Sunday, June 27, 2021

Hey, Trumpsters, get off this "Biden is defunding police" BS

 Hey, Trumpsters, get off this Biden is defunding police BS. Since June 2020 and this slogan arose he has been consistent on opposing defunding police. FOX must not have reported that; it would break their stereotype. In August 2020 misleading ads run by GOP began hyping the BS that Biden wanted to defund the police. Fact check: Political ad saying Biden wants to defund the police is misleading | Reuters He also just authorized COVID funds to fund the police more. He reaffirmed in April  2021with strong works. Defunding the police: Biden says he's opposed - CNNPolitics

Just as he affirmed it in response in June 2020. 

Just as he reaffirmed it in April 2021

Just as he funded police in June 2021.

"June 12, 2021 – In Breaking News – NEW YORK POST

Refund the police?
President Biden on Wednesday said communities can spend COVID-19 relief money on hiring more police to address soaring rates of violent crime.
Biden said in a White House speech that “the American Rescue Plan, which we passed in the first 100 days my administration, is providing much needed and historic relief to bring back those law enforcement jobs and social service jobs.”
The feds began distributing $350 billion in state and local aid last month and Biden pushed the option of using the cash to hire cops amid nationwide increases in murders, shootings and carjackings."

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Why is there a labor shortage? It is a particularly big problem in a ski/tourist based area

 I can only speculate why there is a labor shortage from what I know talking to vendors, family, and friends. I have been told bluntly by business people who depend on trained tradesmen that they cannot afford to live in a ski area where our most business and job opportunities are. Affordable employee housing does not exist in sufficient quantities. This means living where land is not so expensive...and that means distance which means transportation, including public, must be able to serve them. That problem exists in all of the ski-based areas.  ttps://

The other is that lifestyles cannot change on a dime. We pretzeled our lives into work from home, staying at home, school at home, mostly because child care and COVID made the old model of life, dropping kids off at school or childcare, and onto the office or job site..was interrupted. It takes time to readjust, find child care, and...if the employer is still around...go back...or find a new job if the employer had gone belly up. Not only that, some liked some of the new lifestyles..less travel, more zoom..and the flexibility of working from home. We went shopping online. Getting into a car, going from store to store to find what we wanted, was time-consuming and not the sport it once was. Convenience can be addictive, and online had its advantages. The driver of the US economy is indeed consumer spending.. and it accounts for nearly 70% of the Gross Domestic Product of the US  economy. The subsidies and wage increases put dollars into pockets to spend. Was $300 more in the paycheck pocket a factor? If what you earned before was so low-paying, it could be, and wages are slowly rising to $15 per hour. Plus, for some, with minimum pay increasing, it pays to go back to work for those who once earned income so low, it left them below the poverty line. When child care costs so much, it may have made it economically advantageous to stay at home, but those subsidies are going away, too. We are in a transition period, and it may be that there is a new normal that will be a bit different than we once knew.

Pres. Biden announced on June 24 an infrastructure deal arrived with a bipartisan group of Senators containing enough GOP Senators to get one track, the narrow traditional definition of infrastructure (roads, bridges, transportation, etc) pass with a filibuster-proof majority.  The second track, the human social network, would proceed separately with the budget reconciliation process requiring a simple majority.  He tied them together, saying they both would have to pass for him to sign the track one bill Republicans want.  It is a clever maneuver that worked for both the "bipartisan" Joe Manchin and the liberal block, keeping the party's left-wing on board, too.  Sen. Minority Leader Mitch Mcconnell immediately condemned the deal and set about to wean the GOP members pledged to the deal away from it.   If Mcconnell succeeds in sabotaging it, the risk he faces is that the Democrats will make a strong case in the midterms that the GOP opposes and wrecked bi-partisanship and popular programs favored by 60-70% of voters.  If the deal holds, Biden can take credit for it and show how effective and capable he is even though his oratorical skills are lacking.   It is a win, win for Democratic politics in either case.  If the Democrats win, Biden can make the case that jobs will be created and women and families with children can afford to get back to jobs and re-enter the workforce.  All of this should happen before the 2022 midterms and the struggle for majorities in both houses begin in earnest.

