We are already Embroiled in 3 Wars and the Republicans want to drag U.S. in a Fourth?! – WHY?! – Because Diplomacy is BAD for Business!

Okay, folks … time to wake up!

After months of earnest hard-working political efforts by OUR government, working shoulder to shoulder with friendly nations and Iran – we can breathe a sigh of relief that Iran will not become another nuclear state.  Nuclear BOMB that is.  Or can we?

Not if the Republicans have their way with the media.

The Republicans have millions of dollars from Sheldon Adelson and company for TV ads to throw mud on the deal. Republicans used their millions to smear the Affordable Care Act which gave millions of people access to health insurance; the Obama economic stimulus which kept U.S. unemployment from rising to Greek levels after the 2008 Wall Street collapse; and the military heroism of John Kerry, who got two decorations for bravery and three purple hearts. If Republicans could accomplish these smears with their millions, they think, why couldn’t they do the same with the Iran deal? Huffington Post – Can Republican’s Swiftboat the Iran Nuclear Deal?

You see, the Republicans’ mentality has NOT evolved since the 1950’s when WAR = Everything that is good and just in the world.  Subtext – War made them a shite-load of money.

Consider this historical lesson –

Once upon a time our country was GREAT, let’s say in the 1950’s through the early 1960’s – fat and happy from the spoils of WORLD WAR II. (The war that is most oft-described in mainstream media as the “good war.”)  It is an obvious, but little-discussed fact that the U.S. economy due to the wealth derived from colossal military contracts reaped great profits from WW II.  Read below – and you will see how the U.S. Secretary of War clearly tied the interests of business with war mobilization.

“If you are going to try to go to war, or to prepare for war, in a capitalist country, you have got to let business make money out of the process or business won’t work.” Secretary of War Henry Stimson made this comment in 1940 as preparations for World War II (1939–1945) gained momentum (quoted in Koistinen, p. 580). The global war would pit Allied forces, eventually composed primarily of the United States, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union, against the Axis powers consisting primarily of Germany, Japan, and Italy. U.S. businesses would play a key role in the mobilization efforts for war and the New Deal policies and programs would be largely curtailed. Funded by large military contracts, industry provided millions of new jobs and higher incomes than had been available through the Great Depression when millions of workers had lost their jobs or faced pay cuts. The mobilization effort focused on industry producing massive amounts of war goods including ships, tanks, arms, ammunition, and warplanes. Due to the strong U.S. public mood against international alliances, however, it took Roosevelt almost six years of lobbying with Congress, industry, and the public to begin earnest mobilization efforts.  Read more WW II Mobilization

Notice my highlight?  Do you see a recurring theme here – of MORE MONEY FOR WAR and LESS MONEY FOR PEOPLE at home?

Undoubtedly there were moral reasons to enter WWII, but those moral reasons weren’t compelling enough for the U.S. to enter until we were bombed in Pearl Harbor, and until millions of Jews had already been imprisoned in concentration camps and/or murdered.  We dragged our feet for years, but it seems that the business community had ALWAYS been chomping on the bit to enter the war, not for reasons of morality, though.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Americans have learned ANYTHING from history.  Why?  Because Americans care NOTHING about history.  We are the ones that SEE the future, always forward-facing, chasing the better, the newer and improved versions of freedom-fighting. We never seem to learn from our mistakes.

For instance, how is it the Republicans whine and holler about the debt, when it is THEIR effing wars that are sucking our economy dry?Dollars that could be spent on rebuilding America are poured into destroying nations.

How much do these wars contribute to our debt? This is a NOT-HOT topic in the media because the most informative article I found was written nearly a year ago in Fiscal Times:

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters (in September 2014) that the projected annual cost of $2.5 billion to $3.65 billion to conduct the new air strikes against ISIS hardly compares to the $77.7 billion spent during fiscal 2013 for Operation Enduring Freedom, most of which went for fighting in Afghanistan.  War Against ISIS will EXPLODE the U.S. Debt  (Read the whole article with your hands pressed to your skull or your head might explode as well)

We  can only imagine what our anti-ISIS efforts, launched practically a year ago have cost U.S. since that point.

Here is a handy little graphic to give you just a taste of what your tax dollars have been going to every day!

annual_costs_of_war_fy5015_with_isis_and_slush_large

This is why Republicans don’t want to give you health care, or help students pay for college, or why they REALLY want to dip deep into Social Security, or why they want to CUT every government program allotted for educating, beautifying, conserving, feeding, Americans and America.  Because they have THEIR priorities and that is to pay for their WARS, that makes THEM and their Corporate constituents PLENTY of MONEY.  Don’t get me started on why they are so delusional that they value money over the quality of life of millions, if not billions of people, if you want to get global about it and the quality of life on this planet.  Another rant for another day!

 

If you are sick and tired of giving the government permission (via your silence) to flush your money down the toilet, as well as kill people and destroy nations, and cheat you and your children and children’s children (ad infinitum) of a better life here in America … consider signing the following petitions.

Defend the Iran Deal – Just Foreign Policy

Republican’s seek to Torpedo Iran Deal – MoveOn

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Guns and Racism and Madness – In White Folks’ Homes

I remember, when I was 15 my father handing me a semi-automatic.  We stood in the humid cool of his house’s basement  in Detroit, the only place to escape the stifling summer heat.  We both were and still are white.

My father had been promising me a surprise all afternoon, and when it happened to be my first shooting practice, I was less than enthused. In fact, I was annoyed with him and his glee. What sort of solution was this gun to any problem?  Why was destroying his basement with bullet fire any better than him punching holes into the walls upstairs?  His wife at the time would disguise the evidence of his drunk/drugged rages  by covering them with framed pictures.

At the point, that I held the heavy metal thing in my sweaty hands, it was already in the 80’s as the Crack-crime epidemic wore away at a city already violated by a decade of governmental corruption and mismanagement. Since the race riots in 1967, Detroit had hemorrhaged wealth and white people into the suburbs.   Detroit local news relentlessly lead with what bled, one murder, one rape, one assault, one violent mugging after another.  Gramma would moan,

Time Mag - Race Riot in Detroit

” Detroit used to be such a “lovely” city, and “they” have done nothing but ruin it!” I knew who “they” was. Even without the scrawled negroid features on the targets that my father had drawn on the wall in front of me, I knew who my father expected me to “have to” shoot some day.  Before handing me the gun, he talked me through the operations and warned me of the backfire.  I took hold of the pistol, and struck a triangular stance and fired at a human outline, unadorned by facial features, black or white.  What I remember most was this sense of brutality, the kickback jarring my hands and arms, the explosion still buzzing in my ears.  My father complimented my aim since I managed to shoot near the heart of the target.  He asked me if I wanted to give it another go.  I said  simply “No, I don’t like it” and climbed upstairs.

Breaking down the Barriers

My best friend at the time and since the age of 4 was Della*, her Mom was hillbilly white, and her father was a taciturn black man.  They lived two houses down from my grandparents on my father’s side. Della’s family treated me like family.  Every summer I returned to see them, their voices called out my name in a celebratory chorus. Their home was always open to me.  But my grandparents were squeamish about me having Della over for any extended amount of time, and wouldn’t even think of  letting me invite her little sisters over as well.  If something in the house had been misplaced, my Grandmother would grill me as to whether Della or her sisters had been in the house.  I remember the anxiety of both hiding and shielding Della from  discovering my families’ racisms.  I feared of losing her friendship, thinking she would lump me in with their hatred.  I didn’t realize yet, that Della and her sisters, being the first children of a mixed race couple in the neighborhood had been dealing with a racism from every angle since always.

It was understood that guns were a necessity in every Detroit household, whether it was black or white or mixed.  Guns came out for Halloween/hell night and New Year’s Eve.  Thousands of guns blasting skyward, never minding where the bullets fell.  The only thing that made sense to me was to hide under the bed.

I remember coming across my grandparents’ revolver in their bedroom dresser nestled in one of Gramma’s silk nightdresses. Della and I squealed with the discovery, but we left it alone.  Even though we were both tomboys, guns held no fascination for us.  We knew they were serious business and not toys.  Once a week, Della would relay to me in  thrilled-hushed tones how Burton*, the one-man security force of our neighborhood, had scared somebody or other away with his shotgun, sometimes shooting away in their direction.

Burton and his wife Felicia* were black.  And they supposedly were my grandparents’ best friends.  On sticky summer evenings, Grampa would sit on the front porch with Burton and smoke cigars and drink beers while Gramma would drink pop and chat with Felicia enjoying the chill of the Livingroom AC.

From a very young age, I learned that racism was never cut and dry.  The only person I personally ever knew to use the word “nigger” was Burton, directly and quoted by my Grandmother.  She would flash a devious smile and tell me – “Burton says, there are two kinds of blacks – the decent folks and the ones’ that are trashy niggers.”

The only black people that my father had any social relationship with was Burton.  He counted on him to watch my grandparents’ old house when he was out town.  This was the little white clapboard house that Burton had expected Gramma would leave him and Felicia, after 6 months of Felicia nursing her as pancreatic cancer rubbed away her life.

Unlike my grandparents, my father, who chose to live as a mathematical minority as a white man in Detroit, somehow managed to avoid forging friendships with anybody but whites.  But in spite of the fact that he and I would get into throat-scorching arguments about politics, economy, culture – I never let his beliefs interfere with my life choices.  After college, I went to live with him full time, and within a year I was dating Randy* a blues guitar player, whose mother was South Indian, and whose father, then deceased, was black.  His parents had both been professors at Wayne State University. He intentionally  struck a style somewhere between Jimi Hendrix and Prince.  My Gramma and I went to see him play in a Jazz club, and when he walked up to me like the gentleman he was, she gave me a wink of approval.  My Dad and he got along fine.  Every time I worried that my family would embarrass me or hurt my friends with some off-color remark or behavior, they surprised me by their civility.

Fuck Racism

The Many Shades of Racism in America

Since I was four, I spent all my days, except the summers in Detroit, and a handful of Christmas’s with my mother. Till grade five I was living in Virginia, then the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
She and I lived primarily in white majority middle-class enclaves.  I remember when  Alex Haley’s Roots came out on tv, that it was the talk of the schoolyard.  Inwardly I squirmed as white kids discussed the show revealing their racist preconceptions for the first time.  I realized then, t hat the silence about blacks as a source of corruption, crime, or target of hate, wasn’t a sign of being more tolerant or enlightened.  White people in middle-class California didn’t talk about black people in America because their (the blacks) existence in America didn’t matter to the whites.  It was the privileged ignorance ideology of – What I don’t see doesn’t hurt me, nor does it concern me.

And in adulthood, I always wondered at the conversations of the white middle class, when it came to crime.  And how they claimed a gun would give them a sense of ease and comfort, believing that its iconic presence in the home guaranteed safety for their home and family.  And generally, it was  always understood, that those who committed crimes were more often than not black. But this was only “hinted” at rather than stated outright.  What I never got, was – why were they so scared, these white people, living in a quiet and crime-free community, where people often neglected to lock their doors?  In a Northern Michigan kitchen, with the crickets creaking outside in the high grasses stretched out for miles, I asked one friend’s father  –

What  is the advantage to shooting someone dead over simply filing an insurance claim for stolen goods? 
Besides most break-ins happen when families aren’t home, anyway.

His eyes glassed over and he pinched his lips – silent.  My friend stifled a giggle, as we excused ourselves from the table to go to bed.

