Sunday, May 31, 2015


The press is doing it's damnedest to make sure you don't who Bernie is.  His announcement of a presidential bid was kept off the front pages of just about every major newspaper.  While every republican regardless of their relative position in the polls gets front page coverage.  At  the same time Hillary is as declared the winner  in the same news sources.

It might be that social media could be Bernie's saving grace... Even without major news coverage his message is starting to seep out to others .  His message is broad enough to be interesting enough to everyone in spite of their party loyalties. Some republicans are even taking a look at this mavericks programs who when added together have something in them for everyone.

Let's see how O'Malley gets covered and compare his coverage to the rest of the candidates , I'm betting it won't be much different than Bernie's coverage.  Which would be one of the best indicators that the so called Liberal press is not liberal at all.  I know that statement will be a surprise to some of of you but it's for you to know you are being played.

It's early in the game and a lot of sorting out is left to be done.  The republicans have a huge task set before them having to pick between a group with not much difference between them.  There will be some scary times like today when you read things  like "Scott Walker" leads the polls in Iowa.  I hope that is not an indicator of the GOP looking to  pick the scariest one from their ranks to lead.  Then again it might be the best thing that could happen as far as the democrats.  It's a lot easier to run against crazy.  One other thing to consider will a crazy republican candidate who appears to beat Hillary in the polls swing votes to Sanders or O'Malley, one can always hope.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Some research predicts half of current jobs will disappear in 20 years and you can see now the effect this is going to have on the workforce.   As computers get smarter and able to do more work normally done by humans the humans will be forced off the job

The last 30 years jobs have disappeared by the 100,000's in the US and in lots of the rest of the world.  Good manufacturing jobs sent first to China and as their worker wage demands increase jobs started to move elsewhere.  Now those jobs are shifting to computer workers and seeking other countries to operate in.  Some are even moving back to the US for more reliable energy and better tax breaks.

Here's a look at job prospects down the road,as you can see at least half these jobs are administrator types almost all calling for a bachelors degree.  Leaving one wondering how these folks are going to learn the jobs they are supervising as the predictions that machines will be doing a lot of the work they will be supervising.  This causes me a lot of concern thinking you can learn everything there is know about a job by simply going to college.

Not many realize that computers are writing a  some of our news stories ,written by many different software programs most still under development.  Computers are leaning to write fiction stories, instruction manuals, analyze different inputs and write reports based on that info.

Too see the work force of tomorrow take a peak at the new car manufacturing plants, instead of a floor full of worker bees they are filled with computers of all shapes and sizes doing the work , with just a very few humans.  Some look at this as progress and in some ways it is, it does remove what lots think of as drudgery.  All the good paying white collar jobs we were promised did not last long , as soon as they invented machines to do all kinds of paperwork from bookkeeping to customer service those jobs left the US too.

An example of where we are headed can be shown by looking at the plans companies like Amazon have on the drawing boards.  They already have automated product choosing gear that brings the packages to the worker, next step is robots to replace the human part of this transaction.  Drones enter the picture here too, they are testing a drone delivery system and if successful their goes those good UPS jobs.

With more and more unable to find any kind of work what will all those people do.  How will they get the necessities  of life?  Even today those unemployed run out of benefits quickly and those in power want to limit all social welfare programs.  A look at most inner cities of the day will give you a look at the future for many.  Places like Baltimore that for years have been a wasteland with few jobs and lots of crime.  As many more join the unemployed you can imagine what will happen.

There has to be a way to find work, hopefully it could be meaningful work, but that's probably asking for more than can be delivered.  Work of any kind would be better than nothing.

Of course there are answers out there.  With trillions of dollars of infrastructure repair waiting in the wings for money to do them and no will of politicians to do the work.  If the US would just get off the making war routine lots of money could be freed up to do the work that is necessary.

 All of this can be fixed but the countries focus has to be on the people not on corporate profits.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


If you look at the real numbers that tell the story of a non recovery then you know we are in pretty bad shape and without a major course change we will become a third world country.  We are well on our way right now.  A nation that depends on consumers spending but is unwilling to pay them a decent wage and won't let them have a retirement system that will provide them with income after their working life. Without money to shop the economy will continue to shrink.  Wages already down $5000 over the last decade haven't provided the necessary funds to build a recovery.

It's not rocket science what has to be done , we have been down this road before and know exactly what needs to be done.  However our congress filled with right leaning majorities will never allow the necessary changes to happen.  The game plan laid out in this weeks post by the Archdruid  shows what we did to get out of the great depression, it even lays out the mistakes made in early attempts to fix the problem. The biggest myth today is that the old fixes will not work, we need some new kind of economic thinking to get us back up.

Those who believe we need some new gimmick to fix whats broke , refuse to acknowledge that too much money in the hands of a very few  who just want more. Proper taxation of the well to do to bring in more funds to enable the programs that are needed to be financed.  A drastic reduction in defense spending will make the tax cuts less intrusive although I admit they can afford to pay more and a defense spending cut would put more money into the coffers.

With funds available a huge program to rebuild our infrastructure could be initiated putting millions back to work in good paying jobs (also putting more tax money in the coffers). Infrastructure spending puts lots more money into the economy than military spending and would allow the economy to recover into a permanent fix.

If you look at just a few of Bernie Sanders platform programs and understand how much money would be put into play with college loans being paid for by a small transaction tax or the amount put in play by a Medicare for all program would put into play then you understand that's exactly what needs to be done.

The only reasons to not do the above is that you think the rich deserve to get richer while you loose all little more each year as the profits go to all those at the top.  It is hard to believe that that the rich can't see they are cutting their own throats by driving the masses lower and lower.  When the whole world of workers get so desperate there is little left for them to do but rebel.

Actions of late indicate to me they are finally realizing this and of course are trying to start a new world war to protect their empires.. Only problem with this is they are still are being driven by neocons of the 1980's.  The fools believe that a first strike attack is winnable, but it's not and never has been an idea that was the basis of the Cold War that MAD was the real end of any nuclear war. Still is the end game.

A simple sharing of wealth with the goal of rising all boats is the way out of this mess. The rich seem unwilling to do that and it's a lot cheaper to buy politicians and election than to fund a prosperous nation.  Greed is an ugly thing and the rich of the world have lots of it.


On the good guy side you have Bernie Sanders a SOCIALIST (oh no not one of them) and that will be a major ploy of Clinton to point that out at every chance she gets.  She's right of course he is a socialist but so what!  I say after you look at this list of his plans for the country and compare them to your own wish list it will seem unimportant to you or at least it should.  Check our Bernie's 20 point plan. Wolf Blitzer seemed unable to grasp the concept (simple as it is) a small transaction tax would pay for all college for everyone.  1/4 % has been mentioned as the amount of the tax.  Traders say that would destroy the market ,but when you look a daily transactions they are largely derivative trades that in my opinion should be illegal but since they are legal then taxing them makes sense to me.  You can count on the republicans bringing up his socialist agenda the minute he starts to get any traction.  If all that Bernie accomplishes is to get some of his agenda into the debate and with a little luck become law.

The other S's are the whole republican list of candidates I label as Scumbags.  There is little difference in any of their programs although they seem to change with the wind.  All favor sending ground troops into Iraq they all want to disassemble all safety net programs, they favor privatizing just about everything from VA health care to Medicare, Medicaid, Schools you name it they will privatize it.  Government by blockade hasn't worked ever and that's what we have had for awhile.

Before you pull that lever you owe it to yourself to check out their platforms and judge how they will affect you.  You should not believe that things have to be the way they are, you can have a decent wage , a retirement program , good health care, a country not hell bent to get into another war.  If you believe you rate the above then there is not way you can vote republican.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Life in America has turned into what the image above portrays.  We are playing in a rigged game, with other people's rules and they control huge sums of money and everything else.  While we are left in jobs that don't pay the freight.  Left with difficult choices in life, what to do for work, how to save, to have kids or not, get married or not, with how do survive this mess getting to be the question asked by more and more of the people.

We are now approaching another time where those who have all the money are trying to control the game, yep it's election time once again.  Once again we see the wheelbarrows of money coming from the rich like the Koch Brothers and other super rich folk whose stated goal is to buy this election being willing to spend billions to elect their knight in shinning armor.  But the damn armor keeps turning black .  It doesn't take much of a peak under the hood of the right wing machine to ferret out their intentions.  Hell of it is , they are the same one's they have been pushing for 30 years.

With their cries of making government smaller their real intention is to privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid , the VA, and all pension funds.  They trot out their mantra every cycle that we can't afford to fund pensions and show of course rigged numbers to prove their point.  What they don't tell you is they changed the rules allowing corporations to take money paid into pension funds and use it elsewhere, shorting the funds in the long run.  Before they started messing with the rules all was well and most pension funds were over funded.     As noted in this piece , they rigged the game and blamed the outcome on us.