Another issue of note is restoring the rust belt and reviving the manufacturing sector to its former importance. Both Trump and Biden have or are addressing the problem of whether the US should be more of a manufacturing economy. Trump and Biden were not free traders though Trump tried the tariff approach and the costs were just passed through to consumers. Labor unions were dissed. Biden is supporting more of a subsidy approach eventually paid for with more debt or higher taxes and greater support of union labor through his jobs programs and government purchasing policy. He has positioned himself outside the made in China issue by hammering home his jobs policies...geared to restart the manufacturing sector in the USA.. The reason? Politically neither Trump nor Biden could afford to lose rust belt states. Biden's pro-union and support of government purchasing for made in America is his platform and his jobs legislation and that helped turn the rust belt bluer because Trump's approach did not turn the tide re Chinese importation.

There is indeed a big difference between official government action in "selling out technology to China" and the private sector doing it. However, government can also influence the private sector with inaction as well as action. What do consumers want has also been the driver of both government and the private sector.. Look at your clothes labels, your small consumer goods, your electronics, and you will also see how much consumers value cheap goods. We as consumers are just as guilty. Are consumers willing to pay more for higher tariffs on Chines imports or for Made in the USA products? Per Pogo: we have met the enemy and they are us. US manufacturers would and should keep products made in the USA lower is a question of public policy influencers.

Components of GDP: Explanation, Formula, Chart (

Colorado Faces Growing​ Construction Labor Shortage | Professional Builder (

"We have a deal": Biden announces bipartisan compromise on infrastructure - CBS News

Friday, June 18, 2021

A note to the COVID vaccination hold outs....a true story

 So a close member of our family thought the vaccine was a political hype and did not get vaccinated. He caught COVID last month...was so sick, lost 2 weeks of work, infected his sister's anti-vax family...As he said, after he recovered, he would only wish COVID on his two worst enemies in the world. The family joke: everyone but him got immunity the easy way and did not catch it. We got vaccinated. He got his immunity the hard way. He got very sick... Abut half who got the vaccine lost a day of work because of the reaction...the other of us, Nada, Pfizer or Moderna, and had mild symptoms. Science does not care about your ideology or mental state or party affiliation or whether you give a fig about others. ... So, my anti-vax friends,  be my guest and do it the hard way  In the meantime, stay 6 ft away from me and wear your mask. Being vaccinated is 90%  effective as an insurance policy I will not catch it.   It is a 100% insurance policy I will not die from it.  I like the odds. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

I heard it before so it must be true: "the illusory truth effect"

if you keep on repeating a lie before long enough people are fooled into believing the lie..That is the purpose and it is effective. It can be enough to inspire a riot and to appeal to those who accept theories as the truth without considering proof or evidence to the contrary. It is the supreme tool of power seeking demagogues and their supporters. Psychologists call that "the illusory truth effect". 

However, as the saying goes (and falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln_: You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. ..

 Forutunately only 29% of Americans believe Trump's mantra that the 2020 election was stolen. Unfortunately, that is more than the majority of Republicans.

I heard It Before, So It Must Be True - Scientific American Blog Network  "Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda for the Nazi German government of the Third Reich, understood the power of repeating falsehoods. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,” he asserted, “people will eventually come to believe it.” This phenomenon, pervasive in contemporary politics, advertising, and social media, is known in cognitive psychology as the “illusory truth effect.”

You Cannot Fool All the People All the Time – Quote InvestigatorQuote Investigator: Abraham Lincoln died in 1865. Two decades later in September 1885 a version of the adage was used in a speech by a Prohibition Party politician named William J. Groo who provided no attribution for the remark. In March 1886 another Prohibitionist politician employed the saying, and this time the words were credited to Lincoln. These citations constitute the earliest evidence of closely matching statements......."

