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Friday, August 29, 2008

August News Factoids

"97% of the music business in America is foreign-owned."
== Thom Hartmann (7/2008)

"The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the we're going to have to spend $1.6 trillion over the next five years to rebuild our infrastructure."
== Janet Kavinosky, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The local energy company here in New Mexico reported in the July billing that the per-therm cost of natural gas increased 63 percent from last July.

"Twenty-five percent of all bottled water sold in the U.S. is transported from overseas, and that transportation uses 50 million barrels of oil [annually]."
== The Santa Fe Reporter

U.S. Jobless Rate Rises to 4-year High of 5.7 Percent
== Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1 August 2008

The U.S. has lost 458,000 jobs since January First.
== Time Magazine, July 2008

Between 2001 and 2007, the trade deficit caused the loss or displacement of 2.3 million jobs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including 366,000 last year.
== Economic Policy Institute, 1 Aug 2008

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said in August that the economy continues to be in a recession, by his definition, and will continue to be for at least several more months. He's confident the nation will be doing better five years from now, but the economy could be worse five months from now.

"Overall U.S. credit card debt grew by 435 percent from 2002 to year-end 2007, from $211 billion to approximately $915 billion."
==Danny Schechter

6% of U.S. homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments.
== Time Magazine, July 2008

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 11% and the S&P 500 is down 10.5% since January First.
== Time Magazine, July 2008

Consumer prices rose at double the expected rate ... jumping 0.8 percent in July ... inflation rising at fastest rate in 17 years
== news headlines 8/2008

Wholesale prices rose at fastest pace since 1981
== news headline 8/2008
"The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices shot up 1.2 percent in July ... more than twice the 0.5 percent gain that economists expected."

Congress is raising the U.S. National Debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion. The U.S. economy also carries the burden of the subprime mortgage meltdow, with Federal agencies Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac separately owing or guaranteeing $5.2 trillion. Plus at least $3 trillion in off-the-books spending (nothing is allocated for the cost of bringing troops home from the Middle East, the infrastructure is collapsing, etc.), and more than a trillion dollars each year in interest must be paid on the Republican National Debt (basically extortion money paid to the corporatist Oligarchy).

That adds up to almost $20 trillion of debt foisted on the American taxpayer by the Republican policies of 'cut taxes on the rich' and 'spend & borrow'. Comparing the country's debt to the current U.S. economy measured at $14 trillion per year, the U.S. is clearly bankrupt.

Copyright 2008 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August Quotations

"Bring home the troops. Leave the contractors."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"The right's greatest enemy is reality."
~~ Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga of DailyKos

"The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always."
~~ author / playwright Arthur Miller [1915-2005]

"It is historically true that a nation whose people take out more than they put in will collapse and disappear."
~~ John Steinbeck [1902-68] (in "America & Americans" 1966)

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~~ Helen Keller

"24 hours in a day. 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
~~ H.L. Mencken [1880-1956]

"[Stupidity] is the sin that is never forgiven and always punished."
~~ Hercule Poirot, as written by Agatha Christie [1890-1976]

"The existentialist acts rightly for no reason."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"It is impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write."
~~ Sinclair Lewis

"Cowards never lasted long enough to become real cowboys."
~~ Charles Goodnight

"You've got to get the job done, whatever it takes – that's the cowboy way."
~~ Cody Lambert

"The great cowboys are the ones with the biggest hearts."
~~ Ty Murray

"Maybe the American cowboy represents the last of the free men."
~~ Casey Tibbs

"The Old West is not a certain place in a certain time, it's a state of mind. It's whatever you want it to be."
~~ Tom Mix [1880-1940]

"Rumors about highbrow music ridiculous. Am out to write hits."
~~ George Gershwin (telegram to his agent, circa 1935)

"We're all dying ... [The] best we can do is go out with dignity – or having fun. I haven't made up my mind which one I want. I don't think [that] you can have both."
~~ mystery author Stuart M. Kaminsky

"A wise man knows everything, a shrewd man knows everbody."
~~ old saying

"Life is a difficult business... It needs infinite courage and a lot of endurance. And in the end one wonders, Was it worth while?"
~~ Agatha Christie [1890-1976]

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
~~ Thomas Edison


Ninety-Ninety Rule: "The first 90% of the [software project] code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time."

Zymurgy's First Law of Evolving Systems Dynamics: "Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a bigger can."

Hoare's Law of Large Problems: "Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out."

Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

Clark's Law: "Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice."

