Owl For President

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

More on Nocera and an oil free future


An artificial leaf is here!

More thoughts on the Proto-fascist threat to the Executive and "Exposure Fatigue."

Something that is very important to realize is that lies are not "bad" in politics. This is something the Fascists often capitalize on in democratically elected Republics, and something that the moderates of both the right and left must be vigilant against.

Here's how it works....

1.Corporate/Rotten Gov't Agents mix together in a political or social union. Is this everyone in the corporation? No. Is it everyone in the government? No. In fact, it's the managers of these institutions, the CEO's and the High Level Government officers. Their unions (and that is EXACTLY what they are) are called things like "The Bohemian Club," or "The Bilderberg Group." Or the names are even more innocuous, like a company name such as "Archer Midland Daniels." But here is where they congregate, plot, and do exactly what workers do at their union meetings: figure out how to obtain and hold elected offices with their agents.

2.The group (or compendium of groups) select a Titular Head, a person that will be the standard bearer of their political domination. This person's main job will be to:

a.get elected

b.obtain the group's needs and interests in the Federal system.

c.Help lesser officials get elected.

Their selection must fit four major categories:

a.He must have connections to power already in place, and be jocular with these connections. Reagan, for example, was a good friend of J.Edgar Hoover.

b.He must have lived a life of ease, for at least 20 years, in order to hold out that possibility for the deluded constituency they create.

c.He must be willing to do ANYTHING short of actual criminal activity, to focus the media on himself, because this leads to what I call "Exposure Fatigue," in which no matter what the reason, if even a small percentage of reporters are spinning a positive on it, there is no political downside to being in the media for "negative actions," such as lying or seeming like either an idiot or a Klutz. Part of Carter's original appeal was that his campaign portrayed him as an endlessly smiling Hayseed. That, alone, is a total lie.

d.Feed this candidate a long litany of lies that are so surreal, that it will be impossible for the press NOT to notice the comment, but then PAY hacks, on such outlets as FOX to MISREPORT the reasonable reaction to such outbursts.

This is apparently a SURE FIRE way to attract uneducated temp workers to your cause, and is also attractive to upper middle class and richer interests who don't CARE what the candidate says, and only care about LEGISLATIVE actions, which protect their monied interests. Since the upper classes are not concerned about truth, only about legislation, they have no problem capitalizing on the failure of education in the US, and taking advantage of Exposure Fatigue in the lower middle class and the poor.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Gold Standard is idiotic, at least at the state level


This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

First off, the reason we blew off gold as legal tender was because it was

a.easy to melt down and recast and,
b.could easily be shaved. reducing the real value of coins.

The the ridges on coins are there because in the old days, if the ridges dropped too much, you turned in the coin for a new one, and the government took the loss. Gold is a substandard metal for commerce on so many levels, it's a laugh to think that anyone believes it to be "stable."

The joke of the century.

I can't wait to see the state's face when dimes are worth 20 cents, yet can only purchase a dime's worth of commerce. Are we supposed to go to the "melting machine" at the King Soopers and have two dimes made up of half as much silver? LOL

I will be sure to go to utah on my Presidential Campaign Tour™, exchange as many dollars as possible for "gold currency," and then just start shaving and melting my gold into bricks, and cashing in later when gold's price rises. Poor stupid Utah, giving me their gold at today's prices!

Thoughts on Fascism

It is important to realize that fascists do not believe in the nonsense they preach...their focus is racialist in nature usually, and they believe the ends justify the means. Thus, "truth" is not all that useful in many situations, while lies are. The focus is on the maintenance of either the race (whites in this case), or Ideology (White based American Nationalism). Saying things that are lies, if they further the "race" or the "party," are "justified" under this rubric. Announcing, for example, how hard-hearted you are, even acting hard-hearted, while secretly, inwardly feeling pain and suffering and a sort of hopeless guilt for promulgating such propaganda or actions, is typical of the pre-fascist state's loosely organized militias. Each one of the group feels a sense of shame and desire to hide their actions, but take heart from a group dynamic that justifies their actions in public. For moments when they are not alone with themselves, they can feel actual emotional highs from doing these unhealthy, unsympathetic and passionate-less things, but, when alone, in the dark, these thoughts of their own guilt haunt them, and this dynamic is exploited by fascist propagandists.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Laws are agreed upon contracts, not sent from heaven.

I picked this up from a decidely conservative site, but it is still interesting. I'm going to have to say, I agree with conservatives on this one: Islamic law has no place in a secular society. Laws must be agreed upon in our culture, not dictated, and they are, theoretically, up for review and amendment at all times.

Florida Judge Orders Use of Islamic Law in Mosque Case http://www.newsmax.com/

Florida Judge Orders Use of Islamic Law in Mosque Case

Something that Muslims , and dogmatic people in general, don't get, is that in a constitutional state, Laws are malleable, and not so set in stone that questioning the laws themselves is heresy. You don't go to jail for questioning whether weed should be legal, which you WOULD if you lived in a dogmatically structured law system, like say, Saudi Arabia.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gun rights vs the odds

honestly, it's hard to argue with this result. There are apparently 2.5 Million "gun defense" events each year, with around 22% believing that something very bad would have ensued had not a gun intervened, which is around, if taken on face value, 400,000 deaths a year that were averted, according to this pro gun source.http://www.pul...pless.com/gunclock/stats.html

Couple recount fatal fray at their Tierra Verde home - St. Petersburg Times www.tampabay.com

WikiPedia, on the other hand, tells us that there are about 75,000 deaths by gun a year, 2/3's of which are deliberate (56,000), and the lions share (ie, more then 23,000) are SUICIDES. So almost 63% of all deaths are suicide or accident. only around 25,000 are deliberate like the story above, or murder. of the "deliberates" i'm going to just warrant a guess that more guns come out to cool things down then to hype things up, so, maybe 15,000 are guns that are being weilded by criminals? So, we have 15,000 criminals committing actual murder a year. another 10,000 stopping crime. that still leaves 50,000 deaths due to the presence of a gun in the environment, per year.

so, the argument boils down to this: are the 50,000 accidents and suicides worth the 10,000 folks that per year halt their own assaults? As I get older, I think I err on the side of the few individuals who have been saved, but I certaily still entertain the idea that the removal of ALL guns in the civic environment would be the most optimal solution.

