Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer. UPDATE: Estimated 10,000 at Foley Square. Today the Occupy Movement marked its two month anniversary. Only two months. Or, two whole months. Depends on your perspective, I[...]
Read The Full Article:
WELS church communications director, and advisor to the WELS Synodical Council and Conference of Presidents, Joel Hochmuth, has been arrested on child porn charges, WISN reported.
This morning the WELS church scrubbed Hochmuth's interview with prominent WELS member, U.S. candidate Mark Neumann from the WELS site, where the two discussed the "Good Lord," "Christian principles," "abortion," and God's plans for Neumann in politics.
The interview page now reads: "You do not have sufficient privileges to view the requested page. If your user account has access to this page, please log in."
This message began appearing after the piece, WELS?Mark Neumann's Church?Comm Director Arrested on Child Porn Charges, was posted here this morning.
The claim of "sufficient privileges" contradicts the site's Technological page reading: "Sign In is not required for http://www.wels.net/, ... ."
Neumann should condemn Hochmuth and use his considerable influence with his church to ax this guy, and WELS should stop covering up, and start speaking up.
I don't care if it's Penn State football, the Catholic Church or WELS, preying on children is flat-out wrong, and silence is acceptance.
Republicans on the Energy and Commerce committee take aim at Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Solyndra; Chu hits back. [...]
Read The Full Article:
Man, was I lucky! I was born into a working class family clinging by its fingernails to afford whatever it was the middle class was supposed to be offering. I rejected the entire project at an early age and fled. I washed up in Eurasia and made my way, by the grace of God, for almost 7 years from Germany to Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and back to Europe again. Nixon being impeached, I returned to America, I started my own record company-- for fun-- had some success (luck), and then got hired by a big corporation looking for an entrepreneurial type with some foreign market experience. Being recruited for that job was probably the fastest trip ever from $10,000/year to over a million. I'm retired now but last weekend my boyfriend told me not to worry about being part of the 1%; we were on our way to a $10 all-you-can eat Ethiopian vegan lunch. If I was in DC today-- God Forbid-- I'd have joined the Patriotic Millionaires demanding Congress raise taxes on the rich.
Yesterday we looked at how the 1%-- millionaires-- have thoroughly taken over Congress. Almost half the Members are millionaires themselves. Many are a lot richer than mere millionaires. And most of the rest cater to the demands of millionaires as a first tenet of their political careers. At the same time, ABC News was exposing the 8 most powerful businessmen influencing politics. And the list starts with the worst of the worst-- the fascist-oriented Koch brothers who are making war against democracy itself.
The Koch Brothers are typically secretive and reluctant to speak in public but in September 2011, David Koch addressed Tea Party leaders, saying, "The American dream of free enterprise, capitalism is alive and well."
According to one estimate, they've contributed more than $100 million to conservative political causes, and a foundation that they back has trained thousands of Tea Party activists.
David H. Koch, 71, and Charles Koch, 75, together own Koch Industries, a Kansas-based company started by their father. The privately-held, $100 billion-dollar-a-year company is best-known for its oil and energy business... Controversy has arisen around Koch Industries, which allegedly traded with Iran and paid bribes in France to get payments in six different countries. This summer, the Koch brothers admitted making from illegal campaign contributions between 2005 and 2009, and said that they fired an individual responsible for the bribes.
Via John Sides, an impressive piece of social science looks at partisan polarization in views of Godfather’s Pizza:
One of the biggest mistakes people make in thinking about politics is overlooking this kind of thing. People have very strong and largely fixed views about the political parties and their major leaders. When a partisan politicians starts talking about something loudly, he doesn’t really persuade anyone. If people pay attention at all, what happens is that he causes opinion to become organized along the main axis of partisan conflict the way you can use a magnet to make all the iron filings line up in a certain way. If there’s an issue you’d like to see progress on, your best hope by far is for two relatively obscure members of congress from opposite sides to reach an agreement, then persuade a bunch of their colleagues, and then unveil the proposal as a big bipartisan initiative. People love bipartisanship.
The Aerospace Industries Association recently released a study hawking a similar tone, claiming that $1 trillion in cuts could lead to over 1 million job losses. While this study also ignores the fact that spending federal money elsewhere would create more jobs, CAP’s Larry Korb noted in a Politico op-ed today that “the number of jobs that could be lost is about 600,000 — not 1 million.” But Korb also adds that back in 2003, the AIA wasn’t all that interested in creating jobs here in the United States:
But to really understand how little the defense industry cares about its workers, we need to go back to 2003. In the fiscal year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress inserted a provision that would have increased the percentage of components that had to be made in America for Defense Department purchases to 65 percent of the product, rather than the current 50 percent.
This proposal, supported by many small manufacturing companies and unions because it would create jobs in the U.S., was vehemently opposed by AIA. Why? Because it would cut its members? profits and make it harder to sell their wares around the world (The U.S. is the global leader in arms sales).
As a result of AIA?s efforts, the ?buy American? provision, which would have increased employment in the U.S., was dropped.
“It is clear that the AIA study?s real purpose was to protect not U.S. workers but the group?s profits,” Korb adds. Indeed, AIA spent $213,684 lobbying Congress from July through September last year. This year however, the defense industry trade group spent $886,814 during the same period, a 76 percent increase.
Military, defense and security spending isn’t a jobs program, it’s meant to be focused toward protecting the United States and its allies, not lining the pockets of big American corporations.
The recession and the endlessly escalating cost of college have, rightly, put a bit more emphasis on the fact that higher education is heterogeneous and students should probably try to study something worthwhile. Unfortunately, I think people sometimes misunderstand what is and isn’t a worthwhile program of study. This chart from Kay Steiger is probably a good place to start:
People, I believe, intuit that the STEM fields are good majors. But I think that’s not just, or even primarily, because of their intrinsic merits. The fact that these programs are hard and the people in them tend to spend a lot of time studying is an important part of the story. By contrast, majoring in “business” sounds very practical-minded to a lot of people. After all, how could a business degree not be more valuable than some nonsense like philosophy? That’s one of the reasons why it’s become the most popular major by far. But business majors aren’t actually doing anything! Not surprisingly, in exchange for doing less work than people in other majors, business majors also learn less.
None of that’s to say that there’s anything wrong with business (or education) as a subject to study. But a good starting point for colleges across the country would be to say that if they have degree-granting programs that don’t seem to require the students to do any work, they’re probably doing something wrong. Meanwhile, I worry that in some respects we’re probably undershooting arts/humanities education as a country. For people who are good at it, the ability to create objects of aesthetic merit is incredibly valuable and this is a domain where we show no little sign of making progress with automation.
Think solar is only for the 1%? Not so fast.
New data from California shows that two thirds of solar PV installations from 2009 to 2011 were in zip codes with median household incomes between $40,000 and $84,000, according to analysis from PV Solar Report and SunRun.
Solar PV is often criticized as an “eco-chic” technology only available for the richest, most fashionable greenies. Of course, if you’ve followed the solar industry (or invested in a system of your own), you know that is not true.
Yes, the upfront costs of investing in a system can still be prohibitive, particularly in states without good incentive programs. But the falling cost of equipment combined with innovative “solar services” and group purchasing programs can actually make solar energy cheaper than grid-based electricity in some states.
The installation trends in the industry ? the emergence of point-of-sale financing, growth in plug-and-play systems, dramatic improvements in hardware and electronics, and better installation techniques ? are making the technology accessible to a wide range of consumers.
We should be careful not to make sweeping conclusions about this California-specific data. But let’s remember, this is a solar market that just passed the 1-GW installation mark, a feat only accomplished by a few other countries.
And as it’s often said: “So goes California, so goes the nation.”
99 Percenters nationwide have been engaged in raucous protests for two months now, seeking to call attention to income inequality and other social injustices that have enriched the top 1 percent at the expense of the rest of us.
Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) — a hard-right congressman whose political inspiration was ultra-right ideologue Ayn Rand — released a report offering an analysis of the nation’s growing income inequality.
In a sign that the 99 Percent are winning and forcing even the hard right to address income inequality, Ryan’s report complains about the country’s growing inequality and even highlights the huge growth of income among the top 1 percent, using the following chart from the Congressional Budget Office:
While the report does go on in other sections to blame the wrong culprits of income inequality and in other ways downplay income inequality altogether, the fact that a congressman who gets his political inspiration from Ayn Rand — who targeted altruism itself as an evil — is now forced to openly talk about the problem of income inequality is a huge victory for the 99 Percent.
With his ear to the ground in Massachusetts, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is bolstering his Wall Street reform cred with a new bill to stop members of Congress from participating in insider trading. Responding to a 60 Minutes report citing lawmakers who earned thousands from trading on information learned in private briefings, Brown’s Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2011 requires lawmakers to report transactions of at least $1,000 in bonds, commodities or stocks within 90 days. Today, Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) took it one step further with a bill that will not only ban insider trading for congressional members but will “empower the Securities and Exchange Commission to prosecute lawmakers for insider-trading cases as well as make insider trading against the rules of the House and the Senate.”
Noting that “the American people don’t have a lot of trust in Congress,” Gillibrand told CBS’ Early Show host Chris Wagge that “it’s incumbent upon us to make the kinds of changes that the American people would expect we would make so that we live by the exact same exact rules that everyone else does.” While there is disclosure now, she said, “it has to be illegal, just like it’s illegal for everyone else.” Watch it:
House Speaker John Boehner (R), however, thinks that such laws are unnecessary as “there are already guidelines for congressional investments,” adding, “I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities in my account and haven’t for years.”