Saturday, July 30, 2011

Debt deal could devastate California budget

Cutting discretionary spending could hurt the golden state's chances for economic recovery.  And since our state is a net donor we are just talking about getting some of our own money back.  But as usual there will likely be cuts to those programs helping middle and working class families. and later more tax cuts for the wealthy.

The article linked here mentions some good deficit reducing options -as long as entitlement changes consist of making the wealthy pay their fair share , but MSM always just steps aside when the right wing wants tax cuts or war.  Maybe we should call them France.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Before His Millenium Series Stieg Larson Took on European Right Wing Extremism

Amy Goodman's interview with Stieg Larson's life partner, Eva Gabrielsson, shows that Larson fought to expose right wing push for discrimination towards minorities. In fact she said the series which started in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was Larson's way of talking about the abuse of women.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

High Turnover in Teachers at Charter Schools

Charter Schools Portray Themselves as Extraordinary Educational Systems,
but the truth is somewhat different.
Picture uses Flickr's native attribution system, though I cropped picture for better effect.

Long hours, extra work, disapproval of use of sick and personal time cited as reasons. Charters acknowledge same hinting about wanting "mission driven" teachers (in other words, no money, no rest, little help, just work). Seventy hour work weeks are typical according to some former employees.

Article says Charter schools often get higher test scores from students, but other studies have showed that is because they can always drop students that don't measure up while regular school districts have to take care of the even the worst students.

LA Times article is mostly about local schools and systems, but conditions are likely similar in other areas.

See: High turnover reported among charter school teachers

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gene Robinson's: Anders Behring Breivik and the influence industry of rage

Like I wrote earlier, I see the influence of anti-Muslims in the actions of Norway's mass killer. News Corp and News International has hosted quite a lot of that kind of hatred in its media.

Gene Robinson brings up more haters in the the rage industry in his Washington Post piece: Anders Behring Breivik and the influence industry of rage And Robinson shows how the anti Islam crowd is lying.

Norway attacks were 'marketing' to sell manifesto

Long AP article tells of Norway's mass murder_ suspect's family, where he got the police uniform, exploding bullets, and why he used violence to draw attention to his hatefilled manifesto. See:

Link Jump: Evidence Suggests GOP Hacked, Stole 2004 Election

See: Forget Anonymous: Evidence Suggests GOP Hacked, Stole 2004 Election

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Link Jump to CNN: Europe's resurgent far right focuses on immigration, multiculturalism

See: Europe's resurgent far right focuses on immigration, multiculturalism

Norway's Mass Killer Had Ties To British Anti Islamic Groups

Maybe when we mentioned on this blog yesterday that Murdoch's right wing and racist news empire shared responsibility for the Norwegian attack because of their promotion of racist and especially anti-islamic sentiments you felt that we were maybe trying stretch things a bit since Breiviks might not be able to communicate with primary readers of News Corp's political organization that pretends to be a news business.  Well, The Guardian article linked below shows that Breivik was directly in touch with exactly those types.  In addition to racism do News International's publications also promote reckless gun ownership and use like News Corp does in the US? Because if it does we have the gunman's motivation and mindset covered.  Thank the Murdochs for the massacre.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Did the Murdochs Help Promote the Racism that Led to the Norwegian Attacks?

Norway in a NutshellEven Beautiful Norway is Not Spared the Ugliness of Racism
Picture above uses Flickr's native placement and attribution code. Roll over for photographer's name. Click on the picture to go to original site and find other sizes of the same.

For years News Corps' papers in the US and their Fox News Channel have pushed an anti-Islam agenda that gave comfort to racists and encouraged the growth of the hatred of Muslims that now blooms in right wing politicians both within our own borders and which may even effect attitudes and actions in Europe.

I wonder how much they have even promoted European racists and haters both in their UK papers, in the Journal, and on Fox News.

We know they tend to stand behind racists in the US like Representative Steven King R-NY (not the novel writer, but the ugly slug who dances and hoots like a chimp about threats from Muslims).

