Posts Tagged ‘special interest groups’

Question asked, question answered late and sorta!

June 9, 2014

A while back I was asked something that I thought was a good question.  It was actually difficult at the time to answer and the person asking me this question wanted me to share my answer with his church and others in support of his group called Resurrections.  The answer has been forthcoming for a good long while and believe me it took more than a week to come up with it as well as more that I keep bringing up to myself often as time goes by.  But first, let me tell you what Resurrections is about.

For over a decade now Resurrections has been providing one meal each Saturday to those that are homeless and those in need.  This group of individuals is not from just one church but many.  This organization gets others involved (other churches, local businesses, as well as one entire school district).  So it’s not just a core group who comes to feed those like myself who are on the street or those in need (low income people).  The volunteers that come feed those of us are the ones who share their time and also learn that homelessness isn’t about just one issue but many.  From here out, I’ll describe individuals I know from the group’s core and talk about the people who volunteer their time.

Over the years, Resurrections has gone through two organizers.  The first person goes by C.J.  I never really got to know him well or know what Resurrections was about till he retired and Larry took over.  When Larry took over is when I started actually assisting Resurrections with their setting up for feeding those in need.  I’ve not asked what Larry does for full time employment.  However, I know he does a lot of footwork for Resurrections.  He sets up the volunteers for time slots and hunts down donations as well as more volunteers.  I’d like to think of it as his second job and almost a calling in life.  Other than that, Larry has been a great individual and I like to count him as a friend.

Monica, is one of the sweetest individuals I know with the group.  She’s what we call our chili lady.  Every week she cooks up at least two to three pots of chili for the hot dogs served as well as offers prayer at the beginning of the meals when there is no others available for this small chore.  However, that isn’t where her work started.  By day she’s a school teacher that is deeply involved with teaching her students.  She goes above and beyond the usual teacher stuff.  It wasn’t till I met her that I knew more about teaching than I did when I was a trainer in the military.  Often times she’s putting in over seventy hours a week.  And yet, she still feels as if those that come are like her wayward children.  I know no other person that can do this.

Betsy, our cookie lady, is also a fine person who has problems of her own which I can’t discuss here.  She’s there at least once every two weeks handing out home made cookies she bakes herself.  Every week she’s off, I miss her and think about her as well as keep her in my prayers.  She makes me think of my mom’s own cooking when I get her chocolate chip cookies 😀

Tobie is the woman who brings our bananas most weeks.  When she can’t she gets Herb or some other member to pick them up where she gets them from.  I won’t name the place because I don’t advertise anyone if possible.  There are many like Tobie who are concerned citizens and think that everyone in America should treat each other with equal respect irregardless.  She’s a wonderful person to talk to and know.  I wish I could say more.

Robbie is our desert man.  He’s one of the most unique individuals I’ve met here in Columbia, South Carolina.  Sometimes I think of him as our overgrown child.  He often brings his “big kid” toys to the weekly feed.  Bless his heart for always thinking about those in need and working with a local grocer to provide the deserts at each of those events.  He’s a blessing to many of those that come and is always friendly with those he talks to.

There are many others in the core group and it seems like it’s always growing.  Some come and some go.  They will never be forgotten.  I could name many others who help out here by name but I’ve covered the main individuals.  They are just what keeps this going.  If it weren’t for the volunteers this wouldn’t come about at all.

That is the main point of this weekly event.  It brings those that often don’t know or have very little knowledge of what really goes on in this town beyond their own personal life.  I’ve met many a volunteer through this weekly event and have several people who I’d like to call friends other than those I deal with on the street.  The volunteers make this event work more so than the core group.  We ALL get to know more about each other when they come.

Yes, I say I don’t advertise here.  However, I’d like to thank two groups in particular.  One is a local business called Southeastern Freight.  Their corporation has two or three groups that come down once or twice every three months to volunteer their services feeding those in need.  They are a great bunch of people that I relate to very easily as one of my brothers was/is an over the road truck driver like many of them.  The second group is a large group of children of various ages coming out of Richland county school district two.  They frequently come out to volunteer their service and actually work to get some of the things those out on the street need (mostly book bags so that those on the street can carry their belongings in something other than trash bags).  These children give me faith that there is a tomorrow for this country.  I hope they can learn some valuable things as well from those of us out on the street.  I know I try to impress upon them the importance of education as I’m still learning even from them.

