Tuesday, December 27, 2005

An Example Of Corporate American Tyrrany

Today, as promised, I want to take a few jabs at the corruption of corporate America and General Motors in particular. Most Republicans and other Conservatives likely will consider my attack part of some evil Leftist diatribe but then again, isn't it the Conservative wing of this country that says we should let corporate America operate without any government oversight because companies will make our lives better? Yes, Capitalism to many Republicans seems to mean letting corporate America walk all over employees and the public for the sake of the bottom line. The truth is, without doubt, that unfettered Capitalism leads to bad things. GM (like other American automakers) is a bad thing.
GM IS A Bad Thing
As is common knowledge now, GM has decided to eliminate approximately 30,000 jobs in the US and Canada over the next few years. I won't go into specifics of the plant closures because it doesn't matter where people are getting screwed; the fact is they are getting the shaft. Meanwhile, corporate executives continue to keep their salary and even to get ridiculously high bonuses. Yes, let's examine and reiterate this issue for a second.
Hourly employees who make $30-60,000 a year from back-breaking work are getting the shaft while executives continue to make million-dollar salaries and even bonuses to boot. If you doubt me, let's look at Rick Wagoner's tax filings from last year. According to Forbes, he made a salary of $2.2 million and bonuses worth $2.46 million. Also last year, he and other similarly paid executives deliberately flooded the market with automobiles nobody wanted in hopes they could force people to buy the things. At the same time, Wagoner and his ilk decided to maintain GM's profitability (which was thin ice at best) by cutting back on 401K contributions, a plan that went into effect in April 2005. In addition to other minor benefit cuts, flooding the market with unwanted vehicles, withholding bonuses from hourly employees and withholding 401K contributions, GM hoped to maintain its low but level of profitability. Incidentally, many analysts have considered GM's profits inflated for the last several years running. The company openly admitted to this in 2001 as a matter of fact.
What IS The Point?
The point I am jabbing at here is that 30,000 hard-working Americans are getting the shaft because GM executives, like executives all across America, ensure that they always get their piece of the pie even at the cost of the livelihoods of thousands of workers. This is the result of companies having too much control of their own affairs. This is the result of the Federal Government, a Republican institution, giving companies that amount of control. Is this part of the American dream? Is this that patriotic future that the GOP always predicts? Is this what we get for letting our government be on the payroll of corporate America? Rich politicians and rich CEOs are poor substitutes for the lives of American workers. It's a damned shame.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas To All!!!

Merry Christmas to all- even the non-Christians among you. For you and your families, I wish only the best.
As I've mentioned before, I've spent a considerable amount of time lately deciding how to format my writing on this site and choosing the specific topics on which to focus my efforts, miniscule though they be. During the course of the two days I spent in bed this week thanks to a bout of food poisoning, I think I found my angle. What occurred to me was that of all the things I dislike about America today, the outrageous amount of control that corporate America exerts on the daily lives of Americans is perhaps the most insidious and troublesome. I'm sure that Republicans and other Conservatives will balk at most of what I say about the corruption of corporate America- that's their right. However, I am concerned for their well being as well as those of Liberals because companies don't care whom they screw. They'll sell Democratic voters' jobs overseas just as quickly as Republican.
Obviously, I've decided that in addition to adding my two cents on politics, I'm also going to dedicate this site to documenting the unforgiving way that corporate America treats people. I'll leave it at that. I'll probably post equally on politics and business developments in future but today I'm going to stick with politics. It's the holidays after all so who wants to stick around here all day?
Round I: Santorum Does A Republican Flip-Flop
This week, Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) remembered he's up for re-election in 06'. At the same time, polls showed his support for teaching Bible creationism in public schools via Intelligent Design has made him unpopular. Instead of doggedly defending the undefendable, he did what any bad politician would do: he flip-flopped. This particular flip-flop took the form of withdrawing his long-time support from the Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center, which waged a creationism crusade against the PA public this year. He now says the group "made a huge mistake in taking this case and pushing {it} to the extent they did." Santorum's flip-flop, as you can see, is also a backstab in the backs of his fanatic supporters on the religious fringe. Being Rick Santorum can't be easy in a reality-based community such as PA. Every time he thinks the state is tilting to the radical right, his hopes get dashed.
Round II: GOP Fails To Make Black Snow In Alaska
Thankfully, the Senate narrowly rebuked an underhanded attempt by Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to stick oil-drilling language into a defense-spending bill. The measure was supported by House Republicans, President Bush himself and all but a few Senate Republicans. In return for millions of dollars in oil company donations to the GOP, Republicans wanted to allow polluting oil companies to drill and spill their dirty business all over the pristine Alaska wilderness. As you can see, most Republicans think greasy, black snow is a better answer to high fuel prices than raising fuel efficiency standards. Senator Stevens even yelled at his co-workers, threatening "I am going to go to every one of your states, and I am going to tell them what you've done!" Yes Ted, you go and kindly explain to the American people how you tried to ruin a national treasure and how they saved it from your greasy clutches.
Round III: Congress Tells Bush He Can't Officially Torture
After seeing watching millions of dollars of donations from his oil-baron buddies go down the drain with the defeat of the Alaska-oil drilling scheme, Bush was upset to learn that Congress wasn't going to let him officially torture prisoners. When both houses of Congress voted against his official torturing privileges, he knew his veto threats were worthless and caved in, signing the bill into law. Naturally, torture will have to be kept secret now like the domestic phone and email-tapping he perpetrated after 9/11. After all, if America doesn't spy illegally and torture Muslim prisoners so that other Muslims will grow to hate us, America might show signs of weakness. Any sensible person knows that, right?
Round IV: Daschle Says Bush Broke The Law Knowingly
As if Bush didn't feel he had enough setbacks this week, an old nemesis came back to haunt him. Yes, former Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) published an article Friday pointing out that the Bush Administration specifically asked Congress after 9/11 to insert language into the Patriot Act that would have given Bush war-time powers inside the United States, including the right to tap phones and emails without warrants. Daschle explains in his article that Congress specifically denied Bush these domestic wartime rights, thus making the Administration's recently uncovered domestic spying operation illegal. Isn't breaking the law an impeachable offense for a President? Naturally, Republicans are absolutely silent on this subject.
Merry Christmas!!!
Well friends, that's enough bad news for now. Make the most of your Christmas holiday because the politicians are slowly taking away everything you think is yours. Be ever watchful and on your guard! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Happy Holidays...Political Ones Anyway

