Wednesday, July 24, 2013

For the Long Haul

With the failure of the Detroit we make another step towards a 2nd class economy. While not the first city to fail it is the largest to fail. It is also failure of what had been one of the worlds premier manufacturing city.

The decision to close down this industrial powerhouse was made by folks who don't live or support the community but by robber barons (the 1%) who saw the plants in the 3rd world countries who worried less about their folks and more about lining their pockets. I'm talking about their leaders who didn't mind if the water or infrastructure or air quality was destroyed but more about how rich they would be. After all they didn't live in the area.

The level inequality between the haves and haves not has become even greater. The size of the poor or working class increases with less means at hand for they to provide for theirself and at the same time their government responding to the demands of the elite's continue to demand cutting of social services. This to me is the breaking of the social contract that has always been understood.

FDR saw this coming about that despite the fact that it was the same people who stepped up and won the war answering the call for service he knew that memory was a fleeting thing and the same people who brought you the great depression would once more take on the the uppity working class and take on the task of putting them back into their place. That was  the reason he wanted to pass a bill of rights for the common man.

Today I heard that the number of jobs for those looking for full time work is declining while the jobs for part time workers is increasing. In short people are working two to three part time jobs in order to work enough to support theirselves. It is the continuing decline of the common man.

So. We continue to short sheet the avg Joe of decent jobs, housings, and wages along with true health care for all.

But, things will change and it will be not today not tomorrow bout when the US has it's own Arab spring  when the workers rise and true revolution take place and equality and justice truly becomes for all.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Treading Water

Years ago and I do mean years ago my Dad taught me to swim. Before he started though he said I needed to know how to float first. So I learned how to lean back into the water, take a deep breath and relax. Then he taught me the second phase of learning how to swim and that was how to tread water. At the time to me it seem that Dad was taking forever to teach me how to swim and I ask why?

He responded it wasn't all that hard to learn to swim but I needed to know that when I grew tired from swimming and was in deep water that I was all right for I could just turn over on to my back and relax and float. Then once I was ready to go roll back over and then by treading water see where I was and begin swimming toward my goal. My Dad was trying to drown proof me.

Well, suffice it to say that I did learn the lesson that my Dad was teaching me that when you get over your head sometimes you need to just lean back and relax float for a while until you regained your strength and then tread water till you figure out where  you are headed.Well I am hoping that I have recharged my batteries and with renewed strenght begin anew to write.

While I have been catching my breath I have noted that nothing really has changed. The "Robber Barons"  of our time are still waging war against the middle and working class. Congress is still ineffective as ever and the economy is still pretty much screwed.  Along with the environment pretty much still short circuited with abnormal heat waves, tornadoes, and storms that seem to be more intense then it the past. In short everything is SNAFU.

A person first response would be what can I, one individual do about it?

Simply this, from one snow flake comes an avalanche that can change the face of the playing field. Who is to say you are not that snow flake that makes a difference.  For me, the ideal of giving in and remaining silent is not an option. To so is to fail my grandchildren.

So, with that in mind I have floated and regained my strength lost from swimming against the current, I have treaded water and caught sight of the distant shore and once more I am swimming forward against the current without question but to give up is to drown.

Projects - reading - Movies and TV

 Projects -  Recently I completed the finishing of a table top on a dinning table that my wife wanted done. The undertaking reminded me how much I like working in the shop. Now while I have a number of projects in mind I have not really had the time or money to follow up on them. As the saying goes "life happens as you make your plans". But I still make plans and hope to start up on a few of them in the near future. 

Reading - I have been slow on my reading but starting to pickup once more. I always seem to go in cycles anymore and reading is but one of those cycles. Currently I have almost completed Craig Johnson "The Dark Horse" and when I pull the book out and thoroughly entertained.  I particularly like the method he has been using in his time line. I want say anymore for now as I don't want to  give away the plot.

Movies and TV - Recently my wife and I have been watching  some unusual shows on TV such as "Zero Hour" and "Crossing Lines" on NBC, "Glades" and "Longmire" on A&E along with "Primeval: New World" and "Warehouese13" on SiFy, "The Killing" on AMC and "Copper" on BBC America. All of these shows have peaked our interest and managed to maintain it because of either their quirkiness  or difference from the  usual staple of mindless crap normally put out by the entertainment industry.

Monday, June 10, 2013

You Just Can't Please Anyone

We have all been there where no matter what we do we can't seem to please anyone not even ourself. Well that is what I think of Obama Care. A health care act that really dosen't please anyone.

Think about it you know how the Republicans feel about it they destest it and the Democrats while they say they love it didn't have the balls to finish it like it should of been.  

The truth is that the majority of folks would like to see a health care package more on the lines of our current Medicare program which is a version of universal health care. As a participant of Medicare I am a believer in it. Combine the free primary care visits along with low cost meds and copays for specialist, hospitals stays and treatment. Let me simply sang it's praise from the roof tops.

In stead we were betrayed I believe by the President to the health insurance industry who fears a universal or Medicare type program.

