Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Time To Weigh In On Crimea and Ukraine

I have been doing some homework. Crimea has only been part of Ukraine since 1954 where they had been USSR since the Soviet Revolution of 1917. I did not know that Khrushchev was from Ukraine and what a coincidence that Crimea was transferred to Ukraine shortly after he became party leader. I remember him. Remember the fist pounding? He gets a bad rap sometimes... well, when compared to his predecessor, Stalin, who orchestrated a man-made famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed up to 7.5 million Ukrainians. 



The politics are becoming clearer in history's regard, but what of now?




Is this another episode of: "A Pipeline Runs Through It"? 

File:Major russian gas pipelines to europe.png

Gazprom seems like the Russian equivalent of USA based multi-national energy conglomerates and ancillary operations like Halliburton whose interests our military defends in the middle east, Africa, and wherever energy supplies might be threatened. The war toys sales are a bonus! 

I believe Crimea and Ukraine are separate issues, but like Bush's 9/11, Putin needed a "gimme" before launching into Ukraine. Crimea is over 50% Russian. Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU. If Ukraine gets into the EU; prices, ownership, and advantage would change, ja? So,Putin takes the "gimme", everyone gets used to it and next he asserts Russian dominance in Ukraine to protect his assets. Isn't it always about the money these days? Just MHO.

What say you? 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fact-Checked and Thankfully Cursed With Too Small A Sample

After some intro...spection. And, I admit -  hard for me at best, I fact-checked myself on my last post.

And found these facts, below, to restore my hope in the macro and once again prove my stats teacher right. I really needed a sample size that would bring my observations within acceptable standards of deviation.

Youth Vote 2012 Turnout: Exit Polls Show Greater Share Of Electorate Than In 2008

I used to love stats in school.... the curse of a fact-based life. Science, as Neil would say - whether you believe it or not, established science is the truth.








The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

And as I learned the math I learned that numbers do not lie.

Unless you were dumbed down in the 80's - 90's as a product of Republican Education Policy -actually  none, really,  you know they want to keep us ignorant and compliant. George Carlin sums it up:


I'm not immune to making sweeping generalizations about specifics... but, that'll get you a ruler slap in liberal post-grad science world. Or, it should. Or it would from my adviser, Dr. Rock. A retired Colonel. Objectiveness escapes the conservative world, questioning beliefs too. Sad. I'd slap Issa's wrist every time he lied on committee. Or at least give him a dog collar shock.

Again, thanks to Mr. Stats for first, getting me used to crunching the sheer mega-numbers and second, seeing in me an intellectual curiosity that overcame my pre-conceived notions about whatever we were studying.

Show me a conservative that can do that, seriously.

But that's another story for another day.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Generational Selective Memory

We are fucked.

The general consensus among the younger residents and visitors at the Seal Cove Home For the Emotionally and Socially Disturbed is that I spend way too much time living in the past. A time when people made a living wage, belonged to Unions, one parent worked while the other stayed home and took care of the kids and still had plenty of money.

They have no point of reference. They think I am a babbling idiot. They want me to accept the "New Normal". I refuse and therefore are a "Crazy Old Man".

fuck me... I feel like shit.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Saturday Night Music Poll

This is an ongoing debate in the Greendayman household...


  • Phish
  • Rolling Stones
  • Jack White
More polls: Create





Friday, February 7, 2014

Late Friday Post

I've been looking for this for years.. enjoy!

Are You A Used-To-Have?




I'm a Member of the American 'Used-to-Haves' From HuffPo

I used to have a house. I used to go on vacations. I used to shop at department stores, get my hair done and even enjoy pedicures. Now, I don't. I'm a member of the American "Used-to-Haves."

Me too! I measure these things as: I used to have subscriptions to - the daily paper, National Geographic, Omni, Seirra Club, Audubon, and more. They dropped off one by one until I had no more subscriptions. This didn't happen all at once. As Kathleen Ann says,..

Now, I'm renting an apartment and I'm desperately awaiting a check so I can pay the rent. Yet, I'm lucky to have an apartment that includes utilities. Despite my college degree from a prestigious college, and solid employment track record, I can't get a job. It's been so long since my corporate days, I now feel unemployable.

My age doesn't help. But I'm as healthy as a thoroughbred, I appear quite young and would gladly accept a basic salary. I'm a bargain! But no. I'm freelancing for $15 an hour these days, but I used to earn $100 an hour. In fact, all the freelance hourly rates have been driven down to $15-30 an hour. To make ends meet, I also work as an aide ($13.75 an hour) and run a small local company. And my annual earnings are under $20,000.

Yeah, tell us about it.

We "Used-to-Haves" all used to work in the corporate world for big, wealthy companies. We were discarded in layoffs. I've been told, as my employer du jour let me go, what a positive difference I made and the value of my contributions. I agree. I know I made my bosses look brilliant. Fully aware that my contributions built the company's brand image. Yet, I was expendable.
I know this tune... 
As a new "Used-to-Have," I denied my slide. "I'm not poor!" I nervously chuckled to myself. But as I slid more, the smartest thing was finally acknowledging poverty and applying for the benefits available. I'd never been poor before. I didn't know how to be poor. But finally, I learned. The magnitude of my shame and embarrassment is unspeakable. It's impossible to explain to people who aren't poor -- "The Haves." When I'm beseechingly desperate for a check owed to me, the check writer inevitably has no concept of how frighteningly desperate I am for that money. They say, "Next week? or "The accountant says two weeks." I plead, nicely, sincerely, "Is there no way you could just write me that check?" And the answer is "no." It's just putting a pen to paper, but for "The Haves," I'm just a pain in the neck.
[snip]

The press calls it "The Great Recession." It actually was the "Great Theft." In the wake of this very public, often-glossed-over theft from the middle class, the perpetrators have been revealed. We know the American corporations without the courage, scruples or heart to help us, the ones responsible for the recession and the politicians who put the toxic policies in place. We "Used-to-Haves" aren't stupid.
As a "Used-to-Have," I'm beyond angry. I'm not a "Never Had." I know what it's like to pay bills on time and have a little left over. I remember vacations and pedicures and going out to dinner. As a "Used-to-Have," I know exactly what Corporate America, lobbyists and politicians have taken away from me. The "Used-to-Haves" and the children of the "Used-to-Haves" won't forget. The "Used-to-Haves" are educated. Many of us and our children have amazing talent and academic honors. We know how to get things done. And though all of the odds appear to be against us, we must refuse to give up hope.
I dunno, sometimes it's just easier to have another rum drink and yell at the clouds. Geeze, I am getting old. 

Lee Camp: Koch Brothers - Powerful Psychopaths Impose Their Will On YOU!

This Is A Great Idea


Sen. Elizabeth Warren Proposes Replacing Payday Lenders With the Post Office from Bill Moyers

The Postal Service (USPS) could spare the most economically vulnerable Americans from dealing with predatory financial companies under a proposal 
endorsed over the weekend by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“USPS could partner with banks to make a critical difference for millions of Americans who don’t have basic banking services because there are almost no banks or bank branches in their neighborhoods,” Warren wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed on Saturday. The op-ed picked up on a report from the USPS’s Inspector General that proposed using the agency’s extensive physical infrastructure to extend basics like debit cards and small-dollar loans to the same communities that the banking industry has generally ignored. The report found that 68 million Americans don’t have bank accounts and spent $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees for the kinds of basic financial services that USPS could begin offering. The average un-banked household spent more than $2,400, or about 10 percent of its income, just to access its own money through things like check cashing and payday lending stores. USPS would generate savings for those families and revenue for itself by stepping in to replace those non-bank financial services companies.



Those companies are among the most predatory actors in the money business. Payday loans with annual interest rates well north of 100 percent suck paying $520 to borrow $375. After decades of operating in a regulatory blind spot and ducking state-level reforms, the payday lending business now faces a crackdown from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The threat of new rules for short-term cash loans in general has caused traditional banks to stop offering deposit-advance loans with similar features.

[Snip]
Doing business in those communities in a more ethical fashion would still be profitable enough to inject about $9 billion into the struggling federal mail agency’s books. The USPS is dealing with a fiscal crisis, one largely manufactured by Congressional choices. The agency gets no taxpayer money for its operations but is still under Congress’s authority, and lawmakers have used that authority to impose arbitrary financial requirements and service constraints that have the post service on the verge of bankruptcy. USPS is legally obligated to hold assets in its pension funds that cover the next 75 years of projected pension costs, a unique and crippling requirement that Congress refuses to lift despite evidence that it is almost solely responsible for the agency’s financial woes.

Ayuh. 

On another note - Anyone remember going "Postal"?

Six Dead in Calif. Post Office Shooting


List of Postal Killings

Should Postal Workers Have Guns? 

So, lets give them more guns!! That'll fix it! Hell, the NRA mag is in the top 20 of most subscribed. Cling to those guns and religion...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Saw This Coming

Peyton Manning talks corporate sponsorship of quarterback's call signals.

With football being the number one spectator sport in the USA, and corporations that are always looking for new ways to cash in, it was only a matter of time. Peyton Manning, QB of the 2013-14 Denver Broncos, talked with Dan Patrick about his "Omaha, Omaha" signals when changing up a play at the line of scrimmage. Peyton dispelled rumors that he was retiring to go to work for Omaha Steaks, or Mutual of Omaha. He went on to disparage the seemingly eventual sponsorships of QB's call signs. "...next, they'll be paid to yell 'GatorAde, GatorAde' at the line". Payton finished with hoping that he was out of football by the time that happens.

Omaha, Omaha and the Gatorade comments start at about 2:25.


If I were so inclined, I could find more than a few parallels between corporate football and Rollerball I bet, but it's time to shovel.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why So Serious?

What is it with me lately? I haven't posted a music vid or comic for ages...

Guess its just the times, and my crestfallen disappointment with the Socialist President we all hoped would really be socialist. I know, it sucks.
Intransigent systematic capitalist/fascist takeover of our fair country is almost complete.

Does anyone remember Rollerball?

The original, with corporations taking over the world in the corporate wars, no governments, no individual heroes allowed. Only corporations and their needs to be met.

I never realized how prescient this movie from 1975 would be.



Friends, tell me this is not happening, please.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Republicans Are Assholes. Well, maybe not all - but, I bet all assholes are Republicans.

Economic Desperation - The Manna of Republican Corporatists (Fascists)

Robert Reich has a handle on the economic issues inundating this country today. The right wing/corporate media is complicit in downplaying the problems as well, as we all know. Why is it so hard for the general populous to see that demand side economics are the ONLY answer to the income inequality problems we see today? Because the media, all the fucking media, replays the old Reagan supply side mantra, job creators, ad naseum. I, for one, have had enough of this bullshit. Brainwashed by corporate media, the scared, general population continues to vote against their own self interest only for survival. this is no way to live. Scared, afraid, broke, desperate. Ask anyone, there is no security in this Republican world.



Fear Is Why Workers in Red States Vote Against Their Economic Self-Interest

By Robert Reich

Excerpts:

Last week's massive spill of the toxic chemical MCHM into West Virginia's Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees eager to accept whatever job they can get. They are also also unwilling to demand healthy and safe environments.

So why wasn't more done to prevent this, and why isn't there more of any outcry even now?

The answer isn't hard to find. As Maya Nye, president of People Concerned About Chemical Safety, a citizen's group formed after a 2008 explosion and fire killed workers at West Virginia's Bayer CropScience plant in the state, explained to the New York Times: "We are so desperate for jobs in West Virginia we don't want to do anything that pushes industry out."

Exactly.

The wages of production workers have been dropping for thirty years, adjusted for inflation, and their economic security has disappeared. Companies can and do shut down, sometimes literally overnight. A smaller share of working-age Americans hold jobs today than at any time in more than three decades.

People are so desperate for jobs they don't want to rock the boat. They don't want rules and regulations enforced that might cost them their livelihoods. For them, a job is precious -- sometimes even more precious than a safe workplace or safe drinking water.

This may explain why Republican officials who have been casting their votes against unions, against expanding Medicaid, against raising the minimum wage, against extended unemployment insurance, and against jobs bills that would put people to work, continue to be elected and re-elected. They obviously have the support of corporate patrons who want to keep unemployment high and workers insecure because a pliant working class helps their bottom lines. But they also, paradoxically, get the votes of many workers who are clinging so desperately to their jobs that they're afraid of change and too cowed to make a ruckus.

Amen, brother.