Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago, New Orleans and living a beautiful, angry life between the two…

Archive for the ‘Class War’ Category

Melinda Haag, US Attorney for Northern California warns banks to shut down, or be closed down…

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And the Haag says: marijuana dispensaries helping cancer patients? Bad. Banks taking cancer patient's homes? Good.

Oh wait…

Not banks, marijuana dispensaries…my bad.

But you can of course understand my confusion, considering Melinda’s most recent statement:

“Marijuana dispensaries are full of cash and they’re full of marijuana, and everybody knows that…they are at risk of being robbed, and many of them are robbed…people in the community may be supportive of the dispensary until there’s an armed robbery and people come running out of the dispensary shooting guns.”

Ah, I see…

So Melinda wants to close dispensaries as they are in danger of being robbed, what with all that cash inside…

Really.

Then…why not close the banks?

You want to talk about cash inside…especially the banks that are close to schools, yes, they must be forced to shut down now…immediately. And I am sure the people who normally support the banks in their community would quickly change their minds if confronted with armed assailants, coming out of the banks shooting at their kids, their cats and dogs, grandma…hell, shooting at everybody.

Oh but hold on, hold on…

Also according to Melinda, these marijuana dispensaries are committing crimes, maybe not on the state level, but certainly federal statutes so really, she could shut them all down if she so chose, but she isn’t so you see, she’s being fair and reasonable after all.

Fine.

Then again, shut down the banks, especially the ones close to people’s homes because the banks are committing not only federal crimes, but state crimes as well…

Mortgage and foreclosure fraud, not to mention the defrauding of investors by selling derivatives with bogus grade A ratings…you know, all that stuff the banks did to make themselves great profit while helping cause the collapse of the housing market and the ensuing recession, yeah, that little economic morass that cost houses, jobs, pensions?

Right, so this is Melinda Haag’s crusade, this is her choice, either go after the marijuana dispensaries selling medicine to cancer patients, or the banks that are stealing the cancer patient’s homes and pensions…and Melinda chooses to leave the banks alone so she can focus in on those non-profit dispensaries, the dispensaries that donate to charity, give good health insurance to their employees while paying them a livable wage, in the Bay Area…the dispensaries that pay their share of taxes, contribute to city revenue and get few complaints from their neighbors. Yes-sir, Melinda Haag, that devotee to justice orders a shut down, because the dispensaries might be robbed, because they are funneling their product nationwide, because they are a crime center…

Yet, when asked, she and her office will provide no proof for any of these latter charges.

Meanwhile, the criminal banks commit fraud, illegally foreclose on peoples homes, use robo-signers and dangle out all that cash, just an open invitation for multiple, multiple bank robberies at many of their financial crime centers, and many of them within residential communities, near schools, near preschools and damnit, even near maternity wards…I mean, think of the CHILDREN!…and all of these charges are well-documented.

But Melinda Haag does nothing, they all remain open, they agree to a settlement that is little more than a slap on the wrist, financially while nobody, not one of these banking types go to jail.

Melinda closes nothing, does nothing…

Nothing, but get her name in the papers one more fucking time for going after medicinal marijuana dispensaries, approved of within their communities and legally approved by the state of California’s voters.

As Chris Roberts writes in SF Weekly, regarding the allegations by Haag of complaints and crimes around the dispensaries:

“So the feds won’t name the schools, won’t name the complainants, and won’t provide the statistics used to justify the crackdown. But trust them: The problems are real.”

Trust…right…tell ya what Melinda, I’ll start to trust you when the Feds finally really do something to reign in the criminal enterprises known as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Chase…until then, I got nothing for ya’ but scorn. You’re an absolute fraud who may know the law, but knows nothing about justice.

Read the articles:

Medical Marijuana Crackdown Explained: Feds Are Saving the Children

Berkeley Patients Group, City’s Most Prominent Medical Marijuana Dispensary, To Close

Then if so inclined, please call, tell Melinda Haag what you think about her brand of American Justice and her utter lack of honesty about this crackdown:

Federal Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

The U.S. Attorney’s office is located on the 11th Floor of the Federal Courthouse.

Phone: (415) 436-7200
Fax: (415) 436-7234
TTY: (415) 436-7221

Have a nice day.

So, this is the Tenderloin…San Francisco…

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Always liked the rain...

