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      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
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Monday, Monday

Creative unemployment ad

Lots of stuff to do today so I’ll try to make this brief.

I saw this video from Bill Black at Naked Capitalism yesterday.  He has three practical demands that OccupyWallStreet should consider.  They are:

1.) Jobs Now

2.) Stop the foreclosures

3.) Jail the bankers

The jobs part got my attention because it makes so much sense:

And then I started to wonder, if a scientist could find work but the employer (this time a decent outfit) couldn’t afford to pay her enough to live on, how much would you pay to get her off the dole?  Collectively, as in a small one time donation.

*********************

Paul Krugman says that solar energy is following a Moore’s Law capacity vs cost trend and that pretty soon, it will cost as much to power your house by solar panels as from coal fired plants.  That’s great, because I have a lot of gadgets that cost me a small fortune to charge.  But don’t forget nuclear, Paul.  We might not be ready to build another plant soon, but it wouldn’t be wise if we didn’t explore the possibility of safe nuclear energy.  I’m a believer because I was raised by a nuclear reactor maintenance specialist.  So, I don’t sker easy.  Much of the rest of the developed world relies on nuclear energy with very few mishaps.  We shouldn’t take it off the table.  Or at least not until we can get our hands on more efficient batteries.

*********************

And here’s a little something for the Tea Partiers and the skeptics at the Crawdad Hole.  This is what life is like in Equatorial Guinea, the most unequal society on the planet:

Another dissident offered to show me an alternative view of Equatorial Guinea. He smiled when he saw me emerge from a car with presidential licence plates, then asked if I was sure I wanted to join him since the last foreign journalists in Malabo had been detained by secret police then deported.

We wandered around Campo Yaoundé, a community of 25,000 people in the midst of the capital. The bustling streets were so muddy it was hard to walk without slipping. Soukous and hip-hop pounded out of bars as young children walked around hawking clothes. A man offered to show me his shack, made from planks of wood with a corrugated iron roof. Inside were two rooms for the four people living there, with buckets of water stored by the door and intermittent power. Many houses had far more people crammed in.

“Welcome to my home,” he said with a rueful smile. “Maybe half the people in Malabo live like this. Not just the unemployed but teachers, engineers, even economists. It’s a long way from Sipopo, isn’t it?” There were a handful of books on his shelves bought in Spain. “We must be the only country in the world where there are no bookshops,” he said when I mentioned them. Despite tough circumstances, he offered to share his dinner of rice and stew with me.

The corrugated roofed shacks are where the teachers and engineers live.  “Pish-tosh!”, the Tea Partier says, “that will never happen here.  Besides, if they weren’t such parasites, they wouldn’t be living in tin roofed shacks.  Where is their entrepreneurial spirit?”

For those of you still kissing the whip, secure in your job thinking that you somehow “earned” that security because you’re just so damned virtuous, get a clue.  There will be no entrepreneurial spirit until the people sitting on the money supply are forced to hand it over to the people who earned it.  You can’t start a business without money.  This is what will slowly happen to the country you are so proud of and do not hesitate to proudly proclaim for the “In God We Trust” bills that get rushed through Congress while more and more kids get shoved onto food stamps.  Of course it could happen here.  It *is* happening here.  Thereisnospoon reported yesterday that his county is privatizing the libraries.  Let that sink in.  Where are you supposed to go to borrow books and use the internet when you can’t afford Amazon and Comcast?  Don’t your tax dollars pay for that library?  I know that mine do.  I pay nearly $7000 in property taxes.  I will occupy the library if they even think about privatizing it.

I keep pointing out the Irish Potato Famine for a very good reason.  The reason that so many people starved was only partially due to the failure of the potato crop.  The other failure was that of the populace of Britain that owned Ireland.  They thought that too much charity would be a moral hazard to the lazy, starving Irish farmer.  And then there were the businessmen who thought that laissez faire capitalism was the way to go.  If they didn’t have to impose austerity on the Irish because of their own losses, maybe so many people wouldn’t have died.  The Irish lost more people to starvation and emigration than any other country in history.  It took them more than a century to build back their country and economy only to have it dashed again by the crash of 2008.  More laissez faire speculators, more austerity, more misery.

Coming to a country near you if you don’t get a clue.

