Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Rand Paul: Obama Is Forcing The EPA ‘Down Our Throats’



Growing up, I did not know that coal plants produced large amounts of waste other than the soot and smoke. It was not until recent years that I learned the waste had toxic elements in it.

I would far rather have the EPA “forced down my throat” than the poisons of corporate greed and irresponsibility.

The true cost of “cheap” coal has gone unnoticed and unappreciated. It is time we know the truth, and recognize the full costs.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

By all means, put the regulators as close as possible to the money. The miners will be dying to maximize the conflict of interest and corruption that local regulation would encourage.

The states should be regulating their mines themselves, but their ability and willingness to do so is questionable.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Environment, Regulation | , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Leaving Billions In ‘Legacy Of Waste’ In Iraq, Special Inspector General Says


This is the dark side of capitalism. The primary goal was not to help the Iraqis, but to bill the American taxpayer. There were several projects that the Iraqis did not want, or wanted done differently, but the American contractors would not listen. The contractors did it their way, they did it for top dollar, and they frequently did it wrong.

The legacy is not just the litter of our wastefulness, but the symbols of our wealth and arrogance.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism | , | Leave a comment

The Content of our Foolishness


“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”
– Sinclair Lewis

This seems to have been a rally of people running on emotion and a vague understanding of what they support and what they oppose. A group of people who have not thought consciously about the American Dream until they felt it slipping away. And along comes Glenn Beck, a conservative shock-jock turned revivalist preacher/snake oil salesman, telling them it is patriotic to do as he says, to follow his lead. It’s OK to be a religious zealot. You do not need facts or comprehension if you have faith. You need to restore the dream. Not the dream of MLK. Not the American Dream. The dream of theocracy, of One Nation Under God. The Christian God. The Republican God.

I look at the crowd, and I see people literally and figuratively wrapping themselves in the Flag. Paraphernalia Patriots trying to reassure themselves that they are the true Americans who represent the will of the people. People who know what’s best for the country based on their emotions and “common sense“, and not a deep understanding of the problems we face as a nation. Our Country, Right or Wrong. One Nation, Under God. Give Me Liberty, or Give Me a Gun. Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. God Bless America, the land of Sloganites and Sheeple.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Wins if GOP Flinches on Marriage


“Republicans demand that judges interpret the Constitution as written, not rewrite it from the bench.”

That’s exactly what liberals and progressives want too. The difference is one of definitions.

Republicans identify a judge whose ruling they do not like as an activist judge.
Democrats define a judge who does not follow proper jurisprudence and judicial restraint as an activist judge.

Judge Walker wrote a decision that respects the law, legal precedent, rules of evidence, and the Constitution. Some would call this sound jurisprudence. Blackwell is not among them.

Simply put, the defense offered by the proponents of prop8 had no basis in credible fact or law. To have ruled in their favor anyway would have been true judicial activism and legislating from the bench, but that is less important to conservatives than a favorable ruling.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/04/prop-8-ruling-read-the-fu_n_671050.html

The GOP has invested heavily in prejudice and paranoia, and they are having trouble holding the coalition of extremists together. The Constitution is against the Marriage Nazis, as the courts keep demonstrating. Unfortunately, prejudice, blind faith, and conservatism do not lend themselves to self-reflection or self-correction.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

We may be seeing a religion-driven breakdown in rule of law, enabled by political vigilantism.

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Gay Rights, Religion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Challenges GOP To Stop Blocking Rules That Would Limit Corporate Donations


Far be it from McConnell and the republicans put aside political brinkmanship and do something FOR the country.

The Citizens United ruling has overwhelming criticism from the public. If transparency in election funding favors Democrats, then the republicans must have some soul-searching to do. Not that they will, or can.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 27, 2010 Posted by | Elections | , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 week to-do list: Your ideas for Obama, Republicans – CNN.com:


(CNN) — Strategists on both sides of the political aisle weighed in this week on what President Obama and Republicans must do before the November midterms to give their parties a boost.

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For President Obama:

  1. Govern from the center
  2. Tout the administration’s accomplishments
  3. Rise above the partisan bickering
  4. Shake up the staff
  5. Stay out of local issues

For Republicans:

  1. Steer clear of the far right commentators
  2. Keep religion out of politics
  3. Be conservative, but be bipartisan
  4. Represent your constituents, not your party’s agenda
  5. Tell the voters what will be different if Republicans take power

10 week to-do list: Your ideas for Obama, Republicans

I think that President Obama is already governing from the center – much to the frustration of the Democrats. He has lost 18 months in his forlorn quest for bipartisanship. For the good of the party, he needs to take a step to the left.

He also needs to learn how to better manage the “political bickering” before attempting another intervention, and it is only a matter of time before he will have to intervene again.

Other than that, I strongly endorse these ideas!

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Direction | , , | Leave a comment

Missouri Billboard Links Obama To Hitler, Socialism



Ten years ago, I had no idea there was so much hate and prejudice still infecting our country. It was easy to ignore the fringe when it lurked in the shadows. The only thing I was concerned about was the rise of cult Christianity. But for the last ten years the GOP has been using disinformation, fear, and prejudice to build a base of support their policies do not justify.

They have created an atmosphere of bigotry, mob rule, and political vigilantism that thrives on a shallow understanding of the law and the Constitution. They have brought the fringe elements into the open and given them a sense of empowerment, all for the sake of their own political power.

They are losing control of the mob they created, and losing control to them.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Direction | , | Leave a comment

Not Your Father’s UAW


Finally!

An important part of the economy is the relationship between employers and employees. It is hopeful to see that relationship move from domestic dispute to partnership.

For many years, globalization has empowered Corporate America to turn on it’s American employees; demanding more, paying less, and creating enormous stress and uncertainty.

The abuse of labor has to end because they are also the primary source of discretionary spending that fuels 70% of the economy. We cannot have a prosperous economy without a prosperous workforce.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 10, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Labor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is National Opportunity Passing Us By?


Corporate America is an anarchy of competing and conflicting self-interests. They have no intrinsic responsibility to the economy or the country. No inherent patriotism.

It is the responsibility of government to ensure a viable economy (promote the general Welfare), a responsibility that republicans passionately reject.

Globalization has broken the fundamentals of a national economy. By being able to hire freely in a smaller economy, corporations have broken the relationship between employers and the domestic workforce. Even before the recession, the American worker had lost too much bargaining power. Workers do not have the same option to follow jobs across the border.

Free trade, and the trade deficits it fuels, represent a further erosion of American jobs and an exodus of wealth that is not re-invested in the American economy.

Conservative principles have run the economy in an irresponsible and unsustainable manor for far too long, perhaps beyond our ability to recover from.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Boehner, Pence: Raising Social Security Retirement Age An Option



Retire at 70? How is that going to work out?

First, you have to have a job you can do until you’re 70. Not everyone is physically able to do that, and not every job is suited to it. Some jobs even have mandatory retirement ages. Guess they’re SOL.

Second of all, you have to keep it until 70. Not so many jobs are lasting 20+ years anymore. With it getting harder to find a job after 50, more on the SOL list.

With life expectancy inching down, maybe the republicans really have found a way to work people to death.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Direction, Labor, Social Security | , , , , | Leave a comment

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