Wednesday, December 14, 2011
So take a planet like Mars with no biosphere, no plants, no animals and no humans. Mars does not have an economy, natural or otherwise? Let's call that zero.
Now take a planet like Earth with a biosphere, plants, animals and humans. Earth does have an economy, both natural and economic. Let's call that one.
What is the natural world worth? Well, take the economic value of Earth, 1, and subtract the economic value of Mars, 0. That's the difference between the value of Earth vs. Mars. Then divide it by the value of Mars, 0.
The value of a natural world is infinity. The opportunity cost of denying that our natural world is threatened, meaning what we would pay if we did nothing to mitigate climate change and the other effects that humans ARE having on Earth, is infinity. What does it mean to pay infinity?
You can answer that yourself.
H.J.Res.90 is the House Resolution proposing an amendment to the US Constitution that reverses Citizens United. It was introduced by Ted Deutch (D-FL19) on November 18th.
The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee when it was introduced on November 18th, and from there to the Subcommittee on the Constitution on December 2nd. That's where the bill sits.
Activism means finding answers to three questions. What decision is being made, who is making that decision and how can I influence that decision?
The decision being made right now is whether the Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold hearings on this Resolution. There can be no action on the floor of the US House of Representatives until it passes out of the Subcommittee and then the full House Judiciary Committee. So we need to push for hearings. Here are the members of the Subcommittee on the Constitution:
Trent Franks (R, AZ-02) - Chairman
Jerrold Nadler (D, NY-08) - Ranking Member
Mike Pence (R, IN-06) - Vice Chairman
Steve Chabot, (R, OH-01)
Randy Forbes, (R, VA-04)
Steve King, (R, IA-05)
Jim Jordan, (R, OH-04)
Lamar S. Smith, (R, TX-21)
Michael Quigley, (D, IL-05)
John Conyers, Jr., (D, MI-14)
Bobby Scott, (D, VA-03)
The Subcommittee does not have a separate website, but here is the list of Subcommittees for the Judiciary Committee:
Phone number for the Subcommittee: (202) 225-2825
In addition to the House Joint Resolution, Senator Sanders (I-VT) introduced S.J.Res.33, which is the same bill on the Senate side. Currently only Senator Begich (D-AK) has cosponsored this bill, and it sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here are the members:
Patrick Leahy, Vermont, Chairman
Chuck Grassley, Iowa Ranking Member
Herb Kohl, Wisconsin
Dianne Feinstein, California
Chuck Schumer, New York
Richard Durbin, Illinois
Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island
Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
Al Franken, Minnesota
Chris Coons, Delaware
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
Orrin Hatch, Utah
Jon Kyl, Arizona
Jeff Sessions, Alabama
Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
John Cornyn, Texas
Mike Lee, Utah
Tom Coburn, Oklahoma
So, given all of this information, what do we do? We contact our friends who live in the House Districts or States of the members of these two committees, and ask that the Resolutions be brought up in committee for a hearing, then put to a vote so that they can be considered on the floor of each chamber. Please let me know what additional information you need, and I'll see what I can find.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Rep. Ted Deutch: The OCCUPIED Amendment, H. J. Res 90
Senator Bernie Sanders: Saving American Democracy Amendment, S. J. Res 33
Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07) co-sponsored on December 2nd
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) co-sponsored on December 13th
Two down, seven to go.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Since I submitted a questionnaire, I've had several people contact me after reading it to ask me this.
I'm comfortable as the Chair of the 46th District Democrats. During an eboard meeting to prepare for the upcoming Special Caucus on November 10th, we discussed the necessity of having three names submitted to the King County Council for the Senate appointment. I was asked to fill out the Questionnaire. I filled it out like I was a serious candidate. How could I not? That would dishonor the position and the PCOs who have to make the decision.
I don't like making "the ask". I like hearing other people's views. So let me ask this question in response: Do you WANT me to run?
