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One of the denizens over a Kilroy’s decided to jump into an economic argument throwing pies.

In the process of us demolishing his ignorance all of us realized he’d never been taught how corporate profits work. It then occurred to some of us that perhaps some of the reason the really “common-sense” arguments of how to “make America great again” have not resonated, is because perhaps a lot of you out there also don’t know the real shape things are in either….

This is not a screed. This is just a demonstration of where things are… using data and charts that are very easy to find only if you know where to already look (FRED) and very hard to find if you don’t know where they are…

We’ll start with a parable…..

Once upon a time there was a family whose last name was Quintiles… A little larger than average they were nuclear with a father who worked, a mother who also worked and 3 children spaced roughly 3 years apart…

The mother went back to work when her first child reached teenager status. They had unlimited food… All they ate was pie (there is a joke there). As the children were growing up, the mother portioned out the pie for all so all could get enough to eat….

When the mother went back to work she taught her oldest to put the pie in the oven and feed the children while leaving two pieces for the parents when they returned home.

He was to divide the pie into five pieces and give everyone their share… For a while they monitored the portions closely then seeing no issue never looked at it again. ..

Over time the portion being retained by the teenager gradually grew in size. After all he was cutting. The children couldn’t complain. And the parents never knew because he left portions for them that were consistent.

The smallest got it worst.. Being small and weak he lost the largest share of his portion first. After getting used to living on that bigger piece, when desirous of more pie, the oldest then began sliding the knife inward on the middle child’s portion… It got smaller and smaller.

Then he begin trimming Mom and Dad’s. who were really too busy to notice or care. In the end he was eating half the pie, and the other four were sharing the other half….

One day, the littlest one complained. Then the other four noticed they too had smaller portions. They banded together, and re-arranged duties so the first child now carried out the garbage and the other two children got to rotate pie cutting duties…

They all had enough food forever. However the oldest one threw a fit.. “Not fair”, he cried… “You all get more food, and I’m losing it… This is Socialism”. Eventually when his pleas had no listeners, he too shut up and was content with his “never-ending” piece of pi….

The end.

What does that mean you say? Master, please explain…

Ok.. so you may be clear. The family is American society. The earners are the American working class who earn and buy things that fuel the economy. During Conservative rule, the American people elected to let corporations be what run our government and by extension, our lives… They were put in charge of the government and for a while it was nice. Then they started wanting more. With no greater force to stop them, they took more and more and more.

Everyone else got less. They got more. Everyone else’s pie got smaller and smaller though the entire pie stayed the same. Those with smaller pie pieces were given a litany of excuses including saying they had no choice. Hard times were upon us. But no one was looking at what they were getting as they made our lives more miserable.

Finally the bottom class said we can’t live on $7.25 an hour, and the conversation got started. Everyone realized their portions too had decreased, and that all that decrease had accumulated to the pie of the ones who’d been appointed to do the cutting with no supervision or regulation or negatives for doing wrong.

They got together, changed the rules, forced the recalcitrant child to obey, and he screamed “Socialism”… and threw a fit.

The fit was ignored and the tantrum stopped. The child ended up being happy getting enough to live on as was everyone else…

Nice story.. you said something about charts?

Corporate Profits

This is the chart showing time since we began keeping records.  Notice the gradual increase in the inclines in the Clinton years, steeper in the Bush years, and steeper in the Obama years.

Even looking at this chart can be misleading.  For example in the Clinton years the rising tide did raise all boats.. Corporate profits rose because every level of income also rose, from poorer to richest.  Anyone living during those times of higher federal taxation did better each year than the year before.  But, with the cuts of the Bush era, the benefits only went to top earners, something Obama was not able to change with the Tea Party holding down both houses  and tax increase on the wealthy, during his term…

So a better guide would be the ratio of Corporate Profits (CP) to the total pie (GDP). This would show the how much corporate profits were taking of the finite pie.

CP Over GDP

The thing to remember when viewing this is that America’s middle class’s greatest times were between 1950 and 2000… The chart shows why.

The numbers on the left stand for percent of the national pie… At Bill Clinton’s swearing in, the national pie was divided 5% to corporations and 95% to the people. Today it is at 11% for corporations versus 89% for the people….

We, The People, under the new rules written by the corporations, for the corporations, and of the corporations, have been squeezed out of 6% ….. (6% which now mostly goes to  the top earning 16,000 people)

Currently our GDP is around $18 trillion dollars a year…. $18,000,000,000,000.

Six percent of that (amount originally ours but now corporate’s) is roughly $1.1 trillion… At a 150 million of us working that averages out to an rough income loss of $7.333 per worker…

Would you be ok with $7,000 more per worker in your family?  $14,000 more PER YEAR in two-income families?

That is what happens when you move $1.1 trillion from Corporate profits over to employee income.

Let them scream Socialism on deaf ears. We know it won’t hurt them, it’s all bluff, because we know they were doing quite well when they had far less profits…

So if you don’t have enough to live well, don’t blame Mexicans.  Don’t blame those on SNAP.  Don’t blame Muslims. Don’t blame inner city inhabitants. Don’t blame Obama. Don’t blame the Supreme Court.  Don’t blame anyone except those who are entrusted with the cutting of the pie you are to get…

Right now, that is Republicans in Congress and those lobbyists handing them laws to be passed…

The only way it changes is for all to gang up and make the change… Only one candidate is unbought and offering to do that.

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Even the most callous, ignorant, unconcerned citizen can’t ignore this. One can blame all Congress for it’s inaction. This Congress going on vacation now, has worked the least of any Congress in modern history up to this point. Just 142 public bills have become law in this current Congress (2013-2014) – down from the 906 the 80th “Do-Nothing” Congress passed in 1947-48, and the 333 that were enacted during the Newt Gingrich-led 104th Congress of 1995-96.

When a major crises hits our border, and is all over the air waves for two weeks, and every Republican goes before a TV camera and blames the President for causing the crises, and the President gives Congress his plan to solve it and it passes the Senate and the House REFUSES to vote on it, and instead offers their OWN contorted bill, which gets pulled because there are not enough votes in their OWN party to EVEN pass it…

It is obvious where the problem lies. Those people blaming Obama, who are so dysfunctional, they can’t even get THEIR OWN legislation passed in THEIR OWN controlled chamber….

It shows exactly where the dysfunction lies… No one buys a car that won’t run. No one keeps a refrigerator that won’t work. No one put up with a spouse who doesn’t help contribute to the running of the house… The dysfunction lies solely with this ONE party in this ONE house…

It played exactly the way the shut down the government last October. America, you have to stand up and do something about it… You can only blame yourselves…..

The enemy has been building its forces surreptitiously for some time now…  It is moving its forces into position to invade and strike a knockout blow…. Ironically we will be the ones who open the gates of the city, willingly, and let them in….  They are mankind’s oldest enemy.  They are resplendent through out all ancient texts.  They controlled European civilization for a thousand years….

They took a set-back in the Great Depression.  Democracy out-foiled them.  It has since taken 80 years for them to grow back… But they are here….. Camped right outside our gates!

It’s the idea that people exist for wealth’s sake… and not, that wealth exists for people…..

Although phrased differently in different languages through out man’s civilization, today it can be encapsulated in today’s term: …. corporations….

Ha, ha. YOU laughed…. didn’t you?  🙂 That means one simple thing…  You do not know.

In your defense, you aren’t supposed to know… Which is why it is all being done in secret, behind closed doors, among lobbyists, free trade activists, and legislators often put in office by corporate financing.   Financing which under Citizens United is so broad that legislators verily feel threatened to stand up for people anymore…

Of 100 of the world’s largest entities, 44 are corporations… If you stretch that to the top 150, 59% of all are corporations…..

From a historical perspective, corporations have always been powerful…. John Jacob Astor would have owned the world, but unfortunately chose the Titanic to ride home on.  Corporations controlled Caesars during the Late Roman periods. Corporations were a big influence propelling Elizabeth’s England and the Hanseatic League,,,,

But people were cheap back then.  Killed at will. Imprisoned their whole lives as slaves. Used for sex.  Expendable, I think is the proper word we are looking for….

Such consequences are the price of making more money…  And since there were no laws to protect people, money mattered; people didn’t…

Right now, negotiations are being taken across the world by these 59% of the world’s largest entities to insure that no nation-state can go against these corporations… Not to tax them. Not to legislate damages against them. Not even ban them….

What’s up for grabs in the innocuously named “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP) which is nothing short of handing over the control and ownership of virtually every governmental sector and public service in both Europe and the U.S. over to privatization….

The treaty seeks to (among many other things):
•    “Lock in” the privatisations of services – even in cases where private service delivery has failed – meaning governments can never return water, energy, health, education or other services to public hands.
•    Restrict a government’s right to regulate stronger standards in the public’s interest. For example, it will affect environmental regulations, licensing of health facilities and laboratories, waste disposal centres, power plants, school and university accreditation and broadcast licenses.
•    Specifically limit the ability of governments to regulate the financial services industry at exactly the time when the global economy is still recovering from a crisis caused by financial deregulation..

This is about enforcing the minimization of people’s rights. These documents will give corporations the higher pecking order…. It gives a signed, stamped piece of paper buried in a filing cabinet hidden somewhere in the state of Delaware, a paper signifying a small fee has been paid, far more power than all of us in unison combined….

This leads to very unstable societies. Instead of having our armed service currently fighting for America’s self-interests, they will be perversely fighting for perhaps Wal*mart’s, or BP’s, or Mirage’s, or Gasprom’s interests…. We might even go back to being drafted since who would volunteer for such a service?

It also leads to necessary governmental services being assessed from those most stricken, and not properly paid by those wealthy who are easily able to pay them… The investors get richer, the people get poorer….

As an intellectual example, let us say that a government is duly elected by the people and then attempts to make changes… As one proper example, an African nation wanting zero oil spills, moves to require a higher corporate investment in environmental safety and a higher rate per barrel on oil drawn from its waters…

Each and every one of those U.S. firms will now be able to launch expensive legal battles, potentially for billions of dollars, in the name of foregone profits.

Suing for lost profits?… Have you ever heard of such a thing? What ever happened to …. risk?

No problem you say. Surely a national court will decide for its people over potential profits…. But … you see, it doesn’t go to national court… It goes to arbitration… The case would not be heard in a court of law, under the scrutiny of a judge and jury, but rather in front of arbitration panels made up of three professional arbitrators — one representing the company, one representing the country and the other chosen by the first two to sit as president of the panel.

No citizen of any affected country can demand leverage or accountability over the proceedings.

To put it simply, if a doctor is sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, we might question whether the medicine prescribed is the best for our health; if a public servant receives money from a lobbyist, we might question whether the policies they promote are in the public interest. In the same vein, if an arbitrator’s main source of income and career opportunities depends on the decision of companies to sue, we should wonder how impartial their decisions are.

The intent of these treaties glossed over as “trade deals” is to make Corporations immune from any government meddling. In their marketing, they stress that this frees up business from being toyed with by totalitarian or corrupt governments… But what their marketing never mentions, is that this sword cuts two ways… It also insulates corporations from actions requested by the people in those nations who are also full-fledged democracies. If these documents are ever signed, we will wake one day, and find our wishes simply no longer matter.

We can see it everywhere today… Put in a power plant in downtown Newark. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Put in a corporate Common Core educational program that is bullshit. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Dump sludge from Delaware City’s refinery into the marsh. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Sell the Wilmington Port to Kinder-Morgan. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Get rid of prevailing wage. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Get rid of unions, especially the teacher’s union. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Make corporations hide their owners. Good for investors, people don’t matter. Build a giant shopping center in Barley Mills. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Tear down historic buildings and barns to make into a trailer park. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Don’t give mobile home owners any rights. Good for investors, people don’t matter. Don’t tax the top 1% to rebuild a broken bridge. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Get rid of Obamacare. Good for investors; people don’t matter. Mainstream special-ed students. Good for investors; people don’t matter….

Everywhere you look… it is there… You can’t escape it… The funny thing is that after WWII, when the GI’s came home, we had a nation that KNEW people really mattered. They saw with their own eyes what happens when the top in governments do what they wish, with impunity. They saw with their own eyes both dead and broken people who no longer mattered… They knew that people who by luck had the benefit to still be living, really do matter a lot…

They made a cannon of laws to protect those people still living… Giving us the right to make the final decisions to decide our own fate… Since the election of 2000 that has slowly and consistently eroded. We are losing control over our lives… to something as silly as money. Of that they print more everyday. Forget that a person is one in a trillion. There can never be, nor will ever be, an exact copy made….

So never, never open the gates to them. Nor accept their Trojan Horses. They are conquerors; we are the bounty. It is the same war that has been waged ever since man first discovered the power of money. Mankind has been this conquest’s loser over most of history… Do not let the advantage we won in 1932 now go to waste… It is so close to slipping through our fingers. We will not get it back in our lifetimes nor our children’s… For they have been and will be, waging their war across centuries; we today are stupidly living our lives in fear of pissing them off….

Piss them off and put them back into their box. Get moving now.

Here is where we need to be: … We, the People, will allow you the opportunity to make money, but it must be done to our benefit and our rules... The End.

It is very simple.  If one Republican supports segregation, and the Republican Party does not expunge him from its party, obviously the Head of The Republican Party then automatically inherits the problem and becomes culpable….  But there are two Republicans doing this.  And both are the principal movers of the entire Republican Party (if not name, then deed) of Sussex County.

The only outcry from the Republican Party has been a buried press release from the head here in New Castle County, which no one read…..

That can only mean the Republican Party secretly supports segregation….

Think about it.  You are with a group of people and one starts harassing someone outside your group.  They could be liberal, gay, effeminate, Hispanic, urban, whatever. It doesn’t matter.  But that someone in your group  goes off half-cocked and bullies them n public…

What do you do, sitting there holding your beer?  Do you come to that person’s defense?  “Hey, you can’t do that to them.  You need to leave us right now,  You don’t represent us! You sicken me.  In fact, I’m going to punch my fist right through your f’n head. Then when you’re down I’m going use my new cowboy boots to grind your head into tomato paste.”   (Because if you did,  The bullying would probably stop immediately, since you were becoming  the new threat.)

But probably not.  Most likely you are going to sit there, silent, pondering all your choices, and from the outside keep a stoic face so all around you, especially that person being verbally abused, will assume you are just part of the posse, going along with the sheriff doing the abusing…  If ever later questioned why you chose not to intervene, you will say  “I’m not prejudiced. I actually like “those people”.  I don’t have a part in this fight.  Of course I don’t agree with him, but I’m not going to get into a fist fight with someone I work with…. ”

And thus, through yours and your acquaintance’s  cowardice, you allow the abuse to continue.  Someone else another day, will feel the ire, and then someone else the day later, etc….  The real problem is allowed to continue. And we all know;  it is a real problem.

So when we all are held accountable, (as to why did you do nothing to stop it), despite whatever excuse we proffer it will become obvious to us that there was indeed another choice at that time which could have been made…. We could have done something….

That is why one press release read by nobody, is not enough.  Only one action and one action alone is strong enough to send the proper message that this behavior will NOT be tolerated.  That is to permanently ban Vince Phillips and Sam Wilson from any Republican Party affiliation.  That is to public excommunicate them from the Republican Party of Delaware… That is to issue a restraining order banning Vince Phillips and Sam Wilson from any function even remotely connected to the Republican Party of Delaware…..

IF the Republican Party does not take such drastic action…. they are culpable just as you or I would be if a friend of ours started demeaning a stranger in our presence.   WE WOULD BE GUILTY TOO…..

This is why, no… as in zero… self-respecting human being should donate, volunteer, or even vote for any Republican until the Republican Party has elicited some serious cost upon the perpetrators…  Considering the moral weakness previously exhibited by their current leader, I predict that will be highly unlikely….

I further predict that segregation against the “colored people”  will be continue to be openly practiced in Sussex County because it now has the unspoken  “protection” of the Republican Party.

One of the greatest tragedies the exposure the NSA has given America abroad, is its loss in the dream… We all have a dream losses in our lives.  For some it is experienced when as the fathers we idolized growing up, somehow over the course of 4 years in college or the workforce, matriculate from being the source of all wisdom and goodness, into becoming just regular people struggling along like everyone else….

The USA experienced the same disillusionment under the Snowden leaks.

Our nation always propelled high ideals, and usually we were willing to back them up…  Iraq could not take over Kuwait, (though we tarnished that  ten years later when we tried to “take over Iraq” but now are out.)

The Soviets always tried to paint us as a capitalist nation, an imperial power using economics as opposed to force, but the power of our good people always thwarted that message and annulled it’s impact… We couldn’t be as bad as the Soviets said, because “look at all the good America was doing, and how richly everyone lived over there… Factory workers over here could afford cabin cruisers for heaven’s sakes.

What Snowden showed was that the We, The People are no longer in control of this government’s policy OR actions…   Instead we had a government saying one thing, and a shadow government doing the opposite… and all that it did,  was not just for its self protection… It was for its corporate protection….

Listening in on German chancellor Merkel’s phone conversations really has no solid reason inside our relationship. We are good friends.  However it does have great importance in the worlds of investing or competing with trillions of dollars of European money… What are her plans?  How can our investment community turn that into cash?  These are extremely useful pieces of information, and investing in the obtaining of such, would be a very wise course of action if takenwith in the limited context strictly inside that frame….

One can trace the chilling of the warmth of the US-Soviet relationship to Snowden’s defection and asylum in Russia, June of last year.  These things are done on a quid pro quo basis, and everyone is well aware that  Snowden is only in Russia, because it is better for the Russians to keep him safe there, than turn him over to the US authorities….

The true picture of the NSA’s release and further actions they took after that release, does indeed cast truer fears that the American nation is not being controlled by it’s people… That a cabal inside the government is operating freely on its own, using the conduits of information as its unlimited fiscal source and to create situations out of manipulating that medium…   The idea that this could exist were rare and ethereal before the initial Snowden releases.  But since, the possibility has become real.  And the cabal would never have to become known.  By creating the context of events, they could control the outcomes… By making dissent invisible, they could corral popular opinion to follow their whims…

All I can say to anyone detracting this as a complete impossibility, that propaganda is incapable of bottling up truth for any length of time,  is to remind them that when Stalin died, everyone (still living) in Russia thought he was a god.  A wonderful, loving, benevolent and caring man.  Don’t believe me?  Look it up…  Controlling information can do amazing things.

But to the shock of Putin and the Chinese, the Snowden releases showed that the President, and Congress, and our bureaucracy were wimps at the hands of corporate dollars.  That a illegal request to infiltrate computers of a Brazil oil company in order to find the high yield offshore oilfields prior to the official bidding, would be fast tracked.  That listening on Merkel before a bond deal for Greece, would be done to satiate the whims of the big investors.

That our entire Federal governmental structure is pawned to big money is something our Supreme Court just made even more believable with its bizarre McCutcheon agreement lifting caps on unlimited campaign spending. further benefiting those responsible for all these international illegal actions, and hindering further progress by Americans set against such behavior…

It is really hard to hate the American people… Not even Muslims can do that effectively.. But it is every easy to hate American corporations that have no qualms with devastating a third world nation, then when money is gone, pulling out with no sense of responsibility for the damage done.

What Snowden did, was to expose that was really the truth behind the American dream… So much that when we say America is for democracy, …  around the world, the global audience says…. yeah, right…

Taken from within this context of inside knowledge, Putin’s moves in Ukraine now make a great deal of sense as a solely defensive action… What if the entire Ukraine disturbance was indeed pushed forward (in Reichstag fashion) to create a crises punishing the Russians in the East?  Put it this way,…. before Snowden, that would have been deemed preposterous….   Now it has to be interpreted within the context of:  “wait a minute, these are the people who listened in on Merkel’s cellphone.”….

The real global problem in the world today, is this unlimited wealth against which no one is safe…  Would anyone of us turn down a billion dollars for one or two seconds of work?  Especially if done in secret and no one , no one could or ever would even know?

Believe it or not, the global  solution is to raise their taxes…  When any excess money earned  is going to be sent to  some government somewhere, the incentive to use all this unused money in illegal actions to make more, disappears…  Instead of gambling big money on a price’s rise and fall,… hiding it as an expense by investing in real physical capital becomes the prime option to maximize wealth, one which will benefits us all…  Raising tax rates marginally to higher heights on very, very, very big money, is a policy change that turns the wealthy from being the bad guys, into the best human beings possible…..

 

 

Sweeney is at it again.  As old age creeps up on him as with everyone else, his edge has dulled.  In this case it is not his intellect, but his wisdom which fades.  Instead of thinking for himself, he is led by the nose with a thread, sewed through his septum, then tied in a knot, with a long string dangling out of his nostril….

“They” tried to hide the author.  It is buried under ….”Our View…”  But like his face in the picture often used to represent him… some things one just can’t hide….   There is a particular slant of Sweeneyism that is hard to copy.  That could be described as preaching the gospel of creationism long after it has been debunked…

In his latest attempt Sweeney gets called to save the dying Charter Schools.  Public opinion has turned against the administration….  Yet in Sweeney’s entire argument, there are no facts.  Why should we turn to Charter Schools? The facts are that they teach worse than do public schools, they waste more tax dollars than public schools, they actually cost more dollars than public schools, and they drain resources away from public schools,  Oh, and they pay their owners, superintendents, and administrators more than public schools…  To the tune of $72 dollars a student more!

So why should we continue with Charter Schools?  The only reason Sweeney can possibly derive… is because people want them.  Well. … …. … People want heroin too….   So perhaps the perfect rebuttal to Sweeney’s argument would be to substitute the word…” Heroin”…  for his words… “Charter Schools”…  Trust me… It is a really fun read… It also shows the spuriousness of Sweeney’s argument… “Why should everyone suffer just to make a few people happy?”   Here is Sweeney’s explanation… (Warning: don’t drink and read at the same time..).. 🙂

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“Twenty legislators have asked the state Board of Addictions to consider the possible harm five new heroin dispensaries pose to the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The legislators are worried that too much legal heroin will drive students out of Red Clay schools. They argue this would be a detriment to the district and to those who prefer a public drug-free culture.

They have a point. Looked at from the institution’s point of view, heroin poses a threat. However, what does it look like from the point of view of the addicts who would want to send their children into heroin addiction? What do they see? What is the need addicts are trying to fill?

The heroin debate generally has ignored questions like these. Most of the arguments coming from the legislators and others, focus on the concerns of the institutions and those who run them. The viewpoint of the typical addict is missing.

Abstinence has been, is and will be the backbone of the American anti drug system, its religion, its workplace. However, for generations, people with money could sidestep any legal faults they saw in that system by sending their children money for heroin. However, since the advent of laws allowing for legal heroin, middle- and low-income parents now have had the ability to leave that dull reality as well. Most likely, these parents do not see themselves as leaving an old reality; they are just trying to get a better thrill for their children. The parents, in other words, are voting with their actions, driving into Wilmington, buying bags, and giving it to their children.

Instead of complaining, the anti drug establishment and their legislative supporters should be asking why.

People who hook new addicts study their customers. When the customers stop coming back, those business operators find out why and do something about it. They do not blame the competition, they kill them. As one businessman recently put it, Pepsi does not try to shut down Coke when the customers stop drinking Pepsi. Pepsi fights back.

Do the leaders of Red Clay or any other anti drug institution know why parents want to take their children out of abstinence? The districts cannot blame the growth of drug use on just the plight of middle-class white parents. Heroin addiction is extremely attractive to lower-income minority parents as well.

Why? What prompts them to shoot up? What attracts them to heroin? If the anti drug leaders know what the reason is, why isn’t it on the table for discussion? Suppose the problem were lack of love or curriculum. Shouldn’t that problem be the topic for discussion? Shouldn’t the legislators be trying to assist the anti drug establishment to find a solution for the heroin addiction, rather than complaining about alleged unfairness of those selling heroin to be beyond the law?

We applaud the legislators for their concern, but they would have a better argument if they could speak to the addicts’ concerns as well.

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This argument doesn’t work for heroin; it doesn’t work for Charter Schools…. The definition of freedom… at least as we (and that includes Sweeney) once learned…. “is the right to do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else”…… There are only two Charter Schools doing well…. Newark and Wilmington’s..  Between just the two of them, there are 2700 students…. Across the state there are over 133,000….  Why should every other student have to experience a decline in resources-per-child to benefit only 0.2% of the student population?

In Sweeney’s topsy turvey world, everyone of those 130,600 other students must now suffer (which even he admits to), until we find out why 0.2% of the population has an addiction to something different……

Yes.  It truly boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

The argument for Hobby Lobby is thus…

The owners of a corporation should be able to impose their religion upon its policy… That means that the owners or family of a corporation can use their values to determine a corporation’s policy….

Therefore if his case is decided in Hobby Lobby’s favor, the head of the corporations will now be responsible for those actions and results of those actions, so therefore, they can be personally sued for any damages their corporation creates….

This rents the curtain that has separated an individual’s accountability from that of his LLC. corporation… One could always sue Freedom Industries, which as a corporation is now bankrupt so what’s the point; the assets were already transferred to its owner. , But now, if Hobby Lobby opens the door so a person and corporation are the exact same thing, all those damaged by corporations, can now go after the assets of any individual behind that corporation…. Because that discrepancy now works both way….

What do you think?

This….

A catfish inspection program will continue in place, despite Vietnam’s and China’s objections.

California can continue banning eggs hatched from hens in tiny battery cages…

Language aimed at curtailing a meat country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL) requirement, and one aimed at restricting activities by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) was left out. These two were opposed by foreign processors.

The bill ties Commodity subsidies to historical production but allows famers to update their “base acres” once in the life of the farm bill.

It changes restrictions on the so-called “actively engaged” provision. The criteria for management has been strengthened compared to current law, a source said, but the provision appears be scaled back from the labor requirement in the earlier versions of the bills…

The altered payment limits are now capped at $125,000 per individual or $250,000 per couple, but caps within that total for PLC, ARC or marketing loan deficiency payments have been removed.

On farm subsidies, the bill offers producers a choice between a shallow loss revenue insurance long favored by Northern crop growers and price-based supports supported by those in the South. ..

The compromise discourages milk overproduction by limiting how much milk can be insured in the future and also has a provision allowing the Agriculture Department to buy up some excess production.

The bill is expected to save $23 billion over 10 years compared to existing funding.

The House bill had initially made a $39 billion cut to the food stamp programs. The cut will now stand at $8 billion across 10 years. or $800,000,000 per year…The food stamps cuts are achieved by making it more difficult to qualify for nutrition assistance by virtue of receiving home heating aid…..

The bill contains funding for a new pilot program aimed at encouraging able-bodied recipients to find work and more than $200 million more for food banks.

This was a surprise.  Today the Federal Appeals Court ruled against the FCC, and for Comcast and Verizon and AT&T…….

If you’ve always loved your cable company, XOXOXO,  then have no fear.  But….if they have ever pissed you off in your lifetime, GRRRRRR, …be afraid, very afraid.

Essentially what this ruling “could do” is give them unlimited power over what you see, or not see on the internet….. As well as unlimited power over what they can charge for the privilege (no longer your right) to see what ever it is they choose to show you…..

The internet is set become another payola as was the radio….  no matter what station you tune, you hear the same 10 songs, unless of course, you always listened to WVUD….. And the reason you hear the same 10 songs, is because those record companies paid the 10 highest fees to the corporate entity overseeing the  music selection….

Now do you see where we are headed?

Ever heard of Netflicks?  Of course you have.  Dump your stock.  They will now be charged between $75- 115 million extra a year, just to have their movies carried by Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T..

Prefer to use Google over the Alta Vista search engine on the Comcast Site?  Expect to pay a premium.  Wish to see a video from your children in South Africa?  Expect to pay for it….  YouTube?  Will now be pay in advance….

At stake is “common carriage”.  It is a centuries old premise that if someone operates in the public arena, one must allow all the same option to use it.  One can’t for example, run a ferry and not allow his mother in law to cross, or Ted Cruz… If one is providing a public service, under common carriage principles he must not discriminate between parties….

This was one of the tenants that helped strike down bus segregation in the Old South, the fact that this age old principle was violated.

However… what happened…. was in 2005, the Supreme Court in their “Brand X” decision, decided that broadband (and wireless), was NOT a common carriage entity under existing law… Phones, yes; old cable, yes; but broadband… no…   The current court used that decision to say that since broadband was NOT a regulate common carrier provider (even though obviously it is), it did not have to comply with the common carriage principles every other entity has to follow….. Broadband is not a telecommunications network, and therefore FCC rules DO NOT APPLY.

The 2011 FCC rules being challenged in this court case, essentially state that broadband providers cannot block competing traffic on their network or discriminate against another company’s services that ride over its network in order to benefit its own competing services.

Here are the fears.

Net neutrality supporters have long worried that a broadband provider, such as Comcast, may purposely slow down traffic from an Internet company, such as Netflix, that uses its network to deliver services. In this case, Comcast could slow down the video streams of Netflix, making it impossible for Comcast broadband customers to use this service, which competes against Comcast’s own on-demand video service.

This happened immediately after the  decision.  Try going to the EFF site, Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization hostile to corporate takeover of the internet.  It takes 5 minutes to load each page, and all other sites take under a second.  I tried it repeatedly with always the same results.  Prior to the decision, it had always been in an instant.  So obviously now that companies can do what ever they want, any website critical or your cable company, is getting dissed…  (No wonder Chris Coons uncharacteristically is sucking up to the Cable Industry.)  If Christine O’Donnell runs again, she will be the only candidate in the race, according to the internet…. unless you do “their” bidding.

Broadband providers could create tiers of service that would require Internet companies trying to reach their customers over this infrastructure to pay a fee for a certain quality of service. For example, Amazon may pay Verizon to prioritize its traffic to ensure that its streaming services get a better quality of service or so that its Web pages load more quickly. Net neutrality supporters say such a system would relegate smaller Internet companies, which cannot afford to pay for priority service, to a slower and less reliable Internet. These Net neutrality advocates say this will stifle innovation.

The court ruling could pave the way for broadband operators and backbone Internet providers, which provide the nationwide infrastructure for the Internet, to create new revenue streams by charging Internet companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix fees for offer priority delivery of their content.

Mozilla responded with this…

“Giving Internet service providers the legal ability to block any service they choose from reaching end users will undermine a once free and unbiased Internet. In order to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Internet, Mozilla strongly encourages the FCC and Congress to act in all haste to correct this error.”

And that is the solution.  The FCC can simply redirect broadband and wireless to be back in the public domain, and net neutrality can continue.

Or Congress can pass legislation demanding he same.

Or the Supreme Court can overturn the Appeals Court’s decision.

It comes down to our rights  to free access of knowledge, versus a corporation’s right to make money.  As has been the trend lately, the Court decided the trump suit was a corporation’s right to make money….

As with every year there are lost opportunities and lost grievences…  Some things that have bothered us, disappear.  Somethings that have bothered us, don’t….

This year was no different, and yet, it was very different…. If one asks oneself what was the greatest factor involving the entire year, then pulls back layer after layer until he gets the full perspective,  I think he comes to a surprising conclusion….

This year, 2013 was the tipping point.  We realized we are a third world nation when it comes to the proportion of wealth across our population….   Like global warming, this disparity was first proposed long ago.  Like global warming it was argued by the power brokers that such a proposal was only a crackpot’s theory;  it gradually gained momentum….

2013, brought that home…. In 2013, we had the party of the Teas, vote against giving New Jersey relief for Hurricane Sandy, and vote themselves relief when a little hail landed in their district…. In 2013, we had government shut itself down to stop Obamacare, then open itself without creating any change at all.   In 2013, we had unemployment benefits cut, then reinstated, and now cut again… We had food stamps cut.  We had a sequester go into effect to save $85 billion dollars….

We had the news media lead fake scandals… when the biggest scandal should be, how is Fox and CNN and CBS still able to call themselves news organizations?  We had the IRS scandal… despite that they dealt evenhandedly with groups of both political persuasions.  We had the Benghazi hearings… Much ado over absolutely nothing… For when it came down to why those four died, all fingers point to that very Congressional committee led by Republican Darrell Issa, which cut well over $100 million in funds that were specifically designated to secure advanced unsecured places of that type.

But when we had a real scandal, which was illuminated by Snowden, all the media shied away.  Calling him a traitor for releasing the documents…  As more came out, Americans began to really fully grasp the totalitarian phase our nation’s government was just on the threshold of achieving….

In 2013 we had civil right voting laws thrown out by the Supreme Court, and instantly all those dark ugly human traits those laws previously regulated, took over and sprang out into the open…

We had a rational push for gun control, that bumped into the irrational group against it.  We did not win the first battle… WE did make considerable ground and showed the NRA was led by psychotic bloodthirsty killers, both nationally and locally….

And the unions… are all bought out… from the top down.   Only those on the very bottom in our service industries, the Wal*marts, McDonalds, and retail outlets, who have nothing to lose, are bravely carrying the fight forward… They are on the right track…

Our sole problem in America is that out of every dollar that trades hands in our economy…. 50 cents of it gets sucked out by the top 1%….  The rest of America is economically playing with a half deck…50 cents on the dollar.  No wonder job growth is slower than it should be?

