Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fall of an Empire?

Now the "dumbing of America" is coming into better focus.

From: Bill D. <billd@******>
Subject: Fw: America's Joblessness Concerns
On Thu, 12/2/10, Bill D. <billd@*****> wrote:
Subject: .America's Joblessness Concerns.
Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 9:25 PM
The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind....

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.  About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.
#2 Dell Inc., one of America ’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.
#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem , North Carolina in November.  Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.
#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States ?  Zero.
#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
#6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.
#7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.
#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.
#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.
#10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul , Minnesota . Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford's new "global" manufacturing strategy.
#11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.
#13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.
#15 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.   Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.
#17 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States .
#18 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
#19 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?
How many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?
How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realize that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?
How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide?
   The deindustrialization of America is a national crisis.  It needs to be treated like one. The United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe.  All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing. It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.
   We are witnessing the deindustrialization of America. Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone.  Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period.  The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us.  
   The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now  just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally out produce the rest of the world combined.  Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world. If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?So what happens when the debt bubble pops?
{ reprinted from “We The Peeps 1”, Author: Hutch Dubosque, 12/3/2010 }
1] looked at the disarray and chaos of our Federal Government  {all three branches},
2] our Economy {with the exception of the Military/Industrial Complex},
3] our Society,
4]having learned of the more than three-fold increase in the local Militias,
5] the fact that most of our active Military is involved elsewhere,
6] the resurgence of hatred and bigotry,
it seems the Moon and the Stars are lining up to point where the aforementioned "REVOLUTION" is not a far fetched possibility. Stop and think of how many folks are without jobs, under employed, have lost their houses and credit, not looking at a future they can believe in. If you give that a fair shake, that's just a whole bunch of folks are mad as Hell, and aren't going to take it anymore. From past social unrest, there is a definite inclination to start the ball rolling in the Summer time, when its hot and muggy, and students are out of school and unemployed. The potential for ugliness looms large in our immediate futures. The Country I’m living in, now, is not the Country I served. Thank God for drugs to numb the pain!   


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Duplication Sucks:

The Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education
   The Board of Regents sets overall education policy for the State of New York and heads The University of the State of New York (USNY). While USNY has one main purpose - providing knowledge and skills to all - it carries this policy out in many ways.
{ This is identical to the Federal Department of Education }
   The Board of Regents includes 17 members elected by the State Legislature for five-year terms. Thirteen of the Regents represent the State's 13 judicial districts, one from each district, and four are at-large. (Judicial District III is currently vacant). The Regents serve without salary.
{ At the upper Managerial level, this is  135 : 17 = 13% of the Federal level}
{Let’s see the top 135 Managers at the Federal level work for free.}
   The Regents choose a Commissioner of Education who heads The State Education Department and also serves as the President of the University of the State of New York. Generally, the Regents set policy while the Commissioner has responsibility for carrying out policy.
{This is redundant to the Federal Department of Education}
{At a cursory glance, one would be very satisfied with the State’s ability to run their own Education system, without the “interference” of Federal mandates.}

 The University of the State of New York
  The University of the State of New York (USNY) is the most complete, interconnected system of educational services in the United States.
USNY includes:
v More than 7,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools;
v 248 public and private colleges and universities;
v 251 proprietary (for-profit) schools;
v Nearly 7,000 libraries including the New York State Library;
v 750 museums;
v The State Archives;
v Vocational rehabilitation and other services for adults with disabilities;
v Special education services for pre-school and school-age children and teenagers;
v A School for the Blind;
v A School for the Deaf;
v 25 public broadcasting facilities, including seven public television stations;
v More than 750,000 professionals practicing in 48 licensed professions, including, for example, pharmacy, architecture, accounting, and nursing; and
v 240,000 certified public school teachers, counselors, and administrators.
{Seems like this State has every thing to offer its students. It seems that this State has the capability of running an efficient program. And, I’ll just bet you that this State can do it “ahead of schedule, and under budget”.}
   Although these organizations are dedicated to maintaining and improving education, they usually work within their respective sector. Each entity of this educational system is both an official and organic component of the University of the State of New York. The challenge and the opportunity are for the sectors to work together as a whole bringing unmatched resources in people, information, facilities, technology, artifacts, and relationships to face educational issues of the twenty-first century.
{Not to shabby for  a departmental description and mission statement.}
{Why are we sending tax dollars to Washington to do what already exists at the State level?}

AO Cleanup Vietnam:

 RAO BULLETIN , 1 December 2010
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has told the Da Nang People’s Committee that it plans to spend US$34 million to rid the city’s airport of Agent Orange. The two-year project is intended to ensure that plants can again grow in contaminated earth. Former military airports in central Binh Dinh Province’s Phu Cat District and southern Dong Nai Province’s Bien Hoa District will be next on the list for detoxification, says USAID. During the past three years, with funding provided by various American non-governmental organizations, the agency has approved spending of US$21 million to deal with dioxin contamination in the country, according to Da Nang City’s Department of Foreign Affairs. The $21 million total includes $16 million to be spent on dioxin clean-up of the area and $2 million to be spent on assessing environmental impacts as well as exploring technical solutions to the problem. The remaining $3 million have been earmarked to help improve the lives of the city’s Agent Orange victims and disadvantaged people.
Dioxin-contaminated earth will be scooped up and burned in tubes at temperatures of more than 350 Celsius degrees, according to the agency. From 72 to 80 million litres or defoliants were sprayed over Vietnamese forests during the war, including the highly toxic Agent Orange, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Phu Cat airports are home to some of the highest dioxin concentrations in the contamination of the environment. Today, dioxin levels at the airport are up to 400 times higher than internationally accepted levels. The affected zone has been sealed off from the public.
[Source: Vietnam Net Bridge article 19 Nov 2010 ++]
Oh, what a treat.....hundreds of millions of dollars as restitution for the Enemy. I guess we don't have take care of our own soldiers who wrote a blank check to the Govenment, the amount of which was up to and including their lives. And some people actually wonder out loud why our Country is going to Hell in a hand basket!

Letters to my Sisters.....2010

Hey, sis, you think Mom’s “forward” was a wee too forward, I seem to get the likes of what appears below……..from my friends, no less. There is, without a doubt, an incredible amount of hate simmering, waiting for a place in time to boil over into some ugly violence. Its all very scary, but I think it may also be very true. I’ve been keeping a keen ear to this situation, and one fact alone would make this rhetoric believable. That fact would be: The armed, antigovernment Militias in this Country have more than tripled in size over the past YEAR ! Over the past thirty odd years, I have been approached on six occasions, that I can remember, by someone suggesting I join our local Militia here on Long Island. I definitely never would, but was interested in finding out more about who joins, how many and what type of weaponry they possess, and would they really be willing to use all that ammunition.

Findings (over the years):
1.  Who joins? = Middle Class and Lower, Middle Class who tend to be in the “Trades”.
2.  How many Weapons? = This runs the entire gamut of weaponry up to and including all styles of automatics, grenades, anti-tank missiles, claymore mines, C-4 plastic explosive, grenade launchers, crew-served machine guns and mortars. Also, an unbelievable amount of ammunition for all the above.
3. Willing to use it? = you betcha, Charlie. They were willing to engage years ago. The current socio-economic malaise is just the sort of match needed to light their fire.
I’ve been trying to spread the peace and love platform, and at the same time trying to impress folks of what may be lurking in the bushes. Sure hope everybody can tell me I was wrong!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Department of Education

   Our Nation has fifty sovereign States. Our forefathers joined these States into a democratic union which was meant to view the parts of this union as separate, but equal. What was the thought process, or intent, of allowing States to retain an ample amount of sovereignty and still be part of the greater whole?
   It is believable that our Founding Fathers appreciated the fact that there would some differences from State to State, and Region to Region. Some facets of Tribalism come into play when a summary overview of the Country is undertaken. The melding of “No man is an island” with “A man is King of his Castle” is a concept that seemed to be working up until the Great Depression of 1929. That is when the stronger “tribes” declared war against the weaker “tribes”. As this evolved, the concept of tribalism quickly took hold in business, as well as Government. When these two entities started banging heads, “We the People” were no longer regarded as equal partners in forging the future of this Nation.
   The ensuing power-grab by business and Government has brought us to the place we are now. Both alpha tribes regard the general population as a necessary evil; one to be marginally tolerated for different reasons. As government sapped the sovereignty out of the States and manifested it in huge bureaucracies, big business was allowed to write their own rules and regulations. The upshot of that is current ownership of the Government by big business. { Oh no? Just ask your elected officials where they got all their campaign money. }
   The people of this Country are not blameless. We were handed the “good life”, and were expected to simply fall in line and do the bosses bidding. Well, while we were sleeping and growing apathetic to the whole process, these two large consortiums ate our lunch. One of the most disturbing pieces of that lunch is the degrading of our National education system { which should never have been Nationalized to the point it has }. Government took it on because they thought they knew what each and every one of our children needed; a “one size fits all” approach to education. Anything more intricate, or complex, is way beyond the Federal Government’s capability, even given the amount of employees in their employ.
   Big business also had its hand in the education cookie jar. They very astutely came up with a plan to manipulate the National education process into further ruin and chaos. The campaign dollars that flowed had strings attached. The Department of Education would be allowed to fulfill its bureaucratic mission of providing jobs to thousands, however, the administrative actions and plans were not to reach down to the general populace.
   The reason for this has become painfully obvious; Americans are becoming less educated by the day. This is just what the doctor ordered for all large corporations. The “dumber” the work force becomes the less you have to pay them, and the more you can justify outsourcing jobs. Has any body noticed lately? Our Nation no longer has a manufacturing base; the one economic advantage we had over other Nations.
   The only significant industrial base we still have is of and for the Government; i.e. The Military/Industrial Complex. More and more that “base” is being diluted and outsourced, too, because no young person knows how to run a lathe or a milling machine, or how to make a tool or die, or how to design and fabricate a manufacturing machine, or how to properly repair and maintain machinery.
   All that is gone now from our society, and we have morphed into a mostly “service” economy, something that is not sustainable. Our salvation could be in the form of going “green”, and producing our own solar panels, wind turbines, and the like, but who is left to design, manufacture and maintain such items. Example: “windmills” – China manufactures the turbines, Sweden manufactures the blades. How do these sources of power fit into our existing electrical infrastructure?
   Without the proper educational system, we are doomed to failure. The Federal Government has shown us how not to do it. Stop sending tax dollars for education to Washington; they don’t know how to use them; it’s a waste of our hard earned money; and does not get the job done. Keep this money in the States, so they can fund their education departments, and form Regional coalitions to provide the type of education necessary for their constituents. Let the Fed’s have a loose oversight and curricular responsibility to police the Educators and their systems; nothing more.
  Try this with our education process, and, if it works as it well should, take a hard look at other Federal departments and Agencies that would benefit from decentralization and downsizing. I have taken a cursory look at the Org. charts for the State of New York and that of the Federal Department of Education, and they look eerily similar; leading to a conclusion that changing this process will not be difficult. Of course, it needs someone to stand up and get it done. Who will that be? Will we all be left “waiting for Godot”?