Sunday, July 29, 2012

You Won't Like Me On Facebook

You won't like me on Facebook
Ms. Greenlee - First of all, the defense spending during the last decade (including the "unfunded wars") has been lower than than defense spending in the 60's through the 90's. You may not like these facts, but there it is. You put up the usual "strawmen" and liberal cliches as your arguing points. No fellow conservative i know wants the helpless, the aged, and those out of work through no fault of their own to suffer. Unfortunately, the entitlement programs of social security and medicare/medicaid are NOT funding themselves, mostly because they are taking in people they were never meant to cover (the number of S/S disabled has doubled in the past 3 years - this makes no logical sense). The Social Security system was set up in the 1930's, when the average lifespan was much lower. Only 54% of males who survived to age 21 (and thus paid into the system to make your argument) survived to age 65 to collect benefits, and the % for females was only 60%. Medicare/Medicaid is not even close to funding itself, and this will only accelerate once the ACA goes into effect. The fact of the matter is this - Those elderly and poor that your liberal mind has been brainwashed into believing will be thrown under the bus by us heatless Conservatives will certainly suffer if we go the way of Greece or Spain, both nations that refused to accept the reality that they could not continue to spend more than they took in.
 Yeah, someone actually wrote this to me. So after consulting my liberal brainwashed mind. I decided to look for facts. Thank God for Wikipedia and Politifact. So I actually wasted more time writing back to this Conservative troll.
We won't go the way of Greece or Spain. We are not in the EURO. Fact. Here are some facts you might not like, George W. Bush, the forty-third president, Republican, 2001-2009 added $6 trillion to the national debt.In the last weeks of his presidency, President Bush approved a $1.4 trillion dollar bail out following the sub-prime lending fiasco.Under Obama’s watch, debt held by the public had increased by about $4.5 trillion, or roughly 72 percent. Total debt had increased by nearly $5 trillion, or about 47 percent. By either form of debt, the amounts added during Obama’s administration were not greater than the levels on the day he took office. Go to Politifact for facts. So according to you, and your unbrainwashed mind, we should not be taking care of the people who have caused SS and disability to double. Also there is the problem of people living longer, just let them die in the streets, that's cheap. The ACA will go into effect because Republicans would not compromise. Because they ARE heartless. Maybe we could look at Bush's tax cuts. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has estimated the 10-year revenue loss from extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts beyond 2010 at $2.9 trillion, with an additional $606 billion in debt service costs (interest), for a combined total of $3.5 trillion.[31]. So worried about debt and SS running out of money, where could all the money be? We are the richest nation in the world right? According to Merrill Lynch and Gemini Consulting's “World Wealth Report” for 2000, one third of the wealth of the world's “high net-worth individuals”—nearly $6 trillion out of $17.5 trillion—may now be held offshore. A large portion, £6.3tn, of offshore assets, is owned by only a tiny sliver, 0.001% (around 92,000 super wealthy individuals) of the world's population. The enormous size of the offshore funds demonstrates that traditional measures of social inequality are wholly inadequate in presenting the actual gap between rich and poor.[13]. There are so many factors contributing to "the fact" that our country's problems can be solved. However, as long as Conservatives cry because we are poor and we don't have money to take care of our citizens and you don't even ask why? It is no accident, this is a perfect storm that has been well thought out. No conservatives you know want the helpless, aged and those out of work to suffer? So what exactly are you suggesting? All I see is a lot of panic over the "entitlements" "not funding themselves" but not one single idea, like taxing offshore revenue, or actually auditing the Pentagon, and the colossal waste going on there, but that is okay, cause they don't spend as much as SS, which means what exactly? Is this more Puritanical bootstrap, I got mine, go out and get yours mentality I see? As in "those that are out of work through no fault of their own" Implying, there are all those deadbeats that just won't work? The suspicion that someone, somewhere is getting entitlements, because "the number of SS/disabled has doubled in the last 3 years, and it makes no logical sense? Oh yes it does. We are living through the Greater Depression. So go ahead and argue back, while the "trickle down" economy pisses all over the American dream. Meanwhile, people protest in the streets and are beaten and pepper sprayed. (Liz Cheney had a protest also, virtually shutting down Manhattan with a gigantic stage and she didn't get arrested) There I go with another "strawman". So be very afraid, but not because America will go the way of Greece and Spain, there is an American Spring coming, the American people want to live in a sane and humane country, and they will prevail. Do you even get that people are suffering? You better hope things don't get worse. Greece and Spain will be the least of your problems.
That's where I ended my cliched, Liberal diatribe, I hear and read this stuff all the time about "entitlements" and we're going broke and we can't pay for it. But there are no ideas on how to fix this mess other than the very old and non-creative austerity ritual. No one can come up with anything other than to make our fellow citizens that are hurting, suffer even more.
 My question is why? It is 2012, we should be more enlightened and compassionate. Why is there so much panic about the Social Security program but no one is looking at all the legislation that is passed, giving agribusiness and others what amounts to corporate welfare, and we cry over taking care of the sick, poor and elderly? If I am brainwashed, I am glad, I don't want to live in a Conservative world where everyone is out for themselves.
Thank you, to my cousin Joan and to Facebook for allowing me to continue to make mischief in other social media.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Cost Of Aurora

There are going to be 12 funerals.
The grieving families of those who lost their lives, were unprepared for what happened. But they will pay. Who paid for the hospital care the wounded received? Many of them were young and had no health insurance. So tax payers are going to be paying for that huge emergency room bill.
Who paid for the guns the shooter acquired?
Well, we did. That's right the shooter had a $26,000 grant from the NIH. I had wondered for days how an unemployed student had the money for all the guns, ammo and kevlar.
A lot of people are upset over all kinds of things. But it seems like all the wrong things. They are afraid that people are going to rethink our laws about guns and take their precious guns away. But that will never happen. Because no one can conceive of a world where you don't have to be afraid of anyone enough to shoot them, or a world where we had adequate universal healthcare, including mental healthcare for people with mental disorders. How is it that we have so much money flowing into offshore accounts but we don't have any money for universal healthcare or a program to wipe out poverty (causing most of the crimes gun-totin' Americans are afraid of) Why is our right to bear arms so important that tolerating this kind of carnage is better, than having to actually change and look at this country and it's citizens as people that we need to care about? How much money will the NRA donate to cover the costs of the victims medical care and funerals? Because they should.
I wonder if the man who shot those people had access to healthcare, or if anyone noticed he was disturbed and he was just ignored. Thanks to our "free" society people are free to suffer from mental illness, free to buy as many weapons as possible, free to go anywhere they want and wreak havoc. You would think in a country so obsessed with DEFICIT SPENDING would use mathematics and total the costs of 12 funerals @$10,000 would be $120,000.
58 wounded, I can't even conceive how much their medical expenses will be, let alone the grief all of them and their families will suffer. I think the medical costs of this will easily be a million or more.
Paying police, EMT's, fire departments. That is, if they even had enough on duty, because we can't afford them either. This unnatural disaster will costs millions, not to mention the mental anguish for all involved. Logic would tell a person that this is very costly, and thanks to our Puritanical upbringing, Americans are cheap bastards. We have a Walmart mentality. So if we really wanted to save a buck, we would have really stringent gun laws, healthcare for everyone, and we would wipe out poverty, because it is COST EFFECTIVE. But no, just hang on to that rugged individualism, ride into the sunset in your gas guzzling SUV, armed with all the automatic weapons you want. Sounds pretty much like a third world country. Americans are just not mentally capable of doing any higher order thinking and figure out a way to solve this problem.
                                                 I am so sorry, Aurora, Colorado.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bring Back The Stocks!

I see abandoned properties like these all the time. I always wonder what happened to the people that left? Where did they go?  How much longer can this go on? Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone, describes the use of eminent domain to solve the foreclosure problem.
Any idea seems better than doing nothing.
7 million people have been foreclosed on since 2007. Now it looks like older Americans are being hit hard too.
It is crazy to me that we have tent cities and a homeless problem and all these places are sitting empty. Because no one is willing to deal with the banking industry's mess. The government is funded by the banks so there is no help there. I think it could be solved with a Habitat for Humanity style approach, and if people are willing to pitch in and help fix up the place, it's yours. Why not? I know I'm pretty radical, but I think shelter should be a basic human right. Like healthcare. The banks aren't making money on these properties anyway, not only that but some of them have to spend money to maintain the home in area's where they are fined for not cutting the lawn. There should be a moratorium on foreclosures until the mess gets straightened out.
Every neighborhood has these houses that are empty. The housing market is severely depressed because of them. I hope the eminent domain idea works out. It would be great if these properties could be taken over and they would get a pre-inflated price tag. But that's part of the problem too. No one wants to take less for their houses. Even though that is happening in the market. No one is paying prices from when the bubble started anymore. According to my research, this problem is only going to get worse. If we do get another wave of foreclosures, and I'm pretty sure we will, it's been predicted that we will go into another recession-depression. Actually, I didn't know we even got out of the first one. The banks are the problem, they are run by criminals. We all know about the LIBOR scandal and the rate fixing that's been going on. I am sure that's just the tip of the iceberg. What's it going to take to get justice? There needs to be a thorough prosecution of Jaimie Dimon and others. Then they should go to jail, I know! Maybe they should be put in stocks.Get it? From their manipulation of the stock market? How much fun would it be to see Jaimie Dimon in one of these?

                                       People always said I had a big imagination. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Is it me or does he keep getting bigger? photo by Luigi Novi
The other night at work I was listening to NPR, and heard about this curious scandal of these halfway houses in Jersey. The first thing that comes into my head? Who heads the company that runs these halfway houses and are they friends with Christie?
Community Education Center, runs the halfway houses. The Vice President is a guy named Bill Patalucci. One of Christie's best friends. Oh and that's not all. There has not been much of a reaction from either Democratic or Republican legislators.  And why is that? Could it be that they receive campaign donations from Community Education Centers? Christie says that these halfway houses should be "celebrated as representing the very best of the human spirit" Amazing, considering  they are run by the very worst. According to what I have read these "education centers" are understaffed, there have been numerous escapes, gang violence, drugs, you know, the usual. Now the company is essentially broke. Really?
This whole project came about because Christie wanted to privatize this "industry". You know Republicans and  how they dislike those pesky regulations. Christie is "W" all over again. He uses the same recipe as Bush with his tax cuts and no way to pay for them. We all know how great that worked. But I digress, now this epic fail with the halfway houses. This is just one example of how things are in this state. People get these jobs because they're friends with some one with influence, not because they have any idea of what their doing and proceed to screw things up royally. I read that one inmate escaped and found his ex-girlfriend and killed her. I wonder exactly what his syllabus looked like at his "education center"?
 It used to be that people were hired to do a job they were educated for and had a desire to be a public servant or somehow improve things. Those days are over and everyone is on the take. I have seen cronyism and nepotism at all levels of government and private industry. Everything from hiring teachers who are related to school board members, to people who work in the tax assessment office because daddy is a Freeholder. These people have no idea how to do their job and as a result the system breaks down and nothing gets done. There are constant mistakes and screw ups. While Jersey burns, Christie just keeps playing the same tired tax cut song on his fiddle. Great! cut my taxes 10%. What's 10% of nothing?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Automation In The Brave New World

 What I've been observing, is that while there is a lot of rhetoric going on about the economic "recovery", there has actually been a "jobless recovery", millions of college graduates can't get jobs, unemployed Americans can't get work.  No one has really identified what is actually happening or has any ideas how to move forward.Then I stumbled on this pdf.
According to what I read, one of the biggest problems is that technology and outsourcing has decimated entry level positions. There has been a lot of talk about the unemployed upgrading their skills, but the jobs are gone, and tech and job automation has had a highly disruptive impact on the economy.
Martin Ford wrote this book back in 2009, and he has some really good ideas and amazing observations.
He writes about what to watch for. Weak consumer spending, which will push cost cutting and labor saving technologies. Offshoring and automation start infusing themselves into small business taking over jobs. New tech industries will not be creating jobs. Automation in the service sector will be wiping out more employment opportunities.Also, older, higher paid knowledge workers and middle managers jobs will be outsourced, and these people will not be rehired. There will be a systemic level of unemployment at all education and income levels. Mr. Ford also wrote about the partisan politics we are seeing now. Politicians now fear their own unemployment.
He has some ideas as to how these problems could be solved, but in this political climate, they just won't work. One of the major problems is health insurance benefits being tied to employment. Maybe the ACA insurance exchanges could alleviate this. Employers don't want to hire full time workers because of that and payroll taxes. Another was government enforcing a  job sharing scheme. and supplementing income. He has a tax strategy to deal with this, but none of it is going to happen in the foreseeable future.
We may intuitively know that jobs have been outsourced and automation has made less opportunity to earn an income for a lot of average Americans. The kind of Americans no one seems to care about. The old model of employment no longer works. That is something none of our leaders has really come to grips with. AI is our present, robotics already in many industries. It's a fact that none of our leaders are talking about. Romney is going on about job creation and all he has done is outsource jobs. Unfortunately the President has not done enough as far as jobs are concerned. What I have seen in my community is suffering and abject misery. Where drugs and alcohol are the only solace for people who have no hope of advancing out of their jobs at McDonalds, if they can get that.
So who is going to have the courage to really look at our brave new world and find it decidedly lacking and innovate a new model for work in this economy? All we really have now is a puritanical bootstrap mentality of blame, that somehow the unemployed deserved their fate because they didn't upgrade, educate or work hard enough in a work place that is vanishing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

No He Didn't!

Grandpappy Mitch must be eating the bath salts.
Mitch McConnell: Disclose Act is un-American –
 Nice to see he's against the Disclose Act. This zombie Mitch can't to be stopped. I take a lot of comfort in his citing the NAACP v Alabama. See? He's not racist. He's always looking out for Un-American legislation! He takes First Amendment rights to harass people seriously. He does it all the time to President Obama. In his enlightened opinion, Citizens United upholds the freedom of peoplerations. Yee-Haw! He usually doesn't have time to write articles in the newspaper. He is too busy fighting poverty. Kentucky is in the top 10 states in the country. World renowned for it's prize winning poverty. 10 States With The Highest Poverty Rates [PHOTOS]
It's easy to see that he is a man who cares about the people in his state.
Mitch Bob's Patriotism knows no end. He's made a whole career out of the First Amendment's freedom to tell the truth about the people in his state. He had dinner last night in this all American cozy cabin.

But you will never hear him say so, just like a real hero. The concerns of his constituents always come first. Hear him talking about his important work on poverty? It's all over Fox news. A real American like Mitch has high standards for all the legislation languishing in D.C.. Going after un-American activities is a priority to him. Reminds me of another Mc, somewhere in history.
We all know there's nothing worse than being un-American. Except for being poor in America.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Land Of The Shareholders

Remarkably Similar!
In the tradition of history repeating itself, I have been trying to come up with a historical figure that compares with Romney as a Republican Presidential candidate. Lo and behold there was a waffler that could definitely compete, Wendell Willkie.
Willkie was a Wall Street industrialist and a corporate lawyer for the biggest utility company of it's time. Making loads of money for shareholders.
He was a critic of the TVA providing cheap electricity, (no surprise there) and opposed to FDR's New Deal strategies. FDR's TVA program and Willkie's philosophy of government controlled organizations having unfair advantages inspired him to turn Republican. He was originally a Democrat, and was a representative to the Democratic National Convention. Like Romney, Willkie waffled and reversed his position on major issues, including which party he wanted to be in. He also tried to pander to Isolatonist Republicans, stating " No man should use Presidential powers to drag a country into a war" and told Interventionists that the U.S. should support Britain against Germany. Willkie and Romney both seemed to have a philosophy of shrinking government. Willkie wanted to work with business leaders, or "job creators" to end the Great Depression. Willkie also was not a good public speaker like Mitt, What they also have in common  is that a country can be run like a business. Here's where things go south for old Mittenhead,
                                        A country isn't a business and shouldn't be run like one.
 Romney is running on his experience with Bain. He has experience enriching a select few and creating $10 dollar an hour jobs. While he outsources his assets to a company named Sankaty Advisors, located in Bermuda.
This shell company enables Romney to avoid a 35% tax. So that's one of his ways of creating wealth. Romney will govern for shareholders.
His Bain experience fits into the established meme that Romney is completely out of touch. He has also shown an utter contempt for the American people by lying with impunity. Romney may have run a successful business but what use is that to being a good president? When we get another shitty jobs number on Friday, will job creationism be the next theme? I guess we're going to get a dose of Puritanical, "The Lord helps those who help themselves", while The 1% help themselves to whats left of the 99%.
 Flip flopper Wendall Willkie lost to FDR's landslide victory. So if anything can be gleaned from an election mired in an economic catastrophe, it's that the American people aren't going to put the country in the hands of someone who thinks being a business man is enough of a qualification to run for President. Here's hoping.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sorry Katrina, Maybe Next Time.

Fox news/Exxon/Romney/Tea Party/churches. This is what makes the U.S. the most laughable country in the civilized world. Their disbelief in climate change and evolution is especially painful.
Here in my part of the country we had a horrendous storm killing 3 people and leaving thousands without power.
I was one of the lucky ones. I was without power for only a couple of hours. This storm was a result of "extreme heat baking the east coast". Global warming anyone? Anyone except Republicans. The best part of the storm for me was having Chris Christie move his fat ass and order national guards to provide generators. I wonder if that's why the casino's have power while thousands go without. But I digress. One half of America is on fire, while the other half is clobbered by a "freak" storm. Bring on the fracking! Let's burn more coal!
American Dinosaurs in their Natural Environment, Sarah Palin not included, she's busy blowing John McCain

This week was pretty crazy with all the hysteria over the ACA ruling, that Republicans are already trying to repeal. Seriously. Every civilized country on the planet has a national healthcare system except the exceptional U.S. What really surprised a lot of us is that Roberts didn't side with Scalia and ruled that we could be taxed. Social Security is a tax too, but you don't see Republicans trying to repeal that do you? They will try to get rid of social security like a thief in the night, when no one is looking. Because we can all work till we drop dead and healthcare is something you have to earn through an employer based heathcare system, but wait a minute, We are in the middle of the Great Recession-Depression, and there's no jobs.
Hey! Maybe the new jobs bill will help! For the millions of unemployed. It doesn't do anything. It will definitely be good for the roads, and state employees, when it finally trickles down. There is so much construction going on in Jersey, it's hard to believe we will be able to get anywhere with all the clusterfucks on the highways here.
Here's what I think is funny, President Obama predicted last fall, that congress would only pass this bill before the coming elections because they were afraid of the wrath of their constituents. Do they even care? Are voters going to forget all of the Republican hate speech and their war on women and actually vote for them? Will it even matter now that a corporation is a person and you are really voting for a company. It's even funnier to watch Romney lie his ass off about how he hates "Obamacare" and his inconvenient truth of Romneycare. It's easy for him to tell the Tea Party idiots that he will repeal the ACA. When has he ever had to go without healthcare? I guess the Lord will provide for the rest of us.
Today Romney will bow his hypocritical pious head in church while I wonder if he even believes in dinosaurs?
I also wonder what happened to those dinosaurs?  Was it climate change? An Ice Age? I guess there's no such thing. I could go for an Ice Age right now, with the temperature hitting almost 100. Who knows, maybe I won't have to wait that long. 

                                                              Maybe not.