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31 Responses

  1. Anyone here going to vote tomorrow? I’m planning to run to my voting place with a big “99%” on my back.

  2. Here’s am interesting library link:.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-public-library-head-linda-johnson-seeking-sell-property-raise-money-repairs-article-1.965648

    The city let these buildings deteriorate to the point where they’re too expensive to fix and now some form of privitization will be needed to save them. It will be interesting to see which big name developers are interested in doing a deal; probably the same ones who weren’t interested in lending a hand in fund raising by becoming board members but will be happy to get on board if it means making a buck from public property.

    Didn’t realize tomorrow’s election day. plan to go to the movies myself, when I engage in escapism, I prefer to do it actively.

  3. yes, I plan to vote for every woman on the ballot.

    • Awesome! I do that too. When they have more women running, I’ll be picky about who I vote for…

      For anyone who HATES that I would do this… it is my vote after all and I can do whatever I want with it.

      • That is certainly true. If a lying charlatan like Palin or Bachmann gets the R-presidential nomination , it certainly is your vote and you can cast it for a bible-thumping charlatan liar if you want to if she happens to be a woman. But would it be in your survival interest?

        I imagine some black voters could say the same about voting for Obama again if they wanted to, because he is black, and there are not enough blacks on the ballot to be picky. It would be their votes, after all; and their perfect right. And they would be acting out of the very same principle. But would it be in their survival interest?

  4. I think nuclear power can be done safely in other countries, which are not so afflicted with corruption in their cultures.

    However–since the culture of the USA is terminally corrupt, or at least I think so–I expect corners will be cut on safety here, and we’ll get a Chernobyl of our very own, or a high-level-radwaste handling disaster, or both.

    ****************************************************

    I know what you’ve suggested about such things in the past, RD, but I still don’t see what use it serves to throw out the old corrupt pols, as long as the Malefactors Of Great Wealth still own their huge piles of ill-gotten wealth, with which they can simply buy the replacement pols.

    Or if the replacements can’t be bought, the MOGW will simply sponsor bought-and-paid-for opponents, and the ad blitzes to make sure the gullible public throws out the honest replacements, in the next elections–if the MOGW can’t just use the corrupted, unaccountable voting machines to make sure their candidates “win”.

    And if all that fails to get rid of the honest pols? Those cases are when the MOGW bring out the “lone nut” gunmen and the “accidental” crashes of light airplanes.

    I would love to be wrong about these scenarios. :(

    • Monster from the Id, a blogger called Steve From Virginia has tracked the Fukushima nukeplant disaster at his Economic Undertow blog over several posts. He raises in this case the question you have raised in general about just whom, if anyone, in the private sector, is possibly non-corrupt enough to run any aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle … from mining to decomissioning and storage and/or disposal. Here is his very latest post.

        • I’m working, so I’ve only skimmed the article, but YIKES! :o

          • I have read that the Japanese in general are mumbling about shutting down their whole nuke-plant sector in stages with no plans to permit any part of it to resume production ever again. But they face the question: where to get electricity if not from nukes? And how much less electricity can they live on than what they live on now?

            Those who don’t make nuclear energy uneccessary will make it inertially inevitable by default. So what are we doing to lower our electricity use? If we compute, what other electro-uses are we going without instead? Or at least with much less of?

    • Monster, I think you’re right about replacement politicians being more likely to be newly-bought ones. When and if we have an incumbent with a decent record, better keep her, rather than voting for some unknown who is probably financed by the MOGW (like Obama).

  5. Greece Reaffirms Commitment To The Gyro

    ATHENS, GREECE—Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou reaffirmed today Greece’s total commitment to the gyro despite growing economic pressure that may force the small Mediterranean nation to accept a less meaty and insanely delicious sandwich. “Greece has enacted a series of wide-ranging sandwich austerity measures and we are confident that this will allow us to remain in the gyro-zone,” Papandreou stated.

    Street protests had erupted last week when it was suggested that Greece might return to just a simple pita with maybe some sauce or switch to another sandwich altogether, such as a BLT. “There are no plans whatsoever for Greece to join the BLT club of sandwiches,” Papandreou insisted. “The days of the BLT are over: Greece cannot return to two pieces of dry toast and a measly strip or two of bacon,” he added, “tomato or no tomato.”

    :-)

  6. [...] both the Irish Potato Famine and the deplorable conditions in Equatorial Guinea. Also, we’re a bunch of Tea Partiers. For those of you still kissing the whip, secure in your job thinking that you somehow “earned” [...]

    • First No Quarter, then Uppity’s blog, now The Crawdad Hole all have mutated from PUMA blogs to wingnut blogs. :(

      This is feeling like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. :o

      RD, watch out for pods in your house. ;)

      • Obama seems to have that effect on at least some people. Perhaps it is the power of his reality mistortion field.

        • RUR, did you mean “distortion”, or is “mistortion” one of your legion of neologisms? :mrgreen:

          I suspect it’s simply the power of our “two-party” system, in which the Property Party (h/t Gore Vidal) masquerades as two parties, the Dems and the GOP–or as I prefer, the Dinocrats and the Reptilians. It is unfortunately natural to USAmericans to turn to the other corporate party when one of them disappoints us. The Dino Establishment enraged many people by stealing the 2008 nomination for Obummer, so many anti-Obummerites, by default, have drifted into Reptilian and even Tea Fascist mindsets.

          Despite the VRWC’s years of vicious assault on Bill and Hill both, many of Hillary’s disgruntled supporters from 2008 seem to think of her as more conservative than Obummer, to which I can only say: If the Dinocratic wing of the Malefactors Of Great Wealth thought Hillary was more conservative than Obummer. and so would have made a more effective servant for them than Obummer, then why didn’t they pick her? She was already the favorite before the MOGW rejected her and cranked up the Obummer Astroturf Machine.

          Their mistaken belief that Hill is a conservative explains why so many of them gravitated to “Mrs. Mavericky”, the former governor of Alaska [whose true name must not be spoken here ;) ], who actually is a conservative. :P

          Also, many people still have strong reflexes for bashing the DFHs, whom they identify as the spiritual ancestors of the Oborg in 2008 and the Occupiers now. The Crawdads display a strong streak of that, so I have nicknamed TCH “The Agnew Hole”. :twisted:

          • Also, many people still have strong reflexes for bashing the DFHs, whom they identify as the spiritual ancestors of the Oborg in 2008 and the Occupiers now. The Crawdads display a strong streak of that, so I have nicknamed TCH “The Agnew Hole”.

            I suppose I was the one who originally set TCH off in that direction, but they never seem to have to have really grasped was I was saying. (I suspect some of them, miq2xu certainly, actually do know what I meant and are simply being a**holes about it.) Both seem to me to be DFH veal pens, when people object to veal pens it’s generally not because they find calves offensive.

            While I’m on the subject, I was blasted by several commenters at UT for bringing up the “99% declaration”, which they regarded as a hoax designed to discredit OWS, though it seems to be regarded as a legitimate OWS manifesto here and at TCH. Is it representative of OWS’s intentions or not?

      • Honk. ;-) Though just to be fair, No Quarter wasn’t originally a Hillary blog in the first place. Johnson ‘converted’ to Hillary early in the campaign, iirc. I suppose it was mostly military/conservative before that.

  7. Riverdaughter,

    Was your father a nuclear reactor maintainance specialist in/for the Navy, or for private civilian industry, or for both at different times?

    • Both. First the Navy, then as a civilian. He was very good at what he did.

      • The reason why I asked about that is because I read that in the Navy, the micro-nuclear propulsion-energy plants were designed in a program overseen by Admiral Hyman Rickover, who designed a very
        aggressive and rigorous culture of safety around the whole effort. So if he worked on/with shipboard micro-nukes, he would have been able to practice his art in a safety-first cut-no-corners environment, I assume. If the Navy maintained any on-land nukes for its bases, did they also come under the Rickover Program? Or at least would Rickover’s Prime Directive have affected the safety and maintainance attitude around those land-based nukes?

        And on the civilian side, was he AEC/NRC . . . riding the nuke-plant circuit overseeing the owners’s safety efforts? Or did he work directly for utilities or other nuke-plant owners? Either way, did he experience some owners/utilities as being more safety minded than others? Or were all satisfactory?

        I’m not sitting here expecting answeres if it really isn’t any of my bussiness. I am just interested in these questions because I fear a “second look” at nuclear power may be unavoidable and I wonder
        how much I need to try tempering my crunchy granola skepticism and suspicion . . . much as I would rather not.