All the volunteers as well as the regulars do so much with so little funding it’s truly amazing.  I can’t recommend more for those that chose to do something for their fellow man but to get involved in this group in one form or another.  Donations are always welcome by these people.  It could be clothing, shoes, book bags, toiletries, your time helping out by serving those in need, or even chipping in funding this wonderful group and their volunteers.  Resurrections would be more than happy for any assistance in their mission.

My final words here are words I’ve shared with Larry about Resurrections.  I’ve promised him that if I remain in South Carolina, specifically Columbia, that once I got off the street I’d still come and help him out.  I would be bringing more instead of just my assistance of helping set up in this case.  I believe in this groups mission and thank God himself for what it’s done for me in the way I see society in general.  If you’re not from South Carolina or the United States there are others like me and those of us out on the street.  Help however you can.  It doesn’t have to be a monetary handout.  It could be a meal or even just time listening to those that need a person to listen to their story.  Never ever look down on those that are having a hard time.  You could be there yourself at one time or another in your life.  Everyone needs friends no matter what the circumstances are.  Because of a group like this I’ve many more friends than I first had here and hope to find many others through this group.  God bless everyone involved.

I’ve Seen!

April 4, 2013

A couple of years ago, I lost my grandmother.  At 91 years old she’d said she’d seen enough.  Only this morning did it dawn on me what she meant by that comment before passing.  She lived through the Great Depression, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Dessert Storm and some of the current wars not to mention several years of vast change in this country including Women’s Suffrage  and the Civil Rights Movement.

I’m too young to remember a lot of these things.  My only recollection of things during my grandmother’s later years was of my uncle leaving for Vietnam (he did two one year tours there), my neighbor going to serve the National Guard during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and of course I served in the Navy during Dessert Storm.  It makes me wonder just what I’ll witness next.

These are but a few things I’ve not seen in my fifty three years of life so far.  I’ve seen many more things than I’d like.  Some I’d much rather not see, especially here in the United States.  At this point in life, I can honestly say I’m with my grandmother on what her last feelings were.  I’ve seen enough to make a grown man not just cry but to curl up and want to die.

I was once a proud citizen of this country I call my home.  Doing my patriotic duty serving in the U.S. Navy wasn’t something I did just for a job.  After all these years, I can’t honestly say I’m proud of this country.  Actually, I’m mortified.  The people (especially the politicians) should be ashamed of themselves for the treatment they give those that are in as well as those who have served this country in the military.  They gave their lives or part of their lives in order to keep this country the way it is no matter how messed up it has become.  Yet, they are looked at as second and often times less than third rate citizens.  The illegal immigrants get better treatment most of the time.

Greed seems to be one of the things I’ve witnessed the most.  The saying “competing with the Jones'” comes to mind here.  Everywhere I’ve gone, everyone I meet, and every job I’ve been in seems fraught with who can get what for little or nothing of his/her time.  My last job with Sam’s Club will attest to that.  I worked there not even a year before quitting.   I was USED by day shift and management (my immediate supervisors) to get ahead (advance up the corporate ladder).  What did I get out of it?  Nothing more than an “at a boy” and a pay raise of only fifty cents an hour (the only pay raise I ever got there though I increased sales in my section by 30%).  Now I’m homeless again for my NOT cow towing to people who use and abuse others for their own personal gain.  It’s shameful.

Worse yet, I’ve seen this same greed and treatment of African Americans by not just Caucasians but by other African Americans.  Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the distribution of illegal drugs.  Of course, this particular thing happens not just in the African American communities, but in other racial communities as well.  Drugs are not a racial discriminator.

Discrimination is probably the second most prevalent thing I’ve seen.  Nowhere have I seen it more pronounced than in the impoverished neighborhoods and in the south.  However, it’s not just the African Americans against the Caucasian Americans and vice versa.  I think the worst discriminating race I’ve met is the Asian Americans.  Not so much in the northern part of the United States, but here in the south it’s abysmal.  These people, if they could have it their way, wouldn’t associate with anyone.

