Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Several State GOP leaders work to keep up a pogrom against the poor through Medicaid

By SJ Otto
We are about the only industrialized country in the world that does not have a health care system for all of its people. Not only that, we have politicians trying to restrict poor people from getting health care. If I were a Christian I would believe that there is a special place in Hell for politicians who work so hard to destroy health care for poor people. These leaders are mean-spirited, spiteful and just down right cruel.
Here are some of the policies they have used to stop our poorest citizens from getting badly needed healthcare.
Work requirements- These are already a apart of many welfare requirements for food or cash assistance. Kansas is a state that has some of the  most restrictive requirements for any welfare. But people here and around the world believe that health care is a right. People have a right to be well and be treated when they are sick.
In Kansas as it is in many states, people are calling for expanding Medicaid, as is suggested by Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). Governor Sam Brownback is working the other direction. He wants work requirements for able bodied people who apply for Medicaid (which in Kansas is actually a privatized version called KanCare).
Drug Testing- This is something that Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is proud of. He wants to make his state a model for refusing people from Medicaid if they have a drug problem. It is like he wants those who use drugs to die off. This and other restrictions are like a pogrom against our country's poor. If anyone needs medical treatment it is people on drugs. We have an opioid epidemic and this guy wants to keep the victims from getting any treatment or any other kind of medical care. People like him don't mind spending money putting poor people in jail, but not any public medicine.
Three to five year limits- The idea is being passed around for a three year lifetime limit to receiving Medicaid. I heard this announced on NPR Radio that Brownback wants a three year life time cap for able bodied people who make use of Medicaid. Again, this equates Medicaid with other welfare benefits. But health care is a right and not some privilege. Treating health care the same as free money for poor people is a violation of basic human dignity.
Privatization- Has been done by Brownback, in an attempt to keep up his ideology that all government functions are some how evil. He has created KanCare which allows three companies to try and profit from the sickness of the poor, disabled and people with severe chronic illnesses. The big difference here is that he is not just restricting poor people, but also disabled people as well. The efficiency of KanCare is dismal. It is a huge failure and yet Brownback keeps it going.
Trump kills healthcare on the Federal level- Our President, Donald Trump, has worked hard to dismantle Obamacare. He works at the Federal level to help the pogrom against the poor. This should surprise no one. He is a hero and advocate of the wealthy.  
There are ways to fight these ass holes. In Main they recently voted to expand Medicaid over a Republican governor, Paul LePage, who has fought kicking and screaming in a battle to prevent the poor from getting health care. We may not be able to get these scum bags out of office, but we can work hard to get these issues passed into law. I is past time to stop the pogrom to kill off poor people.    Image result for ​skeleton medical care Related image

Pix by shareicon.net and ShareIcon.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Another Thanksgiving- more mythological fun

By SJ Otto

Today, Thanksgiving is seen by many as a "politically incorrect" holiday. The pilgrim forefathers took advantage of the Indians. And some people believe that it is barbaric to plan a holiday over killing a turkey. Still there are my relatives and I probably won't tell them how bad their holiday is, at least not until after we all eat. So I print this so all may know the truth.
There was a “first Thanksgiving” dinner, but not likely turkey or the fixings we see today. The original meat was fish and deer.  The turkey became part of Thanksgiving about 1857. It is supposed to be of foods native to the New World. It became a national holiday in 1941. The traditional fixings came from a women’s magazine in the 1850s.

