As President Barack Obama proposes a program to get the U.S. out of the deep, deep hole the Bush administration put us into, the Republicans scream strange comments about "family values." Family values have been under attack since Ronald Reagan took the presidency and suddenly found Jesus. Reagan, who had a reputation in Hollywood for womanizing, and who had been a labor union advocate and Democrat, found that he could garner far more political capital by being a far right conservative. The right-wing hounds hovered around him eagerly because he could be manipulated by big money and big business. He was led like a puppet to put forth the greed-capitalist agenda. And he "succeeded." The immoral-but-moralizing right-wing was in its glory. And it went out to destroy everything that might get in its way. Labor unions, blacks, and liberals were favorite targets of the right-wing.
Black people were put in prison for minor offenses, but offenses that made for good political headlines. Of course there was racism in this, but it got people elected. Jails become loaded with black people like never before. And in the process America's black society further became imperiled as it became popular to demonize minority women as taking welfare and driving a Cadillac. While black people in America never had a level playing field and had been mistreated throughout our history, the missiles fired from the right-wing on black culture ravished African Americans. There became an absence of black men in black culture outside the criminal justice system. I know all the camouflage the right-wing uses to "disprove" all this, but the fact remains that the Republican programs have aimed there most destructive weapons at black society here.
One of the most popular polls in America is the one for how popular is the president. It gets reported as a yes/no poll asking Americans if they approve of the way they approve of the way the president is doing his job. This question is usually followed up by one asking if Americans believe that the country is headed in the right direction. Although the results are generally reported in a yes/no format, it usually seems difficult to answer this question definitively one way or the other. There is usually a lot of gray area. Until now.
In under two months I am greatly losing a level of confidence that I have in the government and the president. The future of this country is definitely going in the wrong direction. It was a quick change to a steep fall. President Barack Obama has delegated the direction of his policies or to Congress. And what they have produced is more than disappointing. In about six weeks, they have produced more budget busting legislation in the name of recovery that is going to do more long-term damage than any short-term good. The so-called stimulus package was nothing more than passing the liberal agenda of items that had been taken off the agenda of Congress or taken out of other bills. It is nothing more than that projects in pork contributed by just about everyone in Congress and is being sold as having no earmarks. After tripling the deficit, President Obama made an address to Congress saying that he was going to get the deficit under control. The next day, another bill for $410 billion passed Congress. President Obama also has preached to the country an era of self responsibility. Yes, this is one area in which Americans have plenty of room for improvement. However, the programs being expanded and the tax code changes are clearly steering people to the glamour of government dependence. He claims a tax break for 95% of America, yet is introducing cap and trade-a tax that will double the rate paid for electricity. The evil rich are going to be paying more in taxes to support the agenda of the liberals in the federal government. Was this the change America voted for?
The Village of Bayside, along with local schools, presents “the 3rd Annual Bayside’s Best Singing Contest.” The first audition is scheduled for March 10, 2009 at Nicolet High School (7:00 pm). The final audition will be held during the Village of Bayside Annual Picnic on September 12, 2009.
Eligibility: You must be a full time student in a local public, private, or home school system and not past the senior year of high school. All students must be registered by a parent or legal guardian unless 18 years of age. All entry forms must be received no later than March 9, 2009. Entry forms are available at http://www.bayside-wi.gov.
When Barack Obama was campaigning for president, he pledged that if elected, he would hit the ground running. It was clear that America had avoided in its leadership. George Bush left Americans yearning for leadership. It was time for change. Even though it's six weeks into the administration, it is clear that we have cut the cord from George Bush. What has happened since January in what is happening now is the responsibility of the Obama administration. It does not make sense, nor can it be considered effective leadership to continually blame George Bush for what is going on in our country today. Of course, the economy is on the forefront of everybody's mind. We are in a recession. This will now be known as Mr. Obama's recession. Unless of course it turns into a depression.
President Obama said we must act quickly to turn the economy around. He then signed into law a bill called the stimulus package that does not spend most of its money for two more years. President Obama said we must not take fiscal responsibility for the federal budget. He then proposed a budget that will quadruple the annual deficit and then work towards cutting that in half. This still means that annual deficits will be double what they were in the Bush administration. That's if he achieves this goal in four years. President Obama said we must end ear marks and then goes on to sign another bill that is replete with earmarks. President Obama may have finally realized that the stock market has plunged about 5000 points since he was elected. Obama then goes out to make a public announcement encouraging people to buy stocks. Then, of course the stock market dropped another 300 points. Who would be taking investment advice from this president?
