Sunday, January 29, 2012

90 DEGREES TO THE LEFT: Boehner's at it again!

90 DEGREES TO THE LEFT: Boehner's at it again!: It is impossible to understand the GOP; I have long ago given up at the idea that I could make sense of their logic and their concept of...

Boehner's at it again!

It is impossible to understand the GOP; I have long ago given up at the idea that I could make sense of their logic and their concept of reality.

Now, just little over a week after President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline on January 18th, Boehner is at it again. It doesn’t matter that Keystone can reapply, it matters even less the reason given for the rejection: not enough time for EPA to review the proposal and for EPA to make sure the environmental impact of this pipeline is minimal… We all know that the GOP doesn’t care for the environment; all that matters to them is the mighty buck.

But Boehner has to have balls bigger than Newt’s ego! Maybe that is why he cries so much; the mere weight of those balls would make anyone cry! After being exposed to his real interest in the Keystone XL Pipeline – he owns stocks in TransCanada and other tar sands companies – he still is pressing and planning to hold hostage any other bill, no matter the urgency of it for the American citizen, unless his ‘baby’ project is included. Boehner said a week ago, that he might try to tie the Keystone XL project to the Payroll Tax bill, again. Today, the news are that he will include the project with the GOP’s Transportation Bill as well as to the New Jobs Bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Job Act. In other words, if Obama administration wants a bill to pass that will benefit the working class the House of Representatives under the skillful guidance of Boehner will insert the Keystone XL Pipeline project as part of that bill, even if it has nothing at all to do with it. That is a way to manipulate and bully their way in Congress; if there is a bill that will create permanent jobs for the unemployed, or that will benefit students, teachers, the veterans or anything that is essential for the people, the GOP will hold it hostage to force Obama to sign their evil projects. If Obama rejects the bill with the pipeline in it, the GOP has absolutely nothing to lose, they never cared for the working class so if these citizens are kicked to the curb, they will not lose any sleep over it on the other hand, if Obama signs it because of the urgency of the bill for the good of the people or the country, then they did a slam dunk, they got their wish that benefits themselves as well as their multimillion dollars ‘friends’ and Obama will look bad to those that supported his decision of rejecting the pipeline and chances are, or at least is what the GOP is expecting, that Obama’s base will blame him for it and not the real culprit: the GOP.

It is imperative that we demand that this Pipeline doesn’t cross our borders, at least not without EPA’s complete and thorough investigation. I would prefer that it is once and for all permanently rejected, but if it can’t be, we must not rush into it, overlooking the necessary reviews and studies to ensure, as much as possible, the safety of our land and our environment. Write to Congress, call your representatives, and don’t wait for others to do what you can do. Don’t leave the burden on Obama’s shoulders alone, let’s back him up and show our support for his decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

90 DEGREES TO THE LEFT: GOP Response to the SOTU address... What a joke!

90 DEGREES TO THE LEFT: GOP Response to the SOTU address... What a joke!: Last night as I watched the State of the Union, I felt proud to be a Democrat. I felt proud to have a President that is such a great ...

GOP Response to the SOTU address... What a joke!

Last night as I watched the State of the Union, I felt proud to be a Democrat. I felt proud to have a President that is such a great speaker and that in an election year, is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

Obama touched almost every subject that is on everyone’s minds. From a great opening where he touched our hearts as we witnessed the warmth in his embrace to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to the recognition he expressed towards our men and women serving this country in the military.

Nothing that Obama said in the SOTU was outrageous. But today we are hearing the expected comments from the Right. Today, I read an article from Los Angeles Times “'Republicans blast Obama for ‘efforts to divide us’” that summarizes what the GOP thought of Obama’s speech. What caught my attention is the ridiculous assertion that Obama is constantly trying to divide us. Really? These people must have a different concept of what dividing means, because for the last 3 years that’s all they’ve done, not Obama. If anything, Obama’s base has been upset because he has tried so hard, and in their opinion, he has conceded too much to the Right in order to get things done, and they say Obama is a divider? 

Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana, resents what according to him Obama insinuated, if we are to believe Gov. Daniels, Obama said that this nation is a nation of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, I did not hear anything at all that resembled that statement, but Gov. Daniels said the opposite and answered to his imaginary assumption with “this nation must always be a nation of ‘haves’ and ‘soon to haves’”… that must be a damn joke! For the last 10 years, this nation has become a nation of haves and have nothing, the dream of ‘soon to have’ it’s slowly vanishing and will soon disappear if a Republican wins the elections. For the last 10 years all it has matter for every Republican in Congress is the financial health of the corporations and multimillionaires that keep them where they are, not the working class. The working class is nothing more than the instrument that lines with money the pockets of these Corporations (people now) and multimillionaires; it is true that the tax cuts they have managed to give these corporations create jobs, theirs and trickle down economics – to their bank accounts, not to the working class. So far, in 10 years of these tax cuts, jobs have been decreasing not increasing. If that was true, we would have a 0% unemployment rate, what’s more, we should have to bring people from other countries to fill the vacancies, lies! Nothing could be further from the truth! For Gov. Daniels to even make mention that Obama is ‘pro-poverty’ it’s an insult coming from a party that has blocked every effort this administration has proposed to promote or create new jobs. For Gov. Daniels to be either so delusional or such a great lair as to claim that the GOP is the only hope to “restore America in an upward mobility and equality” it’s in and by itself laughable. When has this country seen any equality or upward mobility during a Republican administration in at least the last 30 years?

Obama knew the Republicans were going to call him a ‘class warrior’. Anyone daring to touch the super wealthy of this country is accused of dividing this country by class or of being a socialist or worse yet, a communist. It is so ludicrous to claim that by Obama not wanting for the margin between the very wealthy and the middle class to be as abysmal as it is now he is dividing the nation, that it would be as ridiculous for someone to claim that is terrible to want to close the gap between an “A” grade student and a “D” grade student. But that’s the GOP for you… Illogical, arrogant and indifferent to the needs of the working class!

Then, we had to hear from the candidates. Mitt Romney used the same rhetoric that the far right uses time and time again and that their stupid followers believe: that Obama wants more taxes, more spending and more regulations, but of course, he doesn’t stop and clarify that the ‘more taxes’ are for the wealthy, not the working class; that the ‘more spending’ is to create jobs and that the ‘more regulations’ is to keep an eye on previous corporate offenders, like the ones that have contaminated our environment; the ones that made thousands of people lose their homes and the ones that brought this nation to the brink of a second depression. No, Mitt Romney conveniently left the explanation out, allowing his followers to think that the taxes he was referring to were the taxes of the working class, the more spending was to fill the pockets of the rich and the ‘regulations’ was to increase the size of government.

Next we have the worse offender, sorry, candidate of them all: Newt Gingrich. I have no idea how he dares to criticize anyone, with a record such as his. For this pig (I can’t call him anything else and I must apologize to the pigs) to claim that Obama is a radical and out of touch with America is offensive. A guy that has no moral values, who was asked to resign from congress and from his position as Speaker of the House for basically stealing and fraudulently issuing checks with no funds; a guy that is the only member of Congress and the only Speaker of the House, in the history of this nation, that had to pay a fine of $300,000 a guy who goes to Tiffany as we go to Walmart, to claim that he is in touch with America but not Obama, is laughable. Certainly the America I live in is not the America Gingrich lives in.

The only one that said the truth, up to a point, was Rick Santorum. He said “Over the last three years, he has made it clear that his values are not our values” – and that is so very true! Obama values his wife, his children, and his family. Obama values the American Dream. Obama values the right to love whoever you chose to love. Obama values the health of this country. Obama values the environment. Obama values the working class. So yes, Rick Santorum was right, Obama’s values are NOT, in any type, shape or form those of the Right, and for that I thank Obama.

That leaves us with Ron Paul. His response was nothing but a long list of complains, not one serious response to any of the points made by Obama in the State of the Union address. We all know that Ron Paul wants to return to the pre-Civil Rights Act era, we all know that he wants the country to run by itself, with little or no government – probably only two people in government if he wins: he, the ‘king’ and his prince, Rand Paul. We would all be so stoned that will not care what is happening around us, probably why he supports making drugs legal. We would return to the Wild, Wild West. All joke aside, his response was just a litany of his usual complains, nothing at all related to what Obama said and of course, he closed his so-called response with the a new complain, the “TSA treatment of his son, Rand Paul”… You know what? I must thank the TSA, if I have to endure getting screened, touched and x-rayed; whom does Rand Paul think he is to be treated differently? I’m telling you, Ron and Rand Paul think they are above the law.

All in all, the response from the GOP was what we all expected. A complete and utterly denial of accepting any responsibility for the state in which this country finds itself, a self-evident negative attitude, a perennial effort to obstruct any help this country needs to move forward, to help the working class to get the jobs that will help them fulfill the American dream; for Republicans the only people that matter, the only people that can have an ‘American dream’ are wealthy people and we, the working ants, should be grateful for the crumbs they let us get.

Wake up America! Remember what got us to where we are today. Obama is good, but he can’t undo what took 8 years to accomplish; Obama can’t perform miracles it is up to all of us, we the people, must work together, roll up our sleeves and help him shape our own future.

90 DEGREES TO THE LEFT: State of the Union Thoughts

90 DEGREES TO THE LEFT: State of the Union Thoughts: “ We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings - men and women; Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We will support polici...

State of the Union Thoughts

We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings - men and women; Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies and open markets, because tyranny is no match for liberty.” – President Barack H. Obama, State of the Union, January 20, 2012.

