in. A lose/lose proposition for everyone involved.

I don’t believe in income distribution. I believe in a government that can create more jobs so everyone has a chance to succeed in life. Yes, wealthy people should pay more in taxes. Yes, if your net worth is over $50Million maybe you shouldn’t be able to collect Social Security and Medicare. You have to be careful here because, like I tweeted earlier, $1,800,000 buys you a mansion in TX or a 900 sq foot one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. So location should play a factor.

There is so much we could do to make things better. Remove tax loop holes that let company’s keep money overseas; remove loopholes that legally let Mitt Romney pay an effective lower tax rate than his secretary. Bring that money back into the U.S. Treasury and let it be used for job creation, assistance for people in need. The Wall Street Journal had an article today about how the U.S. electrical grid is vulnerable for attack. National Security. But no one talks about a jobs creation program that would put people to work, modernize and fix our infrastructure, and make our Country safer.

Are we really so owned by big money and lobbyists that we can’t do the right thing? A pitiful time for The United States of America.

CPAC ** 50 Votes on ObamaCare ** GOP Doing Nothing All Year

BocaI saw on a headline somewhere today that this CPAC is going on now. For those who aren’t aware CPAC is the Conservative Political Action Conference. I am sure the entire conference will be about each one of them to trying to prove they are the biggest asshole in the room, oops, meant to say they will all vie for being the most right wing. Food Stamps? Cut them! Unemployment Insurance, Cut it!

I heard Mitch McConnell came out holding a rifle. I won’t be tweeting about any of this because I don’t want to give them any publicity, but I am going to comment on it and the GOP in general. So this week, or however long it is, each potential candidate will get up and slam President Obama and blame him for everything and anything that’s wrong in the world. I’m bored just talking about it.

Constructive criticism is always good and should always be sought after. But, just saying ‘You Suck’ does no one any good. Don’t like ObamaCare? It’s been 5 years, where is your alternative? This is where I would love to see politics separate itself from legislation.

The GOP announced at the beginning of 2014 that they were going to do nothing, let nothing pass as a political strategy to win the midterm elections. To me that statement is a call to remove them all from office and/or bring them to trial for not representing and following the Constitution. It sickens me that the GOP had their 50th vote recently to repeal ObamaCare. They know it’s already the law of the land. They know the president would never sign any such bill. Politics and pandering.

I would like to see, solid concrete ideas coming from the GOP, rather than just the word NO. Your taxes and mine pay the salaries of these people and yet they are accountable to no one. Yes, votes count and everyone must go out and vote, but, they should still be accountable while in office.

This might sound like a fairytale, but, what if the GOP actually spent their time doing what was best for the Country? Coming up with fresh ideas to increase job creation, boost the economy, help America’s reputation in the world. Coming together as a Country really is something few are interested in. Such a shame. I am sure that when the Founding Fathers put all of this together they would never have tolerated what’s going on today. A representative’s own job being more important than Country First?

Btw, I don’t doubt that the DEMS have been guilty of many of the things above and I hold them accountable as well. I’ve just never seen such egregious behavior from politicians as I have seen today.

Like they did in 1985 when laying down the tracks for “We Are The World” a sign was hung at the entrance saying “Leave Your Ego Behind.” I wish our politicians would do that. The Country and the World would be a better place.

Are We Already In WW3 But Don’t Know It

IMG_3969It seems like there is violence all around the world, every where I turn I see it. From Iraq Sunni Shia war that has been going on for over a thousand years, to right here in the U.S. Conservatives fighting with ultra-Conservatives and both groups fighting with the DEMS.

Obviously we aren’t in another World War, however it seems that war, physical or mental, is every where. Look what’s going on today in Ukraine, the President of the United States of America warned Russia’s Putin not to get involved militarily. Russian troops are already in Ukraine, flying the Russian flag over one of the parliament buildings.

Then take Syria, Civil War for years; Russia and Iran helping the Assad regime. No one helping the opposition, because no one really knows who the opposition is. Some are affiliated with Qaeda. Then of course there is Egypt which hasn’t quite decided how the Arab Spring will turn out.

You have the complete mess that the U.S. has left Iraq in and will soon be leaving Afghanistan in. Is it a coincidence that there is a huge heroin problem in the U.S. when our troops and others are there and Afghanistan is one of the largest suppliers of Opium. The Middle East is in complete chaos, then you have Iran. What is their game? Will these talks and pre-agreements turn into anything or are they stalling as usual to complete their nuclear weapons?

And here in the envied U.S. the income disparage and the unseen number of unemployed, what’s going to happen here over the next decade? What’s going to happen to the people when they have no money. Do we really have to spend so much time fighting about abortion? Civil Rights for Gays and Blacks?

Something needs to be done about all the turmoil, vitriol and hatred that is going on around the world. Can’t we all just get along? I think that was Rodney King’s statement but it’s so true. But, like good ole Ronnie used to say, if we can agree on 80% we are doing well.

Before this powder keg explodes, we all need to take a step back, respect others opinions and Give Peace a Chance.