so last year when we traveled palmer was wearing a t-shirt that said perfect. i don't know if you're familiar with masaru emoto's work studying water crystals. he's published lots of books about the messages from water. in essence he puts labels on bottles of water and takes pictures of the crystals.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
so last year when we traveled palmer was wearing a t-shirt that said perfect. i don't know if you're familiar with masaru emoto's work studying water crystals. he's published lots of books about the messages from water. in essence he puts labels on bottles of water and takes pictures of the crystals.
Monday, December 22, 2008
have i told you how much i love the savage love podcast. i've always loved his column but i love his podcast. i've been downloading the old ones he's so great.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
this weeks episode poultry jam was awesome. . .
loved act 2
Kathie Russo’s husband was Spalding Gray, who was best known for delivering monologues onstage—like "Monster in a Box," and "Swimming to Cambodia." On January 10, 2004, he went missing. Witnesses said they saw him on the Staten Island Ferry that night. Two months later, his body was pulled out of the East River. Kathie tells the story of the night he disappeared, and about how, in the weeks following, she and each of their three children were visited by a bird, who seemed to be delivering a message to them. (10 minutes)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
some geese flying south. . . lovely gray sky.
i just needed to go to yoga. feeling much better after some serious sweating and stretching and breathing. . . ah. . . it's amazing how much better i feel yet i tend to be a bit kapha.
Do more frequent mammograms pick up some breast cancer tumors that might have gone away without treatment? Possibly, according to a study published this week in Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study suggests that some of the tumors detected by mammography would have spontaneously regressed had they not been caught and treated.
Monday, November 24, 2008
why is this day against me. nothing has gone right. well i guess a lot of things have gone right but i just don't feel right. i feel blah and ugh and errr. my head and back hurt. i deleted a huge amount of work on accident, all data entry bull so i am only half way done for that. ugh ugh ugh.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
so these are kiko's favorite mashed sweet potatos we got the recipe from good eats.
Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time: hr minCook Time:30 min
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put cubed potatoes into steamer basket and place steamer into a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of basket. Allow to steam for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add butter to potatoes and mash with potato masher. Add peppers, sauce, and salt and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.
Steak Marinade, Quick and Easy Recipe #39145
This turns an average grocerty store bought steak into a good restaurant tasting steak. It takes only minutes to prepare and marinade can be for 30 minutes to overnight. Ooh, so good!
by Keri Caldwell
20 min | 5 min prep
SERVES 2 -3
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic, from jar is fine
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Mix it all together and marinade steak for 30 minutes to overnight.
Garlic will be stronger the longer you marinade.
Don't be afraid of the garlic it makes the steak taste wonderful!
Either grill the steaks or pan fry them in butter.
Either way they're great!
I do both; I grill them til they're almost done then finish the cooking by pan frying.
This turns an average grocery store steak into a delicious good restaurant tasting steak.
Monday, November 10, 2008
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (use graham flour for a nice taste!)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk (or more)
Mix sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl with egg. Stir in the flour and add the baking powder.
Add up to 1/3 cup of milk, stirring. Stir in 1 tbsp butter.
The mixture should have the consistency of thick, lumpy sauce like an "instant" pancake mix
Place a non-stick or heavy iron skillet over medium heat on top of the stove and add 1/2 tsp butter.
Spoon batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles rise to the surface of the pancakes and break. Approx. 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove pancakes from the skillet and keep warm on a covered plate in the oven. Freezes Well!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
a friend forwarded this to me, i like it!
Alan Cohen on the Economy
An ancient Chinese blessing wishes recipients, "May you live in interesting times." Well, we now have the answer to that prayer. Actually, all times are interesting, just in different ways.
During the last week and month the economy seems to be at the top of most people's list of urgent issues to think and talk about. Today the U.S. government is issuing a new policy to deal with the economic upsets of late. Below are some suggestions on how to get to a better feeling place about the economy, and generate practical results for yourself and others.
Here is my six-point plan. I am not an economist, and frankly I don't understand all of the complexities of the current market. I do, however, understand the relationship between thought, belief, feeling, attitude, expectation, identity, and practical prosperity. So here is my six-point plan, which will surely work if you apply it:
1. Vision. A visionary sees and remembers the Big Picture in the face of current appearances to the contrary. The Big Picture of life is utter abundance. There are vast resources, economic and otherwise, for those who recognize and claim them. A visionary thrives under all conditions. There are always people who do well in difficult economic times, as well as those who flounder in prosperous times. It is not the economy at large that determines your well being; it is the consciousness you hold in relation to it. So you have the power to create a prosperous personal economy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and as you do, you will uplift the economy at large. The two greatest achievements of the twentieth century -- the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building -- were funded and built at the height of the great depression. Some individuals with a broad perspective were not limited by the prevalent beliefs of the masses. There are, and will be, people who prosper now and in the near future. I know people whose businesses are booming now. So can yours, and by your example you can manifest abundance that will inspire others and help them in material ways.
2. Trust. When human affairs appear to falter, the hand of the divine becomes very real and practical. A Higher Power is currently running the universe far more intelligently and successfully than even the best economists. The more you stay connected to that Higher Power, the richer will be your inner peace and your ability to make healthy, productive decisions.
In a Greek myth, the King of Crete sent Theseus through the labyrinth to kill or be killed by the dreaded monster Minotaur. The king's daughter Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him a thread that he let unwind on his way into the labyrinth, which guided him out once he slayed the monster. Whenever you feel trapped or lost in the labyrinth of worldly life, your strongest move is to take hold of the thread of your connection to Spirit, hold firm to it, and let it lead you back to well-being. One of Dr. Wayne Dyer's books is entitled, There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and no advice could be more appropriate than the economic situation we face at the moment.
3. Reframe. The Chinese written symbol for "crisis" is a combination of two other symbols: "Danger" and " Opportunity ." Yes, there is a danger in our current position. And yes, there is an opportunity. Perhaps we are receiving a wake-up call to live within our means rather than leverage ourselves and our institutions beyond a healthy level. Or we are being invited to recognize that money does not make us rich, or its temporary absence of restriction make us poor. Perhaps this situation will influence the upcoming election in a way that will help us in the long run. Maybe there is a natural balancing occurring that will make our economy stronger. I cannot say exactly how this crisis will serve, but I do know that whenever I have faced and handled the experience of crisis in my personal life, I have been moved to make decisions that have made improved my world. A Course in Miracles tells us that "All change is good," and this should be no exception.
4. Reset Priorities. In an episode of the popular television series, Fantasy Island , called, "The Luckiest Man in the World," a gambler achieved his fantasy to create an unstoppable winning streak. True to form, Mr. Roark arranged for the man's young son to visit him at the same time. When the gambler became hypnotized by winning, he distanced himself from his son, and the boy was about to leave him. Finally the father realized he is the luckiest man in the world -- not for his gambling winnings, but for his family. When money seems tight, we have a window of insight to recognize how rich we are, no matter how much we have in the bank. If many of us use this time to grow closer to our families, homes, nature, activities that truly bring us joy, ourselves, and our Higher Power, this upheaval will have served us well.
5. Circulate. Keep moving your energy, financially and otherwise. The brilliant metaphysician Florence Scovel Shinn noted, "All disease is due to congestion and all healing is due to circulation." This dynamic applies impeccably to an economic congestion. When people are afraid to spend money, there is less money in circulation; then people grow afraid to spend, and the cycle goes on. The dynamics shift when consumers act not from a sense of lack or fear, but from abundance and faith. So now would be a great time to spend your money. When you do, you affirm that you have enough and you keep the circulation moving -- not just from you, but to you. If you don't have money to spend, or would rather not, then circulate your energy in other ways. Express your creativity, volunteer, paint, play music, journal, and do anything to move energy rather than let it stagnate. (Pressing buttons on the remote control to watch talking heads discuss the economy does not qualify as circulating energy.)
6. Milk Every Moment. It would be easy to think that you will be able to relax and enjoy your life as soon as the current crisis is averted or offset. But that's the carrot at the end of the stick -- the one that you never get to bite. Either life is rewarding now, or it never will be. From the sense of the ego, or small self, if it's not the economy you have to wait to handle, it's something else. So now would be perfect opportunity to practice enjoying your day, regardless of what money is doing. Stop and chat with the clerk in the supermarket, play with your kids, call someone you love, walk in the park, or tinker with your hobby. This is the moment you've been waiting for -- don't miss it!
Everything will work out. It always does. Be of good cheer. Be uplifted and be an uplifter, and your contribution to the economy, financial and spiritual, will be paramount.
Quotes and Affirmations
(Sources with known authors acknowledged; other source unknown)
The tide always comes back in.
