Category Archives: BLOGS

And Jesus Said….


sekanblogger:

PLEASE HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR, ESPECIALLY ABOUT RELIGION!

Originally posted on The Mad Hatters:

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Capturing The Spirit of MEDIOCRITY!


Oh, at last! I’ve found another soul that understands, and appreciates MEDIOCRITY!
One “Old Coot” seems to understand the true value of mediocrity, and has put it into words so well. Here’s a bit of the short post that’s well worth reading. ~ sekanblogger

Up With Mediocrity

Brace Yourself for the Mediocre

“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.” Joseph Heller

Coots want to honor mediocrity today. It is easy to take mediocrity for granted. It looks so easy but it is not. People fail to appreciate the difficulty in maintaining an even keel in life; charting that difficult course between accomplishment and blithering idiocy. Most people just  can’t manage this. Try as they might, they fail. They either excel at something without even noticing  or expose their stupidity because they don’t know how to maintain proper discipline.  Humans are complex and operate on many levels which makes the seemingly simple task of being mediocre almost impossible. Most people have some dimension of their being which stands out. There seems always to be some talent or skill which is unique or memorable and most people just don’t have the skills to cover it up. This is why for most people being mediocre is impossible. No matter how hard they try to tone down those areas, they just can’t do it. Something stands out.

READ MORE HERE….

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Filed under AMERICANA, BLOGS, Humor, ODDITIES, Opinion

25 Giant Corporations That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid Uncle Sam


25 Giant Corporations That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid Uncle Sam.

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Filed under BLOGS, Crime, Human Rights, NEWS

Wall Street Spirit / The 99%


Much thanks to DuncanR at THE MAD HATTERS blog for this great find.

Remember that this is a worldwide economic collapse. Although the problem(s) have their roots on Wall Street,

THE 99% includes people from all over the world.

Thanks to BIG EASY APPLE  for this video (below).

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Filed under AMERICANA, BLOGS, Blues Music, Crime, History, Human Rights, Music, Politics, Soul Music

An Average Bob Weighs In (on taxes, the economy & medical costs)


I received this via email about a week ago from a friend (average Joe) and thought it was well worth sharing. Just an honest opinion from a guy posting as Bob, on a working man’s discussion board. This is not an “expert” or paid opinion,  just some blue collar guy calling it as he sees things. I see a couple of odd ‘misstatements’ , but the bulk of it seems true enough. I have made only minor changes to make this more readable, and added any links and tags. The discussion began with a link to Warren Buffet’s comments on taxes, thus the main theme here is taxes, but he goes on to address a couple of other things that us ‘working poor’  see as part of the collective problems that go unaddressed by “our” government. Please weigh in and feel free to correct any incorrect statements or assumptions ~sekanblogger.

“I copied this from a website I frequent that deals with machine shop issues. I thought he told it like it is and thought I should share it.” ~ An average Joe.

I’m not quite sure what a “conservative” is. Is it the guy that wants to eliminate the EPA so that we can destroy any wildlife left in the country or is it the NRA guy that wants to conserve the wildlife, so he can shoot it? At least I know a liberal wants to conserve the wildlife and then not let us shoot it.

I still say the 35% tax on business PROFITS serves a purpose… spend it, or we’ll take it. I also say that the purpose of a small business is to essentially make no profit. The money should go to the employees, the owners, or to pumping up the business. If you own a business, why would you let profit fester in the business, and pay taxes on it, when you can just simply pay yourself.

On the “rich”. The Capital Gains thing is BS. Money you get for free is taxed at a lower rate than money you work for. On top of that, money you work for is up for SS and medicare/medicaid crap. 15.xx something percent. 2% less this year.

So, if you make all your money on Capital gains (the conscientious CEO’s taking $1 in salary). They are taxed at 15% MAX. The poor schmuck who doesn’t make enough to pay “income tax” and doesn’t have kids (no earned income BS), he’s paying a higher percent of his income out.

He’ll get it back, if he doesn’t die, but that is now an “entitlement”, as if you never paid into it in the first place. So he’s just paying a higher tax rate.

Whoever suggested a consumption tax, that’s about as regressive as you can get. 2 completely responsible people with decent jobs, raking in maybe 80-100k a year, have a kid to keep the grandparents off their back and possibly make a contribution to the world. Pretty close to 100% of their money is going to go towards consumption. Their tax rate is going to go up with a consumption tax.

The couple making a few million, who buy all their clothes in Paris and are able to “invest” 1/2 the money they bring in, their effective tax rate will be less than half than that of the normal middle class family.

Now a family that is just flat out poor, they are going to be purely crippled with a consumption tax.

Could a consumption tax be part of a well thought out (and paid for by lobbyists) tax plan? Possibly.

Europe is looking at passing a .01% tax on financial transactions, lots of exemptions, such as an initial IPO (you know when you are ACTUALLY investing in a company), bonds and some other crap. They are afraid it might push all the traders/gamblers out. Sounds perfect to me. They can all go to China, live in a concrete shack, and China can pick up their losses.

Greece is going to hell, and what do you hear about? There are no worries about Greece itself, or the Greek people, it’s all about the banks, and their exposure to Greek debt. Do we loan Greece the money so the banks don’t hurt, or do we let Greece and their people die and give the money directly to the banks?

Last year when I was in Vegas and was concentrating more on the the dancing girls than the table, nobody covered my losses. Bernanke and ‘Turbo Tax Timmy’ didn’t care that I lost money gambling.

Who gives a crap about the big banks, let them fail. This is not what banks used to do. They loaned money to local people and businesses, they took in deposits from local people and businesses, and gave you some interest on it.

Now they take in deposits and charge you a fee, so they make profit, then they borrow money from the Fed for damn near free, maybe loan you a bit of it, make a profit on that, bundle and leverage it and sell it to Fannie Mae. Then they take the rest and gamble on oil, gold, credit default swaps, stocks, bonds, whatever the hell they can get their hands on, leveraged to absolute hilt of course.

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but they are leveraging 40:1 (try that with your house), then buying oil futures, about $5k to control 1000 barrels of oil. So… you owe Bank of America 100k on a mortgage for your crappy little ranch in the suburbs (that they borrowed at .01% interest), they are leveraging that at 40:1. so your mortgage is now backing 4 million dollars worth of gambling. They pile that all into oil (they will never take delivery). So now your 100k mortgage is controlling 800,000 barrels of oil. 5% or so of what the US is using in a single day.

So leveraged and then on the margin, you are paying them 5% on your little mortgage (decent profit right there), which allows them to control 800,000 barrels of oil. That’s worth…. $64 million dollars. And we wonder why we are in trouble.

Take away the margin or the leverage, still an insane butt load of money that your mortgage is covering/gambling. Lots of free money to play with, money you will never see, money you will never get to play with, money that will never in the slightest ever benefit you at all (screws you at the gas pump though). But apparently the money that could never possibly see the average person is what “they” are worried about.

Why invest in producing something or adding value to something, just invest/gamble in funny money, less work, and you pay a lower tax rate.

We are so screwed.

(…and he had this to say about health care costs…..Joe)

Is it possible we could lower health care costs by cutting out the 3rd party “speculators”. The ‘for profit’ above all else insurance companies?

You know, the ones that don’t have a damn thing to do with me and my health, and don’t have a damn thing to do with the people that provide the health care, but just skim off the top, for profit, above all else. The ones that raise health care cost because of all the BS paperwork required and the policy of refusing everything the first time through.

It takes a minute for a Doc to grab my sack and make me cough. It takes the secretary 4 hours of paperwork to get paid for me coughing.

When a service is rendered, somebody needs to make some money, that’s just the way it has to work. When it is a basic service, a necessary service to some people’s survival, there shouldn’t be somebody in the middle skimming off money for just shuffling money, driving up costs for everybody.

