Why I vote for Democrats

November 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Yep, everything has to be recalibrated: pension plans, political contributions, retirement savings, and executive pay, among other things.

The Republicans of the 2000s done f*cked up: from 9/11 happening on their watch, to the false Iraq War, to the Wall Street bailout caused in large part during the unregulated free market in subprime mortgage-backed securities from 2004-2007, which had begun in earnest during George W. Bush’s first term, January 2001 to January 2005.

Oh, then the Republicans’ big finale after eight long years: the Great Recession (October 2007 to ????).*

* The Great Recession is officially over, by economic standards. However, the distribution of wealth created in this country has gone overwhelmingly to the top 1% and even more so to the top 0.01% during the Great Recession recovery, which is still dragging on for tens of millions of American people who are unemployed, underemployed, underwater-mortgage holders, and everyone burdened by a student loan that they can’t pay off because they can’t find a job that pays a living wage after graduating with a college degree. Yes, the Great Recession is over for those who caused it. Nobody on Wall Street related to the subprime mortgage meltdown went to jail, nobody. Instead, they’re all getting richer. So pyramidal, but definitely not an example of John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success.”

Barack Obama has been a pussycat to Wall Street (Nobody went to jail). Yes, the banks paid tens of billions of dollars in fines to the U.S. government, but that’s after George W. Bush and Hank Paulson (Goldman Sachs’ Treasury Secretary, and the U.S. Secretary in name only) gave out $700 billion largesse to save the banks and then let them borrow at practically 0% on Trillions of dollars in loans. The U.S was printing money and the banks were making money with that money, and then the banks paid off the loans at close to zero percent. What the f*ck?! Can I get one of those loans? Please?

Goldman Sachs got to double dip on the bailout, because we paid off their sugar daddy, American Insurance Group (AIG), and then bailed out Goldman, too. AIG was part of a “swap” market, or secondary market, where the banks could make bets on their bets. So they took a subprime mortgage loan and attached insurance to it, and said I bet this price goes up. The price of the subprime mortgage loan went down. Way down. But AIG got most of its money back and Goldman got a lot of its money back as well. They can cry all the way to their yachts if they think they didn’t get a sweetheart deal while the average American is twisting in the wind with a ripped-to-shreds 401k clutched in balled hands of fury.

At least Democrats are trying to clean up the mess, instead of obstructing the clean-up effort, like the Republicans continue to do. This time, let’s vote for the Democrats. Republicans make messes and Democrats clean up the mess. You can’t trust Republicans to do the right thing: that’s just something they made up to get people to vote for them. And you fell for it if you voted for the Republicans. They are in it to win it for the Super Rich, and not the average American.

The Democrats do more to benefit the majority of Americans monetarily than the other party does. That’s the truth. We now have Wall Street regulation with the Frank-Dodd Act (albeit watered down), we now have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau so credit card companies can’t hike the interest rate way up on you out of nowhere (or for one late payment), and we now have Universal Health Care (the epitome of a “slowly but surely” work in progress).

It ain’t perfect with the Democrats, but it’s way better protection from another Republican-led financial meltdown. Republicans make messes and Democrats clean up the mess. We’re still dealing with the aftermath of George W. Bush’s Republican kind of thinking, which wasn’t very perceptive it turned out. The Republican-led Congress of 2010 until now has been an ankle weight on this country’s true recovery from the Great Recession. It’s time to free us from the shackles of the Republicans’ wrong-headed rule by voting them out of office.

We all do better when we all do better. So vote for Democrats in 2014, I say. And that’s just what I’m going to do, too. : )

Categories: Uncategorized

Sid Caesar’s Scintillating Comedy

February 16, 2014 Leave a comment

The 1950s comedy is so scintillating it still holds up today as some of the freshest, funniest theatricality you will ever see. If you’ve never seen Your Show Of Shows or Caesar’s Hour, do yourself a favor and go buy the DVDs. You are in for a treat! Check out who wrote for Caesar. : )

Picture source: http://cdn-media.hollywood.com/images/638×425/2137406.jpg

Read more: http://www.hollywood.com/news/celebrities/56786854/sid-caesar-dead-this-is-your-life?page=all

Here are some youtube videos of some of my favorite sketches.  It’s worth buying the DVDs to see all of them.
“20 Minutes For Lunch”
“The Professor on Mountain Climbing”

“Gallipacci”

“The Small Apartment”

Surveil You Later? — How the N.S.A. ruined the Information Age

November 14, 2013 Leave a comment


The National Security Agency (N.S.A.) headquarters at Ft. Meade, Maryland.

picture source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/National_Security_Agency_headquarters,_Fort_Meade,_Maryland.jpg

The N.S.A. ruined the Information Age.
Who wants to shop online with somebody looking over your
shoulder? President Obama, you know what it’s like to be
followed while shopping. Why do it to us, in our homes, at
our offices, or wherever we may be connected to the world
wide web?

