Friday, April 18, 2014

It's All About "Pay to Play" in DC & the Chicago Way Still Rules

It's increasingly becoming more and more difficult for the general layman not associated with one of the political heavy weights who continue to keep a stranglehold on American politics to get his hat in the ring, his own voice heard without selling his soul. And on March 26th, 2014 the [American] Supreme Court made it clear that is the way they like to keep it. On the 26th the Justices (in a 5-4  decision) voted down a decades-old cap upon which (tried) to control on how much an individual can contribute in a two year election cycle. Citing Free Speech Issues. Seeming a political victory for the Koch Brothers and the Citizens United -- Citizens United who brought about the challenge of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (aka: the McCain-Feingold Law) that limited what is termed as soft money in campaign financing by prohibiting national political party committees from raising or spending any funds not subject to any funds not subject to the federal limits on both state and federal levels, and prohibited the running of advocacy ads mentioning a federal candidate within 60 days of a general election that is paid for by a corporation (including non-profit issue organizations) and unincorporated entities using corporate or Union treasury funds-- much to the (faux) chagrin on the Left side of the aisle who cried foul at the ruling. All-the-while, however, the Left side began to ramp up its own fundraising, calling out their own versions of the Koch Brothers who have deep pockets all their own.

The Bleeding Heart Honkies would like us all to believe that it is simply a right-side-of-the-aisle issue when it comes to rich donors. As it turns out, it seems that the left has pretty much outpaced the right with 1 % (Percenters) forking over multimillion dollar checks. Just a couple weeks ago Obama hosted (along with his old buddy Mayor (Emperor) Rahm Emanuel) two dinner parties in Chicago the cost of which was in the tens-of-thousands a plate. And with the current regime's policy of transparency the press wasn't invited to the big one with the real deep pocket donors. According to finical reports the left has raked in cash at a 3-1 pace against their rivals. And both PAC entities are set to rack up around a billion dollars for their efforts by the time the election gets into full swing.

Once again we find that if you don't have big backing money, well, you're are just not needed to come play in the hollowed hallways of government that is Washington DC. But if you think that it's only at the federal level you are going to be sorely disappointed. Both Political Parties are increasingly stuffing money into campaigns on many state levels as well as the march of the billionaire greenbacks finds its way to city halls and usually meaningless state races.

Where do we go from here? How does a (truly) Independent Candidate not get lost, pushed out of what is supposed to be By the People for the People style of electoral government? The Libertarian is pretty much a joke on the political stage and if you have your own deep pockets the Bleeding Heart Honkies combat you with their ads linking you to the right, the right cries that third parties just steal their votes. In truth, it's time for new revolution. And by that I mean a voter revolution. We need to stop listening to the propaganda that both parties shove down our throats on a daily basis and sweep out every single one who is up for reelection; stop voting party lines because neither party really has our interest at heart. And keep doing it until we the people finally get the government the America needs. Not the long term, professional jack-holes that plague the system we have now. Only then will we really see Hope and Change.              

Monday, March 10, 2014

CARICOM, The Slave Trade, and the Quest for Reparations

What I have learned about when your country is in the financial shit do to bad politics and bad management from the fools in power is that you can always look towards the other guy to blame for it (meaning your rival party) and that you can always look for the other guy (meaning either tax payer or in this case other countries) to pay for it. And we can see just that in the Caribbean countries that have been becoming  increasingly poorer and poorer. Do to either bad economics, the loss of the drug trade that seemed to easily flow through them in the 1980's, bad leaders and leadership (we know all about that in the good-old-USofA) and the whatnot. Now these increasingly bad leaders are looking towards their former Governments that had once oversaw their island countries.

This form of new revenue? Slave Reparations.

Jamaica is leading the way, along with CARICOM (The acronym for Caribbean Community and whose main purpose is to promote economic integration and cooperation between the member states, not unlike the EUROZONE) quest for a cash cow in the form of a law suit being filed in British court. The firm Leigh Day is representing the group. Leigh Day won a land mark case last year against the British Government for Kenyans that were tortured by the Brits during the MAU MAU uprising in the 1950's. Leigh Day will  unveil a list of 10 demands for the Governments of Britain, France and Holland. Along with supposed price tag in the billions, the firm, via CARICOM, is looking for an apology for slavery as well, and that the practice will never again be repeated. Professor Verene Shepard  (Chairman of Jamaica's reparations committee) disclosed to Britain's The Telegraph that the British Colonizers had "disfigured the Caribbean". And it was now time for their decedents to pay up.

"If you commit a crime against humanity" Prof. Shepard told The Telegraph,  "you are bound to make amends."

In 1833, the British Parliament abolished slavery and it's form in the their colonies. In doing so, the Parliament paid out a compensation to the sugar growers at the time worth around 2 billion in today's economic market. Now, CARICOM, is using that as the base of what they feel is their rightful settlement. Being that they have never received any amount for their time in servitude.

Willie Thompson, 78 year-old descendant, and whose grandmother was brought to the islands in chains, stated that the English made a lot of money back then. "A lot of money" He went to add that the he thought it would be fair if "We to get a bit of compensation for what all our people been through."

