SteveG’s Posts


Slave Labor Crews Help Out at Rutland’s Treasure Valley   Recently updated !

The Landmark web site has the article Sheriff’s inmate work crews help out at Rutland’s Treasure Valley.

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been providing inmate work crews to assist budget strapped cities and towns all over Worcester County.

I first came to know about this article from seeing it posted on Thomas Chamberland’s Facebook page.

This article and the Facebook discussion after it, just shows the depths to which this nation has sunk. That the normally progressive person, Thomas Chamberland, can defend this program is even more astounding than the program itself.

Here is my initial comment that started a thread of discussion on Facebook.

But the savings in money is a measure of the work they do that the state does not pay for. The jobs they do for no pay would have to be done by free people for pay. It helps keep the unemployment figures high, which has some role in having more people in jail.

You can tell me about all the money the state pays to keep them housed and fed, but housing and feeding were the costs the plantation owners paid to keep their slaves alive and working. [I wouldn’t buy this justification from admitted slave owners, so it doesn’t cut it here.]

The fact that being out doing these projects is better than being locked inside is also a very weak excuse. The authorities that run the prisons should be required to pay the going wage rate to the convicts for the work that the convicts do. Many of these convicts have families that need to be supported. To say nothing of the unconvicted who could have used those jobs to support their families.

We call it unfair trade practices when other countries sell us goods that were made with prison labor. What suddenly makes it fair if we sell goods to ourselves that were made with prison labor?

The conversation on Facebook is ongoing.  If you are interested in both sides of the argument, you will have to read it on Facebook.  I don’t think you have to have a Facebook account to read it.  I think this conversation is open to the public.


How to Fix America’s Corrupt Political System

I am not sure I have put this on the blog already, so here goes.

Represent Us has the video How to Fix America’s Corrupt Political System.

The vast majority of Americans are fed up with money corrupting politics — but how do we fix it?

We’ve got some ideas. Learn more and help make it happen at Represent.us.


This is something we can work on locally. Who is interested in getting this started in the Sturbridge area?


Bernie Sanders Supporters Hold News Conference in Philadelphia   Recently updated !

C-SPAN broadcast the event Bernie Sanders Supporters Hold News Conference in Philadelphia.

July 24, 2016

Bernie Sanders Delegates News Conference A group representing Bernie Sanders delegates to the Democratic Convention held a news conference to voice disappointment with Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s selection of Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) as her running mate. They also discussed other issues, including party rules. Norman Solomon said convention floor fights were possible at the convention.


If you want to know what is going on, watch this news conference. This news conference explains policy issues about which you may have had questions. Don’t just look to the corporate news sources to inform you.

There will be daily news conferences from this group.


Clinton shared classified Greek info…

RT America has a video Clinton shared classified Greek info….

Clinton shared classified Greek info…

while her son-in-law’s hedge fund placed bailout bets. What a coincidence!

You might remember Richard H’s post Michael Lewis-‘Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds’ (Vanity Fair) on September 9, 2010.  This revelation from RT America might cast a slightly different tone from what we could imagine back in 2010.


Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP

The Huffington Post has the article Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP.

Now that Tim Kaine has been selected as Hillary’s running mate, be sure to read this article.

Kaine, by contrast, is setting himself up as a figure willing to do battle with the progressive wing of the party. He has championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that both Sanders and Warren oppose, and he is now publicly siding with bank deregulation advocates at the height of Clinton’s veepstakes.

And further we have a letter that Kaine recently wrote.

On the small bank side, Kaine pressed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray to exempt “community banks and credit unions” from new rules. Doing so would leave these institutions, which include banks with up to $10 billion in assets, more lightly regulated than they were before the financial crisis. The letter, sent on Monday, was signed by 69 other senators.

You know that for there to be 69 Senators to co-sign this letter that there had to be a lot of Democratic Senators signing this. Do you still think the Democratic party led by Hillary Clinton can be in your corner trying to protect you?

I wonder if Elizabeth Warren, the mother of the CFPB and endorser of Hillary Clinton, agrees with the push to rein in the CFPB.


Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All 2

The New Yorker magazine has the article Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All.

If Trump is elected President, he warned, “the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows—that he couldn’t care less about them.”

No surprise here.  Even so, I think the article is revealing of some things we may not have known.


Why you think you are right – even if you are wrong   Recently updated !

I found this excellent TED Talk, Why you think you are right – even if you are wrong.


 In other words, I claim, if we really want to improve our judgment as individuals and as societies, what we need most is not more instruction in logic or rhetoric or probability or economics, even though those things are quite valuable. But what we most need to use those principles well is scout mindset. We need to change the way we feel. We need to learn how to feel proud instead of ashamed when we notice we might have been wrong about something. We need to learn how to feel intrigued instead of defensive when we encounter some information that contradicts our beliefs.

So the question I want to leave you with is: What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs? Or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?

Do you feel intrigued enough to watch the video?


Fixing Yahoo Finance Watch Lists

I thought that Yahoo Finance had permanently broken their ability to view a watch list without logging in, but I just found the magic to making it work again. The watch list URL needs the &bypass=true parameter added on.

stocks to watch. The ones up through WEC are in our portfolio. The others we once owned or were interested in.

Here are the mutual funds and indices to watch. The first and sixth entries are the mutual funds that we own.


Loretta Lynch Refuses to Say Whether It’s Illegal to Lie Under Oath

Mediaite  has the article Loretta Lynch Refuses to Say Whether It’s Illegal to Lie Under Oath. The article has the video of her testimony.

“Is it legal or illegal to store, house or retain classified information in a non-secure location?” asked Chaffetz.

“I would refer you to the statute,” she responded. “One could in fact have liability, again depending upon the nature, facts and circumstances.”

Chaffetz missed pointing out to her that he was reading the words of the law to her.  This performance should be rated right up there with Bill Clinton’s infamous remark , “It all depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”


By the way, I  warned about what a mistake it would be to appoint Loretta Lynch to be the Attorney General. See the previous post President Obama Lies About Loretta Lynch.


Meet the Middle Precariat

Naked Capitalism has the article Meet the Middle Precariat.

Precariousness is not just a working-class thing. In recent interviews, dozens of academics and schoolteachers, administrators, librarians, journalists and even coders have told me they too are falling prey to an unstable new America. I’ve started to think of this just-scraping-by group as the Middle Precariat.

The issue is that automation will eventually make human labor almost completely unnecessary. That could usher in a golden age for the people of the world. All people’s needs met with no need to work. We do not have a social system that knows how to operate under these circumstances. How do you distribute wealth if no work is required to create it?

This requires thinking so far out of the box, that “little” issues like H1-B visas are only a distraction. The 0.1% don’t want the rest of us to question how society distributes wealth and income now, and how it should be changed in the future. However, it is an issue that all of us should be concerned with.

Perhaps this quote that I recorded in 2015 will convey the problem in ways that I don’t seem able to do.

Scott Santense – posted here June 3, 2015 – source
If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for life. If you build a robot to fish, do all men starve, or do all men eat?”