Friday, September 29, 2017

Day 9 and were still way behind where we should be in aid

While Trump cheers himself saying how great a job he is doing in regards to the disaster in Puerto Rico (and just left for his usual weekend off) they are suffering and dying.
These are American citizens yet he and the GOP treats them like a third world country.  Did they ask Texas or Florida how they were going to pay for aid?
We should have ha the navy and air force in their a week ago to help out.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Government Reform

Listening to the lies and dodges from government officials the past few days I am again struck by how bad things are getting.
We need real government reform.

Some Ideas

  • Get money out of politics. Start with getting rid of PACs and Citizens United.  Let organizations encourage people to vote or donate as individuals but require transparency and prohibit them from donating.
  • Make it a crime to lie to the public.  I am tired of hearing how its not a crime for a government official to lie to the public. Who wants an employee that lies to them? In most cases they make it a crime for the public to lie to them so why not the reverse?  Dodges and especially no comments can be allowed but not provable lies.
  • More transparency in government.
  • Slimmed down bills.  We need Congress to stop burying legislation in thick overly worded bills padded to make it so complicated.  Many Congressman dont read and fully understand the bills they vote on. That should be a crime.  Give it a common sense or high school test and if the average graduate cant understand t redo it.
  • Every proposed bill should have a reasonable public review period. Exempt emergency legislation but the American People should be able to review and give our opinions.
  • A strong and effective Ethics office that reports to US.

How about you? What changes would you like to see?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Taking a Knee is more respectful than burning a flag

We have all seen a lot of commentary on his and Trump is increasing the rhetoric.
First taking a knee is actually not really disrespectful. 
Disrespecting the Flag includes...
  • Burning the Flag
  • Trampling the Flag or letting it hit the dirt
  • Hoisting another flag such as the Confederate flag above the US flag.
  • Honoring the Confederate flag, which was a symbol of sedition and attacking the United States.
  • Talking during the Pledge or Anthem.
Quietly taking a Knee?  That is honoring the flag but praying for things to get better.
Trump cares nothing for the flag or the anthem.  Remember during his inauguration how Melania had to remind him to put his hand over his heart?
He dodged the draft, sold the country to the Russians and wants to sell our national monuments to the oil companies.  The man never cared about the USA, he just wants attention and conflict.
He came down harder and more impassioned against the NFL then he did the Nazis and KKK after Charlotsville.
He chose to pick a fight to get attention rather than help the people in Puerto Rico, an actual US territory.

Hey GOP!  Next time can YOU show the country some respect by nominating a patriot for president?

Monday, September 25, 2017

GOP led by Senators Lankford, Hlls and Hatch and may have made progress on Immigration

This interview outlines the Succeed Act, it is only  part of the issue  but it sounds like good legislation to me.

  • Sets up a time line towards Naturalization which helps deal with the uncertainty for them and their families and communities.
  • Sets in place pretty strict requirements but ones that were mostly in DACA.  Basically it takes 15 years during which they have to be productive members of society and staying out of trouble.
Sounds good to me, though their is  lot to be done, including securing borders and dealing with the overstay visa problem.

1 week to go for the GOP to try and repeal the AHCA

The GOP has decided to make another attempt to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act using a procedure to bypass the normal repeal process.
If Congress was operating in good faith they would change the law for the better.  That they feel they have to resort to trickery and legal loopholes rather than persuade the citizens that the changes to be made are good for us. That the GOP feels they cannot win a debate or persuade a majority of the country to support it indicates a failure of leadership and the lack of desire to serve the people.

Republicans say they must do this as they promised to repeal and replace an unpopular law.
However they seem to have missed the point.  They promised they had a better plan that would lower costs for all Americans, yet all evidence points to this doing the opposite for most.
The elderly and sick will suffer first but eventually everyone gets sick and if they are lucky enough old.  Further business will suffer as more people get sick and cannot afford health care and lose time at work or fail to pay their bills and as so many before file bankruptcy because they got sick.
Also it seems likely more people will be removed from employee based insurance plans.
Ask your Senator to vote no or justify their actions to you.

Friday, September 22, 2017

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game unboxing

My first video.
I picked the unboxing and it went a bit long at 49 minutes but includes a good amount of information for those knew to GURPS.

After the video I saw the GM screen which I had set aside during my first attempt at the video.  I will do a shorter video on that this weekend.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Health Care lie

So the GOP is trying yet again to quickly push a Repeal and Replace bill.
They had 7 years to work on a bill and have been running on it as a signature issue all that time.
They have shown us they did not bother and when they took over the legislative and Executive branches they had nothing ready to go. They keep trying to pass something using deceitful and under handed methods.

  • Senator Barosso (Wyoming)  when interviewed refused to answer any question on the new bill and kept pivoting to Obama Care.   If you honestly believe your thing is better than the other guy you would tout its merits rather than just deflect or attack something else. This is a bullying tactic not a rational one.
  • Senator Cruz (Texas) Says there are no cuts, though there are.
  • Vox interviewed 9 Senators and NONE were able to sell this as a better bill for American citizens.
  • The GOP is still trying to force it through reconciliation to avoid Democratic votes.  They want to pass a partisan bill despite complaining that the AHCA was passed as a partisan bill (It wasn't, GOP members voted for it and put in amendments) and rushed through (again, a lie as AHCA went through committees and was looked at for over a year) and this new effort is again going to be rushed through without full examination
Call your local senator office and let them know your feelings.
We need and deserve a congress that works for the American people rather than the drug and insurance companies that fund their campaigns.

Monday, September 18, 2017

What the GOP really wants when they say smaller government is better

Big Government vs. Small Government?

Conservatives and Republicans exclaim that big government is bad and smaller government is good.  Look at some of the examples below and see if you agree...

  • Equifax has had 3 major breaches in the last 2 years.  They engaged in Insider Trading before telling the public and are trying to force people to waive the right to sue them before they will tell you if your info was hacked.  Oh and if this damages your credit rating they will help to fix it for n additional fee.  Remember as a credit bureau they have your information even if you never agreed to it or signed up with them.
  • Houston chemical plants are now being sued by first res-ponders because they stored toxic chemicals and lied bout it when asked, endangering their lives.
  • Exxon has been revealed to hold onto climate change data from forty years ago that warned of problems.
  • Financial Advisers are allowed to lie to their customers when recommending choices.  This is so they can recommend options with higher commissions or fees even if those are bad for their customer.
  • Companies are allowed to dump things into our water and air without regard for the public safety.
  • Banks can use account money in high risk investments so that they can get a higher rate of return at the risk of defrauding those with savings and checking accounts or taxpayers bailing them out again.
  • Big corporations are allowed to buy or undercut smaller companies to drive them out of business.  Even though some of these companies use tax incentives to offset their costs.  We lose many small business each year this way and that overall depresses wages and consumer choice.
  • Wages and Employee insurance. GOP stance is there should be no minimum wage or employee based insurance.
All those are results of trying to weaken or remove regulations and oversight.
Big government vs. small government is a red herring or false flag.  Inefficient government is bad because it wastes resources. However efficient government that is accountable to the citizens of the United Sates is good.  Further we need to be able to vote and choose our issues so that government gets back to being OF AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Check this out!
A co founder of Ben and Jerrys came up with this nifty grassroots messaging idea.
The idea is buy a stamp and stamp your bills.  As you spend them they get passed around and stay in circulation for years, getting passed around to various people.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What Happened? Hillary still blaming everyone else for her failed campaign

So excerpts of Hillary Clinton's latest book is out and she is still blaming everyone else for her loss.
Still going after Bernie Sanders, among others.
The lack of accountability by her and the DNC is truly amazing.
People voted against her because they did not trust her and they were against the establishment.
Heck millions of people (including myself) who DID vote for her felt she was corrupt, untrustworthy and interested in her self more than the country.  We just felt she was less of a threat to the country than Donald Trump, as usual it was a choice between what you hoped was the lesser of two evils rather than someone you actually wanted in the White House.

Please vote for Justice Democrats or Brand New Congress and lets get rid of these establishment people and put in some fresh faces.

Conservatives so full of hate there trying to kill each other now

This story on Rush Limbaugh is really crazy.
Once in awhile I will listen to parts of his broadcasts just to try to keep my news balance.  I never finish because he is so disgusting but at least I try to listen to the Right Wing Extremists side of things.
In this broadcast reviewed by The Young Turks we see Rush Limbaugh claim media coverage of hurricanes is a conspiracy by small business retailers and the so called Deep State. He actually encourages his listeners to ignore the news and not take shelter or stock up on emergency supplies.

Meanwhile Sheriff Grady Judd will be using emergency shelters to arrest people with outstanding warrants. Think about that a minute.
Having the police check everyones paperwork in the middle of a Cat 5 Hurricane will...

  • Slow down access to safety for his local citizens.
  • Put his officers at risk hauling people off to jail during the storm.
  • Possibly scare some people away from safety who fear they may have a warrant.
If these people are really dangerous why not serve the warrants under normal circumstances?
This is just an easy way for him to look tough but his stupidity and reckless disregard for human life (Including public safety officials) is what really comes through here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

National Security and Climate Change

Climate Change is becoming serious and apparent enough that I think most people believe it exists at this point.  I am sure Senator Inhofe (Oklahoma's snowball Senator) is still in denial of course.
If your old enough  (or just google storm history) you get the feeling that we see worse and worse storms. I mean how many storms of the century do we have to have this century before everyone wakes up?

As the temperature warms up we get more rainfall from water evaporation and more sever storms as heat gives them more energy to work with).
We will have costly bailouts for our East and Southern coasts with them getting more frequent and more costly. Lowering emissions will help but we have waited so long were going to still have to deal with this even if we started reversing the trend today.  As long as the GOP is in charge I think any reversal is very unlikely.  So do we keep spending billions on patches?
If we were willing to spend significant money on infrastructure for flood walls, emergency dams (could be used for fishing or to help the power grid), regulating the flood plains and stringent building codes we can improve long term survival and probably save long term costs.

How Can We Pay For all these "Acts of God"?

I propose that by transferring up to 100 billion annually from the National Defense Budget we could do some serious improvements. We outspend everyone in the world, in 2016 the USA spent 611 billion and the second highest player was China at 215 billion.  So moving 100 billion still gives us the most expensive military in the world by a large margin.  A lot of this is  pork barrel politics so we would be transferring the wealth from some military contractors to civilian contractors.  The old contractors will complain but they can expand into the new markets. Aerospace could adapt tech for light rail for example.
Many of these companies build stuff overseas anyhow and at least some of this money will go to local job growth such as in construction.
This could be like the Apollo project but rebuilding America.
And as a bonus all those new jobs mean more taxes to offset our budget deficit.
If you like the idea tweet or share this link to this post to your congress person.

Seriously Imagine What We Could Do!

  • Renewable Energy for new jobs, economic growth and energy independence.  We dont have to put the oil companies out of business, many sell overseas already!
  • Create many small and medium sized dams used for fishing, recreation, power generation, and irrigation or water management.  These could hold some of the flood waters and reduce the damage to cities.
  • Saving thousands of American Lives!
  • Light Rail elevated transport for public transportation that is still usable even in flooded areas.
  • Improved Public Transit for more jobs and better standards of living.  Improved Tourism too!
  • Economic growth in short term jobs such as construction, mining, and manufacturing.
  • Permanent new jobs in renewable energy and tech sectors.
  • A safer and more prosperous America!
And really is hat not what money for National Defense is supposed to be for?
One thing I would love to see but would be a technical challenge is pipes from lower lying areas to the dams that act as sump pumps. That would be very expensive and technically challenging but if it works could further reduce flooding and speed recovery.

Some Links (Recent data is harder to come by and current data has been pulled by the Trump Administration).