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  • scottzzz 5:57 pm on 2011-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Tomorrow is the Day — Vote Scott Thode for Mayor 

    It’s all up to you all, now. With turnout supposedly going to be so low, your vote counts more than it ever might. Thanks for everything you all have done, but you’ve GOT to get out and vote, and drag your neighbors and your housekeeper with you.

    With so many relative unknowns in this race, it won’t take many votes to make the difference.

    As I said before, let’s give the incumbent mayor a race he’ll never forget!

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    • David 7:48 pm on 2011-02-28 Permalink | Reply

      Crunchy conservative/Reagan Republican here, who will drop the lever for you tomorrow.

  • scottzzz 7:58 pm on 2011-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    “Out of Every Dollar that Funds Wisconsin’ s Pension and Health Insurance Plans for State Workers, 100 Cents Comes from the State Workers” 

    Good Alternative View on Public Pensions per Wisconsin:

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/out-of-every-dollar-that-funds.html

     
  • scottzzz 7:54 pm on 2011-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The Rise of the New Global Elite 

    Sure, there’s some spin in there, but worth the read:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/8343/

     
  • scottzzz 6:58 pm on 2011-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Global Insurrection. Turn off the TV, take a deep breath, and READ: 

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-analysis-global-insurrection-against-neo-liberal-economic-domination-and-coming-a

     
  • scottzzz 6:40 pm on 2011-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Why isn’t Wall Street in Jail? 

    Matt Taibbi on Democracy NOW!:

     
    • jacklohq 1:25 am on 2013-11-28 Permalink | Reply

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    • ABem 5:52 pm on 2014-04-20 Permalink | Reply

      привет, мне показалось будет классно поделиться
      это нечто, что живет у меня дома:
      [img]http://all4nokia.com/cats/4.jpg[/img]
      Марусик 1.3 года

      как вам?милый котик, дЫА?
      выкладывайте своих питомцев!

    • Олег 10:19 pm on 2016-02-15 Permalink | Reply

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    • AntonansHax 12:36 am on 2016-10-23 Permalink | Reply

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  • scottzzz 12:03 am on 2011-02-26 Permalink | Reply  

    TSA doing searches AFTER passengers get off the train. 

    Isn’t it lovely! So good and pure and wonderful!

     
  • scottzzz 12:47 am on 2011-02-25 Permalink | Reply  

    The True Cost of High Oil 

    Economists are furiously downsizing their economic growth forecasts for 2011 in the wake of the oil price spike, both for the US and for the world at large. Since last week, West Texas crude prices have soared $12 from $86 to $98. Each $1 increase in the price of oil jumps gasoline prices by 2.5 cents. Each one cent rise in the cost of gasoline takes $1 billion out of the pockets of consumers.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-True-Cost-of-High-Oil.html

    According to the U.S. government, more than half of the oil that we use is imported. So every month we send the rest of the world billions and billions of our dollars and they send us massive amounts of oil. We rapidly consume all of the oil they send us and we continually need more. So we keep sending larger and larger amounts of money overseas and they keep sending us larger amounts of oil. In the process, our national wealth is being drained at an astounding rate. It is one of the greatest transfers of wealth the world has ever seen.

    When the price of oil rises substantially, the transfer of wealth accelerates. This is a very bad thing for the U.S. economy. For example, when oil prices were above $100 a barrel back in 2008 our trade deficit for the year was almost 700 billion dollars.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/stagflation-2011-why-it-here-and-why-it-going-be-very-painful

     
  • scottzzz 4:36 pm on 2011-02-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Boeing Wins Tanker Contract 

    http://www.kansas.com/2011/02/24/1734764/boeing-wins-air-force-tanker-contract.html

     
  • scottzzz 12:34 pm on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Let’s Do the Same Here in Wichita! 

    Video about overhaul of State of Kansas website:

    http://videos.kansas.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=59532301&item_index=66&all=1&sort=NULL

     
  • scottzzz 12:14 pm on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply  

    When WalMart Is In Trouble… 

    . . .you know the end is approaching.

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=180636

    about: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/WalMart-says-needs-more-time-rb-1909513686.html?x=0

     
  • scottzzz 10:57 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Today Only: Read “Feudalism aka American Capitalism” : 

    Random Excerpt:

    Even though most of us are richer than serfs of some other countries, we are still serfs within our own society.

    When I see beggars on the streets, I see serfs.
    When I see lineups for grocery handouts, I see serfs.
    When I see people who can’t afford dental, medical, or legal services, I see serfs.
    When I see heads of households who are involuntarily unemployed, I see serfs.
    When I see workers on minimum wage, I see serfs
    When I see working people who can’t afford to buy a home, I see serfs.
    When I see families who still don’t own their homes after 20 years of payments, I see serfs.

    The bottom 90% have been sold, and continue to be sold a severely distorted image of America through the media. The image of themselves as a huge middle class simply does not concur with reality.

    To assist in the illusion, the bottom 90% have been encouraged to believe that doctors, dentists, engineers, etc., comprise the “upper class”. Not surprisingly, working professionals have also been encouraged to think of themselves as the upper class. The fact of the matter is that these working professionals statistically fall into the bottom 90% of society.

    http://www.mindmined.com/public_library/nonfiction/david_f_feudalism_aka_capitalism.html

     
  • scottzzz 10:53 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Army wants rapid-fire rubber bullets for crowd control 

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20927995.600-army-wants-rapidfire-rubber-bullets-for-crowd-control.html

     
  • scottzzz 2:57 pm on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply  

     
  • scottzzz 11:21 am on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Appropriateness, Anthems, and Allegiance 

     
    • scott4mayor 11:34 am on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply

      Although many thought this inappropriate, I would consider this a great moment in recent black history. In Sunday’s flagless opening ceremony, I’d have much preferred one of Wichita’s talented voices to have paid homage to this excellent example of peaceful, pointed, political action.

