frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.

Check out my old  Voice of the People page.

Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

1655 POSTS

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Wednesday, 16 March 2005 at 1h 57m 15s

Re: The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

A bipartisan group of Bankruptcy Law professors got together and wrote a letter pleading with Congress not to pass the bankruptcy bill. Here's what they wrote. Notice the specificity of the reasoning AND the list of sources.

How come we can't get the same specificity and reasoning from the average congressperson? Instead we get the froth and hyperbole from the comments on the television nightly news.


We are professors of bankruptcy and commercial law. We are writing with regard to The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (H.R. 685/S. 256)(the “bill”). We have been following the bankruptcy reform process for the last eight years with keen interest. The 110 undersigned professors come from every region of the country and from all major political parties. We are not members of a partisan, organized group. Our exclusive interest is to seek the enactment of a fair, just and efficient bankruptcy law. Many of us have written before to express our concerns about earlier versions of this legislation, and we write again as yet another version of the bill comes before you. The bill is deeply flawed, and will harm small businesses, the elderly, and families with children. We hope the House of Representatives will not act on it.

It is a stark fact that the bankruptcy filing rate has slightly more than doubled during the last decade, and that last year approximately 1.6 million households filed for bankruptcy. The bill’s sponsors view this increase as a product of abuse of bankruptcy by people who would otherwise be in a position to pay their debts. Bankruptcy, the bill’s sponsor says, has become a system “where deadbeats can get out of paying their debt scott-free while honest Americans who play by the rules have to foot the bill.”

We disagree. The bankruptcy filing rate is a symptom. It is not the disease. Some people do abuse the bankruptcy system, but the overwhelming majority of people in bankruptcy are in financial distress as a result of job loss, medical expense, divorce, or a combination of those causes. In our view, the fundamental change over the last ten years has been the way that credit is marketed to consumers. Credit card lenders have become more aggressive in marketing their products, and a large, very profitable, market has emerged in subprime lending. Increased risk is part of the business model. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that as credit is extended to riskier and riskier borrowers, a greater number default when faced with a financial reversal. Nonetheless, consumer lending remains highly profitable, even under current law. The ability to file for bankruptcy and to receive a fresh start provides crucial aid to families overwhelmed by financial problems. Through the use of a cumbersome, and procrustean means-test, along with dozens of other measures aimed at “abuse prevention,” this bill seeks to shoot a mosquito with a shotgun. By focusing on the opportunistic use of the bankruptcy system by relatively few “deadbeats” rather than fashioning a tailored remedy, this bill would cripple an already overburdened system.

The Means-test
The principal mechanism aimed at the bankruptcy filing rate is the so called “meanstest,” which denies access to Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy to those debtors who are deemed “able” to repay their debts. The bill’s sponsor describes the test as a “flexible . . . test to assess an individual's ability to repay his debts,” and as a remedy to “irresponsible consumerism and lax bankruptcy law.” While the stated concept is fine – people who can repay their debts should do so – the particular mechanism proposed is unnecessary, over-inclusive, painfully inflexible, and costly in both financial terms and judicial resources.

• First, the new law is unnecessary. Existing section 707(b) already allows a bankruptcy judge, upon her own motion or the motion of the United States Trustee, to deny a debtor a discharge in Chapter 7 to prevent a “substantial abuse.” Courts have not hesitated to deny discharges where Chapter 7 was being used to preserve a well-to-do lifestyle,3 and the United States Trustee’s office has already taken it upon itself to object to discharge when, in its view, the debtor has the ability to repay a substantial portion of his or her debts.

• Second, the new means-test is over-inclusive. Because it is based on income and expense standards devised by the Internal Revenue Service to deal with tax cheats, the principal effect of the “means-test” would be to replace a judicially supervised, flexible process for ferreting out abusive filings with a cumbersome, inflexible standard that can be used by creditors to impose costs on overburdened families, and deprive them of access to a bankruptcy discharge. Any time middle-income debtors have $100/month more income than the IRS would allow a delinquent taxpayer to keep, they must submit themselves to a 60 month repayment plan. Such a plan would yield a mere $6000 for creditors over five years, less costs of government-sponsored administration.

• Third, to give just one example of its inflexibility, the means-test limits private or parochial school tuition expenses to $1500 per year. According to a study by the National Center for Educational Statistics, even in 1993, $1500 would not have covered the average tuition for any category of parochial school (except Seventh Day Adventists and Wisconsin Synod Lutherans).4 Today it would not come close for any denomination. In order to yield a few dollars for credit card issuers, this bill would force many struggling families to take their children from private or parochial school (often in violation of deeply held religious beliefs) for three to five years in order to confirm a Chapter 13 plan.

• Fourth, the power of creditors to raise the “abuse” issue will significantly increase the number of means-test hearings. Again, the expense of the hearings will be passed along to the already strapped debtor. This will add to the cost of filing for bankruptcy, whether the filing is abusive or not. It will also swamp bankruptcy courts with lengthy and unnecessary hearings, driving up costs for the taxpayers.

• Finally, the bill takes direct aim at attorneys who handle consumer bankruptcy cases by making them liable for errors in the debtor’s schedules.

Our problem is not with means-testing per se. Our problem is with the collateral costs that this particular means-test would impose. This is not a typical means test, which acts as a gatekeeper to the system. It would instead burden the system with needless hearings, deprive debtors of access to counsel, and arbitrarily deprive families of needed relief. The human cost of this delay, expense, and exclusion from bankruptcy relief is considerable. As a recent study of medical bankruptcies shows, during the two years before bankruptcy, 45% of the debtors studied had to skip a needed doctor visit. Over 25% had utilities shut off, and nearly 20% went without food.6 If the costs of bankruptcy are higher, the privations will increase. The vast majority of individuals and families that file for bankruptcy are honest but unfortunate. The main effect of the means-test, along with the other provisions discussed below, will be to deny them access to a bankruptcy discharge.

Other Provisions That Will Deny Access to Bankruptcy Court
The means-test is not the only provision in the bill which is designed to limit access to the bankruptcy discharge. There are many others. For example:

• Sections 306 and 309 of the bill (working together) would eliminate the ability of Chapter 13 debtors to “strip down” liens on personal property, in particular their car, to the value of the collateral. As it is, many Chapter 13 debtors are unable to complete the schedule of payments provided for under their plan. These provisions significantly raise the cash payments that must be made to secured creditors under a Chapter 13 plan. This will have a whipsaw effect on many debtors, who, forced into Chapter 13 by the means- test, will not have the income necessary to confirm a plan under that Chapter. This group of debtors would be deprived of any discharge whatsoever, either in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In all cases this will reduce payments to unsecured creditors (a group which, ironically, includes many of the sponsors of this legislation).

• Section 106 of the bill would require any individual debtor to receive credit counseling from a credit counseling agency within 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. While credit counseling sounds benign, recent Senate hearings with regard to the industry have led Senator Norm Coleman to describe the credit counseling industry as a network of not for profit companies linked to for-profit conglomerates. The industry is plagued with “consumer complaints about excessive fees, pressure tactics, nonexistent counseling and education, promised results that never come about, ruined credit ratings, poor service, in many cases being left in worse debt than before they initiated their debt management plan.”7 Mandatory credit counseling would place vulnerable debtors at the mercy of an industry where, according to a recent Senate investigation, many of the “counselors” are seeking to profit from the misfortune of their customers.8

• Sections 310 and 314 would significantly reduce the ability of debtors to discharge credit card debt and would reduce the scope of the fresh start, for even those debtors who are able to gain access to bankruptcy.

The cumulative effect of these provisions, and many others contained in the bill (along with the means-test) will be to deprive the victims of disease, job loss, and divorce of much needed relief.

The Elusive Bankruptcy Tax?
The bill’s proponents argue that it is good for consumers because it will reduce the socalled “bankruptcy tax.” In their view, the cost of credit card defaults is passed along to the rest of those who use credit cards, in the form of higher interest rates. As the bill’s sponsor dramatically puts it: “honest Americans who play by the rules have to foot the bill.” This argument seems logical. However, it is not supported by facts. The average interest rate charged on consumer credit cards has declined considerably over the last dozen years. More importantly, between 1992 and 1995, the spread between the credit card interest rate and the risk free sixmonth t-bill rate declined significantly, and remained basically constant through 2001.9 At the same time, the profitability of credit card issuing banks remains at near record levels.10 Thus, it would appear that hard evidence of the so-called “bankruptcy tax” is difficult to discern. That the unsupported assertion of that phenomenon should drive Congress to restrict access to the bankruptcy system, which effectuates Congress’s policies about the balance of rights of both creditors and debtors, is simply wrong.

Who Will Bear the Burden of the Means-test?
The bankruptcy filing rate is not uniform throughout the country. In Alaska, one in 171.2 households files for bankruptcy. In Utah the filing rate is one in 36.5. The states with the ten highest bankruptcy filing rates are (in descending order): Utah, Tennessee, Georgia, Nevada, Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio, Mississippi, and Idaho.11 The deepest hardship will be felt in the heartland, where the filing rates are highest. The pain will not only be felt by the debtors themselves, but also by the local merchants, whose customers will not have the benefit of the fresh start.

The fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers is older Americans. While individuals over 55 make up only about 15% of the people filing for bankruptcy, they are the fastest growing age group in bankruptcy. More than 50% of those 65 and older are driven to bankruptcy by medical debts they cannot pay. Eighty-five percent of those over 60 cite either medical or job problems as the reason for bankruptcy.12 Here again, abuse is not the issue. The bankruptcy filing rate reveals holes in the Medicare and Social Security systems, as seniors and aging members of the baby-boom generation declare bankruptcy to deal with prescription drug bills, co-pays, medical supplies, long-term care, and job loss.

Finally, it is crucial to recognize that the filers themselves are not the only ones to suffer from financial distress. They often have dependents. As it turns out, families with children – single mothers and fathers, as well as intact families – are more likely to file for bankruptcy than families without them. In 2001, approximately 1 in 123 adults filed for bankruptcy. That same year, 1 in 51 children was a dependent in a family that had filed for bankruptcy.13 The presence of children in a household increases the likelihood that the head of household will file for bankruptcy by 302%.14 Limiting access to Chapter 7 will deprive these children (as well as their parents) of a fresh start.

The bill contains a number of salutary provisions, such as the proposed provisions that protect consumers from predatory lending. Our concern is with the provisions addressing “bankruptcy abuse.” These provisions are so wrongheaded and flawed that they make the bill as a whole unsupportable. We urge you to either remove these provisions or vote against the bill.


1 Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Lawrence Westbrook, The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt (2001); Marianne Culhane and Michaela White, Taking the New Consumer Bankruptcy Model for a Test Drive: Means-Testing for Chapter 7 Debtors, 7 AM. BANKR. INST. L. REV. 27, 28 n.8 (1999).

2 As one commentator has put it: “[T]he new means testing proposal . . . has . . . shifted to a command-and-control approach. Although means testing can be defended in principle - surely, debtors should repay some of their obligations if they can realistically do so - mechanical guidelines are both an artificial and manipulable strategy for inducing debtors to pay.” David A. Skeel, Jr., Debt’s Dominion (2001) at 210.

3 See, e.g., In re Kornfield, 164 F. 3d 778 (2nd Cir. 1999).

4 National Center for Educational Statistics, Private Schools in the United States: A Statistical Profile, 1993-94 (Table 1.5), available at:

5 American Bar Association, Fact Sheet: Congress Considers Imposing Harsh New Liability Standards Against Bankruptcy Attorneys (December 2004), available at: df .

6 David U. Himmelstein, Elizabeth Warren, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler, Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy, HEALTH AFFAIRS (2005), available at:

7 Statement of Senator Norm Coleman, Hearing of the Senate Permanent Commission on Investigations (March 24, 2004), available at: getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_senate_hearings&docid=f:93477.wais.

8 Id.

9 Mark Furletti, Credit Card Pricing Developments and their Disclosure (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, January 2003), available at: abstract_id=572585.

10 Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, The Profitability of Credit Card Operations of Depository Institutions (June 2004), available at: .

11 Source: American Bankruptcy Institute. Available at:

12 Melissa B. Jacoby, Teresa A. Sullivan, & Elizabeth Warren, Rethinking the Debates over Health Care Financing: Evidence from the Bankruptcy Courts, 76 N.Y.U. L. REV. 375, 397-399 (2001); Elizabeth Warren, Older Americans in Bankruptcy (October 12, 2004)(working paper). See also, Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Lawrence Westbrook, The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt (2001) at 165.

Thursday, 10 March 2005 at 2h 8m 41s

Jim McCrery, congressman from West Louisiana

From the Kansas City Star, March 9, 2005:

Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., the chairman of the panel's Social Security subcommittee, said Walker was "just dead wrong" and that private accounts, if coupled with benefit cuts, "can in fact solve the problems of Social Security."

He said it would be "counterproductive" for Bush to rule out private accounts and urged Democrats to drop their demand that the accounts be dropped.

"Stop this nonsense," McCrery said. "I hope we will all calm down."


Dear Mister McSleasy.

You calm down. You stop this nonsense.

This is simple economics. If you remove from the total you weaken the aggregate fund. Insurance works when more people put their money into one fund. That's basic business school McCrery, or did you get your MBA in supine corporate fawning.

The funds that are removed will get whittled away by brokerage fees -- which is what happened in Chile and Great Britain when they went to private accounts. And Great Britain wants to RETURN TO OUR SYSTEM.

Right now the overhead cost administering this insurance fund, is a mere 2 percent. With private accounts the overhead will rise to 20% or more. And there will be no guarantee if the account loses money --something that happens to 40% of mutual funds every year. So are you saying tough luck eating cat food for at least 40% of our old people?

And when 4.2% gets removed, the employer will only payup on the remaining 2.3%, further removing financial stability.

And what about the handicap, the disabled, and the children whose father's die? Who will pay for them?

This is just a chance to pay for debts created by this Republican party (that means you.) Bush invaded the Teacher's Pension fund when he was Governor, and he wants to do the same as President.

It's disgusting. I can't believe that you think you are upholding the constitution and act so slavishly in the interests of the billionaires and the corporations they control.

But what does a political hack from Shreveport care? Your making your bills sucking and slurping like a fiend.

It must taste good McCrery, but you are no patriot. You are either an idiot, or a wolf with a good-ole boy smile. You are wrong sir. You are cruel and you are wrong sir.

Shame on you, boy.

Wednesday, 9 March 2005 at 3h 19m 39s

Watching television regularly, eh?

How much does watching television promote degenerate behavior?

Of course, humans will always produce macabre reflections of themselves in the actions of murderers, thieves, addicts, and other dysfunctional behavior. This is not to say that we should blame society for the ills and actions of certain individuals, BUT we must also realize that there will always be a percentage of the larger population who are vulnerable or not as mentally strong as others. A society which forces this percentage to confront ridiculous and unnecessary stress or emotional disruption is asking for a chain reaction. But providing for the basic needs of all people is seen as socialistic. People are assumed to benefit by competiting with individuals, or they fall by the wayside into some subservient realm because they can't hack it.

The bang-the-hammer-harder approach and its concomitant ideas about survival-of-the-fittest mistake the individuals for the species. We are no different than ants. We cannot live separated from the others, and our survival depends upon everyone else being able to survive. Decisions must be made for the good of the whole. When decisions are being made which are bad for the whole, they are justified based upon a model which assumes that which is good for the individual is also good for the whole. But since all are not created with equal strengths and weaknesses, we cannot presume that all individuals will be able (either physically or mentally) to benefit from any arrangement which presumes that only the strongest will survive. This is true when it comes to the species, whereby only the strong species are able to live and continue to have offspring. When we discuss the intra-relations within the members of the species however, we are mistaking the individuals for the species. Within the species survival depends upon balance and shared responsibility.

The philosophy of striving and getting ahead cannot understand balance and shared responsibility because these ideas are not even on the mental map. Striving and getting ahead only concern themselves with behavior mechanisms, points of strategic value, and how best to defend the perimeter. In this mindset, the belief that the individual creates society is only a reflection of the world view that comes from striving and getting ahead. The idea of balance extensively lessens the importance of the sacred perimeter and creates mechanisms which are not bent upon getting ahead, but of sharing and cooperation. The idea of team degenerates into an egotistical competition of teammates. Although the team can function well enough under this condition, the ideas and roles of the teammates are not the same, much as the friendly neighborhood police force is different from a corrupt, pugnacious and autocratic version of the police force. The roles of our institutions lose touch with their purpose by this polarity of individualism.

Where does such a rampant individualism come from? You got it. Television. A gaining percent of the daily time we spend incorporating into our attention the actions of acted roles and commercial advertizements paid for by huge corporations. There is a decrease in the attention span spent cognizant of those in our community. Where and how we get the daily news is just as important what the news is. The cultural display of ourselves, the morals we like to embellish, the cherishing of heros and heriones has degenerated into stars and fantasy lifestyles, and moral self-righteousness. Commercials depict us as slavish nicompoops, crafty idiots, or suave players in the game of life. We watch as we applaud ourselves and as we point fingers and try to have everything nailed down to one short paragraph so that we can provide for the watchers -- at this very second -- that which alludes the grasp and cannot be captured. But we have it right here, only on the Itz Happenin Now channel.

And thusly a certain portion of our selves and minds grow an attachment to this display of culture and twisted commercialism. We presume that we can filter out the silliness, but nevertheless the attachment is formed whenever a thought occurs in response to stimuli. Gradually we are pulled away from the mutuality of the species, and slowly we are trained to adhere to the survival-of-the- fittest mentality, and slowly we lose the balance and shared responsibility because we begin to respond to the evolution of decades through the medium of the TV which has portrayed those decades.

We cannot presume that our species will remain the same when we are interacting with new mediums of communication and machines, including this very computer upon which these words are read -- and typed. Every tool brings benefits and dependencies, but no tool has ever had the power of television to shape the mind without a context based upon a false here-and-now reality. What you see on TV is somewhere else, and may have happened at some other time. Or it is many different points of time in the past that get chopped up into a final version. When you read, your mind produces its own mental imagery and thoughts. The combined video-audio experience that is television and cinematography however provides everything, so there is no development of mental imagery and thoughts, only an emotional reaction to images and thought packages, and a memory of what you saw and heard, not what you thought about or wondered.

Did I answer the question?

Monday, 7 March 2005 at 21h 23m 17s

The Law of cultural development

Citizens, denizens of urbanity, bucolic holdovers of rural redoubt, it is now time to reveal the Law of Cultural Development.Who we are as a people is directly proportional to what we pay attention to regularly, and how the rewards of society are distributed.

That being said, you have to ask : what justice and sanity makes it reasonable to assign wealth to the luck of birth? This is not really a moral question. It is not that it is bad to be rich. There is nothing wrong with having money and living well without concern for food, clothing, and shelter. But why should this just be the luck of birth, and what happens when the surplus funds get used to gather more money?

Money is created to represent all the wealth obtained and transformed from the Earth's natural resources. Essentially the number of people in the world or community who desire or need the resources exchange the bills of commerce. So when large amounts of it accumulate into smaller groups this means that more people have less and less control over their own well-being, and are subject to the whims and desires of those who control the way the resources are distributed.

We assume that wealth is a reflection of success and hard work, which is often true. The majority of millionaires work very hard for their funds, and are just as often only a bad sequence of events away from bankruptcy. Wealth is not in itself a reflection of unworthy accumulation. Those who take on larger responsibilities, those who are responsible, reliable, and who work hard should be well paid. But what does it mean when the rewards of financial accumulation also accrue to those who gain control of funds to where they are no longer ever in danger of bankruptcy because they are too large to fail. Billionaires do not go broke.

Our society does not like to discuss the issue of power. Instead we gloss over the issue with the automation of the free market economic system. All those who are wealthy have obtained that status because they were efficient providers of goods and services, or they were talented and determined. But what if we speak of men who are talented at duplicity and manipulation that are determined to accumulate more power? These are the nascent beginnings of aristocracy.

And what happens when the developing aristocracy decides to collectively relinquish any responsible relationship with the society, building gated communities from which they occassionally leave while being driven by a chauffeur. This is not a process that develops over a couple of years, but rather after a couple of generations.

The final analysis is this : there is equal danger between a bureaucratic corrupt government as there is the rise of an aristocratic order. There is no difference between the one and the other when the aristocracy does not live the lives of the common people. Despotism is not just something government creates, as certain liberterians would ascribe as their root philosophical understanding. Despotism occurs when power accumulates in the hands of a few. The sycophants and psychopaths who decorate the enterprises of dictatorship are the same people, whether they are exploited by political hacks or the aristocratic regime of a few plutocrats.

Thursday, 3 March 2005 at 16h 7m 48s

Mind fiends who call themselves righteous

The fiends of mind-warped opinion are just power addicts and guilt trippers. They hire themselves into huge pyramids of talking smack addicts, all of them bent on kissing ass and playing mind-games while each they try to claw over one another, smiling and high flying when in the spotlight.

They are like high school debate club addicts. They don't care about right and wrong. They confuse manipulation with reason because all they care about is victory and money when they dip in and out like glossy sharks waiting for the precise moment to strike, pondering the slithering words which will prepare the victim for the stiletto.

So when you pose heartfelt and reasonable objections that have solid details, don't expect them to listen trying to understand your point of view. That is you. Not them. They are sniffing for weaknesses. They are quickly throwing up objections like fighters in a boxing ring. They see having a discussion as a combat which results in a victory, rather than an event which results in a common understanding; or as some moment to play their cards right, to put forth the smoke-screen amongst their other fellow confabulators; or plot with them. Oh, they are the first to denounce, ridicule, and vilify the philosophy of what they perceive as an opposition because it is the core of their believe system. Ask them what they believe in and notice that the result is not rooted in details, or is often stated with a "I just don't believe that..." They run their mouths on and on about being "fiscally conservative" or "fair-minded" but look the other way at wasted money and corruption.

It's all talk. Nestled next to their strident hypocritical, self-righteousness is an amorphous ambiguity, able to twist and distort every argument, even lie, because the goal is victory not understanding.

These people are dangerous, but the self-promoting sycophants are allowed mouthpieces of vast influence. They sit around (and go around) acting like their rampaging banter is the equivalence of insightful conversation. They beam a pompousness that resembles children proud of their new "poopy," and every moment for them is another re-enactment of that time they took their first shit. And really, they hate themselves. Which is yet another, darker reason for their vigilance over victory. They have to win because the consequences are but too dire. They talk the talk because they have to tell themselves that others have problems, and that that which they denounce is not themselves.

And they will keep talking until some "big daddy" kicks them where it hurts, whence they transform into pitiful and driveling, like slime gladly able to still cling to the brick wall. Yes it is slime that is holding the attention of an audience of fools. They have merely put up the illusion of themselves, and the audience believes.

Friday, 18 February 2005 at 2h 6m 8s


Okay like, it’s really quite simple, you know, but, well, this might take a while to explain. You see. It all started sometime in the past, although I can’t offer you any particular date, or specific time when the said event occurred. Rather, it was just something that all of a sudden became realized. The thing was there all along, and still is, always will be, and so on and so on, and so on. Then, one day – or one moment – the realization of what the thing was or could be appeared like a sudden burst of fire, and the mind burned with the seething realizations, millions of beads of water pounding upon the stone, falling from the waterfall 200 feet above. This thing is called life. You cast yourself into the unknown thoughtlessly, completely driven by the habits of sheer will. Every now and then a little morsel of understanding appears, every now and then there are painful breeches when we have to try and understand what is quite non- understandable. During these situations there are no words which completely describe anything, only emotions which don’t make any sense. In our often deranged irrational attempts we use to feebly try to solve that which is unsolvable, because these are great wounds and take time to heal, and crying is the only way we know how to heal. I said it was really that simple. Crying is the only way we know how to heal.

Tuesday, 8 February 2005 at 7h 1m 58s

How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its' conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its' lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. There is no shortage of filament. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

Friday, 28 January 2005 at 16h 23m 41s

Freedom-loving blind bats

Listening to Republicans speak of themselves, you get the felling that the party is one big love-fest when they refer to themselves as "freedom loving." But since "freedom is not free" then where, I ask, is the love or the freedom?

Freedom loving. What a joke. Oh they love freedom alright. Let me explain.

They love freedom so much that senior citizens are not free to purchase cheaper drugs from Canada. When asked why, the representatives of the "freedom-lovers" say that imported drugs are not safe, but fail to mention that many of the drugs drug companies sell are imported from Canada. So you can only import drugs if you are a corporate Drug company.

Ah, ha. Freedom for corporations and wealthy investors only.

Oh and freedom is so loved that they bribed Republicans on the floor of the House to get the Medicare rape bill passed. Republican legislators were not free to vote as the wanted, and had to have their arms twisted by Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay for 3 hours.

So Republicans in Congress are only free to do as the leadership tells them, or they get the cold shoulder and are ostracized.

And then the Bush administration was free to lie about the real costs of the medicare rape bill. The head administrator who audits medicare was threatened with his job if he revealed the true costs. Tax payer money was used to make news videos with fake news reporters speaking gloriously of the great new medicare bill. This is apparently called freedom of speech, but all of it is a grand hoax to bilk the tax-payers and sell our nation to the front corporations controlled by wealthy investors.

And don't give me that "everyone can buy stock and invest in corporations" nonsense, because although true, you can't compare a small $500,000 investment to a trust fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars. There are millions of small investors vulnerable to the big players, no different than the millions of consumers vulnerable to the big corporations.

And because "freedom is not free" we have to have military excursions into choosen middle eastern nations that have lots of oil. We have to lie about the reasons and promote forged documents about non-existent yellowcake Uranium sales from Nigeria, because freedom also included the freedom to lie. And freedom is no doubt being installed now by the massive fire-sale of Iraq to corporations and administration cronys who hired imported cheap labor and export profits without reinvestment. Corporations who provided supplies to our freedom-fighters were not able to provide adequate supplies, but were free to skim off their profits -- since freedom is not free you see.

And elections are free when we call them free, ignoring all of the polling booths that are bombed and all of the trade union leaders that are getting assassinated by "operatives." Because the people are free only when they accept their corporate masters, and when they pull the levers to choose for one of the acceptable government candidates. Is it important that only 50% of the population will vote? Is it important that Iraqi's had to register to vote before they got their food rations? Not according to the Republican ink- fingers who blame our bad foreign policy on the "insurgents","terrorists", and "dead-enders" who hate freedom -- or at least the current version. The people are free to drink untreated water, to breathe the radiation and the toxic waste created by the military bombs dropped from the freedom-loving Americans. We killed more people in Iraq because of the war and the 10 year economic boycott than Saddam did as the freedom-hating dictator. But freedom is worth the cost I'm sure. And after all, freedom is not free, right?

This is the freedom to exploit and profit at the expense of the localities being exploited, who get to watch the profits made from their resources leave the nation to freely find other investments and make more profit.

These freedom-lovers are oxymorons. They blind themselves and sing hymnals of praise about a glorious cause, using words that have no underlying contextual validity. There are plenty of killers who justified their murdering with convoluted self-serving reasoning.

Which freedom are they talking about? The freedom to lie, cheat, murder, and steal.

Wednesday, 12 January 2005 at 3h 43m 20s

Existential nihilism

It's a very small world, very small, smaller than the cubicle into which we place ourselves day after day, rotating from one function to another, looking at the world as if through a microscope, with one eye closed, and the other focused on a tiny pinprick.

Across this world, we carve tiny traces of ourselves that disappear and become non-existent almost as soon as they occur, and everything seems to fall upon us at once, so that we only remember but one little dot on the map, one little morsel in the vast ocean of existence. It is only the mind, and the reinforced sycophancy of fawning others which might convince us otherwise, but nevertheless we are still as relatively insignifigant as hapless dust in the workings of the universe. Would that we led a nation to war and back, we are still merely a mortality of flesh with a soul. Nothing more, nothing less.

And thus we seek stability, ritual, and routine, because we cannot often bare ourselves to such existential nihilism. The nestling of absolute nothingness, an abyss without anything we might care to recognize, is not comforting insofar as is the white noise which appears on the television when there is no signal.

Monday, 10 January 2005 at 1h 15m 12s

The watching television disease

Ladies ... and .... gentlemen .... do not miss tonight's world premiere showing of The Spice is Life, that great all American TV show where you get to waste your life sitting on your bottom staring at the oncoming sounds and changes in light patterns, all of it falling into and across your mind, giving you the freedom to see and hear, rather than perceive and listen.

The spice of life is somewhere on the hundreds of stations out there, cheap laughs and morality plays dancing before you with nary an effort on your part. All you have to do is have a pair of eyes and ears, but you don't need to use them, because your brain automatically takes over once the mind is inundated with sound and light, that comes so rapid and swift that you don't have time to decide what to filter out. But relax, your subconscious id takes over and does that for you.

Train yourself to become accustomed to being entertained, rather than entertaining yourself. Sit there and watch, instead of developing skills and knowledge. Then, convince yourself that you are becoming wise and intelligent by whatever the TV brings to your palette. Learning, you see, occurs when you pay attention to the filtered presentation of light and sound. We learn to glean knowledge from these external imprints of light and sound, rather than pull from our own internal resources an image or mental association. When you read, your mind produces an image; when you watch your mind only stores a replica or a reminder that the image existed. When you hear, your mind interprets, but you don't get to ask questions or reinterpret from a medium that allows no interaction. There is no feedback or interaction possible from the Television.

And when we get used to the habits of storing incoming lights and sounds, when we get used to non-interactive learning, we become non-responsive automatons.