July 31st, 2010

saddam kinvore

Threats to America?

Is there really any threat to America out there? Is there really anything that can destroy this country?

The way I see it there are only two possible external threats. The first is some sort of technological threat such as nuclear weapons. However it would take a substantial number of, say, nuclear warheads to actually destroy us as a nation. So chances are the only way that would be possible is if an entire nation with a vast nuclear arsenal were to attack us. Since we still have quite a few nuclear weapons ourselves that would be unwise on their part.

The other is an invasion force. However do you realize how massive a force would be required to both invade and then occupy the US? How can we not see it coming and blow it the fuck away with our own long range weapons?

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windy

Jobism

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “Not only did they throw all these people off the payrolls, they also cut back on the hours of the people who stayed on the job.”

As Professor Sum studied the data coming in from the recession, he realized that the carnage that occurred in the workplace was out of proportion to the economic hit that corporations were taking. While no one questions the severity of the downturn — the worst of the entire post-World War II period — the economic data show that workers to a great extent were shamefully exploited.

A Sin and a Shame by Bob Herbert
I don't know if I agree with Bob Herbert that regulations like those in Germany are the answer to this problem, but I do see that the problem is real. I thought we could talk about some of the different ways to address it. In short, companies are not passing on the gains they have made off of better productivity and a recovering economy to workers.

I think it's possible that to some extent companies are still spooked, they don't think the worse is over and they don't want to increase payroll until they are in the clear. The other explanation is simply greed.

So, how, within the confines of a capitalist system, can we provide a market pressure that will lead to hiring and to higher wages?  There has got to be a way to make this happen without involving the government. But what is it?

It is only in the world of Chamber of Commerce propaganda that businesses exist to create jobs. In the real world, businesses exist to create profits for shareholders, not jobs for workers. That's why they call it capitalism, not job-ism. There's no reason to beat up on business owners and executives simply because they're doing what the system encourages them to do. 

Washinton Post, Steven Pearlstein
Do you think that Mr. Pearlstein is right? If so what happens if, even as corporate profits rise unemployment dosn't change? Do we suck it up? Work harder for less?

I'm trying to save and invest money as well as buy land so that income isn't based on someone paying me. But, not all people have the capital to benign such a project.
  • paft

The ADL Sez, "We're Not Prejudiced, BUT..."

From An Anti-Defamation League Press Release, 7/28/10:

We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths – to build community centers and houses of worship.


That’s nice.

We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.


“Categorically reject” and “condemn” in the same sentence, followed by clause implying that opposition to the proposed Islamic Center might be based on something other than raw bigotry? Uh oh. I sense a qualifier, some enormous “HOWEVER” or “BUT” heading towards us at full speed.

However…


There ya go.

… there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site. We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.

...The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.


See, it’s not them! It’s not the ADL! It’s… well… all those other people who feel soooo strongly about it because they lost family and friends in 9/11. It’s not that the ADL is prejudiced, or anything like that. No, not at all! It’s that the ADL feels just so bad for all those people who are sad and traumatized by the relatives they lost. They categorically reject all those other people (Ick!) who are motivated by bigotry. The ADL isn’t like that at all!

For them, it’s all about compassion for the victims!

That’s what it is!

Because we all know that no Muslims were among the victims killed by terrorists in the World Trade Center.

Unless you count these people...

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monkey

Anthony Weiner blasts GOP on 9/11 Emergency workers bill

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is my district representative in the House; and he's an articulate speaker. Here is wonderful clip of him blasting GOP delaying tactics on the 9/11 workers health benefits bill. The Republicans have prevented a vote by using an arcane procedural matter, instead of a simple vote. I don't know if Rep. Weiner is entertaining notions of a Senate run, but I certainly hope so. While he's a pain in the side of the Obama administration, he's definitely a rising star.