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Why is this happening I hear as the news is announced.  Social Media explodes with “what is this world coming to…”

The answer is that the world is no different than it ever was… Except that today, it is just awash in guns thanks to the NRA….

The NRA’s campaign of madness drove everyone to buy a gun. Whether mentally stable or not…they now have guns and are itching to use them… Seeing a cop kill someone needlessly on YouTube, is a good reason as any….

Extreme passions will always exist.  But the caliber of weapons in their hands, don’t have to.. WE chose to allow that, and now, finally, it is our policemen who are dying for it…

Ban guns like Australia, and let’s fight with bows and arrows instead… Though crimes of passion may remain, our death toll will go down and that is what we all want..

Right now, I don’t think anyone cares about the 2nd Amendment anymore… Do you know of anyone out there saying these dead policemen are just the collateral damage for keeping our rights?  (That is exactly what Wayne LaPierre said of dead blacks; wonder what’s different about “dead policemen”?)

Let me explain the rational behind actively banning all guns…. If you say nothing and the gun owners scream 2nd Amendment rights, nothing will change; guns stay the same… And the exact opposite would occur if you scream BAN ALL GUNS and the NRA stays silent, which is why gun laws do get passed in crime ridden inner cities….So what has to happen is that you work to ban all guns, yet are willing to accept any compromise that allows some to remain safely in hands of people who will never use them in anger… If it appears that having guns banned is really about to happen, the NRA will modify their stance into a compromising position, instead of losing the right for anyone to own a gun forever.

We will have success, in fact both sides will win… But that achievement can ONLY happen if political pressure far great than the NRA’s, lines up to BAN ALL GUNS…..

Saying you want all guns banned is not really to ban all guns….. but to make the NRA believe it is about to happen so they un-harden their hearts and compromise….

On one hand you proclaim noisily that you want to ban all guns, and with the other you craft legislation that compromises your principles and allows some guns, but puts restrictions strong enough to keep guns out of the hands of all but the most trustworthy of collectors…

Instead of posting on social media you stand with the blue, like and share, you should be protecting the blue from being shot by posting you are against all guns… Get it?  ALL GUNS…. (but really you aren’t:  wink, wink)….

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It is rather interesting that in our spirited Republican campaign we get very little substance.  Despite the discussion that Fox would outdo CNBC, most of what was asked of candidates simply didn’t concern me…  I speak for the silent America.

Here is what should be asked.  There is not a right or wrong answer yet.  They haven’t yet been tried.  But our nation is facing some consequential changes and many of us would like to know what our potential leaders would do to face them.

Granted there are both Republican and Democratic responses to these questions.  But America is being denied any discussion upon them… and has its attention diverted to personalities I think, for the sole purpose to keep these burning questions buried, hidden, and never shown the light of day….

  1. How would you fix education in America.  What is your plan and how long do you think it will take before it begins to work?
  2. Why are all the benefits of our work going to a few people
  3. How do we restore democracy?
  4. How do we return jobs to America from overseas without cutting wages to levels seen in countries like the Philippines or China?
  5. How do we stop global warming? 
  6. Businesses hire when demand increases, How do we increase demand?  
  7. What is government’s role in a democracy when it comes to markets?
  8. How do we reduce our prison population?
  9. Who are the largest donors to your campaign and what do they want in return?
  10. How do we prevent gerrymandering?
  11. Estimates for peak oil range from its already happened to at the very latest 2060. What is your plan to deal with the end of oil?
  12. Black people are 4 times more likely to be killed in police custody than white. What do we as a country need to be doing about this? 
  13. How do we return the middle class
  14. How do we create a better Internet?
  15. Why are we outsourcing public schools? 
  16. What do we do about “too big to fail” banks? 
  17. How do we get the influence of big money out of our elections?
  18. Big or little.  What is the perfect size for government in a dollar figure.  How big should it be in $$$$?

There may be more questions that are pertinent. These are a start… Now as Delawareans there is little you can do to affect the national outcome… But just take these questions to our state races and begin asking them there. Ask our future governor; ask our future Senator, ask our future Congressperson.  Print and take this along. If someone else asks a question you were intending, just switch and ask another off this list..

