Monday, November 28, 2011

Obama, The Economy, History & Election 2012

Here's the online story from my hometown broadsheet, the San Francisco Chronicle.

Democrats grab momentum on volatile GOP contest which describes the the state of the GOP nominee field and how it stacks up with the incumbent with the inclusion of economic and foreign policy factors.  A lively discussion in the comments section ensued, including the following:

mwrg 9:06 AM on November 28, 2011
Do you honestly see this President being re-elected with these kinds of unemployment and consumer confidence numbers? Seriously?

Do you think the economy is going to magically get better over the next year under this guy? It may be above your pay scale to pay attention to what's happening in Europe right now, for instance?

He's finished, and even most Democrats know it. The country is ready to cut its losses. If you haven't noticed the Conservative wave of the last 3 years, you're willfully blind. But then we knew that, didn't we?


mwrg 9:02 AM on November 28, 2011

Wow, color me shocked that a Chron "political writer" just wrote another piece slanted against Republicans and for Democrats.

Apparently she doesn't read her history however. The economic and political dynamics of this country are so akin right now to 1979, it's uncanny. Economics works in cycles, and politics follow. Carter 2.0 is in the White House right now. Remember what happened next?

About which, in response, I wrote:

Oh, my freaking gaud, look how gobsmacked I am that yet another perennially malcontent, cafeteria-style pseudorealist conservative grabs at minor circumstances that service his wishful narrative while ignoring the big picture that blows his playbook out of the water.

The early 1930s are more similar to the current crisis than 1979, where it took from October 1929 'til November 1932 to vote out enough of the anti-working class, pro-Wall Street/corporation Republican obstructionists in favor of FDR. That was three years and three weeks, which is just about exactly how long its been, now, since the investment bankers took their failed banks to be saved on the backs of American tax payers. FDR and new Democratic majorities, over time, ushered in real economic stimulus like the Work Projects Administration (very much like Obama's American Jobs Act) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (aka Roosevelt's Forest Army, the New Deal, twenty years of Democratic adminsitrations and forty years of Republican near irrelevance and unprecedented American prosperity. The almost universal Republican overreach in continued policies favoring corporations over the vast majority of working class, lower class voting American has awakened the current electorate's recognition and acknowldegement of the vivid destructiveness of the neo-conservative/religious right movement of the past thirty years.

In the 30s, Europe had been in economic ruin for over ten years similarly to Iceland ,Greece, Spain, Portugal & Ireland's current state, somewhat presaging what world class economists predict is an inevital replay of the financial catastrophe of eighty years ago that gave rise to political envirnonments that brought the world Mussolini, Franco, Nazi, and Bolsheviks fifteen years before that. Now, we have the Arab Spring and possible Arab League prominence in Egypt, The American Autumn.

The current circumstances bear a mere shallow comparison to 1979 which made Reaganomics and neo-con policies possible, & a whole lot greater resemblence to fifty years prior. That time brought us the New Deal, World War II, and paved the way for the rise of the Middle Class, The Great Society and major civil rights legislation which, in turn, enabled the way for bigoted Democrats' defections to the Republican party, the rise of the Religious Right and corporate cooptions of regressive groups and emergence of Reagan, et. al.'s Objectivist policies now utterly exposed for the hoax and fraud they are.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Magic vs Elbow Grease

It started with a post on Facebook referencing a story about complaints that the President's Thanksgiving radio message didn't mention a magical deity.

Obama Thanksgiving Speech Didn't Mention God
President Obama drew heat from critics for who he didn't thank during his Thanksgiving speech. The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the Presidient didn't mention God in his address and that's not sitting well with some conservative pundits, as seen in the video above.

To which I responded:
Nathan Garcia I dunno, but you gotta hand it to a guy who finds equal worth, under intense pressure to the contrary, in freedom FROM religion. I'm pretty damned thankful for that.