Coming up soon the 2014 provision that you must have some form of health care insurance our pay a penalty on your taxes. This was put in directly to appease the Health Insurance companies who then insisted there not be  a public option as they feared no one would sign up on their health care program if they could take advantage of a program that would cover them at a significantly lower cost then some of the rates I am hearing of that I am looking at to cover my wife. The problem you see is we fall in that gray area of making too much but not enough to be able to afford health care insurance.

So now not only are we being purnished for our making just too much income but also forced to create more of a finicial burden by buying insurance that is costly and fails to cover the real cost of health care.

Yelp, it is truly a case of you can't please anyone or rather a case of Dam if you do and Dam if you don't. Your pick.

On a side note. My daughter just return from buying a gallon of milk. While leaving Walmart food center she saw 3 cop cars what she thought was harassing a 70+ year old man and his wife. But as she passed them she heard one cop tell the couple they were being arrested for pimping and solicitation. The old guy was on oxygen and his wife was wearing a Muumuu .  The John that was released since no money had exchanged hands was parked in a handicap parking.  Is it a sign of times.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I'm Back

Ok, I know it has been a couple of months since I last posted but life happens while you make your  plans. That is pretty much what has happen with me. 

One thing and a kind of big thing is that the old laptop I use to write with bit the dust and while I have a desktop and another laptop of my wife's that I could of use not to mention my ipad well you would think that would be a poor excuse and I guess it is. But there is something that is intimate about writing that makes me do it on something that is exclusive to to me because of the very intimacy of opening up that writing regardless of what type of writing brings out.

While I have been known to comment on the social nature of our society to the determent of projects commentary this I hope to correct in future writing. 

Speaking of social comment a quick side note it appears that the elite 1% of our society  have manage to beat down the protest of the working glass and I mean that literally.  But i will comment on that latter in the future.


My wife has been busy trying to build up an eBay store focusing on large sizes such as 3X and larger that she finds in second hand or thrift stores. It actually looks like she might of found a need. She focuses on finding high end donated items for resale bought on clearance or white tag sales then sold starting at slightly more than she gave for them. The ideal is volume not price. We will see how it goes. 

I help by looking for buys in watches and such that with a simple battery replacement and a new NATO watch band puts the watch back into play. It is tough because often the watch becomes attractive to me. 

The other thing is looking for things that are not clothes such as vases, depression glass and pottery or china that might be good for resale. Some of these end up on our Etsy store front.

It don't always work out for example I bought in auction two 1950's Western Electric telephone operaters chairs in excellent shape with original paint but so far no interest other than my own. 

Shop projects that I am undertaking is the refinishing of a table top that my wife bought and wants to keep along with the repair and refinishing of a old dining room chair wooden from the 1950's.  

Along the way I need to build book cases and display cases that can hold a LED TV. So this building season that I am starting on will be a fairly busy one.

Books and Movies

Reba and I recently went and saw the new Tom Cruise movie "Oblivion" that turned into a excellent SCIFi flick. If you can ignore hubris of TC life you will enjoy the movie. Next up for us is the new Star Trek movie for us. 

Books that I have recently completed have been two Lincoln Child  "Deep Storm" and "The Third Gate" which I am still reading. As usual they combined elements of the supernatural/alien/technological/conspiracy thriller that he is well known for. He keeps you on your toe like his writing partner Douglas Preston.

I have also completed the Phillip Kerr "Bernard Gunther trilogy Berlin Noir" his setting of just before and right after WWII in Germany is fascinating. Particularly in how he blends in historical fact with fiction. I highly recommend this author.

There is a TV show that I started out not liking but watched because Reba liked it and that was a BBC America show called "Orpheus Black." But, now I am into learning what is going on in this black science fiction show about clones.

Well I have bored you enough for now. Hopefully this is but one of many post to come.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On The Edge

If you are to listen to the news then you know that the big topic of discussions is the fiscal cliff we are approaching that is to cause major disruptions in peoples life. All because the Republicans and Democrats in congress and the President don't know how to play nice.

It would seem as a no brainier after all this is what we are taught by parents and in first grade from the begging. The thing is that if you were to think about it there are things that can be done to meet both sides positions.

Example would be the Republicans want to cut welfare to the 40%  who need it the most. So instead why don't we cut the corporate welfare that benefits 1% of the people.  This would satisfy the republicans desire to cut welfare and at the same time increase revenues in to the treasury while affecting the fewest people and folks who need it less.

Example would be instead of having the military paying $1000 for a toilet seat how about send a troop with petty cash and pickup one at home depot for less than $20. But then what would Haliburton and GD and others do with their R&D departments who reinvented the toilet seat for the military.

All I am saying is that there are areas that people can agree on and bring down the cost of governing without destroying the lives of those who are in need. It is just a matter of political courage and common sense that does not seem to exist right now.

On a side note. Yesterday or rather on Sunday I watch Bill Moyer and company PBS show where a guess speaker spoke how capitalism as practiced today is unsustainable. it is well worth watching here is a link to his web site and the video that goes with it

Projects -Reading-TV/Movies

Projects- Recently I began work on re purposing a old broken down chair that I have owned for over 30 years and sat in my grandmothers house for longer than that. The joints are loose and the rockers that used to be attached are long gone. But as a kid it used to be one of my favorite chairs to set in and listen to the adults tell stories and my grandmother and great aunt nanny reminisce about their days when Oklahoma was a Indian territory. In short it has a lot of sentimental value to me.

I think that I will strengthen the joints and do some patch work on the legs and sand it all down and paint it as there is no way I can make the finish come back.  I will buy a seat cushion to replace the old gold velvet seat cushion that someone a long time ago threw on it and maybe recover the leatherette back with a matching material to the seat cushion. I think I will repaint it with a umber color kind of a earthy orange just not so bright. As you can see I have a ways to go but I hope when finish it will stay in my family for another generation or two.

This is a home made push stick for my table saw that I am proud of.

Reading- Of late I have been reading Bernie Gunther detective series of the writer Phillip Kerr by reading his trilogy "Berlin Noir". This writer has managed to catch the feel and thinking of the time in Germany just prior to the outbreak of WW II and while keeping the hero engaged in finding the bad guy when it is hard to tell the bad guy without a program.  I tell you what if you are not surprised by the ending in his second book "March Violets" then I am out of words. Read the books you will enjoy them.

TV/Movies- With the newest season of "Walking Dead" started needless to say my wife and I glued to the set. But there are also other worth watching such as "The Zero Hour" and "The Following".  If you get a chance pull them up and watch them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Robert Reich Nailed It

Just a quite little forwarding if you will of a video commentary by former Sec. Of Labor under Pres. Clinton, Robert Reich.

If you haven't read or listen to this man before then you are missing out on explanation of how the economy works.

Let me know of what you think.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Other Shoe to Fall

You know how when you have gone to bed and you re half asleep and you hear someone come in and start getting ready for bed and you hear one shoe drop and then you don't hear the second shoe drop and you keep waiting and waiting well you get the ideal.  It tends to put you a little on edge.

That is what it is like living in today's good of USA. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

You have on one hand a US House and Senate that seem to be determined to play one up man ship but since they have no real interest or risk seem to not mind putting the rest of us at risk. That goes from the common man out on the street trying to beat a living out of an economy stagnated as far as income goes but inflating as cost of living goes. But, I forgot the cost of food and housing and fuel don't count in the COL index. These were things that were instituted during Regan years so as to bring the cost of inflation down which were at the time double digit.

It has been and always will be a numbers game for the politicians. If you don't like the numbers get new numbers. It does not change anything but make you feel better as you drive over the fiscal cliff.

The one thing our government is good about is passing laws that have no meaning but looks real good on paper. And, if along the way it helps out your biggest contributors well that is counted as a win win. That is exactly what the Health care Reform Act is all about. Looks real good on paper but truth is has little benefits to the common person on the street.

Take for example the requirement of all person irregardless will be required by 2014 to have health insurance. A win win for the health care insurance companies all they give up is the can't deny for pre existing conditions. But failure none the less if you can't afford it now how are you going to afford it then. If you don't then they will lay a tax on your income but if you do they will give you a tax credit.

Sounds good right only the tax credit does nothing to help pay the monthly premiums for the insurance. Combine that with high deductibles and co-pays , again what else can I say if you can't afford it now then you are not going to afford it later.

Of course they say their will be alternatives to it through Medicaid type programs for the economic challenge person. But they left a loop hole for the States in allowing them to op-out of the program. That is exactly what Texas and I believe 15 states in all have done.

That means that the Medicaid program in Texas does not receive help in paying the program and since the neo-cons who control the state representatives and senate as well as the governors mansion have no intention of providing anything like what is needed for the working class in Texas.

Let me give you an example of the lunacy that make up our Stare of Texas government.

The organization Planned Parenthood is one of the best alternatives in Texas for low income women to receive health care ie. OB and Gyn care and had been a part of the Medicaid program. But then Gov. Rick Perry and the Neo-cons in the TX Legislature backing him declined federal money because they could not refuse to continue funding Planned Parenthood for services rendered in that they also did abortions and they refused to use stare money to do so. That is their right if they are truly representing the people and this is what they want.

But here is the catch. The state had a pretty good women's and children's health care program going for the working class and poor. With US funding $9 for every $1 that the state was funding but now state of Texas is picking up the entire tab. All because they refused to pay Planned Parenthood who by the way assure ed the state the money funding women's health care would not be used for abortions.

My point is this with idiocy such as this going on can you figure out how we are going to come up with a reasonable and cost effective health care insurance program. I believe it is dead in the water before it is ever launched.

Let me remind you dear reader that in North America which makes up three countries from south to north Mexico, USA and Canada we, the USA, are the one without a basic universal health care program.

Of course this is but one issue of many in the Class war we are involved in.

So as the months tick by and we approach 2014 implementation of mandatory health care insurance I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop.