Since I haven’t written a damn thing in years, please give my erstwhile friend a visit or two.
This post is a good place to start…..
Since I haven’t written a damn thing in years, please give my erstwhile friend a visit or two.
This post is a good place to start…..
Listening at last to his inner-FDR, President Obama is going straight at the Know-nothing/Do-nothing Republican Congress.
At a recent rally on a bridge connecting Rep. John Boehner’s state of Ohio to Senator Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, Obama challenged the two GOP leaders to back his plan for repairing and improving our country’s deteriorating infrastructure. “Help us rebuild this bridge,” he shouted out to Boehner and McConnell. “Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work.”
Yes, let’s do it!
However, in addition to the usual recalcitrance of reactionary Republican leaders, another impediment stands in the way of success: many of the infrastructure jobs that would be created could end up in China.
Holy Uncle Sam! How is this possible?
It’s due to a trap door that was built into the 1933 Buy American Act. This law gives preference to U.S. companies bidding on major infrastructure projects – except it allows the general contractor to opt out of this requirement if the difference in U.S. and foreign bids is significant. This is no theoretical concern, for it’s already happening. For example, the $7-billion reconstruction of the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland is in the hands of a state-subsidized Chinese company that made the lowest bid.
While there are Americans involved in this huge project, the design, engineering, pre-fab, supervision, and other work – as well as profits – are going to China. Consequently, California’s hard-hit people and depressed economy are deprived of the wages, taxes, and consumer spending they would’ve gotten from some 3,000 jobs that went overseas.
Yes, let’s approve Obama’s infrastructure proposal, but let’s improve it by nailing the opt-out trap door shut. For information, go towww.americanmanufacturing.org.
“Bringing America Back: Are Infrastructure Jobs Being Shipped to China?”www.abcnews.com, September 23, 2011.
“Trickle-up” is an accurate description of the present condition.
I want to mention “Reaganomics, trickle-down, and public safety, all in the same short post, so let’s talk about a “tipping point” in American history.
That point would be when Reagan ‘busted’ the Air Traffic Controller’s union. That single action began the long decline that American workers, of all varieties have been on ever since. It also marked a sharp increase in industrialists gaining more and more power over politics and government.
Reagan didn’t invent this stuff, it has always been a corporate tactic to bust unions and buy politicians, but Ronnie put such a spin on it, that it made people feel that it was okay and even damned patriotic.
Good, reliable data, charted and graphed, shows that time as the starting point of the decades long rise of corporate profits. At the same time that profits rose and the wealthy thrived, blue collar worker’s ‘real’ wages stagnated.
This entire scenario puts all in our society in an increasingly dangerous class-warfare that effects public safety. Our workers and therefor our society face a new phenomena: the “flat world”.
Thomas Friedman article here:
In conclusion; The corporate buyout of American government has been complete for may years. Fox News conservatives would have you believe that regulation (protecting the public) is the big problem causing poor job growth, but that’s just not the case.
It is just this simple; we may pay $10 per hour, foreign companies may pay $10 a day. Our wages stay at the same level or decline while theirs slowly creep up. We are on our way to being the same waged employees as China and Mexico, or we will have no jobs at all.
Our middle class is disappearing into poverty while our corporate, financial and government masters get pushed up even farther into wealth and power.
List a few common sense ideas to save our middle/lower economic classes, and I’ll bet I can find the Fox News footage demonizing those same ideas as unpatriotic, nanny-state government that is just seeking to hinder business from growing and employing here.
Middle/lower classes of white people are flocking to conservatism, drinking their kool-aid, and sealing their fate in serfdom for generations to come.
Stupid is, as stupid does.
The proliferation of talking heads and lobbyists leading the stupid into their own demise on the many new forms of media, almost guarantees the continuing gridlock in government, and class warfare from the top on the bottom.
Any progressive or populist solutions to the nation’s problems are always crushed by ‘Captain Obvious”, that is, by the overwhelming amount of money being spent on propaganda (talk radio, Fox News, PAC’s, etc.) that plays to the average person’s most base emotions while ensuring nothing sensible and logical is ever presented to them.
The increasingly extreme conservative ideology pervading Congress and the tea party is infused with a dogmatic creed of rugged individualism, used to justify policies that benefit only the super-rich and large corporations, while hurting — even killing — the rest of us.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) points out, living with economic hardship in this country means an early death. Rugged individualism works for those individuals lucky enough to be born with silver spoons in their mouths. For those unlucky enough to be born with a steel shovel in their hands…well, data shows they’ll die about 6.5 years before their silver-spoon peers do.
Meanwhile, as the poor get poorer, the middle class is shrinking.
Fortunately, our social safety net has kept millions more American children and adults out of poverty. Since the Great Recession began, government programs such as unemployment insurance, food stamps, and the Earned Income Tax Credit have played a critical role in keeping the poverty rate from rising even more dramatically.
In 2010, 3.9 million Americans, including 1.7 million children, were lifted out of poverty because of food stamps, while 3.2 million Americans were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance benefits. Social Security provided a safety net from poverty to 20.3 million of us.
Purveyors of right-wing nonsense about government spending impoverishing our children and the middle class miss the big picture. Although those lacking health insurance increased from 49 million in 2009 to 50 million in 2010, and employment-based health coverage continued to decline, children were protected from this downward trend because Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covered them. Additionally, President Barack Obama’s health care reform act, so much maligned by the right wing, enabled the number of insured 18-24 year-olds to actually rise by half a million last year.
What’s needed is more public investment, not less.
Obama’s American Jobs Act is a good start. It shows that the White House recognizes that we need public money invested in jobs that won’t just employ people, but will also fix our crumbling infrastructure. However, his calls for Congress to approve new so-called “free-trade” agreements with an anti-job track record is counter-productive.
Plus, we need a much larger-scale public effort to directly create green jobs that will quickly employ people, provide good wages and benefits, and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. If we were to bring home the billions of dollars now being spent in devastating and costly wars overseas, we could actually pay for the significant investments that must be made at home.
We taxpayers are paying $1 million per year per U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan. For that same money, we could bring that soldier home, employ her in a well-paying green job for $50,000 per year, and similarly employ 19 more unemployed Americans.
There’s a way out of this misery. The tea party and its ilk offer us only cold cups of bitter tea while serving up fountains of champagne to the super-rich, Wall Street, and big corporations.
Don’t drink the tea. Instead, fight for a way to end our unemployment crisis and for our children to be healthy and able to participate in a thriving future.
From Steve Brodner
I believe in Social Security, workers’ rights, and helping the middle class. Republicans pander to the far right daily with ludicrous statements and attacks on President Obama. These statements motivate Tea Party voters like nothing else. It’s not enough to criticize them – we need to fight back!
They’ll have outside help – Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers will make sure of that. If we don’t all stand together now, they will gain an edge – and we saw in 2010 what happens when they do.
They’ve got their Big Oil benefactors. We’ve got half a million grassroots donors. Keep fighting on the ground, on the air and online.
Perry, Bachmann and Cantor don’t speak for me!
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.
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!
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!