Friday, July 30, 2010

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that a group of biology students performed water quality tests on samples from the Chesapeake Bay against samples from a toilet that had been used, but not flushed in four hours. The Chesapeake Bay water was six times dirtier than that of the unflushed toilet!
I have developed a deep respect for animals. I consider them fellow living creatures with certain rights that should not be violated any more than those of humans.

~ Jimmy Stewart
Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, has called the gubernatorial elections "a $100 million-plus chess match for control of the foundation of American politics for the next 10 years."

Top 5 Social Security Myths

Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T'). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts. Can you share this list now?

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Duncan, Daniel, Kat, and the rest of the team


1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T')
Have you heard that Social Security is going bankrupt? Driving up the deficit? In crisis?

Well none of that is true.

Regan, Camelot, Democracy and Capitalism

"I know the liberals call you 'the most dangerous man in America,' " Ronald Reagan wrote in a letter to Rush Limbaugh in 1992, "but don't worry about it, they used to say the same thing about me."

And we were right - deregulation was a reckless boondoggle that resulted in lawlessness and the bilking of the middle classes retirement accounts. Not learning from the saving and loan deregulation catastrophe the Regan movement turned deregulation into a religion.

Electing Regan governor of California was the conservative businessman's attempt to place their proxy in a position of power and it worked but to what end? Undoing sensible regulation (instead of just burdensome paper work) lead us right back to the environment that lead to the great depression of the 1930's.

A wealth of history and documentation clearly reveals the cycle of boom and bust in unregulated markets that fester with ponzi schemes, unreliable rating systems, conflicts of interest as a culture of savings gave way to a culture of speculation and gambling. The outright rejection of ethics has produced a generation of untrustworthy scam artist as if the ends justify the means.

Trickle down economics is just what it says it is - barely a trickle. The bulk of our nations wealth does not get reinvested back into our infrastructure but hoarded off shore in the the Caymans or Bermuda or distributed to our leech politicians who game the tax code to benefit those that can afford to buy them off - the richest 1% of the country.

Rush, Regan and their legion of supporters who lust for a theocracy of greed, power and profit put their faith in giant corporations instead of each other. They have produced a government that gives huge amounts of subsidies in the form of tax dollars to big oil like Exxon Mobile who in turn pay no federal taxes.

Nice work if you can get it and one helluva a way to run a single solitary company if you can get away with it and the share holders are not complaining. But it is absolutely dead wrong when it comes to "governing" a Country.

In order for a Country to be successful it needs a smoothly operating interrelated market place and citizenry relying on a multitude of factors as those factors all impact one another on a macro and micro economic scale with a social platform that requires among other things good health, great education and a level playing field.

Regan, Rush, Bush and their zealot devotees want it all for themselves. That's fine on a level playing field but by hook or by crook it screws it up royally the works for the rest of us. If pushed too far desperate people do desperate things. Its not the wealthy but the disenfranchised who are suicide bombers. That "ends justify the means" mentality my friends is a short walk to anarchy, chaos and failure on a global scale as amply demonstrated over the past 3 decades.

In short Wall Street and Main Street both need policing because men are not angels and fall prey to all sorts of greed, stupidity, reckless, ignorant and arrogant behavior. Rush on a personal note has demonstrated quite clearly that men more often than not reach their lowest common denominator when it comes to money and the grab for power.

For Rush that grab is for ratings, marketing and advertising through sensationalism. I call it the Howard Sterning of radio.

All these hacks like Beck, O'Reiley, Imus, Hannity, Coulter and Rush have turned what Stern used to gain his money, notoriety and fame onto the TV news channels instead of just the FM music channels.

That's all that's going on here - rubbernecking. In other words instead of lesbians, dwarfs and breasts to catch the rubberneckers we have Nazi's, fear, yelling, race baiting and the most preposterous claims imaginable. Sensationalism for ratings = ad dollars but the misinformation self perpetuates and propels a downward spiral for our country when we could be doing so much better.