British merchants lead the way in the mid-18th century, surpassing the Dutch and the Portuguese (who pioneered the Atlantic Slave Trade), displacing around 3 million Africans, shipping them through ports of call throughout the Americas and Caribbean. While the economies of these countries at the time soared, is it the problem now, some 180 years later, that the European countries should pay for? Slavery can not be blamed for poor economic choices that CARICOM governments make. And their are some in the international law community that see the lawsuit as nonsense. Stating that regardless of the it's evils, slavery was legal under British law at the time.

British hereditary peer and barrister, Lord Gifford, states the opposite. [Lord] Gifford, who advises for the Reparations Committee says, "There is no statute of limitations for crimes against humanity. The claim is soundly based. The the slave trade breached the natural law of free man."

But with that said, why isn't CARICOM also looking for the same things from the Arab countries that were pivotal to that trade. Fact is that it wasn't British or Dutch sailors that raided African villages, that it was the Arabs, who then sold them to the Brits and the Dutch. Arabs countries got rich in slavery long before the oil markets they use today. And there is not one mention of them in any of the law suits or in any of the statements being made by the reparations committee. Is it that the Arab countries are getting a pass because of their own long standing problems with their colonial past?

One also has to ask the question of: should it be beholden to innocent people because of what, perhaps, their great-great grandparents had done? If that is the case then one can look at just about any family in history to find a law suit.

Let us not confused this with the German reparations to the Jews over their treatment during World War Two. It is a very different thing. We can still find --and are still finding-- persons that committed those acts against humanity alive today.

Most countries have no problem with the fact of bringing people of this ilk to justice. The thing is: those who acted within the slave trade have been long dead and buried. Also, if CARCOM actually does receive financial reward, will it actually help those affected by the poor practices of their governments? Or will it be like it always is: the ones that need it most get the shaft and the ones in power get to keep having? Because we all know of the corruption that takes place in the Caribbean Government Houses.

Until next time...      

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How the Worm Turns: Part Duex: Obama 2008: Bypassing Congress Unconstitutional

Back in 2008, when then Senator Obama was running for top dog of the U. S of A, he ran on the point that skirting around congress and going the executive route was not only wrong but unconstitutional (if you don't believe me, watch the video below). Funny, not 5 years later we now find Obama doing what he bitched about Bushy-boy doing: skirting around congress because it won't work with him. So my question is: why is good for the Obamanator and not for the Bush?

Here's a thing, if you want to be a leader then fucking lead. That means don't go on the campaign trail (especially when you're done this time you're done, no more running for the top of the collective American heap) to bitch about the other side of the aisle. (And that really goes for both parties.) Stay in DC and hammer it out. Like a real leader. Because you can't have it both ways. Even-though that is what you want. Same goes for the filibuster. You can't use it over and over again just to bitch that the other side of the aisle is using the same tactic against you when you hold power.  

It's time for those of you elected "officials" to pull your heads out your asses for the good of the country and not the good of your moronic party. And it's time for us that elect you assholes to pull our heads out of asses for the good of the country and not the good of the party you think is better than the other. Because in truth they are one in the same and pretty much suck equally.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Barack Obama 2004 Interview; How the Worm has Turned Since in Office

I came across an old 2004 interview of, at the time, then, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama on Public Access-TV conducted by attorney and activist Frank Avila. The interview was for when Obama threw his hat in the ring for State Senator to represent the state of Illinois in Washington DC.

Most of the interview is pretty soft ball, with questions like "Who is Barack Obama?" Which has Obama answering jokingly about how his name is mispronounced. How people like to say: Yo-Mamma or Alabama. Then he goes on to say that his name means "One who's blessed" in Swahili.

Obama then goes on to talk about his father and mother and where they met and how he grew up in Hawaii and then onto his education. It's definitely an interview where most people have no idea who the hell he is and he knows it. Which is rather funny since he is --at the time-- a State Senator. Not only that but teaches constitutional law at the University of Chicago. The Democrats, however, did make Obama a household name after making him the keynote speaker at the Presidential Convention.

What I found most fascinating about the interview is when they ask Obama about the use of up holding, then President Bush's, political nominations --a thing that the Democratic Party complains about the GOP today and has for the last 5 years. One of the things he [Obama] was for in the way of tactics was using the filibuster. He [Obama] believed that the use of the filibuster was fine to use if he believed if the nomination was someone that would do harm to the nation or if the person --in Obama's words: Wasn't up to snuff. One of these nominations was one of President Bush's judicial nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, Miguel Estrada. Obama believed that Estrada was a good person to use the tactic on because a) he was young and Estrada would technically be on the bench for 30-40 years. And b) Estrada wasn't a good nomination and he didn't know much of what he stood for. Obama was also worried that Estrada would give wide access to Executive Branch, mostly in the form of Attorney General John Ashcroft, for spying on regular people and that Law enforcement wouldn't need a warrant to read people's e-mails.Which is funny because Obama has allowed the NSA just that. 

(The Democrats did achieve victory against Miguel Estrada, successfully blocking his nomination on the grounds that he was unqualified and extreme.) 

Obama also goes on to talk abut education, and how that most people's complaints about the education system are in the form of how bad the Chicago Schools are. Oddly enough that concern didn't stop him from placing Arnie Duncan, then the head of the Chicago School District, the head of the nations school system.

Give the video a go, see how then Barack Obama idealism faces up with today's version on the man. See how the worm has turned from then to now.