The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Problems galore for the new government headed by Mr. Narendra Modi in New Delhi – Imperative for the first time PM and his council of ministers in governance amidst multiple challenges

The phenomenal victory for Mr. Narendra Modi and his party (the BJP) in May 2014 general elections has not only drawn the adulation of people world over but also silenced all its die hard critics at home and abroad. It was so stupendous and stunning that even the American government and its top leaders across party lines acknowledged Mr. Modi as the emerging democratic leader of the world, setting aside their past antagonism as an error of judgment, not based ...

Embarrassing Weekend for NSA and CIA Good for Democracy

U.S. intelligence took a couple of pretty hard slaps in its face this past weekend and, when reading the articles about their wasteful and ridiculous actions, the slaps were clearly justified. First off, it was announced on Friday that Germany had arrested a man accused of spying for the United States and passing on the details of a German parliamentary committee’s investigation.  It’s pretty disgraceful that the U.S. is spending taxpayer dollars to buy spies so we can know about an ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

Will Cheney Help Or Hurt The Republicans In The Mid-Terms?

Will the re-emergence of Dick Cheney help or hurt the Republicans in the mid-terms?  There is so much going on about which voters are rightfully incensed my guess he will have little impact. I think it depends, however, on what happens in the middle east over the next couple of months. Those who believe it wouldn't be in the mess it is if it weren't for the Bush/Cheney policies and rush to war will be reminded of just that - the ...

So Sue Me

I often wonder these days how our country is going to survive the remainder of Obama's term.  Whether or not you agree with the Supreme Court decisions, they have been made never-the-less and the President has been slapped down on many occasions.  Sometimes unanimously. So why, I wonder, has the President decided to continue his mantra of it's my way or the highway.  He complains endlessly about the Republicans refusal to work with him.  House Speaker Boehner explains one reason is ...

We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest -- which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves. Thomas Jefferson
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John Liming - American Liberal Times

Who Can Afford Vacations?

There was a time in America when a working family could take a couple of weeks off work and get into their 8-passenger station wagon and load up the kids and set out for a distant amusement park and resort—have a great time on the road—stay overnight in a couple of posh motels—eat like satisfied pigs if they wanted to—buy souvenirs along the way—and live it up without worrying about the bank account.

Those were the days before Conservatives and Republicans and The Right Wing decided to start busting Unions and before the greed mongers on Wall Street started foaming at the mouth in their collective excitement over making millions more dollars by shipping good American jobs to foreign labor markets where people were more than willing to work like slaves for a pittance and for no hint of extra benefits.  What a boondoggle for the rich!  What a beginning of a new nightmare for Working America— the most productive workers in the world were now on the cusp of the worst shafting in history from the very bosses they were making filthy rich with their forced overtime and speeded up production lines.

Well, here we are—enjoying the fruits of Right Wing Economic Policy…Trickle Nowhere Economic Policy…Free Global Market Economy—the worker class is disappearing, the destitute class is growing by leaps and bounds and the Richie Reichtie is laughing all the way to the bank.

I imagine that it will be no time at all before the “Common, Ordinary” (Not-Rich) Citizen will be able to get a permit to take their family to the local fast food dumpsters to scrounge for still-edible sandwiches (If someone doesn’t throw laundry bleach into the dumpsters to keep “The Filthy Scum” from eating out of them.) (Been there; done that!)

I guess in these halcyon days of “Prosperity Conservative Style” a lot of folks who make their living at minimum wage (Or sometimes less) jobs are having to forget about using any vacation time they might have coming to them and are keeping the old nose to the grind stone in a desperate and probably futile attempt to keep their heads above water as the obstructionists, intransigents, deregulators, benefits wasters and other profit hawks stir  their stinking  little cauldrons of creative mischief to see if they can find new and creative ways to stick it to the common masses.

To those “Average” Americans (Workers, low income earners and Poor) who have managed to stay afloat in this raging sea of Right Wing Political Folly and Failure I can only say, “Aren’t you glad you vote Democrat?  Don’t you wish everyone did?”

There is something else that is haunting me as I write this blog post too and I have to get it off my chest along with the rest of this disturbing and unsettling stuff.

Does anyone realize that in the state of Ohio (A relatively representative gathering of “Average” Americans along with their Rich neighbors—a fair balance of economies—the average weekly wage is claimed to be at around the $800 level?)

Some worker is making over $800-a-week and someone else is calling that an “Average” wage? Crap! Let me at those kinds of “Average” wages!  Where can I get one of those kind of jobs?

I was thinking that with the unemployment running rampant in Ohio and everywhere else apparently the “Average” wage might be more like whatever food stamps and unemployment benefits could manage to pay.

What is this $800-a-week stuff?

Grocery baggers don’t make that much, do they? How about the folks who sling burgers or the ones who read gas meters or the ones who hoist garbage cans onto those nasty white and gray city trucks….are they making that kind of money and calling it “Average?”


I thought the great Conservative Recession that we are all enjoying so much caused payrolls to be trimmed to the bare bones! Maybe the $800 is average because there aren’t all that many people really working and the ones that are working toil away in some of those places where advanced ivy league college degrees are required to get a parking space.

What kind of lifestyles are people living that they fear to take a couple of days off for vacations each year because they are afraid that they might have to work a lot more overtime when they get back off their little fun time trips?

I keep hearing my Right Wing acquaintances (I would never describe them as “Friends”) bragging about how people can really succeed if they just work harder.