However, many of us will go to a holiday feast with the intention of celebrating time with our families and/or friends. We are thankful in life for some things. Most of us have either accomplished something of success in our lives or we may like our relatives—spouses—or our friends and lovers. Since I’m an Epicurean and don’t believe in praying to god, I will simply be thankful. I also won’t dump a guilt trip on my relatives for the sins of their ancestors or the fact that they are eating a murdered animal.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another Black Friday begins— and we have a crass commercial orgy for capitalism

By SJ Otto
Each year Black Friday, that crass commercial kick off to the Christmas shopping season, starts at different times. This year they want to start it tomorrow a full week before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the usual kick off holiday to the shopping holiday. Thanksgiving is its own holiday with its own traditions. It is usually hi-jacked by Corporate America, which uses this tradition to make huge profits.  This year retail shopping outlets want to start a week early. This is the most important shopping day to US corporations that want to make their top-line of profits for the holiday seasons. The holidays have their own meanings, but Corporate America wants and feels the need to make a huge profit this year and every year. It is capitalisms most disgusting display of greed and it happens every year in the US.  


Addam's Family Values Thanksgiving Play

Bad News - Cashing In On Christmas

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My dad represented a past generation—Like him it is gone now

May dad just passed away and that means it's time to look back on our relation ship, which at times was strained and at times was very happy. My dad was born in 1926, an early part of the 20th Century, in St. Louis MO. He was about 27 years old when I was born. He went on to have five other sons. We all lived in St. Louis until I was 13. Then we moved to Wichita KS where I have lived most of my life.

My dad grew up in the generation that witnessed World War II. The war ended a few months before their plans to ship him off to the Pacific theater. One of the things we have in common is that we both missed fighting in combat. The draft for the Vietnam War ended less than a year before my 18th birthday. One difference is that dad fully intended to fight the Japanese when called on. I on the other hand wasn't sure what I would do about the Vietnam War. I had mixed feelings and if I really wanted to get out it, I believe I could have. My dad was glad he didn't see any action. As with me he had no love for the idea of shooting at other people while they try and shoot back.
My dad and I represent a clean break from one generation to the other. My dad liked music by Tommy Dorsey, Henry Mancini and he liked Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. He liked the big band sound. He grew up in a time when that kind of music was very popular. I grow up as a rock and roll child. That is the music I grew up with and my culture was very different from my dad’s. His culture had actors such as Sammy Davis Jr., Henry Fonda and Kirk Douglas. Most of those actors and musicians are dead now, as my father is. My dad and his generation drank alcohol and avoided any other kind of recreational drug use. My generation adopted pot and LSD. So his culture differed greatly from that of mine which was mostly set by the 1970s.
I have spent a lot of years in the peace movement trying to stop most of the USwars. My dad worked with military secrets. He helped design the B-1 Bomber.
My dad was a Republican in his younger years. He became a follower of that party back when most of my other relatives, including my mother, were Democrats. That doesn’t mean they were all that left-wing. The Democratic Party at the time was more of a middle of the political spectrum party. At times the Democrats were quite conservative. As a child, both my parents admired John F. Kennedy and as with most people of that time period, he was anti-communist and anti-socialist.
I was always to the left. As a high school student I was interested in both socialism and anarchy. Much of socialist inspiration came from Salvador Allende. In my 20s I was a liberal. I slowly drifted in to socialism as I got older. My dad will never understand my fondness for the socialist left. But he is way more liberal than he used to be. I can remember having lots of arguments with dear old dad over many different things, from life style choices, (such as my first wife and how we lived together before marriage) politics and such things as using his property when I still lived at home. I used his 22 riffle once without permission—boy was he MAD!
I was a practicing Catholic until my 30s. That was one thing dad and I had in common. But I broke with that religion over political reasons and Christianity as well. I adopted agnosticism and I now consider myself an Epicurean. My dad stayed a life-long Catholic. His funeral will take place in a Catholic Church. Ironically none of my brothers are practicing Catholics. Some of us are Catholic but don’t practice the religion and others simply don’t value religion at all, (agnosticism or atheism). He may be the last of us to be buried in a coffin and the last to have a funeral in a Catholic Church. At times I feel sorry for both my mom and my dad that their religion of choice, which we all grew up in, is dying out in this family.
A point to much of this is that we represented two separate generations. Still, there were times when we had plenty of things in common.
As the years passed by my dad and I mellowed out and in the last 30 years we hardly ever argued things, even politics. We had found more in common with each other and my dad moved farther to the left. He is not a socialist, but he is liberal and supports a lot of liberal positions. By the time he died we had way more things in common.
Not long ago my dad told me that I was more of a pro-family person—that is someone who takes an active roll in supporting various family members, than his other sons. I took that as a compliment. I do think that family is important. I do try to be supportive of other family members. I feel family is maybe the most important aspects of our lives. After all we can’t count on the government or society in general to support us. So maybe family is all we have that we can count on when we need help. As the mother of that show “The Middle” says—“you do for family.”
Politicians such as Donald Trump have helped bring my family together. My dad hated Trump, as does my wife and brothers. My dad and I have that in common.
My dad was 91 years old, so he got a lot out of life. He had a supportive wife, Joan, who is now deceased, had has six sons, of which Paul is now deceased and most of us have been fairly successful in life.
He had a good life. We can all be grateful for that. As with my favorite dead person quote: 