I know our platform. I like to say that I'm about as "progressive" as you can get. Does that make you want me as an elected representative? The best person is a balance of passion, experience, connections and an ability to work within the system, at least in my mind. I won't be deciding who I support until I write a name on the ballot.
I guess it's up to the PCOs in the 46th.
Monday, October 31, 2011
The only email that came up in my search was from October, 2007. It was an email from Scott to Trade Printery about that month's Demogram. That was the last time we had a 6 page newsletter, and it was the last Demogram he edited as Chair of the 46th.
History and memories create some very powerful ghosts on Samhain.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
I'm really impressed by this.
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
THIS DOCUMENT WAS ACCEPTED BY THE NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are their allies. As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known:
§ They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
§ They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
§ They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
§ They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
§ They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
§ They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
§ They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
§ They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
§ They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
§ They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
§ They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
§ They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
§ They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
§ They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
§ They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
§ They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
§ They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
§ They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
§ They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
§ They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
§ They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
§ They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
§ They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
§ These grievances are not all-inclusive.
Join the movement at http://www.occupytogether.com
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Thank you for asking our views. I'm a hard core progressive, so my view on how to reduce the deficit and pay down the debt comes from that perspective. First, the deficit is a problem because our economy is in the tank. To improve the economy, we must get people back to work. To get people back to work, the overall demand in the economy must increase. The Federal Government can best help with that by awarding contracts for projects. I do not believe that ANY tax cuts will do ANY good, even "targeted" tax cuts meant to "help" the middle class. Those are failures from the word "cut". People don't mind paying taxes when their income is sufficient to pay their bills and put some money aside for the future.
One important aspect of the Contracts must be this: No foreign companies. None. Not one good or service paid for by US Tax Dollars should originate outside of our borders, and not one of those dollars should go to the profits of a non-US (tax-paying) corporation. If doing this means we have to withdraw from the WTO, do it. If this means we have to withdraw from NAFTA, do it. There are no shortcuts or substitutes for putting our own citizens back to work.
Second, take Social Security and Medicare off the cuts table. Period. Social Security should be changed so that it is self-funded forever, which could be done easily by eliminating the cap on the FICA tax. We also need to add a savings component, something similar to a National 401K, where anyone can put additional money into the Social Security Administration which would be invested in Treasury Bonds, Bills Notes or Municipal Bonds of their choosing.
Medicare should be expanded by initiating a public option where any US citizen can buy into the program. Nothing else will do more to help eliminate the deficit in Medicare funding.
Military contractors should be shown the door. No private company should ever be given a contract to do what our own soldiers are perfectly capable of doing. I mopped floors in the Galley when I was in the Navy. Now I hear we're paying people from the private sector more than an E6 to do that. That's insane, and stupid. End that.
Rebuild our roads, our water systems, our sewer systems, our power grid and our rail system. Do what Eisenhower was not able to do by putting rail lines alongside every Federal Highway.
Reverse the Bush, Reagan and Kennedy tax cuts. People in the top 1% of income earners should be paying 70% in taxes. People in the top 0.1% should be paying 90%. Prevent the concentration of wealth and power that leads to the corruption of power in Washington DC and everywhere else by making them understand that all the money they are earning belongs to the country, not to themselves personally. If they don't like that, they are welcome to fund Space Exploration so they can move to the Moon or Mars.
I'm a hard core progressive. Those are my views. Enjoy.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
My son and I continue to work on Victory Creek Park, just East of the QFC along Northgate Way. We're focused on the Eastern ravine, which we believe belongs to the Seattle Department of Transportation because it aligns with the right-of-way from 12th Avenue down to Northgate Way NE. I don't think anyone has touched that portion of the park for years.
Here's the report I gave to the Parks Department via their "Report Illegal Dumping" form:
My son and I found a bunch of junk while working in Victory Creek Park. There is a large soft bottle of black oil sludge of some kind in the Eastern ravine. The bottle does not have a lid. The remainder of the junk including two tires, some metal pieces and a planter box with some broken glass bottles are across the walkway, visible from Northgate Way.