Su;preme Court upholds Obamacare; rules against GOP state led challenges

 The Supreme Court just upheld Obamacare 7-2 in spite of 18 GOP-dominated states to take it down based on a tax clause. Justice Alito and Justice Neil Gorsuch were the two no votes. Texas led the GOP initiative and the Court majority ruled Texas had no standing to bring the suit. Neil Gorsuch, a native of Colorado, is revealing himself to be one of the most right-wing reactionaries on the Court...while his native State is turning bluer and bluer. That the GOP has attempted 3 times to destroy the only ability for so many of lower-income to afford health insurance speaks volumes of their lack of caring about an essential, life and death need of citizens. They have also failed to come up with a viable alternative plan to serve those not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or not old enough to get Medicare and those who do not have employer-provided insurance who are unable to afford insurance on the open market. . Instead, they have just tried to destroy Obama care and thankfully they have failed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Biden's quiet, muscular diplomacy: A new foreign policy sheriff in town

 One autocrat got the message. There is a new foreign policy sheriff in town. Erdogan's Turkey is a member of NATO that bought missiles from another autocratic regime. Russia, an adversary and cyber attacker of the US. Biden was not pleased and still is not completely pleased as Turkey returns the experts Russia sent with their missiles, but not the missiles. More to come. Putin massed his military at the Ukraine border, implying a threatened invasion and testing Biden's intent to resist. Biden and NATO reaffirmed their commitment to defend Ukraine's embryonic democracy on the border with other NATO members. Quietly, Putin withdrew his troops after a telephone conversation with Biden. . Next, there were threats by Russia to move their influence into the Balkans through Serbia. Slovenia proposed eliminating the autonomy of Bosnia and dividing it up. That was a concept the US slapped down. That has been met as well by calls to fast-track membership of countries there not already members of NATO, including Bosnia. Most in the Balkans already are NATO members, including Montenegro with its best submarine port in the Mediterranean. The Balkans are still a work in progress. Biden is no fool, nor is he ignorant, having served both as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for years and as vice-president. He will be meeting with both Turkey and Putin this summer. That should be interesting and maybe tense. This is a significant change from the Trump era, whose foreign policy was bootlicking and praising nuclear powers governed by autocrats, mostly adversaries of the US. The technique resembled appeasement, and the autocrats were emboldened to expand and rearm further from Russia to Iran to North Korea. His ending treaties designed to restrain China's expansion into the southeastern Pacific, and Iran's military nuclear ambitions backfired. Both China and Iran took advantage of the opportunity Trump's foreign policy gave them to expand economic and military interests into sensitive areas..of the South China Sea and Hamas and nuclear re-armament in the mid-east. Since Trump backed out of the Iran nuclear deal, it has increased its enriched uranium stockpiles. It has, however, agreed to international inspections fearing more international backlash and economic sanctions. Trump was a fool who thought flattery got him somewhere because he craved flattery himself. In foreign policy, that tomfoolery may have kept the guns from firing. Yet, it gave our adversaries a chance and breathing space to creep into our national interests and fill the void left by Trump's isolationist policies. In foreign policy, brute power and economic self-interest count above anything else.

If I have any bone to pick, it would be Biden turning over Afghanistan to the Taliban as he pulled out our skeleton force there. Whether Afghanistan will be a terrorist threat in the future to the US remains to be seen. However, the damage it will do to the rights of women there is going to be heartbreaking. The US has spent the past 20 years empowering and educating girls and women, and they will be the Taliban's first victims.

In defense of democracy...Biden's stirring remarks on Memorial Day, 2021

 In case you missed it, Biden's stirring remarks on Memorial Day in defense of democracy, read it or pick it up on You Tube, link below..

Democracy needs defending? I never thought in my life an American would have to make a case for democracy v dictatorship, a government ruled by an autocratic person. What in the world did my uncles, cousins, son in law fight for? It wasn't to keep a national leader in power to tell you what to think or to support the laws that benefitted him or a preferred racial or ethnic group he supported to dominate others he considered lesser. Why did my husband flee a dictatorship? It was for the same reasons to avoid the rule of such a leader. What fools we are to wish for another form of government. Biden lays out the contrast between being governed by an individual who feeds his own greed and lust for power and a government ruled by the people with the purpose of creating a society that strives for fair play and decency for all of its citizens. It is one that believes all men are created equal. That is the soul of America. But I am paraphrasing his eloquent words. Read them for yourself. His comments on democracy begin about halfway through his speech. I have excerpted them here below as posted by the White House.

Are we justified in claiming Trumpists are dangerous enough to destroy democracy? I am in the midst of reading "How Democracies Die" by Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky, a history of past and current takeovers of existing democracies by autocrats and dictators. What I have taken from the book, the problem comes from all shades of political philosophy, right and left, socialists, communists, fascists, and militaristic power grabbers. Their ideologies and rationales are their sales pitch, but the result is the same...the loss of rule by the people and the end of their civil liberties if they dare to oppose the government ruled by a person instead of law. Once in full power, only violence can end it. Dictators and autocrats do not give up power without a bloody fight or a catastrophic policy loss resulting in a revolt. . A peaceful transition of power is just a quaint hope.

In current times, the autocrats and dictators gain power not so often by military putsch but by the voting booth per Ziblatt and Levitsky. Recent observations of current events show such takeover by the voting booth or violence could happen here. Mike Flynn and Matt Gaetz are both talking military-style violence to "restore" Trump to power. Trump himself incited a violent takeover of the certification of the election on January 6. These were no tourists, but they were there to scare Congress to overturn certification by 50 states after months of review by judges of all political stripes. The rioters, when in court, claimed they acted because Trump told them to do it. Over 500 arrested and the trials are just beginning.

The methods these aspiring dictators use to gain power and destroy democracy are what all of these anti-democrats have in common.. Once in power, they slowly stack the courts and military, purging those who may oppose them, asserting through lies and propaganda their opponents who beat them in elections were not legit, (Obama born in Kenya, Biden "stole" the election in spite of 60 judges ruling otherwise), destroying the free press by various means and setting up his own version of reality on TV and social media, ignoring their constitutional constraints. claiming they were above the law and could not be prosecuted for violating it, (as Trump claimed), and abusing their power to persecute those who would challenge them using his own justice department's investigative powers to ignore supporter's actions and to investigate even conspiracy theories while twisting the findings( as Bill Barr did in the Russian interference investigations and as Trump ordered the DOJ to investigate wild conspiracy theories). Donald Trump is a prototype personality of a wannabe dictator and even in his four years in power, he attempted some of these techniques. He took over the GOP dominance of local to state governments with leaders and candidates and legislators who dare not cross him for fear they would lose their power to win in primaries. Tell me this is not true.

Putting the blame where it should be, the GOP itself, is responsible, for their own current situation. . In the book, How Democracies Die",  western democracies, political parties were responsible for the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, and many others have been failed. democracies. The political parties failed to weed out the bad guys earlier in the process...Even worse, in parliamentary democracies, in order to form a coalition government, the more dominant power made the fatal error of inviting the bad guys into governance. Trump, the most extreme, was not weeded out in 2015 and he in turn eventually weeded out the traditional Republicans. The present current GOP is fully the Trump party now. The GOP rode the tiger in 2015 and it devoured them. It is now the party of white nationalism put into action through its voter suppression methods and against any federal programs 60% to 70% of voters want.  Those not pledging allegiance to Trump need to ask themselves what do they think the GOP stands for and whether in good conscience, can they support it.  
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Now to Biden's words:

"The soul of America is animated by the perennial battle between our worst instincts — which we’ve seen of late — and our better angels. Between “Me first” and “We the People.” Between greed and generosity, cruelty and kindness, captivity and freedom.
The Americans of Lexington and Concord, of New Orleans, Gettysburg, the Argonne, Iwo Jima and Normandy, Korea and Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, and thousands of places in between — these Americans weren’t fighting for dictators; they were fighting for democracy.
They weren’t fighting to exclude or to enslave; they were fighting to build and broaden and liberate. They weren’t fighting for self; they were fighting for the soul of the nation, for liberty and simple fair play — simple fair play and decency.
Today, as we remember their sacrifice, we remind ourselves of our duty to their memory, to the future they fought for. We owe the honored dead a debt we can never fully repay. We owe them our whole souls. We owe them our full best efforts to perfect the Union for which they died.
We owe them the work of our hands and our hearts, to make real the promise of a nation founded on the proposition that all of us — all of us — all of us are created equal and deserve to be treated that way throughout our lives.
Democracy is more than a form of government. It’s a way of being; it’s a way of seeing the world. Democracy means the rule of the people — the rule of the people. Not the rule of monarchs, not the rule of the moneyed, not the rule of the mighty — literally, the rule of the people.
The lives of billions, from antiquity to our own hour, have been shaped by the battle between aspirations of the many and the greed of the few. Between people’s right to self-determination and the self-seeking of the dictator. Between dreams of democracy and appetites for autocracy, which we’re seeing around the world.
Our troops have fought this battle on fields around the world, but also the battle of our time. And the mission falls to each of us, each and every day. Democracy itself is in peril, here at home and around the world.
What we do now — what we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen, will determine whether or not democracy will long endure. We all take it for granted. We think we learned in school. You have to — every generation has to fight for it.
But, look, it’s the biggest question: Whether a system that prizes the individual, that bends towards liberty, that gives everybody a chance at prosperity — whether that system can and will prevail against powerful forces that wish it harm.
All that we do in our common life as a nation is part of that struggle. The struggle for democracy is taking place around the world — democracy and autocracy. The struggle for decency and dignity — just simple decency. The struggle for posterity — prosperity and progress. And, yes, the struggle for the soul of America itself.
Folks, you all know it: Democracy thrives when the infrastructure of democracy is strong; when people have the right to vote freely and fairly and conveniently; when a free and independent press pursues the truth, founded on facts, not propaganda; when the rule of law applies equally and fairly to every citizen, regardless of where they come from or what they look like.
(Coughs.) Excuse me.
Wherever Americans are, there — there is democracy: churches and synagogues and mosques, neighborhoods and coffee shops and diners, bleachers at kids’ baseball or soccer games, libraries and parks. Democracy begins and grows in the open heart and the impetus to come together for a common cause.
And I might note, parenthetically: Thank you, TAPS. That’s what you do.
And that’s where it will be preserved. For empathy is the fuel of democracy. Let me say that again: Empathy — empathy is the fuel of democracy, a willingness to see each other — not as enemies, neighbors. Even when we disagree, to understand what the other is going through.
To state the obvious: Our democracy is imperfect. It always has been. But Americans of all backgrounds, races, creeds, gender identities, sexual orientations, have long spilled their blood to defend our democracy. The diversity of our country and our arm- — and of our armed services is and always has been an incredible strength.
And generation after generation of American heroes have signed up to be part of the fight because they understand the truth that lives in every American heart: that liberation, opportunity, justice are far more likely to come to pass in a democracy than an autocracy.
If every person is sacred, then every person’s rights are sacred. Individual dignity; individual worth; individual sanctity; the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We say those words so often, but think of it: the right to vote, the right to rise in a world as far as your talent can take you, unlimited by unfair barriers of privilege and power — such are the principles of democracy.
So how would you put these noble principles into practice? How do we do that? How do we make the idea real, or as close to real as we can make it?
This nation was built on an idea — the only nation in the world built on an idea. Every other nation was built on ethnicity, geography, religion, et cetera.
We were built on an idea: the idea of liberty and opportunity for all. We have never fully realized that aspiration of our founding, but every generation has opened the door a little wider, and every generation has opened it wider and wider to be more inclusive, to include those who have been excluded before. It’s a mission handed down generation to generation: the work of perfecting our union.
In 1830, when we were a young nation, dis-unionists put their sectional interests ahead of the common good. A great senator, Daniel Webster, rose in the Capitol to defend the Union. To him, we were not just a collection of competing forces, but a coherent whole.
His cry, first uttered just across the Potomac in the Capitol, resonates even now. He stood on the floor and he said, “Liberty and Union, now on forever, one and inseparable.” Liberty and Union.
More than 142 years later, when I first came to the United States Senate — at a time when our country was so deeply divided over Vietnam, the struggle of civil rights, the fight over women’s rights — I had the notion that my first task, as I stood to make my first speech on the floor of the Senate — it all of a sudden hit me: I’m standing where Daniel Webster had stood; his desk was next to mine.
And I was struck by the weight of history, as corny as it sounds, by the legacy of the work we’re charged to carry forward: liberty and union, now and forever.
Now as then, unity is essential to life; liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And so we remember those who gave their all in the cause of unity, in the cause of a nation that endures because of them.
We must honor their sacrifice by sustaining the best of America, while honestly confronting all that we must do to make our nation fuller, freer, and more just. We must remember that we may find the light and the wisdom and, yes, the courage to move forward — in the words of that great hymn, fight as they “nobly fought of old.”
For in remembrance lies not just our history, but our hope. Not just our solemn remembrance, but our renewed purpose. Not just our solace, but our strength.
This Memorial Day, remember that not all of us are called to make the ultimate sacrifice. We all are called, by God and by history and by conscience, to make our nation free and fair, just and strong, noble and whole.
To this battle, may we now dedicate our souls, that our work may prove worthy of the blood of our fallen. For this work — the work of democracy — is the work of our time, and for all time. And if we do our duty, then ages still to come will look back on us and say that we too kept the faith. And there’s nothing more important, nothing more sacred, nothing more American than keeping the faith. "
I have noticed that most media critical of Trump have used the term "autocrat" to apply to him. He was voted out of office before he could in an effect be one, but he certainly had aspirations, expressed admiration of that kind of government style and had advocated and practiced some of what he could do at the time that resembled some of the characteristics. have called him a wannabe dictator. Just making executive orders does not make a person a dictator so long as laws and the constitution are not violated. Executive orders can be easily reversed, unlike laws passed by Congress and apply to execution of details of by the executive branch. Biden has issued many executive orders, but most had to do with overturning Trump's executive orders and COVID relief and policy. I found this definition...of what is a dictator ..on line....that seems the clearest.

"  Total served: 40 villages, 2000 families, 160 families with at risk girls, and 40 university students and bringing literacy to 30 Roma girls. 

Here is what they did:  organizing and curriculum development for workshops for educators and parents, supervising and training student volunteers, hiring a teacher to provide literacy education for Roma (gypsy) girls, conducting a public education campaign promoting girls education and warning about human trafficking.  These projects were fully implemented with the final report approved by RI in January 2019 of the final grant #3; #2 approved 2016.  Note: the entire country is a now little more than half   the population of Colorado.  Sarajevo was the  of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games."

(I might add, Denver Rotary's contribution was to write the grant applications with input from Mostar Rotary and Novi Put, the NGO contracted to execute it), sell it and get matching funding from other Rotary Clubs, including producing the video), and coaching NOVI Put and Mostar Rotary throughout the entire process of execution in compliance with RI requirements of reporting and compliance.  We also maintained a large web site: My Business - Home with constant updates and pictures.