Sunday, April 28, 2013

We Don't Play by Your Rules Here!

If we continue on the current path of radical partisanship where one side totally blocks any social progress that would help the vast majority of citizens in the country then we may be looking at the end of the experiment known as America!
Billy Joel paired a catchy tune with a list of key moments in our history entitled We Didn't Start the Fire.
I offer new words and ask you to use his song's tune and beat and decide how long we can continue before something gives?

We don’t play by your rules here
So we have no worries
No sir, no real worries
We keep ourselves in power
In our ivory tower
While the masses cower

No healthcare, End Medicare, If you die we don’t care
Union busting, filibustering, We do those best

Tax breaks for the filthy rich, Tell ya folks life is a bitch
We help only those who pay, And dump on the rest

Block the vote of those we hate, In your red or your blue State
Making all the rules is great, We control our future fate

We don’t play by your rules here
So we have no worries
No sir, no real worries
We keep ourselves in power
In our ivory tower
While the masses cower

Climate change is not a hoax, Leaders in DC are jokes
Fossil fuels can’t be your friend, They’ll cause the world’s end

Gun control is just a must, But can’t even be discussed
Instead let’s block women’s rights, How the hell do they sleep at night?

We don’t play by your rules here
So we have no worries
No sir, no real worries
We keep ourselves in power
In our ivory tower
While the masses cower

Bankers never paid their debt, Voters better not forget
On one thing we'll surely bet, Regulations keep us safe

Asking kids to go to war, Don’t tell them what they’re fighting for
Returning damaged forever more, Their plight we ignore

Think once for the other guy, Help him out do not ask why
There but for the grace you know, We will surely some day go

We don’t play by your rules here
So we have no worries
No sir, no real worries
We keep ourselves in power
In our ivory tower
While the masses cower

There are no silly fools here
So we have no worries
no sir, no real worries

And we will stay in office as our terms go on and on and on and on and on....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Who REALLY Said That?

Good things come to those who wait.
                Anyone wanting to get ahead of others

The meek shall inherit the Earth.
                Not the meek I’ll tell you

Your call is very important to us.
                First customer service person after the invention of the phone

Of course I’ll respect you in the morning.

Good things come in small packages
                Someone with a small package

I am not a crook
                First crook

Play nicely children

A house divided against itself cannot stand
                The minority

Tis better to give than receive
                Someone hoping for a gift

Love thy neighbor as thyself
                Your neighbor

Spare the rod; spoil the child
                Ste. Claire (The first Nun)

A good man is hard to find

A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client
                Every attorney since time began

A penny saved is a penny earned
                Every boss I ever had!

A place for everything and everything in its place

Power corrupts - Absolute power corrupts absolutely
                First Serf

Every cloud has a silver lining
                Uncle Weatherbee (Let’s see how old you are!)

A man is judged by the clothing he wears
                Sy Syms

Better late than never
                My brother! (He’s gotten better lately.)

Never bring a knife to a gun fight
                Sean Connery

Try not, Do!
                Yoda, duh!

Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me, uh, — you can't get fooled again.
                If you don’t know I give up!

 I know a little about everything and a lot about nothing.
                Michele Bachmann

Ignorance is bliss
                Ted Cruz

The squeaky wheel gets the oil
                Tea Party members

Accidents will happen

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sipmle Social Security Solutions for Solving Solvency

Medicare premiums will most likely be going up for those in higher earnings brackets.  Basically the idea is those who can afford to pay a bit more for the services provided under the system should do so.
I have mixed emotions on this but mostly favor it since this country is after all the UNITED States of America and we must all hang together or, as Ben Franklin hinted we shall surely hang separately.
But lumping Medicare and its possible future monetary woes with the Social Security administration’s possible future shortfalls is unfair and disingenuous. And using the one word unfair definition of entitlement is just plain wrong.
Medicare is a program designed to help the aging with incumbent increased medical costs and it has worked well for decades.
It is a sort of gift we give ourselves as we age and the rug should not be pulled out from those in need just because lawmakers in DC have squandered funds elsewhere.
These elected officials allowed our tax payer dollars to be thrown into black holes such as two illegal immoral and unwarranted wars.
Then they handed over vast fortunes of our money without any strings attached to financial institutions that had gambled with and lost THEIR money!
So after those wonderful events America has nothing to show for a decade of governmental stupidity except tens of thousands of dead or disabled soldiers and millions of out of work or underpaid citizens.
This while an ever increasing ruling class comprised of the wealthiest people in the country, including many from the same financial institutions we had to bail out control the conversation in Congress!
But while these attacks continue what can we do to ensure the future solvency of Social Security.
This wonderful program can easily survive without any changes at all but could be even more secure with just a few tiny tweaks that would be painless to nearly everyone.
But with or without these fixes the right wing of the Republican Party, which is arguably a wholly owned subsidiary of the top 1% earning class of America, will continue to claim the entire program is headed for bankruptcy.
In one real sense their lies are comedic since that same right wing group has hated Social Security since inception and would love for it to be doomed to bankruptcy.  After all the more people who become and remain poor the wealthier they can feel by comparison.

I hereby submit for your approval five easy pieces to stop future worries about Social Security.