If you have any questions, please contact me. My son and I work in that area every Sunday.
Correction, this is what I would have sent as a comment if their comment character limit wasn't 150. Which is way, WAY, too short for me.
Here's the response I got when I submitted the form:
Thank you for your message to Seattle Public Utilities regarding Illegal Dumping. We will respond to your report as quickly as possible.
If the illegal dumping violation is on public property, Seattle Public Utilities will dispatch a clean up request to the appropriate department or agency. Public property includes alleys, sidewalks, planting strips, streets and rights-of-way. Our goal is to inspect reported complaints within 10 business days and remove debris within 14 business days.
Private property dumping is a civil matter between the property owner and the violator. For information on illegal dumping on private property, please contact the DPD Code Violation Complaint Hotline at (206) 684-7899.
We share your concern, and appreciate your message. It is citizens like you who help to keep our communities clean and beautiful.
SPU Customer Service
I don't think this is NEAR fast enough. Of course, I'm not sure how many reports per day they get of people dumping stuff within the Seattle city limits. Probably way to often.
Here are some pictures of what we found.
I'll add more pictures as soon as we get them uploaded.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I arrived to work on time, around 7:00am. My job was to unpack the boxes that came in to the Sportswear department and get the floor ready for the day. The building was usually buzzing with the Department managers and stock people doing the same, but this was a quiet morning. My manager came down and asked if I knew. He sent me upstairs to the lunchroom where the television was. I watched the second tower fall.
I had been in the military. I knew what this meant. We were at war. With someone, not sure who yet. The manager of the shoe department was ranting about someone from the Middle East. I told him that another plane had gone down in Pennsylvania. We thought it had been going after Camp David.
Someone threatened the Irdis Mosque and shot a bullet into the ground there. I wrote up a sign and took it to the Imam to have translated. "We are one people, stronger than before". I meant it to mean America.
Most people were sent home that day. Nobody was coming in to shop. Everyone was at their televisions. But Nordstrom immediately geared up for a sale. Their first and only Fall Sale, to clear our inventory, and send a percentage of the sales to Ground Zero. The Mens Buyer walked into a local embroidery manufacturer and told them he wanted shirts and hats with the US Flag on them in every store. We probably sold hundreds. I wanted to buy one, but they all sold too fast.
There was an image in the news, with people from Pakistan holding up a banner that read "America, think why you are hated around the world." So I stopped to think. And I remembered my oath.
"...against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."
I was in the military. I knew what this meant. We were at war. And I knew who with. They're not from the Middle East.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jim listened! I was looking at the SeattlePI.com website this morning, and saw this:
Here's the letter on the front page of the Buy Washington Bonds website:
Thank you for visiting Buy Washington Bonds.
Washington periodically issues bonds to finance investments in our schools, roads, bridges, housing, parks, and other crucial infrastructure projects.
As Treasurer, I am responsible for managing all of the State’s bond sales. I’m pleased to announce that on July 15 and 18, 2011, Washington bonds will be available to state retail investors in advance of other investors. On this website, you will learn more about these bonds and how to purchase them.
We expect to periodically have a portion of future State bond sales offered to retail investors and will update this website for those sales.
James L McIntire, Washington State Treasurer
He's been talking about getting these ads out into the Washington media for a while, but this is the first time I've actually seen one. My wife also heard an ad on NPR about this.
He's offering the bonds to the retail public in Washington State for a few days before he goes to Wall Street. Now the biggest hurdle is the denomination, which is $5,000 at minimum. Bonds are "priced" at $100, but bundled at $5,000 to help the banks ensure that they don't drown in work because thousands of people want to buy $100 worth instead of just a few people wanting to buy $5K worth. The only way to change that is to have Congress mandate that the denomination of all Municipal Bonds be set at $100. Which the banks would fight against, like everything else.
But I want to thank our Washington State Treasurer for putting out these ads!! It's a great start!
