Mar 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and this will be the only article, because I spent the day working on volunteer training.  I may stay scarce, because I have errands to run tomorrow, and both an appointment and grocery delivery on Wednesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:59 (average 5:33).   To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: “Out of work? Nowhere to live? Nowhere to go? Nothing to eat?” the online ad reads. “Come to Fukushima.”

That grim posting targeting the destitute, by a company seeking laborers for the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is one of the starkest indications yet of an increasingly troubled search for workers willing to carry out the hazardous decommissioning at the site.

The plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as Tepco, has been shifting its attention away, leaving the complex cleanup to an often badly managed, poorly trained, demoralized and sometimes unskilled work force that has made some dangerous missteps. At the same time, the company is pouring its resources into another plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, that it hopes to restart this year as part of the government’s push to return to nuclear energy three years after the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster.

Given the level of disregard Tepco is showing for their workers, the environment, and those of us to whom the Japan Current will bring the contamination from mistakes, I’m surprised that they aren’t a US energy company. I guess Japan has Republicans too. :-(

From Alternet: Purchases of American products generally come with a sales tax, and often an excise tax, and possibly state and local add-on taxes. A consumer can avoid all this by limiting purchases to  food and prescription drugs, or by shopping  online. There’s one more way — by visiting a nearby financial exchange and buying a million dollars worth of derivatives.

There is currently no U.S. tax on the purchase of stocks, derivatives, and other financial instruments. The rest of us pay up to a 10 percent sales tax on the necessities of daily life. A tiny  financial transaction tax  of perhaps a tenth of a percent on the trading of financial securities would begin to correct this inequity, while generating billions of dollars of revenue.

There are at least  five good reasons  why our country is ready for such a  financial transaction tax (FTT) .

This is obscene, but Republican welfare for the super-rich always is. Click through for the excellent list of reasons.

From Crooks and Liars: Crimeans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to join former political master Russia as tensions soared in the east of the splintered ex-Soviet nation, the epicentre of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Partial results with more than half the ballots counted showed 95.5 percent of voters were in favour of leaving Ukraine, in the most radical redrawing of Europe’s map since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

I can certainly understand the desire of Crimeans to rejoin Russia, since Crimea is a Russian area, included in Ukraine when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. If that’s what Crimeans want, an inter4nationally supervised referendum should be organized to facilitate that end. A referendum conducted under Russian guns is no more valid that one in a Red state, where Republicans control e-voting machines with no paper trail. Therefore, I continue in opposition to the Republican militarism of Vladimir Putin (R-RU).

Cartoon:

0318Cartoon

Subsequent unconstitutional decisions have rendered this one all but moot.

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  17 Responses to “Open Thread–3/18/2014”

  1. 3:20  No masking my delight at coming in at more than 2 minutes under the average.

  2. NY Times ~ The highest paid executives should have to clean up their own messes. Then they would earn hazardous duty pay.

    Alternet ~ Impose another tax on the uber-wealthy? Why all this discrimation against those poor thieves?        Tax the bastardos!

    Crooks & Liars ~ If indeed the Crimeans want to join Russia, I say let them. But, like you said, have a fair referendum without a heavy Russian military presence deterring voters at the polling places. I always thought that Crimea was a part of Russia before it even became the Soviet Union.

    Cartoon ~ It's being decimated like a lot of our Constitution.

     

    • It was.  When the USSR disolved into Republics, Russia gave this ethnically Russian area to the Ukraine 1n 1991.  I'm guessing the intent was to influence Ukranian elections to keep Ukraine pro-Russian.

  3. 4:44  Carnival is so two weeks ago.

    NY Times – There are Republicans everywhere.  There have always been Republicans.  There will always be Republicans.  Even if one could wave a magic wand and cause everyone to instantly know the truth about who is benefitted and who is hurt by Republican policies, there would still be Republicans – and they would still be rich and in power.  There might be fewer of them, and we might be able to make some small changes going forward, but even if we could rein in the worst excesses, there would still be Republicans, because, for want of a better word, greed.  Which brings me to

    Alternet – This is the Robin Hood tax.  It has its own website at http://www.robinhoodtax.org.  It is supported by Oxfam, National Nurses United, Daily Kos, The Nation, Mother Jones, and other progressive groups.  One petition is at http://www.robinhoodtax.org/millionstrong but there are certainly others.  Is anyone here not already on board with this?  I will be happy to put together a list of petitions.  It just takes a little googling.

    Crooks and Liars – The Ukraine used to be referred to as "Little Russia" (maybe it still is).  There are all sorts of cross-ties around the region.  I personally think the whole situation is very fishy, happening as it did upon the heels of China rejecting GMO corn from the United States, choosing to buy corn (non GMO, although apparently the Ukraine does raise some GMO corn that is approved by China, which the US does not) from the Ukraine instead.  At the very least I have to wonder if Monsanto started all the unrest.  But the Chinese decision also turned the Ukraine into a desirable cash cow.  Scary stuff.