- Norman Vincent Peale
Every dollar I spend enriches the economy, blesses everyone it touches, and returns to me multiplied.
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.
- Psalm 23
I am an abundant being, living in an abundant universe that is capable, willing, and glad to meet all of my needs and the needs of everyone.
I am rich in many, many ways. I always have been, and always will be.
It is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
- Luke 12:32
God does not owe, and as a Child of God, created in God's image and likeness, neither do I.
Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, "You owe me." Look what happens with a love like that; it lights the whole sky.
My cup runneth over.
- Psalm 23
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
- Timothy 1:7
Abundance is right where I stand.
You can afford to be generous because you have access to an unlimited supply.
Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.
Thank God for what you have, and you will always have everything you want.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
- Peter Drucker
Sunday, October 26, 2008
A new e-mail making the rounds among Jewish voters in Pennsylvania this week falsely alleged that Mr. Obama “taught members of Acorn to commit voter registration fraud,’’ and equated a vote for Senator Barack Obama with the “tragic mistake” of their Jewish ancestors, who “ignored the warning signs in the 1930’s and 1940’s.”
But where most of the attack e-mails against Mr. Obama have been mostly either anonymous or from people outside of mainstream politics, this one had an unusually official provenance: It was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s “Victory 2008” committee.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Those who actively support the interests of the working-class as a whole, without any kind of prejudice (ie without regard for nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, etc.)
hmm. . . what a choice.
i was doing a little research. . . the 14 points of fascism: the warning signs.
2.) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3.) Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause: The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4.) Supremacy of the Military: Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5.) Rampant Sexism: The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
6.) Controlled Mass Media: Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7.) Obsession with National Security: Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses
8.) Religion and Government are Intertwined: Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9.) Corporate Power is Protected: The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10.) Labor Power is Suppressed: Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11.) Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts: Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
12.) Obsession with Crime and Punishment: Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations
13.) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption: Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections: Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
i was trying to find the warning signs of socialism but all i came upon were fox loving right wing people's blogs. not a lot of truth there. i guess this might be construed as conspiracy too but after hearing Sen. Bernie Sanders from VT on real time, i realized maybe socialist democracy is the way to go.
let's just go ahead and call it like it is. mccain's a fascist.
would you rather have someone who's a socialist or a fascist.
i saw a quote, "any working class american that would vote for john mccain is like a chicken voting for colonel sanders."
kiko suggested mccain's torrid gay affair in the pow camp, which caused his first divorce.
i'm fond of my phony statistic that 87% of men who like palin pay for sex regularly.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.
. . . it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government,
and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”
– Thomas Jefferson,
Declaration of Independence, 1776
Palin: Well, we've talked a lot about that, John McCain and I have, about the missions that I'll get to embark on if we are so blessed to be hired by the American people to work for them. It's gonna be government reform, because that is what I've been able to do as a mayor and as a governor. You take on the special interests and the self-dealings. Yep, you ruffle feathers and you have the scars to prove it afterwards, but you have to take that on to give the American people that faith back in their own government. This is their government and we gotta put it back on their side. So, government reform and energy independence, can't wait to work on that. That's been my forte as the governor of an energy-producing state and as a former chair of the energy regulator entity up there in Alaska. So, look forward to that and that's a matter of national security and our economic prosperity opportunities. That though, too, the other mission that John and I are anxious for me to lead on is helping our families who have children with special needs, ushering in that spirit to Washington, D.C., where we saw, we're gonna give every child a chance and a good educational opportunity will be provided. That's gonna be a matter, too, of prioritizing the federal dollars that are already there and making sure that every child is given opportunity.
obama may not have lived as long as john mccain but i would guess his education as a lawyer would give him some insight into the constitution of the united states which is probably the most important thing a president should understand, not how to fly a plane or shoot a gun. am i right here? and i know sarah palin is only the v.p. candidate but according to the answer she gave to a 3rd graders question she doesn't understand what the role of the vp is according to the constitution.
and according to the rachel maddow show there are some voting issues in colorado! ugh!
nan wrote a blog about a documentary she watched about tommy chong and i started thinking about how we should be growing hemp in america. the other day i said to kiko that it should be legal to grow hemp in america, and he said it is, so i looked into it.
"Currently it is illegal to grow hemp in the United States without a special Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) permit being issued."
and of course the DEA isn't passing out permits. here is a story about how hard it is to grow hemp in america.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness."
know anyone who needs a little travel?
