Garden State Passes $15 Min. Wage

The Assembly passed the bill, the Senate will also pass it and then Sad Christie will take out his veto stamp. But the Assembly and the Senate expect to override his sad, saggy, pathetic vetoing ass.

For the Democratic leaders in the state Senate and Assembly, the veto is not so much a threat as it is a procedural step. They’ve said they plan to take the wage hike to the voters through a constitutional referendum, bypassing the Republican governor if he intervenes.

From $8.38  to $15.00 is a shock, but NJ is an expensive friggin’ state to live in let me tell you. People need it, badly.

The annual take-home pay for a full-time worker earning the minimum wage in New Jersey is about $17,430. The United Way of Northern New Jersey has estimated a single adult in New Jersey would need to earn $13.78 an hour to meet his or her basic needs, and $19.73 per hour for “better food and shelter, plus modest savings.”

Trump’s Neo-Nazi and Jewish Supporters Hug

No, not really.  But they are strange bedfellows in the cockeyed Trump caravan.

How can someone like Sheldon Adelson support Trump after other Jews received death threats from his supporters?

Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, for whom support of Israel is the key issue in selecting a candidate to back, endorsed Trump shortly after Ioffe filed a police report over the death threats she’d received from his supporters.

How are his anti-semite, neo-Nazis supporters  so sure he’s on their side when he has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchild and supports Israel?

“Glorious Leader Donald Trump Refuses to Denounce Stormer Troll Army,” Anglin, who describes himself and his readers as “virulent” Trump supporters, posted on his website after the CNN interview. “We support Trump because he is the savior of the White race, sent by God to free us from the shackles of the Jew occupation and establish a 1000 Reich,” Anglin told HuffPost.

These are two ideas that are not compatible. This is the unsupportable pretzel logic that Trump and his supporters have baked themselves into.




My issue with a Trump v. Sanders debate

Like all the Kool Kids I doubt this will happen.  But my problem with it isn’t like most Dems. who fear its unprecedented nature and the possibility of it turning into a Hillary Demolition Derby like Josh Marshall.

My problem is that it will expose Trump’s glaring weaknesses and inability to debate facts way too early, giving him time to attempt a retool before the main event with Hillary.

Let that first debate with her go so horribly wrong that he cancels the rest of them. Or even better goes ahead with them out of arrogance and sinks further and further into a LaBrea Tar Pits of his own making.

Trump has nothing without skin deep generalizations, sophomoric character slurs and delusional assertions of his own grandeur.  The only thing Democrats have to fear is the failure to expose him.

It may seem counter intuitive but all facts point to, by and large, disengagement by the public with this election until after the conventions.  Every cycle goes through this.  A small group of people, that are, by the way, over represented by Republicans, are very engaged, have been for a while.  The vast majority of the country won’t care until after the conventions, most until after the debates.  At this point in 2008 and 2012 presidents McCain and Romney were statistical possibilities but by the end of the conventions those contests were over and the debates sealed the deal.


That day we knew would arrive is here

I have written about the tragically under reported issue of antibiotic abuse here and here and oh yeah here and a few other times (do the search). Here’s the upshot of it all become real, what we feared is now a reality.

U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics


“We risk being in a post-antibiotic world,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not travelled within the prior five months.

We’ve made some strides here in that the government has recognized the prophylactic use of  antibiotics in animals had to be curbed and even business has taken action to do so.  We only buy meats from animals that were not treated with antibiotics, you can do that today. But I am not certain that I’ve seen much response from the medical community.  If you click on one of my links above I quote a doctor friend who bemoaned the overprescription of antibiotics years ago.  She stopped prescribing them unless absolutely necessary.  But she recognized that other doctors wouldn’t do so until medical guidelines backed them up against idiot patients that insist on antibiotics for everything from a cold to a hangnail. But this abuse of medicine is not merely a waste of time and money.  There are harsh consequences for us all.

Most people still do not realize how interconnected we are and that there are negative consequences for the overuse of antibiotics by the simple mechanism of evolution. Simply put, bacteria evolve and if a full course doesn’t kill the bacteria, it grows stronger. If we’re constantly slathering ourselves in antibacterials and ingesting antibiotics we are helping the bacteria we’re so paranoid of grow stronger.

We are so interconnected that even if you don’t ever take antibiotics, eat meats with them or use antibacterials you still can’t avoid the consequences of other people’s behavior because of the contaminated water supply.

According to the investigation, the drugs get into the drinking water supply through several routes: some people flush unneeded medicationdown toilets; other medicine gets into the water supply after people take medication, absorb some, and pass the rest out in urine or feces. Some pharmaceuticals remain even after wastewater treatments and cleansing by water treatment plants, the investigation showed.

For years the medical community has been aware of the dangers of the overuse and accumulation.  But like with climate change, because of the monetary interests involved, not nearly enough action is taken.  If there’s no money to be made in those actions then there’s not much incentive, because human life and the conservation of civilization just isn’t enough.  It would have been much easier for the pharmaceutical and medical community to use their knowledge and just stop the overuse of antibiotics years ago, but bottom lines would have been hurt.  So they wait until the problem is so severe that there’s money in finding a fix for the mess they themselves created.

In January, dozens of drugmakers and diagnostic companies, including Pfizer (PFE.N), Merck & Co (MRK.N), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), signed a declaration calling for new incentives from governments to support investment in development of medicines to fight drug-resistant superbugs.

So super-duper Hulk-like antibiotics to fix what normal antibiotics caused.  This will not end well.  We already have some very strong antibiotics that have had so many side effects that their use has had to be curtailed.  Have you ever taken Levoquin?  Earlier this month the FDA warned that you maybe shouldn’t because of the well known debilitating side effects (nerve damage, tendon damage, aorta tears, etc.). Law suits are abounding now on this one.  Also Cipro and Avelox.   Besides horrible side effects worse than the original disease, the use of these already super antibiotics is blamed for the increasing problems with superbugs MRSA and c.diff.

The rising use of these potent drugs has also been blamed for increases in two very serious, hard-to-treat infections: antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (known as MRSA) and severe diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile. One study found thatfluoroquinolones were responsible for 55 percent of C. difficile infections at one hospital in Quebec.

Technology does not fix the problems of technology, it just piles on newer and more profound problems.   When has complexity ever solved the problems of complexity?  The answer to these problems is more likely to be found in the words of Henry David Thoreau:

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.”

Bill Clinton debates Bernie Supporter in Diner

I would love to hear the whole 30 minute exchange here.  It sounds like the debate the Democratic Party needs to have, unlike the presidential debates that Bernie and Hillary have had, which were largely substantive, but not completely frank because running for office.

Bill Clinton Gets Into 30-Minute Debate With A 24-Year-Old Bernie Fan

Read the article and read the comments.

“If you never have to make a decision, then you can go back to the past and cherry-pick everything [for a] narrative that is blatantly false,” Clinton continued. “What you’re saying is false.”

“Seems like your narrative,” Brody responded, his voice louder than Clinton’s, “is that you did the best job that you could have possibly done from the most progressive standpoint that you possibly could have had.”

“No,” said Clinton.

YES!  That is the actual narrative.  We were coming out of the resurgence of conservatism under Reagan, the Democratic Party of FDR and labor was being buried by democrats like Clinton because, they argued, that’s what you needed to do to get elected in the shadow of Reagan. But Clinton, the “New” Democrat, piggybacked on Reagan’s anti-big government propaganda by saying “the era of big government is dead” which 1. sold out the FDR era Democrats, and 2. played into the GOP narrative that “big government” was the goal of those Democrats and the problem.  The Bill Clinton legacy was that he was a Democrat that won and beat the ascendant Republicans, but he didn’t do it by championing traditional Democratic ideas, he did it by “triangulating” and adopting Republican values like welfare reform, free trade and business deregulation.  Bill Clinton can only stand on one of two legs: either those were good policies to be defended, or those weren’t good policies but we had to espouse them to compete with the GOP, get elected and achieve other progressive aims.

He and Hillary have both admitted those policies were bad in other forums, but while they do, they don’t want to accept responsibility for them.  As if to say, sure we did bad things, but look at the short term results, they were great!  Just ignore the long term, please. Please!

From a commenter:  If Democrats would just admit that they intentionally moved away from the party of FDR, we’d all be better off. But they won’t because they want to have it all… the history and legacy of FDR and the $$ of Wall Street. Well, you can’t have them both. And Bill Clinton is a douche for gaslighting that kid who was Spot.On.

Indeed.  It’s that irreconcilable conundrum that makes Bill Clinton’s legacy so problematic and Hillary’s candidacy so fraught.  It’s what’s putting Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in a vise now too.  It’s the debate Democrats need to have in order to truly move on.


I will agree with the commenter that gave Bill kudos for engaging with the kid. Although the narrative of this will be that Bill is out of control by doing so.  But Bill Clinton was never controllable by handlers so let’s not look at this as a sign that he’s losing touch. This is classic Clinton not conceding anything, even when he should.


The Computers are Obsolete, the Nuclear Weapons they Control, still very killy

The Guardian – US nuclear arsenal controlled by 1970s computers with 8in floppy disks

The last time I saw an 8 inch floppy disk was working in the offices of an off-Broadway theater in 1983 that used a dedicated machine with DisplayWrite.  They upgraded to a real PC with 3 1/2″ floppies that used WordPerfect because that’s what you did if you had any sense.

We’re not even talking the more modern 3.5in floppy disk that millennials might only know as the save icon. We’re talking the OG 8in floppy, which was a largefloppy square with a magnetic disk inside it. They became commercially available in 1971, but were replaced by the 5¼in floppy in 1976, and by the more familiar hard plastic 3.5in floppy in 1982.

Shockingly, the US Government Accountability Office said: “Replacement parts for the system are difficult to find because they are now obsolete.”

This is the part of our defense establishment that costs us trillions.  Where’s the money going if they can’t upgrade computers attached to our nuclear arsenal to a nice Apple II or some such?


Keep Your Govt. Hands Off My Safety

In the extreme irony file.  An Australian barrister that fought against mandatory roll bars on off road vehicles is killed how?  Yeah, of course.

In 2005 Mr Ray was at the centre of a legal battle by motorcycle company Honda to fight to introduction of mandatory roll-over bars, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

The industry has fought the introduction of mandatory roll-over bars on quad bikes, arguing that there is not enough evidence that they work and they can lead to injuries themselves.

The 65-year-old’s ATV flipped over and he was left pinned underneath it

This blog post is dedicated to the State of Connecticut, where motorcycle helmets are not mandatory and it is weird to see so many people riding without helmets because freedom.

Germany, Renewable Energy, More Good

wind farmsolar panelimages

They just keep hitting new milestones for renewable energy usage in Germany that are great!  And embarrassing for America. All the stuff that detractors say can’t be done, keeps getting done, in a large economy that has the equivalent sunlight of Alaska, the least sunny place in our entire f’ing country!

The 4th Largest Economy In The World Just Generated 90 Percent Of The Power It Needs From Renewables

On Sunday, for a brief, shining moment, renewable power output in Germany reached 90 percent of the country’s total electricity demand.

Sie gehen Mädchen!!  (“You go girl”!)

What, I should have written “Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles – in the limited context of renewable energy?

A Slice of the Confederacy in Brazil

You know how weird the world is?  This weird – this is a cemetery in Brazil.


A Slice of the Confederacy in the Interior of Brazil  tells the story of the annual celebration of the Confederacy held in Santa Barbara D’Oeste, Brazil. Why?

Because this is where a bunch of devoted slavers settled during the Civil War so that they could continue their peculiar institution in a place where it wasn’t considered so peculiar. Slavery was big in Brazil and continued there till 1888.

The commemoration reflected the resilience of what some historians call the lost colony of the Confederacy in this region of sugar cane fields and textile factories. Unencumbered by the debate raging in the United States over whether Confederate symbols promote racism, the Brazilian descendants of the American settlers, many of them clad in Civil War uniforms, mingled at food stands offering Southern fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits.

The motto of the organizers: To Live and Die in Dixie.

The presence of the Confederados in the interior of São Paulo State dates to an effort by Emperor Dom Pedro II, a staunch ally of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, to lure white immigrants to Brazil. Thousands of Southerners took him up on his offer, moving here in the 1860s and 1870s.

So for many today this is a harmless, but tacky, celebration of Southern culture.  A paean to hush puppies, grits and good old boys running from Boss Hogg or something.


Did you hear about the  Scottish guy who trained his girlfriend’s dog to salute when Hitler comes on his TV screen?

Harmless… Actually it was, the guy did it as a prank because the dog was so cute, he thought – let’s teach it to do the least cute thing you can imagine. Just a misunderstanding, the guy has apologized to the Jewish community of Scotland, all 3 of them.

So going back to the good old boys of Brazil, maybe it is harmless in this context because you have a country in Brazil that is 51% black or mixed race – that was caused by the slave trade.  The descendants of those white supremacists who came to Brazil to continue slaving are now the same color as the people their forefathers bought and sold.  To these people today there is no connection to slavery, the Confederate flag is disconnected from the owning of people. No one there is using it to assert the legacy of slavery as something to celebrate. Perhaps in a place that’s so black and brown where there is no active remnant of the KKK to reckon with, it is truly harmless to glorify the kitchification of the antebellum south when the context of torture and murder is expunged.

I’m here just because I just love America,” said Sergio Porto, 38, a worker at a truck parts factory in São Paulo who was wearing a Confederate bandanna and a T-shirt saying “Hillbilly Treasure.” Mr. Porto explained that he was part of a subculture in Brazil that exalts the rural culture of the Southern United States and listens to Brazilian bands that perform country music in English instead of Portuguese.

Yeah, that stuff still sucks in any language, but okay.  Maybe I can even applaud Sr. Porto when I think that his counterparts in the U.S. who would love what he’s wearing and listening to, would hate him wearing it and listening to it.