Ranting, Raving, and Rocking by Sal Canzonieri
This was my tenth column in AMP magazine. This one Rants on the economic destruction of USA by Bush & pals, Raves on the Monster Hoppies shop in Canada, and Rocks on about Juliette and the Licks!
(March 2006 issue)
Welcome to my tenth column for AMP magazine.
This month’s Rant:
Well, only the most blind ignorant hicks won't open their eyes to see that the Bushass administration is hellbent on destroying the economic well being of our country for good. There was a multi-billion dollar surplus when this crime family came in and they not only have sucked it dry but they are working to bankrupt this country for many generations to come. The new budget that they have proposed is such a complete joke that is obviously meant to ruin us all. Thanks to the criminal ass' tax cut program (that only benefited the very rich), and a mild recession, and then the "war", the $128 BILLION budget surplus that he inherited when he came into office has turned into a deficit of $337 billion dollars this year, and is expected to reach to almost a $500 TRILLION deficit, if not more. The government produces a budget deficit when its total spending exceeds its total revenues. Budget deficits force the government to have to borrow more money by selling Treasury securities to domestic and foreign investors. As the government seeks to borrow ever more to finance those deficits, rates on Treasury securities rise to entice more investors. That pushes up other interest rates, such as home mortgages, many auto loans, some home equity lines of credit, and some credit cards. In a worst-case scenario, foreigners who finance the U.S. budget and trade deficits would sour on U.S. investments and unload their holdings. The prices of U.S. stocks and bonds could plunge. Interest rates, including those for mortgages, could soar. Thanks to this crime family, we are on a dangerous edge that at any sign of panic, foreign investors could pull out and plunge our country into a huge economic depression far worse that that of the 1930s.
This crime family hoodwinked many ignorant "conservatives" by making believe that they were Republicans. But, far from being fiscal conservatives that believe in less government bothering people, instead this administration has stomped all over these ideals and have done the total opposite. The federal government under Bushass has grown much bigger with even more employees. Over the past five years, Bush and the Republican-led Congress have been far better at expanding government than shrinking it. Spending for national security and government entitlement programs has skyrocketed, without offsetting cuts in other programs. The era of big government is far from over.
Bush's proposed defense budget for 2007 is $439 billion, up from $334 billion the year he took office. Spending for homeland security has more than doubled, from $17 billion in 2001 - in a budget approved before the Sept. 11 attacks - to $50 billion this year. Those figures don't include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's another $440 billion so far, mostly for Iraq, where expenses are piling up at a rate between $4.5 billion and $8 billion a month. But, WHO is benefiting from these wars? Not us, since we are far less safe thanks to these wars than ever before. Not the people in those countries, who are being slaughtered every day. Only the companies that have contracts are making tons of money, since they are the ones who are directly receiving all this "aid" money. Why didn't they just print up sacks of money and just hand it out to all their friends? Disgusting. Can anyone say things are truly better in Iraq since this all started? Don't make me laugh.
So, after all the money goes out, what is being cut in this $227 TRILLION Budget? Well, the roughly 18 percent of the budget that goes for things such as education, environmental protection, transportation and other government services. This represents 141 government programs that Bush sought to sharply reduce or eliminate entirely. Almost one-third of the targeted programs are in education including ones that provide money to support the arts, vocational education, parent resource centers and drug-free schools. Democrats attacked what they said were Bush's skewed priorities. They said he was trying to impose austere budgets that will harm programs for the poor while protecting tax cuts Democrats said were going primarily to the wealthy. They also charged that Bush was understating future budget deficits by leaving out major items such as the true costs of the Iraq war and a long-term fix to keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting more middle-class taxpayers. "It explodes deficits, but then conceals them by providing only five years of numbers and leaving out large costs," said Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee. "The result will be more debt passed on to our children." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that the budget was "filled with pages of giveaways to special interests and cuts to those who can least afford it."
Who loses? Again, the American people. Hard hit will be hospitals, nursing homes, home health care providers, and hospices, who are all struggling as it is to provide aid to their local communities. What happens when these things are cut? More poverty, more crime, more quality of life. Who wins? The crooks that are getting these lucrative government contracts. Oh, people like Bush's father, for example. The Bush family owns about 51% of the stock in Eli Lilly, the drug company. Looking back further to 1992, Alexander Cockburn, in both the Nation and the New Statesman, was one of the first to connect the dots between the Bush family and Eli Lilly. After George Herbert Walker Bush left his CIA director post in 1977 and before becoming vice president under Ronald Reagan in 1980, he was on Eli Lilly's board of directors. As vice president, Bush illegally failed to disclose his Lilly stock and lobbied hard on behalf of Big Pharma-especially Eli Lilly. For example, Bush sought special tax breaks from the IRS for Lilly and other pharmaceutical corporations that were manufacturing in Puerto Rico. Cockburn also reported on Mitch Daniels, then a vice president at Eli Lilly, who in 1991 co-chaired a fundraiser that collected $600,000 for the Bush-Quayle campaign. This is the same Mitch Daniels who in 2001 became George W. Bush's Director of Management and Budget. In June 2003, soon after Daniels departed from that job, he ran for governor of Indiana (home to Eli Lilly headquarters). In a piece in the Washington Post called "Delusional on the Deficit," Senator Ernest Hollings wrote, "When Daniels left two weeks ago to run for governor of Indiana, he told the Post that the government is 'fiscally in fine shape.' Good grief! During his 29-month tenure, he turned a so-called $5.6 trillion, 10-year budget surplus into a $4 trillion deficit-a mere $10 trillion downswing in just two years. If this is good fiscal policy, thank heavens Daniels is gone." Sound familiar today?
Lilly's soaking of state Medicaid programs with Zyprexa-its blockbuster, antipsychotic drug-may pack the greatest financial wallop. Worldwide in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $4.28 billion, accounting for slightly more than one-third of Lilly's total sales. In the United States in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $2.63 billion, 70 percent of that attributable to government agencies, mostly Medicaid. But, the most important story about Eli Lilly is that Lilly's two current blockbuster psychiatric drugs-Zyprexa and Prozac-are, in scientific terms, of little value. Much of the scientific community now acknowledges that the advantage of Prozac and Prozac-like drugs over a sugar-pill placebo is slight-or as Prevention and Treatment in 2002 defined it, "clinically negligible." When Prozac is compared to an active placebo (one with side effects), then Prozac is shown to have, in scientific terms, zero value. Moreover, many doctors and researchers now warn us about the dangers of Prozac. Psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen's Prozac Backlash (2000) documented "neurological disorders including disfiguring facial and whole body tics indicating potential brain damage...agitation, muscle spasms, and parkinsonism," and he stated that debilitating withdrawal occurs in 50 percent of patients who abruptly come off Prozac and Prozac-like drugs.
A sample of those who have been on the Eli Lilly payroll includes:
* Former President George Herbert Walker Bush (one-time member of the Eli Lilly board of directors)
In 2002, Eli Lilly flexed its muscles at the highest level of the U.S. government in an audacious Lillygate. The event was the signing of the Homeland Security Act, praised by President George W. Bush as a "heroic action" that demonstrated "the resolve of this great nation to defend our freedom, our security and our way of life." Soon after the Act was signed, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert discovered what had been slipped into the Act at the last minute and on November 25, 2002, he wrote, "Buried in this massive bill, snuck into it in the dark of night by persons unknown...was a provision that-incredibly-will protect Eli Lilly and a few other big pharmaceutical outfits from lawsuits by parents who believe their children were harmed by thimerosal." Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury and is used by Eli Lilly and others in vaccines. In 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Public Health Service urged vaccine makers to stop using mercury-based preservatives. In 2001 the Institute of Medicine concluded that the link between autism and thimerosal was "biologically plausible." By 2002, thimerosal lawsuits against Eli Lilly were progressing through the courts. The punchline of this Lillygate is that, in June 2002, President George W. Bush had appointed Eli Lilly's CEO, Sidney Taurel, to a seat on his Homeland Security Advisory Council. Ultimately, even some Republican senators became embarrassed by this Lillygate and, by early 2003, moderate Republicans and Democrats agreed to repeal this particular provision in the Homeland Security Act. (Also, bear in mind the fact that Ely Lilly makes the legal precursor chemicals needed to refine poppies to make heroin. Funny how as soon as Afghanistan was wrestled from the Taliban, heroin is again their number one export crop. Wow, what a coincidence! )
