about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
Between 2002 and 2007, for instance, the bottom ninety-nine per cent of incomes grew 1.3 per cent a
year in real terms—while the incomes of the top one per cent grew ten per cent a year. That one per
cent accounted for two-thirds of all income growth in those years. People in the ninety-fifth to the
ninety-ninth percentiles of income have represented a fairly constant share of the national income
for twenty-five years now. But in that period the top one per cent has seen its share of national
income double; in 2007, it captured twenty-three per cent of the nation’s total income. Even within
the top one per cent, income is getting more concentrated: the top 0.1 per cent of earners have seen
their share of national income triple over the same period. All by themselves, they now earn as much
as the bottom hundred and twenty million people. So at the same time that the rich have been pulling
away from the middle class, the very rich have been pulling away from the pretty rich, and the very,
very rich have been pulling away from the very rich.
-- James Surowiecki, New Yorker Magazine, 16 August 2010.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 18h 50m 54s
Teachers work a lot of hours per year
A writer in an prior letter to the editor of the Pacifica Tribune made a very misguided statement
concerning teachers still getting paid during the summer. The writer seemed to have an idea that
teachers are getting something for nothing from the tax payers and should therefore be penalized.
This opinion is nonsense. Teachers work 36 to 40 weeks out of the year. For a 36 week year, about
30 of those weeks a teacher works 70 hours per week. The other 6 weeks average 50 hours a week. 30
times 70 plus 6 times 50 equals 2100 + 300 or 2400 work hours per year. A person who works 50 weeks
at 40 hours per week only works 2000 hours per year. A teacher works 400 more hours per year than a
40 hour week worker does for 50 weeks out of the year. That would be another 8 weeks for the 50 week
worker by the way.
Teachers get a salary for the important hard work of teaching children. This salary can be paid
over 12 months, or it can be paid over 10 months. People who propose a negative opinion about
teachers based upon the notion of 2 months of summer vacation need to consult the math before they
Teachers do more for society than bankers and stock brokers but get paid less than a waiter at a 5
star restaurant. And not everyone has the makeup to become a successful teacher, no matter how many
credentials they obtain -- whereas most people can be a good waiter. Not everyone can manage 160 or
more raw emotional children over a 9 month period grading enormous amounts of papers and dealing
with a lot of irrational issues and stressful situations each and every week.
The old saw that says "those who can, do; those who can't, teach" is absolutely, ridiculously false.
Such opinions think people are coming to the profession in droves because they can't make it in the
real world. However, the average duration of new teachers is 3 years. Very few bad teachers can
make it longer than 5 years. Too many new teachers cannot manage the stress-load, and either quit
the profession or move on to college or administration. The new blood comes but it doesn't remain.
Most schools have 80% or more quality teachers, which is no different then any other real world
business or any large bureaucracy of individuals.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at 19h 38m 18s
The Civilian Employment to Population Ratio
A 4 to 5 percentage drop in 2 years is incredible, given that the 2010 US Census was 308,745,538.
One percent is 3.087 million, so 4 percent is 12.3 million people. And remember that a lot of
people who went from full-time to part-time jobs are still considered employed. The population
growth per year can be estimated from the rate of increase over the 10 years since 2000, which was
9.7 percent. Taking the 10th root (over 10 years) of the growth factor 1.097 obtains 1.009 or 0.9
percent growth per year. This is about 2.8 million per year.
So 12.3 million were classified as not-employed in 2 years and the population rose probably 5.6
million in those 2 years -- an estimate of new entrants into the work force since 16 years old are
18 years old in 2 year.
Notice the graph stays in between 59 and 58 percent since 2010, and is threatening to drop below 58
percent in the near future. A percentage is basically a fraction, and in this case the numerator is
the number of employed, the denominator is the total population. The only way the value of a
fraction ( or a per 100 number) stays the same when the denominator (total population) increases, is
for the numerator (number of employed) to increase based upon the percentage of the increase. So at
58 percent, if the population increases by 2.8 million, the employed gains for the year between
2010 and 2011 would be 0.58 times 2.8 , or about 1.43 million, or about 115,000 per month.
115,000 per month is an average for the entire nation. If this is divided by 200 to represent the
200 major metropolitan-regional areas of the United States ( a collection of 1,000,000 people), then
this becomes 575 new jobs per region per year. Divide the 2.8 million increase per year by 12 and
then by 200, and you get 1,160 new persons entering the job market per month per region.
Notice the 1,160 is twice as large as 575. This means there are 2 people for every new job
available per region per month.
And the percentage is looking to drop below 58% for the first time in the history of the this statistic.
Monday, 17 October 2011 at 17h 19m 9s
Sign at the Occupy Wall Street Protest
Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 21h 29m 7s
Wall Street Journal Stole from Advertisers through repurchasing scheme
Click here for the London Guardian newspaper account that did the ground work of the
The skinny: they organized a scheme to funnel money through multiple European companies who
distributed their newspaper in Europe for certain
corporations to buy extra issues of the Wall Street Journal cheaply to increase (in some cases
circulation numbers so that they could get a higher rate to charge for advertisers.
In other words, they bought their own newspaper at a 50% or more discount so they could inflate the
circulation numbers and charge their advertisers more money.
You have to read the story.
[SOURCE:London guardian | Nick
Davies | 12 October 2011]
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 17h 50m 48s
A cool quote
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings
and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its
unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal
with the real world. The other, of course, involves Orcs.”
After reading most of Ann Rand's other long novel, The Fountainhead -- I couldn't finish it -- I
always wondered what the cult fascination with the other novel was. The same can be said of the
main character in the Fountainhead, but Rand worships the callous stoicism and praises the dullness
and single minded obsession for perfection and superiority. It creeped me out about 2/3 rds of the
book and I never continued.
Saturday, 8 October 2011 at 13h 31m 34s
Saturday Morning at Simple Pleasures
This is a typical Saturday morning at simple Pleasures.
Sunday, 2 October 2011 at 14h 19m 28s
San Francisco Not Strictly Bluegrass Festival
Below is a video of The Human Condition playing at Spreckles Lake near 36th avenue and Fulton
The link might take 2 or 3 minutes to load, because it is about 76 Megabytes. If you get impatient
or don't want to wait, Click here
~ ~ ~ ~
Left to right: Mark Joseph (guitar), Nate Harris (bass), Dan Brennan (Mandolin), Gabriel Shepherd
(guitar), and Carl (violin).
I've known Mark for about 3 years now. He's a crazy dude who is very engaging in conversation. But
he's also a stand up guy, which is why I like him.
Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 19h 28m 25s
Why Term Limits Suck
First of all, you don't fix government by castrating it.
Term limits happened in California so there is a historical record of what happens. The term limits
idea has castrated California governance. Legislators are more dependent upon lobbyists and
non-governmental private firms because they are vulnerable to opposition from organized money when
they have a term limit. They only have a small amount of time to build up a name brand and utilize
that brand name to create an independent money raising organization. You don't get experienced
legislators because the turnover of veterans and experienced personnel undermines the relationships
of the institution. What happens is that staff members come from lobbyist organizations that
persist longer than the terms of the legislators themselves, thus shifting the nexus of the power
relation. The chief of staffs have been around longer than more than half the legislators, and are
Imagine a school that loses half of their staff every 6 years, and has completely different staff in
12 years. Imagine further that after 12 years the teachers can no longer be teachers and have to
retire. The transitory nature of the profession would inhibit the effectiveness of the teaching
profession. It takes ten years to really learn all of the millions of issues involving the
complications of teaching, and then you have to retire.
This is what happened when term limits got applied in California. It creates more
dys-functionalism. Just look at California over the last 10 years. Even mainstream Republican
operatives in California have admitted that the "term limits" worsen governance in California.
There was an article in the Sacramento Bee about this very matter a few months ago.
The real problem is that corporations are considered "persons" under the law, and thus are enabled
to raise insane amounts of money to buy the legislators, because spending money is a free speech
when the law categories large organization of money as a legal "person."
The amendment we should pass instead is one that says "corporations are not persons and should not
be treated as such under any law or interpretation of any law made by any court or legislator or
local governmental body."
The "term limits" movement is a hoax. Rabid anti-government zealots use it to further their agenda.
The answer to bad government is not to blow the government up with bad laws. There are plenty of
good legislators, but the power of money is too big for them to do anything about. It is very
difficult for a new legislator to compete against the insidious viciousness that large sums of money
use to manipulate the public ignorance. Term limits would transfer the powers further into the camp
of the lobbyist organizations, because the power of money is the real problem AND TERM LIMITS DO
NOTHING ABOUT THE POWER OF MONEY.
The answer is to understand the original source of the bad government, and that is that corporate
aggregations of wealth have too much power because they get all the benefits of "personhood" but
none of the responsibilities. When a person murders another person, they get a huge prison term or
the death penalty. When a corporation kills 10,000 people, they pay a fine or put a few figureheads
in jail, but the corporation lives on; there is no accountability.