Simpletruthiness’s Weblog

Human nature

Posted in Politics by simpletruthiness on August 12, 2009

Here is a post from a friend and below it is my response:

What cause for hope?

On my way home from work today, there was a story on my local NPR station about a severely injured pit bull who was wrapped in plastic and tossed in a dumpster to die. “Trooper” was found, initially the prognosis was good, and how she is struggling again. I think about our rescue dog, Kelby, who has been such an incredible companion to my husband as he struggled with post-traumatic stress – and to me, and to my stepdaughter – and it makes me cry. How can people be so cruel to animals?

Next was a story about how all the coral reefs in the world may be gone in our children’s lifetime. I couldn’t listen, and got out of the car – this was not a “driveway moment” for me. Polar bears face extinction, coral reefs teeter on the brink, how many other species are endangered or lost forever? I believe that the diversity of species and amazing fecundity of life is inherently worth preserving. Of course, people don’t have to agree with that. But I hope people can understand that in a closed system – which the planet is – letting things get significantly out of whack threatens the stability of the system. Rather than doubting climate change is happening as some falsely claim, reputable scientists say recent research shows it is happening faster than worst-case scenarios predicted. Even the Department of Defense – not exactly known as tree-hugging liberals – cites climate change as a coming threat to national security.

On my way in from the car, I picked up a gift from my sister-in-law: a book on the holocaust. A reminder that we are not only cruel to the animals that live with us and callous to the world that sustains us, but also we (meaning humans in general here, not each of us) are also willing to be viciously brutal to one another.

My husband often gently teases me for assuming (no, I’m not an economist, go figure) that people are rational actors – that if nothing else, humans will act in their own self-interest. So, logically, if you can just show them the facts, they will make good decisions. NO! In fact, my husband is right: this is totally false. People often don’t act in their own self-interest, and they seem practically incapable of assessing information, weighing facts, and coming to logical conclusions.

We can’t debate health insurance reform by weighing competing proposals in light of careful analysis of the risks, costs, and benefits. Rather, we scream and lie and threaten and hit.

And I’m forced to wonder: What cause is there for hope?

On good days, I recognize that over the course of human history, by and large things have gotten better: looking at measurable things, like lifespan, infant mortality, and so forth, people all around the world (with the sad exception of much of sub-Saharan Africa) are doing better today than fifty, a hundred, a thousand years ago. Follow that trajectory out, and things should continue to get better, and there is cause for hope.

On bad days, like today, I think there’s no point at all. Humans are fatally flawed, there’s no way out of the increasing consumption and growing poisoning of our planet. No hope for a moral or spiritual awakening. No way to in good conscience bring a child into this world of ugliness and cruelty and selfishness. No way that the Mother Theresas and Abdul Sattar Edhis of the world can balance out the Hitlers and Idi Amins and Saddam Husseins.

Convince me that I’m wrong. Give me a reason to believe

My Response:

The whole of humanity has gone wrong over this or that from time to time–Michael De Montaigne
There are always reasons to be down or sad but there are also reasons to keep going its what helps people endure the ugliness of which you speak. People are complicated and its better to resist the urge to say all people are bad or as some say all good(Read Morefewer in this camp). Think of this they say that truth is stranger than fiction, which is true but I think it is because fiction is the result of someones imagination where as the truth is the product of millions of variables of acts big and small, good and bad. People are capable of these heinous acts but they are also capable of self sacrifice. Yes, there are too few Mother Theresas but there are plenty of people who are flawed, who try very hard to be better, that is the essence of human nature. There are those who try to be better and those who try to hold them back. This adversity is what gives triumphs its glory.


WaPo‘s Cillizza Claims Sotomayor Gives GOP A Winning Election Issue

Posted in Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on May 28, 2009

What a ridiculous claim. I can’ t believe this passes for news and this jackass will be all over MSNBC repeating this nonsensical assertion. Unless she single-handedly outlaws Jesus no one will be any more riled up against President Obama than they already are. I am beging to suspect that going on TV is bad for columnists. Because they keep trying to think of thing that don’t make sense or concided with reality just to be asked on to explain themselves. As mixing the types of banks turned out to be such a bad idea maybe the same is true for types of journalists.
More on Sonia Sotomayor
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Memorial Day: Did you know that Cavalry men get their own kind of Valhalla

Posted in Politics, Truth by simpletruthiness on May 25, 2009
This is an old poem that no one really knows the origin of, but I sort of like it if you ain’t Cav you ain’t… I like the idea that my buddies are having a drink with all the Cavalry men who have gone before.

Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.

Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.

Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.
No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.

And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers’ Green.

For PFC. Jeremiah Smith
Cpt Lief Knott
SSG Christopher Moudry
SFC Jason Bishop
SSG Chad Caldwell
SGT Joseph Blanco
SSG Roger Turner
1SG McGinnis

Senate-Passed Bill Would Bring Sunlight To Fed

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on May 8, 2009

Man this is frustrating. Everyone time I get excited cause they did the right thing you scroll down and see that well it isn’t in some other version so its got to go to another committee,dang it. How come the things that screw us up always breeze right on through? And the things that might make things a bit more right they flounder and get changed and compromised to no end until we get a bill or an amendment to a bill that is just a disappointment and can only be lauded on the basis of “better than nothing”If are going to own these damn things we need to get some type of benefits. The Banks should have to give something back to its taxpaying customers such as better credit card terms or waive over draft or changing late fee payment rules. Something. Damn they are taking our money on both ends. And then when someone has the temerity to ask what they are doing or try to get some type of concession they say “what you’ve always let us run wild in the past.” With a confused look on their overpaid faces. Then oh gosh an actual elected official will try to do the right thing and its endless haming and hawing and worst case scenarios well this might help a deadbeat or reward bad behavior yadda yadda. Hey we are rewarding bad behavior and helping deadbeats,the bankers.
More on The Fed
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

In Support of EFCA

Posted in Politics by simpletruthiness on May 4, 2009

I believe that everyone should have the choice to join a union let me tell you why. My grandfather can do many very practical things such as farming,raising animals and fixing lawn mower engines  and is fluent in two languages there is one thing he can’t do however;he can’t read . Although he is illiterate he happens to enjoy a relatively well funded and comfortable retirement in a nice home free from want complete with  good insurance that has seen my grandparents through Cancer and other illnesses that would wipe out the less fortunate. He owes his good retirement to two things my grandmother’s money management and the fact that he was able to join a union when he worked as a longshoreman (think Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront). The labor union to which he belong guaranteed him  a decent wage and fair benefits for his very hard work. My father now belongs to the very same union. I once belonged to a different yet equally beneficial union.
The Employee Free Choice Act seeks to help more workers obtain the opportunity to be fairly compensated for their contributions. This bill has been fiercely opposed by business interests. Wal-mart not content with a large political action committee held meetings during the 2008 elections in which employees were encouraged to vote against democratic candidates because they would force them to unionize and thereby cost them their jobs.
These claims are patently false. The EFCA only provides more options for employees to choose to unionize and takes the decision away from the company and put it into the hands of the workers themselves, It does not “force” unionization nor does it do away with secret ballots another popular myth going around. Choice is really the operative word at play. Many of the arguments against unions in general and this proposal don’t hold much water. EFCA will close federal loopholes that employers exploit to thwart attempts to unionize. It will the first time every impose a fine on employers who break the laws pertaining to unions. Secret ballots are still an option.
Under the EFCA there would be two methods of organizing:
1.  Majority sign-up: Under this method, workers sign valid forms indicating their preference for a union. EFCA would change existing law so that an employer must recognize its employees’ union when a majority of its workers has authorized union representation using majority sign-up.
2. Secret ballot elections: Under the Employee Free Choice Act, workers are still free to organize using “secret ballot” elections.
3. both majority sign-up and secret ballot elections have been in existence since 1935 but, under current law, employers can disregard the results of majority sign-up and force employees to use secret ballot elections. In fact, a company’s management can refuse to recognize a union even when 100% of its employers have signed authorization cards indicating that they want a union.
Companies  argue that unions and higher wages will hurt the bottom line and force them to lay off workers. This is a scare tactic will Wal-mart decide to stop making money?Doubtful.Will better wages keep them from competing or force  them to dramatically raise prices? Not necessarily take the example of  Costco which competes directly with Wal-mart’s Sams club and pays on average 72% more than Sam’s but spends substantially less on hiring and training because people stay and they work harder. Costco turnover rate overall is 17% dropping to 6% after one year of employment with Wal-mart/Sam’s at 44% throughout. The total annual cost to Costco of employee churn is $244 million, whereas the total annual cost to Sam’s Club is $612 million. That’s $5,274 per Sam’s Club employee, versus $3,628 per Costco employee according to the Harvard Business Review. Costco also has one of the lowest rates of employee theft in the retail industry. People know instinctively when they are being treated fairly. The Employee Free Choice Act at its’ core is about fairness. Fair wages for a days work. I won’t even address the ridiculous claims about communism, people throwing that term around are beyond all reason. One could also argue that if companies like Wal-mart didn’t depress wages people wouldn’t depend on them to keep prices rock bottom. Its’ a top down vicious cycle. Costco stock regularly out-prices Wal-mart stock. Treating workers fairly and turning a profit can be done.
Opponents of unionized labor would have people believe that unions hurt  the economy as a whole by adversely affecting businesses. A September 2008 study by the non-partisan Los Angeles Economic Roundtable would say different, it found what unions in Los Angeles with 17 percent (5 percent higher than national average)of the labor force – and their wage differential of 27 percent higher over non-unionized labor amounts to an additional $7.2 billion a year in wages. As these workers spend their wages  their additional buying power creates 64,800 jobs and generates $11 billion in economic output in Los Angeles. Jim Sinegal co-founder of Costco is famous for saying “we’ve always been in favor of improved wages for workers. When you have a strong middle class, they want to buy more stuff at Costco.” It should be mentioned however that Mr. Sinegal willingly takes in compensation  a fraction of what most people in his position “earn”.
Denying workers the ability to earn fair compensation and benefits for their work is antithetical to the core American value,that people who are willing to work deserve a chance to get ahead and lead a good life. The Employee Free Choice Act will give more Americans their fair shot at the American dream just like my family has had

Clean Energy

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on April 30, 2009

Boehner: Memos Outline “Torture Techniques”

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on April 23, 2009

This is good because it make it that much harder for him to stand in the way of getting justice. I also hope that picture on main page is him talking about it because he looks sad and disappointed in his former leaders. We can use that. It is a matter of law. The law was broken. This cannot be allowed to stand. If we prosecute in good faith its a blow to out enemies. Everything that makes it harder for them to recruit and carry out their hateful mission is a victory. A big victory is just a bunch of small ones put together over time. Think about all the hours and hours of practice and little league and junior varsity games that go into a split second clutch play in the Superbowl. It matters. We show the world that we are not what they were told it will be powerful. How much less violence might there be if the world’s citizens knew that there would be justice in the end? Let’s find out.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Cheney Slams Obama Again, Calls Overseas Trips “Disturbing” (VIDEO)

Posted in Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on April 21, 2009

I tell you what is disturbing is that our fourth estate is so damned corrupt that not only are they no doing their jobs with investigations or following up in a thoughtful manner issues like US operatives committing crimes we hung people for after WWII. But they would allow this evil man to weigh and give him too much air time. If they should be interrogating him instead of kissing his rump asking questions that will make him stutter and squirm reminding him that the people rule this country not junior members of Ford administration who should have long ago rode off into the sunset. This is beyond sad.
More on Dick Cheney
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Jeff Zucker, Top NBC Brass Concerned About CNBC’s “Conservative,” “Anti-Obama” Image: Report

Posted in Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on April 16, 2009

Hey here is a basic concept. Why do you report the news. Wow. Hey you can focus more on facts and less on opinions. Then you could say well we are just reporting the news instead of creating it. Really it used to be really popular with “news” outlets. You can even make it a slogan; “covering financial news old school with facts now with less questionable opinions.”
More on CNBC
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Fox News Reporter: Wake Up And Fight The Fascism In Our Country (VIDEO)

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized by simpletruthiness on April 15, 2009

What is fascism? They are confusing me. Probably because they are confusing buzz words for ideas. Where is the big fascism in the stimulus package?Green energy so we can stop funding certain regimes in the middle east. Evil fascist bridges that won’t fall down. Please point to one policy in this plan that meets any definition(by this i mean look it up first) of facisim. By all means if we are going in that direction explain it to me. The kids with the deficit signs that is some low blow stuff considering the same people did jack when 80% of said deficit was accumulated under Bushes and Regan. If they had been against it then i’d actually respect them. This is pure theater pulled by the real fascists, they are trying to thwart the will of the people. President Obama won by a significant margin. One of the biggest ever for a non-imcumbant. Get over it. Formulate real ideas or shut the hell up.
More on Tax Day Tea Parties
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost