Socialist president of France, who shows great disdain for the rich, pays his hairdresser, on the taxpayer’s franc, $10,000 a month! A total load of horse shit, is what that is.

Why do we put up with this shit? It’s not like it’s the first time. From NY Times:

In 1993, two of Los Angeles International Airport’s runways were shut for nearly an hour so that President Bill Clinton’s Beverly Hills hairstylist could come aboard Air Force One to give him a haircut. In 2007, John Edwards, a former senator, had to reimburse his presidential campaign $800 to cover the cost of two haircuts. The Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin spent tens of thousands of dollars on hair and makeup in the homestretch of her 2008 campaign.

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Some of my reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_reservation

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/02/opinions/clinton-comment-native-americans-smith/?iid=ob_article_footer_expansion

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html

http://www.ushistory.org/us/40d.asp

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His former college roomate said “Ted is a nightmare of a human being”.

Lindsey Graham said “If you killed Ted Cruz on the Senate Floor and the trial was in the Senate, you would not be convicted:.

John Boehner called him “Lucifer in the flesh” and said “he is the most miserable son of a bitch I have ever worked with:.

What creates a person like this? How does he get as far as he did? When does he break down and figure out he needs to change?

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I have a friend who has been very successful working in a commission-based career. In other words, if he did not perform, he did not make money. He works hard and smart and never flinches from doing what has to be done. He has a lot of discipline. It is not surprising that he takes issue with what he sees as the softening of America – 1 in 3 adults who don’t pay their bills and have a debt in collections, 50% of college graduates being supported by their parents, the startling rise in disability (14 million get checks now) – even with the rise in medical technology, trigger warnings and micro-aggressions and safe spaces, trophies for everyone who shows up…

He talked to me about how he believes the government will be coming for our money over the next 20 years. Not to our doors with thugs exactly, but with the taxman. He basically says that tax rates will go up so whatever you can do to avoid the ever increasing taxes will be a help to you financially. This is from a person who is not afraid to support people. He gives more support than most people I know, he just does it on his terms, rather than having the government decide what to do with it. And he already pays more taxes than most people because of his income. So he’s supporting a lot of government programs – even before he gives some of the money the government lets him keep – to causes he believes in.

So here is the list. The list of what they want to take more money for (this is from Elizabeth Warren’s book). Seems like a great list of things to improve America. But someone has to pay for it. It doesn’t take much smarts to know who that will be.

  • Step up investments in public education.
  • Rein in the cost of college and cut outstanding student loan debt.
  • Establish universal preschool and affordable child care.
  • Upgrade infrastructure — mass transit, energy, communications — to make it easier to build good, middle-class jobs here in America.
  • Recognize that the modern economy can be perilous, so that a stronger safety net is needed now more than ever.
  • Strengthen disability coverage, retirement coverage and paid sick leave.
  • And for heaven’s sake, put a strong cop on Wall Street so banks can’t build entire businesses on cheating people.

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Denmark passed a law to stop immigrants from Syria from coming to the country. Basically, they can seize anything worth more than about $1500 from any immigrant who is looking to get Danish government aid. More in this here.

The Danish Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing ran ads in Lebanon, where a million plus Syrian refugees lived, making sure they knew that Denmark would not be a welcoming place for them – in English and Arabic. Here are the ads.

Denmark has the happiest people in the world according to many polls and surveys – and the population is 90% Danes. The country is half the size of South Carolina with the population of Minnesota, with little regulation over companies, small import tariffs, high personal taxes and 25% tax on sales of goods and services. Everyone gets paid family leave, a pension, medical care and college education. The price is higher taxes. But the degree of freedom there is equal to anywhere in the West.

Interesting that they think immigrants could jeopardize all they have built.

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GDP going to Labor (workers) as opposed to going to capital:

1970: 68.8%
2013: 60.7%

Number if Manufacturing Jobs in US:

1979: 19,300,000
2015: 12,300,000

Population of US:

1979: 225,000,000
2015: 321,000,000

Before 2000 Americans were getting richer:

  • lower and middle classes shrinking
  • percentage of families making $100k+ was growing (inflation adjusted)

After 2000 Americans were getting poorer:

  • middle class shrinking
  • families making $100k+ shrinking (inflation adjusted)
  • families making $30k- growing (inflation adjusted)

Read more about how this has affected the current election and our (lack of) trust in the government.

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I have some friends who know much more about this than I do, but as I have been watching the student “rebellions” unfold in Missouri and many other places, I have scratched my head – hard – along with many others. I began to look into how some words that I have used all my life seemed to have changed meaning without me noticing. Here are some of my readings that helped me understand what is going on, along with some stuff that I thought was from an episode of Punk’d – and wasn’t.