Kennedy screwed up by double dealing the mob and they blew him away but for a moment he had us all pulling in the same direction and Camelot became a reality for the middle class.

Regan and those who made Regan their proxy don't know how to manage a Country. They are too locked in on their own personal wealth. They don't have the broad vision or see the need to champion it, but that is the only way to really reach our potential as a species, culture and society trying to survive on a planet.

The facts are the facts Capitalism is a single solitary approach to individual wealth - it is not Democracy.

And YOU can do something about it - Take Action NOW

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Thursday, July 29, 2010

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

~ Andy Warhol

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.

~ Walt Whitman

Monday, July 26, 2010

I have meant what I have done. Or--I have often meant what I have done. Or--I have sometimes meant what I have done. Or--I have tried to mean what I was doing.

~ Jasper Johns
The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.

~ Henry Ford
Currently available wind turbines spinning between the Mississippi and the Rockies could generate 300 percent of the nation's electricity
The National Renewable Energy Lab estimates 100 percent of the nation's electricity could come from an area 90 miles on a side, or a relatively modest box of 8,100 square miles.
“Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all she is. You cannot sweet-talk her. You cannot spin her. You cannot tell her that the oil companies say climate change is a hoax. No, Mother Nature is going to do whatever chemistry, biology and physics dictate, and Mother Nature always bats last, and she always bats 1.000,” Rob Watson
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."- Lao-Tzu

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Since 2001, tax cuts for households with incomes over $250,000 have added $700 billion to the debt.
It was also the month with the warmest-ever land surfaces and the fourth-warmest oceans -- take action here -
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that June was the fourth consecutive month with the hottest combined global land and surface temperatures on record.

Starbucks Still Sucks

As a reformed supporter of Starbucks I can not even set foot in one of those horrific stores again. I feel sorry for the employees. Cold, heartless and void of soul Corporate poses mightily. Having worked there for the better part of two years I heard awful stories of oppression and ridiculousness that had me in shock. My local Starbucks fired the manager who let me come in and play guitar because he gave away food to the homeless. No one eats that Starbucks pre-packaged food and instead of throwing it out the manager donated it to a food bank. He lost his job over that.

The hoops we had to go through in order for me to strum my guitar, unplugged and for free at their Coffee shop was laughable. District and regional approval was eventually granted from on high, and I endured two years of ignorant behavior by the staff and customers. Try playing in front of people who in reality want to be left alone in their safe bubbles. Try having to remind them to turn the pre-canned music off every week as if they had no idea who I was. I'm sorry but that is not how you create community.

There was an element of community at this particular Starbucks and we tried mightily to foster it but it never grew beyond the employees parents and a few wiser middle aged folk. To be sure we had our fun, children danced and sang along. I learned Christmas tunes for the holidays and even had people holding up phones as I sang and played. I learned a lot and even had patrons wondering if I was warming up for my gig to open for James Taylor (LOL).

They had a game group another night and me on Tuesday nights but at the end of the day these places are built without soul.

They seem to attract posers. People dipping their toe into the community but never talking amongst themselves or even making eye contact with each other.

Quite frankly it was weird. To be fair this is not a blanket indictment of people trying to do their own thing or coming in and out for coffee. Far from it because the casual Starbucks patron is clueless as to what goes on behind the scenes and the employees can't talk about it or bye-bye. I would safely say 70 percent of the people visiting Starbucks are closed off to personal contact. It is a safe haven for them to come and still be alone. There were also a lot of pyramid scheme salesmen who used this particular Starbucks to rope in their unsuspecting victims one at a time. That was sad.

The whole Starbucks mantra, theme and image is one of community, environment, fair trade and cool music heros - well it's green washing in the most horrid sense. Over priced merchandise and licensing contracts require them to play the music.

That's right all those cool Starbucks CD's that imply Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan are all down with Starbucks - nope guess again. It's not an endorsement although that is implied with the whole Starbucks only angle. Rest assured its a business deal to get their music out to as many potential high end shoppers with disposable incomes as possible. Who else can afford hyper priced coffee and cd's?

They have strict licensing contracts that Starbucks employees fearfully follow. In other words there wouldn't be "cool" Starbucks music if there weren't locked down tight licensing agreements forcing the music to played (over and over and over again).

You don't notice it because you are running in and out for coffee or staying an hour tops.

I could go into the lousy treatment I got from some of the Starbucks employees. Their total cluelessness about live performances, and lack of support despite my generosity of time and talent. Even with a huge deck out front they managed to co-op my time slot for an open mic and eliminate my gig (after the original manager was fired).

Prior to that there was a moment of hope for Starbucks. Now they have their open mic and speakers all plugged in everywhere and changed the whole non-intrusive acoustic only vibe into an in your face production sucking up electricity. You can bring your friends of course but no one is listening and still the people who stay largely want to be left alone.

Starbucks is a weird vortex of fraud courtesy of Corporate America and somehow the people feel it because in reality it is a cold, sterile environment. Oh that's the other thing - in an effort to get you to drink more coffee they run the air conditioning at super freezing temperatures. I kid you not there were some nights my hands were too cold to clamp down on the chords cleanly. The employees all complained about it but the Hitler corporate gods have zero tolerance when it comes to their brilliant business plan.

Go local not only for your veggies and food but for your coffee as well and visit your community coffee shop. I've made the switch. They turn down the music as soon as I arrive and are happy to see me. There are really interesting people there as well including poets, authors, and just regular folks trying to build a community and succeeding.

Fired the manager for donating the unwanted food to the homeless - unbelievable.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.

~ Hippocrates (philosopher)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Things do not change; we change.

~ Henry David Thoreau
"If happiness always depends on the future, we are chasing a will-o-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp..." Alan Watts
"Follow our own weird," - Alan Watts
Underneath the superficial self, which pays attention to this and that, there is another self more really us than I. And the more you become aware of the unknown self -- if you become aware of it -- the more you realize that it is inseparably connected with everything else that is. ...Alan Watts
Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be. --- Alan Watts

Monday, July 19, 2010

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, July 16, 2010

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

- Marcel Proust

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Hippies Were Right - Part Two

I stumbled upon this I sent to a newspaper a few years back - thought I would share it with you - Paul
Sorry gang the hippies aren't going anywhere. The issues are much more complex than the usual dribble they are boiled down to, and no one really thinks evil doesn't exist.

The reason there are hippies is because there is enlightenment, there is knowledge and there is awareness that there is more than one way to skin a cat (with apologies to PETA and my animal rights friends).

Being a hippie has absolutely nothing to do with bong hits. That's a facade people put on for a while and a convenient take down of some very inconvenient truths (pun intended).

At the heart of hippies (for some) is a strive for knowledge, looking high and low for things to see and learn – exploring the unknown and thinking outside of the box as well as an interest in the past and the future, exploring ancient religions, looking for philosophies, and enlightenment, and a belief that there are larger forces at play than meets the eye.

The miss-conception that love is weak and so is kindness is the downfall of mankind. Anybody can be a jerk. Look at where the revenge tit for tat has gotten the mid-east. They just keep killing each other because yesterday someone from the other side killed someone from their side. There is no end to that except through enlightenment. So it's easy to make excuses for your savage acts and harder to turn the other cheek, and to be tolerant, and to look for avenues of agreement. But that's what hippies do. They do the hard stuff. Anybody can be a jack-booted - go along with the crowd - knee jerk reactionary - unthinking and unfeeling - that's easy. Being unmovable and arrogant, tone deaf to reason and threatened by what you don't understand – and not even exploring other modes and ways of living or looking at things, blind acceptance to the status quo or standardized modes of behavior – that’s just chicken shit. Variety is the spice of life and there is much wisdom in contemplating all points of views before reaching your individual conclusions. This has nothing to do with the fragrance of patchouli or the clothes you wear or the music you listen to but everything to do with your attitude.

The hard stuff is caring about something outside of you. Our government and people should be doing positive things and saying positive things. Yes deal with the realities on the ground - fight fire with fire but also - rebuild the inner city school systems, provide real opportunity to the have nots - if we are going to get biblical lets at least try to help the poor and keep gods creation the earth intact and they way we found it. Giving tax cuts to the uber wealthy isn’t cutting it - fostering hatred to minorities and driving wedge issues between people just to seek office isn’t cutting it - tough guy talk while not listening to your military advisers isn’t cutting it - going into Iraq under false pretenses just to try and secure the oil fields for Exxon isn’t cutting' it, but being truly concerned about the poor and afflicted - that’s the real deal - that's when we are at our best and that's when the human experience inches towards enlightenment and utopia.

The hippies aren't the problem –peace, love and understanding isn’t the problem, the problems are much too complex for scape goats and pat answers. A closed mind towards a myriad of possible solutions to the problems that plague us is not the answer either. So the progressives are on the right track. They are the ones who are not afraid to talk to Syria or Iran. Why are we not talking directly to Syria and Iran and North Korea – that’s childish. It doesn’t mean we talk to them naively. But talking directly is the only way to foster understanding. Remember the cultural exchanges of the cold war and Nixon and China. That stuff works! Yeah Nixon I said Nixon. A hippy said Nixon because hippies know that no one nation, race or person is either all good or all bad. To over simplify and not see the truth even when put forth by such a sad fixture as Nixon is not very enlightened. There's a balance that needs to be achieved to reach our global potential and the sooner we all come to some sort of understanding the better. Your mom taught you to share. The US better figure that out both with its citizens, its international partners and enemies. That doesn't mean roll over and have your lunch money taken but it also doesn't mean being a blow hard either and taking someone else’s lunch money. Hippies go by the credo of live and let live. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There is much wisdom there and the path to utopia lies in those words. We can do it! Any other thought is self defeatist.

Peace Out
Live every day like it's your last, 'cause one day you're gonna be right.

~ Ray Charles

The Hippies Were Right

Sorry all you money worshipers keeping up with the Jones's. You've got to have the latest "thing". You have to buy what "they" are selling. Does Miley Cyrus have any real talent? Does she have a good voice? She's likable and goofy but not sexy - although she is trying desperately to be because sex sells.

No the only reason this little girl is famous is because Disney a huge multi-national corporation that controls millions of media outlets and dumps content, television shows, commercials, cross marketing and branding into our little children's heads twenty four hours a day seven days a week has made her so. Miley is not without her goofy charms but they could have picked anyone and will replace her shortly with Selena Gomez. How the heck do I even know these names? That's how powerful marketing is.

Why are we all driving SUV's that are too expensive to fuel and who's tires are too expensive to replace? Marketing and the power of media can and does create "group think". You have to be strong enough as an individual to see it coming and express yourself as a little bit of a contrarian to avoid being completely manipulated by the powers that be.

This is not some conspiracy rant but a statement of fact. Someone back in the 1950's devised a consumer based market economy model that emphasized planned obsolescence and the continual selling of stuff we just do not need. That plan has a huge down side and we are working our way through it now. That market everywhere and everything model has lead to some pretty horrific products being introduced into our eco-systerm and ruining our economy and health.

Before I go on too long let me sum it up. The Hippies were right. The concept of living simply, sharing, looking out for each other and living off the land has to work in harmony with our technologies. Just because we can invent it doesn't mean we should use it. But for some reason we have an editor-less market system otherwise Round Up would be outlawed. Studies have shown Round Up might contribute to Parkinson's disease and it definitely cripples the wildlife in our watershed.