In the process they have set us against one another , those who don't have pensions against those that do, when the real goal should be to make those getting rich over stealing from us pay the freight of doing business.  Oh yes, the poor dears might have to pay a few more taxes but at least most of us would be able to look down the road towards some kind of retirement.  Nobody should be left to work till they drop.  

If that is not enough to look for a more favorable candidate then perhaps this will change your mind.  The right wing with some democrats riding with them want to privatize the VA by issuing  coupons for the service members to purchase their care on the open market.  If you have any knowledge of what the VA provides its patients you then know the coupon would have to be very big insuring health care cost increases and drastic reduction in levels of care... The specialists the VA has are hard to duplicate in the private system and if they existed on the outside they wouldn't be interested in any discount coupons.  The doctors in private care today won't take Medical, some won't take Medicare and some are very selective in what insurances they will take.  Throwing an already stressed vet into searches for doctors to give them care might be enough to send them over the edge.  If we send the troops into battle we better be willing to take care of them when their service is over.  I know folks in VA care and in most cases they are pleased with the service they get.  Living here in the boondocks of Northern CA being able to get the level of care provided by the VA system is impressive.

Beware of politicians sporting new formula that supposedly fixes problems like pension funds showing the funds underfunded, strange that the funds were fine till they started changing the rules along with the formula used to gauge their soundness. 

The latest gambit of those seeking to sit on the Iron Throne is to make up some new formula to calculate GDP as the latest numbers were not good.  Like all other government numbers , if you don't like the outcome change the formula.  Their latest play is to mess with the formula to calculate GDP.  The last reading produced numbers that indicate that we are not growing , something all of us fools out here already know.  So they will change the rules and make the number look better, things won't be better and I'm betting you won't be fooled into thinking they are.  Check Shadow Stats for the real numbers.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Arnie Duncan Secretary of Education and his Common Core education plan is facing rejection by more and more schools, unions and teachers country wide.

The program is loaded with bad ideas that are putting teachers careers in jeopardy. Subjecting kids to the boring memorization of test questions creating a nation of citizens with tunnel vision as to how the working world works.

Watching Duncan implement his program when running Chicago schools and the dictatorial manner used in implementing the program doomed it to failure from day one.  What better way to get teachers behind your program than firing the entire staffs of a schools and putting so called teachers from a privatized teacher training program.  He even fired janitors, cooks, office help but eventually had to hire the cooks back as he could find no one to do the work.  A very few of the old teaching staff was rehired , the others left to spin in the wind trying to find work.

Tying teacher evaluations and pay hooked to the performance of the kids in their classroom was implemented at the very begging and not until evaluation time did they realize they had no written instructions to carry out the program goals.  

Teachers and parents alike hate the program and don't like what it is turning their kids into.

Even though the Chicago experience was anything but a success Arnie was made Secretary of Education and put his program into play nationwide.  Now he had a new hammer to force compliance, he can withhold your federal funds if your district isn't in the program.  Threat after threat has been issued to force participation but more and more schools are opting out.  It can only get worse from here as it is obvious the program is unfair to teachers and students alike.  Can you imagine being a teacher that had to spend time each day teaching the questions on the test simply to protect their careers.  Here is the link to details of his program.  When school districts turn down the federal dollars instead of complying with the program should be a good enough indicator to tell you how bad this program is.

To thrive, children require sleep, shelter, nutrition, fresh air, nature, athletics, play, love, family, friends, stimulation, education, community, a sense of power and purpose, and freedom to pursue one’s passions.

So of course we tailor our school system to take away as many of those needs as we can.  Start with sleep, at the beginning of the lets fix education system they loaded on up to four hours of homework each night automatically  increasing their work day to 12 hours or more.  Fresh air and exercise were gotten rid of by eliminating gym class.  Then their is the nutritious  school lunch program put in place by Mrs Obama, you have seen the great meals shown on the net as part of this program, kids go hungry rather then eat it. On sense of power and purpose ,by focusing on testing as a measure of knowledge  one's own passions and the students only purpose is to pass the test.

Zero tolerance and the instilling of fear brought about by 911 have turned the system into a brain dead bunch of administrators unable to judge each incident as separate deserving different punishment they pull the Zero Tolerance out of their hip pocket and go down the list. Let me see you did this and for that the standard punishment is this.  If they think this is a good way to administrate then we should be able to apply the same standards to our leaders.

