In here is more important than out there…

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.

Advertisements

The hardest political choice…

Yeah, I gotta hard choice for ya...

Compassion…

That’s right, compassion… I keep hearing politicians talk about hard choices, about tough decisions and being realistic…you know, their usual line and all of it typically means only one thing…but I’m getting ahead of myself here…

Let me start over…

So, few days ago I was blocking traffic on a bridge as part of a national day of action. Good time, didn’t necessarily agree with the tactic but felt it important enough to be a part of the overall message, the anger at the destruction wrought by income inequality in this country, the idea that people, wealthy people and corporations need to pay their fair share for a society they reap untold benefit from yet seem to feel they have little to no responsibility towards, this despite all the assistance they get, be it the use of roads, protection from the police, fire, maybe even generous financial subsidies from the government. Would seem pretty simple. If society goes to shit, wealthy people and corporations are going to be affected same as anybody else…perhaps not as severe but affected nonetheless. In any case, on the bridge, good feelings of doing something active, being a part of things and making a positive choice, myself and everybody else made a choice to be on that bridge…don’t know what everybody else gave up but I gave up needed sleep, some time to myself and it turned the better part of my day into a rush job so I could get back to work: third shift all night talking to and assisting people who have reached their end of it, either with thoughts of suicide, or actual attempts…and that night, like last night, like tonight…finances are a tremendous stressor and in these hard financial times, this is precisely when many people need help the most…but then, in between my time on the bridge and going to work I read in the news about how the mayor has passed a new budget, and surprise, surprise…the talk is about “hard choices,” about an “honest budget,” and while he and the city council talk solemnly about their honesty…they lie their asses off, either that or they are absolute bastards and either way, it doesn’t speak much to any of their character.

Why?

Simple…

Their “hard choices” meant they chose to close budgetary holes by attacking the needs of the poor and middle class.

These politicians chose to privatize city health clinics, thus ensuring fewer people get medical care and those that do,wait longer…all so someone else gets a profit and the city saves money. They chose to close half of the city’s mental health clinics, thus ensuring people with mental health issues either cannot get treatment or also must wait much longer. They also chose to lay off people working the 911 lines, this ensuring people who call for help, they too will wait longer…and they chose much more…higher city fees and penalties which will affect those of meager means far more than their wealthier neighbors…and by neighbors, I mean the people who live on the other side of town, far away.

These austerity measures are the politicians’ “hard choices,” for their “honest budget,” but in truth, there wasn’t anything hard about it at all. That’s just a vernacular they use at get togethers, or with the press to make themselves feel better for the damage they cause to real people.

You see, these politicians have been making these choices for forty fucking years and these politicians, and the corporations and the wealthy? They are the ones who benefit the most from these “hard choices.” Everybody else? Yeah, screwed just a little more, year after year after year…budget cut after cut after cut… The only way these choices would really be hard for the politicians who make them is if they truly cared about those who suffered as a result, but I would argue they don’t care, not really for if they did they simply wouldn’t do it. They would raise taxes, they would cut spending on subsidies for wealthy corporations, they would do a number of things that might even be the kind of hard choices to jeopardize their future electability…all in the name of compassion, and doing the right, moral thing.

Yes, compassion is the hard choice, the choice they are unwilling to make…and because of that people will suffer.

Some who are mentally ill will lose jobs, alienate family, abuse drugs and alcohol, or only receive treatment in prison where some will wind up as a result of their symptoms and what they do to alleviate them, which is especially sad as the city will pay more to lock them up then they would to provide treatment in the first place. Some people will die from physical illness or perhaps not go to the doctor until their ailments grow far worse and even more expensive, again to the city. Longer response time for 9-11 calls…again, suffering and some will die.

How many degrees of separation need to occur before these politician can sleep at night, distancing themselves emotionally from the blood on their hands as a result of their ballyhooed “honest budget?”

Hard to say, you’d have to ask the politicians themselves, but not just the politicians in my city, go across the country because these same decisions are happening nation wide and the same people are suffering as a result throughout the entire country.

Oh…but some will say we just can’t afford compassion anymore.

Yeah? Why is that?

I know…because for the past thirty plus years, politicians have been deregulating the markets, signing free trade agreements that are anything but, deregulating the banks and lowering tax rates on the wealthiest all so they can get elected, and as a result all the money that used to be used to pay for people, for compassion has been concentrated, hoarded, moved out of the country by the constituents these politicians actually do care about…the people who are not you or me and certainly not anyone who needs anymore help…They only really care about the job creators, those same job creators who aren’t creating any jobs…

And how long until this bullshit charade ends in the United States?

I don’t know…look in the mirror and ask yourself that question, because it really is up to you, up to all of us…and we’re all going to have to be patient in this fight because great change takes a long time…so if you’re game, settle in and let’s rebuild a nation that again gives a damn about the people living in it, and when this fight is over, it will be worth it…and if you have kids they’ll thank you for your trouble…everybody will except the 1% that loves it the way it is now…

Just a thought.

Oh, and on a more personal note…

Rahm?

You are truly pathetic and it’s easy to see how you were Obama’s chief of staff…the both of you only pay lip service to helping those who need it…especially around election time you lying sons of bitches…

And Boeing?

I lived in Seattle back when you played your corporate lottery to see which city would give you the sweetest deal for the headquarters of your corporate offices. Yeah just the latest company at the time to play community blackmail, thus forcing “hard choices” and “honest budgets” so you can line your coffers with blood money. You were a part of Seattle’s history and once a vital part of its community and identity, and you just betrayed them for profit.

Oh, and Twitter?

The progressive company…right. You threatened San Francisco with moving your company out of the city until they gave you a huge break on payroll taxes amongst other goodies that cost the city millions, all the while the city is forced to cut back on services, cut bus routes, cut, cut, cut…but hey, as long as you greedy assholes and frauds are getting wealthier…who cares, right?

Okay then, everybody else…

Have a nice day.

An open letter to the President, and both the Democratic and Republican Parties…

Hell, even GW Bush is impressed with how far to the right you managed to push budget negotiations… you know, to help the people you uh, you promised to help?

Hello…

So, I might as well address this to the highest ranking of you, though I’m not so sure that’s something to be proud of these days…in fact, from where I sit it’s something to be rather ashamed of but nonetheless, this goes out to Obama, Pelosi, Boehner, Cantor, Reid, Geithner, Bernanke, McConnell…

Yeah, all of you public servants(?)

Okay, something is happening in this country that none of you really seem to understand…I mean, have you looked around yourselves lately? In the cities? Have you read the polls? Have you bothered for a moment to look past your office walls, your meeting rooms and political staffers and handlers and their gratuitous nods of the head?

I don’t think you have…

You see, I and a lot of other Americans read the news and I don’t know about you politicians, but what I’m reading lately simply doesn’t make sense.

Poll after poll shows that Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy and the safety net? They want it left alone. It’s almost universal, bipartisan…consider these headlines of late: 68% of Millionaires support raising taxes on millionaires and Poll: Tax the rich, corporations and Vast Majority Of Americans Favor Buffett Rule’s Millionaire Tax: Poll Also consider these: Washington Post/Bloomberg poll: Even GOP majorities say tax rich, protect Social Security, Medicare and New Poll shows Republicans have it all wrong with Social Security and Attacks on Social Security called “un-American” and Faith groups target ‘Super Committee’ on poverty

That all seems a pretty clear message.

Yet, then I read this bullshit: Boehner Dismisses Democratic Super Committee Proposal As Unserious

Now, I happen to agree with Boehner about this, but me and the majority of Americans? Our reasons are quite different from Boehner and the GOP’s reasons for disagreeing with the proposal. Boehner says the Dem proposal is unserious because it raises taxes on the wealthy whereas I disagree with the Democratic’s proposal because it proposes billions in dollars in cuts to Medicare, even more extensive cuts than the Catfood Commission’s proposal. The cuts however, Boehner is almost fine with except he wants them to go deeper than the Democrats have proposed…

Okay, so…in light of all this, what the hell is wrong with you politicians?

You’re not listening…or maybe you are. Maybe you are listening quite intently, you’re just not listening to the majority of Americans, instead keeping your focused ear intently on your campaign donors, the financial institutions, big money lobbyists…essentially anyone but the American people.

Seems fairly evident, but I suspect you all might disagree with this assessment. Yeah, two words to that…fuck you. I’m not stupid, please stop treating me as such.

