Monday, October 10, 2011
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had ruled Tunisia since 1987. He was a strict and oppressive leader who ruled with an iron fist.
Tunisia was plagued with high unemployment, food inflation, corruption, poor living conditions, and lack of political freedoms for it's common people.
In December of 2010, the people of Tunisia decided that they've had enough.
Hundreds of young Tunisians took to the streets to take their country back. As they rushed the capital in a display of democracy rarely seen in Tunisia, they were met with tear gas and brutality from the police.
This did not stop the people of Tunisia. The hundreds of protesters turned into thousands. The thousands turned into tens of thousands. Tens of thousands turned into hundreds of thousands.
During the protests, 300 Tunisian protesters were killed, 700 injured.
On January 14 2011, the protests had forced Ben Ali to flee Tunisia. The people, joined by the Tunisian military, had overthrown their oppressive government.
They fought back and Won.
In early 2011, the people of Egypt grew tired of their 30 year President, Hosni Mubarak.
He planned to have his sons take his place after his reign, which upset many of the Egyptian people who did not want a dynasty or inheritance of power.
He then extended an emergency law that gave total power to the police and suspended constitutional rights. As a result, between 5,000 and 10,000 people were arrested without charge or trial. Police brutality also rose dramatically thanks to the emergency law.
So in January of 2011, the people of Egypt decided to do the forbidden and revolt against their militant government.
At first, it was hundreds of young activists. They were greeted with whatever the police had to throw at them.
Once again, hundreds turned into thousands. Thousands turned into tens of thousands. Tens of thousands turned into hundreds of thousands.
846 Egyptian protesters were killed, over 3,000 injured.
On February 11 2011, due to unstoppable demand, Hosni Mubarak resigned as President. The people of Egypt removed their leader and his radical agenda.
They fought back and won.
Muammar Gaddafi has been the de-facto ruler of Libya since he led a military coup that overthrew King Idris I in 1969.
Gaddafi was a ruthless dictator that ruled Libya by the barrel of a gun for 42 years.
Gaddafi and his family took over most of Libya's business enterprise. The Gaddafi's lived a lavish Hollywood lifestyle while most of the Libyan people lived in poverty.
Libya became the most censored country in the Middle-East and North Africa under Gaddafi. Being found guilty of organizing or founding a political party in Libya was met with execution.
Despite knowing it could mean their deaths, the people of Libya decided to fight back against their oppressive dictator.
On February 15th 2011, between 500 and 600 protesters took to the streets. Police met them with violence and arrests.
Inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the people of Libya asked that all Libyans who oppose Gaddafi meet on February 17th for a "Day of Rage". The next day, police and army personnel withdrew from the city of Benghazi after being overwhelmed by protesters.
The protests and protesters kept growing until Libya broke out into a full on civil war between the Pro-Gaddafi government and anti-Gaddafi citizens. Peaceful revolution was not possible in Libya with Gaddafi in charge. 10,000 to 30,000 died in what would become the Libyan civil war, at least 50,000 wounded. Gaddafi even had his own soldiers executed who refused to fire at protesters.
By March, the U.N. issued a no fly zone over Libya and began to take the side of the rebels. NATO eventually came in and started building up rebel forces to topple Gaddafi.
Over the next few months, the Libyan rebels made great strides and moved in on Gaddafi one city at a time. By late August, rebel forces seized Gaddafi's compound and ran their tyrant out of Libya. Gaddafi's whereabouts are still unknown at the time of this post.
The people of Libya removed their dictator from his 42 year reign.
They fought back and won.
On September 17th 2011, Americans fed up with a system set up to increase income for the rich at the expense of the poor, met in the belly of the beast, Wall Street, to bring attention to our broken economic system.
The plan was to occupy Wall Street and refuse to leave until their voices were heard and action was taken. They represent the working-class, which is the majority class in America.
They've seen their income redistributed to the top 1% as they're asked to sacrifice even more. They've been laid off in times when the company they worked for was raking in record profits, so that company could make even more money sending that job to another country. If they still have a job, they've seen their benefits, pensions, and wages cut while millionaires and billionaires are doing better than ever before in history.
They watched as the same financial institutions that crashed our economy and sent us into a brutal recession that we are still hurting from, were given a $700 billion welfare check. They watched as they lost their homes, jobs, and savings as they were told it was their fault for not working hard enough, or being lazy.
They watched poverty and unemployment skyrocket as the wealthiest among them were richer than ever before.
To make up for the cost of 2 wars, $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and the Wall Street Bailout/Welfare Check, they were told that they, the taxpayers, would have to tighten their belts and not to dare suggest that the rich sacrifice with them. That would be class warfare.
They were told that it was the unions, teachers, public workers, poor single mothers, and their own desire to have a decent job that caused this mess. That working class people living paycheck to paycheck somehow had enough power to crash the economy on their frozen wages and vanished savings. Don't even start thinking that Wall Street bankers had something to do with this, blame your neighbor instead.
Those in power bought by the corporations suggested cuts in education, protective regulations, pensions, health care, NPR, PBS, medicare, medicaid, VA healthcare, workers rights, voting rights, disaster funding, and women's rights. Anything but asking the richest people on Earth to pay a fair share of the taxes.
This didn't go over well with most of the 99% of Americans who aren't filthy rich.
On September 17th, several hundred Americans stormed Wall Street and occupied it in a brave effort to save a country from itself.
The police blocked off most of Wall Street and used pepper spray, nightsticks, and overall brutality on the protesters, similar to protests in the Middle-East.
The corporate-owned mainstream media mostly ignored the protests.
As days went by, the protests grew and grew. Hundreds turned into thousands.
Then in the second week of the protests, protesters were ushered onto the Brooklyn Bridge by the NY police and mass arrested. 700 Americans were arrested that day. Images of police pepper spraying innocent bystanders and beating people unnecessarily were being seen all over America.
Thousands turned into Tens of thousands.
As I'm writing this, there are now occupy events in almost every major city in the United States. The ground zero for the protests on Wall Street had to expand in location to fit the growing number of people coming out to join the fight.
The media has been forced to cover the Occupy Wall Street protests due to it's rapid growth. Since the media is mostly corporate owned, some outlets attempt to smear the movement in hopes of marginalizing it to death. So far, this is not working. It is only growing.
The only violence in this movement have been from the police. The protesters remain peaceful as it is part of their overall message.
Unlike examples in the Middle-East, this movement is not looking to overthrow it's government or any elected officials by force or demonstration. This will happen at the ballot box.
They are simply asking to have more of a voice and input in the politics and policies that effect their lives. They cannot afford lobbyists or PACs. They feel that their congress is bought and their voice has been silenced in the name of money. They just want economic fairness and an opportunity at an American dream they grew up hearing about, but haven't seen in reality and now feels completely out of reach.
Over the next few months, the Occupy Wall Street movement will continue to grow all over the country. They will eventually show so much power in numbers that it will be impossible not to hear their voice. They will peacefully take their country back and Washington will be forced to act on behalf of the people.
Failure is not an option. When you put people in a position where they have nothing left to lose, it backfires on you. They have nowhere to go but up. They fight with a desperation and purpose that the rich and selfish could not possibly muster up.
Even when the protests come to an end, the powers that be will know that they are there, they are watching, and they are not going to take it.
They will think twice before messing with the working-class, the 99% majority of this country.
The people of America are waking up and refusing to take part in a system that sacrifices them to the richest 1%.
They are fighting back and they will win.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I just returned from Occupy Cincinnati.
It was a great event with great people. I'm not a professional surveyor, but I'd say there was about 400-500 people there. Not a bad start at all, and I hope this is just a start. I hope it keeps growing just like the movement itself has over the past three weeks.
There were about 4 Ron Paul/Wall Street supporters there. They were heckling until one of the speakers neutered them. I Felt compelled to confront them, but then realized their congregation of four standing beside a congregation of 400-500 said more than I ever could.
There's just not that much support for Wall Street these days.
I've always urged people to take part in this nationwide movement since day one, but now that I've been to an event, I suggest it more than ever. If there is an event near you (I'm sure there is) You should attend. You won't regret it!
