They don’t hear us, til we do shit like this.

Those are the words of a young protester in Ferguson, Mo.
And the demonstrations continue in Ferguson
A few thoughts on this.
The looting and destruction is but a small minority of the actions, most of the demonstrators are peaceful. Of course this will not be made known on the main stream media.
Young black males feel they are being mistreated by the police in America. These actions are needed as they do keep the conditions in front of the public.
Do not want to go all Bill Cosby on the young blacks but, I have to ask. Did you vote? Or if you are not old enough to vote, did you insist your brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles voted?
Some precincts in my area with 98 percent minority population had a dismal 24 percent turnout on Nov. 4, 2014.
It has been said, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.
This is not intended to single out minorities, many whites of my acquaintance have also given up and did not vote in the last election.
To the young man quoted in the title I say..
Politicians have but one goal in life, that goal is to get re-elected. Thanks to citizens united they hear the money loud and clear.
If you vote they will hear you also.
If you bring others to vote they will hear them also.
There are candidates that do hear your cries for help but they cannot help you if you don’t help them.
Get to the polls and vote every time, not just presidential elections, but vote for the small school board elections and local taxation issues or dog catcher just do it, VOTE.
Make it a habit, make a vow to never miss another election for the rest of your life.
You can make a difference without risking life and limb.
There, I feel better now. ;)

The people in Ferguson seem to be upset

What the hell is it that makes them so angry?
Were they expecting anything different from the grand jury?
In a brief conversation with a fellow in the afternoon he asked me if I would feel the same if it had been a black cop shooting and killing a white teenager? I replied “Hell yes!”
For me this is not about race. This is about a cop shooting and killing an unarmed teenager.
Later in the day I was at an American Legion here in Florida. The place was occupied by cigarette smoking, beer drinking veterans and their spouses. The television came on with talk of the Ferguson grand jury decision coming soon.
As I had already decided the cop would not be indicted, a quick look around the room convinced me this crowd would be cheering the results.
For a moment I thought back to many years ago when I had been in a room full of blacks and the OJ verdict had been announced. At that time I personally silently shook my head in disgust with the American judicial system. One or two young black ladies let out cheers but most of the room was silent.
Since that day there have been other verdicts that makes one wonder. The Casey Anthony trial and the Travon Martin case are two that come to mind.
Those cases and last night’s decision enforce my feelings that we are a long way from being “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”.
The rioting and looting by the oppressed masses will continue until a time comes when the grizzled veterans in the legions join hands with the urban victims of police brutality and demand equal justice for all.
The divide and conquer policy of the plutocrats continues to wield its ugly power over the masses, and that continues to be a shame.

Anyone old enough to remember John F. Kennedy as President of the United States

May recall the fear many Americans had at the time of having the Pope in Rome running the United States versus the President in Washington D.C,
Candidate Kennedy put these fears to rest in Houston Texas, where he spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association.
This speech removed the fears of many and John F. Kennedy was eventually elected president of the United States.
Link to speech….

Now some 54 years later it appears the Catholics have indeed taken over the running of these United States of America.
They did so by sliding through the side door when no one was looking. They gained control of the United States Supreme Court and consequently have issued rulings that coincide with Catholic Doctrine.
The Hobby Lobby birth control case being the most spoken about such case.
There is another case entering the courts in Fort Wayne Indiana that will again test the powers of church over state.
The church has claimed they do not even have to go to trial to defend their decision to fire a worker for violating their religious teachings.
The church claims going to trial would violate their religious freedoms.
This case is currently in the 7th circuit court of appeals, if it reaches the Supreme Court it may well be a win for the church. And our progress to becoming a theocratic plutocracy would continue.
Here is a link to more details of the case…

IMHO the current Pope would not be too fond of the U.S. Supreme Court and their decisions. He may even want to excommunicate the justices ;) What do you think?

Don Blankenship, Triangle Fires, and Plutocracy Unhinged


Something for all my “free market capitalist” friends to study.

Originally posted on That Devil History:

Former Massey Energy CEO -- and world-class asshat -- Don Blankenship, wraps himself in the flag to give the impression that he cares more about the red, red, and blue than he does the green.

Former Massey Energy CEO — and world-class asshat — Don Blankenship, wraps himself in the flag to give the impression that he cares more about the red, white, and blue than he does the green.

Americans like to talk a good deal about their twin-commitments to both capitalism and democracy, but the relationship between the two systems is, shall we say, fraught with tension. Democracy tries to remind capitalism about the importance of freedom and individual human rights, but, like an anti-domestic violence group trying to lecture the NFL about the importance of respecting women, its success rate is mixed, to say the least. The resulting conflict between corporate profit and human flourishing has burned with the intensity of a coal fire throughout U.S. history — which brings us to Don Blankenship.