My oldest male cousin grew up in Grosse Ile, an upper middle class island of white privilege in the Detroit River, about 20 miles south of the urban border. And, I remember him at times  rant on race and crime and corruption in Detroit. Had they been in the same room, my father and he would be humming in agreement like a fine-tuned engine.  The family irony was, even though they despised each other, all the elders of the family thought Lewis’s personality was a mirror image of my father’s. Both were hotheads.  And both used drugs or alcohol for years to self-medicate their demons, what I later surmised to be undiagnosed mental imbalance.  And both were brilliant – with minds that could explain to you the intricacies of a combustion engine, and turn an everyday event into a riveting tale or sidesplitting comedic episode.

In both of these men was this strange concoction of daredevil dreams, intellectual (without the pretension) curiousity, sensitivity toward women and this bottled rage that came out in republican/racist soundbites.  My relationship with my cousin, once we emerged from the pre-adolescent years had never been antagonistic.  He was the closest thing I had to a big brother.  But as we got older our lives diverged.  I travelled the world, while he crossed the bridge with his first wife and her kids to live off the island.  He never was academic.  It wasn’t a matter of a lack of intelligence, but a matter of a hatred of authority.  He knew and he was often right that he was smarter than most of the bosses, and that he was damned if he would follow the rules of a fool.  I got it, because I was the same way, cause I took after my Dad. We were all rebels, who could be too smart and too smart-mouthed for our own good. We got it originally from Grampa, from whom we also inherited the curse and power of explosive rages.

Thing is – from what I could see, we weren’t so weird compared to other families I met.  Every family seems to have its secrets that it hides from society as a whole.  The last day I saw my cousin, a horror’s chest of secrets came pouring out. We hadn’t seen each other for most of our adulthood, (politics and lifestyle separated us.)   He told me of his unfortunate ability to remember way back into babyhood, and how he remembered his mentally ill mother trying to smother him as a baby.  His Aunt, her sister, told him that she told her that she had successfully smothered the baby sister before him.  I started to finally understood why he had turned into the type of man who would keep an arsenal in his house; who had dealt drugs for years; who never could pull it together,  2 time divorcee, while still being brilliant.  He told with eyes set straight on me, that if he was ever to get a “terminal diagnosis” of any kind, that he would take the opportunity to take some people out.  God knows he had the munitions to do so.

Ten days later, he was dead of a heart attack.

But I can’t help wondering after reading one massacre after another, carried out by some crazy white dude ….

There but for the Grace of God Goes my Family Member

I know about my family, and have been acquainted with many other white people’s families – and there are MANY troubled White men in our country.  It really isn’t that abnormal a thing. And I also have met many families of ALL colors who are comfortable spouting racist things, especially against Blacks … even Blacks against Blacks (which is a special topic that I am not really qualified to cover).  A discussion of this in an earlier blog – Silence is NOT Always Golden

Black and White Couch

It’s not that I am an apologist for anybody that kills innocent people.  I am not.  I am just saying, that it is RIDICULOUS for so many white people to keep pretending that the following have never been issues in their lives, or in the lives of other white people they know –

  1. Mental Imbalance/Illness in the Menfolk
  2. Racism
  3. Recklessness with Guns
  4. Substance Abuse

And that sometimes these issues are inextricably related.

It is time for us White folks to start pulling our heads out of the sand or our A**s and start addressing these issues at home and in society.  It doesn’t help anybody, let alone our aching hearts, by playing the game that Hollywood has taught us and “acting” as if everything is okay.

* Names were changed to protect the privacy of those referred to in this post.

WayWard Water – California Style

If you think the benefits of Fracking in particular, and Domestic Oil Drilling, in general – lowered gas prices, and maybe in the distant future less reliance on oil from the Middle East – outweigh the risks – consider what you put in your mouth these days.  Don’t worry, I am only talking about Food and Bottled Water ….

Blowjobs won't be directly affected.

