Copyright Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved. Powered by Blogger.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

News Factoids for May & June 2011

"Cats kill about 500 million birds each year in the United States – more than 1,000 times the number killed by power-generating wind turbines."
~~ per New York Times

After President Obama announced the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the 'Osama Clock' on this blog's front page was moot (and thus removed). The clock displayed the fact that bin Laden was eliminated 3,513 days (9½ years!) after feckless President George Dubya Bush swore to get bin Laden 'dead or alive'.

In 1961, college students reported studying for an average of 25 hours per week; the average is now 12 to 13 hours per week, with more than a third of the students reporting that nthey spent less than five hours per week studying.
~~ per book by Arun & Roksa

In the first quarter of 2011, the number of 'smart phones' that were sold surpassed for the first time the number of computers sold.
~~ per Time Magazine

On 20 June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck another blow for fascism and against freedom and liberty in the Dukes v Wal-Mart Stores [2000-2011] case by eliminating class action lawsuits against corporations.

The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history and has cost $445 billion (not including debt on money borrowed). 1,400 American soldiers have been killed, and 10,000 were wounded.
~~ per Center For Strategic & International Studies, 3/2011

Got a problem with the mandate for energy-efficient flourescent lightbulbs? First, you can't blame Obama because the bill was signed into law by George Dubya Bush in 2007. Only the 50-watt & 75-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased out, gradually over some years. The law requires manufacturers to produce bulbs that are 25% more efficient than currently, so a switch to halogen incandescent technology is solving that problem. Stockpile incandescents if you want, but there really is no need.


Researchers say that Greenland's ice sheet shrank four times faster between 2004 to 2009 than it did in the five years beginning in 1995.

More than 600 tornadoes were reported in the U.S. in April 2011, the most-active month ever recorded, causing 369 deaths, the worst since 1925.

After the Joplin Tornado on May 22nd, it took the Joplin South Post Office three weeks to clean up and reopen. In two days they received 4,000 change of address forms.


Just discovered that the Albertsons grocery chain (at least here in New Mexico) has a new policy giving ten percent discounts to shoppers on certain days: on First Wednesdays the discount is for Seniors, and on First Saturdays the discount is for Veterans (with V.A. etc. ID).


Coal Education Development and Resources foundation, known as CEDAR, offers a video to teachers called "The Greening of Planet Earth", which says that 'our world is deficient in carbon dioxide, and a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is very beneficial'. Mainstream scientists widely dispute that assertion.


In June, The Washington Post revealed that at least 30 new G.O.P. congresspeople are carrying more than $50,000 of personal debt, and at least seven freshmen have credit card debt exceeding $15,000. Politico and C.B.S. News confirmed that pseudo-candidate Newt Gingrich owed Tiffany Jewelers at least $300,000 (as of 2007).


The United States lost 5 percent of jobs from 2007 to mid-2010.
~~ per Mother Jones Magazine graph 6/2011

"Paul Ryan's ['Path To Prosperity'] plan is both ridiculous and cruel."
~~ Nobel-winner Paul Krugman

"The percentage of two-earner families (in which the husband and wife [were] employed in a given year) doubled from 2007 to 2010."
~~ Louis Uchitelle

"The number of millionaire households rose 14 percent worldwide in 2009 to include 11.2 million people, and China alone saw a spike of 31 percent."
~~ per Boston Consulting Group

Median pay for CEOs of large U.S. corporations rose 27% in 2010, per federal data, while pay increases for all workers in private industry averaged 2.1%

During the critical first 100 days of the Republican-led 112th Congress, they neither proposed nor passed a single job-creation bill.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WM Essay #95: “How Bankrupt Is America?”

U.S President George Dubya Bush ran up more debt than any other person in the history of Mankind. The Republican National Debt stands today at 25 TRILLION dollars, which is not being discussed anywhere. The hooferaw about the annual U.S. Budget Deficit is a diversion, so that the population of America has no clue that they are Indentured Servants to the fascist Oligarchy.

* *          * *          * *          * *

The U.S. National Debt stood at $1 trillion dollars when Ronald Reagan became President in 1981. That figure included the entire VietNam War.

At the end of the twelve-year Reagan-Bush Era, the National Debt had been quadrupled, to $4 trillion. (The Republicans complain about imaginary ‘tax and spend’ policies while their actual program is to cut taxes and borrow and spend.)

Bill Clinton’s first term saw the National Debt increase slowing down to only 25 percent, and in his second term, he produced a balanced budget AND a budget surplus.

Republicans cannot get around these facts as facts, so they yell and scream about false ‘smokescreen’ issues such as the annual budget and abortion and gay marriage and Social Security.

When Dubya became President the official Republican National Debt stood at $5.7 trillion. The official U.S. National Debt is today $14.8 trillion. So how is the Republican National Debt up to $25 trillion?

The Reagan-Bush-Bush team stole all the money from Social Security. They stole $2.7 trillion from the very solvent Social Security fund. The reason the Republicans scream (falsely) that Social Security is bankrupt is because they traded the money for Treasury Bills, which must eventually be paid back. Somebody has to pay that debt, and if the Republicans shut down Social Security, then the Oligarchy won’t owe a dime to the U.S. Treasury.

The September 2008 bailout of quasi-governmental mortgage lenders Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac left the U.S. government holding $5.4 trillion in bogus loans. The Republicans’ solution is of course to blame Barack Obama, who wasn’t even elected to be President yet.

So far that makes a mere $22.9 trillion dollars of Republican National Debt.

The bailout of Wall Street of $700 billion became law in October 2008, and helped Obama get elected. The bailout of the U.S. automobile industry was $1 trillion, mostly between Barack Obama’s election and him being sworn in as President. (The Republicans blame him anyway, and that works because the Sheeple are willfully ignorant.)

That makes $24.6 trillion of Republican National Debt on the day that Barack Obama became President. This does not include consumer debt, real mortgage debt, or various off-the-books debt run up by Dubya, such as the cost to bring troops and equipment back from Iraq and Afghanistan, or the $3 trillion that Bush refused to spend to repair U.S. infrastructure. It also does not include the $3 trillion debt of local and state governments, or the $1 trillion in shortfalls on state & local pension funds.

The interest on that $25 trillion Republican National Debt (over-simplified calculation of 4% per year) comes to a minimum of $1 trillion each year, thus $2.5 trillion so far in interest added to the Republican National Debt.

The interest itself is merely extortion money paid to the Oligarchy. Their lobbyists prevent levying the taxes necessary to pay down the Republican National Debt, and we hand the Oligarchy a trillion dollars a year – for nothing in return.

President Bush 43 arrived at the White House with $5.7 trillion in National Debt on the books and when he left the White House he handed debt of at least $24.6 trillion to Barack Obama. That increase of $18.9 trillion is indeed the all-time record.

The total of $25 trillion debt can only be paid down from revenue received by the U.S. Treasury. There is no option to default: The American and Chinese and Saudi oligarchs will not permit any such thing. So the U.S. taxpayer is stuck with ‘paying the piper’.

The ultimate solution is Reason-Based Taxation, but that is not yet in force, and in fact is little known. Which leaves the decimated U.S. Middle Class and-or the U.S. Wealthy Class to pay that bill.

* *          * *          * *          * *
Or how about making the Republicans pay off all that debt racked up by Dubya?

There are just over 300 million people in the United States - men, women, and children; Working Class, Middle Class, Wealthy Class, and Oligarchs.

Simple division results in a figure of $417,000 per Republican voter, $167,000 per Republican citizen, or $83,000 owed by every man, woman and child in America.

Yup, that includes hospitalized seniors, imprisoned felons, toddlers, illegal aliens, Aryan skinheads, members of Congress, and the fascist Oligarchs – and every Libertarian and Communist and Green and Democrat and Republican voter, and every non-voter, too.

Every single resident of the United States is an Indentured Servant, and the Republican National Debt grows by a trillion dollars each year because the real issue of a bankrupt America is getting no attention by our government, nor by our media, nor by We The People.

Your children and your grandchildren today each owe a minimum of $83,000 as their share of the Republican National Debt. Plus accrued interest until the debt is paid off.

Go ahead, tell your kids and grandkids this fact. And be sure to tell them how your vote for Republican candidates pro-duced this legacy. The hard part is going to be telling them how YOU are going to pay off YOUR $83,000 share.

No idea how? Corporations now pay ten percent of the taxes that they paid during the Fifties economic boom. The net worth of the Oligarchs grew by thirty percent since the Bush Tax Cuts began.

Reason-Based Taxation starts from the premise that since the Wealthy Class (of every country) owns 85 percent of everything, they should pay for 85% of the government’s activity.

The Wealthy Class has all the money, so the People have the right to bill them for the Republican National Debt. Republicans whine, but there is no recourse. If the folks with all the money do not pay the debt, how can the folks with no money pay it?

Oh, yeah: Indentured Servitude! A return to feudalism, with the aristocracy getting all the benefits and the peasants working hard their whole lives with no end in sight, no relief – their children and grandchildren doomed to the same and worse.

We already have rollbacks on the right to unionize, roll-backs on health and safety laws, rollbacks on pollution stan-dards, assaults on Medicare and Social Security and health care and pensions, rollbacks of personal bankruptcy law.

The fascist U.S. Supreme Court is cancelling the Bill of Rights and class action lawsuits – there is no way to stop their Federalist & P.N.A.C. agenda short of impeachment. (Revolution is necessary, violence is wrong!)

And the Republican agents of the Oligarchy have plans to cut the minimum wage in half, and to eliminate the Department of Education, shut down the Environmental Protection Agency – pollution is good? – and defund the Food & Drug Administration - E. Coli for all!

Given that the Republican Party ran up all this debt and avoids any possible solution by shouting about their ‘smoke-screen’ issues, the knee-jerk response is to shout back. Not a bad idea, but not enough either. Congress shouts back and forth, delaying official appointments, fiddling with the budget and cutting funds for the starving poor, for returning veterans, for fire & police & libraries – they have earned the label ‘Do Nothing Congress’.

The Republican Party will not listen, their attention is on campaign funding from the Oligarchs, and their shouting drowns out legitimate and fact-based commentary, while the Oligarchy happily racks up more trillions.

* *          * *          * *          * *

The Gross Domestic Product of the United States of America is running just under fifteen trillion dollars per year. Comparing that figure to the 25 trillion of the Republican National Debt gives the outstanding debt as 165% of G.D.P.

The problem? If you have an annual gross income of $50,000, the equivalent would be unsecured debt of $83,000; if you have annual gross income of $100,000, then your equivalent unsecured debt would be $165,000.

In either case, you will never pay that off from your existing income. You can no longer file for bankruptcy. And neither can the U.S. of A. So the U.S. must bring in revenue from new sources – regardless of the annual budget – and the Oligarchy and the Wealthy Class are the folks who have all the money.

We The People have to wake up. We must Speak Truth To Power. The Class War is perpetual, and to do nothing is to surrender.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 04, 2011

June 2011 Quotations

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."
~~ Napolean Bonaparte [1769-1821]

"Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice."
~~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton [1815-1902]

"Screenwriting is no more complicated than old French torture chambers, I think. It’s about as simple as that."
~~ James L. Brooks

"Sex and television are the opium of the people."
~~ Ross Macdonald [1915-83] in "The Barbarous Coast" [1956 novel]

"It isn't that jazz musicians die young, it's that they get older quicker."
~~ Geoff Dyer

"Men change, but seldom do they."
~~ old saying

"Earth provides for every man's need, but not for every man's greed."
~~ Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"There is a time for work and a time for love. That leaves no other time."
~~ Coco Chanel [1883-1971]

"Those only are happy who have their mind fixed on some object other than their own happiness."
~~ John Stuart Mill [1806-73]

"Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."
~~ Leo Tolstoy [1828-1910]

"A Nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by a commnon hatred of its neighbors."
~~ Wm. Ralph Inge [1860-1954]

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
~~ William Faulkner [1897-1962]

"A healthy adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience."
~~ John Updike [1932-2009]

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage doesn't need to be lived again."
~~ Maya Angelou

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something."
~~ playwright Wilson Mizner [1876-1933]

"Don't judge each day by the harvest [that] you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-94]

"Maybe when Obama gets back from Ireland he can chase the snakes out of Washington, DC."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read."
~~ G.K. Chesterton [1874-1936]

"A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy."
~~ broadcast journalist Edward P. Morgan [1910-93]

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
~~ Stephen W. Hawking

"A house without books is like a room without windows."
~~ Heinrich Mann [1871-1950]

"Never judge a book by its movie."
~~ J.W. Eagan

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"What, O Lord, was the point?"
~~ Anthony Lane

"My painting is what I have to give back to the world for what the world gives to me."
~~ painter Georgia O'Keeffe [1887-1986]

"It is best to act with confidence no matter how little right you have to it."
~~ playwright Lillian Hellman [1905-84]

"The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little."
~~ Thomas Merton [1915-68]

"Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble."
~~ Dr. Samuel Johnson [1709-84]

"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."
~~ Oprah Winfrey

"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything, is ready, we shall never begin."
~~ Ivan Turgenev [1818-83]

"The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it's their fault."
~~ Henry Kissinger

"Sorrow makes us all children again, destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

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