"Living is transformed into dying, lifeless matter is transformed into living beings. I propose that when people over the age of 50 die, a party should be held to celebrate, for it is in inevitable that men should die- this is natural law."[1] 

And here is a good song about dying:

Elvis Costello-God's Comic

[1] "INSTANT WISDOM: BEYOND THE LITTLE RED BOOK," Time, 20 September 1976, Vol. 108, No. 12, p. 38.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Military Madness - Graham Nash & Stephen Stills (Live)

Dedicated to Veteran's Day. This message is as relevant today as it was in May 1971. The Vietnam War was still being waged back then. -SJ Otto

Friday, November 10, 2017

Veteran’s Day—I won’t be thanking you (soldiers) for my freedom—it doesn’t come from you!

By SJ Otto
As I watch TV I notice more and more and more commercials that claim to honour our vets. The news media, radio, TV, especially, and our newspapers all glorify or cover people who glorify our vets.
I work in the Wichita School System and they have pro-vet signs all over the school, many that encourage our kids to “say thank you to a vet.”
I don’t mean to disrespect vets, but I won’t be thanking them. Here are specific things that I won’t be thanking them for—>
Stealing and ivading people’s countries in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t appreciate that we illegally occupy two countries. We are vettting those who enter the political elections in those countries that we laughingly lable as “democraies.”
Ripping off the Kurds who bravely fought against ISIS for us and then found out the US and its allies have no inentions of giving them any more autonomy then they already have.
The use of drones to kill suspected terrorist leaders along with their families, children and friends who happen to be nearby.
Cheap oil and other resources that we get first, before the people who live in those countries.
A greater standard of living that people in this country take for grated, but those in foreign countries, as in Bangladesh, live as if they are stuck in the 1800s.
As far as I’m concerned this country has robbed people of their dignity and respect so that the US can play god.
The only people defending our freedoms are the American Civil Libery Union and a few other groups who are the ones who really fight for our freedom. Not the soldiers who defend the US Empire.

Pictures of the dead-

Pix by Daily Mail:
Cleared: A Gurkha has been returned to duty after he beheaded a Taliban gunman with—

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Conservatives blame father of the shooter for his son’s actions

By SJ Otto
When  ever I want to get a conservative’s view on an event I go to Yahoo News. The conservative trolls seem to swarm all over Yahoo News. So I went there and saw this article, “Texas shooting suspect's father: 'We are grieving, our family is grieving.” I looked at the comments and saw several like this one:
o    Avatar
o    Howdy 4 hours ago
What is really scary is - "like father like son!" This man blames the media...why can't he fess up and say something like, "I am so sorry that MY son did what he did...". Instead he blames the media for his current state of affairs and shows no sorrow or remorse for the families that have been destroyed because his sperm and total lack of parental control during his son's younger life created a monster!!!

Let’s face it. Conservatives are not the forgiving type. They avoid any understanding of people in this kind of situation. Almost all of the comments I found blamed the father of this man for the killings. They ignored any feelings this man might have for the victims and just assumed he had something to do with his son’s actions. I guess conservatives believe most people are guilty of something. Maybe that is why they are so pro-cop and pro-law-and-order. Here are more examples below.

o    Eleanor 6 hours ago
The media circus has not destroyed his family's life, his son did. I know they loved him but again, had to have seen signs of his latest level of behavior. He lived on their property and had been shooting and testing his weapons on their place. Put that together with his past behavior, how could you possibly have ignored as a parent?

o    Melody 6 hours ago
The media is not destroying the families lives. The son destroyed all their lives.

o    Dr. R 6 hours ago
Chris Almighty, Mr. Michael Kelly...that sure is very comforting. "I don't want our lives, our grandchildren's lives, destroyed by this media circus," Michael Kelly said, adding that the family has nothing else to say at the moment. Why not just meet with EVERY one of the victims' family, and apologize for giving the sperm that produced this monster? Media Circus? omg, sorry for the tremendous inconvenience to you and your family, of the murderer of men, women, children, and babies...inside a Church of Worship! Exscuuuuuse... ME!

o    Tom 6 hours ago
You watched your son become aggressive and troubled throughout his high school years and apparently the kid didn't get the help he needed before becoming a monster. I would say part of your life as a parent should be judged for not doing something long ago.

o    I'm Listening 6 hours ago
If that was all he said he should have saved his breath. Unreal he didn't express how sorry he was to the families of the victims. It just came across as narcissistic, in my opinion. I could go further but probably shouldn't.

o    Mac 6 hours ago
LOL..he blames the media 'circus' - instead of his TERRORIST son.


o    Hitched 6 hours ago
If his father put him in an institution where he belonged none of this would have happened. Wake up old man your 'son' has been a problem child for a long time.
o    Dalinian 6 hours ago
Your son destroyed your family's lives, not the media....Your son was violently mentally ill, and NO ONE did anything about it....

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

"Women Win on Election Night 2017"

Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt

November 7, 2017
 Feminists swept battleground states and districts this election night–proving just how strong TheResistance can be.
We’re thrilled that Virginia and New Jersey will be led by Ralph Northam and Phil Murphy–candidates who will champion feminist policies as governors. Virginia voters elected progressives up and down the ballot, and we are especially proud to congratulate NOW leader Hala Ayala on her election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Tonight’s message is clear: the time to elect feminists is NOW! NOW members and grassroots activists rolled up their sleeves, and got out the vote for the candidates who care about women’s rights–and their hard work paid off.

This is just a taste of what’s to come. We know that NOW activists will keep working hard, and keep winning–on November 6, 2018 and beyond.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

The GOP tax plan—we will get fooled again—and again—and again

By SJ Otto
Pundits all across the country are analyzing and commenting on the Republican Party’s tax plan, under the guidance of President Donald Trump. The US has had a lot of pundits comment on the plan and The Wichita Eagle has relied on Josh Boak[1] and his article “GOP tax plan may offer little aid for many in middle class”. There is nothing surprising about this plan—nothing new from the last great tax break we got under former President Ronald Reagan, back during his reign, in the 1980s. The Republicans, since that time, have given lavish tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of the poorer people. Back in Reagan’s time, he actually raised taxes on those who made less than $20,000 a year. That part of the population was rather small at the time. So most people got a nice tax cut accept those who earned the least among the US Population. It was easy for the middle class workers to just ignore those whose taxes went up. At the time I was working as a janitor and I just happened to be one of the people who got a tax hike. My taxes went up by about 10 percent.
Today we see something similar. Only instead of just raising poor people’s taxes, they took out all the deductions that people rely on to keep their taxes tolerable.[2] They cut deduction for child care, mortgage interest deductions, and health care deductions. All this amounts to a tax increase for many in both the poor classes and the middle classes.
The argument of the GOP has not changed from the Reagan years. It is called “trickle down.”  The argument is that with less taxes on the wealthy, there are plenty of benefits the poorer classes get as the wealthy get richer. For example on Boak’s article:

The overarching promise made to the middle class by Trump and congressional Republicans is that lower taxes would fuel faster economic growth, which, in turn, would cause incomes to rise. Kevin Hassett, chair of Trump's White House Council of Economic Advisers, estimates that lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent would lead to an average income gain of $4,000 a year.”

The money is supposed to magically trickle down to us poor folks. But as the people of Kansas have learned the hard way “trickle down” doesn’t work. It is a sham and we now know it. Our Governor Sam Brownback has given lavish tax breaks to the wealthy in Kansas, all our services have been cut back and the results have been a huge economic failure.
The reality of the GOP tax plan has been revealed in Boak’s article:

David Kamin, a former Obama White House official who now teaches law at New York University, said the plan seems to have "no significant help of any kind for about the bottom 35 percent of income earners."
He added that the proposal could also "run up deficits significantly that would eventually have to be paid for and could threaten programs that do help low and middle income Americans whether that be health care coverage, Social Security, or investments like in infrastructure."

It is not a surprise that wealthy people support the Republican Party. But there are a lot of working class and middle class people who support the president and his tax plan. Such people are hard to understand. Every time this trickle down economics is tried it rips off of the middle and lower classes. They lose every time and yet they refuse to learn from their mistakes. We got fooled again naturally.

[1] Josh Boak, “GOP tax plan may offer little aid for many in middle class,” The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 4, 2017, p. 9A.
[2] Emma Dumain, “Potential pitfalls await GOP tax bill,” The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 4, 2017, p. 9A.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Burns Refutes Kelly: Slavery Only Cause of Civil War

From Newsmax:
Ken Burns, creator of the 1990 TV documentary miniseries on the Civil War, declared slavery alone caused the war – refuting chief of staff John Kelly's assertion a "lack of an ability to compromise" led to the conflict.

Many factors contributed to the Civil War. One caused it: slavery.
The White House chief of staff's comments Monday created a firestorm of criticism from historians, and a scorching denunciation from the Congressional Black Caucus, which said Kelly "needs a history lesson."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, defended the remarks Tuesday.

"I do know that many historians, including Shelby Foote in Ken Burns' famous Civil War documentary, agreed a failure to compromise was a cause of the Civil War," she said, The Hill reported.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween/Samhain

By SJ Otto
Our present day Halloween comes from the ancient Samhain celebration. Prior to the Christianization of Europe, this Samhain day of celebration was both a holiday for the harvest season and a time when people believed spirits could come back to Earth. To prevent being harassed by evil spirits people put out jack-o'-lanterns and dressed in scary outfits to scare away the demonic spirits. Pumpkins were not known to the old world back then, so turnips and other vegetables were carved instead.

Here are some dandy songs to go along with this Holiday:

Killer Klowns From Outer Space

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead

Ramones - Pet Cemetery

This is an eerie musical, because three of these band members have died and in this video they are burying themselves.
A little more than eight years after the band broke up, the band's three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died.
It’s creepy to see them burying themselves knowing that.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Sunflower, WSU newspaper — a fact-finding, truth-telling news source

For a small university newspaper, The Sunflower is catching a lot of flack lately. This is because, unlike many university newspapers, it is actually printing controversial and defiant stories that expose the corruption of Wichita State University 's management staff. For some time they have been printing stories about WSU President, John Bardo, for sacrificing student needs to buy off big time school investors and contributors, such as the Koch brothers. In the following article The Sunflower reports on attempts to dispute an article they ran on the staff padding enrolment numbers to deceive the public as to how WSU staff are really doing when it comes to attracting new students. Rick Muma, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and strategic enrollment management seems to dislike having a student newspaper that calls them out when the try to use deception to justify their own jobs. The Sunflower responds to such allegations of misleading news articles:
-SJ Otto

From The Sunflower, Wichita State University:
Those who know us at The Sunflower know us as a fact-finding, truth-telling news source.
This week, WSU Today, a university-published newsletter managed by Strategic Communications, featured a headline reading, “Sunflower enrollment article inaccurate, misleading.” Underneath the headline was the same letter that appeared in Thursday’s Sunflower issue, authored by Rick Muma, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and strategic enrollment management.
In the letter, he condemned The Sunflower for discussing padded enrollment numbers. Misinformation, false beliefs, and lacking integrity were all themes prevalent in his message.

WSU Today, a university-published newsletter,
 published a leading headline calling The Sunflower inaccurate and misleading.

Had The Sunflower requested interview with Muma, he would have willingly provided accurate context, he suggested.
The Sunflower should have reached out to Muma for its article on enrollment padding. However, the primary findings of our article: that the reason Wichita State was about to report the largest enrollment increase in the state is because 668 non-degree-seeking students enrolled in free, half-credit-hour badge courses offered in the two weeks leading up to the day of the official count, and, overall, degree-seeking students at WSU are at a seven-year low.

For the rest click here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Eagle exposes the destruction Kansas has tolerated under Gov. Brownback

By SJ Otto
It’s not often that I agree with articles written for The Wichita Eagle, but this Sunday they really spelled it out with “Under Brownback, Kansas government kept shrinking.” Governor Sam Browback created the kind of government that the far-far-far far wing of the Republican Party has dreamed of for the last several decades. Brownback made their dreams a reality and in doing so they created a night-mare for the rest of us.
In order to pay for corporation’s generous tax breaks the rest of us had to foot the bill. Some one has to pay taxes and for us lower income workers that means us. Shrinking out government meant defunding our schools, cutting back on the quality of education, that this present generation is getting. It meant so much defunding of our prisons and we had prison riots.
The Wichita Eagle’s KELSEY RYAN did a good job of explaining the damage that Brownback has made and how it will take years to fix. The only thing the article doesn’t do is explain how the Republican Party is responsible for this mess. The Republicans have developed several dirty tricks to make sure they win even when they don’t really have the votes it normally takes to win. One thing they use is gerrymandering. Another, which they used a lot here in Kansas was the use of restricting voter rules, brought to us by Kris Kobach, in order to keep a lot of young and minority voters off the voting roll.

Image result for Sam Brownback
Pix by The Atlantic.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Amnesty International focuses on US- results of imperialism

US imperialism isn’t jut immoral, it violates human rights. I say that because recent actions by Amnesty International have come out with some human rights charges focused specifically against the US. The following statement is from Amnesty International:
-SJ Otto

“We all need safety from violence and terrorism, but no government should sacrifice people’s human rights in the name of national security.
Unfortunately, in the United States and beyond, that’s exactly what’s happening – and Amnesty International is helping stop it.
The Problem
On multiple fronts, the United States government is violating human rights in the name of national security, often in violation of both U.S. law and international law.
  • People have been held for years at the Guantánamo detention camp in Cuba without even being charged with a crime. Prisoners have been tortured and mistreated, and they are not given fair trials.
  • The U.S. has used lethal force, including through drone strikes, in several countries, leading to civilian deaths. Military operations have exposed civilians and U.S. service members to toxins that have led to devastating medical conditions.
  • Surveillance and targeting of Muslims – based on who they are, not what they’ve done – has fueled harassment, discrimination, and violence.
  • For years, the U.S. government allowed officials to torture people through horrific techniques that violate U.S. and international law. President Trump has vowed to expand the use of torture even further in the years ahead."

This is just one set of examples of human rights violations by the US. Despite claiming to be this “beacon of democracy and freedom” the US has killed, maimed and destroyed people and governments around the world. This is part of a series. We will print more on this later.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Yoko Ono supports Amnesty international

Yoko Ono is supporting Amnesty International. I just received this letter from her earlier this month:
-SJ Otto

I was just told that a group of donors has pledged $50,000 more as part of Amnesty’s Membership Drive. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
May you have peace,
Yoko Ono