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, then success is sure."
seems like some public figures may have taken this quote to heart, huh?!
i am so bummed about mccain making these robot calls telling people obama is associated with terrorists. bill maher was right, when he is president millions of (stupid) americans are going to think a terrorist is president.
they also talked about how the anger hard working americans feel is channeled by republicians into anger against gays, abortion, liberal media etc. . . instead of the fact the republicans have let a huge disparity happen with the distribution of wealth. mccain says on his stump smuggly, obama wants to spread the wealth around, and i tell you hold on to your wallets. fuck n a people, 1% of the population has 90% of the wealth. this is bull shit. marriner s. eccles, fdr's chairman of the fed said:
"as in a poker game, where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. when their credit ran out the game stopped."
well the game is stopping people and what are we doing? more people are apathetic than ever and the only people that can make a change are WE THE PEOPLE. i do not believe voting is enough. we need to take a lesson from france and other countries where people demand something from our government and do not just allow the rich, the banks, the insurance companies to take take take and give us nothing in return. the banks have been bailed out yet we are left to our own devices. no health insurance. no access to free college education.
i'm not sure what we can do but i know you can write you senators and congress people. i know if we keep at it something will get done. this apathy has to stop, we have to make our government of the people, by the people, for the people. not just for the rich. i say spread that money around, and he's not talking about the people who even make 6 figures. these is for the very wealthy who can afford to pay more, that 1%. the one john mccain will give tax breaks too because it will trickle down.
i wrote my senator and congress people about this fucking voting bull shit that is completely partisan and completely unfounded. how can we be a beacon of democracy when all our fucking elections are shrouded in fraud. do something!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
also john mccain also saying he was trying so hard for regulation of fannie and freddie, and although he did co-sponser the bill, he jumped on to it late and the bill itself may not have prevented this from happening anyway. it would have cut the amount of loans that fannie and freddie could by but it was up to the regulator that was in charge, so he might not have changed the pace and type of loans they were buying. there is blame for democrats too who did urge f&f to buy up loans because they thought it would help strengthen the economy.
and we all know that although barack obama was given a lot of funds from f&f, john mccain's top advisor's firm was still recieving funds from them up until just 2 months ago, so they are both in the same boat on that issue.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
i'm friends with adrian curry on myspace, don't ask, but she's been writing a lot of blogs about the election and reading the comments just kills me.
obama is not a muslim and just because he attended a predominantly muslim school while living in indonesia, he also went to a catholic school there.
it's retarded. check it out
Barack Obama was actually sworn into the Senate on his family Bible. He's regularly attended church with his wife and daughters for years.
That's the truth -- Barack Obama is definitely a committed Christian.
I don’t know who starts these nasty rumors about his faith, but they’re really insulting to people of all faiths.
Learn the facts and see photos of Barack swearing into the U. S. Senate on the Bible:
Together we can make sure these negative and divisive attacks don't affect this election.
Thanks for your help.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns--including $1,000 this year.
Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as "an old friend," and McCain sounded like one. "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family," he gushed. "It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."
Liddy, on the impact Adolf Hitler had on him as a child:
When he listened to Hitler on the radio, it "made me feel a strength inside I had never known before," he explains. "Hitler's sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body."
Monday, October 6, 2008
This is a time of completion. Take it as a time for personal
completion of projects you have been associated with. Free yourself
form the burdens you have imposed upon yourself by adhering to the
needs of society. Instead, recognize that this cycle of
unsustainable growth and exploitation of the planet is coming to an
end. Do not lament its demise. Instead recognize it as a necessary
step in the evolution of the planet.
You must have the courage to see current crisis for what it is, a
wonderfully necessary step forward for humanity. The dissolution of
the greed and power based culture we have been part of will give way
to a much different world. It will be based more on the female
traits of intuition, nurturing, compassion, and forgiveness. These
are qualities you must emphasize in your own development. Help
others understand the truth behind this collapse of civilization as
we have known it and rejoice in the knowledge that it is leading to
a more wonderful and loving world. However, people must be educated
and properly led in order to avoid dwelling on fear and losing hope.
