Alabama’s Historic Economic Prize!

Along with this state’s recent headline grabbing immigration policies rearing its ugly head the most populous county in Alabama is destined for the record books as well, in a story of greed and corruption.

Jefferson County, Alabama has filed for Bankruptcy and if the case is allowed to go ahead it will be the Largest Municipal bankruptcy filing in United States History.

When combined the water and sewage rates in this county of 658,466 residents the rates for these must have services has increased 329% over the last 15 years.

As with most of the gut wrenching economic hardships of our recent recession the poor are the unwarranted recipients of most if not all of the consequences. They are now being forced to bathe in bottled water and use portable toilets as they have been cut-off from these basic necessities through no fault of their own.

While disturbing it’s not surprising that local government officials and Wall Street financiers have been implicated again in another case of financial wrongdoing.

All of this stems from the debt the county took on to finance a new sewer system for Jefferson County residents. Initially the cost was to be $300 million dollars however that initial projection soared to $3.1 Billion dollars and the county is drowning in debt.

JP Morgan Securities along with two of its prior directors have already been fined as they were accused of offering bribes to local politicians to guarantee they would win business financing the project. Six former members of Jefferson County’s commissioners have also been found guilty of corruption as well as fifteen other government officials for accepting bribes.

The new local county commission has seen no other alternative other than to file for chapter nine bankruptcy protections in November as the only way to try to bring the county out of this current financial hole.

However the banks and bondholders who stand to lose $4.5 million dollars per month in repayment charges are fighting the commission’s decision and a bankruptcy judge will give the last word on whether the Jefferson County commission can proceed.

The local residents have absorbed rate hikes of 8.2% a year to attempt to deal with repaying the escalating debt. According to John S. Young the court appointed receiver the rates are projected to be 10% per year up to a whopping 25% for the cash poor citizens of the county in the future.

Along with the prospect of bankruptcy filing for the sewage project the country is also projected to have an extra $40 million dollar budget shortfall.

As five hundred county workers were recently laid off and are living off of unemployment insurance the county’s ability to finance local services is further called into question as tax revenues will most certainly fall.

Tony Petelos the new county manager believes it will be years before the county might be able to turn the tide. He stated, “The public has lost confidence in Jefferson County over the last decade and a half, because of the mismanagement, because of the corruption. We have got to rebuild that confidence” and that there is, “light at the end of the tunnel”.

However in regards to any relief the citizens might realize in their water and sewer rates he was quoted as saying, “When you look at the amount of debt, and you  look at the revenue that is produced from the rate payers, there is no way it is going to come down,”.

Mr. Petelos who was the former mayor of Hoover city, Alabama recalls a Wall Street presentation about the same type of bonds that were used to finance the Jefferson County sewage project. After the presentation he recalls talking with his finance director in dismay and how they were both in agreement that they did not want to have anything to do with the type of financing that was presented.

One resident has found it is cheaper for him to pay a portable sanitation company $14 dollars a month to deal with his household sewage. His previous sewer and water bills sometimes reached $300 dollars per month this in a county whose citizens average income was $19,724 dollars per year according to the most recent census figures.

As most of the citizens of Jefferson County live off of meager Social Security income in this predominately poor community it is abundantly clear they cannot afford to pay these rate increases brought upon them by greed and corruption.

As the current Republican mindset in Washington is to gut most if not all of our governments regulation or oversight of the financial sector or corporations. This current situation in Alabama is the poster child for why we Do Need Regulation of banks and corporations that cannot be trusted to conduct themselves in a responsible honest fashion.

The meteoric rise of the debt from $300 million to $3.1 billion has been tied to construction issues and a series of bad bond and derivative deals that went sour during the 2008 financial debacle which has landed us in our current economic recession.

While for now as Jefferson county may be filing the largest Municipal bankruptcy in the history of our country. How many other cities and counties across the country are also reaching the breaking point remains to be seen.

Again Wall Street is being implicated in more financial crimes with few if any of the perpetrators being brought to justice. However as is usually the case the poorest citizens of the U.S. are being asked to suffer the brunt of the damage.

When will the poor citizens of the United States catch a break or at least be treated in a fair and equitable fashion and when if ever will the financial sector be held accountable?

Republican Leadership Finally

During the run-up to the Presidential election in 2012 as Newt Gingrich is emerging as the Republican nominee for President we are also seeing coming trends for our legislators as well.

As our current President Barack Obama has faced nothing more than obstructionism from Congress mostly from the Republican controlled house. Our country is continually being faced with a long lingering recession. A recession brought on by the uncontrolled financial sector who attempted to destroy the economy of the United States as well as worldwide financial markets all in the name of generating obscene financial gains which could not be sustained.

Rather than truly addressing financial reform our present Congress has done nothing but attack regulation, medicare, social security and promoted tax breaks for the über wealthy or extensions of costly tax breaks from the previous Bush administration along with trying to aid the oil industry and not representing the people they swore and oath to serve.

The Republican controlled House of Representatives has taken on the persona of a college fraternity playing games with the American people as they try their best to destroy the President at every opportunity. Rather than trying to dig the United States out of the worst recession in decades where tens of millions of citizens are needlessly suffering the game must go on. They have only submitted bills that they knew well in advance would never pass muster or become law. To them it’s just another game as they try to unseat our President no matter what he might honestly try to do for the good of our country and the people who live, work and die here.

Instead of generating more revenue with a modest increase on those with significant wealth along with the top 1% of wealthy Americans they would rather attack the poor. Even though the billionaire Warren Buffett has publicly stated that he and other wealthy Americans want to be taxed more, the Republican controlled Congress does not want to hear a word of it.

Even though a recent study came in with the results that over $2 Trillion dollars are sitting on the sidelines that could safely bring unemployment down to 5% across this country banks and corporations are playing the game as well in concert with their Republican allies all in the name of unseating President Barack Obama for whatever reason or stake they might have as they to toy with the American public.

So even though Newt Gingrich who has never been the personification of a decent human being will win the Republican Presidential nomination and then be soundly defeated by our current President who will see a second term in office, the game must go on while ordinary American’s suffer.

However our Republican Congressional legislators might consider acting responsibly by doing what is right and honestly representing the people they swore an oath to instead of answering to their lobbyists who control their every move as this is the current environment in Washington.

A recent national survey should give them a reason to reconsider their current obstructionist stance. As recent results have shown an overwhelming amount of registered Republican voters are getting fed up with their current Republican Congressional (so-called) representatives in both houses. The Anti-Incumbent Sentiment results of the survey are in and it does not bode well for the likes of John Boehner, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to name a few whose political careers are on the chopping block.

As of December 2011 a full 67% of registered voters Do Not want to see most members of Congress reelected. Also as for their current districts representatives not being reelected the figure has climbed to 33% from 28% in 2006 and as Republican Congressional obstructionism continues unabated the figure can only be expected to climb higher in the coming months.

These recent figures represent an all time high for the survey as these are the highest figures the Pew Center has reported since it began its work over 18 years ago.

This along with a recent Gallup poll that found that a full 76% of voters feel that most members of Congress do not deserve reelection, this is more than just a passing fancy that will just go away. Coupling these recent surveys along with polls by the New York Times, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, AP and the Washington Post which all show all-time low approval ratings for Congressional members does not show a bright future for the Republican party. In all Republicans are bearing the brunt of American outrage as their Democratic counterparts are being seen as more honest and ethical along with their ability to better manage our American government.

Furthermore 55% of voters feel that the Republican party is more extreme in it’s positions versus 33% for Democrats. While Democrats were viewed by 51% as being more willing to work with the their Republican colleagues who only rated 25% in this category.

Most of the criticism of Congress which is pointed at Republican members is coming from the Republican parties own registered voters.

While it might not be too late for the likes of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to start to act responsibly and honestly address this country’s economic issues in a mature fashion their current obstructive stances do not bode well for the future of the Republican party.

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Syria Reaches New Milestone by Killing 5000 of Their Own Citizens

  Syria the Arab country which gained its independence from earlier French rule in 1946 has now reached a despicable new height as the government crackdown on Syrians protesting for democratic reform has now claimed an estimated 5000 innocent citizens their lives.

Following with other Middle Eastern countries the people of Syria have been protesting for some type of political reform during the recent Arab Spring which spread to Syria whose citizens have lived under  a government declared period of Emergency Law from 1963 until April of 2011. As Syria is listed among the worst in the world in regards to human rights this recent historical event comes as no surprise. However the final outcome has yet to be written for those suffering and dying.

As the country grows ever closer to all out civil war with the Free Syrian Army entering into the uprising to fight the government forces, more clashes and casualties are to be expected. This recent anti-government army has already begun receiving support from the United States in a clandestine manner, yet it remains to be seen if this will be enough to turn the tide.

Russia has denounced these and any other supportive measures for those protesting for democratic reform as acts of terrorism. This in a country with close ties to Hamas, Islāmic Jihad and Hezbollah which are all considered to be terrorist organizations by both the EU as well as the U.S.

Furthering Syrian isolation are the countries close ties with Iran as well as their disdain for the people of Israel. A brief reprieve occurred when in 1990 Syria participated with the U.S. led multinational coalition against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. There were also some attempts to discuss Syrian and Israeli disputes in Geneva in 2000 however talks broke off and have never resumed.

Even the Arab League with its 21 member countries has suspended Syria from its organization after President Assad began to use deadly force to quell the countries ever rising protests for democratic reform only furthering his governments’ isolation.

The Syrian National Council which has called for President Assad to step down or at least institute some reforms and to stop the bloodshed has had its requests fall on deaf ears. Yet the Syrian National Council is the only recognized representative of this country of 22,717,417 million people by the countries of Bulgaria, France, Libya, Spain and the United States however they are still suffering needlessly at the hands of President Assad.

Following his father’s death on June 10th 2000 and after an emergency amendment to the constitution the then 34-year-old Bashar al-Assad took over control of the Syrian country. Syria which ranks 111th in the most recent HDI or Human Development Index whose citizens only realize a per-capita income of $2,958USD per year have only shown an aspiring demand for democratic reforms only wishing to improve the lives of all Syrian citizens.

One can only hope that more force along with enhanced support for the Syrian National Council is brought about to aid these people and not just speeches. In their quest for simple democratic reform as well as the removal of the dictator Bashar al-Assad who has brought about all of the recent casualties and deaths I am sure no one could argue that he must be removed from power.

However without some form of broad international support or some form of military intervention the killing and torture of innocent Syrian citizens will continue to go on with no end in sight. The United States has firmly stated that they will not intervene as we did in Libya where Moammar Qadhafi the brutal dictator was successfully overthrown the Syrian people are on their own.

So only time will tell as the UN, EU and the United States are not willing to commit anything more than some possible sanctions with a little bit of clandestine support thrown in and nothing more.

Syrian people from all walks of life are being left to protest and fight for their democratic reforms that they so desperately want and need this as the international community has literally turned their collective backs as these people are tortured, raped, disfigured and murdered by the Syrian military.

How many more thousands of Syrians need to die before someone steps up to give them a hand rather than only condemning what is occurring while doing nothing about it?

 

 

 

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United States Lies, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki Destruction and Death

The United States Government has always lied to its citizens with regularity in its history and the bombings and senseless Murder and Destruction at Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are no exception.

Yes the Japanese did bomb Pearl Harbor with 2897 Americans killed, 879 wounded, and 26 missing. It was an egregious act of cowardice; however did FDR know it would occur?

 

 

Pearl Harbor did President Franklin Delano Roosevelt know of the attack?

  There are many who believe that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in fact know the attack was imminent. However at the time the USA was in an isolationist frame of mind and wanted no part of the conflict in Europe. This after the great loss of American lives in World War I; there were more than nine million soldiers and civilian deaths in that conflict on both sides.

After World War I the United States had become a country without a moral compass its citizens were only interested in their own lives and were not ready to suffer anymore causalities to another conflict. Remember that WWII started in 1939 and that the United States did not enter the war until the attack by the Japanese on December 7th, 1941 a full two years after the conflict had begun. The United States government wanted to enter World War II, but they needed a reason to get the people of the country to support their plans.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor could not have come at a better time and was seen as a way for FDR and as a byproduct the United States of America, to engage the people of this country in the conflict because of its horrific aftermath.

There were accounts that the United States had not broken the all important Japanese military codes prior to the attack, this was in fact a lie. There are now documents that have been released which paint a very frightening picture.

One out of the more than eighty three messages intercepted by the US Navy which were sent by the Japanese Admiral Yamamoto to his fleet commanders is the most damning which read in part, “…the task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow…”, this was sent November 25th 1941.

A future Presidential hopeful and opponent for FDR in the next election Thomas Dewey became aware that the Japanese code had previously been broken prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. He had hoped to use this against FDR in the 1944 election. His desire was to do a series of political speeches where he would charge that FDR new of the attacks and did nothing to overt the pending doom in Hawaii.

However the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General George Marshall talked to Thomas Dewey and told him that the Japanese were not aware that their code had been broken. Rather than place our American forces in harms way by compromising their intelligence gathering capabilities, Dewey relented and no speeches were given, FDR went on to win the election of 1944.

It was also previously stated that the Japanese Navy operated under strict radio silence this again was another lie otherwise the US Navy would not have intercepted eighty three messages that were sent to the Japanese fleet.

 

There were also those that were present when FDR heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and they observed, “The President’s surprise was not as great as that of other men around him. Nor was the attack unwelcome. It had ended the past months of uncertainty caused by FDR’s decision that Japan must be seen to make the first overt move.”

It is more than probable that because of this cold calculating mindset that over 2897 American soldiers died needlessly just to give the United States the needed political and national momentum to enter the war.

 

The Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Why did President Truman order the slaughter of Seventy Thousand people in Hiroshima and another 40 to 70 thousand in Nagasaki and give the United States of America the historical distinction of being the only country in the world which has ever used a Nuclear device to devastate and destroy a nation?

The names were comical, Fat-man and Little Boy but the aftermath of their use in Japan was far from being anything of the sort. Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. Fat Man was dropped a few days later on Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945 with their deadly payloads.

But why did the US unleash this untold death and destruction when Japan clearly wanted to surrender? The Soviet’s under their leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and United States President Harry S. Truman all knew that the Emperor of Japan had accepted the terms of an unconditional surrender 19 days before the first atomic bomb was dropped.

President Truman knew the Japanese wanted to surrender however he was not going to allow the Soviet Union to be the peace broker as he feared they would gain the upper hand. He wanted to show the Soviet government and the world at large the destructive power that the United States had in its arsenal the loss of human life was just an afterthought to be dismissed.

From President Truman’s own handwritten diary an entry on July 18th, 1945, “Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. (Churchill) of telegram from Jap emperor asking for peace…” This was nineteen days before the bombings, he knew yet he pursued the path of death and destruction.

Another diary entry this from an assistant to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes by Walter Brown, the entry from August 3rd, 1945. It was written that Byrnes, Admiral William D. Leahy and President Truman,”agrred [sic] Japas [sic] looking for peace. (Leahy had another report from Pacific) President afraid they will sue for peace through Russia instead of some country like Sweden.”

 

Manhattan Project scientist Leo Szilard recalled what Byrnes thought process was; “(Byrnes) was concerned about Russia’s postwar behavior. Russian troops had moved into Hungary and Rumania, and Byrnes thought it would be very difficult to persuade Russia to withdraw her troops from these countries, that Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and that a demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia.”

Yet President Truman bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki even though the Japanese government clearly wanted to surrender, all for the political gain the US would realize.

The United States stated that by dropping these bombs countless American soldiers’ lives would be saved. But no saving was needed the Japanese wanted to end the war and they unfortunately engaged the Soviet Union as their emissary, because of this for the first time in the history of the world Nuclear bombs were dropped for no reason other than to strengthen the mighty hand of the United States of America.

As a footnote in regards to the current Middle Eastern conflict in Iraq as well as the problems facing Israel, it is worth noting that the superpowers of the world in 1948 created the current atrocities. Again for personal gain the Middle East was chopped up and artificial countries and borders were created by the superpowers for economic and political reasons. If this had not occurred the war in which we are presently involved in would have never even been started in the first place. If the USA had never placed permanent military installations in Saudi Arabia the Twin Towers would still be part of the New York skyline as well for Osama bin Laden and his hatred for the United States would have never manifested itself within his mind.

When will the superpowers of the world learn, how many have to needlessly die?

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PS; As this posting has been somewhat popular I felt as though it could use a reformatting as after changing to a different WordPress theme the coding was all over the place.