Blankenship is the former CEO of Massey Energy, which was one of the country’s biggest coal extractors before…

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Ten years ago I was looking for a part time job

Something that would help me in the expenses of going south for the cold winters. Maintaining what amounts to two households is not inexpensive.
I read something in the local paper about getting part time work at a big box store where you could work in the north in the summer and transfer to southern stores in the winter. Follow the crowds so to speak.
So I went to Walmart and got on the computer and spent the better part of an hour filling out a questioner for employment. Upon completion the result came back stating I was not qualified to work at Walmart. A friend sarcastically commented that I did not qualify because I had all my front teeth.
The questioner was full of psychological questions: If you see two employees arguing in the back room you should…. 1. break It up, 2. Ignore it, 3. Report it to a supervisor. And so on.
Figuring I had failed to answer these questions correctly I went home and had a friend that had worked 20 some years in retail answer the questions. And to my surprise my application was again rejected as being not qualified. I said to hell with it and eventually went to work as a tax preparer for a large corporation.
Now, today I find this in a story regarding education in Michigan.
“Walmart admits that the reason they are so interested in education is that they are having trouble finding qualified entry level employees. If these words came from NASA or Apple or Microsoft, these words might be encouraging.

    But for Walmart, an educated workforce can negatively impact their bottom line. Educated employees tend to expect more money and better benefits than most entry level employees at Walmart earn.

Emphasis mine.
I guess I should have lied about my education level.
For the complete story regarding Michigan Education check this link.

And she continues her slide, further and further from reality

The lady tells me of the untimely deaths of 3 individuals. All three died at a young age (35-42) under suspicious conditions. And most important, all three were outspoken, vocal critics of Obama! Not President Obama, just Obama.
Is there a conspiracy and cover up going on here? Who is silencing these people and why? The plot thickens, stay tuned for further developments!!!
She then shares with me her happiness that her state has not been as silly as to pass any medical marijuana laws. There are plenty of legally prescribed drugs to handle pain.
This is followed by the joy of not allowing gay marriage in her state.
At this point I want to ask her what possible physical or financial pain she would suffer if gays were allowed to marry. But sensing an almost delusional, Sarah Palin type personality emerge, I remain silent.

The conversation turns to lighter fare, movies we have seen and their impact on us.
Still in the back of my mind lays a question. Where does she get this stuff? This stuff is too weird for even Fox news to be getting away with. Does she get it from her circle of friends? Does she get it from her church? Or perhaps she is just on the email list of WHACKOS-R-US?

A story with no moral?

Thinking back to the mid-sixties brings a memory of working for the state highway department. As a young man I worked for the bridge crew. This crew existed for the sole purpose of repairing and maintaining the bridges on the state highways in Michigan.
Keep in mind this was back in the days when citizens were accepting of the fact that taxes had to be paid to repair and maintain the roadways, a time before the idea of profit and greed permeated our society.
Our duties included such things as shoring up the pilings, cleaning and re-painting the steel girders, patching and replacing the concrete of the roadway and replacing the railings.
As workers we received a fair and decent wage and benefit package. Not as much as the unionized auto workers but, enough to provide for ourselves and our families.
In the summer we would begin on a bridge by sandblasting the rust off the steel girders and then paint them with two coats. First coat a primer we called red lead, an orange colored rust preventer. This was then covered by an aluminum based finish coat of silver grey color.
We worked off wooden scaffolding hung from the girders and often spent the whole day under the bridge with a brush in one hand and a bucket of paint in the other.
We were working on a bridge in a rural area just east of Saginaw. We had the red lead completed and were just starting on the finish coat when I thought I heard something on the banks of the stream. I popped out from under the bridge and saw 8 to 10 immigrant Mexican farm workers standing silently looking at the bridge. With bright orange blotches of paint on the outside girder. I paused for a moment and then using my one year’s high school Spanish said. “Esta muy bonita, si?” Not sure if this was grammatically correct but they all broke out in laughter and grins.
My mistake, as they all began chattering in Spanish and supposedly asking me questions. Finally I spouted out “No Hablar Espaniol.” This quieted them down and they slowly walked away.
After thinking about it for a bit I realized they were asking me how far to town; but they were gone when it became clear to me.
Now today when I pass a bridge with a crew working on it I see the Mexicans doing the work for a private contractor. The workers are earning about the same as I earned 50 years back (actually less in an inflation adjusted basis) but most likely they are not receiving any benefits and do not have a retirement program. They are paying taxes on their income including Social Security taxes.
Our tax dollars are still paying for this work and the contractor is making a profit, the workers are glad to be earning their meager wages and the highway department is spending less while American citizens are unemployed.