Love & Light,
Friday, October 3, 2008
kiko said something today that struck me. for the poor people who are going to vote for mccain, you're on the wrong side of history. this is a historical election and you will be on the wrong side of making history, like those who didn't vote for kennedy. you don't want to be one of the fools. we can't afford more fools in the white house.
palin didn't bomb, but she didn't answer the questions and she IS NOT a maverick! she is a telling so many lies it is so frustrating. how can we have a vice president that says, heck. we need a vice president that understands roland barthes and can name their news sources. who does not want to do to education and healthcare what was done in the financial sector. someone you may not want to just have a beer with, but someone who UNDERSTANDS ALL THE ISSUES. actually sarah palin doesn't understand shit, not even her strong suit, energy. clean green natural gas, is young petrol.
also, can anyone else please start spreading the word, iranian president ahmadinejad DID NOT SAY HE WANTED TO WIPE ISREAL OFF THE FACE OF THE MAP. It was mistranslated. He was quoting an ayatollah and the actual quote properly translate is: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." why why why! we just have to have someone to hate?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The richest 400 Americans -- that's right, just four hundred people -- own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion -- the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the "bailout." Why don't they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They'd still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!
Of course, they are not going to do that -- at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do -- spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money?
I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There... is... no... free... lunch. And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there will be no handouts from us to you. The Senate, tonight, is going to try to rush their version of a "bailout" bill to a vote. They must be stopped. We did it on Monday with the House, and we can do it again today with the Senate.
It is clear, though, that we cannot simply keep protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think Congress should do. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here is my proposal, now known as "Mike's Rescue Plan." It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are:
1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse must go to jail. This Congress must call for a Special Prosecutor who will vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in the future.
2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT. They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than $2,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class are going to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.
If they truly need the $700 billion they say they need, well, here is an easy way they can raise it:
a) Every couple who makes over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over $500,000 a year will pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It's the Senator Sanders plan. He's like Colonel Sanders, only he's out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich will still be paying less income tax than when Carter was president. This will raise a total of $300 billion.
b) Like nearly every other democracy, charge a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This will raise more than $200 billion in a year.
c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders will forgo receiving a dividend check for one quarter and instead this money will go the treasury to help pay for the bailout.
d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raise the corporate income tax back to the level of the 1950s, that gives us an extra $500 billion.
All of this combined should be enough to end the calamity. The rich will get to keep their mansions and their servants, and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") will have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools.
3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME. There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, pay down each of these mortgages by $100,000. Force the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner can pay on its current value. To insure that this help does no go to speculators and those who have tried to make money by flipping houses, this bailout is only for people's primary residence. And in return for the $100K paydown on the existing mortgage, the government gets to share in the holding of the mortgage so that it can get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is $150 billion, not $700 billion.
And let's set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want and most of us still get: a home to call their own. But during the Bush years, millions of them lost the decent paying jobs they had. Six million fell into poverty. Seven million lost their health insurance. And every one of them saw their real wages go down by $2,000. Those who dare to look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ashamed. We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home that they own.
4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that's how it's done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back -- with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk -- and necessary for the good of the country -- then you can get a loan, but we will own you. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.
5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD. This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the henhouse. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here's what Sen. Phil Gramm, McCain's chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:
"In the 1930s ... it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.
"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.
"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."
This bill must be repealed. Bill Clinton can help by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they're done with that, they can restore the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" must have enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.
6. IF IT'S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT'S TOO BIG TO EXIST. Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No one or two companies should have this kind of power. The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can't happen when you have hundreds -- thousands -- of institutions where people have their money. When you have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we don't face a national disaster. If you have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can't call all the shots (I know... What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a strong and free press!). Laws must be enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the giant falls and dies. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that no one can understand. If you can't explain it in two sentences, you shouldn't be taking anyone's money.
7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How this can happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it's only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an outrage. We have created the mess we're in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. This has to stop. Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be fired before the company receives any help.
8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE'S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct yesterday to propose expanding FDIC protection of people's savings in their banks to $250,000. But this same sort of government insurance must be given to our nation's pension funds. People should never have to worry about whether or not the money they've put away for their old age will be there. This will mean strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees' funds -- or perhaps it means that the companies will have to turn over those funds and their management to the government. People's private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it's time to consider not having one's retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market. Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about ending up destitute.
9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it's hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that's true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the '80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn't go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into the Jacuzzi.
As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan this week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. Life has gone on. Not a single person has lost any of their money if it's in a bank or a treasury note or a CD. And the most amazing thing is that the American public hasn't bought the scare campaign. The citizens didn't blink, and instead told Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn't the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say 'Saddam has da bomb' so many times before the people realize you're a lying sack of shite. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can't take it any longer.
