Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Main Street's Revenge: Use Cash

From OpEdNews.com
Right now, there is a growing movement to Use Cash instead of credit and debit cards whenever possible. Once it gets going it will terrify the Banksters.

This relatively easy, non-violent action against the banking abuses and financial scams that continue to plague our economic system has many advantages:

1) By using cash we can significantly decrease a important stream of money that directly finances the very institutions that inspired our wrath.

2) Using cash instead of plastic is an action that everyone, to some degree or another, can take both immediately and everyday.

3) Unlike a boycott, no participant will need to suffer any self-denial of necessary goods or services. Just substitute cash for plastic as much as possible.

4) The economic standing and physical well-being of the protest participants are, generally, not at risk. For example: No negative effects on credit reports, like those associated with foreclosure or non-payment. No risk of bodily harm from police or other altercations during a march or other protest.

5) Denying the dysfunctional part of the current economic system funding is an effective, nearly terrifying, prospect to banking and finance target of the protest.

6) As the action of using cash grows along with the numbers of participants, visibility for the protest will expand until it can no longer be ignored.

7) With the tools available on the internet, there is little to no cost for either advocates of, or participants in, the movement. Simple: Use Cash and let others know you're part of the movement.

8) Because Use Cash is the choice of one payment system in the market over another, they – the banking/finance cartel and the government – will not be able to stop the protest.

Yes, cash is less convenient than plastic for many transactions. It's a small sacrifice we should be willing to make if we really want change. Use Cash is is a lot easier than throwing a lynching party we were never going to have in the first place, isn't it?

Learn how to make the Use Cash movement work at Use Cash Movement.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Zazzling free speech

My email to Zazzle.com, where I have some T-shirt designs for sale:
Zazzle said:
Unfortunately, it appears that your product, Replication T-shirt, contains content that is not suitable for printing at Zazzle.com.
• Policy Violations:
o Design contains a trademarked image or text.

How was it unsuitable? If I remember right, the design was only text and read "Caution. Think before you replicate." It was a reference to the environment and the negative impact "baby booms" can have on it. Most likely a pregnant mother ran across my T-shirt design and it offended her, and you deleted the T-shirt at her request. Would you like to see my other product designs that would offend her as well? You could delete them too, but then where would you stop deleting designs that offend people?

You are probably aware that this deletion falls into the area protected by the First Amendment.

In your email, what does this mean? "• Policy Violations: o Design contains a trademarked image or text." What is the "o" for? Did the typist intend to type "0" (zero) but missed that key? Or is the "o" acting as a bullet in the list under "Policy Violations"? The design contained a trademarked image or text?? Do you have a copy of the deleted design in archives or backups? You need to show me what part of the design was trademarked. "Caution. Think before you replicate." What part of that text is copyrighted?

I think it's possible that an employee took it upon him/herself to delete the T-shirt because the message offended him/her. And because the list of reasons for deletion didn't include "It offended me," s/he selected "Design contains a trademarked image or text." Could the reason for deletion be a little more specific? What part of the design was trademarked?

Whenever I see an anti-Obama design on a Zazzle product, it really offends me, mostly because the designer isn't interested in the facts about the Obama Administration. They just want the guy outta there, and they'll say anything to discredit him. Have I complained about any of the anti-Obama products? Of course not. Free speech protects those designers as much as it does me. So why didn't free speech protect me this time? Because my design included child pornography? Of course not. My design simply included a message that offended someone.

Is this becoming a trend at Zazzle? You need to find out.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Of peroxide and mortgages

As one of the Californians whom DiFi doesn't embarrass but should, I believe it is beyond doubt now that there is a very strong link between conspiracy theories and UFO theories. All the signs indicate that the irregularities detected in legislation affecting financial institutions and terror containment are the result of the influence exerted by a conspiracy composed primarily of alien extra-terrestrials (i.e., extra-terrestrials who are undocumented and residing in the United States illegally). In the six or seven years following 9/11, conspiracy theorists mistakenly believed that the conspiracy was being orchestrated solely by humans, and they thought the UFO theorists were mentally unstable, and vice versa. However, during the past two years or so, these two groups of theorists have realized that they have been examining different aspects of the same phenomenon and that pooling their knowledge would greatly enhance their understanding of the nature and objectives of the conspiracy. We now know, for example, that Donald Rumsfeld was not born on this planet, and thus is a citizen of neither the United States nor Earth, and that his birth certificate was fabricated to conceal his alien origins. It is strongly suspected, but has not been verified, that the Bush dynasty's origins were also extra-terrestrial and that, since their arrival on Earth, Bush scions have been meztalios (half-human and half-alien) or quadralioons (one-quarter alien). We now know that DiFi, while a true citizen of Earth, is being telepathically controlled by extra-terrestrials who are keeping her alive artificially with transfusions of unknown chemical compounds. And this same telepathic control, we have learned, is responsible for anomalous decisions made recently by both Barney Frank and Timothy Geithner.

