Sunday, July 5, 2015

Do We Need A Google "Truth Algorithm" For Web Searches?

Back in March, Google announced a new search algorithm that would display websites and news stories based on their factual content at the top of the list and the factually-deficient results at the bottom.  This is radically different from current practice where Google puts the top read results at the top and less read to the rear. But is this the way it should be, given people may be reading too much bollocks and not enough factual, scientific material?

Should creation science websites or climate denier sites be at the top of searches because  most people read them, or at the bottom because they are not factual? If the former is acceptable, then really all we have is a popularity contest. Is that valid for those seeking genuine information as opposed to PR and nonsense?

Interestingly, when Google first announced this new search program, there was instant blowback and outrage from FOX News (which consistently ranks low in accuracy at Politifact.org and Factcheck.org.) Why would FOX be howling its head off? Maybe, just maybe because their honchos know most of what they put out there is gibberish and distortions. From O'Reilly to Hannity and Fox n' Friends, none of it can be trusted.

FOX wasn't the only bunch screaming. Others included: climate change deniers, Vaxers (those against childhood vaccinations), and birthers.  Again, why are they howling like stuck pigs if they are offering valid information? There'd be no reason for such outbursts.

Sadly, Google has no plans to start using the program but it's interesting to consider the uproar if they did given all the liars, PR-mongers, disinformationists and others would have to come out of the woodwork. They'd not sit still or remain quiet given it might jeopardize their interests.

But think of the benefits!

For example, employers could fact check job candidates' resumes and LinkedIn pages, identifying bogus credentials including inflated education credentials that might eliminate many job seekers on the basis of fudged resumes.

Even more importantly, kids and others interested in advancing their educations on the subject of climate change, evolution and American history wouldn't be driven first to nonsense sites such as those of Roger Pielke Jr., Ken Ham and the history revisionist Larry Schweikart, see e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2014/08/48-liberal-lies-how-about-50-tea-party.html

Imagine how much more efficient educational web searches would become if all the detritus could be instantly ranked at the bottom instead of the most relevant and factual material - forcing truth seekers to plow through page after page, even after refining searches.

But it seems this is what we will have to settle for until Google implements its truth algorithm. That means facts and truth will not come easily but only after diligent work. Of course, in this quest reading can also do wonders, because it upends the popularity ranking systems prevalent for existing web search engines.

Point of fact, babble such as put forward by the likes of  Larry Schweikart, Ken Ham or Roger Pielke Jr. wouldn't stand a chance at being seen as credible if people read more diligently from the pool of books shown to be factual or scientific. Books such as Darwin's Origin of Species, and James Loewen's tour de force ('Lies My Teacher Told Me') exposing the bogus American history taught our kids- but more importantly also disclosing the actual history omitted!

Moral of the story: read first, or at least read to check any web searches you pull up - don't just accept the first ones as the factual ones.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Bring Out the Brats n' Burgers...But Beware the Mental Effects


Take care what you wolf down today as it may have adverse effects on your brain tomorrow - ravaging all kinds of gut bacteria and turning them into paranoia reapers

Today, on the 239th birthday of our nation, millions of Americans will be firing up their grills and be piling on the burgers, bratwursts and hot dogs. However, as they then descend to gobble those goodies up with their cold beers a danger lurks.  The danger is that by the next day they will feel hung over, depressed or in a totally bad frame of mind.

So claims Dr. David Agus, who on a CBS Early Show spot yesterday warned of the real connections between the state of millions of gut bacteria and how your brain functions. While therps have been treating depression for years with the usual crap - like Prozac and Zoloft - creating millions of sexually impotent folks in the process, the new research discloses they may have it all wrong. It isn't the brain's serotonin levels that are critical but instead the state of gut bacteria and whether the good ones will "like" the food you eat or rebel.

And when they rebel, look out!

