May 12, 2009

What do we do with the Unemployed?


It's a simple question, but....?

There are millions of unemployed Americans.

There are millions of Americans on unemployment insurance benefits.

There are millions of Americans on extended unemployment insurance benefits.

There are millions of Americans who no longer can receive unemployment insurance benefits.

So, where are the jobs or additional extended unemployment insurance benefits for these and the millions more who soon will run out of extended benefits?

What do we do with the Unemployed?

- Peter Stern


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March 10, 2009



Soon American dictionaries may have a new definition for this word, perhaps something like:

"...a process by which a Federal Government relieves the financial disarray, monetary chaos and general overburdening of banks, CEO's who fly around the globe in their luxury jets, delusional [auto] manufacturers, the elite corporate sector, private individuals, homeowners who during the past decade have paid too much in ever-increasing taxes, those who have been bludgeoned by astronomical daily living expenses, corrupt agencies and officials, passive legislators, dimwitted buyers and investors, con-men out to make a buck illegally, and anyone who does not want to be held accountable for their extravagant credit over-using lifestyles and personal ongoing expenditures, a.k.a., people with their hands ever-outward and upward."

Ever hear of the saying, "Those who live by the sword, die by the sword." ? Generally, it's true.

The current economic situation did NOT happen overnight. Few spoke out about the financial travesties occurring throughout our nation. Our Congress, during this period, looked the other way and permitted a hands-off, deregulated form of imperialistic capitalism to take place in our nation and around the globe.

The so-called financial specialists surely observed what was occurring, yet they did NOT speak up. We heard nothing until 1 year ago when finally the economic travesties that were for years hitting the lower and middle classes finally started to tear apart Wall Street, wealthy corporate and industrial sectors.

Why did this economic tirade continue so long? Simple. It was the long, salivating tongue of greed that licked itself into every corner and orifice in American life. The almighty dollar.

A poem I had read in college, 'American Primitive' comes to mind in which the author William Jay Smith states:

"Look at him there in his
stovepipe hat,
His high-top shoes, and his
handsome collar;
Only my Daddy could look like that,
And I love my Daddy like he
loves his Dollar."

Perhaps, more than other considerations, this poetic stanza embellishes what transpired during the past decade in our American society and what the focus was for so many from the top to the bottom of our societal strata. Too many people looking to get something for nothing or for doing little. Too many corrupt and/or unethical government and business folks stepping on too many others to attain huge profits without the presence of accountability or oversight.

No doubt it could all have been avoided.

It is an American Tragedy and it is not yet over. It is a sad time for all Americans.

After the dust lands from all the economic disasters and "Bail-outs" the real question is "Will we finally learn the lesson?"

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March 04, 2009

Where were our Leaders?

Where were our Leaders?

Came across a commentary I wrote in February 2008 about how Americans were being lied to re: the economy by most our leaders and media. Interesting how all the denial during that time enabled many wealthy individuals and corporations to reap profits even when too many Americans were "feeling the heat" re: financial problems with mortgages and daily living expenses. It makes you realize how slow our leaders react to urgent issues at the national, state and local levels.

Anyway, thought it was interesting that I have been writing about urgent issues and the economy for the past decade and so few wanted to hear it. Many even were critical of what I was writing and pooh-poohed what I was saying. Hopefully, the new administration will lead us to a better place in time.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008
By Peter Stern

Too Many American Leaders & Media In Denial Of Our Economic Plight

Where the heck are we going?

Where are these facts stated by government officials and many news media that the economic is healthy and not in recession? We hear about all the jobs being created. Exactly what jobs are being filled by U.S. citizens?

Unemployment in the U.S. is the highest in many years and the outlook remains gloomy.

Another question: How many homeowners are there in the U.S.?

Very few officials and news media are being truthful when reviewing the status of homeownership in the U.S. Some say that most (up to 94 percent) are "able" to pay their mortgages. So, a measly six percent of maybe 100 million Americans who own homes can NOT pay their mortgages? What’s that total number... maybe only six MILLION? Guess it’s not any of our officials or members of their families who are in that bracket?

By the way, those figures lie.

Also, just because more people are not in foreclosure or are "able" to pay their mortgages does NOT mean they can afford to do so.

Even if homeowners are paying their mortgages, for many it’s merely using the "free and easy" credit still available to them, but it is a "walking time bomb" until they no longer can pay their mortgages. Some also use "reversible" mortgages, while some homeowners sell their homes prematurely and at less of a market value to sell more quickly.

In fact, many Americans even are using plastic to pay off their taxes to "Uncle Sam" because credit cards are a way of life for all of us.

By the way, even reliable statistics don’t always tell the whole truth.

Foreclosures from last year have increased 25 to 30 percent, so I don’t know where some of these unsubstantiated facts are coming from.

According to an article titled, "U.S. economy leaving record numbers in severe poverty" by Tony Pugh of McClatchy Newspapers, Sunday, February 25, 2007:

"The portion of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line, and the gulf between the nation’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ continues to widen."

How can our president and congress provide citizens with more tax breaks and paybacks when we are TRILLIONS in debt?

One thing is very clear: the U.S. economy cannot sustain itself and continue to deny American citizens the basic needs of daily living. Our nation has swiftly moved from a Representative Democratic Republic to a seemingly Fascist Monarchy in which only the chosen few get the wealth and perks.

In short, we are hurting our own people socially, politically, and economically by denying them successful lives.

We must all stand up and demand accountability, starting with a big change in America’s management and that our government provides all Americans with:

· Jobs at all skill levels for any American who wants to work

· Affordable public schools and higher education that provide quality programs for all children

· Make higher education more affordable for all American children

· Affordable and quality health care

· Enforce our immigration laws

· Fairer distribution of taxation

· Holdback on "rogue" cutthroat profiteering

· Decrease/stop outsourcing of American jobs

· Find fair alternative sources of tax revenue

· Provide quality affordable health insurance

· Provide affordable Rx medication and insurance premiums

· Provide our veterans with the goods and services they need

· Develop more controls on the financial credit/cards industry and high runaway interest rates

· Provide more tax dollars for domestic needs and decrease the budget for overseas ventures.

Most of all, whatever happened to that great American virtue of getting "an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work?"

While it’s true that the America we once knew has changed over the past several generations, there are values that still should be employed by all of us to make this nation great again. We can’t do that if our leaders continue to be irresponsible. They can’t be permitted to continue ravaging profits all over the globe, like unruly children grabbing for all the merchandise in a candy store.

I look at this once great nation with tearing eyes and sadly shake my head, remembering what it once was and how we all once worked together to keep it great.

In closing, too many Americans, officials and news media may be "closing their eyes" to the reality of most U.S. citizens, much as Bush & Co. has for the past seven years, or, maybe they are the minority of those who have wealth — but "the truth is out there" should you really want to see it.

Currently, fewer Americans can afford to pay their daily living expenses and that’s NOT going to change any time soon UNTIL the voters demand it.


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January 14, 2009

Howard Dean. We salute you

Election by election, state by state, precinct by precinct, door by door, vote by vote…we’re going to lift our Party up and take this country back for the people who built it.
Governor Howard Dean

Has Dean’s plan been validated? Yes. Will the 50 state strategy continue? Maybe

This release from the governor

Four years ago, I became chairman with a mandate for bottom-up reform -- grow the Democratic Party in your neighborhood and every other community in America.

We promised to compete in every state, for every level of office. And we demanded a party that would stand up for itself and fight for an agenda that reflects our values.

When the 447 members of the Democratic National Committee elected me, it wasn't because they thought I could accomplish these things.

They elected me because I knew that only you could.

I believed then -- and I believe now -- that every single one of us must take responsibility for building our party. It's not enough to simply vote for Democrats -- in order to win, every one of us must deliver our message and values into our own communities. We must organize.

Four years later, we have more Democratic state legislators and governors. We expanded the electoral map, regained a majority in both houses of Congress, and put a Democratic president in the White House.

We did it by rebuilding the party infrastructure from the ground up, creating a truly national voter database, and developing 21st century campaign tools that merged traditional organizing with new technology.

I said on my first day on the job that this wouldn't be my chairmanship -- it would be ours together. And you reshaped the political landscape over these four years.

Next week, I will step down after four years as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

I'd like to congratulate Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia, who will take my place as Chairman on January 21st. He will be an excellent leader in the years ahead.

I know a lot of people are wondering what to expect as we move forward. I can assure you that Governor Kaine will continue the grassroots approach that has made our party and Barack Obama's campaign so successful.

Governor Kaine knows first-hand what a commitment to fighting everywhere means -- Virginia is a prime example of what can happen when we refuse to concede any part of this country and build our organization everywhere.

In that spirit of grassroots engagement, Governor Kaine has offered to answer your questions personally in a video on

Democrats have made great gains over the past four years, but we still have a lot of work to do to get this country back on course.

Governor Kaine knows that the strength of our party comes from the bottom up, and he will need your support as we take the next steps to grow our party and elect Democrats everywhere.

