Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Coal Creek War

Bread and Roses 1912-2012 posted The Coal Creek War on Facebook.

On Oct. 31, 1891, in response to an ongoing attempt by coal mine owners to replace miners with convicts leased by the state, a group of miners burned the Tennessee Coal Mining Company stockade in Briceville and seize the Knoxville Iron Company stockade at Coal Creek, freeing over 300 convicts and supplying them with food and civilian clothes.

I am publishing a copy of this here before Facebook is forced by Congress to call this Russian propaganda. You know this is the type of thing that the oligarchs owning Congress do not want people in the USA to see. Think about this before you jump on the Russia hysteria bandwagon.

November 1, 2017

Just to maker sure I wasn’t falling victim to “fake news”, I did a Google search. I came up with many entries. I’ll just post the link to the Wikipedia entry Coal Creek War.

Trade panel recommends Trump impose tariffs on solar power technology

The Hill has the article Trade panel recommends Trump impose tariffs on solar power technology.

Senator Edward J. Markey posted remarks on Facebook about this.

Today’s action provides President Trump and the fossil fuel industry the means to kill the solar energy industry in the United States and the hundreds of thousands of blue-collar American workers it employs. Here’s my full statement on today’s International Trade Commission action:

Link to full statement

Congratulations to Senator Markey for recognizing how destructive these recommendations are. I believe that free trade is good for the world. NAFTA and TPP were not free trade. NAFTA and TPP were oligarch protection agreements. NAFTA and TPP gave free trade a bad name.

Not only will a tariff kill jobs in the USA, but it will price solar out of the market in the USA. That will just put our country further behind the rest of the world in adopting the latest technology to improve our efficiency, our environment, and our energy independence. We have plenty of domestic semiconductor companies that are competing successfully in the world market without the use of tariffs. Support from our government for our domestic companies is much better than road-blocks to non-domestic producers. One such support would be taking the burden of health insurance off the backs of domestic companies with the introduction of Medicare For All.

Moving You Community Forward

Here is a question inspired by a Facebook friend.

If you hear a candidate say that they are going to move your city or town forward, what do you want that to mean? What must they say to make you think they will move your locality forward in a way that you would prefer?

Consider this a brain-stormiing exercise. No critiques of any suggestions allowed. Only questions of clarification allowed.

Multiple entries encouraged. You don’t have to think of everything before you make your first reply.

I want to use Facebook to collect the answers. Please use my Facebook post to make your replies. Click on the preceding link to make your reply. You don’t have to be a Facebook friend to read the replies or to make one.

Bernie Sanders, in Puerto Rico, Calls for Nullification of Whitefish Contract

The Intercept has the article Bernie Sanders, in Puerto Rico, Calls for Nullification of Whitefish Contract.

“From everything that I have seen, I think it’s an outrage,” Sanders said after a press conference in San Juan. “I think the idea that the government or the appropriate authority did not look for mutual aid and call up utility companies in the United States, which is what is normally done, surprises me.”

This is another one of those “radical” ideas from Bernie Sanders that is not even the slightest bit radical if you can listen to what he says with an open mind. The article has more quotes that seem to be so sensible that they are hard to argue against.

The Problem With The Clinton-Russia Collusion Narrative

Medium has the Caitlin Johnstone article The Problem With The Clinton-Russia Collusion Narrative.

I am aware that Trump’s base is only trying to engage the Democrats on their Russia hypocrisy and not intentionally helping the deep state manufacture the tensions with Russia it’s been seeking in order to secure geopolitical hegemony… but I do see a very real risk of that happening.
Can you understand why this is making me nervous? It’s impossible to use Russian collusion as an attack against your opponent without making Russia into a big scary boogieman, and we’re now looking at the possibility of both of America’s huge mainstream factions fighting one another over who hates Russia more and who’s the bigger Putin puppet. Any remaining inertia on aggressive sanctions, NATO expansionism, proxy wars and nuclear brinkmanship may be wiped out if each side becomes eager to prove that they’re toughest on Russia, a game of chicken that can only end in a mushroom cloud.

Caitlin Johnstone has put her finger on exactly what bothers me about the current hysteria over Russia that is coming from all sides of the political spectrum. Whenever, I raise this issue I get accused of being a troll for whichever side the reader disagrees with.

What Killed the Democratic Party?

The Nation has the article What Killed the Democratic Party?

In essence, this is the core accusation leveled in “Autopsy”: that the Democratic Party neglected its most loyal voters. It not only forgot to ask for their votes; it ignored the general distress of working people (white, black, and brown). Furthermore, the party didn’t have much to offer those folks in the form of concrete proposals to improve their lives.

Here is the report discussed in the article AUTOPSY The Democratic Party in Crisis. (The website of the report’s authors is Democratic Autopsy.)

I keep trying to tell people that you cannot win an election by just being against your opponent. You have to present your own positive vision of the future. The Democratic Party hasn’t presented such a vision since Barack Obama pretended to have a vision in 2008.

Before that, John Kerry’s positive vision amounted to the fact that he was in the Vietnam War. At that time I tried to warn the campaign that a resume is nice, but you can’t win a campaign on that alone.

Bernie Sanders on what the U.S. can learn from Canadian health care

YouTube has the video Bernie Sanders on what the U.S. can learn from Canadian health care.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders discusses ‘what the U.S. can learn from Canadian health care’ in speech at the University of Toronto.

This video of his entire speech is only 33 minutes long and well worth the viewing. Only a concerted effort by the people of the USA will get us Medicare for All. People like Bernie Sanders can only remind us of what is at stake, but we must be the ones demanding change. If our politicians realize that their careers are at stake over this issue, then the tide will slowly begin to change.

Nobel Prize Winning Technique Discovers Reason Behind Battery Fires

Forbes has the article Nobel Prize Winning Technique Discovers Reason Behind Battery Fires.

A technique known as cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) won the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry and has been used by scientists at Stanford University to capture the first atomic-level images of growths in batteries, which have been one of the largest limitations to developing better batteries.

This research could lead to the type of breakthrough that is predicted to lead to electric vehicles surpassing gasoline powered vehicles in range and refueling times.

How to Use Fiscal and Monetary Policy to Make Us Rich Again

Evonomics has the article How to Use Fiscal and Monetary Policy to Make Us Rich Again – The easiest way to return to Golden Age tranquility and equality is to empower fiscal policy.

The timing suggests Ronald Reagan had something to do stagnating wages. That makes sense. Reagan cut taxes on the rich, deregulated the economy, eviscerated the labor unions and created the neoliberal order that still rules today. But perhaps an even more significant change is the tiny, technical and tedious shift from fiscal to monetary policy.
Fiscal policy, by increasing government spending, creates jobs and so raises wages even in the private sector. Monetary policy works mostly through the wealth effect. Lower interest rates almost automatically raise the value of stocks, bonds, and other real assets. Fiscal policy makes workers richer, monetary policy makes rich people richer. This, I suspect, explains better than anything else why monetary policy, even extreme monetary policy remains more respectable than even conventional monetary policy.

These observations strongly match what I have observed since Lyndon Johnson’s infamous guns and butter policies, followed by the period where monetary policy tried to stimulate the economy at the same time fiscal policy was working to contract the economy. I have often thought that our economy and sopciety would be much stronger if monetary and fiscal policy were working toward the same end instead of fighting each other.

If You Look Behind Neoliberal Economists, You’ll Discover the Rich: How Economic Theories Serve Big Business

Naked Capitalism has republished the article If You Look Behind Neoliberal Economists, You’ll Discover the Rich: How Economic Theories Serve Big Business. Below is the paragraph they chose to introduce the artilce.

But this leads to the main paradox of neoliberalism. Its economic system needs a strong state, even at the expense of constraining democracy, to guarantee property rights and the working of the free market, while actively maintaining the rule of neoliberal social philosophy. At the same time some of its proponents tend to dismiss strong states (Mirowski, 2013). In fact, laissez faire was the last thing neoliberals wanted to achieve. This paradoxical stance towards the state led Milton Friedman, the policy entrepreneur to become an advisor of the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet to transform Chile into a policy playground.

I found the article to be a very enlightening explanation of how our economic theories got corrupted in the 1970s. I got my economics education in the 1960s, so that must be what saved me from some of the corrupting influences.