So then, if you are there in DC to do the work of the people, why is it you choose to ignore the people completely? This is why you have a 9% approval rating, Congress. Oh, and Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and the rest of you GOP hacks, what the American public really wants are jobs. Jobs!!!! And jobs aren’t created by lower taxes on the wealthy. Stop your bullshit, they aren’t. Jobs are created by demand. Demand is created by people with money to spend, keeping the social safety net and unemployment benefits puts money in people’s pockets, which they then spend which creates demand, which creates jobs. Know what else creates jobs? Spending on infrastructure, which again puts money in people’s pockets…and so on and so forth. Austerity makes everybody broke, nobody spends, no demand…it ain’t that hard to figure out…are you all just fucking stupid? Now, I know you have said that you’re spending cuts thus far enacted have created jobs, but they haven’t. In fact, they have done the opposite: REPORT: House GOP’s ‘Job Creating’ Spending Cuts Destroyed 370,000 Jobs.

Oh, and Barack and Nancy? Let’s not get all full of righteous indignation on this one. Last week, the GOP decided to put you guys in the corner by agreeing to one part of your jobs agenda, while linking it with a budget cut item: House GOP Lays Trap For Obama On Jobs Plan. Yeah, the GOP agreed to end a three percent withholding tax on private contractors intended to keep corporations from cheating the government on taxes, and in return the GOP proposed to pay for this by limiting Medicaid eligibility for people who also receive social security benefits.

Wasn’t that nice of them?

Private contractors get the a-ok to cheat on their taxes, paid for by kicking grandma and the disabled off their health insurance.

Well, it would seem this GOP proposal was tailor-made for the Democrats to stand up, just say no, go to bat for those less fortunate and tell the GOP to blow while explaining to the American people what the GOP was trying to get away with…except the Democrats didn’t do this. Nope. Instead, they agreed.

More money for the wealthy, more costs for the poor.

I seem to be picking up on a pattern here…Barack, Nancy, Harry…who are you standing up for?

You agree to Medicare cuts on the poor and kicking some people off Medicaid, which runs counter to what the American people have said they wanted. And you…Eric, John, and Mitch…you are giving more and more money to the wealthy, at the expense of the poor, which again, is the opposite of what the American people have said they want to see happen…

Yes, a pattern.

And then you wonder why thousands of people are hitting the streets nationwide, fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Oh wait, I forget, many of you have said you understand the people’s frustrations. Yeah, great…well I understand that you’re all a bunch of self-righteous assholes, but that don’t turn you into good people, now does it? Nope. And none of you are doing much about that frustration you claim to understand either, except presenting proposals that either do nothing to address income inequality, or will only serve to make it worse.

In these occupy demonstrations, in all of these different cities, stand Americans of every race, age, class and creed. And you know what else they are? They are the disenfranchised of this country. Do you think these people would be suffering the elements, the police brutality if they really felt that voting for one of you frauds would change anything? Doubtful. These protests, these people are the fruit of your labors, those who believe the system to be broken, or if it is working, it sure ain’t working for them…and not for me either. I’ve attended a few of these rallies in different cities and you know what I see? I see middle-aged couples, the elderly, the young, white, black, hispanic…and all these different members of society, they are uniting against you, against your bullshit ways, your bankrupting ways…your Republican power-grabs and your Democrat craven cavings to the financial industry and the banks…

And speaking of banks…

Hey Bernanke and Geithner, do you honestly think we haven’t been paying attention to what you’re currently letting Bank of America get away with?  And Barack, these assholes were appointed by you…so you’re on the hook as well. Right now, your crew, with GOP assent, is seeing fit to allow Bank of America to set up American tax-payers for another huge debt, all so this bank doesn’t have to pay for their own investment mistakes, again. Yes, Bank of America has moved 75 trillion dollars in potentially bad derivatives from its holding company, into Bank of America proper…want to know why?

Because unlike its holding company, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America is FDIC insured, so if these 75 trillion dollars in bad derivatives fail, the government (FDIC) will have to pay out, which of course means, the taxpayers have to pay out, bail out Bank of America for more bad investment decisions. Bernanke, Geithner and Obama are allowing this to happen. They are allowing this to happen to you… once again taking the money from the middle class and potentially giving it to the wealthy to compensate for their poor choices.

