The Final Report ?

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Big cities and the economy

Big cities are dominating the recovery, leaving the rest of America behind - The Washington Post:

Here in Teabagistan, that part of Indiana between Indianapolis, Ft Wayne, Cincinnati, Ohio and, Dayton, Ohio, This is easy to see. The smaller, rust belt towns are dead or dying while the big-city economies seem to be going pretty well.

I guess this is a replay of the industrial age when people moved from the farms to the cities to work in the factories except today it's the young and educated moving from smaller, ex-manufacturing towns to the mega-cities to work in technology. Progress? Maybe but it sure does leave a lot of old, uneducated poor people around small-town Indiana.

I remember a lot of techie types thinking that the Internet would allow us to live anywhere and still be part of that critical mass that spurs development and growth but it doesn't look like that's playing out.

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For the art-y types out there.


Terrorists on Twitter

Terrorists on Twitter - Yahoo News:

Frances Townsend thinks social media and terrorists are too close but a few years ago, Frances Townsend spent a good deal of her time and I expect made a good deal of money lobbying the US Congress on behalf of a terrorist organization.

Frances Townsend and the terrorists:

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Culture vs Dishonest Behavior

Business culture in banking industry favors dishonest behavior:
 Their results show that bank employees are in principle not more dishonest than their colleagues in other industries. The findings indicate, however, that the business culture in the banking sector implicitly favors dishonest behavior.
Hell,.. this is true of most of American culture, business or otherwise. Everywhere I look i see dishonest behavior.

The news media is mostly full-on propaganda. Always reporting from a pro-US, Pro-Israel, Western, US-Capitalism, Christian point of view. Dissenting views are not allowed. And that's the liberal media, The right has taken it to new levels with talk radio and the Fox News Propaganda Network. I think most of the Fox crowd don't even believe their BS, they're are in it just to make a buck.

Politicians and the parties are dishonest as hell from continual lies about each other, to corruption and cronyism. Black Kenyan Muslim! Benghazi! Coming for you guns! Sarah Palin? George Soros! Voter Fraud! Koch Brothers? Electronic Voting Fraud! Purging voter roles! Racism! Both Parties are terrible liars though I think the R's have taken it to never-before-seen levels over the last few years.

Our businesses aren't much better. Who trusts big Finance or Big energy to "do the right thing"? Hedge funds regularly destroy companies or even governments to make a profit. Manufacturers lie to us in their advertising about their products. Food joints feed us crappy, unhealthy stuff while advertising how great their crap is. What the hell happened to Truth-in-advertising?

Were Realtors and mortgage brokers honest during the housing bubble? How many people and companies did they stick with crappy houses or bogus loans? Car Dealers? DirectTV billing/rate practices are dishonest as hell. Comcast?

We really need to just own-up and admit that the US capitalist culture has deteriorated to the point that you really can't trust anyone. If they can make a buck on it, they will lie to you about it. Most Americans and American businesses would sell their mother a used-taxi, represented as a one-owner, cream-puff if they thought it would make them a dollar.

Yeah,.. I guess I've become that grumpy old man.


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The Gun Market

Their problem is that weapon sales are driven by fear. Years of stocking up by Americans worried first about their safety in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, then about economic security and finally about the enactment of laws that might curtail their firearms ownership boosted the business. Now, though, there’s a gun glut – and the beginnings of an industry shakeout that’s going to hurt investors.
Add to the list of fears, at least here in Eastern Indiana, TeaBagistan,..... "That a Black-Kenyan-Muslim-Marxist president might send hords of "those people" to take their Guns, bibles and their Umerica".


What does Small Business do?

“What Do Small Businesses Do?,” E. Hurst & B. Pagsley (2011) | A Fine Theorem:
The question is important since it is tough to see why the tax code should privilege, say, an independent convenience store over a new corporate-run branch – if anything, the independent is less innovative and less likely to grow in the future.
This may be true but is "growth" all that matters? The difference I see is that there is at least some chance an independent owner will care about the local community and almost no chance that the corporate owner will.

A local owner will usually live in the area, spend his spend his profits there, own and at least try to maintain and improve the property, know and possibly even care about his employees.  Employees are more likely to care about and respect the local owner who may be a friend or family. There is a chance the business can be sold or passed on to another local the in the future. In other words it is, or has a chance to become part of the community. Like a majestic old tree, it lives and has roots there.

