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I can’t stress how important facts are – facts derived from vigorous research, and the ability to replicate that research. People can believe what they want to “believe” but the natural world works on science and if we don’t understand it we can not adapt or make rational decisions. Too often our policy makers legislate ideology disregarding practical reality. Abortion is a prime example. Make abortions illegal all you want but people will still need them for a myriad of reasons. Abortions aren’t going away no matter how hard we wish them to so we need to legislate that if education is still not enough then safe medical care is not outlawed.

The environment is another area where science has to be the go to metric. Sea levels are rising and pollution is bad for our health. Once we get beyond the climate cover up by the polluting industries we can address and implement the changes necessary to preserve our billion dollar coastal economies. People come to the shore because the air is clean and you can swim in the water. If you change that our economy declines. Implementing a carbon tax will preserve jobs. Promoting roof top solar will create a multi generational boom in job creation. Moving away from a profit driven healthcare system will lower health care costs and increase productivity.

These are well established facts but money in politics has crippled our ability to govern practically for the macro-economy (another well established fact). We need true patriots willing to be brave and stand up and do the morally correct thing for the Country.

Paul Burke

 

Politicians collecting tax payer funded pay check, tax payer funded life insurance, tax payer funded health care, tax payer funded gym, tax payer funded cafeteria, tax payer funded office, tax payer funded parking and tax payer funded retirement pension plan for life and for their spouses – have been fucking the tax payer by purposefully crippling the economy to discredit the black guy the majority of the tax payers elected to be President. And they wonder why their approval rating is in the tank. Hey idiots pass a jobs bill for our infrastructure, smart grid and clean tech and maybe your approval rating and electability will improve.

In other words they bite the hand that feeds them and wonder why we think they suck.
Government is not “taking over” healthcare its a common misconception based on repetition.  Government makes the laws under which the private healthcare for profit industry operates.  We The People are the government. So We the People are telling corporations through the laws of the Affordable Healthcare Act that you can not drop our healthcare for per-existing conditions. This is a perfect example of why we have laws, rules and regulations to make a more just, safe and smooth operating society.Corporations operate on profit margin. They are doing their job when they are making the most amount of money possible….not by giving it away or helping sick people, but they are more than happy to take money from healthy people.Insurance; health, auto, home is a nice concept but for it to work everyone has to participate. Going to the emergency room without insurance means those who are uninsured pass exorbitant emergency room fees onto society (the tax payers).  We pick up the tab through higher and higher premiums that have been escalating by 15% year over year as insurance companies pass the cost of the uninsured who get gold plated treatment at emergency rooms onto their paying customers.

The emergency room is not the place to go for a common cold but people go there because they get free healthcare that really isn’t free to the rest of us. The bills get generated, the doctors submit them to the insurance company and those of us in the system see our rates go up.

With everybody getting insurance when someone who previously couldn’t afford healthcare gets sick they’ll go to the extremely less expensive primary care physician of their choice. And maybe even go in for regular check ups and take on preventative healthcare measures that also lower healthcare.

Do you wait for your car to break down by the side of the road or if it makes a funny noise to you run it into you local garage of choice or dealership to get it diagnosed and fixed for less money?

Everyone in some sort of private insurance will drive our collective national healthcare costs down which will increase our GDP and productivity because fewer of us are sick and out of the economy and more of us will have dollars to direct elsewhere that demand will equal more jobs, and a better standard of life for many.

If its a “Government Take Over of Healthcare” how come Aetna, BlueCross Blue Shield, Humana, Kaiser, WellPoint, Cigna, WellCare, Healthnet, Coventry, United Health, Highmark and BCBS are all still in business?  The insurance company’s are all still operating and still making money.

Governemnt didn’t take over healthcare they just made better laws for you and I so we don’t get ripped off by the big boys squeezing us for profits.  Some people under the Obamacare Affordable Healthcare Act (the new set of laws) even got refund checks.  Why?  Because of the 85/15 law a part of Obamacare states that insurance companies have to use 85% of their income actually covering people and only 15% of their take can be distributed to CEO salaries and administrative costs.

At the end of every year checks go out to you and I because Insurance companies can’t know exactly how many of their customers will get sick or hurt.  But at the end of the year the books have to be balanced and people have already gotten checks to offset their healthcare premiums if the Insurance companies pay out was less than 85% of what they took in….amazing huh?

Corporations are not any more evil than government.  Its the people in them who can be unscrupulous or driven by the bosses pressure to come up with gimmicks and schemes to ever increase profits. Insurance companies are not in the business to pay out to hospitals and patients and customers but to make money.  That’s why they are more than happy to insure healthy people and kick to the curb the sick….oopps didn’t read the fine print thanks for your premiums.

Government is our tool to keep them honest.  Being dumped from insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions is illegal now and thank god. Being driven into bankruptcy because your provider says read the fine print you have passed our cap and we’re not obligated to give you any more money but thanks for paying for our lousy insurance all those years…..that’s now illegal and sick people will get to keep their homes instead of booted onto the street.

Hello you have cancer sorry your insurance has run out and now your house has been foreclosed on have fun living in your car dying of cancer….and welcome to America.  Pretty grim right, but the Obamacare Affordable Care Act makes that practice and eventual bankruptcy illegal.

The problem is unless you have actually been sick and tried to get reimbursed from an insurance company you have no idea about the tricks, stall tactics and shenanigans they pull. Claim agents are given demerits if they actually pay a claim and bonuses for denying coverage – all true.

Government is not running the healthcare process but they are our tool for opening up the markets so we can review competing plans and making these decade long horrendous practices illegal.

Go to Healthcare.gov in a few weeks and see for yourself you might find cheaper insurance.

And remember Corporations are in the business to make money and there is nothing wrong with that as long as they are accountable for their actions and not too slippery.

Government is our tool to make our country better. Some corporate players do not want Government oversight and they contribute a lot of money and pocket politicians to push their agenda because they can and they are driven to make more and more money regardless of the costs they mitigate to society (like ruining a stream by blowing off a mountain top that fed you clean water but now gives you cancer because of the chemicals they use).

Government is the cop on the beat. If some corporate players can corrupt it, weaken it, or bribe it then it becomes easier for them to cheat, steal, get away with wrong doing and pass the cost of their byproducts and actions onto the public.

You and I can not sue GE for polluting the Hudson River we don’t have the financial muscle.  But the Federal Government can call GE to task and go toe to toe with them in Court for decades if they have to for dumping PCB’s in the Hudson, killing the fish, giving children cancer and ruining property value. Why would GE do that (?) simple they are profit driven and anything they can get away with to cut cost they are going to try.  In some cases its cheaper to litigate for decades than to clean up oil and toxic waste spills, dumps and tanks or to be held accountable for ruining businesses and sickening even killing people.

GE is only focused on their bottom line how can they make more money this year so they look for ways to cut corners dumping toxic waste into the river and not being held accountable for the cost of the clean up of their by product is something they will do if they can get away with it.  Big Government is the only tool we have to make them clean up their mess.

In a Country of 350 million people our government has to be big – you don’t want a pip squeak patrolling the streets….and remember vote in every election.

We are the people, we are the government, we have to direct it to spend our tax dollars wisely and maintain and improve the society that we have built for ourselves. We don’t want it to limit our choices, to tell us what to believe or interfere with our pursuit of happiness but we want it to check the sneaky and the greedy wherever they are who would think of nothing in walking off with our retirement funds.

Its complicated with lots of moving parts – easy sound bites don’t get at the truth.

 

 

The 1% have made it their daily mission to fleece the middle class of every cent they can. Middlemen and corporations everywhere are standing between you and your healthcare, your phone, your television, your car, your money, your internet, your power, banking fees, brokerage fees, ATM fees, phone fees, insurance companies, property tax, everybody is taking a piece of the action on the middle class. The middle class is the great fatted calf.

But that shift in concentration of wealth while all fun and games for those who can buy congress and design the tax laws to their favor are sinking the majority. Students are getting crushed by for profit schools, and the middlemen issuing loans.

Our tax dollars are being siphoned off and misdirected and hoarded. The powers that be squeeze the middle class harder and harder devising new schemes every day to fleece us don’t forget nursing homes and end of life care. But that leaves the middle class without enough capital to grow the markets.

Demand creates growth and jobs so the continual squeeze and downward trend of wages ends up hurting the national economy and making a whole lot of people desperate.

Those in power should be mighty careful about the unintended consequences of their internal game of whoever has the most toys wins. Number one its a stupid mindset without real fulfillment and number two the better at the game the 1% get the closer we all get in destroying the game altogether.

The reason the “she lied about having Native blood” story doesn’t stick with independents, moderates and progressives is that such an accomplished woman wouldn’t have to manipulate an application to get into college.  Now it might stick with less accomplished people who routinely pull shenanigans to gain advantage in even the most minor of situations, to get ahead, slide in on a commission the didn’t really earn, borrow money, never pay it back, con, steal, cheat the wife, back stab for a new position at the office, or run a toll booth. But to the independents and moderates its entirely plausible that her grand parents passed down a story and perfectly natural that she not only believed it but was proud of it and isn’t that just like the rest of us so in fact its kind of charming whether true or not.  Plus there is also a steamy forbidden love angle at the heart of it all and that resonates positively with a lot of romantics out there.  Its actually heart warming and I hope its true and realize its of absolute no significance if grandma was embellishing or repeating an old story she heard and of no significance if a twenty something Elizabeth Warren was proud of that story.

At the end of the day serious people concerned about serious policy don’t believe it makes a bit of difference as her overall character is impeccable, her resume is outstanding, her track record is one of accomplishment, and that she is a voice standing up to the most powerful in Congress the well funded Wall Streeters.

Most people who understand the advance calculations of derivatives and the wall street computerized algorithms and models are usually offered a ton of money to come work for wall street. If regulators can understand the advance calculus that Wall Street uses to make money when bubbles burst and the rest of us loose they are offered big, big money to come work for Wall Street instead of the significantly lower paid positions at the SEC. The same offers were most likely made to Mrs. Warren but apparently she refused to sell out. That’s why Wall street dumped so much money Scott Browns way because he’ll do or say anything for money.  Are people still falling for that cream puff model turned regular guy in a truck motif?

In any event the smear campaign against her will continue as long as she is a threat to those so lavishly working the system for their own personal gain. In fact the more they smear the better job the rest of us know she is doing.

There is a Country to run and Wall Street is out numbered by Main Street in more ways than one. Its long past due to balance the playing field. With Corporations only contributing 9% to the revenue stream of the Federal Government and you and I and main street providing the rest its time for Corporate America to ante up and act like they are a part of this Country not above it because they are multi trans nationals who pay their CEO’s gobs of money instead of paying their taxes.  Its actually pretty shameful on its face then add on top they came crying to the rest of us for the bailouts and its just plain criminal.

For the record her great great great grandmother is Cherokee. O.C. Sarah Smith and listed on an electronic transcript of a 1894 marriage application as Cherokee.  I for one hope some of the more honorable Native American sensibilities inform her thinking.

The Problem:
First and foremost the wealthy two percent include a lot of Congressmen so right there we have a conflict of interest.  The unpatriotic among them do not want to see their own taxes go up.  The fix is simple and has been simple but politicians not wanting the so-called other side to look good have blocked legislation and abused the filibuster to stall the economy.  If the economy is slow or just barely growing during an election cycle they can run for election on the issue that the economy is doing meh.  Congress sees itself as two separate parties vying for power and control and those we have elected (some not all) put themselves first over the country and the people (regardless of what they say its how they act).  That coupled with two unfunded wars, medicare part D which also was unfunded and the Bush tax breaks make up the majority of the deficit.

The Solution:
End our two unfunded wars, close a few bases around the world (we have hundreds) fully implement ObamaCare, leave 98% of the tax break in place, trim back outdated and unwanted defense department contracts (unwanted by all except the beltway bandit contractors) – close a few tax loopholes that move money out of the national economy to the Caymans and Bermuda including moving manufacturing overseas to China and India, cancel subsidies to big oil, get rid of the cap on social security, and reinvest all those savings into infrastructure repair, energy upgrade, education…and never ever ever deregulate Wall Street again = Problem solved.

Take a good look at this picture this is an off shore bank. Money is a tool. If it is hoarded out of National Circulation it does no one any good. No billionaire is spending this pallet of dollars. Its collecting dust earning interest for him and growing marginally bigger but still parked, warehoused, stalled in one place and out of circulation. The money needs to be recirculated back into the system and not just as investment but as daily transaction.

The middle and lower class are more active players when it comes to spending in the daily economy because of necessity.

The 1% have more than they need and therefore literally hoard the cash – pallets of it – out of circulation. That stack of cash needs to be circulating in the economy not gathering dust. Laws need to be changed from encouraging this to happen to preventing this from happening so that stack of money can be but back to work.

Like blood in our bodies cash needs to circulate throughout the market. Hoarding it, warehousing it, parking it is like having tools rust in a storage shed. For the macro economy, for governing, for productivity, for advancement in technology, research, innovation, education and the positive advancement of mankind greed is just plain stupid.

America is not broke its being robbed! Well its true. America our Government is just a big central clearing house with tax money coming in and tax money going out. Lots of it and so we squabble like children and grab for the money like Hells Angels grabbing a Thanksgiving dinner before it hits the table. There’s no concern from the lobbyist and individual corporations for the big picture or the macro economy they just want their piece of the pie. And they will buy influence anyway they can through direct campaign donations, marketing and media.

For the record oil prices are set on the international spot market (I used to do this for a living) – the crude is bid on while at sea – no matter how much we drill we don’t have enough oil to influence the market. If we flooded the market with every last drop we have OPEC just turns on the spigot. Another factor in setting prices is Wall Street the guys bidding (gambling) on those barrels of oil out at sea to be worth more by the time they get to port. They gamble more when they see economic indicators going up (like building permits or driving season) thus driving the prices higher when good economic news is reported and forecasted.

Why the background on oil because a long time ago Mellon who financed Dupont and Dow and Hearst who influenced the population through his newspaper empire all invested in petroleum. Back in the 1930’s it was plentiful, cheap, but its not the 1930’s anymore. Heck its almost 2030. We are long past due the time we should be reconsidering our economic process and models. But the big boys have a lock on our energy sector. Prying their dead last century hands off of it is a herculean task and they have their man. Romney is against the wind tax credit. A businessman against a tax credit to spur on economic development tell me how that makes any sense? It doesn’t add up does it only if our business man is completely captured by the status quo in order to achieve his personal goals does it make any sense.

Enough with last century technologies and dirty energy, enough with the decimated environment and food chain and cancer. If you want a cheap natural resource homegrown in America there’s always Hemp Oil a much cleaner burning oil (which got structurally outlawed by Dow, DuPont, Mellon and Hearst) those guys again? Unfortunately “those guys” have the rest of us wage slaves by the you know what, and have a strangle hold on our transportation and energy sector. They do not want competition. They block competition anyway they can.

As a Country we the people need to break their monopoly on milking the middle class dry and introduce more competition. How are any free market advocates against a level playing field. When deciding who to vote for don’t listen to what a man says watch what he does. That’s the true measure of a man.

The argument of equivalency (they’re all crooks) or of equals is a false argument.

The Ryan Budget spells it all out. If you want your retirement held by brokers on Wall Street charging you yearly fees chipping away at your nest egg and “GAMBLING” with your hard earned wages then vote for privatization that’s Republican, and “privatize” social security and medicare. You’ll make the fat cats on Wall Street very happy. But I would caution that being a senior citizen its hard making a living. But it shouldn’t be hard to live as a senior. For faithfully enlisting in the system, paying your taxes and contributing to the wealth of the Nation and each other we should be taking care of our retirees as well as we should be taking care of our soldiers for doing the dirty work…very well. Living in a cardboard box under the streets is no way to say thanks for playing! I’ve got mine screw you is no way to set an example, lead or run a civilized country.

If you feel that way you have been lead astray by someone with an agenda. You are being flat out lied to and manipulated by corporate media outlets from all sides television and print for the sake of their individual bottom line and personal wealth alone. The good of the Country what a quaint idea.

The bottom line is if you make less than $250,000.00 a year you are insane for voting republican for any position President, Senator, Congressman, Governor, or even Dog Catcher. You are not the 1% they represent to get elected. And their incestuous strangle hold on the economy is not good for the country.

Don’t be manipulated emotionally with social issues. Its a rouse, a red herring, a means to an end, a way to get elected and get in the big power game. Always, always know it will always be about grabbing, stealing that pool of our tax money that we dutifully, and patriotically send to the government coffers. How do you want that money to be used is who you vote for. Should it continue to go to the people who don’t need it and move it out of the Country taking it out of our National economy or should it go to making this Country a better, healthier place to live? That’s the question and that’s the choice.

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Paul Burke is some fantastic, talented writer. Journey Home is an eye-opener. It is down to earth and humanly raw! I highly recommend it as a must read!!" -- Knowledge Tree Bookstore
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When I first started reading Journey Home I couldn’t put it down! Each person and situation became vivid in my mind. I could feel the book. It became one with me and the sounds ... here on Big River. The unexpected twists and turns, continued to peak my interest, and the first night I read till I could see no more. Then, as I awoke I read till I was done. A book of this quality is an Amazing Gift for all to read and Understand!!!! -- Dusty

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