So back to that pattern:

The Democratic leadership, in the form of Pelosi, Reid and Obama have shown they are quite willing to cut the social safety net, to cut benefits to the poor and disabled, to the elderly so long as the Republicans are willing to allow some marginal taxes on the rich. The Republican leadership in the form of Cantor, Boehner and McConnell are of course unwilling to do this, no how, no way, and in return for their refusal, they want even deeper cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than the Democrats are willing to offer. Meanwhile, the Fed is letting Bank of America off the hook for bad investments again, with American tax-payers potentially footing this bill if the derivatives go bad…again moving money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

Yes, a pattern.

These politicians, elected by the American people only agree on one thing, doing whatever it is the American public doesn’t want you to do while at the same time, doing very little about job creation.

Yet all of you feel you should be reelected.

Why is that?

Since the occupation protests have begun, thousands of protestors have been arrested across this country…but of the people working in the financial institutions who caused the recession that led to millions of lost jobs, of bankrupted pensions, savings, cities and states?

Nobody arrested. None. Zero.

Again, why is that?

Are you simply admitting in cold hard arrest statistics that the rule of law is dead, provided you are wealthy enough to have received a Bush tax cut, extended further by Obama? Is that the established line in the sand? If you qualify to receive a tax break due to wealth, the law no longer applies to you?

I’m thinking that rather than being reelected, what should really happen here is Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Bernanke, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and Geithner, all of you need to wind up in a cell right next to the heads of the major banking institutions in this country. You all, who have taken it upon yourselves to damn your children’s futures for your own selfish gain.

Pathetic, all of you.

Off to jail, lock them in the Bastille…why not? What do we really have to lose anymore?  This way, the rest of us can try this again, we can have our country back, see if we can do better and I’m betting we can. After all, you pathetic politicians have lowered the bar so far…be pretty damned impossible to do worse.

Or better yet, get involved with the Occupy Protests in your city, what else you gonna do? Sit bitching on the sidelines? Vote? Yeah, good luck with that…the people currently in power, and the politicians too would like nothing better than for you to just stay home and vote at the appropriate time for one of the politicians they’ve hand-selected to serve (them) you…

Think about it.

And have a nice day, even the aforementioned politicians…right before you trip down your front steps and chip your tooth on the sidewalks our taxes paid for…and if you bloodied your nose, that’d be cool too. Okay…I’m sorry about that last part, not that I didn’t mean it…I’m just sorry about being petty sometimes, trying to work on that…kind-of.

Oh, and P.S. – To the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan…resign, and take the members of the Oakland Police Department who caused the violence with you…you’re all one collective disgrace…and to San Francisco (interim) mayor, Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr, stop with the games already…you really want another Oakland on your hands? Seriously…let it go.

So the GOP response to economic inequality is…

In his High School yearbook, Eric Cantor was voted most likely to soil his Armani underwear.

…running away?

…especially when they can’t control who will be in the audience?

…especially when many in that audience think Eric Cantor and the GOP response form a large part of the overall problem, championing many policies that cause much of the afore-mentioned economic inequality?

Okay then, glad we got that settled.

Eric Cantor and the GOP’s official response to issues raised by the Occupy Protests is as follows: gulp loudly, then don’t show up out of fear you won’t be able to control the crowd or the questions, with all of it on camera. Well played guys, and thanks for the update Eric…you complete and utter coward.

From the article in Firedoglake:

“Eric Cantor, staunch protector of the 1 percent and champion for that portion of the 99 percent duped into protecting the 1 Percent, but ever fearful of the mob, startled a disbelieving Beltway a few days ago by announcing that income and wealth inequality were real problems and that the GOP should do something about that.

In a moral universe, that epiphany should have been followed by lightning striking the man, as on the road to Damascus, but that didn’t happen.

Cantor promised to address those issues in a speech he planned to give today at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. What would an unrepentant representative of the 1 Percent possibly have to say? Would he explain why the Senate members of his party unanimously opposed taxing the rich at one half of one percent on annual income over a million dollars so we could have 400,000 more teachers and thousands more first responders?

Well, we may never know. It seems Mr. Cantor has bugged out, after learning from his hosts that his speech might become the occasion for a mic check.

To continue reading about the credibility issues of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), please…just click below:

Eric Cantor Skips Wharton Inequality Speech Out of Mic Check Fear

Have a good day, a better day than the House GOP leadership when they meet tomorrow in Boehner’s office, to discuss how this fiasco played out for their side, across all forms of media…

Oops…