Mr.Breivik, the Oslo bomber and Utoya Island killer, has praised Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom in the Netherlands.

Has Mr. Wilders been promoted on Fox News or in any of News Corps or News International's scuzzy papers? I'm betting he has.

So thanks, News Corps for another shitty job of turning news into propaganda.

Now over 90 young people and others are dead so you can make money from the kind of fat cats that are willing to pay you for your promotion of a hard right and racist agenda.

The Murdoch family truly is scum.

The people in the Prime Minister's office and at the youth gathering that Breivik attacked were all associated with the Norwegian Labor party. But though the people attacked weren't Muslim, the man's anti Muslim behavior and his affection for the views of Geert Wilders shows he felt that the Labor party was not anti-Islamic enough. Therefore, it appears that his Islamophobia did inspire the man, and the my way or the highway attitude of the Murdochs' empire is sure to inspire violence, as it is often the way that people without millions of dollars in the bank force their will on the world.

Cross searching between Mr. Breivik and Geert Wilders did bring up a connection in Jeffrey Goldberg's article in The Atlantic

Link Jump to The Telegraph: Rupert Murdoch's Fox News ran 'black ops' department, former executive claims

See here

Thursday, July 21, 2011

LA Times - Study upends term-limit theory

See: Study upends term-limit theory

Guardian -- Paddy Ashdown On Somalia's Children's Genocide by Starvation

Lets not mince words, this is genocide and some sources tell us that aid is not going to areas held by "rebel" forces.  The lack of aid to areas not willing to adhere to Western principles is one of the reasons for the Somali children's die off, I'm sure we'll see adults falling victim soon as they did during numerous Ethiopian problems where we ultimately saw pictures of walking skeletons.   There are. only so many solutions a parent can seek, especially when help Imis so far away.  Tell the UN/US US you want our nation's donation's to go to all areas so

Guardian: News International used threats of media attacks to cow British officials who opposed them.

Checkout the depth of corruptiom spewing from Britain over News

Countdown: News International & News Corp Insider Might Have Been Responsible For Hacking Climate Gate Letters

It's possible that the person or people who stole the Climate-gate emails worked for News International and worked with duplicity as the Climategate scientists pretending to help them recover the story.

See Countdown report

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Democratic Senator Wins First Wisconsin Recall Election

Even Wisconsin Ducks Aren't Daffy
Picture uses Flickr's native placement and attribution code.  Roll over to see photographer's name.  Click to go to original location and view other sizes.

An older, white haired Democratic state senator targeted because he left the state to keep Republicans from getting a quorum on anti-union legislation has won the recall election the GOP called to punish him by gaining over 60% of the vote according a WHBL radio report Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen wins recall election.
His opponent, a younger more Paul Ryanesque figure ("look I work out 7 days a week!") didn't even garner a number of votes to equal the number of signatures in his the petition to insert  him into the recall (a little over 15k).   (WI should check up on those missing petition signers.  I'm wondering if some of them were named Daffy Duck.)   WHBL report then notes obligingly that the Republican challenger, David Vanderleest, wasn't the first choice of most recall signers.  But if the most popular wasn't able to prove she had valid recall signatures then she isn't actually the front runner is she?    One wonders about the editorial policy at the news radio relaying this report.

Still the facts remain that the Democratic senator will stay in office.  And 6 Republicans face recall next month.

It's going to get interesting.

Dan Walters: Will California remap give Democrats two-thirds majorities?

Redistricting in the California legislature mandated in a recent election is likely to create more minority led districts and therefore more Democratic ones.

UK Parliament: News Int. Obstructed Investigation of Phone Hacking

News released before expected speech by PM Cameron also imlplicates one of his aides.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Do You Feel Entitled to Social Security? That Could Be a Good Thing

Carla Carpenter Retirement Party
Whether you worked one job or more for your career, you may have paid for every bit of your retirement.
Picture above uses Flickr's native placement and attribution code. Rollover for photographer's name. Click on it to go to original page to examine various options

If you feel entitled to Social Security when you grow older, congratulations, because you are.

Do you know why? Because you paid for it.

For employees the FICA for 2010 (a year you may have already filed for or for which you extended and are planning to file) the FICA included 6.2% for Social Security for wages up to $106, 800 and 1.43% on all wages for Medicare. We'll skip Medicare for now. Your employer contributes a matching amount for Social Security and each are liable for up to $6621.40 for 2010. Employers have long complained about the matching payroll tax and claim they would rebate the same amount of money to their employee's wages if the government would just not make them match it. That of course is baloney because if they were going to pay employees the same amount that they saved then there would be no reasons to change anything. But I do believe them that they take it from your pay now. So it becomes part of what you are paying for your retirement.

For FY2011 the employees' share of the Social Security tax has been reduced from 6.2% to 4.2% as a result of a bill passed last December.

But let's add all you pay up at the normal rate and see what you might have paid for your retirement through the payroll taxes and the supposed amount your wages were reduced by your employer for his or her portion of them. For the years in which each portion was 6.2% you paid 12.4%.

Lets say you make $40,000 in your household for a year. Now if we add in the employer's portion of Social Security you could say you made $42480. This is probably just getting by in a cramped apartment in many cities, but you're paying $5268 a year in FICA Social Security taxes. If you do that for 40 years you will have ended up paying $210720 in Social Security taxes, almost 5 years worth of wages! But wait a minute the government took your money and kept it for that long time. If you had borrowed that from bank or a credit card you'd pay at least 20% a year for that, and maybe over 30%.

Notice I have replaced  these old calculations with a more accurate calculation below the next line of slash marks.

But lets give the government the benefit of the doubt. We will have to charge them 20% a year though because you are a working class person who struggled to raise your children, not money- rich China.

There is probably a good formula for this, but I'm going to take half the money you have to give to the government for your retirement over 40 years work and multiply it by the cc rate of 20%. and we get $23179 interest per year. Over 40 years that makes $927,160 far outstripping the original principle. Now we add that to the principle and we get $1,137,880.


I have seen some calculators on another computer that make easy to make almost the same money with only 5% interest, but this machine doesn't have Java installed and I can't use them.

New calculations:

 Note: I have now found a Compound Interest Calculator which shows that 6% interest on your tax if put in a savings account compounded annually would yield $815,286.03 enough to live for another 20 years on your current salary, plus some.   Of course, the government doesn't collect real interest (and in the past few years no interest except from people who can't pay their taxes it seems) or apparently offer any.  

I don't believe you even get that back if live 20 years past the day you get your cheap fake gold watch. In fact we can calculate that if you were compensated for 20 years after retirement you would get $800,000 if you got your full salary, which you don't. Since retirement for many does not start until a person is 67 that means you still haven't been paid back at 87 and a lot of people don't even live that long.

Of course, you may work your way up to a better wage but that just means you will be paying more into the Social Security pot and hoping to live long enough to get your fair share out.

Pundits and Politicians are adding another fake idea argument to the "Entitlements have to go" game, that people are living much longer lives these days, but that is a statistical folly. The fact is that life span is an average measurement and childhood mortality has been reduced so much since the days when Social Security was started, that the average life expectancy actually is measuring more workers to help pay for the retirees rather than only a larger drain on the Social Security system.

There may need to be some tweaks to the system like making everyone pay their full share instead of stopping the wealthy from having to pay more after $106, 400. After all some famous football players start taking disability payments of millions a year right after they leave the league and that comes from Social Security. It's time they paid for that extended retirement with their full share going into the pot. You though pay plenty for your retirement and probably a little too much.

The GOP is trying to paint average Americans as wanting to be like a modern day Little Lord Fauntleroys who expect to live off the work of others in their retirement so they use the term "entitlements".

Little Lord Fauntleroy prospered because of entitlement (in that English nobility are paid by the taxpayers and had other advantages thrust on them in the past that they did not earn). The whole rags to riches story of the child depends on that British scam on the bulk of their people. Frances Hogson Burnett's Little Lord though was a poor fatherless American child whose own mother refused help from his noble British grandfather according to Wikipedia.

