Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Local Businesses Are Sucking The Life Out Of Our Shopping Malls

A few decades ago, everyone was worried about the “Malling of America.” Downtowns were turning into ghost towns because everybody was shopping at the mall. And the country became so homogenized and standardized, every place started looking the same. A suburb of Chicago or Seattle, a small town in Kentucky or Utah — everywhere you look, you see the same shops and fast food places.

And now, with chain stores dropping like flies, the mall could be on its way out. Some of these casualties include “anchor” stores — well-known department stores that draw shoppers into the mall.

The chairman of a national retail consulting and investment banking firm said: “It's an absolute disaster. What a mall represents is discretionary spending, and discretionary spending is in a depression…Without the anchors, there is no mall.”

Last summer’s gasoline prices got this trend started. It got so expensive just to drive to the mall, people started shopping at those boring local mom-and-pop stores that they used to ignore.

The economic meltdown is bad news not only for the chain stores, but also for the developers and owners of shopping malls. When an anchor store goes vacant, the entire mall is threatened. You’re not gonna believe this (it was news to me anyway), but anchor retailers are actually PAID by the mall owner to be tenants at his mall. Nice work if you can get it. (Well, it used to be.)

A real estate advisor said: “If the big guy closes up, then none of the little guys are going to get the business. There will be precipitous closings of stores within the lower-tiered malls.” Share prices of the country’s second largest mall operator — General Growth Properties — have fallen below a dollar.

As terrible as this depression is, there might be a few silver linings. When we recover, maybe — just maybe — our values and priorities will be a little more grounded. Urban sprawl, people buying stuff they can’t afford and don’t need so they can impress people they don’t care about — R.I.P.

Now that the house of cards has collapsed, let’s replace it with something more solid.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Republicans’ Plan for the Economy

No smirking now; they really do have one. This brilliant new strategy combines two of the biggest Republican trademarks:

1. Attacking a problem by squelching the symptoms instead of correcting the underlying cause; and

2. Their utter fascination with conducting random drug tests on everybody, everywhere, all the time. There’s something about staring into a jar of urine that absolutely mesmerizes Republicans.

Well, that’s it. You’ve seen their plan. Isn’t is great? So far they’ve only applied this two-pronged battle plan to those whiny parasites who apply for unemployment benefits. But this is just the beginning. Think of the savings. That commie in the White House wants to spend trillions of dollars creating jobs and smothering our free enterprise system with those cumbersome regulations.

But the Republican alternative won’t cost taxpayers a dime. That’s because those unemployed potsmoking leeches will have to pay for these drug tests themselves. Gotcha!

And think of the potential for this approach. It’s unlimited. Do we want to spend trillions of dollars on socialized medicine? Hell No! From now on, when some pansy starts moaning about “I haven’t taken a piss for three days and my lower back hurts. I need to go to the ER” — Not so fast, Whiny! Deal with it! Or, you can piss into this jar. (Oh that’s right, you can’t.)

OK, we’ve saved trillions and trillions of dollars by getting rid of socialized medicine and trouncing that wacky leftwing notion about jobs being created by the government.

Law enforcement is another area that’s draining our treasury. How about this — if you call the police to report a crime, you have to take a drug test. And if you get arrested — for any reason, even if it’s just a traffic stop — drug test.

Same goes for the fire department. God only knows how many false alarms our firefighters have answered because some drug-addled welfare chiseler was lying on the couch and “thought” he saw a fire. Well, we know how to fix this little problem now — don’t we.

If this twofold plan is successful, the 2010 election will be a shoe-in for the Republicans to take back Congress. Republican campaign slogan for 2010: “So many urine samples to stare at, so little time.”

Favorite Republican pickup line: “PSSSST — hey baby, you into water sports? And I’m not talking about swimming and boating [wink]”

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brand New Concept at the EPA: S-C-I-E-N-C-E

The mountaintop coal-mining industry has just heard a terrible, heart-stopping phrase, something it hasn’t heard for over eight years: “No. You’ll have to wait.”

Hundreds of permits for mountaintop mining were put on hold today. The Environmental Protection Agency needs to evaluate the impact these projects will have on streams and wetlands.

After eight years of protecting Big Business from those rabid environmentalists, the Environmental Protection Agency is slowly returning to its original purpose — protecting the environment (hence the name).

An EPA spokeswoman said she thinks most of the 150-200 pending permits will ultimately be approved. These permits were issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA has the authority to veto these permits, but this virtually never happened during what’s-his-name’s administration.

And that’s another dead (for the last 8 years) concept being slowly revived at the EPA: Oversight.

The executive director for the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment said: “If the EPA didn't step in and do something now, all those permits would go forward. There are permits that will bury 200 miles of streams pending before the Corps.”

The reaction from the mining industry was slightly different (and totally predictable).

And in a separate action, the EPA recommended denying permits that the Army Corps of Engineers was planning to issue, which would allow two companies to fill thousands of feet of streams with mining waste.

Science. Protecting streams and rivers. What's going on here? Is this what the Renaissance was like?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Schizoid Credit Card Companies

Talk about mixed signals. “Pay up, F#$%!#$!%#in’ Deadbeat! If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it!”

“Shop! Consume! Buy now, pay later! Get out there and use that credit card, F#$%!#$!%#in’ Deadbeat!” If an individual was spewing out contradictory messages like that, he’d probably find himself tucked away in a padded room, with no sharp objects around.

You can actually get your card canceled and your credit rating reduced because you aren’t spending and borrowing enough. Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, American Express and Citibank are all cracking down on these worthless parasites who refuse to buy things they can’t afford.

And speaking of mixed messages, the Pope gave the people of Angola a stern lecture on the evils of sorcery. And by golly he’s right. Sorcery??? How primitive!

Come on, natives — times are changing. Get with it.

You should be more like us.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Is the Global Financial Meltdown a Conspiracy?

I don’t necessarily think it is. It’s one thing to get this from Matt Taibbi (in his latest Rolling Stone column) and various “alternative” news sites. But this time it’s coming from Jim Jubak, the financial columnist for MSN. It’s a lot harder to dismiss him as just another tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy nut who hates capitalism.

He says Congress and Wall Street “want to pretend that the current global financial crisis… was an accident caused by some unfortunate confluence of greed and asleep-at-the-switch regulators.”

Instead, he says the current global catastrophe is “the result of a conscious, planned looting of the world economy. Its roots stretch back decades. And it wouldn't have been possible without the contrivances of the bought-and-paid-for folks who sit in Congress.”

For example, this past March 5th there was a “show trial” (Jubak’s wording) conducted by Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL). Their two “sacrificial victims” (his wording again) were the supervisor of insurance for New York State and the acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Both of them were thoroughly reamed out for evading their regulatory responsibilities.

Jubak says: “By trotting out these sacrificial victims in this show trial, our representatives in Washington hope you won't ask the hard questions, the questions that show that they bear far more responsibility for this crisis and for the destruction of trillions of dollars in global assets than any state insurance commissioner or Washington bureaucrat.”

This is a long article but it’s well worth reading, since we all want to find out what the F#$%! happened so we can hopefully prevent it from happening again.

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our New Improved Health Insurance Industry

Just imagine that throughout your life, you’ve been known as the most ruthless cutthroat sleazy backstabbing gouging son of a bitch in town. Every time your name gets mentioned, it’s followed by “watch your back!” and “that F#!$%# $%!#&$#!!!” And now, after all these decades, you’re tired of being known as the town sleazebag (and other less printable names).

But the only way to change your terrible reputation is to change your behavior. Right?

Hell No! All you need is an image makeover.

Our HMOs provide the best medical coverage in the world, and yet for some unfathomable reason, they have an image problem. It’s all just a big misunderstanding. They haven’t been able to get their message across.

HMOs probably arouse more fury and resentment than anything this side of an AIG welfare recipient. If you saw the movie “As Good As It Gets,” you probably remember when Helen Hunt yelled out “those fuckin’ HMO bastards pieces of shit!” I saw the movie on our VCR, but I’ve heard that in theaters the audiences erupted into thundering applause when she said that. That was twelve years ago, and the health insurance industry’s reputation has gone steadily downhill since then.

What could possibly have caused such an image problem?

Aside from tailoring their soundbites, the HMOs’ biggest “change” has been to channel more of their bribe money to Democrats. Now that’s getting to the root of the problem.

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Potential Goldmine for Global Investors

PSSSST — Wanna invest in a broken down third world country? Great potential. Get in on the ground floor Now.

Believe it or not, this destitute country once dominated the world. They still have the world’s largest army; but it’s been stretched so thin over the last six years, it’s almost at the breaking point. And their numbers are shrinking: morale is so low, they can barely find anybody who still wants to enlist.

This country’s infrastructure has completely collapsed. Imploded. Their education system, once the envy of the world, has deteriorated into a sick joke. Because of their gutted, ruined education system, there are tens of millions of supposedly “educated” people who have the critical thinking skills of a 4-year-old. If you’re an unscrupulous politician or businessman, this is the greatest gift imaginable — millions of gullible people who’ll believe everything you tell them.

A lot of these people have very archaic religious beliefs, which they cling to like a pitbull. Learn about these beliefs, and communicate with these people in their own religious terms — and they’ll be eating out of your hand. Two very important buzzwords to remember are “Abortion!” and “the Homosexual Agenda!”

Why are so many of these people willing to work two or three jobs just to survive? Why do they allow their own wages to diminish while prices are skyrocketing all around them? Why do they allow their hard-earned tax dollars to be handed over to the same robber barons who created their economic misery? And why do they keep voting for the same politicians who keep reinforcing this feudal system they’re slaving under?

All of these questions can be answered by referring to those two buzzwords mentioned above. Use them frequently when talking to these people, and they’ll be putty in your hands.

So, what do you think? Interested? A bankrupt country with lots of natural resources and millions of industrious hardworking people who will take ANYTHING you can dish out — what’s not to like?

This is your golden opportunity. Act Now.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another Culprit in the Housing Meltdown: Those F#$%&!#$!&#! Homeowners’ Associations

For whatever reason, almost 60 million Americans live under the watchful eye of one of those Godforsaken homeowners’ associations. What the F$#!$ is the attraction? You have all the risks and responsibilities of owning your own home, and yet you’re right under somebody’s thumb as if you were a tenant. The worst of both!

We’ve all heard news stories — and first person accounts — about homeowners’ associations that give new meaning to words like Petty and Anal Retentive. No pets. Or even better, you can have a dog as long as it doesn’t go above a certain weight. “Fido has gained three pounds. Get rid of him or get out.”

Your house has to be a certain color. You’re only allowed to have certain types of plants in your yard. Your fence (if you’re even allowed to have one) has to be a certain type/size/color. No vehicles can be parked overnight in your driveway or on the street in front of your house — your own vehicles or your guests’.

Who the hell are these small-minded douchebags? All they’re doing is screaming to the world that their potty training was absolutely stone cold fuckin’ Brutal!

And now, if you’re frantically looking for ways to avoid foreclosure, here’s another thing your friendly hall monitor won’t let you do: Rent out your house as an income property.

Eww! Renters! They’re dirty, they use drugs, they’ll never amount to anything and they bring down property values!

As this article says: “Houses on the market are sitting empty and their would-be sellers are desperate for cash — but many homeowners associations are banning rentals…Even though demand for rentals is at an all-time high, 18 million housing units are sitting empty in the U.S.”

About 40% of homeowners’ associations have rules prohibiting owners from renting out their houses. And if that isn’t bad enough, there are entire towns that have these prohibitions. Take Madison, Mississippi (please!).

Preventing foreclosures — keeping people in their homes — is the way to recover from this crisis; or at least to prevent us from spiraling even further downward. Presumably nobody disagrees with that. The only disagreement is over the method; whether these foreclosures are prevented by “government intervention” or by millions of lazy homeowners suddenly getting a grip and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

I’m not usually in favor of the federal government stepping in and overriding local authority. But in this case: Do It!

Congress needs to pass a law telling these anal homeowners’ associations to get out of the way. Local governments — homeowners’ associations, municipal governments — can NOT be allowed to prevent a desperate property owner from renting out his own house.

A federal law like this would allow tens of thousands — maybe millions — of strapped homeowners to save themselves from foreclosure and bankruptcy by renting out their homes.

And unlike the trillions of dollars we've already handed to Wall Street — this law wouldn’t cost a dime.

Congress: Do the right thing.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Times They Are A-Changin’

You’ve gotta check out this video. If you don’t have time to watch it right now (it’s five minutes long) please bookmark it for later. Everybody — including YOU — needs to have their personal belief systems and comfort zones pulled and stretched and twisted beyond recognition. It’ll do you good.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The United Socialist States of America

We can’t deny it any longer. The America that we all grew up in — Deceased. Deader’n a doornail. Horatio Alger, Bootstraps, the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace — gone forever.

How did this happen? We were never invaded. No shots were ever fired. Those dreaded monolithic armies from the Soviet Union and Red China never conquered us. Instead, we mutated from within. We became soft.

And now, like it or not, we’ve turned into a nation of limpwristed government-dependent intellectual wine-sipping Eurosocialists. We’ve become — French! Noooooo!!!!!!

Or even worse — Canadians! All they do is lie around all day saying “aboot” and wallowing in their Socialized Medicine. Their moral fiber has been sapped and they’ve lost all incentive to work. And now we’re just like them.

For America’s self image, this is absolutely devastating — horrifying! — that we’ve softened up from within. It would’ve been far less insulting if we had been attacked by the Red Army, put up a gory fight to the finish — and gotten trounced. Better Dead Than Red and all that.

But this, this...[shudder]

It’s sort of like the difference between John Wayne getting in a bloody no-holds-barred fight and getting his ass kicked — versus John Wayne developing a sudden interest in Broadway show tunes, applying for a government grant and opening up a gift shop.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Friday, March 06, 2009

DEA Will No Longer Persecute Medical Marijuana Patients

Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the DEA will no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries as long as they’re in compliance with state laws.

During a campaign speech in late 2007, Obama said: “My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to. There’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.”

Did he say — “Science???” OMG, there really IS a new sheriff in town.

It’s been a slow change. During the first week of February, the DEA raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in California. And here is a White House website that hasn’t been updated recently.

But there have been signs of intelligence — sanity — since November. On Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, where I live, there’s a local version of this issue. Last summer the Border Patrol started conducting the occasional highway roadblock. The stated purpose of these checkpoints is to look for terrorists and illegal aliens. In spite of the agency’s name, the “Border” Patrol can stop anybody for any reason if they’re within a hundred miles of the border.

Last summer one of their checkpoints snagged a medical marijuana patient. He was in total compliance with Washington state laws — and he was in Washington — but the Border Patrol arrested him. (Your tax dollars at work.)

Then in mid-November the U.S. Attorney’s Office informed the Border Patrol that they would no longer prosecute anybody for possession of medical marijuana, or any other cases where small amounts of marijuana were involved. And they instructed the Border Patrol not to bring them any more such cases.

Great news for everybody, except for the arresting Border Patrol agent, who broke into a screeching tantrum when he was told that his heroic drug bust wouldn’t be prosecuted. (Here’s the full story.)

Enjoy this window of sanity. At some point we’ll probably get another one of those “states’ rights” “limited government” Republicans in the White House again, and our “morals” will be back under the microscope.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Russia: “We Will Bury You” — The Sequel

Uh oh, another dire prediction. It’s the end of America as we know it.

This doomsday report comes from Igor Panarin, dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy. Here goes:

Barack Obama will be declaring martial law sometime during 2009. In 2011, the United States will be divided into six autonomous regions and Alaska will become part of Russia. Russia and China will form the backbone of the New World Order.

During a lecture yesterday, Panarin said: “There is a high probability that the collapse of the United States will occur by 2010.”

Whether or not these predictions have any validity, they go hand in hand with the negative view of America that’s prevalent among Russian leaders. They blame Wall Street for the global financial meltdown.

Other factors that indicate America’s pending implosion include: recent school shootings, the huge prison population and the number of gay men. (??) Maybe “Igor Panarin” is a Russian alias for James Dobson…

Panarin predicted than when the world recovers from the financial crisis, Russia and China will be stronger than ever. They’ll work together to lead the world, and possibly even create a new currency to replace the dollar.

You read it here first.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Monday, March 02, 2009

DNA Testing for Prisoners

This should be a no-brainer, but the Supreme Court will be deciding this question later this year: Do prisoners have the right to undergo DNA testing to prove their innocence?

Forty-four states already have laws allowing convicts to test DNA evidence. The Supreme Court case involves a rapist, William Osborne, who was convicted sixteen years ago in Alaska. A federal appeals court ruled in Osborne’s favor — the condom that he used during the rape can be tested for evidence. This would prove his guilt or innocence.

Prosecutors have appealed Osborne’s case to the Supreme Court. These prosecutors must be guilty of something. What are they hiding?

Supreme Court justices were mostly skeptical during a hearing today. And the Obama Administration has sided up with prosecutors in this case. WTF???

William Osborne is being represented by Peter Neufeld, co-founder of The Innocence Project. This group works to free prisoners who were wrongly convicted. Neufeld said: “All they're getting is a darn test. If it shows they committed the crime, they get nothing.”

Osborne admitted his guilt during a parole hearing in 2004. But Justice John Paul Stevens pointed out that some prisoners have been exonerated for crimes they had previously confessed to.

I’m all in favor of harsh penalties for violent crimes. But this has to go hand in hand with taking every possible precaution against jailing an innocent person. We’ve all seen enough screaming headlines about “convicted” rapists and murderers being freed — sometimes twenty or thirty years later — after a DNA test proved their innocence.

If an arresting officer or prosecuting attorney doesn’t want to allow DNA testing, there’s only one possible explanation: They’re covering something up. They planted incriminating evidence, they withheld evidence that would have exonerated the defendant — they’re guilty of something.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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