Friday, December 13, 2013

Improving the American economy includes extended unemployment benefits.

That sounds rather odd, doesn't it? If the economy is improving then why extended unemployment benefits? Because we are getting close to recovery, but, we aren't there yet and unemployment is still placing a drag on the economy. 

I worry about temporary jobs during the holidays now filled by the once unemployed. Some may turn into permanent jobs, but, there will be others that will not. The need of those families can't be abandoned when the economy is still not recovered. The economy is stronger and continues to grow when citizens receive unemployment benefits. 

We need to keep nudging the economy to recovery. Unemployment benefits do that. Don't judge the unemployed, empower them. A salary is always better than an unemployment check.

By Kieran Nicholson, Ryan Parker, Jordan Steffen and Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post

The two-year plan (click here) would avoid "the constant brinksmanship and crisis governance that we've seen up on Capitol Hill that impedes growth and makes businesses and investors less certain about wanting to put their money in," Obama said.

The budget, he said, is something the federal government can do to help mayors create jobs, the topic of Obama's meeting with the mayors.

The president also again advocated an increase in the minimum wage, saying "that could have a tremendous boost in a lot of the cities where there are a lot of service workers."

After the meeting, some of the participating mayors said they also discussed income inequality, early childhood education, the Detroit bankruptcy, and other issues specific to their cities.

"It's very clear the president is focused on wages and benefits," said Bill de Blasio, the mayor-elect of New York City....

Is there any wonder why some cities have low attendance by students?

All Americans want their children safe in school. They elect people they trust to accomplish that, the problem is the two parties see the nation differently.

There is proof all over the world where nations of people are safer with stringent gun laws. Proof. Yet, in the USA the proof doesn't matter. 


Because Democrats seek the truth and where it applies to making our people safer. The Democrats have a methodology that employs fact finding to solve problems.

The Republicans, and I am sorry if this is offensive, but the truth is the truth. The Republicans allow private industries to dominate their legislation. In this case, the NRA has control over the violence in this country. Violence suits the purpose of the NRA. The more violence in our society the more guns people believe they need to protect from it. The Republicans stand aside and allow their idea of an economy to rule their governing. It fails the people every time.

The Republican economy does not value life, it panders to money. That is the politics that rules the GOP. The nation is simply a playground to their election funders.

It is no different with abortion rights. Democrats value privacy, relationships, "No matter who you love." The Democrats value faith in god. Minority Leader Pelosi is very religious, but, she doesn't wear it on her sleeve. 

The Republicans receive vast amounts of political money from wealthy individuals that see only one faith in their lives. They don't believe in diversity, hence, the GOP legislates pandering to these people. The GOP passes judgement on citizens. They are immoral in getting an abortion. That is no one's business. We have plenty of people in this country and don't need to insist unwanted and unplanned pregnancies result in births.

The Republicans idea of privacy is that what goes on within four walls is sacred to democracy. Yet. When a woman conceives within those four walls an unwanted pregnancy, privacy dissolves and what results is judgement of her decisions.

The Republicans are a danger to this country. They allow danger to exist. They seek to dissolve our government in ways that are harmful, EPA, Education Department, Energy Department. Harmful. Their judgement of these agencies within the USA are that they are unneeded. OSHA is wrong. Seeking methods to control pollution is harmful to the economy. Regulation of the health care industry in the blatant face of deaths caused by an unregulated industry is too costly to the Republican Economy.

Banks to big to exist should never be regulated. Businesses always know better than any legislator. "Government never does it as well as private industry." Yet, The Great Recession was nothing to the GOP. Simply a bailout. 

The guns in the USA have to be regulated. This is more than sad, this is condoned by government. There is nothing stopping it. Year after year we witness the violence with our young people and year after year nothing is done because votes to regulate the industry are scored by the private industries that demand profits at the cost of American lives.

It is time to stop the silliness in politics and simply that obvious. Facts and truth are strong partners to those who sincerely love this country without yielding to dangerous private industry DEMANDS. Private industry should be partners to ending the danger in American lives, not adversaries. The day that happens, Americans will know they have finally found legislators that sincerely are trustworthy.

My deepest sympathies to the families, friends and peers of the dead.

Students gather across the street from Arapahoe High School after a shooting at the school, December 13, 2013. They would have to wait hours to be reunited with their parents. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

12/13/2013 12:58:01 PM MST
By Kieran Nicholson, Ryan Parker, Jordan Steffen and Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post

..."We were all just sitting there (click here) staying quiet and praying," said 15-year-old Jessica Girard, who was in math class when she heard three loud bangs.
Outside the locked classroom door Jessica heard someone walk by saying. "It hurts. It hurts. Make it stop."
As students left the school, many held their hands in the air or on their heads and police officers patted them down. Robinson later said authorities believe the gunman acted alone....

The attack on pensions is a severe strike at the heart of the minority worker.

Union membership raises workers’ pay by almost 30 percent and helps narrow the income gap for women and minority workers.

Source: (click here) U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Union Members in 2006," January 2007.
Prepared by the AFL-CIO.

