Getting the Movie Plot?

I’ll admit I can be a pessimist. If I smell flowers I generally look around for the casket. I really bend over backwards when I find something that gives me optimism. Mrs. Elecpencil and I ventured out and saw a movie that gave me optimism. The movie is called, “The Big Short.” It is about the housing bust and economic drop we had in 2008. Sadly, the taxpayers picked up the tab for Wall Street and the banks greedy failed dealings. The optimism I received from the movie was the way the story was told. It was told in a way to make us common folk understand the corruption that went on. At the heart of the movie is the way greed comes before morals in a capitalist system. In the end only one crooked banker was made an example of and went to jail.

I was thinking anyone who saw the movie would realize we have a war between Wall Street and Main Street. I was sure if the public saw the movie it would influence their voting in the upcoming election. The movies viewers would certainly avoid candidates beholding to Wall Street for campaign money or candidates that are part of the wealthy 1%. The same movie viewers would also call for campaign finance reform. I was sure that if people saw this movie we could elect politicians that put people before profits. As I exited I was feeling very optimist about elections as I was positive anyone seeing this film would reject Wall Street owned wealthy candidates.

My optimism ended within a dozen feet of leaving the theater. Two men in their 70’s were in front of me talking about the movie. The shorter one said, “That Wall Street greedy rip-off will end when Trump is elected president.” He continued, “He is a successful business man who has never failed and knows how to get things done.” The other man said, “Yes, but I’m afraid Trump won’t be elected.”

Only in America can a billionaire like Trump run as a populist. I wanted to ask these seniors, “Did you know that Donald Trump has gone bankrupt on four separate occasions?” He loves to tell his followers he is a successful business man and a winner. If questioned about the bankruptcies Trump claims the bankruptcies are for his companies and has nothing to do with him personally. The documents show he is personally involved because he’s listed as an owner on the casino licenses. Due to Trump’s bankruptcies, bondholders and banks have lost millions. Other people hurt by Trump’s filing bankruptcy were casino and hotel workers who took concessions.

“The banks could have simply taken everything he had right then, but they wanted his cooperation,” said Lynn LoPucki, a bankruptcy expert and professor at UCLA Law School. “There’s that old saying, “If you owe your banks a little, you’re at their mercy. If you owe the banks a lot, the banks are at your mercy. They saw the best way for him to repay the money was to keep the Donald afloat.” LoPucki also said, “People knew who Donald Trump was and for that reason were willing to trust the bonds, and they got burned. The people who invested with him or based on his name lost money, but he himself came out pretty well.”

“Here’s a guy who’s failed so miserably so many times and it’s not as though he had to claw his way back after seven years in credit hell. He just said. ‘OK, this isn’t my problem anymore. For him, it’s just been a platform to the next money-making scheme,” said Doug Heller, the executive director of Consumer Watchdog. The kind of bankruptcy Trump does is considered, “restructuring debt.” We regular Americans are devastated if we have to file bankruptcy for medical bills, divorce or job loss. The wealthy like Trump who owe millions can easily cut their losses and file bankruptcy after bankruptcy. That is because when you owe banks that much money they consider you too big to fail. Trump said this about his bankruptcies, “We’re … using the laws to our advantage. That shouldn’t be embarrassing. That should be smart.” I’ll bet my two senior fellow moviegoers are conservatives that hate on people on welfare and consider them deadbeats. Yet, they’d vote for a guy like Trump who thinks he has the right to stiff anyone out of money, as long as he comes out on top.

If you go back to 1991 you’ll find Trump’s dad bailed him out by purchasing more than $3 million in chips from the Donald Trump Castle Casino. Fred Trump did that because Donald was short on his payment due bondholders. I’d ask the two senior men do you really want to turn the economy over to a wealthy guy whose daddy has to bail him out. I want that better future for my kids. I am optimistic because I see a presidential candidate in the mix who isn’t beholding to Wall Street. He also isn’t a member of the 1%. I’m not talking about Donald Trump or any of the other presidential candidates that take money from Wall Street. The candidate I’m voting for has an average campaign donation of $27. I was feeling generous so I sent him $30 and will send more soon. I’m poor and have never sent money to a candidate before. I’m sure you know which candidate I’m talking about and he is someone who makes me feel optimistic. I like that feeling and I’m going to try it on and see how it feels.

