Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street
Dave Speck

You don’t hear much about Occupy Wall Street in the news and what you do hear is biased against the protesters. This sounds an awful lot like the protesters during the Viet Nam war. The media did their best to make the protesters look bad.

Today, young Americans are realizing that if we’re going to fix the greed destroying America, they’ll have to get involved, and get involved they’ve become.

If we’re going to save America, we all need to get involved and Occupy Wall Street is a great place to get involved.

In fact, there are thousands and thousands of protesters around the country right now, involved in Occupy America. Don’t expect to see them in your news but look for them. They’re there and they’re growing.


The Era of Citizens United

The Era of Citizens United
David Schlecht

The USA has changed over the years. When we were a young country, almost everyone knew what was going on politically and everyone was out there talking with their neighbors and friends and families about the issues of the day. And, almost everyone was personally interested and invested in the future of our country.

Today, Americans have become lazy about voting, they’ve become too busy being socially active in the virtual worlds like Facebook and Twitter and whatever. We’re too involved in what’s on the TV and whose on Dancing with the Scars, and whose the biggest loser, and hardly anybody is paying attention to the destruction being wrought upon our nation by the greedy and unethical and their unsophisticated puppets (yes, I’m talking about the Tea Baggers).

It’s becoming apparent that the more painful the decline of the American society, the more involved people are becoming. Just look at the thousands and thousands of people out there in countless rallies. Of course, you won’t hear anything about the thousands of voices because the media refuses to report about anything other than a handful of Tea Baggers here or there.

Yes, Americans are becoming more energized, but we’re a long way from the tipping point. Mark my words, though, we will get there. Hopefully it won’t be too late to do it peacefully.

Americans’ apathy and failure to get involved and failure to get out there and discuss and learn the issues has put us at a terrible risk. Today, our Supreme Court is controlled by the most radical of corporatists who have decreed that corporations are people and money is speech. This means that the voice of the lowly voter is drowned out by the billion dollar and international corporations.

Today, the bankers who have brought our economy to the brink of another Great Depression are making so much money that they could easily spend more on a candidate than was spent during the entire 2008 presidential election and it wouldn’t cost them more than a fraction of their bonuses.

So, the game is rigged for the coming election. The billionaires can spend as much as they want, thanks to the Republicans on the Supreme Court. There’s no way you and I can contribute enough money to even have our voices heard. There’s no reason for the candidates to represent us since we are no longer getting them elected. The candidate spending the most money almost always wins, and the corporations and billionaires have oh so much money.

The best way to evaluate the coming candidates is to see who is buying them. A good place to look is Open Secrets.

But there are so many people out there glued to Fox or Dancing or who knows what, that they don’t take the time to do their homework.

The coming election will be won by Citizens United and the multinational corporations and the billionaires. They’ll be fighting over our representatives like vultures, picking the flesh of the rotting democracy.

I believe, nah, I hope, that this will be enough to reach the tipping point and become the point where Americans wake up and take back their country.

But, it will only happen if you and I get out there and talk with our friends and families. We Americans have a huge multinational media industry who is benefiting from the big dollar elections and they have their best interests at heart when they refuse to educate the people.

It’s up to you. Today.

Is the Death Penalty Murder?

Is the Death Penalty Murder?
David Schlecht

Is it appropriate for a government to be killing its citizens? If the error rate on executions is really 1 in 10, is capital punishment too outdated and barbaric for a modern society?

Was Troy Davis innocent? Does it really matter? Is it enough that we weren’t sure? Even if we were sure, are we any better than murderers when we murder our people?

I don’t have the answers. What are your thoughts?

Note to Obama

Note to Obama — Updated
Matthew K.

Hey, Obama, come to your senses. You’re hurting America, you’re hurting the Democratic party and you’re hurting your chances of reelection.

Pay attention Obama. The way you’re negotiating with the failed Republican policies is destroying us all. We need a strong leader. We need someone who doesn’t meet the idiots half way.  You’re not half an idiot and the American voters don’t want to vote for half an idiot. Stop acting like one. Stop meeting the idiots half way to idiotville.

You have one chance left to remain relevant. Stand firm. That, Obama, is your only chance.

This past election should be a big wakeup call to you. The Democrats aren’t going to vote for half an idiot, even if the Republicans vote for the total psychopath.

Call the idiots what they are and stand firm and the Democrats and the moderates will come to your side. They have nowhere else to go, well, excerpt home, and that’s not good for you or us or America.

Update: Way to go Obama! Today’s speech is exactly the kind of language we’ve been needing. The Republicans have to be called on their stupid ideas or the average voter will not realize how insane they really are. Keep up this type of rhetoric and you will see your support skyrocket.

Still, though, you have to realize that the middle class the the poor have been sacrificing for the benefit of the rich for thirty years now. It’s time you stopped saying we need to cut more from those who have already sacrificed too much.

The Sacred Text

The Sacred Text
Paul Johnson

I heard a fundamentalist Christian warning of the dangers of reading the Bible without having an experienced member of “his” church there to help you interpret. After all, it was the true and real word of God and so there’s no way just a simple layperson could possibly understand the subtle nuances embedded in the holy scripture.

I was so shocked at his comments that I had to actually ask him what he was talking about.

I was shocked at how similar this fundamentalist sounded to the Muslim fundamentalists explaining how just because the Koran says to cut off the hands and feet of thieves, it doesn’t really mean that and you have to have an imam interpret the text for you.

That was a big warning flag for me and it should be a big warning flag for anyone relying on others to interpret their religious texts. Here is why.

There are two possibilities. Either the text is the real word of God or it’s not. So let’s look at the two options:

Your religious text is the true word of God

If this is the case then you can be positive that God knew how to produce the text in such a way that they can’t be misinterpreted. Surely God could do something as simple as that. God would not produce scriptures in code that only those who think they know how, can interpret them. That would destroy the value of  having the word of God at all.

Your religious text is not the true word of God

If, on the other hand, the text is not the true word of God but rather a written history written and transcribed and interpreted by many over the years, then the text has already been interpreted by man, by error prone man with a purpose to spread the word. In other words, it has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Worse yet, the text may be interpreted one way but a century later may need to be interpreted again as languages change over time.

Another issue, still, is the condition of the original writings as preserved over time. The original texts were written is a way that they could not be interpreted without error. The original text had no breaks between the words, no spaces in the text. This means that the original text could have been interpreted many different ways and each way would be correct.

If these are the true words of God, then He wants us to read them as a guide, not as laws.

Beware whenever you encounter someone telling you that you can’t interpret the words, yourself. If you can’t, then your god isn’t much of a god. He can’t even write so average people can understand it. Not too likely, now is it?

Now, since it’s obvious that you should be reading the texts yourself, go out there and start reading. I suggest grabbing a Bible and reading the New Testament if you’re so inclined. It is so much easier than trudging through the books that even Jesus took with a grain of salt.

Post-Industrial America

Post-Industrial America
David Schlecht

In a previous post, I expanded on the value-producing aspect of manufacturing. This discussion explains why America needs a manufacturing industry.

But, what happens when the society becomes so wealthy that they no longer need to or are no longer inclined to continue purchasing? They still have the money and want to do something with it, but how many boats do you buy before you get bored buying boats?

So, along comes the service sector to give the buyers something new to buy. I don’t want another boat, I want someone to mow my lawn so I can enjoy the boat I already have. I want to go out to a nice restaurant, I want to see a play, I just have to go see the latest comedy or magic show…

In this case, the service industry is a symbiotic parasite on the society in that it gives back in return for what it takes. It serves a purpose but it also drains valuable resources from the society.  When you no longer have a manufacturing industry, there is no longer any symbiosis and the parasitic service industry begins to impoverish the society.

This is, of course, all academic, since America is not anywhere near the point where we no longer need anything. America needs plenty. Have you seen the condition of our roads? Or Bridges? Our Internet? Our cell phone infrastructure? We need plenty of manufactured products.

As long as we’re manufacturing what we need and have a little left over to export, then our society remains strong. When we no longer manufacture, then eventually there will be no one left to buy the services from the service industry.

I suppose we’ve all heard the argument that making hamburgers at the local fastfood shop is adding value to the meat so it’s really manufacturing.

This is an awfully weak argument but we can’t dismiss it out of hand. There is some value, but the value is lost the moment the product is consumed. This stems from the old argument of “guns and butter”. Paying for butter is a short-lived investment, but buying guns gives us the value of the weapon for years to come. This was Reagan’s argument for spending money on Star Wars and not Welfare.

The problem here is that the guns, or bombs will eventually be used and will be gone. In a war, it’s amazing just how fast these inventories can disappear, how fast the wealth can disappear.

America needs to get back to building things that last.

Obama, Stand Up For Your Convictions

Obama, Stand Up For Your Convictions
David Schlecht

Sign the petition telling Obama to stand up for his Progressive values:

America did not vote for a middle of the road president. We voted for the Obama that ran on concrete and progressive issues. America did not vote for a half Democrat half Republican. Stop meeting in the middle with those who are holding our jobs hostage, holding FEMA hostage, holding the debt ceiling hostage.

Negotiating with terrorists only makes them demand more.

The Job Killers

The Job Killers

Matthew K.

Have you read the news about how Obama wants to call a joint session of congress to give a “Jobs Speech”? Then you’ve read that the Republicans have denied him. This is the first time in America’s history that any president has ever been denied a special session of congress. The first time!

And this is the time in America’s history when we need more attention paid to jobs. But, the Republicans aren’t interested.

By now I hope everyone in America can see the Republican party for what they really are. The JOB KILLERS.

Finding solutions to our jobs crisis is not of any interest to them. They can’t raise a single finger to make it happen.

They lie to us all day long about how they’re the job creators and the billionaires they’re funneling more and more of our money to are the job creators and we have fewer and fewer jobs.

America. Are you paying attention? Quit voting for the lying Republicans. You’re destroying America.

Oh, by the way, the working middle and lower class are the real job creators.