      Instead, just like in Denver, accusations of racism predominate the media coverage.

  • scottzzz 6:02 pm on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    18 Sobering Facts Which Prove That The Middle Class Is Not Being Included In This “Economic Recovery” 

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/18-sobering-facts-which-prove-middle-class-not-being-included-“economic-recovery”

     
    • Bugs 12:39 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      One helluva list:

      #1 According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate is currently 10.3 percent. When you add in part-time American workers that want full-time employment, that number rises to 20.2 percent.

      #2 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in the United States declined for a second straight month during December.

      #3 There are currently more than 4 million Americans that have been unemployed for more than a year.

      #4 The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.

      #5 Gasoline prices in the United States recently hit a 28-month high.

      #6 During the 4th quarter of 2010, 4.63 percent of all U.S. home loans were in foreclosure. That matched the all-time high, and it was up significantly from 4.39 percent in the 3rd quarter.

      #7 It is estimated that there are about 5 million homeowners in the United States that are at least two months behind on their mortgages, and it is being projected that over a million American families will be booted out of their homes this year alone.

      #8 Almost 14 percent of all credit card accounts in the United States are currently 90 days or more delinquent.

      #9 The average credit card rate in the United States had increased to a whopping 13.44 percent at the end of 2010.

      #10 Americans now owe more than $890 billion on student loans, which is even more than they owe on credit cards.

      #11 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income. In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.

      #12 U.S. life expectancy at birth is now three years less than Canada and four years less than Japan.

      #13 New home sales in the state of California were at the lowest level ever recorded in the month of January.

      #14 43 percent of all mortgages in south Florida are currently underwater.

      #15 Prior to the most recent economic downturn, there were usuallysomewhere around four to five million job openings in America. Today there are about 3 million.

      #16 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.

      #17 One out of every seven Americans is now on food stamps.

      #18 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.

      • scott4mayor 11:04 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

        We’re in a lot of trouble, and only now that gas prices have spiked and food is getting expensive is any of the mainstream media beginning to back off of their incessant claims that we are in some sort of recovery. If only the stock market really did gauge the health of the economy.

        As I warned in another post, when commodity prices surge, that squeeze on the margins of businesses can do nothing but drive up prices. And, of course, it is always the end user, the consumer, that gets hit with the premium. Whether it be from higher costs of inputs, or higher corporate tax rates, the result is the same.

  • scottzzz 8:34 am on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    What Happens When You Let Investment Bankers Run the Country (or any subdivision thereof): 

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/us-today-what-happens-when-you-let-investment-bankers-run-country-0

     
  • scottzzz 8:22 am on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    What it means to be a Kansan 

    http://videos.kansas.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=64755231

     
  • scottzzz 12:01 am on 2011-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Now you can search my entire facebook history for whatever dirt you may want to turn up:

    http://everythingsdangerous.com/ext/zip/facebook-everythingsdangerous.zip

     
  • scottzzz 10:56 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    http://www.kwch.com/news/kwch-mbp-crowd-upset-at-a-wichita-political-forum-20110220,0,3329668.story

     
    • scott4mayor 11:49 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply

      Commenting seems to be broken over there, so I post my response here:

      Well, that was a fair treatment. It was a weird occasion.

      First we sang the star spangled banner, but there wasn’t a single flag anywhere I could find.

      I respectfully watched the crowd sing the Black National Anthem. Although there was a strong spirit flowing through the hall, very few people knew that song well enough to join in.

      I spoke to many people afterwards, and everyone had a different take. I appreciate all the feedback I received.

      Come on over to https://scott4mayor.wordpress.com and pile on. Our current council has shown a structural disdain for the bulk of the Black community of this fine city. Our current mayor said exactly zero that would lead anyone to believe he would champion their concerns.

      And now, suddenly, I am likely more sensitive to those issues now than I might have ever been. I appreciate the invitation to the forum, and regardless what may be the hype about this misunderstanding, I will only represent everyone, especially those who are least able to defend themselves against the abusive, big daddy government that the current council members have ushered in.

    • scott4mayor 12:08 am on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply

      First Page of Comments from http://www.kwch.com/news/kwch-mbp-crowd-upset-at-a-wichita-political-forum-20110220,0,3329668.story ::::

      patrick620 at 11:44 PM February 20, 2011

      Black National Anthem?????? What is that all about? I thought there was only one National Anthem.

      MarcParc at 12:47 AM February 21, 2011

      All the struggling for equal rights and then we segregate ourselves by demanding that this country openly accept a “Black National Anthem”? How pompous! I am a black man and I neither desire nor recognize any “Black National Anthem”. There is only one “National Anthem” and it applies to all Americans of every race. I am neither part-African nor part-American; I am American, period.
      We complain about white America trying to divide us as a common nationality, but then we proudly do that very same thing to ourselves and complain even louder when the rest of society does not eagerly embrace this self-inflicted dichotomy.

      What this report LOOKS like is a “predominately African American crowd” found themselves a majority present and hi-jacked this occasion to promote THEIR own ethnocentric beliefs. When we are the minority it’s discrimination, but when WE become the majority then the same attitude and behavior are OK? Is our race the only people who don’t see this? Come on… a “Black National Anthem”??? Really? Is there a “Hispanic National Anthem”? An “Oriental National Anthem”? Why not?

      I am proud of my race, but this stuff makes us look hypocritical. Let’s all strive to be Americans please. JUST Americans.

