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Sparkly's Journal - Archives
Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Thu Oct 13th 2011, 09:27 PM
Thank GOODNESS Reuters has exposed this!!

Who's behind the Wall Street protests?
By Mark Egan and Michelle Nichols | Reuters – 2 hrs 19 mins ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anti-Wall Street protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer, but the group that started it all may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world's richest men.


I didn't even know there was a "Group that started it all!" That would imply some real organization on the left!

There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda.


Reuters sure has the inside track to key sources within the Washington Conservative Cocktail Party community. No doubt one of their imbedded journalists overheard this "much speculation" while valiantly sipping sparkling Moscato. Several more intrepid inbeds, I mean embeds, must have consolidated their observations to report that Soros' name "keeps coming up" among "conservative critics." That is certainly front-page newsworthy!!

(But why is the protest "disparate?" Didn't they just explain in the first sentence that "Anti-Wall Street protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer"? Maybe these confused, disparate protesters all put the words in a different order. "Rich average richer while getting Americans are suffer the." It's no wonder nobody can figure out what they want.)

But back to the question: How did Soros and the protesters explain this somehow-underhanded connection?

Soros and the protesters deny any connection. But (I knew there had to be a "but!") Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street.


We should have guessed Canada was involved in this! Them and their abysmal health-care system they pretend to like but WE know they secretly hate. (Sometimes they have to WAIT to see a doctor or get surgery. I know!! Can you imagine?!)

And "Adbusters" -- I mean that group is so... Their agenda is so totally - well you know what I mean, and they're just trying to interfere here because of, that thing... (Okay, I've never heard of them but I know we'll be hearing a lot more soon. Thank goodness they and their dirty little secrets have become exposed at last!) Damn commies! Welcome to Democracy, where we don't HAVE "marketing campaigns!"

Moreover, Soros and the protesters share some ideological ground.


Okay, that seals it right there. Whenever people "share some ideological ground," you know what it means. It means that someone in Canada is out to destroy America by launching an evil marketing campaign across the border causing Americans to act like Arabs and destroy all the job creators!

He actually told reporters, "I can understand their sentiment." WHOA!! Who's got the pepper spray?!

And he's not alone. Another far-left activist actually said this: "I look at what's happening on Wall Street and my view is, boy, I understand how those people feel." Oh wait, that was Mitt Romney. Nevermind.

Pressed further for his views on the movement and the protesters, Soros refused to be drawn in.


He was given a microphone to drive home the point he paid the Canadians to help the Americans make, and he didn't even say anything? Well that's weird. On the conservative side, microphones and persuasive words - even marketing campaigns, and even if it's all speculation -- are THE name of the game.

But conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh summed up the speculation when he told his listeners last week, "George Soros money is behind this."


Yeah, like that.

You have to keep reading to get to the parts about a suspicious editorial the "Hungarian-American" wrote in 2009, from which half a sentence is quoted, and the fact that he supported the Democratic president. So surely that shows his guilt, right there. Plus he donated to some organizations he believed in. Where will the madness end?! They were related to things like foreign relations and human rights, for crying out loud!!

But here's the REAL tie-in. Get this. He donated to the Tides Center, which Reuters made sure to note is based in San-Francisco (we all know what THAT means). They "act almost like" a clearing house for other donors, providing funds to "liberal causes" like the Ford Foundation, which is practically unraveling the very fabric of society, and the Gates Foundation, whose agenda is surely totally against rich people. Just like Soros is.

So Tides gave Adbusters a whopping $185,000 over a decade. That's like $18,500 a year, people. And it included nearly $26,000 between 2007 and 2009. Do the math! We're talking almost $9,000 per year from this shady organization that George Soros contributes to.

And according to Adbusters, 95% of their funding comes from subscribers to their magazine, which wields powerful influence with its enormous 120,000 subscribers. "George Soros's ideas are quite good, many of them. I wish he would give Adbusters some money, we sorely need it," said a co-founder. "He's never given us a penny."

"Aides to Soros say any connection is tenuous" (well of course they do) "and that Soros has never heard of Adbusters" (oh sure, as IF he has so much money he wouldn't track what went from his account to Adbusters since July 13th. I mean, it could amount in the hundreds)!

"Soros himself declined comment." Oh really. So he was just too busy to answer the Real Questions about how up to .001% of his financial contributions went to the inventive marketing campaign of an anti-Capitalist Canadian group out to make Americans think they're suffering in order to make them act like Arabs to further hurt the nice job-creating folks on Wall Street, as if THEY haven't suffered enough, all in order to push through his Agenda!

You don't even have to read the rest to get a sense of his Agenda. Just scan the article -- it's full of words like Hungarian, Canadian, Arab, Tunisia, Egypt, Tahrir, Vancouver, Iran, China, foreign, anti-capitalist, liberal, rage, toxic, provocative, anarchist, demands, battle-ready mob, sexuality, violence... You don't need to be some book-smart liberal intellectual to know that sounds really bad.

(So when did Rupert buy Reuters?)

http://news.yahoo.com/whos-behind-wall-st-...
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Fri Sep 16th 2011, 07:49 PM
Bunnies, babies and broads: What is TV trying to tell us about women?

(snip)

Whether fictional or quasi-real, TV’s women occupy a world of placation and sublimation through cupcakes and extreme couponing and physically impossible jujitsu. It’s Bravo’s “Housewives” threatening to ruin one another, egged on by fans. It’s a false sense of outspoken independence, shackled by beauty myths and the pretend liberation of promiscuity.

Many nights — save for those in which you encounter the rare sort of character seen in “The Good Wife” or “30 Rock,” or in Claire Danes’s role in Showtime’s new espionage thriller “Homeland” — you watch TV and sense that Steinem’s stone has rolled all the way back downhill. There is but one Alicia Florrick and one Liz Lemon and one Carrie Mathison (Danes’s character) unfairly burdened with the task of rolling the rock back up.

(snip)

To go with NBC’s bunnies, we have yesterday’s stewardesses in ABC’s attentively detailed but sorely mediocre “Pan Am.” Both shows clumsily reach for “Mad Men’s” coolly calibrated regard for the past, presenting themselves as tales of covert proto-feminism: By time-traveling backward, the premise seeks to upend the idea that women were ever truly oppressed. By serving cocktails for Hefner, women were in fact seizing their destinies. By serving cocktails for Pan Am, they were charting a course for tomorrow’s career women. Their hardships — girdle checks for the stewardesses in “Pan Am,” the squeeze of tighter, wire-framed bunny suits in “The Playboy Club” — are seen as so much light hazing in an endless initiation into a man’s world.

As Steinem noted, those shows are less about women and more about this era of nonstop nostalgia that we live in. Retro is an addiction that rages out of control in a recession; the more we drink it in — the more times we remake “Charlie’s Angels” or wish for a return of stewardesses and other clear-cut visual cues of gender rigidity — the less able we are to move forward and come up with our own ideas.


I highly recommend reading this. Yes, it's only TV (I haven't watched sitcoms or other series in decades), but TV both reflects and influences the common zeitgeist. The so-called "post-feminist" disdain for the women's movement is another sign the ball has rolled all the way back.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainmen...

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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Tue Aug 09th 2011, 04:58 PM
Kenya burdened by famine refugees; rape attacks up

By JASON STRAZIUSO - Associated Press, MALKHADIR M. MUHUMED - Associated Press | AP – 3 hrs ago

DADAAB, Kenya (AP) — Marauding gangs and criminals are attacking Somali famine refugees more frequently as they flee across the border to Kenyan camps, but Kenyan police say they don't have enough manpower to stop them.

The lack of manpower underscores a larger problem for Kenya: Officials here say they are being overwhelmed by the influx of tens of thousands of Somali refugees, and can't stem the attacks. One 30-year-old woman who watched two of her five children die as they trekked through Somalia was raped after reaching what she hoped would be the safety of Kenyan soil.

"I constantly ask myself, 'Would this have happened to you, or would you have lost your children if you had been in your country?'" said the woman. "My mind always says: 'You ran away from a problem and ran into another.'"


http://news.yahoo.com/kenya-burdened-famin...

I couldn't read any further. There's a link for "How to Help" on the page -- http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/newsroom/somal... . I stopped reading and clicked.

I'm not going to moralize or preach. I know it's tough all over, we have our problems here, etc. But while the U.S. Dollar is on downward slide, consider passing a few on if you can, while our currency can still help someone else. A lot.
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Sun Jul 31st 2011, 09:57 PM
I'm old enough to remember all the decades Republicans RAN UP the debt, while claiming to be "conservative" on finances.

