Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Heart Weeps

My heart weeps for the people of the east coast USA: New Jersey, New York, the Carolinas, Virginia, all of New England and inland, too - Pennsylvania and Canada. The devastation is mind-blowing; Sandy’s wrath over the past few days has left thousands homeless, businesses closed and millions without power.

Those who love their families know that they can not stand by while nature rips their lives apart.

What can we do differently this time to at least try to prepare for the next natural disaster? Isn’t there something we can do?

Yes, there is.

There is one major action step we can take. We can convert to distributed power generation and move away from total reliance on 1900s technology – central power generation.

Let’s begin to minimize our vulnerability by employing the technology which is at hand. Each home and business can now generate sufficient power to meet electrical needs without drawing on power from the local power plant. Yes, even in sun deprived areas, too.

We know there will be more bad weather events in the future. It’s time to apply our intelligence and our technology to take the steps to protect those we love.

Distributed power generation is one step we must take. We can no longer wait. We must begin now.

Go here for the Charlie Rose interview of Jeremy Rifkin, the Third Industrial Revolution:

And, here for the IKEA story:


Monday, October 29, 2012

America.2, The New American Dream

You have the Power!

Do you know you can out tea party the most extreme tea party people; out conservative the most ardent conservative and out liberal even the most zealous liberal? You can also even out capitalist the most despicable, Wall Street, avarice-prone “banker”, too.

 America.2 is the second American revolutionary plan. It’s a revision of the 1776 version which created the USA and you are one of the revolutionaries who will change our world for the better today by implementing it. Together, we will do no harm in the process; maintain local, hands-on control of every phase of the programs; and realize the financial results it creates in our hometowns.

America.2, The New American Dream

How? In America.2 we have fundamentally combined the “best” philosophical foundations of all the political factions bucking heads today and melded them into a revolutionary action plan. It is a plan which will spark our new economy, employ our people in “American Dream” sustaining jobs; reduce healthcare costs; and improve our quality of life.

America.2 is a “go-to-the-moon”, radical, earth changing plan. It’s exciting and inspiring. It’s to live for; it is for your children and your grandchildren.

It’s more tea party than any vehement tea partier ever imagined because it puts personal responsibility securely in the hands of the people.

It’s more conservative than the most profoundly conservative-at-the-core person because it resuscitates local control over energy and healthcare while it minimizes international corporations and federal government meddling.

It’s more liberal than the most zealous liberal could possible imagine because every step of the plan ensures that no harm is done to any person or to our environment while together we create the highest quality of life for all.

Finally, as for those avarice-prone banker / wall streeters, local control translates into: “we keep our eyes on our wallets; and, invest the plan’s resulting wealth in our own hometowns.

Read about America.2 here:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Join With Us - No Matter Who Wins

In the U.S. no matter who wins this November we still have a mission: make our world a better place in which to live.

As a foundation, we base our mission on the pledge: “Primum non nocere” First, do no harm.

By first making sure we do no harm we ensure that each step we take will help all of us and the world in which we live together.

To move toward achieving our mission, I propose a plan and ask your input and dedication to the cause. Please go here to read the plan.

As a member of the boomer generation, I recognize that my days on this earth are time-limited. I also recognize that ultimately I am the master of those days and may choose to direct them as I wish.

I choose to direct my remaining time to achieving our mission.
Please join with us in the Encore Boomer Mission.

Joining is free and not limited to being a Boomer, either. Making the world a better place in which to live requires your day- by-day dedication.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today, Do What Matters Most

Here’s a novel idea. What if you knew for certain that you had little time left on this earth? What would you do with the days, assuming you’d be granted them?

Recently, after overcoming my negative attitude (or, more likely, months of procrastination) I finally visited one of the U.S. government’s old people websites — you know — Social Security and Medicare.

I’ll skip my: “Who Me? I’m Not Old” diatribe and present my point.

I discovered this “app” on Social Security Online and entered my gender and birth date. The resulting number brought me back to reality. On average, people of my age and gender have about 20.2 years remaining on this earth.

That’s 20.2 years, barring the world ending or a catastrophic event of some type or another does not intervene. 20.2 years?


Why should I be surprised? In the days of youth, due to intervening national agenda items, like the draft and the Vietnam War, I actually did not believe I’d see my 26th birthday. A few of my high school friends didn’t. Most of the guys in my basic training company were sent to a few weeks of infantry training and then to Vietnam as replacements, right from Fort Polk, LA.

I followed up a few years later and learned most didn’t come home, either —including the drill instructors, too. They already had earned their Combat Infantry badges, but “The Man” wasn’t satisfied and wanted their lives, too.

That was a long time ago.

Back then I decided to concentrate on the things that were in my power to “control”.

The difference between now and then is: today I accept the fact of life that my time here is not unlimited and I may not have another day.

I intend to use every second doing what is most important.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lights, Please

After months of campaigning and millions of dollars in misleading advertising, most of it outright lies, it’s time for someone to turn the lights on, reveal the garbage for what it is, push it out of the way, and get about doing the business of serving the best interests of the people of the United States.

Good idea, right?

Well, yes, but, hold on a tiny bit. There is just one more thing.

We left a little unfinished business on the table a while ago… that banker stuff… you know… that $7 trillion in home and small business real property equity that is among the disappeared… the thing about “out of control” derivatives, i.e. credit default swaps… and a few other "banker-related" things like fraud.

Well, what can be done?

Fortunately, Robert Reich has a few suggestions to bring us back to correcting some inequities and begin to feed some fuel to our economic engine. For instance: “President Obama should propose that the nation's biggest banks be broken up and their size capped, and that the Glass-Steagall Act be resurrected.” (Please see below.)

Unless you are a member of the top 1% of the US population, there is no reason for you to vote against your self-interest and the interests of those you hold most dear, as well. We all should be voting to return President Obama for another term, if only because he is our best hope of the two candidates for turning the lights on the "banker" issue. Most everyone, save Ann Romney, can see the logic here.

In point of fact... it's really even in the interests of the 1%ers to vote for President Obama, as well. If I were a 1%er I'd want to preserve all that gold in my basement. And, the best way to do that is to do as a former friend says, "...throw a few bones to the undeserving drones, make them feel rewarded," and permit them to make a “living” so they can spend what little we “give” them. That will stimulate the consumer side of the economy once again and we can make even more wealth from their reckless spending and foolishly stupid credit card debt.

Otherwise, the drones (we), might begin to figure things out, open their (our) eyes, and try to equalize things a little bitty bit.

How Obama Can Smoke Out Mitt: Call for Breaking Up the Biggest Banks, and Resurrecting Glass-Steagall

By Robert Reich
Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley; Author, Beyond Outrage

Posted: 10/18/2012 11:27 pm Huffington Post

President Obama should propose that the nation's biggest banks be broken up and their size capped, and that the Glass-Steagall Act be resurrected.

It's good policy, and it would smoke out Mitt Romney as being of, by, and for Wall Street -- and not on the side of average Americans.

It would also remind America that five years ago Wall Street's excesses almost ruined the economy. Bankers, hedge-fund managers, and private-equity traders speculated on the upside, then shorted on the downside -- in a vast zero-sum game that resulted in the largest transfer of wealth from average Americans to financial elites ever witnessed in this nation's history.

Most of us lost big -- including over $7 trillion of home values, a $700-billion-dollar bailout of Wall Street, and continuing high unemployment.

But the top 1 percent have done just fine. In the first year of the recovery they reaped 93 percent of the gains. The latest data show them back with 20 to 25 percent of the nation's total income -- just where they were in 2007.

The stock market has about caught up to where it was before the crash. The pay and bonuses on the Street are once again sky-high. So are the pay and perks of top corporate executives. The Forbes list of richest Americans contains more billionaires than ever.

And the tax rates of the top 1 percent are lower than ever -- courtesy of their armies of lobbyists.

Mitt Romney, private equity manager and financier -- well within the top one-tenth of 1 percent, collecting more than $20 million a year yet paying 14 percent in taxes because of tax preferences for capital gains and for private-equity -- is the avatar for all that's happened.

Just like the rest of the Street, Romney used other peoples' money to make big bets, leveraging like mad, pumping and then dumping companies regardless of the human costs.

Worse, Romney wants to cut taxes even further on the top 1 percent -- giving them the lion's share of a $4.7 trillion tax cut -- while shredding safety nets the rest of us rely on.

And he wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act that goes some way to preventing the worst excesses of the Street.

And this man has an almost 50-50 chance of becoming president?

The President should counter Romney's extraordinary solicitude toward the Street with a proposal to cap the size of the nation's biggest banks so that no bank is ever again too big to fail. And to resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, which once separated commercial from investment banking.

In the 1980s the ten biggest banks had less than 30 percent of bank depositary assets. Now they have 54 percent. And the four biggest now dominate the Street almost completely. Because lenders and investors know they're too big to fail, the four biggest banks have a competitive advantage over smaller rivals that pose larger financial risks. That means they'll only get bigger.

Breaking up the biggest banks and capping the size of all banks is hardly a radical suggestion these days. The Dallas Federal Reserve Board, which has never been accused of excessive liberalism, has called for it. So has Sanford Weill, the creator of Citigroup, one of the biggest of the big. So has Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve governor charged with bank regulation. So have conservative commentators such as George Will.

It's not too late for the President to advocate these measures. In fact, now may be the perfect time. Besides, it's not as if Wall Street is going to pour campaign contributions into Obama's coffers anyway; the Street is going with Mitt.

Calling for a breakup of the biggest banks and a resurrection of Glass Steagall would smoke out Mitt Romney -- revealing clearly and decisively he's not on the side of most Americans.

ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage," now available in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear Mr. President...

After reading that the President said he was "too polite" in his debate with Mr. Romney, I had this horrendous nightmare... Mr. Romney, President of the United States, commander of the newly empowered, witch-hunting Tea Party, the FBI, the CIA and the U.S. Military about to "neutralize” the Russians, the Chinese, the whole middle east, plus every registered Democrat, the elderly and people with Latino sounding names… and the French, too… just because he can.

So, I wrote the President a note:

Dear Mr. President,
I have the most respect for you, sir. You have retained your soul and your humanistic compass while serving as our President. For me that is Job One - serve the people - because we know very few in office actually do that.

Job Two is to defend us, and you, from those who have sold their souls and lost their moral direction so that our families might have a fighting chance.

You must never forget that if you lose, we really lose – big time.

Mr. Romney made a major part of his fortune selling cancer-causing cigarettes to the Russian people and a great deal of the remainder selling out the jobs of everyday Joes and Janes to the highest bidder – after ensuring that his gold was "in the bank".

What will he do with the power of the presidency of the United States?

Be polite one more time and Mr. Romney and his 1% supporters will cut your heart out and put your head on a pike – along with ours – the 99%.