President Obama is taking the role of an activist president. Okay, Americans may like that on the aggregate. However, every time he goes out and proposes a new government program, the economy gets worse. The stock market drops, joblessness rises, retail sales fall, and the automobile industry threatens to go bankrupt. Tax increases are on the horizon. The cap and trade tax plan is going to be a disaster for anyone who uses utilities, that would be just about everyone. Obama has completely destroyed investor confidence in America. There is absolutely no reason to buy stocks today. His ambition to redistribute wealth will reduce the wealth in America. But where is it going? It is not going to the poor. The tax plans for America have not made the wealthy happy. Again, who cares if the wealthy are happy, but on the other hand is all this expansion of government making the poor happy?
Especially since the reactionary presidency of Ronald Reagan, America has been hell-bent on "lock 'em up and throw away the key." With the introduction of drugs into American culture during the horrid Vietnam War, breaking the law to get a fix permeated all of society in the U.S. Ironically, the very conservatives who wanted to lock up all drug offenders, had supported the Vietnam War and the Contras in Nicaragua, both wars greatly causing the rise in illegal drug use here. The path of drugs to America can be laid largely at the feet of conservatives. History has a strange way of showing us the truth.
What has happened since the Reagan administration's decision to lock up more people, even for minor offenses? The obvious result can be found in the astronomical increase in the prison population. Another result has been the deterioration of the inner cities where drugs and crime go hand in hand as the white population was not serving sentences as long as blacks, and where white suppliers internationally rarely went to jail. Young blacks, either coming home from Vietnam or living in despair in an unequal world, turned to drugs for "relief." Marijuana smoking often resulted in long sentences in prison, sometimes even a life sentence for using or selling weed. Cheap crack cocaine, used primarily in poor areas, resulted in far harsher sentencing than the white-preferred powder cocaine. Blacks were taking a double hit in this system.
When George Costanza was once asked why he got out of bed in the morning, he replied, "I like to get the daily news." This is funny because it is true. I'm sure there are lots of people across America who like to get the daily news. With seemingly endless hours of local news, and with multiple channels on cable with 24 hour a day news, you would think that it would be easy to find limitless and interesting news. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Especially with local news, or seems to be a very shallow pool of items to report on. The main stories are broken into so many pieces that you cannot figure out what is actually going on because they only give you one piece at four clock, one piece at four thirty, one piece at five, one piece at six, the rest of it at ten. After six hours of trying to watch the news, you still don't know what's going on. Now the stations are cutting back. So now, instead of reporting on items such as what is going on in the world, you get a four-part series on how the snow is melting. How newsworthy! I understand that part of the reason that you can't get any objective news is that the news stations have the huge liberal bias. They completely overlooks the gaffes that President Obama does like giving DVDs to the Prime Minister of Great Britain. It doesn't disconnect on how Obama tells people that stocks are a nice bargain because they have a good profit to earnings ratio. And it overlooks items that would be of interest such as how tattoo removal is included in the stimulus package.
George W. Bush inherited a budget surplus from Bill Clinton. By the end of two terms of the Bush administration, trillions of dollars have been added to the national debt. What do you think the deficit is? It is an astronomical new tax. It has to be paid. And as the cowardly Bush administration often did, it ran away from its responsibility and dumped it on the next president: Barack Obama. And to add to the gutless actions, now the Republicans are screaming, "No new taxes!" It was a Republican administration that ran up the biggest debt and thus the biggest tax burden in U.S. history.
We cannot just stand on the sidelines and scream about taxes; that is what the Republicans and Limbaughites do. The problem inherited by the current administration must be dealt with now. . We cannot just shove it aside. The current administration of Barack Obama is not that insensitive to families. It cannot simply add to the debt that already will be passed onto our children and grandchildren. As we now have to face, action is needed to begin to clean up the horrible mess the conservatives made. Here it is, now we have to deal with it. Taxes, run up and passed on by the neocons, will now have to be paid. The taxes you will be faced with are by and large levied on you by Reagan and Bush. The irresponsibility of those years is now shoved into your face, whether you like it or not. Obama must deal with what Bush ran up and avoided.
Why am I endorsing JD Watts?
Because only one candidate in the judicial election for Branch 15 has demonstrated himself to be a capable, intelligent, and vigorous professional in the court system. That man is JD Watts, and he will be an excellent addition to the bench.
From the robber barons, through the early industrial giants, to the big corporation bosses [Ford, DuPont, etc.] who helped Hilter rise to power in Germany, to those who fought every social program of FDR, to the McCarthyites and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, to Goldwater, and especially to Ronald Reagan and the Bushes, there has been an attempt to fight every humane piece of legislation offered in the House and Senate. While the U.S. came close to setting up a fascist state with the attempt to violently overthrow FDR [see General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and asked by DuPont to head this scheme], we have only had bouts with the power of the extreme right, not very far from fascism. McCarthy made a Commie suspect out of everybody. The fight between fascism and communism was fought through the latter two-thirds of the 20th century, and in the minds of the right-wing, that fight is not over until a fascist or fascist-like state is created in the U.S. If you are not a right-winger, you are labeled a communist or socialist.
Through these same years, many peoples' lives were ruined simply from being called a communist. Today the claims of the right-wing have switched, and the term "socialist" in put on any social legislation or program that helps anyone but the richest Americans. Sadly, many middle class Americans have been hoodwinked to believe the rich. The result is a series of complex laws and tax regulations that benefit the richest Americans. Now that that favoritism is in place clandestinely, the right-wing screams "no new taxes" because they already have a system that benefits them to the detriment of the poor and much of the middle class. Greed and huberis reign in the right-wing, and this sort of viewpoint is not only considered best, it is the mantra of everything that goes on in Washington and state capitols.
One would think that after a lot of publicity on how important it is to spend money wisely with the severe downturn in the economy, the government would lead the way. With the immalleable support of the left and the leftist media, public supporting business is at an all-time low. Cases like that of Bernard Madoff, and the AIG bonus payout have not helped restore Joe sixpack's confidence in the business world. Since last fall, people have looked to the government for their solutions. They looked for answers and bail outs. People are looking for anything except how to do things themselves.
The patience of the country is becoming short. We've been asked to act quickly and swiftly during this worst economic times since the Great Depression. Well, we did act quickly and incautiously. Now we want results just as quickly. Yet, we find that things have gotten sneaked into the stimulus bill that are going to be a complete waste of money. Tom Barrett snuck in a project for public transportation that many experts will claim will not be used efficiently to become self-sufficient or even nearer a breakeven point. Well, government is not a business, still it should not be wasting money that is going to require huge tax increases in the near future to sustain. People are talking this as choice in public transportation. Why do people who need and use public transportation needs several choices? The city cannot even support choice when it comes to a newspaper. It can barely support shopping choices. Becoming a city full of Wal-Mart's is not a choice for shopping.
With the neocon flights of military grandeur plummeted and beaten into the ground by the entire world, the right-wing is now turning its desire to attack somebody, and that somebody is America. Instead of re-directing their efforts toward helping solve the tremendous problems at home that THEY created, they choose instead to follow Rush Limbaugh's words and hope for failure in the U.S. Imagine! These are the people who made so much of patriotism and following President Bush into an illegal war, handouts to the richest Americans, no-bid contracts to Bush-Cheney buddies, torture, destroying the federal budget, and blind adherence to whatever came out of the White House, even in its most obvious mistakes. How do you like your patriotic right-wingers now?
There never should be blind adherence to a President of the U.S. And obviously there should never-never be blind adherence to the actions of one political party. The Democrats are far too cozy with monied interests themselves. The Democrats were far too willing to go along with the atrocious mistakes of the Bush administration. And the Democrats themselves are an embarrassment to President Barack Obama.
There seems to be more and more proof available to the political aware that Barack Obama is in over his head. As America still struggles to pull itself out of this economic crisis, Americans are also looking for leadership. Democrats have been whining for years about the shortcomings of the Bush administration and his times stay tough, they continue to blame Bush for their failings. Strong leaders will stay focused and work toward solutions. For strong leaders, it does not matter who created the mess nor does it matter who gets the credit when problems get solved. I doubt if you'll see any of that in this administration.
Barack Obama's only accomplishment of executive management prior to winning the presidency of the United States is running a campaign. So if that's the only thing that he does well, he continues to do it. Well, the election is over, Obama won, so it's time to shift gears. It's time to put into action what he promised to do on the campaign trail-get results. As his popularity numbers begin to decline, Barack Obama decides to go out on the campaign trail and campaign against Bush Cheney. It should be an easy debate -- there is no one on the opposing side.
In the United States, where our Founding Fathers hoped to establish a society free from religious coercion, we have done just the opposite. "People of faith" in the U.S. almost always assume we are talking about Christianity. And those most steadfast in their opinions are often far, far away from the intent of Jefferson and Franklin. Christianity in the U.S. is an odd mixture of greed-capitalism, narrow evangelism, judgmentalism, anti-intellectual, anti-science, and not at all reflective of the word they love to throw around, freedom. So, out of this cave-dweller mentality have evolved many selfish things, many that would seem to be abhorent to the Jesus who preached peace.
Militarism. This has been monied fuel for the industrialists and the politicans they have purchased. As a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, warned us: beware of the over-reaching influence of the military-industrial complex in the U.S. This complex has drained trillions of dollars out of the American economy and sent us on military adventures that have led to our embarrassment and enemy-making in the world. Each of our recent wars have turned more people against us than has garnered us friends. Yet the money keeps rolling in. Added to this has been the military-industrial control of American media. Much of today's major media is not owned by media people, it is owned by some huge corporate octopus that his its tentacles in all sorts of military equipment and service. And many of these military-industrialists and their puppet politicians make certain to parade themselves as sincere religious people. Gag.
The Village web site (www.bayside-wi.gov) now has a Citizen Request Manager (CRM) to help better serve Bayside residents. The CRM allows residents to use the website to express a concern, report a problem, or address other issues that may arise.
A few weeks ago President Barack Obama said in a statement that his administration will not govern out of anger. And because we have seen that the president likes to double his chances of being correct, the government is now governing out of anger. We are being led to believe that this is out of a course of action brought on by the greed of American capitalists employed at AIG. Well, let's take a step back. If the president and Congress have taken time to look at what is in the stimulus package that was being rushed through Congress, they would have found the items that they are acting so surprised to have uncovered. Congress and the president signed into law the bailout providing AIG with the funds to pay out the bonuses. Now they believe they are righting a wrong by taxing 65 people in this great land of ours.
Although there is not a lot of support for these taxpayer funded bonuses, the way they are now being handled is just as wrong as the bonuses are in the first place. To begin, Congress ought to know that you cannot pass ex post facto laws in the United States. They ought to know this, but apparently they are so stupid that they don't. Perhaps that's why they don't read any of the bills that get signed into law is. They are too dumb. Yet we're supposed to look to them for policies that make sense to bring us all up of the current economic basis.
It is amazing how much has been done by President Obama in a few short weeks. As the right-wing fires up its list of things that they want Obama to do to solve all the problems from Reagan to Bush, they are now demanding that it be done by...oh, say next week Tuesday. When George Bush the Elder was running against Ronald Reagan in 1980, he called Reagan's financial plans, "voodoo economics." That's what it was alright. And the scheming card tricks of the Reagan hucksters set us off on a course of unregulated corporate greed that led to the inevitable crash we are now experiencing after almost 30 years of tricksterism. The people who knew the most about the economy were bought off with big bonuses so the favors could be handed out to pharmaceutical giants, military-industrial behemoths, media octopi, oil cartels, etc. The mounting greed and self-serving stealing had to end sometime. Unfortunately, the huge corporation execs had theirs safely hidden away in off-shore companies and foreign banks. Now we are paying AIG to bail out some of these foreign banks.
That means that you, sucker, were not only fleeced once, but fleeced again as your money flows through taxes to some of the same swindlers in other countries. And we voted for some of these guys and gals! While the majority of the early schemers were Republicans, the money got so great that far too many Democrats joined the fleecing of the flock. Now, while the crooks have their loot stashed away, they yell, "No more taxes!" "Cut Medicare!" "Privatize Social Security!" "No more pork!" "Get the government out of our business!" Wow, the screams are deafening. But these screamers were and are glad to take the money when it heads straight to their pockets. They want it straight from your pocket to their stash.
What is the major reason the most militant Moslem terrorists do not want any encroachment on their carefully crafted culture? Women's rights, or in the case of the militants, lack of women's rights. The male leadership wants to hold onto their privileged place in that society. Multiple wives? Sure. And what do you think is waiting for a terrorist who bombs innocent civilians? Scores of young virgins to serve him in paradise. No schooling for women. Insistence on wearing clothing that covers their faces and bodies and allows them no individual expression. They must remain silent. No driving autos. No speaking up to their husbands. No choice in who their marriage partner will be. Subservience to their male leaders and/or to their husband. Separated in most activities from the more lenient activities of the men. This is a religion that is afraid of women. This is a religion that is weak and must show its strength through violence to anyone who challenges its practices. This is a religion that does not listen to others, but wants to force its will on others.
Much of this is true of most religions in their extreme elements. But we tend to overlook the lesser position we assign to women in our own religious practices. The majority of Christians in the world do not allow women to serve as clergy. The head of the church [patriarch or pope] must be a man. Religious ceremonial rites place women in a secondary role. And the more militant is the form of Christianity, the more male-dominated it is. Please-please don't try to ply me with examples of tokenism in a specific denomination or sect. The majority of Christians have beliefs that are more akin to practices from the Dark Ages than the 21st century. Strict religious adherence equals inequality.
One of the most overused phrases today by our political leaders is that we are living in unprecedented times. Although the economic cycle regularly goes from prosperity to recession, we're being led to believe that recessions are not only avoidable but their origins have specific points of blame. Many of these points of blame can be directed to people. Governments and the media would have us conclude that these decision-makers can and should be eliminated and we will live happily ever after.
Problems have to be dealt with by people. We have to direct efforts to our problems to cause solutions. This is what political people do. When things go well, they centralize credit, and when things go bad, they diffuse blame. There have never been better examples of this going on than there is today. At the state level, we have seen six years of gross mismanagement of the state budget. Having the exact same amount of time to make things better, Jim Doyle continues to screw things up. It would be easy for him to point fingers at the mismanagement of the past six years, but he would have to point them at himself. He has initiated efforts to largely extend the role of government at the state level that has wound up having to put a larger burden on those who pay taxes. Like the president, he thinks he can stick it to the rich and business entrepreneurs and they will like it.
I know there are plenty of people out there who believe government is always too fat. They've never been in government, and many of them have never even attempted to run a business, let alone a municipal budget, but they're confident that government is too fat because some talk show host has told them it is.
Is it true that some government employees are slackers? I would answer that this way -- just as people in the private sector slack off, there are those in the public sector that do too. Whether it's taking extra time on a break, an extra long lunch hour, taking a few extra pens from the supply cabinet, or just staring non-productively at that picture of a loved one sitting on your desk, folks who do these things don't think of themselves as slackers or part of the problem. However, if they're in the public sector, there will always be people who point to the worst offenses and suggest that the entire position that person works in should be eliminated.
Yes, I am aware of the Holocaust. Yes, I am aware of the pogroms. Yes, I am aware of anti-Semitism. Yes, I am aware of the death camps and forced labor. Yes, I am aware of the discrimination faced against Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere. Yes, I am aware of the horrible, ongoing rockets launched from Gaza into Israel. Yes, I am aware of the attempts by Egypt and Syria to invade Israel. Yes, I am aware of Israel's vulnerability in its area of the world. Yes, I am aware of Arab terrorism inside Israel through the years. Yes, I am aware that Israel is a democracy amid a sea of anti-democratic nations. Yes, I am aware of Hamas and Hezbollah's open challenge to Israel's very existence as a nation. And yes, I am even aware of the additional empathy and understanding I should have with a typical German name like Schultz.
However the horrific and inhuman acts by Israel in its treatment of Palestinians, some were living in Israel when their homes were taken from them, cannot forever be ignored. Gaza has become a sealed prison. Israel controls the fate of many innocent civilians living in squalor and illness in the most crowded area of the world. Roadblocks and limiting supplies, even medical supplies, into Gaza is inhuman. Israel's own, self-serving agreements about Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory are being broken continually.. While the Israeli government says it does not condone these encroachment settlements, it is now using its own tax money to build roads and facilities into these illegal areas. While Israelis and Jews worldwide tell us that we do not understand and realize the ongoing terrorism and threat to Israel, the American media and leading politicans here voice a clear favoritism in the direction of Israel. The voice of the Palestinians barely scratches the surface by comparison.