Archive for March, 2014

One Year

One Year Today! I am really stoked to have one year sober. It takes a lit of work to get one year clean. Hearing all of the beautiful music of the Effect makes this moment even sweeter. While I do not really believe in God, I believe that there is an active higher power that is active in my recovery. I just do grateful to have this moment in my life despite all of the crap in my life

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March 26, 2014 at 2:41 am Leave a comment

509 Sentenced to Death. It Is Time to Cut Off Aid To Egypt

The New Egyptian government certainly is a law and order government.  They have zero tolerance for Morsi supporters as demonstrated by the following as reported by the Daily Telegraph

Egypt’s judges have risked new international outrage after handing down the death penalty to 529 people accused of rioting in a mass two-day trial condemned as violating legal norms.
The judge, in the central Egyptian city of Minya, brought the case to a close after just two sessions. Lawyers said he refused to allow the defence to complete their cases.
The sentence, if it were carried out, would be the biggest mass execution from a single case in the recent history of Egypt, or anywhere else in the world.
Legal experts say it is likely to be overturned on appeal, rejected by the Grand Mufti, to whom all death penalties are referred, or commuted by the president – not least because of the international consequences of such an event.
Egypt currently has qualified backing for its so-called “road-map to democracy” from the United States and Britain, despite last year’s overthrow of the country’s elected president, Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

That is purely crazy for one government to sentence 529 people to death for participation in demonstration.  Even the Russians do not give massive sentences for participation in a political protest, they just give you a couple years in jail.

Essentially this government wants to wipe out the Muslim Brotherhood and all relics of Islamic rule.  My concern is that this violates the rule of law and is completely against international norms.  Not even China or in some ways, Iran does not do this.

If this was Saudi Arabia, they would have just throw the Muslim Brotherhood in jail for a few years unless they are engaged in direct armed insurgence against the government that resulted in a death of law enforcement official.  Even in my home state (California), an act that resulted in direct armed insurgence against the government that resulted in a death of law enforcement official would resulted in the death penalty.

The United States should rethink twice about providing military assistance to a country that sentences 529 people who did not engage in an armed insurgence that resulted in a death of law enforcement officer. It is time to cut of the aid to Egypt until Egypt does a major restructuring of its legal system.

March 25, 2014 at 5:10 am Leave a comment

Krugman’s Right, It Is time For Labor Ready

Paul Krugman writes

“The most important paper at the Brookings Panel was probably Krueger et al on the long-term unemployed, which basically confirmed what we’re learning from a number of sources: it’s really hard to get employers to look at people who have been out of work for an extended period, so any sustained increase in long-term unemployment tends to become permanent.

The best way to avoid this outcome, then, is to avoid prolonged periods of high unemployment.

So let me make the obvious point, just in case anyone missed it: the “pivot” of 2010 — when all the Very Serious People decided that the danger from debt trumped any and all concern for job creation — was an utter disaster, economic and human. It was even a disaster in fiscal terms, because a permanently depressed economy will cost far more in revenue than was saved by slashing the deficit by a few percent of GDP in the short term.

Now, you might think that this post should be titled The Mistake of 2010 — but that would only be appropriate if it were truly an honest error. It wasn’t. Some of the austerians were self-consciously exploiting deficit panic to promote a conservative agenda; some were slipping into deficit-scolding rather than dealing with our actual problems because it felt comfortable; some were just going along for the ride, saying what everyone else was saying. Hardly anyone in the deficit-scold camp engaged in hard thinking and careful assessment of the evidence.

And millions of people will still be paying the price for that casual irresponsibility for many years to come.

That is precisely the reason why I have to line for Labor Ready tommorow.

March 24, 2014 at 3:41 am Leave a comment

I have concluded that life is difficult to deal without my OCD medicine. I had to cut an experiment to see how successfully that I dealt with the anxiety of long-term unemployment without my medicine.  The results was that I was starting to get bitter, full of self-blame, and overthinking about my life’s problems.  I felt that anxiety would help me take some very uncomfortable actions, but in the end, the amount of overthinking was way too much to handle.  I concluded that I really do have OCD (at least the type that makes you constantly overthink).  The medication made me feel better, but at what cost? 

March 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Will Rush Limbaugh Ever Shut Up?

Rush Limbaugh just does not when to shut up.  Here his latest zinger via Mediate

“In an ideal world, Rush Limbaugh would love to see President Obama impeached, but he knows it’s never going to happen. He said Thursday people are obviously frustrated about Obama, but there is absolutely no “political will” to speak of behind impeachment. He explained, “Even if you had a slam-dunk legal case in court, you’re never going to succeed impeaching a president unless there’s political will for it. That would require Obama’s approval numbers in the 20s, and even then I’m not so sure that the people of this country would ever support removing the first black president. It’s never gonna happen

Does this guy ever say anything conciliatory towards Obama?  I think that there is nothing that Obama can do that is going to satisfy El Rushbo.  Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.

 

March 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

Madoff Proves Why We Need a Tax on Greed

Bernie Madoff is going to have a nice seat in hell ready for him.  Literally, he is.  He is the real devil with horns. 

Has he learned the lesson of the last major meltdown.  The answer is no.  He is just has not learned his lesson about ripping off the public of billions upon billions of a Ponzi scheme.

So Mr. Madoff opens up his pompous mouth made the following remark as reported by the NY Daily news

Bernard Madoff, the heartless con man who lived the gilded life by ripping off investors in a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, says he’s “not a great fan of redistribution of wealth.”

The scam artist engineered a massive transfer of assets, duping thousands of people to part with their hard-earned money, which he took for himself.

 

Yet, in a jailhouse interview with Politico, he gave a thumbs down to Mayor de Blasio’s policies.

“I’m not a great fan of redistribution of wealth,” he said.

The outrageous line riled investors who lost everything to the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

It is exactly people like you, Mr. Madoff,  is why we need to place higher taxes on billionaries. People who hoard wealth upon the back of others and then let other people suffer because of their greed.

To a less extent, people who want policies that will lead to further personal enrichment over policies that would actually grow the economy and decrease in equality are the real pompous ass.  But these people are not the target of this post.

It is people like Madoff who have made people bankrupt and lost everything have no understanding of the ramifications of their actions.  These people have no concept of the level of personal destruction that they have cause others.

These are the people are the poster boys on why the wealthy cannot be trusted to hoard unlimited amounts of personal wealth.  A tax on greed is an moral act itself because it puts a disincentive for people to engage his sociopathic behavior like Madoff did.

March 21, 2014 at 5:06 pm Leave a comment

Perhaps the End of Texas Big House

USA Today reports

“HOUSTON (AP) — Texas has obtained a new batch of the drugs it uses to execute death row inmates, allowing the state to continue carrying out death sentences once its existing supply expires at the end of the month. But correction officials will not say where they bought the drugs, arguing that information must be kept secret to protect the safety of its new supplier. In interviews with The Associated Press, officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice also refused to say whether providing anonymity to its new supplier of the sedative pentobarbital was a condition of its purchase. The decision to keep details about the drugs and their source secret puts the agency at odds with past rulings of the state attorney general’s office, which has said the state’s open records law requires the agency to disclose specifics about the drugs it uses to carry out lethal injections. “We are not disclosing the identity of the pharmacy because of previous, specific threats of serious physical harm made against businesses and their employees that have provided drugs used in the lethal injection process,” said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark”

Could the Texas Death House could be coming to the final death? That is the question that eventually face the prison-industrial complex.

The slow, bitter end to all of those death row executions did not come from a ballot intiative. It came through the will of the free market. Since the competive advantage of the manufacturing the drugs used in lethal injection has shifted overseas, European drug companies had states that they want to do nothing with the murder by state institution.

There are a lot of people who are worthy of the death penalty. They have killed a lot of people and really deserve the ultimate punishment. However, there has been hundreds of people in US history that have been put death wrongly. The whole concept of state-sanctioned murder might be morally wrong even if the people who killed a lot of people deserve the death penalty.

The Europeans have dictated to us that they want to do nothing in the process of putting people to death. The drugs used in lethal injection have proven to provide a quick and relatively painless for inmates. However, new compound drugs present the possiblity of painful and silent death to inmates. According to the US constitution, that is considered to be cruel and unusual punishment.

Maybe, it is time for GOP lawmakers in Texas to realize that the death penalty days are numbers. Like Russia taking the Crimera, the Europeans drug companies essentially told the US that the death penalty days are numbered and that there is nothing US can do change that.

Making compound drugs in secret labs is aganist the constitution. The prisoners have the right to know what the effects of the drugs that are being took and the execution proctocol used to execute them. Even if the death penalty is justified, an inmate should have the right to die in dignity and without pain. We are not Iran who makes sixteen people hang in public a slow death or neither we are Saudi Arabia that beheads inmates and than decides to cruficy them.

It is time for the Texas GOP to execute the remaining cases where the death penalty is justified and the prisoners are involved are totally guility. After that, the right thing to do is to have Rick Perry to commute all of the death sentences to life without parole if he cannot properly obtain a batch of drugs that he can disclose the source and disclose the execution process to the inmate.

March 20, 2014 at 5:26 am Leave a comment

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