October, 2011 archive
I am supporting John Moss for city council.
I met him during the last campaign; he is a man of integrity. There is much in his views on economic issues that I disagree with; they are substantially more conservative than mine.
Nevertheless, as I have said here before, I think there is a divide in any resort town, including this one, that is more important than left and right.
That’s the divide between in the pocket of the developers and not in the pocket of the developers.
John is decidedly not in the pocket of developers.
He will ask the questions they don’t want to answer. Given that council is dominated by the “in the pocket” party (some more in the pocket than others), I find this a valuable quality deserving of support.
The Commander Guy points out the time -arped:
One of the problems that modern American Wingnuts, i.e., scientific name – Wingnuttus Americanus, face is that many just can’t get over the fact communism is dead and young folks are not particularly concerned about the red menace anymore. It is just plain gone and it is not missed. However your various wingers, like those Japanese soldiers stranded on remote pacific islands after WWII, just keep fighting on – damned be it if the foe is imaginary and the fight is already over.</blockquote>
Click to read the rest.
Job prospects for process-servers continue strong, according to the Chicago Trib:
According to Fiserv, a financial analytics company, home values are expected to fall another 3.6 percent by next June, pushing them to a new low of 35 percent below the peak reached in early 2006 and marking a triple dip in prices.
Several factors will be working against the housing market in the upcoming months, including an increase in foreclosure activity and sustained high unemployment, explained David Stiff, Fiserv’s chief economist.
Should home values meet Fiserv’s expectations, it would make it the third (and lowest) trough for home prices since the housing bubble burst.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daniel Daegler reviews the history of All Hallows’ Eve; it’s quite interesting:
It was believed that the veil between the living and the dead was at its most transparent at Samhain; spirits of the departed and inhabitants of the “fairy realm” walked abroad in the world and interacted with the living. At Samhain, one was never sure whether a stranger encountered on the road was a person or something else. It was thus in one’s self-interest to show hospitality to anyone knocking on the door after nightfall.
. . . while another little story presages the future of Thanksgiving. Interesting it’s not. Indeed, it’s rather vile, in a filthy mammon kind of way:
Macy’s Inc. says it will open all of its namesake stores at midnight following Thanksgiving for the first time as the department store operator becomes the latest retailer to expand hours on the traditional kickoff to the holiday season.
And pfui on the whole zombie thing.
Fox News is eating enough brains already.
To Dr. Gerry Mander, the therapist the stars trust, at the Guardian:
I’m fed up with people saying I’m rich. My basic pay is quite modest and the tributes I get are approved by my remunerations committee. Yes, I got an increase of 49% last year. So what? I am a wealth creator. Attacking me is just the politics of envy.
King Croesus of Lydia
The “wealth creator” line might be more persuasive if your empire wasn’t built on plunder and slavery.
See the rest of Dr. Mander’s column at the link.
Robert Reich points out the many ways in which the flat tax is yet another fraudulent Republican scheme for robbing the poor to give to the rich.
Click to read.
Andrew Ralmsley, writing in the London Observer, demolishes the notion that participants in the “Occupy” protest don’t know what they want. It’s a long and detailed rebuttal of that idea.
Frankly, the pundits who promulgate that notion are doing the pundit equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears and going “Na na na I can’t hear you–and neither can anyone else.”
The default response of establishment opinion is glibly to dismiss these protests as a passing spasm which cannot achieve anything because the movement is either wildly unrealistic in its aspirations for a new world economic order or too vague in its demands. It is true to say that the protests vary in their tactics and are disparate in their goals. Movements like this are often woven from multiple threads of grievance, a tapestry of dissent which can be both a source of initial strength and an ultimate cause of weakness. But they are loosely united by common themes: fury at corporate greed, resentment at lack of economic opportunity, concern about social inequality and alienation from a conventional politics that appears incapable of doing anything serious to address and redress public discontents.
On top of the billions of taxpayers’ money already committed to rescuing the banks, the eurozone leaders have just signed up to providing billions more. Yet from the nabobs of finance there is still not a whisper of a hint of a scintilla of humility or penance. The Institute of International Finance, the main industry organisation, reports that banks are handing more guaranteed bonuses to new employees than they were before the financial crisis. Governments have neither punished those who wrecked the economy nor taken adequate steps to ensure that they will be more accountable and responsible in future. Sir Fred Goodwin – why the hell is he still Sir Fred Goodwin? Three years have elapsed since the bubble burst in 2008 and yet we are still waiting for the fulfilment of promises of systemic reform. The wonder is not that people have been provoked to occupy parks and squares in every continent but Antarctica. The wonder is that this did not happen earlier.
The Denver Post examines the effects of cutting back on federal food inspectors and replacing them with private “auditors.”
Many of the most notorious food-illness outbreaks in recent years were preceded by glowing private safety audits of the producers, prompting calls for oversight of auditors and forcing grocery chains to tighten screening of cantaloupes and other food.
An inspector hired by Jensen Farms gave the cantaloupe operation a “superior” safety rating the same month contaminated melons were sorted by an unsanitary potato machine and sent to stores. Probing the subsequent listeria outbreak that has killed 28, Food and Drug Administration inspectors found multiple problems, and experts say an auditor should have flagged the issues.
It was only the latest incident when a “third-party” audit — slammed as an inherent conflict of interest by safety experts — failed to note deadly mistakes in a food operation.
Read the whole thing.
You will want to start a garden and raise your own livestock.
Steve Chapman analyzes Mitt the Flip’s campaign strategy:
Romney does not aspire to be the fellow at the party who enchants the girls with his dance moves and charm. He’s more like the guy they settle on once all the other guys have passed out drunk, gotten distracted by a ballgame or come on way too strong. He’s not thrilling, but he’s not a disaster.
Read the whole thing. It’s a hoot.
One small problem.
The last guy left standing at the party usually turns out to be a disaster.
If he’s at that that kind of party, well, birds of a feather and all that.
He just hides it better than the others.
You don’t find out what the last man standing is like until he straps you to the roof of his car and heads into the wilderness.
In an appropriate coincidence, today’s QOTD is cited in this item in the Inky.
And it is quite on target, to boot.
This dog shot a one-in-hole.
Eugene Robinson runs the numbers:
Overall, in inflation-adjusted dollars, average after-tax household income grew by 62 percent during the period under study, according to the CBO. This sounds great — but only until you look a little closer. For those at the bottom — the one-fifth of households with the lowest incomes — the increase was just 18 percent. For the middle three-fifths, the average increase was 40 percent. By contrast, look at the top 1 percent of earners. Their after-tax household income increased by an astonishing 275 percent.
If Americans were to realize they’ve been the victims of Republican-style redistribution — stealing from the poor to give to the rich — the whole political atmosphere might change.
One more time, Truman was correct.