Democrats always fought deficit spending and the national debt; Republicans always grew them.

Reagan's great re-election campaign motto: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" My reply was always, "If I maxed out my MasterCard, I might feel better off too, but there's a bill to pay." The man CREATED the monster we've been fighting ever since.

Mondale had the guts to tell the truth: Tax cuts + massive military spending = debt. "Trickle-down economics" are fiction.
Here's some of Mondale on the debt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rF-b9p0oe0
("I see this as a test of leadership, and I think the American people know the difference." We all know how that turned out. They didn't.)

Bush I was Reagan III, although even he had called Reaganomics "Voodoo Economics."
Here's Dukakis, Bush I's opponent, on the debt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFoZBgFt_DQ...

Clinton, still blamed for "the largest tax increase in history" as they love to say (on the richest 2%) slowed the rate of the debt's growth, turned it around, and created a surplus we could use to start paying down -- FINALLY -- the debt!! Not ONE single Republican voted for his 1993 budget. They said "don't blame me" for what would happen as a result, and when things worked out well, they tried to take credit. (Clinton pointed this out many times.)

But do we all remember what happened in Bush the Lesser's campaign against Vice President Gore?? Bush II ran on a platform of "tax relief" -- the surplus meant we OVERPAID!! (Debt? What debt?) And everybody wanted their damn $300 check for their trip to WalMart -- meanwhile the fat cats would get enormous windfalls of cash.

People swallowed the same stupid lies again, hook line and sinker:
"Tax cuts always increase revenues!!"
"We have to make sure the rich are okay, because you never got a job from a poor person, did you??"

"And a new one: "We always have to have a debt. It isn't economically smart to pay it off."

Surely the history of BushCo's reign is recent enough that everyone can remember how they squandered the surplus and doubled the Reagan Monster of debt; how it was proven once AGAIN that Republicans aren't "conservative" with money at all; how it was proven once AGAIN that tax cuts do NOT "increase revenues;" how giving rich people more wealth does nothing to create jobs; how it's all about the buying power of the lower and middle classes; how the idea that wealth "trickles down" is utter nonsense; and so much more (including the popular idea that unfunded wars are super for the economy -- what budget?).

Does anyone else remember how hard Republicans fought balanced budgets when BushCo pushed massive tax cuts in 2001? Democrats offered amendment after amendment about "triggers" to roll back even .5% of the increase on 1% of the top tax bracket IN CASE of rising debt, war, national disaster, Social Security bankruptcy, Medicare cuts, etc. etc. etc... -- and one after another they were shot down. Nothing -- NOTHING -- mattered as much as those tax cuts for the wealthy.

Time after time they raised the debt limit. Time after time they kept up the massive spending along with massive tax cuts for the rich, insisting this was the way to go. Deficit spending was par for the course for Republicans.

So the popular saying, "I'm socially liberal but fiscally conservative" as a "moderate" stance, never made any sense to me. I've always considered myself "fiscally conservative" while saying I haven't seen a fiscally-conservative Republican in my lifetime. The fiscally-conservative Republican is a MYTH. They always labeled Democrats "tax-and-spend," and I always countered that they are "BORROW-and-spend." Which is worse?

I never imagined there'd be a time when I'd see "borrow and spend" as the way to go in this country, but I never thought we'd see the disaster of BushCo, and the ever-increasing misplaced rage and ignorance of nearly half the American people. NOW we need FDR-level solutions. NOW we really DO need to borrow and spend to invest in job creation. NOW we need to sink borrowed money into jobs to rebuild the country's infrastructure in the ways FDR did, to revive manufacturing, to get the lower and middle classes back on healthy financial footing.

And now THEY'RE all about debt?!????!!!

WHAT?!!


NOW, after spending the surplus like kids who couldn't wait to get their hands on the trust-fund money (to paraphrase President Clinton), they think it's a grand time to CUT the investments we desperately need to overcome the results of THEIR policies? NOW for the first time EVER their top priority is the debt THEY created, starting with Saint Ronald Reagan??!!!??

NOW not even borrow-and-spend is enough. NOW we need (gasp!) evil Government REGULATION, like never before. We need regulations to keep jobs here; regulations to limit the level of exploitation of our workers, like limiting what the guys at the top skim off of profits to merely 400 times what the lowest paid worker makes; and regulations to stop outright theft. We can't rebalance our place in the global "market" unless we rebalance those global corporate equations HERE, where the greed is.

