December 31, 2010

America’s Looted Generation: The kids are NOT alright!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 3:32 pm

Here in America today, Old White Guys tend to be rather angry at the way things are going — but theirs is not the generation that should be getting truly pissed off. The OWGs are doing fine financially. They have nothing to complain about.

Their walkers and scooters are paid for by MediCare.

Their pensions come regularly in the mail.

Social Security buoys them up, they have lots of savings left over from the good times, they have home equity to fall back on and they don’t have to worry about finding a job.

All that these Old White Guys have to do nowadays is take an occasional cruise to the Bahamas, enjoy their golden years and bitch about how hard life is — until they die and can buy themselves a fabulously expensive new coffin. They got theirs. Why the complaints? They should be as happy as pigs in a trough.

It’s the youth of America who should be really pissed off.

Their sweet little old grandfathers have just sold them all down the river without even a second thought.

“Hey, Grandpa! Where’s my education, where’s my job, where’s my clean air, where’s my future?”

“Sorry, sonny. I bought a war with that money instead.”

You bought a war? A war? I mean seriously, grandpa. You didn’t just splurge on one or two occasional wars. You bought a whole bunch of wars. “World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean war, the Vietnam War, the wars on Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror….”

And now, Gramps, you are happily buying your grandchildren a war on Social Security.

“I got mine, sonny-boy. And now I want yours.”

If I was a member of the American generation that is just graduating from high school right now — if you are even that lucky — I’d be out screaming in the streets, “I’ve been robbed!”

And then when the police come and ask for a description of the felon who robbed me, I would say, “It was an old guy, looked a bit like Alan Greenspan, about as tall as Ronald Reagan, sort of bald like Dick Cheney, appeared at first to be my friend like Barack Obama, shed crocodile tears like Rush Limbaugh and lied to me like Rupert Murdoch on Fox News….”

Don’t trust anybody over 50.

PS: Speaking of being robbed, Princeton professor and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges tells us exactly how this “Looted Generation” heist-of-the-century has been pulled off. In his recent article in TruthDig entitled, “2011: A Brave New Distopia”, Hedges lays it all out.

“The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s ’1984′ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’” And as we head into the greatest dysfunctional dystopia the world has ever known, who will be right? Huxley or Orwell?

“Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.”

Then Hedges goes on to pretty much describe you and me — and Gramps. “Our manufacturing base has been dismantled. Speculators and swindlers have looted the U.S. Treasury and stolen billions from small shareholders who had set aside money for retirement or college. Civil liberties, including habeas corpus and protection from warrantless wiretapping, have been taken away. Basic services, including public education and health care, have been handed over to the corporations to exploit for profit. The few who raise voices of dissent, who refuse to engage in the corporate happy talk, are derided by the corporate establishment as freaks.”

I just love quoting Chris Hedges. Here’s some more of his stuff: “The façade is crumbling. And as more and more people realize that they have been used and robbed, we will move swiftly from Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ to Orwell’s ’1984′. The public, at some point, will have to face some very unpleasant truths. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. The largest deficits in human history mean that we are trapped in a debt peonage system that will be used by the corporate state to eradicate the last vestiges of social protection for citizens, including Social Security. The state has devolved from a capitalist democracy to neo-feudalism. And when these truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed cheerful conformity.”

PPS: I also really like Stephen Colbert’s new satire, “Jesus was a Liberal Democrat,”, wherein Colbert jokingly implores us not to end up like Jesus, who mollycoddled the poor. “Actually, we shouldn’t be talking to the poor at all. They’ve got Unemployment Cooties!”

And America’s “Looted Generation” has the most unemployment cooties of all. Good job there, Grandpa. Thanks a lot.


Today’s Quotes: The New Year

Filed under: Quote — Tags: , , — RS Janes @ 7:24 am

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850.