Although much has been learned recently about the alien conspirators, it is still uncertain what the primary objectives of the conspiracy actually are, what the nature of their intended New World Order will be. Perhaps all will be revealed on 21 December 2012, not long after Sara Palin, also, it has been learned, not a citizen of Earth, is elected illegally to be the American President.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to C Street?

Hugo Zoom said: John, how is it this 2009 post ["C Street, the Family and Ivanwald are still around?"] has comments from 2005 and 2007? Me heap confused.

I deleted part of the original post from 04/05/05 and published the abridged version as a new post. The comments came along for the ride. No magic was involved. The article by Jeffrey Sharlet was originally from '03, and I was surprised when Rachel Maddow brought up the Family again not long ago—six years later. Apparently some of the guys who were living at C Street back in '03 are still there. Maddow didn't mention Ivanwald as far as I know. And Sharlet's article mentions The Cedars "just down the road from Ivanwald," also not mentioned by Maddow. But they're all the Family's properties. I feel so safe with the Family looking out for our interests. It's sort of like The Waltons for the 21st century.

After Maddow started discussing C Street, and after I saw the clip of Coe, in which he expresses admiration for the Nazi's organizational skills, I sent a message to Maddow suggesting she look into the possibility that Cheney is exhibiting paranoid schizophrenia and that Coe is exhibiting garden-variety schizophrenia and shouldn't we, the public, know a little more about the condition so we can avoid electing those suffering from the condition to public office. The next day, during a story about the Sotomayor hearings on MSNBC, I noticed that the graphic in the lower right of the screen displaying the title of the story showed a picture of Sotomayor and the title "Hearing Voices." Is that totally cool or what? I imagine whichever admin assistant read my message first forwarded it to everybody else and they all had a good chuckle over it. Isn't that great? My brush with fame.

Then the other night, Maddow referred to the general public as "the public, such as it is" when asking Feinman about the effect of Obama's news conference. I know it's paranoid of me, but I was wondering if she had me (among others) in mind when she said that. But, then, she must get the looniest emails all the time. Surely my suggestion that Cheney is paranoid schizophrenic wasn't the first time she'd heard that and didn't catapult my email to the top of the loony pile. Surely not. I'm just being paranoid.

Friday, July 10, 2009

C Street, the Family and Ivanwald are still around?

This excerpt is from my post of 04/05/05:

When I googled "'republican party' platform," I stumbled onto TheocracyWatch.org, and the horror comedy abruptly started on my computer screen.

Dominionism? Dominionists?
It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less... Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land -- of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.
The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action by George Grant, former Executive Director of Coral Ridge Ministries
I wondered what TheocracyWatch.org was, was it just the angry ramblings of a pot-smoking paleo-hippie sitting cross-legged on a dirty floor somewhere, but TheocracyWatch is a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy (CRESP) at Cornell University. Does that make it credible? You decide.

Definitely check out TheocracyWatch.org for the fear factor. You'll read about, for example, the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004, an actual bill: H.R. 3799 and S. 2082. John F. Sugg of the Weekly Planet explains that the bill "would acknowledge Christianity's God as the 'sovereign source' of our laws. It would reach back in history and reverse all judicial decisions that have built a wall between church and state, and it would prohibit federal judges from making such rulings in the future." The text of H.R. 3799 can be read on the Yurica Report site and probably any number of other sites that could be found with a search engine.

