You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Meet The Press’ category.

First they backed Jeb, then Marco, then Cruz, and now, it looks like Wall Street is pinning their hopes on Hillary.

Bernie is not an avuncular Socialist anymore. He is a threat to the capitalistic system of today, a system that has put 90% of America near poverty… The reason? He wants to return America to the capitalistic system we had 20,30,40 years ago… when to borrow a phrase from Donald Trump, “America was great.”

And most of America hopes he succeeds.  The anger behind Donald Trump is also anger against the current capitalism which has emasculated the American worker. You add Donald’s followers to Bernie’s followers and you have a majority of America who wants some very big changes to quickly affect the daily lives of 90% of Americans… They need more income.

The capitalist system of today is bigger than America… Most of America’s profits are quickly moved off-shore doing Americans no good for all the work they’ve done for their bosses.

American workers are past their breaking point and only two candidates understand and address their issues.  Donald and Bernie.  There are opposite differences in addressing the same theme.  One is diverting attention away from those big businesses by pointing to Mexicans, Muslims, and Megan (something with M’s?). The other is aiming to control big business by putting it back into the box from which it escaped during George W Bush’s presidency…. But depending on who you mistrust, both are doing exactly the same thing in the grand scheme of things: organizing against today’s form of capitalism.

So, with Wisconsin going to Bernie, there is now some fear that New York may do the same.  And that has unleashed all the tricks to blank out  both Bernie and Donald so regular Americans continue to be blocked from any say in how their government gets run… something that keeps Wall Street up at night.

Which is why, with the Wisconsin Win, we now have The Daily News of New York and the Washington Post follow-up, excoriate presidential candidate Sanders…

I read the Daily News transcript and you should too.  You will understand that headlines quite often these days, do not an accurate description of the article, make.

I was very pleased with Bernie’s answers and was rather shocked that some have said otherwise….

The leader of the negative articles is none other then mega-giant Amazon.Com’s own newspaper, the Washington Post… Remember this paper is owned by Jeff Bezos, 5th richest Forbes designated person in the world, who is worth $52 billion. 

There is one reason he would not want Bernie to win and that would be because Bernie would put him in the highest tax bracket.  Which is 58% I believe.  Though he will cry, cry, cry about paying high taxes, Americans will get far more benefit from his $52 billion portfolio if correctly taxed, then they would from letting him keep even more of his profits, as is being proposed by every other candidate…

So, imagine you had $52 billion in assets… Would you attack someone who would cost you money???  Or someone who would give you money??

Here are the Washington Post’s flurries off that great interview (read the transcript)-=- remind one of Fast and Furious?

9 things Bernie Sanders should’ve known about but didn’t in that Daily News interview

This New York Daily News interview was pretty close to a disaster for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders picks a dangerous New York fight with Hillary Clinton

The case against Bernie Sanders, according to Barney Frank

Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president

About that Bernie Sanders ‘momentum’ …

Writers for The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, CNN, Slate and Talking Points Memo concluded as well that Sanders had botched the interview.

But the transcript shows a different story…..Sanders’s conversation with the Daily News was more nuanced than some of the criticism might suggest.

Here is one example…. Sanders was faulted for not having formed an opinion on a recent ruling in federal court. “It’s something I have not studied, honestly,” he said.

That federal court ruling, for instance, remains under seal, and experts on the financial sector said there were additional reasons that Sanders couldn’t give precise answers to several of the questions that were put to him.

When asked how to break up JP Morgan, Sanders answered he’d leave it up to the banks.. That is exactly the right answer. The government doesn’t know the most efficient way to break up JP Morgan, JP Morgan does. If the point is to downsize the banks, the way to do it is to give them a size cap and let them figure out the best way to reconfigure themselves to get under it…  It is no different than requiring seat belts in every car, but not specifying how they must be constructed…

The same applies to Sanders not knowing the specific statute for prosecuting banks for their actions in the housing bubble. Knowingly passing off fraudulent mortgages in a mortgage backed security is fraud.  And the fact that Sanders didn’t know a specific statute, who cares? How many people know the specific statute for someone who puts a bullet in someone’s head? It’s murder. Specific statute?  Are you serious?

Although he did not know, he did argue that the federal law enforcement should devote more manpower to investigating the largest financial firms to determine whether any particular laws were violated, something Clinton has also promised to do, putting both of them at odds with Obama, who chose instead to seek large payments to settle, instead of aggressively prosecuting what could be very involved, risky and unsuccessful at the Supreme Court.

With the exception of the subway token thing, gracefully ending with an image of Bernie jumping a turnstile and gracefully eluding the subway police, it often appeared that the Daily News simply had inexperienced reporters asking vaguely open questions to which Bernie was hearing different parts….

Bottom line is that reading the entire transcript, makes Bernie not someone out of touch with the big picture of running America; which means that those saying he was, ARE out of touch with how America needs to be run….

Look.  Mom says:  Be home for Thanksgiving…  She doesn’t say: get out of work early, pack the night before, take the number 5 bus to the station at 7:45; get on the 8:11 train to Philly and get of at Suburban station and take at 9:22, the 102 bus north….

Bernie got it right… Bezos obviously has a $52.2 billion agenda…. If you are smart  (Allan Loudell gets fooled every time), don’t believe any media this campaign, but use them to read the transcripts…. for you are smarter than they are.

Brilliant strategy for any voter:  go the source; ignore headlines and commentary.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
/Click Image for Past Winners

Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
====
That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

Unfortunately, sadly, heartbreakingly so, there is a dire shortage of medication to treat Childhood Leukemia. … All five pharmaceutical companies that make the injection drug methotrexate, which treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia by slowing the growth of cancer cells, have either slowed and stopped manufacturing of the drug, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The companies have cited “high demand” or “manufacturing delays” as reasons for the shortage.

Where have we seen this before? In the oil industry. “Shut down that refinery until the price rises sky high.”

We have a shortage of life giving medication, one that is isolated to children, one that will tug at the heart-stings of parents.

There is no shortage of raw materials. There is no shortage of manufacturing space. There is no shortage of labor. There is only a shortage, because 5 major pharmaceuticals, all at the same time, chose “not to make” that certain drug….

Now according to Dr. Michael Link, pediatric oncologist and president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, some hospital pharmacies have reported having only a couple weeks of supply left.

Which means that kids start dying in 14 days…….

To counter this, President Obama on October 31, signed an executive order, instructing the Food and Drug Administration to broaden its reporting of potential drug shortages, expedite regulatory reviews that can help prevent shortages, and examine whether potential shortages have led to price gouging. The drug shortage has compromised or delayed care for some patients and may have led to otherwise preventable deaths.

This caused Christopher W. Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, to applaud the signing of the order, saying in a statement that it would “allow government, industry, providers and the public to more systematically analyze and understand the causes of specific drug shortages as they occur, and to develop real-time solutions that are also needed to address the acute problems that cancer patients live with daily.”

But the order does not go far enough.

While the FDA can oversee imports of drugs that are in short supply, it cannot regulate how much a company can make. In fact, manufacturers are not required to report shortages to the FDA.

Isn’t that what Romney touts? Isn’t that Gingrich’s modus operandi, Isn’t that what Santorum lavishs, WE NEED LESS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION???

Don’t all of them recommend that government needs to slim down, cut back, and get off the backs of business in general to create jobs?

WELL…..

Here is a direct case of that policy in action. There is no government on the backs of Pharmaceuticals. They are completely independent, private, not regulated, and free to decided what drugs to make, and when to make them….

“Oh gee, let’s see… we make 89 cents per pill on our placebos…. and only 64 cents on each bottle of methotrexate…. Let’s close down the meth lab, and instead, make placebos instead….”

Mitt Romney’s philosophy in action…

Because of it, there is now a shortage of highly necessary medications… Ones that have to be had, to maintain life…

(There is no end to the number of Sudafed knockoffs on drugstore shelves)….

Just a look at the top ten prescribed medicines in America, only one, Lipitor, is still under patent. All the others, have lapsed into generic….