10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE'S BANK." If we really are itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don't we give it to ourselves? Now that we own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a people's bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And now that we own AIG, the country's largest insurance company, let's take the next step and provide health insurance for everyone. Medicare for all. It will save us so much money in the long run. And we won't be 12th on the life expectancy list. We'll be able to have a longer life, enjoying our government-protected pension, and living to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused so much misery are let out of prison so that we can help reacclimate them to civilian life -- a life with one nice home and a gas-free car that was invented with help from the People's Bank.
P.S. Call your Senators now. Here's a backup link in case we crash that site again. They are going to attempt their own version of the Looting of America tonight. And let your reps know if you agree with my 10-point plan.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
On Energy and Environmental Policy, Key Legislation Is in Limbo
September 30, 2008 at 8:46AM by Dan Shapley
All eyes are on the House of Representatives, which failed to pass a broadly unpopular but arguably necessary bailout of the U.S. financial sector. The consequences in the U.S. market began to be felt immediately, though in a hopeful sign, Asian and European markets didn't tank over night.
The House leaders, the President and the candidates have all been roundly condemned for failing to exercise enough leadership to approve the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, without which -- the argument goes -- global capital will continue to seize up, starving economic activity for years as banks continue to fail.
Meanwhile, the House and Senate have been quietly failing to renew tax credits necessary for solar and wind energy research and development. Both houses passed an extension of the tax credits, which are demonstrably necessary for the growth and development of these industries. And the growth of these industries is demonstrably necessary for the twin goals of energy independence and global warming abatement.
And yet, as the New York Times put it: "The House and the Senate conceded Monday that they were in a stalemate over proposals to provide tax incentives for the production and use of renewable energy, leaving the future of the nascent industry in limbo. "
This comes after Congress failed to agree to a compromise on offshore drilling that might have restricted access to near-shore areas, added additional environmental protections, or funneled royalties to renewable energy development. Instead, Congress just let its ban on offshore drilling lapse.
It comes as Congress appears to have let an Oct. 1 ban on oil shale development expire. This highly polluting method for extracting oil from stone is 180-degrees from the renewable energy investments virtually every long term strategist agrees we need -- for not only environmental reasons, but economic and national security reasons as well.
And it comes as news breaks that Congress is poised to strip $331 million in conservation spending from its bloated farm bill, removing one positive part of a flawed bill that will continue to amp up the overproduction of corn, with all its attendant pollution.
The importance of the renewable tax credits can't be overstated. Without these tax credits, investors won't bet on the new industries -- which need the credits to be cost-competitive with heavily-subsidized fossil fuels. The future of America, as an increasing number of thinkers agree, rests on revamping the U.S. economy to lead the world in renewable energy technology. That would free us from foreign oil, create millions of domestic jobs and new high-tech export industries and solve the global warming crisis to boot. It's a smart investment at a time when oil supplies are dwindling, fossil fuels are increasingly costing as much in dollars as they always have in environmental quality and the U.S. economy clearly needs to rely on a core of innovation in technology, not innovation in shadowy financial securities.
Ah, investment. Yes, without a fix for Wall Street's bad bets on bad mortgages, investors will be unwilling or unable to back a variety of economic activity, including new investments in renewable energy.
Congressional leaders, the President and the candidates have all said that lawmakers have to return to the table and craft some sort of bailout that is both effective and palatable -- one that, presumably, helps struggling homeowners more, costs taxpayers less and punishes those firms that enriched themselves by kicking the legs out from under the American economy.
Gosh, golly gee! Who would have thought they still don't give a shit about what's really important, even as they shout out their warnings of impending doom, while at the same time top economists are saying we don't need to bail out wall street to fix this. It may still cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but it needs to be going to prop up the American people who are the ones really hurting, and not a few bankers who got caught eating at the trough of monetary gluttony and Bush's corporate welfare policies. Fuck them. Let them go down with the ship. Then when they are at the brink of absolute financial devastation, throw their crooked asses in jail. Lets use the $700Billion to rebuild this country, not save a few banks from themselves. IMO
Everyone said the bill would pass. The masters of the universe were already making celebratory dinner reservations at Manhattan's finest restaurants. Personal shoppers in Dallas and Atlanta were dispatched to do the early Christmas gifting. Mad Men of Chicago and Miami were popping corks and toasting each other long before the morning latte run.
But what they didn't know was that hundreds of thousands of Americans woke up yesterday morning and decided it was time for revolt. The politicians never saw it coming. Millions of phone calls and emails hit Congress so hard it was as if Marshall Dillon, Elliot Ness and Dog the Bounty Hunter had descended on D.C. to stop the looting and arrest the thieves.
The Corporate Crime of the Century was halted by a vote of 228 to 205. It was rare and historic; no one could remember a time when a bill supported by the president and the leadership of both parties went down in defeat. That just never happens.
A lot of people are wondering why the right wing of the Republican Party joined with the left wing of the Democratic Party in voting down the thievery. Forty percent of Democrats and two-thirds of Republicans voted against the bill.
Here's what happened:
The presidential race may still be close in the polls, but the Congressional races are pointing toward a landslide for the Democrats. Few dispute the prediction that the Republicans are in for a whoopin' on November 4th. Up to 30 Republican House seats could be lost in what would be a stunning repudiation of their agenda.
The Republican reps are so scared of losing their seats, when this "financial crisis" reared its head two weeks ago, they realized they had just been handed their one and only chance to separate themselves from Bush before the election, while doing something that would make them look like they were on the side of "the people."
Watching C-Span yesterday morning was one of the best comedy shows I'd seen in ages. There they were, one Republican after another who had backed the war and sunk the country into record debt, who had voted to kill every regulation that would have kept Wall Street in check -- there they were, now crying foul and standing up for the little guy! One after another, they stood at the microphone on the House floor and threw Bush under the bus, under the train (even though they had voted to kill off our nation's trains, too), heck, they would've thrown him under the rising waters of the Lower Ninth Ward if they could've conjured up another hurricane. You know how your dog acts when sprayed by a skunk? He howls and runs around trying to shake it off, rubbing and rolling himself on every piece of your carpet, trying to get rid of the stench. That's what it looked like on the Republican side of the aisle yesterday, and it was a sight to behold.
The 95 brave Dems who broke with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were the real heroes, just like those few who stood up and voted against the war in October of 2002. Watch the remarks from yesterday of Reps. Marcy Kaptur, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Dennis Kucinich. They spoke the truth.
The Dems who voted for the giveaway did so mostly because they were scared by the threats of Wall Street, that if the rich didn't get their handout, the market would go nuts and then it's bye-bye stock-based pension and retirement funds.
And guess what? That's exactly what Wall Street did! The largest, single-day drop in the Dow in the history of the New York Stock exchange. The news anchors last night screamed it out: Americans just lost 1.2 trillion dollars in the stock market!! It's a financial Pearl Harbor! The sky is falling! Bird flu! Killer Bees!
Of course, sane people know that nobody "lost" anything yesterday, that stocks go up and down and this too shall pass because the rich will now buy low, hold, then sell off, then buy low again.
But for now, Wall Street and its propaganda arm (the networks and media it owns) will continue to try and scare the bejesus out of you. It will be harder to get a loan. Some people will lose their jobs. A weak nation of wimps won't last long under this torture. Or will we? Is this our line in the sand?
Here's my guess: The Democratic leadership in the House secretly hoped all along that this lousy bill would go down. With Bush's proposals shredded, the Dems knew they could then write their own bill that favors the average American, not the upper 10% who were hoping for another kegger of gold.
So the ball is in the Democrats' hands. The gun from Wall Street remains at their head. Before they make their next move, let me tell you what the media kept silent about while this bill was being debated:
1. The bailout bill had NO enforcement provisions for the so-called oversight group that was going to monitor Wall Street's spending of the $700 billion;
2. It had NO penalties, fines or imprisonment for any executive who might steal any of the people's money;
3. It did NOTHING to force banks and lenders to rewrite people's mortgages to avoid foreclosures -- this bill would not have stopped ONE foreclosure!;
4. It had NO teeth anywhere in the entire piece of legislation, using words like "suggested" when referring to the government being paid back for the bailout;
5. Over 200 economists wrote to Congress and said this bill might actually WORSEN the "financial crisis" and cause even MORE of a meltdown.
Put a fork in this slab of pork. It's over. Now it is time for our side to state very clearly the laws WE want passed. I will send you my proposals later today. We've bought ourselves less than 72 hours.