Here's a few pictures of the event today courtesy of Jessy Hicks
This is NOT litter. They had an area of materials to make your own sign.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
As of this week, I have over 14,000 of you. When I came to twitter to vent my political frustrations and promote causes I'm passionate about, I never dreamed I would get 1,000 followers, let alone 14,000. It is overwhelmingly refreshing to know that so many of you feel the same and that I am far from being alone. Even though it is impossible for me to thank and talk to each one of you individually, I am humbled and honored to have each and every one of you as followers. I may not be able to respond to you as much as I would like, but I know you are there and I hear you. I don't just do this for me anymore, I do this for us. Every one of you keep me going and inspire me to keep doing whatever it is that I'm doing. As long as your listening, I'll keep talking.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
I don't mean to sound like a sappy cornball. I know it is just another social media site and I'm just some guy on the internet, but on the other side of the screen are real people with real voices. The internet can be a powerful thing, we are proving this. The internet allows us to connect from anywhere in this world to share our ideas and act upon them. We have more transparency and communication than ever before. We would be fools not to use this tool to make our voices heard and organize for action. From what I see, we are doing just that.
What I like about twitter the most is that, despite the occasional censoring, people make the conversation and report the news and not the corporate media. On twitter, people set the dialog and narrative, not political spin machines and cable news hosts. Some are famous, some not. Some are rich, some are poor. But on Twitter, we are all opinions presented in 140 characters or less.
As long as I'm on Twitter, I will use it to push facts over fear, love over hate, and humanity over corporatism. I have made mistakes and will make mistakes. I can be very brash and sometimes go overboard. This is a result of being human. I have offended many of you, but please know that this is not my goal. We may not always see completely eye to eye, but I am who I am and I believe what I believe and while I will apologize for comments made that even I admit were off the deep end, I will not apologize for who I am or what I believe in. Hopefully you wouldn't either.
With that being said, I want to hear more from you.
You all have been kind enough to follow, retweet, and recommend me to your friends. So I feel the least I can do is ask for your input and opinion. Basically, How am I doing? I want to hear from you.
Tell me if there is something you would like me to tweet about more or less? Do I tweet too much? Too little?
Is there an issue effecting your life personally or a local issue you would like me to spread awareness for?
I want your opinion. And don't be shy, let me have it if need be. You won't offend me. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
I can't promise that I'll meet every demand or be able to fulfill every request, but I will do my best.
No offense, but I am not looking to promote your business, music, product, or your account, but if you have a local or national issue, cause, or event you would like me to promote, I would be glad to help spread awareness if I can.
So let me know what's important to you and what you would like to see from me as we take over the world one tweet at a time.
I'm just some opinionated guy from the midwest who has a lot of great followers on twitter. I'm not a leader and I hold no power whatsoever. But thanks to all of you, I do feel that I have a voice and I want all my followers to feel the same. If no one else listens or cares, I will. I will hear you.
So once again thank you all! I can't say it enough. But you've heard enough from me, now I want to know what you have to say.
You can do this by leaving a message right here in the comment section of this post or in my messages on Twitter. Try to refrain from responding to this via a mention. It gets hard to keep track of them at times and I could lose it or not see it.
And if you have something to say, please say it. This is no time to be quiet.
Actually, I hope we're just getting started.
Be safe, live long, and keep fighting the good fight!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
By posting this, many of you on the right and even some of you on the left will accuse me of playing something called "The Race Card".
This is a term often used by conservatives when liberals bring up what we view to be racism coming from the right. They say we are using racism to try and smear them.
Basically, when they say or do something racist, they feel it is wrong for us to hold this against them and call them out on it. If we do, it's because we can't argue the facts and issues. They attempt to marginalize us as a group who cries racism at our political opponents as a motor reflex.
They spin it as hard as they can to make you appear like the crazy one for saying the R word. You're just another one of those pinko hippies who hates grown-ups and America. You'll understand when you get older.
It's like being sued by your rapist for slander.
They say that you are a racist for calling them racist. Even when they say undeniably racist things, if you call them on it, you are worse for bringing race into it... even though they did first...and then it gets confusing. The whole point is to confuse you.
Republicans never admit fault alone, they grab you on the way down and take you with them. They start the "both sides are wrong talk". If they hate anything more than President Obama, it's being wrong and knowing it.
But I don't care.
I'm not saying that all republicans are racist. This is a moronic notion and I know for a fact that not all republicans are racist like I know all muslims aren't terrorists.
What I'm saying is that racism exists on the right and drives their social agenda.
But I'll let you decide for yourself. I'm not going to play "The Race Card". I'm going to let republicans talk and you decide if the left is just being slanderous and paranoid, or if the right really does have and has always had a problem with diversity and race.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan told biographer Laurence Burrett the 1965 Voting Rights Act was a "Humiliation to the South"
"If an individual wants to discriminate against negroes or others in selling or renting his house, he has the right to do so" - Ronald Reagan, 1966
In 1980, Ronald Reagan said Confederate President Jefferson Davis was "A hero of mine"
Michele Bachmann Signed a Pledge that Stated "A black child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA's first African American President"
"I hate those gooks. I will hate them as long as I live" - John McCain
"Now I don't want to even be associated with Obama, it's like touching a tar baby" - GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn
"There are times when abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white, or a rape" - Richard Nixon
"Hugo (Chaves) is a nice little Guatemalan man who is doing some painting for me" - GOP Senator Conrad Burns
"If you belong to an organization called La Raza, in this case, which in my point of view anyway, is nothing more than a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses" - Former GOP Congressmen Tom Tancredo
"Figure this out, Madame Speaker: We have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he's going to run for President, and what does he do? He introduces legislation to create a whole new Pigford claim" - GOP Rep. Steve King
"And Barack Obama says no. Well if human life is not a person then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say 'now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people'" - GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum
"And if private lunch counter owners want to prevent blacks from eating there, that's their right" - GOP Senator Rand Paul
"Do you have blacks, too?" - George W. Bush to Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this-this (Slight Chuckle) is working very well for them" - Former First Lady Barbara Bush on Black Hurricane Katrina Victims
"I have been nervous about this interview with you because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies'" - Glenn Beck to Muslim US Congressman Keith Ellison
And if expressing their racism vocally is not enough, they also use pictures to express their hatred for anything other than white culture.
Like this gem, mass emailed from top California Teaparty Leader Marilyn Davenport...
Or this lovely image from the Chaffey Community Republican Women...
And this classy image from Conservative activist Dr. David McKalip...
These pictures did not come from random people, they came from leaders of the teaparty and GOP. Immoral behavior breeds immoral behavior. When your leaders act like this, your followers will follow...
Ladies & Gentlemen, Meet the Teaparty...
I have a few questions... what does the teaparty mean when they say they want to take their country back? And who exactly do they want to take it back from? And why did it start when a black man became president?
The radical right also has other means of pushing their racist agenda. The Republicans that are racist but don't want to be seen as racist, or just know that it will ruin their chances of getting re-elected will use a different strategy.
This is where Birtherism comes in.
Birthers are a group of Republicans that do not believe Obama was born in America, but that he is a Kenyan citizen invading the US. This movement got stomped to the ground when Obama released his birth certificate. No other President in history has been forced to release their birth certificate to calm public speculation. No other president has been black.
Just think about it though, the Birther fad was a strategy to use Obama's race against him. To paint him as this foreign entity invading America, a country he doesn't belong to and knows nothing about. This was not just a Teaparty talking point. McCain/Palin ran on this notion of Birtherism in 2008 and that "Obama doesn't see America like you and I do".
Whether Obama was born in the US or not was never their concern. They know he was. The point was to convince their base that Obama is a foreigner and out of touch with American values.
There was also the notion that Obama had a gripe with white America and was out to punish them. That his goal was to enact white slavery through taxation. This was no real concern either. The right learned that the best way to thwart off claims of racism is to label your opponent as racist. This is what they do with Obama, the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc. They label any black group that opposes them as racist. They paint them as bitter black bigots who get paid to cry racism.
Remember when he went to speak at a school to give a "Stay in School" speech and the right freaked out and called it indoctrination of our youth? The White House had to release the speech transcript before the speech to show right-wing America that their children would be safe after Obama spoke. No children were brainwashed that day.
No other President in history has ever been accused of attempting to indoctrinate children by giving a speech at a school. All the other Presidents were white.
Then there's what I like to call the Teaparty Hit-man Squad.
Don't worry, these hit-men don't use guns. They use edited videos and slander.
In 2009, a video was released that appeared to show workers at ACORN helping a Halloween costume pimp and whore by giving them information on how to set up a brothel.
ACORN is a group of community organizers who help poor black people stay in their homes. They also helped Barack Obama win in 2008 by registering voters and GOTV work.
