Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Clean House on Wall Street.

Why must we live with this trash?  I’m talking about the Wall Street hedge fund manager who just recently made headlines as he tried to gouge prices on pharmaceutical brands he had purchased.  Some of the excesses were over 5000%

I think he did it for the notoriety.  So I am not going to use his name here.  I could call him dick wad or ass hole.  But let’s just say this selfish, greedy bastard has had his fifteen minutes of fame.  Both the SEC and the IRS are now looking into his business practices as well as the Justice Department.  Maybe a few decades behind heavy iron bars would do his demented head some good.

Speaking of jail time, I think that is where the VW execs belong.  And while we are throwing Germans in jail, let’s throw the GM execs in there right along with them. It is time corporations quit hiding behind financial loop holes and paying FINES in settlements.  It is time the guys and gals in pinstripes exchange them for prison stripes.  Just like the Peanut Barron got this week.  Peter Pan’s man got 25+ years for lying to Americans about a product they consume. Let me tell you, the next guy in line isn’t going to change any numbers or change lab results to suit his or her agenda.  Not with JAIL time waiting as a gift from Uncle Sam.

Corporations wanted to be treated as people under the law…so be it.  Jail the crooks.

Where I grew up there was an epidemic of slant hole oil well drilling going on in the sixties.  Let me tell you, had real jail time been in the cards, there is no way those drill stems would have been anything but straight down. As it was a few hands got slapped a few fines paid.

If you break a law, you should serve the time.  No matter if you are a hood from the streets or a CEO from Wall Street.

Capitalism needs a good dose of cleaning up its bench players. It would do the whole team some good. And while we’re at it, let’s throw a few congressmen in there, too. Their hands are always being greased and by some of the shadiest characters in Washington.

Let’s clean up America.  And let’s start at the top.  America’s CEO’s are ripe for a  little soap and water… and if they don’t come out squeaky clean, then a little drying out in jail would be just in order.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahmed's clock told us the real time.

The young student from Irving, Texas discovered something far more valuable than how to make an electronic clock. He discovered just how racists and bigoted our society is. True we try to hide it. But his simple clock brought it out in the open where everyone could see it.

You see, when Ahmed Mohamad, who is Muslim and 14, brought his class project to science class, school officials and campus police suspected it was a bomb.  Right away they went to bomb. BUT THEY DID NOT LOCK DOWN THE SCHOOL.  WHY? Because they had their “man”.  The chief of police in Irving even claimed that the young man had been most uncooperative. “When we asked him what the device was he said it was a clock.  He kept saying it was a clock over and over. It’s just a clock.  He wasn’t very forthcoming.”

Well, let’s see…it was a clock.  Finally when the science teacher was called in the whole mess was straightened out, but not before Ahmed had been placed in handcuffs and lead away under arrest.  He was then placed in a confined space and surrounded by as many as five officers and questioned.  No parent present. No lawyer present. No constitutional rights?  Why?  He looked like an ARAB.  Therefore he must be a terrorist. Or so the police reasoned.

Well, guess what cops…it was a clock.

But more than tell the time of day, it tells the time of Irving.  Stuck deeply in the past of racial isolationism and fear.  But before we get all haughty over Irving’s failure, let us remind ourselves the rest of Texas (and the United States for that matter) isn’t much better.

Racism and bigotry are alive and well as never before here. 

I know the police had a tough job.  I for one am glad they are out there doing it. But the reason they are getting black eyes in the public is that over and over they are not doing the job they are assigned to do. Investigate. Look into. Dig a little. Quit assuming just because of color or religion someone is guilty.

Quit looking for the easy answers.

It is time for that.  That’s what Ahmed’s clock really told us.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Get rid of the guns!

And yet another professor has been shot and killed on a college campus. It seems like a weekly occurrence and yet, we still do nothing.  I found this article to explain my views.

I for one am tired of gun violence. There is no need in it. Get rid of the guns.

The Second Amendment Does Not Guarantee Gun Ownership for All

Posted: Updated:

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The Second Amendment does not guarantee the right of any and all citizens to own any and all kinds of guns.

It demands, in the name of national security, that we regulate it.
Never let assertions of the so-called "sanctity" of the Second Amendment bully you into thinking it guarantees unregulated weapon ownership.

It does not.

Contrary to the propaganda perpetrated by the gun lobby, the Second Amendment is the most heavily modified, curbed, explained, complex and contradictory of all the first ten Amendments.
The slaughter of small children along with teachers, a principle and so many other innocents was the furthest thing from James Madison's mind when he wrote the Bill of Rights.

He compiled it from a wide range of documents, including the Bills of Rights of Virginia (co-written with Thomas Jefferson) and other states to pacify the new nation's grassroots abhorrence of a strong federal government. If our basic rights were not clearly and explicitly guaranteed, Americans were ready to rise up for a second revolution.

The First Amendment, the greatest of them all, guaranteed our basic intellectual freedoms. The 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th set the foundations (and limitations) of our criminal justice system. The 7th had to do with the civil courts. The 9th and 10th guaranteed a range of rights to the states and the people.
The third had to do with quartering troops.

But the second was politically complex. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has argued that Madison's real intent was not to guarantee all individuals a right to gun ownership, but to assure the states that the federal government would not disband their militias.

Thus it's the only Amendment that comes with an apologia, a rationale:
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state....

The First Amendment bluntly asserts our natural right to freedom of and from religion, and to democratic dialog and belief.

But the Second is compelled to say why. And it starts with a monumental hyphenation: well-regulated.

Why? Because to be of any value to a free state, a militia -- a citizen army -- must be organized. It can't be a bunch of free-lancers running around with uncontrolled weapons, killing whomever they please.

And what's the goal?

Security, as explicitly as Madison could make it.

That means safe not only from foreign invaders, but from unconstrained gun bearers killing small children, theater-goers, presidents, civil rights leaders, rock stars, random bystanders and whomever else they fell like it at every whim.

Now we have once again come to know that too many of those within our midst, bearing weapons without constraint, pose the greatest threat of all to the security of our free state.
If we are insecure in the belief that we can send our children to an elementary school and not have them killed, then we are secure in absolutely nothing.

Guns kill people, and guns in the hands of crazy people kill children... and so many others... and we have seen the reality of this far too often not to act.

It has become clearly "necessary to the security of a free state" that the right to bear arms must be "well-regulated," as in an organized militia.

As a nation, society and species, how many more times do we have to be shown that we are not yet highly enough evolved to allow guns in the hands of anyone who wants them?
But what about:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
It comes, as noted, heavily pre-modified.

AND, it does NOT say "all people" or "any person" or "all citizens" or "any American" has the unrestricted right to own firearms.

It says the people.

Attorney James Madison, revolutionary lawyer, visionary and genius, was nothing if not precise with his language. His Bill of Rights is as great a literary and legal masterwork as has ever been written.
Madison knew exactly what he said: the people.

That does not mean every individual. It means the people as a whole.

It is us, as a community, as the people, that has the right to bear arms. Even to maintain militias.
But is us, as a sane society, that has the right -- the responsibility -- to well-regulate the ownership of guns.

To those who would say we need them to protect ourselves against government intrusion, we must respond by doing the obvious:
Cease allowing this government to be an insanely weaponized threat to our personal security, and to that of so many others around the world.

A free state is not secured by an armed-to-the-teeth populace holding at bay an armed-beyond-belief government.

If you worry about the overbearing power of our own government, then stop it from spending more on war than the rest of the world combined.

Since the Bill of Rights was ratified December 15, 1791, our libraries have rightly filled with legal opinions, court briefs, pleadings, arguments, speeches, impassioned tomes epithet-filled accusations and so much more.

As per the First Amendment, we all have a natural, welcome right to our opinions.
But we have a duty to secure a free state. And that starts with protecting our children.
As a nation, we are largely isolated in our lack of gun regulation. It is done throughout the world in civilized nations at least as free as ours.

It's not perfect. But it's done, in countries thus far more secure from random, senseless gun violence than ours.

We cannot afford to let yet another horrific slaughter go by unanswered.
That means slashing the power of the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby.
That means gun regulation. In whatever sustainable form will stop this nightmare from repeating itself over and over and over again.

No more shrugging our shoulders and saying "no, we can't."

National security, the law, the Constitution, the Second Amendment, common sense, parental responsibility, the need to survive... they are all on our side.

We can win this. These children must not have died in vain. This corner must be turned.