Brooks's Law: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Copyright 2008 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Essay #79: We The People 2008

        We The People are the sole Source of the Power that makes America what it is – or at least what America used to be.
        The Declaration of Independence of 1776 documented the concept, and the U.S. Constitution of 1787 made the concept official, made the concept of We The People the Law of The Land.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        How you have Power is you give it away. How you have Love is you give it away – same principle.
        How you have Freedom, also, is you give it away. And America stopped doing that in the time of Reagan-Bush.
        President Reagan stomped on the unions and the environment and education, and harmed the Middle Class by the policies of Reaganomics, causing the Reagan Recession of July 1981 to November 1982.
        George H.W. Bush continued the damage.
        President Clinton worked both sides, helping the Middle Class somewhat while also giving the Oligarchy/Wealthy Class most of what they demanded.
        George W. Bush has basically shredded Constitutional law – including removal of habeas corpus and legalization of posse comitatus – and bankrupted the country. (George W. Bush has run up more debt than any other human being in the history of Mankind!)

        The Corporatists now run the U.S. federal government, except for a few American bureaucrats who have bided their time and worked inside the system to prevent even worse disasters.
        And these Corporatists, some of whom qualify as fascists, did this while you were watching Paris Hilton & Lindsay Lohan & Brangela news footage.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The Corporatists did not take America’s natural Power away, the sheeple in the middle surrendered it to them. Willing victims in the fight between Good and Evil, the sheeple just turned their hands in the air and switched their allegiance from the context ‘America The Beacon of Liberty’ to the context ‘Let Somebody Else Fight’.
        The sheeple are cowards, and there are now many more of them than there used to be.

        America took on the Germans in World War I and the Axis in World War II and the Commies during Korea and the Cold War and the Vietnam mess. America gave itself the Power to lead the Allies in the fight against Nazism and Fascism and Imperialism. It had to be done, and America in those days was a Beacon of Liberty, under F.D.R and Truman and Eisenhower and Kennedy.
        And America won those battles and those wars – well, with the help of half the world. America showed what We The People can do, we demonstrated the Power of We The People to the rest of the world. We showed them. We were the People described in and created by the Founding Documents of this nation.

        America began from a commitment to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” and to pass these values on to all Mankind. Giving these contexts away was central to the purpose of the nation, the natural Purpose of We The People.
        It was the living of these ideals that gave America its Power, and we did indeed give it away – Emancipation, the G.I. Bill, the Marshall Plan, the United Nations – and we kept generating more and more Power, which we shared with the world. And much was accomplished: the space program, Salk’s polio vaccine, the microchip and the computer – and rock’n’roll.

        Since then (since the era of Reagan-Bush) the Corporatists have had free reign. The Corporatists gave away our jobs. They have not given Freedom away, nor Justice, nor the American Dream. The Corporatists took American jobs and shipped them overseas, and they took half the wealth of this once-prosperous nation, robbed American workers and gave us twenty trillion dollars of the current U.S. National Debt in return.
        Very bad deal.

        The Republican Party spent that money, stashed it in their over-stuffed vaults, and they are responsible for paying that debt down. The Republicans owe the current U.S. National Debt, and that comes to $250,000 owed in taxes by each and every registered Republican. (The Middle Class has no money to do so, nor jobs; the savings rate in the U.S. has gone negative over the last two years.)
        And not a single Republican has any honor, nor the G.O.P. itself, until the entire amount of the U.S. National Debt has been paid off, until their economic obligation is fulfilled.
        The Republicans, as individuals and as a political party, dishonor the Constitution as they dishonor the debt that they owe We The People.

        And We The People are now constituted as a collection agency. The Republican debt will be repaid by the Republicans, and that will happen when We The People regain control of Congress from the lobbyists and war profiteers and the idle rich of the Oligarchy and the Wealthy Class, whose Corporatist legions take the plutocratic position that they own We The People.

        We The People are America, and the job of government is to do our bidding. The Republicans, the Corporatists will repay their debt and Freedom will return to this Nation, and we will again be that Beacon of Freedom and Justice for Mankind that America used to be.
        We The People can and must retake this Nation, for the only alternative is economic slavery, a nation of sheeple hiding from Reality, cringing from their Duty as citizens. There is only one exit from this quagmire, and that is to roll up our individual and collective sleeves and get to work – by retaking Congress and local government, by standing together for What Is Right, by holding the hypocrites and traitors and propaganda parrots to account for the damage that they do.

        We The People are the sole Source of the Power that makes America what it is. By retaining that Power we deflate the self-important windbags of the Oligarchy. When we restore the values of Family and Education and Progress and Freedom and Justice that built this Nation, we will once again be the Nation that the world admires and seeks to emulate.
        Failure to turn the tide in this never-ending struggle will bring about the end of Liberty, and a New Dark Age for Mankind.

Copyright 2008 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved