Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thoughts by Choco Gonzalez Meza

Status Update
By Choco Gonzalez Meza
For all my friends, whether close or casual, just because, One of the longest posts I will ever do.. and the most real, too. Everyone will go through some hard times at some point. Life isn't easy. Just something to think about...did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive? Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated? Did you know the ones who take care of others all the time are ...usually the ones who need it the most? Did you know the three hardest things to say are I love you, I'm sorry, and Help me? Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile and see how much pain they may be in. To all my friends who are going through some issues right now--let's start an intention avalanche. We all need positive intentions right now. If I don't see your name, I'll understand. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy and paste this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I know some will!! I did it for a friend and you can to. You have to COPY & PASTE this one, NO Sharing! Be encouraged!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jersey Jazzman: Civil Conversations Are Honest Conversations

Jersey Jazzman: Civil Conversations Are Honest Conversations: Via Peter Greene , I see that Andy Smarick , formerly of the New Jersey Department of Education, is quite vexed at the idea that someone&#39...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Too Much - Images of Inequality - Progress & Promise

John Oliver
Comedian John Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, last weekend ended his latest charming rant against America’s wealth gap with a brilliant send-up of the rigged lottery the American economy has become. The 14-minute video of Oliver’s performance would quickly go viral online. A little pinched on time? Start watching at the 12:09 point, the beginning of the lottery segment.
Web Gem
Against Monopoly/ This research-rich site zeroes in on the intellectual property rackets that contribute so much to the concentration of contemporary corporate power and wealth.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives may be getting serious about checking executive pay excess. At least a little. Last week, House Democratic leaders unveiled a package of reforms designed to spotlight what Democrats will accomplish next year if they gain a House majority this November. The package includes a proposal — the “CEO/Employee Pay Fairness Act” — that would deny corporations tax deductions on any CEO pay over $1 million unless “they give their employees a raise.” House Democratic leaders gave no further details on the proposition. The good news here: House Democrats have never before as a group hinted they would in any way support linking tax code provisions on CEO compensation to worker wages. Whether this proposal signifies anything more than rhetorical progress on that front will have to await the details.

TOO MUCH - Greed at a Glance & Petulant Plutocrat of the Week

The one thing you’ll never find on Craigslist: a billionaire. So where do deep pockets go trolling online for bargains? They click their way to “POSH,” the online classifieds that come with an annual $24,000 subscription to the Bloomberg terminal. You’ll find these terminals all over Wall Street. Heavy-duty financial industry types simply cannot live without the constantly refreshed Bloomberg market stats. But investment bankers need a little escape time, too, and they can get plenty of it from POSH. Among the recent POSH listings: a dressage horse for $40,000 and a 15th-century Italian castle for just over $27 million . . .
Stanley FischerU.S. Justice Department officials last Monday announced a $7 billion fine on banking giant Citicorp for its “egregious” mortgage misconduct before and after America's 2008 financial meltdown. The reaction in Citi’s executive suites? Relief. Citi shares actually rose in price after the fine went public. Citi execs have plenty of other cause to celebrate. None of them have yet been personally indicted for Citi’s frauds and cover-ups. Nor have they had to disgorge the windfalls they pocketed during the subprime years. Among the windfall recipients: current Federal Reserve vice chair Stanley Fischer, who has of late been speechifying against breaking up America’s biggest banks. Fischer’s three-year stint as a Citi exec helped him build, says Bloomberg News, a personal fortune now worth up to $56.3 million . . .
What’s summering in the Hamptons like? Fantastic sunsets from oceanfront manses that list for $20 million. What’s working a Hamptons summer like — as a nurse or a gardener? Journalist Frank Eltman has just told that not-so-pretty story. Few workers, he notes, can afford to live anywhere close to their jobs in the Hamptons, that stretch of Long Island shore 80 miles east of Manhattan where the awesomely affluent congregate every July and August. Commutes on the traffic-clogged local roads regularly run three hours round-trip. All that wealth in the Hamptons drives up prices on more than housing. Milk and eggs run double the prices elsewhere on Long Island. Southampton’s food pantry is now helping 6,000 people per year. Income disparities in the Hamptons, former pantry director Mary Ann Tupper says simply, have become “tremendous.”

Quote of the Week
“No state has ever lost revenue by raising taxes on rich people.”
Michael Mazerov, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Governing, July 16, 2014

Paul GosarArizona congressman Paul Gosar likes to tell his constituents that “I live just like the rest of you folks.” He doesn't. Gosar's lawmaker salary alone runs five times his district’s median income. Gosar also owns “substantial real estate,” plus a local business and a dental practice. His total net worth runs north of $2 million. A fortune that “modest” won't by itself, of course, gain Gosar entry into top plutocratic circles. What will: his push last week to slash funding for the IRS. A Gosar House floor amendment to ax the IRS budget by $353 million passed on a voice vote. Gushed Gosar: “I am ecstatic.” Gosar’s move cuts a quarter of the resources the IRS can devote to keeping tabs on tax cheats. The IRS already only audits 0.4 percent of partnership returns, a tax return category near and dear to the hearts of wealthy tax evaders.

Too Much - July 21

Simple numbers can sometimes tell incredibly powerful stories, as tax analyst Bob Lord demonstrated once again last week. Start with 100,000, the approximate population of Lansing, Michigan and Burbank, California. Residents of those cities spent about 100 million hours or so working last year.
For that 100 million hours, the Phoenix-based Lord points out, each city’s residents earned about $3.5 billion.
David Tepper last year took home that same $3.5 billion. He labored no more than a few thousand hours — as a hedge fund manager. He spent his working hours shuffling the investments of America’s most financially fortunate.
What kind of nation, Lord wonders, values the work of one individual as much the work of an entire city? We wonder, too. In this week’s Too Much, more musings on the fruits of our labor — and their distinctly less-than-wonderful distribution.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Russ on Reading: I Blog; Therefore, I Am

Russ on Reading: I Blog; Therefore, I Am:        Descartes said, “I think; therefore, I am.” I want our students to say, “I read and write; therefore, I can think.” Rene Descar...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

All Things Education: A DCPS Teacher Resigns

All Things Education: A DCPS Teacher Resigns: A few summers ago at the  SOS March & National Call to Action , I met a young and enthusiastic, but independent-minded and healthily-sk...