Today, humanity passionately craves commitment to the Truth, devotion to God, quest for Justice and respect for the dignity of human beings. Rejection of domination and aggression, defense of the oppressed, and longing for peace constitute the legitimate demand of the peoples of the world, particularly the new generations and the spirited youth, who aspire a world free from decadence, aggression and injustice, and replete with love and compassion. The youth have a right to seek justice and the Truth; and they have a right to build their own future on the foundations of love, compassion and tranquility. And, I praise the Almighty for this immense blessing.
What afflicts humanity today is certainly not compatible with human dignity; the Almighty has not created human beings so that they could transgress against others and oppress them.
By causing war and conflict, some are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery.
Some seek to rule the world relying on weapons and threats, while others live in perpetual insecurity and danger.
Some occupy the homeland of others, thousands of kilometers away from their borders, interfere in their affairs and control their oil and other resources and strategic routes, while others are bombarded daily in their own homes; their children murdered in the streets and alleys of their own country and their homes reduced to rubble.
Such behavior is not worthy of human beings and runs counter to the Truth, to justice and to human dignity. The fundamental question is that under such conditions, where should the oppressed seek justice? Who, or what organization defends the rights of the oppressed, and suppresses acts of aggression and oppression? Where is the seat of global justice?
Some powers proudly announce their production of second and third generations of nuclear weapons. What do they need these weapons for? Is the development and stockpiling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy? Or, are these weapons, in fact, instruments of coercion and threat against other peoples and governments? How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? What bounds the powers producing and possessing these weapons? How can they be held accountable before the international community? And, are the inhabitants of these countries content with the waste of their wealth and resources for the production of such destructive arsenals? Is it not possible to rely on justice, ethics and wisdom instead of these instruments of death? Aren't wisdom and justice more compatible with peace and tranquility than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons? If wisdom, ethics and justice prevail, then oppression and aggression will be uprooted, threats will wither away and no reason will remain for conflict. This is a solid proposition because most global conflicts emanate from injustice, and from the powerful, not being contented with their own rights, striving to devour the rights of others.
are these crazy ramblings? or do you think they ring true?
does it seem filled with hate?
i do not think so. these are excerpts from Ahmadinejad's U.N. Speech on sept. 19th. The US and Israel didn't even stay to listen to him speak. He called the US occupiers, which many US citizens think we are. i don't see in this transcript where he called Israel zionists but doing research on the history of Israel there was a zionist revolution in Israel. i just don't understand how you can disregard the context of his speech and views.
This is what he said about Palestine:
The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the Second World War. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that War, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants; it was placed under the control of some of the War survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world, who had not been even affected by the Second World War; and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness. This is a great tragedy with hardly a precedent in history. Refugees continue to live in temporary refugee camps, and many have died still hoping to one day return to their land. Can any logic, law or legal reasoning justify this tragedy? Can any member of the United Nations accept such a tragedy occurring in their own homeland?
Resolution of contemporary human crises lies in observing ethics and spirituality and the governance of righteous people of high competence and piety.
Should respect for the rights of human beings become the predominant objective, then injustice, ill-temperament, aggression and war will fade away.
Human beings are all God's creatures and are all endowed with dignity and respect.
No one has superiority over others. No individual or states can arrogate to themselves special privileges, nor can they disregard the rights of others and, through influence and pressure, position themselves as the "international community".
Citizens of Asia, Africa, Europe and America are all equal. Over 6 billion inhabitants of the earth are all equal and worthy of respect. Justice and protection of human dignity are the two pillars in maintaining sustainable peace, security and tranquility in the world.
It is for this reason that we state:
Sustainable peace and tranquility in the world can only be attained through justice, spirituality, ethics, compassion and respect for human dignity.
All nations and states are entitled to peace, progress and security.
We are all members of the international community and we are all entitled to insist on the creation of a climate of compassion, love and justice.
All members of the United Nations are affected by both the bitter and the sweet events and developments in today's world.
We can adopt firm and logical decisions, thereby improving the prospects of a better life for current and future generations.
Together, we can eradicate the roots of bitter maladies and afflictions, and instead, through the promotion of universal and lasting values such as ethics, spirituality and justice, allow our nations to taste the sweetness of a better future.
Peoples, driven by their divine nature, intrinsically seek Good, Virtue, Perfection and Beauty. Relying on our peoples, we can take giant steps towards reform and pave the road for human perfection. Whether we like it or not, justice, peace and virtue will sooner or later prevail in the world with the will of Almighty God. It is imperative, and also desirable, that we too contribute to the promotion of justice and virtue.
iranians are people too: