Saturday, March 4, 2017

Berkeley Riots - What Really Happened

150 masked agitators? Molotov cocktails? Does that really sound like a liberal protest?

A story on Breitbart BEFORE the event said that Yiannopoulos (formerly a writer and senior editor for Breitbart News) was, at the very institution which would be affected, going to "call for withdrawal of federal grants and the prosecution of university officials who endanger students with their policies”.

The police and Berkeley cancelled the event because of the "riot" and out of concern for public safety. Berkeley was going to let Yiannopoulos have his free speech even in the face of Yiannopoulos' reputation as a white nationalist, defender of pedophilia and "professional outrage generator". The rioters caused an estimated $100,000 damage to the university and additional damage to the downtown area. It now appears that Black Bloc, a mostly anarchist loose group of protesters known for violent tactics and for concealing their identities, along with the violent "extreme-left" group By Any Means Necessary, engineered the riot. It was not a student protest.

Yvette Felarca leads the outside group By Any Means Necessary. In a Breitbart article she was said to have expressed no regrets for her group's use of violence at Berkeley. She said they were setting an example for the left, who have been far too timid for way too long.

Robert Reich said that he "wouldn't bet against" the possibility "that Yiannopoulos and Breitbart were in cahoots with the agitators." This was followed immediately by a story on Breitbart that "Robert Reich Lies, Claims Breitbart News Organized Berkeley Riots." Speculation versus claim.

Within hours, Trump accused the university of not allowing free speech and promoting violence, and threatened to withhold federal funds (which was what Yiannopoulos was supposedly going to call for).

Yiannopoulos on Fox News the next day said the incident proves that Berkeley doesn't deserve federal grants.

The FBI has joined campus police and the local police department to identify the rioters who "assaulted innocent people and destroyed private and public property in order to suppress the free speech of someone they didn’t agree with."

And you think the big story is Robert Reich lies?? Grow up.

Originally posted as a comment to a YouTube video, Robert Reich : The resistance report, February 24, 2017.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Who are you, really?

Just saying, “I’m not an islamophobic, xenophobic, homo/transphobic, racist” isn’t convincing to anyone but those who already agree with you. If this isn’t who you are in your heart, you’re going to have to be the ones to show the rest of us who you really are. Your actions are the best argument for who you really are, what you really believe. We cannot see into your hearts. Your condescension, hostility and political support, your treatment of LGBTQ as malformed deviants, are what we see. You talk about how you’re not racist, but then we see you fall in behind a president who surrounds himself with white supremacists. How would Christ treat Muslims? Does not the Bible enjoin God’s people to welcome the foreigner? We hear you talk about family values, then see you support a politics that tears children from the arms of their parents.

You support people who are opposed to Social Security, minimum wages, affordable health care, Medicare and Medicaid, fiscal responsibility, sane gun laws, food safety laws, worker protections, environmental protections, financial and consumer protections, and protections against discrimination. You call people who support those things bleeding heart liberals, socialists, not real Americans, moochers, and unpatriotic. You support people who practice voter suppression, who oppose ethics oversight, who oppose immigration reform, who vote consistently to benefit the already wealthy, who pass laws that benefit large corporations and don't do anything for or even hurt small business, who lower taxes on the rich and then blame assistance programs for deficits, who call Social Security the biggest federal expense and ignore that it has its own revenue stream, and who support an administration that wants to deconstruct federal agencies and flat out lies over and over to our faces.

Is this really who you are? If not, then you have a funny way of showing it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stop Voting Against Your Self-interest

Do you think that the Republican Party best represents the interests of  the working class?

It is primarily Republicans who call Americans lazy. They think people would rather live off of the government tit than have a job. That's Ayn Rand's premise, and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan named Rand his favorite author. That is the conservative's main excuse for eliminating government assistance programs. As for Democrats, they understand that Americans don't want jobs that don't even pay minimum wage. Ask yourselves why Republicans won't simply issue work visas to Mexicans so they don't have to stay here to make money. Hint: Then they would be legal and would have to be paid more.

Republicans call 47% of the populace "moochers," including people on Social Security who paid into it their whole working lives. (And don't believe the lie about Social Security being the biggest federal expense; it has its own revenue stream, has a $2.8 trillion Trust Fund and its accounting is separate by law from the federal budget. It is not an "entitlement" as conservatives use the term.) The real moochers are companies that pay so little that they force workers to get assistance from the government to make ends meet. When their workers get food stamps, companies are the beneficiaries.

Ask yourself who better represents the working class.

Democrats want higher minimum wages and worker protections. Republicans want to eliminate minimum wages, safety rules (OSHA), job age requirements, and regulations concerning hours worked and overtime. Democrats want the rich to pay their fair share; the tax burden in this country has been shifted to the middle class. Those at the top send their money to work at making more money, and the profits are taxed at a lower rate than the incomes (not profit) of people who work. Money is valued more than sweat.

Democrats are pro union; Republicans eliminated most unions because that is how their opponents were funding campaigns. Now both parties are dependent primarily on the wealthy and on corporate donations.

Democrats want universal health care as most other western countries have. Medical debts are the primary reason for personal bankruptcies today. Instead, we have a Republican plan (a modification of RomneyCare) which was created by the conservative Heritage Foundation. So we have for-profit insurance companies with 20% administrative overhead issuing plans with ridiculous deductibles and high co-pays (an insurance company between you and your doctor). And we are still forcing companies to pay for health insurance for their workers which is an expense not burdening their foreign competitors.

We have free trade instead of fair trade, so American companies are forced to compete with companies who do not have to follow the same standards of product safety, worker wages and worker safety, environmental protections, and fiscal responsibility.

Finally, Republicans are no longer fiscal conservatives. Their philosophy is to drown the Federal government in a bathtub (remember Grover Norquist and his pledge that Republicans signed?), with the main tool being to force elimination of programs and agencies by starving the government of funds. Of course, they are better at reducing revenues than expenses.

Stop voting against your self-interest. Start voting smarter.