Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walmart Creates a Foodstamp Nation

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Walmart, by only employing workers for the fewest possible hours, has been a partner in raising the number of folks on food stamps 50% in less than three years. The following is from a Reuter's article.

Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, but her wages aren't enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son.

Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation.

Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That's an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses.

At the same time, the cost doubled to reach $68 billion in 2010 -- more than a third of the amount the U.S. government received in corporate income tax last year -- which means the program has started to attract the attention of some Republican lawmakers looking for ways to cut the nation's budget deficit.

While there are clearly some cases of abuse by people who claim food stamps but don't really need them, for many Americans like Saucedo there is little current alternative if they are to put food on the table while paying rent and utility bills.

"It's kind of sad that even though I'm working that I need to have government assistance. I have asked them to please put me on full-time so I can have benefits," said the 32-year-old.

She's worked at Wal-Mart for nine months, and applied for food stamps as soon as her probation ended. She said plenty of her colleagues are in the same situation.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Novel Fundraiser, especially Appropriate for Earthquake Relief

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You might as well take this map, divide it up into squares, and have an earthquake pool.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqscanv/

Once all the squares are sold, each to the highest bidder, the next red dot to appear gives the pot to owner of that square. This might make a cool fund raiser, as typically a new patch of red shows up every 20 minutes to every two hours.

Obviously the squares around the Bay Area, LA, Mammoth, and Parkfield and Clear Lake and Eureka would be the top sellers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Republicans and Democrats Differ.

Technorati Profilehttp://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/piI’ve noticed over the years, there are some fundamental differences in the way Republican and Democratic politicians think. Here are just 15 examples.

Republicans fear that the government has too much control over corporations. Democrats fear that corporations have too much control over our government.

Democrats believe it benefits all of us to help the weakest and the poorest among us. Republicans believe it benefits all of us to help the wealthiest and most powerful among us.

Republicans believe large corporations will always do what is best for the American people if the government stays out of the way. Democrats believe large corporations would disembowel you and sell your organs to the highest bidder if the government didn’t stop them.

Democrats believe everyone is entitled to health care regardless of their ability to pay. Republicans believe everyone is entitled to jack squat if they can’t pay for health care.

Democrats believe too much of our money goes to crooked corporate executives who take government subsidies and pay themselves $80 million salaries. Republicans believe too much of our money goes to teachers who make $30,000 a year.

Democrats believe anything that helps the American people during a recession or a time of crisis is the true essence of patriotism. Republicans believe anything that helps the American people during a recession or a time of crisis is the true essence of communism.

Democrats believe that we need to set high standards for clean air and drinking water. Republicans believe that standards for clean air and water are burdensome over-regulation.

Democrats believe the President and Congress need to work together to create jobs during a weak economy. Republicans believe that Congress should do nothing to create jobs and then blame the President.

Democrats believe that corporate polluters should be made to pay for the cleanup of their pollution. Republicans believe that making corporations clean up their pollution is burdensome over-regulation.

Democrats believe our health care system exists solely for the purpose of making people healthy. Republicans believe our health care system exists solely for the purpose of making a healthy profit.

Democrats believe Congress should be of the people, by the people and for the people. Republicans believe corporations are the people.

Democrats believe that corporations have too much influence over Congress due to their lobbyists and huge campaign contributions. Republicans believe the middle class has too much influence over Congress due to their voting and paying taxes.

Democrats believe we need to protect victims of corporate negligence by allowing Americans to file lawsuits against corporations. Republicans believe we need to protect large corporations from lawsuits by Americans who’ve been victimized by them.

Democrats believe that the rich should be taxed more than the poor and middle class. Republicans believe that the rich should be allowed to keep all their wealth, except for the millions in campaign contributions they give to politicians.

Democrats believe that too much money in politics produces corruption and destroys the American way of life. Republicans believe that money and corruption in politics are the American way of life.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Defrosting the Economy, How to Do It.

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Require that a staff of trained USA citizen operators be at the beck and call of any business person attempting to fill out any governmental form, and that the wait time is never longer than 3 minutes. If the trained operator and the 2 supervisors above him or her, are unable to find the answers and fill out the form inside of two hours, the business person is exempt from that regulation for 1 year.

The business person must be the highest ranking staff member of the business, the owner is preferred, so this would be only applicable to small businesses.

Business person must be able to email all relevant information in a timely manner, and a video link is preferred.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fixing Our National Gloom

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You want to fix our National Gloom?

If you really want to improve education in this country, then improve the quality of life for all.

Let prisoners in jails earn money by learning to read and write using fun software developed over 20 years ago by IBM, “Writing to Read.”, and then taking classes on line and passing tests for cash rewards, 1/2 of which is sent to their families on the outside, 35% is placed in savings accounts, 10% to victims funds, and 5% which is available to spend in prison.

Pass a simple law that says the most highly compensated individual in any organization cannot receive more in gross compensation than 5,000 times what the least paid USA employee makes. Outsourcing of work cannot be done using any sub-corporation that works more than 50% of the time for the parent corp, just to stop that obvious loophole.

If top exec makes $10,000,000 gross, then the least paid employee must make at least $20,000.

Cut the corporate taxes, of all companies totally based in the USA, who employ 1,000 employees or more, all employees certified USA citizens, by 10%, 500 to 999, by 20%, 250 to 499 by 30%, 100 to 249, by 40%, 2 or more non related employees by 50% ( but only where 50% or more of the employees are non related).

This would be a tax cut for corporations that would stimulate the USA economy, instead of making the mattresses of the ├╝berrich fat and lumpy.

Favorite Sailing Quotes

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Life is a voyage in which we choose neither vessel nor weather, but much can be done in the management of the sails and the guidance of the helm."

"I know that I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination."

"Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made."
~Robert Rose

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
~Kenneth Grahame

"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
~Oliver Wendel Holmes

"On life's vast ocean diversely we sail, reason the cord, but passion is the gale."
~Alexander Pope

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
~William Arthur Ward

"The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted life span, those days spent sailing."
~Ancient proverb

"The true peace of God begins a thousand miles from the nearest land."
~Joseph Conrad

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

"For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can reamin on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze."
~Richard Bode

Sunday, August 07, 2011

What Can be Done About the Tea Party?

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We are the baby sitters/substitute teachers for the hopelessly infantile members of the Tea Party. Get used to it, they're never going to change. Some folks are just genetically predisposed to need authoritarian leaders who tell them just exactly how their world's shall run. Studies done after WWII show this. About 1/6th to 1/4qtr of the population...

Friday, August 05, 2011

What is the Tea Party?

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This is from a debate currently going on at George Rebane's blog.

"So are we then done with the debate as to whether the tea party, per se, has/promotes a social agenda?"

not so fast.

Is the Tea Party, per se (Latin for through itself) merely the words of the tenants on paper?

Or is it the living breathing life spirit of all it's members and their own multiple agendas, which share many points in common?

If you wish to comparmentalize the Tea Party as being merely a few abstract words written on paper, then maybe you are correct. But, if you wish to capture the living breathing essence of the Tea Party movement, then you must add in the additional constellations of attitudes that most hold in common, along with their avowed allegiance to those few written words.

So which is it George, Todd, Dave, Mickey, and the rest:

The Tea Party is merely an allegiance to three to four lines on paper?

or:

The Tea Party consists of many fully faceted humans who share far more in the way of belief systems than just those 3 or 4 lines?

"Hump or Die"

~ Mel Brooks ~

For an in depth look at the sociology of the Tea Party, please read this article:

http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/07/11/scenes-from-the-tea-party/

Kudos to Michael Ballachey, and his dad, a prof at UC Berkeley, in the Sociology Dept.

Quick test

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Does this work here.

natural gas subsidies

I hope so.

Tea Party Demographics, Excellent Article!

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http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/07/11/scenes-from-the-tea-party/

Todd Juvinall wrote: ""I haven't seen a "leader" of the TPP nationally citing social policies which are on the "platform". Could Keachie supply that for us so we can then see whey he and Crabb are alleging?"

Which inspired me to find the above link and then write the following on George Rebane's blog:

"Since the Tea Party represents a very wide spectrum of political views and opinions on social policies, it should be a piece of cake for ToddJ to find a leader in that party who is either pro abortion or pro immigration in their non official Tea Party capacities. I suppose that Sarah Palin, who appears to be a Tea Party supporter, is not going to make the "A" list on these issues.

I have found you over a thousand images of Tea Party supporters who are on one side of those issues, let's see you find one such image for the other side.

Would you like to take bets on my probably half life if I tried to march in a Tea Party parade with a sign that said, "I'm a Tea Party member and I support open borders and abortion on demand."

Now that brings up a very interesting question, who decides who is and who is not a Tea Party member? If I support the three or four main tenants of the party, which I suspect both I and Crabb do, is there ANY reason I could not declare myself a member of the Tea Party? I actually was on the mailing,list for awhile, until they figured out who I was. Who kicked me off?

No social agenda? HA! The Tea Party interpretation of the Constitution is a very strong social agenda in itself, and "no taxes/smaller government," establishes a strong social agenda against those who need help, education, and mass transportation."