Greetings to you friends and also to those of you who belong to my small but loyal reader base. I've had trouble deciding what's important in politics this week. Ok fine- it's all important, right? After all, there's the usual bickering between Democrats and Republicans as each group tries to one-up the other by proving their party is better and the other is worse and all that jazz. That's important, isn't it? In the meantime, Christmas and New Years are fast approaching and it seems that both sides of the aisle have failed to improve this year- they just keep getting more dishonest and more corrupt on the whole. Do you think either party has lived up to its promise to leave the nation better off than it found it this year? You won't find evidence of that anywhere because it doesn't exist.
As the end of the year approaches, I find myself becoming more and more certain that the United States doesn't have a good, major political party. We basically have a bad party and a worse party- the identities of which each of us either decide for ourselves or are led to accept by those we trust. Despite the rhetorical certainties of others, I myself can't say that one party has been worse than the other throughout history. If we are honest, both sides have had good and bad leaders, glorious and evil days, eras of triumph and times of decay. No, we can only judge with any objective fact the parties as we know them today and in the last few decades. Based on that simple truth, I can only conclude that the Democratic Party is the bad albeit stupid party and the Republican Party is the worse, nay, fallen party. Briefly, I will explain why I draw these conclusions.
Back in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Democrats more or less ran the United States. I'm not just talking about Congress, the White House and Washington- Democrats ran the nation at both local and national levels. Many good things came out of this prolonged era of progressivism including increased realization of civil rights, working conditions that were good for both employees and employers for the first time ever, the most powerful military the world had ever seen, the end of Communism as a world threat and finally the economic boom-time under the fairly liberal-conservative President George W. Bush and conservative-liberal President Bill Clinton. Americans were happy, healthy, employed and on the move in a good direction. Sure, many liberals did bad and stupid things during their reign but they left America better than they found it.
Of course, starting in 1994, conservatives took control of American government. Most of them look back and blame America's current decline on the progressive era. Many of them say the stronger economy of those times was not the result of liberal leadership but rather the result of corporate America- the very same corporate America that began shipping jobs overseas when those evil liberals tried to make them offer employees the opportunity to earn decent wages and benefits with their hard work. Most conservatives say the rise of Islamic terrorism came about because liberals did not take a strong stand against it- which of course is the reason President Reagan funded militant Muslims including Osama bin Laden as long as they would fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Conservatives say almost to a man that America would have been better off with conservative leadership these past several decades- which of course is proven by the great Republican leaders like President Nixon of Watergate fame, President Ford who pardoned Nixon for no good reason, President Reagan who fired air-traffic controllers for complaining that fatigue from too much forced overtime was making air travel dangerous, and finally President George W. Bush who fights consistently to give tax breaks to corporate America even as corporate America continues to ship American jobs overseas. Truly, America is better off because of Republican leadership- there can be no doubt.
The truth as I see it, whether it is believed or not, ridiculed or not, accepted or even considered at all, is that while America has seen both benefit and suffering at the hands of liberals and conservatives in recent years, most of the good things have come from the Left, not the Right. The Republican Party, the main realization of the conservative wing of America, has done little but hurt the nation and it is growing more and more apparent that this isn't going to change any time soon. See how the GOP is trying to legalize spying on American citizens without a warrant? That's what the Patriot Act is, at least if the GOP has its way. How can a land truly be free where a person can't even buy a book without the government finding out about it? Does constant surveillance make us feel better? Does the constant risk of government spying make us safer? Does the potentiall loss of our Constitutional rights make us more secure in our lives? If it does, the US is truly a nation of the undeserving.
I think of these things as the holidays draw near and I ponder anew what the New Year will bring. I don't know really because I'm not a truth-sayer, a seer, a prophet or a visionary. The only thing I can say for certain, and so can all of you out there, is that America is not heading in a good direction. We need a new captain, a new and good leader, a rallying point to lead America forward. I don't know who this person is but her or she is out there. Therefore, I am going to weigh every vote next year extra carefully and I hope you will all do the same. Weigh candidates and ballot issues on merit and potential consequences- not the rhetoric of false promise that we so often are subjected to. Open your eyes wide and keep them open for the long haul. Trust me when I say we have fallen too far already. Thank you, Happy Holidays and God bless!