And because you held your representative accountable, we then begin to get the government we deserve.

One parting shot.

In past elections, question like this were asked by our media all the time.  They are purposefully or extremely negligent not to ask them now.

There is general agreement today that American society is top heavy.  We live in Bizarro World‘s Soviet Russia.  Our Congress is semi-capitalist instead of Communist, but certainly it is not there to represent our interests, which are those of We, The People. Our elite (primarily our largest investors) control all of Congress’ perks while we wait in line for daily bread. Gigantic tax breaks for the wealthy are easily and quickly passed, and services for the rest of the 99% are cut to pay for them. Though we too are taxed (lightly), our money spent, does not come back to us; it rises to the top and stays there.

Ironically this is the exact opposite of what every American child learned about his country if he grew up in the years after WWII… while there still was a communist Russia.  Everything we learned was bad about Soviet Russia, is now happening to us to some degree…. Mass surveillance; rigged elections; rigged judicial systems; loss of our class wealth.

But the big difference we learned was that in America, power rose from the ground up.  We elected our representative and they were beholden to us. Today despite on how we vote, big money first vets and then funds our representatives. We go through Communist-like fake elections to put a rubber stamp on one of the two candidates selected, but long before we do, they were the ones who first picked who runs.

We can see this personified by our educational policy.  The communists of Russia had a state system to which if you did not comply, you were shot. We have something similar but instead our punishment is that our school doesn’t receive Federal funding unless comply with the Politburo’s wishes…

This was decreed from the top and is still in place despite our representatives voting 60 to 10 to support of “Opting Out”.

It all goes to show the now blatant view that whatever We, The People want, does not matter.

And that is a colossal failure of democracy. Democracy was simply a government designed to do whatever its people want; not the opposite of their desires.  .

If we want to change this, we need to take a page from our own founding fathers and create millions of small conversations across America regarding  the direction our future evolves out of the issues affecting us, and not be deflected towards flaws in our candidates’ personalities…

Currently our media is devoted entirely to personalities… Carson’s lying?  What does that have to do with how well we live 4 years from now?  Who is winning in Rubio’s and Jeb’s tit for tat?  Plenty of conversation but no information on how our lives will be better 4 years from now.  Tomorrow our media will use the most popular High School social analyses to determine who *(they think) won the debate tonight.

We all know who lost.  The American People… After all this is our country and we too need to be informed; not entertained, not tricked into voting for whom the top echelon wants to be in power..  Imagine a brain surgeon who didn’t know medicine?  Would we go there?  Imagine a plumber who didn’t know plumbing?  Or an electrician who didn’t know electricity?  Or a Math Teacher who didn’t know math?  Would we ask them to do a job for us?

But We, The People (over these past 2 decades which has see the corporatization of all big media), must make decisions as blindly as do High School classmates when voting for a Student Body President… Consequently the same methods that work in high school with uneducated voters are in play for our national elections.  As in who would we like to spend time with? Who acts the part of Chief Exec the best?  Who comes across as snooty or arrogant?   Who is the sexiest?   Our press discusses these; it does not touch on policy that affects Americans like:

  • What result will we get if we raise taxes instead of lowering them?
  • What is the cost of immigration if we do or don’t seal our  borders?
  • What is the cost of not raising minimum wage versus raising minimum wage to $15/ hour?
  • Should our property legally be taken because “friends” of politicians want it for development?
  • Why is being spied on 24/7 bad for us all
  • What will life be under the TPP if it gets implemented? What will it do for wages 15 years from now?

Those of us who modify public opinion need to be wary of the tricks big media is playing.  We need to call them out with facts or ideas that actually help people and therefore indirectly help corporations.  But getting bogged down in pie fights does a disservice to our readers as well as to the nation as a whole.

