Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Obama the Republican

Yes, folks, today we learned President Obama is really a Republican. A true, blue, diehard Republican. In Democrats clothes and disguise on issues. He sucked all of us into believing he was a Democrat, but lo and behold he's not. He's in the pocket of the energy companies, namely the oil companies - remember they're getting more leases on off-shore explorations when they're not actually using the leases they have.

He's in the pocket of the financial investment firms and the banks. He's in the pocket of the defense and intelligence contractors. He's in the pocket of the health insurance companies - remember he jettisoned the public option just days into the negotiations for the Affordable Healthcare Act. And so down the line except he's not in the pocket of one group.

He's not in the pocket of the people, those who voted from him, trusted him, and expected him to do the right thing for them. We can't pay his political and lobbying bills he charges to represent them. We're just voters and we can't pay his price. But all the others can through all the political and lobbying interests.

Obama the Republican. Get used to it. We can't trust him anymore when he stands at the podium. Not anymore. And now I will not vote for him in 2012. I won't vote for any Republican, including him. I want a real Democrat. Not one who isn't.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wanted One Really Big Hole

I've been watching the tragic and devastating news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan through the weekend. Like everyone I'm fascinated by the aerial images of the towns almost totally washed away by the tsumani waves and by the images of people on the ground trying to make sense of the life now after everything they had was lost somewhere in the massive debris.

I was also fascinated by the science of it, the off-shore thrust-fault earthquake which they're now saying has reshapped the coast of Japan for over 200 miles lengthwise and 50 miles off-shore. This will change the ocean and near-shore dynamics not just in that area and on the coast, but for hundreds of miles along the continental shelf along the stretch of Japan.

But all of it simply amazed me as to the size of the debris itself, and the many questions. Like, where do you put all the debris? Some can be recycled and some burned, but some will need to be buried. So, where? Where will they put all the leftover debris? No one doubts the magnitude of this disaster, but let's not overlook the potential disaster which sits in all that debris.

Looking at the video and images of the tsunami, it's clear, to me at least, that not much will be recovered from many areas to return to their rightful owners. Possesions were moved miles away, mixed with water and mud, and the huge amount of debris from other homes and buildings. And all those cars are lost, only to be recycled.

It's all a sad reminder of our vulnerability to nature and the immediacy of our lifelong possesions. All can be destroyed and washed away in minutes, with only our memory of them and only the dimmest of hope to find anything of value, however small. And the fragility of our own life. The immediacy by which we can be lost, swept away by forces far greater than we know or even imagine.

If anything this tragedy teaches us is both our life and our possessions are at best tenuous on this earth, and always subject to the whims and power of nature and events. Let's remember that when we watch the news about Japan and about the people. We could be there, and what would we be asking ourself?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JMO - Being Stupid

Not me, of course. If I'm stupid, I'll know it and acknowledge it, most of the time anyway. I'm referring to Representative Gringrey of Georgia, along with other Republicans, who want to strip federal employees from doing their job. But my anger isn't just about their attempt to limit employees rights and protections, but trying to disguise this issue as unions and collective bargaining.

The truth is very few federal employees belong to unions, which are mostly holdover unions from decades ago and haven't been dissolved. For the vast majority of federal employees, like myself when I worked in the Department of Interior, the only "union" we could join wasn't a union but an employee lobbying organization. The only real exception is the AWPU.

The truth is federal employees aren't unionized, can't strike, can't collectively bargain, and whatever else union employees get as part of contracts for work. The vast majority of federal employees are Civil Service or Wage Grade employees. Their pay, benefits, rights, protections, etc. are managed by the Office Personnel Managment under the laws, policies and regulations set by the President and Congress.

And now the Republicans in Congress are trying to equate the very few union, non-Postal, federal employees with all federal employees. It's a lie of enormous proportions. But it hasn't stopped them from sponoring HR 122 to limit the time those few union employees can work on union activities.

Except the law is already quite good and doesn't interfer with any employees official work time and duty. It's a sham and a shame. It doesn't matter that we don't restrict or limit their time when they're chasing campaign donors, talking with and accepting money from corporations and lobbyist, and other activities we might find interfers with the work we elected them and expect them to do.

It's just politics, but it's clear the Republicans want to permanently dismantle unions in this country, however small or insignificant, even the few federal employees who are still in viable unions. It doesn't matter the unions haven't had much to negotiate let alone get from the government. It doesn't matter that most of the negotiations involved employee rights, protections, appeals/grievances, etc., and not financial matters outside their control.

It's about simple union-busting, wherever they can find it. It's about attacking working class Americans and taking away the rights of Americans to work for fair rights and benefits. Americans want jobs. They want fair wages, good benefits and decent employee rights and protections. Something Republicans are against, at any price or cost.

Let's not forget this in 2012.