The Watering Hole, Monday, September 30th, 2013: “UBUNTU”

I know that Wayne posted this on yesterday’s Sunday Roast, but it bears another look – especially in light of the myriad inhumane arguments, diatribes, and lies rising to a cacophonic crescendo over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.” Just look at so many of the self-serving and ignorant comments on Think Progress’s various threads about the ACA. It’s getting to the point where I think I’d rather live in a more simple society where greed and selfishness are not idealized.
ubuntu

These children put the childish “adults” running/ruining our country to shame. It seems that those who supposedly revere our founding fathers have forgotten one of the earliest ideals of this once-great country, as depicted in the Great Seal of the United States:
Great Seal of the United States

“E Pluribus Unum”: “Out of many, one.”

“Ubuntu”: “I am because we are.” Even those children understand the basic concept of what a workable society should be, and are living it. Why the fuck can’t we?

This is our daily open thread. I’m totally disgusted – how about you?

Watering Hole – Monday, June 20, 2011 – Stealing From the Poor

Where is Robin Hood when you need him?  My most recent Northern Sun catalog has a picture of Robin Hood with those very words printed on the cover.

The Republican’s budget plans will decrease taxes on the rich while increasing the tax burden on the middle class and poor.

If the Republicans have their way, will our nation become the land of the “lords and serfs”?

This is our Open Thread.  Will we allow the Republicans to continue to steal from the middle class and the poor?  Speak Up!

Post Avatar Blues

The press is reporting a sense of depression that overcomes people after seeing the movie “Avatar”.  Having seen this movie, I have some thoughts as to why this depression occurs.

Without giving away too many details, “Avatar” is another movie about corporate greed.  It joins films such as “500 Nations”, “Food Inc.” and “Michael Clayton”.  The corporate greed in “Avatar”, “Food Inc.” and “Michael Clayton” centers on either something that provides nourishment for humans or energy.  These are items that are needed to sustain life and to keep the “machines” running.  It’s understandable that people would fight and even kill to gain and maintain control of these resources.  As someone once told me, “The most profitable items for sale are those that either go up a chimney or down a toilet.”  Makes a lot of sense.

The documentary “500 Nations” is different because it tells the story of greedy invaders that killed the indigenous people of the Americas for GOLD, something that doesn’t go up a chimney or down a toilet.  Gold is NOT needed to sustain life.  It is a mineral that does not provide nourishment nor does it provide energy.  The only thing that gold feeds is vanity.  Yet people committed genocide to obtain gold.  The same can be said about diamonds, a crystal of carbon that is plentiful and market and price controlled by one corporation.

We humans are so very shallow that we value minerals and trinkets more than we value life.  Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh spend time peddling gold and telling us that gold makes the world go around even though gold has no real value when it comes to sustaining life.  They are selling the corporate messages and the undereducated are allowing themselves to be manipulated.

The Tea Party shouters, filled with racism and hate, will never be happy because their value system is based on “things”.  Americans believe that “things” will make us happy and yet, we are always looking to buy more “things” because we feel a hole inside us that needs to be filled.   Religion doesn’t completely fill the void because religions are always asking for money and more money.  If Catholics stopped sending money to the Vatican, the Pope would have to live his life like Jesus instead of like a king.

The indigenous people in Avatar have lives that are not centered around “things” and yet they appear to be happy.  They have a deep seated connection to their world and environment which gives them a feeling of fulfillment.  When we leave the theater, we re-enter our world and we see an environment covered in concrete and asphalt and realize that our lives are centered on “things”.   It’s a very boring, empty and sad picture, both visually and spiritually.  Yeah, that would cause a person to feel depressed.

(POV  from Cats r Flyfishn and cross posted at Pennsylvania For Change)

“Please Do Not Call It A Bonus”

Are you freaking kidding me?!

Two Wall Street firms that received at least $60 billion in government bailout funds will be rewarding their financial advisers with controversial retention payments, the terms of which one senior executive described as “very generous” in audio obtained by the Huffington Post.

The soon-to-be-merged financial giants — Morgan Stanley and Citigroup’s Smith Barney — announced the payments during an internal conference call last week, but warned advisers against describing them in terms that would cause PR headaches.

“There will be a retention award. Please do not call it a bonus,” said James Gorman, co-president of Morgan Stanley. “It is not a bonus. It is an award. And it recognizes the importance of keeping our team in place as we go through this integration.”…

WHY in the heck do we continue to prop these greedy guys idiots up??

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Thirty States Face Unemployment Insolvency

Last week, more than a half a million American citizens filed for first time unemployment benefits, a level not seen since 1982. As a result, many states are facing unemployment insolvency.

Due to several factors, including states which opted to reduced the taxes corporations pay into unemployment, many states in jeopardy of running out of state funds to meet the need of their unemployed citizens. These states can borrow money from the Federal government, at interest (if not paid within a single fiscal year), but that does little to assist these states should unemployment continue its’ downward spiral. States are now looking to raise taxes or cut benefits – and in some cases, both.

Thirty states are at risk of having the funds that pay out unemployment benefits become insolvent over the next few months, according to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Funds in two states, Indiana and Michigan, have already dried up, and both states are borrowing from the federal government to make payments to the unemployed.

Indiana’s unemployment trust fund went insolvent last month, and has borrowed twice from Washington since then — the first such loans to the state since 1983. It also expects to request an additional $330 million early next year.

Michigan, which has been borrowing money from the federal government for the past few years to replenish its fund, is now $508.8 million in the hole and unable to repay it. Next month the state, where the unemployment rate is more than 9 percent, will begin levying a special “solvency tax” against some employers to replenish its trust fund.

California, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and other states are inching toward insolvency as well, and may have to borrow from the federal government to get through at least the first quarter of 2009.

In South Carolina, officials recently requested a $15 million line of credit.

Other states (not mentioned above) which are at risk:

Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Is it so hard for some people, people who are the have’s and have more’s to understand that a capitalistic society requires people have jobs which pay not just enough to get by on, but to have disposable income to shop? Shopping makes jobs, jobs sustain our economy. And the umbrella above jobs is that of manufacturing. If we do not manufacture stuff, we do not sell stuff. And if we do not make and sell stuff, what is it we are supposed to do, as a whole, to sustain the hundreds of millions of people in the US who desire work?

Thom Hartmann was on Countdown several nights ago talking about how the latest attempt to bailout General Motors and Chrysler were nothing but an attempt to bust the unions. During this discussion, he referenced Alexander Hamilton’s Report on Manufactures from December 5, 1791:

This is not among the least valuable of the means, by which manufacturing institutions contribute to augment the general stock of industry and production. In places where those institutions prevail, besides the persons regularly engaged in them, they afford occasional and extra employment to industrious individuals and families, who are willing to devote the leisure resulting from the intermissions of their ordinary pursuits to collateral labours, as a resource of multiplying their acquisitions or [their] enjoyments. The husbandman himself experiences a new source of profit and support from the encreased industry of his wife and daughters; invited and stimulated by the demands of the neighboring manufactories.

Besides this advantage of occasional employment to classes having different occupations, there is another of a nature allied to it [and] of a similar tendency. This is–the employment of persons who would otherwise be idle (and in many cases a burthen on the community), either from the byass of temper, habit, infirmity of body, or some other cause, indisposing, or disqualifying them for the toils of the Country.

And thus it appears to be one of the attributes to manufactures, and one of no small consequence, to give occasion to the exertion of a greater quantity of Industry, even by the same number of persons, where they happen to prevail, than would exist, if there were no such establishments.

It’s not rocket science.

Greed does not allow for a functioning capitalistic society. Nor does reduced wages or lack of healthcare. Period.

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Re-Thinking Capitalism

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As one of the nation’s premier non-economists, I have some thoughts I’d like to share about how to fix the economy to the betterment of the many over the enrichment of the few. We’ve all heard the expression, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Most of us believe it to be true (because it is), but the naysayers are almost always from the elite class of people who have quite a lot of money. More than they need, if you want to be perfectly honest. And to me, therein lies the heart of the debate: Should Capitalism be about getting what you need, or getting what you want?

The people who study this stuff refer to it as Wealth Condensation, but I’m a non-economist, so I’m simply going to refer to it as a “flaw” in the system. In a nutshell, the way things are set up right now, wealth flows through the system into the hands of an elite few – the Super Rich. I’m talking about the people with, like, a hundred million dollars or more. They’re out there, and they have a lot of the money. Continue reading

The War on Greed

These videos include the words and voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Visit: Fight The War on Greed and sign the petition.

War on Greed in the News:
These videos are simply amazing.. And thoroughly disgusting.
These next two videos carry on the story of Henry Kravis, and how he accumulated all that wealth (and at who’s expense).
Now enjoy a tour of all the lovely homes of Henry Kravis.