The apparent problem is rather simple. In order to chase after profits for your stockholders, for the analysts of CNBC to mention your stock on their show, … you have to sell the top 15 drugs helping 100% of the population, and the 4000 or 5000 people needing your specialty drugs, are simply sick with the wrong disease…

Remember the death panel controversy made up and disseminated by Michelle Bachmann? Well, now, we see the real death panel….

“I’m sorry (not). I know he is your child; I know we have the medicine to keep him normal, I know he will die if he doesn’t get it; I know we could easily makes some in less than 5 days; I know we could have never run short if we had wanted; I know all these things. But, we arbitrarily choose not to make it; your son is out of luck and will be dead in less than two weeks…”

Why?

Because you voted for Republicans…. Seriously, if you hadn’t, what would have happened?

In an all Democratic Congress, when this shortage was brought up, legislation would be passed levying extensive fines if the drugs did not reach market by a certain date. The price would include only a ten percent markup. Meaning the pharmaceutical company would not lose on the proposition. How do I know this would work? It was the law of the land for 70 years, until Republicans began selling the concept that letting the market place settle everything, and the FDA got gutted.

Interestingly,…. due to the shortage, black market drugs have materialized…. As soon as a drug hits a shortage level, unreliable distributors pop up offering supplies of suspect origin at highly inflated prices, said Denver based Porter Adventist Hospital pharmacy director, Ryan Stice.

“I have a story about one of these vendors calling on a Friday night, lying to a staff member to get approval for shipment, and sending their products for Saturday delivery to avoid our normal safeguards on bogus shipments and invoicing,” Stice said.

Premier Healthcare Alliance, which published data on drug price-grouging practices last week, said nearly 2,000 sales offers from “gray market” distributors amounted to an average price markup of 650 percent for drugs used to treat cancer and other critical illnesses, as well as sedate patients for surgery, that have been in short supply in recent months.

The highest markup was for the drug lebetalol, used to treat high blood pressure. Lebetalol usually sells for $25.90, but “gray market” offers priced it at $1,200.

When pressed, it appears there is little knowledge over where these “grey market” drugs come from. Most speculate that those drugs which are currently being dispensed on the “grey market” come with a majority of their kickback returning to the pharmaceutical companies. It was as if someone in the pharmaceutical business figured out: why sell this drug for $25 dollars when we can create a shortage and sell it for $1200 instead?

“Greed is good”, if you remember the movie Wall Street.

Ironically, the similarities between both Mitt Romney’s hairstyle and philosophy and those in that movie, are extremely uncanny.

If it is your son who is dying, obviously the market place is not where we want to take health-care. Their death panels are far more crooked than any other panel that would occur if we had any other system of medical insurance.

One must wonder why in any debate, not one panalist has yet brought up the question…Mr. Republican, about your market philosophy…. when it comes to cancer drugs and others that are necessary for life,… there seems to be a problem….”

Then follow up with: “No, it appears you’re wrong there, Mr. Republican Candidate. The obvious solution is for America not to vote for any Republican candidate…”

The reason he won.

Number 1….

Gingrich shoots down corporate media……

Number 2

Gingrich accurately defines the SOPA and PIPA battle.

Number 3

The consensus on stage, is that on most issues in which Newt lead the dicussion, he was right.

My friends on the left are gleeful at Newt’s coronation as the Republican candidate. They seem to be unaware that Newt is right on these libertarian life themes. Obama is not. It is not cool to say your were a proponent of SOPA or PIPA, before you were against it…..

It could be a very tough race for my friends on the left.

Truth, again lifted from Der Spiegal….

What a nice club that is. A club of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses. “A starting point for a chronicle of American decline,” was how David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, described the current Republican race.

The Tea Party would take issue with that assessment. They cheer the loudest for the worst, only to see them fail, as expected, one by one. Which goes to show that this “movement,” sponsored by Fox News, has never been interested in the actual business of governing or in the intelligence and intellect that requires. They are only interested in marketing themselves, for ratings and dollars.

So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the “American Idol” and “X Factor” contestants littering today’s TV. The cruder, the dumber, the more bizarre and outlandish — the more lucrative. Especially for Fox News, whose viewers were recently determined by Fairleigh Dickinson University to be far less informed than people who don’t watch TV news at all.

Maybe that’s the solution: Just ignore it all, until election day. Good luck with that — this docudrama with its soap-opera twists is way too enthralling. The latest rumor du jour involves a certain candidate who long ago seemed to have disappeared from the radar. Now she may be back, or so it is said, to bring order into this chaos. Never mind that her name is synonymous with chaos: Sarah Palin.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Case A: She was a single mom, working days as a medical assistant, and picking up shifts at a local restaurant… One night, after coming home almost empty-handed, she ranted on her Facebook page. Someone copied and alerted her employer. She lost her job.

Case B: Another local company, issued employee warnings to it’s entire labor force; “Don’t let a few moments on social media, cost you your job.”

Case C: Melissa Kellerman, after getting knocked over in yesterday’s game, had her twitter account pulled after commenting on it.


Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

The Cowboys Organization, called her in, and ordered her to delete her account…. Here are the tweets she deleted….

Here are a list of comments that one sees in public media whenever this topic is broached….

Only a fool believes Facebook is private.

Don’t put anything on the internet you don’t want everyone to see.

Social Media is just that. Social. Don’t be shocked when your private life goes “social”….

And all those statements are true. When using the Internet, you need to be guarded lest your employer sees what you are saying…..

Now here’s an interesting question: WHY?

WHY DO EMPLOYERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE INTERNET PROTOCOL?

The initial response is that they get to protect their image.
When someone says something on the Internet, it is publicly damaging if negative.

But why not people? Why can’t they be entitled to use their right to freedom of speech on the Internet?

If someone is complaining to another about being harassed by their superior, and it get forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining to another about improper mine safety and the deliberate non compliance of safety issues being forced upon them by management, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining about being treated unfairly by their management team, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

Probably not.

The Internet is not private. but there can be reasonable assurances that some things on the Internet are private. Discussing topics on the Internet should be as safe as walking through the park, discussing items there… Sure, there could be someone behind the tree, listening to everything you say, but the fact that they had to hide behind a tree to hear it, means they weren’t legally entitled to the knowledge. Likewise someone could steal letters out of a mailbox. Someone could tap a phone. Someone would listen to your cell phone with a scanner… All of which are illegal.

But, reading someones private inbox message because it is on the Internet, is not…

It needs to be.

The law needs to catch up to technology. People are allowed to say what ever they want. That is guaranteed.

It is time that same right is canonized into America’s legal code. So that if a corporation acts aggressively upon someone’s free speech, that company stands to lose a year’s profit in damages and legal fees. That is the level of penalty required to protect the privacy of every American, when it comes to their using the Internet.

Here is a comparative view of the New York Times front page…

Obviously this happened…

The first page was news… written by the reporter. As soon as that went to press, someone in upper management read it. “Change it to vilify the protesters” came down the order… “But it’s not true”… went up the clarification… “Lose your job, then”, came down the answer….

The fourth estate is supposed to keep us apprised and informed.

Instead, … they’ve become another form of Goebbels smearing today’s equivalent of the Jews.

I’ve now written 1600 posts.

Cool.

I’m printing this article in full: tell me, where in America can you find journalism this “fair and balanced”?

Another crisis in the horizon?

A | A | A |
Winarno Zain, Jakarta | Tue, 07/19/2011 7:00 AM A | A | A |

It seems the world economy has faced endless threats preventing it from sailing smoothly into a strong recovery this year.

First there was the Greek debt crisis that jolted several major banks, and then a political uprising in the Middle East that pushed up oil prices, and then a tsunami in Japan that disrupted manufacturing activities in many countries.

The world economy has not fully dusted off the adverse impacts of these three events. Yet another headwind is looming large on the horizon. This time it is the possible default of the US government of its debt on Aug. 2, if the US Congress fails to approve an increase to its debt ceiling as requested by President Barack Obama. By that date, the US government debt would have reached its maximum allocated limit of US$14.3 trillion.

