Monthly Archives: June 2009

Coporate Deregulation-Smell that Char-grilled Aroma

…But that char grilled taste of deregulated beef just may make you sick; just another value of free market deregulation many are so fond.

 Today it is the beef industry with notable outbreaks of E.coli.  When will we realize that allowing corporations to regulate themselves is not a good idea?  Corporations are creating more sick people for the insurance agents to make more money off illness. It’s all about corporate greed-take short cuts in food safety to make more corporate profit and let the sick people give greater profit to insurance companies. It’s a vicious cycle at the average Americans’ expense.

 Here’s the thing America-so many are promoting the reduction of government to put power in the hands of the free market and corporations, but look at what’s happening.  Food companies are taking short cuts in food safety at consumer expense for profit, which is in turn is making people sick and making more money for insurance companies. We, the American public are a tool for big business to make a profit.  And we wonder why we have a health care crisis in this country.

 What is most interesting is; suddenly when stuff like this happens who do many blame-The current administration. Why hasn’t President Obama done anything? Well it was President Bush who ruined the FDA, because big government is bad and big business is oh so good. Now many are crying for President Obama and the government to do something. Which is it? Do you want to be rough-ridden by corporations or do you want ht helping hand of our government? You simply cannot have it both ways; you can’t complain about government intervention one moment and then blame them for something that is not their fault another time. The excuses and rationalizations are not becoming of a nation.

 First we have to understand the problem-Greed. It is incessant and is ruining many lives. We Americans have to ask ourselves do we want to be at the mercy of corporations and their profits.  I don’t .

The Constitution – For the People, of the People

You know what’s funny? Nowhere in the constitution does it say, “For the Corporations of the Corporations,” but somehow the corporations seem to have a louder voice and more rights than average Americans. Wow, we don’t get to have off shore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes. That is a crime for the average American citizen. If our actions kill another, we are arrested, but corporations can kill American soldiers in Iraq and avoid citation. We can’t police ourselves like corporations can regulate themselves. Crazy huh? The latest battle is health care and the biggest argument is too much government, regardless that 70% of the population wants health care reform. Who cares about the people? We don’t matter. It is what is good for the corporations that matter. Yes, we have to worry about the profit of insurance companies and pad the pockets of overpaid doctors. Yes, I am positive that is what our forefathers anticipated when writing our constitution.

Yesterday’s blog I dabbled with the idea of hypocrisy, but there are no greater hypocrites than politician’s who campaign for less government. Politicians are paid by the government through American taxes. They are taking money for doing something they say they despise. If they felt government intervention is bad, then get out of politics. If you are a politician who promotes downsizing government, you do not belong in government. Crazy, why get a government job if you hate government? Save that career path for those who care about American citizens. Where did the inspiration for many politicians to promote anti-government.

Check out this quote from Grover Norquist, the think tank of Ronald Regan. “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub“. Now if our government is drowned in the bath tub, what is left? That would be anarchy and lawlessness. And what has anarchy and lawlessness got us to date-well self-regulated corporations nearly toppled our economy in their greed. They have exploited citizens with credit and bad loans. They have turned dying people to the streets. That’s a good idea, put our health care in the hands of people who want to only to get rich. It is sick to make a profit on illness.

Perhaps instead of listening to the likes of Grover Norquist we should heed the words of great Presidents like Republican Teddy Roosevelt. “Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense.”… “We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.””The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”

Mark Sanford – A Lesson of Hypocrisy

On a basic human level, I have sympathy and even empathy for Mark Sanford. It is fully understandable for human beings to fall in love and to act upon their feelings. That is human nature. And my respects go out to his wife and children. However, Mark Sanford has made a career promoting the sanctity of marriage and family values. He has highly criticized and called for the impeachment of other politicians for similar indiscretions-President Clinton. Now he has found himself guilty of the same indiscretion and thus has become a hypocrite.

Hypocrisy, I feel is too often dismissed, when in fact we should feel shame for our hypocrisy. If “Thou shalt not judge” is one of the ten commandments, and hypocrisy is judgment and then committing the same indiscretion-well then you could imagine the “sin” for lack of better word. But I see hypocrisy is running amuck these days with lying, excuses, blaming and denials. If we cannot be in control of our own behavior how is it possible to judge another? 

But hypocrisy is not just in family values, we judge others in every facet of our lives. Over the weekend, I read comments about the economy criticizing the “President Obama and the intellectual elites” for standing up for “stupid people.” Figure that one out. Yes, folks were snubbing legislation to make financial fine print easier to understand. I believe that to be elitism and hypocrisy.

 What does it say for a nation of hypocrites? What does it say about us when all we can do is judge and criticize one another and even more detrimental anonymously through the internet? Yes, it is easier to be judgment and criticize when people do not know your true identity. It’s not only easy, it’s cowardly. The danger in judgment and criticism is you never know when one day you may be faced with adversity, the same adversity you once judged another. I see so many judging the unemployed (during a recession no less), but what happens when these same people lose their jobs? Be careful.

As Mark Sanford said, “He is a bottom line kinda guy,” and I guess I’m a bottom line kinda gal. Here is my bottom line-acceptance and tolerance. I could accept and tolerate Mark Sanford’s infidelity, but the real issue here is that he failed in his oath of governor of the state of South Carolina, when he left without telling anyone where he was going. It is a question of irresponsibility, not infidelity. He is the governor of a state for crying out loud!  And when you place yourself in the public eye, whether it be a celebrity, professional athlete, rockstar or politician-different rules apply.

Look, we are all human. We all at times in our live faced adversity. It’s not our indiscretions we should be judged upon it is how we deal with our indiscretions.  It is more irreprehensible if we lie, blame, point fingers, rant and rave than if we are honest and accept our shortcomings. We all have them. We should learn the lesson of not only accepting the shortcomings of others, but ourselves.

Money-Is America Splitsville

America SplitsvilleMoney, it is the number one cause of divorce in marriage and in reading comments to yesterday’s article about President Obama taking on the financial crisis it was evident that emotions are highly agitated and the nation is divided.  Is American heading for a divorce with itself? Calling Doctor Phil, America needs you.

Like in a marriage when couples squabble over money usual problems occur; one over spends, while the other in the marriage wants to skimp and save. This is evident today in the country with credit cards. Some have found their way into credit card debt others pay in full. Others like to live life to the fullest careless of money and finances, others live life by their check books. Other money problems result due financial crisis ironically like car troubles, health care emergencies and unemployment. All this leads to financial strife in a marriage and a nation. How do many cope? Split?

One of the first things Doctor Phil might ask, “Do you still love your spouse?”  So I ask this question, do we still love America? If we have answered yes that question we are off to a good start. Are you willing to make the relationship work? Yes, okay then follow me to the next paragraph.

 The next question I believe Doctor Phil might ask America is what do you value most; money or people? Some no doubt value money above all things. Some like to roll around in money and rub it all over their naked bodies before going to sleep. Money is the best mistress and it really is hard to break that affair, but if you value your family, marriage and country you may just need to end it. Others like me value life and people; in fact I sometimes value it too much a bill may be paid late.  For some, honestly life is about a stock portfolio, zero credit card balance or a perfectly balanced check book. For some, life is about living, but then for us folks sometimes a dose of reality does us good. What we need to do is appreciate and understand ourselves and each other. Can we do this? If so, let’s move along.

If someone in your family has money problems, or trouble handling money what is your reaction; kick them to the streets, offer handouts, or do you give them support and counseling?  This was the main argument yesterday against President Obama calling for financial reform-throw all Americans who don’t read the fine print to the streets.  One person even mocked my comment saying, “Should we help all those who walk with a cane-financially speaking?” Why uhm yes.  We do make ramps for the handicap that cannot use the stairs right; so we should make it easier for all people to understand financial contracts. Honestly, I’d like to split with that particular person. That’s not very neighborly American-Mister Idaho.  But I digress-onward.

How do we handle a financial crisis in our own home?  Many get caught up in bickering, arguing tossing out false prides and accusations. But does that solve the problem? Is getting angry and crying foul to another the solution? I don’t think so, do you?

The answer is analyzing the problems, regulating bad behaviors and finding new saving solutions. This change may be uncomfortable and even scary, but if we value America and the relationship with have with one another, perhaps we should be open-minded to help find solutions that work for all and realize that sometimes in our past relationships our methods of managing finances have been destructive and caused chaos and crises.

Obama puts up his Dukes against Financial Critics

I was reading an article on Yahoo. What is most interesting to me is not the article itself but reading all the obvious “right wing” comments. Their main argument about President Obama cracking down on big business is, “Buyer Beware-Why should our government support stupid people.” My comment was, “Whatever happened to “the customer is always right, and good old-fashioned customer service.” What is being served are consumer asses on the silver platters of rich CEO’s.

Even in the article President Obama said he would be willing to listen to arguments if they are intellectual and of good faith. Article commenter #1 proved Obama’s example if your argument against overhauling our finance industry because the average person is stupid. What kind of person argues not to have legislation for consumers because they are not smart enough to understand the double talk of the fine print? We need to do away with that kind of talk. Thank you Westmass50, you just proved Obama’s point. And hey Westmass50, stupid people deserve the same rights as the rest. Don’t you find it ironic, as many claim “elitism” when it comes to the Democrats and Obama, but then these same people do not want to help the average consumer because they are “stupid?” Interesting huh? Smell the hypocrisy folks.

But what many are failing to recognize is Reagan’s deregulation of big business got us into this trouble (You know-Voo-Doo economics). How wonderful all of you to come out and support an economic strategy described as “Voo-Doo”. That’s smart. To all those criticizing Obama and the government – Let me ask you. Would you rather “corporations” run our country who regulate themselves (Food industry-why Nestle just yesterday had to recall food), KBR is killing soldiers in Iraq, many corporations are evading taxes making the citizens flip the bill. Do you seriously want to put the nation in the hands of greedy CEO’s? Do you seriously want this country to be run by CEO’s who are only intent to make a profit on American citizens? Seriously, people that is stupid and naive? Corporate CEO’s care so much less for the American public then our elected officials, yet so many of you are treating them like gods. I’m actually embarrassed for you.

We (in a democracy) elect a government to “serve and protect”. That is what our government is doing-finally. Finally, they are sticking up for the Average Joe. Ironic, since that was the main talking point of McCain and Palin-yet in reality they are standing up for rich CEO.

It is not however the government, it’s the people of this country and our lack of support for one another’s rights. Sadly, I don’t think we can be called “United” States anymore because we are certainly so divided. Why, why would an American citizen deny benefits to be granted to another American citizen? Why can’t we see the leveling the playing field for the entire nation is good? Are we truly that selfish and that self-centered that sticking up for someone else will destroy our livelihood? I hardly find that a true American quality. Our forefathers would be so disappointed in us.

Is Politics Worth Dying For?

It is the first question I asked myself after reading Iran’s Ayatollah announcement, professing violence to all those who continue to protest in the streets of Tehran. What would I do in such a case if I felt my vote was counted and my rights rejected? Would I confront violence and possibly death for the sake of democracy, or would I just follow along with current government policies?

I was one who protested the initial election of George Bush in 2000, when it appeared Al Gore, who had won the popular vote should be president. After the announcement came that George Bush was president, I accepted the Supreme court’s decision and thought to myself, “It is only four, or even eight years-what harm could he do?” I became a passive objector and went about my business.

Ironically, after doing research for another book on World War II, I saw similar quotes from Germans in the early 1930’s after Adolf Hitler “won” an election by a 99% margin. Many said, “What harm could Hitler do?” Well, hindsight is always twenty, twenty. Hm, many said about Adolf Hitler, what I thought about George Bush-interesting. Fortunately, for America we remained a democracy and not a tyrannical dictatorship such as Nazi Germany. But then the Bush administration broke the Geneva Convention in torturing prisoners of war.

Seriously, Americans have no idea what a tyrannical dictatorship is like. We are not arrested from our homes in the middle of the nights because of our religion, lifestyle or political ideologies. We are so fortunate to be able to speak our minds and speak so negatively of our nation and fellow citizens without fear of severe government retaliation. In fact, I believe we take our freedom to a frightening extreme. I believe we should have much more respect for our freedom and treat others in our country with respect.

Why this is so interesting, is that some in this country are rebelling and protesting against President Obama and that he threatens to take away American’s freedoms. Personally, I feel that ideology is seriously flawed, but many feel strongly and have no doubt violent thoughts of rebellion. When do we draw arms against the government when we sense injustice? What is the line to which we lay down our own lives for freedom? What causes to we promote and propagate revolution? I believe the answers to these questions should be made with the utmost care and certainty before action. The results could prove disastrous.

Today my heart goes out for the Iranian people. I am greatly impressed by their courage and conviction in the quest for freedom. I wish them peace and freedom and I sincerely wish no bloodshed upon them. Despite the outcome, the Iranian people have been an inspiration of faith and hope to everyone throughout the world. Good luck to them.

“How to Profit from Credit Cards”

ProfitcreditcardsWow! That was my immediate response after breezing through creditrating.com forum. Now, I’m happy people have found ways to milk the credit system, but in today’s economic climate, maybe it’s just me-maybe I am the only person in American who truly thinks it takes some rather large and heavy brass cahoneys to promote profiting from credit cards.

I think by now many of us have heard about the credit card legislation that has passed through congress and the regulations that are eventually going to be placed on credit issuers. This has come through years of over-charging interest rates, changing billing cycles and fees at their whims on people who are already burdened in debt. And especially now, when unemployment is still going to surge, our economy is still in a precarious situation and people are penny-pinching to feed their families. And some promote how to work the system in order to get rich of credit cards. Wow! It’s really all I can say.

I’m not sure what strikes the biggest nerve; the selfishness and greed or the fact we’re still not getting it. It is this kind of get-rich quick schemes and earning a buck by pushing paper and turning credits that got our country into this economic quagmire. Even after the economy has stabled after the near collapse last October, we simply cannot go back to the same practices and financial ideology that has gotten us into this situation. We simply can’t make profit from nothing any more. We are not only de-valuing money, we are devaluing our society.

Many in the credit industry criticize consumers for over-spending and irresponsibility with credit card use. To me, using credit cards as a means of profit is highly irresponsible and downright dangerous. And it is these people, who make money off credit issuers who make it bad for the people struggling in debt.

We need to understand that when we talk financial responsibility that goes for all; consumers, creditors, corporations and our government. We simply cannot profit off other’s debts and call it good and responsible. We need to call it what is-greed….and it’s not good.