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address. As usual, he provided us with a great speech, there’s no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama is one of the greatest orators of our time.

As Keith Olbermann pointed out, Obama was all over and most times in contradictory terms: raising taxes and reducing taxes, pro oil against oil, pro war, bringing our troops home; many missed the most important points in between the contradictions.

As I understood it, Obama is for drilling for oil in our land and seas but with stricter regulations and only until we can claim our independence from fossil fuel. Offering more assistance to renewable energy, promoting the development of alternative energy, which it’s good… but it is still like a spoon of sugar after swallowing a cup of vinegar. I am against drilling, in our land or our shores, we all have been witness to the environmental disasters these drillings can cause, but if it is until we can cut the subliminal umbilical cord from oil then we must then endure it but hopefully for a very short time. I dream of the day when we are no longer dependent of oil!

For me, the best and most important point in what it was a beautifully delivered speech was the tax reform he proposed and which I have advocated many times in the past, writing to the White House, creating Petitions and writing to Congress. It was long overdue for the multinational companies that the only thing they export is the much-needed jobs to be penalized for their conduct. I am very happy to see that Obama want to create a base tax for all companies, increasing these taxes to the companies that take the jobs that can be performed here somewhere else and rewarding those that create jobs here. It’s only logical! Why would companies that do not help this country and its citizens be the same as those that do?

I loved that Obama reminded everyone of who took care of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden… just in case the Right suffers from the usual delirious amnesia and forgets who made us safer from the radical Islam terrorists. In case they forgot, it was a Democratic President, it was a Democratic administration, and it was Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama went after Wall Street, China and Republicans in no uncertain terms. No more Wall Street negotiations without accountability, no more bailouts if a bank crash. No more unfair trade negotiations with China – our major lender, that took cojones! And he made it clear that this nation has to work together and stop the childish behavior to satisfy an ideology instead of for the betterment of this country. No more holding stocks of companies in their district, removing this way their personal interest when benefiting a particular sector. He made it clear.

All in all, it was a great speech. A speech suitable for a man who is seeking reelection, a man that has done a lot for this country even though there are many that refuse to see it, that only concentrate on the negative and not the positive. I wonder how many of us could have done as much as Obama given the circumstances he faced: a country in shambles, practically bankrupted, in a downward spiral with a bottomless pit and with overwhelming blockage to any solution he placed on the table. This man has endured one of the most difficult times a President could face and still has moved the country forward, not at gigantic steps as most want, he is a man, a family man, not the Messiah.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Changing Course

I love this country and it hurts to see the downward path in which it’s going thanks to the Christian Fundamentalists.

During the last thirty years or so, slowly at first and rapidly during the last ten years, the country has seen the Christian Fundamentalists; exercise their influence in Congress, ignoring our Constitution for their personal religious gain, while claiming that they want to honor the Constitution. These Fundamentalists, now better known as the Tea Party, will rally behind any white politician that is willing to dance to the tune they play, which it’s usually anything that is against science, technological advances and respecting every individual’s right to choose, whether this choice is to have a family or to choose a spouse of the same sex. If the Fundamentalists aka The Tea Party doesn’t like what you like, too bad for you. They feel they have the right to interfere in your personal life, in who you choose to love, whether you choose to have a family or terminate a pregnancy for whichever reason you may have; no one chooses an abortion lightly the woman that chooses to terminate a pregnancy does so after serious thoughts about that action, it is always a hard and difficult decision but it should always be a personal decision, not a government decision or a community decision. But to the Fundamentalists, it doesn’t matter that you might be an atheist and therefore you have no fear of the afterlife or if you will burn for eternity in the fire pits of hell – the Fundamentalists believe that their God is a vengeful god and apparently they have a direct line to the almighty where He tells them what to do and who can do it and you, a mere mortal, have no saying in the matter – out the window goes the ‘free will.’ They believe in Judgment Day but, they have decided that their God might not be a very good judge to ‘prosecute’ you so instead; they have decided to be judge, juror and executioners. This same group of Fundamentalists while Liberals make fun of them, have shown they’re smart enough or at least their leaders are, to invade our political system, manipulated it in their favor and now they even have members of Congress that proudly claim to be part of The Tea Party. Fundamentalists long for the good old days, where white mobs were free to lynch black people without being brought to justice, they long for the Victorian age, they long for the time where Civil Rights were nonexistent or were only applied to white people. They want to live in the past, no matter how obscure this past was, for them it was the ‘Golden Age.’

It is time to fight fire with fire. It is imperative that we elect Obama in 2012 and that we get more liberals and progressives to fill the House and the Senate; we must kick out from Congress as many Fundamentalists, Republicans, Blue Dogs and “Teapers” as we possibly can; We, as a nation, must continue fighting to maintain the position as leaders of the Free World, the country of all. The only country whose Preamble to the Declaration of Independence clearly states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We can’t allow these words to lose their meaning. We can’t allow Fundamentalists to choose who is an equal or who is entitled to Life, Liberty and above all, pursuit of Happiness. They yearn for a past long gone and we should never look back; it is our duty to look optimistically and work towards a better future for ALL. We should never go back in time, it can’t be done, and it’s futile. We can't continue to look backwards, not to the preceding administration nor to the previous century; the time is well overdue to set our eyes in the future, no nation has ever advanced while immovable, no nation can be in the past and pretend to be leaping forward, the future always lays ahead, never behind... The choice should be clear that in order for this nation to continue leading the world into the future, it must learn from its history but never remain a slave of the past. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Good for the goose… bad for the gander.

What is happening to the far right? Are they losing their strict morals or are these morals upheld only if broken by a person outside their party? This past Thursday, the people from South Carolina attending in person the debate, proudly and fanatically displayed to the world that their morals are far from what they claim; actually they showed how amoral they all are. Frantically applauding and with a standing ovation to the most morally despicable politician in the debate: Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich amoral behavior is nothing new. We all have heard of how in 1980 he ditched his first wife, Jackie Battley when she was having a tumor removed, at the hospital, because he had decided that she was not ‘presidential’ material as she was 7 (some say 9) years his senior. Apparently, he didn’t know about George H. W. Bush Sr. and his wife Barbara… She was not only unattractive but also looked like Bush’s mother and she was a First Lady, once. The truth was simple; he wanted to marry the woman with whom he had been unfaithful with for a while, his mistress, Marianne Ginther who in 1981, soon after his divorce from his first wife became the glorious Mrs. Marianne Gingrich. Newt was not content with having divorced his wife of almost 20 years for a younger woman, the first Mrs. Gingrich had to take him to court to get him to pay child support and alimony – that goes to show what a great dad he is!

At that time, amidst the witch-hunt initiated in the House of Representatives by none other than Newt Gingrich against the then President of the United States, William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton for having an extramarital affair, Newt was one of the most outspoken, repulsive and unforgiving critics of the president, while all along Newt was himself having an affair with an aid. Talk about being hypocritical!

But as it usually happens, he who lives in glass houses should not be throwing stones and such was the case with Gingrich and back in 1996, an investigation was conducted on him, it was found that he had committed over 80 ‘indiscretions’ and far more serious than an extramarital affair. It turned out that he had bounced 22 checks – and the right wants this guy for president during these economic crises? He made book deals with the now ill-famed Murdock; he used taxpayer’s funds for his own personal and political gain. Newt Gingrich can proudly say that he is the one and only member of the House and the first Speaker of the House who, in the history of this country, has not only been accused of ethical wrongdoing but had to pay a penalty of $300,000, and he had to resign in 1997.

In May 1999 Marianne was diagnosed with M.S. and the ever-thoughtful Newt took the opportunity to tell Marianne that he was having an affair with Callista Besek. Isn’t he a loving man? Not content with breaking such news to his sick wife, he allegedly offered her to have an open marriage, apparently he thinks that he is ‘all that’ and women will be willing to accept it in order for him to do them the favor of staying with them. Regardless of what high opinion he may have of himself, Marianne didn't accept and the couple divorced in April 2000.

A few months later, precisely in August 2000, he married his mistress. History tends to repeat itself, doesn’t it? Callista is a Catholic (a “good one”, I guess) and Newt decided to convert to Catholicism – obviously Newt can’t even be faithful to his own religion – and, as a final punch to Marianne, in 2000 Newt asked the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta for an annulment of their marriage.  

Now, Callista after suffering a transformation from a ‘normal’ human being to a woman that looks as if she is in a constant state of surprise and wearing a helmet in an apparent effort to look young and presidential enough for her husband; a woman that if we are going to take into account the ‘confessions’ of Marianne about Newt’s proposal for a three-some with Callista, has been willing or has participated in this type of sexual activities must be really concerned with Newt’s new aid, a much younger, vibrant, pretty and natural woman: Lisa Graham Keegan. I am certain that the infidelities of Newt Gingrich didn’t end with Callista, after all, for Newt Gingrich a woman is nothing else but a thing to use and discard when they get sick, old or he gets bored. I for one will not feel sorry for her.

What remains unanswered is, how is it possible that the religious right is supporting Newt Gingrich? What happened to the ‘sanctity of marriage’, to the morals, truthfulness, with ‘thou shall not steal’? The next religious right nut that comes to me with their preaching, I will surely punch them in the face!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trickle down... Politics?

And as usual, the Republican contenders for the Presidential nomination, after discrediting, insulting, pointing fingers and all the usual exhibition of egos that takes places at political debates, are falling, one by one.

The first one to go, when he couldn’t control the sexual harassments from invading the news and he could no long cover the sun with his thumb, was Herman Cain. He didn’t last long and we all knew he was going to be the first to go, after all, the only reason the RNC ‘allowed’ him to run was to prove that the GOP is not a racist party, the same reason why they elected Michael Steele to be Chairman, regardless of his poor credentials. To be honest, Herman Cain and his ‘999’ plan were not missed but he did bring some sort of entertainment to such a boring group, but his 15 minutes of fame were over pretty fast. So far, he has not endorsed any of the candidates; he says he prefers to endorse “the people” unless by “the people” he was referring to corporations, one might never know. Some people belong more to the entertainment industry than the political arena, but then again, these debates resembles more a circus than a serious political debate.

But we still had Michele Bachmann and of course, we can’t forget about Marcus. The two provided us with so much fun during the campaigns! The comedy shows were having a blast at their expense, after all, Michele seemed eager to provide fresh material every time she was in front of the cameras, I think comedy writers never had it so easy, they didn’t have to make things up, Michele made sure of that. But, as it happens when something is too good, she too had to quit – we must not forget that as entertaining as she was, she was running for President of this country and I think people were amused, entertained for a while but finally they realized it was time to get serious. It was no surprise when after she announced her resignation she endorsed Ron Paul; after all, birds of a feather flock together.

At that time, everyone thought that Rick Perry was going to call it quits, but the cowboy decided to stick to his guns and continue in the race… some people are too dumb or too stubborn or both to know when to leave.

Jon Huntsman was kind of an enigma to me. While we must admit that he is an intelligent, well educated - he even speaks Mandarin, experienced (certainly more than the rest of the pack), he was dignified even when the others were attacking him and then, for reasons I don’t know, he changed tactics and decided to attack Mitt Romney by saying that Romney likes to fire people and he didn't. He was doing pretty decent until then, holding to third place but he had the charisma of a stone. And after South Carolina he decided to quit and endorse the very candidate he chose to criticize: Mitt Romney.

And today we are blessed with another drop out, Rick Perry. It was not a surprise to anyone; actually we were surprised he lasted longer than Huntsman if only by a few days. Perry didn’t bring any substance to any of the debates, except to show his homophobic tendencies, his flip flopping (remember, he started his political career as a Democrat), and his constant display of either bad memory or what most of us suspect, a complete lack of knowledge on most subjects. Besides the entertainment contributions made by Perry, he will not be missed. He was prompt to offer his endorsement to none other than Newt Gingrich. We must forgive him, with that endorsement he confirmed what we knew all along, Rick Perry is an idiot.

Now is down to four. We all know that Rick Santorum is next; he is an improved version of Rick Perry. I am sure he will endorse Ron Paul; he can’t endorse an adulterer or a Mormon.

Ron Paul will be gone too. Regardless of his followers, the RNC will not let him get to the end of the race because of what he is proposing – small government, legalizing drugs, etc. - goes against what Republicans really want. So he will be history, again, and Paul will endorse Mitt Romney.

The last two candidates that will remain till the very end will be Romney and, yikes! Gingrich. Romney is charismatic, good looking, energetic and has enough money to take the race all the way to the end. Also, Romney serves as a proof that the GOP is open to all creeds, just as they allowed Cain to run to prove that they’re not racists. Sure! Gingrich will be fighting all the way, there is much money to be make afterwards with his Super PAC, books and his so-called documentaries – so the longer he stays, the more money he’ll make, but he knows he will not be the republican presidential nominee, he is not in the race to win the position but to win money and lets not confuse the two. Mitt Romney will be the republican candidate for the presidency, and I am glad about this, he is no contender to debate Obama. Romney is too arrogant, as a speaker he is awful and he will be debating a great one. At the end, indirectly, Mitt Romney will be endorsing Obama!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our President Rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Today, January 18th, amidst the blackout of many information pages, our president announced the rejection by his Administration of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Those of us that protested, signed petitions and mobilized to stop this environment assault to our country are justifiably rejoicing, at least momentarily, from this good news.

The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, announced in not uncertain ways, the rejection of this project and clearly stated the reason for his decision:

I have determined, based upon your recommendation,” [the Secretary of State] “including the State Department’s view that 60 days is an insufficient period to obtain and assess the necessary information, that the Keystone XL pipeline project, as presented and analyzed at this time, would not serve the national interest.

I am so proud of our President for listening to us in this so very important cause! This project, regardless of what Republicans and the oil industry have to say, represents a clear and imminent danger to our wildlife, water supply, our land and our environment.

In the official Statement from The White House also released today, the President said, “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil” – so far so good. Bravo Mr. President!

My enthusiasm took a turn downwards when in that same statement, Obama makes clear that he is for other similar and equally dangerous ventures, when he said: “ – including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico”; even though the aforementioned pipeline will cause less damage than the Keystone XL pipeline, it will still represent a danger to our environment.