Recent Poll Results: Would You Consider Joining A Third Political Party?
Democrats: Yes 66.6% No 33.3%
Republicans: Yes 50% No 50%
Independents: Yes 92% No 8%

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The SCOTUS To Review DeLay's Gerrymander

As all of you Democrats, Republicans and others on the Left and Right who have followed the fight to bring Congressman Tom DeLay (R-TX) to justice are aware, he is accused of breaking fundraising laws in Texas. The true crime he is guilty of, however, is far more serious and yet receives far less attention. That crime is his gerrymandering attack on the people of the Great State of Texas. This is the most serious crime he has committed (in Texas at least) and yet little serious attention has been paid to it. Now, the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review the case. Hopefully the addition of strict constructionism to the court via Chief Justice John Roberts and perhaps in the end Alito will make a difference in how the court sees this case. After all, the SCOTUS has ruled against the American people before.
Last Year's Trial Of GOP Gerrymandering
As some of you may already know, the SCOTUS reviewed a GOP redistricting scheme last year in Pennsylvania that was very similar to DeLay's scheme in Texas. The court's 5-4 ruling in favor of Republicans at that time left little room for any kind of case to be brought against DeLay. Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer dissented with the majority ruling while then-Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia, O'Connor, Thomas and Kennedy voted in favor of Republicans on the basis that the SCOTUS would not interfere in partisan politics. It appears that the court at that time was divided purely on ideological lines.
Changes In SCOTUS Provide Hope For Justice
Fortunately for America, the SCOTUS has changed since 2004 and is still changing as we speak. Chief Justice Roberts, who claims to and appears to be a constructionist, will have no choice but to view DeLay's political redistricting scheme in Texas as anything but gerrymandering and thus an attack on the people of Texas. He will have to rule against DeLay's scheme because it was an admitted ideological attack on Texas voters and nothing more. The SCOTUS must make sure the Constitution is protected from partisan politics. Soon-to-be-confirmed Justice Alito also claims to be a constructionist and as such he will have little choice but to rule against DeLay. Americans should be glad that such honorable individuals have been nominated to the SCOTUS.
What Will This Mean?- Lawmaking From The Bench Again?
In ruling against DeLay, the SCOTUS will not be making law from the bench but rather protecting the Constitutional rights of the American people and particularly those of Texans. If DeLay's scheme is rejected, depending on the manner in which it is rejected, that will mean that either the old Congressional districts be re-established or that Texas Democrats and Republicans sit down and work together in a fair and bipartisan way to ensure that Texas voters are accurately represented. The second would be the better of the two possibilities but knowing the bloodthirsty leadership that controls both parties, that is as unlikely as snow in July.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Lionhearted Liberal Is Back...Hey There

Yes, don't have a heart attack. The Lionhearted Liberal is back after a fairly lengthy hiatus. In these last few weeks, I've considered my political and social views as well as the hatred that has so deeply permeated the political situation in America. Quite frankly, it was this negativity that drove me into seclusion. I appreciate everyone who stopped by to check up on me. Now, let's get to business. I have been found by several epiphanies in my time away and would share them with you all if you would read them. It is important if you truly love your country.
My Epiphanies- They're For America You Know
The First Epiphany I had these past few weeks was a new awareness of just what the First Amendment and Free Speech mean- that everyone can say and feel any way they want to for any reason at all. I have always viewed Free Speech as people are free to say and feel what they want as long as society is better for it but that opinion was wrong. No matter how hateful, baseless or rhetorical someone's arguments are, they are worth hearing and must be accepted for what they are irregardless to how we feel about it. If we do not live up to this most basic requirement of the Constitution, then we aren't a Republic and we don't practice Democracy.
The Second Epiphany was that in God's own truth, I hate both major political parties in this country. They both have been for and against the majority views at various times throughout the centuries but they are not and for a long time have not been pro-what is right for America. I am tired and sickened by the perpetual use of strong, steroidal rhetoric that I continuously hear from Republican leaders, Republican voters and Republican sympathizers. It's disgusting to use the fear of terrorism as a tool to trick voters into supporting the GOP as one would pick up a sword and bash an enemy over the head to protect one's family. On the other hand, I am equally sickened by the constant and predictable minority squabbling that most Democrats practice these days. Kicking the President when he is down is only right and proper if you are pursuing him for reasons of justice- kicking him for political brownie points festers hatred instead of promoting truth. In any case, a person should not attack another unless they have committed a crime and neither party is innocent in that department. Fight ideas with ideas, not pot shots. Both parties have let us down in almost every way and I hate them for that.
The Third Epiphany was that I, like almost every other individual American, am an insignificant speck in the scheme of things. Sometimes I get a little pompous and start thinking that what I say and think really matters and that I alone can make a difference. Did you know that simply isn't the case? So, like everyone else, I want some sort of Superhero to come and fix everything that is wrong. Alas, however, as Superman found out in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, that isn't possible. Besides, as Bill Clinton showed Democrats and George W. Bush is showing Republicans, there isn't a Superhero out there these days.
The Fourth Epiphany I endured was perhaps the most difficult of all. This epiphany said that I do not have to justify the way I feel or what I think to every single antagonist who stumbles on my site or runs into me in the supermarket. I can support the troops and the War In Iraq without supporting the policies that put them there. I can support a Democrat, Republican or a Third-Party candidate while not supporting his or her party. In short, nobody has any choice but to take or leave what I say and feel. This applies to all of us, did you know that? If someone doesn't support the Government Intrusion Act (Patriot Act), they are not un-patriotic but super-patriotic for standing up for the Constitution. If someone finds and publishes evidence that suggests a politician is guilty of a crime, that doesn't mean they're a Leftist or Rightist journalist- that means they're a super-patriot. You see, a patriot defends the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Only an un-patriotic person tells another person how to live their life. Liberals and Conservatives alike miss this fact completely.
The Fifth Epiphany I endured was the most obvious and it, surprisingly, came last. I discovered that my long-time opinion that politicians are inherently bad was true all along. No matter how hard we fight to elect the best leaders in either major party, we tend to always come out losers in the end. Some of us vote for them because it's nice to see our vote get counted. After all, who likes voting for the guy in the margins who never gets elected? Some of us vote for Donkeys or Elephants because we have bought the party rhetoric hook, line and sinker. Some of us have broken free and I ask those of you who fit that bill to help free our friends. Politicians are crooked no matter how much you try to justify their actions and no matter how much better or worse they are than leaders in the "other" party. While some politicians may be decent enough, almost every one of them went into politics for one of three reasons: power, wealth and/or glory. Don't be a fool and believe otherwise. What truly caring politician could ever have voted for and continue to support the Patriot Act (Government Intrusion Act) as it is? Mark my words, these people are not your friends.
That's It For Now
With these new discoveries of mine firmly in hand, I will begin a new chapter in my writing, bitching and complaining about politics. I appreciate those who have stuck by me and welcome anyone who wants to find out what I am going to do next. I don't know what's next to be honest but I can tell you I am not going to sell out ever again to a power-monger like Bush, a forked-tongue like Kerry or a fallen grace like Ralph Nader. From now on, I will assume each politician is being dishonest and I will grade each by their deeds, not their rhetoric. I beg each of you to do the same. Thank you and God Bless.

Enter your email address below to subscribe to The Independent Liberal!

powered by Bloglet
Last Modified On January 31, 2006