Closing Thought–12Dec18

It appears that things are not getting better for the citizens of the US when it comes to life expectancy…..

In 1918, the double whammy of World War I and the worldwide flu pandemic drove down American life expectancy for a third year in a row. A century later, another triple-year decline has been recorded—and this time, suicide and drug overdoses are major causes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual report, US life expectancy dropped to 78 years and 7 months in 2017, down around a month from the year before, the AP reports. Men could expect to live 76.1 years, and women 81.1. Public health experts called the statistics alarming, noting that early deaths among middle-aged people did the most to bring life expectancy down. After 22 years of steady rises, life expectancy dropped in 2015 and again in 2016, though it will need to drop a lot more to reach the level of 1918, when life expectancy was 39.

“These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement. Another CDC report found that the number of drug overdose deaths rose almost 6,600 in 2017 to 70,237, CNN reports. The suicide rate rose to its highest in at least 50 years, with rates much higher in rural counties than in urban ones. Another factor was a harsh flu season. Experts say they find it worrying that in the US, life expectancy is going in a different direction than in most developed nations. “Life expectancy is improving in many places in the world. It shouldn’t be declining in the United States,” Joshua Sharfstein at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tells the Washington Post. (A recent study predicted that by 2040, there will be 63 countries with higher life expectancy than the US.)

Technology and medical leaps have done little to make the life span of an American get any longer……we can only hope that these stats get better…..but I do not feel they will….not in today’s world.

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Where Oh Where Did The Economy Go?

If you are a junkie for this president then you will know about the extremely good economy that he is presiding over, right?

Then explain the yo-yo effect in the last week.  Something has investors nervous.  Wassup wit dat?

We hear that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created…..or the factories that are re-opening….on and on…..but just how good is this economy for those that do not have legacy money or lots of zeros in a bank account?

The U.S. mobility rate dropped again to a new low in 2017, with just 10.1% of Americans moving homes, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: Economic opportunity isn’t enough to get people moving anymore. And less mobility could mean the wealthy areas of the U.S. continue to accumulate wealth, while the poorer areas will remain poor because people are less likely to move for better jobs and companies are less likely to move for cheaper labor.

https://www.axios.com/americans-not-moving-economy-booming-mobility-acea1512-0f7d-45e2-a8b1-dd8ea02ea1bb.html

With all the great news about the economy then why is there still abject poverty?  Why is that?

What does it mean to be poor? Currently there are two basic ways to define poverty. To get a better measure of who needs help — and a better sense of how to provide it — society needs a third definition.

The first definition is absolute poverty — essentially, material destitution. Human beings need food, water and shelter, and if we can’t afford these things, life is pretty miserable. In the U.S., the federal government has poverty guidelines that are based on food consumption: If you make less than about three times the minimum amount people need to spend on food each year, you’re poor.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-26/poverty-in-america-greater-than-statistics-indicate

THe American Dream is dead….dead….dead…..and who can we say killed it?

Donald Trump, during a recent stop on his “Anarchy in the UK” tour, argued that the mass influx of immigrants into Europe is causing Great Britain and other nations to “lose their culture.” The fear of cultural dilution and transformation as a consequence of shifting demographics is widespread, and it resonates in the United States, too, especially among those who support the current president.

Stephen Bannon, Tucker Carlson, and other popular right-wing figures have warned of threats to national identity in an American context, contending that Mexicans will not assimilate and that Islam is incompatible with liberal democracy and secular governance. Liberals and libertarians often respond by recalling the long tradition of assimilation in American history, along with the outrage that often accompanies new arrivals. Nearly every ethnic group, from the Italians to the Chinese, has been the target of political and social hostility. It is an old story, but one worth telling, and it is an old debate, but one worth having. Border sovereignty, even to someone like me who probably favors more liberal immigration laws than most TAC readers, is a legitimate issue and not to be easily dismissed.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/corporate-capitalists-killed-american-identity/

But if things are as bad as all this then why is Trump trumpeting(no pun intended) his support for the Middle Class and all Americans?

President Trump’s iron clad campaign promise that auto layoffs would cease has evaporated into hot air. At his rustbelt rallies Trump insisted that if he won the election the auto industry would so fear him that they would not only end layoffs of American workers, but bring back the factories they had built overseas.

Late last month, General Motors announced it would slash its salaried workers by 15 percent and terminate one in four of its executives. The “reset” will be felt well beyond the company’s Oshawa plant in Ontario, Lordstown, Ohio, Detroit and Warren, Michigan and White Marsh, Maryland GM targeted for layoffs.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/trumps-concern-working-class-just-convenient-campaign-slogan/

If you have money then you are smiling….if you have no savings then you are worried about the coming year……pretty much America as usual.

By The Way….remember those tax cuts that were gonna makes us all wealthier?

Most Americans expect to pay less in federal taxes this year, after President Trump and Republicans in Congress passed a last-minute tax bill last December.

But thanks to a rule change that the Internal Revenue Service made Thursday, a lot of Americans will reportedly be paying a bit more in taxes in 2019 than they thought they would–and even more in later years. Eventually, maybe a lot more.

It all comes down to a simple math equation, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal–or more accurately a series of simple math equations. Because the tax law uses particular dollar amounts to establish thresholds for different things–tax brackets, the amounts of deductions, etc.–the IRS has to adjust many of these numbers for inflation each year.

Step Right Up

***First I need to state that I am NOT endorsing nor am I compensated for any product mentioned in this post***

Sundays in the Fall….a lovely time of the year……and as usual I want to help my readers understand stuff and hopefully I can entertain them as well…..

I got one of those irritating ads on my Twitter account…..the ad made me think of something from the past…..the “Snake Oil Salesman”…..

You may be too young to know much about the time or the people that were called this “insult”…..but again as usual…I can help……

“Snake Oil Salesman.” The phrase conjures up images of seedy profiteers trying to exploit an unsuspecting public by selling it fake cures. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines snake oil as “a quack remedy or panacea.” What the OED does not note, however, is that the history of snake oil is linked to an often forgotten chapter of Asian-American history.

But what, exactly, is snake oil? And why is peddling it such a terrible thing?

The 1800s saw thousands of Chinese workers arriving in the United States as indentured laborers to work on the Transcontinental Railroad. According to historian Richard White’s book Railroaded, about 180,000 Chinese immigrated to the United States between 1849 and 1882. The vast majority of the workers came from peasant families in southeastern China and were signed to contracts that ran up to five years for relatively low wages (compared with their white counterparts), wrote David Haward Bain in his book Empire Express.

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/08/26/215761377/a-history-of-snake-oil-salesmen

I got an irritating ad (as I have said) on my Twitter account about the benefits of Hemp Oil……

Hemp Oil?  Really?

The protein and fiber in hemp combine to slow digestion, which prevents spikes in blood sugar and therefore sustains your body’s energy. A diet rich in hemp promotes digestive regularity.

When sprinkled on your cereal or fruit at breakfast, hemp protein and fiber also help aid in satiety, which will prevent you from snacking and keep you fuller longer.

The Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Hemp seeds are one of the few Omega-3 sources found in plants.

The Omega-6 fatty acids in hemp stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and help the brain function.

Hemp seeds contain essential amino acids, which improves muscle control, mental function, and normal body maintenance of cells, muscle, tissues, and organs.

(cannabliss-labs.com)

After visiting the site and reading their “pitch” I first thought of a Snake Oil Salesman and the I recalled a song by Tom Waits…..

Time out…..chuq

Chipping The Workers!

I am a dog person and I love my friends so I have them micro-chipped so they can be quickly identified and they can be returned home in the shortest space of time safely.

Look at that face!

It is wonderful technology……but only it used properly.

But would you consider being micro-chipped by your employer?

The prospect of UK firms implanting their staff with microchips in order to improve security and efficiency has raised concerns among trade unions.

Several legal and financial firms in the UK are reportedly in discussions with a company responsible for fitting thousands of people with chips in Scandinavia.

The chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are usually implanted beneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger and use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow people to replace physical key cards, IDs and even train tickets.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/microchip-uk-workers-employees-privacy-bioteq-biohax-cbi-tuc-trade-union-a8629656.html

Personally, I do not want my employer chipping me….that would give they way too much control over my life….a control that they want to possess.

Anyone else have a thought on this?

Then I shall say TTFN…be well. be safe……chuq

Buck Up Nancy Boy!

Another Saturday and another weekend and another couple days of mental rest…..

For a couple of years there has been this war of “political correctness”……an attempt to make people happy….you know sort of like the war on Christmas bullshit…..where there is this hidden agenda to crap on Christmas by forcing people to say Happy Holidays instead of the more traditional one…..

Political Correctness is a made up problem that idiots use to avoid any real thought…..and these days it can only get worse…..but with that said…..

Actually I found another one of these stupid, mindless psuedo-trend…..where so not of offend vegans we should not say such phrases as “bring home the bacon”…..

You may think phrases like “bringing home the bacon” and “putting all your eggs in one basket” are harmless quirks of the English language, but they could be offending vegans and vegetarians, with one academic claiming they might end up being avoided altogether as a result.

As research shows more people are removing animal products from their diets than ever before, Shareena Hamzah of Swansea University says idioms involving animal products could be rendered obsolete because they are out of touch with the zeitgeist.

Writing for The Conversation, the researcher explains how meat-based metaphors are a popular staple of our everyday vernacular but that an increased awareness in the environmental and ethical issues surrounding meat production “will undoubtedly be reflected in our language and literature” and that this language may no longer be so widely accepted.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/bringing-home-bacon-vegan-offensive-idom-shareena-hamzah-phrases-animals-a8664796.html

Really?

So now there is a War on Veganism?

I have only one thought on this situation…..the term veganism makes me ill so………. buck up Nancy and get over yourself!

I personally do not care if their sensibilities are offended by meat or honey or eggs or cheese……only one more thought…..

Seriously?

Fire up the fire pit and put a slab of parsnip on the barbie…..

Damn!  I be hungry….later my friends….chuq

Where’s That Middle Class?

I would post on that diabolical “caravan” but it seems to have vanished off the news…..go figure……

Now that the Midterms are over and we have a new Democratic House…..there is one question I want to ask them……”whatcha ya gonna do” for the Middle Class?

How many times have you heard a reference to the “Middle Class” by your politicians?

The Middle Class use to be the poster child for capitalism and for the US.  The Middle Class expands and the economic society is healthy and progressing….

Sad to say that the Middle Class nowadays is nothing but a slogan in the same vane as “patriotism, veterans, etc”….a campaign slogan that few believe any longer…..

Like or not the “bourgeois is getting recast as the proletariat”…..interesting concept right?

The American Conservative has a view on the Middle Class that every American should read……

Everyone loves the middle class. Everyone claims to be middle-class—some to put a gloss on their sketchy escutcheons, others to dodge chastisement for their awkward riches. But in fact both the socioeconomic reality and the concept of the middle class have been turned on their heads and, at the same time, trivialized into a mere lifestyle choice.

Economically, the middle classes were once proprietors, self-employed owners of property and their own labor. Morally, they were the equivalent of “solid citizens”: decent, hard-working, law-abiding, temperate, proper, staid, virtuous, and—well, moral. The qualifications for being middle class have gotten a whole lot looser, to say the least.

The European term “middle classes” originally served to describe merchants, tradesmen, investors, and skilled craftsmen. The habitat of these classes was the walled city—the burg, bourg, or borough—hence their appellation, les bourgeois. The bourgeoisie occupied a middle ground between the nobility and the lower classes of peasants and servants.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-middle-class/

Wages flat….not what Trump wants the “Middle Class” to believe…..we are now divided into two distinct classes…..wealthy and worker…..as long as the corruption continues the chances of a reset are looking better and better…..

Things are changing……

“Out of the frying pan, into the fire” is an apt description of our current place in history. No matter what you think of globalization, I believe we’ll soon discover that capitalism without it is much, much worse.

No one needs to convince establishment economists, politicians and pundits that the absence of globalization and growth spells trouble. They’ve pushed globalization as the Viagra of economic growth for years. But globalization has never been popular with everyone. Capitalism’s critics recognize that it generates tremendous wealth and power for a tiny fraction of the Earth’s seven billion people, makes room for some in the middle class, but keeps most of humanity destitute and desperate, while trashing the planet and jeopardizing human survival for generations to come.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/01/catabolism-capitalisms-frightening-future/

The Middle Class is disappearing……what will the new “House” do to change that?

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?