Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worse than the Patriot Act

The Senate passed a bill allowing expansive powers to the military to detain American citizens not just in foreign countries but in the United States, send those citizens to foreign countries to be imprisoned (maybe tortured), held indefinitely without charge, and subjected to military trials. This is unconstitutional. There is a reason that the military is not allowed to operate domestically it is called the constitution. Why is it that the small government, local control tea party members of the Senate were all for this? Could it be that the fallout from the occupy movement has the powerful worried that the local police will not keep draconian control of the populous? It does appear that way. The conservatives are all about smaller government until the order of society is threatened. At the State level they turn to the WI State Patrol, at the Federal level they are turning to the military.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Survey, Another Bottom Ranking for Fox

Another survey has been released that once again (7 times) confirms what those of us who interact with Fox viewers have suspected that people who self identify as Fox news viewers are least informed people in the country. Not only are poorly informed they also are more likely to believe things that are not true. They believe the lies about Obamacare, taxes, Occupy Wallstreet, Iraq, Iran,....

Where is Governor Walker?

There was an incident in Alabama last week which was a perfect opening for a job creating governor. An executive for Mercedes was arrested (Mercedes has an assembly plant there) on suspicion of being an illegal alien. The executive was in the wrong because he did not have his passport with him but arresting him should not have been the response. Gov. Walker should have offered Mercedes the former GM assembly plant since we are a state of many German immigrants in fact our English dialect has a German/ Norwegian accent. Oh, but that's right we like the Alabama law and intend on passing a similar measure, I guess it is another missed jobs opportunity.

The Job Creators

Sen. John Kyl over the weekend once again repeated the nonsense that if you raise taxes on the job creators they won't be able to create jobs. I don't understand the party of business (Republican) and businessmen on this belief. Business and the rich for that matter don't hire people because they have money. They hire because their current workforce cannot keep up with consumer demand for their products or services. This has been stated as such in Wisconsin where companies that got big tax credits were asked if that was the reason that they hired and the CEOs said no. No it is demand that drives sales which drives hiring. Where a wrench is thrown in is that companies have a choice to expand to foreign countries at possibly a much lower cost than expanding domestically with tax incentives.

What we ought to do is end the Bush tax cuts. End corporate welfare, grants and tax credits, in exchange for a company staying in a city or state. Replace corporate welfare with the big stick of increased government regulation and taxation if you locate your factory overseas. Rewrite the free trade agreements to be free and fair trade with similar wages, worker health and safety regulations, and similar protections for the environment.

Friday, November 25, 2011

UC Davis Chancellor

The Chancellor at UC-Davis appears before students and states that she is shocked and appalled at the actions of police during the protests. Sounds reasonable, but then it comes out that she wanted the police to remove the protestors. Now her story has changed to be well I did mean to use force. You can't green light the police and then be shocked when the police use force to accomplish their task. If she didn't want the police to escalate to the use of force she should have instructed the police to not interfere and let the protest happen. Instead she wanted it ended, the police used excessive force, the film went viral, and the protest is now bigger than it was originally.

At the very least the chancellor should resign. At the worst the board of reagents should fire her. The chief of police should resign or be fired. There was never going to be a peaceful resolution, just look at how the police were armed

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Super Committee Fails

Who couldn't see this coming when the committee was created? I have to laugh at the shock of it all. My question is how much precious tax money was spent by this committee over the past couple of months? Maybe congress should pay that money back, after all they had to know that this committee would fail.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The 99%

I was reading the paper today and they ran a guest column by an economist who argues that Americans are rich when compared to the rest of the world even when the standard of living is taken into account. This is the conservatives argument about how we should be thankful. Basically what they are advocating is a race to the bottom for everyone except the top 1%. This is just the wrong way to look at things. You can't compare the US to Sudan, we should be making comparisons to Denmark or Germany. If you do want to compare to the third world we are rapidly heading there in terms of income disparity, personal mobility, lack of health care, wage depression,... Sure we make more money but many are earning less and less and the cost to maintain the current standard of living is not going down with income. If we are going to make a correction everything should come down in cost with wages. This is not going to happen, most business leaders don't see that less money equals less sales. But, this what is happening, that is why the economy is tanking. More and more people can't afford to buy. We need to change the argument from how well off we are compared to the rest of the world to well off the previous generation of Americans were when compared to the current generation.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn State

It was said to see the students of Penn State riot because their football coach was fired for failure to do the right thing when he was informed that a 10 year old boy was raped by his assistant coach. The students by rioting validate the reasoning that was used by all of the university officials, who have since been let go, that the football team and the image of the university was more important than stopping criminal activity. Big time college football gets a pass on crime as it is. It simply mystifies me how a large amount of the student body could come out in support of this type of criminal behavior. Contrary to what the goal of the administrators and coaches to limit damage to the football team and the university the investigation and the subsequent "protests" have caused irreparable harm to the university. The university will now be remembered as the school where football is king and that the law doesn't matter as long as there is a winning season. Instead of protesting the firing of a high paid (look at what professors who actually teach earn) football coach they should have been in the streets celebrating that firing and working to shield the school's academic programs.

All Big Ten universities survive on federal research grant money not football, however at Penn State they may have to start living on their football revenues. The federal government is investigating whether laws were broken and the penalty will be the loss of those federal dollars. We are talking potentially millions and that will be the true damage to the university.

Finally, the crime has got to hurt recruiting of the non-athlete, non-fan because the university has shown that football is number one and that they don't care about their students, potential students, or the greater community.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recalling the Gov

As recall mania starts to heat up there is one important thing to know is going on. The Republicans or their supporters are also collecting signatures with the intention of not turning them in. This will increase the likely hood of not getting enough signatures. If enough signatures are obtain the Republicans will deliver their signatures and then challenge signatures looking for duplicates. You can't sign more than once. So, it is important to get credentials from the person collecting signatures and only sign once.