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Flying Squirrel

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Aug 20, 2010, 05:40 PM
Number of posts: 2,624

About Me

I am the same DU member who formerly posted under the name FlyingSquirrel (no space). I killed this profile by changing both my password and email at a time when I felt I had developed an unhealthy addiction to the internet in general and DU in particular. Not sayin' I'm any better now ;-)

Journal Archives

All in favor of declawing cats...

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Feb 9, 2016, 08:29 PM (19 replies)

Dropping the capital 'r' in "republicans"

I just noticed today that H2O Man never capitalizes the word. It's a small thing, but you know what? They really don't deserve the implied respect anymore, and haven't for decades. I'm gonna drop it down to the little 'r' myself from now on. Who's with us?

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Feb 9, 2016, 08:59 AM (19 replies)

Ok, now this is just good clean fun.

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Feb 9, 2016, 08:35 AM (1 replies)

Scrabble definition of the day:


1. What a witch takes on a broom.

Add your own definition, and check back in tomorrow for the real word meaning!

(Or look it up yourself if you can't wait)

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Feb 9, 2016, 12:36 AM (0 replies)

Women respond to Gloria Steinem's apology:


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 05:49 PM (215 replies)

If you do not support a peaceful revolution

Then, even if you do not support a violent revolution, you are helping one to come to pass.

There will be a revolution. The only two questions are:

1. When will it happen?

2. Will it be peaceful or violent?

I support a peaceful revolution.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 04:36 PM (2 replies)

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Wall Street, and America 2.0

(Don't be fooled by the headline, this is NOT a boring article!)

The stunning ascent of Bernie Sanders portends far more than a hard-fought Democratic primary. Its greater implication, whether Sanders wins or loses, is that America's crony capitalism will no longer go unchallenged. Thus Hillary Clinton and her husband, along with many others, are increasingly trapped by the wealth, credentials, and insider status they have pursued so fervently - because they derive from a corruption whose nature and consequences can no longer be concealed. America's financial elites are now so corrupt, arrogant, and predatory that political leaders beholden to them can't even pretend to deliver economic or political security, much less fairness or progress.

And now, finally, Americans are running out of patience. In addition to Bernie Sanders, there's Elizabeth Warren, Zephyr Teachout, and even movies - The Big Short has (deservedly) grossed $100 million. Everything suggests that American politics is now truly, fundamentally, up for grabs - a hugely exciting but also terrifying prospect. In America, the Great Depression yielded Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal; but in Europe, it created Hitler and Mussolini. America's reaction against its corruption and decline could show us at our best - or our worst.

Indeed, this is the Democratic establishment's rejoinder to Bernie Sanders: he's a wonderful dreamer, but impractical - he can't get elected, so we'd get Trump or Cruz, and furthermore even if Bernie was elected, he couldn't get anything done. Look at Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, they say - those laws barely passed. No way could Bernie break up the banks. Only a pragmatic, moderate insider can get anywhere.

Actually the truth is exactly the opposite. American insider politics is now so corrupt that nobody within it can get anything done. But by stepping outside of the rules, you could do a great deal. Let's take a concrete example - the banks.


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 10:53 PM (3 replies)

If the only knock against Clinton was that she represents "the establishment"

Then I could possibly be persuaded to support her at this time.

I agree: It sucks for Hillary that she's played by the old rules all this time -- trying to become the first female president -- and that now the rules are changing just at the wrong time.

But this election is not about her, and it's not about women in general (except insofar as they will benefit from the policies that will be pushed or supported by the eventual nominee). This election is about a sea change that is long overdue, change that we thought we were getting in 2008 but were sadly mistaken.

This election is about what the Democratic Party has become due to ALL Democrats playing by the rules of the game Clinton has played.

Also, on a personal level, I don't like her all that much; and I definitely don't trust her or believe much of what she says.

If there were no alternative candidate that I did like, trust and believe, I'd support her in spite of that -- if only just because I, like many others, want to see that glass ceiling broken.

But, there is.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 10:17 PM (9 replies)

Minimum wage now is essentially below 1928 levels

Someone wanna correct my math or my analysis?


"Dear Folks, Will place a not(e) in wall as it may some day be found and perhaps the men that Built it will be dead and forgotten. We are having nice weather was 18 above zero this morning. Hope when this is opened things will be better for the working man than (now?). Mason got $10 per day and labor $3.20 there will have to be a change soon or the labor will be out of luck. Please print this if found signed CK Bell, Geo H Bell, W. Sowell, Jim Kelley, Ray (Disney?) Good luck."

My analysis:


In 1928 Kansas, a laborer made .40/hour and worked 48 hours/week.

That works out to $19.20/week, which the CPI calculator translates into $266.12 in 2015 dollars. Federal tax was 1.5% for that tax bracket and there were no Social Security or Medicare withholdings.

Now the minimum wage in KS is $7.25/hour and the workweek is reduced to 40 hours (yes, that's an improvement). So the gross pay is now $290/week, or 9% higher for 8 fewer hours.

But take out $22 for social security and medicare, and now you're back down to $268/week.

I did a quick federal estimate based on a single person with no children and came up with $9/week in federal taxes for 2015, which drops your take-home pay down to $259/week. With federal taxes being only 1.5% in 1928, the take-home pay back then (in 2015 dollars) would have been about $265/week.

So while today's laborers work fewer hours per week, they still take home about the same pay as they did in 1928, or less.

Ah, the gilded age, right before the stock market crash and the depression. Hmmm...
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 09:47 AM (5 replies)

I klickety-clicked an online poll and said Bernie won the debate

But I didn't actually watch it.

I'm going straight to hell, aren't I?

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 07:50 AM (1 replies)
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