The Tenderloin: the TL, Little Saigon, the Loin, Tenderloin Heights…

Fifty square blocks or so wedged between San Francisco’s downtown Civic Center - City Hall, the courthouses and Federal buildings – and the main Shopping/Financial Districts with your Niketown’s, Apple Stores, Macy’s and rapists like Bechtel, the banks and their assorted bullshit…fifty square blocks crammed into the center of San Francisco that too many people of this city either try to ignore or take great pains to avoid.

Fifty square blocks that in my opinion, form one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the country…

Why?

Because, as a person, I don’t fit into a box…like so many I can be complex, conflicted and contradictory…and I never saw all these elements so put together and on display as the five years I lived in an apartment building at the corner of Turk and Leavenworth, and the affection I have for the place is one of many reasons why, one month from today, I’m moving back…

Oh…but it’s so rundown, so crime-ridden, drug infested and it smells like hella piss, don’t ya know…

Yeah, I know…

But I find it so much more vivid than so many of our American suburbs, or Home Depot homogenized cities, these monotonous places on a fast track to mass consumer conformity, so ugly that when one walks out the door, one knows precisely what headache one will get: a Burger King, a McDonalds, a strip mall Barnes, Bath and Beyond Noble Starbucks, and maybe a convenience store or two, a newly insatiable Wal-Mart and a few miserable, but shiny people walking quickly past you on the street, some hello’s maybe, so mundane, definitely… Things ain’t like that in the TL. In the Tenderloin, anything can happen, both good and bad and if you stay on the streets long enough, you’ll see all of that anything. Very few semi-lawless places still exist in this country, and take it or leave it, the Tenderloin is one of those last remaining, crumbling demonstrations of the best and worst of American culture and its consequences.

We got colorful street art covering whole buildings and public drunkenness stretched out for blocks…loud games of Mahjong played behind steel security doors and that guy, sleeping below an afternoon blanket strung between two stolen shopping carts…We got Vietnamese sandwich shops and human shit between parked cars. We celebrate great music at punk rock bars, drag shows at Aunt Charlie’s and classic bay window, SRO architecture. We vibrate with the neon signs, the gyrating strip clubs and the dimmest of dive bars, and not the trendy kind of dive bars either…but real honest to goodness dark and damp closets without windows or fresh air, stale and in need of repair and when the outside doors are propped open to the streets, we have a beer while watching some of the most interesting public observation the city has to provide. The TL’s got small neighborhood parks where kids play, and our people walk by chanting “klonopins,” or “OC’s” or “solids,” maybe we’ll see a fist fight on the corner, watched from a window eating cheap, but great tacqueria food. Maybe we’ll step past discarded hypodermic needles in the gutter or another lost soul hitting another crack pipe beneath his t-shirt, stretched over his head, too high to realize he’s not wearing pants while we listen to shrieking siren after siren after siren as the police race the one-way streets or the fireman jumps off the fire engine, races inside the SRO only to walk stiffly back out, grumbling as he gets behind the wheel and drives back to the station from this, another false alarm.

The Mitchell Brothers, O’ Farrell Street Theater and Behind the Green Door?

The Tenderloin.

The Compton Riot in 1966 that predates New York’s Stonewall?

The Tenderloin.

Tessie Wall, Sam Spade, William Vollman, the Nighthawk jazz club and Fantasy Records?

The Tenderloin…this place where there’s always something to see, hear or avoid twenty four hours a day…and though it is sometimes dangerous, it’s never boring and it’s an amazing place to be.

Oh, and I suppose it helps that I’m a social worker…

I’ve been in the field for twenty years, been everything from an adult crisis counselor to a mental health worker in shelters and support service hotels, doing the job by day while at night, I take in my surroundings on midnight strolls, emerging from my old apartment on Pill Corner and walking until three am…walking and watching and watching some more…and despite the neighborhood’s reputation, believe it or not, I was never terrorized, robbed, beaten up…

None of it.

In all those years of wandering, nothing ever happened to me, not while talking to the dealers I came to know while sitting and smoking cigarettes on the front steps of my building, or the odd corner conversation with those who live on the streets, maybe handing out a cigarette or joking around…I never even got hassled by the addicts I came to know through my work by day or the streets at night.

