Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “mainstream media”

Occupy Movement Endorsed by Washington – Roger Ingalls

After listening to President Obama’s State of the Union address, I couldn’t stop smiling. Similarly, I grinned during the last few months of the presidential election. The Occupy Movement is routinely portrayed by mainstream media and conservatives as a failure; however, reviewing the political chatter during the recent elections and the President’s speech on Tuesday, the Occupy influence is front and center.

Prior to the Occupy Movement, there was no media or political focus on the destruction of the middleclass, tax breaks for the wealthy, tax loopholes for corporations or the disparity between the 1%ers and 99%ers. The movement brought attention to all these topics and they were the main sound bites throughout the entire election season. Fast forward to Tuesday and a significant portion of the President’s time was dedicated to Occupy topics: 1) rebuilding the middleclass, 2) increasing wages for many Americans, 3) returning a fair tax burden to the wealthy and big business, 4) closing tax loopholes for corporations and 5) stopping corporate off-shore cash hoarding.

Poll-favoring-raising-taxes-on-rich

When comparing the Tea Party and Occupy Movements, the latter has been much more beneficial to Middle America. The Tea Party has done nothing but create gridlock in Washington, slowing economic recovery. They’ve also placed political handcuffs on Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He’s ineffective because the fanatical right is holding the larger conservative party hostage. Even though the Occupy Movement hasn’t received due credit, its original talking points are on the tongues of politicians today. In addition, a fairer tax burden was realized in January when taxes were increased on the wealthy; an original Occupy demand.

The media is no longer discussing the Occupy Movement but Washington’s politicians are endorsing it through action and sound bites.

America Gets Punk’d – Roger Ingalls

Have you ever wondered why so many federal laws are passed that favor large Wall Street-partnered corporations while little gets done to protect or improve the well-being of real people? Essentially, it comes down to who is drafting the bills that get introduced to Congress.

Most Americans have a very rudimentary understanding of how an idea or proposal becomes law unless they’ve extended their studies on the subject. A few may remember the simple sidewalk diagram, shown below, that steps us through how a bill becomes law; however, many more of us will recall getting educated by the cool Schoolhouse Rock song I’m Just a Bill.

The process of how a bill becomes law isn’t an issue. Our real focus should be on who is behind the introduction of a new bill, who is writing it and where do they come from. These more pertinent issues (questions) aren’t normally discussed in school or often mentioned in mainstream media. We wouldn’t want the general populous becoming too educated, now would we?!

Below is an interesting flowchart describing how a bill is written in today’s corporate-dominated political climate. Call it Bill Drafting 101.

This flowchart highlights one of many reasons why we need campaign reform. Aides that have worked for or associated with a corporation should not get hired by politicians that have accepted contributions from that corporation or its funded special interest group (PAC, Super PAC or similar). There should be a five year conflict of interest waiting period.

American Idol finalists Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez getting Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher on MTV would be funny but Americans getting punked by politicians and their financial sponsors is criminal.

Occupy Report Card – Roger Ingalls

A few days ago I got into a mildly hot discussion with a few people over the Occupy Movement. It started due to a news report about protesters stealing property from a church that allowed them to sleep on the premises.

A few in the discussion group concluded that the Occupy folks were just a bunch of thugs causing problems and haven’t done anything worth noting. The rest of us disagreed and took the position that you can’t judge the whole movement based on a few bad apples that caught the eye of Mainstream Media.

picture from dawnstephensbooks.com

Our discussion then turned to accomplishments by Occupy Wall Street. The naysayers initially said the movement hadn’t done anything but eventually gave them some credit for helping with the roll-back of the $5 transaction fee proposed by Bank of America. After chatting further, many of us thought the rebirth of civil disobedience and mass public protesting in the U.S. were positives and should be credited to the Occupy Movements.

“The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”, Thomas Jefferson.

A small group of us that are, generally, pro Occupy, thought the movements biggest accomplishment was education of the masses. Prior to the whole Occupy thing, the public, as a whole, never discussed the inequity of the Top 1% versus the Bottom 99%, rarely cared about how politician received money for campaigning or gave many thoughts to how Big Business sets government agenda. Now these issues are on the tongues of people everywhere, of all ages, races and economic standing. This is an awesome accomplishment. Awareness is the first step.

Occupy Revolution Year One gets an A+.

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Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Occupy Protest: The Demands – Roger Ingalls

Mainstream media is finally starting to cover the Occupy Protests but their reporting follows a common theme, “it’s a protest without a real purpose or demand”.

Well…here are the demands:

1)      Create a nationalized commercial bank to fund small businesses based on the prime lending rate plus overhead costs. Bank personnel wages and salaries must be similar to government or military pay grades. Most jobs in America are created by small business (70 to 80%). This will create jobs by providing affordable money to small business. The current Wall Street Institutions benefits from selling financial products back and forth to each other and therefore have little interest in small business lending.

2)      Reinstate the business and personal tax rates and codes (including write-offs and loopholes) used in the 1960s. This was a period of prosperity for both the general population and the business community. These tax rates will balance the budget without compromising public services and will stop the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich that has taken place since the early 1980s.

3)      Create a nationalized commercial bank for home ownership based on the prime lending rate plus overhead costs. This will revive the American dream, bring affordable money back to the housing market and separate housing finance from the risky investment banking practiced by Wall Street.

4)      Allow Medicare buy-in for all people regardless of age. This will provide affordable health care for more Americans. It will also bring needed funds to Medicare because the young and healthy will be participating along with the elderly (costs are spread).

5)      No individual person (real or artificial), company, corporation, PAC, Union or special interest group can donate more than $1000 to a political candidate. Organizations cannot be created for the purpose of funding candidates. Organization with multiple business units or multiple businesses owned by an individual or common group of individuals can only make one collective political donation of $1000 per candidate. This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

6)      No artificial person, company or corporation can advertise in support or opposition to a candidate (directly or indirectly). This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

7)      Political advertisements, candidates, PACs, special interest groups, supporters and opposition groups of ballot issues must maintain an easy-access website that clearly identifies financial contributors. This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

8)      No lobbyist can aid a member of congress unless they have not lobbied in the preceding six years. This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

Keep the faith, spread the word and keep fighting…it’s a good fight!

-Roger Ingalls

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Roger Ingalls is well-traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

 

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