This is just one example among many many other ones of a totally corrupt administration. True fiscal conservatives, both Republicans and Democrats, are seeing that this Neo-Conservative administration, as they call themselves, has long ago betrayed their Reagan style of non-intrusive government. The Reagan administration saw the Neo-Cons as former Left Wingers, Socialists, who were against the Soviet Union and Communism, that now called themselves Republicans in name only and who were intent on establishing a New World Order, abolishing nation states and setting up a one-world government under their rule. Neoconservatives were disappointed with Reagan. Reagan's goal was to END the cold war, not to WIN it. He made common purpose with Gorbachev and ENDED the cold war. It is the new Jacobins, the Neo-conservatives, that have exploited this victory and have brought US military bases to the borders of Russia to provoke them into fighting a new world war. Now think, what other country was run by Socialists, National Socialists, that were against the Soviet Union? Nazi Germany of course, under Adolf Hitler and his pals. Many well known Neo-Cons are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), many of whom hold positions within the Bush administration. The CFR publishes "Foreign Affairs" magazine, which pushes for a one-world government. VP Cheney, Rice, and many other important people in Bush's administration are CFR members. The funny thing about the CFR is that many of the most elite people in the world who are both on the left and on the right are members, including ex-presidents Clinton and Carter. So, weird that both Cheney and Clinton belong to the same organization that is dedicated to creating a one-world government. Why? Because they are all Socialists at heart, against sovereign nations, and members of the ruling elite. What kind of socialist is against the far left/ communism? Fascists, Nazis, they were such kind of socialists! Under Fascist Socialism, the State does not own the businesses, but the businesses support the State. The government and the big business are united into one, each supporting the other, with the people having no civil liberties and being forced to work for the state businesses. It is not Capitalism where both the people and business are free to develop on their own as they compete with each other and it is not Communism, where the State owns the businesses and controls the means of production.
We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party. Not only is our nation being bankrupted for many generations into the future by this administration, but we all are under the constant threat of our glorious President declaring martial law under some false pretext. This president has mentioned declaring martial law a total of 5 times in one year alone, every other president has never mentioned it at all. Under this president's executive order, there over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general's signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached. According to reports, the list now comprises 80,000 names! This number must greatly dwarf the total number of terrorists in the world and certainly the number of known terrorists. So, obviously, who is this 'war on terror' against? You guessed it! The American people, you and me. Almost everything done so far in the name of the war on terror and through Homeland Security has been against the everyday American citizen. The Rex 84 Program was established on the pretext that if a "mass exodus" of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. Rex 84 allowed many military base s to be closed down and to be turned into prisons. Yeah right, hah hah. Soon after, Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs that will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation. The camps all have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities. Many also have an airport nearby. The majority of the camps can house a population of 20,000 prisoners. Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive mental health facility and can hold approximately 2 million people. Some facilities are "disguised" as industrial or commercial properties, camouflaged or even wholly contained inside large buildings (Indianapolis) or factories. Many inner-city buildings left vacant during the de-industrialization of America have been quietly acquired and held, sometimes retrofitted for their new uses. Now ask yourself, why would they need to develop all these camps in the USA to hold millions of people? You better pray that Bush is out of there by 2008, cause if one little thing happens to give him the excuse (like if they try to impeach him), then you know what is going to happen: Goodbye America the Free! Recently, Bush signed 3 more executive orders to prepare for martial law, even though many already exist for the past 30 years or more. For a list of all the camps state by state and a list of all the Executive Orders that are in existence to declare martial law, see this website: http://www.sianews.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1062 . If you are a student of history, you will know that the way Hitler cemented his power was through taking over the court system, and setting apart special courts to judge "Terrorists". The Germans gave up their civil liberties to allow the government to protect them against these Terrorists. Soon after an attack on their main government building, which was set up secretly by the Nazis, Hitler used this as an excuse to declare martial law and suspend all civil liberties. For more info see this site: http://www.choicechanges.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=316.