Maybe somebody was on his cellphone at the park and wanted to
check the score of the football game he just bet on. It’s
none of the government’s business if two consenting adults
make a gentleman’s wager on the outcome of the Giants vs.
Vikings game. Mitt Romney can make $10,000 bets all day, and
it’s none of the government’s business if Rick Perry takes
him up on it or not!

Video: Mitt Romney saying “Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000
bucks? $10,000 bet?”

Oh, Mitt!

Now, since Edward Snowden revealed the surveillance-software
suite at the disposal of U.S. government workers, we also
know that the N.S.A. can see our emails, internet search
activity, online bank accounts, and everything we do in the
digital world. So if that’s where we are in present-day
American society, let’s just admit we live in an age of
diminishing privacy. Sure, you can refrain from using the
internet, and give up calling and emailing people. But how
many people are going to stop using their iPhones and
Androids and other so-called smartphones? Once you get ‘em
hooked, you can’t just take away the candy. At least not
without a claim ticket.

That’s why we should use a cellphone check-in
service. In the name of bringing back conversation to
civilized society. Just listen to these two humans talk to
each other when there are no cellphones to interrupt their
natural state.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Two men in the audience waiting for a live
show to begin.

AUDIENCE MEMBER #1:
God, this is boring!

AUDIENCE MEMBER #2:
Totally.

AUDIENCE MEMBER #1:
And we can’t even get online.

AUDIENCE MEMBER #2:
Hey, by the way, what do you think
about the N.S.A.?

AUDIENCE MEMBER #1:
Seriously?

AUDIENCE MEMBER #2:
They can’t track us now.

AUDIENCE MEMBER #1:
Well, I think it’s bad that there’s
no oversight.

Two men in suits suddenly appear.

SUIT #1:
Sir, would you please come with us?

Audience Member #1 gets up to leave with Suit#1.

SUIT #2 (TO AUDIENCE MEMBER #2):
And what do you think about the
N.S.A.?

Audience Member #2 smiles and give two thumbs up.

Suit #2 nods and harrumphs before exiting.

Audience Member #2 slouches down in his seat, stealthily
looks over both shoulders, and turns around with a nervous
head twitch.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Let’s not let it get to this, People. Secret courts for
surveillance programs on American citizens is not what the
framers of the Constitution had in mind. Just in case, the
American Public demanded the first 10 Amendments.
The very first Amendment is Freedom of Religion, Freedom of
the Press, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly to protest the
government, and Freedom of Speech.

Speech is not free when you have somebody looking over your
shoulder the whole time. Just ask Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden during interview in Hong Kong hotel with UK Guardian reporter, Glenn Greenwald, and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, Laura Poitras.

Picture source: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2013/06/Edward-Snowden.jpg

The rest of Europe wants to give him an award, but he’s in
Vladimir Putin’s Russia now. And Snowden thought the N.S.A. was
bad? If he did any whistleblowing on Putin, he’d be in
Russian jail faster than you can say Pussy Riot.

In 2012, band members of Pussy Riot wearing their trademark balaclavas while performing “Punk Prayer” at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Two of the women in the band are serving out two-year prison sentences for singing their political-protest song in church.

Picture source: http://rt.com/files/news/pussy-riot-court-hearing-355/if499a049ff6dce2e1c1bd012dd9466b2_1.jpg

We live in an age where the whistleblowers of secret U.S.
government surveillance have to hide out with our competitor
countries? How is that Freedom of Speech protection for
Snowden when he has to flee to China’s Hong Kong?

Map of Hong Kong as part of China.

Picture source: https://fandecande.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/14194-china-map-w-hong-kong200.jpeg

And then to Putin’s Russia?

Map of Russia, bordering Europe and Asia.  

Let’s get it all out in the open. Our government spies on
everybody, including its own citizens.

People using N.S.A.-tracked devices.

Picture source: http://www.redorbit.com/media/uploads/2013/09/smartphones-everywhere_TS_80404212_091613-617×416.jpg

If you reveal the secret surveillance, the government will
revoke your passport and you will be in No Man’s Land. All
you can do is throw up your hands and try to make calls for
help, much like being a Verizon Wireless customer near the
beach in L.A.

No, Technology does not always work. And when it does work,
we have no privacy. But our cellphones and our computers
provide those sugary snacks for the mind that we crave day
and night. We don’t really care who watches us, as long as
they let us have our candy.

Edward Snowden just pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of
Oz.

Wizard of Oz behind the curtain when Dorothy reveals him
in the classic film (in color).

But this Oz is very powerful. It’s going to take a lot of
Heart, Brains and Courage to overcome the all-powerful
National Security Agency. But, like I said, give people the
candy they want and they don’t really care what you do behind
the curtain. Especially if you tell them that it has
something to do with stopping terrorists. (Joe Q Public
voice.) “Of course you need everybody’s emails to stop
terrorists. I’m not a terrorist, go ahead.”

We’ll sing “God Bless America” at the 7th inning stretch and
you can track everybody in and out of the stadium.

Aerial view of Dodger Stadium.

Picture source: http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID426/images/dodger-stadium-pic.jpg

Unless, we start doing cellphone check-ins at the ballpark, and
at the movies, and at every public venue! We could take back
our Freedom of Speech if, and only if, we willingly give up
our cellphones for moments during the day.
If we can have coat-check rooms, then we can have cellphone check-in
rooms. Or you can leave your cellphone at home or in
your car. Civilization is what we make of it. The
communication network provided by cellphones and the
internet, that’s the N.S.A.’s domain. But everything else, the
rest of the world, that’s ours. All of ours. Unless you’re
Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden in Russia.

Picture source: http://img.welt.de/img/ausland/crop121424053/2238725298-ci3x2l-w620/title.jpg

He’s the hero, and yet he’s the one who has to hide. Think
about that the next time the N.S.A. tracks you online while
consuming your internet content.

It’s not so bad now, but just think of what somebody could do
if they wanted to take advantage of our private information:
our business contracts and financial investments, our
professional and personal relationships. This is not the place where government should be. We all have the right to our privacy! Unless you’re a terrorist!

Well, I guess that settles it: the N.S.A. can do whatever it
wants in the name of fighting terrorists and we should use
cellphone check-in rooms to get away from the N.S.A. at certain
points during the day.

Ah, America! The only country that
cares enough to monitor its citizens’ communications 24/7
just to make sure everything is O.K. Like an overbearing
parent!

“It’s for your own good,” they’ll say, as they store
everything we text and type in a super-huge server facility
in Utah, where you can’t even buy a beer on Sunday!


Frosty glass mug of beer.

Picture source: http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/life/drink/2012/02/120224_DRINK_frostedBeerMug.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large.jpg

What’s next? No tacos on Tuesdays?!

Taco, a happy-hour treat on Tuesdays.

Picture source: http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/teg/tsg/release/sites/default/files/assets/meattaco.jpg

We have to draw the line somewhere, or the government will
continue to encroach on our privacy and our civil liberties.
I say beer on Sunday and tacos on Tuesdays, and cellphone check-in
rooms, and real regulation on the N.S.A. surveillance. No
secret courts. Let’s have our regulation in a regular court.
And let’s have our daily slice of Americana with our First
Amendment rights intact.

Map of the United States in the
middle of North America.

picture source: http://www.kidcyber.com.au/IMAGES/usa-politcal-map.jpg

Freedom of Speech makes America the best country in
the world. Without Freedom of Speech you might as well be living in Russia.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

It’s like the 80s all over again

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s like the 80s all over again: everybody’s wearing neon pink, yellow and green; the really rich are far richer than everybody else; and we have a President who makes good speeches and has trouble with the Russians.

By the way, what’s the difference between the United States and Russia? One of them has Edward Snowden.

New revelations of the U.S. government’s expanded data collection of Americans’ internet and cellphone use became public just as Edward Snowden started his 1-year temporary asylum in Russia, or as Putin calls it “The Anti-Pussy Riot.”

Free speech will not be tolerated in Russian churches, but a spy on the run from the U.S. makes Putin want to rip off his shirt and take a picture.

The liberal movement and the conservative movement came together

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

The liberal movement and the conservative movement came together this weekend when two gay men got married and shot off each other’s guns to celebrate.

Let’s just do a summary of the recent wars in the world

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Let’s just do a summary of the recent wars in the world: Syria’s civil war, Egypt’s civil war, America’s war on Terror continues through the NSA surveillance program and special ops missions/drone attacks…Ah, just like John Lennon imagined it.

Dodgers Baseball Blacked Out On Time Warner Cable

August 19, 2013 Leave a comment

So when are we going to storm the Time Warner Cable building with pitchforks? It’s like some CEO over there said, “Let them watch Dodgers games at the bar.”