November 29th, 2011 ~ I just found an amazing website!  If you want to know who is writing your Congress' legislation, you REALLY need to visit this site.

ALEC Exposed!

      November 21st, 2011 ~ Another American university is at the center of a travesty; this time the University of California at Davis.  UC-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has refused to resign in the aftermath of the overt chemical warfare attacks by UC-Davis police on unarmed, non-violent, students and teachers protesting peacefully on the UC-Davis campus.
      I watched this video and thought I was seeing something from the 2008 Republican National Convention!
      The Corpocracy's weapons of repression may have become somewhat less lethal since Kent State, but the impetus is identical.
      Shut the fuck up, or we'll shut you up permanently.  As California Governor Ronny Raygun said at the time, "If it takes a bloodbath, then let's get it over with."  Nothing personal, you understand.  Just business.

      November 19th, 2011 ~ According to an October CBS News/New York Times poll, our Congress has a 9% approval rating with the American People.  NINE PERCENT!  That's NOT just Republicans.  That's a single-digit approval rating of our ENTIRE Congress; INCLUDING Democrats and Independents.  That's because WE, the People, know Republicans are not alone in their "open-door policy" when it comes to Big Energy, Big Banking, and Big Pharma lobbyists' money and influence.  That's a clear indicator of our frustration with Congress' seeming inability to act effectively on behalf of 99% of the American People, but ALWAYS seems to have the votes to tilt the playing field further in favor of the obscenely wealthy 1%.
      Case in point...
      In 2009, President Obama appointed former Fed Chairman, Paul Volcker, to chair the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.  While there, Mr. Volcker presented President Obama with a ten-page proposal (remember that number) to restrict ALL banks from engaging in proprietary trading; essentially from running their own in-house hedge funds separate from investment activities on behalf of clients.  Volcker specifically credited that activity with the lion's share of the economic meltdown that required American taxpayers to bail out the "too-big-to-fail" banks.  This proposal was later dubbed "The Volcker Rule" and while some view it as a pitiful substitute for the Glass-Steagall restrictions stripped away by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, others viewed it as a significant enough threat to try to prevent it from ever working its way into any legislation.
      The Volcker Rule WAS ultimately included in the larger Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, but where the original proposal ran 10 pages, the rules proposed in Dodd-Frank have been riddled with so many loopholes that they come to nearly 300 pages with even the summary taking up about 38 pages!  Mr. Volcker himself finds the Congressional version too complicated and unlikely to be effectively enforceable.
      In effect, Congressional Democrats and Independents have said to America: "We want you to feel we're on your side.  You've told us you need a guard dog to protect you from the Bankster burglars stealing the American Dream again, but we also have election campaigns to fund.  So, here's your guard dog!  It has no teeth, three legs, one eye, is completely deaf, and it's tied to a stake in the back yard, but it's a guard dog because our legislation says it's a guard dog!  Now don't you feel better about your Democratic and Independent pals?  Haven't we delivered on our promises?"
      And they REALLY don't mean that as a rhetorical question!  They SERIOUSLY believe we're too unsophisticated to recognize a turd in a taco shell when it's covered with gub'mint cheez and lobbyists' lettuce.  But we're not, you see.  We, the People of the United States of America are slowly, inexorably waking up, despite the Corpocracy's MSM soporifics, to clearly see the nightmare intended as a replacement for OUR American Dream.
      We have "Occupy the SEC" parsing the Volcker Rule (indeed, the ENTIRE Dodd-Frank act), line by line to make everyone aware of the loopholes.  We reject outright that lacking a filibuster-proof majority is a valid excuse for keeping American Jobs bills from a floor vote.  We're going to voice our protests IN PERSON to stop fracking beneath our water supplies ESPECIALLY when we're excluded from the proceedings.  We're falling in love all over again with our First Amendment rights and are adamant that we will exercise those rights even if MSM "news" operations make a mockery of them.
      So, Congressional Democrats and Independents, eat your own turd tacos and Republicans whatever slimy, slithering, necrotic, nightmares you propose as sustenance on behalf of your puppeteers.  The American People demand real legislative meat and potatoes.  We need our crumbling public infrastructure repaired and we need hundreds of thousands of Americans employed to make that happen.  We need our investments and our economy safe from Wall Street's black-box casino operators.  We need fair trade, not so-called "free trade" where our exports are American products, NOT American jobs.  We need each of you, PERSONALLY, to re-pledge your allegiance to the American People and not the lobbyists for Big Energy, Big Banking, and Big Pharma as well as lobbyists for the wealthiest 1% like Grover Norquist.  If you can't find the guts to do these things, believe me when I say, we WILL find those who will.

