Friday, January 31, 2014

Science Doesn't Require Belief in Order to Be True

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Difference Between a Scientist and a Religious Person



Why are Corp Profits So High? Hint, Wages are Very Low



Bottom Line: Corporate profits are their highest ever and wage growth is near its lowest in half a century. You couldn't have a better argument for raising the minimum wage if tried.


Is Religion a Mental Illness?


"A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life."

Is Religion a mental illness? The religious make all kinds of wild claims without a shred of evidence. It is solely based on wishful thinking. Religion makes the most absurd and arbitrary demands of its followers. Religion threatens eternal punishment or death if those demands are not followed. Last but not least it's followers show utter contempt for rational thinking and a never ending urge to impose itself not only on believers, but also onto nonbelievers.

Religion is a confidence scam intended to control, manipulate and exploit people that have been conditioned from birth to believe in the unbelievable. This should be painfully obvious to anyone capable of even the slightest amount of critical thinking. Despite the tendency of people to be suspicious and critical in most aspects of their lives, it still seems inexplicably that these standards of proof get thrown out the window when applied to religion.

Just because a delusion is a mass delusion doesn’t make it any less of a mental illness.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why Should You Care About Net Neutrality?


Just imagine an Internet where there is a fee just to access Amazon, Wikipedia, or Google. Well actually you don't have to imagine it because that's exactly what you are going to get in the coming months if the FCC doesn't reclassify the monopoly ISP's like Comcast and Verizon as "Common Carriers".

Call the FCC Now!

1-888-225-5322 (1-888-CALL FCC) Voice: toll-free
1-888-835-5322 (1-888-TELL FCC) TTY: toll-free
1-866-418-0232 FAX: toll-free
1-202-418-1440 Elections & political candidate matters
Email the FCC Now!
Chairman Tom Wheeler: Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov
Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: Mike.O'Rielly@fcc.gov 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Worst Pro-NSA Anti-Privacy People in Congress

The end of freedom and privacy as we know it.
The end of freedom and privacy as we know it.

The following is a listing of the worst of the worst. Everyone of these elected officials have consistently voted against the Bill of Rights and in favor of the NSA, the Patriot Act, and Indefinite Detention to name a few. If you care at all about your privacy rights and holding an out of control mass surveillance state, DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM!

State Member Party Chamber
Alabama Robert Aderholt Republican House
Alabama Spencer Bachus Republican House
Alabama Jo Bonner Republican House
Alabama Mike Rogers Republican House
Alabama Jeff Sessions Republican Senate
Arizona Jeff Flake Republican Senate
Arizona Trent Franks Republican House
Arkansas John Boozman Republican Senate
California Darrell Issa Republican House
California Ken Calvert Republican House
California Ed Royce Republican House
California Howard McKeon Republican House
California Gary Miller Republican House
California Devin Nunes Republican House
Florida Mario Diaz-Balart Republican House
Florida Jeff Miller Republican House
Florida Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Republican House
Florida Bill Young Republican House
Florida John Mica Republican House
Florida Gus Bilirakis Republican House
Georgia Sanford Bishop Democratic House
Georgia Jack Kingston Republican House
Georgia Lynn Westmoreland Republican House
Georgia John Barrow Democratic House
Georgia Phil Gingrey Republican House
Idaho Mike Simpson Republican House
Illinois Dan Lipinski Democratic House
Illinois John Shimkus Republican House
Illinois Mark Kirk Republican Senate
Iowa Tom Latham Republican House
Iowa Steve King Republican House
Kansas Jerry Moran Republican Senate
Kentucky Hal Rogers Republican House
Kentucky Ed Whitfield Republican House
Louisiana Rodney Alexander Republican House
Louisiana Charles Boustany Republican House
Michigan Candice Miller Republican House
Michigan David Camp Republican House
Michigan Fred Upton Republican House
Michigan Mike Rogers Republican House
Minnesota John Kline Republican House
Mississippi Roger Wicker Republican Senate
Missouri Sam Graves Republican House
Missouri Roy Blunt Republican Senate
Nebraska Lee Terry Republican House
Nebraska Jeff Fortenberry Republican House
New Jersey Rodney Frelinghuysen Republican House
New Jersey Frank LoBiondo Republican House
New Jersey Chris Smith Republican House
New Jersey Scott Garrett Republican House
New Mexico Steve Pearce Republican House
New York Peter King Republican House
New York Brian Higgins Democratic House
North Carolina Mike McIntyre Democratic House
North Carolina Virginia Foxx Republican House
North Carolina Patrick McHenry Republican House
Ohio Pat Tiberi Republican House
Ohio Mike Turner Republican House
Ohio Steve Chabot Republican House
Ohio John Boehner Republican House
Oklahoma Tom Cole Republican House
Oregon Greg Walden Republican House
Pennsylvania Charlie Dent Republican House
Pennsylvania Jim Gerlach Republican House
Pennsylvania Joe Pitts Republican House
Pennsylvania Bill Shuster Republican House
South Carolina Joe Wilson Republican House
Tennessee Lamar Alexander Republican Senate
Tennessee Jim Cooper Democratic House
Tennessee Marsha Blackburn Republican House
Texas John Carter Republican House
Texas Mike Conaway Republican House
Texas Jeb Hensarling Republican House
Texas Michael McCaul Republican House
Texas Randy Neugebauer Republican House
Texas Lamar S. Smith Republican House
Texas Ted Poe Republican House
Texas John Culberson Republican House
Texas Kay Granger Republican House
Texas Pete Sessions Republican House
Texas Mac Thornberry Republican House
Texas Kevin Brady Republican House
Texas Joe Barton Republican House
Texas Ralph Hall Republican House
Texas Michael Burgess Republican House
Texas Kenny Marchant Republican House
Texas Louie Gohmert Republican House
Virginia Randy Forbes Republican House
Virginia Bob Goodlatte Republican House
Virginia Eric Cantor Republican House
Virginia Frank Wolf Republican House
Washington Dave Reichert Republican House
Washington Cathy McMorris Rodgers Republican House
Washington Doc Hastings Republican House
Wisconsin Jim Sensenbrenner Republican House
Wisconsin Tom Petri Republican House
Wisconsin Paul Ryan Republican House

Sunday, January 5, 2014

10 Words Progressives Should Stop Using in 2014

Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

Words will always retain their power.

1. Main Stream Media – use “Corporate Media” instead. There is nothing mainstream about the news provided to us by the likes of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, or NBC. Despite rhetoric about liberal versus conservative, these outlets do not provide anything remotely resembling the issues or stances the vast majority of Americans hold and care about. Poll after poll shows when asked about specific issues the American public holds Progressive stances. Yet the Corporate Media would have us believe America is some kind of “Far Right” country.

2. Entitlements – use “Earned Benefits” instead. Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment benefits are not welfare, they programs you have paid for with your tax dollars your entire life. They are no more entitlements than a home or car you are making monthly payments on.

3. Pro Life – use “Anti Reproductive Rights” instead. ProLife connotes that these people are in favor of things that enable life [particularly human life] to survive. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Almost without exception these are the same people who have no problem with children of the poor starving in the streets, being denied an education, or having affordable access to life saving healthcare. Essentially once you’re born, they couldn’t care less about you. The real motivation behind much of this is eugenics. The fear is that whites will become a minority in America.

4. Pro Choice – use “Pro Reproductive Rights” instead. What the Regressive Right is doing with its jihad on women isn’t merely about abortion. It’s about whether women control their own bodies and destiny. If men had to get an embarrassing anal ultrasound probe just to get Viagra, this debate would over yesterday. Additionally the word “Rights” is a dog whistle for the Regressive Right, as in the “Bill of Rights”. You may even want to add the qualifier “Constitutionally Protected 9th Amendment Rights” to further solidify that what we are talking about is an all-out assault on the Bill of Rights.

5. Homophobic – use “Anti-Gay” instead. While undoubtedly a number of Regressives fear that being around gay people will somehow infect them, most of these people are just spiteful haters. They are the same people who gave you a wedgie in junior high, basically bullies. More fundamentally they are “Anti Freedom of Association”, which is protected under the US Constitution, Article 11. They seek to prevent gay people from associating and or forming long term relationships, as if this will force homosexuals to convert out of desperation.

6. Free Market Capitalism – use “Reverse Robin Hood Socialism” instead. When the talking heads on Corporate Media or Politicians use the words “Free Market Capitalism” they never actually mean what Adam Smith referred to. What they actually mean is big business shirking its social responsibilities and never ever the legal rule rigging big business uses to get that way. When Progressives mention things like the trillions spent to protect the oil industry or the cost to infrastructure all those trucks driving to Walmart does, Regressives will commonly claim Progressives are “Anti Free Market Capitalism”. Instead remind them you are actually “Anti Reverse Robin Hood Socialism” and have no problem with an actual free market of goods and service.

