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Jim Wright’s Deleted Facebook Post about 9/11

September 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Jim’s post was removed by Facebook for violating community standards. Most likely, some butthurt RWNJ reported it. There’s nothing wrong with this post, except that it contains the truth, that many people clearly can’t handle. So I’m re-posting it, and would suggest that others do the same.

 

Jim Wright
1 hr · Pensacola, FL ·

You’re expecting some kind of obligatory 9-11 post, aren’t you?

Here it is, but you’re not gonna like it.

15 years ago today 19 shitheads attacked America.

They killed 3000 of us.

And then … America got its revenge for 9-11.

Yes we did. Many times over. We killed them. We killed them all. We killed their families. We killed their wives and their kids and all their neighbors. We killed whole nations that weren’t even involved just to make goddamned sure. We bombed their cities into rubble. We burned down their countries.

They killed 3000 of us, we killed 300,000 of them or more.

8000 of us came home in body bags, but we got our revenge. Yes we did.

We’re still here. They aren’t.

We win. USA! USA! USA!

Right?

You goddamned right. We. Win.

Except…

Every year on this day we bath in the blood of that day yet again. We watch the towers fall over and over. It’s been 15 goddamned years, but we just can’t get enough. We’ve just got to watch it again and again.

It’s funny how we never show those videos of the bombs falling on Baghdad today. Or the dead in the streets of Afghanistan. We got our revenge, but we never talk about that today. No, we just sit and watch the towers fall yet again.

Somewhere out there on the bottom of the sea are the rotting remains of the evil son of bitch who masterminded the attack. It took a decade, but we hunted him down and put a bullet in his brain. Sure. We got him. Right? That’s what we wanted. that’s what our leaders promised us, 15 years ago today.

And today those howling the loudest for revenge shrug and say, well, yeah, that. That doesn’t matter, because, um, yeah, the guy in the White House, um, see, well, he’s not an American, he’s the enemy see? He’s not doing enough. So, whatever. What about that over there? And that? And…

Yeah.

15 years ago our leaders, left and right, stood on the steps of the Capitol and gave us their solemn promise to work together, to stand as one, for all Americans.

How’d that promise work out?

How much are their words worth? Today, 15 years later?

It’s 15 years later and we’re STILL afraid. We’re still terrorized. Still wallowing in conspiracy theories and peering suspiciously out of our bunkers at our neighbors. Sure we won. Sure we did. We became a nation that tortures our enemies — and our own citizens for that matter. We’re a nation of warrantless wiretaps and rendition and we’ve gotten used to being strip searched in our own airports. And how is the world a better place for it all?

And now we’re talking about more war, more blood.

But, yeah, we won. Sure. You bet.

Frankly, I have had enough of 9-11. Fuck 9-11. I’m not going to watch the shows. I’m not going to any of the memorials. I’m not going to the 9-11 sales at Wal-Mart. I don’t want to hear about 9-11. I for damned sure am not interested in watching politicians of either party try to out 9-11 each other. I’m tired of this national 9-11 PTSD. I did my bit for revenge, I went to war, I’ll remember the dead in my own time in my own way.

I’m not going to shed a damned tear today.

We got our revenge. Many times over, for whatever good it did us.

I’m going to go to a picnic and enjoy my day. Enjoy this victory we’ve won.

I suggest you do the same.

2016 Election by the Numbers

August 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Since the beginning of the 2016 US primary elections, I’ve been working on a chart showing the election numbers. I updated it in early August 2016 with all of the official results that were available at the time. Follow this link for the entire chart on Google Drive, or scroll through here on my blog (it’s easier to see in Google Drive).

 

 

At the end of July, Pew Research Center crunched some numbers and came up with an interactive web page to show where each candidate’s votes went, from March 2015 to June 2016. I’ve tried to crunch the numbers even further to estimate the votes at the general election in November, but it’s been a difficult challenge, with so many candidates this year, and so many variables to contend with. For instance, some candidates dropped out very shortly after the first primary was held in Iowa on February 1, 2016, yet their names still appeared on many ballots, or their names were written in, so they still received votes. Also, 2 states didn’t report popular vote totals, making this even more difficult. Of course, this is politics, and things change on a dime here in the US. It’s all just a guessing game until November 9th, and even then we might not know the results (anyone remember Bush?).

 

Pew Democrats Pew Republicans


Republican – December through April

Let’s get the more difficult party out of the way first. Republicans started out with well over a dozen candidates in 2015.  Only the top 11 were given a spot on the PRC chart, and out of those, only 4 were serious contenders. In the “other” column on my main chart, I’ve included all votes that weren’t for the top 4. On the 2nd and 3rd sheets of my chart, I’ve broken down the votes of the 10 top contenders.  Since Walker dropped out before the first primary vote was cast, I’m not going to include him in any official totals except the overall “other” votes (some people wrote his name in), even though he was included on the PRC chart.

There appears to be a huge discrepancy between the December 2015 survey and the actual numbers at the polls, but that’s more a matter of timing than anything else. To understand what I’m talking about, there were 31,168,591 votes cast for all Republicans during the primaries (more, if we could get the actual votes from the 2 states that didn’t release totals). If a candidate was shown to have 1% of the vote in December, he or she should have seen roughly 300,000 actual votes. Most of the candidates didn’t even see ¼ of that. Part of the reason for that is because the survey was done in December, yet the first vote wasn’t cast until February, and another part of the reason is because the candidates dropped out very early in the race.

We’ll start with the December 2015 PRC survey.  I’ll list the candidates in the order they dropped out of the race, the percentage of votes they had at each point, the actual numbers they had at the polls, and where their votes went according to the April 2016 PRC survey. For some, the numbers were too small for the PRC to accurately estimate the percentage that went to other candidates, so I’ve tried to eyeball it as best as I can. Almost all candidates continued to get votes even after they dropped out, presumably because their name was still on the ballot (too late to amend them?) and people were either unaware that they’d dropped out, or were just loyal to them, regardless.

Huckabee dropped out on February 1st. PRC said he had 1% of the vote in December. From December through April, he received 49,658 votes. Eyeballing the PRC chart, his votes went in 6 directions, with Trump receiving a slightly higher percentage than the others. So let’s say that Trump got 20% (9,931), leaving each of the remaining 5 candidates 16% (7,946). Paul’s votes were split between 5 other candidates and himself, with what looks to be 20% going 4 ways, and 10% going 2 ways. Christie’s votes went 7 directions, including himself, with Trump getting the lion’s share (25%) , and Kasich getting a tiny bit more (15%) than the remaining 5 (12%). Fiorina’s votes were split 7 ways, including herself, with Kasich (16%) getting a tiny bit more than the others (14%). Bush’s votes went 7 ways, including himself, with Cruz (20%) and Kasich (18%) in the lead, followed by Trump (16%), Undecided (13%), Bush (13%) retaining votes, Other (10%) and Rubio (10%) bringing up the rear. Carson’s votes were split 9 ways, including himself, with all the percentages given on the PRC chart (Rubio and Paul had 1%, Fiorina had <1%, which left her with only 3 votes, so I reduced theirs to .9% each and gave her .2%). Rubio’s votes were split 8 ways, including himself, with all the percentages given on the PRC chart.


Huckabee – 2/1 – 1% – 49,658 > Trump 9,931 – Cruz 7,945 – Kasich 7,945 – Rubio 7,945 – Other 7,946 – Undecided 7,946

Paul – 2/3 – 2% – 60,689 > Trump 12,137 – Cruz 12,137 – Kasich 6,068 – Other 6,073 – Undecided 12,137  – Paul 12,137
Christie – 2/10 – 2% – 55,386 > Trump 13,847 – Cruz 6,646 – Kasich 8,308 – Bush 6,646 – Other 6,646 – Undecided 6,647 – Christie 6,646
Fiorina – 2/10 – 1% – 37,017 > Trump 5,182 – Cruz 5,182 – Kasich 5,925 – Rubio 5,182 – Other 5,182 – Undecided 5,182 – Fiorina 5,182
Bush – 2/20 – 4% – 271,283 > Trump 43,405 – Cruz 54,256 – Kasich 48,830 – Rubio 27,128 – Other 27,126 – Undecided 35,269 – Bush 35,269
Carson – 3/4 – 10% – 723,775 > Trump 253,321 – Cruz 246,083 – Kasich 79,615 – Rubio 6,514 – Paul 6,514 – Fiorina 1,449 – Other 21,714 – Undecided 65,139 – Carson 43,426
Rubio – 3/15 – 10% – 3,515,648 > Trump 738,286 – Cruz 914,068 – Kasich 1,019,537 – Carson 17,578 – Paul 17,578 – Other 246,099 – Undecided 140,625 – Rubio 421,877

 

Trump, Cruz, and Kasich also had some votes shift between December and April, which will affect the final calculations. No dates, as they hadn’t dropped out at this point. Kasich’s votes were split 5 ways, with himself retaining about 40% of the votes, and the others each getting 15%. For Trump’s split, I had to divide the best I could between Kasich (1.5%), Rubio (.4%) and Paul (.1%). All other information comes from the PRC chart.


Cruz – 14% – 6,914,585 > Trump 1,313,772 – Kasich 553,167 – Rubio 69,146 – Carson 138,292 – Paul 34,572 – Fiorina 34,572 – Other 207,437 – Undecided 345,729 – Cruz 4,217,898

Kasich – 1% – 3,705,077 > Trump 555,761 – Cruz – 555,761 – Other 555,761 – Undecided 555,761 – Kasich 1,482,033
Trump – 34% – 10,184,988 > Cruz 1,018,498 – Kasich 152,775 – Rubio 40,740 – Paul 10,184 – Other 305,550 – Undecided 712,950 – Trump 7,944,291

 

Our December through April totals are as follows:

Trump – 10,889,933
Kasich – 3,364,203
Cruz – 7,038,474
Rubio – 578,532
Carson – 199,296
Bush – 41,915
Fiorina – 41,203
Christie – 6,646
Paul – 80,985
Undecided – 1,887,385
Other – 1,521,290 (Other 1,389,037 + other candidates not listed 131,756)
Grand total  of Repbulican votes Dec – Apr – 25,649,862


Democrat – December through April

Using the same formula for the Democrats for the same time period, excluding Biden and Warren altogether, since they weren’t officially part of the race after December 2015. I’ll only be using Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley’s totals. That should make things a lot easier! O’Malley was the only one to drop out during this time-frame, also after the first day of primaries. His votes were split 5 ways, including himself, so an easy 20% split, with Biden’s share going to Other.  Sanders and Clinton also had a vote shift.  All information from the PRC chart, with percentages, noted in parenthesis.


O’Malley – 2/1 – 1% – 101,751 > Clinton 20,350 – Sanders 20,350 – Undecided 20,350 – Other 20,350 – O”Malley 20,351
Sanders – 29% – 9,761,077 > Clinton 1,561,772 – Undecided 683,275 – Other (1.7%) 165,939 – O’Malley (.3%) 29,284 – Sanders 7,320,807
Clinton – 48% – 12,985,404 > Sanders 2,467,226 – Undecided 1,038,832 – Other (2.5%) 324,636 – O’Malley (.5%) 64,928 – Clinton 9,089,782

 

Again, using the same formula as above for the Republicans, our totals for Democrats are:

Clinton – 10,671,904
Sanders – 9,808,383
O’Malley – 114,563
Total Undecided – 1,742,457
Other – 762,675 (Other 510,925  + other candidates not listed 251,750)
Grand total of Democrat votes Dec – Apr – 23,099,982


Republican – May through June

That brings us to the next set of totals – May through June. Again, the same formulas were used, except for Huckabee with <1% of the vote in April, who didn’t show a vote shift on the PRC chart, and had 1,780 votes. His votes will be included in with the “others” in the grand total.  We’re also adding a new column – Neither – which should make things more interesting.


