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Redistribution of Wealth? That's a Republican Idea

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/16 22:17:33 (5740 reads)

This morning, I watched an interview on CNN with Joe Biden. The interviewer said something to the effect that Democrats want to redistribute wealth through tax policy. Biden missed a hell of an opportunity there to shut down one of the stupidest memes I've ever heard.

To say that Democrats want to redistribute the wealth from the wealthy to the poor is not just the biggest load of bullshit, but it's one of the few things I would label as a "dangerous" idea.

The fact is, that under Republican administrations, and the piss-poor job Republicans have done with governing, we have already had redistribution of wealth. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that we've had a re-institution of slavery via indentured servitude.

Through Republicans' corporate-sponsored tax legislation, you have folks who don't work for a living paying a much lower tax rate than you do. You have large corporations sucking on the government's no-bid contract teat for contract after contract. You have government bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists.

Still don't believe me?

Ask your electric company. You've redistributed your wealth to them, thanks to Republican deregulation.

Ask your mortgage company. Thanks to Republican regulators asleep at the wheel, they raked it in with bait-and-switch and predatory lending tactics, lending on liar loans, and qualifying lenders on teaser rates. Thanks to Republican borrow-and-blow fiscal policy, rates went up, the housing market went down, and you and I just bought Fannie and Freddie back - completing the cycle of privatized profits and socialized risk.

Ask the petroleum companies. I don't even have to tell you that you've redistributed your wealth to them. You can thank Republican-instituted instability in the Middle East for that. You're about to redistribute even more of your wealth to them when your government lets them drill in our territory without paying full market lease rates and royalties. They want a subsidy from you and me, so they can keep selling oil into the world market at market rates. Drill, baby, drill - indeed.

Ask the foreign companies that your state is trying to sell all of your highways to. Every time you pay toll, you're redistributing your wealth to them.

Ask your cell phone company. Thanks to Republican lack of regulation, they provide shitty service at top rates. They rip you off, and you can't take them to court. You switch providers, and they'll hit you with an "early termination fee".

Ask big agribusiness. Now you get to pay them when you fill up at the pump. Your tax dollars pay them again through ethanol subsidies. Your wealth is transferred yet again when you pay twice what you did just a couple of years ago for your pesticide-laden, or hormone-pumped food.

Ask your employer, who by-and-large has not raised your pay enough to keep up with inflation.

Ask big pharma, to whom you have transferred more of your wealth in double-digit drug price inflation each year.

Ask the health insurers, if you're lucky enough to be able to dump $1200 a month of your income to them for family coverage. You've been transferring your wealth to them more and more.


Folks, I've said this before, and I'll say it again. If you earn less than $250,000 a year, you can't afford a down payment on that line of Republican bullshit. You can't afford to put that bullshit on layaway.

Redistribution of wealth is what the Republican party is all about. Redistribution of your wealth to those who already have wealth.

The first two steps to fixing any problem?
1. Realize there is a problem. John McCain has shown with his "fundamentals are strong" comment, that he is just out of touch.
2. Stop contributing to the problem. Elect Democrats to restore a fair and progressive tax code, and enact legislation that rewards the American worker who works hard and does the right thing.

When the economy and tax policy reward hard work and innovation, we will have less economic disparity.

The next time you hear somebody repeating that tired old Republican bullshit talking point about "redistribution of wealth", I hope you'll remind them just where that redistribution has gone.

I'll leave you with this chart of income distributions in the U.S. from 1979 to 2006:

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Houston, You Have a Problem

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/16 20:58:54 (949 reads)

From Daily Kos:

- No food. There is only one grocery store open nearby (if you can get to it) and the lines stretches for blocks. My dad says it is so jam-packed that there are hundreds of people waiting to check out. And they are so full that they can only let someone in as someone else goes out- 2 people out, 2 people in (like they do in a nightclub if they are over capacity).

THEN AND ONLY THEN can you gather what little is left on the shelves. In Houston most homes have electric stovetops so the only way to cook is if you have a gas grill. Hotdogs and anything you can put on a grill are long gone. Bread is gone. All the staples are gone. They are grabbing anything they can and being creative about how to cook it.
- They have a 6 pm curfew to try to deter looters. - Schools are closed all week and most likely next week too. My sister in law is a teacher and was told to call in this weekend to see if school will be open next week.

Again, this is highly unusual. I remember when I was a kid we had some bad hurricanes come and we were lucky to get one or two days off of school. We loved it as kids because you don't get snow days in Houston so those were our only chances of getting off of school. The schools are usually the first things up, so this is not a good sign!
A couple weeks off of school? Let's face it- Houston is a mess!

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Drinking Liberally Flower Mound New Location

Posted by mycy1000 on 2008/9/14 14:46:22 (1068 reads)

Hello Everyone,
We had some problems with Prince Bistro and are no longer meeting there. They were unwilling to post our DL sign because the manager said that "families may get the wrong idea".
Our new location is
La Sierra Mexican Grill
2221 Cross Timbers Rd
Flower Mound, TX 75028
Phone: (214) 513-8718
Fax: (214) 513- 8728
They have happy hour all day on Thursday.
$1.00 drafts and $1.00 off other drinks.

The first pitcher is on me,
Christianna Yarbrough

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Alert: Secure your Stuff from Ike!

Keep Lewisville Beautiful
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/12 18:59:44 (1024 reads)

This is for our Lewisville folks as well as anyone who lives outside of the coastal areas of Texas where Ike will hit, but inside the path it will take after it passes over houston:

Remember to secure your property outside. We're looking at wind gusts up to 55 MPH Saturday. Things like patio furniture and trash cans can become projectiles and cause property damage in strong winds. Trash that may be in your trash cans behind your house can blow off and end up in our creeks, streams, and trees. It's much easier to secure it now than to clean it up next Spring.

So, before it gets too dark, go out and look around for things that could blow off and cause damage:

- Patio Furniture and umbrellas. Turn chairs upside down, remove cushions, bring umbrellas inside.
- Trash Cans. - Bring them inside the garage, or put them behind a fence. If you have to leave them outside with trash, cover them up and put a bungee cord or a brick over them.
- Lawn Ornaments
- Flag poles
- Toys
- Bicycles
- Plants
- Newspapers or phonebooks that may be sitting on your porch
- any other litter.

Hopefully we won't have much weather to deal with up here, but if we do, lets be prepared. Check your flashlight batteries, radios, etc. Make sure you have some drinking water. Make some ice.

If anyone has any other ideas for how to get prepared, please post them. The more the better...

Lastly, the American Red Cross has a website setup for information about the storm and recovery.

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What? No offer for me?

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/11 22:20:00 (980 reads)

Most of my neighbors in the Valley Vista subdivision got offers from Cherokee Horn today. My neighbors on my street, next door, and all through the neighborhood got them, and I've been hearing all evening from them that they consider it a joke.

I don't think we'll see a whole lot of folks signing from the neighborhoods we got to first.

Oh yeah, no offer to my house. Color me shocked!

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Latest News and Thoughts on Lewisville Drilling

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/10 20:25:39 (1556 reads)

Thought I would take a minute to share the latest news and thoughts on the potential for gas drilling here in Lewisville.

Watch Channel 8 (WFAA) news tonight at 10pm. Brett Shipp is supposed to be doing an expose on the salt water injection wells.

The Lewisville Oil and Gas drilling ordinance was amended this past Monday Night. (and thankfully bans those injection wells within our city)
- Here's what I published last week.

- The Lewisville Leader had it on the front page today.

Also in today's paper was coverage of our Central Park Area Neighbors Association meeting last Saturday

I was up late last night reading a rather long and academic article about the Barnett Shale's geologic features. Though the article was from 2003 (reposted in 2007) I was able to gain a bit more understanding and clear up a couple of things I didn't have quite right before.

1. The gas is more thermally mature, the closer you get to the Ouachita Thrust, because that is where the Earth's heat was channeled up to the shale to bake it. Thermal maturity means a lower BTU content in the gas:

Sections of the Barnett bordering the Ouachita front (regardless of depth) have the highest thermal maturity and, hence, the lowest BTU-content of produced gas. The region of the Barnett away from the Ouachitas and areas shielded from the Ouachita front (i.e., the area adjacent to the Muenster arch [which happens to be the deepest part of the basin]) are thermally less mature.

2. Drilling near a fault, though it may work for better production in other plays, is a bad idea in the Barnett: the Barnett play extensive macroscopic natural fracturing (e.g., near fault zones) hinders gas production because the fractures that are present are filled with carbonate cement. This cement also appears to have at least partially occluded the matrix porosity around the fault zones. Wells drilled on or near structural highs also perform poorly. The best place to drill a Barnett well is where there are no structural flexures or faulting of any kind.

Of course, what we don't know right now is exactly how far from a fault such as the one that formed the Muenster Arch has to be away from the area before the recovery is not affected.

Take a look at the map to the left. (Click to Enlarge)

I used Google Maps to create a map of the three nearest drill sites with production data.

Our neighborhood drill sites (proposed) are shown with yellow pins in the center. To the North, two Carrizzo wells in Hickory Creek. Both wells are not good producing wells. The one on the west produced twice as much, initially as the one to the east, but the best production it ever had was .385 MMCF / day - about $!04,000 per month, if it held steady, which it did not. Could this well have located the boundary of the Muenster Arch?

To our South, the wells at DFW North: A 4HL High: 52,976 MCF 11/2007
Last: 13,719 MCF 06/2008. - About 1.8 MMCF / day or $477,000 / month.

The Sam Wilson units to the West of us produce greater than 2 MMCF per day.

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Lets talk about economic risk.

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/9 21:20:00 (564 reads)

In economics, there is a principle called market efficiency which is generally used to describe a playing field where all the participants know the value of a thing. With market efficiency, players can buy or sell, relatively secure that both benefit from the transaction. The seller knows he's getting what his goods are worth, and the buyer knows she's not over-paying. Most of us don't think much about market efficiency unless we play in the stock market.

But when there is a lack of efficiency in a market, that is when fortunes are made or lost. It is in these situations that the one who owns the information runs the table.

Inherent in the market price of any good, service, or financial instrument is a portion of the price directly tied to risk. When you buy insurance on your car, you're paying mostly for risk. When you buy electronics at a pawn shop, you're receiving a risk discount because you are paying less than market price in exchange for the risk that you're buying some unwarranted piece of crap.

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Mayor Palin Charged Rape Victims for Their Exams

The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/9 7:23:35 (1263 reads)

When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the town charged rape victims for their own sexual assault exams. That is just heartless. Thankfully, the state outlawed that practice under Gov. Tony Knowles.

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Be the Change

Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/8 8:11:09 (834 reads)

Hat tip to Mary for passing this Kat Edmonson music video along to us:

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Thoughts on Sunday Night

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/9/7 21:33:12 (1214 reads)

It's Sunday night, and the weekend is slipping away. I just put in the 4th load of laundry, and am finally getting a chance to sit down with my thoughts.

Gas Drilling Stuff
This stuff has pretty much consumed all of my spare time lately, keeping me from writing about the normal things I write about. But I guess when something happens in the neighborhood, it has a more immediate and direct effect on you. We had a meeting on Saturday night, which I described in a post earlier today.

My speaking part in this thing is to just list some of the possible environmental effects that drilling could have on a neighborhood. And of course, basically you're talking about the worst-case scenario, which can scare people. I make a point to say that I'm not trying to scare people, but to give them some things to look at, and make up their minds about how much risk they're willing to take. It is of course made difficult because I am not an oil guy or a geologist or anything of that nature. I'm just a guy who has lost a lot of sleep staying up to ungodly hours reading about this stuff. In spite of it all, I remain cautiously optimistic that we can reach a happy medium and get this gas under our neighborhood extracted with minimal disruption of the environment.