Sure, I spotted the precursors to a couple of robbery attempts: the baseball bat inside the trenchcoat on Turk near Jones, or the guy coming up behind me on Larkin, between O’Farrell and Geary while the guy in front tried stopping me for a light. Once I called 911 after the stranger I was talking to got jumped at Ellis and Hyde, and I waited around to make sure the ambulance came and hell, I even called in a body I stumbled across underneath the Moser Apartment overhang on Turk Street, right by the grocery store, the one owned by that cool Asian couple who let me borrow their hand truck when I moved…and that’s what I’m talking about…for all the bullshit reputations this neighborhood is forced to take on, the good stuff I’ve seen creates a more than equal balance. From the happiness of the toothless woman who begged change outside the Walgreens on Van Ness and Eddy, introducing me to her boyfriend, proudly telling me they were now engaged, to the guy I often spoke to out front of the corner store at Eddy and Leavenworth, telling me about his successful heart surgery…and I won’t soon forget the client I worked with at the shelter for just two weeks before he disappeared, only to have him break down and cry when I ran into him on the streets a year later outside Ken’s Kitchen at Polk and Eddy, emotional just because I remembered his name, and addressed him by it.

People.

They’re all people.

I don’t care how hard so many San Franciscans try to forget that basic fact, they’re still people.

The main newspaper in town, it loves to celebrate the occasional entrepreneur who raises himself up, out of the ashes of these streets, makes a success of himself and though these people should be celebrated, they shouldn’t be held up as a beacon to judge those not yet in the light. What about the guy who cries as you walk him into his first hotel room, the first place he’s been able to call his own in ten years. I’ve seen it…let’s celebrate that guy’s success too and let’s celebrate the people who made it through their haze, the needle or the pipe to get to another day, and another opportunity to do better, to be better. Yeah, celebrate them and don’t use the guy who made it shining shoes as an excuse to condemn those who pissed on yours. Rags to riches make a nice narrative, but they are the rare reality and surely not the benchmark with which to judge the rest of the Tenderloin, the rest of this amazing, colorful neighborhood.

Wanna know when you give up on an individual, for every poor choice he makes?

You don’t.

And wanna know when you give up on the Tenderloin?

Never.

Shit, you really want to fix these fifty blocks? Create jobs, lower rents, provide drug treatment, treatment, treatment… You want to get rid of panhandlers? You gotta do more than give people a room and call it a day…

That’s the reality.

The rest is just bitching from behind your closed, locked doors.

How can you give up on a place that is home to so many, and so unique, block after block of SRO’s and cheaper apartments, so many of which were built soon after the earthquake in 1906, and one of the few neighborhoods where low income individuals, families and for that matter, a social worker like me can afford to live…

And enjoy, and wander through and help to build…

It was my home a few years ago, and in a month it will be home again…and I couldn’t be happier about it…poetry readings at Edinburgh’s Castle, punk shows at the Hemlock and art shows at the Shooting Gallery…yeah, so the next time you find yourself in the TL, maybe having a beer at the Brown Jug, the 21 Club or taking in a Sharks game at the Outsider…

Take a look around, I just might be there…watching. Next to New Orleans, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be…

Have a nice day.

Back to the spill tomorrow, but first…

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Here's looking at you...dip-shit.

Ever read an article that you found to be so well written, informative and funny (cause its true) you felt the need to put it out there and share? Yeah, me too…from the wonderful writers at Cracked, enjoy this article about the wealthy gaffe-challenged -

“All of a sudden, it’s like you can’t make huge amounts of money without people getting all pissed off about it. And it’s only going to get worse — with the election coming up and the weather getting warmer, this whole “Occupy” movement is probably going to come back strong. The 1 percent will feel even more besieged than before.

“What the hell?” you’re probably thinking, if you’re somehow both rich and reading an article with this title, “I didn’t crash the economy!” You might even be tempted to take to a microphone, to defend yourself and your wealthy friends. But before you do, I want you to stop and ask yourself, “Will this make me sound like an out-of-touch douchebag?”

Continue reading…trust me, it’s worth it.

6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying…

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

March 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM

On Koch: Mental health, Martin Luther and martyrs…

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Martyrdom? I could build you some crosses...

It would seem if one wanted to get an idea of a person’s mental health, about their emotional disposition, one thing to do would be to take a look at their reactions to receiving hundreds of death threats. Would they brag about it in the media? Would they become introspective? What would they do, especially if they were very wealthy and a captain of industry and the founders of Tea Party activist group called (couple of) Americans for Prosperity?

Well, now’s our chance to find out…

Charles Koch recently gave a phone interview where he said, “We are under attack from various directions, both with threats of violence against us personally, and with threats of attacks on our business.”

Okay, so like I wrote, if one receives death threats, a lot of death threats, it would seem there are a couple of ways to go with this…

1.

Stop a moment and think, why do all these strangers hate me so much, what am I doing that they consider so wrong? Is there anything I want to change about these practices or at least, perhaps, really listen for a moment to what to others might be saying?

2.

Ignore all that by way of megalomania, and then proceed to take a martyr position.

So, let’s see what happens…

“The threats,” Charles Koch continued, “are obviously worrisome to me, but I kind of relate to what Martin Luther said ‘Here I stand; I can do no other’…the importance of helping to save America from a financial disaster that is going to hurt everyone…the threats against us are nothing compared with that disaster, if we fail…”

Jesus…so I suppose we know which way he went on that one.

Yep, Koch then goes on to say how continued spending will cost America its competitive edge, and lead to the decline of its culture and political system…

Interesting…

Interesting that he leaves out the part about our competitive edge diminishing because our nations schools are falling apart over lack of funding, our culture is imploding in part due to lack of cultural programs in our schools, again because of lack of funding and our political system? Well, the majority of Americans believe it’s a shambles in large part because of decisions like Citizens United which allows people like the Koch Brothers to form Super PAC’s and flood election campaigns with corporate money for corporate favors, all the while drowning out the voices of your average everyday American…and, of course, when tax codes and loopholes are kept in place to allow the wealthiest in this country to not pay their fare share, this is when we run into all this economic inequality and revenue problems that lead to all this lack of funding for education and basic needs which then destroys our competitive edge…

But them’s just details.

Not to mention, Koch gave this phone interview from Koch Brothers headquarters in Wichita, a city in a county doing so well financially they recently had to stop prosecuting domestic violence cases because the county cannot afford to prosecute them any longer…

So, I don’t know…

If Koch really wants to play martyr, maybe his significant other could just, you know…because it’s not like she’d be prosecuted.

Read the article:

Charles Koch, employees reveal e-mailed threats from past year

Have a nice day.

Say it with me GOP…

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Oil companies? What? Now excuse me, I need to get to my church where I'm signed up to volunteer at the soup kitchen tonight...

So, when the House of Representatives proposes to cut guaranteed funds from public transportation which will cause city transportation systems to run in the red, thus requiring cities to raise bus/train/subway fares, fare increases which disproportionately affect poorer residents…

What do we call that?

It’s called a tax.

More specifically, it’s called a regressive tax on the poor, people otherwise known as those who can least afford a tax right now.

And, when the House of Representatives, also as part of their transportation bill, proposes to open nearly all coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, including those places which are environmentally fragile for the stated purpose of raising revenue to pay for the transportation bill, despite their continued, steadfast support of subsidies for oil companies which already are making money hand over fist…

What do we call that?

It’s called a giveaway, a non-starter.

More specifically, it’s called taking money from the poor to give to uber-wealthy corporate campaign donors for the benefit of nobody but GOP Congressman and the masters they bow to, all at the expense of America.

In other words, Boehner’s bullshit transportation bill is just one more piece of manufactured garbage intent on giving more breaks to those who don’t need it while breaking the backs of those who are struggling.

Read the article:

A Terrible Transportation Bill

Have a nice day.

This week, it was not Jindal’s fault…

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I shit you not, Chuck Norris's balls are this big! I know! I've seen them! In the helicpter when we were fighting the oil spill!

Quite the week for Mr. Jindal.

Bobby goes to CPAC.

Bobby releases his budget for Louisiana.

Bobby blames everybody but Bobby for all the criticisms levied against the decisions and policies of Bobby.

Gotta feel for the guy, though…it must be difficult to be the only reasonable man in not only Louisiana, but the United States…the only true conservative, the only one willing to fight for the Louisiana coast he didn’t really care about until he saw the possibility to earn political points by developing a sudden, long-standing love of all things nature and fighting and Obama sucks and aviator sunglasses badassery!…oh, and the only man to care so much about fiscal responsibility, he’s willing to make the hard choices that fuck the poor out of health care and he had to, because those health care providers and bureaucrats just didn’t listen to him, didn’t plan and since they didn’t, who would Jindal be to try to remedy the situation and ensure his state’s citizens are cared for? Certainly not a benevolent leader of any sort, after all, his hands are clean and leadership is only for brief moments when one gets to ride helicopters and criticize the federal government…

Ah, but I’m rambling…let’s review, shall we?