This is lost in the corporate environment. Look around the dying small towns of the rust-belt and you see the outskirts riddled with corporate owned big-box stores, quickie-marts, restaurants, auto parts chains, home improvement stores etc managed and staffed by disinterested employees who don't give a damn about the store or its place in their community.

Who could blame them?  They are paid as little as possible, forced to work terrible hours, over regulated by rules that allow the business to run with a minimum of adult supervision, and dominated by crappy managers who are usually just a disinterested employee who hung around long enough to be promoted, making only a little more than the others. In short, they are treated like shit. Very few employees in these stores see a good future. They're just looking for some way out,.... Fuck Walmart,... Autozone,.. Pizza Hut,..Subway,..etc.. etc... etc..

They put up with that crap, not for someone they know, but for some unseen corporate boss that doesn't give a damn about them or their community and is just there to mine the area for its dollars, collecting the cash and sending it off corporate shareholders to be spent in some other area by some corporate stock holder.


Those empty buildings of our dying small towns were once filled with locally owned businesses but are now just decaying monuments of our past growth. Growth spurred by people,.. individuals. Today's growth is corporate. It doesn't give a damn about the people. It doesn't give a damn about those empty buildings downtown. The corporate would builds it's own cities on outskirts of the cities the people built.

Growth? What,.... no, Who is it good for?

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Guns and other Nuts

I don't really have a problem with gun ownership but I do think there should be limits. We don't need military equipment, some people shouldn't be allowed to buy them, all should be registered, and if something bad happens with a gun you sold or purchased, well then,,.. you should be held responsible (buy some gun accident insurance if you like) but that's not why i linked to this.

I was wrong about the Second Amendment: Why my view of guns totally changed - Salon.com:

This is the reason for this post.
The merit of a position can be gauged by the temperament of its supporters, and these days the NRA reminds me of the folks who packed the courtroom of the Scopes monkey trial, fighting to preserve a worldview no thoughtful person espoused. This worship of guns grows more ridiculous, more difficult to sustain, and they know it, hence their theatrics,... 
Replace "the NRA" with "Fox News", "Talk radio hosts", or  "Republicans" and replace "worship of Guns" with "Hatred of Obama" and you have a good explanation of the failure of the Obama era.

Back to guns,,,, I like the idea of having gun-accident insurance. I have to buy it to protect me for hurting people or property with my car or hurting people on my property. Why shouldn't I have to have it for my guns? Government may not be able to regulate guns but what about free-market regulation? I'd guess the insurance industry would love it.

While we're at it lets take insurance out of Health-care let the government run and regulate it.


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Uh-oh, BillO.....

The Real Jesus was Bill O'Reilly's Worst Nightmare - Reza Aslan | Informed Comment:

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Israel - Palestine

Is it time to admit that Israeli settlements are here to stay?:

Yep. Combine it all,.. Israel, the West Bank, and  Gaza, into one state and make it a one person-one vote, equality-for-all, treat-all-religions-the-same, democracy.

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Election... yet again

The Bonddad Blog: It's (also) the interest rates, stupid!:

Agree about rates but I think the fact that a lot of old folks have nothing to do all day but absorb FOX propaganda has more to do with it than most people think.

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Net Neutrality

Since the late 90's, I've said that capitalism, not government, will eventually kill the internet. This post explains how that will happen.

Dear Senator Ted Cruz, I'm going to explain to you how Net Neutrality ACTUALLY works - The Oatmeal:

oh, ..  and Ted Cruz is an idiot.

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Israel vs The US

Official: Israel independently learned of secret U.S. letter to Iran - Middle East Israel News | Haaretz:

"Israel learned independently about the secret letter U.S. President Barack Obama sent to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to a Jerusalem official who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter. 
The official said Israel learned about the letter shortly after it was sent. The information arrived indirectly, through channels that are not part of Israel’s official contacts with the American administration."
So there is an Israeli spy in the administration. Imagine that....

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The Election

Senate races were won by dump-trucks full of "dark money" - Boing Boing:

No they weren't.

They were lost by the Ds who claim to support working people but generally really follow a pro-corporate-elite, pro-capitalist, pro-war, big-money path very similar to that of the Rs. The voters realized that voting for the D's in the past hasn't helped their status so either,... 1. voted for their ONLY other choice, the R's, or 2. just said fuck-it and didn't vote because it doesn't really matter which party they vote for, they are both basically are anti-people, pro-corporate-elite, American-Capitalism-rules, war parties.


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