The current negotiation between representatives of Democratic and Republican parties on the US budget deficit has run into a deadlock, and so the possibility is real that there won’t be any substantial agreements reached, since the dateline is nearing. Major rating agencies such as Standard and Poor, and Moody’s have warned they are ready to downgrade the US government debt rating from top grade AAA.

This would be the first time in 90 years that the US government debt has been downgraded.

It is not hard to imagine what will happen if by Aug. 2 the US government has exhausted its credit ceiling and can not get additional debt to pay for its spending needs.

The US government would have to curb its spending, and because some of these relate to payments to government employees, pensioners and other social benefits, this would strike a severe blow to the consumer spending that is so essential to the US economic recovery.

With debt default and credit rating downgrades, it would be difficult for the US government to get loans. Faced with increasing risk, investors would ask for higher returns for US government bonds. This would push interest rate higher, further depressing the economic recovery.

The US dollar would plunge, triggering a surge in commodity prices and another round of inflation around the world. A deadly combination of inflation and economic stagnation could spin the world economy into a tailspin as happened in the early 1970’s.

How would this worst case scenario affect the Indonesian economy? As capital flows out of the US, investors have tended to seek safe havens elsewhere. Commodities, especially gold and oil, would be their first targets. Emerging markets could be the next destination of this capital flight, depending on the assessment of investors on the strength of its economy and their vulnerability and exposure to the US economic fallout.

But financial crises always result in a loss of confidence and produce negative sentiments in the financial markets. They put financial markets into disarray, and as investors panic, capital starts flowing out of emerging economies.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, capital moved out from emerging economies back to the advanced economies. At that time, the US government bonds and commodities like gold were considered safe havens.

If the US government defaults on its debt payment this time, the question is will the situation change? Will the US government bonds still be considered a safe haven for investors? If not, then where else will they put their money? Or maybe they would prefer to keep their money in the same place and not move it anywhere. If so, the Indonesian economy could get some benefit and may not have to face another shock.

In the longer term, however, the situation may change. No country is immune to the negative ripples of a US economic crisis. As US imports plunge from weakening domestic demand, exports from emerging countries will also suffer. The extent to which these negative impacts affect each country will depend on their trading and banking exposure to the US economy.

What is disturbing about this debt talk is the use of this debate as a political game. This is especially apparent in the Republican stance.

Economist, market analyst and CEOs of financial institutions and even the IMF itself have warned that if Congress fails to raise the ceiling of the US government debt, the world economy would slip into deep recession.

The Republicans did not fully accept Obama’s proposal to raise the debt ceiling. They only agree on a smaller number, but even it was given with some conditions. The Republicans asked Obama not to raise taxes, especially for the wealthy, and Obama should cut social spending, a sacred cow for the Democrats.

By using tit for tat tactics in the negotiation and by seemingly ignoring the impending consequences and dangers, the Republicans were trying to push Obama into an intricate political dilemma.

If the US economy slip into another crisis, economic contraction would be inevitable. Corporate bankruptcies would spread, and jobless rate would surge.

A presidential election is still slightly more than one year away, and Obama’s reelection prospects are solid. But his popularity rating is highly dependent on the unemployment rate. That is why the Republicans think the only way for them to erode Obama’s popularity now is by pushing the US economy into crisis.

As the stakes are high, the two political parties should temporarily set aside their ideologies and adopt a pragmatic stance for the interests of saving the world economy from another catastrophe.

President Obama demonstrated his willingness to compromise his political ideology during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Being a Democrat, Obama’s political inclination is generally anti-big business.

Obama realized that it was reckless lending by some big banks on Wall Street that triggered the financial crisis. But he also realized that saving these banks from bankruptcy was key to saving the world economy from further disaster.

His decision to pour $800 billion of taxpayer’s money to bail out these banks was hard to swallow by his fellow party members, but it worked. Now it is expected that the Republicans will be willing to do likewise.

The writer is an economist.