Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ellie Nesler: 1952 — 2008

“Who?” I don’t know how much fame or publicity Ellie Nesler got outside of California. If you ever saw A Time To Kill — she did in real life what Samuel L. Jackson did in that movie.

In April 1993, Ellie Nesler shot and killed Daniel Driver in a California courtroom. Driver was on trial for molesting Ellie Nesler’s 7-year-old son, and three other boys, at a Christian camp.

During the trial it was revealed that several years earlier, Daniel Driver had pleaded guilty to numerous charges of child molestation. But he was given probation after the judge was bombarded with letters from members of Driver’s church, all vouching for his “character.”

Ellie Nesler made certain that Daniel Driver would never strike again.

Ellie Nesler wasn’t a saint. She had a prior criminal record, she was high on meth when she shot Daniel Driver, and after she served time for manslaughter for killing Driver, she was jailed again on meth charges (technically, possession of 10,000 pseudoephedrine tablets). But she did what practically anybody, regardless of political views or personality type, would do in that situation — or at least would fantasize about doing.

Rightly or wrongly, the vigilante is a powerful archetype. Dirty Harry, Charles Bronson in Death Wish, Sally Field in An Eye For An Eye, Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs — Ellie Nesler was the real-life version of these movie heroes.

She died of cancer last Friday.


cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Top Censored/Under-Reported Stories of 2008

WorldNetDaily is taking a readers’ survey of the most under-reported news stories of 2008. Now, before you click on the link, you have to get in the proper mindset. This is very important. So sit back, relax, clear your mind of all extraneous thoughts, and tell yourself over and over that:

The Earth is 6,000 years old.

Human life is sacred from the point of conception to the moment of birth.

The Homosexual Agenda is by far the gravest threat to America.

Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim fanatic and a terrorist.

There are millions of scientists who don’t believe in global warming, but they’ve all been threatened and silenced by environmental thugs.

America needs to bring regime change to Iran, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, Venezuela, Ecuador…

OK. Ready? Click.


cross-posted at Bring It On!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Season’s Greetings, etc.

Or, as they’re saying elsewhere around the world:

Joyeux Noël

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Natal

Frohe Weihnachten

Veselé vánoce

Priecigus Ziemassvetkus

Sretan Božic

Glædelig jul

Maligayang Pasko

Hyvää joulua

Selamat Hari Natal

Wesolych Swiat

Giáng sinh Vui ve

عيد ميلاد مجيد

С Рождеством


즐거운 성탄절 되세요

क्रिसमस की शुभकामनाएँ

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Throw Your Shoes at the President

Come on, you know you wanna.

cross-posted at Bring It On!"


Friday, December 19, 2008

Sleazy Bankers, You’ve Met Your Match

April Charney is an attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. She specializes in defending homeowners against foreclosure proceedings. She has a detailed knowledge of the law as it pertains to contracts, mortgages, debt collections; and she uses this knowledge as a lethal weapon against the slippery banking industry.

This is how she describes the loan officers, appraisers and investment bankers she does battle with: “You ever look into a place where snakes hang out? That’s what I see here. They’re writhing and oozing and morphing into creepy stuff with slime all over it.”

And then she adds: “Not to discredit snakes or anything.”

She’s personally handling almost a hundred foreclosure cases; and on top of that she’s taught about 1,500 other lawyers how to do what she’s doing.

The president of Loan Safe Solutions said: “She is definitely a woman who walks the talk and carries a big stick that will crush those who defy consumer laws.”

And in other news: the party’s over for thousands of loan sharks in the U.S. A division of the Treasury Department — the Office of Thrift Supervision — will be cracking down on some of the sleaziest practices of the credit card industry.

It’s too bad an unelected government agency had to make these changes, but we sure as hell weren’t getting any help from our prostitutes in Congress. They’ve had eight sensuous years of getting fisted by the banking industry; but the S&M-fest is almost over.

Beginning in July of 2010, credit card firms will not be allowed to raise the interest rate on your current balance. And they’ll have to give you at least 45 days notice before making any changes in your account. Currently only 15 days notice is required.

John Reich, the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said these new rules “will enhance public confidence in financial institutions and establish a level playing field for institutions that want to do business fairly without suffering competitive disadvantages.”

The banking industry is expected to lose $10 billion a year from not being able to continue their slippery extortion tactics. Uh oh, these assholes might have to start working for a living.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Billion Dollar Handouts and How to Streamline the Process

If you’ve ever applied for a loan (or mortgage, or even a new credit card) of any kind, you can probably bring on a headache just remembering how you had to pore through page after page after page of legalese gibberish in tiny print. And your hand probably starts to hurt when you remember the jillions of places you had to put your signature or initials.

Now — wanna apply for one of those multi-billion dollar Wall Street giveaways that Congress has been handing out? Just fill out this Fast and E-Z two-page form, sign your name, and Presto! Those taxpayer chumps are just champing at the bit to give you a few more billion dollars of their money.

This application form is, of course, only available if you’re already a multi-millionaire whose only job skill is playing with Other People’s Money. If you work for a living and/or if you actually need this money to pay your medical bills or keep your house — buzz off, peon. Bootstraps!

But let’s say you’ve already made a fortune on Wall Street by shitting all over Main Street, and now you’re sitting there thinking “Two vacation homes, one yacht — this just doesn’t cut it. Heelllp meee!!!”

The taxpayers are at your service.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), of the House Financial Services Committee, said: “When student lenders and mortgage companies ask more questions in lending thousands of dollars than the federal government does when it injects billions of dollars worth of capital, we should all be concerned.”

Ya think?

A congressman asked Neel Kashkari — the director of the Treasury office that oversees the bailout program — whether banks had to present a business plan that explained why they needed this bailout money, what they were going to do with it and how they were going to pull themselves up out of the hole they’d dug themselves into.

Kashkari’s answer was: “Not specifically. It's very hard for us to try to micromanage and say this is how you should run your business, because each bank and each community is a little bit different.”

Aww, a Compassionate Conservative.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Healing the Rift Between Labor Unions and Environmentalists

Over the last few decades, one of the Right’s favorite divide-and-conquer tactics has been to drive a wedge between labor groups and environmentalists.

This phony Either/Or dilemma — you can have a job OR you can protect the environment — is just that: phonier than a $3 bill. Rightwing think tankers and smoke-and-mirrors artists have been promoting this myth since the 1970s.

But labor unions and the Green movement were working together at the recent U.N. climate conference in Poznan, Poland. Both groups were pushing for renewable energy as the answer to global warming and the economic meltdown.

About 25 American union representatives were at the conference, representing workers from the steel, electrical, transit and service industries, among others.

David Foster is the executive director of the Blue Green Alliance, a coalition that includes the United Steelworkers Union and the Sierra Club. He said: “There is a very wide cross-section of American unions that reflects the growing engagement of American unions' support of climate change policies. There's a power in the joint vision that we just don't have functioning on our own.”

Workers’ rights and environmental protection have both taken some devastating hits over the past eight years (and the Hit Man hasn’t even left office yet).

David Hawkins, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, talked about the rightwing effort to maintain that fake “jobs OR the environment” dilemma: “They keep on shouting that scare campaign at every opportunity they get. An alliance is a powerful way of sending the message that you can have both.”

The Sierra Club is fighting for stronger whistleblower protections for workers who speak out against safety or environmental violations. And the Employee Free Choice Act is strongly endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club.

(Don’t listen to the rightwing droolbags. Here are the facts about the Employee Free Choice Act.)

Robert Baugh, chairman of the AFL-CIO energy task force, said there are still “some differences” with environmental groups, but “we also have a lot of common interests.”

He also said: “The climate crisis and a new energy policy is an opportunity for our country to actually have a strategy about the environment, about manufacturing. We think that by addressing the environmental crisis, we actually can have the opportunity to create good, green jobs.”

As just one example: a windmill has about 800 parts. Somebody has to manufacture, install and maintain them.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Have Converted. I Am Now a Catholic

I got me some religion. No more secular heathen posts from this newfound Christian. I Seen The Light! I Believe!

I may lose some liberal readers, but I’ll gain a whole shitload of Biblehumpers. So there.

Who converted me? No it wasn’t one of those plastic-haired televangelists. And it wasn’t that Jehovah’s Witness who knocked on the door at 7 a.m. last Saturday.

This here is my new mentor. My guru. I was stumbling in the dark, blinded by sin and ignorance, when Cardinal Jorge Medina showed me the light. I been Saved!

My former godless unenlightened self would’ve thought that Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet was a bad person. You know — jailing people without charges, torturing and killing them and stuff like that. Now I realize those are GOOD things.

Similarly, I used to think Madonna was good. She’s had a 25-year show business career. She’s brought joy to millions of people all over the world. But the good Cardinal showed me the error of my ways. “This woman comes here and in an incredibly shameless manner, she provokes a crazy enthusiasm, an enthusiasm of lust, lustful thoughts, impure thoughts,” he thundered.

And suddenly, I Got It! That was my Epiphany. And now I feel the overpowering Love of Jesus! And I realize — Madonna is BAD.

Burn, you Sinner!

Thank you Cardinal Medina for showing me The Way.

Lawd, pass me one of them there snakes. I can handle it.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Governor Rod Blagojevich: Corrupt Politician or Working Class Hero?

Or maybe both. He’s been all over the news today — another politician turns out to be corrupt. Rod Blagojevich and Elliot Spitzer have both stood up to the robber barons on behalf of regular people. Too bad they’ll both be remembered for their scandals more than anything else.

Blagojevich stood up to Marie Antoinette Bank of America, whose refusal to lend money to Republic Windows and Doors forced the company to close.

He was also one of the first politicians to tell pharmacists that they could either be Grand Inquisitors OR pharmacists — but not both.

But back to Bank of America. As you’ll remember, Bank of America received billions of dollars in handouts from You. Me. Us. The taxpayers. The purpose of this giant multi-billion dollar giveaway was:

A. So that banks would start lending money. In turn, companies could stay in business, employees could keep their jobs, and people would continue to buy things; thereby keeping other businesses up and running.


B. To purchase more yachts, Learjets and luxury vacation homes for banking executives.

Unfortunately a few Bank of America shitstains thought the answer was B.

Bank of America canceled the financing for Republic Windows and Doors, forcing the company to close their factory and lay off 240 workers. This is the factory that got so much publicity when 200 laid-off workers took over the premises.

This incident has highlighted the importance of labor unions. They’re not just some colorful icon from the 1950s. We need them. Now more than ever. Jobs With Justice is hoping this event will galvanize the labor movement.

And this factory closing has pinpointed the absurdity — the intelligence-insulting hypocrisy and double standard — of the Wall Street bailout. Hundreds of billions of dollars were just handed over to a few CEOs. No questions asked; no strings attached. If we just give these tycoons a trillion dollars, they’ll do the right thing and start lending it out so the economy will stay afloat.

Riiight. How’s that working out?

Yesterday Rod Blagojevich ordered all state agencies to stop doing business with Bank of America, just in case that might remind them that We The Taxpayers gave them a few billion dollars so they would Start LENDING it.

He said: “We hope that this kind of leverage and pressure will encourage Bank of America to do the right thing for this business. Take some of that federal tax money that they've received and invest it by providing the necessary credit to this company so these workers can keep their jobs.”

Now, apparently Bank of America has made a token gesture to show how “concerned” they are. Let’s hope they won’t demand another taxpayer handout in return.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

CEOs Who Beg for a Handout: “You’re Fired!”

Senator Christopher Dodd has come up with a common sense solution to the Detroit grovelings. It’s so sensible, in fact (coming from the government???) that you can’t help but wonder “OK, what’s the catch?!?!”

Dodd said the head of General Motors should step down, and he indicated that his firing could be one of the requirements if Detroit wants a handout. Dodd said: “I think you have got to consider new leadership.”

When he was asked if this should be one of the conditions for a bailout, he said: “I think it is going to have to be part of it.”

When I first saw that article, I was simultaneously thinking “YAAAAYY!!!” and “It’s about fuckin’ time!” It’s an excellent idea, but were they waiting for? Why haven’t we been doing this all along???

If you’re one of those peons who works for a living, it’s called “Payment On Performance.” It’s time for people in boardrooms and ivory towers to get familiar with that strange new concept. This should have been the standard procedure — set in concrete, immutable — since the savings and loan bailout of the 1980s.

Or at least since 1991 (I think that was the year) when the Detroit CEOs went to Japan to beg for a better trade deal. “Please buy our huge gas guzzlers that are too big for your narrow streets and the steering wheel is on the wrong side. Pleeeeeaase!?!?!?!”

It turned out that the more successful Japanese CEOs were receiving much smaller salaries than their American counterparts. We also learned that in Japan — during that period at least — it was considered dishonorable and shameful for a company to lay off workers. When it happened, it was done as a last resort, accompanied by shame and embarrassment.

Let’s hope the soon-to-be-toast CEO of General Motors becomes the prototype for the new standard procedure. When a powerful “too big to fail” company begs for a handout from the government:

1. The CEO and all senior executives are fired. And no Golden Parachute.

2. The new replacement executives will be on a greatly reduced salary until the company’s turnaround goals (clearly stated in the bailout agreement) have been reached.

3. In order to receive this taxpayer-funded gift basket, the company must agree — in writing — to submit to any and all government regulations that would have prevented this current crisis from occurring in the first place.

And now, in a related story: We’re all familiar with certain standard lies and fibs that are so common, they’ve become clichés. Punchlines.

“He was dead when I got there.”

“Your check is in the mail.”

“Your flight will be taking off shortly.”

And now this: “Taxpayers will get money back from the Wall Street bailout.”


cross-posted at Bring It On!"


Thursday, December 04, 2008

$700 Billion Wall Street Handout Hasn’t Helped the Housing Crisis

As most of us predicted, that $700 billion gift basket to Wall Street executives — with no strings attached — hasn’t done much to counteract the tsunami of home foreclosures. Nearly two and a half million foreclosures are expected during this coming year.

Fortunately, there are only a few hundred people in America who actually thought this $700 billion handout would make any difference. Unfortunately — they’re all members of Congress.

But we shouldn’t be too harsh with our congressional prostitutes. Nobody thinks very clearly when they’re assuming the Congressman’s Pose™ — 1. Bend over; 2. Clasp hands firmly around the ankles; 3. Hold that position while being ravaged by one lobbyist after another.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling for more government action to help stem the foreclosures, which are causing a chain reaction throughout the economy. Obama wants to use a “significant portion” of the $700 billion bailout money to help homeowners. He said: “The deteriorating assets in the financial markets are rooted in the deterioration of people being able to pay their mortgages and stay in their homes.”

Unfortunately, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson still thinks saving Wall Street CEOs’ yachts and vacation homes is a higher priority than helping the lowly riffraff to keep their homes.

Another way to keep people in their homes — and thus help the economy — is to allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of people's mortgages. Three times in the past year, legislation has been introduced that would make this allowance. And all three times this legislation has been defeated (see above-mentioned prostitutes).

Next month, if fewer legislators are locked into the Congressman’s Pose™, maybe this change can happen.

While our “leaders” continue to dither, there are steps YOU can take to keep the foreclosure crisis from wrecking Your Neighborhood.

When a property is foreclosed, neighbors can find out which bank owns that property and then put pressure on the bank. “Persuade” them to hire a property management company to fix up and maintain the property so it won’t blight the rest of the neighborhood. This might require repeated calls to the bank’s foreclosure department. This is even more effective if one or more of these neighbors has an account with that bank; they can threaten to take their business elsewhere.

If your local bank isn’t interested in what some lowly “neighborhood” group thinks, sic the local Building Department on them. The bank won’t want to tangle with the code enforcement division.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

War in Afghanistan

A friend e-mailed this to me:

The coach had put together the perfect team for the Oakland Raiders. The only thing missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl victory.

Then one night, while watching CNN, he saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan Muslim soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a window from 80 yards away. Then he threw another grenade from 50 yards down a chimney, and then hit a passing car going 80 miles per hour.

“I've got to get this guy!” the coach said to himself. “He has the perfect arm!” So, he brought the young Afghan to the States, and taught him the great game of football. The next season, the Raiders made it through the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl.

The young Afghan was hailed as a hero of football. The Coach asked him what he wanted, and the young guy said that he just wanted to call his mother.

“Mom,” he said into the phone, “I just won the Super Bowl!”

“I don't want to talk to you,” the old Muslim woman says. “You have disappointed us. You are not my son!”

“Mother, I don't think you understand,” pleads the son. “I've just won the greatest sporting event in the world!”

“No! Let me tell you,” his mother retorted. “At this very moment there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get assaulted!”

The old lady paused, then said, “I will never forgive you for making us move to Oakland!”

Monday, December 01, 2008

How Can We Miss the 2008 Mudslinging Campaign if it Won’t Go Away?

George W. Bush’s excremental presidency has already contaminated and stained our government beyond all recognition. It’ll take at least four years (maybe decades) to clean up Boozo’s mess. And still he isn’t satisfied. So many more shitstains and pukestains to make; so little time.

Bush has already deleted enough environmental and worker safety regulations to bring us back to the early 1900s. But that’s not enough. Hey, Charles Dickens’ England wasn’t so bad now, was it? Those pitiful blokes didn’t go on about their pisspoor working conditions; they knew they were bloody lucky to have a job.

Corporate lobbyists (and their prostitutes in the government) who keep trying to get rid of workers’ safety laws — they’re sort of like chickenhawks in their own pathetic way. Chickenhawks sit in their armchairs, or at their computers, and go on and on about how “we” need to invade this country; “we” should send more armies into that country. “We” of course means somebody else.

Same thing with these sheltered lobbyists and government officials who think workers are too coddled and pampered with excessive safety regulations. “These regulations are too cumbersome. We don’t need this big meddling nanny state.” And the people who complain about these cumbersome safety laws have probably never gotten their hands dirty; never broken out in a sweat; never lifted anything heavier than a briefcase.

And speaking of chickenhawks — one of those obnoxious smelly critters is desperately clinging to his senate seat in Georgia. Saxby Chambliss is such a slippery lowlife, even the other chickenhawks are embarrassed by him. He greased his way into the Senate six years ago by assassinating the character of the incumbent, Max Cleland. Max Cleland is a triple amputee from his injuries during the Vietnam war.

Saxby “I’ve Got a Keyboard and I’m Not Afraid to Use It!” Chambliss ran a series of TV ads equating Max Cleland with Osama bin Laden. And Georgia’s voters fell for it hook line and sinker.

In his first re-election campaign this past November, Chambliss got less than 50% of the vote; so he’s being forced into a runoff election tomorrow. All the shining stars of the Republican Party are traveling to Georgia to campaign for him. McCain has already been there, and Sarah Palin is taking time out from her orgy of moose hunting and turkey-grinding to make a few appearances for him.

Chambliss is favored to win tomorrow’s runoff, but talk about a hollow victory. No matter how dense he might be, on some level he has to know what he really is. He got himself elected six years ago by kicking his opponent in the balls. And even if he wins tomorrow’s runoff, it’ll be with the help of all the rightwing VIPs barnstorming through Georgia, slamming his opponent and stirring up fears of a Democratic supermajority in the Senate if the chickenhawk loses.

Not that this has any bearing on anything, but Saxby Chambliss is one odd-looking creature. He looks sort of like a police artist sketch that hasn’t been completely filled in yet. No lips, no eyebrows, and no clear line where the hairline ends and the forehead begins. He looks kind of like those bad science-fiction/occult movies where a person starts fading away.

Maybe that’ll be an omen for his political career.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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