I watch kids struggling home lugging backpacks pull of all their stuff I guess, some schools have no lockers, the only thing I can think of that lugging those huge back packs around prepares you for is being a ground pounder in the military.

Things have gotten way out of hand to bring it back will take a whole change in administration in the system.  What we have is not preparing our children to enter the work force.  All the  focus is on higher math and reading while other trade like traits are seldom addressed.  The certainly aren't funded.

Being a teacher in today's schools is a never ending battle between the teacher , their administrators, the parents, and the kids themselves.  Kids display very little respect for their teachers, can't leave their fingers off their cellphones, won't do assignments , can't or won't read simple instructions to complete a project.  The first thing a teacher has to do at the beginning of each year is to establish their dominance in the classroom.  Once they get that idea that this teacher is not a pushover they start to get with the program... A whole lot of work, that some teachers do really well.  If we are lucky they stay teaching.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The real goal of US foreign policy.  Stir the pot , getting it to boil over , therefore wrecking havoc to all in their path.

Our track record on creating havoc is really a spectacular display of stupidity not here to for seen in my lifetime.  Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and lots of other attempts are keeping the pot boiling in places where or our companies have an economic interest.

THIS ARTICLE   suggests that our goal is not in winning a contest but only in creating a nation easier to control whose infrastructure was destroyed by us. That thought pains me to even think that could be our goal.  The loss of life and limb being coldly calculated as a cost of getting what they want and it's not winning, it's economic control of the world. Our blood and guts spilled for the gain of a very few makes me want to puke.

If  you buy into this theory it is easier to understand the recent excursions into countries where we had no real reason to join in the war.  It doesn't become easier to accept all the dead and crippled bodies of our fighting troops.

With the dance to become our next president is underway with the promises that both sides will spend billions to win the job.  Most of the contenders are for more war and want to increase defense spending by various amounts feeding an already fatted calf.  

Now they are considering a first strike nuclear attack they believe they can win.  That's raising the Chaos bar too far for me.  No body with half a brain would even consider trying to pull off a first strike.  Most stable minds believe that no one would survive such an event, except for our beloved neocons.


Picture if you will a 3 year old laying on the floor kicking and screaming "I want my way, I want my way.  Replace the picture of that 3 year old and replace it with the United States of America.  We're like the big bully on the block who finally had the weakling on the block challenge his rule of the neighborhood.  Like the bully we don't seem to know how to act in this 21st century world.

Worried that we are loosing in our goal be the biggest bully on the world stage we have started war after war, lost them all but hell let's try a bigger target. Let's pick on Russia , we are worried that they are once again becoming too powerful and need to be taken down a notch.  So we back a coup in Ukraine and place in power folks just like the Nazi's of old.  Mass killings , door to door in some cities, killing all that don't agree with them.

It didn't take very long for the people of Crimea to decide they wanted no part of the installed government in Ukraine and voted to go back to Russian Control.  About half of the Ukraine decided they didn't wanna play with the Nazi's and started a revolution.. It became apparent quickly they were  kicking the governments ass.

We tried all the dirty tricks in the book to get Putin to invade the Ukraine but he didn't take the bait and once again the US has failed at a regime change , getting a lot of egg on their face in the process.

So like a spoiled brat the US and most of the EU are not going to attend the 70th anniversary of the Nazi surrender at the end of WW2.  Never fear Putin will have lots of company celebrating the event.Most of the rest of the world who are not US toadies are showing up to share the celebration.   A celebration that would not be taking place if the Russians through great losses of people had a major hand in their defeat.  Some say we would have not won without them.  That doesn't really matter , what does is our childish behavior on the world stage.. A world that is beginning to recognize the US  for what it really is  A BIG BULLY.

Not satisfied with just poking the Russian bear we are now putting China in the cross hairs worried about their rise to power, thwarting our great plan "TIP TO ASIA"  We just can't accept that we will never again be the one world power we so want to be.  In fact what we should be worrying about is our slippage  from mighty nation status heading to third world status.  After destroying the American middle class, sending all the good paying jobs to cheaper labor markets, allowing our financial leaders to lie, cheat and steal their way the destruction of a large chunk of the worlds finances.

The neocons who invented this great plan of world hegemony are still hanging around having influence way out of sync with what we should be working at.

The ultimate scare factor in all of this is the belief of our leaders both civilian and military believe we can successfully pull of a first strike nuclear war.  Nobody but crazy Neocons believe this is doable while most of us sit here on our hands and do nothing about stopping these loonies.