Jindal went to CPAC and told a rabid crowd how badly Obama screwed up in the oil response, how he had “wasted precious time while that oil was coming to our coast, they refused to listen to the people who lived along the coast that knew better than the experts.”

Yeah, Obama was the only idiot in the Gulf. Because Jindal certainly never signed off on an emergency plan filed by BP which included the names of dead scientists to be contacted in case of an oil spill. Jindal never pushed forth a plan to create sand berms which not only wouldn’t stop the oil, but would also wash back into the Gulf and wouldn’t you know it, happened to make a profit for the Shaw Group, one of Jindal’s campaign donors.

Mere details, details not included in his speech because obviously, none of it was Bobby’s fault, it was Obama. If Barack Obama had just given Jindal what he needed, when he needed it, the damages from the spill would have been entirely mitigated, because for years Jindal and his cronies sat around the governor’s mansion anticipating the breach of the Macondo Well. They were all over that shit. And of course Jindal didn’t contrast democrat Obama’s horrible BP response with Bushco’s republican wonder works after Katrina…if it were to be asked, he would probably call the comparison irrelevant, not even worth a comment, not to mention politically unpalatable.

Next, Jindal proposes a new budget for Louisiana that not only privatizes everything he can get his hands on (because if there’s one thing we’ve learned since 2008, it is the efficiency and success of private industry, you know, like all things financial market and banks and auto industry and Standards and Poverty) he figures in more cuts to public health and surprise! No more cuts to higher education.

When it comes to state health, Jindal is calling for the removal of $34 million dollars in funds to the LSU network of public hospitals and clinics serving the poor and uninsured. Thousands of people receiving care from LSU would have to look for care elsewhere, where there is none, and hundreds of hospital workers would be laid off. LSU of course expressed disappointment in this development while Jindal’s health care secretary blamed LSU for recklessly overspending and blaming the administration. Also, Jindal proposes to cut reimbursement rates to doctors who work with Medicaid, but relax, politicians love to say, they’re not cutting even more services, just provider rates which…shhhhh, make doctors stop offering medicaid services in order to not go bankrupt, thus depriving health choices from the poor, yet again, so the poor, fucked again, but who cares in these times of austerity? Certainly not Bobby, All he knows is it certainly isn’t his fault LSU cared more about providing services and less about the budget. These are tough times! These are times of sacrifice! Jindal is more than willing to prove his conservative bonafides by balancing his budgets on the backs of the poor so what makes LSU’s public hospital so immune, so special?

Maybe if they served more rich people, they’d be in better financial shape.

Anyways, onto higher education which Jindal will not cut in this current budget and we certainly could applaud this, especially if we choose to forget the past three years, but maybe the reason he didn’t cut funding to colleges and universities this year is he already took everything he could over the past three…all $251 million dollars worth. Perhaps he’d been informed that if he cut anything else, the colleges were going to have to steal manufacturing jobs from the prisons, requiring students to work two hours a day in the gymnasiums making gloves or running call centers, the profits from which universities could then use to offset  further cuts to their budgets.

Hey, didn’t Jindal also say he was going to sell prisons in this new budget? So maybe there will be manufacturing contracts available after all.

Sigh…

Yes, it’s Jindal’s Louisiana…where quick, reactionary answers are proffered for any question.

BP oil spill?

Obama did it, or at least he applauded it and did very little while Bobby hung from a helicopter in a bomber jacket, sporting cool shades  and a bucket bailing out the Gulf with the help of Chuck Norris!

Denying health care to the poor?

That’s got nothing to do with Bobby. That’s LSU’s fault for not working harder to craft a more stringent budget and take on their own responsibility in denying healthcare to the poor. And hey, if those doctors decide to stop offering medicaid services because politicians like Jindal keep starving them out through reimbursement rate reductions, well, that’s on those greedy fucking doctors and their love of not declaring bankruptcy.

Funding higher education?

Hey, Jindal already cut $251 million dollars over the past three years and this year, if he tries to cut more, Tulane will have to begin selling their students for scientific experiments…

Quick answers.

No blame.

Well…no blame for Bobby, everybody else will have to shoulder their share of the responsibility, especially those who are suffering already…

After all, tightening the vise on those who can least afford it is the republican way.