“New Year’s Day is [everyone's] birthday.”
– Charles Lamb

“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
– Mark Twain

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”
– Author Unknown

“Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”
– Dave Beard

“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.”
– Eric Zorn

“You’re lucky if you are graced with good resolutions and a bad memory.”
– Elvin Morganfield

“If our celebration of the New Year made any sense, it would start in spring when the flowers begin blooming and warm breezes return to the air, and our calendars would have months with an equal number of days in them. But, since we are stuck crazily celebrating New Year’s Eve in the dead of winter, on the 31st day of a month that was preceded by a month with only 30 days, let’s make the most of our insanity, cut loose and enjoy ourselves!”
– Argyle Sachs

“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about is what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.”
– Author Unknown

“Your Merry Christmas may depend on what others do for you. But your Happy New Year depends on what you do for others.”
– Author Unknown

“Many celebrate the coming of the New Year with an open bottle and warm wishes, but how many maintain an open mind and a warm heart throughout the New Year? The difference is the difference between advancing forward and retreating backwards.”
– Maryellen Mattea

“Year, n: A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.”
– Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary.”

“Life is like getting dropped off in the middle of the woods and then, year by year, gradually making your way home.”
– April Foiles

“The only way to spend New Year’s Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.”
– W.H. Auden

“The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.”
– P.J. O’Rourke

“To add to the glad tidings of New Year’s Day,
there is not much more one can say,
but to stop existing in the same old way,
and to start living life
as if there isn’t hell to pay.”
– Arris Jaye

“If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.”
– William Shakespeare

“Another New Year and another chance to get joyously one year older and giddily deeper in debt.”
– Francis Albert Skinnatra

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
– Oprah Winfrey

“And a Happy New Year to you – in jail!”
– Old Man Potter in Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

December 30, 2010

Emperor Christie Fiddles at Disney World While New Jerseyans Burn


Clueless Christie’s Katrina Moment and Palin Takes a Dive

“Hanging out with Mickey Mouse while backs all over New Jersey ache under the strain of shoveling two feet of snow will probably not help his [Christie's] poll numbers at home either. The Hill also reports that Christie’s popularity in New Jersey slipped five points in a Quinnipiac poll released this month.”
– Joshua Norman, “Chris Christie Under Fire for Disney World Vacation During Blizzard,” CBS News, Dec. 28, 2010.

Is Snowstorm Aftermath NJ Gov. Chris Christie’s Katrina?
– Sara Kugler Frazier, AP, Dec. 30, 2010.

“Alaska doesn’t care for Sarah Palin. In fact, other than (predictably) Massachusetts, the ex-governor’s home state has the ‘dimmest’ view of the reality TV star in the entire nation. That’s one of the takeaways in Public Policy Polling’s new report, which paints a discouraging portrait of the Sarah Palin’s drooping favorability ratings across America and on her home turf. Only 33 percent of Alaskans have a favorable opinion of Palin, and only 60 percent of Alaskan Republicans have embraced her (as opposed to 80 percent of the GOP faithful in ‘most places’ across the country).”
– Erik Hayden, “Palin Loves Alaska, But the Feeling Isn’t Mutual,” The Atlantic Wire, Dec. 29, 2010.

Poll: No Longer ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’– Jordan Fabian, The Hill, Dec. 28, 2010.

December 29, 2010

The Tattlesnake – East Coast Blizzard Buries Snow-Job Political Futures Edition

Your Tattler remembers well the Chicago blizzard of 1979 that buried the city under several feet of the stuff, along with the political future of Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic. Days after the snow stopped, the side streets were still not plowed, main arteries were narrow two-lane ruts in the snow, and parking was a matter of driving into a snow bank and digging your car out the next day. If that was not aggravating enough, Bilandic had the chutzpah to go on TV and assure Chicagoans all was well and that things had been plowed – including designated public parking areas – that were not. The anger of city-dwellers reached the boiling point over those jaw-dropping pronouncements and, in one of those incredible political miracles, Daley Machine inheritor Bilandic lost his sure-thing nomination to Jane Byrne in the Democratic primary, and Byrne went on to become Chicago’s first woman mayor.

New York City’s independent ‘No Labels’ Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently forgot the lesson of Bilandic, if he ever learned it. Yes, voters often have short memories, but not when it comes to the tangible physical and mental stress engendered by a massive snowstorm. Seeing your expensively-attired billionaire mayor, appearing dry and comfortable on TV, braying that everything is fine, all that can be done is being done, and to stop complaining, is not the message snow-besieged proles want to hear. I think this stunt finishes Bloomberg’s future in politics, just as NYC Mayor John V. Lindsay’s presidential ambitions were plowed under by his failure to adequately respond to a Big Apple blizzard 41 years ago.

Next door, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the GOP’s emerging Golden Boy already declining in popularity back home from his managerial incompetence – he lost $400 million in federal aid for state public education due to bumbled paperwork, for one – and obsessive Republican addiction to cutting any program, including state pensions, that benefits the ‘little guy’ while protecting his wealthy benefactors from economic pain, will likewise see his political future melting like a Newark snowball in June, as the clueless Guv has remained on vacation in warm and sunny Disney World in the aftermath of the crippling storm. Christie has, as yet, made no public announcement or curtailed his vacation in order to deal with his state’s weather crisis – perhaps an acknowledgement that his blustery Tony Soprano style of governing may intimidate some, but not Mother Nature.

Massive blizzards demonstrate the need for full-capacity city and state services during a time of crisis, the very things manic cost-cutters like Bloomberg and Christie have put on the chopping block; and the need for leadership that understands what’s happening on the ground, even when that ground is covered with snow; something these conservative budget-balancers forget, to their political peril.

President Bloomberg? President Christie? Fuhgedabouit!

© 2010 RS Janes.

December 28, 2010

Guess what? Jesus ain’t gonna save us

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 12:36 pm

Richard M. Nixon is the only president in U.S. history to lose a war retroactively!

America lost its war with Vietnam back in 1973 — on President Nixon’s watch. But who would have thought that, approximately 35 years later, Nixon again would be losing us yet another war — the war with China.

Back in 1973, America was still a major manufacturing nation, we still had a huge tax base and when you turned stuff over in the store before you bought it, it still read “Made in America” on the back.

Now when you turn stuff over in the store, it is all reads “Made in China”.

America’s public and private debt to China appears to be un-estimatible — due to secrecy, unavailability of records, tax evasion, offshore banking hidey-holes, bribes and kickbacks. However, you could probably get a general idea of how much we owe China if you just add enough zeroes to practically any number you chose. I myself figure it this way: If America owes 8.68 trillion dollars in debt in total, then it’s probably safe to say that a whole bunch of that debt — if you subtract the part that has fluttered its way over to Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine — has somehow managed to find its way over to China.

Nixon, when you opened up China’s vast markets to the West back in 1972, I presume that you were hoping to exploit them to the advantage of American-based global corporations. However, what actually happened was that you somehow managed to fire the first shot in an economic war with China that was far larger and more serious than even the Vietnam war — and possibly even World War II. And, if you look at all the bloody casualties in America’s debit column today, it becomes immediately clear that Nixon’s economic war on China has definitely been LOST.

Nixon in China. How ironic is that? The guy managed to lose what may prove to be the biggest war America has ever fought — and to lose it 15 years after he died! Good going there, Dick. I think you just set a record.

But if America was to attempt to turn this war around, come from behind at the tail-end of the last quarter and actually try to win it, we would have to pay off all of our debts to China. And to do that, we would have to stop importing goods from abroad and manufacture almost everything here.

In addition, every man, woman and child in America would, for approximately the next ten years, have to save every spare penny and live at the same economic level as a Cantonese peasant did during China’s Cultural Revolution. And yet how are these same Cantonese peasants living today? They are driving cars, eating at KFC and shopping the malls — thanks to Nixon.

But what, you might ask, do all of these economic disasters have to do with Jesus? That’s easy. I keep getting e-mails from Teabaggers telling me that if we all just turn to Jesus, all of our problems will be over. Not.

But then I got to thinking — perhaps those Teabaggers might be right!

If every man, woman and child in America began living like Jesus for the next ten years, then perhaps we could win that war with China after all. If all of us Americans all started to give up high-fashion and just wear sheets for clothes, started living in mangers, stables and Upper Rooms, started living on matzos and hummus and olives and fish, using no electricity and riding around on donkeys instead of SUVs, then, by golly, I think we could actually do it! We could actually win back all that ground that we lost after China won Nixon’s war.