We've heard of the looming retirement security crisis, but this statistic is extremely sobering: The majority of black and Latino workers (62% and 69%, respectively) do not own assets in a retirement account. This is from a new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) released this week.
To make things worse, three out of four black households and four out of five Latino households ages 25 to 64 have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, compared to one out of two white households.
“Those are startling findings,” says Diane Oakley, executive director of NIRS. “The typical household of color has nothing saved in a retirement account.”

A new report calculates the severity (click here) of the U.S. retirement security racial divide. The analysis finds that every racial group faces significant risks, but people of color face particularly severe challenges in preparing for retirement. Americans of color are significantly less likely than whites to have an employer-sponsored retirement plan or an individual retirement account (IRA), which substantially drives down the level of retirement savings.

Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States examines retirement readiness racial disparities among working households age 25-64. It analyzes three key areas – workplace retirement coverage, retirement account ownership, and retirement account balances....

Only 54 percent of black and Asian employees and 38 percent of Latino employees age 25-64 work for an employer that sponsors a retirement plan, compared to 62 percent of White employees.

The problem with any of this is the obvious abuse of the private and public sector in the underfunding of the PROMISED pensions. 

The unions need to be less trusting in allowing employers to keep the pension in a trust fund. The unions need to take control of these monies and invest them in assets that will exist beyond the need for the pension distributions.

The existence of a retirement system that does not work for most workers underscores the importance of preserving and strengthening Social Security, defending defined-benefit pensions for workers who have them and seeking solutions for those who do not.

The way illegal drugs interact with body chemistry is lethal.

  1. M C Ritz and 
  2. F R George
    1. Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

...In contrast, (click here) dopamine transporters appear to be associated with lethality induced by cocaine and related drugs, with drug potency for binding at this site accounting for 56% of the variance (r = 0.75) in the potency of cocaine and related compounds for producing death. However, binding of cocaine-like drugs at muscarinic M1 and sigma receptors also appears to be significantly related to cocaine-induced lethality, with binding at these sites accounting for either an additional 31 or 27%, respectively, of the variance in potencies of cocaine and related drugs to produce death....

The USA bans legal use of drugs at higher rates than other countries, so, when it comes to illegal drug use the USA does open itself to that criticism. However, there are proponents of law enforcement that believe removing the illegal status of drugs will actually provide better police actions to protect society. There are huge resources assigned to drug arrests and allowing those resources to be used elsewhere will be a benefit to society. One of the people advocating that change is the economist Milton Freedman.

Freedman stated in the Stanford Law School report, "Rethinking America's Illegal Drug Strategy," (click here)

“However much harm drugs do to those who use them…seeking to prohibit their use does even more harm both to users of drugs and to the rest of us Legalizing drugs would simultaneously reduce the amount of crime and improve law enforcement. It is hard to conceive of any other single measure that would accomplishso much to promote law and order”

 July 1, 2008, 11: 30 AM
Despite tough anti-drug laws, (click here) a new survey shows the U.S. has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world.

The World Health Organization's survey of legal and illegal drug use in 17 countries, including the Netherlands and other countries with less stringent drug laws, shows Americans report the highest level of cocaine and marijuana use.

For example, Americans were four times more likely to report using cocaine in their lifetime than the next closest country, New Zealand (16% vs. 4%),...

The legalization of what is now considered illegal substances would then fall under medical use and prescription. It would allow the substances to be controlled in a different way that would benefit the USA's economy. However, there is a question as to the effectiveness of prescription writing. Legal prescriptions rank among the highest rates of death in drug overdoes in the USA. 

The idea of legalizing the current global drug economy may also move guns from the cartels to legal use. In other words, the materials would fall into the legal sphere and controlling guns globally would be easier because the cartels would be less likely to profit from this huge economic benefit to them.

This is a bit dated, 2000, but it brings the point to focus regarding the relationship between guns and illegal drugs.

...Linking Weapons and Drugs (click here)

There are an estimated 3 million illegal small arms in this country of 43 million people. Most weapons are imported by drug cartels and political insurgents, and the guns are frequently traded for cocaine.
Colombia's Minister of Defense Jorge Uribe said this arms and cocaine racket is not only a problem for Colombia but also a security threat for Latin America and the United States.

Uribe's explanations are vivid.

"You should be worried about that," he said. "Every time an American goes into that trip from sniffing drugs, they should think where is that coming from and how many lives have been lost in the process of bringing that pleasure. The color of cocaine is white, but it's really red because of the amount of blood."..,

Illegal drugs are the most potent source of income for cartels and international criminals such as terrorists. Basically, Americans are funding the terrorist networks they fear.

This is a global problem and while the USA leads in attempting to end the drugs and guns and violence, it requires coordinated efforts by every country in every corner of the world if there is to effective policy.

This is the Global Heroine Trade. It is highly organized and traceable. This illegal network supplies some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. What are we doing wrong?

