Saturday, October 27, 2012

Toones That Impressed Me

Eric Clapton, Jerry Douglas and Doctor John

a new version of blues standard

and one more from Seattle

newer toone saturday!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Driving today from Bakersfield to Sacramento to meet my old boss (same as the old boss...) I was a little worried and this wonderful song came up on my cell phone/mp3 player. Right when the lyric "Thank the Lord" came up, a huge (I mean HUGE) rainbow filled the sky centered over 99N. I was not worried after that. 

All I can say about that meeting now is that I am tired of being referred to as an intellectual asset. Something always follows this inevitably.


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday morning news thoughts--

I saw in the paper today that Sheldon Adelson gave away free money to right wing newspapers so that they could be published and distributed for free. Guess what that has done to the liberal newspapers in the country? If you think that might put them out of business because of a competitive disadvantage, you might be correct. Nail on the head, Alfredo!

Just think of that in terms of what is happening in America right now. Faux News ran at a loss for many years  under the largesse of the billionaire Rupert Murdoch. They stayed open and basically gave away their very conservative message-filled news as real news until they forced others to move to the right. This automatically legitimized their view point. Forty years ago, many of their editorial opinionsthat  would have been to the right of the then-discredited John Birch Society, who were still looking for the Knights Templar and their children, the Illuminati, are now espoused as main stream America beliefs.

Then we had the Citizen's United decision at the Supreme Court. Any amount of untraceable money can be given as free speech to political candidates (yes, it is more complicated than that, but it basically means if you curry favor, aka kiss ass and spread a particular gospel, you get money). If you oppose the free money (excuse me, free speech) you go home broke.

Let's see--who has more money, extremely successful capitalists or me (or you). So who gets to provide unlimited money (BUY) candidates and their opinions. Yes, that is how free speech is defined by the Supreme Court, the guys who are supposed to be all about the legal interpretation of justice in America. This kind of skews what is the paradigm of success in America. If you are to voice an opinion (free speech) and   be heard, you need to have money and buy mouthpieces, either a propaganda (news) network or a political candidate.

Sad. The marginal beliefs of a few loons can be mainstreamed over time if you have money.

Second thought--

Since the embargo by the US and EU on Chinese solar panels, their industry is starting to have issues. If you read up on this, it depends on who you believe. The Wall Street Journal states that loans from equity firms allows the Chinese solar panel industry to stay open and keep from folding under financial pressure. Another source states that there is a tremendous strain on the Chinese manufacturers and the state-funded loans they have received that may cause a large bubble to pop inn the Chinese economy. Maybe 50 Chinese manufacturers have already gone bankrupt. Dozens in the US. What this means is that prices are lower than ever to go solar. However, when you buy panels and get a warranty, are the panels you bought going to have  a manufacturer to warranty them? Will they be older technology? Will they be 19% efficient newer technology? It does mean research will slow as there is less profit to be had. Sadly. The same is happening to wind turbines. Basically, the price has been fixed by China, they overproduced and there is a glut on the market and many good people lose their jobs. This is supply side economics and trickle down at its worst. Those with deep pockets win as "the market stabilizes". Then, they set the rules and prices. If you don't believe me, see what happened to the sons and daughters of the Standard Oil dismemberment. How many oil companies are there now? When was the last time you saw a Sunoco station? Sohio? Standard?

Currently there are congressional investigations into unfair labor and financing packages against the Chinese in regards to the renewable energy industry. China knew they needed energy NOW. They funded factories for their energy needs. But, once they did this, their goods could be sold worldwide at a price that is cheaper than local industries can produce. This is what unbridled capitalism does. Makes bubbles and then they fold. This also makes the case for growth that is controlled by government tariffs, protecting local industry, JOBS, and the local (or national) economy.

There are limits to free trade. Just think about how many jobs Apple would have saved  in the US if they had not taken the manufacturing of iPhone 5s to China. That saves a whole 6 cents a units. Would you have purchased an iPhone5 for 50 cents more per unit? Would that have made a difference? Oh yes, Apple received a tax credit for dismantling a factory here in the US. Huh?

Maybe we need a government that is concerned about the good of its citizens instead of power and how much they can trade that power for.


Friday, October 05, 2012