This is Democracy! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Let's keep this up, and make it bigger folks.

Denver Protesting.

Warning of Things to Come 

Monday, November 15, 2004

Greatness does not come from the leaves whistling in the wind, but from the fruit that grows from the trees.

--Jason Mott

Mark my words; the institution that fuels the rise of Bush derives its power from the fear of enemies. As the capital of September Eleventh dwindles, and people begin to awaken from their slumber, a new source of capital will be "gifted" upon the institution.

The only question is, will the people see the connection this time, or fall back asleep?

Rich People Give You Jobs 

Thursday, November 11, 2004

One stupid talking point that really rides my shorts coming out the right wing propaganda machine is, “rich people give you jobs, “ or “tax cuts for the wealthy means companies can hire more people.” What boils me even more is that progressives haven’t really taken this line of bull on.

I was listening to Thom Hartmann’s progressive radio show the other day. He let a conservative man on who claimed to be a small business owner who pulled in around $200,000/year. He went on to say that Bush’s tax cuts had allowed him to hire three new people, and that any roll back would have forced him to fire them. Although Thom did a good job tearing the man’s argument down, he didn’t really break down the overall notion of “tax cuts/rich people create jobs.” The cracks in this theory would begin to show if Thom had asked just a few questions:

  1. How many dollars a year did your tax reduction give you?
  2. How many dollars a year do the three employees cost you?
  3. Was there a need for the three employees, or do you pay them to do nothing for charitable reasons?

I’ll bet dollars to donuts that those three employees cost way more than the tax cut gave him. Additionally, I’ll bet his business needed the extra help due to the fact that his existing workforce couldn’t meet the demand for his product or service. Either this guy was outright lying, or he was just applying a talking point to his situation without having really analyzed it (which is common, the right wing propaganda machine often makes people believe things about themselves that aren’t true).

Which brings me to my point: businesses, investors, and/or rich people don’t create jobs, they manage them. Jobs are created by demand. Although it is true that investors often times risk their capital in pursuit of discovering a demand, they almost never do so frivolously or charitably. Capital is spent on jobs in pursuit of increasing capital, period. Although this is a great and necessary role in the game of capitalism, it in no way makes martyrs of rich people. Also of note, when there is demand for a product or service, businesses will hire as many people as they need to, regardless of their tax rate/minimum wage rules or any other fake obstacle the conservative economic agenda whines about. Fact is, if a business’ competitors have to play by the same rules that they do (and they do in the case of small to medium size businesses), then the burden of tax or wage restrictions doesn’t stop them from hiring the required people to meet the demand. This is because taxes and wage rules are constants among competitors, not variables, so the market adjusts accordingly. By playing by the rules of progressive taxation and wage restrictions, in fact, more jobs can be created because the capital value of each worker increases under those rules. This allows consumers to demand more products and services in exchange for their labor, special skill, and/or special knowledge.

If you’re looking for a martyr in the game of capitalism, let’s look at the average consumer. Rich people spend most of their capital on assets. That is, they buy things that increase in value or produce more capital. Average folks, however, spend most of their capital on disposable goods and services. Average people who throw their capital away on investments that are known to be loosing investments are the ones who create the demand that creates jobs. They buy cars that loose value the moment they drive away in them, they buy houses with loans that absorb the appreciation of the house’s value (and borrow money against what little value is left), they buy consumer electronics that entertain them but can not be resold at a profit, and this list goes on, etc. Think about your own spending. How many times do you spend your money on something that will give you back more capital? I’ll bet your 401k plan and possibly your house are the only things, unless you’ve been specially trained otherwise by a smart investor.

The reason conservatives spew this “rich people give you jobs” lie is twofold. First, they want to marginalize the unfairness of the tax system that has given them great advantages of unearned wealth. Secondly, they believe that wealthy people should be worshiped, and are better than everyone else. What better way to create that essence than to continually make you believe that out of the generosity of their hearts, they give you jobs? Fact is, no investor, business, or rich person has ever taken an increase in their profits and just charitably given someone a job with it. In fact, large corporations usually take extra profits and use them to ship jobs overseas to get cheaper labor and increase their profits even more!

Average people are the only players in the game of capitalism that purposely invest at a loss. In fact, capitalism could not exist without them. This is why progressive taxation is a good thing (it stimulates capital loss investment by making the average person’s dollar worth more than the wealthy person’s dollar). This is why average people give you jobs, not rich people. So the next time you see someone buying something, thank him or her for your job. And the next time the tax code is going to be used to create jobs, you must demand that taxes increase on the wealthy so that the spending power of the capital loss investor class, consumers, can increase.

The Lonely Brick 

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

If peace were achieved,
For what would they fight?

My heavy heart
And my lucid mind
Weep for a sleepy lot

Perpetual war
Promises elusive peace
Building its power
On complacently compliant capital
Disguised as a free people
Kept obedient with perpetual war

The cycle only ends when we realize
We are the bricks of the basement
The house is heavy
The whispers hard to hear
But without us
The walls will fall

We can build new houses
Floors of our true choosing
Walls of our true design
Built on our own free bricks

The fruits of our labor
Can be had by our children
Not consumed
By the war machine
That grows ever bigger
As more fear is spread

Peace is not had
When we choose
Among the war machine's choices
But when we choose
A new machine altogether

Bush Vows To Expand Free Speech Zones 

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

In a brilliant move to reach out to liberals, progressives, and democrats alike, President Bush declared that he will be expanding Free Speech Zones throughout the country. "I have asked congress to send me an appropriations bill allowing $100 Billion dollars to be spent expanding our nation's free speech concentration centers, including the reopening of Alcatraz which is conveniently located near many free speech advocates." The President announced.

Tom Delay called it "visionary" and "the things liberated societies are made of."

In other news, due to an unspecified terrorist threat, the Department of Homeland Security Chief, Tom Ridge, asked that all progressive writers, bloggers, and broadcasters register with the "protection from terrorists" department database to ensure their security. Call 1-800-WEREALLFUCKED.

Bush will not destroy this Nation, complacency will. At least I will hang with my principles and conscience in place. I warned you (yes, the above is satire, but is it so far off?).

They Thought They Were Free.

Let Me Make This Clearer 

Monday, November 08, 2004

I don't think people are getting it. Imagine, for just a moment, that you wake up one morning and discover that your car runs endlessly without gas. Great! Now imagine a few weeks later a few gas station owners come over and nicely ask you to fix that problem with your car. What will your answer be? Wouldn't they need to be a little more forceful to get you using gas again? Wouldn't you have to be convinced that your life would be much tougher if you continued using your "gas free" car?

As of November 3rd, America runs without votes (due to corporate owned voting machines that seem prone to produce errors in favor of pro-corporate politicians). Does anyone really believe that politely asking the government to fix this problem will actually work now that it's aware that it can exist without having to work very hard for votes?

Pursuing this issue through the legal system is fine and necessary. However, if we don't create widespread citizen action and peaceful dissent about this now, it'll get wrapped in red tape for years to come where it'll end up in a congressional commission that'll whitewash and bury it. The corporate propaganda machine has already convinced most people I talk to (mostly Kerry voters) that this voting problem is mere "conspiracy theory."

Again I ask, Please Wake Up.

Please Wake Up 

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Are we nuts? What is going on here? I think I made a grave error when I joined the "accept it and move on" premise that most Americans seem to be slipping into as if this is just another election outcome. If I hear or read one more progressive talking about how we failed to reach America, or how we need to do better next time to convince people to vote our way I'm going to fucking puke. We won this election, and that win was hijacked by a criminal cartel who'll do anything to win. But I don't care who won, really, I care if it was done in a truly democratic election.

I sent out a letter to as many progressive broadcasters as I could find with a creative and peaceful suggestion for dissent. Not one even bothered to respond. It may have been a bad idea, but did everyone have to ignore it without dialog as if dissent itself were some crazy idea?

Those on the left are falling asleep because they are afraid of being called sore losers, those on the right are falling asleep because they prefer this outcome regardless of the method (and don't understand the ultimate destructive consequences, even for them).

People! This is the bargaining stage of grief! We're saying to fascism, "OK, I'll let you have this, just give us a shot next time, eh?" We did it in 2000, and in 2002. Each time it got bigger and worse. Now, the single biggest crime ever perpetuated on the American people has been committed and we're all pretending it didn't happen that way. There is mounting evidence of massive country wide voter fraud here. Jimmy Carter, can't you just say it? Spark something?

I'm not being partisan here. I think John Kerry might be guilty of something too. After all, he dropped out too quickly for my taste (a few weeks ago, his campaign sent out letters soliciting funds to fight this very issue, yet he didn't even apologize to all those who sent their hard earned dollars in hopes they had finally found a candidate that would stand up for them).

To all republicans, democrats, independents, conservatives, liberals, or whatever you call yourselves, there is only one label you should care about right now: CITIZEN. This is not OK. George Bush stole this election, and John Kerry let him. I believe both are equally guilty of high crimes. It is us, the citizens of this great Nation, who must hold them to task now! If you're a Bush supporter, don't you want to prove your guy won fairly? If you're a Kerry supporter, aren't you concerned that he broke the one promise he was granted a mandate to fulfill (to fight for a fair election)?

Politicians are not saviors, they are servants. They are not serving well at all. Thomas Jefferson mandated that we take these events into our own hands when he said:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government . . . "

The time for peaceful dissent is NOW. If history is any indicator, it will indeed be our last chance at peaceful dissent. If history is any indicator, and unless we dissent, this was our last election. History tells us when power is obtained by any means it will be kept by any means. Those of us hoping this will merely create a better version of the progressive movement we created in the last two years are living in a dream world. The free speech zones are about to get a lot smaller if history has anything to say about it.

We need to demand, with as much peaceful dissent as we can muster up, that the results of this election be investigated thoroughly, objectively, and professionally BEFORE they are certified by congress. If George Bush won fair and square, and it can be proved, I accept him as my President and I'll have a great time mocking him for the next few years knowing that Democracy works. But I have yet to get the sense it was fair, or that he won at all. I doubt any honest intelligent citizen can disagree that there is doubt about these official numbers. That should concern everyone. If Bush wants his mandate, he must prove his mandate.

Let's organize and dissent NOW, before the results are certified in congress. This isn't up to the politicians, this is up to the citizens. Make this a country where elections are trusted once again, and when your guy looses you can say without hesitation or concern, "oh well, we'll get'um next election." Can anyone honestly say we're there right now?

The blood of those who've fought for freedom and liberty throughout America's life is going to waste. My World War II veteran Grandfather would be ashamed of us, and so would every one of the Founding Fathers. A few days before the election I wrote a piece titled, Informed, Active, Citizenship Required. Never would I have believed the profound meaning my words would have just a few days later.

To quote a man I once respected, "Where are the leaders of this country?" And to add to it, where are the citizens of this country? For that matter, where the hell is the country?

I'll meet you in Washington!

Moving on: The Next Step 

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I've had a full day to reflect and grieve. You know what? I'm sad right now, yes, but I think this is a blessing for several reasons. One, the party of blame has no one to blame anymore. They can't say it was the previous administration's fault, and they can't say it's another party's fault. They have full control of our government and they are pursuing an agenda that just doesn't work in the long run. When the pain of it is felt enough, our message will be heard. That means we MUST keep spreading our message regardless of whether we feel we are being heard or not. Just keep going with it. I know in my heart of hearts that most people didn't want George in again. So when people spew the "well, they have a mandate" talking point just respond with, "but is it what YOU wanted?" The reason they are pounding the mandate message is because they know it isn't true, but that most people will eat it up and go along because "everyone else wants it." But if you point out, "but is it what YOU wanted?" they'll start to notice that they don't know too many people who handed this mysterious mandate to Bush. So just keep asking, "was it what YOU wanted?"

Also, I think our number one issue should be the electronic voting machines. We must get them fixed immediately with paper trails. But not by crying foul about this election being stolen. We must put the pressure on by reminding people that because these machines, which carried 30% of our votes, can't be audited, that Bush supporters cannot prove their mandate. That's right, who cares if it was stolen?! We can't prove it was, but THEY can't prove it WASN'T! Therefore, we must remind everyone that we can accept the will of the people so long as that will can be verified. Please go to Blackbox Voting now and support Bev Harris' effort to fix these machines before we all live in a country where no one trusts the results of elections anymore. This is a non-partisan issue, and now that we're not in an election cycle, it will be easier to make that case. Please make it your number one political issue NOW! Also, stay tuned, I have some exciting changes coming that will make this site more of a community rather than a mere place for me to rant my views.

Blackbox Voting

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