Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dec. 21, 2012

2012 has been on my mind lately and the more I look into it the more I'm totally blown away by it. It seems the Mayans and the Vedics, who lived worlds apart, determined thousands of years ago the cycle of man as we know it will be over in 2012. The greenies will try to tell you it's because of greenhouse gases and global warming. The Christians will say it's Armageddon. The conspiracy theorists will say it's the new world order. Vedic philosophy believes 2012 is the time where nothing is separated from ALL and a spiritually aware human will emerge. Even the scientific community is looking into 2012. It seems by 2012 our solar system will line up with the galaxy in such a way that hasn't happened since something like 26,000 BC, around the time of the sinking of Atlantis. The planetary line-up will all be pointed toward the center of the galaxy. Earth will be the only planet in our solar system on the other side. At this time our sun will produce intense solar flares not seen for over 50 yrs. All these magnetic and gravitational occurrences will happen at once and God only knows what will happen, but whatever happens it's gonna be big. So big our tiny little brains can't possibly imagine. One thing our scientific community seems to believe is Earth will reverse polarity and start spinning in the other direction. We'll see the sun rise in the west, that is if we're still here.

All the more reason to be somewhere wonderful to experience this once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes occurrence. I suggest you meet us at Sloppy Joe's in Key West at December 20, 2012. If nothing happens you'll have a very cool memory of the greatest party in history. If the world ends at least you get to go out with some very cool, like-minded friends as we all watch the sunrise with the beverage of our choice.

I wonder if 20,000 years from now there will be mythology about the sinking of a great continent inhabited by beings that flew the skies and traveled under the seas in metal fish, who built huge towers to be closer to their gods, who had special caves with golden arches where food would magically appear, who harnessed the powers of the sun and invented the first wheel.

"What happened to these wonderful people, oh great one?" "My child, they transformed into spiritual, non-corporeal entities and became the twinkling lights in the night sky."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Dream Short-Circuited

Meyerson is editor-at-large of American Prospect and the L.A. Weekly
Meyerson Special to The Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- On March 28, Circuit City announced that it was laying off 3,400 of its salesclerks. Not because they had poor
performance records, mind you: Their performance was utterly beside the point. They were shown the door, said the chain,
simply because they were the highest-salaried salesclerks that Circuit City employed.
Their positions were not eliminated. Rather, the store announced that it would hire their replacements at the normal starting
One can only imagine the effect of Circuit City's announcement on the morale of the workers who didn't get fired. The
remaining salesclerks can only conclude: Do a good job, get promoted and you're outta here.
It was, in short, just a normal day in contemporary American capitalism.
Over at Wal-Mart, the employer that increasingly sets the labor standards for millions of our compatriots, wage caps have
been set for certain jobs, and many longtime employees are now required to work weekends and nights in the hope that
they'll quit. A memo prepared by a Wal-Mart executive in 2005 for the company's board noted that "the cost of an associate
with 7 years of tenure is almost 55 percent more than the cost of an associate with 1 year of tenure, yet there is no difference
in his or her productivity." (That, of course, is because Wal-Mart does nothing to raise its employees' skills lest it have to raise
their wages.) Coincidentally, in the same week that Circuit City axed its clerks, an analysis of Internal Revenue Service data
from 2005 that became available showed that the bottom 90 percent of Americans made less money that year than they had
in 2004. According to a study by economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of
the Paris School of Economics, total reported income in the United States increased by 9 percent in 2005 over 2004. All of that
increase, however, went to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, and the wealthiest 1 percent experienced an increase of
14 percent. Among the remaining 90 percent, income actually decreased by 0.6 percent.
And 2005, let us remember, wasn't a year of economic downturn. The American economy was humming along. It was only
the American people who weren't doing very well.
What all this amounts to is a triumph of corporate and financial power, and of the conservative economics that shores it up.
Once upon a time, American prosperity actually benefited Americans. From 1947 through 1973, U.S. productivity rose by 104
percent, and median family income rose by an identical 104 percent. Those were also the only years of real union power in
the United States, years in which one-quarter of the workforce, and in some years one-third, was unionized. Apparently, this
level of worker power and mass prosperity proved intolerable to our financial elite and their political flunkies.
Since the '70s, American business has generally done its damnedest to keep its workers down. Employers routinely opted
to pay the negligible penalties for violating the National Labor Relations Act rather than permit their employees to join unions.
In 1969, according the National Labor Relations Board, the number of employees who'd suffered illegal retaliation for
exercising their right to join or maintain a union was just over 6,000; by 2005, that number had risen to 31,358. According to a
study out this January from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, fully one in five activists on unionization campaigns
are illegally fired. And as worker power declines, so do living standards. Secure retirement pensions are history;
employer-provided health benefits are going fast.
To all of this, conservatives offer no remedy whatsoever save to make things worse. Employer-provided pensions
collapsing? Let's gut Social Security, too. Health insurance tottering? By all means, let's preserve our private, for-profit system,
which currently fails to cover 47 million of our fellow Americans. Income increases going only to the rich? Let's switch to a flat
tax (Rudy Giuliani's most recent brainstorm), which further shifts the tax burden from the upwardly mobile rich to the
downwardly mobile everyone else.
And restoring the right of workers to join unions, which is the key to rebuilding a vibrant middle class? There's a clear way to
do that. Next week, the Senate will take up the Employee Free Choice Act, which the House has already passed. By
compelling employers to recognize unions if a majority of their workers sign affiliation cards, the legislation would bring a
modicum of balance to workplace relations and to the American economy as well.
Business, the president and the Republican leadership are fighting the measure with everything they have.
What they don't have, however, is their own theory of how to regain mass prosperity. How could they? Mass prosperity is
precisely what they've labored mightily, and successfully, to destroy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Beezin hell

Drones can fly away
Even worker bees can leave
The queen is their slave