There is only so much time.  If our time is wasted on inconsequentals, things of consequence do not get done!  Which makes one believe they almost all our pie fights are there only for diversionary purposes…

The Red Cup controversy is only one example…  Everyone is discussing how inane the argument is.  So far in real life I have not found anyone out of roughly a 1000 people who thinks the Red Cup is anti-Christian.  Yet I have heard quite a few media references to it.  But by just bringing it up,  people are wasting time talking about Christmas faux-rage instead of questioning under which candidate they are most likely to get their boss to adequately raise their salary… And as we listen to the media gear up for tonight’s debates… the best explanation for how crazy they sound, is that they are not crazy and know exactly what they don’t want you to ask, and deflect you entirely from breeching that number one question regarding……..

Our salary increases. … That is really what is important.

There is only one national candidate now who is intent on making that happen.  There are a lot more on the local level.. Those are the contenders around whom your discussions need to center  Everything else in the political-media jungle is right now aimed at keeping you from seeing that..

We are opting out of state mandated tests.

We are served up a spectacle of Presidential debaters living in bubbles saying nothing of substance.

Our media ignores the one person who is mouthing things of substance; basically the problems 99% of us face in balancing our paycheck against our expenses…. One is too low, the other is too high… They should be reversed.

Our Arctic Ice Cap is dangerously low, our entire global climate is reeling.

A seven billion person planet  freaks out and cannot handle a meager 1 million refugees from just 0.3% of its land mass.

The globe has never been richer…. EVER…. yet 99% of its people live in poverty.

Our own children are pawns in a grand scheme to eliminate public education and fix it so investors get rich off it.

Our corporate media simply doesn’t tell the truth anymore.  One has to turn to comedians to get real information.

A raspy brash loudmouth Jew with crazy hair calls out an Evangelist University of higher learning for not following the very laws laid down by Jesus Christ. An act very similar to that of another Jew a little under 2000 years ago who also challenged the religious authorities of HIS time.

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That was today.  Meanwhile almost 50 million of our country lives in poverty, often while working too jobs… and everyone shrugs and thinks that’s ok.  The only thing worth discussing is Planned Parenthood and punishing Iran.

Is this really America then?  Are we no longer the land of opportunity emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty’s bottom?

Something has got to give, right?

It starts with you…. when you get mad enough to do something… that’s when it changes… 

You can… if you think about it…. start by going to Dover … 12:30 pm…. to protest the Smarter Balanced Assessment.   Because it is all connected… it is all about big money doing what it wants over your objections… It’s all about getting you out of their way….

I would normally be crowd surfing or moshing right now.. But Hurricane Bill shut down Firefly cold…  So I’m doing this because sleep is out of the question….  I’m calling tonight….. Fireflop…..

But sometimes great events happen because outside influences jump up and change ones direction.  That sort of happened today as I stumbled on a link I rarely have perused….

One percent of One percent gave 29% of all fundraising for the off election of 2014……  This is the cataclysmic failure of Citizens United, which said undisclosed cash was the same as spouting off the mouth:  free speech and no limits could be applied…

Which is purely ridiculous…

Because if I say…. you’re crazy and you say to me… no, your crazy… we have some sort of balance or equality… But if you say you’re crazy $1.18 billion times more than I do…. then saying the two are equal is like saying a glass of water and Lake Superior are both equal, because they are both made up of water…

Which is purely ridiculous….

Who are these people?

Just 3…. of them, gave over $10 million.  57 more, gave over $1 million….  which puts us up to $87 million of the $1180 millions that made up 29% of all money spent.  The other 31,916 donors, or one percent of one percent of the population, averaged out $34,250 apiece to the candidates of their choice…..

They’re mostly male, tend to be city-dwellers and often work in finance. Slightly more of them skew Republican than Democratic. The last election cycle set records as the most expensive midterms in U.S. history, and the country’s most prolific donors accounted for a larger portion of the total amount raised than in either of the past two elections.  The 29 percent disclosed to the Federal Election Commission in 2014 is a greater share of the total than in 2012 (25 percent) or in 2010 (21 percent)….

These deep pocketed donors were increasingly playing the role of “political gatekeepers.” Candidates needed their backing — and cash — as did the parties and super PACs that depended on the support of the politically active elite.  So unless one receives their select approval… one is doomed from the start…..

What this means… is everyone we elect, must do the bidding of this small group of people if they wish to continue in office… Now it does not take a rocket scientist or political genus to figure out that in the battle between the wealthy and the middle class, whose side these donors will be on……

Which should make it clear why everyone you know and talk to, thinks our representatives are crazy for voting the opposite of how we think they should vote… “What’s wrong with him?” we mutter.

Well, nothing is wrong with him, except for the fact that he wants to get re-elected…. and he therefore has to vote the way his benefactors want him to vote, even if it goes against the majority of his constituency’s wishes…. Because he knows their is a good chance you will forgive him and vote for him again, and again, and again, because that is what you have always done… But piss someone off who gave you $1 million?  You know that $1 million is going into the campaign fund of someone who will run against you… and you can’t match it….

So Citizens United has destroyed democracy and free speech; not risen up to save it…

Which is why, if we wish democracy to continue to be our form of government…. we need to seriously get behind the Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, and regulate how much wealthy people can spend to control our government…..

In the now classic words of Mitt Romney…..it is obvious that “you don’t matter”.

Tonight’s State of the Union, unfortunately not seen by many Americans, but don’t worry if you missed it; your grandchildren in the future will be able to tell you all about it…

I really didn’t know that much about them.  So I looked them up.

Did you know that one has to go back as far as James Garfield to find a Commander in Chief who has used less vetoes? (And he was in office only 6 and half months).

Did you know that Barack Obama, our commander in chief, has to veto up to 633 vetoes these next two years before he ties the record of the most by any one president (FDR: 3 and a half terms)?  Does that not put a damper on any argument of over-reaching his authority?

Can you name all the presidents who have the same or fewer vetoes than our current commander in chief?  I’ll try.

  • James Garfield (6 months as President)
  • Milliard Fillmore (2.8 years as President)
  • Zachery Taylor (1.3 years as President)
  • William Harrison (32 days as President)
  • Thomas Jefferson (2 terms)
  • John Adams (1 terms)

All with zero.  He is tied with George Washington, at two.

Now can you name the top ten presidential veto-ers?  Again, I’ll try.

  • Franklin D Roosevelt  635
  • Grover Cleveland 584
  • Harry Truman 250
  • Dwight Eisenhower 181
  • Ulysses Grant 93
  • Theodore Roosevelt 82
  • Ronald Reagan 78
  • Gerald Ford 66
  • Calvin Coolidge 50
  • Woodrow Wilson 44 (tie)
  • Benjamin Harrison 44 (tie)
  • George H.W. Bush 44 (tie)

And just out of curiosity.  Know who had the most vetoes overridden?  The first guy who got impeached:  Andrew Johnson with 15.

It is quite clear that a veto is just another tool put at the president’s disposal.. If the president is provided the opportunity to weld it, one must, both out of Constitutional necessity and a considerable amount of precedence. And if today’s Republicans are thinking of black-balling our president with excessive vetoes, they should think again.  It also appears that vetoing insane pieces of legislation will provide zero negative fall-out, either politically or against ones legacy.

Yesterday, the first day of the Republican Congress, a bill was rushed through the House and passed:  requiring the Congressional Budget Office to use dynamic scoring when figuring out future budgets…

Republicans have been saying lower taxes cause the economy to grow and that growth generates more revenue. They’ve said that for years… We’ve tried it for the past 15 but things got worse for all of us, instead of better…

Last couple of years, under Paul Ryan (that little whiz-boy from Wisconsin), they tried writing budgets for their first time and found, that everything they have been saying, was indeed wrong…  The math would not work out…

The reason the math would not work out, is because of a simple fact that when you don’t pay your bills and instead splurge and waste that bill-money, at some future point there will be a reckoning.   Like if you choose spend your mortgage, electricity bill, water bill, gas bill money on big-ticket orgies, there comes a point where you are left dry, cold, in the dark, and have no domicile.

This is terrible they said… What can we do… ..

The answer obvious to any 5 year old, is to pretend.    We can pretend that we will get tons of money later and pay our debts off then…

So we convince ourselves that IF we spend $10,000 over budget, we will soon be making $100,000 more so we can pay it back then.  IF we get a $10,000 raise every year, then next year we just run the same as this, and have $10,000 extra dollars with which to pay it back.

