About americanliberaltimes

I am American, I am male, I am a Veteran, I am old, I am Independent, I am eccentric and fiesty and opinionated and I am here.

Big government sticks it to retired people and the story gets buried on page 5!

My Opinion
by John

I’m kind of glad sometimes that I never worked one of those jobs where you could look forward to a secure retirement after spending 20-30 years or more working your ass off everyday because the retirement benefits that millions of people who went that route just keep on dwindling away and disappearing with each passing day —– and it seems to me sometimes that nobody notices or that nobody cares because this kind of story is the stuff that gets hidden on the inner pages of our newspapers and is rarely heard about on the broadcast media. —– WTF?

Imagine — if you can — having worked a lifetime and finally retired and started getting a pension of say $3,000 or more.  “Oh boy!” you might say, “I’m secure now for the rest of my life —- I can pay my bills, take care of insurance premiums and maybe even sock a little away for emergencies.”

Then along comes Congress —– a Republican-dominated Congress —- and says. “Oh we have to do something drastic to help Multi-Employer Retirement Funds because they are running out of money and in 10 or 12 years they won’t have anything to pay benefits with.”

So what is the right wing idea about how to “Help” those retirement funds stay solvent? —– Why to cut benefits to the retirees who have been collecting their pensions, that’s how! —– Is that a big surprise to anybody? —– Isn’t that what the righties do best? — Cut benefits to the people who need them the most in order to make it look like they are helping the “Funds” to remain solvent for future generations? —– Somehow all this smells like some pretty rotten fish in my way of looking at things. —– But it is no more or less than I expect when I hear stories about how the right wing mind works when they apply their special “Arithmetic” to something —– especially something that was designed to help someone besides those at the top of the financial heap.

So, as the righties cut and slash the benefits to retirees trying to live on their $3,000 pension ( a figure that I plucked out of thin air but a figure that represents what some retirees collect on their monthly pension checks) the pensioners discover their $3,000 has suddenly become $1,000 —– a cut of about 2/3 of what they had been used to receiving. —– And the righties breathe deeply, get a sorrowful look of compassion on their faces and tell the retirees, “Well, it had to be done —- for the good of the pension fund.”

I don’t think that kind of explanation means shit to someone who has slaved away for 30 years at a job and who feels like they have earned their pensions and have their pensions coming to them. —– But the strange thing is that some of those pensioners who are going to lose their asses compliments of the right wing Congress are the same ones who voted for the righties in the first place because they believed the propaganda —- “Drink The Flavored Drink” I believe is one of the terms some political types use when talking about this kind of thing.

More and more people who have worked and earned decent pensions in The United States are having to “Adjust their lifestyles” because of either cuts in their pensions or because of depleted pension funds that can no longer pay them.

So far I have been ragging about the Conservative Congress being the culprits in this “Cut The Pensions” deal but the more I think about it, the more I am starting to think, “Well, would the situation be any different if it was a Liberal-Dominated Congress making the cuts?  I mean didn’t the whole NAFTA thing and all the pissing in the pants to start drafting job-destroying international trade agreements begin in the middle of a Democrat administration in Washington? —- I mean, to be fair about all this I have to investigate and consider every angle —- I cannot be one-sided in assigning blame for the mess and still claim to be fair and balanced, now can I?

My whole thing is, “Surely there is some way these pension funds can be saved without having to take it out of the veins of the retirees who have earned them and who depend on them for life’s little necessities.”

I think if this kind of shit keeps up the day may come when everybody just suddenly decides, “What the hell good does it do to get a college education and take a job somewhere when all I have to look forward to is years of labor followed by getting the pension I earned grabbed away from me?”

If that were to ever happen what would be the effect on the Economy?

I guess an alternative to having to endure that kind of worry is for everybody to pack their bags and get on a plane or a boat and go overseas to some Third World country and get one of the “Good American Jobs” that have already arrived there before them.

And what is one of the big reasons this is happening?

I am told one of the big reasons this is happening to people is because there has been a large reduction in the number of union jobs in the United States in recent years and there aren’t enough union workers left in the work force to make the necessary contributions to support the retirement funds anymore.

Now when I read that I start asking myself the question, “Why has there been a large reduction in the number of union jobs in the United States in recent years?  Could it be because of all the good jobs that are being sent over seas because of various trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP — and other trade agreements like them — or is it because of union busting that is being accelerated by such bullshit laws as “Right To Work” laws —- As I understand things the right wing dearly hates unions and would probably like to do away with all of them. —- And if that happens guess who suffers?  The retirees suffer, that’s who —- and there are millions of them!

When this kind of crap gets attached to government spending bills and when Republican Austerity gets its hooks into the process, the effects on peoples’ lives can be devastating —- even catastrophic sometimes and who is watching?  Who is listening to the plight of those who stand to lose everything they ever worked for?  Is Uncle Sugar listening?  Is Wall Street listening?  Is Citizens United listening? Is NAFTA listening? Is anybody out there listening who cares a damned for the retirees or are they just going to be thrown under the bus and forced to fend for themselves in the best traditions of modern American Conservative idealism? —- More cat food for the elderly?  Is that the story here?

Again I have highlighted what I believe to be the effect of modern American Conservatism but I should really ask the question also, “Has the excess and extravagance of Liberalism had its own part to play in creating this mess?  —– If the unions had been less grasping and less demanding and if people’s personal expectations for a higher standard of living had been constrained within some kind of reasonable limits would all this have been avoided? —- Or is all this mess nothing more or less than the effects of a burgeoning society gone totally materialistic, placing more emphasis on individual personal gain than on the welfare of the society as a whole?

To ask a question that sounds to me more like something a Tea Party Person would ask: “Is everything that has happened to the Economy and to workers and to the pension funds just a judgment from God for the way we all have been living our lives — and would a “Return To God” solve the problem and return the abundance of prosperity to everyone again — like in the good old days?

Surely all this damned mess cannot have happened because we are too secular and not religious enough — could it?

It is estimated that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million people who are going to get the shaft because of this last minute addition to the spending bill passed by Congress — without any debate at all according to my best information. — Just shoved it through with little or no thought about how it might hurt millions of people who need those goddamned pensions each month. —- There’s your elected form of government at work, folks! — There’s your compassionate Christian American idealism at work! —- Screw the little guy! —- Fatten the rich guy at the expense of the little guy! — Grab it all away from the poor, the middle class, the working class and send it to the top! —- America at work, folks! — Are you proud of the way you voted in the last election? — Are you one of those poor low-information fools who voted against your own interests and insured the destruction of your own hard-earned pension?

You know what I see as really sad about this whole damned mess, folks?

What I see as really sad about all this is that most of the retirees who are probably going to get the shaft in this deal have no chance of ever going out and getting themselves another job that will pay enough to give them a decent standard of living —- and some of them are so sick or worn out they couldn’t keep a job if they got one. — That’s the sad part in my book!

Related Reading: (Article About Pension Funds Getting Cut)

It is Sunday morning again, March 29, 2015, 5:33 a.m., and I am still alive and still blogging!

Now there is one helluva title for a blog post.  I am sure that is the kind of title that is going to attract hundreds, perhaps thousands of enthusiastic readers to these hallowed pages. —– Not! —– But what the hell? —– What else can I talk about this damned early in the morning? —– What is there that might be interesting about a soggy old worn out 76-year-old man? —– Wow, that’s kind of depressing! —– But wait! —– There’s more!

It is also almost April now and the weather outside is still a little too chilly for my tastes. But then who gives a darned what I think about the weather? —– What’s more damned boring to talk about than the weather? —– But isn’t that what we of advanced age do best . . . . bitch about the weather and about our little aches and pains? —– But wait! —– I don’t have any real aches and pains to bitch about! —– Bummer!

I am sure that sometime later on this morning I will get all bundled up, eat a breakfast of some kind, slug down an energy drink and go sauntering out into the great barren, winter-trodden outdoors —– perhaps leave a few peanuts in the shell for the little squirrel who comes to panhandle me every morning —– God bless it’s little heart —– and then maybe I will go walking and alternating with a bit of jogging for about a mile around the local Kroger store and Pharmacy and back home again. —– Yes, maybe that is what I will do.

I read an article on the Internet saying that John Kerry, American Secretary of State —– I guess that’s what he is —– spoke in arabic to some reporter the other day and said, “Inshallah” when the reporter asked if the negotiators were any closer to a deal with Iran over nukes —– or some such shit as that.  —– I looked up what “Inshallah” means and I learned it means something like, “If Allah Is Willing.” —– My first response was, “What the hell is the American Secretary of State doing —– what does he mean —– by answering a reporter in the language of what I have been hearing are presumed enemies of The United States? —-well, if not “enemies” then almost certainly not friends and allies —– not yet anyway —–  but even more than that, in the language that recognizes another deity than the one recognized most often by Americans? —– I got a little incensed at hearing that and I thought to myself, “I don’t give a crap about “Inshallah” or any other such thing because I am a Christian and I am supposed to be living in a Christian nation and I think the Secretary’s choice of words was either misguided or —– just plain . . . . can I dare say the word, “Wrong” for the circumstances here? —– Oh well, I have the right to express my opinions don’t I?

Better shut my mouth before somebody gets the wrong idea and starts calling me an “Izz-lom-o-phobe” or some such shit.

You know whose names I haven’t heard being mentioned in the news lately? —– I haven’t heard too much being said about Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor. —– I once thought those two were going to become canonized by the right wing in America and now I hardly ever hear about them anymore. —– What’s up with that? —– I haven’t heard a peep out of Dick Cheney lately either. —– Where has Dick Cheney gone and why are we not hearing his interpretations of what we are doing in the world today? —– Is all this media attention just a flash in the pan? —– Is there something about the Mainstream Media I don’t know and should be learning? —– Something like the Mainstream Media only focuses on something as long as the “something” can generate a shitload of dollars for some “sponsors” somewhere and then when the public grows weary of hearing about it, the sponsors shift their focus and the media follows the money? —– Is that an accurate assessment? —– If that is anywhere near true what does it do to the public’s confidence in what the Mainstream Media has to tell them?

Hey!  I am running out of time to rant and rave on this Sunday morning at 5:57 a.m., so I will shut up for now and come back a little later on when something else shows up that I feel like bitching and moaning about.  Until then, “Cheers, everybody” and remember who loves you!

Yeah —– I might write a dozen blog posts today just for the helluvit! —– Do I expect people to read them all? —- No! —– Then why write them at all? —– Because I love to write on the blog and I love to feel like I am near people I appreciate and care for ….. those who do come on the blog to read and to share with me. —– Blogging is one way I can reach out and make friends and communicate with other people —– and keep the cobwebs from getting too thick in my old brain. —– Indulge me, folks!

Limit terms for the president and for the Supreme Court Justices!

Limiting Presidential Terms In Office

After the utter chaos of the Bush and Obama Administrations, I am fully in agreement with those folks who are calling for an amendment to The Constitution limiting the terms of a president to one Four-year term.

I might add that I am also in agreement with the idea of making term limits on members of The Supreme Court too.  Right now members of SCOTUS are “appointed” to their positions for lifetime terms.  I believe the justices should be elected instead of being appointed and I believe their terms should be limited to the same as that of the president —– one four-year term, period!

Of course I also believe the Congress is so lopsided now and so impotent in their collective ability to get anything done because of all the infighting and arguing they have been doing that nothing like what I have proposed here would ever have a pecks chance in hell of making it to the floor of either house for a vote.  So I guess it will never even be considered much less ever become the law of the land.  But I think it would be good for what is left of America if it could happen.

The Rights Granted To A Nation’s Citizens Is What Defines Civilization!

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Will Rogers, famous American cowboy, humorist and social commentator, once remarked,  “We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.”
Will Rogers

Well here’s the story, folks:  I totally agree with Mr. Rogers so long as I do not have to give up my own rights while I am recognizing the rights of those “Others” the famous humorist was speaking about.

Will Rogers Quote Is From Brainy Quotes

Lesson Learned

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If I have learned anything at all in my 76 years on Planet Earth it is this: “The very act of living is dangerous as Hell.  You do it long enough and it eventually kills you — and there is no way around it!

(Photo is public domain item from Pixabay)

Mischievous Minds

Human behavior is odd sometimes. I have discovered that when I see somebody smiling — smirking — I can be fairly assured they have something mischievous on their minds. —– By the same token when I see that same person busting out in raucous laughter I can pretty well determine that whatever the mischief was he/she had on their mind when they were smiling has already been done.

Perfect chaos

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Imagine the chaos that would reign in the world if there was no such thing as the passing of time. —– If Time should somehow be taken out of the equation of existence everything that could possibly happen would happen all at once. —– Imagine the confusion that would cause!

Image is from Everystockphoto