Otherwise, as workers we're competing against slave wages elsewhere; as consumers, the prices we can afford are based on those slave wages (a la WalMart); and how can we even pretend to help people in other countries (except with lots and lots of expensive weapons).

NOW -- right now -- I honestly believe we're just at the edge of becoming the United Global-Corporations of America, a fascist state, owned by entities in other countries, all united by their financial interests.

They KNOW that a significant number of our citizens (and their offspring) are so willfully ignorant, and so easily manipulated by fear (anger), they will accept this thinning veil of democracy, with a permanent underclass, while keeping busy refighting the Civil War -- imagining they're fighting the "real" problem of "big government," and "lazy welfare cheats," and "liberals with social agendas," and whatever else they're afraid of...

(What more evidence was needed when they freaked out and gave up everything from fear of dying from a terrorist attack, way out of proportion with realistic risks -- smoking, not exercising, eating at McDonald's three times a week, etc.) (Not to mention the issue of healthcare.)

They're easily manipulated. How vehemently they recite the scripts written provided by powers they can't even conceive of; how quickly they'll say, "We have a surplus, so pay me back," and then, "We're in debt, so cut spending." Or, "Bill Clinton talking about Osama bin Laden is inventing a terrorist bogeyman to wag the dog and distract us about the REAL issue -- Monica Lewinsky" and then, "Bill Clinton was handed bin Laden on a silver platter and just didn't take the deal." Word for word. "Terrorist bogeyman" became "Silver platter."

Today's script is right where they want it -- "Cut spending, not Medicare!!" "Raising the debt ceiling?!? WhoEVER heard of that??!?"

There's one straight line to where they want to go. Any deviance from that line is called "compromise."

Compromise is just a little curve in the road leading straight to the cliff ahead. It's like Thelma and Louise, except it's "Dumb and Dumber," flying past all the warning signs with idiotic right-wing bumper stickers all over the car.

The last one applied: "Keep your Big Government Tax Increases off my Medicare and Social Security."

And there -- over the cliff -- go the United States of America.
Read entry | Discuss (24 comments)
Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Tue May 03rd 2011, 11:15 AM
They weren't entirely sure he was there.

Obama's team of advisors were divided about the president's three options: wait for more intelligence, strike from above, or go in on the ground from helicopters, as they did.

This was a HUGE risk. If BIn Laden was not there, or if the mission failed in any way, the U.S. would be in a terrible position for entering a sovereign country and attacking whoever actually was in that place. It couldn't have happened again, so this was a one-chance operation. The only way to get away with it was for it to succeed perfectly.

Politically, it would have been an absolute disaster if it hadn't worked. President Clinton missed Bin Laden and was ridiculed for that, and for supposedly "bombing an aspirin factory" -- remember that? And BushCo, that pompous team of phony machismo, didn't even have the guts to risk political fall-out by sending our forces into the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan.

So anyone who said the president just "complied," or that it was a no-brainer to give that order, is deluded. It took guts. It was also a risk for the CIA and for the State Department. How would our UN allies have reacted if this seemed to be a foolish, rash move, done in secret without consulting them, let alone the Pakistan government? Or what if we'd struck from the air and killed civilians, and still there was no Bin Laden there? What position would SoS Hillary Clinton be in right now?

The very idea of going in to Pakistan to get Bin Laden, given "actionable intelligence," was discussed during the Democratic primary debates as a very sensitive and controversial issue, with a lot of care not to go too far in even talking about the hypotheticals.

So make no mistake. This was a risky, gutsy move. They did it without any leaks, without any mistakes, and without any disruption. And now nobody's prancing around in fake uniforms on aircraft carriers, nobody's strutting about with macho slogans and poses, and nobody's making inappropriate braggadocio tough-guy sophomoric remarks. Instead -- gotta hand it to him -- Obama is talking about unity again.

It worked, and the risk paid off. And our Democratic administration deserves great credit.
Read entry | Discuss (16 comments)
Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Fri Apr 15th 2011, 07:14 PM
Let's review.

You start at 12" on the ruler, they start at 24".

You start negotiating by moving to 18." They call you a socialist.

You move to 20". They call you a Marxist.

You go all the way to meet their 24". They move back to 30", and call you an incompetent, tax-and-spend socialist who hates America.