7. Welfare – use “Social Safety Net” instead. Welfare has become a dog whistle code word among Regressives for “Lazy Blacks and Mexicans” despite the fact the majority of people collecting welfare and food stamps in America are white. Welfare also inaccurately describes the program. After three decades of Regressive evisceration nobody who has ever been on them would ever describe them as actually caring about their welfare. The benefits are simply too meager and punitive. Progressives need to reframe the argument to “Social Safety Net” which rightly puts the onus back on society as a whole.

8. Campaign Contribution – use “Influence Peddling or Bribery” instead. While a small minority of campaign contributions actually comes from small donors, the vast majority is from Trans National Corporations and Kleptocrats. To say that these entities and billionaires are just concerned citizens is to ignore the truth. Studies have shown the best investment in America is paying off politicians to rig the rules in your favor. Only in modern America has this been termed Campaign Contributions, everywhere else it is still known as influence peddling or bribery.

9. Big Business – use “Unelected Government” instead. Because of reasons mentioned in number 8, America has become a country “for, by, and of big business” not the people. While there has always been a dichotomy in America’s priorities between “the haves and have not’s”, since the Citizen United ruling all the pretense of impartiality has gone out the window. If congress and the president actually cared about what the average citizen wanted, America would be a drastically different place today. Instead money is the only speech that matters, something the average person is lacking.

10. Government Spending – use “Government Investment” instead. Clearly not all of our tax dollars are used on infrastructure, but a sizeable proportion still is. When a road, bridge, school, or hospital is built, it is a productive asset that produces a return on money for decades to come. Just because that return is freely given to the American public doesn’t negate what it is, an investment. The same could also be said for money spent on education, as our society benefits on a whole. Sadly the same cannot always be said of money spent on research and development. Much of the benefits is often funneled to big business through use of influence peddling.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

20 Years Later, NAFTA Still a Massive Fail





NAFTA was fundamentally different than past trade agreements in that it was only partially about trade. Indeed, it shattered the boundaries of past U.S. trade pacts, which had focused narrowly on cutting tariffs and easing quotas. In contrast, NAFTA created new privileges and protections for foreign investors that incentivized the offshoring of investment and jobs by eliminating many of the risks normally associated with moving production to low-wage countries. NAFTA allowed foreign investors to directly challenge before foreign tribunals domestic policies and actions, demanding government compensation for policies that they claimed undermined their expected future profits. NAFTA also contained chapters that required the three countries to limit regulation of services, such as trucking and banking; extend medicine patent monopolies; limit food and product safety standards and border inspection; and waive domestic procurement preferences, such as Buy American.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress writes the laws and sets trade policy. But over the last few decades, presidents have seized both of those powers through a mechanism known as Fast Track.
NAFTA had little to do with trade and everything to do with corp investment rights.


In 1993, NAFTA was sold to the U.S. public with grand promises. NAFTA would create hundreds of thousands of good jobs here – 170,000 per year according the Peterson Institute for International Economics.1 U.S. farmers would export their way to wealth. NAFTA would bring Mexico to a first-world level of economic prosperity and stability, providing new economic opportunities there that would reduce immigration to the United States. Environmental standards would improve.

Rather than creating the promised 170,000 jobs per year, NAFTA has contributed to an enormous new U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, which had already equated to an estimated net loss of one million U.S. jobs by 2004.

More than 845,000 specific U.S. workers have been certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) as having lost their jobs due to imports from Canada and Mexico or the relocation of factories to those countries. The TAA program is quite narrow, only covering a subset of the jobs lost at manufacturing facilities, and is difficult to qualify for. Thus, the NAFTA TAA numbers significantly undercount NAFTA job loss.

NAFTA has contributed to downward pressure on U.S. wages and growing income inequality. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, two out of every three displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2012 experienced a wage reduction, most of them taking a pay cut of greater than 20 percent. As increasing numbers of workers displaced from manufacturing jobs have joined the glut of workers competing for non-offshorable, low-skill jobs in sectors such as hospitality and food service, real wages have also fallen in these sectors under NAFTA. The resulting downward pressure on middle-class wages has fueled recent growth in income inequality.

The reductions in consumer goods prices that have materialized have not been sufficient to offset the losses to wages under NAFTA. U.S. workers without college degrees (63 percent of the workforce) have likely lost an amount equal to 12.2 percent of their wages under NAFTA-style trade even after accounting for the benefits of cheaper goods. This net loss, calculated by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, means a loss of more than $3,300 per year for a worker earning the median annual wage of $27,500.

The desperate migration of those displaced from Mexico’s rural economy pushed down wages in Mexico’s border maquiladora factory zone and contributed to a doubling of Mexican illegal immigration to the United States following NAFTA’s implementation.

Sources: 

http://therealnews.com
http://www.citizen.org/documents/NAFTA-at-20.pdf

Friday, January 3, 2014

Final Report on NSA Reform Reveals Large Scale Financial Manipulation, Join Me in Calling For a Special Prosecutor

Stop Watching US!


In the Final Report of the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies regarding illegal government spying entitled "LIBERTY AND SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD"  comes this gem...
Recommendation 31:
We recommend that the United States should support international norms or international agreements for specific measures that will increase confidence in the security of online communications. Among those measures to be considered are:
  1. Governments should not use surveillance to steal industry secrets to advantage their domestic industry;
  2. Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems;
Question: If there has been no history of illegal activity by the NSA and or it's many contractors then why this? One only need to look to recent reports regarding spying on the Brazilian oil company Petrobras to see why we need answers, NOW. Despite the crocodile tears about "terrorism", the real job of the NSA and it's contractors would seem to be personal enrichment and market manipulation.This could potentially be the biggest case of corruption in our nation's 238 year history and the guilty parties need to be held to account, including and up to President Obama if found guilty by a jury of his peers in an open and public trial.

We need a complete investigation of the NSA and it's contractors to uncover any self serving use of NSA surveillance assets for financial crimes. Nothing short of a special prosecutor will suffice, and everything must be done in the light of day. Sunshine is the best disinfectant

Please join me in demanding that President Obama appoint a Special Prosecutor!

 


Share this with everybody you know. The deadline for 100,000 signatures is Feb. 2, 2014


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Senator Debbie Stabenow, TPP Flunky and Corp Dem Fails Again



Just got a response back from Senator Debbie Stabenow regarding my opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. As par for the course her letter sounds like it is saying something but really means nothing.
Dear John,
Thank you for contacting me about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. I understand your concerns.
You understand my concerns? What the hell does that mean? Answer: nothing.
As you may know, the United States Trade Representative is in ongoing negotiations with the eleven other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries.
No actually I wrote you because I thought it was a new iPad app. All sarcasm aside, the TPP has virtually nothing to do with trade and everything about rigging the rules in favor of the already rich and powerful. The terms of such trade agreements are crucial because there is no such thing as free trade. All trade is governed by complex and detailed rules. For instance, the intellectual-property chapter in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is labeled Article QQ. That one chapter runs 30,000 words.
I will continue to monitor these discussions to ensure that any agreement supports American job opportunities and protects American innovation.
Again more meaningless political doublespeak. Sounds like it means something, after all if I said I would keep an eye on your kids while you went to the store, you would actually expect to take care of them and make sure no harm came to them while you were out. In this case it means nothing, zip, nada, zero because she uses qualifiers like 'supports job opportunities'. Does this mean she will vote against an agreement that would give tax breaks to say the maker of widgets to close their American factory and reopen it in Vietnam? Of course not. What it actually refers to is trying impose American copyright and patent laws on other countries that may have more sensible systems.
It is also critical that our trade partnerships are written in a way that allows Michigan to be competitive in the global economy.
Again notice how she says "Michigan" and NOT "Michigan workers". Again here she is referring to big business and the 1% who control them. Also 'competitive' is code for lowering workers wages to that of say China or India.
If you would like to comment on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement please visit: http://www.ustr.gov/tpp/comment
Did that, don't expect zip though. In our nations capital the only speech that matters starts $$$ ends ends with $$$. Had to laugh though, on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website it has a button at the top of the page with the words "Benefits of Trade" on it. Click on it and it lists a litany of neoliberal propaganda points but nary a single syllable of the damage these trade agreements have done to American middle class. Since the implementation of NAFTA for example, America has lost 30 million manufacturing jobs. Yet according to their math-impaired talking points we have gained lots of high paying jobs because of it.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues of concern to you and your family.
Sincerely,
Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator
What is most glaringly obvious but never mentioned here by Senator Debbie Stabenow and other third wayers for that matter, is the secrecy surrounding the TPP. There isn't a single valid reason in a democracy why a trade agreement should be classified "Top Secret" by the [Obama] administration. Untied States Trade Representative Michael Froman let the cat out of the bag though during his confirmation hearings. Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned him regarding the extreme secrecy and he responded "If the American people knew what was in it, they would try to stop it".





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