But that ain’t gonna happen.

China owns America now. And the Teabaggers’ Jesus — the one who demands that we offer absolute fealty to WalMart and the Pentagon, the Party of No and a security state — ain’t never gonna save us from that fact.


Sarah Palin Has Some ‘Work Done’ Over the Holidays

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:21 am


“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
– Ben Franklin

December 25, 2010

The Tattlesnake – I Read the News Today, Oh, Boy! Edition

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion — Tags: , , , — RS Janes @ 6:13 am

A Christmas retread from the past.

For once, the old curmudgeon will climb down off his sarcastic perch and scribble about a story I read in a local newspaper years ago.

I don’t remember the family’s name right now, but I recall the gist: A middle-class father and his two pre-teen boys were driving around Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago, handing out free sandwiches and coffee to the men and women living in cardboard boxes down there.

They got up early several days a week and made the sandwiches and brewed a large urn of coffee; the man paying for all the ingredients himself.

They did this on a regular basis year-round, and they were not part of any religious or charitable organization; the father had just seen these people living in terrible conditions and wanted to do whatever he could think of to help. This is what he thought of. He also wanted to teach his sons to appreciate how lucky they were and a lesson in person-to-person generosity. (I hope they learned it.)


December 23, 2010

2011: Haley Barbour Announces He’s Running for President in San Francisco?


December 22, 2010

Chindogu for Republicans?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Bob Patterson @ 2:00 pm

Once upon a time, back during the other Big Depression, a bootlegger chanced upon a group of young lads. The gangster found much amusement by throwing nickels in their midst and watching the ensuing scramble to take possession of the coins with buffalos on the back (AKA obverse) side. One of the guys stood aside and made it obvious he wasn’t going to participate in the debasing spectacle. The hoodlum commended the fellow’s attitude and handed him a half dollar coin.

Back during the Thirties, there were two rival labor groups which spent all their time and energy battling for the upper hand in their mutual struggle to be the one representing the trucking industry. A fellow named Ted V. Rodgers was invited to become the president of one of the groups. He attached a condition to a favorable response. He wanted their full commitment to his leadership style. In desperation they agreed. Several days later the rival group met to select their leadership. Rodgers walked in, introduced himself and said if they picked him, he would consolidate the two groups and get things done rather than spin wheels in the quest for domination. They elected him and the two groups merged to form the American Trucking Association.

Conservative sugar daddies bank roll various media to get their message (bigger tax breaks for the wealthy less wages for the working stiffs) across to the public. Liberal media, like the kids who amused the philanthropic gangster, scrambles desperately for donation money when they should be concentrating on informing the public just how bad things will get if Karl Rove succeeds with his plan for a thousand years of domination of American politics by the Republican Party via control of the Presidency in 2012 and (thanks to the magic electronic voting machines?) getting majorities in both the House and the Senate.

When this columnist writes a diatribe about the chance that JEB will be elected President and continue the legacy of the Bush Dynasty, the number of reads is noticeably higher than if the columnist strings together a bunch of Google bait items that are fun to write. That would seem to prove that the audience for this website prefers, wants, and expects some hard-hitting liberal flavored punditry.

Perhaps readers expect that some wealthy Republican will have a change-of-heart moment and anonymously donate ten grand in a way that could be the basis for a tear-jerker novel by Charles Dickens. (Scrooge goes into a Vets Hospital and exclaims: “I don’t need my tax break as badly as these fine lads need more care!”) God bless us all! I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

So, while el jefe is distracted by the myth of Sisyphus chore of raising funds, we’re going to suddenly change this column to one that should have the headline:
“A Festivus ‘Airing of Complaints’ Column.”

Since the celebration of Festivus has become an annual American tradition which started with the Seinfelt episode broadcast on December 18, 1998, and since this columnist thinks that it is fitting and proper to promote a veneration of traditional values in the Land of the Free, and since we think that the selection of whatzizface rather than Julian Assange as Time Magazine’s Newsmaker of the year was a slap in the face to the American principle of a free press, this will be the our first Annual Frestivus Airing of Complaints Column.