I get what is going on now. Past wrongs committed by any number of groups are in the spotlight and attempts to correct them are being waged. Since the base of power in the West for 200o years has been white males, they are in the cross hairs. People seem to think that some kind of super-affirmative-action or “pay back” will correct things.

Politics and What Remains of the English Language

Educayshun Video at The Rebel (plus others)

Racism seems to have changed meaning, too.

Here’s the Missouri video that I was told about and did not believe

The Lynch Hall incident at LVC

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I was hoping someone would give good snapshots of this meeting day by day. So far, this is what I am seeing being said that seems important. Not my opinions, but rather major directions I am seeing come from the meeting. This at least shows the scope of change that might be expected for the future.

  1. Moving from coal to natural gas for electricity generation is a deadend – the investment should skip gas and move to cleaner energy production
  2. All coal and oil burning needs to stop
  3. Electricity is key – consumer transportation must move to electric technology and the entire world economy needs to shift to using electricity generated by non-fossil fuel energy production
  4. The idea that world population and income has to slow its growth has begun to be talked about
  5. The world needs to spend $100 Billion per year to help poor countries cope with climate change
  6. 16 industrial countries account for most of the carbon pollution with the US, China and India leading the list
  7. We need to rule out energy miracles – like nuclear fusion
  8. Wind could power 100% of our power needs  - we just need 156,000 turbines to be built offshore – Europe has managed to build 3000 offshore turbines so far
  9. A typical oil or gas well is similar in cost to a turbine
  10. In some places, like China, nuclear power will be essential and it would be bad for the US to do away with nuclear plants
  11. Some countries may need to continue to burn coal or gas but would need to capture the carbon in the plant stacks
  12. Cities and states may actually outpace national governments in reducing carbon output

Deep DeCarbonization Project

Imagining a World without Growth

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“Our ultimate goal—total control of handguns in the United States—is going to take time” (Pete Shields, founder of the Brady Campaign, July 26, 1976).

“As you know, my position is we should ban all handguns, get rid of them, no manufacture, no sale, no importation, no transportation, no possession of a handgun” (RI Senator John H. Chafee, June 11, 1992).

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban. Picking up every one of them. ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in.’ I would have done it.” (Diane Feinstein, February 5, 1995)

“If it was up to me, no one except law enforcement officers would own handguns” (Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, November 13, 1998).

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Penn Jillette is an athiest and libertarian. He is torn. He wants people to have the right to run their businesses in stupid ways, like deciding to not serve people they don’t agree with, but does not want to encourage or allow discrimination. As a Libertarian, he does not want government to tell him how to run his business, but thinks that the idea of a cake maker making a cake for a same sex wedding is not an unreasonable thing. He says it all pretty well. And the video on this page makes it clear that many people think this is all simply the far right being sore losers in the same sex marriage battle and trying to win in a backhanded way, like the Jim Crow laws did.

One thing I have never understood is how people – who already have the right to go to their own church, worship their own way, go to a church that would not perform same sex marriages, and even not allow gays into the church – insist that everyone else behave the way they do. It would be like the French insisting that everyone in the US speak French. They already have their own country where they get to do what ever they want. Why do they need the US to be French? I think it is some deep rooted lack of confidence. Anyone with an opinion other than theirs is a threat. Or maybe a basic tenant of the whole conservative versus liberal universe.

Similar to the idea of people getting upset that you can’t put a creche up in a public space, when my own little town has 6 or 7 churches and a few hundred homes, all of which you can put up creches at. So why the need to put one up in front of the post office, police station, or water works? Why are there some people who cannot be tolerant of others and have to have all people do as they do?

I also like to substitute other situations to see how I think about them. For instance, can religious beliefs allow people to not serve people of other races? The bible was used by the church I grew up in, the Baptist church, to justify slavery pre Civil War. Here is the most shocking verse from the bible about slavery that I have seen: When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 – NAB Bible).

A very well written piece by Frank Bruni of the NY Times. Like many pieces I have read, it points out the historical string of beliefs of evangelical Christians being changed – like when many believed having slaves was not a sin, or using contraception was a sin – and used the Bible to back the beliefs up.

Matthew Vines left Harvard to confront homophobia in his evangelical community. Here is his video debunking the 6 verses dealing with same sex relationships in the Bible, using the Bible to do it. He is pretty good at using the Bible to point out there are more than a couple ways to look at same sex relationships.

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