If you invested, you love this year….  The year’s DJIA started at 13,000 and is now at 16,500….  25% yield….   For every $100,000 you had in stocks… you just made $25,000….

We now realize this was at the expense of the QE 3.  The Federal Government is lending the large brokerage houses all the money they wanted at zero interest, and instead of creating jobs, it went right into the stock market, chasing prices and making them higher….  When that free money begins costing the brokerage houses… those investments are going to deflate.

Most of America no longer has money in the market.  The market is primarily owned by those at the top.

And education?  We had corporate America exposed for trying their hand at teaching little children and failing miserably.   Just as Corporate enterprises have now destroyed Facebook,  television news, and are now destroying Twitter, the same forces demolished education.   An attack on the public school system aimed to demolish it and install a privately owned system, is well underway….   It was all just theoretical until 2013.

The prime problem  behind all of these?

It took a new Pope to make it mainstream… To tie all these individual threads into one rope.  As he spoke, people turned to look at each other and said, ” Wow, why didn’t we see it before?”

When one homeless person dies on the streets it  is not news.  But the DOW drops two points, it is THE news….

What 2013 did, was bring to light that we were not a nation beset by little battles…  Loss of labor unions, stymieing of minimum wage, fierce lobbying against Obamacare, a court controlled by corporate interests, lobbyists writing all our nation’s bills,  What 2013 did was bring to light that all our “think tank” research, was pure propaganda, not research.   What 2013 did, was show us just how much power and wealth lie in the hands of very few people…. roughly 100,000…… with most of that being held by a core of 1000 individuals…. Meaning 314,899,999 of the rest of us are out in the cold…

2013 showed us that the happiest people in the world, are those where wealth is more equally shared…  to be happy, one has to tax heavily…  A sharper sense of wealth is gleaned from looking at happy societies…  Where there is enough wealth to be shared, it is…  It makes little sense to pursue the opposite  tack.  To let those with money have it at no cost, and charge the masses heavily for their use of it…

2013, is the turning of the tide… Now when someone says low taxes are job creators they are viciously humiliated and never dare mention such again. Now when someone says trickle down economics work, we now know they are secretly praising how well it works for those at the top.

2013….  We know.

2014…. No Tea Party.  No Republicans.  No Third Way.   Only by mandating that the wealthy who got rich over nothing, pay their fair share and everyone else’s fair share too, can we again create an economy and a nation that thrives from the bottom up…

2014 is the battle year.  This is where those few at the top will throw billions into protecting the trillions they’ve made from our assets…  But… they only have 1% of the population… The question is whether they can mobilize their toadies to vote and suppress the rest as they have successfully done in the past… when in truth, we were still half asleep….

The rallying cry for the 99% needs to be this:  the 1% needs to do more for our nation!.  We should not be ashamed to mention marginal income (including capital gains) tax rates over 50%, 60%, 70%… at least for the short term, until our economic war is over!  That is not too much! Most livable nations have such.  and the USA itself had such during our grandparent’s time, back when it was easy to go out and find a job….  we had more demand for jobs than we had people….

Income equality is the lens with which all items need to be viewed….  What that means is that with every question, every line item, every debate, this question gets asked…. “What does this proposal do to reverse income equality?”  If it does nothing, it is not good…

What does controlling guns do for income equality?  What do charter schools do for income equality?  What does cutting taxes on Delaware’s 1% do for income equality?  What does making the Port of Wilmington non-union do for economic equality?  What does creating NO-prevailing wage zones in Delaware, do for economic equality?  What does opening Beaver Valley to development do for income equality?  What does raising minimum wage do for economic equality?  What does Common Core do for income equality?  What does opening Family Court to the public do for income equality?  What does building a power plant that runs 24/7 on the brown fields of Newark, do for income equality?  What does building a new Wawa in Newark, do for income equality?

I acknowledge some of those are stretches but that is what having a prime filter does.  One looks at everything through that perspective….  It is one thing to bash the governor for a luckluster economy in his state…. Republicans do that too often, and offer neither specifics, or alternatives.   It is another to bash the governor for ignoring 99% of Delawareans’ needs, or  990,000 people, to the benefit of 10,000, or 1%…..  That is legitimate….

Hurting the 1% to the benefit of the 99% will cause 99 times more economic activity in this state.  99% of our citizens will buy more….  If those 1% continue to make more money off our localized spending, then at least they are earning their income honestly for a change….

Perhaps what is missing, is a retort, the kind that becomes a mantra……. When the Chamber of Commerce steps up to a microphone and says, …. “we pay most of the taxes in this state, we should not pay more…”.

The proper response hitherto missing, should be…. ” Then pay your employees more money, so they can help you share that burden…”

2013:  the arrow was released… 2014 is when it impacts its target,….

(This came out last spring. Most of you have seen this.  If by chance you haven’t, be prepared to have your mind blown. If you’ve become jaded since the last showing, prepare to have your mind blown again.)