Interesting & Important News & Analysis, August 23, 2019

9 Ways to Disaster-Proof Your Home Against Storms


Do you think Trump really doesn’t realize the Laffer curve is a scam? Could he really be that ignorant?

Column: Trickle-down theory is a monstrous lie intended to justify the rich getting richer

Trump praised Laffer’s “brilliant theory,” and said the value of trickle-down economics had been proved “over and over again.”

It hasn’t. Just the opposite.

Over and over again.

When tax cuts for the super wealthy don’t trickle down and don’t increase government revenues, then the tax-cut advocates blame “big” government for the increased deficits and those advocates clamor for greater privatization of government so those advocates can get an even larger slice of the pie.

Trump’s team is looking at payroll-tax cuts. Those are helpful in recessions, but all other things being equal, harmful during non-recessionary, non-recovery times.

Governments use revenues from payroll taxes to fund specific programs such as Social Security, healthcare, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation. Sometimes local governments collect a small payroll tax to maintain and improve local infrastructure and programs, including first responders, road maintenance, and parks and recreation. [Payroll Tax]

So, if payroll taxes are cut while we aren’t in a recession or aren’t restored after a recovery period, then the programs funded are harmed. The tax-cut advocates who hate all taxes will then claim that the programs don’t work and need to be privatized. That’s a scam. The privatized services for the masses will be inferior and more expensive. The rich will be even richer relatively to the scammed masses.

The saddest part is that a huge portion of the masses don’t get this information. They’ve been literally brainwashed by the greedy. They won’t look to anyone but the greedy for answers. They continue voting for those who scam them.

Trump is also looking at a reduction in the capital-gains tax. That would be a huge mistake. It would have a negative impact, just the way his corporate-tax cut did.


Bernie Sanders Unveils Sweeping Labor Plan With Sectorwide Bargaining

I understand the union movement, but there are two huge things to always keep in mind. First, unions have been rife with corruption. The rank and file membership has often had no real say. Second, unions were successfully rolled back and rather easily for that matter. Therefore, any measures taken to improve the situation for people must include anti-corruption measures and measured designed to make rolling back real gains all but impossible.

Personally, I favor economic democracy over unionism by far. I’ve viewed unionism as striving short of democracy and a bad thing for that reason (but better than nothing).


Modular affordable apartments pitched for vacant Pilsen corner


Any license mental-health practitioner who claims that it is not inherently insane to intentionally shoot innocent people should have his or her license to practice revoked. As for stigmatization, end it rather than not collecting individual’s mental-health data.

Are mass shootings a ‘mental illness problem’? Experts say the link is vastly overstated


Luntz: ‘I was wrong’ on climate change

Frank Luntz, a veteran Republican pollster, disavowed work Thursday in the early 2000s to cast doubt on the science behind climate change and said America, on the whole, wants the federal government to “do more, right now, to address it.”

“I was wrong in 2001,” Luntz told an ad-hoc Senate Democratic climate panel.

Luntz is the person who got everyone using “climate change” so they’d stop using “global warming.” I never stopped using global warming. It’s still global warming.


Interesting & Important News & Analysis, August 22, 2019

This article is a short book.

Inside Trump’s plan to save Appalachia: Mountains of plastic, rivers of radioactive waste and billions of Chinese dollars

I completely disagree with Trump’s approach to US energy. It’s a shame we have to put up with his approach. Whatever he does will be temporary and damaging. His story that his plan will make America great is a pipe dream at best. We need solar, wind, and other non-carbon-based sources.


The 10 major U.S. cities where housing costs have increased the most


The following demonstrates how Firefox is working to protect users.

Protecting our Users in Kazakhstan


If Walmart is correct about Tesla, then Tesla has hurt the solar industry. I certainly hope that if Tesla is guilty of this, it immediately cleans up its act.

Walmart Sues Tesla Over Fires Linked to Rooftop Solar Panel Systems

Walmart Inc. sued Tesla Inc., claiming it failed to live up to industry standards in the installation of solar panels on top of hundreds of stores, resulting in multiple fires across the U.S.

Walmart is asking a judge to declare Tesla in breach of contract, order the company to remove the solar panels from all of its stores and award damages equal to its costs and consulting fees in connection with the fires.


The following reiterates what I’ve warned about on this blog for years.

Insurance Becoming Harder for Californians to Find in Areas at High Risk of Wildfires

“We are seeing an increasing trend across California where people at risk of wildfires are being non-renewed by their insurer,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in the release. “I have heard from many local communities about how not being able to obtain insurance can create a domino effect for the local economy, affecting home sales and property taxes. This data should be a wake-up call for state and local policymakers that, without action to reduce the risk from extreme wildfires and preserve the insurance market, we could see communities unraveling.”

We will reduce the risk of extreme wildfires when, among other actions, we end and reverse global warming.


Forced Password Reset? Check Your Assumptions

We do not use MD5 or SHA-1. We do hash and salt. We also offer 2FA/MFA.


People breathing dirty air more likely to have mental health problems

In the U.S., they found the worst air quality was linked to a 27 percent increase in the rate of bipolar disorder and a 6 percent increase in diagnoses of major depression.

… Prior research in rodents shows exposure to pollution can cause inflammation and cell death in brain tissues—such changes can potentially lead to psychiatric disorders.

Rzhetsky said even though the mental health and air pollution link is not yet determined, reducing air pollution exposure is a good thing.

How could dirty air not negatively impact mental health?