texshelters

Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

It’s time to Focus on helping People and not the Liberal Versus Conservative Divide

In Current Events, Economics, Occupy Movement on December 2, 2011 at 23:03

From downwithtyranny.blogspot.com

In the United States, we have divided the political landscape into liberal versus conservative for too long. These terms only serve to divide us and stereotype each other and this infighting only benefits the ruling classes.

Fox News commentators and Republican politicians have painted liberals as unAmerican, lazy, anti-work, pro-terrorist and made many other false claims about this group they call “liberal”. There are also the bumper stickers that highlight this stereotype, “Annoy a liberal: work hard, succeed and be happy.” Do liberals really want others to be unhappy? Who are these liberals? I am still looking for them.

A better question than is someone liberal or conservative is to ask, “Is this person, policy or politician pro-corporate or pro-human.” What do I mean by pro-corporate or pro-human? Let’s take a look.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly benefitted corporations more than the American people. Corporations who make military hardware, supply the troops, and commodify oil have benefitted from the war. The wars have also damaged our economy, greatly increased our debt, damaged our credibility in the world and sacrificed thousands of U.S. soldiers for corporate profit. Soldiers lives are traded for corporate profit.

How about the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, or TARP. That saved the economy from collapsing and thus, helped all Americans, didn’t it? Well, no. TARP was a $700 billion dollar bailout for major lending and banking institutions in America. The idea was that the recipients of this money would free up lines of credit for businesses and individuals and this would jump start the economy. In truth, those banks loaned less after TARP and increased bonuses they paid themselves. The TARP money didn’t trickle down at all and only helped the major players at the major lenders. Now we learn that banks were loaned $7.7 trillion in federal dollars at .01% interest. They then turned around and loaned money at 3% to the government who had loaned it to them to make over $13 billion in profit. How does that help the people?

How about those corporate tax loopholes and rates? Those cuts lead to job creation, and thus benefits the people, right? Wrong. We have had 12 years of the Bush/Republican tax cuts and official unemployment is still around 9%, much higher than when those tax cuts were enacted. Clearly, only corporations benefit from those tax cuts and loopholes, and they have not turned that extra cash into jobs.

What about cutting regulations, that leads to jobs, right? In fact, deregulation of the banking industry was a major cause of the banking collapse and thus recession of 2008. The idea that allowing companies to pollute more, or ignore health and safety laws, or other forms of deregulation leads to more jobs, is ludicrous. Are you telling me that the deregulation of the off shore oil platforms that helped cause the BP oil disaster  lead to jobs.  Really? Obviously, deregulation of industry helps corporations and hurts citizens.

What about the Affordable Health Care for America Act? Doesn’t that help people? Perhaps. It clearly captures more customers for insurance companies with the individual mandate while doing little to address overall costs in the system. It does help more Americans get insurance by eliminating most of the “pre-existing condition” barriers to health care. The law does provide some help to low income people and also tax credits for small businesses to buy insurance.

In the long run, this law is less cost affective than a single payer plan where corporate profits are taken out and it’s managed either by a private or public agency. There is some benefit to some of the public, but corporate interests are still protected at long term budget expense with this health plan.

Even our attempt to regulate the environment with cap and trade is a compromise that doesn’t really address the fundamental problem of global warming.  Cap and trade  is an attempt to get those that pollute to pay for that benefit and those that don’t pollute to get credits. Companies will game the system, buy and trade the carbon credits and eventually it will do nothing to reduce long term emissions. If we want to reduce carbon emissions we need to set limits and create technology to reduce those emissions while investing in and installing cleaner energy plants. We should not allow corporations to buy their way out of pollution with cap and trade laws. Ultimately this type of regulation would do nothing for the people and the planet.

Why was it possible to end don’t ask don’t tell and allow gays in the military? Doesn’t that benefit the people? It is because allowing gays in the military doesn’t ultimately hurt the corporate bottom line and the ban wasn’t useful anymore as a divisive issue to distract the public from our economic crisis. It also props up the progressive credibility of their man, Obama. “See, Obama supported ending don’t ask don’t tell, so he’s not corporate.” It does allow more Americans to join the military, so perhaps that helps some, and it does end discrimination which is always a good thing.

If you are to be an informed citizen, you must drop the conservative and liberal dichotomy that the corporate and political elite promote to keep us separate. We must all look at politicians and decide for ourselves whether their actions and policies benefit the most people and will help the weakest members of society or if they are only there to benefit the 1%. If you are part of the 99%, you must support those politicians and policies that help the 99%, not those that benefit only corporations and the 1%.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

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Enough, again, about 9/11

In Current Events, History, World Affairs on June 27, 2011 at 02:32

This is a repost and update in honor of President Obama’s invoking of 9/11 in his latest speech to justify the Afghan war. “On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda – a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world’s great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban – a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them – an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to 0. The vote in the House was 420 to 1.”  (link)

Shut up already about 9/11

The United States is using 9/11 as an excuse to be the world’s police force and to attack Muslim dominated nations. In that spirit, I have performed the following actions:

I kicked an Englishman in the balls today in remembrance of Bloody Sunday and the atrocities in Ireland. I burnt Oxford editions of the collected works of Shakespeare, the British playwright of terror, for good measure.

Throwing bricks through the window of a sushi restaurant satisfied my lust to get back at the Japanese for Pearl Harbor. I do that every December 7. I also like to smash big snouted Romans in the nose for their besting my Celtic Queen, Queen Boudicca, back in the first century. I stabbed a priest for all the pedophilia and betrayal by other Catholic priests for good measure.

Then I gathered some patriots to spit on some Christians as they left their holy church of terrorist training for bombing Oklahoma City’s Federal Building. We also spray painted “Jesus Freaks” on the side of several Christian terrorist training centers. It was the Protestants that killed my Irish ancestors, so we had to go on and burn a few Christian churches (and their terrorist training manual, the Bible) in the process. That will show those Prods that we are right and they are wrong.

Honor the dead, but don’t use their deaths as an excuse to hate, discriminate and hurt and kill others. (link)

Self proclaimed super patriot’s scream, “We must never forget.” Forget what? Forget that you irrationally fear and hate all Muslims based on the actions of a tiny group of fundamentalists?

Shut up about 9/11 already. How about using the historical tragedy as a call to promote peace. Or is that too close to the original message of Jesus?

The article “The United States of Fear” states well how we have sold out our freedoms in the name of fear. (link)

Enjoy, and happy endless wars. And as President Obama said to end his speech justifying continued war, “Thank you, God Bless you, God Bless our troops, and may God Bless the United States of America.” No, God bless you President Obama.

See the text of his speech.

For fun, compare President’s Obama misinformation and lies about Afghanistan with those in Lyndon Johnson’s speech about Vietnam.

Addendum: I am not asking or expecting anyone to stop grieving or remembering the loss, especially personal losses, from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. What I hope is that we stop allowing politicians and others to use 9/11 to justify torture, wars against innocent nations and people, civilian bombing, rendition, assassination and other atrocities.

Yours,
Tex Shelters