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WILL POWER COLUMNIST WILLIAM SCHWENT FOUND DEAD

"Will Power `Bill' would be the first one to say, `Never, never, never give up the fight." -- Robert Schwent

April 11, 2012 (San Diego) -- It is with a heavy heart that we must inform our readers that William "Bill" Gerald Schwent has died of a "circulatory event", his family has informed ECM. 

Known to our readers as author of the acerbic and insightful "Will Power Report"  column, Will was found by his wife, Jan, around 3 a.m. this morning. 

THE WILL POWER REPORT: HOW ELEPHANTS LOST THEIR VOICE

 

Nothing but the truth!

By Will Power

April 8, 2012 (San Diego)--Long before the time of man, all animals used to talk.  And they talked with each other, not just squirrels to squirrels and lions to lions. In fact, the animals did a lot of bitching and moaning behind each other’s back, which started all the trouble, as it usually does.

WILL POWER REPORT: UNION-BASHING


Nothing but the Truth!

 

...Sadly, the history of labor strife in not taught in schools, and the union-bashers are hoping workers will forget what the Bad Old Days were all about.

By Will Power

 

September 5, 2011 (San Diego)--Corporate media and extremist neo-con think tanks recently have had great success bashing unions. As Americans celebrate Labor Day, it might be wise to think about the positive contributions of unions.

 

We no longer have 10-year-olds sorting stones out of coal mine races. There are no young girls losing their fingers changing bobbins in cotton mills. Workers now have the right to bargain collectively for better wages and benefits, in spite of recent efforts to deny them the fruits of their labor. Workers now have a 40 hour week, with overtime for extra work. Teachers no longer have to worry about being fired abruptly for their political beliefs.

WILL POWER REPORT: WHAT IS A JOB?

 

Nothing but the truth!

By Will Power

 

August 12, 2011 (San Diego) --The U.S. government says currently we have around 11% "unemployed." But that figure just means these people are receiving unemployment compensation. Millions of other Americans have given up on finding work, gone into premature "retirement", or simply dropped out of the job market completely. The real rate is over 20%.

 

What exactly is "work'?

WILL POWER REPORT: DON’T PRIVATIZE PARKS!


Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

 

May 16, 2011 (San Diego) -- Citing budget concerns , the State of California (and the U.S. federal government) are studying plans to turn over California's most precious beaches, lakes, and forests to private entrepreneurs who will rent California's own land back to its citizens for a profit.

 

Seventy Califiornia state parks are slated for permanent closure, including Palomar Mountain State Park and San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park in San Diego County. Once the title to these pristine and irreplaceable lands is clouded by contract law, do not expect the public to ever see them again for free.

WILL POWER REPORT: STOLEN SOCIAL SECURITY

 

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

 

April 21, 2011 (San Diego)--The Republican House majority, which has been spending trillions on worthless wars, has suddenly decided that the government is spending too much. But instead of declaring victory and bring the U.S. Army home to watch the Mexican border, the Republicans have decided to cut Medicare and Social Security.

WILL POWER REPORT: KILLING THE OCEANS

 

Nothing but the Truth!

 

April 7, 2011 (San Diego) -- Ecologists have been saying for years that continued buildup of radioactive waste with no safe storage would haunt us. They also reminded us nuclear reactors are vulnerable to earthquakes and terrorist attacks.

 

Now albacore tuna, the tasty white-meat fish so beloved of afternoon sandwiches and tuna salads, are showing up with high levels off radiation from the Japanese tsunami.

WILL POWER REPORT: LEVEL SEVEN

Editor's note:  This column was deleted at the request of the author for further fact-checking.  

 

WILL POWER REPORT: EMERGENCY ROOM “RESERVATIONS”


Nothing but the Truth!

 

By Will Power

 

February 2, 2011 (San Diego)--While rich people can get to see their MDs practically at will, the working poor are limited in the number of appointments they receive. As a result, people with common chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, or heart failure often wait until the last minute to seek emergency care. The working poor, with no insurance at all, use the ER as their primary health care provider.

 

The latest idea to come down the pike is "Emergency Room Reservations", which is a form of Health care rationing. If you are planning to have a heart attack, get in a car accident, or get shot, make sure you have reservations at the ER. Sure!

WILL POWER REPORT: PAYING FOR BABY


Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power


December 16, 2010 (San Diego)--While thousands of illegal immigrant mothers wade the Rio Grande in January to see their children become US citizens, US health insurance companies are refusing to cover the birth of legitimate US citizens because it may cost too much.

WILL POWER REPORT: PRIVATE FREEWAYS

Nothing but the Truth!
By Will Power
December 14, 2010 (San Diego)--Necons, who have made the 21st Century the Age of Unbridled Greed, have a new plan. Not happy with a monopoly on electricity, gasoline, and natural gas, the new Conservatives want to privatize the LA Freeway system, to keep those damned poor people on the surface streets, while they cruise in Lexus Lanes.

WILL POWER REPORT: GOP WINS, FED RELEASES MONEY

Nothing but the Truth!
 

By Will Power

 

November 4, 2010 (San Diego)--For those of you that do not think the banking industry makes up the Fourth branch of government- ponder this. The day after the GOP won the house, the Fed announces $600 billion in new loans to banks.

WILL POWER REPORT: REDEVELOPMENT SCAMS

 

 

Nothing but the Truth!

 

By Will Power

 

October 9, 2010 (San Diego) -- As voters watch scandal after scandal rip apart state and municipal politics. most voters are unaware of the gorilla in the budget- redevelopment. According to the LA Times, “ After the savings and loan scandal, the HUD scandal, the EPA scandal and the Pentagon spending scandal, the next scandal to be uncovered will be the redevelopment scandal in the cities across the nation.”

WILL POWER REPORT: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

 

Nothing but the Truth!
 

By Will Power

September 13, 2010 (San Diego) -- Since it is clear banks and brokers would rather lay people off then hire them, it is time the U.S. Government provide entry-level jobs in public service to stimulate the economy. This worked before, when the CCC and WPA provided millions of unemployed US citizens with jobs and training that helped the U.S. out of the Great Depression.

WILL POWER REPORT: LONGEVITY AND INCOME


Nothing but the Truth!

 

By Will Power

 

August 13, 2010 (San Diego)--Gerontologists have come up with startling news. The length of your life is dependant not on genetics, but on income. The richer you are, the longer you live.

While this seems like a self-fulfilling prophesy, it is also an indictment of a US system of health care that rewards the rich at the expense of the poor.

WILL POWER REPORT: HONEST SERVICES? (NOT REQUIRED)


Nothing but the Truth!

 

June 25, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- In a body blow to prosecutors trying to stop bankers and broker from fleecing their customers, the conservative US Supreme Court today invalidated the "Honest Services" clause.

The case sent Enron's Jeffrey Skilling's case back to the trial court. It did not, however, overturn his conviction. It did make it very much more diffcult to prosecute financial crooks.

WILL POWER REPORT: PROPOSITIONING CALIFORNIA

 

Nothing but the Truth!

 

By Will Power

 

June 7, 2010 (San Diego’s East County)--If California were a woman, she'd be arrested for illicit propositions. But the propositions are of the political not romantic kind. Ever since the Initiative, Referendum and Recall were put into the California Constitution to counter the power of the railroads, the Initiative has been abused.

 

Now corporations are using the Initiative process to bypass the legislature, Two of the Propositions Proposition 16 and 17, are wholly financed by Corporate Power. These are written in doublespeak legalese and purport to be pro-consumer, but are really pro-monopoly gifts to corporate wealth.

WILL POWER REPORT: IN MEMORIAM

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

 

 May 31, 2010 (San Diego) -- On Memorial Day we pay tribute to those brave souls who risk life and limb that we may live in a free, democratic society. But those who serve often sacrifice more than life and limb.

THE WILL POWER REPORT: WHY USE OF CHEMICAL DISPERSANTS IS A BAD IDEA


Nothing but the Truth!

 

By Will Power

 

May 28, 2010 (San Diego) -- The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a tragedy, but the British Petroleum response could be Armageddon for the Gulf of Mexico. Oil is toxic enough, but the tons of chemical dispersants can be five times worse.

THE WILL POWER REPORT: HIGH FREQUENCY TRADING

 

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

 

May 25, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Earlier this month, the U.S. Stock Market burped big-time, sending blue-chips down to pennies a share for several minutes, while computers throughout the world strained to keep up. Within hours, millions of paper losses and gains were recorded, and then the market stabilized. Nobody knows what caused the sudden shock. But the profits and losses were substantial, and in fact many of the trades are now being nullified by the SEC. The trades are being voided because they were outside parameters set up by the SEC. You can hear the howls of pain from brokers in Tierra Del Fuego.

WILL POWER REPORT: LIAR'S POKER


Nothing but the Truth!

May 20, 2010 (San Diego) -- The Annual California Budget Mess has started -again! Arnold "Terminator" Swartzenegger has proposed a budget which guts welfare, healthcare. and schools, and aid to the mentally ill. Swartzenegger refuses to tax Big Oil, while California Republicans continue to block a Democratic budget reform which might actually tax businesses. A 10% oil severance tax, which California refuses (unlike all other US states), would easily pay for many of these cuts in state service.

