Sunday, December 21, 2008

How Do We Fix This?

I agree with Driftglass:
...On Planet WalMart, the ruling caste believes as an article of faith that using stoop labor to make cheap crap out of toxic waste and then renting a celebrity to sell it is the ticket to million-dollar bonuses, while hiring competent people to create something well-made and artfully-crafted is just pissing away cash that could otherwise be used to buy them private jets.

The race to the bottom policies are still very much alive and well in America. Those who gather together to bargain for a better wage are vilified by conservatives. The democratic process of unionizing has been subverted by the un-American practice of dictatorial "take-it-or-leave-it" minimal wages.

Jobs that can be outsourced are, and jobs that cannot and have an active union are located in "right-to-work" states that make closed union shops illegal, thanks to the Taft-Hartley Act, created in 1947. This heinous legislation needs to be repealed now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Employee Free Choice V. Right To Work

In the near term, the desire of most working Americans is to rebuild the middle class, which has witnessed spectacular reversals in the past eight years. Actually, this incremental demise has been creeping among us for decades. One of the primary legislative components of the elimination of the middle class is the Taft-Hartley Act. This allows states to make closed union shops illegal.

I remember when this came up for a vote in Oklahoma. Proponents said all states around us were "right-to-work" states and if we did not join them then businesses would not locate here.

This is the pitch used to sell our middle class out. We must give massive corporate welfare, subjugate our workforce to a sub-par wage or starve.This has been the centerpiece of the American automotive loan denial.

The Senators of the lower wage slave labor states, also known as "right-to-work" states and foreign manufacturers opposed the aide package the states who pay hard fought union wages for American manufactured autos.I applaud all of the effort to enact the Employee Free Choice act, but understand in the big picture it is not a stitch to bind us together. It is merely a tool to generate a lopsided strength. It is a salve to aide but not a cure for the ailment.

I do not pretend to know how to suggest the repeal of a law. This is the beauty of the internet and the activists that people them. If it is the desire of the progressive movement to rebuild the middle class, then I ask them to push for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act as well as endorsing Employee Free Choice.Do progressives agree and how do we do this?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not Enough Shoes

During the previous eight years America has witnessed multiple criminal acts conducted by the highest officials of the Executive branch. Dick Cheney just admitted on national teevee that he was involved in the approval of waterboarding detainees. Waterboarding has been considered torture since the Spanish Inquisition.

President Bush said FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, "didn't work" so he authorized an eavesdropping program outside the bounds of FISA, which is the controlling legislation for government wiretapping.

His program was so at odds with the law, several high ranking DOJ officials threatened to quit. Bush acquiesed and modified the program somewhat.

These statements are not in dispute. What is in dispute is what, if anything will be done about it.

This should be a priority for the new Department of Justice. The politicians should step out of the way and let justice be done. Courts deal with "state secrets" regularly so that should not be a concern. What is a concern are those people who think they are above the law.

Put me down firmly in the category of prosecutions. I think it will be Democracy's finest hour.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Failure of Unregulated Raw Capitalism

Like Digby, I have had to put up with the notion from wingtards that the global economic collapse was brought about by a conspiracy of irresponsible blacks, illegals and fannie/freddie. Shame on the unsophisticated and economically challenged for outwitting global financial tycoons. Harumph.

As insane as this premise is, it is indeed the one put forth by the likes of the Hannitary napkin and "Dick Doper" Rush Limbaugh and their flying monkeys. Digby highlights this from the latest issue of Vanity Fair:
The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today.

So apparently the fan of Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan disagrees with the spin twins. I only hope this message of careful, thoughtful regulation holds sway over the ideology in opposition for a long, long time.

Bright Lines

Floating a trial balloon, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-TX, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told Congress Daily President-elect Obama should keep Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and CIA head Michael Hayden on for "continuity."

Trial balloons are floated to gauge reaction.

Allow me an opportunity to react.

Both domestically and internationally these two individuals carry the stain of the very worst aspects of the Bush regime.

Domestically, Michael Hayden came to the CIA from the NSA and is believed to be the architect of the illegal domestic wiretapping program and one of its chief defenders. He misled congress, telling them that any surveillance of persons in the United States was done consistent with FISA, a claim later refuted by Bush by claiming that FISA "doesn't work.

Internationally, as the head of the CIA, Hayden was chief defender of torture, quaintly called "harsh interrogation techniques", defended the destruction of videotapes of such "sessions" which seriously damaged American relations abroad.

DNI head Mike McConnell was the Bush point man in obtaining the retroactive immunity for the telecommunication companies, quashing several lawsuits forever sealing the ability to determine how rampant this illegal domestic wiretapping program was, and the creation of broad new sweeping powers of executive surveillance.

These are just a few of the main points of contention I have with these two individuals.

From the very beginning, President-elect Obama touted his opposition to the war, his opposition to teleco amnesty and his opposition to torture. As Senator, Obama voted against Hayden being appointed as CIA director due to Hayden's creation and defender of the illegal warrantless wiretapping program. His performance at the CIA has not been any better.

These two individuals represent a bright red line which Obama should not cross. For two consecutive elections, the policies of the Bush administration have been roundly rejected, most notably with the election of Obama as the next President of The United States. "Continuity" is not what is called for here--change is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Join The Religious Fray

Seems the christianists got their knickers in a twist over proposition hate in California. Fundies, it seems, are beholden to the strictures of the Bible and feel a moral obligation to limit marriage between one man and one woman. If the Bible is to be our guide, then clearly we must immediately amend our marriage laws to include the following:

A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)

B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

How can any upright Christian soldier rest until this is done?