        • You know your stuff. Yes, my dad worked on nuclear subs. He also worked at the Navy nuclear reactor research facility in Milton, NY. As I understand it, the emphasis was on rigor and extremely high maintenance standards.
          In the civilian world, he brought the undamaged nuclear reactor at TMI back online. He was recruited by GPU *after* the accident. After my dad did his work, Rickover took a tour and inspection of it and told him it was good work. Sooo, I think he was really good at what he did.
          You are right to be skeptical of nuclear energy providers at the present time because the regulatory system *may* be compromised. OTOH, the technology has advanced over the past several decades and reactors built today would be different with a whole different set of safety standards. So, if we were to build new ones, we might want to revisit the regulations and update them. That doesn’t necessarily mean overkill. That means attention to detail, rigor and safety comes first.
          I have a healthy fear of nuclear energy. It *is* dangerous. But so are a lot of things. In the whole scheme of things, nuclear energy has probably damaged the environment less and caused fewer deaths than coal fired power plants. Think of how many miners put their lives on the line in a coal mine, how many of them suffer from black lung.
          Crunchy granola types remind me of fundagelicals. There’s no arguing with them. They believe what they believe, regardless of the facts and evidence. Fundies get scared whenever they think about humans evolving from less sentient animals. Crunchies have a startle reaction whenever they hear the word “Nuclear!”. Neither response makes a whole lotta sense to me. There’s nothing mystical or magical about either evolution or nuclear science.
          That being said, you want your nuke people to be of the highest personal integrity and have high quality and safety standards. There’s no way to cut corners there.
          This part is funny: my dad was an absolute tyrannical fanatic when it came to energy consumption in our house when we were growing up. He weatherproofed the windows every fall, kept the thermostat absurdly low and limited our hot showers to about 3 minutes. Navy shower: get in, get wet, shut off water, soap up, turn on water, rinse off, get the hell out. The dryer had to be optimally full before anyone used it, no drying a single pair of jeans in the morning before school. I can’t tell you how many times I walked to school with damp jeans. It really sucked in the winter. All lights shut off the minute you left the room and he was almost unreasonable about the number of times a door was opened. When his last house was built in central PA, he had the ductwork installed for AC didn’t actually buy an AC unit. No, he did not care if anyone roasted. That’s what windows and fans were for. He would probably have a fit if he saw my electricity bill today. I wouldn’t be surprised if he put in solar panels if he were alive today. He might have made it his goal to sell the power back to the power company.

  8. Off topic: Good news. The scheduled execution of Hank Skinner in Texas has been stayed. It is not known if it will be cancelled altogether or not.

    I posted a petition about this a few days ago. Thanx to all who signed it. :mrgreen:

  9. Ah, Al Jolsen. I became taken with him when I was a child and would stay home to watch his movie (pre-possibiity of recording). Planned my “sick days” around it. I also liked Bette Davis movies. I liked melodrama.

    I don’t even want to vote. My absentee ballot for this “Decline to State” just sits there unopened. The 2008 Dem primary and convention turned me off the politics. I will vote third-party for top-of-the-ticket in 2012, Mr. O.

    Can we please just have Hillary now? The country needs a true Democratic leader.

  10. For some reason, although I still have my job, I can sympathize with RD. Maybe it’s because although I’ve held my current job for nearly 19 years now, I spent a hard time looking for work before I found it.

    This is for you, RD. :mrgreen:

  11. Here is a fascinating article from John Robb of Global Guerillas about how disatisfied people of disatisfied Big Utility “service” areas
    can condemn the Big Utility infrastructure and presence within their area, municipalize it, and run it themselves at their own expense for their own benefit. It could make efficiency and conservation possible, as well as more reliance on local renewable electro-inputs in some cases and places. It would also be a real-world act of economic rebellion and local fortress-survivalism against the Yeltsinist One Percenters and their loyal captive butler CEO Fedregime. ( CEO stands for Class Enemy Occupation in this case).

    This article would be of highest relevance to those areas recently hit and power-outed by the snowfall as well as by the Irene-remnants before that. Following is the link.

  12. Here is another fascinating article which I found on the Energy Bulletin website (which is an infotorial-outreach arm of the Post Carbon Institute). It is called Don’t Occupy Wall Street, Ditch It! , by Michael Shuman. It is actually quite pro-OWS in spirit, but just merely saying that OWS and OWS-minded people might give up on trying to somehow “reform” Wall Street and focus instead on getting divorced from Wall Street. It then goes into some theoretical approaches and practical steps for getting the Wall Street out of our lives and getting the taste of Wall Street out of our mouths. ( The ugly icons mean that I will have to post the link just below in a sub-comment.)

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