The deterioration of the thread lead to this:

M****** E L**** S*.[...] Remember, Jesus said the things HE could do, his followers could do, and greater. He was spiritually developed to the point of being able to control the weather, walk on water, and rasie the dead to life. What the people are being fed as Chrisitanity is OBVIOUSLY not the true teachings of Christ, since not one person has raised anyone fron death back to life so far. Ressurecting the dead, by the way, did not originate with the advent of Jesus into the world. Several of the prophets of Israel were recorde as having deone so. Therefore I must cocnclude there is some spritual methoddology, missing in the teachings we currently have available to us. Jesus indicated we are to primarily seek the Kingdom of God within ourselves, and NOT from the sky. Therefore as long as we continue to concieve as God as some being outside ourselves, we are looking in the wrong direction. Naturally your prayers weren't answered, you were sending them in the wrong direction. But you must acknowlege there was some kind of spiritual connection…however weak and misdirected, that was actualized in the fact that you survived.

Nathan Garcia It is recorded that I have raised the dead by the simple fact that I just wrote it down. It means nothing. The deity within ourselves is what we make of it; there is no supernatural anything going for us. Assertions that it's within and we just don't have control of the magic is wishful thinking. Hocus pocus. Superstition. Old wives' tales. It takes a special kind of antisocial pathology to deny our intrinsic, psychological interdependence on each other. We are social animals, and are genetically and psychologically bound to help each other in order to help ourselves overall. Rejection of that fact undermines the fabric of a functional society. Sociopaths such as Ayn Rand and her Objectivist philosophy, followed by Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan both Georges Bush, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Justices Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia and the entire neo-con, right wing, religious/Tea Party/Republican collective are exactly what brought our planet and our country to the sad state we're in. It's all based on discredited, reality disproven magical thinking, hocus pocus, wishful assertions that claim we just don't believe the lies stongly enough and that's why they don't work. In reality, religion, unregulated free markets and the rest of Reaganomics/trickle down economics don't work because they're false, antisocial and intrinsically self destructive.

J*** J***** ‎@Nathan. " Unregulated free markets." Is that a new, left wing, oxymoron, talking point or what? LMFAO!

And, immediately:

J*** J***** Two words you'll never hear from the left are, personal responsibility. It's there belief that only a nanny state, federal government, can take care of you because you're to stupid to do it yourself. Now, don't you feel insulted?

I know, I know. But, I just couldn't let it go.

Nathan Garcia @J*** J*****: Nearly unregulated free markets are what let investment banks take investor money to gamble away, destroying by as yet uncompensated fraud countless mutual funds and individual retirement savings accounts. Millions of seniors are suddenly without the retirement they saved all their lives to provide themselves (aka personal responsiblity), some of them slipping into poverty so severe they must choose between eating and rent, paying for medical care or paying for heating oil. The term is not a buzz word, left wing talking point or anything close to an oxymoron. Unregulated free markets are exactly the goal corporate oligarchs wish to achieve, and have been very nearly successful in getting for themselves since the 1980s neo-con grip on policy. The Glass-Steagal Act, enacted in June, 1933, specifically to avoid the large banking practices that led to both the Great Depression in 1929 and the current too-big-to-fail bank failures and bailouts. Credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and the other fraudulent financial instruments that sank Bear Stearns, Leman Bros, Citibank, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Washington Mutual to name but a few could not have happened without rampant deregulation at the hands of Reaganomics, neo-con policies. Good gaud, man, pay attention!

 Personal responsibility extends beyond an individual's well being into supporting the very society from which one derives benefit. Denigrating and dismissing one's social responsibilities is antisocial. The extent to which the right has abdicated responsibility for society at large in their quest of abject selfishness is pathological. Ask any qualifed psychology professional about the parallels of what is termed corporate feduciary responsibility and sociopathic behavior and you'll get an accurate, one-to-one correlation. It is willful ignorance to deny the fact that, as a society, everybody shares a responsibility to the extent of one's ability to contribute, especially in proportion to the benefit one derives from that society, to uphold the welfare of each and every individual in that society. For instance, corporations that benefit from publicly educated workers are responsible for contributing forward into the next generation of worker's educations. Corporate taxes to pay for schools, colleges and trade schools is the appropiately right and responsible thing to do. There are, indeed, degrees of responsibility dependant on the benefit a person or organization recieves from that society. Gouging the public without compensation is destructive, perverse and doomed to failure. History has unequivocally proved that time and again. Randian Objectivist selfishness is proven false in practice and is a thoroughly failed ideology. In other words, Reaganomics is a very well orchestrated hoax that got the entire world economy in the fine mess we're in.

 What psychological needs are filled for the likes of John Jensen in undermining even his own wellbeing in service of sick, universally destructive ideas that have been completely proven false? What drives one to ignore the proof of reality staring him or her in the face? You may claim whatever your convictions are, but there's nothing in your freedom of speech that obliges others to enable your delusions or behave as if you even have a point. You may continue ignoring reality, but don't expect the resto of society to agree, much less follow you in cutting your own throat.

Later on in the thread, I recieved some compliments on the last post and I suggested I'd repeated these points enough that the thoughts should at least, by now, be conherent, and I should perhaps post the thoughts to my blog and just link to it in future. So, here it is. 

Then, these came across

J*** J*****
‎@Nathan " The government dosen't solve problems, it subsidizes them." Ronald Reagan

J*** J*****
‎" You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build charactor and courage by taking away a men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves." Abraham Lincoln

Nathan Garcia
J*** J*****: Oh, yeah, the guy who ran on balancing the budget and improving Social Security, but spent so much on military boondoggles he raided the Social Security fund to cover his tracks and then claimed Social Security was a financial failure. Quoting the President that started the raid on the middle class as some kind of metric for virtue is the same kind of appeal-to-authority logical fallacy as quoting a book of ancient myths about a despotic, pernitiously cruel deity as a model of kindness and mercy. It's absurd and willfully ignorant in the face of proof to the contrary. That's hold-in-your-hand, unequivocal, indisputable proof, and not just contrary opinion, hyperbole or bloviation.

Applying the Lincoln quote to critique redress of the vast inequities of Reaganomics and the neo-con policies of the past thirty years is nothing more than an absurd list of false equivalencies. It's odd, don't you thnk, how the country prospered when the progressive tax rate was up to 70% above $2 million and 90% above $10M -- you know, during those idyllic 50s of unprecedented prosperity Republicans and right wing ideologues keep wanting us to return to socially but not fiscally -- and the country has faltered into despair since Reagan gratuitously declared governement as the problem as an excuse to dismantle public policy safeguards to the benefit of corporate interests. No one is suggesting, nor has there been any time in American history, a destruction of the rich to aid the poor. The proposed three percent raises in taxes, or even a return to the 35% top tier would ruin nobody. Claiming it would is fantasy, disingenuous, outright fallacy. Nobody is suggesting indescriminate waste, and every person in Congress agrees waste must be eliminated. It's just that the New Deal and the Great Society programs are not waste and even strengthen the country. And, any study not paid for by the Hoover Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise institute or the Chamber of Commerce -- that is, independant without a preordained agenda -- bears that out. Are you really suggesting the wage payer will be crippled by hoarding only a few percent less among their billions or even millions, or better yet, paying the same percentage of all their income as the salaried and minimum wage earner? It is the upper class, led by Richard Nixon (Southern Strategy) Ronald Reagan (Trickle down economics) GHW Bush (Wllie Horton), the Republican Party and billionaire funded, propagandaizing think tanks that have engaged in class warfare, and then hypocritically use the term on their economic victims when those so effected call them on it. No where and at no time have social programs removed individuals' initiative and independence as proven countless times by the millions of American of all ethnicities, races and creeds who have pulled themselves out of poverty, each to his own abilities, after recovery from rough times. The whole point of the social safety net is to provide help for those who are physically, mentally, emotionall unable to help themselves.

