05 October, 2011

My Counter-Demands to the Occupy Wall Street Clowns

 I've been seeing this list of "demands" that the Occupy Wall Street crowd have supposedly been circulating, and I just couldn't help but compile my own list of Counter-Demands.

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hour.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Abolish government subsidies to all industries, including Farm, Dairy, Auto, Green Energy, Oil, Coal, Transportation, the Arts, etc.  Freeze minimum wage to current levels, guaranteed for the next ten years.  Abolish any regulation that adds cost to American products.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Quit trying to micro-manage every decision made between doctor and patient.  Abolish health-care monopolies and allow companies to operate nationwide under uniform regulations and genuine competition.  Force unelected bureaucrats to be held just as liable to prosecution for their mistakes as private companies are.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

COUNTER-DEMAND: See Counter-Demand #1.

Demand four: Free college education.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Your Art History and Philosophy degree ain’t worth jack shit in the market place.  You knew it when you wasted $100,000 in college loans to get it, so quit whining that you can’t find a job with it now that you have it.  Pay your goddamn bill.  If you have to, go back to school and learn another trade to make a living at, like driving a truck.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Quit trying to repeal the Laws of Thermodynamics, and Drill, Baby, Drill.  Also: Mine, Baby, Mine.  Late Breaking News: The Universe doesn’t give a shit what we do to our planet.  So far as its concerned, we’re a speck of insignificant dust not worth the dark energy binding us to the space-time continuum, so lets just use what’s available wherever its available.  Hint: There’s lots of easily accessible resources on the Moon and planets just waiting to be exploited.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

COUNTER-DEMAND: One Trillion Dollars in budget cuts.  Immediately.  Bring spending to year 2000 levels, a mere eleven years ago.  We were doing pretty well covering all of our bases then, we can do so again.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Open up ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico to drilling, so long as they guarantee to only hire American citizens.  Build Keystone XL pipeline.  Build more nuclear power plants.  Use the power to open up desalinization plants to produce fresh water that can be used to reclaim arid deserts for farming.  BTW, you do realize that Rachel Maddow supposedly loooooooves Hoover Dam, don’t you?

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Force Occupy Wall Street morons to actually read the Constitution booklets Tea Partiers have been handing out, and point out that the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Nineteenth amendments are still in effect.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. Anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Anyone can work and travel within the United States so long as they are an American citizen or a Registered Alien.  You do not need to be a member of a union in order to work in a particular industry.  Put a fence on the border, only allow those that wish to become American Citizens to enter for work in the country, and insist that they must renounce citizenship and allegiance in their previous country as condition of entry.  Establish preferences to those with college degrees or who can prove that they are financially stable.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Bring American elections up to international standards by demanding photographic ID, either drivers license or state-issued ID, to establish identity before voting.  Australia, Japan, Canada, and most of Europe already demand this, we should as well.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Pay your goddamn bill.  No one was putting a gun to your head while you ran up insurmountable debt on credit cards buying flat screen TVs, game systems, and mass-transportation systems that no one uses.  Quit electing politicians who buy votes by spending other people’s money.  Take responsibility for your own actions.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Pay your goddamn bill.  If you can’t, that’s what bankruptcy is for.  Accept the consequences of your actions instead of trying to fob it off on someone else.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Guaranteed secret ballot in all union elections.  Establish Right to Work laws in all states, so that those who choose not to join unions can work in their chosen professions without interference.

Demand fourteen: Government assumes ownership of all energy industries and resources, as well as the automotive and aerospace industries.  Immediately cease production of any vehicle that does not use clean energy to operate.

COUNTER-DEMAND: Government divests itself from all industries, including automotive, Amtrak, etc.  Immediate repeal of CAFÉ standards.


Anything I should add?

21 July, 2011

Our Ongoing Economic Disaster

* Government intervention is killing job growth, according to Stanford Economist John B. Taylor (Wall Street Journal).

* Job market is weak, and unemployment is about to go above 10%, according to Jeff Reeves (Wall Street Journal Market Watch). 

* As an addendum to the above, Borders Books will officially close in September, sending 10,000 more into the unemployment lines.  Amazon is partially to blame, but poor customer service probably also played a part (Wall Street Journal).

* Alan Greenspan: "No evidence Federal Reserve stimulus worked" (NPR).  So according to the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, we spent trillions of dollars for nothing except to be beholden to the Chinese for the next several generations.  Wonderful.

* 17 reasons why the Gang of Six Debt plan sucks, by Keith Hennessey (Keithhennessey.com).  NOTE: While I agree with many of these points -- especially that the plan doesn't cut nearly enough into the deficit as it should -- I do think we're better off with the plan than not, in order to calm the markets if for no other reason.

* Unsustainable Spending Threatens America's Future, Paul Ryan (Real Clear Politics).

* Home Depot Co-Founder: Obama is Choking Recovery, by John Merline (Investors Business Daily).

* Casino Magnate Steve Wynn Slams Obama, by Shira Ovide (Wall Street Journal).

A Fourth Moon for Pluto

A fourth satellite has been detected orbiting dwarf planet 134340 Pluto (formerly known as just the planet Pluto) by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The object, bearing a temporary designation of just P4, appears to be a ball of ice roughly 8 to 21 miles across.

Yet another target for the New Horizons spacecraft to photograph when it flies through the Plutonian system in 2015.

History With Google Streetview

Gambetta Street, Rheims, France. Early color photograph, taken April 1, 1917, taken from the fantastic website World War I Color Photographs:

Gambetta Street, Rheims, France, from Google Streetview, photograph taken 2011:

Note that the house next to "Pizza Uno" (marked Bar Cafe, Chez Ali Restaurant) in the 2011 photograph is the same house at the same corresponding street corner in the 1917 photograph (note the upper story windows and chimney; they are exactly the same).

Here is a better view of the Chez Ali house and the three buildings to the left of it, as they stand today:

"Pizza Uno" looks to be the same building as the one in the 1917 photograph, but with an extra story added (note what appears to be part of the old roof just below the grayish "addition", at approximately the same height as the roof of the 1917 house).  The building to the left, "Rheims Khabob", does not look much like the building in the same position in the 1917 photograph, and in fact looks much newer.  The fourth house, "Pain Chaud", looks likely to be the same building at foreground left in the 1917 photograph, but since the view of that building is cut off in the older photograph there's no way to say for certain.

Just a little something I like to do whenever I find old photographs of street scenes, namely try to find the exact same view in Google Maps and see what they look like today.

Look for more of these in the future.


20 July, 2011

MSNBC Host Brings a Knife to a Gun Fight

Note to would-be television hosts: when you ask an on-air guest a rhetorical question, be sure you already know the answer.

Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller.

42 Years Ago Today

Tranquility Base, Luna:

While we're on the subject, Rand Simberg at Pajamas Media about why the next phase of space exploration should be driven by private enterprise.

Dawn Reaches Vesta

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached the asteroid 4 Vesta and has gone into orbit.  Before going into orbit, it snapped this photograph of the main belt planetoid:

Dawn will continue to orbit Vesta for the next year, then break orbit and proceed to its next target, the dwarf planet 1 Ceres.  A decent rundown of the mission can be found here.

The Return of the Native

Yeah, its been a while.  No excuses about why I stopped blogging, not even going to try to justify it.  Maybe I'll talk about where I've been and what I've been doing these past few months, or maybe not.  I don't even know how long I'll be doing it this time around.  I guess we'll see.