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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: South - Carolina and Dakota
Home country: Oz
Current location: Kansas
Member since: Mon Nov 15, 2004, 04:30 AM
Number of posts: 37,573

Journal Archives

Yep, here's how George W. Bush described them

"Our enemies are innovative and resourcefull, and so are we. They never stop thinking of ways to harm our country and our people,

and neither do we."

George W. Bush, accidentally telling the truth

That was my email signature line in 2005.

I added this, about his re-selection

"I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action." Erich Ludendorff

the abyss? Did I exxagerate? Be hyperbolic?

You decide. For myself, I think western civilization came that close, all too close, to going down with a crash.


immeasurable woe? Okay, maybe it is measurable, like 12.7 million unemployed even now. But nobody has really measured the number killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor the long term effects.

An election is coming up. Let's learn from our past mistakes, shall we? Don't vote Romney, don't vote Republican, don't return to the disastrous policies of George W, Bush and Ronald Reagan.

about poverty - how poor have you been, as an adult?

Just for fun, I calculated my own wages compared to the poverty line over the years. I graduated from college in 1985 and got a job that November, working for Uncle Sam at the USAF. So, starting in 1986.

1986 - 299%
1987 - 0% (quit the last job in November (after getting promoted) and didn't have a paying job. Bought a trailer and some land for $4,500 in July and lived there for a year before going to graduate school (saved about $3,000 in rent expenses and much later sold the land for $22,000)
1988 - 96% (based on the school year rather than the calendar year, I know I made $5900 for my first year as a graduate assistant and $6100 for my second year)
1989 - 95%
1990 - 40%
1991 - 76%
1992 - 0% (started my own store in June 1991, made no money, but lived in the store and covered some living expenses that way. So my real income was somewhat higher through 1998, but I wasn't really living well in a basement for a year with no hot water, but considering the upstairs was practically a library, that's living well for me)
1993 - 124% (in Feb, got a job at a satellite dish factory)
1994 - 160%
1995 - 39% (sorta quit and then got laid off from the factory in March, made some money shovelling snow the next winter which does not show on my FICA earnings report)
1996 - 69% (first got a job at another satellite dish factory, then a part-time job at the bar down the street from my store)
1997 - 123%
1998 - 129% (in June sold the building and moved, mostly working temp jobs for three years in Iowa also made some money as a landlord from the building I bought, but that was negated, and then some, when I later sold the building for a huge loss)
1999 - 168%
2000 - 180%
2001 - 190% (in those two years I ALMOST made it out of the bottom quintile if I hadn't gotten fired in March 2002 ...)
2002 - 113% (not including some $4,000 I made from unemployment, got a part-time janitor job in August)
2003 - 145%
2004 - 201% (full time janitor in May)
2005 - 237%
2006 - 219% (went back to part-time in October, as I called it "semi-retired", partly was afraid Bush would wreck the banking system. No point working full time and saving if the banking system collapses and wipes it all out, and besides, my house was paid for by then)
2007 - 104%
2008 - 113%
2009 - 130%
2010 - 116%

25 year average 126.64%. 22 of 25 years in the bottom quintile, and no health insurance until May 2004.

Anyway, perhaps TMI, but that is my experience with poverty and near-poverty. I'd like to hear your stories.

One person can make a difference - Happy Earth Day

Just got back from another after-prom party. As usual, nobody was recycling. This time instead of constantly picking cans out of the trash, I decided to try something different. I took an empty trash can and put a hand-made sign that said "recycle" on it. In that manner I managed to recycle 96 cans and 26 plastic bottles. Still ended up with a fair number of cans in the trash. I doubt if more than 70% were recycled.

And, of course, 96 cans is only 2.5 or 3 pounds, which hardly makes any kind of dent in the 1.34 billion pounds that get thrown away every year http://journals.democraticunderground.com/hfojvt/171 Still, it is better than nothing. Those 1.34 billion pounds generally get thrown away one can at a time. Hopefully I also helped to remind fifty or sixty young people that recycling is a good thing, that they can get in the habit of recycling.

At another job, I was moving some bottles from the trash to the recycling, and one of the bartenders sarcastically asked if I was going to "save the earth". Obviously, I am not. I am not an Atlas who can pick up the world on my massive shoulders. But I can do something, and I think that every little bit helps. I recycle more than my share of the total 2.73 billion pounds used each year, even though I cannot personally reduce the amount discarded even from 1.3400 to 1.3399 billion pounds on my own.

But I can do a part. If the earth doesn't get saved, it won't be because I didn't do my part. Like John Lennon, I am sure I am not the only one, and hope that others someday will join us.
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