Posts Tagged With: corporations

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California’s most devastating fire, the Yosemite Rim Fire left millions of board feet of trees lying on the ground. Our local district representative,  McClintock,  pushed to fast track getting that lumber to market before it disintegrated. He pointed out that it would provide jobs and money to locals, open up the mills again and put loggers to work.  Good idea.

In past fires, smaller ones in our county, locals brought out volumes of wood for profit. Volunteers cut up gobs of it for firewood for seniors or people in need. Some of it got to local mills. Some disintegrated on the ground which isn’t all bad, since fire blackened areas recuperate faster when the dead timber is left in place, or at least part of it.

Guess what?   SPI went in and machine removed that timber very quickly. It is now sitting on a dock in Stockton to be barged to Oakland to be exported to China and Japan.  So much for opening local mills. There were people who yelled it wouldn’t happen when McClintock was making his “heroic pitch.” They were right, of course. It is all about big corporate profits, not about local communities.

I love trees and wonder if man has a cog in the brain that dictates let no living thing go untrammeled by we superior beings. The little cog shaped like a dollar sign. It started early, with the giant redwoods. Falling the biggest and most magnificent tree to prove they could do it. The wood unusable because they had no saws or equipment big enough to  handle trees of such size.

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Now that we know forests are carbon sinks and necessary to help halt global warming, it doesn’t seem to discourage decimating private forest and allowing lumbering on a major scale in National Forests, too. The U.S. Forest Service has sold out to lumber interests all over the country, contrary to what they say.

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Politicians see money and workers see job preservation.

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There is a 501c3 organization trying to hold up Forest Service Ethics, made up of some Forest Service Employees. Obviously employees serving see a need for this organization or it wouldn’t exist.

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Homes to critters.

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Used as fence posts, here the barbed wire has grown into the tree. Some cottonwood trees in plains states are cut, put into the ground immediately, take root and grow into a living fence.

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Enjoy them while you can and remember to protect these wonders of nature if you have an opportunity. I burn wood, but I hate cutting trees and only burn what gets damaged by storms and fits in my stove. I rarely have a fire to clear brush or dead wood, only twice in over 30 years.   I leave most of it on the ground to naturally decay. Many others do the same, or hire a chipper.

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ANTI-SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE

The White House has called on federal agencies and departments to improve the ability of government scientists to openly discuss their research and findings with media, policy makers, and the public. Some agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation, have put forward policies that encourage such communication.

Government scientists should be able to alert the public when their research indicates a potential public health, safety, or environmental hazard.

Strange that we should NEED such a call to listen to science. Our whole world of inventions and weaponry , space travel and architecture, astronomy, road design, medicine, comfortable furnishings, computers, fabrics, mailing materials, machinery, building safe structures, growing more food per acre, improvements in glass, car safety, new technologies be it a bicycle or a car medical device have been invented or strengthened by  scientific testing and  investigation. We live every day with the things science has made possible.  We, as a country, used to lead the way in  scientific discoveries and investigation. Now we are #17 in the world.  Such a long fall from dominance.

How did we turn into a society that denies the overwhelming evidence of climate change?  It has hurt us as a country financially and in leadership around the world.

Part of it stems from the conflicted discoveries that appear to undermine religion. Red states with high numbers of fundamental religions, are where most climate deniers and anti science attitudes come from. Yet, many scientists believe in God and have religious beliefs.

The truth and nature of the world, which includes people, is a factual, solid place, not changed by science, but understood by science. However, people are more comfortable in their own beliefs and somehow feel it affects their self esteem if what they have  believed for most of their life is challenged.

Uneducated people regard scientists as some elite, arrogant class of know-it-alls that live off the taxpayers and deserve trashing. In fact scientists don’t make a lot of money. They have houses, a salary and spend into the private economy and pay taxes just like everyone else unless they work within a mega corporation where they can make better money. Where they buy houses, buy into the private economy and pay taxes like everyone else.

Scientists provide the infrastructure for great companies to succeed and compete. They are necessary to our capitalistic economy. And suspicions that they are liberals with an agenda to sway the public in some sort of conspiracy would take thousands and thousands of scientists to agree to a shady plan. It is unreal, untrue and unfortunate for all of us that such anti-scientific attitudes have been promoted and enhanced by politicians for their own gain. It is up to each of us to confront that attitude when we see it if we want to be the America we grew up with.

 

 

 

 

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WARREN BUFFET IS ONE OF US?

By all accounts, Warren Buffet is one of the 1% elite of this country, huge wealth, far removed from the 99% working classes that are the backbone of our economy. I read in our local paper ‘s letters to the editor:  “Corporations aren’t bad, they are the only ones who hire people. Without them we wouldn’t have any jobs.”

Had that writer ever figured out why corporations fear unions and strikes?  Without workers they can’t stay in business.  And he is wrong about corporations anyway. Small Business America hires more people than corporations. They don’t pay as well, but they are truly the backbone of the American economy.

Yet, Warren Buffet went on record as a one-percenter who claims the wealthy, like himself, should pay their fair share of taxes. Imagine that!  His latest shocking statement on CNBC?  “I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a  law
that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of  GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”   Don’t you just love it?  Yup!  Warren Buffet is one of us.

This Congressional Reform Act is continually passed to millions of we 99% ers,  (not official unfortunately.)

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension.  A Congressman collects a salary while in office
and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.  All
funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
do.

4. Congress will no longer vote  themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen
made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor,
not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours
should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Amen, I say.  But, yesterday, I got a new one that kind of reflects the way many of us regard congress. My friend Guerry Bowen sent it to me and he may or may not be the author:

Oh please…  Let me make my comment regarding congress.  Where do I start?

 1.  The Capital building is now a museum in honor of past statesmen. 

 2.  Congress assembles in a giant Fest-Tent, the kind they use at Oktoberfest (with only 1 potbelly stove in the center).

 3.  Each congressman receives a folding table and 2 folding chairs (one chair for his use; one chair for an assistant).

 4.  Each has a rotary telephone. 

 5.  Each pays $50K his first term and an additional $20K for each successive term.

 6.  Each pays $50K for every contact with a lobbyist. 

 7.  Every bill explicitly is named for that which it pays.  I.E., a “Fix the Interstate” bill has funds only allocated to fix the Interstates with no pork added. 

To end this diatribe, we all know there are decent, hard-working people in congress, and they suffer along with the money eating slugs who have forgotten the words in the Preamble to the Constitution that state part of the duty of government is to:  PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE .  Let us not forget that this government is supposed to be for us by us.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

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