Now this does work if you are indeed guaranteed to get $10,000 increases every year… What dynamic scoring does is make the assumption we will set-in-stone increases to our salary by $10,000 every year for ten years straight.  So your yearly income will climb like this:

  • Base rate:  $40,000 per year
  • After Year One:  $50,000 per year
  • After Year Two   $60,000 per year
  • After Year Three  $70,000 per year
  • After Year Four   $ 80,000 per year
  • After Year Five   $90,000 per year
  • After Year Six   $100,000 per year
  • After Year Seven $110,000 per year
  • After Year Eight $120,000 per year
  • After Year Nine $130,000 per year
  • After Year Ten:  $140,000 per year

Then what they do is add all these together and come up with an argument like this…  We can easily afford this orgy and hire Taylor Swift to sing for it because look, over ten years we are going to earn $990,000 so we can easily pay back the $10,000 we blow on ourselves right now… ( Now if you’ve been a Republican shut out from parties for a long while, not being invited to do the bump with Jerry Jones) just hearing this may make you decide to jump in, no clothes and all.

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But here is reality… You probably are not going to get a $10,000 (25%) raise… Let us look at this logically.. How long have you been working?  How many $10,000 raises have you ever gotten before?  Did any of your costs also rise with that raise, so you really didn’t have all that money to spend?  Across history, was there ever a time when $10,000 raises per year were the norm?  If not, why would they suddenly start now?

So what usually happens in households that pursue false dreams, is that if they do not tie expenses to actual income, they usually come up short and that shorted gap grows bigger and bigger.

Here is what to expect in reality… The first year we spend $10,000 over what we make.  It is either loaned to us, or we simply just skip paying our bills for one year… The next year we not only again spend $10,000 more than we make, but we still make the same $40,000… So that year on our $40,000 income we owe $10,000 from year one, and $10,000 from year two. We can’t live on just $20,000 in order to pay it all back… So, assuming we will get much more income the following year, we stretch the loan a little further…  But again, no raise comes that year.

Where we pretended that we would be making $60,000 by that year (year 3) {and over the three year span would have accumulated $150,000 (40,000 + 50,000 + 60,000), enabling us to pay back three years ($30,000) of $10,000 overdrafts having $120,000 left over}… Instead due to a lack of “pretended raise” amounts,  we only got $120,000 over those three years, and borrowed $10,000 each year, so our net balance is $90, 000, which as you see divided by 3, equals $30,000 per year, whereas our regular living expenses continued at the original $40,000 per year.Yet we live like we are making $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 each subsequent year due to our over-extended loans….

This is dynamic scoring…. It should be illegal, and until yesterday, it was.

It is possible, it can work if the assumptions work out… So one must look at the assumptions very carefully to see if they are realistic… Dynamic scoring has only one reason for existence.  To convince people who don’t want to spend that hard earned money of theirs on a risky venture, to go ahead and spend it on that risky venture by consoling them it will be painless when looked back upon from the future.

And the” risky venture” this time, is again take the bulk of your money and hand it over to the top one percent, giving them even more power over you… If you do that these people say, money will just grow for them and everyone will be rich…. give them your money; give it to them now.

Alas we’ve tried that already… We didn’t get rich. For it, we got a very deep recession, We got the 1% owning more than ever; the 99% owning less. We got 80% of our population living day to day, week to week, just a little above subsistence…  We went backward.  Now with this Congress we are about to have a new battle of inequality on a level unseen in America, And this time: it will all take place up within the top 1%… Who among them will win the final championship monopoly game?.. Who will lose?… It matters little to most of us, Most of us were eliminated long time ago.

But first, for all of this to occur, they first have to change the way we do math itself in order to justify it, because it doesn’t work out their way using real numbers.  And that, my friends,… is what was done yesterday.

You may have awakened this morning to news that the bill to curb the NSA failed to win its filibuster margin of 60 and proceed forward…

Do not be dissuaded. This is probably a good thing.  It was watered down considerably to get enough Republican votes to pass.

The good news, is that without renewal, in the next Republican Congress, it will expire if nothing is done to re-pass it.  And everyone knows, it is far easier for Republicans to vote “no” against weakening our defense against terrorism, than it is to vote “yes” to putting every American’s deepest private thoughts and spoken words on speaker phone.

The parts of the reauthorized Patriot Act which were interpreted to allow for the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden last year, expire midnight of June 1st of next year, if no action to reauthorize them is taken….

Had this bill been passed last night, they would have remained intact far longer.  As it is, next Spring there will not be enough votes in the House or Senate to pass a new Patriot Act based on the shake up that occurred in both houses this past election.

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(Lower Keystone Pipeline Rupture; Mayflower, Arkansas) EPA

Death and money. The two things that really move politics forward.  If something will kill you, it is possible to get a law passed to rectify it.   The Environmental Protection Agency came about because people were dying… enough people dying so it became hard to elect people who said, “what the heck if people die; it costs money for billionaires to protect people from hazards.”

Instead people who stated: “this will kill us; I’ll stop it immediately” were elected as the alternative, which today, … is why we have clean air and clean water.

The only other thing besides death that can move things through legislative halls is money.  And since people won’t die from Keystone as they would from breathing in toxic air spewing across Newark out of a giant TDC smokestack, the money angle has more of a pull.

There are a lot of argument out there both for and against the Keystone Pipeline. However the principal brainstormed idea behind the Keystone pipeline, is to raise your gas prices.  For those who don’t know, the current glut in the price of oil is being caused by the emirates of the Persian Gulf dumping oil at very low prices onto the international market.  Their motive, taken straight from John Rockefeller I, is to drive out their competition which is us.  After we give up, after we throw up our hands and stop fracking, they again have the monopoly and with the price war over, their price bounces up a dollar per gallon and guess who is stuck?  They can get  a barrel out of the ground for under $25 dollars.  It averages out to $75 in the US today… So if they can get the price under $75 a barrel, then people will switch to cheaper foreign oil, and the frackers close up shop….

Except there is this giant pool of very dirty liquid tar in Alberta.  Stuff that burns with gross black smoke, but can be refined into automotive fuel and much of it is owned by the Koch Bros through various unrelated companies.

This oil will not sell well in America due to its filth and residue, but other nations do not have such scruples.   The oil can go out either of two ways.  One is across Canada to the Pacific; the other is across the US to Houston, Texas.  The Canadian route is an environmental nightmare and Canadians are environmental sticklers over their pristine wilderness.

But conservatives in control of the Congress make the US route far more attractive.  If a giant oil spill were to occur destroying the aquifers of millions of Americans as well as those of millions of cows, pigs, corn, and soy; there is a very good chance Mitch McConnell’s Senate and John Boehner’s House will pass a gigantic tax break to reimburse the Koch billionaires for any or all of their spilled oil…

Keystone II will raise your gas price at the pump.

The best way to describe how, is to imagine that your family has an oil well out back attached to a refinery…. You just back your car up and fill’er’up…. Pretty cheap…  Now imagine your spouse, decides to make some money so they sell 10% to this client, 25% to that client, 35% to that client’s neighbor and the sells three shares of 10% on the open market…

You never stop hearing how smart they were for selling those rights and making all that money…. (Did you do the math? Add the percents?)  You will find that you have no rights to your oil… You now need to buy it on the open market!…  And the price is much more than when you could back your truck right under a tank and fill’er’up!

If we have rights to 100 million barrels of oil, which we can tap later at our leisure, and suddenly with a pipeline, have zero rights unless we too buy it at the world price, we are going to pay more for gas….

Which is what everyone wants…. except those who aren’t making billions of dollars.

For those who want to argue that America will use the oil first, and not import it, answer this question:  why would any fool sell something cheap when he can get a lot more for it from somewhere else?

All the oil is intended to be imported.  We know this because when legislation was brought on the floor of Congress, requiring some of the oil in the Keystone pipeline to be designated solely for domestic consumption,  every single Republican voted against it….

They want you to pay more for gas because: you are not their boss; rich billionaires are.  Unless you can makes some people start dying, the money is going to win this one……