 

California has been unable to pass a budget for years, thanks to a "Minority Rules" quirk in the State Constitution. Under current rules, a small minority of Republicans is able to block a budget which needs a 2/3 vote to pass new taxes or reform the Governor's Budget.

WILL POWER REPORT: ROCK & HARD PLACE--MINERALS MANAGEMENT AGENCY


Nothing but the truth!

By Will Power

May 14, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- In the alphabet soup that makes up the Federal Government, few people have ever heard of the Minerals Management Service. But the MMS is well known to oil company executives, because for years it has operated as a sleeping watchdog while billions of dollars in taxpayer's money was pumped out the back door.

WILL POWER REPORT: PAPAL INFALLABILITY

Nothing but the Truth!
 

April 12, 2010 (San Diego) -- Generally, I don't write too much about religion. I always felt it was none of my business. When Descartes answered the argument "Is there a God?" with "Why not?", I agreed. But the mumbo-jumbo and dogma accompanying most "organized" religion has nothing to do with morality.

WILL POWER REPORT: MORE CORPORATE CORRUPTION?

 

Nothing but the Truth!
 

January 22, 2010 (San Diego) -- The US Supreme Court this week decided it is a violation of the First Amendment to prohibit corporations from directly contributing to political campaigns. This decision comes at a time when banks and brokers are guilty of running confidence games on the taxpayers. Public confidence in the integrity of banks is at an all-time low.

WILL POWER REPORT: FAR-RIGHT SHOCK JOCKS HATE HAITI


“Nothing But the Truth”

 

By Will Power

 

January 17, 2010 -- Conservative shock-jocks are not noted for political sensitivity. But Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson have jammed their feet so far up their mouths they can't tell a shoelace from a colon.

'Haiti made a pact with the devil," says Robertson, "and now is being punished."

"Don't send money to Haiti," says Limbaugh. "It's just Obama's plot to influence third-world nations."

Whew! I suppose that Hurricane Katrina was just punishment for slavery, and the San Francisco Earthquake a penalty for the whorehouses on the Barbary Coast.

WILL POWER REPORT: DOCTORS CHARGE “FACILITY FEE”


Nothing but the truth!

 

By Will Power

December 21, 2009 -- If you are like me and get incomprehensible MD billing statements prepared in India by Urdu-speaking clerks who can't read English, get ready for the newest medical fee to come down the pike. It's called a "Facility Fee" and is not covered by insurance, but by the patient (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-myturn21-2009dec21,0,462899...). The minute you walk through the MD's office door you get nicked, for anywhere from $75 to $250. The Facility Fee is to charge for "wear and tear" you inflict on the office furniture. Stand in the corner on a newspaper and pay anyway!

WILL POWER REPORT: INSTANT REPLAY FOR BASEBALL

Nothing but the Truth!
 

Instant Replay for Baseball

October 23, 2009 -- I love baseball- in spite of the drugs, the drinking, the cheating, and the high salaries. But I hate the egregiously bad calls which affect the outcome of games, series, careers, and franchises.

WILL POWER REPORT: TAX CREDITS FOR CLEAR CUTS?

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

September 28, 2009--American Banks and Brokers are so desperate for new financial instruments that they invent entire new commodities to trade- such as “carbon credits” . The idea is to slow global warming by encouraging green business practices. But the market has been a bust, like in New Zealand, where carbon credits that once went for $7.00 a share are now worth 25 cents.

No matter! In fact, “Green” Governor Arnold “Terminator” Swartzenegger, who received $100,000 from Sierra Pacific Logging, muscled through a decision that allows loggers who clear-cut California forests to claim a “carbon credit” for decimating the environment. According to Arnold, clear-cutting is "Green"!

WILL POWER REPORT: ANOTHER EXPENSIVE FIRE?


Nothing but the Truth!

 

September 4, 2009-- Big surprise! Another fire in LA County will cost millions to extinguish. Firefighters come from Shasta County to get in on the juicy overtime. Private contractors lease out bulldozers and aircraft at ridiculous rates to save the homes of the foolish rich who build in canyons and on ridge-tops.

WILL POWER REPORT: THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

Nothing but the Truth!

The Social Contract

By Will Power

July 10, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--The neo-con ninnies disagree with the neo-liberals about the role of government. Anything that interferes with the invisible hand of the marketplace is seen as anathema. People should be able to borrow, spend, invest , and cheat each other with impunity. Government should be kept to the bare minimum, and private enterprise should take over the mail, the transportation, the roads, and the prisons.

But there are some necessary services that government can do better than private corporations, just on the basis that there is public oversight.

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