Agus recommends monitoring what you eat and then the effects in the day of two after. If you feel like you're losing your mind or get severely anxious or depressed it may be better to part with those foods in the future or at least not pig out. On the more positive side, he noted that different foods will affect different people in different ways -so perhaps those two extra brats today (along with potato salad) may not have as deleterious effects as they might on your cousin or wife.

Of course, Agus admits this is a novel research field so much work needs to be done to nail down the general effects on the mind, not to mention which of the 20,000 different odd bacteria play the biggest roles.

In any case, I plan not to worry about it as I dig into hot dogs, beans, potato salad and brats.

Will I feel ok tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not - I will worry about it then....or not.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Why Russian ReSupply Rocket Made It - While Space-X Rocket Failed

Screenshot from RT video
Russian Soyuz blasts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome yesterday - saving the ISS from potential evacuation.

Yesterday the Russians came to the rescue of the ISS crew with three tons of food, fuel and other supplies, mere days after the Elon Musk private commercial rocket (Space-X)  failed miserably. That failed launch not only messed up reception of needed supplies but also caused consternation for more than 60 Colorado science students who had patiently prepared experiments - all of which came to perdition.

How was the Space-X different from the Russian rocket OR to the previous successful military spy satellite launches? This is the 64 dollar question that needs to be addressed. The primary difference is that the military-Pentagon has been using a proven performer in the Russian-produced RD-180 rocket engine (also used for the Soyuz)  which powers the Atlas V that lofts two thirds of all national security satellites.

As noted in a WSJ piece ('National Security After the Space X Explosion', June 30, p. A18) by William Shelton, the U.S. government "encouraged Lockheed Martin to use this engine primarily because of its performance and relatively low cost." The RD-180 is also used in the Delta IV rocket, and with the Atlas V there've been 83 launches without failure.

Space X meanwhile used the Falcon 9  rocket 1.1 engine which as the WSJ observed "ought to give everyone pause about jettisoning a dependable arrangement vital to U.S. security". (Space - X is also developing a "full thrust" version which has yet to be certified but designed to take astronauts to the ISS).

What is he talking about?

He's talking about congressional legislation that would prohibit the use of any Russian-made engines on U.S. rockets.  As a result of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act which became law last December, the RD-180 Russian made engines were banned with the exception of the few remaining in stock. According to Shelton (ibid.):

"The purported rationale is to uphold Russian sanctions and avoid rewarding the country's bad behavior in Ukraine"

Which is totally stupid and irrational, as I also noted last year in terms of NASA halting cooperation with the Russians, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-short-sighted-decision-nasa-suspends.html

Is it stupid to ban the RD-180 before a reliable U.S. engine comes to the fore? Of course! This isn't rocket science! (The December legislation mandated a new U.S. engine to be ready by 2019 - but that is 4 years away and many more ISS resupply missions are needed).

As Shelton notes, the U.S. will run out of RD-180 engines well before the new rocket is ready. Would the military be ready to go to Elon Musk's Falcon  9,  1.1 full thrust engine when the RD-180s run out? After the recent performance of the 1.1 prototype for ISS resupply, don't hold your breath.

Unlike the evidently expendable civilian rocket trips, the military and security state will not tolerate sub par rocket engines (or what they perceive as such) for their special security missions.

My argument is that this congressional legislation is hare-brained and needs to be repealed, or at least modified. This is feasible since as Shelton writes:

"In April, the House of Representatives passed a new, slightly revised fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. It contains a clause that allows the Secretary of Defense to waive the ban on the RD-180 for as long as needed if the Secretary deems it in the national interest to do so."

I, along with many others do believe it in the national interest, and Ash Carter ought to act expeditiously to ensure the RD-180 remains in use until a certified U.S. engine is available and passes at least five performance tests in real life cargo operations.

Still, it's a pity NASA also doesn't mandate the use of the RD-180 for resupply to the ISS as opposed to the iffy commercial space -based engines like the Falcon 9 1.1.