You go to their 30". They take it, pretending to do so begrudgingly, and set up their stars to oppose it.

They pass a new bill at 34". Hah! Check. Mate.

President Obama, I know you aren't a stupid man. I know you couldn't just fall for this over and over again, surrendering ground before the battle begins, then retreating further from there, and being called a radical lefty anyway.

Keeping your hands clean, and keeping your position, have always been important to you, it seems. In that, you've been brilliant. You compromise and then some, but as long as they call you a socialist, you keep your standing among the Democratic base, right?

THEIR words should convince us that you're engaged in a real fight...

I ask: If you're fighting at all, which team are you on?

News today is that you said (supposedly accidentally - good one): "You think we're stupid?"

"You think we're stupid?"

Exactly my question, Mr. President.
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Tue Apr 12th 2011, 10:29 PM
Dear Politicians,

Would you like the balance the budget? It's easy! Let the Sparkly Fairy Princess show you how!

Only Two Steps!
The Sparkly plan is so simple, even YOU can do it! Imagine your success when you:
• Save Medicare
• Save Social Security
• Bring back budget surpluses
• Fund the programs American citizens need

Try it for two years, absolutely FREE!
If you're not completely satisfied after two years, Sparkly will refund your money, no questions asked! The best part? It costs you nothing, so there's no money to refund!

There's nothing to send away for, no hidden costs, no strings attached. It's all right here. FREE!!!

1.) Raise taxes on the wealthiest 2%. Even if all you do is roll back the Bush tax cuts so we're back to the rates under Clinton (which worked out well for everybody), you'll save billions of dollars. Too much? Try rolling back tax cuts for only 1% of the wealthiest. Still too much? How about the .5% wealthiest, and roll them back by 5%. Even that would be significant enough to solve a whole lot of problems.

2. Cut the so-called "defense" budget. Instead of funding four times as many weapons as we could ever possibly use, what if we maintained only twice as many weapons as we could ever possibly use? Too much? Try occupying fewer countries, or just cut back on some of the military bases. Even a miniscule percentage cut in the Defense budget could save a bundle.

Act now! This is a limited time offer!
Take advantage of this free 2-step program before China totally owns our asses.

Sincerely,

Sparkly

P.S. Did we mention the United States is about to become the United Global Corporations of America? We know you don't want THAT!! Try Sparkly's Easy Two-Step Solution today!!
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Mon Jan 17th 2011, 12:27 PM
UK government plans major health care reform

By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press – Mon Jan 17, 9:23 am ET
LONDON – Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday waded into terrain where past British governments have foundered, promising fundamental changes to the country's expensive and over-stressed public health care system.

Cameron said the reforms would cut red tape and improve treatment, but critics claim they will cause chaos and could lead to backdoor privatization of the much-criticized but widely popular National Health Service.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_britain_heal...


The Brits are afraid health care reform might weaken their public health care and lead to privatization.

Americans are afraid health care reform might weaken privatization and lead to public health care.

Go figure.
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion
Mon Dec 20th 2010, 05:48 PM
Let me explain...

My Mom's family was Methodist, in Oklahoma. My aunt, 14 years older than Mom, remembered a lot more about the Methodist parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles than Mom did, and it seems they were pretty staid -- particularly one "Aunt Leota."

We grew up in Congregational church in New England. Then I found myself working at a Unitarian Universalist church, directing a resident dance company. When I described my work -- including dancing in bare feet in church services -- Mom's older sister gasped, "Aunt Leota would turn over in her grave!!"

So now Aunt Leota and the other Methodists in my background aren't uptight any more -- they're "the religious arm of Socialism!!"

I always knew Aunt Leota couldn't be all bad.

Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Dec 02nd 2010, 08:55 PM
I'm not seeing a way out for this country.

In 2000, I knew BushCo would tank the economy, set social issues back by decades, and repay defense contractors by ignoring Clinton administration intel on the threats of terrorism, replaying old scripts about "ICBMS from rogue nations," and re-invading Iraq.

I knew what could happen. I just didn't realize how fast and how devastating it would be.

In 2004, I knew it was the last chance to get back on track. I cried the entire day after the election, knowing not only how screwed we were for the future, but how incredibly screwed we were that so many of our citizens are willing puppets, pulled by strings of fear, by people, organizations and interests they don't understand.

