Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trickle down my ass!

Trickle down economics. Supply side economics.
Gasoline is now over $4 bucks per gallon. Bread, milk and everything else as well.
McCain and his conservative cohorts will assure the distruction of America if he gets elected. More Katrina's, more wars, more bridges falling down, more good jobs leaving the country, more tax cuts for the wealthy.
Let's boot the whole lot of these republican war mongers out on their noses.
For good!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Better days are ahead-if we vote for ourselves for a change

I couldn't help sharing this photo with you all. This is a Red Bellied Woodpecker and a Baltimore Oriole. They're feeding at a Baltimore Oriole feeder. The syrup is the same as I use for Hummngbirds (one cup of water mixed with 1/4 cup of sugar.

This particular feeder, because of the weight of the Woodpecker wouldn't work as designed (hanging), so I had to put it on a flat surface.

The photo was taken out my computer room window. More photos can be seen here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New, Interesting Website


A few days ago, I attended the Annual Convention of the Indiana Alliance for Retired Americans. One speaker was Paul Severance, the developer of Reclaiming Our Elders Voice, a Certified Sage-ing Leader, an Indiana elder, a member of The Sage-ing Guild, and Founder of United Senior Action of Indiana.
What I found most interesting was the tradition of the American Indians of considering the seventh generation in all of their deliberations, particularly those of the Iroquois Confederation.
What a wonderful society we would build if we could all give the same consideration in the decisions we make as a nation.
Go to Paul's website when you have a chance.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Letter from Senator Barack Obama


Dear President Gerard and Brothers and Sisters of the United Steelworkers of America,

Thank you for your endorsement of my candidacy to be President of the United States. It is a great honor to have your support, and I am grateful to the USWA for devoting time, effort and hard work to our movement for change.

I am proud to stand with the USWA in our joint effort to build an America that values the labor of every American and rewards them with important basic guarantees – wages that can raise their families, health care, dignified retirements, and working conditions that are safe. On behalf of your members and their families and of all workers, I am fighting to make sure that all Americans have access to quality healthcare, enjoy fair treatment at work and receive a fair share of the wealth they create, and that all children benefit from excellent educational opportunities.

The men and women of the USWA and all workers deserve a President who is committed to improving the lives of working families. My candidacy is about fulfilling that commitment, and I look forward to working with you in the months and years to come.

We are in this together, and I appreciate all you are doing. But I cannot do this without you, so please stay involved – together, we will achieve the changes we seek.

Sincerely yours,

Barack Obama

www.BarackObama.com

Friday, May 16, 2008

McCain & Bush: One and the Same

Sen. John McCain has long promoted the idea that he is a “straight-talking maverick” who challenges his party and stands up to his president. However, despite the media misrepresentation, McCain has not strayed too far from President George Bush’s line, especially on issues important to working families. McCain is not running for a term of his own; he is running on an extension of the agenda laid out by Bush in his first two terms: tax cuts for the rich, privatizing Social Security and outsourcing jobs.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

United Steelworkers Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President


United Steelworkers Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President
Join John Edwards in Growing Wave of Support

Pittsburgh – The United Steelworkers today issued the following statement of endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President:

For Immediate Release May 15, 2008

“When the presidential primary contests began last year, our Union felt strongly that because of Senator John Edwards’s deep commitment to working people and because of our shared beliefs, he deserved our strong endorsement. His belief that unfair trade policies must be changed, his commitment to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to restore workers’ rights to freely choose workplace representation, and his proposal for universal health care were widely shared by our members.

“Today, by virtue of a unanimous vote of our International Executive Board, we find ourselves once again in agreement with Senator Edwards, this time with his decision last evening to endorse Senator Barack Obama. And thus today, the United Steelworkers enthusiastically endorses Senator Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.

“Senator Obama’s call for a significant change of direction amounts to far more than a compelling rallying cry. It is buttressed by his record of consistent support for workers, by his call for sweeping changes to our health care system, by his unflinching support for Employee Free Choice, and by his insistence that America’s trade policies must, first and foremost, serve the interests of America’s working families.

“Senator Obama has shown his commitment to working families by proposing significant investments in the future of American manufacturing, in the revitalization of our nation’s infrastructure, and in 21st century clean energy technologies that will lead to significant growth in domestic jobs. He is clearly the candidate who can best lead our nation out of the dark period of economic decline created by the Bush administration’s allegiance to Wall Street profiteering at the expense of worker prosperity.

“We share Senator Obama’s call for significant changes to these bankrupt policies, just as we earlier shared Senator Edwards’ And all of us, including we hope Senator Clinton for whom we have the utmost respect, must now do everything we can to ensure that Barack Obama is the next President of the United States. Now is the time for contention and division to cease, and for us to unite behind the changes for which Senator Obama and our members are calling.

