Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's been a while..

It's been 4 years since I posted here. It's not that nothing's happening in the world, it's that it's all so depressing if you *really* are paying attention to the real world.

Some politicians are finally saying climate change is an immanent threat. But all they do is talk in circles while the people pulling the strings make sure they eek out yet another billion in profits. But that's 'progress' right? (sarcasm light on)

Way way back when, the big bogey to worry about was CO2, but wait.. let's talk about methane! It's 25% more potent in trapping solar radiation in the atmosphere and with the tundra/tiaga/whatever you want to call the frozen north staying warmer longer and reaching higher temperatures huge amounts are being released to help warm things up. Hurray! (See opposite day)

And the politicians talk.


The funny thing, if you want to call it funny is that solutions to have avoided this situation existed but were dubbed too expensive to implement back when. With sea level rise now recognized as a reality guess how much more expensive it will be trying to keep Boston, New York City or London from becoming like Venice, Italy. And all that buried infrastructure.. Hurricane Sandy was a bit of a preview of what a flooded NYC would be like. But those solutions were economically unsound... riiiiight. (penny wise, pound foolish)

On a separate note, zombie films.. I figure the ultra rich much see the rest of the population as something zombie like, and perhaps since most people allow themselves to be marginalized and just keep on plodding along they have it right. But only because most people aren't taught critical thinking during primary education.

There's nothing like ignorance to create a serfdom just waiting to be aimed at a target the "lord" of the manor wants destroyed. And you can pay em peanuts!

The one thing about modern zombie movies don't really deal with is how would a 40-60 year old CEO fair out in the wild fleeing a ravening horde and what would their life expectancy be?

I don't watch zombie films or series but I might if they had a "fat cat" trying desperately to convince his security detail not to cut and run as the world fell apart. If they had even a modest sense of tactics and strategy they'd be gone long before he could make an offer that was meaningless.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the use of Polarization of Nations for Political and Financial Gain.

I'm thinking about history and how polarized societies lead to the rise of people like Lenin, and Hitler and men that believe demonizing anyone that doesn't fit their plans is an acceptable tactic.
That blaming one group for the nations ills is the best way to resolve issues.
I'm thinking about all the people that agreed and idolized those men.

I'm thinking about our country and how we all *know* it can't happen here because we all believe in justice.

Wait a minute. Hold on.. that's actually not what everyone in this country believes anymore.

Did you work all you're life for a company expecting to get a pension when you retired? Then consider that the companies that raided the pension funds for capital for jets for the CEO could care less. It was a corporate decision, yes.. made by executives that considered their workers as things, not people. Or the fund was gambled away in the stock market. And now you're on your own while lawyers argue over who's fault it is at a $250.00 rate.

In the U.S. most of the grunt farm work is done by migrant workers. Most of those from Mexico. But there's a bunch of reactionary knee jerk politicians saying these people are taking jobs away from Americans. Like you're going to find 12 million Americans that will spend 10 to 12 hours bent over in the broiling hot sun picking produce for a 1.25 and hour.

People living in urban centers usually have no clue of how much hard labor is involved in bring those coffee beans to their local Starbucks, or the lettuce in their salads so it's easy for them to leap on the 'send 'em back to where they came from' bus.

People like the Koch brothers do not have the common American interests in heart excepting how much money that citizen will generate to spend on a product that the brother's companies sell. But they back the Tea Party and have people do seminars on talking points that say that demonizing the opponent is A-OK. The Koch brothers aren't alone, but I doubt the number of wealthy people in that camp wouldn't fill one 200 unit apartment building.
When people earning less than 250 thousand dollars a year start calling people that think people whose earnings are in the multi million or billion dollar should pay their fair share 'liberal weenies' you should to look at why they're taking that stance. The likelihood that one of those 'job creators' is going to do anything for that working class liberal basher is on the same order as that of a meteor falling out of the sky and hitting you.
There's a party in our country that is using similar tactics developed by fascists in Europe to enslave nations. That should scare the hell out of anyone if they've read history. It didn't turn out well for the countries that embraced those philosophy.

This is all 'pre-coffee thought' but I wanted to get this 'down on paper' and put it out for consideration.

Friday, July 27, 2012

On joblessness and how a large population makes larger profits possible:

I have to speak out or up on a topic which people, especially in politics and business seem to gloss over or ignore.

Population and jobs.

If you have 1,000 jobs and 800 people to fill them you pay them top wages and offer them benefits to sweeten the 'pot' to attract them. And you put notices up in other locales to draw in more workers.
Similarly if you have 1,000 jobs and 1,000 workers you pay well to keep them with you.

But, if you have 1,000 jobs and 5,000 people looking for work you're no longer constrained to offer as good a wage or benefit package. That's just business. We won't talk about business ethics If such a thing were an animal now, it'd be on the endangered species list. 

Now suppose you're a  'job creator' and want to pay as little as possible for a maximum of output. What you want is a surplus of workers for every job. When you have 5,000 people fighting for each job slot you can cut wages down to whatever the legal minimum wage is, if there is a minimum.

Now you don't need to attract workers, they're pleading with you to hire them. They'll take pay cuts, cuts to benefits.
Anything to be able to support themselves and their families. Work 3 jobs, whatever it takes.

And if any state or federal regulation annoy you, blame that as a reason for not creating more jobs. It's a win-win situation for business.

Proof? Look at how many major corporations have been raking in  record profits and while the unemployment rates in in many developed countries are higher than ever.

The so called "job creators" don't want to create more jobs. That would undermine a model that maximizes profits and keeps government regulations at bay, This was the way the world ran before the New Deal but now it's been optimized.

The world population continues to grow and I can guarantee you the job market will never catch up. That would be bad for business.

That's where we are.

Friday, July 13, 2012

On How the Free Market Regulates Itself. (It doesn't)

Ok, so The G.O.P. says that the Free Market should be allowed to regulate itself.

Might I point out that so far this year we have Barclays Bank and other banks up to their eyeballs in a rate fixing scheme. (Caught with their hands in the cookie jar?)
JPMorgan traders were *still* playing russian roulette with trades in the derivatives market this year and the only time any of this comes to light... is after they've bungled big time.
Wells Fargo just got slapped for charging higher rates to 'minorities' compared to white's getting similar mortgages.

So far the only sure thing is that these banks have not and will not regulate themselves.
Their execs continually claim ignorance when misconduct is brought to light.
Are they really that incompetent?

Now JPMorgan is saying their losses from the bungled derivatives trading may be even higher than they first estimated.

And who ends up paying for all this? The consumer. They'll make up their losses by charging you higher rates, or dropping the amount of interest paid on your savings.

Essentially neither the Banking Industry nor Wall Street's upper management will ever actually be penalized or held accountable.

All the positions in the regulatory bodies and in the Fed are filled by people that are from those industries and quite often return to them in positions that give them even more wealth while the average citizen (in any country) stuggles to make ends meet.

This is what generations of Americans fought and died for? I don't think so.

(I place quotes around minorities because in fact they're actually a larger segment of the population.)

Monday, July 09, 2012

When Hollywood becomes reality or beware of bored rich people.

Simple scenario to describe our country's government and it's current predicament: the movie Trading Places.

I shouldn't need to say who the Duke's are parallels of if you know who ultimately backs the Tea Party.

Winthorp = Old Republican Party. Valentine = Tea Party. Wall Street = Congress, (that's not a large stretch these days).

I'm making a stretch here and casting Ophelia as Occupy Wall Street, (just hard working people trying to survive?).

I'm afraid you'll need to fill out the rest of the major cast rolls yourself.. I still haven't had my coffee yet.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

 The Right Mantra?  : No New Taxes

When is it possible to tell people "We want you to build new roads, repair the old ones, and maintain everything, we're going to raise your cost of living, but we want you to take a pay cut since we aren't going to raise revenues to pay you to do all this"?

That is exactly the stand republicans in government have taken. Do more for less. We don't want to pay for it.

We've had two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan which were essentially paid for by borrowing money we didn't have.
On the Iraq war we had been told by the administration that got that started that 'Oil revenues' would pay for our involvement.

What 'oil revenues' are these? They never materialized.

Our population continues to grow, requiring more education for more children, but let's not raise taxes to pay for more teachers.
No, let's cut their compensation.
That's the solution that the republicans put forth time and time again.

Meanwhile, we're no longer number one in standard of living, we're no longer number one in education, we are, however, a nation that is seeing a growing disparity between the cost of health care and the quality of outcome.

We have are a nation that is rapidly gaining in the rank of infant mortality. Was that something we aspired to?

There's an old saying: "You can't get something for nothing".
The corollary is you have to pay more for quality if you want it. But if you're earning less, well too bad.

If you want to be ranked number one in education, the standard of living of your citizens, your nation's military prowess? Then you have to pay for it. As your population grows the costs to do all these things increase. It's not rocket science.
Our current crop of republicans in government believe we're living in the 1950's when in the beginning of that decade the population of the U.S. was 152,271,417 citizens. That's what we can afford under their budget plan. Unfortunately our nation's population is currently 313,883,471 and growing.

It seems that our nation is taking a giant step backward to the 19th century. Wherein, a few very wealthy families 'guided' public opinion by means of their economic clout, i.e. The Company Store.

You work for the company, you live in a company supplied home, you shop in the company store. And the company will dictate what the rent is, what the costs of goods will be and ultimately what you will earn.

And what you earn will never surmount what you owe. How many people currently live paying off the interest on their credit cards?

This is what "Corporate America" is aimed at. And to be clear many of these corporations are not truly American.

These days a politician has to have 'friends' in the corporate world to get elected. That's the nature and end result of the Citizens United ruling. A corporation is a person? I wonder what size shoe it wears? Does in eat at Denny's?

When FoxNews or any news outlet claims the problem with America is it's Entitlement programs they are lying. Straight up, and flat out lying.

The problem is that no one wants to pay what it costs to maintain them.

But funnily enough, try and take it away from them. Try and tell someone in the deep south that you have to cut their medicare.
Watch them blame the current administration.

It isn't that the current administration wants to cut any entitlement, it's that congress doesn't want to raise the money to pay for them.

So when you go out and listen to a politician and he or she says he or she is against raising taxes, that politician wants you to work for the Company.

The company doesn't care about you.
There will always be someone else to take your place when you're no longer productive. A huge population guarantees it.
It hurts the Company's bottom line to pay for your health care. So they'll make sure you pay it. They'll see to it that it's mandated.
Cost of living increases, no way.
Hire a kid fresh out of school and turn you loose.
And if you don't like it you can leave.

Am I 'painting' a grim picture?

That's the reality of what underlies No New Taxes.

 Support the Troops, Congress doesn't!

The picture below isn't factually true: Congress imposed a law that will cut all funding across all Fed departments, (I believe in January?), in order to appease the GOP's balance the budget crowd.

Leon Panetta, head of the DoD, (appointed b
y Obama), has been *begging* Congress to change that law. Obama wants that law changed as well. 


Interestingly enough if you watched C-Span instead of FoxNews you'd see this unending debacle playing out before your own eyes.


Apparently some news services are painting this issue as one where the Obama administration is attempting to gut the military. That's the exact opposite of the truth.

Both Panetta and the Heads of the Services have repeatedly appeared before Congress. Congress expects the D.o.D. to trim the military's budget to the bone. If the D.o.D. doesn't pass the increased health care costs the service personnel the U.S. will not have a military capable of defending the nation. Unless Congress acts to support the troops. Way to go Congress!

Other right wing opponents are putting out images like the one below. (Which if you watch the c-span video linked you'll realize is a last ditch attempt to meet a requirement created by congress). It's amazing how many people in Congress claim to support our troops and yet will not actually act to support them.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

 Drones and Privacy

I just *gotta* comment on something in the news. Drones in the U.S.
A senator is worried about your privacy because Apple and Google are using 'military grade' drones to map America. Your privacy is in danger he says.

What he doesn't mention is the fact that police departments across the nation have access to the very same tech, (if their budget allows for it).

So what's the difference if the police are spying on you or a corporation?
It's this: Apple and Google will be allowing you the citizen access to the maps and images. The police won't.