I knew the US was screwed at least through my lifetime. I just didn't realize it could be screwed beyond that.

In 2008, I didn't have much enthusiasm left. The urgency of keeping the house from catching fire in 2000, and the fervor to extinguish the fire in 2004, became by 2008 a resigned sigh. Our candidates and their campaigns seemed weak, but maybe there's just a difference of adrenalin between running in with a fire extinguisher and standing in the ashes saying, "It's okay -- have hope!" (The other side was doomed with, "I see no problem here.")

I knew the country was screwed in the long term. I just didn't realized it could go down, completely, in my lifetime.

I'm not one to wear "tinfoil hats," with one exception: the Bush family legacy in Paraguay. But that's another story (or not, who knows).

Simply from an economic standpoint, I don't see how this country can survive going forward, considering the current political landscape -- and by "political" I mean the branches of government, the monetary interests involved, the international scheme of things, and at home, the totally LOST population of willing idiots, utterly deluded by propaganda. (I hate Nazi comparisons, but since at least 2004, they are the greatest and most dangerous group of exploited people since the "Good Germans." Sorry!)

"Social issues" are just the leverage they pull. Some of us remember how these levers have been pulled since Vietnam at least, but they go back centuries. The way the country was founded, the role of slavery, and the civil war; the women's rights movement(s), the civil rights movement of the 1950s, the social upheaval of the boomer youth movement in the 1960s, and the schism about what "patriotism" means in the legacy of the Vietnam war... Today, divisions are prodded, deepened, and exploited to encompass religion, sexual orientation, nationality, and of course, political "leanings." ("The enemy within" revisited.)

But all of those combined couldn't take our country down. Ultimately, "It's the economy, stupid."

It's the fact that those social conflicts have been leveraged to enable what's happened to the US economically. (How many people even understand the differences between social and economic structures now -- socialism, communism, capitalism, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, it's all the same, but "capitalism" is good and everything else is bad. The fact that capitalism has always been tempered by a balance of "socialism" in this country is lost on them.)

What is the way out of the country's current position? We manufacture virtually nothing; we own nothing but "trust and faith;" other countries own major parts of our existence, and multi-national corporations own the rest... With jobs outsourced, most all we do is "service" to each other on play money. The corporations that own us won't re-establish here unless or until our labor force is equivalent to what they have elsewhere, or about what migrant workers earn here.

Like other societies throughout history, I see us headed for a two-tiered system, but with this "melting pot" a conglomerate of corporations having tendrils stretching across the globe. Think of all the parts of our economy we don't own already.

So I've thought of moving elsewhere, thinking ahead -- but where? Canada, South America somewhere, maybe even Switzerland (not kidding)... I think it would be different though if we had young children and were looking ahead in that sense; instead, we are more at the point of looking at retirement. (Stinky will get in under the bar; I will be right at the cusp of the boomers who get screwed.)

I have lots more thoughts on the details of this, so I'll be posting more soon.

Meanwhile, if you see a way out of the decline I'm predicting, please tell me. I don't.
Read entry | Discuss (126 comments)
Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Nov 28th 2010, 08:52 PM
On the chopping block: the mortgage interest homeowners have been able to deduct, and healthcare costs of employers who cover their employees.

This from those thoughtful people who suddenly care about the deficit. People like Alan "Gore-Despising" Simpson, who now calls the healthcare deduction a "tax earmark."

After all, we've got to slash these middle-class tax breaks (= raise taxes) in order to keep from raising taxes on the wealthy (= slashing fatcats' tax breaks).

Hello, Democrats? ... Knock knock... Anybody there....??

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101128/ap_on_...
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Oct 17th 2010, 08:00 PM
There is no denying there's a difference here. No, it doesn't mean that every county, district, or individual voter follows this pattern, but the pattern itself is undeniable.



Source: http://politicalmaps.org/maps-of-the-2008-... /





Source: http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/im...

I see nothing wrong with discussing this. Democratic leaders have discussed it quite a bit (whether to have a 50-state strategy or target resources to winnable swing states, for instance).

Much of the rhetoric of the right wing still carries the old resentments against the north going back to the civil war. We heard it loudly in 2004.

There's also a not-so-distant history within our own party involving the demise of the old "Dixiecrats" and the GOP's "southern strategy."
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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion: Presidency
Wed Sep 08th 2010, 05:11 PM
Great speech from the president (ridiculing today's Republicans and vowing to let the fatcats' windfalls expire).

and...