Our watershed is not a sewer system but an incredible delicate design that has culminated in giving life to us all. It's best not to fuck with it or are we too stupid to realize that? Are we too stupid to realize we live on a planet with a thin layer of air separating us from our own extinction?

The Hippies were right - not the phony hippies who want to bogart your stash, freeload, or hit on your old lady they are just hucksters not wearing suits. But the genuine hippies who knew we needed pesticide free (organic) food to live on. Who knew that harvesting a small garden was not only fun, therapeutic but spiritually, mentally and physically beneficial to ones whole well being.

Sorry greed heads who need the latest phone, shoes, pocket books, cars, gadgets, suits, homes, boats and country club memberships you are barking up the wrong tree.

If we do not place the proper supreme value on mother earth and all that she has given us we will continually and recklessly destroy her in the name of a man made invention and convention called money. At the end of the day money is just another tool. It needs to be used wisely, and you sure as hell can't eat it.

The hippies were right - there is nothing funny about peace, love and understanding. It's called civilization and we had all better grow up, get real and adjust our attitudes away from the acceptance of dog, eat dog or we are going to rip ourselves and the earth apart. Rip to shred the very thing we depend on most for our very existence. Not smart.

The Hippies were right Earth First - every other consideration a distant second!

Make a difference NOW!

Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Lisa Murkowski

How in the world does anyone think Lisa Murkowski is qualified or has the mental capacity to understand law, the role of law in our legal system (precedents), the function of law in our society (equally) let alone what qualifies someone to take the stand as a judge (without prejudice or agenda).

There should be a legislative school that each newly elected politician has to go to that familiarizes each newly elected politician with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence and a thorough review of History and Democracy from the days of the Magna Carta Libertatum.

There should also be a continuing educational requirement for each representative for as long a they remain an elected politician. Their seniority and ability to chair leadership positions should be based on it, and classes should be held on Saturdays and at night. They have joined the body politic not a Country Club. Unfortunately that is the mentality they suffer under.

This history should also include what the Tea Party was all about - small mom and pop businesses decrying the favoritism given to the big multi-national corporation the East India Company which had a Parliament granted monopoly since 1698. And that Legitimate tea importers who had not been named as consignees by the East India Company were threatened with financial ruin by the Tea Act.

The story has always been the same the names of the players have just changed. Politicians succumbing to big business income granting favoritism, creating ad hoc monopolies, crushing the middle class until armed conflict between the haves and the have nots becomes the only way to restore the balance.

It's a lesson we all better not forget and needs to be drilled into the heads of our elected and selected leaders across all branches of local, state and federal governments. History repeats itself because we are too stupid, greedy and hyper competitive to learn from it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

~ Dr. Seuss

Monday, July 12, 2010

If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.

~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates

~ Lao-Tzu
Not only did ExxonMobil avoid paying ANY income taxes last year, they also got a $46 million REFUND from the IRS
While reaping the largest profits in history and destroying the Gulf of Mexico, BP and other Big Oil companies have taken more than $35 billion of our money in special subsidies and tax breaks.
Demand that your government encourage renewable energy instead of oil NOW -
Buy organic fruits and vegetables (fertilizers and pesticides are based on oil more often than not).
Intel Supercomputers Say BP Oil Spill Will Spread Up the East Coast -

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A good book has no ending.

~ R.D. Cumming
"It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden." MARK TWAIN

Friday, July 09, 2010

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.

~ Lewis Carroll

Feast of Love - Movie Review

Feast of Love took me by surprise. I was expecting a light ensemble feel good distraction but what I got was an in depth meditation on love human behavior and the world around us. A heart felt movie. Anyone who cares about anything outside themselves will "get" this movie. Looking for gun play, violence, blood shed and detective work then this title should have run you off already.

Morgan Freeman, Gregg Kinnear, Alexa Davalos, Jane Alexander all bring heart and sincerity to their roles as they interact with each other and struggle with their life's circumstances. This movie attempts and lays bare literally and figuratively the nitty gritty on what it means to love, to risk, to be naked towards your feelings and each other, your friends, lovers and self and the consequences of not doing that.

Find your heart, and enjoy Feast of Love if you have a pulse, have real life experience, feel deeply about life, or have ever been opened up to the wonder of it all. Yes we all are inherently good the pursuit of love is noble, but selling out what makes us tick is chicken shit.

Rent it on net flix - Five stars!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The first major benefit of the new health reform law just kicked in, and it could be a life-saver for you, your family members or friends. Pre-existing health care plans are on line NOW! Click Here for more Info:
You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.

~ Charles Buxton
Fight Washington Corruption - Click Here:
BP—a company with a record of 760 drilling safety and environmental violations—was granted safety waivers in order to operate the deepwater drilling rig that ultimately created the worst environmental disaster in US history.
Sunscreen manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough, in the interest of profits, are opposing an FDA proposal requiring full reporting on sunscreen labels. The New York Times just confirmed that current SPF ratings don't even measure sun rays that cause cancer.
During the waning days of the Bush administration, officials responded to a long-term lobbying campaign by pre-empting product liability lawsuits for dozens of entire industries. They bypassed Congress entirely and rewrote rules ranging from seatbelt manufacturing regulations to prescription drug safety.
Top executives at 9 big banks including Citibank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley paid themselves over $20 billion in bonuses just weeks after taxpayers bailed them out to the tune of 700 billion dollars
GE and its lobbyists—including 33 former government employees—have successfully lobbied Congress to override Defense Department requests to cancel a GE contract to work on a new engine for the Joint Strike Fighter jet. GE will need $2.9 billion to finish the project.
Michael Taylor was the FDA official who approved the use of Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone in dairy cows (even though it's banned in most countries and linked to cancer). After approving it, he left the FDA—to work for Monsanto. Until last year, when he moved back to the government—as President Obama's "Food Safety Czar." No joke
Massey Energy was cited more than 2400 times for safety violations in its mines, but chose not to fix potentially lethal problems because low penalties meant it was cheaper to simply keep paying the fines. This spring, 29 miners were killed in an underground explosion at a Massey mine in West Virginia.
The 2005 energy bill had a little known provision, commonly called the Halliburton Loophole, which exempted natural gas drilling from the Clean Water Act. The result? Water so contaminated that you can light it on fire.
Exxon Mobil made billions in profits, and yet paid not one dime in federal income taxes in 2009.
Starting on August 15, your bank cannot charge you overdraft loans unless you authorize them to. But, your bank or credit union will probably try to convince you to opt-in to overdraft "protection." This is a bad deal for you, but a great deal for them. Don't opt-in to overdraft protection, and make sure your friends and family don't either.
BP blocked workers cleaning up the oil disaster in the Gulf from wearing protective respirators. Take action here -
"What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself."

–Mollie Beattie

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A gloss on Descartes: Sometimes I think: and sometimes I am.

~ Paul Valery
You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.

~ Paul McCartney

Oil Gusher in the Gulf Sends Vacationers to the Atlantic

The beaches were packed this past holiday weekend shoulder to shoulder - a lot of gulf coast people came to visit Virginia Beach because Gulf Coast beaches were destroyed. I have never seen so many people on our beaches. It was other worldly.

That is real economic impact and real money into real Virginians pockets. Unlike offshore drilling which pockets the profits as States like Louisianan get zero royalty dollars.

The politicians will give away the store to win votes and appear hawkish on drilling no matter the reality. If the voters are under a misconception the politicians will pander to that misconception.

But read this and understand this NOW:

ALL oil no matter where it is discovered and extracted from goes out to an international exchange. There is no such thing as american oil. Once it's on the international exchange you bid for it - that's why speculators control the price at the pump and the prices go up every memorial day. The 2% of the worlds oil reserves we have within our borders can not and will not affect price or national security.

It's bogus to even suggest that drilling our coast will do anything for our demand, prices or national security - its a flat out lie for election purposes.

Again the oil goes to an international exchange which it is then bought from. Our measly 2% will never bring down prices. Just because its drilled within our borders means NOTHING.

The oil is sent to the highest bidder at the international exchange. With a global recession and slow productivity, manufacturing and purchasing we have a glut of oil on the market. This gusher of a spill isn't affecting prices because it hasn't diminished the amount of oil available on the international exchange. Have you noticed a drastic change of oil prices at the pump - no. Because even as millions of barrels of oil gush from the Gulf it still isn't making a dent on how much oil the Saudis produce. We have 2% of the worlds reserve. Even if we dumped all of it on the international market today the price wouldn't move not one cent.

There is no such thing as Red, White and Blue American Oil for American People. No matter what gas station you go to you are buying Saudi oil purchased off the exchange by whatever companies shingle hangs outside that station. Why are the prices all the same everyday all going up and down together - because the international exchange sets the price daily. There is no separate price based on where the oil comes from.

Stop being ignorant America.

Drilling our coasts is an unnecessary risk to the billions in tourism dollars with zero return for the average tax payer - zero.

The fact remains CEO's will cut corners to make more money to increase their share prices - bottom line period - it is this slavish mentality to ever increasing profit margins that has taught us once again the theory of diminishing returns when it comes to greed. From over fished oceans to devastating oil gushers polluting every state in the region.

You can not operate your business as if it operates in a vacuum. The market exists in a multi market reality - for every action their is a reaction across the broad spectrum of goods and services.

When the powers that be once and for all finally realize we have to co-exist with our environment and that a healthy environment means a healthy economy and a healthy citizenry able to be productive then all will be right with the world.

Until then volatility, greed, war, poverty and corruption rule the day with an iron fist. Way to go mankind - money, money, money, can't see the forest from the trees.

Take Action Here

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"No scientific conclusion can ever be proven, absolutely, but it is no more a 'belief' to say that Earth is heating up than it is to say that continents move, that germs cause disease, that DNA carries hereditary information or that quarks are the basic building blocks of subatomic matter. You can always find someone, somewhere, to disagree, but these conclusions represent our best available science, and therefore our best basis for reasoned action." - Naomi Oreskes
"You have to be right up front and be true to yourself and other people around you - true as you can be." - Duane Allman
Ask a kindergartner: What is a loan? If you lend a classmate a dollar, you expect him to pay it back. What is loan underwriting? If that classmate is unlikely to pay it back, do not lend him the dollar.

Explain a credit default swap to a kindergartner? You offer a quarter to the friend of the kid to whom you lent the dollar, if he guarantees his friend will pay you back. A derivatives market? You go to your fellow kindergartners and take bets on whether the borrower-classmate will or won’t pay his debt. It is not that complicated. It should not be that hard to regulate. Read more here -
Financial reform bill whats in for me?
The Important Solar Power Story You Haven’t Heard -
On this country's birthday, let's remember that we live in a plutocracy, a system by the rich, for the rich

Monday, July 05, 2010

. . . the church is within yourself and not in any pope nor preacher, nor in any building but in self! Edgar Cayce Reading 5125-1
A mutt is couture — it’s the only one like it in the world, made especially for you.

~ Isaac Mizrahi
Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is.

¯H. Jackson Browne
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

~ Albert Camus
Beauty is not caused. It is.

~ Emily Dickinson
You should know by the kindness of a dog the way a human should be.

~ Don Van Vliet
When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I've finished, if the solution isn't beautiful, I know it's wrong.

~ Buckminster Fuller
For mind is the builder and that which we think upon may become crimes or miracles. For thoughts are things and as their currents run through the environs of an entity's experience these become barriers or steppingstones....Edgar Cayce Reading 906-3
If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep.

~ Yiddish Proverb
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

~ Andy Warhol
There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.

~Tay Hohoff