Personally, I don’t look at the exterior of anyone anymore.  I look at what is inside.  The personality of the person I’m talking to or the person I care for.   Personality is everything.  What is on the outside doesn’t matter.  WE all BLEED the same damn color, RED!  Plain and simple, there should be NO discrimination anywhere.  Yet it still happens.

From there I’ll mention history.  Nowhere in history has any government lasted longer than in the United States.  No monarchy, dictatorship, or other form of government has lasted so long.  I’ve worked both sides of the fence and studied both sides for a long time.  This government is DOOMED to repeat the errors of the past by not looking at what happened to past forms of government.  Alas, history is no longer truly taught in the school systems.  For that matter not much in today’s school systems is useful with the exception of math and science (and the so called Christians want to remove science from the system as well) to progress a person to a meaningful life.  But history ought to be a required subject throughout a students scholastic years.  Fully half the politicians in our current government know little or nothing about history and how greed has been the downfall of most all governments.  The other half ignore history though they do know of it.   These politicians think they have a “great civilization.”  Yeah right.  For whom?  Them of course.  Not the average person on the street.

The two oldest professions in the book are politics and prostitution.  They actually are much the same.  The career politician is nothing more than a whore.  More so than the prostitute on the street.  I’ve read recently where several politicians sold out to a major corporate interest.  They voted to support the oil industry in certain claims because a large amount of their campaign contributions (BRIBES) came from that one industry.  Two are members of the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.  Another four to six are in the Oklahoma Assembly.  The exposure of this as well as that of several assemblymen in the North Carolina Assembly for taking large campaign contributions (BRIBES again) from corporations for votes proves my point entirely.  Just another thing that makes me wonder, “Have I seen enough yet?”

And while I’m at it, let me mention military procurement.  Everyone knows what happens to some extent there.  It’s in the news just how much the “Joint Strike Fighter” is costing the taxpayer.  This is but one example but let me use it.  Corporations are not only using retired military personnel, but also BRIBING active duty personnel to push through stuff the military doesn’t need or in some cases even wants.  Yes, I agree we need a joint strike fighter that serves multiple missions for all branches of the service.  Where I don’t agree is on the cost.  Currently, each JFS (as I’ll refer to them now) will cost the American taxpayer over $100 million apiece.  That cost is growing on almost a daily basis.  Now the Navy’s old FA-18 Super Hornet was around $85 million apiece to give you a reference.  Granted we’ve had advances in many things but do we need all those things.  Americans are fighting two wars of completely different propensities.  We are fighting terrorists and computer crackers (the correct term though the media uses “hackers”, the incorrect term).  WTF do we need a joint strike fighter to fight these wars for?

As I’ve said, I’ve seen many things.  Some things I’ve seen here in Columbia, South Carolina I’m shocked at since I would think I’d see them on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California instead of in the Bible Belt.  Two things I witnessed here is just plain stupid even for a couple of homeless individuals.  First of all, two obviously homosexual men fornicating in front of a closed store at 2AM.  Secondly, a heterosexual couple fornicating in broad daylight under a blanket in the middle of a park.  Granted both situations involved homeless people and I’m ashamed to be mentioned in the same sentence as either of those four individuals.  Those four people have no sense of social dignity let alone anything else.  Of course, this is the only town where I’ve witnessed the aftermath of a knifing in as well.  Never did I witness these things in San Diego nor Los Angeles while stationed aboard two different ships going through the shipyards of Long Beach.  It’s truly amazing what you witness in a town of just over a hundred thousand people that you don’t see in cities of over four million people.  Need I say more?

I won’t say much more.  I’ll just leave you with a thought though.  When you’ve seen what you think is enough, just wait.  You’ll witness more.

Columbia, South Carolina state’s best city? NOT!

March 27, 2013

I found this rather interesting item in the news a few months back.  It was a determination of the United States best cities.  The survey was done by the Milken Institute and is rather informative.  If you’re not from the United States or even if you are you can check out your cities standings (if it’s listed ) at the following links.  This information is based on several factors and the determination is actually described by the institute’s site (first link).

http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/
http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/best-performing-cities-2012-large.html
http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/best-performing-cities-2012-small.html

The table below is just a standing for the cities listed from South Carolina.  It’s not the entire table at the links above.

