Be Connected

I've been going through Youtube videos tonight, viewing music, stumbling videos. I've focused mainly on "throwbacks" tonight. Songs that I haven't heard in a while. In true Youtube fashion, one click lead to another and stumbled across Mosh by Eminem.

Now, I remember the first time I heard this song. I hadn't been overly impressed by the infamous Slim Shady up to that point. But I heard this song, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Then I watched the video.

It was early 2004, I was feeling rebellious. I had already been through some very life changing experiences, and my eyes had been opened by that point. I watched the video, that infectious beat, those lyrics cut like a serrated six foot sword, he was wielding his talent in a way that made me feel connected.

Granted, the fact that the characters in the video look like a little blac bloc army certainly helped. Until that point, I felt relatively isolated in my anger towards the establishment. This opened up a chasm of hope, and an unnerving boldness in my heart.

Bush is out of office. And despite the past, the country did unite for a period time, more so than we could have ever hoped for. Although we didn't unite under the banner of supporting our government, we united none the less.

Thugs and Anarchists, rappers and punk bands, regular folks and fringe elements, activists and veterans, young and old - solidarity.

Now we have a new administration. We do have the ability to hope from what we've seen thus far. We can still remain united, we can still implement change. We can still bridge the gaps of generations, genre's, race and gender.

Let's not lose that.

Watch the video, and reflect on our ability to engage in real solidarity:


Call to all Anarchists!

Not just to Anarchists, but to anyone who cares.

Right now we have the unique ability to use the economic and social decline to initiate real change. I propose that we use a combination of resources - one being legal lawsuits to hold greedy CEO's and executives responsible for the decades of greed that has caused poverty, pain, and perhaps even funded wars to further advance US imperialistic goals.

The other of, course, would be to take it to the streets.

If we want to undo the damages of capitalism, if we want to let the government know that the US has overstepped her bounds and the line of decency for too many years - Now is the time to do it.

Who is with me?

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in organizing a collaborative effort. You may leave a message here, in the comment section, e mail me through my profile, or you can find me on blogcatalog.

In the meantime, watch, and enjoy:


Bush Has Prevented More Terrorist Attacks!

Now, this is a phrase, commonly uttered by those still supporting the Bush administrations actions, by those who are outwardly condemning Obama's administration, and by those who truly believe that we are under terrorist siege.

And it irritates me to no end.

Has it not occurred to anyone still using the "he's kept us safe from terrorists" argument that only one terrorist attack was ever needed? Think about this, the attacks on September 11th set the stage for a wildly different America. One attack, while emotionally horrid and shocking, turned this country upside down, and set into motion the very demise of this country. Which of course was the goal, wasn't it?

One attack, just one, was the spark that created a flame that has all but devoured this country. Granted! There are other factors at play with regards to our economic system etc...it was the terrorist attacks that led to the downward spiral.

Regardless of one's opinions about why we were attacked, and I mean the root cause, (generally regarded by us far out lefties as bad foreign policy and turning a blind eye towards atrocities and supporting brutal dictators so long as it greased our economic wheels) the over all effect was successful, was it not?

A while ago I wrote a bit about this in a post called Changing our way of life.

I want you to think back to the words spoken by Bush, after the September 11th attacks. And I want you to really think about them for one second.

"The terrorists hate our freedoms [.....] they want to change our way of life"

The government, as well as many Americans have repeated the notion that the terrorists want to take this country down from the inside.

Now here we are, it's 2009, and Rome is falling to pieces.

After and because of the attacks our country has fallen into a state of divisive politics, strong arm militarism, economic woes and internal chaos that haven't been felt here since the Civil War. Martial law, spying on citizens, conspiracy theories hitting the mainstream. Hello!

The cost of the war in Iraq has caused so much economic damage here, the war in Iraq, the call to arms against terrorism in the way that we did, the use of torture and suspension of rights, the willful rejection of the Geneva convention, the airing of the country's dirty laundry...these things have ruined our international reputation, ruined our economy, ruined any semblance of unity within the country...

Citizens are still using the threat of terrorist attacks to justify all manner of things that go against our constitution, our laws, international treaties...

One attack caused this.

I've got news for those who continue to believe that Bush et al has prevented terrorist attacks. There was never going to be more than one. Becasue one was all that was needed to tear down the military and capitalist structure of this country.

Mind you, I'm not crying over the failures of capitalism, I expected that to happen anyway. But the failures have been pushed to the very limits due to the attacks. In any case, I silently scream every time I hear or read "But he kept us saaaaafffeee!". No he didn't, he walked right into the trap.


Now Obama is left to clean up the mess, and while I'm hopeful that he can, I'm doubtful hat it will be enough.


Who's Afraid of a Little Competition?

Hat tip: Drinking Liberally in New Milford. Thanks Stephen.

That would be....drumroll please....free market capitalists. Ah, yes, the debate over public vs. private medical insurance has come full circle to the truth. The truth being that previous arguments against national health care plans has nothing to do with worries of socialism, with worries of decreased care, choice, and increased costs.

Oh no, they finally came out with it. Private insurance simply can't compete.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Daschle, the point man for Mr. Obama’s campaign to revamp the health care system, supports the concept of “a government-run insurance program modeled after Medicare.” It would, he says, give consumers, especially the uninsured, an alternative to commercial insurance offered by companies like Aetna, Humana and WellPoint.

But the proposal is anathema to many insurers, employers and Republicans. They say the government plan would have unfair advantages, like the ability to impose lower fees, and could eventually attract so many customers that private insurers would be driven from the market.

This is true - giving patients and citizens a choice in insurance coverage and service rendered, they will indeed choose the plan that is the least expensive, with the best results. The low cost/best competitive service mantra is the battle cry of capitalists, isn't it?

Apparently not.

Of course we all know we are being gouged with medical costs, from the doctor's bills to the outrageous premiums, we are being killed off one by one. Financially speaking. I have said over and over again that large health care plans like this give the patient the best bang for their buck. The larger the pool, the lower the costs become.

And again, I'm being proven correct by the amount of fear shown by private industries. Why doesn't anyone listen to me?

From the article:

“Many of the private plans are poorly managed,” he said. “They are the General Motors of medical care delivery. Medicare is paying the right amounts. To suggest that a heart surgeon has to make $600,000 or $700,000 a year, as opposed to only $400,000 under Medicare fees, does not get much sympathy from me.”

Nor I. The fact of the matter is that everyone at the top is being grossly overpaid. I think that with the collapse of almost every major company in the US at the moment, this would be obvious. this was obvious to me some time ago. The medical industry is no different.

Of course, the reaction is:

Scott P. Serota, president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, whose member companies insure one-third of all Americans, said: “I’m not worried about our ability to compete on a level playing field. I am worried that a public program would have marketplace advantages that make private plans noncompetitive.”

Now, what he meant to say was that having a very large, well organized company - whether private or public - coming in and not playing by their rules to line their pockets with profits creates an unfair advantage. Or, in short, having real competition just isn't fair.

Now the objections to the health care plan are oh-so-clear to me. It has everything to do with the fear of being outed for the crooks they are. See, when people start to realize that the capitalist mantra of free markets and competition are no more than a rouse, they will begin asking for fair prices, lower profit margins, CEO wage caps, higher worker wages, and real, honest to goodness financial competition.

And these companies can't have that, now can they.

It's like pulling Oz out from behind the big curtain. Whoops! I smell fraud! And we have been ignoring it for far too long.

In the end, people will still have to make a choice between private or public health care. In the end, the market will be forced back down to reasonable rates, and thus truly competitive. In the end, the medical industry as a whole will have been taken down a peg or two, make a little less profit, be a little worse for the wear, but overall still there.

If they choose to compete.

The rest of us will be a bit happier, a bit healthier, and a bit wealthier for it.


This is Why Monopolies Are Bad.

As everyone knows, I have no love for corporations, and I particularly loathe companies that do business in a pseudo-monopolistic manner. Take, for example, utility companies.

Last month, I received my monthly utility bills, and much to my pleasure I had lower than expected bills. I had worked to be able to conserve both energy and money by purchasing energy efficient electric heaters so I could turn down my ridiculously expensive gas heat, and installed all of those nifty spiral shaped energy efficient light bulbs, new appliances, and so forth.

I worked diligently in conservation by multi-tasking my appliances so that they required less energy from constant start and stop use. I used my heat sparingly, only on the coldest mornings. I had my (main) electric bill come in at $130, and my gas bill was a super low $75.

The month of December was no different. Not in temperature, or behavior. I only used my heat about four times, a few hours in the mornings, and all day on Christmas. I only turned on my Christmas lights a week before Christmas, and used battery powered lights for everything but the front porch and tree.

This month, my electric bill came in at a whopping $260, and my gas bill shot up to $202. At closer inspection, I noticed that the bills went up due to a sizable rate increase.

Now here's the monopoly part of it, my utility companies are monopolies in my area. Both my gas and electric are part of one large company, and, they are the only companies you can use here. I can either purchase my power from them, go without, or create electricity with slaves and hamsters.

These companies constantly tell their clients to conserve energy, and yet every time we do, they raise the rates. To make matters worse, we must use their services. How is this remotely fair to consumers?

There comes a breaking point where everyone will either conserve these companies right out of business (while also being quite out of power and heat to do that) or, we will be stuck paying enormous rates, using only as much as we can spare, which is still too much.

This is why monopolies are bad. They have consumers by the gonads, and there is little we can do about it.

Keep in mind, friends, that this didn't happen until our state deregulated these industries in the name of "free market capitalism". Before this, we would experience rate hikes occasionally, but it was never out of control like this. The utility companies refuse to allow competition into the area, and yet are not required to exercise an ounce of control.

They are now averaging 3 rate increases per year. Our economy cannot support this, and yet the parent company, and the individual companies are making money hand over fist. (In case anyone is wondering, yes, I watch their quarterly profit reports).

This is gouging - and very concrete evidence to my assertion that free market capitalism with regards to necessary products and services allows for monopolies, and thus consumer gouging.

I have written once before to the state Attorney General about this, and I feel it's time to write again. Our governor must put strict regulations back on these companies, and force them to compete with other companies.

If they are not controlled sometime soon, I'm afraid we will literally be powerless.


Thank You!

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the bloggers who have subscribed or "followed" my blog. I'm flattered, honestly. (And I love the new Blogger feature that allows you to see who's following you, very cool).

So to you I say, thank you, thank, thank you.


Jeff Syiru





Liberal Martyr

House on a Hill

Alex Mazilu





One Cranky Chic




Jesse M.

Lover of Jazz


Lord I want to be Whole

Jolina Rodriguez

Beck the Banged Knee


Alaric M.


Jerry Salfian

Christine Vyrnon


Nick Coathanger

I tried to link to your actual blogs, however many of you have several blogs, no blogs, or private blogs so I've opted to link to your profiles, or simply add your name in that case. Otherwise you get a little link love from this post.