Read the articles:

At CPAC, Jindal revives attack on Obama administration over oil spill recovery

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration, LSU spar over cuts at public hospitals and clinics

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s state budget proposal is expected to avoid cuts in higher education

Have a nice day.

Dear Chris Dodd of the MPAA…SOPA/PIPA NSFW version

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Cash your check!

Hey Chris…

It’s me, Drake…

Just letting you know I haven’t forgotten what a whore you are/were for your big buddies of capitalism, those corporate cronies idolized in your wistful wet dreams of power that left you swooning so hard, you just had to become one more pathetic lobbyist…

A lobbyist…do the world a favor and step on the third rail!

So, now you work for the MPAA?

Okay, fuck you and SOPA.  Fuck you and PIPA.

You and your bullshit legislation have  been revealed for what it is, an end run around due process, and you and your cohorts are no more than a censorship loving, greedy bunch of assholes that would just as soon burn the internet to cinders if you don’t get your last goddamned royalty dime, a cause which you claim to have taken up for the artists…the artists!

Since when do you corporate assholes care about artists?!?!?

Please…fuck you, you fuckers!

Oh, and Chris?

Thanks for being just one more asshole congressman who sells their soul to whatever corporation for their own profit at our expense. May I someday run into you to personally laugh at your utter lack of integrity…and just in case you’re wondering if I’m one of those people who maybe gets meek when actually running into the kind of prick who feels their practiced political grin somehow insulates them from their hypocrisy, just enough, so they don’t actually get called out in front of whomever happens to be there at the time? Umm…nahhh! I would be glad to do it. I would be glad to follow you and the other bastards just like you around everywhere you go, slashing your car tires, shaving your heads, dumping every plate of food you order on the floor and throwing every drink you buy in your pasty white face…right before I officiate over your getting dragged out of whatever French Quarter bar by your red, white and blue tie, into the street where your face is pushed into authentic, mule shit, in front of the hotel where Elvis Presley shot a scene from King Creole…

Fucker…

And when you wake up in the morning, stand at the bathroom mirror all steamed up and in a towel…wondering just what has gone wrong with this country?

Recognize, you ass! It’s you! People just like you!

You tell yourself this, you explain to yourself that, you rationalize every last shred of your decency for the profit of your next pimp and…integrity? You got no clue what the word even means, you ridiculous disaster of a human void and I got no problem telling you what you’ve become…

Asshole!

Fucking MPAA, RIAA…you serve no purpose but censorship and profit for everyone but the artists!!

In other words…you’re useless, you and your compromised beliefs, if you ever had any you stood by in the first place…

Sincerely,

- Drake

Oh, and God Bless America…

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

January 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM

In here is more important than out there…

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Ken Feinberg, before the audit pushed him under the water...and held him there...

Internals and externals…

Why do I do what I do? Why do I write the things I do on the internet? For what purpose?

Do I believe that by writing all the things I’ve written over the past year or so about British Petroleum, Ken Feinberg, the GOP, Barack Obama and whatever else will create a world of my liking…that British Petroleum will finally admit just how bad they’ve fucked up, and how yes, they could have been more careful and now…they are truly ready to make things right in the Gulf Coast? Or maybe Ken Feinberg will finally admit he could have done a much better job at compensating people for British Petroleum’s cluster-fuck rather than hiding behind a bunch of platitudes such as – look how much I’ve paid out! Look how many claims we’ve received! Hey, this is a lot better than Road Home…right right? Just one more blog post and Ken will fess up, review the claims again, give the benefit of the doubt, really be more generous than any court of law, stop being content with a reasonable margin of error and make sure that nobody, zero…no deserving claims go unpaid. Or maybe the next post I write will finally convince greedhead dipshits like Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and all the corporations they enable how the main goal in life, and the main theorem of their oft-espoused Poli- Christianity is not “Fuck that guy! I got mine!”

Hmm…I’m thinking none of this is very likely.

BP will continue to be BP up to, and including their next environmental disaster and employee death.

Ken Feinberg will continue to get rich from the denial of his conscience.

Politicians will continue to spin, help the haves get more so they can retain whatever it is they are trying to retain in lieu of a fucking soul.

Oh, and New Orleans will still have crime and poverty problems because nobody local, state or national really wants to do that much about the cause, instead preferring to criminalize the symptoms of all these problems we have.

Okay…so then, why write at all…because, sometimes, in here is more important than out there.

The reasons why I do what I do is because it’s what I know how to do and by doing it…this helps me get along in my day to days. Venting. Expressing. Blowing off steam so I don’t start looking fondly at Guns and Ammo magazine. These things help maintain a balance within myself and continue on down the roads of self-cultivation as I filter my experiences through eastern philosophies for context and a greater understanding of my condition and how it relates to the world…out there.

And hey, if it helps or gives some enjoyment to others along the way?

Cool.

So keeping all that in mind, a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of the New Orleans Ladder, I read Nicholas Payton’s blog post entitled Fuck the 99% and my initial reaction to this piece was Fuck Nicholas Payton. His post seemed pretty judgmental (something I know a lot about) very cynical and way off base, at least from my experience on why people in the 99% movement were/are involved in the 99% movement…and he seemed to be saying that people should focus on inner peace and if they did, the world would take care of itself. My initial reaction aside, I did some more thinking about what he said as far as living authentic, connected lives and letting that outside world take care of itself and I realized Payton was right…and wrong.

I believe we need to do both.

We need demonstrations, anger in the streets and more connection to our surrounding communities…and we also need to take a hard look at ourselves and where we’re at and why it is we do what we do and how to come to terms with all of it…to find peace within.

Oh, and just when you think you’ve got yourself figured out?

Then, look again.

Developing inner peace as an internal reflection to what we wish for from an external world is just as important as being involved in helping to create that world, be it demonstrations, teaching, writing, family, what have you…so yeah…we enter a new year, and in here may be more important than out there, but out there is still something to pay attention to, be happy with or angry about and then respond accordingly, the best way you see fit.

And one of the actions I’ve chosen, along this road, is to write, and even if whatever I write never matters to anyone at all…it does matter to me, and my continuing search for balance…so, so be it…

And, when it does come to that external world:

1. Here’s hoping the federal audit of the GCCF is more than a smokescreen providing economic and political cover to Feinberg, British Petroleum and the Obama Administration.

2. Here’s hoping that criminal charges against British Petroleum finally come.

3. Here’s hoping we get to cheer the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl, and the same goes for the San Jose Sharks and the Stanley Cup.

Peace!

Have a nice day.

New Years Day…

with one comment

Back…at…it…

“Willing To Fight”

The windows of my soul are made of one way glass
don’t bother looking into my eyes
if there’s something you want to know, just ask
I got a dead bolt stroll, where I’m going is clear
I won’t wait for you to wonder, I’ll just tell you why I’m here

’cause I know the biggest crime is just to throw up your hands
say this has nothing to do with me, I just want to live as comfortably as I can
you got to look outside your eyes, you got to think outside your brain
you got to walk outside your life to where the neighborhood changes

tell me who is your boogieman, that’s who I will be
you don’t have to like me for who I am
but we’ll see what you’re made of by what you make of me
I think that it’s absurd that you think I am the derelict daughter
I fight fire with words…words are hotter than flames, words are wetter than water

I got friends all over this country
I got friends in other countries too
I got friends I haven’t met yet
I got friends I never knew
I got lovers whose eyes
I’ve only seen at a glance
I got strangers for great grandchildren
I got strangers for ancestors

I was a long time coming, I’ll be a long time gone
you’ve got your whole life to do something, and that’s not very long
so why don’t you give me a call when you’re willing to fight
for what you think is real, for what you think is right

Hear hear…

See you tomorrow…

Have a nice day

Written by Drake Toulouse

January 1, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Republican coincidence and payroll tax holidays…

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"The finest day that I've ever had, was when I learned to cry on command..."

At the end of this month the payroll tax holiday will expire, and if allowed to lapse, it will come as a tax increase for working lower and middle class Americans. The Democrats, including Obama, are in favor of an extension while many Republicans are not. Many Republicans are demanding the extension be offset by spending cuts elsewhere or simply done away with altogether.

Why? Simple…

According to Macroeconomic Advisers, allowing it to lapse “would reduce GDP growth by 0.5 percent and cost the economy 400,000 jobs.” An analyst at Barclay’s estimated that letting the cut expire would knock 1.5 percent off of first quarter growth next year. Ameriprise Financial Services, meanwhile, estimated that extending the cut “is likely to add between 750,000 to 1 million jobs.” “Payroll tax cuts are very powerful,” added Allen Sinai, chief economist of Decision Economics. “They provide a boost to direct income and, in turn, spending, which is important to growth.”

Oh wait…forget that part…no, the reason some Republicans would be so willing to let it expire is our out of control deficit…fiscal prudence at its best, yes-sir, so fiscally responsible these Republicans, the cult of Norquist clan, they would allow a tax cut to expire. What an example of sacrifice? Imagine that, they finally agreed, not all tax cuts could be forever sacrosanct…oh, and the fact this party is oft accused of defending only the wealthy, and the fact this tax cut only benefits the working poor and middle class, not the wealthy…

I’m sure this is coincidence.

Has to be.

Just as I’m also sure it is only coincidence the Bush tax cuts, those gifts to the rich and a large part of our current deficit, weren’t required to be paid for while the payroll tax holiday, so many Republicans demand, must be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Yes, this Republican coincidence is but one of many these days…

Take a look at the job creators, for instance. Nick Hanauer, a successful venture capitalist recently wrote an op-ed, stating:

Consider, for example, that a puny 3 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million would be enough to maintain and expand the current payroll tax cut beyond December, preventing a $1,000 increase on the average worker’s taxes at the worst possible time for the economy. With a few more pennies on the dollar, we could invest in rebuilding schools and infrastructure. And even if we imposed a millionaires’ surtax and rolled back the Bush- era tax cuts for those at the top, the taxes on the richest Americans would still be historically low, and their incomes would still be astronomically high…Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit.

Yet, the Republicans would rather it be discovered they wet the bed than raise taxes on the wealthy, on those job creators…God save the job creators, even if they call bullshit on their actual ability to create jobs…and I suppose this only makes no sense at all, none…I mean, the Bush tax cuts have been in effect for what, 10 years or so, yet strangely enough we’ve had a recession, we’ve watched a looting of pension plans, a housing collapse and high sustained unemployment for years… And through it all, the fact those taxes on the wealthy, meant to create jobs have done everything but create jobs?

Coincidence.

But I digress, back to that tax break the Republicans are so sketchy about, the one that coincidentally doesn’t help the wealthiest of this country…when John Boehner was asked if letting the tax cut expire would hurt the economy, he replied, “I’m not an economist. I don’t know what kind of impact it’s going to have on the economy.”

Not an economist?

Yet he was sure the deficit didn’t matter when Bush was president, growing exponentially due to unfunded wars, tax breaks for the wealthy and that huge gift bag to pharmaceutical companies.

Just as he is now sure, that since Bush is no longer President, the deficit is destroying America as we know it, that if allowed to continue, not only will the deficit destroy our ability to manufacture American flags for the waving, but your mother’s apple pie? As a country, we will no longer be able to support the cost involved in using ovens, ever again. We will be one flag-less pie-less country, that much closer to gay marriage if we don’t do something about the deficit, like yesterday. He means…now. 

Oh, but that Boehner suddenly lost his economist credentials, that he devolved into financial confusion when it was time for this tax break that doesn’t expressly help the wealthy?

Another matter of simple coincidence.

However…to be fair…Boehner has come around the past day or so, the GOP is coming around and now say the payroll tax holiday should be passed. John himself has said, ““The fact is that Republicans are doing everything we can to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn.”

Course, that was Public John Boehner. And what did Private John have to say about the payroll tax holiday?

Well, behind closed doors, he told his membership they were pushing a package that not only included the extension, but also more environmental deregulation, more sales of broadband spectrum and a change in policy to help pass the Keystone XL pipeline so, you know, he could  turn “chicken shit into chicken salad.”

The ingredients of chicken salad of course being heavier pollution, sick kids, global warming, monopolies on spectrum leading to a lack of diversity on our airwaves, and a big fucking pipe to take oil all the way across our country from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, oil from tar sands development which is about as environmentally friendly as, well, as most Republican policy.  

Oh, and that John Boehner didn’t refer to this tax break, which doesn’t help the wealthy, as “chicken shit” in public?

Coincidence…you know it.

Yes…coincidence…of course this is what it is, what all of this is.

Cutting taxes on job creators so they continue to not create jobs, unfunded tax breaks for the wealthy while tax breaks for the working poor and middle class must be offset by spending cuts, spectrum sales and pollution, and Boehners ability to be an arch-economist who sometimes, economically speaking, is dumb as a stump…

All of it coincidence…surely.

What other explanation is there?

Have a nice day.

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