Congrats to the Russians for at least getting some critical supplies to where they need to be!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Could Bernie Sanders Win It All? YES!

"The Ron Paul of the left": Why Bernie Sanders is the cranky socialist 2016 needs
Recall that in earlier posts I indicated that I believed - like many Lefties- that Bernie Sanders primary benefit in entering the presidential race was in keeping Hillary honest, and making her defend her left flank.  In my April 30th post, for example, I had written:

Make no mistake that Sen. Bernie Sanders - who will be running as another Democratic candidate (making it clear 3rd party candidates have no chance given the duopoly)-  has no more chance of winning a presidential contest than well......extraterrestrials landing and kicking the Neolib mutts in D.C. out and setting up a new ET government.

Well, Lefty followers will be happy to learn I no longer believe that. Given the massive crowds Bernie has been getting - such as over 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin last night - I believe if he plays the long game and catches a few breaks, he can knock off the Neoliberal Hillary. While Neoliberal blogs like Politico and Buzzfeed largely treat Sanders as a joke, and the corporate MSM barely mentions him at all  - more astute political observers have noticed his campaign catching fire.

Forget about the media's stupid preconceptions, those with eyes to see and ears to hear know deep down, as one wit once put it, "Americans are suckers for the truth". Bernie is catching fire not out of temporary public fascination but because he's speaking the truth about inequality. His speeches, even though often brimming with data, have struck a chord with those ground under by the wealthiest. Those working 50 plus hours a week and not getting overtime, or those paid minimum wage so that they have no disposable income to even buy a car or pay off student loans.

Sanders stands for bold vision, and has shared that vision with supporters, and as we know where there is no vision the people perish. His vision includes a path out of the stupendous college debt ruining young lives, as well as expansion of Social Security as opposed to cutting it. He knows things will get worse for the elderly and they will need all the financial support they can get. He knows the recently graduated students also need help, or they may never be able to get on their own feet to gain true independence.

Of course, Sanders' crowds and his recent showing in the polls (NH and IA) have Hillary's minions and surrogates worried - as well as the Neoliberal Wing of the Party with its ties to Wall Street. Only last week I noted the attack on Sanders by HRC surrogate Claire McCaskill, who insisted Bernie was "too extreme" for America. I skewered her crap in that post, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2015/06/claire-mccaskill-bernie-sanders-too.html

McCaskill actually had the nerve to conflate Sanders with Pat Buchanan who roused large crowds in 1992 with his racist, exclusionary message of "America for Americans" - not too dissimilar to what Trump is peddlng now. Of course there is no comparison which is why McCaskill's pathetic shots fell flat.

Are Sanders' positions extremes? HELL NO! They only appear so given this country's ominous rightward drift where anything that smacks of older social verities and values is tagged "communistic". Salon's Matthew Pulver put it best:

"Sanders’ domestic economic platform, his campaign’s bread and butter, is mostly a return to mid-century, postwar policies, infused with social democratic ideas from places like Sweden, where social democrats gained a majority in parliament 75 years ago.

What Sanders proposes is not new, and it’s not particularly radical. It’s just radical-seeming given our decades-long turn toward hyper-capitalism and neoliberalism "

He goes on to point out that Sweden, that bastion and source of so many of Sanders' "horrific" socialist ideas, has been responsible for none other than IKEA, Spotify, Skype and other notable innovations - plus having one of the best educational systems in the world. With our "every man for himself" capitalism can we claim to have done as well? I doubt it when one factors in all the inequality!

Those of us who've remained centered in our political values and orientation have seen the decades' long drift most clearly. We've watched aghast as decade after decade has passed and people's minds have been fucked over and over by the media and pundits, causing them to change their own positions rather than hold fast. I, of course, have unapologetically held fast which is why I remain - as Rachel Maddow put it two nights ago - an "unreconstructed liberal". Of course, to most of the idiots today who've allowed themselves to be moved rightward, I come over as a "commie".  Which is more an indictment of their retardation of historical perspective and ignorance than anything else.
And also an indicator of the degree to which their minds have been colonized by false consciousness sown by a shameless PR-dominated media.