The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. Homeland Security and the Patriot Act are not our protectors. They undermine our protection by trashing the Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. Just like Nazi Germany did under Hitler. According to Paul Craig Roberts, who was the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, "Americans need to understand that many interests are using the "war on terror" to achieve their agendas. The Federalist Society is using the "war on terror" to achieve its agenda of concentrating power in the executive and packing the Supreme Court to this effect. The neocons are using the war to achieve their agenda of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. Police agencies are using the war to remove constraints on their powers and to make themselves less accountable. Republicans are using the war to achieve one-party rule--theirs. The Bush administration is using the war to avoid accountability and evade constraints on executive powers. Arms industries, or what President Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex," are using the war to fatten profits. Terrorism experts are using the war to gain visibility. Security firms are using it to gain customers. Readers can add to this list at will." Likewise, we know the government lied about Iraqi WMD, but we believe the government told the truth about 9/11. But, many engineers and scientists now challenge the accepted explanation why three World Trade Center buildings on one day collapsed into their own footprints at free fall speed, an event outside the laws of physics except under conditions of controlled demolition. Much independent research has been done that shows the story about 9/11 is far from that of the accepted story that we have been told. They insist that there is no stopping war and a police state as long as the government's story on 9/11 remains unchallenged. See this website: http://www.scholarsfor911truth.org/PressRelease30Jan2006.html.
Our only hope is that this Neo-Con run administration will wind up destroying itself once it begins invasions of Iran and Syria and sending in the Marines to disarm Hizbullah in Lebanon. Not even plots of the German High Command could get rid of Hitler, but when Hitler marched German armies into Russia he destroyed himself. Everywhere in the world that these Neo-Cons have tried to set up their agenda, they have instead made things much much worse. Everywhere in the Middle East the far right fundamentalists are gaining in power, in Palestine, in Iran, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, in response to the Neo-Cons efforts to control and take over the Middle East. The Neo-Cons are creating the means of their own destruction. The opposite of what they want is happening each time. Hopefully, it will result in the end of the Neo-Cons and their agenda, instead of the end of America as we know, the land of the free.
This month's Raving:
In the wilderness of the North is a hobby shop owned by Trevor Ursulescu and his wife Julie called "Monster Hobbies" in High River, Alberta, Canada. This cool place is really fun! It is loaded with tons of great monster model kits and toys and hot rod stuff! And, it has great home made displays featuring funny monster figures throughout the large store. How can you go wrong with a motto like: "Unearthing strange and unusual items". Their ambition was to re-define a hobby shop as somewhere cool to go that would get people to change their attitude from an opinion of "hobby shop for nerds" to something more like a "Rock your world" type of store. They are currently in their second year of business and are always looking to expand their selection of "strange and unusual" items. They even have FM radio spots for the store that feature great Punk Rock & Roll songs in the background. It looks like you're entering an old stone crypt with Halloween lights and Monster figures on the outside walls. You can check out photos of the store here: http://public.fotki.com/ursulescu/monster_hobbies/.
This month's Rocking:
Well, if you are a music snob or a trendy phony where stuff has to be "cool" according to the fashion police, then this is not for you. But for people who just want to hear great balls out Rock that is amazing live and great on CD, then what really ROCKS this month is Juliette and the Licks!!! Yes, that Juliette- from the movies. What's great is that she is not just a great actress but also a great music performer. She is a WILD person on stage, and she is totally passionate about Rock & Roll when she is performing! Their debut EP is called: "Like a Bolt of Lightning". She sounds very convincing, her voice is great and sexy in a way, you can hear some influence from Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, besides Iggy, but also very melodic. I really like how her voice cracks sometimes when she is singing, it makes it all sound more immediate and honest. The band plays Punk Rock with the emphasis on Rock, like it should be. This record just sounds like someone who wants to play some great music and doesn't give a shit about anything else except being there for real. What more can someone want? It's refreshing to be surprised about something for once. The first album is called "You're Speaking My Language". It's a bit more varied. It has a few fast ripping high energy punk rock songs and more soulful slower story telling songs. If you just want to feel good, get these two records.
(c) 2006 BGT ENT / Sal Canzonieri