  1. Get rid of the income ceiling for social security deductions.
    1. This most egregious slap in the face of the lower wage earners must go
    2. The small amount taken from paychecks should not hurt those in the higher brackets
    3. Current salary limit of $113,700 means wealthy earners essentially get a raise for being wealthy!
    4. We are one nation etc. and should all pull our weight.
  2. No one should be allowed or forced to take Social Security payments if they are still working and earning above a certain income level.
    1. More and more people are working into their 80s and many are earning nice money thank you.
    2. States should set the earning limits
                     i. Those who reside in New York or California are faced with much higher costs of living than those in States such as Arkansas etc.
                     ii. COL adjustments should be reviewed yearly so as to alter fair amounts.
  1. Social Security should be considered as income.
    1. The income must be reported on tax returns even after retirement
    2. Social Security income added to investment income should be taxed as ordinary income for all recipients
  2. In the off chance an individual does not wish to collect his or her social security payment they should be allowed to decline it
    1. The amount of the payment they are entitled to (yes, entitled!) should be used as a charitable deduction on their tax return
    2. Money not paid out to entitled recipients must remain in the Social Security coffers to offset future needs
  3. People who continue to work past the age of 70 do not receive an increase in their retirement payouts from Social Security BUT
    1. The Social Security payroll deduction should continue regardless of age or salary
    2. The amount of the payroll deduction for workers past age 70 may be reduced by an amount set by the State in which the worker resides.
                                        i. However Federal limits will apply.

All laws and programs in America are constantly reviewed for current relevancy and Social Security should not be exempt from such scrutiny.
However simply because the very wealthy do not take advantage of a program or need to is no reason to end or vilify it!
If we as a nation start forgetting about the elderly or the poor or the needy we are heading down a dangerous path.
Which group will be next on the chopping block?

Monday, April 8, 2013

To Protect & Serve - Corporations?

A new bill is being proposed in New York to go after those ‘knock-off’ handbags.
You know the ones that have a $500 price tag but perfect 'look-a-likes' can be bought on the street for under $30?
Basically I do not have a problem with protecting the originals as the companies who spend a great deal of money producing and marketing and maintaining an image of snob appeal do have a right to make whatever money hey can when they dupe the public into buying their quite overpriced product.
This is the essence of America and as they say, Caveat Emptor.
If people are dumb enough to pay those exorbitant prices for items they could get for far less that perform equally as well that’s their choice.
As long as they do not harm the rest of us we should not pass judgment on their sanity.
I would offer that we must use the same laissez-faire argument for same sex marriage as those who enter into it do not diminish any one else’s marriage unless of course that marriage was not all that good to begin with!
However our government sure does spend a great deal of time and effort to help private companies and corporations make and maintain profits.
They also tend to give many of these large non-human entities equally large tax breaks while the consumer is left holding the bag.
How about asking profitable corporations to kick a little of their gains back into the coffers that spend so much protecting their rights?
How about treating the rest of us with nearly the same respect given to undeserving entities such as Exxon/Mobil?
When an average citizen is lucky enough to make a profit on an investment the IRS knows about it and lays in wait for that amount to show up on the individual’s next tax return.  And woe be he who tries to hide that profit!
But when the fore mentioned polluting oil giant breaks all kinds of records with unbelievably large and obscene profits not only do they pay zero tax they receive subsidies!
We associate the word oily with sleazy for a reason!
But one should not place all the blame on the large, ‘not a person my friend’ corporation as it is only doing what it can to keep raking in the money while raping the land and the people they call customers.
Much of the blame must go to the very same law makers who look for high profile cases to pad their resumes while accepting funds; some might say bribes to stay the course of increasing corporate profits.
Remember all the ballyhoo by the hypocrites in government after the BP oil spill that killed countless birds and other wildlife in the Gulf?  Judging by the television commercials that inundate the airwaves about how wonderful BP is and how they have made commitments to the Gulf I’d say not too many people DO remember. 
But I’ll bet the families of those who were killed by the disaster remember.
I’ll bet the people who lost their jobs and businesses due to the disaster remember.
I'll bet all those who still suffer due to the disastrously poor cleanup efforts afterward still remember.
And I’ll bet the people who will suffer after the next inevitable disaster will remember as well!
But Congress will not remember, just as they have already forgotten about the massacre that took the lives of those children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut.
The National Rifle Ass and other groups such as the Gun Owners of America are spending fortunes to stop Congress from enacting or even debating any rules or regulations that might limit their sales and profits.
And Congress naturally listens to the money; I mean voices from these small self serving organizations.
One must ask who does Congress exist to serve?
The founders of this nation tried to create a document that would set forth laws to live by but realized their Constitution must be able to evolve with the times.
And it has evolved with amendment after amendment correcting unseen flaws ever since.
As long as we the people make certain that our Constitution remains a living breathing entity that may be questioned and tweaked we will keep our place in the World as the worst form of government that is still better than all the rest.
But back to the latest issue at hand, we definitely should have laws protecting the intellectual property of those poor set upon handbag designers and manufacturers and others of their ilk.
But we must also get back to basics and start thinking about laws to protect the citizens of America against the real evil that goes on every day.