Obama and the Billionairians

What is the most powerful nation on earth? The USA? China? How about Billionairia? That nation has only a few thousand residents because citizenship requires assets of a billion or more. Billionairian citizenship, like the phone numbers of its citizens, is kept confidential. To confuse the commoners, Billionairians carry the passports of other nations. None of them are really loyal to the interests of the country they live in — they’re loyal to the interests of Billionairia. These interests include low taxes, cheap labor, lax environmental laws, and continuous war to keep the lower classes afraid and distracted. Residents of Billionairia have at least 2 addresses, with one on an island with no taxes. We can only guess at what their national motto is — How about “We put the mock in demockracy!”

Many Billionairians have a gift for taking advantage of a bad situation to transfer wealth from the lower classes to themselves. I don’t know if there are any Billiionairian holidays, but there should be one to celebrate — Oct. 3, 2008, when Congress voted for the first part of the bailout – about 800 billion — to be given to a few big banks that had committed major securities fraud.

Voting for the bailout was Obama’s greatest mistake. He and John McCain, in a rare moment of unanimity, both took a break from the campaign to go back to Washington and vote for the bailout. It was one of the most interesting votes in Congress in recent years — moderates from both parties voted yes, while liberals and libertarians voted no.

All that year, Obama had held huge rallies, where a guy with a sign saying “Change” would be standing behind him. Then, October of ’08 gave him a chance to make some real changes — like wiping out the crooked billionaires behind the housing bubble and restructuring the financial sector to make it honest and competitive.

His opposition could have turned the tide against the bailout. The financial sector would not have been destroyed by the fall of its most corrupt players. It would have been a victory for real capitalism because the least efficient entities would have been swallowed up among much more efficient competitors.

After missing that opportunity in ’08, Obama is putting rules in place that entrench the Billionairians even more. Small business loans are still hard to get and millions are still out of work, but Goldman Sachs is back on top.

If Obama had voted against the bailout and promised to prosecute the crooks who crashed the markets, he would have won in a landslide. Once he committed to propping up the corrupt status quo, the guy with the “Change” sign should have gone home or added the word “spare” in front of the word “Change”.

Despite his support for the bailout, I predict that the Billionairians will dump Obama in 2012. Why? Because Obama has been letting the Labor Department enforce the labor laws and the EPA enforce the environmental laws. Billionairians hate these laws almost as much as they love the permanent war.

Now that the Citizens United decision has given them the chance to get the best government money can buy, they’ll put a Republican in the White House who will attack the real cause of our bad economy – those lazy schoolteachers and firefighters and their extravagant pensions! If those people take the heat for the crash of ’08, the Billionairians might feel secure enough to move some of their money back into the United States. We could become the new Grand Cayman Island!

Steve McGuire
Galena, Ill.

Support Democracy

Over the last three decades, we have witnessed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak celebrated as the leader of a democratic system of government, a friend of ours and Israel, re-elected numerous times by an overwhelming margin ... in essence, the paragon of virtue and embodiment of freedom and liberty in the Middle East.

So, it comes as a real surprise to witness the Egyptian people rise up in their stated pursuit of democracy, i.e. the real one in which people have the opportunity to participate — traditionally called democratic socialism — and a faux edition which is the pseudonym of US style unbridled, take-no-prisoners, greed-driven, extremely oppressive capitalism.

At present the Egyptian army is not poised to promote the kind of freedom and liberty so desperately sought by the citizens of that country.

I am sure all my progressive friends will join me in wishing the people of Egypt much success in the creation of the kind of government they aspire to and are richly deserving of.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff, Calif.

There’s Power in Poop

The solution to climate change: human excrement + nuclear waste = hydrogen. The USA discharges trillions of tons of sewage annually, sufficient quantity to sustain electrical generation requirements of the USA.

I believe the combination of clean water and clean air, will increase the life expectancy of humans. The four main areas of concern globally are energy, food,water and air! The radiolytic decomposition of organic materials generates Hydrogen. By using our sewage as a source of energy we also get clean air, clean water and no ethanol use of food stocks. Eat food first, create energy after.

Simply replacing the fossil fuel powered electrical generating facilities with these plants, would reduce CO2 emissions, and CH4 emissions, to acceptable levels, globally. This would require a completely new reactor facility capable of converting human waste into hydrogen and then burning the hydrogen to generate electricity on site. This solution is sellable to citizens because of all the side issue solutions. I’ve been able to convince most simply with concept of using nuclear waste to a productive end. Superbugs (antibiotic-resistant) apparently are created in the waters sewage is discharged into, which is one more side issue solution.

Anything not converting into hydrogen will potentially be disposed of using Transmutation. The water emitted from hydrogen burning will have uses in leaching heavy metals from other contaminated site clean ups.

Dennis Baker
Penticton, B.C., Canada

Action Not Servility

Well, I’m excited. Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon have given me a center around which I can rally after all my disappointments with the Obama Administration and the Democrats in general; it’s impossible to have a bar set low enough for the GOP to still slither under. In their article “A Time of Action—Not Servility” (2/15/11 TPP), Mr. Cohen and Mr. Solomon proposed the organization RootsAction.org.

Though the corporations mentioned throughout the paper now have a stranglehold on our media and our politics, they have forgotten one basic factor intrinsic to their system of capitalism — no customers-no businesses. Please excuse me, gentlemen, while I dare to dream of a movement:

1) which unites all the disparate progressive-liberal movements under one powerful consumer movement which transcends political party lines and gives the voter/consumer back the reins of our capitalistic economy

2) which creates a consumer reporting system which counteracts the corrupt credit bureaus (see March Consumer Reports, “Financial Protections Consumers Need Now,” pages 12-13) with its own reports (with proof) of both corrupt and excellent business practices. Mr. Nader, please?

3) which leads powerful boycotts of businesses and politicians who support corrupt media like Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp and any of its affiliates like DIRECTV and which serves as a watch dog against the new corporate-creep on NPR and its affiliates.

4) which leads boycotts against products which businesses outsource to other countries and demands that businesses lose their American citizenship (since the Supremes insist they are citizens) when they move their businesses elsewhere. These businesses should pay import duties on whatever they truck back from their slave-labor camps. They should also lose all tax breaks since they are now foreign businesses.

5) which throws consumer support behind independent stations like Al Gore’s CurrentTV. It now has only about 80,000 subscribers, but I have heard a rumor that Keith Olbermann will join our Amy Goodman there where he will become the news director on that station. He has been an outspoken leader in progressive/liberal causes throughout the years and he brings millions of fans with him.

6) which creates an on-line voting bloc like/with MoveOn.org (which even the right wing has derided as being one of the most powerful liberal movements on the Internet), the DCCC, and other such great movements which are now hindered only by the lack of one great organizing center.

7) supports politicians of any ilk who protect workers and consumers world-wide against corporate predation, and supports clean unions against political intrigue

8) supports our NAFTA, etc., programs from the consumer/worker point of view and helps workers and consumers around the world; when everyone gets treated fairly, no one will be the weakest link. Good luck with RootsAction, sirs. Put me to work.

P. Ann White
Meridian, Texas

Redefine American Dream

I wonder if the real battle is between capitalism and life on earth? Maybe the system itself is the enemy, not merely those who’ve learned to play it well for themselves. Could capitalism evolve to become an actual support to society? At present it’s the opposite, and getting worse. It drains society and our earth to feed itself. It values capital over life itself.

A letter from Nancy Churchill (10/15/10 TPP) stated that we need a life-based economy in place of the market-based economy we have. She’s right on. This Universe is about life and consciousness, not markets, money and power. Money and power seem to be addictive substances that lead men to have contempt for life, and our system has gotten down to to the bottom on this. How is it that a billionaire like Peter G. Peterson wants to loot my pension plan (Social Security)? It’s a sickness — and people listen to him!

One way to start change is to stop falling into their traps. Don’t let them tell you what you want. Don’t let them divide you against your neighbor. Don’t let them limit your life possibilities. Don’t buy the lie that cooperation is socialism.

Of course people would rather identify with the wealthy. Who wants to identify with losers? But the top accumulators in this country loot their companies and their shareholders, and the Wall Street boys get rich playing with other people’s money. Our politicians routinely sell us out for their share of the money. These people are far from what we need in the leadership of this country. They have no wisdom, nothing to offer, and they’re only here to take. The kinds of deep change we need can only come from the grassroots — ordinary citizens like us who see a better direction and start going there. TPP readers have shared their ideas in this letters column, and we need more of this. The columnists often bring great ideas and inspiration. We have all we need to begin the process of slow, deep, inexorable change toward a healthier society and healthier planet. Nobody else is going to do it.

We need to redefine the American dream away from a mere list of items to buy and show that real political speech has nothing to do with money. It has to do with citizens behaving like citizens.

Patricia Black
Nevada City, Calif.

What a Deal!

I knew the “Tax Deal” was an atrocity and a bitter pill. I just got my taste with my January pension check. Federal withholding went from 5.5% to 7.5%. My wife saw the same on her paycheck. The deal was that couples making less than $40k/yr and individuals earning less than $20k/yr got the privilege of paying more.

My Social Security check has not seen an increase since 2009. Medicare premiums have risen. The wizards appointed to solve our financial woes want to take away more from those least able to afford it.

Yet, the geniuses who caved in December gave the wealthiest people the biggest break and added an enormous amount to the deficit, instead of reducing it through an end to the breaks for the super-rich. What a deal!

Tom Alba
Ambler, Pa.

Minority Opinion

Amanda Terkel, in her 2/1/11 TPP article, “Scalia: Women Don’t Have Protection Against Discrimination,” has us consider discrimination against “minorities” as unfair, but that Scalia seems to be OK with that. The question begs to be asked: “Are women really a minority?” Might one be able to suggest, rather, that perhaps “Italian males” are actually more minor than the “other sex”? Would Scalia consider discrimination against that “minority”?

When did it become democratic to decide “who is more permissible” as a “minority” to be discriminated against? Is that what the Supreme Court is there to decide? Three-toed tan females from Confusistan shall have fewer rights than five-toed tan females from the same state, but only on Tuesdays and Fridays on every alternate month. Yes, that surely sounds like a mighty fine constitutional interpretation for which Supreme Court justices are needed. Next thing you know, they’ll be deciding what the voters “really” meant in a presidential election.

Cheryl Lovely
Presque Island, Maine

Football Memories

Congrats to Dave Zirin on tribute to Cookie Gilchrist [“Remembering Cookie Gilchrist,” 2/15/11 TPP]. He made me think of another of his stories re Dave Meggyesy’s efforts to get NFL players to sign a petition against the Vietnam War in the ’60s. With the total identification of the NFL today with our criminal military “enterprises” aided and abetted by our public amnesia, it is hopeful that Meggysey is still around.

Question from a lifelong Steelers fan going back to Joe Tucker (radio and his “Single wing to the left, Clement is deep, Lack is close” description of almost every Steeler play in the 1940s): Is Big Ben [Roethlisberger] innocent or guilty of recent scandals? If not, why the suspension? If yes, why isn’t he in stir? Is it a matter of rapist pig quarterbacks needing love too?

Bernard J. Berg
Easton, Pa.

From The Progressive Populist, March 15, 2011


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