The right immediately claimed that ACORN was stealing the election for Obama through their voter registration efforts. It doesn't matter that not one account of voter fraud was reported or found, the meme stuck. The real problem was that ACORN helped bring out the poor black community for Obama and poor people voting is really, really bad for the GOP. This had to be stopped.
So when this edited video came out that made it seem like ACORN workers were helping people dodge taxes for illegal brothels and showed a woman talking about killing her husband, the right used it as an atomic bomb. Of course Democrats didn't question it and standing up to the GOP is a big no-no. So ACORN was defunded and fell shortly after.
If congress and the President would have took a deep breath and did a little research, they would have found that they have been had. This video was clearly edited and no evidence of ACORN doing anything illegal has ever been proven.
The reality was that most of the workers filmed by Conservative hack-journalist with editing software, James O'keefe thought it was all a big joke. I mean, wouldn't you? Does this look like a real pimp to you?
A real-life actual pimp would pimp-smack this guy, take his money, and tell him to get back on the corner. No one would take him seriously, including the employees at ACORN. This didn't matter though, all O'Keefe had to do was go home and edit a video to feed to a party hungry for anything to justify their racist point of view.
If I film you for long enough, I can manipulate a video to make you sound like anything I want you to, or just use tidbits of what you say against you. This is what hack-journalist and tabloid magazines do. This is what con-artists do.
Which brings me to Andrew Breitbart.
Breitbart runs BigGovernment.com (Yes. This site is a mock site but I actually bother with facts). Breitbart is really good friends with James O'Keefe. He even stood by him when he broke into Senator Mary Landrieu's office in an attempt to tap her phone. Which is illegal.
Breitbart was also the first to report the ACORN hoax. He then moved on to Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture, Shirley Sherrod. Breitbart used the same method of editing a video to say what he wants it to and pinned Sherrod as a black government employee who hated white farmers.
What Breitbart does is very simple. In fact, it takes absolutely no talent at all.
Here is the video Breitbart released to paint Sherrod as a racist...
Now here's the 40 minute video he edited 3 minutes of footage from...
This was a smear job. Another attempt to take out black people who hold power in government.
Breitbart didn't have the luck he had when he falsely accused ACORN of illegal events. Sherrod did lose her job for doing absolutely nothing wrong, but she is currently suing Breibart.
And if you're still not convinced, let's hear from the white farmers that Sherrod discriminated against according to Breitbart...
My point is that the right, in their attempt to prove to you that black America is dangerous and racist against whites, will go to any means to succeed in this message. To prove to you that they are not the racists, but that black groups are, they will make fake videos and flaunt them all over their outlets. They don't care if it's real or not. The point is to make you fear and hate black America so you'll run to them to protect you.
They know it is politically unpopular to be identified as racist. This is why they play these games. If they can convince white American that black America is racist and out to punish them, they can sit back and look like the victims instead of the aggressors. You can see this strategy when teabaggers talk about Obam enacting "White Slavery" or when they talk about "Reparations" or when Glenn Beck says things like "He (Obama) has a deep seeded hatred for white America and white culture".
By the way, I wonder what Obama's white mother and grandmother thought about his rampant racism against white America?
Then there's some Republicans who don't mind wearing the racist pin. They don't care if you know it. There's one who says so many racist things I had to give him his own section in this post. He has around 20 million listeners a day, conservative politicians love and fear him, and no republicans in congress ever condem or deny him.
Ladies and Gentlemen.... Rush Limbaugh...
"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
"The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons"
"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies"
"They're (Blacks) 12 percent of the population, who cares?"
"(To an African American female caller) "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back"
Repeatedly plays a song of his show titled "Barack the Magic Negro"
Has called Obama a "Halfrican American"
"We need segregated buses...this is Obama's America"
"Obama's entire economic program is reparations"
"Colin Powell will vote for Obama. Melanin is thicker than water"
And there's many more where this came from... Just Google it!
Rush Limbaugh has been called the voice of the Republican Party. 20 million listeners a day is nothing to shrug at. Although many on the right will brush this behavior off, saying that he is just a radio host and he doesn't speak for the GOP. Even though GOP congressman and governors are on his show all the time, conservatives will say that he's "just some guy" when he shows his true racist colors on an almost daily basis.
And another thing that bothers me...
What is the rights obsession with the confederacy?
I know you've seen it too. Cars with confederate flags, mostly next to an old McCain/Palin sticker. You've seen confederate flags at numerous teaparty rallies. It's a symbol the right holds proudly. I'd like to think they don't know any better or are just uninformed like usual, but they know exactly what the confederate flag means and stands for. We all learned about this in grade school.
Incase you don't know, the confederacy was the South during the civil war. Yes, the side that fought FOR slavery.
Why is this celebrated on the right? I understand recalling things like the confederacy and Nazi Germany in a historical sense, to bring attention to these horrible times in history so they never happen again, but this is not in the same context. They are calling for the south to rise again. They long for the confederacy.
While I find it very sad, it doesn't shock me that the teaparty supports the slave owning confederate south. What does somewhat shock me is the fact that several prominent GOP politicians openly support a movement which fought and died for the right to own black people as slaves.
Like when Virginia GOP Governor Bob McDonnell made the month of April "Confederate History Month" in Virginia.
Or when Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour refused to condemn a proposed state license plate to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, a confederate general and former KKK leader.
These incidences are not from back when, they both happened within the past 2 years.
Another example of what I feel is racism within the Republicans party, I'd like to introduce you to a man named David Duke.
David Duke is a former KKK Grand Wizard. A top dog. A leader of racist.
Duke has been leading the charge against non-whites & non-christians since 1974. However, being a professional racist was not enough for the ambitious white supremacist. He soon decided he wanted to get into politics. Lovely.
There's no need to worry though, there is no way a former KKK leader could be elected in the United States of America... right?
Duke ran in 1975 for the Louisiana State Senate as a Democrat and failed.
Duke ran again in 1988 for the Presidency as a Democrat and failed.
Democrats overwhelmingly did not want to elect a racist. Duke never made it our of a primary as a Democrat. I'm really not sure what he was thinking there...
Then in 1989, Duke ran for the Louisiana House, this time as a Republican.
And guess what... he won.
Louisiana Democrats wanted nothing to do with Duke. Louisiana Republicans welcomed him with open arms.
The good news here is that Duke has not been successful since.
The bad news is that Duke has found a new pocket of support in the teaparty. Thousands of teaparty supporters have urged him to run for President in 2012.
If he did run for President, maybe he could get Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul to stump for him. After all, Rand does owe him a favor. Duke donated over $2,000 to Rand Paul's 2010 campaign.
I wonder if Paul's views on allowing businesses to racially discriminate had anything to do with it?
Another one of Rand Paul's contributors in 2010 was a group called Stormfront.
Stormfront is a proud white nationalist group that is heavily entwined with the Republican Party.
Stormfront has also donated to Rand's father, Texas Congressman Ron Raul.
Actually, Stormfront and the Republican Party are so close that the Florida Republican Party made the founder of Stormfront's 19 year-old son their party committeeman.
In closing, I'll repeat myself. I do not thing all conservatives are racist. I do think that racism exists within the Republican Party where it is openly tolerated and defended.
The Republican Party as a whole could purge these groups if they wanted to. They could wipe their hands clean of them and have nothing to do with them. They could not take their money, they could condemn Rush Limbaugh, they could denounce birtherism, they could kick David Duke out of the party, they could tell their teaparty base to knock it off with the racist signs. They could do a lot of things, but they don't.
They allow the racist wing of their party to exist. They use them when they need them or when they help, but when they slip up and let their racism shows enough to piss off the general public, they back away.
Many may not fully support the views of the hardcore racists in their party, but many do sympathize with them. They feel that minorities are out to get them, suck up their tax dollars, and destroy white culture. They may not really hate people different from themselves, but they do feel threatened by them and what they will do to the country they love.
If you happen to be a white conservative reading this, I want you to do me a favor.
I want you to sit back and imagine that African Americans have been the majority of the population and the ones in charge of America since it's founding. Imagine if after centuries of African American Presidents, a white man won the Presidency.
Now imagine if black people all over America started protesting him for things they let black president after black president get away with, but NOW it's a problem. Imagine if they accused him of not being born in America, and therefore not an American. Something they never accused a black president of ever in history.
Imagine that they gathered in the streets and chanted things like "We've come to take our country back" and held up signs showing this white president with pictures of Wonder Bread and crackers.
How do you think this would be perceived? How do you think whites would translate this?