2012 Rank

2011 Rank

Metropolitan Area

State

9

11

Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville

SC

35

114

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill

NC-SC

52

113

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley

SC

88

77

Augusta-Richmond County

GA-SC

108

181

Spartanburg

SC

129

115

Columbia

SC

165

128

Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway

SC

127

141

Anderson

SC

129

151

Florence

SC

131

155

Sumter

SC

I found it quite interesting that Columbia is one of three cities listed from South Carolina that actually fell from their previous years listing.  Of the cities listed it is in the bottom twenty percent and tied with Florence.  The worst city of course was Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach/ Conway for obvious reasons.

Now as to why Columbia is failing to move up the listings.  There are several things that mark the decline of Columbia.  First and foremost is the number of jobs (jobs that pay significantly more than minimum wage) in this city.  The second and I feel should be the most important and will bring the first to this city is infrastructure.  Third is a friendly government.

Now let’s talk about infrastructure.  This should be a city’s first order of business since without a sound infrastructure jobs will NEVER come.  The city of Columbia is and has been in hot water with the Environmental Protection Agency over it’s sewage system.  Progress of repairing it has been slow at best and has cost the citizens of this city far more than they need it to cost.  Why you ask?  It’s because like all governments, the Columbia city council pools all the cities funds into one lump sum and spends it without regard to setting aside money for future needs nor repair of in use systems.  It’s why not only the cities sewage system is still in need of repair (even through not one but several water rate hikes in recent times) but the roads, parks and other things are in need of repair or proper maintenance.

Where is all this money going you ask?  Look around.  You see block parties (not necessarily for the general public (i.e. normal citizen), parades, and other nonsense things being supported by city council in order to draw people to a DEAD downtown.  Tourism isn’t happening in this city let alone this state because of several things that I need not mention.  Tourism is also a dead industry like manufacturing has become in the United States.

Roads are seeing very little repair outside that which the city spends from state and federal funds they receive.  One thing could help this issue other than further taxing an already burdened people.  Think before you make repairs of streets.  Two or three years ago, Columbia resurfaced several of their downtown streets instead of spreading the funds around the town on these projects.  What happened after the resurfacing?  Sure enough, not one month after the roads were resurfaced, the city started tearing up the NEW surface repairing stuff that could have been repaired before the resurfacing.  Now they’ll scramble for more state and federal funds to resurface the same streets they tore up again instead of fixing other more in need streets.  This isn’t new.  It happens in many a city.  Ill thought out maintenance and repair is killing things.

As to the parks, they aren’t getting but subsistence funding.  Meaning, they aren’t getting anything more than what they need for basic maintenance.  Water fountains in the parks aren’t being maintained where there are such.  Restrooms which need repair, maintenance, or just flat need replacing are not getting done to attract citizens to the parks.  The sad thing is I’ve talked to people who work these parks.  They request the necessary things needed but are denied what they need in order to make the parks a better place for citizens.

Now a word about public safety in the city.  Columbia has recently added several new police officers to their ranks.  However, they like other government employees don’t seem to be doing their job properly.  Granted ALL police officers are underpaid for what they do, but most here are NOT performing the basics and the police chief seems to be spineless in his dealings with city council.  What I mean by this is, the police chief’s officers are being redirected against the current homeless population by city council and not able or willing to perform the basic functions they are paid for (writing traffic citations to those that commit the simplest of crimes).  In other words if you are homeless in this city as other major cities have homelessness as well, don’t expect a police officer to help you.  If anything they’ll lock you up faster to get points with city council.  If you’re an automobile owner, you can do no wrong.  Run a red light, speed, wreck less driving, or hit a pedestrian, no problem.  It seems pedestrians as well as bicyclists have NO rights in this town.

For Columbia to succeed in moving upward, they need to first task their police for properly.  Secondly, think proper repair and maintenance of their infrastructure (funding for current and future).  And last, FIRE their current city council.  Then and only then will they have an efficient and well run city where government responds to their citizens instead of being self centered egotistical megalomaniacs  like most government officials are.  Maybe then and only then will the Columbia police force remove the tag for them as being nothing more than “Uniform Gang Members.”

Could It Be? Did someone hear my challenge?