Paul – 2/3 – 1% – 6,104 > Trump (50%) 3,052 – Clinton (25%) 1,526 – Neither (25%) 1,526
Christie – 2/10 – <1% – 2,465 > Trump (100%) 2,465
Fiorina – 2/10 – <1% – 3,661 > Trump (100%) 3,661
Bush – 2/20 – 1% – 15,618 > Trump (67%) 10,464 – Neither (33%) 5,154
Carson – 3/4 – 1% – 133,289 > Trump (90%) 119,960 – Clinton (10%) 13,329
Rubio – 3/15 – 2% – 20,508 > Trump (90%) 18,458 – Clinton (5%) 1,025 – Neither (5%) 1,025
Cruz – 5/3 – 23% – 871,528 > Trump (87%) 758,230 – Clinton (10%) 87,153 – Neither (3%) 26,145
Kasich – 5/4- 10% – 583,155 > Trump (78%) 454,861 – Clinton (20%) 116,631 – Neither (2%) 11,663
Trump – 44% – 3,843,846 > Trump (96%) 3,690,092 – Clinton (3.9%) 149,910 – Neither (.1%) 3,844

Grand total of Republican votes May – Jun – 5,518,729 (votes above (5,480,174) + other candidates not listed (36,775) + Huckabee’s (1,780) votes)


Democrat – May through June

O’Malley – 2/1 – <1% – 9,509 > Clinton (100%) 9,509
Sanders – July – 37% – 3,985,988 > Clinton (90%) 3,587,389 – Trump (9%) 358,739 – Neither (1%) 39,860
Clinton – 46% – 4,497,412 > Clinton (95%) 4,272,542 – Trump (4%) 179,896 – Neither (1%) 44,974

Grand total of Democrat votes May – Jun – 8,611,203 (votes above (8,492,909) + other candidates not listed (118,294) )


Combined Republican and Democrat – December through June

This is where things get interesting. I’ll be combining each candidate’s totals from the first part (Dec – Apr) and the second part (May – Jun), showing their vote shifts as a combined total.

Paul – 87,089 > Trump (50%) 43,545 – Clinton (25%) 21,772 – Neither (25%) 21,772
Christie – 9,111 > Trump (100%) 9,111
Fiorina – 44,864 > Trump (100%) 44,864
Bush – 57,533 > Trump (67%) 38,547 – Neither (33%) 18,986
Carson – 332,585 > Trump (90%) 299,326 – Clinton (10%) 33,259

Rubio – 599,040 > Trump (90%) 539,136 – Clinton (5%) 29,952 – Neither (5%) 29,952
Cruz – 7,910,002 > Trump (87%) 6,881,703 – Clinton (10%) 791,000 – Neither (3%) 237,299
Kasich – 3,947,358 > Trump (78%) 3,078,940 – Clinton (20%) 789,471 – Neither (2%) 78,947
Trump – 14,733,779 > Trump (96%) 14,144,428 – Clinton (3.9%) 574,618 – Neither (.1%) 14,733

O’Malley – 124,072 > Clinton (100%) 124,072
Sanders – 13,794,371 > Clinton (90%) 12,414,934 – Trump (9%) 1,241,494 – Neither (1%) 137,943
Clinton – 15,169,316 > Clinton (95%) 14,410,851 – Trump (4%) 606,772 – Neither (1%) 151,693

Now we’ll add to it the Other and Undecided votes from both parties and their respective segments above, and their vote shifts according to the PRC chart.

Other Republican – 4% – 1,559,845 > Trump (76%) 1,185,482 – Clinton (19%) 296,371 – Neither (5%) 77,992
Undecided Republican – 14% – 1,887,385 > Trump (68%) 1,283,421 – Clinton (15%) 283,107 – Neither (17%) 320,855

Other Democrat – 2% – 880,969 > Clinton (80%) 704,775 – Trump (10%) 88,097 – Neither (10%) 88,097
Undecided Democrat – 14% – 1,742,457 > Clinton (73%) 1,271,994 – Trump (18%) 313,642 – Neither (9%) 156,821

Now it’s time to add them all up and see what we get.

Trump – 29,798,508 – 47.39%
Clinton – 31,746,176 – 50.49 %
Neither – 1,335,090 – 2.12%
Grand total combined votes – 62,879,774


In conclusion …

So there we have it, folks. Of course, this isn’t the end of the story. There are still almost 3 months until the general election on November 7, 2016. A lot could change between now and then. Hell, a lot could change between now and next week. I’m anxious to see if the Pew Research Center does another poll between now and the election, and if they do, I’ll update these numbers with their polls.

Of course, this says nothing of how the Electoral College will vote, either. This could be another squeaker, or we could end up with SCOTUS deciding the election, which would be pretty interesting considering we’re down a member.

 

* All sources included either in links here or on my chart on Google Drive. I’ve quadruple checked my math at each calculation. While my math may be flawless, my logic might be a little off. I’m open to any constructive criticism of the work I’ve done here. It’s taken me months to compile all of this information in a way that was easy to read and understand. *

Food stamps in restaurants!?

April 28, 2013 2 comments

Lately there have been quite a few memes popping up regarding food stamp usage in America.  Most of them are shared by the ignorant and bigoted people who feel the need to try to shame people who are using such benefits.

Why they do this, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it makes them feel better to put down those less fortunate than themselves.  Maybe it’s because they are truly ignorant of what it’s like to be poor enough to have to use programs like these. Maybe it’s because they’ve been brainwashed by their favorite politician, news program or religious leader to think that people on welfare are lazy and selfish.

No matter what reason they use, the people who post these memes are the ones who are wrong. Wrong for not bothering – or outright refusing – to fact-check. Wrong for lacking compassion. Wrong for not using common sense.

The most recent meme that’s been floating around is the one complaining about restaurants accepting food stamps. Again, those posting it or “liking” it are guilty of not fact-checking and not using common sense.

Federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) policies allow each individual state to determine whether or not to allow food stamps to be used in a restaurant. Some states do, some don’t.

Now before you get your panties in a wad, or start screaming, “See, I told you so!”,  there are a few things you should know about how it works, who qualifies, and the reasoning behind the policies.

You can’t just walk into any restaurant willy-nilly and use food stamps to pay for a meal. There are restrictions.

The restaurants have to be approved to accept food stamps. That approval isn’t handed out to just any restaurant. There has to be a reason that restaurant gets approval. Most of the time, it’s because it’s in an area where there are a high number of people who are qualified to use food stamps in restaurants, or in an area where there aren’t many other options for qualified food stamp users.

Then there are the qualifications for food stamp recipients. The only people who qualify are the elderly, disabled or homeless, and rarely, those who don’t have functioning equipment at their homes (refrigerator, stove).

According to the USDA website:

“With very few exceptions, SNAP benefits cannot be used in restaurants – less than one-tenth of one percent of SNAP benefits were used in restaurants in FY11. The law permits States to authorize restaurants to serve meals to some elderly, disabled, or homeless SNAP clients, who are unable to prepare meals at home. Only four States have chosen to do so.”

In the Pennsylvania SNAP handbook, section 503.3 describes what is and isn’t allowed:

SNAP benefits may also be used to pay for meals prepared and served by any of the following:

  • Authorized meal-delivery services
  • Communal dining facilities for the elderly or SSI households
  • Rehabilitation centers for drug addicts or alcoholics
  • Group-living units
  • Shelters for battered women and children
  • Authorized providers of meals for the homeless
  • Authorized restaurants serving meals to the homeless, elderly, or disabled   7 CFR § 271.2(9)

Only homeless persons may use SNAP benefits in qualified restaurants. The CAO must issue a PA 2SP to the eligible client. The CAO must make the case record show that a PA 2SP was issued as a controlled document and include the name of the person in the household who is eligible for the qualified-restaurant program.

The reasons for allowing such provisions are because “homeless individuals don’t have kitchen spaces to cook meals, so buying unprepared foods at a grocery store may not be all that helpful. Those with disabilities might have a harder time cooking. And lastly, studies have shown that seniors are less likely to eat if they don’t get hot meals.” [source: Findlaw.com]

Anyone who disagrees with food stamps being used in this manner are also guilty of lacking compassion. If you continue to post these memes, do so at your own peril, because I will call you out on being willfully ignorant, bigoted, heartless assholes.

