Screw The Elderly!

Closing Thought–05Sep19

When I was forced to retire I was fortunate that I had a good pension and Medicare but too many seniors must depend on others for some of the necessities like FOOD.

When I was working for the State I saw just how good such programs as Meals On Wheels were….but that successful program has run into monetary problems thanx to the GOP and their cuts to programs like Meals On Wheels……to the point that many seniors are going hungry.

And government relief falls short. One of the main federal programs helping seniors is starved for money. The Older Americans Act — passed more than half a century ago as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society reforms — was amended in 1972 to provide for home-delivered and group meals, along with other services, for anyone 60 and older. But its funding has lagged far behind senior population growth, as well as economic inflation.

The biggest chunk of the act’s budget, nutrition services, dropped by 8% over the past 18 years when adjusted for inflation, an AARP report found in February. Home-delivered and group meals have decreased by nearly 21 million since 2005. Only a fraction of those facing food insecurity get any meal services under the act; a U.S. Government Accountability Office report examining 2013 data found 83% got none.

https://truthout.org/articles/meals-on-wheels-is-starved-for-cash-leaving-many-seniors-hungry/

This should be unacceptable to ALL Americans.

I feel certain that somewhere some mental midget will try and blame this on immigrants…..as they always do to hide their racism……but this would not be a problem if diverted funds were used where they were needed……a wall is not that spot.

By the way….China built a wall to stop “immigrants” and it stopped nothing…..money pissed away just as the US is doing today.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Sunday Thoughts

Retirement!

AS a Baby Boomer I am enjoying my retirement but sadly too many Americans cannot say the same thing…..too many find themselves in poverty after retirement….we all have heard about the elderly couple that has resorted to eating cat food….right?

This is a situation that should never have happened…..originally Social Security was to help prevent this but too many cowardly presidents, both parties, have seen fit to tap the SS funds to pay for pet projects.

Retirement should NEVER mean poverty!

Vivian Majors spent her life cleaning houses while her husband, Martin, worked as a carpenter.

Their bodies broke down in their 60s. Martin now lives in a nursing home and has Parkinson’s disease. Vivian, now 71, lives on her own and ekes by on a $960 in social security, plus $50 in food stamps.

Hardened by years of physically taxing work that left her hovering around the poverty line, Majors, now retired, is girding herself for more years of financial hardship.

Social Security supposedly wiped out the scourge of old-age poverty. But inequality has widened the gap between the secure and insecure in all age groups, exposing American seniors to financial distress in ways that often go unnoticed.

According to research from the University of Massachusetts Boston, material hardship bedevils millions of Americans like Majors.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/29/retirement-shouldnt-mean-poverty

The big news of the day is the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso,,,,,,,

A suspect is in custody after a mass shooting left 20 people dead at a Texas Walmart on Saturday, the New York Times reports. Police say a gunman entered the store with an AK-47-style rifle and opened fire just before 11am, injuring 26 others and causing general panic before giving himself up to police. Officials are considering capital murder charges for the man in custody, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, and are reading an anti-immigrant manifesto to see whether the gunman wrote it—which could turn the massacre into a terrorist act or federal hate crime. “Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas, changing policy to better suit their needs,” reads the manifesto, which says more Hispanics will make Texas “a Democrat stronghold.”

Over 1,000 customers and 100 employees were in the store at the time, including children holding a fundraiser, who were among those shot by the gunman, the El Paso Timesreports. “We heard shots and saw smoke,” says an eyewitness who works at McDonald’s in the store. “I saw a man on the floor full of blood.” A customer says he saw “people crying: children, old people, all in shock,” including a baby partly covered in blood. Nearby hospitals are treating the wounded, whose conditions and ages vary widely. The New York Times notes that El Paso is a mostly Hispanic city that has been flooded with thousands of Central American migrant families in recent months. “Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas,” President Trump tweeted. “Reports are very bad, many killed.”

While the country was hearing all about this particular shooting there was more news….some mass shooting was a popular activity for the weekend…..

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/police-responding-active-shooting-oregon-district/dHOvgFCs726CylnDLdZQxM/

10 dead, including suspect, in Dayton, Ohio mass shooting

The sad part about this other than the loss of life is that society is so nonchalant about these attacks….it has become so commonplace that few seem to care.

I cannot wait to see what worthless reporting will do to change things.

I’m disgusted!

“Lego Ergo Sum”

Closing Thought–09Jul19

Homelessness

Our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader in an interview with Tucker Carlson made known a revelation that homelessness was a two year old phenom….

WTF? Right?

I have been writing about the situation for at least 7 years but not to be tooting my own horn here are some of the post from IST…….

https://lobotero.com/2012/11/25/the-homeless-planet/

https://lobotero.com/2013/04/03/can-washington-get-vets-off-the-streets-tens-of-thousands-homeless-despite-billions-in-spending-in-plain-sight/

https://lobotero.com/2014/10/24/21-us-cities-restrict-sharing-food-with-homeless-people-popularresistance-org/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/24/homeless-and-hungry-just-another-country-song/

There is more but this is just a sampling……but now to why I fond the president’s statement as absurd…..

During his interview with President Trump that aired on Monday night on Fox News, Tucker Carlson got the president to weigh in on a topic that he and other Fox News hosts have devoted copious amounts of airtime to lately—homelessness in largely Democratic-run cities and states.

And, according to Trump, the homeless problem is a rather recent phenomenon.

Noting that they were in Japan during the president’s visit to the G-20 summit, Carlson contrasted the cleanliness of their metro areas to large American cities, adding that “there is no graffiti” or people “going to the bathroom on the streets” in Japan.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-to-tucker-on-fox-news-homelessness-is-a-phenomenon-that-started-two-years-ago

But if you hate to read then watch his comments…..

These deranged delusional rants are becoming more and more common…..almost like he may be losing his grip on reality…..but that is only my opinion.

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!

AI Is Coming For Your Job

Saturday cooler temps and a MoMo that is ready to go outside and chase something…matter not what….

Many people have been showing how AI will effect our society in the future……the one that most concerns me is the loss of jobs….

To begin with the prediction that half of all jobs will to lost in the future….

Almost half of all current jobs will become obsolete in just 15 years, according to one of China’s leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI).

Kai-Fu Lee, a writer, venture capitalist and technology executive who has over 30 years’ experience in AI, claims the world of employment is facing a crisis. He’ll appear on CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday to spread the word and warn those most at risk so they can start retraining for the new world. Lee also warns that education will need to adapt to prepare younger generations for the new landscape.

AI may be the future, but it can’t do everything, claims Lee, who says certain professions are safe from the revolution. Especially those that involve empathy or human to human interaction like therapists, nurses, teachers or doctors. Innovative and creative professions are also safe because AI generally struggles to do the work of scientists or to deal with the unknown.

https://www.rt.com/news/448524-ai-jobs-future-robot/

That is worldwide…but what will the predicted impact of AI will have on US jobs?

Robots aren’t replacing everyone, but a quarter of U.S. jobs will be severely disrupted as artificial intelligence accelerates the automation of existing work, according to a new Brookings Institution report.

The report, published Thursday, says roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs with “high exposure” to automation — meaning at least 70 percent of their tasks could soon be performed by machines using current technology. Among those most likely to be affected are cooks, waiters and others in food services; short-haul truck drivers; and clerical office workers.

“That population is going to need to upskill, reskill or change jobs fast,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings and lead author of the report.

Muro said the timeline for the changes could be “a few years or it could be two decades.” But it’s likely that automation will happen more swiftly during the next economic downturn. Businesses are typically eager to implement cost-cutting technology as they lay off workers.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ai-is-set-to-replace-36-million-us-workers-2019-01-24

30 million jobs….that is about 30 times as bad as the government shutdown has become.

Sorry to be a downer on this weekend but everyone needs to plan for the possibility of this loss.

Time for me to try and get some pruning of the fruit trees in….that will give MoMo something to play with…..

Homeless And Hungry (Just Another Country Song)

There are two situations that have been with us since the beginning and will be with us when this world ends its life cycle……homelessness and hunger.

The promise of politicians says that if you live right then these two situations will never know your name……well my dear friends….that is a LIE! (capitalized for effect)

Take homelessness…….

These men and women, and increasingly children, are the collateral damage of the corporate state, their dignity and lives destroyed by the massive transference of wealth upward, deindustrialization and the slashing of federal investment in affordable housing begun during the Reagan administration.

It is 8 a.m. I am in the small offices of Street Roots, a weekly newspaper that prints 10,000 copies per edition. Those who sell the newspaper on the streets—all of them victims of extreme poverty and half of them homeless—have gathered before heading out with their bundles to spend hours in the cold and rain.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/08/homeless-america

The necessities are shelter (home) and food…..in some regions food is almost a luxury item…..famine is always with us somewhere in the world….(BTW an Iphone is not a necessity)

Scientists are getting concerned about the global food supply…..

Researchers from Washington State University have published a new report of the Great Drought, the most destructive known drought of the past 800 years – and how it sparked the Global Famine that claimed the lives of 50 million people. The scientists warn that the Earth’s current warming climate could spark a similar drought, but even worse.

One of the lead researchers, Deepti Singh, a professor in WSU’s School of the Environment, used rainfall records and climate reconstruction models to characterize the environmental conditions leading up to the Great Drought, a period in the mid-1870s known for widespread crop failures across Asia, Brazil, and Africa. The drought was connected to the most extreme manifestation of the El Nino supercycle ever recorded.

“Climate conditions that caused the Great Drought and Global Famine arose from natural variability. And their recurrence — with hydrological impacts intensified by global warming — could again potentially undermine global food safety,” lead author Singh and her colleagues wrote in the Journal of Climate, published online Oct. 04.

The release of the study came days before the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global warming could cause intense droughts, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-15/scientist-warn-world-brink-major-famine-lead-severe-shocks-global-food-system

I realize that the term “climate change” is a dirty word in some circles…..but that should not matter…..making damn sure that the food supply holds should be a priority…..not a partisan issue….sadly it is not.

Why not?

On a side note….Americans lead the world in wasted food……Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, with people who have healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables the most wasteful, research has found.

About 150,000 tons of food is tossed out in US households each day, equivalent to about a third of the daily calories that each American consumes. Fruit and vegetables were the most likely to be thrown out, followed by dairy and then meat.

How pathetic is that?

Are You Hungry?

When I was a mere boy I recall when the government had a give-a-way……my grandmother would take us kids and wait in long lines for a couple of pounds of butter and some cheese….those were the days before food stamps and such…..

What made me think of those days gone by was something I read about another surplus the government has on its hands…..

There’s a lot of uncertainty these days. So here’s a comforting thought: The United States of America will not run out of cheese or meat anytime soon.

US dairy producers now have a 1.39 billion-pound surplus of cheese, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. As the Washington Post has noted, that’s the largest domestic reserve of cheddar, Swiss, American, and other cheese varieties on record.

It means there’s enough excess cheese to arm each American citizen with a hefty 4.6 pounds of the crumbly, melty, salty good stuff. Why is this happening? Simply put: US dairy producers have been overproducing milk. Thanks to selective breeding, American cows are more productive than ever. And when demand for milk and dairy goes down in the summer, dairy producers store their excess milk as cheese, which has a longer shelf life in cold storage.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/7/24/17606958/meat-cheese-surplus-visualized

You read that right……2.5 billion (with a “B”) pounds of surplus meat.

What is wrong with having more of these give-a-ways from the past?

My Saturday has started with a bang…..August in the Deep South…..100+ heat and humidity at about 90% or higher…..a joy to behold …..we have another 2 maybe 3 months of heat….I cannot wait for cooler temps……I miss my days in the garden sipping wine and watching the wildlife go by…..my property has become an unsanctioned refuge….I have many many birds, squirrels, raccoons, and who knows at night….anyway fun to watch them all interact….

Have a good day my friends and thanx for the visits this past week…..much appreciated…..be well, be safe……chuq