Well, my precious readers and friends in Blog Land, the way I see it is that people are working their tail ends off and are still sinking in the mire the last Republican Administration left for us.

Oh we are coming back!  We have had 25 straight months of continued economic improvement because of the policies of a President and an administration who care enough to fight tigers in Obstructionist Heaven to try and get some constructive things done for us—but the recovery is admittedly slow—and now we are faced with the possibility that the Right Wing could get elected again in 2012 and take us right back to square one by repeating the same old policies that got us into this mess in the first place?

Check this out while you are here: If the economy does slow a but more as some are predicting, it will be because of European Stock market jitters and the blow back from over there.  It will not be because of President Obama’s fiscal policies although I believe that Reichtie will take every opportunity to play that old record for all the propaganda value it might be worth.

I think people ought to take their earned vacation days because if Reichtie gets hold of the government in 2012, there will be no reason to give up vacation days because the situation will deteriorate to the point where vacations are totally out of the question and everyone will be working like the automatons in the motion picture “Metropolis.” It could become “Orwellian.”

What a shame!  What a dreadful shame that so many people allowed themselves to be hornswooggled into voting Conservative in 2000 and 2004!  The price tag for that mis adventure will still be on the merchandise of life for the unforseeable future as far as I can tell—and, of course, that is my opinion like every thing I write is my opinion!

(Posted by John Liming as part of his continuing Diaries of Political Opinion and Inquiry.)

Photo Credit  -  Photo License


John Liming - American Liberal Times

Author: John Liming - American Liberal Times

I am an American Man, 72-years-old, and a Veteran of The U.S. Military. I have served honorably in both The United States Army (National Guard) and The United States Air Force for a total of seven years and three months active duty during what is now known as The Vietnam Era. I am a concerned citizen and refer to myself as "A Crazy Left Wing Liberal Nut Case with occasional Right Wing Conservative tendencies. I am particular fearful that we might get to the point, in our internal power struggles where we would be a One Party Nation.

5 comments to Who Can Afford Vacations?

  • Yes it is more difficult for families to take vacations, although there are now more theme parks (Six Flags, Universal, Disney) than ever and they all appear to be very crowded.

    Before I comment on this article i just want to be clear on the details you refer to. The “working family” you use an an example, would they be the same typical American family that has has a number of cell phones in the family, satellite or cable, two cars in the garage, multiple flat screen televisions, eats out or orders in once a week, and whose kids wear trendy brand name jeans and sneakers?

    Wow, it appears that I may have already made my comment…..

  • The “Working Family” that I refer to in my article is the same ones who used to have all you described before it was taken away by sending their jobs overseas. Yes! The very same ones! The ones who meet your description and who are entering the Poverty Class in greater numbers every day because of Rightie’s failed economic policies. Those are the ones! Good job!

  • No one sent their jobs overseas except the very working families you speak of. Drive down a typical American street and count the number of imports parked in driveways, better yet visit one of the Big 3′s plants and count the imports in the factory parking lot.

    What has driven jobs overseas is the unending quest by the consumer to get more for less. From an economic standpoint the easiest way to accomplish this is to cut labour costs. If the American worker truly wants to stop jobs going overseas, stop buying imports. Buy domestic, pay the higher price to account for the increased labour costs, but the end result is the jobs stay at home. Pay now or pay later.

    It like the problem with drugs, no customers means no dealers. Probably a bad example, considering your President is a self admitted heavy user of illegal narcotics. But you get the idea.


    In my opinion- – -
    The absolute desperation shown in the ever-present and always totally meaningless rants of some of our most enthusiastic detractors is proof enough that what we are saying is having the desired effect and that our words need no further verbal support and certainly need no defense.
    Onward, Democrats, Liberals and Progressives – - – onward and upward. Let us continue to expose the dangers posed to Democracy by Rightist indoctrination wherever it may be found.
    Let us purpose with firm determination to continue to protect and preserve our traditional American Democratic Republic no matter what the attack might be from those who would distract and deter with empty rhetoric, meaningless seemingly endless words and vain attempts to confuse, conquer and divide.
    America has chosen Liberal Democrat Government more than any other ideology and for longer periods of time and there must be a good reason. We do not need to defend Righteousness to anyone- – - Especially those who embrace the failed policies of the Right, The Radical Right or The Extreme Right. It is History Herself who vindicates the Democrats, The Progressives and The Liberals.
    Whenever America, for whatever the reason, falls under the spell of ThePolitical Right, there is always eventual Buyer’s Remorse that brings People back to their senses and elevates the Truth and Goodness of Liberal compassion, common sense and reliable leadership once again. It seems to be an immutable universal principle.
    The articles I write on my blog are intended to warn against forces that are working very hard every day to undercut our traditional American way of life and to replace it with something else.
    Verbal counter punches born of desperation from the opposition are to be expected and can just as safely be ignored for the meaningless propaganda that they represent.
    Fight on, Liberals, Democrats and Progressives, fight on!
    Good always triumphs in the end!

  • Tell me, will Obama ever be assigned any responsibility for the current state of economic affairs?
    Wait let me guess, if Romney gets into the Oval Office and things do turn around, the Left will quickly state that the improvement is entirely due to policies Obama put in place before the Presidency was “stolen” from him, and if he just been given enough time in office he could have made America a Utopia. On the other hand if Obama is re-elected and things get worse, the “obstructionist” congress will be blamed.

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