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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Honor of the United States

Hey Barry:

You are receiveing a lot of flak for the Libya action, but it is the right thing to do.

Here's why action in Libya is good for the United States:

1. Act in concert with our values and principles - we value freedom and democracy over violence and fear;

2. Restore and enhance the honor of the United States of America - we are doing the right thing even if we are limited in our abilities;

3. Humanitarian response - we should not stand by while women, children and unarmed men are brutalized by their government - and we are saving lives;

4. Get on the right side of history for a change - clearly a movement among Arab youth is rocking the world and we have been on the dictators' side in reputation and fact;

5. Our stance is already reaping positive change in other countries - whether or not anyone intervenes, repressive governments are looking over their shoulder;

6. Improve our national security - fewer terrorists will attack us when they have some freedom and hope in their own country;

7. Quick turnover of leading role to NATO helps our image in the world;

8. Involve other countries in NATO and the Arab league in our action - it is not a unilateral USA act; and,

9. We can wear our flag with pride again.

Your pal,

Friday, March 25, 2011

U. S Class War, II

Hey Barry:

This is an unusual posting because it is a very long excerpt from a transcript of The Ed Show on MSNBC.

It is important because it provides evidence of class war in the United States. The class war is in the form of some state governors stealing assets from the public and putting the proceeds in their own pockets.

We would expect this behavior from the Gadafi's of the world but not from American public officials.

Our expectations would be wrong. Read below and you will see.

Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Alaska, Florida

We can hope the the good people of the afflicted states will sue the officials and will vote them out of office. Time will tell. Some recent polls show that voters are ready to vote the governors out as soon as they can.

THE ED SCHULTZ SHOW, MARCH 23, 2011

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW, tonight from New York.

If you‘re middle class, pay attention—our top story tonight is out of Ohio. I just can‘t believe this one. It‘s on the table.

Republicans promised to be what? The party of jobs? But their top six priorities have been anything but jobs. That‘s in “The Takedown” tonight.

OHIO

All right. This is the story that should have every American fired up. It comes from the—I can‘t believe this department. Ohio Governor John Kasich—you‘ll understand why I say this—is kind of drunk with power.

Kasich‘s budget plan is all about one word: privatization—just like the rest of the guys on the right side.

Now, the governor wants to sell five state-run prisons to private companies. He wants to open state parks to oil and gas drilling. And he wants to sell leases of state-owned liquor stores for pennies on the dollar. This is a hell of scheme let me tell you.

You see—the state of Ohio licenses businesses to run liquor stores for a commission. Now, liquor sales generate about $228 million in revenue for the state treasury every year. Governor Kasich wants to funnel that money to a private, economic development organization called—catch this

Jobs Ohio.

Remember that—Jobs Ohio.

Kasich created this private organization to replace the Ohio Department of Development, which was a state-run agency for job recruitment and retention.

Now, Jobs Ohio, you know what they‘re going to do? They‘re going to buy the liquor licenses from the state for $1.5 billion.

But, Houston, we got a small problem here. They don‘t have the money.

So, they‘re going to raise $1.5 billion by selling the 30-year lease of nearly $6.8 billion of Ohio liquor profits to where? Wall Street investors.

Well, liquor revenue, which belongs to the state of Ohio, will now be sitting in the bank accounts of Wall Street investors.

Who would make such a stupid business decision after what we‘ve been through with Wall Street? Oh, I should have done this earlier in the show.

I should have introduced you to the new chairman of Jobs Ohio—you got it: Governor John Kasich. He appointed himself the chairman.


Now, this plan, folks, you need to know this does nothing to create jobs but it takes money from the Ohio treasury to pay off Kasich‘s buddies on Wall Street. Governor Kasich says the liquor revenues are a good investment because he expects Ohioans just to keep on drinking more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH ®, OHIO: There are people that want to buy this thing because there is a natural wedge that gets created because over here, people drink more. I mean, it‘s just a natural revenue stream so everybody wanted to buy it. Everybody was interested in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Ah, tough times, everybody‘s buying booze. Now, you have to be drunk to have this make any sense. But Kasich is following the new Republican playbook for power in revenue—use deceptive advertising, push polls, rig the elections and lie about your opponent to get elected.

Pass laws creating new departments through tactical maneuvers that cut out minority input, and, of course, make sure that new department is a public/private partnership. That always works.

Make yourself chairman of that new department. And then you really got control.

Take that government revenue stream—you know what you got to do with it? You got to sell it to Wall Street.

And, of course, use a lame duck session in office to privatize the new department. And who knows? You might retire rich when it‘s all said and done.

Governor Kasich is following that model to a T and he is showing no signs of stopping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASICH: There are more privatizations to come. They are not in this budget, but we‘re seeking broad authority for additional privatization.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Additional privatization. It‘s the answer to everything.

Republicans want to treat government like a business and people like commodities. They have no sense of economic patriotism or social justice, so Governor John Kasich and other Republicans, I think, need to quit acting like used car salesmen and start acting like the public servants that they were elected to be. It is hard to believe that the country is not totally focused on what this group of Republican governors is actually doing to the infrastructure of America. We are talking about millions of American workers who are being affected by this. And we‘re also talking about the next generation that may not have a say in all of this.

MICHIGAN

I mean, you look at the state of Michigan and what they‘re doing with education. It‘s unbelievable. They‘re making cuts to the point where they‘ve got this new law in there that we talked about the other night that if you run a deficit the state can come over, come in and take over your district. Where do you think that‘s going to put public education?

I mean, it is just one domino after another with these Republican governors. And what‘s happening in Ohio, it is going to be happening in other states that are run by Republicans.

This is the way they are going to chip away at wages, break unions, kill collective bargaining, and turn to the public and say, hey, we‘re giving you a real good deal and we think you can make more money on Wall Street. Who wants to gamble like that with the public‘s money?

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s question: Will Governor Kasich‘s privatization plans create jobs in Ohio? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. Or go to our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

OHIO

Now, joining me now is Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.

Nina, good to have you with us tonight.

When I first read this story, I thought of you first because you‘ve been on this show and you have been—you know, a “tell it like it is” representative senator for the state of Ohio. What was your reaction when you first heard about this plan dealing with the liquor licenses ending up as an investment on Wall Street?

STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: Well, thank you, Ed, so much. I was surprised. I think everybody in the general assembly should pause.

And let me tell you, Ed, this bill at least in the Senate did receive some bipartisan support because folks are desperate for jobs. But the way it was sold to the general assembly is that they were going to utilize private money to market, for—to spur employment, and now come to find out they want to use the liquor sales to do this -- $700 million to pay back bonds and $500 million as one time funds to close the budget deficit for $1.2 billion.

And as you stated so eloquently—I mean, these bonds are going to be sold on the market. Somebody is going to make that money, and it‘s surely not going to be the teacher that‘s making $50,000 a year or the firefighter or the police officer that may be making $60,000 or $70,000 a year.

Something is awfully wrong with the plan in the state of Ohio that seeks to privatize the profits but socialize the risks.

SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, what will the loss of this kind of money mean, you know, $6 billion, in liquor revenue over the next few decades? I mean, this is a gamble. There‘s no guarantee this is going to work. Can the state play with this money?

TURNER: Really, there is no guarantee. And liquor, you know, the money that comes into the—into the general fund for that is a—it is a stable funding source. So, yes, we‘re taking a risk. Why wouldn‘t it be more prudent to put a shorter time line but to lock in future governors and future general assemblies over 20, 25 years for a plan that has not created one job? It is absolutely irresponsible.

SCHULTZ: So this plan, in your opinion, will not create jobs?

TURNER: Well, that remains to be seen. But it hasn‘t created one yet.

And again, all of the tax we have on middle class and working class men and women in this state and then to have the unadulterated gall to put the state at risk like this, to deceive the general assembly—because that‘s exactly what happened. Again, when this bill was touted it was touted as one that would use private money to spur this kind of development and now, the turn-around to use money that comes—

SCHULTZ: Yes.

TURNER: -- to the state of Ohio in this way is absolutely unconscionable.

SCHULTZ: What‘s your response to the governor appointing himself chairman of Jobs Ohio?

TURNER: Well, Ed --

SCHULTZ: I mean, this is unbelievable. I mean, this guy gets elected. He dumps the state agency, makes himself the chairman of Jobs Ohio, gets some help with his Republican buddies to take the liquor money and go play with it on Wall Street.

TURNER: We certainly need to have an objective approach to do this. It‘s almost like the fox watching the hen house, Ed. I mean, we should definitely question the way that this is being run.

SCHULTZ: Can the Democrats do anything to stop this?

TURNER: Well, Ed, again, in the Senate, it passed bipartisan and in a bipartisan way. We are certainly for economic development. But why should the taxpayers bear the brunt of the burden on an experiment that has not proven itself? I will tell you that the Democrats are going to stand strong. We‘re going to stand strong for working class men and women in the state of Ohio.

And I want to remind us we are fighting—fighting in the state of Ohio to make sure that our workers continue to have the collective bargaining rights.

You know, the American Dream is going to be no more. It‘s turning into the American nightmare. And if you are not ultra wealthy, you can forget about it. And that‘s why all of us should care about what‘s happening in Ohio, what‘s happening in Wisconsin.

You know, Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.

And I want the folks in the state of Ohio to remain encouraged that we‘re going to continue to be vigilant to make sure that folks still have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. For some, if you‘re middle class and working class, you shouldn‘t have any rights. But we‘re not going to stand idly by and let this happen in the state of Ohio.

SCHULTZ: Nina Turner, you are a fighter for the people, no doubt about it.

But I want to ask you one final question on this issue. Now, this obviously is going to line the pockets of some Wall Streeters. They‘re going to remember who the guy in Ohio—you know, who was responsible for this. If this works, it‘s a big gamble—if it works, do you think John Kasich has presidential aspirations? You can‘t get to the White House without connections on Wall Street.

TURNER: Well, Ed, that is—we should certainly deal with how much it cost to run a presidential campaign. But for now, the citizens of the state of Ohio need a governor who cares about what happens here in Ohio for the 11.5 million people he was elected to serve.

SCHULTZ: Does he care more about Wall Street—does he care more about Wall Street than he does the citizens of Ohio?

TURNER: Well, Ed, that is a question for the governor, but I will tell you that we have a lot of suffering going on here besides Senate Bill 5. This House Bill 159 that seeks to take away some voting rights. I mean, we have a lot of issues in the state of Ohio that we have to work on collectively, and I hope all of the citizens in this state, both Democrat and Republican, are watching what happens as the middle class goes, so do the rest of us.

So, I am really about working very, very hard, along my other Democratic colleagues and some other folks of good consciousness, to make sure that there is an American Dream for other folks to inherit and to make sure that all folks had the opportunity to pursue happiness.

SCHULTZ: All folks. That is the key phrase.

TURNER: Yes.

SCHULTZ: Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, thank you for joining us tonight. Thanks for your time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHULTZ (voice-over): It‘s not only Kasich. From Alaska to New Jersey, Republican budget plans just don‘t add up. I‘ll tell you why.

Next: tax breaks for millionaires at the expense of school kids. I mean school kids, little school kids who aren‘t going to be resourced properly. It‘s all part of the broad Republican effort to crush the middle class in America. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell will join me on that issue.

WISCONSIN

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW tonight and thanks for watching.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker‘s attack on public workers is just one part of a larger Republican agenda. Break the middle class and call it deficit reduction.

Wisconsin‘s Republican attorney general wants to appeal a judge‘s order blocking Walker‘s anti-worker bill. So, the state Justice Department filed a petition and listed Secretary of State Doug La Follette as the petitioner, as the petitioner. But as John Nichols reports, La Follette was never consulted on the petition, probably because he opposes the Walker bill and has obeyed the judge‘s order.

Meanwhile big rallies are planned in Wisconsin for this weekend. Organizers hope it will move the recall effort for several Republican senators forward in a big way.

ALASKA

Now, you would think that it would serve as a warning sign for Republicans in other states. Well, it hasn‘t. And the ones up in Alaska don‘t seem to be paying too much attention to any of this. In fact, a GOP proposal to curb collective bargaining is being modeled after the Walker bill. He‘s the hero.

Alaska‘s first overhauled its state retirement and health care system a few years back. Democratic lawmakers say the state has had difficulty retaining qualified teachers and police officers ever since that move.

NEW JERSEY

That hasn‘t stopped Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey from steamrolling public workers in his state. In fact, his cuts to education are so deep New Jersey schools have been unable to provide a, quote, “thorough and efficient education to their students.”

Now, folks, that‘s not my opinion. That‘s a ruling from a state superior court judge. He found Christie‘s budget cuts are affecting poor kids the most. He says, “Our ‘at risk‘ children are now moving further from proficiency.”

Where are we going in this country?

Joining me now is former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, now an NBC News political analyst, Ed Rendell.

Governor, good to have you with us tonight.

I mean, it‘s not in one state. It‘s in a number of states. And they just all happen to have Republican governors and the cuts go far beyond balancing any budget.

I mean, this is so agenda driven. The millionaires get the breaks and the kids in the classroom are going to—are going to pay the price. What are they doing here, Governor?

ED RENDELL, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, no question, Ed. And as bad as the collective bargaining assault is, the assault on public education is worse because we are mortgaging our future—Pennsylvania‘s future, Florida‘s future, Ohio‘s future, Michigan‘s future.

You can‘t countenance these cuts, particularly when in those states we‘re not—not only not increasing business taxes to share the pain but we‘re cutting business taxes. We‘re giving corporations—many of whom don‘t need it—tax breaks and we‘re punishing children.

And it‘s interesting. You know, people are always fond of saying money doesn‘t make a difference in educational outcomes, Ed. Consider this -- in my years as governor, we raised education funding for our K through 12 by over $4 billion annually, over $4 billion annually.

We went from being in the bottom third in 2002 in the national test to third in the nation in 2010 on the national test. Our 8th graders finished first in reading in the country. We cut the achievement gap between minority and majority students by 28 percent.

SCHULTZ: So, this is—this is proof positive that real investment does work and real cuts will send it the other way. I want your opinion on

RENDELL: No question.


SCHULTZ: I want your opinion on this. Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan, he is going to cut per student $715, per student. Local superintendents have called the proposed cuts unfair and unacceptable, and they say it‘s nothing but an agenda to privatize all of public education. Do you agree with that?

RENDELL: Well, it is certainly tending that way. You cannot have—look, does money guarantee a great education? No. But does not having it guarantee that you‘re not going to be able to provide that education? Absolutely. We‘ve seen it time after time after time.

And, unfortunately, the burden falls most on urban school districts who have the most minority kids who come from the most difficult background to educate.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

RENDELL: And that‘s the whole ball of wax for this country. Where this country is going to be in 20 years, on the world economic stage, whether we‘re going to be the leader depends on the state of our education.

SCHULTZ: Well, can‘t we answer that tonight? We‘re not going to be the leader.

RENDELL: We‘re not.

SCHULTZ: We‘re not going to be able to compete on an international level and create the jobs we want the way we are treating public education and not everybody can afford to go to a private school.

Now, earlier tonight in the show, we talked about John Kasich‘s plan in Ohio and in Pennsylvania, Republican Governor Tom Corbett, as you know, wants to privatize state liquor stores. What do you make of all of this?

RENDELL: Well, look, privatization can be effective in certain instances, Ed. You know, we privatized a few functions, but you can‘t mortgage the future. For example, the state liquor stores produce over $100 million a year in positive income for Pennsylvania. That‘s important. That $100 million a year allowed us to do certain things. And you can‘t mortgage the future.

What you get if you sold the state stores in Pennsylvania is a one-time infusion of cash, but if you use it to try to balance the budget and Governor Corbett is now proposing that—

SCHULTZ: Yes.

RENDELL: -- it‘s gone in that year. The next year, that hole, that deficit hole comes back again in full force.

SCHULTZ: Do you think the public gets it? Do you think that there is now a strong awareness of what is unfolding in front of their eyes?

RENDELL: To some extent, yes. And it‘s interesting. I don‘t fault Tom Corbett. Tom Corbett is doing exactly what he said during the campaign.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

RENDELL: He didn‘t lie to people. He said he wasn‘t going to raise any tax. He wouldn‘t sign any increase in taxes, fees. Not even on the shale drillers in Pennsylvania who are reaping enormous profits. And he stood by it.

And I give him credit for consistency. But the public is now going to understand what they voted for, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

RENDELL: They voted for these cuts. Everybody likes the idea of cuts before raising revenue—until they specifically get confronted with cuts in education. There was a recent poll in Pennsylvania. This is amazing—

98 percent of Pennsylvanians said they didn‘t want to balance the budget by cutting public education.

RENDELL: Well, welcome to the party. That‘s exactly where he‘s going to be going, along with these other Republican governors across the country.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Propping Up the Free State

Hey Barry:

Seems from media reports that military and civil structures in the Benghazi area are a little weak. Let's be clear, whoever stays around will be involved in nation building. We have given them hope with our military actions.

We have to deliver results to avoid a return of despair and violence. Libya now is governed by fear and violence. After Gadafi goes, they will need a better system. If the West fails to see a better system installed, then we will see the rise of terrorism.

Here's a strategy to fix that problem while avoiding the 'Ugly American' perplex we see in Iraq.

One of the problems in Iraq was that we destroyed all civil structures and then would not allow anybody from the prior regime to work. Result - no talent and a big mess.

Let's riff on the early Roman model: they invited in anyone who wanted to come provided they would work. Later, they turned to slavery, but in the beginning they had a very open, egalitarian society.

It's hard to create the best system for Libya from an armchair in California, but perhaps some suggestions will be useful.

A critical first step is to establish effective military command and control, then develop rapid training of raw recruits. If that does not happen the war will either be lost or devolve into a deadly stalemate.

Regards civil society, there are some basic steps:

1. Secure oil revenues by controlling the fields and opening the port - needed to provide revenue source;

2. Divide territory into smallish areas and hold elections immediately for a constitutional convention and/or legislature - needed to defuse tensions and begin building civil society;

3. Offer amnesty to all Gadafi deserters who sign a loyalty pledge and pass a personal interview - needed to obtain talent;

4. Establish civil society organizations immediately - schools, police, fire, water, roads, etc, etc - start the construction process; and,

5. Recruit qualified language speakers from other countries to take positions that locals do not have experience for - leave Western expats out of picture.

Well Barry, it's a start.

We are all with you and we thank you for the hope.

Your pal,

Monday, March 21, 2011

UPDATE May 17, 2011:Fix the Nukes

Hey Barry:

So, here's the thing. I was driving home and heard a PBS/NPR interview on Japan with an English expert whose name I do not remember.

No nice way. Barry.

Bottom line, Barry: TEPCO lied to us for two months. AND, we all - USA, English, et al - use the same approaches to managing nuclear power.

THAT UNIVERSAL APPROACH IS WRONG. IT DOES NOT WORK.

"Managing nuclear power safely is beyond human capacity."

Our best is not enough, Barry.

We gotta get out of this ASAP.

No more nukes.

your pal,

**********************************************

Hey Barry:

This is personal: we knew someone who died in Russia because of Chernobyl.

Cuomo's right - no time for BS here.

We gotta shut them down until we fix what we learn from Japan or replace them with safer plants.

Don't even think about profits in the bizness, Barry. That's not your job. Your job is not to kill us.

Sorry for the tone, Barry, but it's life and death here.

The plants will fail. Period

They will fail and people - Americans this time - will die.

Don't want to hear about risk calculations and odds, Barry, I just don't want to die from radiation poisoning so some corporation can make a couple dollars.

Your pal,

Benghazi Free State

Hey Barry:

Been thinking about Libya. Here's my question: What's next?

Of course the best option is that Gadafi leaves the country - doesn't matter if he leaves on his feet or in a body bag - but that is not guaranteed.

We are locked into this one, Barry, we and our allies can't walk away until he is gone. It may take some time, but we have to stay the course. If we quit before he is gone, the future will be like the past - evil and miserable.

If he manages to stay around our second choice is to march in with guns blazing. Then, there we are in three wars. Itsa a bad idea, Barry, which I think you already know.

Third choice is that he holds on while we bleed money from him and fund a civil war. That's more likely, but lots of people will die.

Here's a twist on the third option - maybe it can speed up Gadafi's inevitable demise.

Let's create the Benghazi Free State. It's goal is to speed up Gadafi's demise by taking his people and his money. After that job is done, then the Free State can be absorbed back into Libya.

Here's how we can do it:

1. Establish refugee camps inside the Free State that offer shelter to anyone who comes in voluntarily from Libya. The attraction is food, shelter, Western style medical care and safety from retribution.

2. With force or bribery, take over the oil fields in the eastern part of the country. Then, sell the oil from Benghazi terminals. It won't even matter if some of the oil is 'donated' to the Free State from Libya. Even if some of the oil is bought by the Free State, the sellers have probably stolen it from the Libyan government and the money will not go to Gadafi.

After awhile most of the population will either be in the Free state or want to be there.

Your pal,