Saturday, February 26, 2011


An infinite number of children's coloring books contain pages in which the child is challenged to connect the numbered dots, with a picture emerging. Unfortunately, the dots of America's coloring book aren't numbered.

Dot: On January 21st of 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, by a 5-4 majority, that corporations, unions and ideological groups could spend as much money as they liked on political advertisements.

Dot: With enormous amounts of money, pomp, pageantry and tea parties, the November 2010 elections ushered in a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and many new Republican governors.

Dot: In the waning days of 2010, Republicans, subsidized by the wealthiest of Americans, threatened to bring the U.S. Government to a halt, if the latter group did not receive a 2-year extension of their Bush tax cuts, which decreased the annual U.S. tax revenues by $130 billion.

Dot: Currently, the top 1% of all income receipients in the United States receive 23 1/2% of all income generated in the U.S., which is more than the total income of the bottom 50% of American wage earners. Also, the wealthiest 0.1% of U.S. citizens recieve 12 cents of every dollar of income generated in the U.S. In regard to this wealthiest 0.1-1%, I purposefully did not use the word "earn," which in my mind implies labor.

Dot: Today, the Republican-dominated Legislatures and the Republican governors of Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio are attempting to pass bills to eliminate the collective bargaining power of their state's unions.

Dot: Regarding the above legislation,, Steve Kriesberg, of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a major public-sector union, said "This is about trying to abolish the unions, pure and simple."1

Dot: Thousands of pro-union protestors are marching on the respective capitols, of the above states. Labor experts say the bills are the largest assault on collective bargaining in "recent memory" and strike "at the very heart of an American labor movement that is already deeply atrophied."2 B. Patrick Bauer, the minority speaker of the Indiana House of Representative, said, "The union legislation ... has been one of many 'wrongful bills' that would 'rip the heart out of the middle class.'"3

I am beginning to see a picture. How about you?

1. The Economist, The Wisconsin Way, 2/19/11.
2. The New York Times, After Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana Face Union Fight, 2/23/11, A1,A2.
3. The New York Times, More Standoffs and Protests, Plus a Prank Call, 2/24/11, A20.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The United States Government is not about democracy. It is about the financial "elite" increasing their wealth and controlling what goes on in our country and the world at large.

In the waning days of 2010, the Republican Party threatened to grind the U.S.Government to a halt unless the wealthiest of our nation received a two year extension of the Bush tax cuts, which decreased federal tax revenues by $130 billion a year. And, estate taxes were held to 0% for the first $5 million inherited and to 35% thereafter. Do you know how many Americans will benefit by that move? I am sure it won't be those of us who work for a living.

Now, the Republicans are performing high drama around decreasing the federal budget and the federal deficit by cutting spending on education, health, Social Security, Medicare and hungry children. These budget cuts will constitute a huge loss for working people but will have a negligible impact on the wealthy.

Meanwhile, the sacred cow of the defense budget goes unscathed. The U.S. spends 6 times more for "defense" than China and almost more than the rest of the world, combined. Cut this budget by half and there would be plenty of money to fund desperately needed social programs at home. But of course, the military-industrial complex would lose revenue, which means financial loss to the wealthiest 1-2%.

To add insult to injury, where the Pentagon spends its budget, about $700 billion a year, cannot
be audited or explained. So, we taxpayers don't know where or for what the government spends these unaccounted for billions. That kind of accounting system for me or you wouldn't fly when the IRS comes to call.

Then, we look at foreign aid. How many billions does the U.S. annually spend on despots in power, all in the name of "stability?" Please note, stability is not defined as democracy, equality or freedom for the country's citizens.

"Stability" in Egypt and Bahrain translated into protecting U.S. oil interests, maintaining control of the Suez Canal and paying rent for the "home" of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. Visible to the public eye, Egypt receives $1.5 billion in foreign aid a year, with Bahrain receiving $1.3 billion.

Wake up Americans. Turn off your televisions, video games, cell phones and any other electronic gadget you're plugged into. Get your brains out of hock. In the names of "national security" and "defense," a large % of our tax dollars disappear abroad and into the pockets of the wealthy. We're being fleeced.