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Powerless

It’s a state of being that I simply don’t believe in. I fundamentally believe that the only circumstance under which a person is powerless, is one that is self imposed. Once you accept the notion that you’re powerless, you’re fucked.

As I’m watching the Occupy Wall Street movement evolve, my belief that powerless doesn’t exist is being reaffirmed. This is a group of people that weren’t deterred by the fact that the main stream media ignored them. They weren’t deterred by the abhorrent, and sometimes brutal treatment they received from the police. They weren’t deterred when the media finally decided to pay attention, only to diminish and deride. They weren’t deterred when people claimed not to understand why they’re pissed. They just kept doing what they were doing, with little regard for what the world around them was saying.

And their determination spread around the world like wildfire. People are joining the movement in droves in cities all around the world. They decided they weren’t powerless, and the world had no choice but to believe them.

We, as a country are in pretty hopeless times.

We have corporations whose imperative lies in exploiting the American worker as much as they can in order to increase their bottom line in order to sell their goods to other countries. I say other countries, because our corporations are acutely aware of the fact that Americans are running out of money. That’s why they’re not hiring. They would hire up to increase production if there was a market for their goods. They’re not not hiring because they’re “uncertain” about whether or not their taxes are going up. And frankly, you would have to have undergone at least two lobotomies in order to believe that horseshit. They’re not hiring because there’s no one to buy their shit. We’re all spending what we have at the Apple Store. There’s nothing left to spend anywhere else!

We’re in hopeless times because we no longer have a government that serves the people. They’re too preoccupied fellating their corporate masters, and there’s nothing they won’t say or do in order to get that corporate cash. And there’s very little daylight between the two parties anymore, at least not when it comes to protecting and preserving the middle class.

We have a supreme court that is hell bent on giving corporations supreme power over the people. The supreme court is where the corporations are looking for some serious deep throat action. Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas have never, ever, not once in their miserable lives ever stood up for a person that works for a living.

We’re fucked because on that rare occasion that we actually elect a good person to office, it takes them roughly ten minutes from the time they’re sworn in to realize that they have to raise $35,000 a day to keep their seat. If you know nothing about two candidates running against each other for a seat, other than how much money they raised, you can predict the winner 94% of the time if you assume that the candidate with the biggest war chest will be the winner. That is fucking disgusting, but it’s the system of governance we’ve been reduced to. It doesn’t matter who you vote for; your candidate is a whore, because the system turns them into a whore.

It’s all pretty fucking grim. Regular readers of this blog know that I’m the opposite of a partisan hack. I’ve probably used more words to describe how democrats, and specifically Obama have failed America, than I have detailing republican corruption. I do that because republicans have clearly been tools of corporate America for decades. Any thinking person can see that. But it’s democrats, our last bastion of hope, that are no longer any hope at all. Obama isn’t going to do s fucking meaningful thing to save our economy or our middle class.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how it’s possible for me not to feel powerless, while being completely cognizant of the fact that corporations, politicians, and even the courts are all determined to fuck the middle class. My sunny optimism is still alive and kicking because we still have one (yes, just the one) option available to us. It’s not an option that’s as easy to exercise as going to vote. This option entails getting the majority of Americans on the same page, which is why the ongoing theme in this blog, is to leave your partisan delusions behind.

Most people don’t realize this, but congress isn’t the only mechanism by which a constitutional amendment can be created. Both Dylan Ratigan and Cenk Uygur have started to organize a movement to call for a constitutional convention. Here’s Cenk describing what he’s doing;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg0O3OyWi5Y[/youtube]

I know that this sounds like a long shot, but it’s the only option that we have to reclaim our democracy. I truly believe that there’s no other solution.

Occupy Wall Street is a fucking brilliant lead-in to taking the next step. It’s helping people to focus in on who the real enemy actually is, rather than bickering over partisan sideshows. Up until now, our problem has been that we’ve been too busy demonizing the other party, to really focus in on the real problem. I’m not saying that there isn’t a long way to go before a constitutional convention can happen. I’m saying that we don’t have any other options. If we don’t believe that we can make this happen, then we render ourselves powerless. That’s when we’re fucked.

If you can donate time or money to the cause, please do it! Right now, Cenk is more focused on creating the organization and gathering volunteers but funding the operation will be necessary. Here’s the link to sign up to get involved;

http://www.wolf-pac.com/

If you can’t find the time or the money to get involved, then you can help to focus the conversation. Stop with the liberal versus conservative debates. They’re not getting us anywhere. Focus on the one issue that any rational American can agree on. Once we take care of this problem, we can have real debates on how to govern.

And look, most of the issues that divide us all get solved by extricating corporate money from our political system.

You want smaller government? Great! The lion’s share of pork in our federal budget is there because special interests have paid to put it there.

You want to end the wars? Awesome! We have a better shot at ending them when they should end, if defense industry lobbyists aren’t paying to keep them going.

Do you fucking hate unions? No problem! They won’t be able to influence our elections either.

Want to end Monsanto’s domination over the world’s food supply? Done!

Wanna legalize pot? Imagine how much easier it will be to do that, without pharmaceutical lobbyists putting up a road block.

Think that climate change is a hoax? Great! You’ll be more confident in the scientific findings when all of that pesky special interest money stops polluting (so to speak) it.

Are you in favor of capitalism and the American dream? So are we! But capitalism isn’t what we have right now. I’ve been making an argument lately that seems to be resonating with people that think they’re against Occupy Wall Street. I’ve started to explain how box stores have come to dominate the retail industry in America. Most people don’t realize how this all works. When Walmart or Home depot decide that they want to open a store in your community, they get the cost of building that store paid for in tax payer dollars by buying the local politicians. And once the store is built, they strike a deal in which they get to keep the sales taxes they collect for a specified period of time. How the fuck are you supposed to compete with that, if you want to open up a store of your own? The advantage that these companies have, by being to strike a better deal with suppliers because of the volume that they can commit to buying isn’t enough for them. They need to make sure that they crush any possibility of competition. That’s not fucking capitalism, and no one can make an argument that is is. Do you see my point?

No one can argue with this if you stop framing the argument on partisan terms. Change the way you speak to your friends, frenemies, whackadoodle Rush Limbaugh loving in-laws, and whoever else you talk politics or world affairs with. And if you have people that you only talk to about celebrity gossip, talk to them about this issue too.

Get involved in any way you can. We need to believe that we’re not powerless anymore! Please forward the Wolf-Pac link to your friends, frenemies, etc. 

http://www.wolf-pac.com/


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Obamacare Couldn’t BE More Constitutional

Partisan, right wing, hack judges all across the country are ruling health reform unconstitutional. Specifically, they’re targeting the part of the bill that mandates that every American obtain health insurance. These rulings are comical, but I’ll get to that soon enough. I first want to start with my prediction on what will happen with health reform. Republicans have passed repeal in the house. This is meaningless and purely a ceremonial gesture to appease their base. They know it won’t pass the senate and they don’t want it to. Let me explain. We all know that the health insurance industry has spent a lot of money on political contributions to ensure that politicians (both democratic and republican) protect their interests. The provisions of the bill that have already been enacted have increased the number of subscribers of health insurance. Small businesses are taking advantage of the federal subsidies that are now available to them, and offering their employees insurance for the first time. Parents of twenty-something kids are adding their children to their policies because they now can. Insurance companies are seeing double digit spikes in new enrollments. Do you think that the insurance company overlords are going to let their republican subjugates take away all that new business? Fuck no! The part of the bill that sounds most egregious (mandates) is the part that insurance companies won’t ever, ever allow to be repealed. They’ll never, ever repeal the small business subsidies or mandates because they’re bringing in the cash, and at the end of the day, that’s all the insurance companies care about. My guess is that they’re going to have to subversively chip away at the parts of the bill that cost insurance companies money. You know, the parts that all Americans agree we want like disallowing rescission, or denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The republicans won’t be allowed to repeal the parts of the bill that they rail against. So if you’re worried about full repeal, don’t be. It will never happen. Now onto the idiot judges, dipshit state attorneys general, and any asshat that claims unconstitutionality in an effort to repeal the bill. Thanks to Tom Hartman for bringing this little gem to my attention. Turns out that the 5th congress of the United States passed a bill titled, "An Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen". This law required that privately employed sailors obtain health insurance. Here’s a little background. Even early on in our country’s history, it was obvious that trade with other countries was going to be instrumental in creating a strong economy. In those days, our ability to trade relied solely on private merchant ships. Since working on a merchant ship was dangerous work, seamen were getting hurt in such numbers, and with such frequency, that it was leaving shipping companies with a serious shortage of manpower. Enter; the federal government. In 1798, they passed "An Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen". This law did a couple of things;

  • It created The Maritime Hospital Service, which was a series of hospitals that were built and run by the federal government for the purpose of treating injured private seamen.
  • It mandated that maritime sailors pay 1% in taxes to pay for these hospitals. Those taxes were withheld by the ship’s owner and paid directly to the federal government.

Can you smell the socialism in the air? Oh, but it gets better. Members of the 5th congress that passed this law included:

  • John Langdon
  • Jonathan Dayton
  • William Blount
  • Richard Dobbs Spaight
  • John Rutledge
  • Abraham Baldwin

Why are these names relevant? Because they fucking signed the United States Constitution. The Vice President at the time, who served as President Of The Senate was Thomas Jefferson. Wanna know who the President that signed the bill into law was? That would be John Adams. What do John Adams and Thomas Jefferson have in common? They helped to write the freakin Declaration Of Independence. I think that they had a really fucking clear idea of what the founders intended. Let’s add another historically deficient asshat to this group, shall we? A couple of weeks ago, a North Dakota state representative (and asshat) Hal Wick proposed legislation that would mandate that every citizen of North Dakota purchase a gun, upon reaching twenty one years of age. He thought that he was getting cute by pointing out that mandating people to buy anything is unconstitutional. Wick maintains that he knows that his proposed legislation is unconstitutional, and that he’s just trying to make a statement about mandates. Wrong again, Bob. George Washington signed a bill entitled, "The Militia Act Of 1792". Wanna guess what provisions were in this bill? Read for yourself;

That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act.

That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder;

Ignorant and unoriginal Hal. Way to go!
 
This health reform issue will ultimately end up with the supreme court. That’s where it will get fun. What do you think the odds are that Scalia will advocate for his strict constructionist views on this one? They’re actually pretty good. Not because Scalia is actually a strict constructionist, meaning that he doesn’t believe that the constitution is a living, breathing document that was intended to be amended over time. He clearly isn’t, despite what he says. If he were a strict constructionist, he would never have argued for corporate personhood in the Citizen’s United ruling, since corporate personhood doesn’t appear anywhere in the constitution. No, he will whip out the strict constructionist routine because it enables him to serve his corporate masters. Remember, the insurance companies don’t want the revenue generating mandate removed from the health reform bill.
 
So if you’re worried about health reform being repealed, don’t be. But beware of your legislators quietly trying to strip away the really good stuff that we all want.

In the meantime, feel free to rub the founders’ real intent in the noses of any asshat that tries to tell you that Obamacare is unconstitutional.

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