“America’s workers cannot afford another four years of rehashed Bush administration policies, another four years in which the National Labor Relations Board shills for corporate misconduct, or another four years of a Secretary of the Treasury who considers it his “job” to bail out Wall Street speculators at the expense of hard working families loosing their homes.

“Nor can those of us who are committed to changing the direction of the country afford any more racial profiling of an election, when either Democratic candidate would be far superior to Senator McCain’s lock-step commitment to four more years of the broken Bush economy and the broken Bush foreign policies.

“We are proud and honored to join Senator Edwards in endorsing Senator Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for his election and for a new age of cooperation among Democrats, Independents and thoughtful Republicans alike in which working Americans are restored to a place of dignity in society and in the American economy.”

Contact: Marco Trbovich (412) 562-2440; or (412) 760-4335

Monday, May 12, 2008

Special Message from Pittsburgh on the 2008 Presidential Election Campaigns


May 12, 2008

In a recent meeting of the International Executive Board, concerns were raised about the media’s ongoing attempts to sensationalize and mischaracterize the contest between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic Party presidential nominee. Most disturbing have been attempts to define working people’s voting decisions in this contest as somehow racially based, while completely ignoring the fact that for years Senator McCain and many of his Republican colleagues have treated all working people with complete disdain, whether those workers are white, Black, Hispanic or otherwise. Shouldn’t that be the issue for 2008, and not this absurd and unfair focus on race and sometimes on religion?

There is a lot of talk that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now fated to lose the Democratic nomination and should pull out of the race. We believe it is her right to stay in the fight and challenge Senator Barack Obama as long as she has the desire and the means to do so. That is the essence of democracy, and of the Democratic Party process.

But we believe just as strongly that Mrs. Clinton will be making a terrible mistake — for herself, her Party and for the nation — if she continues to press her candidacy through negative campaigning with disturbing racial undertones.

America needs a clean break from eight catastrophic years of George W. Bush, and it needs it now. And so far, Senator John McCain is shaping up as simply the “Bush Sequel” – with more war in Iraq, even more tax cuts for the rich while the middle class struggles mightily, and courts packed with even more right-wing activists intent on undoing decades of progress in civil rights, civil liberties and other vital areas. The Democratic Party must field the most effective and vibrant candidate it possibly can. And more attack ads and squabbling will not help achieve that goal.

The IEB feels, therefore, that we need to make it absolutely clear to our staff and local leadership that both Democratic candidates would be far superior advocates for the rights of working people and their families than Senator McCain, and to make it equally clear that neither Democrat should urge a choice based on the race or the age of working-class voters. All workers have a common need to be represented better than they have been by George Bush or will be by John McCain, whether he or she is a retiree, a worker in one of our facilities, or one of the fine young men and women fighting right now to protect our nation.

It’s bad enough that John McCain’s supporters are already engaged in the politics of divide and conquer, especially if Senator Obama is the Nominee, which now seems likely. These destructive Republican tactics are deeply troubling and completely unfair, as Senator Obama’s grandparents, who raised him during much of his youth, fought in World War II and worked honorably in manufacturing jobs to support their family. And they are deeply troubling because the Senator has pledged his own undying allegiance to our country and to working-class Americans, and because of his outspoken commitment to a vibrant middle class which grows from the bottom up and which recognizes that when it comes to economic policies and trade, American workers must come first.

Dividing working people along racial and ethnic lines is the oldest and meanest game in the book, and it is the one the Republicans are already using to distract attention from the fact that Senator McCain has made it abundantly clear that he offers nothing more than a continuation of the Bush administration’s sorry record of relentlessly assaulting the well-being and interests of working people and of our nation’s unions.

John McCain is proposing a health care “plan,” for example, that is a health care industry-driven rehash of the approach that employers have been trying to shove down our throats for years in bargaining – and he is doing it with the full support of Bush and their Republican cronies in Congress and the insurance industry. John McCain has never seen a free trade deal that he doesn’t love – and as a candidate he’s already cheerleading for even more of them. He is calling for more Bush-type tax cuts for the wealthy that are creating the worst income inequality the country has seen since 1928. He opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, which Senator Obama supports for all workers, including for part-time and contract employees. John McCain will keep doling out subsidies to big oil. And he (along with Senator Clinton, unfortunately) has pandered to working people’s struggle to pay for rising gasoline prices by calling for a microscopic “gas tax holiday” that will only save working people pennies while robbing our country of the funds needed to rebuild our failing infrastructure – which is just one of the job-creating functions that our government should be investing in instead.

Given these troubling circumstances, the IEB urges all staff and local leadership to share Senator McCain’s vicious anti-worker record with our members, and to encourage them to understand that media attempts to sensationalize differences among working people based on race, ethnicity or religion will only distract us from the real need to change our nation’s policies on health care, trade, workers’ rights, energy and foreign affairs. Getting that message out immediately to all our members and supporters is crucial, and we must not let either the last few days of the Democratic primary process or the everyday McCain lies rob us of the chance to end the Bush assault on us, our union and our families.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH CONFIRMS MASSIVE CHINESE ENERGY SUBSIDIES TO STEEL INDUSTRY

New report uncovers unprecedented subsidies affecting global steel market.

Washington DC, January 8, 2008 – According to a new report commissioned by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), the Chinese government has exponentially boosted its steel output over the last three years through massive, trade-distorting energy subsidies. Total energy subsidies to Chinese steel from 2000 to mid-year 2007 reached $27.11 billion. Despite China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002, energy subsidies grew, totaling $25.07 billion through mid-year 2007. These energy subsidies include supports for thermal and coking coal, electricity, and natural gas.“Chinese subsidies exist, they are enormous and they are shaping the global steel market,” said the report’s author, Usha C. V. Haley, Ph.D.

China has identified steel as a strategic industry, and both the central and provincial governments have decided to ramp up steel production with massive subsidies that have now been confirmed.”China is the largest producer and consumer of steel in the world, accounting for 40 percent of the global market. Much has changed for China’s steel industry in the last 5 years. In 2005, China went from a net steel importer to a steel exporter. In 2006, China became the largest steel exporter in the world by volume, up from fifth largest in 2005. This enormous increase in production has come at a cost for U.S. manufacturing; more than 1.8 million U.S. jobs have been displaced since China joined the WTO, according to the Economic Policy Institute”

Source: AAM

Saturday, May 10, 2008

China Cheats Indiana

Manufacturing is a vital part of the economies of most states. As a share of gross state product (GSP), manufacturing is the largest sector in 10 states and in the Midwest region as a whole. It is the second largest in nine states and third largest in 21 others.

Manufacturing jobs lost from 2000-2007: 109,800

Manufacturing accounts for $67.2 billion of Indiana's GSP, the number 1 contributor to the state’s economy.

45,200 jobs lost, 2001-2006 (all sectors), as a result of the trade deficit with China, equaling 1.5% of the total state employment in 2001.

Source: AAM

Thursday, May 08, 2008

China Cheats. Indiana Loses.


Demand that the candidates put
a stop to the cheating by enforcing
our laws against unfair trade.

Indiana has lost 109,800 manufacturing jobs since 2000. Why? Because too many in Washington are unwilling to enforce our laws against unfair trade, allowing countries like China to cheat, and putting U.S. workers and manufacturers at a disadvantage. Want proof? Our soaring $256 billion annual trade deficit with China has cost Indiana alone more than 45,200 jobs and more than 1.8 million jobs nationwide.

We need a President and a Congress who will stand up to China. Until then, China will continue to illegally subsidize their industries, keep the value of their currency low, dump their products in the U.S. and steal our jobs. Don’t let them get away with it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Message from the Alliance for Retired Americans

Tomorrow is primary day in Indiana. The Alliance wants to make you aware of available resources should you have any questions or problems in voting. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.

An organization named Election Protection is America's largest non-partisan voter protection coalition formed to help people vote. Trained volunteers will staff the hotline and answer any questions from 5:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. to provide all voters with free assistance.

The Election Protection toll-free number is 1-866-OUR VOTE (or 1-866-687-8683) and it is available to ANYONE who has a question about or a problem when they vote in the Indiana Primary tomorrow. The Election Protection website is www.866OurVote.org .

Morel mushrooms

The morels are out folks. Go to the SOAR recipe website for some good recipes.

For president-who should I vote?

Gosh, for me, that’s really a tough question. The conservative nuts have the country in such a mess and a vote for McCain would result in more of the same-so he’s out of the question, so

the decision has to be between Clinton and Obama.

I’ve been watching and listening and reading about these two candidates just like you have and I think it’s a toss up.

Both have 100% voting records with the AFL-CIO and both have 100% voting records with the Alliance for Retired Americans.

I have seen and heard them both speak, and briefly met Hillary back in October 2001. They’re both good for working families and retirees and both have the family values necessary to really lift America out the fix that we’re in.

Please be sure to vote tomorrow in Indiana and which ever one of these super candidates you vote for will be fine with me.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Bush Social Security Plan

A 20 year-old worker today could expect to receive over $440,000 from Social Security, but will receive $100,000 instead under the Bush Plan.

Think About It!

Friday, May 02, 2008

If you don't mind Wall Street corrupting Social Security and wasting your money,

then Social Security privatization is right for you!

(Wall Street has spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress for the privatization of Social Security and will win big if private accounts are created.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

If you welcome shouldering an additional $2 trillion in debt,

then Social Security privatization is right for you!

(Establishing private accounts creates at least a $2 trillion financial crisis for Social Security that does not currently exist because this amount will have to be borrowed in order to pay for transition costs.)