Democracy of the Billionaires.

Ani DiFarnco: “Angry Anymore”

“Fuel”

“Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell”~ Frank Borman

 

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You Want Loyalty? Treat Me Royally.

The Bounty Hunters of the Old West
carried a saddlebag of wanted posters,
listing criminals and the rewards for them.
In these modern times I have a wallet full
of dozens of store loyalty reward cards.
Every store has a loyalty card program
where you can earn money off your bill,
money off your gas, free flight miles
or various other types of free swag.
The cost of having these reward cards
is the loss of much of your personal data.
Not having the store rewards card stops me
from saving money on sales items and getting swag.
Truth is I just want the store to reward me
with a good choice of items at a fair price.
If you want me to be loyal,
how about taking care of me.
I refuse to use your store self checkouts
and let you eliminate store cashiers.
I want more checkout lanes open
with more cashiers and bag boys.
Get me in and out of your store quickly,
then you have earned my customer loyalty.
Trader Joe’s was recently named retailer of the year.
They have the highest customer loyalty of all stores
This despite them having no loyalty rewards cards.
They reward customers by having good products,
fair prices, lots of employees and every register opened.
Harley Davidson also has a loyal customer base.
They don’t make the fastest, best riding,
best handling or best priced motorcycle.
But they do know what their customers want.
That is motorcycles with loud exhausts,
because that potato, potato sound
makes Harley riders feel oh so macho.
Harley riders will wear Harley logo clothing
from their do rag to their leather boots.
They will go so far as getting Harley tattoos
from their head to their toes.
These customers have become billboards,
who use their bodies for product placement.
Sorry U.S. retailers I will never ever go to such extremes.
I will never become a corporate stooge for your product.
Smart businesses should put as much effort
into trying to recruit new customers
as they do into rewarding loyal customers.
If you businesses want to romance me
and try to have a relationship with me,
I need you to make a commitment to me.
You need to promise to quit seeing other customers.
I’m just kidding but at least I got your attention.
Just make sure the beer is cold,
have clothes in my size and by damn
open up more cash registers.

Derick Watts & the Sunday Blues: “Why Men Hate Shopping”

“Payday”

“If men liked shopping, they’d call it research.” ~ Cynthia Nelms

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Christmas Stories We Haven’t Learned From

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Elecpencil family.

Many of you probably know the Christmas story I’m going to link. I’m going to post it anyway because it is my favorite Christmas story. It also is one that we need to learn from. It is a story that could and should lead us to peace on Earth.

The Christmas Day That Peace Broke Out.

A video of my second favorite Christmas story: The Fourth Wise Man.

My favorite Christmas song: Greg Lake “I Believe in Father Christmas”

Such stories and songs bring me tears of joy and reflection. Most of the time I think we need more laughter in life but tears also nourish the soul.

Onward towards a better and more peaceful New Year to us all! It’s going to take some mental and physical calluses but I believe it can be done.

“The sea is nothing but a library of all the tears in history.” ~ Lemony Snicket

 

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Competitive Christmas Shopping

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Compilation of Christmas shopping fights at Walmart

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step i take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

Black Friday shopping in in El Paso, Texas.

(child)
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With god as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Black Friday shopper hits policeman.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

Worst Black Friday shopping disasters.

“Let There be Peace on Earth”

Touching on the real spirit of what Christmas is all about: “The Christmas Shoes”

“Consider Christmas — could Satan in his most malignant mood have devised a worse combination of graft plus bunkum than the system whereby several hundred million people get a billion or so gifts for which they have no use, and some thousands of shop clerks die of exhaustion while selling them, and every other child in the Western world is made ill from overeating — all in the name of the lowly Jesus?” – Upton Sinclair, author

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The Horrors in the Quaran?