Anyway, what primary breaks does Bernie need to pull this off?

1) He needs Elizabeth Warren to come out to endorse his candidacy. This will do wonders to get more women voters to pay attention as opposed to remaining blind followers of Hillary, mostly because of the single-minded gender obsession to get the "first woman President". While that goal is noble, it should not trump the priority that we need to change direction away from the Neoliberal ascendancy. Hence, having the "first female President" but with her agenda likely grounded in Neoliberalism, is no grand achievement. The fact that Hillary surrogates are attacking Sanders over his truly liberal positions that address inequality discloses his vision is the right one.

2) More prominent black voices need to endorse Sanders. Cornell West has already voiced support but not wholeheartedly. One would also like to see Michael Eric Dyson and others come forward since so far the African-American response to Sanders has been tepid - despite the fact his policies would more clearly assure social advance for African -Americans than Hillary's Neoliberal, pro -Wall Street policies.
If these two elements materialize, the Sanders' campaign can really catch fire, much like Obama's did in 2008 when he came out of the blue to overtake Hillary then.  So yes, history can repeat. If enough people believe it can and show by their actions and votes they finally want to change the nation's Neoliberal tilt.
 See also:

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/03/the_real_reasons_bernie_sanders_is_transforming_the_election_heres_why_he_galvanizes_the_left/

And:

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/02/the_bernie_sanders_smear_campaign_has_begun_how_his_opponents_will_try_to_take_him_down/


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

English County Puts Kibosh on Fracking - What Are WE in the U.S. Doing About It?


Anti-Fracking protestors in Preston, England, after the local government rejected fracking applications from Caudrilla Resources

What a great and noble thing it is to have control of whether despoliation of one's environment can occur via the use of local control of fracking! We almost had it here in Colo. back in 2014 except that Jared Polis (who tendered two different referenda on it) punked out at the last minute - no doubt coerced by the oil and gas and lobby. As well as kowtowing to empty promises by Gov. John Hickenlooper, aka "Hick", who once drank a large glass full of fracked water to try and show it was harmless. (Rumors later circulated that he had diarrhea for three days after, but we can't verify this.)

We know New York at least got the message and banned fracking last year, but most state government haven't given they're so in control by outside interest e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.tw/2015/05/fracking-state-governments-determined.html

Now, we also know an English county government on Monday rejected application from Caudrilla Resources for the first onshore hydraulic fracturing in Western Europe since 2011, according to a Wall Street Journal report ('Fracking Suffers Setback In England', p. B3, June 30).  Thus, as the piece observed, "the industry suffered another blow to develop a shale gas industry outside of the U.S."

Well, let it suffer! We don't want or need no stinkin' fracked air, soil and water!

And as for the bollocks pumped out by the industry's PR tanks, i.e. that it "provides energy independence" do not believe that codswallop for one second! All it is doing, as Jim Hightower also observed in his latest column, is being shipped outside the U.S., e.g.

"In shale fields across the country, you'll see fracking rigs festooned with Old Glory, and they even paint some of their rigs red, white and blue. This ostentatious, patriotic pose is part and parcel of the industry's cynical public-relations campaign to convince you and me that its assault on our health, water, air and economic future should be mindlessly saluted, rather than questioned.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE! is their deafening cry — this shale gas boom, they exclaim, most certainly will free America from dependence on foreign producers.

"Oh say can you see [through the frackers' big lie?]"

He goes on to pointedly note:

"Far from independence, we're going to get the pollution and other problems, but foreigners will get the energy, for the gas extracted from our fractured land is destined for the export market.

How do we know that? First, because the industry and its government enablers admit it in their internal communications. But, secondly, guess who's paying for the fracking of America?"

Bloomberg News,  indeed, reports that China has pumped over $5 billion into the U.S. drilling "boom" — not only so it can export the energy back to their people, but especially so the Chinese can "redeploy the best U.S. practices and technologies" back to China. Japan has done the same and India has plowed in $3.5 billion to grab our fracked oil and gas.

 Other Asian nations will reap the benefits of this cheap, degraded energy for their own development - once the TPP is finally passed (if it is). Then every signee nation from Vietnam to the Philippines will be able to demand untold fracked shale oil from us and we shall have to comply.  So we are being asked - nay expected- to allow our own nations in the West to be fucked over as far as water, air quality and depredation of the environment - to provide cheap energy to others!

And the insidious effects on resources - especially water - are such that we MUST reject the efforts to blind us to what this dastardly methodology is doing.

The latest news, according to a comprehensive new analysis from the U.S. Geological Survey: fracking is using up much MORE water than originally assumed -  as much as 9.6 million gallons per well.  To give you some point of comparison, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, for comparison, hold just about 660,000 gallons. Thus one single frack well can consume more than 14. 5 Olympc -sized swimming pools.
On average, the study calculated that gas wells are using 5.1 million gallons of water each. Not only is that a lot, it’s more than 28 times the amount of water they were using just 15 years ago.  The greatest atrocity? Many of those operations, as Climate Central notes, are located in regions that recently saw severe droughts — Texas, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains – and which can expect to confront even more water shortages as global warming progresses:
It's estimated that fracking now consumes up to 30 percent more ground water than previously believed. At this rate, and with new water data showing an ever diminishing resource base, there won't be any left for future generations.  Kids today who grow up in water-ravaged drought states - or even in many other places- will have to rely on toilet to tap water, or else.... go without.

In the case of the UK vote, while supporters inflated the "economic benefits"  - most sane people weren't biting, noting the host of toxic chemicals used during fracking, most of which got into the ground water. In their rational reckoning, there was no issue of dubious "cost benefit" calculations, there simply was too much cost and very little benefit to them - the cost including devastating health issues and devaluation of property. Because NO one wants to buy a home in a frack area. So the elites can tout this shit all they want, but they can afford to live in their little rich enclaves which won't tolerate it!

Meanwhile, in the UK Scotland has also banned fracking and Wales is considering a similar measure. It is also banned in France and on hold in Germany where my friend Reinhardt has vowed he will fight "tooth and nail" to keep it out since he's seen what it's done here in the U.S.  He agreed that letting it get started would be almost as bad as "allowing the Nazis to regain control of the country."

Indeed, and this is largely why the frack craze - while it's unleashed an oil and gas boom in the U.S. - has proven politically toxic in the more advanced European nations whose citizens take care not to elect frack -crazy political whores. Instead,  blocking it at every turn because of its calamitous health and environmental damage.

We need to start mounting unabated pressure on our political cretins....errrr....creatures...now, to halt this crap. Our future and our kids future depends upon it!

When Are American Workers Going To Rebel? Ans. They May Not Have To



The two fold news yesterday, that: 1) the incomes of the lowest 90 percent have risen, and 2) President Obama has lifted the threshold for overtime pay, to past $50,000/yr from where it was, near $24,000/yr. ought to make every American worker who's not an elite, smile.

But hold strain, and let's cap this off with hard facts for a more sober take: According to the WSJ and Denver Post (Business), "families in the bottom 90 percent of income earners saw their incomes increase 2.8 percent  - or about $900 to $33, 068."

But let's now let the other part reveal (ibid.):

"The richest 1 percent of Americans posted a much bigger increase in pay as their incomes soared an average of 10.8 percent to $1,3 million"

Got that? Now process this: in addition the wealthiest 1 percent claimed 21.4 percent of all income.

Obama's executive order on overtime promises to help the  lower 90 percent (well, at least 5 million of them) a little -but not much. To get bearings, recall the old overtime law - since 1971- enabled employers to overwork anyone  in the salaried staff and especially managerial. Right now these managers are only eligible for overtime if they make less than $23,660 a year or $455 a week. In some cases they labor 70 hours a week without being paid for those 30 extra hours.  So it was bad enough these boss man parasites were sucking all your extra time up and they weren't paying anything for it. Under the new rule imposed by Obama, these managers earning up to $50,440 a year would be assured overtime pay.

 As Robert Reich has noted, now they employer will have to either pay up - or hire more workers!

But don't count on them to do either! As one honcho (Jamie Richardson)  from 'White Castle' quoted on the news last night said, it ain't gonna happen! He argued he'd have to find an extra $8 to 12 million a year to pay all that overtime or hire extra workers. Other employers said they'd likely have to cut hours rather than pay more. According to Neil Trautwein of the National Retail Federation:

"There's no magic pot of money in order to pay people more money no matter what government says."

So the American worker looks to not gain much advantage. Now, time for more perspective.

The recent issue of TIME asking the question "What's Your XQ?" - references the brutal batteries of psychological and other tests to which  companies now subject candidates and job applicants, and it ties in perfectly with recent findings on how bad the American workplace really is. I mean we already knew workers were overworked and underpaid and typically left 20 percent of vacation days not taken. But what else?

A new study from Staples Advantage and WorkPlaceTrends — an HR-focused research firm — polled over 2,500 American workers and reached troubling results. According to the data, 53 percent of American workers report feeling burned out at work. (A clue for which might have provided caution to the job applicants cited in the TIME article forced to take a test with 180 questions and lasting over three hours  to ascertain how well they "fit in" with the company's culture.)

But with current god-awful working conditions, it’s easy to see why: from desk jockeys (mainly techies and white collars) being crammed into stupid little cubicles and being subjected to all manner of noise and "team" crap to being hitched to an electronic ether that boss man refuses to relinquish.. In regard to the last, a  2012 study concluded smartphones and tablets enable employers to further colonize a worker’s time to the tune of two extra hours a day since they can be reached at all hours. In 2014, Gallup estimated the typical American workweek was 47 hours, not 40; the American worker was toiling for almost a full extra day. Of the workers this recent study polled, more than half worked a day longer than eight hours. All this makes sense when one considers the antiquated overtime rules to which workers were subject.

According to Dan Schawbel, founder of WorkPlaceTrends, co-author of the study, and author of the New York Times bestselling book 'Promote Yourself:

This isn’t the workplace of 10 years ago.  There’s a lot of pressure. And it’s competitive in the sense that anyone in the world could take your job for less money, so you have to work harder.”

WHY do we have this situation? Again, because of population outpacing job production! So long as the population of a nation exceeds its capacity to create new jobs - and this is getting worse as automation make more workers redundant- then nearly everyone is expendable,  thanks to the vast army of surplus labor created. Any member of this surplus labor army will thus be ready to grab your job if it's too tough for you. Or unless you conform and work harder.

And work harder Americans have. Some work so hard it kills them, like a Bank of America intern who died after working 72 hours straight. Because of this occupational devotion (or occupational desperation), productivity has exploded by over 400 percent since 1950.Yet wages haven’t budged — at least not for most Americans. The richest 1 percent, however, have seen their average income surge by over 240 percent

Incredibly, almost eliciting a head -snapping cognitive dissonance, a vast majority of workers (at 86 percent) still claim to feel "happy and motivated". One must wonder if they are on valium, or some other happy' pills prescribed by a therp-  or just in the throes of serious false consciousness.  A more cynical assessment is this lot has Stockholm syndrome - perhaps engendered from years or decades of work abuse. Now, they act just like kidnapped victims and seek to give glory to their persecutors. Or overlook their heinous exploitation.