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
"100% taxation of the income of every taxpayer in the US would NOT cover annual federal spending."
That's a lie. It's absolutely false, and here are some numbers to throw back at the lying liers who tell that lie.
The GDP of the United States was estimated to be $14.7 Trillion in 2010. The "GDP per capita" was $46,381. (Now, given that this calculates a total population of 316,940,126 people, I'm guessing that some of that is business to business. We don't have that many wage-earners in the US yet. But I'll use the number anyway.)
According to this NYTimes article in February of 2010, the 2010 Federal Budget was $3.8 Trillion. That included a $1.56 Trillion deficit.
If every wage earner, both individual and business, paid the same flat tax rate to the Federal Government, that tax rate would need to be 25.85%, or an average of $11,990 out of that $46,381. Just to pay the deficit would be 10.61%, or $4,922. But of course, if we did that, there would BE no deficit.
Now, 25.85% is a high tax rate for Americans. Especially if they don't have a clue and don't pay attention. Because according to history, that's about right. Especially if you consider that with a balanced budget we could really get serious at creating jobs, rebuilding our crumbling infrastrcture and actually start paying down the Debt. We wouldn't have to sell more bonds than we bring in as tax revenue, and the financial markets would LOVE us. The only people who would hate life would be the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement they serve, because they would be proved wrong, on everything, forever.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Victory Creek Park in Seattle is right behind the Northgate QFC, and it's a small park with a stream connecting to Thornton Creek. You can see it on a map here. This is within my precinct, SEA 46-2324, and I've worked in the park before. A few years ago, I saw that someone had done some significant work in it, building a new trail and bridge. This was part of a senior project for Alika, who received the help of his father Eric.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that the ivy on the trees was growing, and I remembered a guide from Earthcorps saying that one good way to fight invasive ivy is to simply cut it off at the ground and at about eye level. Here are some pictures of the trees after Shea and I did that taken a few days later: (not in 2016, that camera is in a time-warp..)
Good show of how we cut the ivy around this big tree.
This is higher up in the trees than we could reach, and I could see the ivy starting to dry up.
Another picture of the trees with the ivy dying.
Not fantastic photos, but the first one gives a good indication of what we did. I also started working on the blackberry brambles under those trees, and I saw something. It was a grocery cart, and something else I couldn't identify. But it was too deep in there and it was getting late, so we stopped.
Today I decided to go back and see what I could do. I'd bought a new pair of clippers from Ace Hardware, and they worked really well. The cart was surrounded by metal pieces that turned out to be from a geodesic half-dome that had been in a neighbors yard about 20 years ago. There's still a lot of blackberries in there, but I feel good about it. One of the employees at QFC said that they would get a friend to come haul it away. Here are some pictures:
Grocery cart and play-dome pieces
Another view of the scrap
This is the hole I cut into the brambles to get the metal out
And this is me for a size comparison
I'm going to go back over the summer and continue working on the park. There are still a lot of blackberries and it's a good workout.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
If you're interested in learning more about my strategy, you can view this presentation.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
But my heart has always been in science fiction, and changing such fiction in to engineering and historical reality. The group I found in 2001 was the Living Universe Foundation, based on the vision presented in the book "The Millenial Project" by Marshall Savage. This is a 1,000 year plan to push humanity into space and beyond our solar system.
I've gotten back involved, and recently rebuilt their primary website. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The promises of rebels -- as voiced in their "Declaration of Independence" -- should be met with the same skepticism as the rationale for war offered by the Auguste administration. "If the King is going to go on training rebels every time the flow of commerce is threatened," wrote the King's critics from their hiding places, "then we can expect perpetual war."
As long as the UN, NATO and Arab League have the lead roles in this, I have no problem with what our military is doing in North Africa. I do believe that our current President is smarter than our previous one. And I believe that the people of Libya have the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that we did in 1776.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
By David Swanson
From the capitol in Madison
To the shores of Tripoli
We will fight the people's battles
And we'll fight them peacefully;
We’ll pledge to be nonviolent,
And we’ll train before we start.
For our fight will be relentless,
We commit with all our heart.
Our flags unfurl to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We will fight in every clime and place
And we'll never touch a gun.
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And on sunny tropic seas
You will find us always on the job
Building new democracies.
Here's health to everyone on earth
Whom we are proud to serve;
Despite the strife we'll risk our life
And never lose our nerve.
If the tyrants and their funders
Wish history to please
They will step out of their palaces
And join our democracies.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
My mom will heal. The fire burned her face pretty badly, and she is at Harborview. Nobody else was hurt. They got the dogs down to the other house owned by my family on the same block, and we'll be looking for the cats tomorrow. We're guessing the kittens didn't get out. The bigger problems are on the horizon. My mom had retired from King County on December 31st, and had not continued her health insurance. She also had not had the time to send in the check for Homeowners Insurance. Meaning they have lost everything. All clothes for 2 adults and 1 child, all the toys, all the books collected over 50+ years, ... everything. The only thing we can do is put the lot up for sale.
What we need more than anything right now is clothes. My mom told me to run up her Nordstrom card. I think I'll stop by Value Village and call the Red Cross first.
Don't EVER go without insurance. That's why I got involved in politics in the first place, to push national health care insurance. I'm not giving up until I see my son get a US National Health Insurance card.
I'm checking to see how people can help. Right now the biggest need is clothes for three people. My mom wears a 1x-2x, Alberta wears 3x-4x and Karen a girls 14-15.
Update: My mom's clothes somehow survived. We're just going to have a large drycleaning bill.
If anyone would like to donate money online, please send money to my paypal account. search for my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, January 14, 2011
Now I want to ask a follow-up question. I see on your proposed budget that the state is planning on cutting a significant number of people out of the Basic Health program. If your logic with "Take Charge" was to save the state money by preventing future medical expenditures by spending a little bit now to get a lot of savings, I can't help but wonder why the same logic does not apply to Basic Health. If we don't provide basic health services, then the only choice that those currently enrolled in that program will have is emergency health services which cost so much more.
Please reconsider your position, and find the revenue to fund our Basic Health program for ALL people in Washington who need it. I strongly believe that this will save our state money in the long run.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I wanted to share a small amount of good news and thank you for building such a great company to work for.
My son is having a difficult time making the transition from his previous life with his mother (my ex-wife) in California to living with me and my current wife here in Seattle. He has been going through counseling, and I have been trying to give him as much support as I can. His counselor recommended having him evaluated at the UW Medical Center’s Child Development Clinic, and we completed the paperwork just before the end of the year. He is being scheduled for an evaluation in February.
One of the people working at the UW called me because one of the tests can run up to 5 hours long and can cost quite a bit. She wanted to make sure I was aware of the potential cost in case the procedure was not fully covered by my insurance. I called Aetna and gave them the contact information for the UW, and I got a call right away from the UW saying that my son was covered for the procedure at 100%, something that she had never seen before.
This is a huge load off my mind, not to mention the cost that such wonderful health insurance saved me from. Just like in 2003 when this insurance plan saved my life during a fight with Hodgkins, I can feel the strong foundation of community under my feet when I walk into work every day.
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Also killed was 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green of Tucson.
A neighbor was going to the Giffords event and invited Christina along because she thought she would enjoy it, said her uncle, Greg Segalini.
Christina had just been elected to the student council at her school. The event, held outside a Safeway supermarket north of Tucson, was an opportunity for constituents to meet Giffords and talk about any concerns they had related to the federal government.
The school is Mesa Verde Elementary School, in Tucson, AZ. I think one of the best things that we could do would be to send support to their Parent-Teacher Organization. I have an email in to the PTO President to make sure that we can send things to the school address. I'll post that when I get a reply.
Update: Posted Beth's answer as a comment. Here's the address for the school:
Mesa Verde Elementary School
1661 W. Sage
Tucson, AZ 85704