 
*definitions*:

ig·no·rant

[ig-ner-uh nt]

adjective

1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
3. uninformed; unaware.
4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

big·ot

[biguht]

noun

a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race.

My grandmother, the activist

January 17, 2013 4 comments

When I was growing up, I thought my grandmother was the meanest woman on Earth. I don’t recall any good memories of her at all until I was around 19 or 20 years old.  I have one funny memory of a time, while at my Aunt’s house, my cousins and I played a practical joke on my grandmother. The joke went smashingly well! The aftermath … not so well; we got into so much trouble for that one! But at least it was memorable.

I have fond memories of my grandfather, even though he died when I was 6 years old. I remember times spent at their little corner store, and a flash of a memory or two about times spent playing with my cousins in my grandparents’ backyard.

My grandmother moved to Arizona around 1980 when I was about 10 years old. I don’t even remember the occasion of her actually moving! I just remember that she lived in Tucson, and I had the worst time remembering how to spell that word.

Some time in the early 90’s,  my grandmother came for a visit. She brought her “friend” with her – a man named Joe. I was living in my own place, and dating the man who would be my first husband. I remember my grandmother taking a bit of an interest in me and my life, and asking me to show her and Joe around town a bit. They both sat in the back of my car like teenagers while I drove them around. It was kinda cute.

The next memory I have of her is when she was quite ill, and came to live with my father for a period of time in the mid 90’s. I remember visiting a couple of times, and how miserably grumpy she was, and not wanting to visit with her much because of her bad mood.

She ended up moving back to Arizona, where she eventually died in 1998. By that time, I was 27, divorced from my first husband, in a committed relationship, and my Son was just over a year old. I don’t even remember if she met my Son, or even knew I had a child.

As you can see, I wasn’t very close to my grandmother at all. Most of what I know about her came from stories I heard after she died.  I’ve learned a good bit more about her since I’ve started doing genealogy research, which ironically started because I found out her side of the family came from Native American ancestry. I wish I’d known that growing up, and had taken the time to talk to her about what she remembered.

I’ve discovered that she and I have very similar qualities to our personalities.  We both have a love of learning. We are excellent typists. And looking back, I’m thinking she wasn’t mean as much as she was someone who embraced her inner bitch, just like I do. In fact, I think she’d be pretty damn proud of me if she knew the person I’ve become.

The best evidence I have for this conclusion are the letters I uncovered while going through old photo albums. It looks like my grandmother was also an activist, in her own right! And that makes me grin from ear to ear!

The Case of the Missing Bandshell and Broken Lights
a.k.a. – The Verbal Bitchslap My Grandmother Gave the Mayor of Wilmington DE

Rockford Park is in Wilmington Delaware. It is one of the sites for the Summer Concert Series – free concerts in the park during the summer. This was something my grandparents enjoyed doing together in the late 1960’s.

There were some problems that occurred that must’ve made my grandmother downright furious, judging by the letters she wrote to the Mayor of Wilmington and the newspaper.

bandshell_1969

bandshell_1969-a

bandshell_1969-b

bandshell_1969-e

bandshell_1969-f

bandshell_1969-g

She received a note back from Mr. George Sargisson, on a membership letter, which is undated. The note at the bottom reads:

Many thanks to the [surname redacted] – thanks, too, for your letter to mayor, Frank, etc. It’s to the point & should get some positive results. Hope future concerts go OK & without a hitch.
George Sargisson –

bandshell_1969-h

Things didn’t go any smoother the following week, prompting my grandmother to show her skills at persuasive writing yet again. I may have to try this tactic some time in the future!

bandshell_1969-c

bandshell_1969-d

Finally, she received a reply from the mayor’s office. I must give proper kudos to the mayor’s Administrative Assistant, Allan C. Rusten, for a brilliant and funny reply!

bandshell_1969-i

Things seem to have been very different 40+ years ago … these days the typical kind of reply you’ll get from someone in office is a canned response that usually doesn’t even address your reasons for writing to them in the first place.

I’m also very impressed that the mayor remained calm and objective in his reply to my grandmother, even though he launched a bitchslap right back at her for her insinuation. (an insinuation that really pissed me off when I read it, thinking that not much has changed in 40 years when it comes to the vitriol aimed at those less fortunate)

bandshell_1969-j

bandshell_1969-k

And lastly, another written note from the Executive Director of RP&S, Wilmington DE. The note reads:

Thanks Mrs. [surname redacted], for showing Hal’s letter. You certainly got ’em “moving” (slowly) – saw Hal yesterday at Rotary & told him that there were still 3 lights out! Hope remainder of concerts go well. Thanks again.
George Sargisson
7/18/69

bandshell_1969-l

Incidentally, there was a write up about George T. Sargisson in 2007, about what he accomplished in Wilmington. There’s also a little bit at the end about the permanent bandshell that my grandmother was talking about. He appears to have been quite an extraordinary guy. I’m sure my grandparents were lucky to know him.

Information about Harry G. Haskell Jr (who, as of this writing, appears to still be alive!) can be found on Wikipedia, or here at this link.

Blackout your WordPress.com blog to support STOP SOPA

January 16, 2012 12 comments

UPDATE! January 16, 2012:
SOPA has been “shelved” indefinitely, but PIPA is still a problem, and the blackout WILL continue!

 

So, you want to blackout your WordPress.com blog in support of STOP SOPA day on January 18, 2012?

It’s actually pretty easy.

Go to your Dashboard. On the Sidebar find APPEARANCE > WIDGETS.

Create a new Text Widget with this inside (make sure to save it):

<div align="center" style="position:fixed;width:100%;height:100%;
top:0;right:0;background-color:#3D0707;-moz-opacity:0.9;opacity:.90;
filter:alpha(opacity=90);text-align:center;font-size:700%;
font-weight:bold;padding-top:300px;">
<span style="color:#fff;">Stop SOPA/PIPA </span>
<a style="font-size:20%;color:#fff;"
href="https://www.eff.org/#censored"
target="_blank">https://www.eff.org/</a></div>

This is what it will look like *code changed slightly to include PIPA; screenshot does not reflect this change*:

STOP SOPA Screenshot

Your blog will then be inaccessible to visitors. However, the link on the blackout screen is clickable and will open in a separate window, so your visitors will be able to get information about what SOPA is, and how they can help stop it.

If any part of this tutorial is too confusing, or it just doesn’t work right for you, please feel free to comment and I’ll do what I can to help you get it working. Except on January 18, 2012. 😉

For more help with this topic, try the WordPress forums: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-best-to-go-dark-for-sopa-protest?replies=55

For help with other ways to participate:
http://www.dailydot.com/politics/how-to-protest-sopa-/

Two Americas

December 12, 2011 2 comments

I was watching a show on Current tv this morning, called “Two Americas“. It showed the lives of 1 very rich family, and 1 very poor family. In the poor family, the man had a job where he was making $55k a year, and I believe the woman may have had a job as well. Then he got laid off. Their dream home went into foreclosure, and they moved to Texas to find work.

The man was in construction, and spent 5 months looking for work, sending out hundreds of resumes, and getting only 3 interviews, which he never heard back from. They were desperate for money, as the pitiful job the wife had was also lost, and they were trying to get by on the $19k he was getting from unemployment. They have 2 children.

During some interviews with the man, he said he hated that he was on unemployment, and would much rather have a job where he could earn a living and care for his family. He also hated being on food stamps ($178 a month), and snarkily replied, “Thanks Texas” about the small amount.

Every bill was past due, and they needed to come up with hundreds just to keep from having their electric, water, and phone from being shut off. He sought out help from his mother, who was living on SS. She was able to contribute some, but not enough. He went to a charity, and was lucky to get $75, which was a once a YEAR allowance from the charity.

