Dave Stancliff 2015-05-10 blogarama.com

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Report: ‘The American economy no longer works for most Americans…’

Good Day World!

How do you fix the laws and policies governing the American economy that are rigged to benefit the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations?

Good question. Read this report, “Rewriting The Rules Of The American Economy: An Agenda For Growth and Shared Prosperity.

You want details? These folks came up with 37 specific laws and policy changes to restore fairness and balance to the economy without undermining American capitalism.

“Skyrocketing incomes for the 1 percent and stagnating wages for everyone else are not independent phenomena, but rather two symptoms of an impaired economy that rewards gaming the system more than it does hard work and investment," according to the report.

The report concluded:

"The roots of this dysfunction lie deep in the rules and power dynamics that have prioritized corporate power and short-term gains at the expense of long-term innovation and growth. The outcomes shaped by these rules and power dynamics do not make the economy stronger; indeed, many make it weaker.”

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Boehner ‘the Boob’ Denies Reality - Calls Reporter ‘Stupid’

Don’t bother House Speaker John Boehner with facts.

He’s liable to call you stupid.

If there’s one thing Boehner can’t stand it’s the truth. You can slap him in the face with it, and he’d just blink stupidly.

When he claimed that the fatal Amtrak crash wasn't caused by a lack of federal funds, and mocked a reporter for even asking about it, reality was tossed out the window.

FACT: the Republican-run House Appropriations Committee voted to cut Amtrak's budget for next year to $1.1 billion, a $251 million reduction.

FACT: the panel also voted down a Democratic effort to boost federal funds for the railroad by more than $1 billion, including extra money for the busy Northeast corridor, where the derailment occurred.

FACT: Insufficient funding had delayed installation of an advanced electronic system for keeping trains from speeding, called positive train control, on the track where the accident occurred.

FACT: The Amtrak tragedy could have been avoided if the advanced electronic system had been in effect.

When you’re a partisan boob like Boehner reality is a toy to play with and to manipulate. This latest example proves it.

Time for me to walk on down the road… ,

Note for Jeb Bush: Presidential Candidacy is a Hypothetical Exercise

  Good Day World!

Jeb Bush is his own man.

At least that’s what he’s been telling the press lately.

He’s also easily confused.

While the Republican Party is moving away from supporting the Iraq war, Jeb is wandering around in a daze on the subject.

When asked if he would have gone to war in Iraqknowing what we know now – he just couldn’t make up his mind and finally declared he’s not into hypothetical questions.

Oh, really? 

That assertion is asinine and reflective of the chaos in his thought process. 

In three days, Jeb gave three different answers on Iraq:

  • Monday (when the full Megyn Kelly interview aired): "I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."
  • Tuesday: After saying he misheard Kelly's question, Bush replied, "I don't know what that decision would have been [with 20/20 hindsight], that's a hypothetical. But the simple fact is that mistakes were made," he told Sean Hannity on his radio program.
  • Wednesday: "If we're going to get back into hypotheticals, I think it does a disservice to a lot of people who sacrificed a lot," he said.

REALITY ALERT

“The ENTIRE premise behind a presidential candidacy is a hypothetical exercise -- it's imagining the candidate making policy decisions about past, present, and future matters.

It's an unacceptable answer for a candidate to say he/she won't engage in hypotheticals, because the whole game is a hypothetical. Any candidate that uses the word "hypothetical" to duck answering a question should be reminded of this.

The collective political class has somehow accepted the hypothetical excuse from candidates as standard practice. It should stop if we want to have any hope of finding out how these men and women would conduct themselves as president.” source

Enough said.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Skin Color Transformation Trends: When Brown, or White, is Not Right

Good Day World!

Westerners like tans.

They consider a tanned body sexy. That “brown look” is sought after by millions of Americans every year.

According to the Tanning Salons Market Research Report the Tanning Industry revenue will grow despite mounting cynicism toward UV tanning services. Tanning is a $3 billion dollar industry and growing – 3.2 percent per year.

In direct contrast, Asians have – in recent years – taken to lightening their skin to get that “white look.”

Asia’s skin-whitening industrial complex never stops innovating.

The latest product? A chemical goop for women (and men) unhappy with the color of their limbs. Simply slather it all over your arms and legs. Wait a week. Then peel back your skin to reveal the milky white you are hiding beneath all that pigment.

Asia’s supermarket shelves are filled with a dizzying variety of skin-whitening agents. Many in Asia are as obsessed with lightening their skin as westerners are about tanning it.

The product lines go far beyond lotions and pills. There are skin-whitening injections. Armpit-whitening deodorants sold at 7-Eleven outlets. A heavily advertised “whitening feminine wash” for female genitals.

This isn’t a fringe market. One research firm predicts that the “global skin lightener” industry — powered by transnational conglomerates such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble — will be worth $23 billion by 2020.

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Welcome to Indonesia's Michael Jackson Whitening house

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As for goops that cause skin peeling?

Most don’t really work, according to Sumali Pongjibrasan, an expert with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, who was interviewed by a Thai TV channel when the fad emerged last year.

For a lengthy analysis of Asia’s skin-whitening obsession, written by a Thai female author, check out this article: “Thailand’s skin whitening craze: How far will it go?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Name 7 Items That You’d Pick to Tell Your Story in a Time Capsule

Good Day World!

If you were to leave a personal time capsule behind what would be in it?

Just for fun, name seven items you’d include so that future generations would know about your life. Your time. Your world. Your beliefs.

You can pick any size for your time capsule. I’ll take the lead - mine will be the size depicted in the photo above. My selections are:

The Life and Times of Dave Stancliff

1) My favorite photo of my wife, Shirley, and I. It’ll be dated and located.

2) My favorite photo of Shirley and our three sons, and I. It’ll be dated and located.

3) A photo of me in the Army at 19, standing next to a hooch in Vietnam. It’ll be dated and located.

4) A documentary video of the 1960’s – flower power, hippies, LSD, marijuana, and free love. It would include a brief introduction by myself about my teenage years, circa 1963 – 1969.

5) An audio chip crammed with all of my favorite music.

6) A big box filled with examples of all of my newspaper articles and columns, short stories, poems, and books.

7) A big box filled with my Los Angeles Laker’s memorabilia collection.

So there you have it. What would your seven picks be?

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Report: A Bad Milestone - Greenhouse Gas Level’s Increase

                                      Good Day World!

There are good milestones, and there’s bad ones.

The day you marry someone is a good milestone. Something to be remembered for the duration of a partnership.

Heightened greenhouse gas levels are a bad milestone. Each time the levels increase, our planet’s health decreases.

The latest milestone no one wants to celebrate is the monthly global average concentration of carbon dioxide breaking 400 parts per million for the first time since record-keeping of greenhouse gas levels began.

The milestone, reached last month, was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently.

"It was only a matter of time that we would average 400 parts per million globally," said NOAA scientist Pieter Tans in a press release. "We first reported 400 ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400 ppm threshold. Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone."

Crossing the 400 ppm threshold is equal parts disheartening and alarming. Less than a decade ago scientists and environmental activists, including Bill McKibben, launched a campaign to convince policy makers that global CO2 concentrations needed to be reduced to 350 ppm in order to avoid massive impacts from global warming.

Mother Jones published this article recently (May 6th) about global warming and the impact this new milestone will have.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

I Don’t Get It: Why is Everyone Interested in Going to Mars?

When I watched the first man walk on the moon, the first question that came to my mind was, “Why?”

The years have sped by, and I’m still asking why, but in reference to Mars now.

What’s there that’s so valuable? I still haven’t read about a good reason for going to the moon yet.

Moon rocks are cool, but hardly worth billions of dollars in getting them. Moon walking hasn’t resulted in anything benefiting mankind (unless you count Michael Jackson’s cool dance step – the moonwalk).

So now it’s off to Mars, and more glory? 

Enter the Dutch-based Mars One venture. The idea behind Mars One is to jump-start Red Planet settlement, and fund the endeavor with billions of dollars' worth of sponsorships and media deals.

A colony on Mars? SpaceX's billionaire founder, Elon Musk, is due to unveil his own long-term plan for Mars odysseys by the end of this year.

Last week's meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, space agency officials provided the outline of their "Evolvable Mars Campaign," a long-term effort to develop the technologies needed for human missions to Mars.

Colonies. Numerous missions. So what?

I don’t see any benefit to planet hopping and forming colonies on inhospitable planets. If we end up polluting the earth so badly it becomes inhabitable, we don’t deserve another opportunity – even a less than desirable one.

Some advisers are even talking about grabbing a rock from one of Mars' moons, Phobos or Deimos, and bringing it back for study. Let me ask you, what have we done with moon rocks thus far?

Collecting rocks from planets is not my idea of advancing the human race.

Instead of settling for planets that aren’t human friendly, perhaps more emphasis should be directed towards other universes and planets that might be compatible with human life.

I know. Silly me.

Even if we don’t find one, it’s still a better idea than collecting samples from uninhabitable planets that appear to offer little, or no, advantages to exploring them and especially living on them!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

 

There May Be Only 4 Banks in the Entire Country Someday

"If we continue to go down this path, we'll kill this concept of relationship banking." (Photo: Rainforest Action Network / John Duffy)

Good Day World!

Imagine this; there’s only four banks in America.

Community banks no longer exist. There’s no credit unions to join. Just four incredibly powerful banks. 

Does that sound crazy? Maybe not.

(Photo: Rainforest Action Network / John Duffy)

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo - have come to dominate the entire banking sector, each growing larger than all of the nation's community banks put together.

Here’s a 90-second video that describes the alarming growth of these four mega-banks; giant banks with more than $100 billion in assets (in 2010 dollars).

How has this happened so quickly? What has caused this disturbing trend?

Some scholars and bankers are giving the blame to the added costs of complying with the Dodd-Frank banking reform law, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and imposed new rules on banks' behavior. 

A more comprehensive and nuanced answer to the question of why community banks are vanishing in such numbers has been put forward by Arthur E. Wilmarth, a law professor at George Washington University.

In a lengthy paper, Wilmarth provides a damning look at the regulatory disadvantages faced by community banks, but without feeding the deregulation agenda of their big competitors.

For a complete understanding of the whole situation read this article, produced by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, as part of its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Have You Ever Asked Yourself Why You’re Here?

Good Day World!

Why am I here?

It’s a question I’ve asked myself numerous times.

The answer unfolds with the passing of years. Experience has helped me expose my inner desires. Hard work and the ability to focus on learning - and sharing - has given meaning to my life.

Oscar Wilde once said,

“The aim of life is self-development, to realize one's nature perfectly.”

The writer of the following quote is unknown, but the message is clear,

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.

I think Walter Hagen is on to something with this quote,

You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.

Need some help seeking your purpose in life?

Here’s a soul filled and inspiration approach to exploring why you are here and what you are meant to do with your life.

Soul Lessons and Soul Purpose: A Channeled Guide to Why You Are Here

Here’s a guided journal that will help you start exploring why you are here, and how to use those ideas to transform your life…

My Organic Soul: From Plato to Creflo, Emerson to MLK, Jesus to Jay-Z--A Journal to Help You Discover Yourself through Words of Wisdom from Visionaries Past and Present

My takeaway on life is there’s more than one reason why we’re here!

Time for me to walk on down the road…