Saturday, August 15, 2009

I read the news today, oh boy....

California State Parks in consideration for closing:

State parks officials estimate that 100 parks will close in California, and their decisions about which parks will get the bad news will probably come soon after Labor Day.

Many of the most popular parks are Southern California beaches, while several parks in the Bay Area are among the least visited - and most vulnerable to closure. Those include the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, Bale Grist Mill Historic Park, Robert Louis Stevenson Park, Henry Coe Park and Gray Whale Cove State Beach.

We beat the Great Depression!
Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez. The paper, which covers data through 2007, points to a staggering, unprecedented disparity in American incomes. On his blog, Nobel prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the numbers "truly amazing."

Though income inequality has been growing for some time, the paper paints a stark, disturbing portrait of wealth distribution in America. Saez calculates that in 2007 the top .01 percent of American earners took home 6 percent of total U.S. wages, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2000.

As of 2007, the top decile of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that's "higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the 'roaring" 1920s.'"
Fiji Water is not as pure as you would like to think.

The British stand up for their NHS and point to our 'free medical services' fair that was held in Los Angeles:
They came in their thousands, queuing through the night to secure one of the coveted wristbands offering entry into a strange parallel universe where medical care is a free and basic right and not an expensive luxury. Some of these Americans had walked miles simply to have their blood pressure checked, some had slept in their cars in the hope of getting an eye-test or a mammogram, others had brought their children for immunisations that could end up saving their life.

In the week that Britain's National Health Service was held aloft by Republicans as an "evil and Orwellian" example of everything that is wrong with free healthcare, these extraordinary scenes in Inglewood, California yesterday provided a sobering reminder of exactly why President Barack Obama is trying to reform the US system.
An excellent cartoon of the Brits' view of our attempts at reform.

Health care around the world... and guess where the US rates?

How a guy stalked his girlfriend
by secretly changing her cell phone into a GPS device.

Brownshirt tactics are being used today:
To point out "Brownshirt tactics" is not to accuse your opponents of wanting to kill all the Jews, and when people are actually engaging in them they should always be called out in the most forceful terms possible.

Instead of treating fascist movements as magical forces of incomprehensible evil we should probably try to remember that a lot of repeatable historical circumstances allowed them to gain power.
Hitler's ghost in the townhalls.

FDR knew the type of people we are facing today:
The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.
Steve Benen's take on the Weekly Address by President Obama:
It also seems like there's finally a clear elevator pitch in place: "For all the chatter and the noise out there, what every American needs to know is this: If you don't have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you do have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need. And we will deliver this in a fiscally responsible way." Three sentences, 53 words. Not bad.

And Howard Dean: The most important way to frame the debate:


Mike Goldman said...

My friend has some neat T-shirts and stuff. I don't usually plug stuff like that, but....

ellroon said...

Looks good! Good luck to your friend's business!