Mitt Romney Shows His Open Compassionate Side Once More!

During a campaign event for his presidential bid in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mitt Romney’s style of public discourse and openness showed once again what not to do when one is trying to be elected President.

Jose Antonio Vargas who was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting only wished to ask Mr. Romney about his stance on illegal immigration reform after Mitt finished reading his prepared speech. This had been the plan all along Mr. Romney would give a speech and then take questions from the audience and answer their questions during two different Q&A sessions. One would be for the general audience the other for journalists in attendance.

Mr. Vargas who revealed in a June article for the New York Times magazine that he was in fact an undocumented immigrant would have a more than valid reason for attempting to ask such a question.

However when Mr. Vargas raised his hand one of Mitt Romney’s staff moved and stood directly in front of him to attempt to block him from the view of the attendees. Then another member of the audience began to ask question about immigration and Mr. Vargas held up a sign that read, “I am an American without papers”.

That was all that Jose did just trying to get an answer to a question and raising a sign neither of which produced any type of response from Mitt Romney, nor did it disrupt the event. He was not yelling, cursing or interfering with others present at the event by any stretch of the imagination.

Here was a 30-year-old man of Filipino decent who has been in the United States since the age of 12 just trying to ask about the thoughts or opinions of a man running a campaign who is attempting to be elected President of the United States of America about immigration reform.

Jose only found out at the age of 16 that there was a problem with his immigration papers. Having worked or written articles for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Washington Post, New York Times Magazine and the Huffington Post his experience in journalism is self-evident. So as his question would be a very valid compelling subject worthy of some type of response from Mr. Romney he was apparently not deemed important enough to receive any type of response to his question.

After Mitt gave his speech and answered the questions he wanted to answer during the first session the event moved to another room. This would be where in the real world the candidate would answer more questions from the journalists  who were present which would only benefit his campaign. By letting them know his views on very important issues in America today as well as how he might address them, people across the nation would benefit and have a better understanding of this presidential contender. It is a tried and true occurrence common in political campaigns across our nation and especially important when a candidate is running for the most powerful office in the country namely President of the United States.

Following the event Jose Vargas entered that room where Mitt was supposed to take more questions on his views and opinions on various subjects currently under discussion across America. However Mr. Vargas encountered only the police who removed and escorted him out of the building.

Mitt Romney’s campaign replied that Mr. Vargas was escorted from the event by police after he entered a room that was designated a media availability room as he lacked current press credentials. However they didn’t address the earlier incident of attempting and succeeding in not having Mitt Romney answer Jose’s question on immigration.

Is this the same Jose Antonio Vargas who has contributed and worked for National press organizations across the country as well as being part of a team who won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting award, yes, yes it was the same man.

Immigration reform has been a hot button topic for quite some time especially during the recent republican campaigns leading up to the primaries soon to be held in America. Almost all the presidential contenders have voiced various views on immigration reform, yet they have all been vague with any answers they have been given. None of the current republican presidential candidates has addressed how they would try to handle the issue of immigration reform. Some have been more compassionate with their answers such as Newt Gingrich, others have said throw out all the estimated 11 million here without the proper papers no questions asked. Yet not a single one has presented any specifics about how they might carry out any goal that might be made on the issue.

Yes America, not a single current republican candidate for the office of president of the United States wants to give anything more than vague answers to any who might ask about immigration reform. And yes this is occurring right now in the United States our country which has an estimated 11 million people lacking proper documentation as to their immigration status.

Mr. Vargas has a journalistic resume that would be the envy of any writer or news publication in the World. His dedication to immigration reform cannot be called into question this young man has paid his dues.

Yet Mitt Romney who is running for the most powerful political office in the country doesn’t want to answer a simple question.

The President of the United States of America is supposed to serve all the people of this country and be willing to discuss important issues to All Americans without regard to political ideology.

At this event and others Mitt Romney and his staff have shown utter contempt for journalists one where just a reporter being seen at an event was then thrown out without any valid reason and this man was employed by a major national newspaper.

Mr. Romney has shown once again why he of all people is certainly not the right person to lead this country in these trying times.

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Rick Perry’s Ignorance Another Episode Among Many

In an ad put out by the Rick Perry for president campaign (which began showing in Iowa on Wednesday December 7th) the television ad is clearly showing Rick Perry’s bigoted, racist and Ignorant side once more for all of America to see in their living rooms. Even Perry’s top pollster Tony Fabrizio called it, “nuts” according to an email recently uncovered.

The governor of Texas questions in the ad why solders who are gay are allowed to serve openly in the military while children, “can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school”.

Well Rick the separation of church and state in the United States has quite a long history it’s surprising that a man running for president would not know about this subject matter. While not specifically stated in the constitution the U.S. Supreme court has spoken on the subject many times

 

 

Thomas Jefferson first alluded to the term in 1802 in a letter to the Danbury Baptist church, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State“.

Really Rick you have a bachelor’s degree so your educated what is it that you don’t understand about this?

Gay solders have served in every war throughout time while they fought for other’s freedom they could not express their own. However society has matured and realized how unfair it is for military personnel to fight and die for freedom yet to have none for themselves. I was in the military and I just wanted solders who would work together to get the job done I’m not gay I didn’t care if my fellow solder was gay I only wanted him to be able to fight. About 25% of Americans are gay if we excluded all gays from the military do you think we are going to have enough solders to fight in our conflicts both foreign and domestic?….probably not.

 

 

 

The standard of the separation and state on the other hand has a long history if children were allowed to pray in school, (which by the way they can just privately) would All religions be included in your vision? If schools were allowed to celebrate Christmas would the Jews be allowed to celebrate Hanukkah, Blacks be allowed to celebrate Kwanzaa, etc..??

The answer is No Rick in this country we don’t try or we shouldn’t try to force our own religious beliefs on others. The U.S. Supreme Court realizes this that is why the separation of church and state is still in place and always will be in America.

You know Rick it may be part of my cynical side that is thinking that you are really just Pandering to the voters in Iowa. Your most recent poll numbers are showing you in the single digit territory, is this add some type of sensationalized hype in hopes of gaining in the polls. It really does not speak well of you especially after the name of your little hunting area with the racist name came to light in recent history.

However maybe it’s a good thing that all of America is seeing you for what you really seem to be, nothing more than a bigoted racist who is undeserving of serving America in the most powerful seat in our country.

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Tea Party Success; Mother Shoots Children Commits Suicide After Food Stamp Denial

While the Tea-Party, Fox News, Grover Norquist, Republican legislators and the Republican presidential candidates among many will not lose any sleep over it, a 38yr old female shot her two children and then committed suicide herself in a Texas food stamp office on Tuesday.

As our Bought & Paid For Republican congressional leaders continue to crawl on their knees’ to Wall-Street and the Tea-Party the life and death of ordinary citizens is of little or no consequence.

The two children a 10-year old boy and 12-year old sister both still in critical condition in a Texas hospital are just insignificant collateral damage. Rachelle Grimmer 38-years is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound her former children will be orphans, that is if they live to see any more of this life.

Rachelle first applied for food stamps in July but was denied as she did not supply enough information. She apparently had applied after relocating to Texas from Ohio the Department of Health and Human Services stated the last previous contact with her had occurred during mid November.

That was until she walked into the building housing HHS in Laredo, Texas on Tuesday. The once living family walked in at 5pm, Grimmer asked to speak with a new case worker and specifically not the one she had worked with in the past. She and her children were taken to a private room and shortly afterwards revealed she had gun and the situation escalated, yet no one knew how badly this would end after the seven-hour standoff.

The police were called and their negotiators were on the phone with Rachelle throughout the evening, however her frustration was self-evident. A supervisor at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services offered himself as a hostage if Rachelle would let the other 25 employees in the building go free, which she did. She also finally let the supervisor leave at 7:45pm while she and her two children remained. Imagine the feeling alone in that room in the building where you had come for help yet no one cared, in such desperation living a life so far off the page past the margins into nowhere. No one will ever know what drove Rachelle to do what she did however I can imagine many of her once fellow Americans feel the same desperation in this day and age.

After the last phone call with authorities at 11:45pm there were 3 shots heard by police and a swat team entered the building finding Grimmer and her two wounded children. At that time the children were in Very Critical condition and unconscious at this time there is no further word on their outcome.

Yet the Tea-Party can check off their box on another win column entry this poor woman is just now another statistic. In the Tea-Party world of social Darwinism just another weak human being has lost the race while the strong have survived, but at what price?

How dispassionate a society we have become as these types of events happen more and more often than not in this country.

Congress is still fighting to cut programs to the poor while giving or extending tax cuts to the rich. The top 1% have seen their income grow 270% while the poor only realized around 18% from 1970-2007. Even though the rich possibly moved by Warren Buffet who asked to be taxed more along with other millionaires and billionaires while their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

There isn’t a Republican presently serving in congress with the backbone to stand up to the Tea-Party, Grover Norquist, Fox News and the rest of the, “I’ve got mine, get your own, oh and by the way I’m not going to give you a chance to get anything”, Neo-Conservatives.

President Obama said today that we are at a defining moment in our time and this country cannot turn its backs on the people of these lands we call America. Let anyone with a conscience hope and pray his words have not fallen upon deaf ears. Pray that this country still has a beating caring heart left for the sake of the people be they rich or poor.

For Rachelle Grimmer 38 and quite possibly her children who may also just become another statistic whether or not this country starts to turn back around will no longer be a possibility.

Wars are fought for no reason, banks are loaned billions of dollars for operating illegally with impunity and in truth Lobbyists are running this country.

What will it take for the United States of America to grow a conscience once again and realize we are all Human Beings worthy of the same opportunities and to begin to show some compassion for the less fortunate once more?

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Fox News? You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

First there was the study, “Fox News viewers less informed than those who don’t watch news at all” which started to hit the news wires on November 22, 2011. Farleigh Dickinson University conducted the study on 612 New Jersey natives. Needless to say those who were asked questions for the study did not fare well.

Dan Cassino a professor at the university was quoted as saying, “Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News. Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions that those who don’t watch any news at all.”

In regards to national and domestic news on current affairs those questioned struggled with events of current interest in the United States. Surprisingly to some, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” was found to have a much more significant impact on educating viewers than Fox News.

This is somewhat ironic as the Daily Show is on Comedy Central however data doesn’t lie, a comedy station better educates the American public than a so-called news channel, Fox News, which is supposed to be Fair & Balanced.

The study also found that Fox News viewers would be better off not watching the news channel at all. As those who do not watch any television news are better educated on foreign and domestic news than those watching the so-called fair and balanced Fox news program.

Then there was the Tuesday November 29, 2011 appearance by Newt Gingrich a presidential hopeful at a town hall meeting. Just for clarity Mr. Gingrich was an employee of Fox News that is until around May 5th of this year, where he acted as an analyst (acted may be the operative word here).

During the conference an audience member asked a rather detailed question about the Obama AIDS policy and asked Gingrich for his opinion.

Mr. Gingrich replied, “One of the real changes that comes when you start running for President — as opposed to being an analyst on Fox — is I have to actually know what I’m talking about,” to which he added, “It’s a severe limitation”.

During the exchange at the town hall the audience member reportedly let out a Startled laugh with the audience members attending joining in with more laughter.

Also the most recent television ratings show that Fox News is losing more market share as other recent ratings have shown as well in recent history. They still have robust viewership that other networks would be envious of however maybe the American public is starting to catch on.

Back in 2004 a reporter wrote, “Relying on the Fox News Channel as your only source of news is like using MAD Magazine as a legitimate source of news”. Fox rather than relying on Journalism standards is nothing more than a presentation of a slanted, biased spin machine running a constant running commentary on how the country should view or feel about current events, the way they want them too.

Fox news with its splashy graphics and bottomless budget is really nothing more than an Entertainment versus news channel. Unfortunately too many Americans fail to see this and believe they are being presented with the news of the day.

With all of their fox news contributors that is until one of them doesn’t follow the stations directives and are never called upon again. The American public views these one-sided commentary segments as actual journalism which could not be further from the truth.

Journalism across the board has taken a hit in quality and standards with the advent of the 24hr news cycle no one can argue with that point.

Hopefully more former employees of the fox network will come forth with more truths about this propaganda machine. And finally maybe the American public will come to realize the difference between entertainment and Real News programs.

I firmly believe fox news is nothing more than an entertainment channel that I Never watch as I learn much more from reading if only the American viewing public can come to this thought process our Country will be better for it in the end.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

 

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