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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Entertainment Overnight - Ironic


Think We Don't Need to Raise the Minimum Wage?

Many people say we don't need to raise the minimum wage in America. I see it repeatedly.

It made me think.

I remember, distinctly, how I was proud of making $21,000 per year as assistant manager of a men's retail store I worked at in 1979. It didn't make me rich, no way, but I very clearly remember that wage landmark at that time.

So I took that amount and time and put it in a inflation calculator online. The results were stunning.

It showed that that amount, $21,000 per year in 1979 would be the equivalent of earning over $74,000 today. In fact, it would be nearly $75,000 in today's money.

Don't believe it? See for yourself.

CPI Inflation Calculator

Mind you, a great, great deal has changed since, what with retail stores continually being hit and hit hard by "big box" and now online stores, these wages, at least from retail positions, are no longer possible. That said, other industries could, in fact, pay far more reasonable, fair and living wages.

The statistics prove this out.

For most workers, real wages have 

barely budged for decades

And corporations have made out very, very well.

As have the CEOs and executives.

The problem is especially American, too.

It's pretty outrageous what is happening and what we're letting happen to and with the nation's wealth.

We need to fight. We need to fight back. We need to end the Citizens United ruling and end campaign contributions entirely. It's the only way we'll get it back where the government and nation work for the people again, for all the people and not just for the already-wealthy and corporations.



In case you missed it, comedian Husan Minhaj rightly frames this President.

Switching America to Solar -- How Possible?

This video shows how very possible it could be, that it is, to switch America to solar energy.

Not only is this true, factual, but actually, if we would use our glass skyscrapers, in our cities, to have and use transparent solar cells on them, as well as the roofs of our homes, the land needed to power the nation shrinks yet more and very likely, dramatically.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

Quote of the Day -- 1960 to Today

Image may contain: text

No Democrat Could Get Away With All This


Hillary Clinton is president. 
  • It's learned that she has deep ties to Putin and the Russian spy agency. 
  • Additionally, Russia's President Vladimir Putin helped get her elected.
  • She puts utterly unqualified billionaires in cabinet posts. 
  • She pursues public policies that benefit her and her billionaire friends. 
  • She puts her daughter Chelsea in a position of influence in the West Wing, giving her her own office and allows her to use that position to forward her own business interests. 
  • Chelsea's husband is her chief advisor. 
  • The private business trips taken by Chelsea and her husband are paid for by the taxpayers.
  • She refuses to release any tax returns. 
  • She blocks access to the visitor logs in the White House.
  • Husband Bill refuses to live in the White House so our tax dollars are spent keeping him safe in New York City.
  • Hillary spends almost every weekend lounging in her own, privately-held resort. 
  • Hillary raises the prices of staying at this/her private resort because after all, she is now President.
  • Her private resort gets reimbursed for any and all "official" government functions (including security) because she chooses to conduct all her "business" and personal functions there. 
  • She and her family live in three White Houses at the same time.
  • In an interview, she names the wrong country she bombed while bragging about the chocolate cake she was eating while she ordered said bombing.
  • Hillary starts churning up concerns of war, possibly nuclear, with Kim Jong Un and North Korea.
The Republicans would be eating her alive.

Which all begs the question....

Why are we putting up with this?

Adapted, largely, from a post on FB by one Carmen Norwood

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

US Immigration Over 100 Years

migrant farm workers photo

"We cannot afford to continue to use hundreds of thousands of immigrants merely as industrial assets while they remain social outcasts and menaces any more than fifty years ago we could afford to keep the black man merely as an industrial asset and not as a human being."

- Theodore Roosevelt, in speech to the Knights of Columbus, Carnegie Hall, New York, 12 October 1915.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Elon Musk Is Batman


This does it.

This proves it.

Elon Musk is Batman.

He’s our modern day Batman.

But instead of wearing a cape and a mask and being a freak, he’s a fantastic scientist and researcher. We have it WAY better than Gotham. And he’s the Batman for the entire United States and even the world, really, with what he’s creating and inventing.

He began here:

Then he announced better, far better mass transit.


A Story Ken Burns and PBS Should Tell

File:Dirt Road - Fremont - CA.jpg

I was at a friend's home for dinner last evening and I once again brought up the subject and idea that, as our Grandfather pointed out years ago, before he died, his generation saw more change in their one lifetime, their generation, than any other, very likely.

Sure, there was the generation that witnessed the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and that was, admittedly, a ton of change, sure. Going from purely agrarian to big cities like London with all their brand new factories and machines was huge but this generation, those born at the end of the 1800s to the early 1900s saw humankind and the planet go from horse and mule drawn wagons and dirt roads to, literally, the moon, by 1969.

It think it could be an incredible story.

Before everyone had electricity. Before indoor plumbing and so, toilets, were common. Before cars. Before highways, the telephone, all of it. Lots of us can't imagine a world before all this.

Interview people all over the US, England and the world, before we've lost them all. Have them describe their lives and living conditions, their homes, transportation, all of it. Then go to, really, what we developed in the meantime. I think it could be riveting but it would also be quite an education for a lot of people, too, like so much of what, again, Ken Burns and PBS do and have done.

Here's hoping.

Link:  Ken Burns America - PBS

Face it. We Like Money More

Click on the picture.  Read it.

What We've Come To

Where we are now, thanks to this Presidency.

And thanks fo the Republicans and those who voted for and supported this candidate. 

This petulant, unthinking, irrational, emotional, greedy dolt of a man-child.


Republicans, The Next Four Years Are All On You

Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition

Buddha Face

“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.

If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism."

--Albert Einstein


Monday, April 17, 2017

The High Costs of Low Wages to Corporations and to the Nation

Income Hard Work Deserves Fair Pay

In the recent past, there's been some written about the high costs of low wages and I think it's important to cover some of those now. Wages in the US for the last 3 or 4 decades have stagnated so Americans, coast to coast, have, in fact, been making less money for doing the same or, in plenty of cases, even more work.

Corporations have given their people along with technology grinding out ever more work for us, yet even with inflation making things cost more, we're getting less and less in our paychecks. Some proof:

For most workers, real wages 

have barely budged for decades

And it's hitting younger Americans hardest, it seems. Millenials make far less than their parents, the Boomers, at the same time in their lives.

Meanwhile, here in America, wages have been falling while corporate profits have been simultaneously, disgustingly, immorally rising.

So with this in mind, I'd like to point out some of the costs of low wages, but for corporations.

First, one of the costs of low wages to corporations is that they get lesser skilled workers for the jobs. If the job pays less, the people with more skills and who are, naturally, more desirable, go elsewhere for work and jobs and pay. It only stands to reason. So the company paying less get people with fewer skills, less knowledge, less experience and honestly, even less social skills. It's a ruder, cruder possible employee/associate. That's tougher to train and get to where they need to be for good customer service.

Second, once the jobs are maybe filled, there is the turnover in these jobs because they do, in fact, pay so little, too little. The employees find they can't stay at their job because it doesn't, in fact, pay enough to, say, keep the car running and rent paid, etc. The employee is pushed to do what they must and some do, in fact, find better-paying jobs elsewhere. And they leave. And as they do, there goes all that experience and training  the company did to get and keep them. Definitely a cost.

Third, even if the employee stays, if they aren't paid enough, it's well known they may have to get at least a 2nd job, if not even a third. The original hiring company can pretend this doesn't matter or effect them or the employee or the service level or the job but they're virtually always mistaken on that. The more that employee is distracted by having to run to a second job and/or to fight, really to get enough money to keep their car running and the rent paid, the more it detracts from the work that needs to be done. It's a worn-down employee that is predictably drained and who naturally does not as good a job. They're at their figurative "ropes' end." They're worn out. And tomorrow, they have to do it all again.

So sure, companies can pay less and lots and lots are, in all kinds of sectors. And yes, they can think they're keeping their costs down because, on paper, maybe they are. But those lower costs of low-paying jobs have other costs, too, and at least one of them is the employees they get. After that, there's the additional cost of the type work they're getting from these individuals. And it's not the individual's, the employee's fault, not exclusively.


Higher wages reduce employee turnover.

There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees

That lowers the cost of both replacing the employee but also of hiring the new employees.

Higher wages also, besides reducing costs, can and provenly do, in fact, raise productivity.

Want Innovation? 

Try Raising Minimum Wages

Additionally, it's been shown that a higher minimum wage increases all kinds of other business because, hello? people actually have money to spend. They have more money so they can and do spend.

This is absolutely one area where the old saying of "You get what you pay for" rings very, very true.

Extremely so.

It also seems, to me and to a lot of us, that Senator Bernie Sanders is and was correct when he said:


Sunday, April 16, 2017

The "Alternate Facts" Presidency

Quote of the Day -- On This President

"The most ill-informed, under-prepared, ethically-challenged and psychologically ill-equipped President in United States history."

--Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister, on Donald Trump


Jesus Was Neither Alone Nor Was He the First

Jesus on Easter Sunday

Just so you know some human history, Jesus wasn't the only--or even the first--god said to have risen from the dead. Actually, far from it.

Jesus: Just One More Dying 

and Rising Savior

History records many dying-and-rising saviors. Examples from the Ancient Near East that preceded the Jesus story include Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, Attis, and Baal.

Dying-and-rising god

A dying-and-rising, death-rebirth, or resurrection deity is a religious motif in which a god dies and is resurrected. "Death or departure of the gods" is motif A192 in Stith Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, while "resurrection of gods" is motif A193.

Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the Ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them including Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity. The concept of a dying-and-rising god was first proposed in comparative mythology by James Frazer's seminal The Golden Bough. Frazer associated the motif with fertility rites surrounding the yearly cycle of vegetation. Frazer cited the examples of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis and Attis, Dionysus and Jesus Christ.

Frazer's interpretation of the category has been critically discussed in 20th-century scholarship, to the conclusion that many examples from the world's mythologies included under "dying and rising" should only be considered "dying" but not "rising", and that the genuine dying-and-rising god is a characteristic feature of Ancient Near Eastern mythologies and the derived mystery cults of Late Antiquity.

And what is religion, anyway, if not a huge denial of death? An attempt to explain "what comes after." It only stands to reason that we want our god or God or gods dying and coming back, just to prove what we want and that it can be done, that this life isn't all there is. There's no better example or reason for this than that we want to deny death and dying.
Just saying.

That said, if you're into it, if you celebrate Easter, have at it. Enjoy.

Happy Easter.

Whatever gets you through.


The pagan roots of Easter

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

What Should Happen With the Mission Mall Site

Here it is as it stands right this moment. Still. It is still and it is still basically an ugly lot.

What should happen with it?

What should happen with this now-eyesore is that it should be given up, sold, I suppose, to the city for some reasonable fee and made into a park. It should be made into a city park. It would be a fantastic entrance into the small city, and it would enhance the entire area around it.

What should have happened, years ago, is that the mall should never have been torn down and leveled into the, again, eyesore it is now and has become and that it has been for some time. Even without hindsight it should have been known it shouldn't have been leveled and wasted. It needed upgrading, improving, but it fit the site, it was not ugly, it wasn't an ugly mall, it wasn't run that run down and vacated.

No doubt the developer got greedy. He no doubt thought this would somehow be a great idea and make him loads more money.

Man, was he wrong.

Sure, the 2008 financial collapse brought this mess on, too, but the whole notion of leveling a functional and again, not completely unattractive shopping center just so someone could, hopefully, make boodles more money was short-sighted and just downright greedy.


Now Walmart has backed out of the plans to locate in what the developer thought was going to be an upcoming, new center. Good luck finding another large tenant now. I feel certain there are and were plenty, plenty of Mission residents who didn't want the Walmart/Roeland Park customers coming down the hill to this site, anyway.

Another point, have you seen the latest reports on retail this week? Where retail is headed, it seems clear?

Retail collapse: The 23 biggest chains 

closing stores this year

Heck, even Walmart is hurting.

And here's why.

So yes, this is what should happen. Turn it over. Make it into a park. They could even call it Mission  Gateway Park.

It won't but that's what should happen.