As it was expected, the Republicans are raising hell over this rejection by the President. The rhetoric that this pipeline will create much needed jobs, which up to a point and not in the numbers they claim it could be true, the claim that it will reduce in any way our dependence in foreign oil is ludicrous. To begin with, this dirty oil is not ours it belongs to Canada and once it’s refined in Texas, it will leave our shores to be sold somewhere else, the taxes of this sale will be abroad so this nation will not receive a penny from it, as usual, and the citizens of this country will not save a penny at the pump – the financial benefits will only be seen by TransCanada and their allies, the oil magnates that have never looked out for our benefits or that of our nature. One needs only to see what their greed had done in the past to our shores to recognize that all that moves these companies is the profit they can obtain with complete disregard to the environment.

According to Steve Hargreaves from CNN Money, the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Thomas Donohue, said in reference to the President’s decision of rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project that “The president’s decision sends a strong message to the business community and to investors: keep your money on the sidelines, America is not open for business.” I find this statement offensive. Our nation has been ripped, raped, abused, neglected and usurped by corporations for decades. Foreign companies have been allowed to merciless annihilate our manufacturing industries by allowing them to import their cheap junk to our land, by exporting jobs (that’s the only thing they export), by avoiding fiscal responsibility which has rendered this nation almost bankrupt and as of lately, the greatest insult for the citizens of this country, the Supreme Court even have granted these companies the status of ‘personhood’, something never done anywhere else in this world… but rejecting ONE project is sending a message that “America is not open for business”? Really? Maybe that could be the best thing that will happen to this country, that these ‘people’ leave and we can return to being an industrialized nation instead of a consuming nation which only purpose is to line with our blood and sweat the pockets of these greedy corporations, sorry, “people.”

To read the complete CNN article, click here
To read the complete Memorandum for the Secretary of State, click here
To read the complete Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline, click here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First Cyber Strike Ever in the World

Today, at midnight, many of the usual and important sites we have taken for granted will have a 24-hour black out, worldwide, for all their English speaking sites, we’re witnessing the first ever cyber strike. The reason for this, and we should show our solidarity by following their example whether it is by stopping all cyber activity (logging off from Facebook, Tweeter, Yahoo, Skype, just to mention a few) or, in the event that you own an URL address, shutting down for 24 hours, it is easy to do and it will send a strong message.

The Protect IP Act, better known as PIPA, will allow the government and U.S. corporations to pursue legal action against any website which they BELIEVE might be violating copyright laws; it doesn’t matter if these violations originate in the United States or not. You may think this is the correct thing to do in order to protect the rights of those who’s copyright properties are being stolen, and you are probably right however, the key in this simple statement is that all it would take is for these corporations and the government to take action is for them to believe these sites are publishing music, videos and the likes illegally, in other words, guilty until proven innocent.

It doesn’t stop there, if it did it would be bad but at least we can fairly assume that if the copyright owner accuses a site of distributing their work without their permission it is because that site is breaking the law. I still prefer the concept of innocent until proven guilty, but at least there is almost a guarantee that the site is guilty. The problem is that, not content with pursuing sites that might be breaking the law, these U.S. corporations and the government will block sites for advertising other sites that might infringe the law, the same goes for search engines, blogs, directories and everything else that the ‘electronic age’ has access to. Almost everyone will be guilty – who hasn’t downloaded a song? We all have watched and heard our favorite singer or group for free through YouTube, that alone will constitute a crime, these sites as well as ourselves will be criminals under the law!

Suing these sites is not enough, of course. The corporations and government will prohibit advertisers from doing business with these sites – and we can be assured who will pick up the bill: us.
Then, we have the Stop Online Piracy Act, also known as SOPA. The House of Representatives created this bill, specifically Lamar Smith, Republican, Representative for the State of Texas (why is it that lately I sense an overproduction of morons originating from the State of Texas?); Rep. Smith is unwilling to back off from it. This bill works in conjunction with PIPA but it goes a step further. If this bill passes, it will allow private corporations and the government to put any site they deem necessary out of business (again, guilty unless proven innocent). This bill will grant the U.S. Attorney General to seek a court order that will prohibit any other company from having any contact whatsoever with the accused site, this includes advertisers, search engines, providers, servers, etc. PIPA also allows private corporations from contacting the payment processors and block them from issuing a check for payment to a website if they feel that they are breaking their copyrights – it is fair to mention that PIPA doesn’t say the accusers will need a court order for this, it will be from corporation to corporation, this is unheard of!

In other words, it is a witch-hunt. We will be back to the days when by the simple accusation from one person, which may or may not be right, will exterminate another. Gone will be the days of privacy, the sites and engines will be exposed to these corporations and the government for them to do whatever they want with that information.

I sympathize with the authors, writers, musicians, artists, photographers and the likes that are trying to protect their work, it is only fair that they get remunerated for what its legally theirs but, changing the law to allow this infringement of our privacy, to exterminate a company and taking it out of business on the mere suspicion that they are distributing copyrighted material without permission it’s too much. What’s wrong with a hefty fine or penalty?

These are the sites that will be blacked out on January 18:

A Softer World
Strategy Tune
Bread Without Bullets
The LeakyWiki
Center for Technology and Democracy
Greenpeace International
nomacs Image Lounge
The RawStory
City News
Icanhazcheezburger network sites (FailBlog, thedailyWhat,Know Your Meme, etc)
Open Congress/PPF
Tor Project
Colossal Mind
Crypto Cat
Internet Archive
Universal Subtitles
Dateline Zero
iSchool at Syracuse University
Plaque Studio
Jazz Sequence
Victor Rix
Libety Confidential
Red 5 studios
Major League Gaming
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ron Bercume Design
Elephant Talk Wiki
Errata Security
Monticello Capitol
Focus On the Facts
Smirking Chimp
WPS Security Lock
Spurs of the Moment

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Had a Dream

Today marks the birthday of whom, in my opinion, has been one of the greatest figures of my time. A man that against all odds, and in a peaceful but strong manner, shaped the future of this great nation: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King grew up at a time where being black was considered by the white majority as a stigma, where blacks were ‘second class’ citizens, where in the South atrocities where committed against blacks and the perpetrators went unpunished. Yet, Dr. King had the integrity, the courage, and the dignity to stand up and raise his powerful voice nonviolently, peacefully but effectively. He was able to stir the conscience and change the views of many white Americans that joined the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. King never endorsed a political party, but he admitted he always voted Democrat even when he felt that both parties had historically betrayed blacks in this country. Today, many of the new Republicans claim that Dr. King was a republican; one has to wonder where these people get their information. 
Throughout Dr. King’s life, he encountered many attacks obviously from people that were afraid of his presence, the truthfulness of his messages, the force he represented and the change he was making. Dr. King endured bombings to his home; a stabbing and numerous arrests, but he maintained his position against violence until the last attack he endured, which cost him his life. 
Our government, who kept a close eye on him and wiretapped his home and phones, also attacked Dr. King; who in 1967 was confronted by the FBI that tried to intimidate him by accusing him of adultery, I guess they resorted to blackmail in the absence of anything else – the right has always tried to mix personal life with political life – in an effort to force him to terminate his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement, of course, Dr. King’s integrity could not be bought much less negotiated. Soon after, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize. 
It is questionable the involvement that some government agencies might have had in the assassination of Dr. King – many have doubts about this – in that fateful evening in April 4, 1968, while Dr. King was in Memphis, Tennessee the area was surrounded by FBI Agents, all armed and watching Dr. King. However, the assumed perpetrator of this crime, James Earl Ray, was caught and sentenced and spent the rest of his life in prison. 
The legacy Dr. King left to future generations is irrefutable. It is because of him and the brave men and women that marched with him in the 60s, that made it possible for a black man to be President of the United States of America. It explains why our President has such a calm and collected attitude even when being relentlessly attacked by the Far Right; one must understand the history of the black people of the United States what they have gone through, to comprehend that Mr. Obama has as a model a great man that emulated peace in the face of hostility, intellect against ignorance and integrity against dishonesty. Mr. Obama can’t and should not be any other way.
Dr. King had a dream and Mr. Obama is the culmination of that dream!
To listen to this wonderful speech, click on this link:

The Religious Right

Let me begin by saying that I grew up Catholic. Ever since I was a little girl, I was an avid reader, I would read anything that was intellectually nourishing and in particular I loved philosophy. Many things happened in my life by the time I turned 11 that made me reject Catholicism and almost all form of organized religion, to the astonishment of my family, whom to this day are deeply concerned that I will burn in hell for all eternity.
For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been appalled at the extremist religious people that you read about in the news. Religious people that is willing to kill and “burn in hell for all eternity” in order to prevent another person from killing an unborn child. I wonder many times, if “murdering” a fetus is so bad… Why is it that for them murdering a family man or woman, who has a spouse, children, who is a doctor and a useful member of society isn’t just as bad? Oh yes, in their minds, they’re doing God’s work!  
The religious right wants the rest of America to practice their religion, to worship their God and pray to Jesus. They want to make it mandatory for public schools to pray, of course, their prayers God forbid if the school decides to consent to prayers and allows for a prayer from other religions to be taught and prayed a different one each day so kids can learn from others, then we will be stepping over our boundaries and their religious views deserve respect! 
The religious right of this country and those that proudly represent the Bible belt are extremists. They are the most hateful group of people that you can find in this great country; they are the ones that keep the breaks in any scientific advances, social advances, technological advances and even moral advances. Always shielding themselves by claiming that it’s God’s will, as if they have a direct line to that God! 
They hate anything, everything and any one that do not profess the same views as them, all of America have to accept everything they do, in return, they will not allow you the same respect. I am not talking about Christians, don’t get me wrong, I am just referring to the extreme religious right. Those that believe that evolution isn’t real, many of whom have claimed that the prehistoric bones of dinosaurs from million of years ago are fake and refuse for evolution to be taught in school. I am talking about those that still to this day, block scientific advances such as stem cell research because it uses discarded fetuses in their experiments… they prefer for those fetuses to be thrown away, making their ‘death’ a complete waste – they seem to forget that the soul, what is supposed to be precious, is no longer in those fetuses; they’re just a carcass who no one wants or is going to give them ‘proper burial’ such is their selfishness and irrationality! 
Then, the subject has to be mentioned about the sanctity of marriage. While more and more religious right leaders are being caught practicing extramarital affairs, and not always with the opposite sex, they are relentless in their fight against same sex marriages, even when these marriages are not to be ‘blessed’ by a church but strictly through a civil ceremony. It is as if they don’t want others to experience any type of happiness since their own lives are so full of misery. They use every trick to block any advances in society to finally accept and institute throughout this land gay marriage. So far, they’ve succeeded. 
Race is another issue. While the ‘righteous right’ claim to be followers of Jesus, they have learned to tolerate other races, but only superficially and it doesn’t take much for them to show the ugly face of racism. We all saw it when Obama was elected. Up to a point, it’s understandable. It wasn’t long ago when the Ku Klux Klan terrorized the non-white South, cowardly hiding under sheets bearing crosses near their heart. The KKK was so “Christian” that they murdered hundreds if not thousands of people – mostly blacks. So when Obama was elected, it was really no surprise to see the religious right go into the streets carrying signs depicting the President of the United States of America as a witch doctor, a monkey or the Joker from Batman. I must admit, the signs showing Obama resembling Hitler, it was a bit confusing, I never knew if they were praising him or bashing him after all most Neo-nazis belong to the KKK. 
Now this same religious right is once more confabulating against Obama. They represent a serious threat to Democracy and most of all a huge threat to Liberals and Progressives. They will not back up Obama, that is well known and Mitt Romney for sure is not getting their endorsement, after all, he is a Mormon. They have offered their support to one of the most retrograde candidates running in this election, Ron Paul. Ron Paul is against everything a true Democracy stands for. Help is only for those who can afford it, so is education, health care, love and everything else. It’s no wonder why the religious right is endorsing him they’re a perfect match! 
Today more than ever, it's imperative that we show support for our president.  We must show up in masses to help him win, without a doubt, a second term.  The religious right will take this country back to the days were racism was acceptable, where there was 'second class' citizens, where the right to pursue happiness was only for those lucky enough to be wealthy.  In today's economy, with Corporations being considered 'persons' it is easy to see who will have the exclusive right to that happiness, the sad thing is, the religious right is not a corporation and they're so stupid they don't know it!

The Left Must Unite or We Will Lose our Country

I keep hearing that Obama must start working for "WE the people" and how he hasn't done all he has promised, believe me, I have been one of those too... until I stopped and analyzed the situation he finds himself in. First, and this is important, he is the President of the United States of America, he is not the President of the United Democrats of America or the President of the Liberals of America, or whatever party you may choose to insert in substitution for a political ideology. Yes, it was us who put him there but, he said it clearly during his campaign and we must admit it, we loved it when he said it: "Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America - there's the United States of America." - I remember wanting to cry when I heard him say this. Now, 3 years later, we criticize him for listening to all sides.

Then, there has to be a super majority of votes to pass anything through Congress and the Republican's, whose #1 objective, openly admitted, is for Obama to be a one term president and in order to achieve their goals, they vote NAY on everything that might be beneficial to this country and therefore, for Obama. And we blame Obama. We blame Obama because we want him to break the rules to do what we want - and need too, don't get me wrong - but according to the rules of Congress, he can't. And now, how are we reacting? By splitting the liberals and democrats, as if we will gain something by it. If we keep doing this, we will have no one to blame but ourselves when a Newt, Romney, Paul or any other nut in the GOP walks into the Oval office and take charge of this country, taking it back to before the '60s. I know a lot of you will blame Obama, it is always easier to blame someone else for our own demise. I hear people saying that they will either not vote or vote for a 'green' candidate or anyone else, even if that candidate has no chance in winning; the results? We're split, but not the far right. Way to go!! We might as well place the White House on a silver platter and hand it to the next son of a bitch from the GOP that will make our lives a living hell. You think we have it bad now? Allow this to happen and you will really learn what hell is all about!

(the picture depicted in this article has been copyrighted and is the property of this author - not for distribution unless authorized)