Honestly, I wish we could put the genie back in the bottle, but since they know the gas is here, and the prices are going to do nothing but go up, I think there's only so long we can forestall the drilling.

Seth for Student Council
My oldest son, Seth (9) is running for student council in his 4th grade class. He says there are 12 of them running for 4 seats. I wish I knew how to help him. We did go and buy some posterboard, and I took a photo (right) of him to print out and tape to the poster.

I hope he's not too disappointed if he doesn't get it. Maybe the campaigning will do him well in his social interactions with his new classmates.

Shat upon
Yesterday, the kids had Ron (pet lizard) out playing with him. They gave him to me, and I let him sit on my chest while I watched TV, lounging in my bed. I caught a whiff of poo, and thought maybe one of my sons had farted, so I tried to ignore it. But then another gust of poo-stench came my way, and I looked down to see this little reptile extruding a cigarette-butt-sized slimy turd right on my shirt. My boys think that's incredibly funny. This makes the second time I've been shat upon by Ron. Last weekend, Seth was running in the hall and fell down with Ron in his hand, knocking this little lizard unconscious. He came to me crying, thinking that he had killed poor Ron. As I took a lifeless Ron into my hand to look at him, he expelled right into my hand what I assumed to be a death crap. (If you've ever had a pet die, you know what I mean) When I took the "corpse" to the sink to wash the turd off, little Ron perked up and shook his head side-to-side.

The Job
Things are still a little tough for me on the new job. There's just so much of the system for me to learn, and it's a little less intuitive than other systems I've worked on. But still, I'm getting some things accomplished, and my employer is going to let me begin working some days from my own Lewisville office. Of course, I still have a couple of clients from my old job to support, so I'm trying to fit in hours here and there as I can, and not doing a great job of it.

Timber Creek Trail
Today, Mamask8z and I walked along a section of the new Timber Creek trail, that is part of the city's park system. It's a very nice and very wide sidewalk winding along the creek and covered by a canopy of grand old trees. I'm in love with it.

Cub Scout site
Seems like all the time I'm turning down requests to build websites for non-profit groups. Every now and then I get guilted into doing one, or just get caught off guard. So I've begun building a new site for my son's pack, based on the Xoops software that runs this site. I think it will be easier to maintain than the various pages that seem to have been built all by hand by the previous volunteer. I'm actually sort of amazed at what they had before. It took a lot of hard work. Hopefully I can salvage a lot of that, but make it much easier to maintain and update - even by non-techies. Lord knows if I had to do this website by hand, it just wouldn't get done.

Presidential Race
What a week, eh? I tried hard to force myself to watch as much of the Republican convention as I could stand. I must admit that on Tuesday night when Fred Thompson spoke, I had to watch it from a bar. To me, Palin's speech sounded really canned, and had some "less than truthful" statements in it. The worst one, I thought was the fear-mongering about "Obama will raise your taxes.". Actually John McCain is the only one with a plan on the table to raise taxes on the middle class. But when do we let facts get in the way? Funny how emotional some folks get over taxes, even as the economy tanks and our dollars don't go as far. It's like they'll waste a dollar trying to save a dime on taxes just for principle.

All in all, I'd say Obama comes out ahead this week, even after the mudslinging. I know that Palin seems to energize the base, but her radical views won't gain much traction with middle-America.

Gold Digger
Heard a catchy tune on the radio today by Kanye West called Gold Digger. Really funky riffs in there. You know, Kanye is a talented guy, but I really am a little disturbed by the use of the "n" word in lyrics. You can listen to a censored version here:

Pork and Beans
Mamask8z thinks y'all need some Pork and Beans

Well, that's all I have in me for tonight. Take care,

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