According to Schawbel:
My thought is that workers have accepted the new reality of the workplace. A lot of them are just happy to have a job in general…Many workers are just trying to keep their job, and then excel at their job, because it’s not like people are getting paid to work the way they were ten years ago, so you have to play catch up.”

In other words, be prepared to be relentlessly exploited if you want to keep working. Or....be that droopy guy in the unemployment line, or worse, at the food kitchen waiting for a handout.
The takeaway is that Americans are so brain dead from what's been done to them they don’t seem concerned as they should be. By comparison, when  Canadian workers were asked about work-life balance, 56 percent cited it as a top concern when looking for work as opposed to only 46 percent of Americans.

But then Canucks have their heads screwed on straight on most issues. For example, you'd never see a poll there like here - perfectly split (42% each side) on whether the Confederate flag is racist.. Of course it is and only a doper, Johnny Reb, idiot or fool would believe otherwise.
But maybe this won't go on much longer and the matter will be taken totally out of Americans' hands, though yeah, there will be kicking and screaming. That is a world, a nation, without any viable or useful work for humans to do. This has been brought up by author Derek Thompson in a recent Atlantic piece, e.g. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/07/world-without-work/395294/


 in which he writes, referring to futurist tech gurus:

"When they peer deeply into labor-market data, they see troubling signs, masked for now by a cyclical recovery. And when they look up from their spreadsheets, they see automation high and low—robots in the operating room and behind the fast-food counter. They imagine self-driving cars snaking through the streets and Amazon drones dotting the sky, replacing millions of drivers, warehouse stockers, and retail workers. They observe that the capabilities of machines—already formidable—continue to expand exponentially, while our own remain the same. And they wonder: Is any job truly safe?


Thompson, in a recent CBS Early Show appearance, answered 'NO' for at least 50 percent of American jobs, which will be gone by 2025. Their absence will leave those lower tier (mainly) workers with nothing to do unless they can radically retrain or re-educate to become high end  techies with the skills to seamlessly fit into the new world of work.

CBS' host Gail King, clearly disturbed by this, asked Thompson: "What will they do? How will they live?"

Thompson's answer was to provide all those left out of jobs with a base annual income. Something to keep the "wolf"  from their door. It is also a solution I have discussed before, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-time-has-come-for-automatic-base.html

wherein I noted:

"All over the world, sensible and intelligent people are talking guaranteeing basic incomes for citizens as a viable policy.Half of all Canadians want it. The Swiss have had a referendum on it. The American media is all over it: The New York Times’ Annie Lowrey considered basic income as an answer to an economy that leaves too many people behind, while Matt Bruenig and Elizabeth Stoker of The Atlantic wrote about it as a way to reduce poverty.

In his final book, Martin Luther King Jr. suggested that guaranteeing people money without requiring them to do anything in exchange was a good way for Americans to share in prosperity. In the 1960s and early 1970s, many in the U.S. gave the idea serious consideration. Even Richard Nixon supported a version of it"

So, in a short matter of time, the problem of overwork may be solved without the need for pillaged American workers to have to rebel. However, if 50 percent of jobs vanish - owing to automation or whatever as Thompson predicts - we had damned well better have in place a widespread social safety net to catch them - and not just "welfare".

As for what these millions of people will do, Thompson envisages lots of volunteer work, as I do. It won't be as if they are just sitting in a trailer swigging beer and watching moronic daytime soaps.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Klan Plans to Rally Support For the Confederate Flag on July 18th - More Proof It's The Symbol for Varmints and Haters!



I am really getting tired of these whiny-ass Johnny Rebs and those who defend them. Especially those who KNOW in their heart of hearts the Confederate Battle Flag is a flag of hate given the species of vermin that out and out defends it. Now, we know that case is closed, given the Ku Klux Klan plans a rally at the South Carolina State house on July 18th to defend it. Why would the Klan - the embodiment of black lynchings and cross burnings throughout the South - want to defend it? If you can't figure that out you flunk the history IQ test! (And probably ANY IQ test!)

According to Brian Gaines, a spokesman for the S.C. Budget and Control Board, "The Loyal White Knights" (guess there's no "black Knights")  of the Ku Klux Klan requested the rally from 3 to 5 p.m. on July 18,  The Klan is expecting 100 to 200 to attend, according to a copy of its state event form.

Calling itself the “Largest Klan in America,” the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are based in Pelham, N.C., according to the group’s website.. One inbred fool identifying himself as the “great titan” of the N.C. chapter of the Loyal White Knights left a message with an online site saying his group is holding the demonstration because “to us they are erasing white history and white culture right out of the history books. That’s why they want to take that flag down.”

Puh-leeze! NO one is "erasing white history" - you can find the legitimate sort in any proper history book such as A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.  What we are erasing is the ignorant jabberwocky that the South fought the Civil War for any other reason than preserving slavery - so its plantation overseers could whip and rape and brutalize African -Americans at will.

As for the hog shit about "fighting for state's rights" - sorry my bumpkin friend, there isn't any such thing. States have prerogatives, not rights, because states exist as governmental entities not as persons-individuals. Prof. Garry Wills (‘A Necessary Evil: A History Of American Distrust of Government’, Simon & Schuster, 1999) further reinforces this point in his chapter ‘Constitutional Myths’(p. 108):

“The states have no natural rights. Their powers are artificial, not natural – they are things made by contract.”


 Why is this so hard to process? Well, because these hateful yokels never learned proper history or Constitutional government, to begin with.  SO they will twist it any way they can including using false equivalence (almost always citing that "Lincoln himself was no abolitionist", and "the North imported cotton" etc.) in order to try to make the  Sophist's case that the North was as bad and god awful as the South. No it wasn't. It didn't base its whole economy on the management of vast plantations where slave masters ripped families apart, raped slave women at will - and flogged male slaves half to death. So don't even go there.

The other thing that galls me no end  is the Reb defenders' incessant efforts to create specious "hypocrisy" exhibits- mainly by staging mock events. For example, the incident now being circulated around youtube of the ISIS flag sold at a Walmart after the Confederate flag was pulled. But here's what these dishonest twisters  aren't telling you:

- The guy that requested the ISIS cake,  Chuck Netzhammer of Louisiana, is a pro-Rebel asshole who got his panties in a twist because Walmart wouldn't make him a Confederate flag cake.

- PO'd, this goober got a lowly, forlorn, ignorant (of current events) Walmart "associate" to make an ISIS flag for him which this rascal then put on youtube to try to expose Walmart's "hypocrisy"

Uh, no,Jasper. All you exposed is how overworked these Walmart associates are to the extent that they don't even have the time to keep up with current events.

These latter day Rebs are now all calling for a "new Civil War" - and I say bring it on! Evidently "y'all" didn't get your asses beat badly enough in the last one so now we have to finish the job!

Maybe instead of trying to stage rallies to defend their loser flag they'd be better off getting some research talent to try to clone what's left of Robert E. Lee.  They'd have just as much chance of success!

See also:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-parry/62863/confronting-southern-victimhood


Excerpt:

"Unlike the Germans after World War II who collectively shouldered blame for the Holocaust and the war’s devastation, America’s white Southerners never confessed to the evil that they had committed by enslaving African-Americans and then pushing the United States into a bloody Civil War in their defense of human bondage.

Instead of a frank admission of guilt, there have been endless excuses and obfuscations. Confederate apologists insist that slavery wasn’t really all that bad for blacks, that the North’s hands weren’t clean either, that the Civil War was really just about differing interpretations of the Constitution, that white Southerners were the real victims ..."

And this link about an ignorant black Confederate "flagger":

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/30/african_american_flagger_says_confederate_flag_isnt_about_race_slavery_was_a_choice/