January 29, 2013

I’ll repeat the two questions in the title for purposes you’ll see in a moment.  Could it be?  Did someone hear my challenge?  Let me amend the second question and add yet another?  Did the right parties finally get smart and take up my challenge?  Did it take the suicide of a person only seeking to release information that should have been free in the first place?  The following link is what I refer to:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=29754

Though classified a selective attack by Anonymous (i.e. Department of Justice), it appears they are finally realizing what I’ve realized all along.  To truly wake up government (not necessarily the United States government but any government), you have to get information that government wants kept secret for fear that it will do one of several things.  Examples of things the governments don’t want exposed:

1.     Corruption

2.     Fraud

3.     Missappropriation

4.     Plots by the government against their own citizens.

It is my sincere hope that Anonymous found all this and more when they “cracked” into DOJ’s servers.  I’ve checked the files listed that were released on Pirate Bay for download.  Though I currently have no computer of my own and can’t download them via bit torrent here at the public library, I’d love to have copies of these nine files to see just what Anonymous has released.  I suspect it’s some very embarrassing items about the DOJ.  By my estimation, the nine files they uploaded have around thirteen or fourteen gigabyte of information.  If it’s all text, it’s considerable.

Also my sincere hope is that Anonymous won’t stop at the Department of Justice.  I hope they dig deeper.  It would be interesting to see what they could find at the Central Intelligence Agency or Department of Homeland Security (I call the DHS the Department of Homeland Insecurity), or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The National Security Agency to me is a waste of time.  There is just too much information there to sift through.  The CIA would be interesting because they should have been closed down years ago during Kennedy’s administration.  DHS because of the Patriot Act which in my book shouldn’t even be called that.  That was the most unpatriotic bill ever invoked into law not to mention most of it being unconstitutional.  As to the FBI, I’m sure there are lots of very interesting things that can be gleaned there.  Cover ups anyone?

All this goes to show you that even our own government can’t stop people from finding out what they want to find out.  How much are they really hiding?  Perhaps things to do with Roswell, New Mexico or even John F. Kennedy’s assassination?  I’m sure there is even more than that.

At this point, I believe the United States government is proving just how stupid of Information Technologist they can and DO hire.  If their website programmers can’t avoid a security issue that has been known in the wild for over ten years,  then they should all be fired and they should get some competent people.  However, competency is another subject altogether when it comes to just how competent the United States of America is.

Please by all means, find more dirt that the career politicians and their cronies have on them.  Anonymous has a start.  Frankly, I don’t care if Anonymous does it or some private individual.  We need to expose the faults and corruption of our own government.  The media is finally getting in the act instead of just listening to their corporate masters.  However, it’s the Internet media that is finding all this out.  Definitely not Rupert Murdock’s crew.

Interesting development! Healthcare, what a joke!

November 19, 2012

It appears to me that the social elite are at it again.  I just got an email from Credo about the CEO of Macy’s calling for the end to Medicaid, Medicare, and any form of welfare including Social Security.  Rather interesting since a lot of people in the social elite draw Social Security even though they DON’T contribute any money into it.  That’s correct.  The social elite (CEO’s and others making over $1 Million a year DON’T contribute anything to the Social Security system).
What this idiot doesn’t seem to take into account is without Medicaid or Medicare, over 45% of us could not afford medical costs thanks to the people like him who control the medical system (FDA and pharmaceutical companies who actually run the FDA).  Yes, you heard right.  The FDA is not controlled by the federal government.  The medical fields have very little or NO control by the federal government.  Thus we pay not once but twice for the development of new drugs.  It’s also the reason we pay more for those drugs than any other country.

Don’t get me wrong.  The original idea of the FDA was good.  Problem is we’re back to the pharmaceutical companies peddling snake oils instead of looking for cures like they once did.  For instance, there has yet to be a cured disease since Polio back in the 1930’s.  What’s with this?  Where are all the research dollars that the FDA pumps into the pharmaceutical companies going (taxpayer dollars)?  Certainly not for cures.  All the pharmaceutical companies want are treatments where they can charge over and over and over again.

Let me bring out another point as well.  With the growing number of people in the U.S. becoming homeless, the system is getting inundated because these people have no other means of getting any kind of healthcare.  Most homeless aren’t even getting first rate care.  They have to go to “FREE” clinics that are vastly understaffed and don’t have access to even rudimentary drugs to help a patient with a common cold let alone something more drastic.  The quality of healthcare for the homeless is even worse than it is for a fix income social security recipient.  Even my grandmother who died at 91 years of age (yes she lived on social security till her death) got better care than a homeless person does.

Now this is where I have it better than the average homeless person.  At least I get FREE medical care because of being a veteran.  How good is it?  Frankly it’s probably as bad if not worse in some cases than the healthcare under Medicare/Medicaid.  Often times I have to resort to the ER to get immediate care and even that takes hours.  Heaven forbid I try getting care from my primary physician which is a nurse/practitioner instead of a real doctor.  If I go the later route, I’m often waiting days, and sometimes weeks to be seen.  Pretty sad for care for those that made the sacrifice to serve their country.

Of course, it doesn’t end here.  Now the government and their corporate masters having me pay a copay for any and ALL medications I’m prescribed whether I pick up the prescription or not.  I was forced to go down to V.A. hospital to straighten these fools out for billing me for medication I never received (the prescriptions were for medication I couldn’t take due to allergies that have been noted in my medical record since 1982).  That’s right, the doctor didn’t even ask me about allergies or anything before prescribing me the pain killers.  I had to flag the pharmacy to make sure my record stated I couldn’t take those medications.  Talking about malpractice waiting to happen.

You be the judge.  Look at the current state of your medical care.  And don’t think you CAN’T be dropped for pre-existing conditions.  It’s a well known fact that the insurance industry DOESN’T like to pay out on anything.  How do you think those companies have such high profits year after year.

One other well known facts of medical issues and being homeless.  The diet they feed the homeless (me included) is worse than the diet that is fed to most school children in ANY school system.  Most of what I eat is starches,  fat, fiber, and sugars.  It’s no wonder many of the South Carolina homeless are diabetic.  Of course, many of those don’t pay attention to their health to begin with further hampering a broken system.  It’s just another vicious circle.

Accountability!

August 15, 2012

This a term you’ve heard a lot lately in the news and everywhere else.  The biggest problem I see with this term is that NO ONE seems to want to be held accountable.  They’re all trying to dodge the bullet that they know has their name on it.  Even I sometimes try to escape responsibility for my own actions.  However, I attempt to accept responsibility for all that I do or say.

By far the largest group of people who don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions are those people who are in control of our own governments and corporations.  Even though there are some who are honest enough to admit it when the problem IS their fault.  However, it doesn’t stop there.

Like a plague, the issue has spread from the government and big business to that of the individual on the street.  I’ve seen it happen amongst the homeless time and time again.  I’ll openly admit and accept responsibility and accountability to myself for my current status in life.  I have no one to blame.  It was my decisions that put me here and it will by my decisions to get me out of here.

Let’s look at welfare and accountability for a moment.  It seems the Republican party bitches about this one the most.  Funny thing is there are many who currently get welfare who DON’T need it when others that do need the assistance can’t get it.  Now I’m counting corporate welfare in on this one since corporations took a large chunk of taxpayers dollars in the last six years thanks to George W. Bush and his administration.  Some of these “bailouts” were given under the current president but were set up by Bush and his administration in advance.

What annoys me more than anything is that several of these corporations got these huge “bailouts” and then turned around and gave them out as bonuses to those that put their corporation into the situation that they supposedly needed the “bailout” money to begin with.  Even though the current Congress forced those individuals into a 90% tax on those bonuses, the American taxpayer still gave those corporate individuals a 10% bonus they didn’t deserve to begin with.  Those individuals should have been bare minimum fired by their respective corporations if not brought up on criminal charges for FRAUD!

Here’s are a couple questions that the taxpayer should ask.  How many of those “bailout” loans have been paid back?  Were these corporations who were foolish enough to get themselves into the bind that they required these loans charged interest on those loans and how much?  Frankly, I doubt very much that these “bailout” loans were anything but NO interest loans.  At least the vast majority of them were.  Sure GM was able to pay back the loans they took ($60 Billion) prior to the repayment date.  However, are they having any regulation to stop them from doing the same thing they did to warrant them the “bailout” again?

Same is true of the bank system.  Many took “bailouts.”  They would have never needed to be bailed out if the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932 had not been abolished or severely eroded.  This act made it so banks had to be either commercial or investment banks.  Alas, this is no longer so.  This act was originally instituted to keep what happened in 1929 from happening again like it did shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2000.  The provisions in it were realistic and well thought out.  Unfortunately the banking industry sought deregulation to allow it to do what it did before 1929’s stock market crash and got it.  Now we are facing pretty much the same thing again.  But yet they state, “It wasn’t our fault!  Where’s the accountability here?

I’ll be bold enough to state that it’s corporate policies that have gotten the government into poor accountability.  Take for instance weapons procurement.  Bids are accepted and the lowest bidder wins the contract.  In a lot of cases a company will purposely under bid so that they can later state that they have “cost over runs” and “delays.”  If this was going to happen why did they bid so low to begin with?  This is reprehensible in the least.  If a government contractor can’t or won’t deliver on a contract bid at the cost of the contract they should lose the bid or be fired when they get behind schedule and run into “cost over runs.”  Unfortunately it’s not happening due to many things.  Corruption being the worst.  If a company low balls a bid and can’t deliver it should go bust.  It’s obvious to me that many companies are not being held accountable for this mess.  F35 Joint Strike Fighter ring a bell here?

Simply put, ALL people should be responsible and accountable for their actions.  If it gets a company into trouble then the employee causing the trouble should be fired even if the company has to eat cost over runs to keep a contract they bid on.  In this case the bidder should be fired for his stupidity instead of the company folding and costing more jobs if the cost of the company delivering the product on time and in budget doesn’t close them down.  Until we start holding each other accountable for our actions we’ll continue to see what we are currently seeing now.  BOTH CORPORATE AND GOVERNMENTAL IRRESPONSIBILITY AND BAD ACCOUNTABILITY!

Elections!

May 7, 2012

I just noticed the elections in France today.  If it’s any indication of what is to come then God help those that have been to greedy for their own good.  It only serves them right for being far too greedy.  However, it also raises a question.  Just how honest is the election process in any government anymore?

Over the years there have been a number of different methods where candidates have won elections only to be called to the carpet after recounts and election investigations.  Those methods are imposing threats on voters, ballot stuffing, and even bribing election officials.  There’s even been a case where people have had others posing as dead people to get elected.  All this for greed and power.

In today’s electronic age, these issues become fewer and fewer.  However, I’m sure there have been some bright politicians or bureaucrats who have thought to bribe the people that set up the ballot box machines or again bribe the election officials just to get elected.

Will we see this happen again in the U.S.?  Maybe not on the federal level unless someone is that dishonest enough.  I tend to think we’ll see some on the local and possibly on the state levels depending on various states but not likely in the federal level unless someone has billions just to throw away to sway the electoral college which has 538 members and are the real people who elect our president.

Unlike many, I did study history and know who really elects the president of the U.S.  Five hundred and thirty eight people can go against the popular vote.  It’s happened four in know history of the electoral college.  Who’s to say those votes CAN’T be bought?

All I’m really saying here is that those of the voting populace need to watch their political leaders very carefully.  No, I’m not talking the special interest groups watching over the politicians.  They do so anyway.  I’m talking individual voters should pay close attention to how their politicians vote on various bills and policies.  Only then does anyone have a right to bitch about his or her political votes not counting.

As a prior military service member, I’ve watched elections (no I’ve never voted and only registered to vote once or twice).  I’ve seen the ins and outs of the political system.  They are as corrupt as any other system.  It’s the main reason I don’t vote.  That and the two different parties in Washington D.C. who keep redrawing the lines in census years to their advantage and not letting other parties having equal rights to campaign funding under the federal laws (matching funds).

However, having served, I have every right to complain about my government as I’m still receiving a federal Veteran’s Administration disability check.  I served for 12 years so those elected officials brat kids didn’t have to.  Yes, I volunteered.  I was not drafted.

Anyway, I feel it’s each individual’s right to make things change.  France is a shining example of that happening in a democratic country.  I hope it happens here as well.  However, it won’t happen unless more people start watching who is elected and voting their minds and wallets for the officials that won’t be corrupted by greed and power.