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.
Thom Hartmann does an excellent analysis of how the Reagan tax cuts ruined the long term health of the American
The Center for Budget Policy and Priorities reports, 42% of the “fiscal deterioration” and explosion of the deficit that occurred
under Bush was due to tax cuts.
After the Republican Great Depression, FDR put this nation back to work, in part by raising taxes on income above $2.3 million a
year (in today’s dollars) to 91 percent, and corporate taxes to over 50% of profits. The revenue from those income taxes built
dams, roads, bridges, sewers, water systems, schools, hospitals, train stations, railways, an interstate highway system, and
airports. It educated a generation returning from World War II. It acted as a cap on the rare but occasional obsessively greedy
person taking so much out of the economy that it impoverished the rest of us.
Through the 1950s, though, more and more loopholes for the rich were built into the tax code, so much so that JFK observed in
his second debate with Richard Nixon that dropping the top tax rate to 70% but tightening up the loopholes would actually be a
tax increase.JFK pushed through that tax increase to take us back toward FDR/Truman/Eisenhower revenue levels, and we
continued to build infrastructure in the US, and even put men on the moon. Health care and college were cheap and widely
available. Working people could raise a family and have security in their old age. Every billion dollars (a half-week in Iraq)
invested in infrastructure in America created 47,000 good-paying jobs as Americans built America.
But the rich fought back, and won big-time in 1980 when Reagan, until then the fringe “Voodoo economics” candidate who was
heading into the election trailing far behind Jimmy Carter, was swept into the White House on a wave of public concern of the
Iranians taking US hostages. Reagan promptly cut income taxes on the very rich from 70% down to 27%. Corporate tax rates were
also cut so severely that they went from representing over 33% of total federal tax receipts in 1951 to less than 9% in 1983
(they’re still in that neighborhood, the lowest in the industrialized world).
The result was devastating. Our government was suddenly so badly awash in red ink that Reagan doubled the tax paid only by
people earning less than $40,000/year (FICA), and then began borrowing from the huge surplus this new tax was accumulating in
the Social Security Trust Fund. Even with that, Reagan had to borrow more money in his 8 years than the sum total of all
presidents from George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined.
In addition to badly throwing the nation into debt, Reagan’s tax cut blew out the ceiling on the accumulation of wealth, leading to
a new Gilded Age and the rise of a generation of super-wealthy that hadn’t been seen since the Robber Baron era of the 1890s
or the Roaring 20s.
And, most tragically, Reagan’s tax cuts caused America to stop investing in infrastructure. As a nation, we’ve been coasting since
the early 1980s, living on borrowed money while we burn through (in some cases literally) the hospitals, roads, bridges, steam
tunnels, and other infrastructure we built in the Golden Age of the Middle Class between the 1940s and the 1980s.
We even stopped investing in the intellectual infrastructure of this nation: college education. A degree that a student in the 1970s
could have paid for by working as a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant (what my wife did in the late 60s - I did so
working as a near-minimum-wage DJ) now means incurring massive and life-altering debt for all but the very wealthy. Reagan,
who as governor ended free tuition at the University of California, put into place the foundations for the explosion in college
tuition we see today.
The Associated Press reported on August 4, 2007, that the president of Nike, Mark Parker, “raked in $3.6 million [in
compensation] in ‘07.” That’s $13,846 per weekday, $69,230 a week. And yet it would still keep him just below the top 70% tax
rate if this were the pre-Reagan era. We had a social consensus that somebody earning around $3 million a year was fine, but
above that was really more than anybody needs to live in America.
The idea that tax cuts enable investment is a fallacy. Investment is only effective when it is targeted to produce a desired end
that lifts up society as a whole. Enabling individuals and businesses already well-off and competitive to increase their profits
does not automatically transition into societal investment. Increased profits only further ownership and accumulation. Giving
people more money only helps them buy more stuff. Necessary social investments like hospitals, roads, education, and effective
government regulation don't get paid for by charitable contributions, and when for-profit institutions do invest, the incentive is
based on making money rather than providing a quality product for everyone. And even when a quality product like a private
school or hospital or road exists, the surcharge for access becomes prohibitive to all but those who can afford the price of
quality, which creates an under-served underclass of people who have to go without or settle for inadequacy.
The simplistic notion that tax cuts put more money in your pocket-book ignores the increases in social expenses that result. Bad
schools, expensive health-care, poor transportation networks, and pitiful government regulation is a cost added to everyone's
expenses that far out-strips the extra dollars in the bank for the 98% of Americans who make less than $200,000 a year. The
super-rich could care less, because when you make more than 5 million dollars a year, paying $25,000 tuition and a $60,000
hospital bill is still less than 2% of total yearly income.
And look what happens to the economy when the SEC and the IRS don't have enough government regulators to do their jobs?
How many food borne diseases cause Americans to lose work or die when they get sick because the FDA and Department of
Agriculture has to have a voluntary regulatory system because the government can't afford to hire 20,000 more people at
$100,000 a year to do the job right? How many traffic jams could be avoided if investment in public transportation ever became
a reality, not to mention lessening the stress on fuel supplies and stimulating local economies?
The elite control the media and use it as a mouth-piece for their self-serving opinions. But factual history is a funny thing, and
the truth will painfully show them all to be damn fools soon enough.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008 at 19h 44m 22s
60 minutes explains the financial meltdown in less than 15 minutes
watch an excellent 60 minutes analysis of the recent financial events.
I just finished watching it, and the story is one of the best 60 minutes has ever done. You come away with a good understanding
of what happened, why it happened, and who is really ultimately responsible.
One of my favorite lines ... when asked by the narrator (Steve Kroft), an ex-Wall Street analysis says of the mathematics that was
used to justify the diversification of risky investments,
You can't model human behavior with Math.
As a a math teacher and recreational mathematician myself, I agree.
Math can only model based upon repeatable and
quantifiable events. Randomness cannot be completely isolated and put into a formula. Assuming that any one human is
understood at any given time during the entire life span of a certain individual : what model could possibly evince the true spirit
or the essence that is individuality. Math seeks to control rather than understand. Math puts fences around events that cannot
be controlled, but the distance between the fences cannot ever achieve an exactitude of precision. This would be equivalent to
following one molecule of oxygen as it traversed the hemisphere over the course of a week. You might be able to follow that one
molecule, but how could you also keep track of zillions of other molecules and aggregate events at the same time, with such
effective control that you transcend God in your perspicacity of all knowing?
Remember: Avogadro's number of molecules per mole is 6.02 times 10 raised to the 22nd power. A Billion is 10 to the 9th
power. A trillion trillion is ten to the 24th power. 6.02 times 10^22 is a little more than a billion trillion. This is the number of
molecules or atoms with a certain volume unit called a "mole". A mole is the amount of volume containing that many molecules
or atoms for any given molecule or atom. It's different for every molecule and atom. It depends on the temperature and
pressure, and what form of matter the molecule or atom is at any given temperature and pressure. One mole of oxygen at
standard temperature and pressure is 22.4 Liters, or nearly 6 gallons (5.92).
Math cannot effectively model the path from an interactive nature of entities whose randomness and imperfect understanding is
quantifiable, or dependent upon events which can not be foreseen. The bias or the imperfect knowledge of the human who uses
math to model such events cannot help but create anything but an imperfect replica in such a situation. Things work merely
because we ignore the exceptions, or disregard other effects. The noise or the minor errors might be due to the imperfections of
estimation, or they might be significant factors waiting to explode. We can never be certain, and if we develop an attachment to
the imperfect model we will of course ignore the factors and presume estimation errors.
Math might be useful. It might interesting to create a logical universe, or to push an idea to a conclusion. However, Math has to
be reality driven and responsive to events or it will always be just another island inhabited by an anti-social hermit whom
everyone hears about but few persons ever understand; and most of those only claim to understand because the hermit is
nonetheless a celebrity, like a wizard who performs tricks, and the claimants want to associate themselves with the mystique
without pretense to authenticity.
Friday, 3 October 2008 at 17h 14m 0s
The same one who got us into this mess
From New York Times
"Many events in Washington, on Wall Street and elsewhere around the country have led to what has been called the most serious
financial crisis since the 1930s. But decisions made at a brief meeting on April 28, 2004, explain why the problems could spin
out of control. The agency’s failure to follow through on those decisions also explains why Washington regulators did not see
what was coming.
On that bright spring afternoon, the five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission met in a basement hearing room
to consider an urgent plea by the big investment banks.
They wanted an exemption for their brokerage units from an old regulation that limited the amount of debt they could take on.
The exemption would unshackle billions of dollars held in reserve as a cushion against losses on their investments. Those funds
could then flow up to the parent company, enabling it to invest in the fast-growing but opaque world of mortgage-backed
securities; credit derivatives, a form of insurance for bond holders; and other exotic instruments.
The five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, which was headed by Henry M. Paulson Jr. Two years later,
he left to become Treasury secretary.
Labaton | New York Times | 3 October 2008]
In other words, Paulson moves into the government from the private sector to use government to serve the interests of the
Tuesday, 30 September 2008 at 21h 45m 15s
Nawlins Napsters wins
Its official. The Nawlins Napsters win for the second year in a row.
This year was much more competitive than last year. I also had a lot more injuries to contend with, but pulled out the distance in
the last 3 weeks.
Saturday, 27 September 2008 at 14h 4m 28s
Jack Cafferty rips Sarah Palin
Jack Cafferty is the last of two dying breeds : a real conservative, and a real journalist who does his homework.
Saturday, 27 September 2008 at 14h 0m 26s
John McCain and Charles Keating
"Never before have 5 US Senators get involved with Federal Regulators to help a campaign contributor... The Senators ...
Federal Regulator Edwin Gray to go easy on Keating", from NBC broadcast in the above video.
"Senator McCain was unique among the 5 Senators in having a direct financial conflict of interest involving direct financial
investments. On judgement, ethics, and truthfulness, he failed this test as badly as you could fail"--former Fed Regulator
William Black was one of the Federal regulators at the meeting the Senators had to try to convince
the regulators to "go easy" on Keating. John McCain was a Freshman Senator from Arizona when the event took place.
Friday, 26 September 2008 at 13h 40m 7s
Depleted Uranium is the Modern Agent Orange
A US Marine speaks out ...
The segment on Depleted Uranium begins at 4:10.
Quotes from this video:
…this is the Agent Orange of this occupation. This weapon has no purpose in Iraq granted this was during the initial invasion. So
I, maybe, can understand its deployment. But, let’s be clear here depleted uranium is an anti-armor weapon… the Iraqis do not
have armor. They don’t have tanks. They don’t have bombers. Why are we using this? And again I urge you to do the research
yourselves. I can quickly say that we’re using this because it’s a way to get rid of atomic waste. We do not know what to do with
We’re poisoning our soldiers, we are poisoning the people of Iraq, but make no mistake we are poisoning the people of the world.
I can test every single person in this room and I can find depleted uranium in your hair.
The VA has continually denied my request to be tested for depleted uranium. This letter clearly shows that they’re saying a test
doesn’t even exist. And I will say for the record, a test does exist, it’s the wrong test. It’s the urinalysis that’s used to detect
exposure, immediate exposure. The problem with depleted uranium is that these particles dig deep within your body, and you
will not find them in your urine after a couple days. You need a very expensive test… one the VA us certainly not willing to pay
for. But I would also like to point out that the VA does recognize the danger of depleted uranium, while they might not want to
test for it, or talk about it, or give us any briefings on it.
That round on impact aerosols and vaporizes and these particles go up in the air, and that’s why I was saying I can test every
single one of you and find it in your hair. These particles blow up into the atmosphere and are disseminated all around the entire
globe. They have found depleted uranium on the skin of NASA vehicles in space. We are changing the entire genome of our
planet: human beings, cats and dogs, plants. We are changing the genetic makeup of our planet by using these munitions in Iraq
Friday, 26 September 2008 at 17h 15m 34s
Tampering with an investigation
Because that's what mavericks of integrity do ....
ANCHORAGE — Today a State Representative called on the Alaska State Troopers to look into possible criminal witness tampering
in the state’s bi-partisan legislative Troopergate investigation. Since Gov. Sarah Palin was named to the McCain ticket on Aug.
29, the McCain campaign has sent campaign workers to Alaska to obstruct this investigation.
“Until McCain campaign staffers flew to Alaska to stop this investigation, the Governor and her staff agreed to comply with what
we all know is a bi-partisan investigation. After Aug. 29 the campaign started working to block this investigation, and witnesses
began joining that effort by ignoring their subpoenas and risking jail time. Something obviously changed the minds of these
witnesses after Aug. 29th,” said Rep., Les Gara (D-Anchorage), a State Representative and Former Alaska Assistant Attorney
Alaska’s witness tampering statutes prohibit any person from “inducing” a witness to fail to comply with a subpoena. Almost
daily, McCain staffers have called press conferences and made efforts to stonewall the legislative investigation. Prior to Aug. 29
no witness had stated they’d refuse to comply with the investigation, and the Governor in fact promised she and her staff would
In the first minute of the pastor's speech, the pastor mentions "The Israelites were like this" when he was referring to "Bankers."
isn't clear if the pastor is saying that "Israelites" are a version of bad, money grubbing bankers in the context of his speech.
At the end Sarah Palin is standing before the church with two men at her side, and the pastor is bellowing a mantra of "in the
My question: is this a cult or a church? Is this a house of the lord, or a house of the upwardly mobile being blessed by some
accented black man who is living well off the donations to the church?
Personally, I think the role of the church is to harmonize social relations within the community. Standing before the church and
getting blessed by some holy man is not my idea of the role of the church. Being blessed by someone who speaks the right
not indicative of becoming holy.
In my opinion, whatever God whom may exist would judge us by our intentions and our good works, not because we stand
the flock and have some official man of god rain jargon on our heads.
Saturday, 20 September 2008 at 20h 4m 44s
Nawlins Napsters on the verge of another championship season
With one week left in the season, its looking good for the Nawlins Napsters in the Espn Fantasy Baseball League. Unless my team
takes a nose-dive over the next week, the Nawlins Napsters will repeat as champions this year.