You've done a lot over the last six months, and over the last four years. You've donated money, talked to friends, knocked on doors. You've invested yourself in the political process. And it's tempting to take it easy after a big victory.

But these are not short-term investments. We will only create lasting change if that sense of obligation to one another and responsibility for the common good becomes a permanent part of our lives.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

We cannot be silent. We cannot leave it to others to see this through.

Thank you for everything you did for our cause in this election and over the last four years.

But we are not stopping here. And even though my term as chairman is ending, I will be with you -- and with our new chairman -- every step of the way.

Thank you again,

Howard Dean

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July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day

For what it’s worth

So what does Brother Barack have to say about rights and liberty? Any bets on the FISA vote?

Yes, progressives are again marginalized by a presidential candidate. What do you want for nothing – a rubber biscuit? For the purist

Quit crying a river and do something, and stop depending on politicians to carry your banner. Also, don’t start carrying on about Clinton because her mad dash to the center would already have been complete.

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February 06, 2008

This man owes $105 million dollars

Photobucket A judge reduced the award of $10 million to a family who was harassed by the Nutters Phelps to $5million. Apparently, the church doesn't have the $10million, but they do have the $5million. Which is great because I'd love nothing more than to see them scrubbed out of existence.

How you feel about the war is irrelevant. Respect the men and women fighting it. Period.

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March 20, 2007

Do you know your rights?

Via Grits comes this super cool quiz on your rights while dealing with the police. If you're stopped, do YOU know what they can and can't do?

I got 6 out of 8 which is 75%. Which means I'm an upper-end moron. You'll probably do better than me. It's because you're a nerd and all.

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January 31, 2007

Praying for Molly

Annatopia at TexasKaos has a post up about Molly Ivins who is apparently taking a turn for the worse. Y'all keep her in your prayers! For those of you that don't pray (heathens!) please keep her in your thoughts and wish her a speedy recovery.

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December 29, 2006

From the cheap seats

Since I lack class and decorum, I’ll be the jerk to give a different take on Gerald Ford.

By pardoning Nixon, he stopped a much needed public debate to define appropriate presidential power, and the process to set clear legal standards by increasing transparency and accountability of all government. I don’t buy into the idea that Ford’s action healed a nation, stopped divisiveness, and restored confidence in our government. Considering what has transpired over the last 30 years, that pardon worked well, didn’t it?

Personally, I think the man was manipulated to pardon Nixon. With Cheney, Rumsfield, Greenspan, and Kissinger playing significant roles in his presidency, and with people like John Mitchell advising him the few years before he was elevated to Vice-President, Ford was probably constantly bombarded by a political ideology that cared little for moderation and bipartisanship.

The result of the bloodletting of the 1974 midterm election that saw vast numbers of Republicans voted out because of the pardon was a party purged of many who might have pushed back against the coming Glorious Reagan Revolution. No doubt, Reaganites wanted Nixon to be a faded memory by 1980. Having investigations that constantly kept Nixon and Republicans in the hot seat would have diminished Reagan and brought certain party operatives missed by Watergate out in the open. It would have halted the nascent neo-conservative movement.

Let’s not forget Ford’s conservative bona fides. He was a fierce partisan and protector of conservatism. He voted against public housing, the minimum wage, and repeal of the right-to-work law provision of the Taft-Hartley Act. He also led the failed effort to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. The reason? Because Douglas’s liberal leanings were an impeachable offense. He supported going into Laos and Cambodia, and the bombing of North Vietnam. Yes, he voted for the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, but the handwriting was already on the wall. How would his western Michigan constituents have reacted to a representative labeled as a bigot and racist? His ramblings about how his vetoes of spending bills would improve the economy were baloney.

Ford knew and practiced hard ball politics. You don’t become House leader of your party by putting on ice cream socials. As for presidential campaigning, he used the same methods as Reagan, the current doofus, and others by staying the high road and letting his VP nominee attack his opponent. Bob Dole said as much.

Though I don’t believe that there was any deal between him and Nixon, I do believe he thought what he was doing was best for conservatism. Instead of restoring confidence, he made it acceptable to bury our heads in the sand.

But considering the douche that was voted president in 1980, Ford did come across as a caring man of reason.

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August 20, 2006

Can these bones live?

A year after Katrina, the not-so-Rude Pundit offers a travelogue of the Crescent City.
Everywhere a sign
The Lakeview Water Line
The Lifeless Lower Ninth
A Brief Conversation With a Garden District Resident
Outside the Renaissance

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