Medical costs could drop drastically and still not stick it to the doctors. He (the doctor) wouldn’t need as many secretaries to deal with paperwork, but that would free up money other places in the economy, so “in theory” there should be new job openings in other sectors.   - Bob

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The Myth of War (via The Christian Left)


Picture

 Here on The Christian Left we have shown that the Spirit is often made manifest through human action. We are proving that there is such a thing as consciousness, and it is expanding, opening the possibility of a future based on love and compassion. We have done so and will continue to do so not only through our faith, but by deconstructing the myths that perpetuate injustice.

Through the global dialog and participation of thousands now, and millions in the future, we are reconstructing the core principles of our faith, those based on the gospel of Jesus, one founded on hope, love, and charity, healing, and building community.

Having initiated the process of deconstructing the idea in many people’s minds of Christians as wild-eyed Crusaders, we as liberals are also confronted with secular myths, in particular the myths of war. Even ardent, good, honest, hard-working liberals carry myths to justify war. The most common myth of war is that it is inevitable. Christians have many historical examples of love conquering the mightiest foes. Christ himself advocated peace, and even healed the ear of the Roman that was hewn. Ghandi drove out the British without firing a shot. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a nation to confront the evil of racism. The lone Chinese man stopped a tank in Tianamen square holding nothing but a briefcase.

Our task, as those inspired by a bold vision of peace, is to provide a viable path to end war forever. This path must adhere to non-violent, Christian means, otherwise the end will be for naught. As we have deconstructed the good and the bad in the past of Christianity and constructed a new future advocating for the ill, the hungry, the war weary, the aged, and the children, we will deconstruct the past myths of war and create a future of peace.

A Practical Plan for Peace – Global Incremental Mutually Verifiable Arms Reduction (GIMVAR)
-Global

Ending war will entail assiduous and sustained effort from people in all areas of society. Without question, peace is predicated on a widespread, grassroots movement from all parts of the globe in all areas of political, economic, and civil society. On the surface, a global citizens movement demanding peace seems untenable. After all, so many conflicts rage across the globe. We have violence in every continent. The Saudi government sends troops invade Bahrain to suppress the people’s call for justice. The Americans are in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. Turkey is bombing the Kurds. We see war in Chechnya, and Somalia. We see the threat of war in Ossetia and Iran.

Nevertheless, wherever conflicts erupt the civilians want peace. One of the missions of this essay is to inspire Christians large and small, of all denominations, and of all nations to act upon that sentiment and take bold action to stop the wars in which their governments fight.

Global arms reduction has several components the most important of which is reducing the dollar amount of weapons exported and reducing the total volume of weapons produced. Massive, sustained citizen input will be required for these demands to even be heard by most governments. It is our job as Christians to make sure that they do.

-Incremental

To be successful, the transition away from a war economy will need to be incremental. Obviously, a huge shift in military power will create power vacuums that may cause some to see an advantage in another’s weakness. Moving in a methodical, incremental fashion prevents a sudden shift in power and allows nations to make adjustments.

Secondly, those involved in the armaments industry will need to be incentivized to change their manufacturing and production to new industries such as green technologies, labor intensive industries such as organic farming, renovating homes to be energy efficient, the construction of green transportation and communications infrastructure. Providing a transition path for industry will reduce, but not eliminate, institutional resistance.

-Mutually Verifiable

Verifying that those you fear are also playing by the rules is the critical component to the long-term success of this program for peace. As Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” Taking incremental steps, agreed upon by all parties, helps to improve the process of verification. Governments and inspectors can verify that all parties have met their obligations before proceeding to the next step.

Both incentives and punitive measures will need to be invoked to ensure that countries participating in the process toward peace satisfy the agreements they have made. Incentives could include interest free loans, or simply grants for building food security, or developing industry, or water conservation and soil preservation. Punitive measures could include economic sanctions, freezing of assets, or the denial of participation in athletic competitions.

Any punitive measures must be non-violent, for peace cannot be attained by violent means.

-Arms Reduction

Arms reduction will need to first focus on heavy armaments such as jet fighters, bombers, tanks, personnel carriers, artillery, warships, submarines, and other heavy weaponry. These types of armaments can be most readily identified as having one and only one purpose: killing human beings.

Small arms will also have to be included. While one may argue that small arms are necessary to protect one’s family, or to protect the people against the overreaching power of the state, reducing the number of small arms exported and imported is a critical component to attaining peace.

As Christians, we can choose to accept the myth that ‘war is inevitable’, or we can start taking concrete steps toward embracing our neighbors, loving our enemies, and eliminating the scourge of humankind – war.

God Bless!
Mark

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Filed under BLOGS, Crime, Faith, History, Human Rights, Opinion, Politics, Religion, WAR

Elegy For Lisa’s Mother


May God bless Lisa in this time of sorrow.

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The Party of Death?


From Steve Brodner

Take the link at top to go to Steve’s excellent blog! Maybe you can read the text there, which came out too small here.

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Americans Elect .org


Remember the (popular) definition of insanity?

Let’s try something completely different!

READ MORE HERE: Americans Elect .org

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WHY BLOG?


THANKS TO madtante for inspiring this post!

Being a “Baby Boomer”, of course I didn’t grow up using computers. Shewt, when I was in school, overhead projectors were new technology. Libraries were the only way to get any information, and people 30 miles away were truly a long distance away! Computers were something you only saw on Star Trek.

When “home computers” came around (anybody remember the Commodore?), I had absolutely no interest in anything computer. Computers would do nothing for me except cut in on my valuable drinking time. One friend bought a computer, thinking he would be a genius. Of course we soon found a game or two for the damn thing, and turned computer gaming into an all night drinking competition.

So….what changed? First, they started bringing computers into the workplace. I was in manufacturing, and ended up doing some X-Y-Z, three axis machine programming. The first computer I ran at work was a Radio Shack TRS-80.

The Trash 80

I think everybody that ran one called it The Trash 80. It had truly “floppy” disks, and you had to use a bunch of them, as they only held small amounts of data. The data I generated went onto paper tapes with holes punched into it, and then read by the machine. This crap took FOREVER. When I got my first PC at work, I was amazed, ah tells yah, uh-mazed! The damn thing would run at 66 megz….WOW! AND…we could hook an RS232 cable right to the machine, no more paper tapes, whoopee! I still had to learn and use DOS, but it was SOOO MUCH FASTER.

Anyway, I ramble. Back to blogs. I think it was 2004 when I went to work at a D.O.D. contractor who makes bombs. By this time I had bought into computers as really useful tools. You see, I had been doing drafting with a pencil before. What a hassle. Pencils did not have an “Undo button”, you had to actually erase the stuff and start again. So, I really kept up with AutoCad, and got this job as a sinecure (their title was Junior Engineer). When I hired on I was excited, thinking I was going to be somebody. Little did I know that most D.O.D. work was one huge scam, and the project I was put on was just there to soak up some of the excessive defense spending that Americans seem to insist on. So, after I raced through the “busy work” that they gave me, and they couldn’t find anything of real value for me to do, I resorted to surfing the net. THAT’S WHERE I FOUND THESE THINGS CALLED BLOGS.

Blogs were so cool. I could comment and actually get feedback from others all over the world! There were still not many around, and people still called them “Message Boards”, but it was interactive entertainment. The DOD contractor was still pretending they were doing things, so they would even let me work overtime surfing the net. I finally landed on a political blog ran by the Wichita Eagle, where I commented prolifically. Little did I know, but I was actually getting a “following”! Hell, even the editors and cartoonist would occasionally email me with an “atta-boy” and encourage me. I know why. I was controversial, outspoken, and didn’t take crap from anyone. That’s where I really cut my teeth in the blog world. I learned about Trolls, conservative ill-tempered creatures. Some of them even used multiple personalities online.