Great DANCE event in the White House -- the first of its kind -- thanks to the first lady.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100908/ap_on_...
Read entry | Discuss (6 comments)
Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Sep 04th 2010, 08:13 PM
They are in an uproar that the government might LIMIT THEIR FREEDOMS!!

They are furious that the government thinks it can RUN THEIR LIVES!!

They are up in arms about the government intrusion into our PRIVATE LIVES!!

How dare the government think it knows better than WE do what's best for US?!!


Well, except for medical decisions about life and death. Families shouldn't be able to decide these things. Congress needs to come back from vacations when it comes to cases like Terry Schiavo's to make these decisions, because they know best.

And except for things that things they need to protect us from, like marijuana. Their job is to make sure we can't make decisions like that for ourselves.

And except for sex. The government knows better than we do what kind of sex we should have and with whom -- otherwise, consenting adults could do all sorts of things the government knows shouldn't be done.

And exchanges of sex and money. Again, who knows best -- two consenting adults, or the government? Why, the government, of course!

And women's uteruses. Where would this country be if women had control of their own bodies? These are decisions for the government to make.

And we must elect more Republicans to make sure the government supports freedom of religion for all Christian conservatives, including their freedom to discriminate against other religions.

And a few other things -- freedom to slander, freedom to commit war crimes, freedom to threaten the president, freedom to carry assault weapons on playgrounds, freedom to stalk 9/11 widows, murder doctors, bomb clinics, use "second amendment remedies," etc. -- but other than that, Republicans are the party against government intrusion into our private lives!!


So vote Republican or suffer the Democratic big-government intruders who want to FORCE you to pay for socialized fire departments, socialized police forces, socialized military forces, socialized schools, even socialized government-run government, against your will!! Where will they stop?!?

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Posted by Sparkly in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Sep 04th 2010, 06:24 PM
Nation's economic woes jeopardize Dems' prospects

By LIZ SIDOTI, AP National Political Writer – 2 hrs 25 mins ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Frustrated, discouraged and just plain mad, a lot of people who have lost jobs — or know someone who has — now want to see the names of Democrats on pink slips. And that's jeopardizing the party's chances in Ohio and all across the country in November's elections.

In this big swing-voting state alone, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland is in a dogfight for re-election. Senate candidate Lee Fisher may be even worse off. As many as six House Democrats could lose their jobs this fall. Recession-fueled animosity is dominating every race, giving Republicans hope of huge victories.

In Ohio, like almost everywhere else, voters don't much care for Washington, Wall Street or anything resembling the establishment. They grouse about every politician, including President Barack Obama, whom Ohioans played a critical role in electing. They fume over the nation's teetering finances.

"I don't think we've seen the worst of it yet," says Jarrod Davis, 26, a Republican. Adds independent Dan Sharpe, 41: "So far, nothing's gotten better under the Democrats."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_election_ove...


I was JUST thinking about Ohio today. I was thinking about 2004, as I often do, because I still think it was the country's last chance to turn things around before it was too late.

As I watched county after county turning pink on the Ohio map on election night, I was so aghast and angry, wondering if the "red" voters in Ohio and beyond had any idea what they were asking for and what it would mean. (Election fraud aside, and without intending to blame Ohio Democrats.)

Since 2004, the energy it took to hang onto the last hopes deflated into sad resignation. This is where Dumbfuckistan brought us. And now they're blaming EVERYBODY ELSE.

I will always believe we had a chance to turn things around in 2005, but now we're dealing with the consequences of BushCo's disastrous policies. We saw it coming. We tried to warn them, and John Kerry made all the right points... How America could have been THAT STUPID is one for the history books, I think.

And now the stupidity continues. "It's Democrats' fault." Jeez. I actually heard some newz head say the other day that divided governments are good, holding up President Clinton's balanced budget as an example. That 1993 budget passed without ONE single Republican vote. How soon they "forget" (or revise).

What next? I do blame Democrats for failing to stand up, speak up, and shout down the rightwing rhetoric. I am deeply disappointed at how these two years -- which may not come again for a long time -- have been used, or not used. And it's hard not to think about 2004, missing that last gasp of optimism.

(For the record: Yes, I'm voting straight Democratic ticket. Always have, always will.)
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