Back on Track  to a Tangled Tale

California is in the midst of the third worst drought in recorded history.  Check out the California Drought Monitor (http://www.cadrought.com/drought-monitor/) and you will see that 50 per cent of the state is in “Exceptional Drought Condition” meaning, exceptionally BAD!

CA-drought6

And California supplies close to fifty per cent of the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts, as well as being the home for numerous water bottling plants.

So what, YOU say?  You haven’t heard about any reductions in the food supply, due to the drought.

And you are right – California farmers are still cranking out the produce, in spite of their dry water resevoirs.  How? Because they are relying on alternate water sources.They are now pumping ground water to irrigate their fields.  (For More Deets on the Drought’s impact on CA ag – http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10978)

But GUESS WHAT?

The Californian State Government has been working hand in hand with the Oil Industries to poison the state water supply unbeknownst to the public.  And as of April 20th, this once “illegal” dumping of toxic waste into 2500 wells has been codified into California law as an acceptable practice until February 2017, because, according to DOGGR (Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources) it is too “inconvenient” for the oil companies to discontinue their illegal practices.  So why not make them temporarily legal, until it is more “convenient” for them?  Never mind the fact that it might just be “inconvenient” at best and lethal at worst for Californians to drink water poisoned with toxic waste.

CA-drought3

People  – Can I hear our beloved Corporate Mantra – PRIVATIZE PROFIT and SOCIALIZE COST?  

A lawsuit by Earth Justice – Alameda County, CA, on behalf of Sierra Club and Center of Biological Diversity is being waged against the California State Government to overturn the emergency ruling allowing the poisoning of the California water supply!  ( For more details refer to (http://www.smartenergyuniverse.com/category-blog/oil-and-gas/item/19483-lawsuit-seeks-to-halt-illegal-dumping-of-toxic-oil-waste-into-california-s-water-supplies )

Here is a Youtube Video related to the kind of Workshops the Industry had to seek exemptions to EPA’s safewater regulation, and a Fracktivist intervention.

Governor Jerry Brown the Environmentalist – cough, cough

Nice little hypocrisy here – on April 2,  2 weeks prior to the California State Government granting this little favor to the Oil Industry, Jerry Brown, called upon California residents to reduce their water usage by  25 per cent.

CA-drought5

I suppose, if Californians, just stopped DRINKING the water, then at least 25 per cent of our use would be reduced. See  http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/01/us/california-water-restrictions-drought/

Well that would be GREAT news for Nestle and Coca Cola which are the leading bottled water producers in California are allowed to plunder Californian groundwater supply for THEIR profit and our LOSS. But wait, how can it be legal for two corporations to sell  water out from under Californians, while the state is in a drought?  (Read Mother Jones’ article on how the majority of bottled water comes from Drought stricken areas in the U.S. – http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/08/bottled-water-california-drought   It is a heart-warming tale of why CAPITALISM is GREAT for EVERYBODY!!!!!)  Could there be a connection to states having droughts, and them being major bottle water producers? Not a weather connection, but certainly an ANTI-SUSTAINABILITY and STUPIDITY connection, for profit OF COURSE!

CA-drought4

Check out What Nestle’s SWISS CEO says about the Water/Human Rights connection starting at 2:07.

He states that – Basically considering water as a human right is an “extreme”  position.  According to him water should always have a market value.  He admits earlier, that water is THE most valuable resource in the world. So obviously it follows that he would prefer the “less extreme” position of it having a market value.  Does it bother anybody except me, that this creepy Swiss guy has so much control over the American Water supply for profit?  When is Nestle going to start bottling air?

 Should POISON WATER have a Market Value too?

But WAIT – The water bottling industry in California could ultimately be getting their bottled water from the groundwater supply that is being poisoned by the Oil Companies!!!   So I guess drinking bottled water is out as well! Bye-bye to Arrowhead and Crystal Geyser which are drained from the groundwater.  While Aquafina and Dasani are from the Californian Municipal Water Supply.  Just imagine, if you lived in California, you would be getting Aquafina and Dasani for nearly FREE by just turning on your faucet! BUT, if Californian water resevoirs are drying up – where is our Municipal water supply coming from?  Could we be coming full circle to the groundwater supply, again?

Gosh, there doesn’t seem to be any escaping those pesky toxic chemicals that our Oil Buddies are sharing with us!

And if that wasn’t enough — Besides dropping your Bottled water habit, you might just rethink eating fruit and vegetables altogether.

In a California state agency publication for farmers, it illuminates how IMPORTANT water is to agriculture –

The lettuce we buy each week at the grocery store is actually
composed of over 90% water, and the same goes for tomatoes, strawberries,
cucumbers, and many of our favorite fruits and vegetables.
  http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/drought/docs/Water&CalFarmer2014.pdf

Message to the Defenders of All Things Fossil Fuel

To those of YOU, who say – HEY, those Oil Companies claim to say that they are only polluting water that isn’t a source of drinking water.  (See above video, where Head jackass oil-guy explains to his  jackass compatriots how to get away with poisoning California Water – Oh those pesky, pesky regulations!)

But in DROUGHT conditions, water for drinking and water for irrigation will be always be the most easily accessible water ANYWHERE in the state.  So when one source dries up, you go elsewhere , even if that wasn’t previously a main water supply, correct? But what if the OTHER sources are poisoned, what then? Well, you can always pay for the use of  unregulated “filtered” oil-waste water, like some desperate farmers – See (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-drought-oil-water-20150503-story.html#page=1).

Wow, aren’t those Oil Companies clever profiteers?! FIRST they poison the water, and then they “filter” it, and SELL it to farmers.  WHAT will they sell us next – the cure for the cancers that Americans get from drinking the bottled water and food they have poisoned?

But I am getting sidetracked from all the Delightfully Creative Evil-doing of Oil companies ….

Whether the water that the Oil Companies are poisoning NOW is a main water source for drinking or irrigation is IMMATERIAL – Who can say WHERE those water supplies will be as the drought continues?  If there is ANYTHING an Oil Company Flunky/Apologist should understand is that when a VALUABLE resource grows dry in one area, you pick up and go seeking it elsewhere – no matter HOW far you have to go.  And if you are willing to go to the ARCTIC for the less valuable resource of oil, how is it ILLOGICAL for farmers, water departments, regular people to go drilling a county or two over for access to fresh WATER – NECESSARY FOR LIFE when your original resource was dry?  It isn’t!

It certainly didn’t stop Switzerland based NESTLE to come ALL the way to California to drill for American Water and sell it back to U.S.  Nestle must think we are chumps for paying a Swiss Company $1.50 a bottle for water we could get for nearly free from our own taps.  And they would be right!  God bless the Creeprocrats and the American Nation that keeps them happily employed!

To those Whose Souls haven’t been Sucked Dry by Fossil Fuel Interests

Here are some petitions addressing several of the issues states above.
Please visit these links –

Earth Justice Petition to Demand the OVERTURN legislation allowing poisoning of CA Water till 2017
https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=
1707&_ga=1.75420565.649615880.1431066916

MoveOn Petition to Ban Fracking
http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-fracking-in-califoria?source=c.em&r_by=2081239

 Petition to DEMAND to the right to know what the Proprietary Poisons are in Fracking Wastewater
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/547/560/632/?z00m=22856612&redirectID=1649830906

CA-drought2

 And if you would LOVE to Hate on Nestle and their lizard-eyed CEO Peter Brabeck sign this petition against water bottling in CA
http://petitions.moveon.org/couragecampaign/sign/demand-nestle-immediately

I posted a visual-free version of this on Daily Kos – My first Diary – so if you have a moment please visit
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/05/17/1385365/-Fracking-up-the-NATIONAL-Food-and-Water-Supply-Do-you-Give-a-F-k

And give it some love and attention – or even some controversy.  Hell on the internet, any attention is worth something.