Fox "News" would explode in excitement. If you don't believe me, just recall how they freaked out over 3 black guys who hung out and harassed people in front of polling locations, calling themselves "the New Black Panther Party".
There were literally 3 of them and Fox "News" acted like the whole African American community was lashing out at white America to protect their militant leader Barack Obama.
Was "The New Black Panther Party" of 3 in the right for doing what they did? Of course not, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. The "scary minorities" meme that will forever exist on the right. Teaparty groups did the same thing but worse and Fox never said a word. Do I have to tell you what the difference was and why one story got covered and another didn't? I think you know.
The Republican Party could end this stigma anytime it wants to. They could purge the racist wing of their party anytime and no rational American would blame them for it.
In my opinion, the right knows that being racist is not popular in a growingly diverse America. They cannot just come out and say it. They have their means of doing it without saying it. They never will admit to it unless the American pubic is on their side. Since this will never happen, they have to scare you. They have to make you afraid of them and say "look, it's not us, it's them!". Other times they just stay quiet and let the racist radicals in their party do the talking for them.
The only thing that's more disturbing than the racism that exists on the right is that fact that they do nothing about it. I'm not sure what's worse, what they do or what they don't do.
It just amazes me that a party that can't bare to muster up the tolerance to accept Muslims, Hispanics, Gays, and Minorities as being just as much Americans as white Christians can easily and effortlessly tolerate the racists that exist in their party and will eventually be their ultimate downfall.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Barack Obama Created More Jobs in 2010 Than Bush Did in His Entire Presidency
Bill Clinton Raised Taxes on the Rich and Created 23 Million Jobs
George W. Bush Cut the Tax Rate for the Rich and Created Only 3 Million Jobs
Jimmy Carter Created 7.5 Million More Jobs Than George W. Bush
Bill Clinton Created 7.1 Million More Jobs Than Ronald Reagan
Tax cuts for the Rich Do Not Create Jobs
Spending Cuts Do Not Create Jobs
Consumer Demand Creates Jobs
The Federal Government Does Create Jobs, Over 2 Million to Be Exact
Government Does Create Private Sector Jobs
More Private Sector Jobs Were Created Than Government Jobs So Far in 2011
The Financial Crisis Started in 2008 Under Bush, Not Obama
The Recession Started in 2007 Under Bush, Not Obama
Obama Did Not Make the Recession Worse, it Ended in 2009
Republicans Support the Outsourcing of American Jobs
Republicans Voted to Repeal the Minimum Wage
Many Republicans Support Repealing Child Labor Laws
Many Corporations Lay Off Thousands of Employees in Times of Record Profits
The House GOP has Created 0 Jobs and Voted to Kill Over 1.9 Million Jobs Since Winning Control of the House in 2010 on the Promise of Job Creation
The Average Income Growth Rate is Much Higher Under Democrats Than Republicans
Over the Past 60 Years, Democratic Presidents Have Created More Jobs Than Republican Presidents
President Eisenhower was the Last Republican President to Balance the Budget and/or Create a Surplus.
Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Deficit
Bill Clinton was the Last Democratic President to Balance the Budget and/or Create a Balanced Budget
Bill Clinton Created the Largest Budget Surplus in American History
The Republican Congress in the 90's was Not Responsible for the Budget Surplus in the Mid/Late 90's. Clinton's Deficit Reduction Bills that were Passed Before Republicans Took Congress and Clinton's Tax Reforms were Main Reasons. The Deficit was Decreasing Before Republicans Took Control of COngress.
Bush Inherited a $286 Billion Surplus and Left Office with a $1.2 Trillion Deficit
Tax Cuts Add to Our National Deficit
Since 2001, War has Added Over $1.2 Trillion to Our National Deficit
Under Obama, Taxes are Currently at the Lowest Levels in 60 Years
The Stimulus Bill Contained the Largest Tax Cut in American History
Ronald Reagan Raised Taxes 11 Times
Unemployment Soared After Ronald Reagan's 1981 Tax Cuts for the Rich
The bottom 50% DO Pay Taxes, They Pay Payroll Taxes, The Rich Do Not. The Rich Pay Income Taxes.
When You Look At Taxation Based On Income and Percentage, the Bottom 50% Pay More in Taxes of Their Income Than the Rich
The Bottom 50% Also Pay Sales and Property Taxes
The Rich Paid 90% in Taxes During WWII and Throughout the 50's. They Were Still Rich.
Ronald Reagan Cut Taxes for the Top 1% in Half over 8 Years
The US has the Largest Income Gap in the World
The Richest 400 Americans Have More wealth Than Half of All Americans Combined
Less Than 1% of Americans Make $1 Million or More a Year
Most Corporations Pay No Taxes at All
Closing Tax Loopholes is Not New Taxes or Taxation
Raising Taxes Creates Jobs and Increases Revenue
Over 1,400 Millionaires Paid No Taxes in 2009
Your Taxes are Used to Build and Maintain Our Entire Civilization
Republicans Spend More Than Democrats when in Office
The States That Cut the Most Spending, Lost the Most Jobs
The US military and Defense is Americas Biggest Expenditure
If the Government Did Not Spend, the Country Would Shut Down (Do I Need a Link for This, or Does Common Sense Pretty Much Cover it?)
Bush Signed TARP Into Law, Not Obama
Those Making Over $106,800 a Year Do Not Pay Social Security Taxes
Social Security Does Not Add One Cent to the Deficit
Social Security Currently Has a $2.6 Trillion Surplus
Social Security is Solvent Until 2037
Ronald Reagan Expanded Social Security by Raising Taxes
Social Security Benefits Represent About 41% of Income for the Elderly
In 1940, the Life Expectancy of a 65 Year Old was Almost 14 Years, Today It's Almost 20 Years
9 Out Of 10 Seniors Over 65 Receive Social Security Benefits
Social Security Covers Over 8 Million Disabled Americans
50 Million Americans Do Not Have Health Insurance or Coverage
Americans Pay More for Healthcare Than Any Other Country
Medical Bills are the #1 Cause of Bankruptcy in America
America is Ranked #37 in Health Care Worldwide by the World Health Organization
America is One of the Only Nations That Does Not have Guaranteed Health Care for It's Citizens
45,000 Americans Die Every Year from Lack of Quality Health Care
Single Payer Health Care Would Save Businesses Millions by Not Having to Provide Their Employees with Health Care
Insurance Companies Deny Paying Customers Care in Times of Record Profit
Insurance companies Spent More Than $2.5 Million a Month Fighting Heath Care Reform (This could have bought a lot of health care for their clients they denied care to because they claimed they couldn't afford it)
Americans Pay More for Prescription Drugs Than Any Other Country
Canada Made the Man Who Founded Their Universal Healthcare System a National Hero
The Majority of Citizens in Countries That Have a Universal Health Care System Like It
Health Care Reform Reduces the Deficit by $1.3 Trillion Over 20 Years
Health care reform cut waste from medicare, not service. This made medicare more solvent by 12 Years and reduced drug costs for half a million seniors
health Care Reform will Cover Over 34 Million Uninsured Americans
Members of Congress Have Taxpayer-Funded, Government-Subsidized Health Care.
Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA are Forms of Government Health Care
Government Health Care is More Efficient and More Cost Effective than Private Health Care
No Government Funding is Used for Abortion
Health Care Reform Does Not Cover Illegal Immigrants
Health Care Reform Does Not Create 'Death Panels'
Private Insurance Companies DO Have Death Panels
Public Education Cuts Weaken Education, Schools and Resources for Students and Teachers
Public School Teachers Make an Average of $35,000 a Year
States That Allow Public Teacher's Unions Have Better National Test Scores Than States That Do Not.
More than 500,000 Students Have Defaulted on Their Student Loans Since 2008
7,000 Students Every Year Begin Their Adult Lives Over $100,000 in Debt Due to Student Loans
Private Schools are Too Expensive for Most American Families
Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' Education Plan was a Complete Failure and Hurt Public Education
Al-Queada and the Taliban Have Killed More Muslims Than Non-Muslims
Muslims were Killed in the 9/11 Attacks
There are 1.6 Billion Muslims Worldwide
Al-queada and the Taliban are Religious Extremists, Not Traditional Muslims
Islam is a Religion of Peace
There are 1,209 Mosques in the United States.
The US Constitution Guarantees the Right to Freedom of Religion
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act that for the first time, required background checks to buy a gun. Since then, fire-arm related crime has plummeted dramatically. Proving rational gun control measures are effective.
Murderers such as Jared Lee Loughner ,despite being mentally ill and the Columbine killers , Despite being underage, were able to obtain guns in the US.
Al-Queada Leader Told Members in the US via Video to Buy Guns at Gun SHow to Avoid Background Checks and Then "Shoot People"
Gun Shows Have Found Loopholes That Allow Them to Sell Guns Without Performing a Background Check
America has More Gun Related Deaths Than Any Other Industrialized Nation
Unions Built the Middle-Class
Unionized Workers Have Higher Wages and Benefits
Unions Do Not Drain Business. Unions are Good for the Economy.
Labor Unions Improve Employee Turnover Rates, workplace Productivity, and Workplace Safety.
Between 1945-1973 unions were at their peak and more American workers belonged to unions. This period was one of economic growth, fair wages, and prosperity.
Union Members Fought and Many Died Fighting for Worker's Rights Like Weekends, Lunch Breaks, 40 hr Work Week, Sick Days, Minimum Wage, Benefits, etc.
40% of America's rivers and 46% of America's lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life
Every year, U.S. factories spew 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the air, land, and water
Animals are Currently Becoming Extinct at the Fastest Rate in History
The Earth's Climate is Increasing
1980-2000 were the Hottest Decades in 400 Years
11 of the Past 13 Years have Seen the Warmest Temperatures Since 1850
The Arctic Region May See it's First Ice-Free Summer by 2040
In 1910, Montana's Glacier National Park had 150 Glaciers. Today it has 30
Based on reports from over 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries concluded that humans caused most if not all over the planet's rise in climate
WELFARE / UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
The Average Welfare Payment is $500 a Month for a Family of Four
The Average Unemployment Payment is $300 a Week
More White People are on Welfare Than Black People
While collecting unemployment insurance, you must apply for jobs and prove you are seeking work to continue to receive benefits
Unemployment insurance, welfare, and food stamps help stabilize and resume demand in a down economy.
Those Who Receive Unemployment Insurance Pay Taxes on It
PART 2 COMING SOON..............
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Corporate cash has flooded into our democracy and political system ever since Citizens United broke the levee.
Billion dollar corporations are using their monetary muscles to plaster your TV with smear ads about Democrats and make your $20 donations irrelevant and unable to compete with their infinitely deep pockets.
As a result, the GOP controls the house, governorship, and most statehouses across America.
Let's face facts...money talks... And in politics, it's heard loud and clear.
And now that they've got the power, they are going after any and every group that donates to Democrats in an attempt to weaken the Democratic Party through it's donors.
Most notably, they are waging a full on war against labor unions. I believe this is for two reasons. First being that unions bother their corporate donors with demands of worker's rights, better wages, benefits, and silly stuff like that. Second, unions are the top donors to the Democrats. In a country where money wins elections, bringing down labor unions means bringing down the Democratic Party.
This is nothing new, politics has always been a game of money and special interest, sometimes getting around to doing what the public asks.
The difference now is that republicans are tired of playing the game and are going in for the kill.
You and me don't have millions of dollars to compete with the corporations that aim to rule America because being rich and successful in it is just not enough, but this post isn't about that...
This post is about what we do have and how we can use it.
I don't know about you, but I still believe in the human soul and spirit. I realize that while money is power in our society, it is still just an object. Money is only powerful because of the meaning we put behind it.
Money can buy a lot of things, but it can't buy me and it can't buy you.
We as people have more power than money.
And here is how we prove it...
1) Make Your Own Political Ads
GOP groups use corporate cash to flood the airways with negative ads to smear Democrats in an attempt to sway voters. They spend millions to make sure the ad is ran in the area of interest all throughout the day.
You can do this as well for next to nothing.
Of course you can't afford to buy ad time on major networks, but that's okay... we have another tool. In fact, you're on it right now...
The Internet is one of the greatest ways to get a message out to millions of people. So why not make your own ads and advertise on the Internet?
Making and editing a video is simple. Many computers these days come with easy to use editing programs like like Imovie, etc. If not, you can find or download decent program for relatively cheap or even free.
You can even do this without filming with a camera. Most political ads are just edited footage and voice overs anyway. You can find footage of candidates, events, news clips, and debates all over the Internet. Just be creative and have fun!
Who cares if it looks a little raw or organic, people will understand and some will even like that style. Besides, message and substance is more important than quality.
Then post it to YouTube.com and/or other video sites and start advertising it on your twitter, facebook, etc.
And there you have it! You just made a political ad that has the potential to be seen by millions of people!
I know this may seem small compared to million dollar campaign ad buys, but many people are now famous from the Internet and many viral videos are now more famous than some TV shows. You have a chance of your video going viral and really making an impact.
Overall, I think most political ads are kind of lame, redundant, and boring anyway. I would love to see what everyday people can do with a little creativity. Make the ad you would want to see.
And even with all their money, they can't control the Internet....yet.
So make a video supporting your favorite candidate, issue, or cause!
If they are going to flood our TVs with their ads, we can flood the Internet with ours!
2) Not a Boycott... a Boycott Movement!
Corporations are giving republicans unlimited amounts of cash from their company profits.
One effective way to limit that is to stop giving money to the corporations that fund republicans. The less they make, the less they can give. Or God forbid they may even get the hint that their customers don't like what they are doing with the money they give them and stop... but don't hold your breath.
Boycotts don't work most of the time because they are never formed into a movement. People scream boycott all the time and then never do anything about it other than not supporting that business.
To effectively boycott, you must stop buying from that business and inform others on why they should join you and what better alternatives there are. Treat it like a political campaign. Advertise and build a case against your target.
Also, try and keep it to one target at a time. Keep it simple, stupid. One simple target to boycott. Too many will overwhelm and cause confusion. Stick with one and hammer on.
Along with this, "buycott" or support businesses that do support your causes.
Corporations make their money from you. You have more power over them than you think.
3) GOTV: Tap the Group No One Else Does, Non-Voters!
I know, this is standard protocol in any election.
But my point here is about improving on this.
The Democrats and their groups/orgs have some of the best ground game in the world. We destroy republicans in this department. However, due to the tidal wave of money, we have to step it up a notch or two.
Money cannot knock on doors and win over voters with information and charm.
Money cannot sit down with our friends, family, community, and talk about the issues that are important to us and get them interested and active.
Money cannot call voters and have a person to person conversation about why they should vote.
Money cannot walk into a voting booth and make a choice.
Only we can do these things.
It's our obligation to everything we stand for to get more people involved, expand our ground game, and win elections the good old fashioned way.
We must take our fight to main street and make our case to the people who are most harmed by conservative policy. We must also go beyond that. We need to go into the streets that have been forgotten. The places of economic and social ruin. The places most people are afraid to walk down at night yet never question why it is this way.
We must go to the places in our communities most harmed by republican policy and recruit for our cause to turn it around for good.
While making sure voters vote is greatly important, I feel we must also focus more on expansion through informing and turning on non-voters and the under informed.
Too many American aren't interested in politics and don't care. Even though politics effects their lives and sometimes for the worst, they feel there is nothing they can do about it and don't bother. Republicans thrive and even win on this apathy.
Without being preachy or pushy, we must try to turn on those who feel this way and do not vote. We must make a case to them on how politics effects their lives and that they can do something about it.
The more registered and informed voters, the higher the turnout.
This is why republicans fight hard to suppress the poor and disenfranchised from voting. This is why we must make sure they vote.
4) Don't Just Write Your Congressmen, Write the Corporations That Own Them!
Many people write their congressmen to express their thoughts and concerns about issues or their performance. Rarely do people ever write the corporation that funds their congressmen.
The truth is, you as taxpayers pay your congressmen only so much money a year. Corporations give them much more than you do to enact policy to fit their needs, not yours. Sadly, the corporation's needs and wants are heard over yours because they gave your congressman ten times more than you do.
As they say, money talks.
We can change this by electing congressman that will actually serve the public interest and cannot be bought, but until then, we can call and email the corporations that bought our congressmen. Since they want to have such a big hat in our political system, they can deal with hearing our concerns as well.
We can tell them that as customers, we don't like what they are doing with the profits they made from us and we will be happy to take our business elsewhere if they don't stop.
You know what they say, the customer is always right!
Might as well cut out the middle man.
Since the whores in congress listen to their pimps over us, we'll just take it up with the pimps.If they want to buy our democracy, they are going to have to listen to us bitch and complain.
5) Run for Office: If You Want Something Done Right, Sometimes You Have to Do it Yourself!
I mean... why not?
So you didn't go to a great school. So you don't have the best track record on Earth. So you don't own any nice suits.
Screw it! If you think you have what it takes, run for office! The worst thing that can happen is you'll lose.
This may seem bold, but hear me out...
You don't have to run for president, senator, or even congressman. Start small. Run for your local city council, run for mayor, country clerk, treasurer, etc.
At this time, people in general are tired and fed up with politicians. Maybe it's time that people who are not politicians run for office. Most politicians try to run as your next door neighbor or the common man candidate. Maybe your next door neighbor should just run?
Most people who have aspirations or dreams of running for office and have great ideas never do because they feel that you must have a perfect track record, have gone to Harvard or Yale, and have lots of money to run for office. So they feel intimidated and never attempt it. While these things do help, I see a clear advantage to not having this.
While your opponent is going out of their way to convince their constituents that they are just like them despite being a millionaire and that they can relate to their problems despite having none of them, you are the real deal.
You can tell your constituents that you have trouble paying your bills, just like them.
That you work everyday for a paycheck, just like them.
That you buy gas everyday and pay house payments, just like them.
That you know what it's like to go without health care and without a job, just like them.
Call me a dreamer, but I think this message and real people running for office would be welcomed with open arms in a country that is growing more skeptical and frustrated with Washington every day.
One of the best ways to stop the corporate takeover of our democracy is to elect people who still have principle and morals that cannot be bought. If that's you, you should step up. You'll only live once.
Besides, we are more effective working on the inside than protesting on the outside.
These are just a few effective ways we can fight back.
It's ironic that the Supreme Court ruling that allowed unlimited corporate cash into our democracy is called "Citizens United" because that's exactly how we will beat them... the citizens will unite.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
There is nothing more feared and hated in America.
The word alone sends shivers down the spine of the American people.
Those three syllables conger up images of Big Brother Government ruling over us all, telling us what to eat, wear, buy, and think. Our children in national uniform being indoctrinated with propaganda in government education camps that use to be schools, turning them into little slaves. While their parents work twelve hour shifts in the concentration camp that slaughters rich successful billionaires, as the poor and needy get a million dollars a month in welfare. A murderous government waging a war against freedom and liberty to gain complete control over everyone and everything.
You know, the way things were under that socialist Bill Clinton. And the way things are now under that socialist Barack Obama.
They imagine the USSR and how Democrats are turning America into it because our government will give money to poor people so they don't starve to death. (Giving money to billion dollar corporations is NOT socialism somehow. You would be a communist and a hippie to think otherwise.)
This is scary stuff!
And it's about to get scarier, because I have some terrifying news for you....
Socialism is alive and well in America and it has been here for a very long time!
Oh, that's not all. it gets much worse! I hope your sitting down...
As it turns out, You love socialism and you use it everyday, and you may not even know it! It may have even saved your life. I know, this is bad...
Now relax and breath. It's going to be okay! We are going to get through this.
You see, we are still a capitalist nation. In America, you can still make a billion dollars, get a giant tax cut, and pay your employees barely enough to survive while you sail in your yacht to escape any guilt that might inconvenience you. So don't freak out just yet!
The thing is, socialism is all over America and people actually like it. Even you... Yes you!
I know, I know. You're a conservative that believes in freedom and the constitution. You hate handouts and believe in hard work and the individual. You think government should get out of the way and let you live your lives and allow you to prosper on your own. You know that all rich people must have worked hard and all poor people are lazy. There is no other reason why they could be poor considering life is completely fair and all people are born into situations and environments that allow them to have all the opportunities and blessings that you had. There is no fathomable way they could have 2 or 3 jobs they work very hard at but still can't make ends meet. You got it all figured out.
But still, even you get your kicks from a little socialism every now and then.
Don't think of this as an intervention, think of it as a coming out of the closet party. We know you are a closet socialist. It's okay, you are amongst friends and we support you. Besides, we always knew...
Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.
Sounds horrible, huh?
Well I hate to be the one to tell you, but Socialism, which you have been told to fear all your life, is responsible for all this...
1. The Military/Defense - The United States military is the largest and most funded socialist program in the world. It operates thanks to our taxpayer dollars and protects the country as a whole. From the richest citizens to the homeless who sleep under the bridge. We are all protected by our military whether we pay taxes or not. This is complete socialism.
2. Highways/Roads - Those roads and highways you drive on every single day are completely taxpayer funded. Your tax dollars are used to maintain, expand, and preserve our highways and roads for every one's use. President Eisenhower was inspired by Germany's autobahn and implemented the idea right here in America. That's right, a republican president created our taxpayer funded, national highway system. This was a different time, before the republican party came down with a vicious case of rabies that never went away.
3. Public Libraries - Yes. That place where you go to check out books from conservative authors telling you how horrible socialism is, is in fact socialism. Libraries are taxpayer funded. You pay a few bucks to get a library card and you can read books for free for the rest of your life.
4. Police - Ever had a situation where you had to call the police? Then you have used a taxpayer funded socialist program. Anyone can call the police whether they pay taxes or not. They are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. This is complete socialism on a state level, but still socialism all the same. Would you rather have to swipe your credit card before the police will help you?
5. Fire Dept. - Hopefully you have never had a fire in your home. But if you have, you probably called your local taxpayer-funded fire department to put the fire out. Like police, this is state socialism. You tax dollars are used to rescue your entire community in case of a fire. It use to be set up where you would pay a fee every month to the fire dept. for their service. If you didn't pay, they let your house burn down. Sadly, a man from Tennessee had this exact situation happen to him in 2011 because he didn't pay his $75.00 fee. I guess that small town in Tennessee would rather let people's houses burn down that resort to evil socialism. So don't take for granted the fact that you have a 24/7 fire dept. to put out your burning home thanks to socialism.
6. Postal Service - Like having mail delivered directly to your front door and paying next to nothing to send mail anywhere you want? Well it's all made possible by socialism.
7. Student Loans and Grants - Did you go to College? If you did, you family might not have been rich enough to pay your way through. So you got your education anyway through student loans and grants from the federal government at taxpayer expense. Of course you have to pay back the loans, but if not the government, did you know anyone else who was going to lend you tens of thousands of dollars? Probably not. So the taxpayers lent you the money and you paid it back with slight interest. The government grants you accepted were gifts from the taxpayer and the federal government that you did not have to pay back. Socialism got you through school.
8. Bridges - Along with our highways, our government used your taxpayer dollars to build bridges. This allows the public to travel across rivers without having to sail or swim.
9. Garbage Collection - Like having your garbage collected once a week instead of having to drive it to the landfill yourself? Thank socialism.
10. Public Landfills - Taxpayer dollars are used to have places to dump all of our garbage that is collected by taxpayer funded garbage men.
11. War - That's right! War would not be possible without socialism. Your tax dollars are used to fight wars for your country. This is Big Government at it's biggest. Private companies don't attack other countries, at least not yet. Government is the only entity in America that can defend us from foreign enemies and our tax dollars are used for every second of it. Socialism has brought down Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bin Laden. War may very well be the most socialist thing on this list.
12. Farm Subsidies - Our government uses taxpayer funds to pay farmers and businesses to provide their income and keep them growing food for the public.
13. CIA - The Central Intelligence Agency is vital to America's security. The CIA is completely taxpayer funded to protect the public from enemies.
14. FBI - The Federal bureau of investigations is a taxpayer funded government agency.
15. Congressional Health Care - As Republicans in congress warn us of the evils of government-run health care, most of them are covered by taxpayer-funded government-run health care. You literally pay for their health care while they tell you that paying for your neighbors health care through a public option or single-payer system is socialism. They are 100% correct, it is socialism. They're just not telling you that they like their socialist health care, they just don't think you should have it. They are afraid you might like it better than the private insurance you have now that funds their campaigns and gives them money to push what is best for them and not for you. Members of congress are free to opt out of their evil government health care, but most of them don't because deep down, they like socialism too.
16. Polio Vaccine - In the 1950's polio ravaged the United States. Until Dr. Jonas Salk invented a cure, finally ridding America of this terrible disease. Dr. Salk could have sold his vaccine in the free market and made millions and millions of dollars. Instead he gave it to the federal government to begin eradicating polio. He said that he made plenty of money as a scientist and felt it was too important to try and profit from or create a business around.
17. EPA - Republicans hate this taxpayer-funded government program because they have the nerve to tell corporations that they may have to follow environmental rules ad regulations for the greater good of the earth and the people who live on it. But if you don't like breathing mercury, drinking dirty water, and breathing in chemicals, you should like this example of socialism working for the people.
18. Social Security - You pay a tax to help ensure that our grandparents and senior citizens of America have money to live off of when they are retired or too elderly to work. I love hearing rich people bitch about this one because the truth is that they do not pay a social security tax, like most payroll taxes. This little piece of socialism helps prevent our senior citizens from sinking into poverty and starving to death.
19. Museums - Many museums are privately owned by organizations and groups, but many are also taxpayer-funded state, national, and federal museums.
20. Public Schools - Can't afford to send your children to an expensive private school? Thanks to socialism and government, you child can still get an education. Public education has been under attack for decades in this country by the radical right because public schools don't teach Christianity to your children and it enables people like Barack Obama to work hard, gain scholarships, and eventually become President of the United States.
21. Jail/Prison System - Many murders and criminals are behind bars right now and not out on the streets because of our taxpayer-funded, federal and state run jails and prisons. Taxpayer money is collected and used to help protect all of society from murders, molesters, rapist, etc. I know there's a lot of disagreement and controversy about how to handle our prison system, but I think we can all agree that serial killers should not be freed into society. There are also many private prisons in the United States. However, they have a higher escape rate than their socialist counterpart. Besides, don't you see the bad incentives in having a private prison system that profits from having people in prison? Since a business's top goal is to make more money than the year before, the only feasible agenda would be to get everyone in prison.
22. Corporate/Business Subsidies - This is the type of socialism that is acceptable in the Republican party. You tax dollars are given to big corporations to do things they should be doing anyway out of morals and ethics. Like not sending jobs overseas and hiring people. Wouldn't you like a nice big check just for not breaking the law? To be fair though, many businesses do earn their subsidies by advancing green technology and practice, donating to charity, helping communities, etc. They aren't all bad. People just get mad when big billionaire oil companies get billions of their taxpayer dollars while they're paying $4 at the pump. For the corporations that don't earn their subsidies other than donating to their very own political party, it's merely welfare. Though however you look at it, it is socialism.
23. Veteran's (VA) Health Care - Our soldiers bravely go to foreign countries and risk their lives at the request of their government and the American people. For those who survive, we as a country feel committed and obligated to ensure that they have everything they need for the rest of their lives for their service to us in which we could never fully repay. So we the taxpayers fund their health care in a government-run single-payer system for veterans. Many soldiers return with mental and/or physical health issues that would cost them thousands in a private health care plan. Socialism funds the military, the overall war, and also takes care of our troops when they return home.
24. Public Parks - Like going to the park on a sunny day? Just being able to walk right in, or at the worse pay a small fee? This is once again the work of socialism. If it were private, it wouldn't be a park, it would be someones back yard. That small or non-existent fee will turn into a $15 fee faster than you can say "No Trespassing".
25. All Elected Government Officials - From the Supreme Court, to the President of the United States and all the way down to the County Dog Catcher, taxpayers pay their salary and provide the funding for them to do their job. We pay for every aspect of their job. So in a sense, I guess you could say our whole country is run on socialism.
26. Food Stamps - Republicans fill with bitter contempt knowing that our government at the expense of the taxpayer is giving poor people money to buy food they couldn't otherwise afford. This, like welfare, is what the right thinks socialism is all about, along with mass murder. However, just like corporate welfare, welfare is socialism. I'll just end this one with a quick story. I have been down and out in periods of my life and sought assistance via food stamps. Even though I was what anyone would consider poor, I was not poor enough to get food stamps. Which means people who do get them, must really, really need them. As far as my personal experience, they weren't thrown around like candy the way the right would have you believe.
27. Sewer System - Do you like having a sewer system to remove waste and prevent pollution and disease from seeping into our environment? Thank the taxpayers of America and the socialist system it operates in.
28. Medicare - Medicare is one of the most liked socialist programs in America. Most of us don't mind paying taxes to provide our senior citizens with health care and hope the next generation will do the same for us. If you don't believe me, just look at almost any poll. Most seniors would not be able to afford private health care. So this form of socialism is a life saver for this nation's grandparents and senior citizens.
29. Court System - Whether it's the murder trial of the century or a case in a small claims court, the taxpayers of America fully fund our courts and legal process. You may pay for your own lawyer, but the courtroom, judge, and jury is paid for through socialist means.
30. Bird Flu Vaccine - You don't have bird flu right now and probably aren't worried about it because our federal government used taxpayer funds to pump vaccines all over America.
31. G.I. Bill - The G.I. bill allows veterans to pursue an education by using taxpayer dollars to help them pay for most of their schooling. It also helps them with loans, savings, and unemployment benefits.
32. Hoover Dam - Remember when our country use to build things? Our government built the Hoover Dam using taxpayer funds. It is now a vital source of power for the west coast.
33. State/City Zoos - American families have been going to the zoo for generations. A place where kids and adults can have fun seeing creatures and animals from all over the world and learn at the same time. Many zoos are ran by the state and/or city, using taxpayer funds to operate and even bring the animals to the zoo.
34. IRS - I know, the IRS is about as popular and well liked in America as a hemorrhoid, but think about it. The IRS is the reason that we have anything. The IRS collects taxpayer funds for the federal government. The government then dispenses these funds to our military, states, and social programs. If there is no one collecting taxes, no one will pay them. If no one pays taxes, our country shuts down. Without money to operate, nothing operates. This may sound like a good thing to some radical republicans, but for those of us with sense, we know this means anarchy in the USA. The IRS gets a bad rap because if you don't pay your taxes or owe them money, they can be ruthless. Like everything else, the IRS is not perfect, but without them we literally have no country or no means to run it.
35. Free Lunch Program - Some children are living in poverty by no fault of their own. I'm not saying it is even their parents fault, but you surely cannot blame a child for the situation they are born into. In most if not all states, there are programs where children who live in poor households can receive school lunch for free. The taxpayers of the state pay for this. Sounds like socialism to me, and also the moral and Christian thing to do.
36. The Pentagon - Our defense system in America is a socialist system from top to bottom. We as taxpayers fund the pentagon completely.
37. Medicaid - Our government uses taxpayer funds to provide health care for low-income people. Republicans, the compassionate Christians that they are, absolutely hate this program. What they fail to understand is that when people can't afford to pay their outrageous medical bills, they don't. This bill does not disappear. The loss that the insurance company, doctor's office, or hospital takes gets passed down to everyone else. So covering people and giving them a low-income option reduces costs for them and everyone else. This is the main argument behind a health care mandate. It's not to force you to buy health care out of cruelty. If everyone is covered, costs drop for everyone. If you have no compassion for the uninsured, you can at least understand the rational in a selfish sense.
38. FDA - The Food and Drug Administration is far from perfect. It is infested with corporate corruption and they have been wrong many, many times. Countless times they have approved things that they later have to apologize for and have banned things that would have helped people. However, they have also stopped many harmful foods and products from being sold to the public and protect us everyday from poisons being disguised as products. While not perfect, they are needed to prevent harmful food and drugs from being sold to you and you family. Without them, corporations can send whatever they want to your supermarkets and drug stores without any testing or evaluation. I don't mind my taxes going towards a middle man to inspect the safety of the products we are being sold everyday.
39. Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers - After beating back GOP obstruction, Democrats finally passed a bill last year to allow government to help 9/11 rescue worker's with their health care after many came down with horrible lung diseases from the toxins they breathed in rescuing people from smoldering buildings. These brave citizens risked their lives and health to help complete strangers. They deserve more, but covering their health care is a good start.
40. Swine Flu Vaccine - Do you have swine flu right now? Then thank government and the socialist structure.
41. Disability Insurance (SSDI) - For those who are disabled and cannot work, our government provides an income for them via taxpayer dollars as opposed to the other option of letting them starve to death.
42. Town/State Run Beaches - Like going to the beach? Like it when the beach is clean and safe? Like having lifeguards on staff in case of an emergency? Then once again, thank the taxpayers and the socialist structure that makes it all possible.
43. Corporate Bailouts/Welfare - The whole point of this post is to prove that we ALL use, benefit from, and like socialism. This example is a form of socialism that the republicans not only like, but fight tooth and nail for. They don't like it when socialism is used for working/poor people, but when it's for millionaires and their corporate donors, socialism becomes as American as apple pie. The middle/working class who are the majority of taxpayers pay for welfare for corporations and people who have more money than all of us combined. When our government bails out a bank or gives a subsidy to a billion dollar corporation, you are paying for it.
44. State Construction - Ever see those construction workers in your town fixing potholes, erecting buildings, repaving highways and roads, and fixing things all over town? They themselves and the work they do is taxpayer-funded state socialism.
45. Unemployment Insurance - All your working life, you pay payroll taxes. Some of these taxes go toward a program that temporarily provides for people who lost their jobs until they can find another one. You pay for others, others pay for you. Especially these days, you never know when you might lose your job. You may need temporary assistance until you get back on your feet. The government recognizes this. UI also keeps the economy moving in times of recession because people still have some money in their pockets to buy goods and promote demand.
46. City/Metro Buses - If you lack transportation, you can catch a city bus. Taxpayer funds and the fee you pay to take the bus make it possible for millions of people to go to work.
47. WIC - WIC is a federally funded program to assist women, infants, and children. WIC helps low-income families by providing funding for nutrition, education, and health care for children.
48. State Snow Removal - Even though sometimes it may take them longer than you like to get to your street, do you like having snow plow service to clear our roads and highways in the winter? This is a state socialist taxpayer-funded service.
49. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - PBS operates on donations and government funding. The provide non-partisan news and information to the public. They are the home of Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theater, and The Antiques Roadshow. Surveys show that they are literally the most trusted name in news. I wonder how Fox feels about that?
50. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - The CDC helps promote and enact the health and safety of the public along with helping to prevent and control illness and disease. The CDC is a government program that operates on taxpayer funding.
51. Welfare - Is there anything the republicans hate more? Of course I'm talking about the welfare that goes to poor people. Corporate welfare is not only accepted in the republican Kabul, but it's mandatory that we give our tax dollars to billionaires and not question the logic of it. Though if you look at it realistically and not through the red scare glasses in which the right sees the world, welfare helps the economy. As I've said many times, when poor people have money in their pocket, they buy things made and sold by companies. This creates a demand. To keep up with demand, businesses must hire to keep up. If you yanked everyone who is on welfare off of it tomorrow, the economy would take a blow and lose jobs due to the down tick in consumer demand because we just took what little money they had away.
52. Public Street Lighting - Like being able to see at night when you walk or drive? Thank Socialism.
53. FEMA - If Disaster strikes, FEMA is there to help pick up the pieces. As a part of homeland security and an agency of the federal government, they use taxpayer dollars to help cities, states, and towns recover and rebuild. I don't know to many private companies that could assist in disaster relief and ask nothing in return. Thank God for socialism.
54. Public Defenders - Ever been in trouble and couldn't afford a lawyer? Well the taxpayers and the government make sure you still get representation.
55. S-CHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) - S-CHIP is a program that matches funds to states for health insurance for children in families that cannot afford insurance but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Your tax dollars go towards covering uninsured children, is that so wrong?
56. Amtrak - Amtrak transports tens of millions of passengers a year in 46 states and three Canadian Providences. It is owned by the federal government and your tax dollars are used to fund it. All aboard!!
57. NPR - National Public Radio operates on private and federal funding along with public donations. NPR has been one of the most trusted news sources in America for over 40 years.
58. The Department of Homeland Security - Created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, this heavily federally funded department of the U.S. government helps protect us from future terrorist attacks. This is the third largest department within the United States government.
59. OSHA - Do you have a safe and healthy workplace that provides training, outreach, education, and assistance? Thank OSHA! Brought to you by the taxpayers of America and socialism.
60. State and National Monuments - The Lincoln Memorial. Mount Rushmore. The D.C. National Mall. All brought to you and maintained with your tax dollars. Socialism is patriotic?
61. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - The USDA enforces regulations on the farming, agriculture, and food industries to ensure food safety, natural resources, and hunger worldwide and in the United States. Your tax dollars are used to help keep what you are eating safe and even feed those who are not eating.
62. Government Scholarships - if you work hard in school and show true potential, our government will give you a scholarship towards college so you can advance your education. Your tax dollars have been used to send future doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even presidents of the United States to college.
63. Department of Health and Human Service - The overall goal of HHS is to promote, implement, and ensure the health of the American people. Your tax dollars are used to do this. Government looking out for the well being of it's people, imagine that!
64. Census Bureau - Every ten years, our government collects data about our people and economy, to better serve and represent us. From the forms that are sent to your home for you to fill out and send back in and to the census worker who shows up and kindly asks you to fill out the form if you don't send it in, all taxpayer funded socialism. The information collected is used to better understand the economic situation and population in your area. Not to enslave you in a FEMA camp.
65. Department of Energy - This taxpayer funded cabinet of the federal government oversees nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, energy conservation, radioactive waste disposal, and energy production. To those of you who care about our environment and would rather not witness a nuclear holocaust might consider this money well spent.
66. Customs and Border Protection - the CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in America. This is big government that republicans actually do like because they don't like Mexicans immigrating to our country like our ancestors did. However, this taxpayer funded, socialist agency of the federal government regulates trade, imports, and immigration.
67. Department of Education - This cabinet of the federal government is actually the smallest. They administer and oversee federal assistance to education. They also collect data and enforce federal laws and regulations involving education. Even though the right thinks that this department is indoctrinating your children, they actually have no control over curriculum or standards.
68. Secret Service - Your tax dollars are used to provide highly-trained, skilled professional bodyguards to protect the President of the United States.
69. Peace Corps - The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the government that helps people outside of the US to understand our culture as well as helping us learn about other cultures. However they are more well known for their work with economic and social development in less-fortunate countries. Sounds very Christian for being a socialist program, huh?
70. Department of Justice - The DOJ is responsible for enforcing the law. Socialism keeps our civilization intact.
71. National Weather Service - Like knowing when a storm, tornado, earthquake, or snow is coming? Socialism makes this possible and available to everyone.
72. The White House - Our taxpayer dollars through a socialist means pays for the house that the president and his family live in during a presidents time in office.
73. Government - Like it or not, our country would not be a country without a government. Every single day, government on state and local levels serve us in ways we simply take for granted. Government as an entity operates and functions on our tax dollars through a socialist structured funding system. From the military down to the county dog catcher, socialism turns the wheels that make our society function.
74. Law - Laws and rules make our democracy possible. Remove these laws and you have sheer anarchy. Laws do not appear out of thin air. To have law, you need a government. You need elected lawmakers to make the laws and a government to implement and enforce them. Socialism is responsible for every law in this country. Without our government and lawmakers which exist thanks to socialism, there would be no laws. So the laws themselves, are enforced and implemented thanks to socialism.
75. Civilization - As an American citizen, you enjoy freedoms that many in other countries do not. Like anything else in this world, our government is not perfect, but you should be thankful everyday that your country has a government that feels an obligation to serve the people and protect their rights and freedoms. This is completely possible because of government, taxes, and socialism. Do you think the private sector would do a better job of governing our country? Do you think corporations would enact laws to help protect and serve you and your family or them and their profits? The reason you can read this blog and the reason I can write it whether you agree with it or not is because of the freedoms we have here in America enforced and protected through socialist means. Our entire civilization depends on us being a people united. Socialism is a glue that binds us together and makes possible the things that we could not accomplish as individuals working against each other.
I don't care who you are.
Rich or poor. Teaparty Republican or Liberal Socialist.
You benefit from at least one or more of these 75 American Government-Run, Taxpayer funded Socialist programs, agencies, and laws.
My overall argument is not for a completely socialist nation. This would not work. A completely capitalist nation would not work either.
I'm just simply saying that I, as a Democratic Socialist, feel that the two can co-exist. I know this because they always have. Socialism and capitalism have always co-existed in America.
I also believe in freedom. I believe options are a form of freedom.
Right now in the United States of America, I can send mail through the public postal service or I can choose a private option like FedEx. I can send my kids to public school or private school.
As liberals, we don't want a government takeover, we want options. We think we should have the freedom to be able to choose to have government health care if we don't like our private plan.
If we are 18-64, we have no options or freedom over our own health care. I don't understand why this isn't viewed as a corporate takeover of health care.
Socialism is not a bad thing. It is a foundation in this country of ours. Claiming socialism is bad because of radical and non-factual comparisons to Hitler and Stalin is like saying all guns are bad because of the Columbine killers and Jared Loughner.
National socialism and communism are very, very different from Democratic Socialism here in America. I'd explain further but this topic is for another post, this one is long enough. Besides, socialism defeated Hitler.
So let's just stop the madness and have a serious discussion about socialism and the role it plays in America.
"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country" - FDR