Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Union: China Violating Trade Rules In Clean Energy

Zhuubaajie: You are quite mistaken. As a specific example, Japanese semiconductor manufacturers dumped (sold below cost) memory chips in the US until the American computer memory industry failed. Now we cannot make electronics, including military electronics, without importing memory from Asia. The idea that the market determines the price is only valid when there is fair competition, which does not apply to China. Not just the fabrication, but the design of processors already has one foot out the door. Won’t that be fun when we become nothing more than salesmen in the entire electronics industry.

Nor does your alleged “golden age” hold water. Cheap imports coupled with mega-mergers and job exporting drove a period of stagnant wages that deflated the purchasing power of Main Street and created vulnerability to teaser-rate mortgages and liar loans. It drove home equity loans and high credit card debt that culminated in a national saving rate below $0 in 2006 and economic collapse starting in 2007.

Upward economic mobility has remained below 4% since 1980. Private sector job creation under Bush43 was the worst on record.

The exodus of wealth in the form of massive trade deficits have done more to weaken our economy than even budget deficits. We are well on the way to becoming a third-world economy.

The economic model of a national economy is fundamentally broken. American workers and American corporations do not function in the same economy. That has to be fixed before we can prosper again.
More on Green Energy
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September 22, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Direction, Economics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Angle Suggests Free Market Could Solve Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

Sharron Angle’s pronouncement shows a curious lack of understanding of the subject. I attribute this to too many talking points and too few white papers.

During the 2008 election, McCain put forth a reform plan tat failed to show basic understanding of the concept of insurance, the complexities of health care, sound business practices, and human nature. In short, it could not have worked.

Nevertheless, republicans have clung to those ideas ever since – including Sharron Angle.

The insurance companies created the problems that necessitated reforms. They had things the way they wanted them, and it would be insane to think they would make meaningful changes on their own. Especially changes that favored consumers.

She makes about as much sense as a first down in the fifth inning.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Health Care, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Right Nation 2010 In Chicago: Glenn Beck Headlines, Journalists Not Invited (VIDEO)

Fear-mongering seems to be what passes for honor in his world. The free press, as the eyes of the people, is critical to a healthy democracy – what we are seeing here more closely resembles a conspiracy. I call them Fifth-Column Republicans.

We have a clear choice here:
Fiscal conservatives would have us submit to the power of money and the authority of unelected officials – Corporatocracy – under the baseless belief that, without government, problems will fix themselves. This is the path of taxation without representation.

Social conservatives would have us submit to their fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, in defiance of the Constitution and the core principle of our founding – the “Great Experiment” – that people could govern themselves well, independent of king or clergy. They believe they have a divine right to rule the rest of us. They do not. I call them The Religious Reich.

The Tea Party is driven by emotion, easily manipulated. I name them Political Vigilantes. They want to “take back” their country without understanding what that truly means. You cannot solve a three-dimensional problem with one-dimensional thinking, but they have been kept focused on the one dimension and do not perceive where their actions could lead. The freedom they seek, they instead surrender to Corporate America – which will disavow their support and betray their hopes. Caveat Emptor.

Then there are the Democrats, who have been demonized for doing what they were elected to do: make the hard choices – albeit clumsily and inefficiently.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Candidates | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Year of Regulatory Disasters

USGS scientists collecting water-quality sampl...

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It seems like for conservatives, regulatory failure is not only an option, it is a goal.

If Big Oil manages to poison the ground water in New York with their hydraulic fracturing, I cannot imagine them buying up all the worthless property they would create – including NYC – which would have to be abandoned due to lack of usable fresh water. Poisoning the ground water of an area is a disaster that cannot be recovered from.

The latest problem surfaced in Pennsylvania.

Of course, we can count on the individual State to protect the rights and safety of it’s citizens from the depredations of moneyed interests:

Alison Rose Levy: ‘Gasland’: When Going to the Movie Means You’re a Terrorist

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 19, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Environment, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Textbook Massacre: State Board Suggests Books ‘Tainted’ With ‘Pro-Islamic, Anti-Christian Distortions’

Liberals and moderates have had a hard time protecting our education system from theocratic indoctrination.

Kansas is infamous for constantly changing the definition of “science” to add or subtract religion from science classes. The value of their diplomas has been discounted by the unreliability of their educational basis.

And of course there was the case of Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al in Pennsylvania.

Then there is the cult-style home schooling by Christian fundamentalists, evangelicals, and born-agains who do not live in theocratic districts.

School vouchers that weaken public education by diverting public funds to private schools.

The failure of abstinence-only…

Do not pretend that liberals and moderates have had a free hand. The country would be better off if they had.

Texas is beginning the conversion of public education into a Christian version of Madrasahs. This reduction in standards and unconstitutional embrace of religion is a major blow to future American competitiveness.

Conservatives believe it’s a victory.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Education, Government, Religion | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jim DeMint: Tea Party Candidates Can Win Midterm Election Races

What gets lost in all the propaganda and political vigilantism is the fact that it is not enough to “throw the bums out.” First, you have to sort out the baby from the bathwater. Second, you have to replace them with competent people or you are just trading gridlock for havoc.

As in the private sector, a strict adherence to seniority perpetuates a “business as usual” mindset that must be replaced with a policy that favors skill, experience, and expertise over stagnation.

Nor is a change of the guard sufficient when the external forces that dominate Congress remain strong. Campaign finance reform and lobbying reform must be achieved before we can expect real change in Washington.

We also need people in the Administration who believe that government has a role in America, that it has responsibilities that private people and private organizations cannot or will not take on, or cannot be trusted with.

Too many people in government want the government to fail, heedless that the country will fail with it. They call themselves “patriots”. I do not.

Government should be no bigger or smaller than the scale of it’s responsibilities. It must be necessary in action and efficient in execution.

The Tea Party is too driven by rage over reason, too narrow of focus, too short of vision. They mean well, but they have been fed a diet of fear and disinformation. This is a bad combination that might likely have disastrous results.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Direction, Elections | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atheists Erect Billboard In Oklahoma City, Critic Says It’s ‘Like They’re Poking A Finger In Your Eye’

The billboard is no different from any billboard inviting someone to visit a church. To protest this and not the other is to declare yourself opposed to true freedom of religion.

What concerns me most is the relentless march toward theocracy. Theocracy is based on blind faith in religious dogma. Democracy is based on reasoned policy and informed consent. The two are incompatible at best, and antithetical at worst.

The question becomes: Do we fight for government of the people, by the people, for the people – or do we submit to the religious doctrines of fundamentalist Christians?

This billboard is a signal that those of us who believe in true freedom of religion – freedom for all – are not prepared to go quietly into the night and render up one of the greatest ideals of the “Great Experiment” that is the United States to the whims of Christian fundamentalism – knowing that doing so would signal the end of the “last, best hope of Earth.”

“The kings of the Gentiles exercise leadership over them,” said our Saviour to his disciples, “but ye shall not be so.” The business of true religion is quite another thing. It is not instituted in order to the erecting of an external pomp, nor to the obtaining of ecclesiastical dominion, nor to the exercising of compulsive force, but to the regulating of men’s lives, according to the rules of virtue and piety.
John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , | Leave a comment

A Nation Founded on Faith – in People

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by t...

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Contrary to impassioned theocratic urban legend, the country was NOT founded on belief in a God. It was founded on the belief in the people to govern themselves through a government that derives it’s authority THROUGH THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.

The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths”

The Declaration of Independence

Religious zealots like to quote the Declaration of Independence: “they are endowed by their Creator” but they take it out of context in pursuit of their own agenda.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

The Declaration of Independence

Instituted among Men (not the church), deriving their powers from the consent of the governed (not God). Continue reading

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Constitution, Religion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Hurt, Virginia GOP Candidate, Refuses To Participate In NAACP Debate

VA-5 GOP candidate Robert Hurt

VA-5 GOP candidate Robert Hurt

Republicans seem to be turning away from everything that gives democracy it’s power. Debate is a traditional and powerful means for voters to evaluate the candidates and make intelligent and informed decisions.

It looks like they are unwilling to put their character under public scrutiny.
Perhaps the republicans do not believe that a robust democratic process would work to their advantage.

“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.”
– James Freeman Clarke, Sermon

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Candidates, Elections | , | Leave a comment

Enviro groups push Obama for 60 mpg fuel efficiency standard

French Liberty. British Slavery. Js. Gy. desn....

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Definition of IRRESPONSIBLE from Merriam-Webster
: not responsible: as

  • not answerable to higher authority
  • said or done with no sense of responsibility
  • lacking a sense of responsibility
  • unable especially mentally or financially to bear responsibility

Businesses are technically responsible only to their owners/investors. Functionally, corporations are typically responsible only to those who exert real control.

Within all other contexts, including the environment, the economy, the future of the country, …, they are the very definition of irresponsible.

Conservatives swear by this irresponsibility. They defend and encourage it. It is their definition of liberty, the freedom to do harm and profit from it.

It is up to the people to demand responsible behavior from all members of society, including “artificial persons” like business entities, and to chart the future of the country. Government exists as the mechanism we have to protect our interests and control our future.

September 12, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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