      November 17th, 2011 ~ I haven't commented on the Jerry Sandusky child abuse indictment, the resulting firing of Penn State's iconic coach Joe Paterno, and the placement of Assistant Coach Mike McQueary on administrative leave until now, because I didn't want to be part of the media circus surrounding this tragedy.  It truly is a tragedy; on a par with the greatest tragedies of human history.
      Eight children, out of an estimated FORTY, are directly mentioned in the indictment as victims of a man charged with violating them in ways so heinous they're almost too vile to comprehend.  A legendary coach; a mentor to countless players like Hall-of-Famer, Franco Harris; a shining beacon of all that is right and proper about collegiate sports when so many took the low road to power and profit; driven into ignominy as his final legacy for failing to alert law enforcement to a child predator on the PSU campus.  An entire community of teachers and students and well meaning alumni who knew nothing of this matter, suddenly facing a sea of cameras and microphones as well as their own inner angels asking "Did you know something?  Did you allow these despicable acts to occur?"  THIS is the ESSENCE of tragedy.
      So, now that we've seen the "perp walks" and heard the ludicrous phone interviews and decided as a nation NOT to make more innocents victims of this monstrosity, how do we prevent future monstrosities?  Laudable as some state-level "mandatory reporting laws" are, only 18 out of 50 states currently require EVERYONE with direct knowledge of child sexual abuse (not just a small set of professionals) to personally report that information directly to government authorities.  EIGHTEEN OUT OF FIFTY!  This is unacceptable.
      We MUST have a Federal law, compelling ANYONE, ANYWHERE within the 50 States, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, to dial 9-1-1 as their FIRST act with any first-hand knowledge of child sexual abuse.  Furthermore, such a law should have clear and unambiguous protocols for officials to follow which provide maximum protection for the alleged victim from physical or psychological retaliation.  Such a law removes any indecision or inaction arising out of misplaced loyalties or confusion about who to call first.  It would not prevent secondary reporting to a family member, an employer, or religious leader once the initial report to 9-1-1 had been made.
      If you agree, I strongly urge you to email your Senators and Representatives calling for a Federal "Mandatory Reporting Law" requiring EVERYONE (not just medical or education professionals) to dial 9-1-1 as their first act if they either witness suspected child sexual abuse, or are told by a victim that such abuse has ocurred.

      November 5th, 2011 ~ The natural gas trade group, "America's Natural Gas Alliance" (or ANGA) has done a masterful job of presenting a propaganda campaign which is essentially truthful about their "product" but which ignores everything else about getting that product to market.  When natural gas is consumed in an appropriately modified internal combustion engine or natural gas powered electrical generator, there's no question it is one of the cleanest burning and efficient fuels today.
      The problem with natural gas is the "everything else".  Getting natural gas from the extraction site to the consumer involves several infrastructures that are rife with problems.  We've heard the ANGA bullshit about their "safe" fracking operations even as we watch videos of dead livestock and flames shooting out of kitchen faucets.  Additionally, our natural gas pipelines are decades old and as decrepit as our electrical grid, or our nuclear fission reactors.  They're leaking like sieves!
      Few understand (and ANGA has NO interest in educating us), that the primary ingredient of natural gas - METHANE (CH4) - is TWENTY TIMES more effective as a "greenhouse gas" than CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2).  From the moment it is extracted, until it is burned as fuel, natural gas is quite literally THE poster child for global climate change.
      Even when that product gets to market, it has limited utility in an economy based on oil and gasoline without OUR government, OUR TAX DOLLARS, providing economically crippling subsidies to retrofit tens of thousands of privately operated service stations and TENS OF MILLIONS of privately owned vehicles to make natural gas a viable challenger to gasoline and diesel as our primary vehicle fuel.
      That IS, after all, ANGA's point, right?  Freedom from foreign oil as our primary vehicle fuel?  But at what price do we purchase our freedom?  Do we enslave our children and grandchildren to decades of crippling taxes to ensure T. Boone Pickens and his wealthy peers remain "The 1%"?  As profitable as oil is, wouldn't they just use us to develop natural gas as their backup revenue stream while continuing to profit from foreign oil?
      ANGA has absolutely NO interest in freeing us from our energy slavery.  They just want us enslaved to their domestic energy "solutions" as well because, quite simply, they can make more profit with less concern about "regional volatility".  And if their propaganda machine can make their bullshit smell patriotic, well THAT'S money well spent!
      I know we don't have "smell-o-vision" (yet), but when those folksy ANGA commercials air, I somehow get a whiff of something like cow farts.  Same effect when those oh-so-sincere Exxon/Mobil spots with Erik Oswald and Kim Bates smear their rhetorical pasture pies across the inside of my TV screen.  It's as though the oil and gas industry is saying "It's not enough we've got you by the short-n-curlies with our prices and our lobbyists.  We demand you LOVE us as well.  We need you to reach down, pick up a fresh one and squish it to your breast with adoration and patriotic fervor."
      Sure.  I'll get right on that.  Meantime, let me leave you with a sobering fact which flies in the face of ANGA's crap about how safe fracking is and the vehement denial of climate change by the energy cartel in general.  Several of the cartel's capofamiglias, like T. Boone Pickens, have been quietly buying up water rights in Texas, Colorado, even upstate New York, as pointed out in this 2008 "Bloomburg Business Week" cover story.  Why are Pickens, et al, buying up water rights if their fracking fluids cannot poison our drinking water?  Why is this still seen as a profitable venture despite the collapse of the housing boom?  If man-made global climate change is a fairy tale, why is the Western U.S. turning into another dust bowl?
      Tough questions.  Let's see how much bullshit ANGA needs to cover them completely.

      November 2nd, 2011 ~ Looks like the National Credit Union Administration is back, despite covert efforts to knock it down.  Score one for the good guys (and gals)!

      November 1st, 2011 ~ Remember, Remember, the 5th of November...

V       While the film "V for Vendetta" celebrated the same explosive and violent solution as the original Guy Fawkes had for dismantling a perceived totalitarian state, the images and impetus of that "gunpowder rebellion" have been creatively AND PEACEFULLY rebranded by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement to literally "move" OUR money from the "Too Big to Fail" to the "Small Enough to Care".  November 5th is now "Bank Transfer Day"; OUR day to "repatriate" OUR savings and OUR retirement accounts to community banks and credit unions which have demonstrated a clear intent to grow OUR middle class and OUR local economies through prudent loans and ethical practices.
      You can find out more about such community banks at Social Funds and a complete list of ALL banks (the good, the bad, and the iTunes-instead-of-interest) at U.S. Banks List
      If you wish to know more about local credit unions you should probably check out the Credit Union National Association.  Normally, I would have referred you to the National Credit Union Administration at http://www.ncua.gov, but the banksters have obviously contracted a team of pizza-faced script-kiddies to mount a DOS attack just in time for this weekend's activities.