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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Missouri on list of "10 States Most at Risk for Major Disaster"


And while the bad news is Missouri is on this list, if there's good news, it is that we're ranked in last place:


10 States Most At Risk For Major Disasters


What they have to say about us:


The Show-Me State has been shown disastrous weather in every month of the year: severe snow and ice storms in winter, tornadoes during the spring, summer and fall, and flooding at virtually any time.

Major disaster declarations since 1953: 53

Yikes. 

Check that out. Every month of the year.

I live here and didn't know that.

You're blowing Kansas cash, Gov. Brownback and we're not talking a lottery here



From Kansas Representative Paul Davis on his Facebook page today--a link to an article from the Wichita Eagle newspaper about their statehouse budget/tax mess:


TOPEKA — The Kansas House of Representatives on Tuesday soundly defeated the latest tax plan to come before it, leaving no clear path to end the contentious legislative session that is already well into overtime.

By a 71-42 vote, the House rejected a conference committee compromise on the tax bill, House Substitute for Senate Bill No. 84.

The bill would have set the sales tax rate at 6 percent – lower than the current 6.3 percent but higher than the 5.7 percent that will automatically take effect July 1, when an emergency sales tax increase passed in the depth of the recession three years ago expires.

The bill would have reduced base income tax rates but would also have trimmed tax deductions, including the standard deduction used by many taxpayers.

Rep. Davis' response to yesterday's actions--and the article:

This was not a compromise. This was an $856 million tax increase on Kansas middle class families, proposed to pay for income tax cuts for millionaires and big corporations. The legislative session has now been in overtime for 6 days, costing Kansas taxpayers $45,000 a day. How long will Governor Brownback let this continue?

So Kansas, Kansans, you, ladies and gentlemen, have had a grand total, as of last evening, of $270,000 spent in your name--that the state coffers didn't have anyway--all so you can, if Governor Brownback and the Republicans in the legislature have their way, raise taxes on the middle- and lower-classes and lower the taxes of the already-wealthy and corporations. A quarter of a million dollars that Kansas doesn't have, wasted and each day adds another $45,000.

Great day to be a Kansan, isn't it?

Ain't it great to be rich?

Don't you wish YOU were?

Walmart, locally and nationally, yesterday


I saw this a couple days ago:


The bad thing? They polluted.  And blatantly so.  Worse, then they tried to get away with it.

The good thing? The great thing?

They got caught. 

Far better than that, they got penalized for it, and stiffly:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay $81.6 million after pleading guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges of improperly disposing of fertilizer, pesticides and other hazardous products that were pulled from stores in California and Missouri because of damaged packaging and other problems.

The retail giant entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and another environmental law regulating pesticides. The fine also settled Environmental Protection Agency allegations.


Here's the headline from the Star:


Here's hoping they learned their very expensive lesson and don't repeat it.

I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Entertainment overnight


The only song of theirs I can bear to listen to again.

Land of the Free



Yeah.

Right.

Oh, and we're a "Christian nation", too, don't forget that one.

Republicans "unserious about governing"?


There is a terrific article out today at the Washington Post blog, saying just that about the current Republican Party today:


Naturally, they are mostly speaking of the national Republican Party, specifically as it applies to Washington and the federal government.

But what better place represents this as fact than Kansas right now, what with the drug out and long-delayed and even expensive session going on which their Governor Brownback stepped out on last week?

What state better exemplifies the irresponsibility and demagoguery and inability to or interest in compromising with the opposing party?

I can't think of one.

The crazy thing, however, about Kansas is that they--the Republicans--don't have one figure they can conveniently continue to block as they do in Washington with Kenyan/Socialist/Communist/Whatever-they-come-up-with-next President Obama. Far from it.

In Kansas, they have the Senate and the House and the Governor's mansion, all,  and they've made clear they want to raise the sales taxes on the middle- and lower-classes while lowering taxes on the already-wealthy and corporations.

Fortunately, to date, they haven't been able to make that stick, in spite of the Governor's political pushes. Something about answering to the people back home, I think.

In the meantime, check out this additional article, this time from the LA Times:


A bit from the article:

WASHINGTON – Although the controversies dominating political headlines eventually might undermine PresidentObama's standing with voters, a longer-term reality – a declining number of people who identify themselves as conservatives – could cause much more trouble for his Republican opponents.
Republicans won big in the 2010 midterm election, taking control of the House and numerous state legislatures. That victory corresponded with a significant increase in the percentage of Americans calling themselves conservative, particularly on economic issues. Since then, however, the percentage has steadily declined, according to an annual "values and beliefs" survey conducted by Gallup.
The latest version shows a further drop, with 41% of Americans calling themselves economic conservatives, down from just over 50% at the 2010 peak. On social issues, the share identifying as conservatives has dropped slightly and is now just more than 1 in 3.
On social issues, the big gain has come among those who call themselves liberals, whose ranks have increased from 22% of adults in 2010 to 30% now. On economic issues, gains have mostly come among those calling themselves moderates, with the percentage of liberals holding relatively steady.
So all I can say is, Republicans, keep it up, please, by all means. You're falling apart and people are running away from you, your party and your ideology and in the meantime, you learn nothing whatever.
I love you, Republican Party.
That said, I and all the rest of us Americans would love you even more if you would come back to reality, do what's best for most Americans, not just the wealthy and corporations, and compromise with the other political party for the betterment of the entire nation.
It's not that much to ask.

It's how things used to work.

Quote of the day--on one of America's biggest problems



Kansas City and KCUR in the news today


Yessir, we got coverage:

How Code For America's Apps Benefit Kansas City KCUR

Very cool.

Explaining how and why the middle- and lower-classes vote against their own, best interests (meaning Republican)


In accordance with the prevailing conceptions, there is no infringement of democracy if a few corporations control the information system: in fact, that is the essence of democracy. The leading figure of the public relations industry, Edward Bernays, explained that "the very essence of the democratic process" is "the freedom to persuade and suggest," what he calls "the engineering of consent." If the freedom to persuade happens to be concentrated in a few hands, we must recognize that such is the nature of a free society. 

Since the early twentieth century, the public relations industry has devoted huge resources to "educating the American people about the economic facts of life" to ensure a favorable climate for business. Its task is to control "the public mind," which is "the only serious danger confronting the company," an AT&T executive observed eighty years ago. And today, the Wall Street Journal describes with enthusiasm the "concerted efforts" of corporate America "to change the attitudes and values of workers" on a vast scale with "New Age workshops" and other contemporary devices of indoctrination and stupefaction designed to convert "worker apathy into corporate allegiance." The agents of Reverend Moon and Christian evangelicals employ similar devices to bar the threat of peasant organizing and to undermine a Church that serves the poor in Latin America, aided by intelligence agencies and the closely linked international organizations of the ultra-right.

Bernays expressed the basic point in a 1928 public relations manual: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.... It is the intelligent minorities which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically."


Deterring Democracy - Noam Chomsky


Links:


Noam Chomsky - Wikipedia


If you aren't angry--or involved--you aren't paying attention


Statistics on the economic state of too many Americans:

report released early this year by the organization Oxfam International revealed that the combined income of the richest 100 people in the world is enough to end global poverty four times over, and that the gap between rich and poor has exploded by some 60% in the last 20 years. Rather than hinder this division, the recent global economic crisis has exacerbated it. Money does not disappear, you see, but tends to be translated up the income ladder in times of financial distress.

According to UNICEF, nearly half the world's population lives on less than $2.50 a day. One billion children live in poverty, and 22,000 of them die each day because of it. More than one billion people lack access to adequate drinking water, and 400 million of those are children. Almost a billion people go hungry every day.

The incomes of 100 people out of the seven billion on the planet could fix that, and then fix it again, and then fix it again, and then fix it again. The exact total of the wealth of these individuals is actually something of a mystery, thanks to the tax havens they use to hide their fortunes. There are trillions of dollars squirrelled away in those havens - no one knows quite how much - and the subtraction of that money from the global economy has a direct and debilitating effect on the people not fortunate enough to be part of that elite 100.

In America alone, some $150 billion in tax revenue is lost each year because of these havens, money that could be used for education, food assistance programs, infrastructure repair and health care. Instead, Americans are told the country is going broke, and are force-fed austerity measures by the same politicians who passed the laws allowing the wealthy and corporations to wallow in treasure like Tolkien's dwarves hiding under their mountain.

Link to original post:   The End of the Beginning of the End

Kansas City on "Best BBQ" list


As we should be, Kansas City is all over a list out last evening on Yahoo! News about the nation's "Best and Worst Barbecue":


First up is


I'd never heard of it.

What they had to say about it:

"Tangy and sweet, well balanced, and lots of flavor," said one taster, and just about everyone else agreed.

Cattlemen’s had a nice blend of spice and a hint of brown sugar, but one taster found it "mono-dimensional."

Next up was

And they said:

The original Kansas City barbecue sauce, this one still stands tall among the pack. Heavy on the smoke and not too sweet, spicy, or acidic, the only negative was that the smokiness was a bit too overpowering for some.

Now, to be clear, these are the ones the rated:

KC Masterpiece, Stubb’s, Hunt’s, Bull’s-Eye, Sweet Baby Ray’s, Cattlemen’s Reserve, Kraft, Open Pit, Jack Daniel's, or pitmaster Brad Orrison’s new line called The Shed.

And that, right there, to me, makes the whole thing suspect. Very suspect, at that.

You rated corporate barbecue like Kraft and Hunt's?

Are you kidding me? 

And you want or expect to be taken seriously?

Where's all the Texas and North Carolina and Memphis brands and styles, let alone Bryant's and all the others that SHOULD be on this list?

Seriously people?

And then, too, they only rated 8 sauces.

Eight.

And again, they expect to be taken seriously.

The good news is Kansas City is on the list.

The bad news is that the list sucks and really can't be given any validity.

Links:


Monday, May 27, 2013

A question for Americans



At what point do we learn?

At what point do we demand our government get us out of war and "perpetual war"?

Here's Memorial Day


If you missed last evening's program on KCPT's PBS "American Experience, "War Letters", you owe it to yourself to do so. It is one of the most moving, beautiful videos on any subject, let alone on soldiers, their sacrifices and war.


Watch War Letters on PBS. See more from American Experience.

More on the program here:  War Letters . American Experience . WGBH | PBS

Link to original video, shown here, above:

Video: War Letters | Watch American Experience Online | PBS Video

Memorial Day remembrance


And a triple-entendre, at that.

On Memorial Day. And war



"War is not – as most people assume – a good and laudable affair, but like all murder, it is a vile and criminal business not only for those who voluntarily choose a military career but for those who submit to it from avarice, or fear of punishment."

--Leo Tolstoy

Memorial Day, 2013--to all today's soldiers


Republican examples for how to legislate--for Kansas


I saw the other day how very Right Wing and Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer--you remember her, the one who had the nerve to publicly scold President Obama on a tarmac in her state? Anyway, she has made it publicly clear to her also-very-Republican state legislature that unless the people of her state get federal government Medicaid expansion, she's going to hold up every bit of legislation they create:


Quite the stunner. It's her own political party's legislature and naturally they're opposed to anything even remotely proposed by our current (black, Kenyan, Socialist, Communist, whatever) president yet she's pushing them for this expansion of Medicaid through "Obamacare."

Yeehaw.  How rare. How refreshing.

Now, not to be done there, Texas legislators seem to have caught on, too:

It seems Texas Republican legislators are--GASP--COMPROMISING with Democrats and others and GETTING THINGS ACCOMPLISHED FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE:

If Texas’ less-than-theatrical 83rd legislative session is remembered at all, it will be known for accords, not discord.
Lawmakers put down their partisan swords to expand financing for water infrastructure, women’s health, public education and the mentally ill, steering almost entirely clear of bitter ideological battles over immigration enforcement and abortion.
The state’s Republican majority pulled its weight in a few major areas: passing legislation requiring drug screening for unemployment benefits and blocking measures opening the door for an expansion of Medicaid, the joint state and federal health care program for children, the disabled and the very poor, under the federal health care overhaul.
But Republicans themselves warded off some of the session’s most anticipated battles, like Senator Dan Patrick’s “school choice” effort to finance scholarships so public school students could attend private schools.
And House Speaker Joe Straus’s reluctance to tackle redistricting — though Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott wanted to — was an effort to keep Democrats in the fold. That effort seems unlikely to last if the governor calls legislators into a special session on the issue.
Indeed, many of the lawmakers’ hardest-fought initiatives this session — preventing wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct, overhauling high school diploma requirements and high-stakes testing, and curbing the authority of regents of the state’s public university systems — did not fall along party lines.
And maybe, just maybe they're doing this because they see things working in California, with a Democratic majority:
Those darn Democrats.

Doing the right, responsible things for their state and people.

Damn them to hell.

(You don't suppose anyone in Kansas government is paying any attention to all this, do you?)

Memorial Day, 2013


Metal Memorials

“Hey, man, just so you know, I’m going to set this thing off.” I don’t have a metal plate in my head or shrapnel in my legs, but I carry with me something that might as well be lodged deep under my skin. After Vietnam, soldiers and civilians alike would wear bracelets etched with the names of prisoners of war so their memory would live on even if they never came home. Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued the practice, but with a twist.

The same bracelets are adorned with the names of friends killed in action. The date and place are also included as a testament to where they took their last steps. One of the first things my platoon did after coming home was order memorial bracelets from the Web sites that specialize in military memorabilia. You don’t even have to type in the name or the date; their system uses the D.O.D. casualty list. All you have to do is filter by name and a software-aided laser will burn the selection onto an aluminum or steel bracelet. What emerges out of this casual and disinterested practice is jewelry teeming with the amount of love and commitment found in 10 wedding rings.

Every trip to the airport has the same outcome: additional security checks and a pat down from a TSA agent. I tell them it’s the bracelet that the metal detector shrieks at. “Can you take it off?” is always the question. “I don’t want to take it off” is always the answer. To some screeners my answer is a poke in the eye of their authority. Others recognize the bracelet and give me a gentle nod and a quick pat down. I suspect they have encountered other veterans like me and realize the futility of asking to have it removed. In a glass booth at the security gate is where I most often get the question, “Who’s on the bracelet?” Those who realize the significance of it usually want to know the name. I stare down and rub my fingers over the lettering. “Brian Chevalier, but we called him Chevy.”

At times the memorial bracelets seem almost redundant. The names of the fallen are written on steel and skin, but are they not also carved into the hearts of men? Are the faces of the valiant not emblazoned in the memories of those who called them brothers? No amount of ink or steel can be used to represent what those days signify.

My bracelet says “14 March 2007,” but it does not describe the blazing heat that day, or the smell of open sewers trampled underfoot or the sight of a Stryker, overturned and smoke-filled as the school adjacent exploded under tremendous fire. It was as if God chose to end the world within one city block. When Chevy was lovingly placed into a body bag under exploding grenades and machine gun tracers, worlds ended. Others began. The concept of Memorial Day nearly approaches superfluous ritual to some veterans. It's absurd to ask a combat veteran to take out a single day to remember those fell in battle, as if the other 364 days were not marked by their memories in one way or another.

I try to look at pictures of my friends, both alive and dead, at least once a day to remember their smiles or the way they wore their kits. I talk to them online and send emails and texts and on rare occasions, visit them in person. We drink and laugh and recall the old days and tell the same war stories everyone has heard a thousand times but still manage to produce streams of furious laughter. I get the same feeling with them; Memorial Day does not begin or end on a single day. It ebbs and flows in torrents of memory, sometimes to a crippling degree. Most of us have become talented at hiding our service, and safeguard the moments when we become awash in memories like March 14. The bracelet is the only physical reminder of the tide we find ourselves in.

Not just soldiers are touched by war. Chevy was a father and a son, and his loss not only rippled through the platoon and company but a small town in Georgia. The day serves as a reminder that there are men and women who have only come back as memories. Maybe the reflection on those who did not return is a key to helping civilians bridge the gap with veterans. Occasionally my bracelet spurs conversations with friends and coworkers who did not know I was in the Army or deployed to Iraq. I still don't feel completely comfortable answering their questions but I'm always happy to talk about the name on my wrist. His name was Brian Chevalier, but we called him Chevy.

--Alex Horton, a Georgetown University junior, started a blog called Army of Dude while serving in Iraq in 2006. In this post he remembers a fallen friend.
From  Warrior voices - The New York Times, this past February.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jobs and infrastructure both possible for America



If only the Republican Congress would let it happen.

On the train wreck that is the Kansas State Legislature right now


Now Kansas Governor Brownback's own Secretary of Corrections is offering up proof of the insanity of the state's budget cuts:


Proposed cuts to corrections system could endanger Kansans


From the article:

 — The head of the state prison system said Friday that proposed budget cuts being considered by the Legislature could jeopardize the safety of Kansans.
In a memo distributed to legislators, Kansas Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts says the cuts would force the closing of a prison in northwest Kansas and leave without supervision some low- and medium-risk offenders, including sex offenders, who are on parole.
There also could be cuts in programs for mental illness and substance abuse, he said.
"The end result is that we will be spending far more than we save with the potential for increased victimization of Kansans due to an increased rate of untreated, unsupervised offenders in our communities," Roberts said.
Republican House and Senate budget negotiators agreed earlier this week to a proposed state budget that would cut $12.5 million from public safety operations in the fiscal year that starts July 1, Roberts said.
As the Kansas Democratic Party so rightly said today on their Facebook page:

It's come to this: Gov. Brownback's own Sec. of Corrections is warning that budget cuts will endanger Kansans by leaving dangerous sex offenders unsupervised and forcing the closure of prison facilities. You can add the safety of Kansans to the list of things less important to Gov. Brownback and the Kansas GOP than tax breaks for billionaires.

The thing Kansans have to ask themselves at this point is, how bad does it have to get until we somehow get a change for the better and some relative responsibility--if not sanity--out of Topeka, especially as regards the State budget and spending?

Kansas, a national laughingstock


Yes, Kansas is getting laughed at yet more in the media today and sadly but rightly so:

Jeff Melcher Really Worried That Grocery-Tax Cut Means People Will Never Buy Anything But Groceries

From the article:

The Kansas Senate has passed a measure that would cut the state sales tax on groceries from 6.3 percent to 4.95 percent, setting up what the Kansas City Star calls a "showdown with the [State] House," where "approval" of the plan "is questionable."
There are probably some compelling reasons to cut the sales tax on groceries. For instance, unemployed and impoverished Kansans might starve to death at a slightly lower rate. At the same time, there are probably some compelling reasons to maintain the sales tax on groceries at the current rate -- the revenues collected could provide state residents with services, like police, roads, bridges that don't collapse and the like.But as Raw Story's David Edwards reports, at least one Kansas lawmaker has come up with his own, bespoke concern about this measure:
A Republican state lawmaker in Kansas says that he opposes cutting the taxes on groceries because it would be a form of "social engineering" that encourages people to buy food over other items.
The Kansas Senate on Thursday voted to cut the state sales tax on food from 6.3 percent to 4.95 percent, but Sen. Jeff Melcher (R) led opposition against the measure, arguing that it would lead to people eating more.
"It seems to me we are encouraging the behavior of purchasing food and discouraging the behavior of purchasing anything else," Melcher reportedly told his colleagues.
Here are just two of the comments I saw this morning, in response to Senator Melcher's comments:

DUMB. ASS.

They have their own special kind of crazy going on in Kansas.


Kansans, you voted 'em in. It's up to you to vote them out.

Next time, vote in some smarter ones.

Maybe some that care more about the entire state and the middle- and lower-classes instead of the wealthy, the corporations and, oh yeah, the Koch brothers.

On Memorial Day Weekend


Entertainment overnight


An old favorite:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Meanwhile, while we were busy




Go see this documentary, if you would. You can get it all on YouTube.

Framing the national economic debate


Economist, columnist Robert Reich gets it right and spells it out for us all:



Links:

Robert Reich


Robert Reich - Wikipedia






Robert Reich: Corporations Are Holding Countries for Ransom

Before Memorial Day, the first Decoration Day




"For two weeks in April, former slaves had worked to bury the soldiers. Now they would give them a proper funeral.

The procession began at 9 a.m. as 2,800 black school children marched by their graves, softly singing “John Brown’s Body.”

Soon, their voices would give way to the sermons of preachers, then prayer and — later — picnics. It was May 1, 1865, but they called it Decoration Day.

On that day, former Charleston slaves started a tradition that would come to be known as Memorial Day."


____________________________________________

But need a "Black History Month"?  Why would we need that?

Side note: You might go to the link to this story. It's great history--national history--and it's actually a fascinating, even beautiful story. 

Cape Girardeau train wreck this morning




Two freight trains collided and derailed early Saturday in southeast Missouri, then triggered the collapse of a highway overpass when several rail cars struck a support pillar.

Seven people were injured, including two personnel on the trains and five individuals in cars on the overpass on Highway M near Scott City, about 120 miles south of St. Louis, NBC affiliate KSDK reported. All the injured were hospitalized and listed in fair condition.
The collision occurred before dawn at a rail intersection. 
"One train T-boned the other one and caused it to derail, and the derailed train hit a pillar which caused the overpass to collapse," Scott County Sheriff's dispatcher Clay Slipis told Reuters.
The crash, which involved BNSF Railway Co and Union Pacific trains, also ignited a fire when diesel fuel leaked from one of the train engines, Slipis said.

Quote of the day--on cynics, cynicism, life and progress



“Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. 

Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. 

But saying 'yes' begins things. 

Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say 'yes'.” 

― Stephen Colbert

Friday, May 24, 2013

Entertainment overnight


I like the trend--if that's what it is--of the bands Fun and Mumford and Sons of loud, driving, even  angry, creative, unique but still fun music. Coincidentally, they seem to also have a kind of Celtic style to them though only Mumford is from England. That's to me, anyway.

One example, at least for me:



And this:



Have a great, long, relaxing weekend, y'all.

The United States of Money, uh, America


“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not money, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not money, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not money, it profiteth me nothing. Money suffereth long, and is kind; money envieth not; money vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. . . . And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three; but the greatest of these is money. 

I Corinthians xiii (adapted) ” 

 George OrwellKeep the Aspidistra Flying


Randy Newman - It's Money That Matters (1988) from MTVClassic1 on Vimeo.

Whole lotta' white people be wantin' this app


I mean, why be non-racist if you can't get points for it?

Kmart advertising is on a roll


First they had the one so you could ship yer pants:



Now this:



I didn't need to ship my pants but I surely want big gas savings.

They had my attention before.  Now they may get my business.

Three things occur to me about this:

First, it's brilliant.

Second, it may be the one thing that saves them, Kmart.

Third, look for more advertising agencies and companies to follow this trend because it's so funny, so simple and so effective, if/when it does go viral.

It's not just Apple--or GE--not paying taxes


This past week, Apple, Inc. took a beating in Washington and nationally for manipulating very legal tax laws to avoid paying any taxes.

We knew this of GE, General Electric, years ago and we've known other companies also do it but I think it's important to get out there more names of firms who do the same. Herewith, then, is a list of ten of the worst, biggest examples:


It gets worse, too, to an extent. There are companies who game our tax system so totally, WE'RE PAYING THEM TO BE IN BUSINESS, as a nation, you and me (click on picture for easier reading):


It's important to know.

I say again, companies should at least pay a minimum--say a 10% minimum, by law--for access to our markets and so we can keep up our infrastructure, whether they're from here in the US or elsewhere.

Link:  It's Not Just One Bad 'Apple'

How many more bridges collapse in America until we get a jobs/projects bill from Congress?


First a bridge collapses in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year--a major city of the nation--and now one in Seattle.


How long, how long until our Congress gives us a jobs bill so we can take care of the infrastructure of our nation and, at the same time, create jobs the nation also needs so badly?

How long?


How long until we stop paying attention to trumped-up, imagined "scandals" and start taking care of the business, the true business, of the nation?

How long until we stop being partisan for our political party and start doing what's right for the entire country?

This is America? We have bridges collapsing now? And this is acceptable?

We need more thought and thinkers like this, instead:


Links:

A bridge falling into the water and a vision for the future gone missing

The one article on our economy virtually all adult Americans should read


Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone magazine in his article The Mad Science of the National Debt


"What a crazy time we live in. 

Domestic politics have devolved into an ongoing hostage crisis in which the opposition party threatens to blow up the financial universe every six months or so, and the leading political minds in the country can't figure out how to keep this from being a permanent feature of our budgetary process. Meanwhile, global monetary policy is drifting in the direction of semipermanent stimulus, and no one has any idea how it all ends. It's two different runaway-freight-train action movies going on at the same time. God help us."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kansas poor and their schools take another beating


Not just Kansas schools take a financial blow but the poorest of Kansas schools, at that:


From the article:

School districts across the state received word Thursday of significant cuts to federal funding reserved for the highest-poverty schools.

What stuns me, besides the cuts in funding, is how this is even legal.

Forget that it's immoral and nearly unconscionable, how is this legal given that "separate but equal" was ruled patently unconstitutional, so many years ago?

In this case I'm not talking about schools for blacks vs. schools for whites, as the original Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education court ruling came out, I'm talking about schools for wealthy vs. schools for the poor.  That's what this seems to be also, further setting up, just as the school vouchers would, if we implement them.

You can't have one set of schools well-funded and the others stripped of that same equal level of funding. That's not just immoral, it's obscene and it should absolutely be illegal.

It just keeps getting worse over there in Kansas. First the governor gives tax breaks to the corporations and wealthy, then he and too many Republicans in Topeka propose raising the sales tax to make up for lost revenue which would nothing but hurt the poor and middle class, now this.

No one's going to WANT to be in Kansas, Dorothy.

And in the meantime, Representatives are trying to add in money for golf tournaments for themselves but no new, additional money for schools, yes they are:


I'm trying to decide if it's ignorance, stupidity or greed that's the source here. Regardless, chutzpah is definitely involved.