It strikes me however, as odd, that you can go to jail for 30 years for having some drugs on you, which hurts no one but you, but you can just walk around and think screwed up thoughts with a gun in your pocket, and that's ok.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nuclear Power is a dumb Idea, for SO many reasons!


I worked against the continued use of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which is built on the Ramapo fault. It is mentioned in this article.

I am not "philosophically" opposed to nuclear power, just practically. Until the technology can be dealt with SAFELY, it is too dangerous to use it. The media is not telling us the whole story. Radionucleitides do not "evaporate," nor do they safely "disperse." The stories concerning the food chain are telling: radioactive particles imbed in other life forms (like spinach, eggs and milk), potentially disrupting their dna/rna transmissions, and the dna of the creatures that eat these foods (us), especially during procreation! So, the particle might stick around, attach to the zygotes when having sex, and produce babies without brains or arms, etc.

It has been estimated that ONE uncontrolled nuclear power plant spewing radioactive steam could, in a little over 250 years, ELIMINATE ALL LIFE ON EARTH. I learned that in my science classes in college. Even if 1/20th of all life is threatened, it's still pretty extreme.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Demanding one's rights vs Corporations makes sense...sometimes.


How infantile. Corporations are looking for a waver in order to avoid paying more money towards their employees' health. Wavers do not mean that the corporations "don't have health care,": Their employees still have health plans, they are just more expensive. The Congressmen is comparing Apples to Oranges when he suggests that individuals deserve the same "rights" as corporations. What the congressman either fails to understand, or willfully wishes to deny, is that ObamaCare's main effect is on the profit line of corporations, and will have nothing but a beneficial effect on "individuals." More "individuals" (30 Million more) now have access to health care then did two years ago, and your corporate shilling not-withstanding, what would possibly possess a poor person without health care to deny government service? The only reason would be that they had to feed their families first, a sad commentary on the "American dream." But that is a strawman: the law clearly states that if you make under a certain amount, or can show that paying the full fee is onerous, you can have your fees lowered or eliminated. The health care bill is designed to fall up on the rich, for the simple reason that presently, 400 families in the US, combined, control more wealth the the COMBINED WEALTH OF 155,000,000 other families living in the US! Those 400 families, and the 2-3000 other families that have that kind of cash, have money that is way out of proportion to what serves the needs of a civil society. They should be taxed up the yin yang, because even absurd taxation (say 200%!) would take YEARS to affect their living styles, which include jets, palaces, huge yachts, Palatial mansions, and endless vacations at literally amazing, island getaways. Meanwhile, the rest of us work about 1/3 to 1/2 of every day, and we are still juggling whether to buy food, pay the electric bill or go to the impersonal health clinic doctor and pay him 40 bucks for the privilege of getting a prescription I pay another 18 for. The congressman probably has his medicines delivered to him by an aide, free of charge! Before that, he was probably working for some mega-corporation and had high-end health care, PAID FOR by his corporation, through WITHHOLDINGS. But the congressman does not wish to afford the rest of us a similar system eminating from the Federal government, because that would mean that big Pharm and Health Care would be cut out, and all his pals at the money trough would be out of a job.Read more:


Friday, March 11, 2011

A little perspective on Class War


Here's a chart showing cuts to programs for the lion's share of the US's citizens, and the tax breaks for the 5% that actually avoid paying taxes through using these loopholes and high powered accountants.

Do you love your town, or love the idea of electing your town officers....?


Corporations are passing laws that allow them to take over towns completely, dissolving elected authority. This will make it much more difficult for me to become President.

Manning may be guilty of something, but he has not been convicted


A response to a "throw the key away, I don't care about his suffering" kind of comment

Ok folks, time for a reality check.
First: what is it to be an "American," and why do people flee here from other places?

-Habeaus Corpus ("show me the body"). Unlike other countries the US USED to be known for treating accused criminals... as INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty. This is diametrically opposed to the NAPOLEANIC CODE, which posits you are GUILTY until PROVEN innocent. What this means is that UNTIL you are JUDGED a criminal by a JURY of your PEERS, you are INNOCENT, and must be treated as any other INNOCENT person is, even if EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR GUILTY. Apparently, the Defense Department bureaucrats have decided to do away with that annoying American concept.

-Right to Counsel. Unlike TYRANNIES, the US USED to be known for GUARANTEEING access to a lawyer once accused, so that even if you are a moron, SOMEONE WITH KNOWLEDGE can help you. The DoD has decided this RIGHT is some sort of triviality.

Which part of ILLEGAL and IMMORAL do you not understand about torturing a pre-trial defendant?? MAYBE, just MAYBE, AFTER he's judged a criminal he could receive some sort of punishment that was corporal in nature, but BEFORE??? Anyone that supports such actions can immediately discount themselves as "Americans" by any political or social definition of the word. You're as "American" as your local NAZI chapter.

Second, do any of you dolts have any idea of the effects that the release had? All the revolutions occurring right now, in the Middle East, sprung DIRECTLY from the leaks. The security apparatus of NUMEROUS countries are under assault because of the INFORMATION RELEASED ABOUT THEIR CRIMES IN THESE LEAKS. Our own government is coming to terms with, in one case, an attack by nine service men on 24 HOUSES in Iraq and their INNOCENT families, in which only TWO survived, one a nine year old boy, who watched his parents and granny murdered by US SERVICEMEN outside a field of combat!

Listen to yourselves! Evidence of US crimes here and abroad, cooperation with detestable secret police in other countries, and Manning, who by the way, became upset when he saw PROFESSORS AND JOURNALISTS BEING TORTURED FOR REVEALING CORRUPTION IN IRAQ, is now BEING TORTURED HIMSELF! And yet, despite all this, you are calling this young boy a TRAITOR?

We need more such traitors.

Wikipedia's link to Global Climate Change review boards


"No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion..."

"It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.[106]"

A short comment about global warming, with sources

If only there were some way to distinguish between the internal variability of the climate system and external forcings, and moreover to discriminate between different types of natural variability and external forcings in order to identify specific drivers of specific aspects of the climate system. Some sort of detection and attribution, if you will. Oh, wait!The climate system responds to changes in variables like solar variability, greenhouse gases, surface reflectivity/aerosol loading, orbital mechanics, etc. There is also a significant degree of internal variability driven by coupled ocean-atmospheric dynamics (think El Niño). These things can change the globally averaged surface temperature. That there are many possible drivers of surface temperature change might lead people to believe that the "why" of the current multidecadal warming trend is unsettled or in doubt.But this fails from two different directions:First, we know what these variables are doing with a surprisingly high degree of confidence. We've got satellites monitoring solar activity, we can calculate our orbital variations, we can differentiate between anthropogenic and natural sources of GHGs, etc. We can observe that these other drivers of climate are not responsible for the warming because they're of the wrong sign, magnitude, or both. Solar activity contributed to a moderate of the warming in the first half of the 20th century, but all solar trends have been flat or in opposition to temp in recent decades[1][2][3][4]. Orbital forcing not only operates on timescales orders of magnitude too slow to be driving the current warming, it should be cooling the high latitude Northern Hemisphere, which it had been prior to anthropogenic warming[5]. We have a good record of what many of these drivers have been doing not only during the period of instrumental observation, but well before[6][7].Secondly, good science is predictive, and climate science is no exception (despite what AM radio would have one believe). If enhanced greenhouse warming were taking place, this creates testable predictions; enhanced greenhouse warming should have a different "signature" than other drivers. Under enhanced greenhouse warming, we would expect the surface to warm, but not the atmosphere all the way through, as we would under increased solar warming. We'd expect a raising of the tropopause, stratospheric cooling, and contraction of the upper atmosphere. And this is what we observe[8][9][10].Under enhanced greenhouse warming rather than internal ocean-atmosphere heat exchange, we would expect a decrease in outgoing longwave radiation and increase in downwelling longwave radiation as less thermal energy escapes the atmosphere (i.e. a planetary energy imbalance), and warming of all ocean basins simultaneously. And this is what we observe[11][12][13].We know that we're warming, and we know in broad strokes why we're warming. The evidence for attribution is almost entirely absent from the "public" discussion of climate even though we've made enormous strides in the last 10 years, moving beyond global attribution questions to the regional level[14].[1] Lockwood, M., and C. Fröhlich (2007): Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. Proceedings of the Royal Society: A. 463, 2447- 2460, doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1880.[2] Lockwood, M., and C. Fröhlich (2008): Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. II. Different reconstructions of the total solar irradiance variation and dependence on response time scale. Proceedings of the Royal Society: A, 464, 1367-1385, doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.0347.[3] Benestad, R.E., and G.A. Schmidt (2009): Solar trends and global warming. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, D14101, doi:10.1029/2008JD011639.[4] Gray, L. J., et al. (2010): Solar Influences on Climate. Reviews of Geophysics, 48, RG4001, doi:10.1029/2009RG000282.[5] Kaufman, D. S., et al. (2009): Recent warming reverses long-term arctic cooling. Science 325, 1236-1239, doi:10.1126/science.1173983.[6] Lean, J.L., and D.H. Rind (2008): How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L18701, doi:10.1029/2008GL034864.[7] Köhler, P., et al. (2010): What caused Earth's temperature variations during the last 800,000 years? Data-based evidence on radiative forcing and constraints on climate sensitivity. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29/1-2, 129-145, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.09.026.[8] Santer, B. D., et al. (2004): Identification of anthropogenic climate change using a second-generation reanalysis. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, D21104, doi:10.1029/2004JD005075.[9] Schwarzkopf, M. D., and V. Ramaswamy (2008): Evolution of stratospheric temperature in the 20th century. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L03705, doi:10.1029/2007GL032489.[10] Laštovicka, J., et al. (2008): Emerging pattern of global change in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Annales Geophysicae, 26, 1255-1268, doi:10.5194/angeo-26-1255-2008.[11] Hansen, J. E. et al. (2005): Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications. Science, 208, doi:10.1126/science.1110252.[12] Murphy, D. M., et al. (2009): An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, D17107, doi:10.1029/2009JD012105.[13] Pierce, D.W., et al. (2006): Anthropogenic Warming of the Oceans: Observations and Model Results. Journal of Climate, 19, 1873-1900, doi:10.1175/JCLI3723.1.[14] Stott, P. A., et al. (2010): Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: A Regional Perspective. WIREs Climate Change. 192-211, doi:10.1002/wcc.34.

Courtesy of Andrew Snow

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Make use of my items

This site is devoted to honing YOUR ability to argue intelligently (and with sources) against silly statements, such as "global warming is a hoax," "Obama was born in Kenya," or "Health Care = Communism." My point here is to gather information that makes it easier to remember what's actually going on. I try to explain things as well as I can, and sometimes, I, too, am wrong. However, I think that this site affords us a place to discuss these items, and the commentary boards last into perpetuity. I might glean the repetitive stuff off the boards, as they fill, but I will attempt to keep all opinions that are well reasoned up. I'm happy to change my mind, in fact, changing one's mind in one's old age is quite thrilling.

Newt Gingrich is a curious character: some responses to a few comments about Gingrich on other sites


He was effective

Are you kidding? Gingrich launched an impeachment proceeding against the President over stuff he was doing simultaneously himself, shut down the government (which resulted in massive republican losses in 1996), and was generally an incompetent, philandering, ugly and prevaricating orcish troll.

Why isn't Edwards in the news? He's a philanderer also.

Because Edwards didn't drag our nation into the conversation about his infidelities. Edwards didn't say something like: "The Statue of Liberty, with it's message of freedom, moved me to cheat on my spouse," or "After viewing the Liberty Bell, I was consumed with a need to have my scrotum stroked by a hot model." Nor did he make comments tying his philandering infidelity to the slaves struggle for freedom, womens' struggle to vote, the latest immigration bill or WHATEVER. Finally, he didn't flatly admit that he KNEW what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway! Does Mr. Gingrich have to turn the volume up on what he has just said for you to understand why it is NEWS??? Let me help you with one more, loud transmission of MR. GINGRICH's OWN WORDS:

""There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate...And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing it."

So he cheats, so what? Most guys cheat.

It's not a matter of whether or not Gingrich cheated on his wife(s). It's the nature of this communcation he is transmitting to us.
His message implies several things:
1.He was cheating when he wasted millions calling out then President Clinton for infidelity that does not hold a candle to this guy's "indiscretions." Clinton dallied with young women while his wife was also dallying most likely either with other men or women, and both were already in their late 50's. Gingrich, on the other hand, PLOTTED against two of his wives IN HIS EARLY 30s, sleeping around on them while PLANNING DIVORCE, even as they lay sick or dying.

2.His contriteness, and plea for God's forgiveness, ABSOLVES him of his "past" transgressions. He is trying to POSITION himself for the elections, getting his "past" "behind" him. He is not only giving himself, but ANY FINKBALL CHRISTIAN THAT PRETENDS THEY BELIEVE IN JESUS a FREE PASS. In other words, much of his base: uneducated white male republicans from rural states, will feel a KINSHIP with these words, and will use them as a way to absolve THEMSELVES from their own sordid, equally odious and possibly criminal activity.

3.He claims that WORK and "passion" for "America" made him DO INAPPROPRIATE THINGS. In other words, he is excusing his cheating by blaming his drive and determination to HELP US ALL! While he was "helping" all of us by shutting the government down, trying to impeach the President, and cutting off aid to children and schools, he was also "...doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing it."

Nothing to do with cheating: everything to do with how he's presenting here, and what he is saying and to who.

How come Edwards is judged irredeemable, yet there is no disgrace associated with Gingrich's treatment of his wives, it seems that the situations are similar?

For one, unlike Mr. Gingrich, he did not understand women. There are no women that angrily call out Mr. Gingrich about how "he done wronged them." Mr. Edwards, on the other hand, had his sick and dying wife maligning him daily and crucifying him in public. This is the result, ironically, of the master scammer that Gingrich is: even while getting slapped with divorce papers while dying, from a guy that looks like an ogre from Grimm's fairy tales, his wife still loved him, and "understood" the divorce. She signed the papers willingly, as he probably told her that his "love for the nation" is what was driving his need (for divorce). Before she had a chance to "feel hurt" about his secret lover, she died. Pure genius.

Compare that to Edwards: his wife sticks around for two more years, slowly expiring, the tossed off, middle-aged lady with cancer, but all the while giving speeches and writing books about what a cad Edwards is. Hmm...between Republicans (who own news outlets) and already dislike Mr. Edwards, middle aged ladies, and wives in general, you have the greatest fear of any woman played out, capitalized on by news media: when they are dying, they're beautiful prince charming dumps them for some hot princess in the next province. Grrreeaaat! ;-(

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The science of Hydrolysis


Check out this short article reviewing the process, and it's founder, Nocera. Then google Nocera for more info.

When someone tells you Oil can't be replaced....


Send them this in an email. The Japanese have cars that run, for over an hour at 80km/hr on a LITRE of water!

Comment to an isolationist that believes that we should only fight for "americans'" rights.


the history of civil revolution/liberty generally involves this sequence:
1.people get overly oppressed
2.people attack their government
3.people reach out to third parties to help them
4.Someone fills that void.

Now, you can put your head in the sand and, because of the lackluster record of our military think "we should not get involved." I, on the other hand, think that we SHOULD get involved, PERSONALLY, and we should ALSO help our government to help our allies who believe in Civil Rights EFFECTIVELY, rather then bow out completely, allowing CHINA and other tyrannical states just fill that void. To that end, I raised money for a few years to help girls fleeing honor killings in Iran, through an NGO. I have PERSONALLY taken concrete steps to help girls who are aware enough to flee their insane families. What peeves me is "Americans" who coast on the back of folks like me, who enjoy liberty, because, way back when, "someone" helped the women to their freedom and vote, and "someone" fought a civil war, and "someone" marched in Selma, and "someone" fought against child labor and unregulated hours, and "someone" hid slaves during the Underground Railroad days. And the "someone" is NEVER....YOU. I may not have done all that much, but I've done SOMETHING to alleviate others' suffering and increase their freedoms with my life, I didn't just say "oh, that's their problem, TOO BAD," while I experienced the fruit of others saying "NO MORE!"

Human suffering and tyranny is not "their" problem, it's OUR problem.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Not satisfied with disenfranchising the poor, the GOP now is going after students.


James Bond, and M, explain the inequalities of the workplace


10 worst things about the Republican budget (compare this a year from now if it passes and see if it's true!)


In a Republican world, a successful government is one that does not exist, regardless of the condition of the citizens under it. We could all be starving, diseased and uneducated, but in Republican calculus, as long as the government isn't bleeding red ink, it's a success.

A letter from a teacher to the Governor of Wisconsin, concerning Collective Bargaining and Salary arguments

This letter was sent by a teacher from Endeavor, WI to Governor Walker. I forward it not only because it is a really good read, but also because it provides some data/talking points that may be helpful to you as you have conversations with friends and family.
To the Duly-Elected Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker (and anyone else who gives a hoot):
It has only been a week, and I grow weary of the political struggle that your Budget Repair Bill has caused. I am tired of watching the news, though I have seen many of the faces of those I hold dear as they march on the Capitol. I am tired of defending myself to those who disagree with me, and even a bit tired of fist-bumping those who do. I am tired of having to choose a side in this issue, when both sides make a certain degree of sense. And so I offer you this desultory (aimless or rambling) philippic (angry long-winded speech), because at the end of the day I find that though this issue has been talked to death, there is more that could be said. And so, without further ado, here are my points and/or questions, in no particular order.
1. You can have my money, but…. Ask any number of my students, who have heard me publicly proclaim that a proper solution to this fiscal crisis is to raise taxes. I will pay them. I have the great good fortune to live in a nation where opportunity is nearly limitless, and I am willing to pay for the honor of calling myself an American. Incidentally, Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the nation (and a Democrat) agrees with me. Your proposed Budget Repair Bill will cost me just under $3000 per year at my current salary, with the stated goal of saving $30 million this year on the state budget. I say, take it. You can have it. It will hurt me financially, but if it will balance the budget of the state that has been my home since birth, take it with my blessing. But if I may, before you do, I have some questions.
•According to the 2009 estimate for the U.S. Census, 5,654,774 people live in the state of Wisconsin. Of those, 23.2% are under the age of 18, and presumably are not subject to much in the way of income tax. That still leaves about 4,342,867 taxpayers in the state of Wisconsin. If you wished to trim $30 million off of the budget, that works out to about $6.91 per Wisconsin
taxpayer. So I must ask: Is it fair that you ask $3000 of me, but you fail to ask $6.91 of everyone? I know that times are tough, but would it not be more equitable to ask that each taxpayer in the state contribute an extra 13 cents a week?
•Would you please, kindly, explain exactly how collective bargaining is a fiscal issue? I fancy myself to be a fairly intelligent person. I have heard it reported in the news that unless the collective bargaining portion of this bill is passed, severe amounts of layoffs will occur in the state. I have heard that figure given as 6,000 jobs. But then again, you’ve reportedly said it was 10,000 jobs. But then again, it’s been reported to be as high as 12,000 jobs. Regardless of the figure, one thing that hasn’t been explained to my satisfaction is exactly how or why allowing a union to bargain collectively will cost so much money or so many jobs. Am I missing something? Isn’t collective bargaining essentially sitting in a room and discussing something, collectively? Is there now a price tag on conversation? How much does the average conversation cost? I feel your office has been eager to provide doomsday scenarios regarding lost jobs, but less than willing to provide actual insight as to why that is the case. I would welcome an explanation.
•Why does your concern over collective bargaining, pensions, and healthcare costs only extend to certain unions, but not all? Why do snow plow drivers and child care providers and teachers and prison guards find themselves in “bad” unions, but firefighters and state police and local police find themselves in unions that do not need to be effected by your bill? The left wing news organizations, of course, state that this is because these are unions that supported your election bid, while you seek to punish those unions that did not; I would welcome your response to such a charge. You have stated that the state and local police are too vital to the state to be affected. Can I ask how child care, or prison guards, or nurses or teachers are not vital? Again, I would welcome a response.
•Though you are a state employee, I have seen no provision in your bill to cut your own pension or healthcare costs. The governor’s salary in Wisconsin was about $137,000 per year, last I checked. By contrast, I make about $38,000 per year. Somewhere in that extra $99,000 that you make, are you sure you couldn’t find some money to fund the state recovery which you seem to hold so dear? As you have been duly elected by the voters of Wisconsin
, you will receive that salary as a pension for the rest of your life. I don’t mean to cut too deeply into your lifestyle, but are you sure you couldn’t live off $128,000 per year so that you could have the same 7% salary reduction you are asking certain other public employees to take?
2. Regarding teachers being overpaid and underworked. I don’t really have many questions in this regard, but I do have a couple of statements. If you haven’t already figured it out, I am a teacher, so you may examine my statement for bias as you see fit. I admit I find it somewhat suspect that teachers are mentioned so prominently in your rhetoric; those protesting at the Capitol are indeed teachers. But they are also students, and nurses, and prison guards, and plumbers, and firefighters, and a variety of other professions. If you could go back to “public sector employees,” I would appreciate it. But as far as being overpaid and underworked … I grant you, I have a week’s vacation around Christmas. I have a week off for Spring Break. I have about 10 weeks off for summer. With sick days and personal days and national holidays and the like, I work about 8.5 months out of every year. So perhaps I am underworked. But before you take that as a given, a couple of points in my own defense.
•The average full-time worker puts in 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, with two weeks’ vacation time. That makes for a grand total of 2000 hours per year. Part of the teachers’ arguments regarding their time is that no one sees how many hours they work at home to grade papers, or create lesson plans, or things of that nature. I am in a rare state, in that I am not one of those teachers. I work an hour from where I live, and I like to keep my work at work. I, therefore, do not bring work home with me, but rather stay at school, or come in early, so that I can grade papers or create lesson plans while at school. So I am more prepared than most to explain the hours it takes to do my job. I also supervise an extra-curricular activity (as many teachers do), in that I serve as the Drama Coach for my school. The school year, so far, has lasted for 24 weeks. I have, in that time, averaged 78 hours per week either going to school, being at school, or coming home from school. If you remove my commute, of course, I still average 68 hours per week, thus far. That means I have put in 1,632 hours of work time this year, which works out to over 80% of what your average full time worker does in a calendar year. If you include my commute, I’m over 90%. If ikeep going at my current pace, I will work 2,720 hours this school year (or 3,120 hours if you include my commute). That means I work 136% to 156% as much as your average hourly worker.
•As to underpaid — I’m not sure I am underpaid in general, though I do believe I am underpaid in terms of the educational level expected to do my job. I have two Bachelor’s Degrees, and will be beginning work toward my Master’s this summer. By comparison, sir, you never completed college, and yet, as previously stated, you outearn me by almost $100,000 per year. Perhaps that is an argument that I made the wrong career choice. But it is perhaps an argument that we need to discuss whether you and others like you are overpaid, and not whether teachers are.
3. Regarding the notion that teachers that are protesting, or legislators currently in Illinois , are hurting the state. Very briefly, if I may:
•Teachers have been accused of shirking their duties by protesting for what they believe to be their rights instead of being in school. The argument has been, of course, that no lessons have been taught when classes aren’t in session. I must submit that lessons in protest, in exercise of the First Amendment right to peaceable assembly, in getting involved as a citizen in political affairs, have been taught these past few days. The fact that they haven’t been taught in the classroom is irrelevant. Ultimately a very strong duty of the school system is to help students become citizens — I think that has clearly happened this week.
•As to the legislators, it seems to me as though they feel their constituents deserve to have a length of time to examine the proposed bill on its merits, not vote it straight up or down three days after it was presented. As the current budget does not expire until June, this seems to me like the only response left them in light of your decision to fast-track the bill without discussion. Give them another option, and perhaps they will come back. I can’t say that I agree with their decision, but I can say that I understand it.
4. Regarding the notion that protestors at the Capitol are rabble-rousers and/or thugs. Such name-calling on the part of conservatives in the state and the conservative media could be severely curtailed if you would speak out against it. True, most of the people protesting, if not all, are liberals. Historically, liberals have always tended to think that they have far more support than they actually do. They also (in my opinion) have a tendency to get extremely organized about three months too late, if at all. So you can fault them for their decision-making, but I would ask you to speak out against the notion of thuggery. Again, very briefly:
•So far, 12 arrests have been made. Estimates say there were about 25,000 people at the Capitol today, and about 20,000 yesterday. Let’s be conservative (mathematically) and say that 40,000 people protested over two days. That would mean that officers arrested .0003% of all protestors. By almost any definition, that is an extremely peaceful demonstration, and of course you are aware that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of peaceable assembly for a redress of grievances. So in the main, these people have done nothing wrong.
5. If I may provide you with a sense of history. You work in the largest and most magnificiently appointed state capitol in the nation, built by Bob LaFollette (a Republican). You work in the same building where Phil LaFollette (a Republican) helped guide Wisconsin
out of the Great Depression. You work in the same building where Gaylord Nelson (a Democrat) was the first in the nation to offer rights to unions of state employees, rights that you now seek to overturn. And you work in the same building where Tommy Thompson (a Republican) provided more state funding to education than any other governor before or since. Are your current actions truly how you would choose to be remembered?
6. Finally, Governor, a note of thanks. Whatever the outcome of the next several days, you deserve a certain degree of credit. As an educator, I understand how difficult it can be to get young people interested in politics. You have managed to do this in the space of one week. A number of Wisconsin’s youth support you. A number of them do not. But whatever else can be said of you, you have them paying attention, and thinking about voting, and walking around the Capitol, and turning out to be involved. You have taught your own lessons this week, Governor, and that has its own value.
Thank you for your time,
Eric Brehm

Here's his Blog:


Being misinformed is a bonus

A lot of folks get confused as to why politicians are often wrong on the facts. From trees that pollute the atmosphere, to Presidents that haven't used a scanner, to McCain last week telling us, incorrectly, that iPads are made in the US, right wing politicians often make "misstatements."

It rarely occurs to their opponents that these mistakes are either deliberate or by design (in otherwords, the make up of the person is this way to start, and they don't even have to think about lying, as they do it congenitally). Reagan was constantly mistating statistics, as was Bush I and II, and they were being called on it. In fact, at least in Reagan's case, it would not be too much to suggest that the majority of news items about Reagan concerned his gaffs. And here is the rub: this is exactly what he wanted.

Many folks, especially those with less education, feel a direct kinship with a liar, since a liar uses false logic to elevate himself, something the less educated are not as prepared to withstand. More to the point, they feel more comfortable with folks that are often wrong, and demonstrably so, because it makes them feel superior, especially if that person is abstract, like a Sarah Palin or a Ronald Reagan, someone that can seem "like them" from afar, but they never have to meet.

because the less educated are entranced by ENDS not by reason, they are more likely to follow a person or persons who promise "the moon," without delivering complicated (and error riddled) solutions.

The zeitgeist is this for the Right: "follow a person that believes in a golden future, but is as uneducated as I am, because intelligent people can always explain to us why we are going to fail, and I don't want to hear that: I want the Golden Future. My lack of reason solves the conundrum of science repudiating my opinions."

400 families have more stock and assets then 155,000,000 Americans combined.


I'd rather not think about this, but there it is.

Hiding under your bed is not very inspiring

Sarah Palin's Parents say they need a gun to protect themselves:


This entire thing is a charade designed to troll "democrats," i.e., anyone that takes the bait and says something like "yeah, I hope so and so does x, y, z," and then claim "look how vile THEY are." In fact, "democrats" believe in representative government, minority representation and legal elections, UNLIKE Ms. Palin, who constantly suggests "aiming" at her opponents, shoots things from helicopters, and has not completed a term of office without scandal or embarassment. "Democratic" candidates don't suggest shooting people, hunting opponents, or "locking and loading" as a method of political discourse.

What these folks do is rope folks into a false sense of paranoia. By suggesting their "lives are at risk," the Palins deflect media attention from those whose lives ARE at risk: democratic lawmakers. The Palins have deftly assumed the position of fearful victim, while their REAL victim, Ms. Giffords, is still languishing at a hospital, shot by someone with Sarah Palin's face on the front page of their website on FaceBook. Ms. Giffords, three months before her assault, had made a point of calling out Sarah Palin, SPECIFICALLY, concerning one of her ads that suggested shooting opposing candidates. The irony here is that the real targets DON'T HIDE UNDER THEIR BED CLUTCHING RIFLES, THEY WALK FREE, WITH THEIR HEADS IN THE AIR.

And they have the courage to walk that freedom without a concealed weapon under their jacket.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

State taxation and contributions to the Federal Government


Ironically, the redder states take more then they give to the Federal Government.

If you treat your workers well, they will bring in customers


We need more businessmen like this: folks who get that it's the worker that drives the economy, not the consumer.

Some Opinions and my response to them

Here are two folks with ideas that are very divergent from my own.

First, the Xenophobe/compartmentalist:

"Cut 100% of all foreign aid, entitlements, public unions, DOE, NAFTA, CAFTA, Homeland Security, all wars, all foreign bases, etc etc. Also around 30% of the defense budget. Force all homeless and low-income immigrants out of the USA along... with all illegal aliens. Make all outsourced companies return to American soil or face high taxes and tariffs to sell in the USA. The companies that return get a tax break to stay in the USA that's equal to the one they get for outsourcing. The companies that return and stay need to be required to hire legal Born Americans only, no foreigners or illegal aliens allowed."

Then and only then will there be a positive change in the USA and Our economy.

Let's see:

-cut half of foreign aid. "foreign aid" is mostly us maintaining military bases in other countries and bribing officials in other countries to accept american, as opposed to chinese, goods. What you are suggesting is giving up our assets around the world on some pipe-dream about American production capabilities to make us all happy.
-cut all entitlements. "Entitlements" include aid to dependent families, old people, orphans, disabled. You'd just cut the rug out from under them and "hope for the best." Then, I imagine, you'd be surprised (or maybe pleased) when they physically assaulted you and stole your stuff.
-cut public unions. So, here you are saying you don't care to protect public workers, you think folks that go into government work are "greedy," and consider the public sector "jackals."
-cut the DOE. So what, you can teach kids that the earth is 6000 years old at home? So you can reframe public history to what you wished it was as opposed to what it is?
-cut NAFTA/CAFTA. Well, here, amazingly, we agree, at least in the sense that I want a NAFTA that does not include a WTO court.
-cut the defense budget: well, sure, but not while your FORCING all illegal immigrants out of the US
-Make outsourcers an offer they can't refuse. Here we have a "takings" issue that could easily be abused. We are supposed to believe in the "net losses" that the company claims from "not" hiring slaves across the sea? The whole thing breaks down when you forget that companies have offices overseas, and don't care about us AT ALL. Until we have an internationally ELECTED authority that overseas them, they will continue to finance and support tyrants both here and abroad.
-only hire americans. What made this nation great was the incorporating of FOREIGNERS into our sciences and our large science and engineering departments and companies. Your ideas limit our industry to Americans, who are presently 64th in math on international levels. good job. I assume you failed math class yourself.

and the other guy, the "reform government to something unrecognizable" as it stands now.

"We need to make some serious Budget Cuts, starting with Congress. We need Term Limits, Line Item Veto, Congress on Social Security and with the same retirement as taxpayers. WE also need to change the way the directors of government agencies are paid. They are now paid based on the amount of taxpayer money they spend, not on how well they do what they are paid to do."

-Term limits increase the power of corporate paid lobbyists, who shill for large corporations. Congressmen tell us anecdotally that it takes about 6 years to FIGURE OUT congress, and some Lobbyists have been there 30 years or MORE! They get paid more then the congresssmen and have more time to focus on their specific special interest. We already have term limits: THEY'RE CALLED ELECTIONS.
-Line item Veto. Sure, if you're sick of living under an elected form of government, and want to see so much power concentrated in the Executive that elections become moot. If ONE MAN can just, with the flick of his pen, CHANGE LEGISLATION ALREADY PASSED???? You don't find that SCARY AND TYRANNICAL?
-"same pay as taxpayers??" WHICH ONES? Some "taxpayers" get 50,000,000 a year. Others get 0. Most taxpayers, unlike congressmen, aren't LAWYERS, DOCTORS AND PHD'S. Why, exactly, should the representatives of our Republic take a major paycut, when, in actuality, they get paid FAR LESS then their actual worth to private industry NOW. Unlike "Joe the Plumber," who actually has no real job, has no education, and has no real accomplishments, MOST congressmen have full post graduate educations, have contributed a great deal to their society before getting elected, and generally, are TAKING A PAY CUT to serve!
-merit based pay. Sure, i'm sure everyone in the government is an incompetent fool, unlike the poster.

Big Oil subsidies don't make sense

Arthur Woodson
■Tax subsidies for oil companies don’t decrease our reliance on foreign oil. Oil companies often argue that without subsidies, domestic production will decline and our reliance on foreign oil will increase. Yet U.S. production has steadily ......declined since its 1970s peak. We produce about the same amount of oil now that we produced in the 1950s despite billions in subsidies over the past 30 years.Subsidies do little to change the fact that limited domestic supplies contribute to the United States importing about 60 percent of its oil. In fact, the Treasury Department estimates that ending subsidies will affect domestic production by less than one half of 1 percent. If we’re serious about ending oil imports we need to transition away from oil as a fuel supply.President George W. Bush himself noted in 2005 that the profit potential in the oil industry drives company behaviors and not the subsidies. “With $55 oil we don’t need incentives to the oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives.”■Oil subsidies don’t save jobs. Oil companies and lobbyists also argue that ending subsidies will kill jobs. But this doesn’t make sense since eliminating oil subsidies minimally impacts domestic production (as explained above).It’s also important to note that the oil and gas industry is about 10 times more capital intensive than the U.S. economy as a whole. Consequently, subsidizing oil industry production to create jobs isn’t a good use of taxpayer dollars. Any decrease in production will likely affect capital investment in machinery, not the number of jobs created.■Oil subsidies don’t help consumers at the pump. Finally, oil companies are fond of saying that ending tax subsidies will cause disastrous price hikes. But the tax subsidies Sanders, the president’s budget, and other lawmakers propose for elimination pay companies to find and produce oil. Eliminating them will have little, if any, effect on consumer prices. A Joint Economic Committee report states, “the removal or modification of [one of these subsidies] is unlikely to have any effect on consumer prices for oil and gas.” The committee found that subsidies do not affect production decisions in the near term. And in the long term the Energy Information Administration explains that the major factors affecting oil prices include the production limits set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and global disruptions in supply. Moreover, the minimal impact of tax subsidies on domestic production (as discussed above) underscores that eliminating tax subsidies will have little, if any, effect

I agree with those that fear for our nation.

Like every "real" American since July 5, 1776, I know that AMERICA IS DOOMED, and it's because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON. Except of course, for myself. I mean, come on, they've totally screwed it up: First Marbury vs Madison messed up states rights, validating the idea that some court could invalidate laws! The Idea! Marbury vs Madison established that a law COULD be declared "unconstitutional," something that had NEVER BEFORE BEEN DECIDED IN HUMAN HISTORY by ANY court. Talk about activist judges! Then the whole "let's get rid of slavery" thing. Wow, talk about inconvenient and socialist! A lot of good businessmen got wiped out when the Supreme Court finally made a GOOD decision which WASN'T RESPECTED by the northern states: that decision was Dred Scott, which established that slaves (basically all black) that fled to the north MUST BE RETURNED. Then those Proto-socio/commies in the North had the TEMERITY to tell the Supreme Court that they WOULD NOT respect that Federal Court decision, that blacks that made it North became freemen, and could not again be bought or sold, which resulted in BIG losses for honest slave owning businessmen. What an excellent reason for war from the Freedom loving/Slavery-loving South (they enunciated it in their articles of succession)! Then the screw up with ending the 3/5's of a vote for each black man, then later, allowing blacks to read! Next was the idea of getting off gold in the late 1800's, after that, GIVING WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE, talk about craziness! Can you say "we're doomed" one hundred times? Then ending the South's Jim Crow laws through FORCE??? Just to make 12% of our population happier??? Talk about pandering to selfishness! And making Education compulsory and based on empirical evidence? DOOM DOOM DOOM. Vaccines? Doomed. Wireless phones? Brain cancer. The Beatles? Our civilization has ended.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Being ignorant should be on one's resume when applying...

I think Supreme Court Justices should be held to a higher standard than say, Martha Stuart.


Huckabee, You're not consistent


What is particularly appalling concerning his comments is the take-away put down on her achievements. Here, a respected, talented and hard-working actress who does work that can easily be compared to Bogart, Carol Lombard, Beverly Sills, D...izzy Gallespie, etc., and who has just recieved the HIGHEST award that the film industry has to offer it's tens of thousands of workers, is suddenly dealing with being put down by some "wanna be" father figure who wants to urinate on your "A" in history because he doesn't like your latest girlfriend, what kind of car you drive, who you voted for, etc. etc. Huckabee sounds like a lousy Dad with a "who cares about what you achieved, satisfy me, I'm your father" type of attitude that could easily lead to his kids being perverts. Thing is: he's not Natalie's father, and neither she, nor anyone else, should give a crap what his opinion is concerning her financially independent lifestyle.