(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘BUND’)
As most of the folks who are so kind as to stop in and read some of my articles once in a while know, I write a lot of my articles simply trying to get the readers to think from a different angle than the one they are used to seeing the world through. This is one of those articles, I am going to stomp on your toes with. I am going to look at the world through the eyes of the ‘very’ far right, so I guess that makes me a Republican right away. Just as all those bleeding heart Liberals are all Democrats. If you believe that there are some people who care more about how many dollars are in their portfolio then they do about the low life scum sucking up to the system, not paying their own way then I would say you are seeing my angle.
About a week or so ago as I lay in bed saying my nightly prayers I remember this stat that popped up in my head. I was thanking the Lord for His kindness to me here in this life He gave me when the ‘thought’ came into my head that in all reality I have been blessed with a physical life that is better than so many billions of people in this world today. When I think of all the people in the world at this very moment who are going to bed starving or are living in a conflict zone. What about the people in Africa who are living in mud huts with no protection from the wild life, think about living in a place and in a condition where at any moment a Lion or two or three could just walk right in your hut with you. It is the truth that each and every evening when I lay down to sleep there are billions of people who right now, is worse off than me, and probably you.
I believe that the last few times that I have heard it referenced, I have heard that the world is now supporting a little over seven billion people. How many of ‘these people’ are needing ‘us others’ to pay their way for them? World wide, what you think, at least one billion people not producing, just costing? Would the Governments of China and India thank you if you could magically make about three hundred million of their poorest people just disappear? Here in the U.S., the guess is we have about 340 million people on our piece of the Rock that we could lose at least 30 or 40 million, nobody would miss them. All those bums on welfare all the time, food stamps, housing allowances, aid for dependent children. Then of course we got all those lazy bums on Social Security and VA pensions and disabilities. You know if a man can’t work, why should I have to feed him? If you yourself haven’t made enough money to retire on, not counting any aforementioned tax payers money, then you shouldn’t be retiring until you have your own money and don’t you be counting on me giving you any of mine.
Does that sound petty enough? How about rude and hate filled? I know that I am personally quite tired of hearing programs like Social Security being referred to as welfare by these same politicians who are and have been stealing every dollar the people have ever put into it. I like the politicians that even go so far as to call Military retirement disability payments as welfare. Yet I have never heard of a politician refusing his retirement checks from the Senate or the House or referring to them as being welfare. And of course you know that everyone gets the same retirement program as they do, now about their medical insurance…
In all seriousness folks at what time does it become a period of serfdom? When serf’s can no longer serve, then they serve no purpose so they should be done away with and not continue to use up life resources. Unless you are very naive you know that there are some people in the world today that feel this way right now. What I am saying is that I believe that as human time passes on toward our end, that the few will totally squash the many.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s prime minister announced Saturday that 110 people have died from hunger in the past 48 hours in a single region as a severe drought threatens millions of people across the country.
It was the first death toll announced by Somalia’s government since it declared the drought a national disaster on Tuesday. The United Nations estimates that 5 million people in this Horn of Africa nation need aid, amid warnings of a full-blown famine.
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire spoke during a meeting with the Somali National Drought Committee. The death toll he announced is from the Bay region in the southwest part of the country alone.
Somalia was one of four regions singled out by the U.N. secretary-general last month in a $4.4 billion aid appeal to avert catastrophic hunger and famine, along with northeast Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen. All are connected by a thread of violent conflict, the U.N. chief said.
The U.N. humanitarian coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, was expected to visit Somalia in the next few days.
Thousands have been streaming into Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in search of food aid, overwhelming local and international aid agencies. Over 7,000 internally displaced people checked into one feeding center recently.
The drought is the first crisis for Somalia’s newly elected Somali-American leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Previous droughts and a quarter-century of conflict, including ongoing attacks by extremist group al-Shabab, have left the country fragile. Mohamed has appealed to the international community and Somalia’s diaspora of 2 million people for help.
About 363,000 acutely malnourished children in Somalia “need urgent treatment and nutrition support, including 71,000 who are severely malnourished,” the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network has warned.
Because of a lack of clean water in many areas, there is the additional threat of cholera and other diseases, U.N. experts say. Some deaths from cholera already have been reported.
The government has said the widespread hunger “makes people vulnerable to exploitation, human rights abuses and to criminal and terrorist networks.”
The U.N. humanitarian appeal for 2017 for Somalia is $864 million to provide assistance to 3.9 million people. But the U.N. World Food Program recently requested an additional $26 million plan to respond to the drought.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ASHARQ AL-AWSAT DAILY NEWS PAPER OF SAUDI ARABIA)
Aden – Houthi rebels in Yemen detained six Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) national staff and a contracted driver in the Red Sea district of Hodeidah, according to a statement issued by the Council on Monday.
The detention seemed to be based on the fact that when the NRC staff opened the hygiene kit boxes at the distribution, they came to learn that the boxes, which had no markings on the outside, had a text written on the inside of the boxes that said: “The campaign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for emergency response.”
The boxes were dated January 2015, before the conflict escalated in March 2015 and were originally used for food.
They had been reused by the contracted vender as hygiene kits packaging. Recycling like this is common in the country.
The Oslo-based non-governmental organization confirmed that it is impartial and does not take sides, stressing that it takes this issue extremely seriously and is currently investigating the matter.
“Our highest priorities now are to safeguard the safety and security of our staff, and investigate this matter fully. We are in contact with the local authorities, and we request that the authorities guarantee the safety, security and well-being of our staff in al-Hudaydah, which has been assured.”
In a statement carried by Yemen’s pro-government Sabanew.net news website, Local Affairs Minister Abdul Raqib Fattah said that the staff had been “abducted” by Houthi rebels from the aid group’s offices in the Hali district of Hodeida.
I hope that I am wrong about this belief but I am writing this article, this note, to you today because I don’t think I am wrong. So that you won’t go off on the wrong thought direction I will tell you that I voted for Gary Johnson in the Presidential election last month. I am a registered Independent but that is not the reason I voted for Mr. Johnson. I voted for him because I knew he would not win, you see I just couldn’t get myself to vote for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton. To me, both of those folks just had too much negative baggage about them in regards to what I believed they would bring to the Presidency for me to be able to vote for them. Mrs. Clinton had a track record of negatives while working in D.C., Mr. Trump had a lot of bad baggage but we the people could at least hope that everything coming out of his mouth wasn’t a lie. Now both of these candidates had some good ideas as does each of their Parties, but they also have some huge negatives.
With Mr. Trump after he won the election what I have been looking toward was whom were the people he was going to put into his Cabinet. We now know exactly where Mr. Trump’s mindset is as far as his campaign rhetoric about “making America great again.” Mr. Trump chose a Congressman from South Carolina to oversee the National Budget and how the Government’s revenues will be spent. He just like the Republican Leadership in the House and the Senate are against Mr. Trump’s plan to rebuild the Nation’s infrastructure which has a preliminary estimate price tag of one trillion dollars. From being an over the road truck driver for thirty plus years I know first hand that this has been needed to be done for at least the past thirty years, of that I have no doubt. His new budget man though says no to this program, unless the Federal Government cuts a trillion dollars in ‘waste’ that it is now spending. The issue though is that to the Republicans ‘waste’ is things like the food stamp program, Social Security retirement and disability programs, Military retirement and VA disability programs, I believe you get the idea. Yet, you know that there is something that I have never once heard these Congressmen, Senators, or former Presidents talk about cutting and that is their lavish ‘amenities’ they are getting right now, or the lavish retirement packages they get when they retire or are voted out of office. Back when “war hero” George H.W.Bush was President he tried to turn over all of the Nation’s road systems to the States so that they could make every road in America a “toll” road. He wanted to do this to lessen the burden on the Federal Government. This has always puzzled me since the Federal Government receives billions of dollars in road use fuel taxes, I have always wondered where all those billions go every year since they are not being spent on the roads and bridges. Yet the biggest “show” of his support for wounded American Veterans was that while he was in Office he tried to save money by cutting the cost of the VA. The issue is, that he wanted to make it to where for a Service Connected Veteran to be able to get care at the VA they had to be a minimum of %50 Service Connected, wait for it, he also was trying to get it to where for a wounded Veteran to get %50 they had to be at the very least a quadriplegic (no working arms or legs). Sorry about being sidetracked there, it just disgusts me how pathetic these pariah can be.
Now, back to our current President Elect, Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has made it no secret that he believes that the Federal minimum wage is too high. This is the reason why he has had and is having everything with his name on it, not counting buildings obviously, he has made in ‘offshore’ countries where slave wages are the norm. Plus these countries do not have the EPA regulations for their companies to worry about. The reality is the richer the people the less they give a flip about the poorest of the poor, it is always all about how much profit they can put into their own pocket. Besides, there are billions of dirt poor starving people, why should they care if billions of them die? You will know that in public statements they will say they do, but in the closed-door boardrooms of these international companies, do you really believe that is their opinion there? Think about it, as soon as a company that is on the open market boards says they are laying off workers, their stock values go up at once. When a company on the Stock Market says they are closing a factory in the U.S. and moving it to Mexico, Honduras, or China, the value of their stock goes up. Even the soon to be ‘First Daughter’ learned this from her Daddy, look at where her products are all made, hint, it’s not in the U.S..
Mr. Trump says that he is going to cut the Corporate tax rate from its current %35 to %15 to help stimulate companies profits. He also says he is going to punish companies that move their jobs ‘offshore’ by putting a huge tariff like %35 on all the products they then try to bring back into the States to sell here. As an Independent, I do not have a problem with either of these programs, I believe that Companies need to be strong financially for them to expand and to create new jobs. My issue is that Mr. Trump is very anti-Union and he is in favor of lowering the minimum wage. So, if his policies are designed to cut the welfare programs and put people back to work, are these jobs really actually going to pay a livable wage? Remember, Mr. Trump thinks that the folks at Carrier in Indianapolis are losing their jobs because they are making too much money and that Carrier was needing to move their factories to Mexico because of cheaper wages and benefits there. Mr. Trump has also told the workers in the American Auto Industry that they are making too much money that they need to take pay cuts. Mr. Trump talks about how a former steelworker who lost their job because of unfair labor laws in China and is now flipping burgers knows about the good jobs disappearing here in America. Well, my question to Mr. Trump is if you help bring back the steelworkers job to America but he has to work for 6 or 7 dollars per hour with no benefits, no overtime pay and no OSHA or EPA regulations to help keep them safe and alive how are they any better off than flipping burgers for at McDonald’s or working a register at Wal-Mart?
I know this is not going to happen, but here is a solution to some semblance of income equality. Right now there is no cap on how much the top end of a company’s executives can earn, the limits are only on the working class and those limits are put into place by the top end. So, Congress should pass a federal law where there can not be more than a 100 times income difference law on all companies and this would have to include total packages, stocks, bonds, benefits, insurances ect. This is where whatever the lowest paid person in the company makes, no one in the company can make more than 100 times that amount. As I said, it will never happen because it is those same top end folks that bribe the Congressmen and Senators to make sure that it never happens. This is a humanity issue, yes it is an income equality issue also, but for any Country to survive then there must be a vibrant middle class and a system where the lowest end of the financial scale has an honest chance to work their way up into that middle class. If we do not correct the current trends of only the wealthiest being able to afford a humane life style we are seeing the signs now where America is going to fall apart from the inside. By the choices Mr. Trump is making for his Cabinet I don’t believe he gives a flip about the American working class, his picks are showing that he only cares about the top 1/10 of 1%. I believe that to put it in layman’s terms, for the next two years there may begin to be more jobs but they are not likely to be livable wage jobs. The reason I said two years is because if I am correct and this is what happens, in two years the Republicans will lose the House and the Senate and in four years Mr. Trump will go back to his vacation.
(This Article Is Courtesy Of The Huffington Post)
They voted for him in droves. In a remarkable political shift, the white working class who have seen their wages decline over decades thanks to shameless pandering to Wall Street and big business by both political parties, finally gave up on the Democrats and threw their lot in with billionaire businessman Donald Trump.
Some have tried to argue that the switch didn’t really have to do with economics but the numbers say otherwise. According to CNN exit polling, voters earning under $30K shifted towards Trump by 16 percent. Trump won 79 percent of those who said the economy was poor. Even Trump’s embrace of white nationalism is after all a form of economic protectionism. If you feel there’s a limited pie, then you’ve got a better shot at your slice if you don’t have to compete against those “other” people. With his pick for Labor Secretary though Trump revealed exactly what kind of President he’s going to be for those who had any doubts. Trump is not going to save the working class, he’s going to destroy it.
Meet your next Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder. He is the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He thinks to Make America Great Again, we need to pay workers less or ideally, give their jobs to robots. I’m not kidding. In an interview with Business Insider, Puzder explained that he thought getting the workers out of the restaurant biz would be a great thing because robots are: “…always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”
Oh human beings and their unreasonable desire to earn enough to live AND not be discriminated against. It’s all so inconvenient for corporate CEO’s like Puzder. We should just relegate these service jobs to the dustbin of history the way we already did with so-called “old economy” jobs. You know, the kind that actually allowed you to eat, buy a house, and pay the bills all at the same time. #MAGA.
By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient
Now virtually no one aspires to a fast food job. Folks like Puzder who want to keep wages at their current level of roughly $18K per year like to pretend fast food jobs are just starter jobs for teenagers. I mean, these aren’t the sort of jobs that you are expected to raise a family on, right? Well, this is as much of a fantasy as the idea that Trump is a working class hero. Seventy percent of fast food workers are older than 20. The average age of a fast food worker is 29.
The reason for this is simple: low-paying service jobs are what our economy creates now even as middle class jobs decline. A majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession were middle-income jobs. A majority of those gained were low wage. Food service prep, cashier, and sales clerk are the three most common jobs in the country employing some 10 million plus American workers. If you automate those three jobs, what will replace them? Low-paying service work may not be ideal but it beats the heck out of no jobs at all. People who view the loss of these 10 million jobs as a great thing are the same type of people who drive through the derisively named “Rust Belt” and see “creative destruction” and “progress” instead of destroyed communities and destroyed lives.
Lest you think Puzder’s worker contempt is out of step with Trump’s supposed populism, Trump himself begs to differ. In a typically whiny and petty reaction to criticism, Trump tweeted this week that Carrier’s union workers themselves were responsible for the company deciding to ship jobs overseas.
He tweeted: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.” Puzder shares Trump’s “blame the worker” mentality and has no sympathy for workers seeking to earn a higher wage. Speaking with Business Insider, he blamed his own push towards automation on wage growth. In Puzder’s world, it’s not his fault if Hardee’s workers are replaced with robots even though as CEO of the company he is in fact the one making exactly that decision.
Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham.
The fault really lies with all of those high on the hog living workers with their $18K per year incomes and the advocates who would outrageously push to make those wages higher. You will not be surprised to learn then that one of Puzder’s favorite pastimes is penning Wall Street Journal op-eds on why lifting the minimum wage would just be dreadful. Typical line: “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?” Exactly. So why not get rid of the minimum wage altogether and pay Sally the 50 cents per hour that you apparently think she’s worth?
I’ll tell you why. Because once long ago, we decided as a nation that we valued our workers. We believed that we would all prosper if American workers earned enough to buy the goods and services they produce. We decided that workers shouldn’t toil for 40 hours a week and still live in poverty. Visionaries like Henry Ford understood this, and FDR, and the labor leaders who fought to birth the great American middle class which used to be the envy of the world. You want to make America great again? Try connecting with that American past.
By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient or when those workers become a penny more costly than a touch screen computer. He has thrown his lot in with those who view a future of endless Gilded Age inequality as inevitable. By choosing Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary, Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.
Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham. The man rails against companies shipping jobs overseas while he makes his own schlocky crap in Mexico and Bangladesh for God’s sake. He stiffs contractors. He buys his steel from China. He illegally busts unions at his gaudy casinos! It is time for those of us who actually care about workers and see them as human beings rather than an expense item on the balance sheet, to stop licking our wounds and start fighting for those who will suffer the most under President Trump.
Within My Gaze (The Alpha Wolf)
I see my picture
Upon T-Shirts, paintings and plates
Displayed proudly upon your walls
You think me to be warm and cuddly
Domesticated easily like your lap dog hounds
Only to the giant bear
Have I ever backed down
You come to my home
To sleep, laugh, and play
When was the last time
You ever seen me walking down your streets
More ignorant than the lamb I had this morning
My belly is grumbling as the dark sets in
Do you now think I am so cute and cuddly
As I back you down,
Your eyes glued, within my gaze
Yours truly, the alpha WOLF!