I previously wrote a blog about Christians not knowing the religious writings of their own faith. Yet, these Christians will pass judgement on other faiths they have never studied. This recent video does a very good job of pointing out the lack of knowledge Christians have about their own faith: The Holy Quran Experiment

Here is my blog post on the same point from 10/22/08

Of Holy Books

Many Christians are portraying Muslims who follow their holy book, the Quran as intolerant murderers, criminals and terrorists. Some Christians are saying atrocities such as the attack on 9/11 can easily be attributed to the prophet Mohammed and the god, Allah. They point out Quran verses that preach hate like the following: “Don’t associate with those of other faiths.” “Don’t receive them into your home or even exchange greetings with them.” “Others who don’t share your beliefs have an “evil heart.”

It gets even more intolerant when you read; “God destroys those who don’t believe in him.” When the god in this supposed “Holy Book” isn’t killing someone, which he seems to do on many pages, he is ordering his followers to kill any friends or family that worships a god different than him. He says to kill them in their very own church. He orders, “Kill all inhabitants of any city where people worship different than you.” There are holy verses that call for the elimination of entire ethnic groups including women, children, animals and even trees. He tells his followers to, hide along the road wait for women and then kidnap, rape and marry them. This god tells his followers you are “of God” and everyone else is wicked.

You best believe there’s a lot to fear from this faith when you read, “Everyone will have to worship the prophet—whether they want to or not.” They place themselves above all laws by the verse, “A follower cannot be accused of any wrongdoing.” I’ve only scratched the surface of the hate and evil deeds in this so called, “Holy Book.” Knowing that their faith could crumble if it were to undergo any free and critical thinking, this prophet tells his followers to avoid philosophy. That just proves that ignorance is bliss.

Surely this hate-filled book should never be in a library. It should also never be allowed in a school. Banning it is just not enough. All copies of it need to be immediately burned. If I were a politician who espoused “family values,” I’d strike the first match. Clerics of every religion should be calling for a funeral pyre of this unholy book. It’s little wonder that its followers’ fight constant wars and justify them.

I did extensive research that buried my desk in a pyramid of paper to write this post. Gathering so much info can get confusing. That’s my excuse because I have just realized, oops, my bad, the aforementioned verses are really from the Bible’s Old and New Testaments, instead of the Quran. All holy books tend to have some type of the hate filled quotes like those above in them. Such statements taint much of the good that can be found in these books. We need to know what’s in our own back yard before we ask our neighbors to clean their back yard. Building fences between our neighbors is surely no way to build a better neighborhood.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band; “Questions”

“The Road to Babylon”

Scriptures, the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

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Thanksgiving a Holiday Celebrating Terrorism

I sat in a classroom hearing the teacher give a lesson about the history of Thanksgiving. It was the typical B.S. story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. That annual phony story of Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a dinner in harmony together. The only real part of the story was that the Pilgrims would have died, if the Native Americans wouldn’t have shown them how to farm. I wanted to shout, “The Pilgrims were actually a bunch of drunks that hung an Indian body and an Indian head on their fort. They did that to symbolize, “white power.” I didn’t want to frighten children but they should know the truth.

We will smell a kitchen full of the scents of a delectable feast but that is not the whiff of what Thanksgiving represents. The original smells would have been the putrid scent of barbecued Indian flesh.

Here is a historic description behind the massacre of Indians, which is the real reason the Pilgrims, gave thanks: This by William Bradford, an early settler, on Captain John Mason’s attack on a Pequot village.

“Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword, some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived that they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.”

While we have genocide against turkeys for Thanksgiving our fore fathers had a genocide against Native Americans.

R.I.P. Chloe we will miss you.

Thanksgiving history: Facts

Robbie Robertson: “A Native American Thanksgiving Song”

William S. Burroughs: “A Thanksgiving Prayer”

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ~ W.T. Purkiser

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Cretin Parental Opus

Truth is always stranger than fiction. I wrote the following from a recent strange news story.

Cretin Parental Opus

According to a recent Reason-Rupe poll.
an estimated 57% said “only winners” in kid’s sports
should receive a trophy for their participation.
63% of conservatives said only winners should get the prizes.
Men also favored trophies for winners only over women, 62 to 52 percent.
Glenn Beck is a conservative commentator and radio talk show host.
He has described himself as a “borderline schizophrenic.
Glenn has stated, “I hate those damn participation trophies.”
He instructs parents to go into their children’s bedrooms
and confiscate them and smash them in front of their child,
to teach them a lesson about how the real world works.
How Glenn Beck’s real world of losing was demonstrated by him
in 1983 when he lost in the Phoenix, Arizona top 40 morning radio show ratings.
He called his competitors wife while she was on the radio and mocked her recent miscarriage.
Even if kids don’t win at a sport at least they learn teamwork,
sportsmanship, losing with grace, and finding joy in an endeavor,
even when you know you won’t be the best player or team.
Leaving with a symbol of those things doesn’t seem so bad to me.
Unfortunately, we have a bunch of couch sitting wannabee NFL quarterbacks,
who say stupid things to kids like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
I have a new hero for these would be Glenn Beck he man types.
That is Arizona grandfather 53 year-old Paul Armand Rater.
His pickup truck broke down in the desert and he walked to get help
leaving his five-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert,
with a loaded and cocked .45-caliber handgun
and the instruction to “shoot any bad guys.”
He ended up walking for quite a few miles until he came to a bar.
Instead of asking for help to rescue his granddaughter and truck,
he sat down and had a cheeseburger and a few beers.
This may sound strange to some but after all this is Arizona,
a stand your ground state where you protect your personal property.
Basically, Grandpa Rater left his five-year old granddaughter to guard his truck.
Leaving a five-year old with a cocked and loaded 45 in modern-day Arizona
is like a Spartan warrior test to see if an infant can survive in the wild by itself.
This does not mean that some Arizonans were not completely shocked.
Many found it outrageous to leave such a young child alone with a 45 caliber pistol.
Given her small size they felt that a 25 or 22 caliber pistol would be more appropriate.
The child’s mother hadn’t heard from grandpa so she called the police.
The fire department and Sheriff Joe Arpaio found the little girl.
You might recognize Sheriff Joe’s name because FOX NEWS considers him a god.
He is the Maricopa County sheriff who has cost Maricopa County taxpayers
$142 million in legal expenses, settlements and court awards.
He’s been found guilty of abuse of power, misuse of funds, racial profiling,
failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases,
unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, and election law violations.
Joe has failed to follow-through on at least 32 reported child molestations
even though the suspects were known in all but six of the cases.
That is because the victims were children of undocumented Hispanic immigrants.
All of that means that in Arizona Joe has gotten elected over and over
for 25 years and can’t get kicked out of office no matter how much he cost the county.
Lucky for the little girl she was white and not brown
or Joe wouldn’t have mounted a search and rescue.
At this point I am reminded that the little girl did not listen to Grandpa Rater
when he gave her the 45 and had instructed her to “shoot any bad guys.”
Had she listened Sheriff Joe would have been her first dead bad guy.
She just needed some more experience with bad guys
before knowing which ones to shoot on sight.
I’d suggest she start with Grandpa Paul Ratner.
All of this macho shit really is part of the conservative cowboy type image.
Never mind, most cowboys couldn’t afford a sidearm as they cost a month’s pay.
Never mind, most cowboys wore bowler style hats not
what we think of as cowboys hats today.
Never mind, Mexico had cowboys 400 year before the U.S.
or that one of four cowboys was African-American.
Facts don’t matter to conservatives
and that is a whole other poem.
Grandpa Ratner has a few options out of this incident.
#1. Sheriff Joe might deputize him for trying to make sure
that the five year-old girl grows up to be a tough conservative Arizona woman
instead of being a wimpy kid who expects a trophy for participating in a sport.
#2. Grandpa might be the next president of the NRA.
#3. He might be the next republican candidate for governor of Arizona.
I’m sure the NRA would bankroll the whole political campaign
if he picked Sheriff Joe for his Lt. Governor running mate.
Their slogan could be, “Have a little more confidence in our kids.
Don’t give your preschool kids participation trophies
give them loaded and cocked 45 caliber handguns.”

Tom Hambridge: “Upside of Lonely”

“I Keep Things”

Parenting: “Affection without sentiment, authority without cruelty, discipline without aggression, humor without ridicule, sacrifice without obligation, companionship without possessiveness.” — William E. Blatz

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