The brush with which you paint is as wide as it is false. Not one single one of your points is applicable to the real world. Every comparison you make is itself an indictment of your own brand of class warefare, attempts at underemining the dignity of those whom you label as other than yourself. History has already proven your positions false, unworkable and unsustainable. The vast majority of the population, worldwide and domestic, are on to the distortions, mischaracterizations, fallacies, magical thinking absurdity that are instrinsic to right wing propaganda which right wing despots and ideologues have been spouting so effectively these recent thirty years. Empty, corrupt, unsustainable, self-destructive. Say as you wish in whatever terms you care to use. Just understand you are exposed as one who substitutes conviction for reality, assertions for fact, and opinion for truth.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Letter to President Obama, 26 November 2011

Dear Mr. President:

What's going on here? Brutal police crackdowns on OWS protesters simultaneously across the land, an 18 mayor conference call with DHS, suppression of press coverage, intimidation abridging Speech, Assembly, Due Process, Equal Protection, Redress of Grievances rights. These police forces answer to you. Are you part of this?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Immigration Troubles

Immigration policy today is arbitrary, cold and perniciously cruel, never mind antithetical to original American character. What about the push to Christianize the country also created the we-versus-they need to turn our collective back on decency, humility and humane inclusion. Not charity, just plain equality. extending to everybody a strictly fair chance to achieve everything you take for granted? Immigrants overwhelmingly overcome cold hearted obstacles to normalize their being here to work and pay taxes for which they never, ever, receive any benefits. Yet, hateful people keep making up excuses to hate them, exclude them, make them different or somehow undeserving. Such ugliness is at the root of all the problems, financial, social, cultural and everything else. Being brought up in a predominantly religious environment makes people think they have some magical entitlement and that everything will somehow be magically okay if they are pure of heart, and then make up all kinds of crap to realign the world to reflect a magical purity of heart. Noble it is not. Immature and dysfunctional from the get go.

There are literally none among us who do not have ancestors who arrived among us without asking permission first. Nobody should have to. Everybody must be given a fair and even chance that made it possible for each and every citizen to be here now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Increases In The National Debt

This was posted

with the following comments, to which I responded...

P**** B*** The facts poke holes in all the Republican arguments. Republican policies created most of the debt. Republican policies gave us wars that are eating us alive. Republican deregulation gave us the financial crisis. The stock market and economy perform many times better under Democratic presidents than Republican presidents. Pick that stat, the facts show Republicans have all these issues wrong.

J*** S***** M******* Still does not absolve the Dems as they were just as responsible for the Debt in Repub parties drank the Kool-Aid and can-kicked this to the next gen. Both have to solve now the medium/long-term trend and meet in the middle to synch the fiscal disconnects. Tsunami approaches...Times up!

David S**** M****** As a conservative republican, can I please say let's all stop the name calling? The problem with this nation is not democrat or republican, it's the fact that for the last 40 years the people on the left have been moving to the extreme left and the people on the right have been moving to the extreme right. How can we ever solve the problems we face when we are so greatly divided? We need to meet in the middle and work together. There will always be issues that we are greatly divided on, but we're letting those issues cause a stalemate on all the others. All the nasty comments you've made about conservatives does not help. All the nasty comments conservatives have made about ya'll do not help. If we don't have each other's back then we will never survive. Yes, we should debate the issues and present our cases, but let us not get bitter and close ourselves off to one another, instead let us HEAR each other and UNDERSTAND each other and find some common ground. Is that really too much to ask? After all, it is our children who will have to suffer/benefit from the decisions we make, not us.

David S**** M****** granted I am reconsidering the whole conservative republican thing. i'm too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives. I'm a Christian first and foremost. God gave me this life and it is a precious gift. He gave me forgivness, for which I could never be worthy. He gave me this planet for which he instructed me to take care of it. I believe we should recycle and if we can find clean, renewable energy then let us use it and make it affordable. Let us clean up pollution. I do not support abortion unless the mother's life is in imminent danger. I do not support wealth redistribution, I believe in working for your wages, though I do believe in fair wages for fair labor, not union wages and not sweatshop wages. Where does this put me? I'm sure neither liberals or conservatives want to claim me, but that suits me just fine. I just try to stand up for what is right and what I believe in.

Phil N****** If your entire political standpoint is based on statements like "I'm Christian, God is good, etc, etc", I've got some news for you: God isn't paying our bills. If you REALLY and TRULY want religion to be part of our government, then let's start taxing the churches. Then I would have less of a problem with religious politics. However, and thankfully, there is SUPPOSED to be a separation of church and State.

David S**** M****** phil, that is not my entire political stance, though my faith certainly does drive many of my beliefs. The church does have a place in govt because many of us are religious, however, we do need a degree of seperation to ensure we don't have a situation like England had with the Church of England having the political control or even Islamic Caliphate like in some Middle East countries. I'm mindful that we're not all religious and that indeed everyone needs to be taken into account in our laws. I was just trying to be honest about where I'm coming from in my statements I make on here.

D****** M**P****** Faith has NO place in government. Unless it is MY faith. It is hard to pick WHOSE faith we are going to use.

W**** A*******-S****** David, unfortunately some of the christian faith have highjacked our government with greed and inequality on the agenda but with god on their lips. There have been many high profile "christians" over the years who have vowed openly to turn the US "back" into a xian nation and that should be cause for great alarm. It's wonderful that you have strong beliefs but please speak with your brothers and sisters who are intent on making America a theocracy and let them know government was kept apart from religion for very good reasons.

Nathan Garcia I cannot bring myself to trust the judgement and ability to discern among those who believe in magic or that supernatural means are appropriate for problem solving. The entire premise is wishful thinking and patently absurd. Republicans rely on people who can't tell the difference between conviction and fact and who substitute opinion for reality. Religion is not reality and basing ones life decisions on such superstition is doomed to fail. Nothing in anybody's freedom of religion compells me to behave as if I believe as they do. Nothing in religious tolerance compells me to enable religious delusion. The entire Republican set of policies is false, counter-reality and tries to undo the inevitable: organisms and society evolve toward survival. Republican traditions, ideals and "values" are archaic, anachronistic and have consistently failed to help the whole society succeed. Pick any era, pick any group, and it's all the same: conservatism is regressive, harmful and self destructive. You may not require me to contribute to or infect me with your destruction.

Nathan Garcia What name calling? Describing observable, documented and empirically verifyable events is not name calling or pejorative in any sense. Such mischaracterization is exactly what causes the kind of cognitive dissonance that muddies the waters of discourse so thoroughly that intelligible, honest exchanges are impossible. While the right have been climbing over themselves to become more extreme, the left has moved in the same direction though not as outrageously far. Anything contrary to extreme regressive narratives are falsely labelled extreme when they are merely reality based. The right goes so far as to disparge basing observations on reality as if it were questionable, a bad thing. That is the nature of conservative absurdity. Make up whatever manipulation you choose, and every disagreement is evil, insulting, disparging, intolerant. I'm so sick and tired of these tedious false equivalencies. Example: ID is not science and does not deserve equal time in a scientific forum. Another example: A 48 hour old human fetal blastocyst is not a human being, does not possess any of the faculties that constitute a viable human being, including the mythical soul. Third example: self awareness is not that mythical soul, and a fetus isn't self aware. Hell, infants aren't even self aware for the first year and more of their life.

All these delusions, logical fallacies and failures of the recognition of reality are connected, feed on each other, and contribute to the overall dysfunction of families, communities, society at large, the private sector and government. If you can't find hold-in-your-hand proof behind an idea, it just doesn't work in the real world. Reality is that stuff which, when you stop believing in it, refuses to go away. How much of religion and conservative dogma would exist were it no longer pushed as if real? Pert' near none, I reckon.