Off the Fat of the Land

Defenses of the Big Four accounting/consulting firms are pouring in: it was only support jobs, we're still hiring in the US, it's only hundreds of jobs out of ten thousand.

Let's see. You make a fortune in the United States, from the United States Government, from United States taxpayer money, and you fire hundreds of Americans to hire Indians? Does that sound right to you? Like good business?

It seems to me that those hundreds of jobs could be useful here in the U.S. And not all of the jobs sent to India are support staff, either. If it is expensive to hire Americans, it is more expensive not to.

Let's keep our money at home, America.

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National Health Insurance as Competitive Advantage

American business would be greatly benefited by a national health insurance program. Starbucks spends more money on health insurance than on coffee. And that is the ground level each American company starts from in competing with foreign companies. Because all those other nations we are competing with don't saddle their businesses with the costs of health care.

Imagine that expense is taken away from the business itself. Wouldn't that be a relief to the bottom line? And the benefits socially to know that your child won't die from complications from an ear infection or that you can get your leg set if you break it.

That kind of peace of mind is a basic human right, not a privilege.

And let's leave until later how nationalization will bring down costs and standardize treatment.

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Co-Dependent Gardener

I know you're a weed, but if I take care of you, you'll change.

Getting Fired at the Big Four

Hey all you professional types, the ones who thought that getting a degree would protect you from outsourcing to India, you're screwed.

The Big Four accounting/consulting firms are outsourcing all their labor to India and are hiding behind the economic crisis to do it. Hundreds of American people are out of work with no prospect of their jobs returning. It's just that it is easier to fire all of them under the cover of the economic crisis.

So now do you care that manufacturing jobs have moved to Third World countries?

Of course Booz Allen Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG/BearingPoint, Deloitte Touche types can hire whom they want. But the Americans being replaced were working in US Government contracts. So now American taxpayer dollars are being sent to India to revive that economy, instead of being used here to revive ours.

That's what I call Fiscal Traitors.

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Government Contractor Fiscal Traitors: Booz Allen Hamilton PricewaterhouseCoopers KPMG/BearingPoint Deloitte Touche

Fiscal traitors are people who would fire American computer programmers, support personnel, technicians, software testers, accountants on US Government contracts and replace them with workers in India.

Does the US Congress know anything about this? If we need a stimulus bill to get Americans working again, why would US taxpayer money go to accountants in India? This is why I am not a fan of globalization. Americans get screwed.

In light of the recent public vilification of Wall Street bankers and financiers, you would think that the Big Four accounting/consulting firms would take heed. Instead they began laying off hundreds of Americans and hiring Indian workers in their place.

Everything that was predicted about globalization is taking place. Our American workers are being replaced by Third World workers, and now those jobs are white collar middle class jobs, too.

America and the Republican Party have been hoodwinked into supporting globalization of trade because they thought that it was a great vehicle to force American goods into Third World markets and devastate the local producers of those goods. They were right. Much misery resulted and no one cared. But now the other side of the coin in this devil's deal is becoming obvious: cheap labor. Cheap professional labor.

Stop US Government contractors from hiring anyone but American citizens with US taxpayer money! Now! Add it as a provision to the budget Congress is debating right now!

Let's see how much Americans care when their college educations do not protect them from "that big sucking sound" coming from South of the Border. Or East of the Border. Or West of the Border. Get it?

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COMCAST Bailout in the Works

Hey! COMCAST got a bailout too! It was in the latest stimulus package. You know, the one nobody read?

The idea is that all of MidWest will get free WiFi and that COMCAST will get the business without any competitive bidding. Oh, and they will pay nothing for it, either. Ask the FCC. They'll tell you all about it.

US Government is Firing Americans and Hiring Cheaper Labor in India in Their Place

The US Government is firing Americans and replacing them with Indians. This is being done through the big accounting/consulting firms that get the big government contracts. The American contract employees are being replaced with Indian ones. You can't eat off of the fat of the land and then turn around and screw the people who are hiring you. All US Government contractors should be American citizens.


You Mean Torture Doesn't Work?

No it doesn't. But those who worship at the altar of power and revenge don't care.

Torture was never effective. And "no European lives were saved." Right, Secretary Rice? The bottom line is that the worst attack on American soil happened under the Bush Administration just one month after a memo "al Qaida Plans Attack On US Soil" was drafted specifically for President Bush. You know, just before he went on vacation for a month.

You can expect that members of the Bush Administration will be indicted in Europe this year sometime. I sincerely hope that the attorneys that laid the groundwork for allowing torture to take place are indicted as well. We were all there after September 11th. Your particular case of fear is no justification for turning your back on the Constitution and the rule of law, not to mention the oath you took as an officer of the Court.


Mexican Drug War, American Drug Use

Finally government officials are getting real about the cause of the drug trafficking coming through Mexico. It's the drug users in the United States.

If the United States would make American-grown pot legal, then a whole lot of people would not have to die. Yes, there are more drugs being trafficked from Mexico than pot, but that would be most of it.

I can't believe I've come to this conclusion. For years, I would snort with derision as some kid stood at a polling place on election day asking if I'd sign a petition to have pot legalization on the ballot.

And let's not forget the American guns used in all this Mexican killing (thank you, Virginia). And the American cash used to buy the drugs.

The Mexican drug war has its roots in the tastes and habits of the American people.


Right Wing Hypocrisy on Discrimination by Justin Benedict

Sarah Palin released this little gem after Obama's gaffe about his bowling like someone from the "Special Olympics"

She says--“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics. This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world. These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them.

I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special-needs community.”

Apparently the conservatives are getting their own back, using the liberal weapons...a friend of my wife's, a right-winger who believes Obama is Hitler, has contacted her company's Human Resources division because an obese, African American salesgirl was promoted to buyer.

This woman feels that Caucasian employees are being discriminated against, and besides, fat women shouldn't be allowed to choose what clothes customers should choose from!

What's so sad about this is the conservatives are the non-complainers, say what you like and don't get blamed for it. It's all about individual effort.

Apparently not--you'd think a woman like the moose-killing Palin would,despite having a Downs Syndrome child, would realize that people say stupid things like "I bowled like a Special Olympian."
Ronald Reagan's wife once said, "It's so nice to see so many white people here" at a Chicago gathering, and apologized for that...now Obama had to apologize to Nancy Reagan for another inappropriate remark..

Truthfully, Obama is not a funny guy. He shouldn't make jokes, probably. But don't you just love the right wing running to tattle?


Musing on Voluntary Draft by Justin Benedict

It is rather interesting that in a time of no work for unskilled and semiskilled labor, the Army is so welcoming...I was thinking of that when I saw Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11"

When I was in high school in the early 1980's (with no war on) you had to have a high school diploma to get in the military, not a GED, that was for quitters. And you couldn't be more than about twenty-six years old. Now, I have a relative who is fifty-three and has been called up for the National Guard THREE TIMES!

Yup, the big goal if you were a fuck up in the eighties was to join the Army and get sent to Germany to drink for three or four years. Such a friendly place...hot girls and not much to do. It was Pleasure Island for the mediocre...

And now the mediocre are just fucked, man .

Innocent People at Gitmo

He's right. Many people held in Guantanamo Bay as terrorists are not terrorists at all. But don't worry, they were tortured anyway.

The Bush Administration knew this. They didn't care. All that was important to them was stoking the terror unleashed by Osama bin Laden as a smokescreen for their conservative political agenda. That same kind of fear was also used to justify billions of dollars in government contracting in the Cold War. There's a lot of money in terror for government and military contractors. So you need to keep the old ladies scared.

People ask: how could the CIA miss the fall of the Soviet Union? There was considerable economic and political pressure to build it up. Don't underestimate Congress in this. If the CIA had announced that the Soviet Union was not a threat, Congressmen from all over the country would be calling them up in outrage. After all, spending in their districts might have gone down.

We are spending billions and billions of dollars because the military industrial complex is a fear machine.


AIG Bonus Redemption

Idea! How about President Obama handles the Treasury Department's OK of the AIG bonuses by firing EVERYONE involved with it. That means all the people who knew about the change but didn't scream and raise hell about it. It would restore his credibility.

Econo-Girl: AIG Bonuses and Raw Class Warfare

The economic collapse was not a surprise to everyone. The Economist magazine was predicting a major credit crisis for years. The Obama Administration is not acting according to the principles it speaks about. It was someone in the Treasury Department who authorized the AIG bonuses.

Everybody was hoping that they would be the ones bailed out. The homeowners were banking that the government would not let everyone be thrown out of their homes. The bankers thought they were too important to be allowed to fail.

Today, to Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), some whining CEO complained about death threats. Really? And what were you expecting? That people would allow themselves to be treated so badly without striking back? The only way to prevent CEO lynchings is their public humiliation and pauperism.

Note to Obama Administration: No, You Can't Get Away With It

What is Barak Obama thinking? Someone in his Administration gives the OK for AIG corporate bonuses. Retention bonuses, no less. And they really seemed to think this would just fly by everybody without protest. The one thing Obama doesn't need is to be seen as on the side of the people who brought our economy down. Pretty speeches are great, but the credibility behind them is even more important.

Better yet, the Obama Administration just tried to get private insurance carriers to bear the costs of caring for veterans injured in war. Let's take a look at that for a minute. The upshot, as my husband pointed out, is that veterans would not be able to get private insurance because the insurer would be stuck with all the medical bills related to combat injuries. Or, all the other people insured by the same private insurer as the veteran would be the ones helping to pay the medical costs. The Obama Administration didn't get away with it.

It's only March, and these slimeball tactics are already hurting the credibility and moral leadership of the Obama Administration. Straighten up and fly right, buddy. You're not going to get too many more passes.

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And where the hell are we? Sharing spacecraft, rockets that blow up upon launch, and no way to get to the Moon, let alone do anything useful there. The linked blog post from the Space Movement web page is a great resource on this point.

For too long, NASA has been a money drain that has produced nothing. Their circuitous development strategies are great politics until the entire US Government budget is examined for results. Besides fanciful daydreams of Mars and really cool photos, what have they done? Nothing.

The easy ride is over, guys. We want to see results for our money now.



Financial predictors, having failed totally at their jobs, now have a new focus for us to think about: China.

China is not something we need to worry about. They do not have the legal infrastructure to enforce contracts from one end of the country to another. How can you build an economy on that? And contracts are only reflective of a snapshot in time based on who is in power at the time the contract is signed. Try making major business decisions based on that.

And that is setting aside the problems with innovation and risk-taking that are not rewarded in the Chinese culture, which are still present.

The United States has nothing to worry about from China.

We're Looking for Someone to Kill

This whole financial mess has really brought out the bloodthirstiness of the American public. Does anybody remember when Ronald Reagan said that millionaires shouldn't be taxed so much and everybody agreed because they thought they might be millionaires one day?

It has to be occurring to at least some of those investment bankers and Wall Street types that their lives are in danger as well as their bonuses. In fact, a public set down and a few public humiliations would do a lot towards the security of the former Masters of the Universe. Who would imagine that it would all end so badly, so quickly?

And don't underestimate the willingness of the U.S. Congress to really get mean and claw back bonuses for the last decade. Anything to keep from being blamed is the motto of every American politician these days.

The good news is that people are only killing their defenseless family members at this time. What kind of twisted pride would lead a person to think their kids are better off dead than poor? Sorry. I can't get over that one.


Jamie Dimon - Will the Bitching Never End?

Stop picking on the bankers who lied and cheated and stole! Stop calling them names! After all, don't you need us to get back on your feet again? Better watch it, then. Basically, that sums up Jamie Dimon's argument to the press complaining of the "vilification" of Wall Street and the nation's bankers.

I have another idea. Pay back your corporate bonuses. Cap your executive salaries. And take one moment of responsibility for the problems you pushed on the heads of the rest of us. The weirdly risky bonds and securities crashed down the entire economy, possibly for the world.

You motivated Congress, Bush, and the Fed to give you billions and billions of dollars out of desperation. There wasn't even a plan. And as soon as it looked like the corporate jets might get taken away, suddenly the idea of getting a bailout didn't seem so hot. It was like "Oh, wow! If I knew that I'd have to be accountable, I'd have let the business go under."

So here we are with bankers and brokers bitching and bitching about being held to account. And if they want to give the money back, what was all this about needing it to begin with? Maybe Jamie Dimon can answer that one.


Cowards and Fools - Lawyers on DOJ Torture Memos

Cowardly lawyers across America are outraged at the Department of Justice memos authorizing torture and the suspension of civil rights by the Bush Administration. And they wait until Bush is out of office to say it as loud as possible.

The contents of memos written by John Yoo have been in the public domain for years. Only now are members of our esteemed legal community are getting up in arms. Where were they when it was a real risk to speak out?

Let me tell you something. When I was fired from the CIA as a contractor for using my classified blog to denounce the practice of torture and waterboarding in particular, I was told that everything I had ever read and everything I had ever written would be examined for criminal activity and forwarded for possible criminal prosecution. And that's what I've had hanging over my head for two years. The only reason I was in that precarious position is that I crossed the Bush Administration who openly threatened me with a political prosecution.

And I would do it all again. Waterboarding is torture, and torture is wrong. Not to mention stupid, shortsighted and ineffective.

So you will forgive my disdain for the lawyers who find their consciences late in the game.

You can read references to the Torture Memos in previous blog posts of mine back in 2006. You will see that the legal reasoning was available for outrage even then.



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Cheap Vegetables

Try growing bean sprouts in your kitchen. It is so easy and they are very nutritious. Not to mention cheap.

Get a jar, a rubber band and a little cheesecloth. Buy dry lentils in the supermarket. You aren't going to need a lot of lentils to get a whole lot of sprouts. I haven't done it with dry beans yet, but they are next on the list.

Then, put half an inch of lentils in the jar and fill it with water. Put the square of cheesecloth over the top of the jar and put the rubber band around it so the cloth is held to the top of the jar like a sieve.

Let it sit overnight. In the morning, drain the water out and then rinse the lentils and drain that water out. Repeat in the evening. Repeat each morning and evening until the sprouts have grown to edible length, about a few inches.

Isn't the idea that you can do this yourself for really, really cheap a fun one? If society collapses, you have a source of greens and fiber.



Little CC lays her head to rest, saying "good night to all and to all a good night."