As I researched the above paragraph, however, I noticed an innocuous-looking link on the same page that leads to a Harper's Magazine article entitled "Jesus Plus Nothing" by Jeffrey Sharlet. Now...after reading about Ivanwald, the Cedars, the Family—such tranquil, pastoral names—nothing is the same. I've passed through a gate, a membrane, into another place. Single young men, living and praying together in a D.C. suburb, denying the lusts of the flesh, consecrate themselves to preparing for covert war and are wholly focused on establishing a new government based on the power of Christ. But it's not just about a group of self-purifying zealots. It's also about the power suits who attend prayer breakfasts where the zealots are attendants, "a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians." Are you ready to take the red pill? Read the article.


Now, was Jeffrey Sharlet killed shortly after publication of this article? How is it that the article is still online? Am I at risk because I link to it?

Wait, when was the article originally published? Was it an April fool's joke? March 2003. But there's no "gotcha" at the end of it, only footnotes.

Nah. The Family can't be real. Nobody's that dumb.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dungeons & Detainees

Dear Mr. President:

There it goes. "Growing concerns over closing Guantanamo." It's as if people think that the detainees are going to be released into the air like a flock of doves. How hard is it for people to grasp that the detainees will be moved from one maximum-secuity prison (Guantanamo) to another maximum-security prison, where they will be treated like dangerous criminals who nonetheless have the right to know what they have been accused of and who their accusers are. Those rights, along with knowing that they will have a fair trial, are basic, fundamental, Founding Fathers protections built into the structure of the nation. Throwing somebody into a dungeon for an indefinite period of time without letting him know who is accusing him of what, is more characteristic of the Inquisition, the Roman Empire, ancient Egypt, the Third Reich. But the US in the 21st century?? What generated this wrinkle in time? Solar activity? A black hole?

Well, there goes the new, improved America that people hoped for when they voted you into office. We knew it was too good to be true. All it took was scaring people into believing that, if Guantanamo were closed, there would soon be enemy combatants running around their neighborhoods. The attention is now off rebuilding the economy and getting the tripartite federal government back into balance. (Did they ever find out where the Office of the Vice President fits in?)

Guantanamo is an archaic dungeon. It doesn't belong in this century.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear Mr. President

So, our Hero has feet of clay. When pressed by civil-rights groups as to whether you will allow a central 9/11-style commission under the Attorney General to investigate the torture issue, you repeatedly and curtly dismissed the idea. The reason you gave was that it would require too much time.

If my parents were murdered, and the police department stated that they didn't want to redirect any forensics or investigative personnel to investigate the crime because it would take too much time away from their current investigations, would you find that acceptable?

I believe you need to rethink your decisions regarding investigating the previous administration. If a sense of betrayal has reached all the way down through the grassroots to me and motivated me to write to the President, there must be a powerful, pervasive sense of betrayal among the people you represent.

When questioned about continuing the tribunals at Guantanamo rather than providing the detainees with legitimate trials, you said that it didn't help to compare you to the previous administration. This doesn't sound like the man who calmly and methodically countered the verbal attacks aimed at him by Clinton and McCain during the campaign. This is a swing from "conciliatory" all the way to "unreasonable."

I hope the shift is for good reasons. You are a deep thinker and seem to be able to outthink just about everyone in D.C. From my perspective deep in the grassroots, I would be relieved if a thorough investigation into the activities of the previous administration proved that no crimes were committed. And I would like to think that your reasons for obstructing that investigation and stonewalling on the matter are good, solid, honorable reasons. "It would divide the nation" is an honorable reason, but it's not solid. The nation is already critically divided. "We can't divert resources from rebuilding the economy" is also not solid. The personnel needed for the investigation would not make much of a dent in what is needed to rebuild the economy. I'd like to think that your reasons are sounder than these.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said that it is absurd to think that the U.S. is incapable of incarcerating dangerous criminals. Close Guantanamo, by executive order if necessary. Allow the detainees the benefit of habeas corpus. And allow an investigation of the previous administration and, if possible, clear their good names.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An independent commission to investigate torture

Bipartisan, fair, disinterested, thorough.

If a thorough, honest investigation reveals that no crimes were committed by the Bush Administration, I would be as relieved by that outcome as I would be if the investigation turned up criminal wrongdoing and the perpetrators were not permitted to go free just because they're well-connected and rich.

Mr. President, you personally do not have to become entangled in the investigation. You can focus on moving the country forward, which you have stated as your intention. But don't block a criminal investigation. Let the messiness be taken care of by honorable, disinterested people far removed from your Administration.

The country is already critically divided. The distance between the poles of our polarization is already huge. (With Texas just happening to "mention" secession.) A criminal investigation cannot divide the country any more than it already is, and it would actually provide closure for all of us, whatever the outcome.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Obama budget

(From MoveOn.org)
...makes a $634 billion down payment on fixing health care that will go a long way toward paying for a more efficient, more affordable health care system that covers every single American.3

...reduces taxes for 95% of working Americans. And if your family makes less than $250,000, your taxes won't go up one dime.4

...invests more than $100 billion in clean energy technology, creating millions of green jobs that can never be outsourced.5

...brings our troops home from Iraq on a firm timetable, finally bringing the war to a close—and freeing up almost ten billion dollars a month for domestic priorities.6

...reverses growing income inequality. The plan lets the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire and focuses on strengthening the middle class.7

...closes multi-billion-dollar tax loopholes for big oil companies.8

...increases grants to help families pay for college—the largest increase ever.9

...halves the deficit by 2013. President Obama inherited a legacy of huge deficits and an economy in shambles, but his plan brings the deficit under control as soon as the economy begins to recover.10

...dramatically increases funding for the SEC and the CFTC—the agencies that police Wall Street.11

...tells it straight. For years, budgets have used accounting tricks to hide the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and too many other programs. Obama's budget gets rid of the smokescreens and lays out what America's priorities are, what they cost, and how we're going to pay for them.12 This is the change we voted for. President Obama has done his part, now we need to do ours.

...stops unnecessary government subsidies to big banks, health insurance companies and big agribusinesses.13,14,15

...expands access to early childhood education and improves schools by investing in programs that make sure every child has a qualified, strong teacher.16

...negotiates for better prescription drug prices using Medicaid's tremendous bargaining power.17

...expands access to family planning for low-income women.18

...caps the pollution that causes global warming, and makes polluters pay to support clean energy innovation.19

1. "Climate of Change," The New York Times, February 27, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/opinion/27krugman.html?em
2. "Obama Calls His Budget Sweeping, Needed Change," The New York Times, February 28, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51201&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=2
3. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51202&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=3
4. "Obama Expects Fight Over $3.55 Trillion Budget Plan," Bloomberg News, February 28, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51203&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=4
5. "Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51204&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=5
6. "The Economic Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan," The New York Times, March 1, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/weekinreview/01glanz.html
7. "Tax Cuts," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-tax.html
8. "Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51204&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=6
9. "Student Loans," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-edu.html
10. "Obama unveils budget blueprint," CNN, February 26, 2009 http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/26/budget/
11. "Obama budget would boost SEC, CFTC, FBI," Reuters, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51205&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=7
12. "Obama's budget," Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51206&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=8
13. "Student Loans," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-edu.html
14. "Health Insurance Stocks Dive on Medicare Advantage Cuts," The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51207&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=9
15. "Agriculture," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-agri.html
16. "Investing Wisely in Our Children," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51208&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=10
17. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51202&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=11
18. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51202&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=12
19. "Setting 'Green' Goals," The New York Times, February 26, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51209&id=15687-6402300-GyJmdox&t=13

Friday, February 27, 2009

Midnight regulations and the American King

I'm just learning about midnight regulations now, and I am appalled. The president becomes a king in the last 100 days of his term by using executive tools (midnight regulations, executive orders, presidential proclamations, executive agreements, and national security initiatives) because Congress is too busy to block him while its own term is ending.
...[The new president] can try to reverse the midnight regulations by using a law that has been successfully deployed just once. The Congressional Review Act creates an expedited process for Congress to repeal, by a simple majority vote in each house, any regulation it doesn't like. The president then signs the bill, and the rules are reversed. Given the Democratic majority, that tactic might work this time around. Now is the time to see whether Democrats really are any different from Republicans. (Veronique de Rugy, Reason, Feb. 1, 2009)
It would be much more effective to put strict limits on the number of regulations the president can issue in the last 100 days of his term, when he faces absolutely no political repercussions. Waiting until the new president takes office is clearly a less effective way to undo the cloud of midnight regulations issued by the outgoing president: 82% of Clinton's midnight regulations were left unchanged by the new Bush administration. This isn't a political issue. The party affiliation of the outgoing president isn't significant in this regard. This is an issue concerning whether the government is representational or a monarchy.