...The Balkan (click here) and northern routes are the main heroin trafficking corridors linking Afghanistan to the huge markets of the Russian Federation and Western Europe. The Balkan route traverses the Islamic Republic of Iran (often via Pakistan), Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria across South-East Europe to the Western European market, with an annual market value of some $20 billion. The northern route runs mainly through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (or Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan) to Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The size of that market is estimated to total $13 billion per year...

Why control the Poppy Economy of Afghanistan if it serves to destroy an enemy of the USA?

The covert allowance of illegal drugs and their networks is outrageous. In the decade long loss of American lives in Afghanistan while the Poppy Economy thrived is unthinkable but it occurred and continues to do so.

Imagine a country with a heroin problem. (click here) It has millions of people who have used the drug and an entrenched underclass of dealers and suppliers. Because heroin users like to inject the drug intravenously, regardless of how old or contaminated their syringes may be, this country has also developed an AIDS problem. It is in fact facing two epidemics: one of heroin use, the other of HIV/AIDS.
The threat to the national health is obvious, but elected officials say little. The public looks upon drug users, and upon people with HIV/AIDS, with indifference or scorn. The government could take action but doesn’t. So the epidemic spreads. Millions of unnecessary deaths result.
Americans shouldn’t have a hard time imaging such a place; we need only look back to the United States of the early 1980s. In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, one needn’t look back—just looking around should suffice.

In a country of 143 million people, between 840,000 and 1.2 million are HIV-positive, according to a 2009 estimate by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). That means Russia has one of the highest percentages of HIV-infected people in the world, outside sub-Saharan Africa; Robert Heimer, an epidemiologist at Yale who has been studying the intersection of Russia’s heroin and HIV/AIDS epidemics, says as many as five percent of all young people are infected....

This is absolutely unconscionable and The West looks the other way because it's covert operations believe it is in their benefit. A government overrun by such problems, such as Russia, will give up and only seek to ostracize those citizens and to be rejected by the larger majority. What choice does Russia have? They can't possibly spend all their resources on an effort to recapture their drug addicted population and continue to move forward to build a nation.

Putin: Russia not aspiring to be superpower, or teach others how to live (NATION BUILDING - MY WORDS NOT HIS) (click here)

Published time: December 12, 2013 11:28 
Edited time: December 12, 2013 18:11

...The Russian leader gave an assurance that Russia wants to respect the sovereignty and stability of other countries, as he was addressing the Federal Assembly, the collective of the two houses of the Russian parliament.
“We will seek leadership by defending international law, advocating respect for national sovereignty, independence and the uniqueness of peoples,” Putin said.
“We have always been proud of our country, but we do not aspire to the title of superpower, which is understood to be pretense for global or regional hegemony. We do not impinge on anyone’s interests, do not impose our patronage, do not attempt to lecture anyone on how they should live,” he added.
Putin did not directly mention the United States in his speech, but the reference to Washington’s military actions in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya was hard to overlook....

Oddly interesting. Venezuela claims more drug seizures since they have ended ties to USA.

Mérida, 12th December 2013 ( 
Venezuelan counter narcotics efforts (click here) have yielded more drug seizures per year since the government broke with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2005, according to a high ranking military official.
Yesterday the head of the Strategic Operational Command of Venezuela's armed forces Major General Vladimir Padrino stated that 462 tonnes of illegal drugs have been seized by Venezuelan security forces since 2005, when the Venezuelan government severed ties with the DEA.
This brings the total amount of drug seizures over the last seven years to more than double the amount hauled in the last six years of Venezuela's partnership with the DEA, which Padrino put at just over 209 tonnes.
“Members of the FANB [Bolivarian National Armed Forces] have made a sustained effort on the front to fight drug trafficking,” Padrino said according to state news agency AVN....
2005 was a Bush Era.
Caracas, Venezuela, August 8, 2005
...Chavez assured that Venezuela (click here) would continue to combat drugs, but that it would do so without the help of the DEA. That is, Venezuelan officials would cooperate with other foreign drug enforcement agencies, such as those of Colombia, France, Spain, Russia, and China. “The DEA isn't absolutely necessary for the fight against drug trafficking,” said Chavez.
The reasons for the withdrawal are several. Chavez mentioned that, “in the case of the DEA we have detected intelligence infiltrations that threaten the security and defense of the country.” Last week, Venezuela’s Vice-President José Vicente Rangel suggested that the DEA was violating Venezuelan sovereignty when he said, “We have freed ourselves from the DEA for now and so [the relationship to the U.S.] has improved noticeably. We are placing the relationship on the level of sovereignty, which had been very affected by the less than clear relationship with the DEA.”...
3:33 AM Saturday Dec 14, 2013

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) Jamaican authorities (click here) say they have seized 237 pounds (108 kilograms) of cocaine in recent incidents at a port in the capital of Kingston.

Police said Friday that they found 44 pounds (20 kilograms) of cocaine during a routine search on Thursday at the Kingston Container Terminal. The seizure comes less than a day after officers said they found 193 pounds (88 kilograms) of cocaine stashed in a container.

Police say three cocaine seizures have occurred at the island's ports so far this month.