We think that it is shameful in a country that was founded by people who firmly believed that citizens had a right and a duty to know the whats and the whys which could explain the conduct of the ruling junta (be it royalty, dissatisfied colonists, or the Bush family) that websites promoting liberal values should die for lack of funding. What happened to the American tendency to support the underdog? Conservative values now assert that Americans should die promoting freedom of speech in other countries while censorship is gaining a toehold in their fatherland and that seems a tad existentialistic. When did the Frog philosophers take over American thinking?

When we make a great suggestion in a column and it is ignored, that makes us grumble and complain.

There are other less important gripes for this year’s Festivus. Does anyone remember the annual summertime competition in which local newspapers and Kodak teamed up to find the best examples of amateur photography? Where did that go? Why doesn’t the LIFE website (which has a rock solid branding identity in the photo community) expand and publish readers’ digital photos daily? Wouldn’t they get a massive response to an offer to give Flickr some competition? If they added a small cash stipend for a “best of the day” image, wouldn’t their site get more daily hits than the Drudge Report?

Is LIFE conceding that the BBC and Der Spiegel have gained the initiative and made it impossible for LIFE to do on the Internets what it did in the realm of magazine publishing in the late Thirties and in the pre-TV Forties? Come on, LIFE, if the BBC and Der Spiegel can post readers’ pictures online, so can you! Great amateur photos were part of you winning formula in the past. It will work, again.

One of the delights of bookstore browsing is the opportunity for a serendipity find of some new book that the customer didn’t know existed. As we recall, many years ago, the New York Times used to publish a list of the books being published on the same day that the issue was printed. Back in the Paleozoic period of Internets development, we suggested that Amazon should hire a reporter who could produce a daily blog about new books to provide an opportunity to increase their business with some impulse buying. We still think that’s a good idea.

There may not be a huge target audience for a book on how to build chicken coops, but isn’t it logical to think that a few extra units might (we are not saying “will”) be sold if Amazon’s hypothetical book blog plugged such an actual example of bookistry? (It is now.) Wouldn’t that help build their traffic by luring “browsers” to their site?

Until earlier this week, this columnist had never seen the word “Chindogu,” which is “the art of the useless idea.” When we chanced across the opportunity to buy “101 un-useless Japanese Inventions” by Kenji Kawakami (translated by and additional text by Dan Papia Edited by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) from W. W. Norton & Co., we suddenly became a Chindogu fan and bought the book.

In the book, we learned in the Ten Tenets of Chindogu that it must be a real thing and not a nonsensical concept such as a wish to become an Ethic$ Advi$$$or for a Republican Politician.

Speaking of shameless huckstering of products by the media, will the word “promobabble” (which was coined by the World’s Laziest Journalist) ever gain traction and become a contender for the annual “new word” competition? In California, where everyone over the age of seven is an amateur psychologist and has distain for the word “psychobabble,” indicating an effort to provide friends and relatives with insights and encouragement, knows that there should be a word to designate the endless efforts of TV talk shows to help a guest sell a new product (usually a move, record, or, in rare cases, book). Hence the word “promobabble” was invented.

Why doesn’t Google News have a list of links for localized news coverage such as L. A. Observed, Berkeley Daily Planet, and Berkeleyside? We think it’s a good suggestion.

Why do stores segregate men’s and boy’s pants? A fellow who is of average height can’t buy jeans with legs less than 30 inches in most stores. People aren’t born adult size; so they must make jeans with shorter leg lengths for young people. They make it very difficult for an average height fellow to buy them. Is business that good?

With all the different holidays that occur at the Winter Solstice, why isn’t there one for the Native American Culture? With the power granted me as a columnist, I hereby declare December 21, of every year, to be “Winter Pow-wow” Day.

There’s not much time left, get out there and spend! Buy crap that will sit unnoticed and unused. Wage irrelevant and unnecessary wars to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Support the Republicans gridlock because it indicates that their political party has adopted the traditional labor (socialist?) tactic of a “sit-down strike.”

Now, the disk jockey will play Stan Freberg’s “Green Christmas,” two different songs titled “Christmas in Jail,” Jimmy Buffett’s song and album titled “Christmas Island,” and Lalo Guerrero’s “Poncho Claus.” We have to go finish reading Eddie Muller’s “The Distance.” Have an “exorbitant Chri$$$tma$ bailout bonu$” type week and a Happy Festivus!

December 21, 2010

America unplugged: Our leaders’ Christmas wishes are coming true this year

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 6:24 pm

America’s leaders seem to be really happy right now — because all of their Christmas wishes appear to be coming true. “But, Jane,” you might ask “which leaders are you talking about? Who exactly does lead America?”

“The rich lead America — of course.” Who the freak did you think led America? God? The government? Brad Pitt?

“But America is a democracy, Jane. The majority rules here and American citizens run the show. How can you even say something like that?” Easy.

If the majority indeed rules here in America and democracy is firmly in control and the wealthy have little or no say in politics, just answer me one question. How many members of our salt-of-the-earth, working-class American majority are currently serving in Congress right now? Or on the Supreme Court? Or in the White House? Or leading the Federal Reserve or the Securities Exchange Commission or the Federal Drug Administration or the Federal Communications Commission or the armed forces or… You can count the members of our working class in the upper echelons of power in America on the fingers of your two hands — and not even get down to counting your toes. Heck, you can’t hardly even find anyone in any of those places that even belongs to our middle class.

I rest my case!

And boy are America’s leaders happy right now — as they eagerly anticipate getting their fill of Christmas presents this year. “And what do you want in your Christmas stocking this year, rich people? What’s on your Christmas list?”

“First of all, we’d love more government deregulations in our favor.” Check. “And tax breaks for the wealthy.” Check. “And a continuing steady flow of American jobs sent offshore so that we can continue to break the backs of America’s unions by using cheap-labor scabs in Haiti, Honduras and China. And we also want more cheap labor scabs here at home too!” Check, check and check.

“And please Santa — remember to stuff our stockings with all those wonderful ear-marks and subsidies for agribusiness. And keep up the good work with stuffing the Pentagon budget too. Americans don’t need infrastructure, medical care and education — not if it means making us unhappy on Christmas.” Triple check.

“And for the next Christmas present on our list, we want compliant Americans who are afraid of their own shadows and are at each others’ throats over petty stuff so that they won’t notice us as we happily pick their pockets.” Double-check. “And ownership of all major media — no one needs to hear the truth, especially not at Christmas!” No problem. Check. “And please get rid of all those pesky bloggers, whistleblowers and net-neutrality freaks while you’re at it. Capitalism hates competition.” Check, check, check, check.

“Then please send lots of drug money our way — both legal and illegal. Let’s keep Americans drugged. They’re happy. We’re happy. And don’t forget about climate change either — please hold it off until we’ve made our profits and moved on. Let the kids deal with it. No Green Christmas for us!” Just name it, it’s yours.

“And we want profits from endless wars too. Those Middle East disasters and fiascos? Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine? Keep ‘em coming! Thank you, Santa. America may be losing its lifeblood on those wars but WE are making a mint!” No worries, rich people. You can check that one off of your wish-list too. “And we also want a government that hemorrhages money in our direction, endless deficits, access to the Social Security vault…” It’s definitely coming your way.

It’s almost Christmas morning. All this good stuff is about to slide down your trillion-dollar chimneys. Get out the milk and cookies! Yuletide cheer!

“But basically, Santa, what we rich people really want for Christmas is an oligarchy — preferably like the one that sprang up in Russia after the Soviet Union fell. We want the United States of America to fall too, just like the good old USSR. And please, Santa, let us be the ones who pick up the (gold) pieces as America’s ‘socialist’ government falls apart — the one that the American people took for granted so much and spent so much time griping about. And please please please replace yesteryear’s worn out old American democracy with a shiny spanking new surveillance state.”

Check off everything on your list, rich guys. This year you’ll be getting it all.

“But I thought that Santa only brought presents to those who were nice,” you might comment.

Sorry, Virginia. It doesn’t work that way in America any more. In America today, Santa only brings you presents if you are naughty — or greedy, mendacious, evil, violent, hypocritical, underhanded, slimy, thieving, back-stabbing and/or cruel.


Santa’s Little Republican Yelpers


December 20, 2010

Poison in the well

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 6:41 pm

Author’s note:
While this article focuses on my hometown, Madison, WI, it is of relevance to everyone, especially if your city is on this list. (I hope Norman, OK isn’t near Bart in Tulsa). This is yet another example of corporate America poisoning people for profit and of the need for government to regulate industries. One may think that after the “Erin Brockovich” case industries would have learned a lesson, but apparently not. Keep in mind that the infamous Koch brothers own many of the types of industries that pollute our water with this poison.

An environmental group that analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States, including Madison, WI, found that most contained hexavalent chromium (a.k.a. chromium-6), a probable carcinogen that was made famous by the film “Erin Brockovich.” Of the 35 cities’ drinking water that was tested, Madison ranks number four worst at 1.58 ppb.

The study, released today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), is the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium in drinking water to be made public. Although no safety limits have been set nationwide for the chemical, the state of California has proposed “a public health goal” for safe levels of 0.06 ppb.

According to the Washington Post, this comes as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering whether to set a limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water. The agency is reviewing the chemical after the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, deemed it a “probable carcinogen” in 2008.

Hexavalent chromium has long been known to cause lung cancer when inhaled, but scientists only recently found evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals when ingested. It has been linked in animals to liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia, stomach cancer and other cancers.

Hexavalent chromium was a commonly used industrial chemical until the early 1990s. It is still used in some industries, such as in chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes. Hexavalent chromium gets into water supplies after being discharged from steel and pulp mills as well as metal-plating and leather-tanning facilities. The chemical can also leach into groundwater from natural ores.

The study suggests that about 74 million U.S. residents from 42 states drink tap water with chromium, the bulk of which are likely in the cancer-causing form.

Read more, get links and a list of the cities tested here: Madison Independent Examiner

Billionaire Bloomberg’s Devilish ‘No Labels’ Scam

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:33 am


December 19, 2010

A Visit With Santa 2010

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:06 am


December 18, 2010

Advice To Obama On The Rope-A-Dope

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 7:09 am


December 17, 2010

Afghanistan: What the freak are our troops doing out in the middle of NOWHERE!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 2:08 pm

I just finally got around to renting “Restrepo,” Sebastian Junger’s excellent DVD documentary describing one U.S. Army platoon’s deadly year-long experience in the high mountain wilds of Afghanistan. This movie won the grand jury prize at Sundance. Here’s a link to its trailer:

And at one point early on in the movie, our brave Army platoon members pop into their various helicopters, tanks and Hummers and move off into the Korengal Valley — out in the middle of freaking NOWHERE. And I’m looking at this movie and I’m asking myself, “What in the freaking hell are our troops doing HERE!”

Then there’s that one first scene in the movie where an American tank is negotiating a narrow rocky mountain pass that had been obviously built originally for camels. Rock walls run straight up on your left side and absolutely nothing runs straight down on your right. This place makes Death Valley look civilized. You might as well be on the frigging surface of the MOON.

And I’m sitting here, in Berkeley, in front of my computer, watching Netflix, and I’m asking myself, “How the freak does having our troops over in THAT god-forsaken place make America any safer?” Like those primitive tribesmen over there are gonna jump onto their camels, lock and load their RPGs, swim the Atlantic ocean, take the I-80 across middle America, arrive in Berkeley unnoticed and endanger ME? Yeah right.

But what is really endangering me and my family right now? And your families too? Everyone here knows. It’s Wall Street and the banks, raids on Social Security. The military-industrial-academic complex, war profiteers, corrupt lobbyists and corrupt congressmen in Washington. A president who has sold out his base. Unemployment. Media that is owned by oligarchs. Lack of decent, free college education for our children. Subsidized agribusiness. And bleeding out in an over-crowded ER.


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