At the end of the show, they were watching one of the GOP debates. When Newt said that he disagreed with giving people unemployment, the poor man said, “I totally agree! Our government is too big. We shouldn’t have to rely on our government. If they didn’t help, someone else would have to step in to help their neighbors!”  When Romney said that the rich shouldn’t be taxed at a higher rate, the poor wife replied, “They already pay their fair share. We all pay the same rate, right?”

*facepalm!*  This man had scoured his area to find help, and none was out there! Does he REALLY think that without unemployment and welfare, that charities would help people MORE than what they’re able to do now?! Did he really think his neighbors would help him, since they were all having their utilities shut off for non-payment as well?! What kind of people fight/vote against their own best interest, and the best interest of their neighbors?!  What kind of people take unemployment and welfare, then say we don’t need them and shouldn’t have them?!  What kind of person doesn’t know that the rich pay far less of a percentage of their income than the middle class?!

I can only assume that these people are completely ignorant. Or brainwashed. Or both. I feel sad for them. But if they vote in the next election for someone who would strip away everything they need just to survive, then they deserve what they get.

For more info and a discussion about the show: http://current.com/shows/vanguard/big-featured-discussion/93567183_what-did-you-think-of-two-americas.htm

Free Markets and Captive Market Labor

December 3, 2011 Leave a comment

The author of this piece is Nathan Nicholls. The original post can be read on Facebook if you have an account there.

     A market consists of supply, demand, providers and consumers. The business exchange rate in a free market is initially set by the provider and then either accepted or declined by the consumer who has the freedom to go elsewhere to meet their consumption need. The reason that the provider must set the initial rate is that they know the energy they apply and the compensation they must receive to stay in business. If the consumer were to actually set compensation for a given provision, the most likely outcome would be that the provision would cease because the consumer would naturally want to set the rate lower than the provider could provide it.

In a free market, the consumer does not set, but rather only affects the exchange rate through the freedom to shop for the most favorable rate within their market based on available supplies and the magnitude and immediacy of their demand. Through this consumer decision making, the most competitive provider is likely to be the most successful, unless they provide at a loss, in which case, the provider most likely eventually goes bankrupt which can cost the whole system money. Although honest providers would not likely do this, providing at a loss can run other providers that cannot sustain the equivalent loss out of the provision market. The nature of big business is that it has little or no element of compassion for the competition.

External elements can affect the market such as tax laws, legal privileges and wage dictatorships. We live in a market where many elements of business can be separated through legal privileges creating different forms of business. A corporation is a business that separates those who benefit from the provision of business, (Investors) from the risks of loss associated with business activity.  A person providing business services on their own takes full business risk and thus is at a decided disadvantage to the corporate investor even though they are actually doing the work that generates their own gain and the investor is not.

The privilege given to corporate investors enables the business they profit from to risk greater loss than the individual conducting business since the investors never take the risks. If the business fails, the most the investor loses is his or her investment. The business can file bankruptcy and the government, (tax payers) and market will pick up the costs.  Contrarily if a person conducting business on their own fails, they can loose everything they own and more. There are other advantages corporations (and their investors) enjoy that individuals doing business do not; corporations set the compensation rate of their employees based on the ability to give investors (who take no business risk) a gain. This is a wage dictatorship.

Through mechanizing, outsourcing, importing and keeping compensation in a market to a minimum, they can force the compensatory value of the market for human energy down below the market’s capacity to sustainl. The individual conducting business ultimately cannot compete. So as you should see, we do not live in a free market because advantage is given to the corporate form of business. We do not live in a free market because in a free market, the providers set the rate of exchange. In corporate employment, the laborers are the providers yet they do not set their rate of exchange, the corporation is the consumer and it sets the rate of exchange based on the ability to generate profit for investors.

That our labor system is not a free market system is obvious. That systemic reward for providers is arbitrarily based in favor of the sustained winnings of the mere gambler is also. So long as the class war enabled through this non-free market system is waged by investors through corporations against laborers, there will be no free market or wide spread economic prosperity. It is not that the politicians don’t understand this, they do. The allegiance to the money that is pumped through this abomination perpetuates a slave market for human labor. Capitalism is not the problem, corporate capitalism and its influence on government is the entire problem.

Recyclesculptor.