Tonight has been another one of those sleepless night for me, I have these sleep issues a lot. So, after going to bed about 12:30 AM I laid there until 4 AM and decided to go ahead and get up. About the only thing I do these days is to sit here at my desk tapping around on my laptop or watching the TV. We happen to have two cats that are both spoiled rotten but the oldest of the two can get on your last nerve like he is doing right now. Earlier this past evening he was asleep in my wheelchair here beside me. All of a sudden we could here him letting out little odd sounding moans in his sleep. My wife and I both said the same thing, he is probably having a dream about food as that seems to be about the only thing he ever thinks about. He is still sitting here beside me looking up at me making different sounds, we know this routine. If I get up he will walk straight to the kitchen and sit and look up at the cabinet where the kitty treats are at, or he will run to their food bowl in the main bathroom. If he can see the bottom at any spot in the bowl he thinks he is going to starve to death if we don’t refill it. This little boy is not so little anymore, it seems like his belly is the only thing he ever thinks about while he is awake, and I really wonder if he dreams of chicken, fish, and turkey. But, then again, I am sitting here munching on peanut butter crackers and it is not like I’m skinny myself. Yet I do not recall ever actually having a dream about food, any food, not even my favorite things like fried chicken, cold seedless watermelon, white grapes or crispy bacon.
Moki (the cat) is the one who got me to thinking about this title and the more I thought about it the more I realized that all cat jokes aside, this is quite the serious issue. When I was a child I remember having to always clean my plate even if the items on it tasted horrible to me, I had no choice. Every once in a while my Mom would make a comment about ‘all those starving kids in Africa’ as a way to guilt trip me I guess, yet I knew that what she was saying was the truth. When I was a child we never had an abundance of food but we always had enough so that none of us starved to death even if we did feel hungry at times. As I became an adult I came to realise that here in the U.S. we had/have millions of people who go hungry everyday, this issue is not just an African problem, it is a worldwide problem. I sometimes watch TV programs where professional Chefs go all over the world and try different dishes/foods. Some of the things these guys eat would turn my stomach before it ever made it to my mouth let alone my stomach. Yet, honestly, think about it. There are millions of people who will and do dig through garbage cans and landfill dumps everyday looking for something to eat. There is also the reality that there are many people in this world today that are literally starving to death everyday. I wonder, if a person who has not had a bite to eat in 2 or 3 weeks, do they dream of food? I have had times in my life been where I had to go without any food for 2 or 3 days each week while I was waiting on my Friday paycheck. I got used to it, it was reality, yet, I do not ever remember having a dream where I was chasing a rabbit or a squirrel around a parking lot. How about you, have you experienced hunger and there was no food in your home and no money to buy even a pack of crackers with? Have you ever had dreams about jumping out of bed and grabbing and eating the south end of a northbound skunk?
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)
9 accused of running US$36m seafood smuggling operation
NINE suspects in a case involving 3,000 tons of smuggled frozen seafood worth 250 million yuan (US$36 million) have been handed to the procuratorate, the customs authority said yesterday.
The 3,000 tons includes valuable spot prawns — popular in Japanese dishes — lobsters and snow crabs.
The authority said it began to suspect smuggling in April last year when two companies owned by the same man, surnamed He, declared the value of the imported spot prawns at US$5-$8 per kilogram, much lower than the market price.
It said the value of imports of spot prawns was normally declared at US$28-38 per kilogram and that smuggling damaged the legitimate market.
After further investigation, the authority found He was also suspected of smuggling frozen seafood through southern Guagnxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, by transporting the products to Vietnam first and then using ordinary trucks to ship the seafood into China in smaller amounts.
This means the seafood would not be protected by refrigerated vehicles for two to three hours while they were in the smaller trucks.
The authority said some of the seafood detained in Guangxi was in damaged packaging or of poor quality.
“If the food is spoiled, it’s very difficult to trace the origin of smuggled products,” Tang Wenhua, president of the Shanghai Cold Chain Association told Shanghai Television Station. “The consumer’s food safety therefore could be hardly guaranteed.”
He is accused of smuggling 220 tons of spot prawns via Guangzi in 2014 using fake customs declarations.
Most of the produce were sold in Shanghai, and nearby Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.
But the total amount of declared spot prawns imported legally through Shanghai port that year was only about 80 tons.
The customs authority said He was able to cut the cost of his prawns by 30-40 yuan per kg, undermining the market price.
The nine were handed to the procuratorate after the last suspect was caught in October. He and seven others were caught in November last year.
More than 15 tons of Boston lobsters detained in one customs action were sold for 1.23 million yuan in an open auction in March this year and the money went to the national Treasury, the authority said.