But just the word "entitlement" pins the average American as a profligate, lazy jerk who expects the government to support him for decades near the end of his or her life.

Tell the GOP to get real. You earned that retirement money.  It's yours.

You've already paid for it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fried Food Lovers of So Cali, We Is Saved! OC Fair Opens Friday

Or should I say Fryday.   Apparently the craziest thing this year is supposed to be fried Koolaid.  LOL Okay it's just koolaid in batter, fried.  I'm still more impressed when they can fry frozen stuff.  Really that's still more of a challenge.  I kinda suspect that much of the structural aspects of molecular gastronomy were inspired by the fried everything mania.  Some gourmet looked at some fair good and thought why can't I do something that shocking?  (And not gain ten pounds a day in the meanwhile.)  Really, I'll probablly just get a roasted, buttered ear of corn and nibble at the fried delights of more adventurous types.

When the OC Fair closes we can hopefully last till the LA CO one opens or does San Diego County have one, too?
Sharing a news story

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WP: Tim Pawlenty Balanced His Last MN Budget Using Federal Stimulus $$


He also pushed much spending down to lower levels of government and now crows about his record (you know the one that has driven the state to the brink of insolvancy just months after he left office).

WP: Politicians Call for 51st State: South California

Even the Washington Post admits (by the end of the article) that splitting the state is somewhat a snorer since it has beens proposed so often by pols and activists from both sides.  (During  a 16 year period that saw 2 GOP governors running the state into the ground I was on the side of the separationists).
But a fun fact about the most recent  secession talk is that neither Los Angeles nor Ventura counties are included.
So maybe it would be SE California.
I applaud the fact that 13 counties are joining for this attempt as it was 1978's Proposition 13 that crippled the state and started a wave of defunding state govts across the nation so maybe they can call it "Defundistan" too. 
Where the Washington Post falls down is when the state splitting wannabe declares that 3 businesses closed because of a new LA County law banning free bags in grocery and night box stores.  In the first case, that law only held sway in unincorporated areas, a small percentage of LA County.  Three businesses went belly up for that?  Give me a break.  But the Post reporter didn't ask for the names of the collapsed businesses nor any other proof the man wasn't just passing BS.  I guess that would have ruined a good story, still...
See link below for the Washington Post report.

Monday, July 11, 2011

NYT: In debt limit talks GOP lets ideology prevail over logic.

Big British Deal For News International May Finally Be In Jeopardy.

The Cameron administration appears to be ready to scupple handing over a huge UK news system (bSkyb) to Rupert Murdoch's filthy biased news system.  I am sorry for those that NOW hurt, but am happy their corruption has finally been exposed.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's Fatal Flaw

Good NYT report on Rupert Murdoch and the culture that created him though it leaves unsaid the fact that Murdoch's empire has abandoned fact checking for gossip mongering.

'Pacific' salmon may be farmed Atlantic fish even in the backyard of the of Pacific Salmon fisheries.

Nothing is sacred about the salmon served in Tacoma WA restaurants.  38% of "wild caught" salmon (as identified on the menu) were actually farmed Atlantic salmon. From other reports we've learned that farmed Atlantic salmon is mostly farmed in China in filthy conditions, using prophylactic antibiotics, some of which are considered poisons in the US.  Also known is that farmed salmon is very weak in the compounds that make salmon good for the heart.  Though salmon in markets failed only 7% of the time, according to this latest report,  I've been somewhat skeptical of some sources. I guess the old rule of too good to be true applies.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Israel Police deport and block pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activists at airports

Two pro Palestinian activists were stopped in Israel and many more blocked before their planes took off for the nation as they sought to take a message of hope to Gaza. I'm glad this doesn't remind anyone of Germany's isolation of Jews, because that would be awkward.