    Cartoon – It's like remembering the birthday of a lovely child who died young and painfully.  Mixed feelings here.

  4. Time 4:03 – I thought that would be easy, I was wrong.  

    TEPCO is the Japanese company that operates Fukushima and other Japanese based Nuclear plants.  The designer, builder and at least part owner is none other than General Electric, also building these same "junk" plants on fault lines in the US.  France was using Nuclear plants and is now converting to sustainable energy.  Japan could do the same, but it seems the power of the dollar wins out in Japan and the US.  Those who are homeless are paid sub-wages to clean up the mess caused by the earthquake at Fukushima, and they are not being issued haz-mat suits.  This is Free Enterprise the capitalist market that no one wants to look at, the stuff under the rock when it's kicked over.
     
    First, as much as possible I buy from the many web-sites that sell only things Made in America. Second,  I don't mind the sales tax, though I wish it were used for betterment of this country and not the fill the pockets of Koch and their ilk.   Third, I think we do need a new tax code, the current one is over 70,000 pages of legalese and even the tax agents have no clue what it says.  Though FTT is not what I mean by a better tax code.  For a while I thought the Fair Tax would be the answer to a more honest taxation, but after reading through each detail I found that was not true.  A flat tax would very soon be exactly what we have now.  
    ——
    Half a league, half a league,
     Half a league onward,
     All in the valley of Death
     Rode the six hundred.
     "Forward, the Light Brigade!
     "Charge for the guns!" he said:
     Into the valley of Death
     Rode the six hundred.

    The Charge of the Light Brigade – but I'm sure the readers know that.  So now what?  We place economic sanctions on Putin, umm….Russia?  Sure the cost to the US is not that much, but the EU will be at a greater disadvantage because they do get about 25-30% of the fuel from Russia. It would be completely stupid policy to go in with the military, this is not our fight, nor a ground war we would win.  Even if John McCain does disagree, given the opportunity to send healthy young Americans into war, McCain has no qualms.  This when we really need to work in cooperation with the EU and find a compromise with Russia.  I would not be surprised to see Putin make a move on Ukraine next. The KGB runs through Putin's blood.

    The Miranda decision – when SCOTUS did things for the protection of the American public.  

    Thanks TC – Have a wonderful day.
     

  5. It is interesting to note that there is nothing in the Constitution about the Supreme Court deciding the constitutionallity (judicial review) of a law.

  6. NY Times:  "I guess Japan has Republicans, too."  Yep, if they care only about profit and nothing about humanity, they must be Republicans.

    Alternet:  I read the five reasons and my blood is boiling.  They nearly destroyed thewhole US economy in 2008 by their irresponsible acts.  The tax proposes is very minimal, but they are crying over it.  Mitt Romney paid what, a 14% tax rate while my 85 year old mother, who lives on SS and a small pension pays 28%.  Can't the REpublicans see that is gross?

    Crooks and Liars:  I agree with you.  If the Crimeans want to belong to Russia and they vote for it, with no military involved, they should be allowed to go.

    Cartoon:  The Miranda decision is just something we see on tv shows these days.  Few cops feel they have to go by it due to those unconstitutional decisions you mentioned.

  7. Puzzle — 3:20  No masking my delight at coming in at more than 2 minutes under the average.

    NY Times — Damn!  The Republicanus/Teabaggers are propagating all over the place worldwide.  Where is the spay/neutre clinic when you need it?

    It seems that people are disposable wherever there are "Republicanus/Teabaggers"!

    Alternet — Any objections?  Damn straight!

    "Any objections? The  Wall Street Journal had this to say about an FTT: "The waning investors' wealth as a result of the decline in asset prices will reduce consumption and hinder economic recovery." "

    Hinder economic recovery?  No!  Let's face it, the FTT is something that affects the wealthist, not the masses, unless you consider that the 1% will try to pass that expense downward in any way possible.  This idea of "entitlement" by the 1% is just disgusting!

    Crooks and Liars — I saw something on the US news a few days ago during which the reporter referred to the Cold War as still being in place.  I was dumb struck!  The official Cold War has been over for a number of years. But a new one.certainly appears on the horizon with the way that the US and other countries are reacting towards Russia.  And Mad Vlad is doing all he can to escalate things.  Having a United Nations sponsored referendum where NO nation can manipulate the outcome is absolutely necessarry.  True democracy means listening to the people.

    Cartoon — Interesting how so many of the advancements made during the civil rights era are falling.  That's what happens when you a conservative activist SCOTUS>

  8. DANG!!  Lynn bigfooted Kitty, Kitty!

    Amen and kudos to all the above!

    I'm running wau late, because I took a cat nap and overslept big time!