Monday, December 08, 2008

Look for the Union label

As a union supporter, I invite you to check out this link and this link for information on how to support labor while you shop this Christmas Season.

Declaration of Human Rights

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Talk like a pirate week on Capitol Hill

I watched a little bit of the bail-out hearings on C-SPAN yesterday, and ended up with smoke stains all over the seat of my Jockey shorts. Today, I am going to take a teaspoon of Tequila every time Paulson fails to complete a spoken sentence. I fully expect to suffer alcohol poisoning.

I once had a Financial Planner tell me that I was effectively losing 7% a year on my money because I was sticking it in a savings account at a little under 3% interest rather than investing it in a risk portfolio that was returning at a rate of 10%. He was an excellent sales person, but when he remarked that “even an idiot can see which the smarter investment is”, I had to walk away. I wonder how he is doing this week…

My Mother was firmly against using credit because it tended to make a difficult situation worse. She raised five children as a single Mother on Welfare, and her frugality and sacrifice didn’t escape any of us. Her circumstance was one that could befall any young woman with few employment skills and a husband who decided (after the first four children) he would be better served on his own. Only her oldest son failed to graduate high school, opting to enter the military instead, and he later furthered his education beyond most high school graduates. The rest of us eked out an existence that was below middle class, but did culminate with a high school diploma in hand. Upon graduation, each of us was shown the doorway out of our Mother’s rented house and into the world.

I haven’t always followed my Mother’s example regarding credit, but (except for a brief period following a separation and divorce) I have tried to use credit sparingly and responsibly. I feel much more comfortable drawing 3% interest on a savings account than I feel pushing my money into the hands of a professional counselor who is going to purchase paper with it that has my name on it but yields value only to the people handling it.

My view of the stock market has always been skeptical. I prefer to deal in real estate that might fluctuate in value, but is always something I can place my feet upon. I also enjoy having a pocket full of cash when people are desperately trying to offload stuff that they purchased on overextended credit. I don’t get to do that very often because I seldom have even a hand full of cash, but I can easily see the upside of having liquidity rather than credit. Each situation spirals in its own direction… especially when lending regulations are non-existent, and the credit card companies are allowed to ply their tricks and traps against an uneducated public.

I guess the bottom line is being played out on Wall Street and in Congress this week with the Republican scheme to extract the maximum amount from the National Treasury before the Bush Administration wanders down the Happy Trail. I just have to shake my head because these Power Vultures have plucked and plundered their way into this current financial situation with focused attention, and they expect to wipe the shit off their shoes onto the American people once again.

I say…let the market heal its own wounds. The regulations that are being discussed by many Democrats and some Republicans should be slammed into place while the wound is raw and bleeding, and the fat cats who legislated this situation into existence should be recognized for their greed and irresponsibility. Taxpayer funds should be used to ease the burden of mortgage holders without excusing them from their obligations, but the lending institutions that are on the verge of failure should be allowed to fail if that is what the market decrees.

When the market finally settles out of its own accord (and it will), we should take our newly honed regulatory skills and abilities into the world of Government Contracting with a vengeance. We should also take a piercing look at the military weapons industry, and apply some regulatory common sense to a culture that perpetuates the ability of the world to argue lethally when diplomacy should be the norm.

There are many perversions in Government that need to be addressed. That won’t happen unless the American people insist on it, and we prosecute the Bush Administration officials (including Bush, Cheney, and their enablers) who have removed the last vestiges of honesty and integrity from the Justice Department and the Executive Branch so their political and financial Ponzi schemes could be perpetrated against America.

Country first, my ass!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Conspiracy for Fat America & High-Fructose Corn Syrup

You can watch the following video from here, or visit it on You Tube

to get more info and watch other related videos.

Tony Benn from “Sicko”

Lipstick in School (Priceless!) OH YEAH!!!!!!!!

According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington was recently faced with a unique problem.

A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night the maintenance man would remove them, and the next day the girls would put them back.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from those little princesses).

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers and then there are educators.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Subscribe to Satellite, Cable, or Internet?

Please pass the following video around and encourage your friends to visit the link

What can we do?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pen Pals

Osama decided to send George Bush a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game.

Bush opened the letter and it contained a single line of coded message:


Bush was baffled, so he sent it to Condoleezza Rice. Condi and her aides didn't have a clue either, so they sent it to the FBI.

No one could solve it at the FBI so it went to the CIA, and then to MI6.

Eventually they asked the Mossad for help. Within a minute the Mossad emailed the White House with this reply:

"Tell the President he's holding the message upside down."

Monday, May 12, 2008


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Downer Cows: Whose Fault?

What is a downer cow?

A downer cow is a cow that falls down and cannot get up. A cow that has walked in the evening, and cannot walk again the next morning.

A downer cow is an animal in pain. She lays down for one of two reasons. Either her bones no longer support her weight, or her brain is unable to send the proper signals to coordinate her movements.

When a cow goes down at her dairy farm, the dairyman can no longer send her to auction or to commercial slaughter. His choices are to slaughter her, euthanize and bury her, or call the renderer.

Each year, more than 200,000 dairy cows become downer cows, according to the New York Times (May 1, 2008). Many people are familiar with downer cows as a result of recent publicity surrounding the 143 million pound meat recall resulting from video footage filmed by Humane Society employees working undercover.

See: http://youtube. com/watch? v=SWmAJlwLnQI (53 seconds)

Some (not all) cows that become downer cows do so because their brains are infected with an encephalopathy called bovine spongiform encephalalitis, or BSE. BSE is also known as Mad Cow Disease.

USDA should ban downer cows from being used for meat and for pet food, but they refuse to do so, despite petitions from the cattle and dairy industry. Bills have been introduced in Congress to accomplish that ban, but those bills are now in committee, and may or may not ever be enacted.

Whose fault is it that cows become downer cows? Many people would blame the slaughterhouse, but that would not be fair.

Downer cows result from inhumane treatment of cows at dairy farms. There are no California Happy Cows, despite the lies told in cute television ads.

Slaughterhouse workers can easily identify an animal that has been treated long term with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. How? He can rip apart her porous pelvic bone with his hands.

In 1760, the average American cow yielded just one quart of milk per day. By 1960, the average American cow produced 8 quarts of milk each day. In 2008, the average cow will produce 25 quarts of milk per day. That's a lot of milk, and these are severely stressed animals.

Milk is rich in calcium. Where does that calcium come from? From her feed, of course. From the grass turned to hay and from mineral supplements added to her daily rations. Where else? From her own bones.

Drink cow's milk and you drink her life. You deplete her bone density. Let the truth be known. Downer cows are cows whose bones dissolve from within until they become too weak to stand.

Dairy farmers see the warning signs. It is a race against time to milk the cow until she can be milked no more. To stress the animal until her milk production wanes. To get her to stand and walk onto the truck to be taken to auction. To get her from the auction ring back onto a truck and to the slaughterhouse. Many animals just do not make it. Sometimes the dairyman waits a day too long.

The bones rot from within. The cows go down and become downer cows. They are sometimes unloaded from trucks with machines, unable to stand and walk the final ramp to her own death. Are they downer because of Mad Cow Disease or because of stressed bones? Do they have leukemia or tuberculosis or Johne's Disease, or are they just tired?

Slaughterhouse workers do not create the situation, but they must deal with it. They carry stun guns and cattle prods to urge the animals to first stand up and then be put down.

There ought to be a law. Yes. There ought to be a law. But what is a law? A law is a legal principle which must be enforced by the threat of punishment because men have sacrificed their moral principles.

So who is really at fault for the downer cows? It is not the slaughterhouse worker who is there to do the cleanup. It is not the dairy farmer whose agricultural practices lead to downer cows. It is the consumer, who eats the pain and digests the abuse and must take responsibility for the wretched life and horrific death of each animal to satisfy a lust for flesh and body fluids. Robert Cohen

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What in the world?

If you are curious about all the crap that is going on in the world (shootouts, airport closures, abductions, mass transit mishaps, etc.), take a look at the Global Incident Map. Mouse over any symbol to get a brief pop-up, and click to get all the known facts. CLICK HERE

Monday, May 05, 2008

Timed Release Monsanto

Millions Against Monsanto ... is it too little too late?

A 27 minute video with a promising beginning, a sad middle, and a terror filled ending.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

May Day

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Do a good thing

Please recycle your wine corks (check this out)

The Wine & Cork Connection
When people drink wine,
They are celebrating life,
They are celebrating their life or
The life of family and friends,
They are celebrating the life
Of the vine and the grape,
The skilled hands of the vintner.
When the wine is all gone
There often remains at the table,
A small reminder of life.
It’s the wine cork stopper.
The centuries old solution
To preserve the special taste
Of wine stored in stone

Why, that little cork is bark.
Bark from a tree, a mighty tree.
A tree that livesIn just a few places
On our planet Earth.
A tree that is endangered.
If the use of wine corks declines,
The magnificent cork oak
Is threatened with being cut down.
To make more living space for the Coastal loving people.
Once a cork tree is gone,
It is rarely replanted
Because it takes generations to grow
From seedling to cork bark.

When people save their corks,
They are saving some of this life.
They want it to continue.
It surely must have more life,
People want to believe.
When the wine corks are transformed
Into something all may use and see.
Awareness is renewed
About the mighty cork tree.
And drinking that wine
With a real cork stopper
Becomes more of a cause
For even more celebration.
Drinking wine is a celebration of life

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Body of War

I pulled this video off the Huffington Post here.

More Tavis Smiley here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The evilist bastard company on the block

When a product is known to cause harm (for example, Aspartame) and that knowledge is suppressed and covered up for years, when does the justice begin?

When a company is allowed to patent nature, and create an environment that is causing safe food to disappear, when does the justice begin?

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

U R what U eat

I have managed to cut my beef and dairy consumption to near zero because of the failure of Government oversight agencies to realize that Agribusiness is not their Daddy. I have taken my food purchasing dollars to the Natural Food Stores, and am trying to stick with brands that I can feel comfortable are rejecting the overuse of chemicals and drugs to enhance production , and creating a safer dinner table environment for the world's families.

The following articles barely scratch the surface of critical issues:

Good reasons to support local farmers

Artificial hormones in U.S. beef linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer

Dr. Mom Was Right -- And Wrong -- About Washing Fruits And Vegetables

The Dangers Of Food Irradiation

Neocon Paradise

Friday, April 18, 2008

Well said, Catherine

Choosing a Leader

(by Catherine Crier)

As a little girl, my hero was Atticus Finch, the fictional lawyer played by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird. Most of you know the story. The soft-spoken attorney creates a furor in his small Southern town when he accepts representation of a black man charged with raping a local white woman. For Atticus, the decision is easy. Justice requires it.

That single act changes his children's lives forever. They experience a powerful loss of innocence as the community they love and trust is split by the ensuing tensions. For the first time, Scout and her brother Jem must confront prejudice, racism and the debilitating effects of poverty on the human psyche.

They watch their father refuse to rise to the bait as tempers flare. When Atticus is spit on by the father of the 'victim', he slowly pulls out his handkerchief and wipes his face, without stepping back or breaking his intense stare at the offender. The other man is the first to back away, spewing epithets. Jem is puzzled and somewhat humiliated by his own father's apparent pacifism.

Then one day, a rabid dog comes staggering down the family's street. The housekeeper, Cal, calls frantically for Atticus to come home. Speeding to the house, the lawyer and another man, rifle in hand, exit the vehicle. When it comes time to take the shot at the rapidly approaching, obviously deranged animal, the man thrusts the gun at Atticus. Jem is wide-eyed. This must be a mistake. He watches as his bespectacled father raises the weapon and dispatches the danger with a single shot. Seeing Jim's surprise, the other man responds, "Didn't you know your Daddy is the best shot in the county?"

As the community fractures, Atticus responds calmly with candor and reason. Jem and Scout learn just how much strength their father possesses when compared to the swagger and intimidation around him. He acknowledges the dignity of others despite disagreements and insists his children do the same. "If you just learn a single trick, Scout", he tells his daughter, "you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." Atticus believes in inherent human goodness and in the power of America's system of laws to protect the maligned, yet there is no doubt he has the strength and will to defend his family and client if other options were foreclosed. Critically, he also believes in real justice, a concept that transcends the confines of our rules and courts.

During this contentious political season, we are called upon to judge the character of the candidates. Who should lead the nation, the fighter or the war hero? Who best wears their patriotism on their sleeve (or lapel)? Who can throw or take the biggest punch, swig the strongest shot, or bowl the highest game?

When the American Film Institute took a vote on the greatest American film hero of the last century, the winner was not Rambo, Rocky or a John Wayne cowboy. Instead it was Atticus Finch; gentle, bookish, moral, yet tough to his core. He never proclaimed his authority or postured for effect. He simply acted on his principles, with bravery and integrity, leaving no doubt who the real leader was. This might not be a bad model for the next occupant of the White House.

After watching this most recent debate, I am comforted in the fact that I no longer bother to watch any news broadcast save BBC, and I confine my television enjoyment to "Countdown". "The Daily Show", and "The Colbert Report". I also watch a fair amount of C-SPAN, but mostly get my info from news blogs and other online sources that reflect my point of view.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Take Action

Below is a comment that I lifted from another article about blowback from an attempt to have an outside analysis of anomalies that occurred in New Jersey during recent voting.

I condemn these electronic voting machines. See the video testimony of a computer programmer who was solicited to make fraudulent software as he testifies before Congress. It can be found on my campaign pages at, or at
E-voting machines were hacked in 90 seconds on live television. They are unreliable vote fraud generating junk. By the public nature of elections, voting machine software and source code is public domain. I demand that our 2008 elections be monitored by responsible authorities and the source code published on the internet or the machines banned from this nation.
Call your senators from New Jersey and tell them that you will not vote on electronic voting machines. This is an outrage.
Read the entire comment, and the article…

This comment boils the issue down to the bare bones of what this discussion should ultimately be about.
E-voting machines…are unreliable vote fraud generating junk that is used election after election to pervert the will of the voters, and give an official position to undeserving party loyalists (or corporate loyalists, if you prefer) like Norm Coleman, George W. Bush (second term), or anyone else sympathetic to big business.
By the very nature of elections in a democracy, voting machine software and source code is public domain, and should be available for inspection and severe scrutiny by any and all. The companies claiming proprietary rights in the election arena should be brought to account for the crimes they have visited upon the American public, and their management structure prosecuted to the full extent of the law (under a court that is not in the same pocket they are).

The problems with e-voting have been recognized, well documented, and summarily ignored by the majority of Congress long enough to understand that an entrenched politician is not fazed by the prospect or threat of losing my vote, so I will vote for the most progressive Democrat on the ticket, and hope that we can once again fill Congress with the voice of the people.

In the meantime, put together a list of the criminals and their enablers. The Bush courts might not feel a need to prosecute on behalf of the American people, but the penalties for crapping on our Constitution will be severe never-the-less.

When it becomes apparent that this Government thinks its only important function is to show us (the citizens) why we hinge in the middle, I am going to start visiting those responsible to clearly voice my disapproval. Until then, I will vote….

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Petition for Better Reporting of Drug Side Effects

I support requiring all drug ads to include a 1-800 number and website so citizens can report drug side effects (petition docket 2008P-0012/CP1).

All too often, drug advertisements fail to present the benefits and risks of using prescription drugs in an accurate and balanced way. It is often the newest drugs that are the most heavily advertised, and it is these drugs whose side effects we know the least about.

The current system for collecting information about side effects catches only a fraction of actual cases. The recent law passed to require print drug ads to provide a 1-800 number and website (FDAAA -- P.L. 110-85) is a step in the right direction, but should be extended to include TV ads which are viewed far more frequently and with a greater command of the viewing audience.
Increased reporting of adverse events will help in the earlier detection and better analysis of problems. All television ads should contain information on how patients can report side effects to the FDA.

Click the link below and take action now!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Anti-Theft of Elections

Paper Ballots

Counted by hand.

Any Questions?

If so...recount by hand.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Miles to go before we sleep

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the great video

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let it begin with me...

Join Veterans to Demand Hearings on Substandard Helmet Procurement

Last week, the New York Times reported that the Bush Pentagon had agreed to a contract for more Kevlar helmets for our troops from the very company that was being sued for cheating troops out of helmets that met military standards. Especially at a time when so many troops are in harm’s way, no such company should ever receive a new contract. Demand that Congress investigate how this could have happened, by signing our petition below. We’ll deliver your signatures to Capitol Hill.

Petition to Demand Hearings on Substandard Helmet Procurement

We the undersigned call upon the United States Congress to investigate how Sioux Manufacturing received a contract from the Bush Administration’s Pentagon to produce Kevlar helmets for our troops, after the company was found to have previously produced substandard helmets in the past.

As detailed by the New York Times:

“A North Dakota manufacturer has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a suit saying it had repeatedly shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including those for the first troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Twelve days before the settlement with the Justice Department was announced, the company, Sioux Manufacturing of Fort Totten, was given a new contract of up to $74 million to make more armor for helmets to replace the old ones, which were made from the late 1980s to last year.”

For years, Sioux Manufacturing had produced helmets that were far weaker than required by the U.S. Military and covered it up. Again, the New York Times reports:

In a conversation Mr. Kenner secretly taped, Rhea Crane, quality assurance officer, worried "if we ever had someone get killed, and they decided to investigate because they thought maybe the helmet wasn't any good."

"If we ever got audited," she said, "you know what they would do to us. Shut us down and fine us big time. Probably never see another government contract."

Sioux should have never gotten another contract, and yet they did, even as the company was being sued by the government. Congress must immediately investigate how this was allowed to happen.

Sign the petition here

Monday, February 11, 2008

When you turn over a rock...

The Funny Side of Disenfranchisement
By Paul Kiel - February 11, 2008, 12:27PM

TPM Reader JW writes in with a little window into the mind of Washington GOP Chair Luke Esser, who decided to stop counting votes on Saturday night just because.

It's a column from Esser's college days, and a column that was clearly intended to be humorous at that. So it should be taken with a grain of salt. On the eve of the 1986 midterm elections, Esser wrote in the University of Washington's paper that he was praying for rain, because that would drive Democratic-voting "shiftless deadbeats" away from the polls. He explained, "Years of interminable welfare checks and free government services have made these modern-day sloths even more lazy. They will vote on election day, if it isn’t much of a bother. But even the slightest inconvenience can keep them from the polling place."

And since, he wrote, "[m]any of the most successful anti-deadbeat voter techniques (poll taxes, sound beatings, etc.) that conservatives have used in the past have been outlawed by busybody judges," he was organizing a "Rain Dance" for conservatives that night. Ha ha ha.

My Comment:
This might seem humorous on the surface, but it paints an accurate picture of the general Republican mover-and-shaker attitude. No matter where you squeeze the Republican Party, the result is a lot of sleezy pus. The good folks who pony up the votes for Republican Candidates are hard working stiffs with little time to worry about anything other than survival in the world, and the pols use that very efficiently. I used to be one of those good folks, but I retired and found myself with enough time to research the issues. Now I am a Liberal Independent with a current tendancy to vote Democrat.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How it really works...

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar, and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.

"The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.

"So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were you voted."