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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- A new Holy Night

One of America's Biggest Political Problems

I've subconsciously thought and felt this about us, about America and Americans for some time. I got to thinking about it this past Sunday afternoon and put it in words. We read about the polarization of the nation, politically and economically and it seems our minds are already made up. We have our opinions, facts be damned, and we're extremely sincere and even emotional about these opinions. The "other side"--or really, anyone who doesn't agree with us---are only to be dismissed or even demonized.

We used to talk to one another. We used to discuss. We used to try to both recognize and evaluate problems and then go further and come to shared conclusions and solutions.

We don't do that any more.

And this is no way to run a country.

We need to get back to being Americans.

All of us.

The hippies were right.

America's "War on Terror"

"You cannot win a War on Terrorism. 

It’s like having a war on jealousy."

~David Cross

Quote of the Day -- Flashback

True then, 80 years ago, of the Republicans. Still true today.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- It's Comin' On Christmas

On Germany and Their Nasty, Ugly Socialism

There is a fantastic article and interview out just now at Alternet:

It's all based on author Thomas Geohegan's new book Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?  Renowned fellow author Terrence McNally interviews him.

Just a bit, here, to make point:

December 9, 2014/  The European Union, 27 member nations with a half billion people, has become the largest, wealthiest trading bloc in the world, producing nearly a third of the world's economy -- nearly as large as the US and China combined. Europe has more Fortune 500 companies than either the US, China or Japan.
European nations spend far less than the United States for universal healthcare rated by the World Health Organization as the best in the world, even as U.S. health care is ranked 37th. Europe leads in confronting global climate change with renewable energy technologies, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process. Europe is twice as energy efficient as the US and their ecological "footprint" (the amount of the earth's capacity that a population consumes) is about half that of the United States for the same standard of living.
Unemployment in the US is widespread and becoming chronic, but when Americans have jobs, we work much longer hours than our peers in Europe. Before the recession, Americans were working 1,804 hours per year versus 1,436 hours for Germans -- the equivalent of nine extra 40-hour weeks per year.
They're better paid, have more money, live better, have more--far more---vacation time,  pay less for education,don't ship jobs overseas, there's less--again, far less--poverty, they have more "green", sustainable energy sources, all while producing more, as a nation.

Great interview. It sounds like a good to great book, possibly an important one. Eye-opening to most Americans. Too many of us, without international travel, don't know what we don't have, of course, nor what, maybe, likely, even, we could, if only for better national priorities. Some things we could maybe have if we had statesmen and stateswomen in our leadership instead of what we have now.
I love this---something the author found:  "...if you don't have much poverty, life is better for everybody. Not just for the poor, but for everybody.

It's what a lot of us have been saying and for a long time. It seems something the Waltons of Walmart and the Koch brothers and their ilk just can't comprehend or accept or agree to.
What's to not want to emulate here, on our part? Heck, on anyone's part?
That is really some ugly Socialism there, isn't it?
I'm sure glad we aren't Socialists and have that ugly stuff here, aren't you?

Not Close the Guantanamo Prison?

We really want to be in this company?

What Republican Leaders Said--and Promised---About Iraq

Yet they blame and blamed President Obama

Sunday, December 14, 2014

But did you see what Congress GAVE THEMSELVES in that budget bill?

Sure, there's the awful stuff of giving the big banks yet more carte blanche to use and abuse Americans, to the tune of millions and billions of dollars---that they wrote themselves, at least in part--that was in that omnibus budget bill this weekend. Sure, that was horrible.

And then there was the further uncapping of limits corporations and the wealthy could spend on and in our elections so they can buy them and our representatives and so, our legislation and laws so they can keep our government and keep it in their own pockets.

Sure. That's all horrible and shouldn't be in there, shouldn't have taken place. That was all bad enough, right/

But did you see this? Did you see what Congress put in this clusterpuck for themselves?

Spending bill includes $1,000 monthly subsidy for Congress to pay for their cars

Wouldn't it be great to be in Congress so you could hand yourself an additional payout, at nearly any time, year after year?

And this on top of their rather hefty salary, full expense account, travel and franking (postage) included, the ability, again, at virtually any time, to create a travel junket to go really any safe place in the world, in the name of "research" for your job? And then get a big, fat, again, hefty pension, to boot? Added to that the ability to raise your own salary? 

It doesn't get any better than being a member of the US Congress. Not when it comes to taking care of and paying yourself.

Do you think they wonder why Americans have such a low opinion of them?

The good news? All Americans, on the Right or Left, the middle, everyone, surely agrees this is wrong. 

And deeply so.

Question of the Day

A Question for America

A question for Americans.

President George Washington, On Torturing Prisoners

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- Beautiful, New Voice

Have a great weekend, y'all.

A Timely Question for Our Representatives in Congress

The Time Has Come for International Recycling

I've held this opinion for quite some time that all cities in the US need to require we recycle.

Think about it.

All the paper, plastic, glass and aluminum we use?

Right now, far, far too much simply goes into wastebaskets first, then dump trucks, then into landfills.

How does that make any sense?

And the ones the worst at it?

Chain restaurants.

But all of us need to do this.

Then, I got thinking bigger and more broadly. I got to thinking statewide. Then, why stop there? We need this nationally.

But again, I got thinking bigger yet.

We need all nations, all people around the world to recycle. It only makes sense.

We don't have the room to just dump all this waste. And the fact is, it doesn't have to be waste. We can reuse it. And we know we can. Some of us have recycled for years.

Now? We all need to.

And like "Obamacare", Americans won't like being told what to do. They won't like it even if it's the next president in the White House and not this one. Being told what to do just goes against our grain. We're far too proud for that.

But in the meantime, take a quick look at what all this waste of paper, plastic, glass and aluminum is getting us. I saw this article yesterday. It's from ABC News:

Startling Images of the Tons of Trash in the World's Oceans

It just makes no sense to continue as we have until now. There's more here, this time on those waste dumps we've created, all around the world:

The time has come.

This makes too much sense. It makes far too much sense. We even need to do it just for ourselves but we need to do it for our children and grandchildren, as well, certainly.

And heads up, folks. It would create jobs, too.

Let's get this party started.

Senator Bernie Sanders on the Insanity of Our National Spending and Priorities

It seems only Senator Bernie Sanders, out of everyone in Congress, understands and elucidates both how skewed and wrong and out of kilter our national spending and priorities are and what they should be.

Truth to power.

Push to cut the defense budget.

And mightily.

We will still be strong. In fact, we would actually be stronger yet, internally and externally.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Congratulations, Missouri!

You're not on the list!

You're not in the top (bottom) 10:

Neighbor Tennessee?  Yep.

Oklahoma?  Yes.

Kentucky? Check.

Arkansas?  Oh, yeah.

But Missouri? In the 10 most unhealthy states?

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri


Not this year, anyway.

So, enjoy, Missourians! Celebrate!

Just don't overdo it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- In the Canyon

This big, fat, ugly, irresponsible budget deal

The House and Senate cobbleed together a budget compromise and lo and behold, it's obvious they're doing their own business, still, as usual, instead of taking care of the people and nation:

We have to get the big, ugly money out of our election system and government. We have to end campaign contributions. We have to demand an end to them. It's got to come from us.

What we didn't know, what we need to learn

And what we need to be sure we never repeat.

From Ezra Klein

Quote of the day -- What we want, what we need

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- All I want is equality

Lord, have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don't belong here, I don't belong there
I've even stopped believing in prayer

Don't tell me, I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I've been there so I know
They keep on saying, "Go slow!"

But that's just the trouble, do it slow
Washing the windows, do it slow
Picking the cotton, do it slow
You're just plain rotten, do it slow

You're too damn lazy, do it slow
The thinking's crazy, do it slow
Where am I going? What am I doing?
I don't know, I don't know

The Next Important Documentary We Need to See

Get ye to the Tivoli

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kansas City's Google and Google's Kansas City, in the news

The story:


Although Google Fiber offers free Internet service (in exchange for a $300, one-time installation fee), it hasn’t done much to expand Internet access in Kansas City. A big part of the reason is that many poor people live in apartments and few landlords in poor areas have signed up for service. The green dots show apartments with Google Fiber in Kansas City. The darker areas have higher poverty rates. The red line is Troost Avenue,
Here, in the article, they have a terrific, detailed map of Kansas City showing where Google Fiber is, in what apartments and areas, with Troost as the dividing line.
Wiring a poor neighborhood for speed may be necessary to expand online access, but Kansas City's experience demonstrates it's not sufficient. Bringing more people online, at ever-faster speeds, will be somewhat harder and requires educating people one at a time on how to use computers and where to find access.

"The digital divide is not going to be closed digitally," said Michael Liimatta, president of Connecting for Good, a nonprofit working to expand online access in the Kansas City area.
Google has taken pains to reach out to a diverse section of Kansas City, running its fiber into low-income areas and sponsoring a "digital inclusion fund" to overcome gaps in connectivity. Its discount service – which offers modestly speedy connections at 5 megabits per second instead of its flagship "gigabit" service – seemed like it might broaden the web's reach to segments of the population yet to be connected.

Civic leaders and activists say it hasn't worked out that way, at least not yet.

survey commissioned this fall by The Wall Street Journal found that just 15 percent of residents in low-income areas of Kansas City subscribe to Google Fiber, and just 5 percent are using the discount option. By comparison, more than half the homes in upper-income neighborhoods were taking Google Fiber.

It should be no surprise, really, I don't think. In the first place, it's a huge job, connecting all these people, this city. And then to try to be fair to a group, the poor, scattered all over the city? It's daunting, at least. Google doesn't exist as a charity, as a non-profit. It seems Google has made and is trying to make a good faith effort to bring truly high speed internet to those with less. I say again, hese results shouldn't be a big surprise. I give them credit for trying, first, but for more than just trying. They committed. They've done at least some of this getting the internet out to the less economicallly gifted.

It's a lot more than AT&T is doing or has ever done.

Entertainment Overnight -- Imagine

I hope some day we'll join up, and the world will live as one.

The Way to Peace