The Walmart cycle.

               One meme or article after another tells us to avoid Walmart. Which is absolutely right! They subsidize their company by paying low wages, thereby forcing their employees to receive Federal Benefits. That alone costs American tax payers billions of dollars a year. Not to mention the money they receive from Federal and State governments to build stores or warehouses in their areas or the tax breaks and tax havens they use to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

The Walton family are worth a couple hundred billion dollars. While making these billions of dollars they bemoan employees who ask for a higher wage or the right to unionize. All the while purchasing product from China, a Communist dictatorship that not only manipulates their currency but also subsidizes their companies. The Walton maintain that if they raise pay, they have to raise prices. While saying this they reap profits that have rarely been seen in American history.

Now here is the conundrum. The average person making even $12 an hour is that they do not have alot of disposable income. Electric, gas, phone, taxes and even sewer have all seen precipitous increases, all while this person has been stuck at $12 an hour. A family of 4, with mom and dad both working, will in many cases qualify for Federal Benefits. The failure of corporations to raise peoples pay while making record profits has presented these people with a pickle. Do I shop at a cheaper store and get more or shop at more expensive and get less. Where does this leave them?

At a time when Americans need more help then at possibly any time in our history, we have also found ourselves in a period of hyper-polarization. While these people need help, Paul Ryan and Republicans want to cut Federal Benefits while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Democrats led by Elizabeth Warren are trying to extend unemployment benefits, raise taxes on the wealthy, reel in to big to fail and fix income inequality. Bernie Sanders, the only Independent who really matters, my little joke, is fighting along many of the same fronts as Elizabeth Warren. It has become class warfare. Rich saying the poor dont work hard enough and poor asking for a fair share. All of this while 47 million Americans are on Food Stamps because of low pay or no jobs.

Here is where it comes full circle. These people on the bottom end up shopping at Walmart because of their low pay. By shopping at Walmart they are putting people like themselves out of work, as well as giving the Waltons a false sense that their model is a good thing. The person shopping there doesn’t want to do these things, but what company can compete with a monolithic corporation like Walmart. Of course it would be another corporation. What option do these people have? Even if you dont shop at Walmart, the majority of products are made somewhere else.

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Chineese military and Republican party found using same spying tactics on Liberal organizations and Unions.

                In February a firm called Mandiant and the New York Times revealed that the Chineese military is engaging in a sophisticated campaign of internet spying and cyber attacks targeting U.S. Corporations and government websites caused widespread alarm. What hasn’t been noticed is the Chineese plot has a lot in common with a Republican conspiracy to spy and sabotage Liberal advocacy groups and Unions. A plot developed on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2010.

Mandiant identified the plot by looking through a database of hacking tools. The tools were managed by the same individuals associated with the American firm that had been enlisted to help the Chamber of Commerce execute its spying and hacking plan. That was before it was exposed by the hacking group Anonymous.

Attorney’s for the Chamber were caught negotiating a contract to launch a cyber campaign using similar methods as the Chineese. These could reportedly be used to cripple vital infrastructure and steal trade secrets from Fortune 100 companies. The Chamber was seeking to undermine its political opposition, including the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) and MoveOn.org. Anonymous again revealed the plan.

Un January 2011 the Chamber recieved a CD with target data. The targets discussed were Labor Unions, SEIU, IBT, UFW, UFCW, AFL-CIO, Change to Win, as well as Progressive organizations like the Center for American Progress, MoveOn.org, Courage Campaign, the Ruckus Society, Agit-Pop, Brave New Films and others. The tactics described in the proposals are illegal. There were no discussions in the leaked emails about the legality of using such tactics. The Chambers lawyers and the contractors quibbled for weeks about the appropriate compensation for these hacking services. At one point, $2 million was demanded.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a powerful business lobbying group that had become a fully functional part of the Republican machine. Republicans condemned President Obama and the NSA for the surveillance of phone and internet activity but hypocritically do it to those who disagree with them. At least the NSA and the Obama administration are doing it in the name of National Security. Republicans condemned the IRS and the Obama administration for targeting Tea Party groups, which Mitch Mcconnell said President Obama was not involved with. Yet hypocrite Republicans do the same type of subterfuge to undermine Democrat leaning adversaries. Republicans are caught in this, yet the conservative media does not report it. I guess that is what happens when you own most of the media.

Arming Syrian rebels is an iffy proposition.

                 President Obama with the support of many Senatorsand Representatives has decided to arm the Syrian rebels. Of course according to some Republicans he is not doing enough. Yet there is bipartisan opposition to increasing U.S. involvement in the conflict. Once again a difficult decision for President Obama is made worse by the polarization in Congress.

The Syrian rebels record with handling the Humanitarian Aid we have sent them is spotty, to say the least. The food, medicine and other lifesaving supplies often face long delays because of political rivalries between rebel factions. One shipment was held up for 2 weeks over whose label should be attached to the goods. Planes filled with supplies have landed in neighboring countries with no trucks at the landing sights to move the goods into Syria. Funds the U.S. was prepared to provide to an opposition political office were rejected. Do we know who the wespons are really going to go to?

Despite this being nothing new, it is getting increased scrutiny because of the decision to send weapons to the Syrian rebels. Though the administration has not publicly said what they were going to do, Secretary of State John Kerry held 2 classified briefings with members of Congress. Obviously this is not something that should be released to the press because of Russian and Chineese dissent.

No details emerged about the type of weapons to be sent. The lack of clarity has caused problems for the warmongering right wing and the left who are against it. Republicans didn’t want any military in Libya, so President Obama effectively helped overthrow a dictator without any American lives lost. Senator John McCain believes we need to put American lives at risk, despite his party’s resistance to a Veterans Jobs Bill, to take out the Syrian air assets. While Senator Tom Udall, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Chris Murphy abd Senator Rand Paul introduced a measure to prohibit the President from using any money to increase U.S. involvement. Specifically it bans the Pentagon, CIA and othet itellegence services from funding military, paramilitary or covert operations in Syria.

We can all agree something needs to be done about tg e Syrian rebellion. Obviously what needs to be done is a contentious issue. For the people in that country and the region itself something has to be done. But any action taken we lead to consequences. No action leads to more deaths and more doubt about America’s place in the world. Military action can lead to involvement from Russia and China. There is no easy or right decision, but I believe we have the right man and staff in the White House to make the best decision possible.

North Korea, real threat or bluster?

             The U.S. Navy is moving radar and missile systems toward North Korea. It is all part of a military buildup after belligerint threats from North Koreas new dictator. 30 year old Kin Jong Un took over for his late father just over a year ago and he is not the first North Korean dictator to threaten South Korea and its American allies. This time it us different, South Korean President Park Guen-hye is dealing with an unknown entity. The South Korean people said they will no longer live under the threat of North Korean violence.

                    North Korea issued a blunt and explicit threat that its weapons program would target the U.S. The threats are more specific than past warnings and came as American intellegence agencies expressed concern that the country has made considerable progress in its nuclear missile programs despite long standing sanctions. The North stated clearly that its nuclear program is now aimed at the U.S. They also ruled out any talks over denuclearization, saying that the nuclear program was the countrieslife blood.

                South Korean tests carried out on fragments of a rocket fired in December in what the North describes as a satellite launch, showed it would have a range of about 6,000 miles, putting the U.S. well within range. However there is little evidence that North Korea has yet to developer a guidance system to ensure an accurate strike or the reentry technology to bring an intercontinental ballistic missile back down. All this proves is that they can hit America, just not what they are aiming for.

                    China is moving tanks, armored vehicles and flying flights near North Korea this week. It is part of a military buildup in the northeastern part of the country. This buildup appears linked to North Koreas announcement that it was in a state of war with South Korea. This started after the U.N. imposed a new round of sanctions following the Norths Feb. 12 nuclear test. The large scale joint U.S.-South Korea military excersizes also contributed to it as well.

                  North Koreas large standing army does pose a conventional threat. They have about 1.2 million active duty members, with the abilityvto mobilize up to another 5 million. They have about 12,000 pieces of artillery, as well as a large chemical weapons stockpile. They have a large special operations capability, about 120,000 strong. The Air Force has one squadron of MIG 29 jets, with the rest being older MIG models. They have about 100 submarines, but both their Navy and Air Force are aged.

              President Obama has a tricky decision to make on this issue. Republicans and Democrats need to show solidarity to show North Korea that we are strong. We do not need another war but the choice may not be ours.

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We are our own worst enemy.

               When you look at the truth threats to our American way of life, some see threats everywhere, me I see quite a few. Foreign threats militarily, China, North Korea and Iran if they go nuclear. Economically, once again China, maybe Japan and Germany. Of course we live under the threat of terrorist attacks, but for the moment I am not worried. My worries lie with our own people.

              I am afraid of the NRA. The propaganda that they push out of their lobbying machine fires up alot of unstable individuals. They hide behind the 2nd Amendment, when their true agenda is to sell more guns at whatever cost. I am afraid of the Pro-life crowd. Not because of their opinions, but their actions. They want small government, but also want their hands in every womens pants, as well as making very important life decisions for them.

               I am afraid of Glenn Beck because he is a false prophet. That unstable individual believes he was sent here by God to help fix things, and so was everyone else psycho. I am afraid of the people who listen to him. These people are not open to anything except what their false idol Glenn Beck preaches to them.

             I am afraid of what the Republican party has become. They have become extremist who work for a small percentage of people who fund them. They do not care who or what they hurt and have almost singlehandedly destroyed our country. They dispute scientific studies in favor of religion, they blatantly lie about what they voted for and they seem to want to destroy the middle class. They gave waged a war on voters, women, minorities and the LGBT community. If you are not rich you are not safe.

          I am afraid that Democrats are spineless and President Obama is going to throw out the baby with the bath water. They have acomplished some wonderful things over the last 4 years, but I dont think it is enough. Ignorance will be the final nail in our countries coffin. We need to educate and get people out to vote even if they vote Republican, just to show politiciabs who have the real power.

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Can we afford to be the worlds big brother?

             Since the WWII we have been the worlds watchdog. Japan should never had attacked us, not only woke the sleeping giant but created a world peace keeper. Whenever there was a problem we would run in and help. Either by providing money and weapons or going in. With these last 2 wars and Lybia we are stretched thin.

             Economically we cannot afford to be peace keeper anymore. I thought thats why the U.N. was created. A group of nations to help us watch over the world. I think they have dropped the ball. While we committed tens of thousands of troops into Iraq and Afghanistan. All the while we got a thousand support soldiers here, a hundred there, some medical supplies and this or that. We were left for the most part alone, all be it in 1 war that shouldnt have been.

             Part of the problem is that we spend much on defense. A ridiculus amount, its like more than the next 10 countries combined. As a country we cannot continue that. It needs to be cut, at least some what. With the economic problems in this country we can no longer afford to take care of everyone. The world needs to stand on their own. I only hope the rest of the world realizes this.

              I know I rambled here, but it is a concern of mine. The world is not as strong without us. As the United States is forced to take a step back, there is not a world power that shares our interests ready to step up. China is the up and comer, but we all know they have their own agenda, world be damned.  I am very concerned with the direction of the world. We can only hope the world can stand on its own.

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What does a nuclear armed Iran mean to Americans?

               Really to everyday Americans it doesnt mean much. We all should realize that Middle East.has been at the middle of many of our problems over the last decade. The effect here is mostly political and possibly a future military action. Otherwise it is generall going to be felt in that region.

              You would have to live under a rock to not know about the relationship btween Iran and Israel. Iran would love to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Israel is our only true ally in the region, so we generally support their decisions. At times the relationship between Washington and Israel has been contentious. President Obama has been accused by Republicans of not being a true friend to Israel. But the general idea here is that if Iran were to attack Israel there would be major problems.

                 We of course have put sanctions on Iran, which has gotten us no results. Now Iran has a very strong backer in China, this is why we havent moved militarily on them. That in a sense would be biting off more than we wanted to chew. Plus I dont think we want to enter another war in this region. We have been stuck there in 2 wars for over 10 years. The American people dont want anymore.

             The Republicans need to protect their interests in this region, mostly oil. In protecting their interests they are willing to put more soldiers on the front line. We need to continue you to pressure Iran economically and support our good friend Israel. While at the same time restain them from going into Iran, that would throw the whole region into chaos. I hope our leaders make the right decision.

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