Israel expropriates Palestinian land in order to legalize Settlement

The move contradicts a promise to US.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bad Weather May Delay Last Shuttle Launch, But See NASA TV or Online Just in Case.

The last shuttle is set to take off at 11:26 am EDT, 10:26 CDT, 9:26 MDT, 8:26 PDT. Rain may delay this launch, but you don't want to miss it.
On Cable and Satellite TV you should be able to find NASA via a search.

From this page NASA has linked various computer options for viewing the launch (upper right)and currently has an information program running in case you have time for that while waiting for the launch to occur.

And in the meantime:
Bad weather threatens last shuttle launch

News Corp's "News of the World" to shut down.

Figuring that you'll forget how most of all the other news they put out through WSJ and FOX News is also dicey, creepy, and or plain out lies, News Corps will close News Of The World a UK tabloid. Now if they'd just stop the Paul Ryanesque economic analysis in the Journal, and the Naziesque commentary on FOX News.

Jurors in Casey Anthony trial not convinced she's innocent.

Anthony jurors shattered

One juror says that the prosecutors just never proved she was guilty, (used junk science etc to insinuate guilt according to another source I followed).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I should've known that Keith Would Be Up to Date On News Corp's Shenanigans

See post just below this. I've made the UK Tories/News Corp love affair a specialty, but this latest news is big time.

More Phone Hacking Scandals Families of 7/7, other murder victims also targeted by News Corps Publication.

The paper owned by Murdoch and others just gets deeper into a morass, or maybe not.  The UK government seems to be focusing solely on individuals and even hired the editor of NOTW during the period when the hacking was going on as their spokesman until it got too embarrassing.

Ocean Experts Tell People to Look for Giant Sharks Off California Coast

They want to study the local basking sharks.  Sounds like a good summer job or hobby.

Last Space Shuttle Launch Due Friday. How to Watch the Atlantis Take Off

Or join me in front of NASA TV that. morning.

Monday, July 4, 2011

GOP Pushing Dangerous Balanced Budget Rules in Exchange for Debt Ceiling. Raise

The NYT Editorial Board explains.

Greece Selling Out Flotilla to Israel. Will Deliver "Goods" on State ships.

This begs the question of why the flotilla organizers trusted such a corrupt govt.

Thaksin party wins landslide Thai election victory

Remember years ago when mainstream news sources agreed that the removal of Prime Minister Thaksin was good for democracy in Thailand?  After all the paid "yellow shirts" wanted him gone as they showed when the shut down the precious main airport. But funny, how last year when Thaksin supporters shut down the business sector of Bangkok all they got for their greater efforts was the back of a hand from the world press as acting "undemocratically".   Now Thaksin's red shirts have shown just how democratically popular they are. 
And remember, though the votes for the Thaksin party are just above 50%, in a Parliamentary system that is a landslide.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sacramento hurting as GOP suddenly decides that austerity measures must be taken NOW!

Wait, what? You mean that govt spending bolsters an economy in recession?  BTW. notice the sudden insistence on austerity by GOP  appeared when the governorship flipped from Republican to Democratic

The Truth About the People Behind Michelle Bachman

Some are just folks in groups that don't believe in public schools and want Creationist lies taught in class. Some are convicted criminals and other bad people. And how about that creepy husband?

Gingriches Bought Tiffany Bobbles For Callista While Cutting Staff Pension Payments

When the recession hit the Gingrich's companies (aka $$ making scams), Newt & Callista didn't stop buying using their interest free lines of credit at Tiffany's.  Instead they cut payments on staff pensions.  Class warfare indeed.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Marines accused of sham marriages for fiscal gain

My comment article at link is why didn't the AP ask these same Marines how many times they risk their lives in Af-Pak or Iraq instead of just assuming they were scam artists. I'm guessing 0 times. Thanx AP. Not.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Flotilla Members: Why They Desire to Aid Gaza.

Though two ships have been seriously damaged, one to the point of needing outside funds for repairs, flotilla members seek to leave Greece and tell why they feel a need to aid Gaza.