Fires!

Closing Thought–16Apr19

The world has heard of the catastrophic fire in the cathedral of Notre Dame…..and this is what we know so far….

At 6:20 p.m on Monday, the first call to emergency services came in, but no fire was visible at that time, Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz said. The first call mentioned a fire in the attic, according to the fire brigade.20 minutes later, a second alert was called in, and the fire was visible at that point, the prosecutor said.Around 400 firefighters were deployed to the scene but were delayed slightly by rush hour traffic.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/16/europe/notre-dame-explainer-scli-intl/index.html?no-st=1555429417

The media was fixated on Notre Dame…the third holiness sites of Islam was also aflame……

A fire broke out at the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem just as flames ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Footage showing smoke and fire emerging from the roof of a structure known as the Marwani Prayer Room, or Solomon’s Stables, could be seen on social media. The Palestine News Agency, the official outlet of the Palestinian National Authority, cited a guard as saying Monday that “the fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully.”

No injuries or damage was reported during the short blaze.

https://www.newsweek.com/notre-dame-fire-aqsa-mosque-1397259

All in all a bad day for holy sites……

 

Are You Middle Class?

Remember when that was something to strive for in your job search? Remember when that was the American Dream? Remember when you could work 40 hours a week and still have enough to live on and even save a little for retirement?

If you remember that then you are an old fart and are remembering something from the “good old days”.

The American Conservative has looked into the Middle Class……

Can we define the middle class in practical terms? To be sure, there are probably as many sociological definitions of the middle class as there are commentators seeking definitions. So let’s set aside the socio-swamp of beliefs, values, and taxonomies of class in favor of a definition with measurable thresholds.

Many commentators attempt to define the middle class by income, and people tend to self-report that they belong to the middle class based on income. The self-evident way to define the middle class by income is to set aside the top 10 percent (households earning $145,000 or more) and those defined as poor by the U.S. Census Bureau (households making less than $25,000), roughly 25 percent of all households.

Somewhere between the two is the middle class, though trying to narrow it down forces us into an impassable statistical thicket. For example, government agencies report income in different ways. The IRS reports individual tax returns (147 million) while other agencies report household income (117 million households).

Are You Really Middle Class?

If you are asking yourself….”what the Hell happened”? Then this can help explain it as simply as possible…..

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

We need to assign guilt to the best person….Ronald Reagan….his policies started this decline and it has never let up……

The Middle Class is quickly disappearing and as it does it is taking the American Dream with it.

And the GOP wants you to be happy with your decline…..

Listening to Republicans, it’s apparent they don’t have much respect for the intelligence of the American people.

Over 70 percent of Americans want a national health care system like every other developed country in the world has, but the GOP tells us that we just aren’t smart enough to make it work. It’ll be too confusing and complex for average Americans, they say, and, besides that, if the government “takes over” our health care system, we’re on our way to tyranny.

About two-thirds of Americans think that we should have free college education for anybody intellectually capable of attending, and free trade schools as well—like pretty much every other developed country in the world (and quite a few of the developing countries). Republicans tell us that we can’t use government funds to pay off our nation’s $1.5 trillion in student debt because we just borrowed that exact amount last year to give tax rebates to billionaires, so there’s nothing left. We’re just not smart enough to fix the problem.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/04/republicans-have-put-our-country-path-warp-speed-decline-and-they-want-you-think

As the article says….”as long as the GOP gets some of the people to believe their bullshit all the time”…..the rest of us are screwed!

On a side note……the Pentagon is also in the Middle Class screwing game……

According to SAIS Professor Hal Brands, progressives and Americans should embrace the social benefits military spending offers to the middle class. Not only does American military strength support the liberal world order that makes the world “safe for democracy,” Brands claimed, but military spending undergirds millions of middle-class jobs for service members, civilian employees, and contractors for the Pentagon.

In reality, the opposite is true: American military adventurism and massive spending undermines middle-class prosperity and makes the world less free and secure. A militarized approach to American foreign policy harms global freedom and security far more than it helps.

How the Pentagon Budget is a Threat to the Middle Class

You can stop this…….VOTE!

Vote for the candidate that has the best plan to stop this slide.

Vote for the candidate that best has the best interests of the country at heart.

VOTE!

Democrats: Same Old Game

A sad day as the world tries to come to grips with the loss of cultural landmark, Notre Dame, a cathedral not some football team……

2020 will be an election to remember….well that is the line the media wants us to believe…….but nothing will be further from the truth…..the GOP has been hijacked and stands for nothing….the Dems have a wealth of talent running for the nomination…..but what do they really have?

They have Bernie……and the old guard Dems and the media will do everything possible to paint him into bad light. We have Mayor Pete who is young and exciting in the early days but will his brand of progressivism catch fire? We have Beto but he is about as a closet conserv as any GOPer. Then we have a wealth of women all are capable and well worth a look….but for me they are nothing but a different gender looking for control to replace the old fart males that have dominated for so long…..Warren has a new way of thinking……there is also the only antiwar candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, that stand should speak for itself with American voters that care little.

Let’s be honest….the Democrats have NOT changed much since the glory days of FDR….the “new” ideas that they seem to embrace are from the freshman reps not the older experienced reps.

That our ailing health care…….”experienced” Democrat Senators have come up with a solution for our problems with health care….it is called “Medicare X”……this is a typical corporate move by corporate Dems…it does little to solve a problem…just sounds good…..

Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Michael Bennet reintroduced their “Medicare X” public option plan Tuesday in an effort expand health insurance coverage, but National Nurses United said the bill is “sub-par and wholly inadequate to address the healthcare crisis confronting our country.”

“The solution to fix our healthcare is clear: the Medicare for All Act of 2019 (H.R. 1384), which offers real patient choice, without devastating out of pocket costs,” said Cortez. “The Medicare for All Act is backed by over 100 members of Congress and will guarantee quality healthcare for everyone.”

Kaine readily admitted that his legislation would not fundamentally alter the current for-profit healthcare system, which has left 30 million Americans uninsured and over 80 million more underinsured.

 
Dems are doing what they always do…..demanding that the party embrace big business against the desire of the voter……
 
As the pool of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president continues to grow, so does a “sustained and ongoing” push to spread lies about them on social media—with one key aim being to sow division among progressive voters—according to an alarming Politico report published Wednesday.

Citing analyses by and conversations with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, the outlet reported:

Researchers and others interviewed for this story say they cannot conclusively point to the actors behind the coordinated activity. It’s unclear if they are rogue hackers, political activists or, as some contend, foreign state actors such as Russia, since it bears the hallmarks of past foreign attacks. One of the objectives of the activity, they say, is to divide the left by making the Democratic presidential primary as chaotic and toxic as possible.

Research by the pro-democracy tech firm Guardians.ai found that Sens. Kamala Harris(D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as well as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)—who has not formally announced his candidacy for president—appear to be the top targets.

‘Operation Divide the Left’: 2020 DNC Influence Campaign May Already Underway

Centrists are doing what they do……attempting to help big business and the progressives are fighting back……this time it is over minimum wage…..

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is fighting back against an attempt by centrist Democrats to undercut the push for a $15 federal minimum wage with legislation that would allow lower hourly pay in “rural areas.”

“We want to pass a full $15 minimum wage bill,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told Politico in an interview. “We’re very clear about that. Being in Congress means leading, and we need to lead on minimum wage.”

Politico first reported Thursday that leaders of the Progressive Caucus are “lobbying fellow Democrats to help extinguish” the moderate faction’s proposal, which is expected to be introduced on Thursday.

The moderates’ legislation—led by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.)—would establish a “regional wage” adjusted to local cost of living, as opposed to the $15 federal minimum proposed by the Raise the Wage Act.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/04/progressives-fight-back-against-centrist-democrats-ploy-water-down-15-minimum-wage

The media is doing their part to try and make the centrists more attractive to the public…..they promote the centrist cowards over other more forward looking candidates…..

Hopefully the voter will see through this and vote to make America greater than it is today.