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Showing posts from March, 2011

Sad News

One of the truly good ones died. Joe Bageant saw things as they are, check out his site and read some of his insights into America below.

See his writings here.

"As an Anglo European white guy from a very long line of white guys, I want to thank all the brown, black, yellow and red people for a marvelous three-century joy ride. During the past 300 years of the industrial age, as Europeans, and later as Americans, we have managed to consume infinitely more than we ever produced, thanks to colonialism, crooked deals with despotic potentates and good old gunboats and grapeshot. Yes, we have lived, and still live, extravagant lifestyles far above the rest of you. And so, my sincere thanks to all of you folks around the world working in sweatshops, or living on two bucks a day, even though you sit on vast oil deposits. And to those outside my window here in Mexico this morning, the two guys pruning the retired gringoes hedges with what look like pocket knives, I say, keep up the good w…

We need Unions

Having worked a good portion of my early career in a Union, I have seen the good and the bad. The good far outweighs the bad, for without some counter acting power or authority, humans often act poorly. No need for examples, our politics today demonstrates that daily. There are lots of 'bad' people out there, and while they exist on all sides of all fences, giving the bad power magnifies their inept qualities. Scott Walker is one of the inept. America grew strong on Unions, and it is good to see that many still recognize their positives.

"The turmoil in Wisconsin is not only about bargaining rights or the pension payments of public employees. It is about transparency and openness. It is about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect. Joe McCarthy forgot these lessons of good government, and so, I fear, has Mr. Walker. Wisconsin’s citizens have not." Read article here.

And check out articles here.

Dumb and Dumber

The more things change...Winston Churchill said it best, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Today with all this talk of recalls and the confusion that is our government, it seems nothing really changes. So long as single issues and low turnout control our elections, tea party ideologues and the unlearned are a given. Alexis de Tocqueville may still be the best commentator on America.

"I have already observed that the American statesmen of the present day are very inferior to those who stood at the head of affairs fifty years ago. This is as much a consequence of the circumstances as of the laws of the country....

...On entering the House of Representatives at Washington, one is struck by the vulgar demeanor of that great assembly. Often there is not a distinguished man in the whole number. Its members are almost all obscure individuals, whose names bring no associations to mind. They are mostly village lawyers, m…

'Pay Teachers More'

My wife teaches, she could have done just about anything in the business world but in the olden times - said facetiously - women taught, were mothers and home makers before returning to teaching. Because I have worked in corporate America, we live well. But if you are a teacher and bread winner, another old term, you'd have a tough go of it in America today. If we want a nation of educated citizens we must value education and pay for it, seems simple.

Full article here.

By Nicholas D. Kristof

"From the debates in Wisconsin and elsewhere about public sector unions, you might get the impression that we’re going bust because teachers are overpaid.

That’s a pernicious fallacy. A basic educational challenge is not that teachers are raking it in, but that they are underpaid. If we want to compete with other countries, and chip away at poverty across America, then we need to pay teachers more so as to attract better people into the profession."

'Why employee pensions aren't bankrupting states'

"A close look at state and local pension plans across the nation, and a comparison of them to those in the private sector, reveals a more complicated story. However, the short answer is that there's simply no evidence that state pensions are the current burden to public finances that their critics claim.

Pension contributions from state and local employers aren't blowing up budgets. They amount to just 2.9 percent of state spending, on average, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College puts the figure a bit higher at 3.8 percent." Read article here.

Another article here.

Republicans Are Good For....

This is part of a category of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

"Mr. Harrington estimates that between forty and fifty million Americans, or about a fourth of the population, are now living in poverty." (circa 1960 from link below)

Well not exactly the same.

"In 2009, 14.3 percent of all persons lived in poverty. In 1993 the poverty rate was 15.1 percent. Between 1993 and 2000, the poverty rate fell each year, reaching 11.3 percent in 2000." *

Republicans are Good for One thing: POVERTY increases under their presidents and congresses. You can start with Coolidge and Hoover and move to Reagan and the Bushs and the only consistent fact is poverty increases. As republicans argue today on what social program to cut, you can rest assured poverty will increase. The imbecilic idea that cutting funding for Child care or Planned Parenting will save lots, while bombs are good for - what are they good for, demonstrates the absurdity and moral bankrup…