The Great Paul Krugman on Social Security Privatization:

"Once you realize that privatization really means government borrowing to speculate on stocks, it doesn't sound too responsible, does it? "


This is where we need to stake our ground and not allow passage. Write your Congress Members....


I love reading "BUSTED _ Tales From Police Beat" in the local college paper.


I noticed these 2 and thought it was pretty funny, yet sad....

Nov. 30, 2004
1:27 a.m. – An officer responded to a report of a male passed out in the stairwell of Donner Hall. The officer found the male to be awake upon arrival but intoxicated. UW-Oshkosh student Paul Satterlee, 20, was cited for underage drinking.

Dec. 2, 2004
12:48 a.m. – A Webster Hall Community Adviser requested officers to respond to two males causing a disturbance outside of Donner Hall. The males were yelling and pounding on doors and windows outside of the hall. Investigating officers found that an underage drinking party in the hall, where two students were celebrating their 21st birthday, was the cause of the disturbance. UW-Oshkosh students Meghan Gilles, 18 and Paul Satterlee, 20 were cited for underage drinking, while Alexander Moss, 21, was cited for disorderly conduct. Student Adam Paulke, 21, was cited for knowingly permitting underage consumption on the premises, and student Bradley Champine, 19, was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Now, I do not know who this Paul Satterlee guy is, but looking him up online, he has anothe 3-4 underage busts as well.

Now, in college, before I was 21, I was known to throw down a few beers, but I never once got an underage. Much less 5 or 6.

By all means, party, but party responsibly for heck's sake.

Also, read this:

Car hits students crossing onto Algoma Blvd.

Jake (aka Box) is my rookie from my rugby team, wish him well if you know him.

(p.s. do you think that turning off streetlights will help the situation.....?)


University vandalism costly

Five UW-Oshkosh signs have been stolen or vandalized in separate incidents, costing the university approximately $12,500 within the last year and raising its insurance premium.



When the lights go down in the city

Hundreds of streetlights are being removed to cut costs


Here is a great reason for Dems to stick with the "NO" strategy for the next few years.

Let's make sure we become a true opposition party:


"Remember Bill Clinton's 1993 economic plan that put the United States on the path to budget surpluses? It passed without a single Republican vote. Republicans predicted doom for the economy. In 1994 Republicans went after Democrats who had voted for Clinton's tax increases. They took back the House of Representatives and the Senate, and paid no price when their predictions of catastrophe proved dead wrong. "
This logic holds even in the messy scandal over the Oil-for-Food Program, a badly managed affair surrounded by corruption. But who designed the Oil-for-Food Program? The United States and Britain. They wrote the rules that allowed Saddam Hussein to choose his trading partners, banks and consultants. They vetted every one of the 30,000 contracts that passed through the program. They held up 5,000 over concerns about materials that could be used for weapons of mass destruction, but not one over concerns about corruption. Saddam's major revenues actually came from smuggling, which was an activity the United Nations was not mandated to stop. The only ones who could have stopped it were the ones with military force in the region—the United States and Britain. The truth is that Washington—during both the Clinton and the Bush years—cared little about Iraq's corruption. It cared only about its weapons.


Great points made in this article.

Triin Tael, who was out with her baby along the cobblestone streets of Tallinn, said that many Estonians considered the U.S. and Russia to be equally bad. But, she said, they want to cultivate ties with distant Washington to protect them from neighboring Moscow.
"It is in our interest to be friendly to the U.S.," she said, "because we are hoping that the U.S. and NATO will protect us if Russia attacks."
So, on the basis of those 55 soldiers in Iraq, the U.S is now committed to using its full economic and military force to back Estonia?
"Yes," she said. "That's exactly what we think."
It was my turn to look stricken.
Estonia's contribution is not unusual. Eight of our partners in Iraq have fewer than 100 soldiers there.



Krugman is back!!!!!

On Social Security:

"But it's a problem of modest size. The report finds that extending the life of the trust fund into the 22nd century, with no change in benefits, would require additional revenues equal to only 0.54 percent of G.D.P. That's less than 3 percent of federal spending - less than we're currently spending in Iraq. And it's only about one-quarter of the revenue lost each year because of President Bush's tax cuts - roughly equal to the fraction of those cuts that goes to people with incomes over $500,000 a year."

"There's no honest way anyone can hold both these positions, but very little about the privatizers' position is honest. They come to bury Social Security, not to save it. They aren't sincerely concerned about the possibility that the system will someday fail; they're disturbed by the system's historic success."

"For Social Security is a government program that works, a demonstration that a modest amount of taxing and spending can make people's lives better and more secure. And that's why the right wants to destroy it."

Read it all here:

This is one of my biggest concerns for the short term, passing up even the healthcare crisis.

If we do not do something about the value of the dollar, we are all going the way of Argentina. This article calls on the Bush administration to use statesmanship, control and diplomacy, do you think we can trust them in this?


Don't Let the Dollar Take the Fall
New Haven — AS the dollar continues to sink against the euro, the yen and other currencies, the conventional wisdom is that there is little choice but to allow it to continue to fall.
America's trade imbalance can be corrected, the current reasoning goes, with a much cheaper dollar - perhaps 30 percent cheaper than it is today. The idea - supported by Treasury Secretary John Snow and Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman - is that this would raise the price of imports for Americans, who would thus buy less from abroad. A cheaper dollar would also supposedly allow us to sell more to the world by making our exports less expensive.
Here is what's wrong with this analysis.
A falling dollar is unlikely to curtail imports as much as hoped. It is more likely instead to act as a consumption tax. About one-quarter of the United States import bill arises from oil purchases, which are priced in dollars. A rapidly depreciating dollar thus means lower earnings for OPEC producers. In response, the cartel might well raise prices. Goods from Asia, especially China, account for at least another 25 percent of our import bill. Because these computers, machine tools, TV's and toys are essential to our work and lifestyle, chances are that we will still buy them, even at higher prices.
Nor will a cheaper dollar encourage domestic production that can replace imports, as some argue. Auto parts, for instance, are increasingly produced in Mexico and other developing nations. These plants, part of a highly specialized global supply line, are not likely to be replaced by suppliers in the United States just because of temporary currency movements.
American exports, meanwhile, will not be spurred as much as most forecasters hope. Because currencies' values are relative to one another, the lower the dollar gets, the higher the euro and yen rise. As the currencies of Europe and Japan strengthen, the exports of these nations will become more expensive. That could easily translate into slower growth in those already slow-growing regions - and less money to buy our exports.
What's more, with the exception of agriculture, fewer American products are sold from our shores. Increasingly, they are sold by American subsidiaries overseas. While big American companies still export billions of dollars' worth of goods across the Atlantic, they sell three to five times as much from their European-based operations - to countries in Europe. A lower dollar won't have much effect on those sales.
The problem with the administration's devaluation policy is that it doesn't treat the root causes of America's economic imbalances. Our need to borrow so much from abroad is caused by our enormous consumption and our anemic savings. Today, Americans save just 0.2 percent of their disposable income, practically the lowest level in 45 years. Since we have so little savings to finance capital investment, we borrow from savings pools abroad. Our government, too, needs foreign creditors to invest in Treasury securities, to finance its escalating budget deficits.
Another trade issue not addressed by dollar devaluation: the need to sharpen our global competitiveness. In an advanced economy like ours, price should be less of a selling point than the quality and sophistication of a product. This isn't going to happen unless we improve the fundamentals underlying competitiveness - our education system and labor-force skills. A devalued dollar also does not lower health-care costs - costs so high that they encourage American employers to move operations to countries where governments often pick up the insurance tab.
Traders churning $2 trillion daily in currency markets know that if the United States relies on a cheap dollar alone to correct its trade imbalance it will push the currency down fast and for a long time - because the benefits will never quite match the predicted expectations.
This is a one-way bet for speculators. Already, rumors are rampant that several central banks with significant dollar holdings may diversify into other currencies. Hedge funds and other speculators may be moving in. If momentum to sell dollars gathers steam, it could lead to a dollar plunge, a global financial crisis and deep worldwide recession.
The dollar may well be overvalued now. But rather than just talking the currency down, Washington should try to pursue a formal agreement with Europe, Japan and China that addresses not only currency realignments but also the domestic policy changes needed to back them up.
A model for this is the so-called Plaza Accord negotiated by the Reagan administration with Germany and Japan in 1985. Then, as now, the United States was running large trade deficits and wanted to devalue the dollar. But rather than talking down the currency or letting it fall on its own, President Reagan's team got key trading partners to share the burden of adjusting policies to correct the imbalance. It worked. America's trade gap slowly narrowed, and foreign lenders did not demand significantly higher interest rates on Treasuries. If Washington negotiated a similar accord today, countries like China and Japan could slow the dollar's slide by revaluing their currencies. The pact could also involve policy commitments to support the currency realignments.
For example, rather than just assert that economic growth will reduce our budget deficits, the Bush administration might postpone or trim permanent tax cuts. It could also agree to partly privatize Social Security only after creating a plan to finance the $1 trillion to $2 trillion in transition costs without deepening the deficit. It could announce measures to improve our export performance - starting, perhaps, with more support for certain research and development programs and a plan to lower health-care premiums for employers by offering reinsurance for catastrophic-illness costs.
For their part, European nations could pledge to accelerate deregulation to further open their economies and become bigger importers. And key countries could agree to intervene in currency markets to keep the dollar's decline gradual and orderly.
A great power does not debase its currency - a currency around which most global commerce revolves. It does not take its hand off the tiller, as if the market bears all responsibility for global financial stability. To fix the problems that underlie huge trade imbalances, it uses statesmanship - at home and abroad.
Jeffrey E. Garten, dean of the Yale School of Management, held economic and foreign policy posts in the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Clinton administrations.
Read this.... It is FDR's reaction to Clavin Coolidge's re-election.

I believe this is just history repeating itself, unfortunately.


Howard Dean on the future of the Democrats - I agree with himthat to win we do not become more like Republicans, we draw the lines that define us better:

"For example, Democrats historically tackle economic issues with bold, common-sense policies. Our last Democratic president created 22 million new jobs in this country. In the last four years, George W. Bush oversaw the loss of over 1.5 million. Democrats balance budgets, Republicans do not. Democrats consistently try to pass legislation that would provide some kind of affordable health care, Republicans do not. Democrats believe we ought to raise the minimum wage to help the average worker keep up with the cost of living, Republicans do not. Democrats believe corporations have too much power over our daily lives; Republicans do not - and to prove it, they have given away billions of dollars of our tax money to the biggest corporations in the world over the last four years."


How's this for a frightening headline:

Fox to provide news to Clear Channel stations
Network signs 5-year deal that covers more than 100 stations


Welcome to the future - keep fighting.....
"You can actually make the case that the president's marketing of his Social Security "reform" has been brilliant. Why? Because it has diverted people from asking a basic, simple question. Which is this: wasn't Social Security designed to be a safety net for old people? When did it change from something designed to keep you from being poor into something to supposedly help make you rich?"


Fear this program - it is not in the best interest of most of America....
From the Northwestern:

I can tell you this with certainty. I have disagreed with Mark Harris on a number of issues but he is not capable of being spiteful. I am not in the position to say the same thing about Van De Hey.


I would like the echo him. I have come to know Mark Harris, and I can say he is a very genuine person. Someone truly concerned with Oshkosh and it's citizens. I look forward to seeing what his energy and compassion can do for the county.

Go here:


For more info & to volunteer/contribute.

Another story that should have hit a month ago:

Asked whether he considered the invasion a mistake, the Pakistani leader said: "With hindsight, yes. We have landed ourselves in more trouble, yes."