It was all great fun, but after awhile it got boring too. Feeding the Trolls only has entertainment value for a short time. The few people on that blog (WE Blog) who had good sense were growing tired of the trolling and the hate speech there. So, now having a following, I took matters into my own hands, emailed the few commentators I had addys for, and started my own boycott. IT WORKED! I mean, the word spread, everybody started emailing me, and the very next day, the blog was empty of everybody except trolls and conservatives dimwits with ill-tempers and nobody to rant against. That’s when I started KANSAS MEDIOCRITY. It was not on wordpress, and was not as easy to use, but I did learn. All the liberals, progressives and populists were like, overnight, making me their very own Olbermann type character.

After doing the 1st K.M. blog for awhile I was lured away to write for another blog, based out of Wichita. It went great for awhile, until I started posting stuff that wasn’t political, and I got admonished by the admitted control freak that had invited me in the first place. (He was one of my fans/followers at the Eagle’s blog). That guy has since passed away, and the blog he started has disintegrated into a daily chit-chat between a handful of people. They don’t even respond when I go there. (sigh)….

In conclusion, man can I ramble, THAT’s how I got here. After I quit the DOD contractor and did engineering elsewhere, I decided that wordpress was for me. At first, I followed my old strategy of political controversy. After picking up a few trolls, getting tired of their hate speech and “flaming” other commentators, I changed my entire style. Now you get the MEDIOCRITY that some folks actually read. YES, I still do a political post or two, especially if it’s about local city or county politics. I did decide that any national political issues will now be posted about from a “populist” point of view. When it’s the little guy versus “The System”, you never get trolls. Nobody from Wall Street, Rupert Murdoch or the Koch Brothers bothers me here.

Thanks for reading. Hope you all keep blogging. Keep it weird, keep it real, just keep it coming. I no longer drink/party, so this is my social life. These posts put a link on Facebook, but no, I don’t socialize there.  THANK YOU for reading commenting, and tolerating me when I show up to comment on your own blogs!

WHY COMMENT?

Artwork by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Blogs Reflect Our Lives

In this section I will share a few of my views on blog commenting.

The piece below is one of the very earliest from this blog.

My hope is that people will add their thoughts on commenting and help grow this list!

  You never know who is reading- Not that I’m grandiose enough to believe that the Obama staff is taking cues from me, but It’s obvious to those who keep track of ‘hits’ that many people are visiting and never comment. (as of this posting, I’ve had 50,000 views and 900 comments)

  Make friends and contacts- I’ve made friends by commenting that I certainly would have never met otherwise.  Also, blogging is networking activity, if you want it to be. Some people who blog about business have used links to ‘sell’ themselves. When you comment on other’s blogs, and they get to know you, people will click your link to see what you post.

  Hone your skills- I’m not a writer, obviously. So commenting and getting feedback is essential to my improving whatever skills I do have. If I find myself lacking ideas for new posts, I’ll visit another blog and comment. Many times my comment(s) will inspire a post. If the place I commented inspired me to be there and comment, it’s good for me to see what they do.

  I find the other commentators that I like usually keep it short, concise and to the point. If you are really into writing books, I’ll look for your stuff at the library.

  Get a fresh perspective- If I always read, post and comment at the same place, with the same people all the time, I eventually start to write just like the others there. If I only echo those around me, I’ve unconsciously became scroll-over material! Being unpredictable, without being shocking or offensive, is a great way to be remembered and make an impact.

  It‘s the right thing to do- When I attempted my first blog, I found myself disappointed at the lack of participation. Why? I centered my thoughts around my blog, and my blog only. I never took the time to go and comment on other’s sites. Give yourself away, if you do, you’ll get more back! But…remember what you give will come back to you. Treat others as you wish to be treated. If you do these things, I strongly believe you will get more comments yourself!
~sekanblogger~

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