      Charvel at 9:09 AM February 21, 2011

      Very well said Marc. You hit the nail on the head.

      I was not aware there was a “Black National Anthem”, and nor do I care. This was not the place for it, and it sounds like they were just trying to start trouble.

      The real “National Anthem” is for ALL Americans.

      Again Marc…. couldn’t have said it better.

      ITMikegyvr at 3:12 AM February 21, 2011

      I was not aware that there was a Black National Anthem. When did part of our country withdraw and start the nation of black? The Star Spangled Banner is the ONLY national anthem in the United States of America. If I were to go out and sing the American Indian National Anthem, people would put me in a padded room.

      Justme at 6:42 AM February 21, 2011

      I agree, it is getting out of hand. If you are born in America, then you are American, period! Be proud to be American.
      Reply
      Report Abuse

      LindaCleary at 8:56 AM February 21, 2011

      Hmm, maybe my last post wasn’t published because I added a link to the black national anthem? Or maybe it just takes longer than I thought ton publish a post. In any case, you can view the black national anthem by doing a search on youtube for “black national anthem” and just click on the first thing that comes up. BTW, really enjoyed your post MarcParc!
      Reply
      Report Abuse

      jyoung at 9:12 AM February 21, 2011

      I’m sorry people but this is out of hand! I am 40 years old and have never in my life heard of a black national anthem. I am sick and tired of this two faced race card . a ”black” national athem. you know good and well it would be the race crime of the century if anything was ever labled “white”. besided that I am tired of the boo hoo poor me from a bunch of people playing on a social injustice from 150 years ago. it makes me wonder how many people would still be playing the race card if they ever took the time to learn some real history. like the fact there were slaves of all races before their were black slaves. like the fact they werent rounded up and forced out of africa, they were actually sold by their own people. like the fact they were actually treated very well by the landowners. you want a little proof! you didnt see any big migration after the civil war. they all stayed. if you want to end racism, then you have to try to end it, instead of looking for reasons to blow up all the time. stop trying to divide your culture and then crying that its divided, aka (jet, black national anthem, negro college fund, bet, and black awards). what is with this african american. africa is a continent, not a race of people. does that mean the isrealies born here are african american?

      Swooop at 9:39 AM February 21, 2011

      God of our weary years,
      God of our silent tears,
      Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
      Thou who has by Thy might,
      Led us into the light,
      Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
      Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
      Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,
      Shadowed beneath thy hand,
      May we forever stand,
      True to our God,
      True to our native land.

      Swooop at 9:39 AM February 21, 2011

      This was a new one to me, so I looked it up and here are the words:

      Lift ev’ry voice and sing,
      Till earth and heaven ring.
      Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
      Let our rejoicing rise,
      High as the list’ning skies,
      Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
      Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
      Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
      Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
      Let us march on till victory is won.

      Stony the road we trod,
      Bitter the chast’ning rod,
      Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
      Yet with a steady beat,
      Have not our weary feet,
      Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
      We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
      We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
      Out from the gloomy past,
      Till now we stand at last
      Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

      PsychoDave at 1:16 PM February 21, 2011

      Thank you MarcParc! I couldn’t agree more. We are Americans…not European, African, Latin, or any of that other label crap. We are Americans and need to treat each other with the respect and dignity that comes with being an American.

      Too quote the last part in a famous Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “… And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” Once we start to label our self’s or each other we invite discrimination and segregation into our lives. If being different and flaunting that is your cup of tea so be it, just don’t expect me or anyone else to drink that tea who doesn’t hold the same ideals as you.

      IamTheMan at 10:24 PM February 21, 2011

      The crowd was more racist than Scott Thode will ever be. They went in looking to create a controversy and bring out more racial tension. He, like another commenter in this post, simply was unaware that there was a ‘black nation’. Probably thought this was a country where ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. Must have forgotten, we’re not there yet.

      This looks like poor, sensationalist reporting. Surely the candidates said SOMETHING about the issues? Are we to assume that they just went in and babbled incoherently, and that Scott Thode dropped a racist remark just for fun?

      Did we gather opinions on both sides of the equation before we cranked out this video and manipulated the reputation of this man?

      Are we relying on a 17 year old girl to do the thinking for us? From the video it looks like two underaged girls formed the basis for this piece.

      How about a written transcript of the occasion… Where is the real report? Wouldn’t your ad revenues increase if you made another webpage with the full details so people could decide for themselves?
      Oh, wait, you are CBS affiliate… you don’t have the budget to type all of that in.

      • Bugs 12:36 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

        Good comments!

        • scott4mayor 11:32 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

          Some are more extreme than I’d go, but these encompass what I’ve heard on the street about this. This is one of those “stop-thought” issues.

    • scott4mayor 12:14 am on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply

      From Facebook discussion:

      Jay G: In politics if you’re not upsetting someone you’re saying nothing worth hearing.
      Monday at 5:04pm · Like · 1 person

      H Blake: Dude, you’re on TV.
      Monday at 5:20pm · Like · 1 person

      Iam: Ok… Notwithstanding any possible f’up on your part, and totally outside of you as a person… here’s the cold hard truth:

      There absolutely should NOT be a ‘BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM’.

      This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NOT the SEGREGATED STATES OF AMERICA.

      We — AMERICANS — already have a National Anthem. Next we’re going to have a national anthem for each and every ‘race’ or ‘religion’ out there. That defies the point of everything.

      The idea is to bring people together, THAT’S WHAT THE UNITED STATES IS SUPPOSED TO MEAN — UNITED.

      A ‘BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM’ is racist IN AND OF ITSELF.

      ‘THEY’ played the ‘race card’ first. If this is a political gathering for the citizens of Wichita, which is a city in Kansas, a state in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, there is only ONE national anthem that ought to be played, and it’s ‘OURS’, MEANING EVERYONE’S, NOT ‘THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM’, NOT THE ‘WHITE NATIONAL ANTHEM’, BUT SOLELY AND COMPLETELY THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

      *smacks people*
      Monday at 5:26pm · Like · 2 people

      Scott Thode They should have got video of me wheeling around trying to find an American flag to face while we were singing the national anthem. Wasn’t one. Very weird.
      Monday at 5:31pm · Like

      Iam: it’s of course incredibly easy for me to sit on the sidelines and toss that out. As for there being no American flag at the proceedings, that’s very interesting and also VERY WRONG.
      Monday at 5:32pm · Like

      Scott Thode That’s the problem with this sort of thing. You may be perfectly correct in your rationale, but since this anthem is an important part of a cultural history, one must tread ever so lightly, and probably best to not go there at all. I was trying to express how much I enjoyed it, not recalling ever hearing it before. I should have shut up and try to boring. But get me in front of a crowd talking politics, and that’s probably not going to happen.
      Monday at 5:38pm · Like · 2 people

      Day: saying things that everyone is afraid to say…..
      Monday at 5:45pm · Like

      Iam: I understand your position on the matter. Here’s mine…

      Sure… the next thing we’re going to have is the NSYNC NATIONAL ANTHEM because Justin Timberlake and the Bee Gees are an important part of our ‘popular cultural’ history.

      ‘We have to be sensitive’ is unfortunately backwards. This is insensitive to people of all races OTHER than Blacks — and as such, absolutely should not be rising to the top of the charts. Were there only blacks and whites there? Were there any people of other colors or creeds? Did they have their own cultural history respected, while this one group, perhaps the majority in this instance, had theirs?

      THIS IS AMERICA. IT IS FOR PEOPLE OF ***ALL*** RACES. NOT JUST YOURS, AND NOT JUST MINE. I was raised believing that, and it’s the way things should be.

      This undermines the spirit of our country. If there was no flag for the United States of America, then this was not for Americans.
      Monday at 5:50pm · Like · 1 person

      Knutt: What’s up with the singing at the public forum anyway? Is this something Wichita does regularly at meetings? Just curious, I’ve never encountered singing at a town meeting here. Then again tv news has been lacking since they went to tabloid magazine style reporting.
      Monday at 6:39pm · Like

      Scott Thode I don’t know, Hazel. I enjoyed the performance of the black national anthem, even though hardly anyone seemed to know it. I may have unwittingly stepped into something: http://www.denverpost.com/localpolitics/ci_9767240
      Monday at 6:44pm · Like

      Iam: yeah. IMHO, this is worthy of a big stink — or some people need to be educated. It’s just wrong and backwards on every level.
      Monday at 6:58pm · Like

      Scott Thode Well, when I’m elected mayor, I’ll represent the black community in this city, anyway. They don’t have to like me.
      Monday at 7:26pm · Like

      Iam: My take on this is as expressed… It is simply inappropriate in the course of any city function to represent a segment of the population, no matter how large or how small, and it does not surprise me that you were taken aback by the presentation and spoke off the cuff. I take issue with it, not because I know you, but because everyone is violated by this form of favoritism… and whether they know it or not, having a ‘separate national anthem for people of a specific race’ is not about unity, and it’s harmful, and counters the dreams expressed by Martin Luther King.
      Monday at 7:36pm · Like

      Iam: idk. i wouldn’t want this to be the centerpiece of any campaign, but if there is pressure on you proclaiming you to be a racist, I’d certainly object to it. done feeding this line of trolling tho
      Monday at 8:03pm · Like

      Scott Thode If it had been like this, I might have been able to follow along better. Plus, since there was no flag to be found anywhere, may have been more appropriate. There are some fantastic voices I’d have loved to hear, rather than a bunch of people fumbling through a song they maybe didn’t know so well : http://ybpguide.com/2008/07/02/black-national-anthem-and-the-star-spangled-banner/
      Monday at 8:35pm · Like

      Iam: whether pretty or not, it’s a public forum for a city function, and the political statement that is being made by overwriting THE National Anthem with a specifically racially charged song is very offensive.
      Monday at 8:38pm · Like · 1 person

      Iam: they say ‘the behaviors of the candidates were inappropriate’, but the truth is, the behaviors of the audience were.
      Monday at 8:38pm · Like · 2 people

      Scott Thode It could have been something really powerful, and a touching statement. Instead, this is the message we get. Wild-eyed John-Brown Populist Kansans, with a gun in one and and a King James Bible in the other, trying to communicate that we’re in a lot of trouble, and it’s not about racism. It’s about Slavery. Right Now. Here. Today.
      Monday at 8:48pm · Like

      Gaylene: Ok- I’m no doubt going to get some retribution for the comment I am about to make. but I am always sticking my 2 cents out there. I always wonder – Don’t we celebrate our freedom on the 4th of July. Why do we need to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. I am not racist, but, We don’t celbrate any particular Day in the year that we are proud to be white. As a matter of fact I can be allowed to say so without being called racist- I believe it may be the colored that are the ones that creat ratialism themselves, by , seperating themselves and celebrating their own freedom. Isn’t that what we as U S citizens are celebrating on the 4th of July.
      Monday at 9:16pm · Like

      Kim: Truong I think it’s more about freedom from oppression.
      Monday at 9:58pm · Like

      Iam: http://discussions.kwch.com/20/kwch/kwch-mbp-crowd-upset-at-a-wichita-political-forum-20110220/10 … I think that it would be good for people to share their opinions on the comments page for the video. Personally, I think this is a serious accusation and poor journalism.
      Monday at 10:00pm · Like

      Scott Thode I think you are right, Kim. In these times, we should be students to the resistance that those who were oppressed put up. We have to learn from Rosa Parks, and Malcom X, and Ghandi and Iceland. We are entering a time when we are all becoming oppressed at a minimum economically, but more generally in nearly every other aspect of our lives, and that oppression isn’t going to check your racial identification before it has you in a debt slavery, fueling job slavery, in an uncertain global economic environment where global wage arbitrage, an incomprehensible debt, a hyperinflated stock market, food shortages, insolvent too-big-to-fail banks, and unprecedented political unrest threaten everything in a way that even militaries are helpless in the face of. Cheap-ass race card against the only mayoral candidate with a hint of passion. I spoke on empowering neighborhoods, the character of our public school system, urban blight, the Aquifer Recharge fiasco and revitalizing the river. Even totally off-script I slipped those issues in.
      Monday at 11:50pm · Like

      Iam: My opinion on the matter started with outrage at the sidetrack to now being extremely annoyed with the lack of reporting skill. Absolutely, more happened than we got from the piece, and it’s downright shameful the lack of content. And now, we’re all over here dealing with this sidetrack issue, and NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING THE CANDIDATES SAID. I mean, WHAT DID THEY TALK ABOUT? Hell, I KNOW ONE OF THE CANDIDATES and from that report I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHERE HE STANDS ON THE ISSUES.

      Shame on Eyewitness News 12. My left nipple can tell you more about what happened at that meeting, and I wasn’t even there.
      Yesterday at 12:05am · Like

      Nicki: I guess this is typical dealing with the media. Sorry I was laughing when the blacks were complaining about how awful it was. When will we realize we have gone from discrimination to reverse discrimination?
      16 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Iam: Eyewitness News 12: Expect More =
      Eyewitless News 12: Expect Morons
      12 hours ago ·

      • Bugs 12:34 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

        Encouraging that people are seeing through this. This might actually end up helping get the word out, Scott.

  • scottzzz 7:41 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    I’d like to thank the people who showed up and engaged the candidates in a sometimes lively forum.

    I think I may have served up some controversy, but I doubt seriously it was the controversy I may have wanted. I had a speech prepared that I did not read a single word from. I think I alienated those who I thought I felt closest to, and was sideswiped by a compliant press. I think I’ll just bleed out now, actually.

     
    • scott4mayor 7:51 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply

      If I have rumpled feathers in the Black community in this city, I apologize. My off-the-cuff humor and attempt to humble myself in front of that community I so desperately want to engage with has backfired, I fear, and now I feel more alienated than I ever have from the people who I share my zip code with. If I am so misunderstood as to have led an audience to believe that I am not able to take serious issues seriously, well, I guess I have to hope that a little investigation on anyone’s part may tell a different story.

    • scott4mayor 8:00 pm on 2011-02-20 Permalink | Reply

      Here is the draft of my speech I intended to give tonight, whoever might be interested:

      I know that when elected Mayor, I will certainly dive into my extreme makeover, and proudly wear the costume of Mayor, but I don’t think it proper to do so until I have been hired for that job.

      If I were running for Judge, should I be going around campaigning in a black robe?

      The Wichita Eagle has been trying to get me to submit a suitable picture for their so-called voter’s guide. I gently explained to the last lady who called me about that, that this isn’t a beauty contest, and I didn’t want to have any unfair advantage. . .

      This is the first, and may well be the only Candidate Forum I attend. Way back when I registered to vote, I checked the Republican box, having grown up in a small Christian community founded by quakers who first dubbed it “Peace.” — now called Sterling, KS. Right there is your Bill Clinton tie-in–He may have been from Hope, Arkansas, but I’m the candidate from Peace.

      But now I’ve lived in Wichita nearly twenty years, and the small-town peace I grew up in, is much different than Wichita Peace. I do not feel that Wichita’s idea of Peace is what I would have had in mind.

      There are claims that crime is down in Wichita, but there are any number of reasons why this claim is dubious. I don’t believe that Peace is something that flows from the top down, but rather is something that begins in every precious heart, and bubbles up from their, affecting and infecting our brothers and sisters and community groups and places of worship. We have forgotten that preserving and protecting simple human dignity engenders a compassion and respect that cannot be imposed from on high–but can be very easily destroyed by policies that are openly disrespectful of our civil liberties and fundamental human rights.

      I like the Mayor, a lot. In fact it may be his supreme likability that might sweep him into office for what is it now, how many terms on the council? When do those term limits kick in there again, Mr. Mayor?

      Anyway, I have to admit that I have given this speech a great deal of thought, because you all are representing many of the same people who live in the good old 67214, which is the core of where our Mayor first caught a foothold into local politics. I would not blame anyone for voting for our Mayor for another term, but I’d like to explore with you some deep political strategery that has driven my campaign over the last few weeks.

      First of all, I take it as a given judging from the Mayor’s field of opponents, that he will not need your vote to place as one of the top two vote-getters in the March 1st primary. Therefore, I think it safe to say that none of the votes he would normally get from your support are going to mean anything in the primary.

      Instead, I would like to put it to you this way: You may well choose to vote for Mr. Brewer in the General Election, but is there anything to be gained by voting for him in the primary?

      This is an opportunity that you all have to move the Mayor to be more closely aligned with your political interests, by choosing a candidate that you feel can best hold his feet to the fire on issues he may be lagging on. Ask yourself who amongst his potential opponents will give him the sort of spirited campaign that might move him off of his cheerleading platform, and help him learn to get dirty with some real political and budgetary issues that are plaguing this town.

      One of my favorite issues that I do not hear much about is the tendency of our City to draw lines around certain neighborhoods, setting them off as being a less desirable place to live than others. A few years back I was arrested for non-payment of a traffic ticket I received for parking in front of my own house. While I was being processed through, a rather mean lady interrogated me about various things. When she confirmed my address, she replied, “Ah, I see you live in the Hood” Well, I didn’t believe that then, and I still don’t believe it now, but since the City has drawn lines around the pockets of poverty in this town, they have received federal and state money to Fight Urban Blight.

      Now I have pretty significant issues with being associated with a disease, and I think all those who live in these cordoned areas should likely be as dismayed as I was, and still am. While our Mayor was still a District 1 representative on the Council, he was a big supporter of the new Stop Blight program, that took federal money and doubled the number of neighborhood inspectors, criminalized minor housing violations, and encouraged inspectors to go snooping about and snapping pictures in all defiance of our Fourth Amendment rights.

      By doubling fines, and adding jail time for such nit-picking offences as a broken screen or peeling paint, the City proceeded to set up little kangaroo courts at police substations to fine poor homeowners into submission. The state finally stepped in and said that they have issues holding so-called environmental court in police substations, but I would guess that there is still a 98% or higher conviction rate in these courts, which although are now dealing with criminal offences, are not courts of record, and are targeting those who are least able to defend themselves, and hitting them where it hurts the most, their pocketbooks.

      It was not well publicized, but this program is a star on the national stage. A simple Google search for StopBlight will bring up the Department of Justice website, which considers this sort of activity an essential innovation in what is called “Community Policing,” which has grown in popularity since 9/11 as a means of gathering valuable intelligence information. Reading one of the references to this spotlight peace helps us learn that they are well-aware of the Fourth Amendment issues that this sort of program will bring up, but that “It is best to let the Courts sort that out. Police (and inspectors) should push through barriers and innovate, knowing that some of the cases will be won and others lost.”

      Well, having attended several of these environmental court proceedings, I know that the last thing that will be brought up is the methodology employed by the agents in this program, and since even the smallest infraction will entail a $200 fine, the city has little interest in this program changing in the slightest. It is a huge cash cow, squeezed out of those who by the cities own maps are considered to be the least able to pay such fines.

      Now my grandfather was the city inspector of my hometown of Sterling, KS. And I would bet you that he would be more likely to show up with the city’s chipper to help an old lady with the limbs down in her yard, than seek to turn it over to the police to prosecute as a criminal matter. I wish it were hyperbole, but I have personal experience with a police officer entering my domicile uninvited to simply deliver a notice to appear at one of these kangaroo court proceedings at a police substation. This is what prompted me to look into this matter.

      What I found is that our future Mayor, wondered what the big deal was, that he felt inspectors ought to go anywhere they may need, to root out and do battle with this terrible disease of blight, largely caused by simple poverty. This was even after hearing from citizens who had already tangled with this regime, being forced to try to paint in the winter, and the disabled being arrested for missing a court date.

      Now our fearless Councilmember Lavonta Williams had a better idea about how to improve conditions in run-down areas of her district, by organizing neighborhood clean-ups and giving awards for excellence in lawn care. Granted, this doesn’t squeeze that turnip for more funds for city coffers, but as a low-cost way to improve our neighborhoods, I very much more support this sort of activity, rather than turning up the police-state tactics on the disadvantaged, which can only sew disgust and resentment towards our city government, who would rather take the big daddy stance and “Force Compliance.” We don’t put up with bullying in our schools, yet our Mayor has supported this sort of bullying as policy.

      Yet we put these problems on a war footing, believing that these problems are better off fought with, attacked, punished and fined. Well, I’d prefer a more pro-active and peaceful resistance, made up of neighbors and community activists, leveraging the shiny equipment and excellent personnel of the city to simply go fix these problems, and save the bully tactics for violent criminals and intractible slum lords.

      Moving to other issues that I don’t believe have gotten their voice in the local media is the apparent boondoggles of the Aquifer Recharge and Storage project. This project is slated to consume a half billion dollars by the time it would be completed, and nothing has stopped our city council from seeking out every form of funding imaginable to pump into this discredited project. While our own river remains little better than a passive sewer running through the middle of the city, we are spending millions upstream to try to mitigate the near-century old issues related with the aquifer we pull much of our water supply from. Though state engineers have cast significant doubts on it’s overall value to our ends, that the largest proponent, the head of the water department, suddenly quit his job and took early retirement, the Council has soldiered on spending borrowed grant money from our children and grandchildren, raising water and sewer rates, and willfully whitewashing any question as to this massive project with a mantra of “Clean Water.”

      Well, yesterday evening I went canoeing on our river, and I can tell you that for a city that every year hosts the River Fest, we have bigger water and sewer issues much closer to home. It is likely that the projects north of town are actually contributing to the pollution of the groundwater. Back in the thirties, where mother nature seemed to have no end of the plagues sent our way, we fought off locusts with a potent insecticide that contained a large quantity of arsenic. Yes, once used in rat poison, it is terribly harmful to all mammals. This arsenic gradually migrated into the sands of our aquifer, but as nature is wont to do, the aquifer seized this poison and bound it up, largely diminishing its effects. What we are doing and intend to do a lot more of, is pump water back down into the aquifer, and this agitation of the aquifer re-releases this bound-up arsenic. I have yet to see this addressed in the ASR program.

      The last issue I’d like to bring to attention is the 100+ million dollar Homeland Preparedness Center that is to be built just north of here at the 96-135 exchange. Now, our current council can’t even find the money to install cameras in patrol cars, and barely enough to test the practice, yet they can find $100 million to build a new country club for the police. Now I have seen the police out practicing their riot control tactics out in the parking lot of the Kansas Coliseum, which now stands vacant. I would propose that it be converted into what may serve as a readiness center, and save us millions of dollars, and be able to afford police cameras to protect our police and citizens. I think there is a big dog track out that way, too. Oh. And the remains of a theme park.

      To sum up this brief list, I know that our Mayor is a fine salesman for all these projects, and in that role he has been very effective. But that is not the job of the mayor. The mayor is the highest elected legislative representative in the city, and as such, his job is to stand up for the interests of all the people. Instead, with the downtown development initiatives, the federalized police-state projects, the exhorbitantly expensive capital improvement projects, and the regular giveaways to select corporations, he doesn’t seem to be representing the people so much as the monied powers that be.

      What you can do about this is to choose in the primary the best candidate to run against the mayor in the general election, someone who is not in bed with any special interests, or will bend to the will of pushy developers. Someone who has the guts to stand up to these powers who seem to steer our mayor wherever they may want him to go, and maybe we can move the mayor a bit out of his comfort zone, and convince him to be more sensitive to the plight of all of the citizens of this fine city. If that person you decide to pit against the Mayor is myself, I will humbly, yet with incredible energy, stand for the mayor’s real constituency, that of the people. With your help, and your vote, we can give our mayor an election he will never forget.

      • rob 1:09 pm on 2011-02-22 Permalink | Reply

        i’m guilty of what i’m accusing here, but…

        too many words. message has to be digestible by a confused mass that likes to jump to conclusions. message will be manipulated by a distorted press that is no longer interested in journalism.

        1. what is the problem?
        2. what has been attempted in solving it?
        3. what needs to be done to solve it?
        4. why will you be more effective at solving it than the other candidates?

        opener… the humor of it will be lost on a disinterested public, and the religious connotation will detract and alienate, much like the ‘black national anthem’.

        just the facts, the solution, and why you are the best for the job.

        • scott4mayor 11:38 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

          I’d have been better off cutting it down to two minutes and nailing it.

  • scottzzz 9:15 pm on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: iceland   

    Before we go Egypt, Let’s Try Going Iceland: 


     
  • scottzzz 5:27 pm on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply  

    The aristocracy are obsolete. Time to think outside of the pyramid.

    me
     
  • scottzzz 3:12 pm on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Teachers, Unions, Principals, and Parents — A No-Cost Idea to Freshen Relationships and Boost Pay and Performance: 

    http://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-kansas-schools/knea-the-kansas-teachers-union-open-to-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-241236

     
    • scott4mayor 3:17 pm on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply

      Good comments on that post:

      1 David Losey February 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      If you had a choice (vouchers) to send your children to the school with the best teachers or to a school with mediocre teachers, where would you send them? Why not let market forces create schools with the best teachers? After all, it really is about the quality of education our children receive. Or is it, KNEA?

      2 Scott Thode February 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      You are right, David. But I think there are ways to use the magic powers of competition by decentralizing the control over personnel and pay to the school itself.

      For instance, if we were to distribute per capita funds to individual schools with which they may use their budgets as the in-house administration of that school sees fit.

      If unions want to be involved, they may negotiate contracts with individual schools who may decide how best to attract enough of the best teachers. The principal and parents and teachers of their children should organize at the school level, and organize to address the 259 school board and administration.

      Let’s relinquish the gross centralization of 259 and give the natural competitiveness between our schools serve to boost performance and excellence all around. Let the PTA award bonuses and the principals recruit the best talent to teach in their schools.

      3 Anonymous Mike February 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Both my parents are retired teachers (Illinois), so I speak from at least some knowledge. Personally, I believe that we should try having a separate school board / district for each High School and its feeder schools. I believe that in Wichita, this would require some redrawing of Junior High feeders. In this way, the local parents could get more say in their local schools. The county could run the special schools for the delinquents etc. This SEEMS to be a cost increase, but if this is enacted, we could also work to have fewer overhead jobs (i.e. anyone who isn’t in a classroom).

      The voucher system is a good idea, but I’m betting that there will be a problem. All of the parents want their kid to go to the best school, but each voucher is only worth one share, so if all of the students want to go to East High, where will all 10,000 of them park? Won’t an increase in class size from 25 to 150 be a detriment to ANY teacher?

      Just my $0.02

  • scottzzz 2:47 pm on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ASR   

    What is going on with the $500 Million Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project? 

    Why to these excellent reports seem to end with the surprise retirement of the head of the water department?

    http://www.wichita.gov/CityOffices/WaterAndSewer/ProductionAndPumping/ASR/Reports.htm

    ASR is a huge commitment. Where’s the investigative reporting on this? That’s about $50 Million spent already, and hundreds of millions yet to be spent. Water rates are going up and up. To what degree is whatever is going on with that project have to do with rising water rates?

    This is obviously a regional issue, but the fact remains that Wichita Metro is who is sucking the most water. We are trying to stave off contamination from oil drilling further upstream near Burton.

     
  • scottzzz 8:36 am on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio   

    Check. Check one twwwoooo. . . 

    Sorry about the bad link earlier, should be much better now:

    Here’s part of my pretend podcast: http://grandmasterplan.com/ext/mp3/ep-0-6.mp3

    Let me know if you think I should continue, and any technical problems you have. It is totally unedited and largely off-the-cuff, but a reasonable example of what I’d like to do. I recorded six more segments like this, but this one seemed to most closely represent what I would like to do on a daily basis moving into this primary.

     
    • Knutt 8:54 am on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply

      Did you take the file off? tells me link not found…

  • scottzzz 1:58 am on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    The Relationship Between Roll-Your-Own Campaign Signs and Campaign Finance Rules 

    I received what may be perfectly legitimate advice today to check into what the Campaign Finance implications of whether those who have already, or may yet, make their own signs for the March 1st and April 5th Elections.

    I am going to be testing several more campaign-related issues that my own version of Free and Open Elections may come into contact with.

     
  • scottzzz 1:54 am on 2011-02-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    My inspirations for campaign signage is Dr Liz’s… 

    My inspirations for campaign signage is Dr. Liz’s Altered Books: http://alteredbooklover.blogspot.com

    Max said he made me a sign, but I haven’t seen it yet. I invite everyone to try their spray paint templates on my back fence.

    Also, it will be time in about a week to be implementing some backstage tricks with the white-gaff-and-Sharpie method (remember a buddy tab!).

    There will be videos on other easy-load-out and enviro-friendly guerrilla-marketing techniques. I was a boy scout, and think leaving things better than you found them is a great ideal.

    Because there may be campaign finance issues involved, I’d appreciate you dropping me a personal note telling me how much you spent on any campaign-related expense, because if that total exceeds certain limits, I may have to report them to comply with campaign finance law, even if my intention was originally to in no way be obligated to report anyone on any sort of list to any government ethics construct for any reason.

    But dirty tricks abound in politics, so I’m endeavoring to prepare for such eventualities.·

     
  • scottzzz 1:35 am on 2011-02-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Loan Request To Ben Shalom Bernanke: Divide One Upcoming Day’s Worth of Asset Purchases Between Wall Street and American Entrepreneurs 

    This is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been talking about:

    . . .may the tiny sum of $3 billion, minuscule juxtaposed with the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars you are feeding your Primary Dealers and their clients in your Quantitative Easing program, may the modest sum of $3 billion be used for a pilot program to purchase securities issued by American entrepreneurs in connection with the startup of 3,000 validly formatted new business enterprises, such $3 billion to be used to purchase $1 million of the Perpetual Subordinated Capital Securities of each.

    at Zero Hedge

     
  • scottzzz 9:13 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Another Good Jefferson Quote (like there was any apparent end to them) 

    “It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power. … Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go. … In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.”

     
  • scottzzz 7:31 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Thread, 2/13 

    General comments.

     
    • scott4mayor 7:34 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply

      I’m most interested to hear view on what we might do locally to offset the effects of cuts in Arts funding.

      Also, what issues have you not seen addressed in the media, or by office-holders or candidates that you would like to see better addressed?

  • scottzzz 5:25 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Statement of Fair Campaign Practices, from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission: 

    I shall conduct my campaign in the best tradition, discussing the issues as I see them, presenting my record and policies with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing without fear or favor the record and policies of my opponent and his or her party which merit such criticism.

    –Nothing much to say about that.

    I shall conduct my campaign without the use of vilification, character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or his or her personal or family life.

    –Not really planning to do any of that.

    I shall conduct my campaign forswearing any dishonest or unethical practice which tends to discredit the legislative process or the Legislature as an institution.

    –Can’t think any of that could be considered part of my plans.

    I shall conduct my campaign without the use of campaign material of any sort which misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts regarding the candidate, as well as the use of malicious or unfound accusations against any candidate which aim at creating or exploiting doubts, without justification, as to his or her loyalty and patriotism.

    –That’s going a bit far. I don’t think I could honestly promise not to question a candidate’s loyalty to the interests of the people of Wichita, or particular candidates’ patriotism which I personally link directly to the Constitution, to which public service oaths are sworn to uphold and protect.

    I shall refrain from the unfair practice of publicizing campaign material detrimental to my opponent too near election day to permit my opponent’s rebuttal.

    –I suppose. That is some dirty tricks there.

    I shall conduct my campaign without any appeals to prejudice based on race, sex, creed, or national origin.

    –Would seem a supremely stupid idea.

    I shall immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any individual or group which resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics which I condemn.

    –That’s a case-by-case affair, and since I am not seeking the support of any particular group, and am not prepared to accept endorsements from any group, this does not apply in my case.

    As far as individuals go, I don’t believe that anyone who would support my candidacy would resort to any of that, and if they do, I do hereby repudiate them proactively. You all be good, now.

    To me, this whole document seems like a trap, somehow. I don’t intend to do anything like what I would be pledging not to by signing this document, but I’m really not interested in encumbering myself or my supporters with rules on conduct. We’re all grown-ups, and I don’t expect any problems.

    To me it smacks of a limit on free speech, and as such, I do not want to dignify this document by signing and filing it, even though I don’t really see anything about it I necessarily disagree with.

     
  • scottzzz 4:38 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Commodities on a steep rise, plan accordingly: 

    I really don’t like bringing bad news around, but businesses and individuals need to be aware that nothing is likely to go down except the purchasing power of the dollar. Here is an excellent little crash course in what I’m talking about:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-preparing-accordingly-ii

     
  • scottzzz 3:17 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Geithner admits a necessary end to Fannie and Freddie, plus some thoughts on Public-sector Pensions 

    More than you might ever like to know on the plight of Fannie, Freddie and Pensions (also heavily invested in both):

    http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/02/february-12-2011-pensions-treasuries.html

     
  • scottzzz 1:52 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply  

    “All the capital employed in paper speculation is barren and useless, producing, like that on a gaming table, no accession to itself, and is withdrawn from commerce and agriculture where it would have produced addition to the common mass: that it nourishes in our citizens habits of vice and idleness instead of industry and morality: that it has furnished effectual means of corrupting such a portion of the legislature as turns the balance between the honest voters whichever way it is directed: that this corrupt squadron, deciding the voice of the legislature, have manifested their dispositions to get rid of the limitations imposed by the Constitution by the general legislature, limitations, on the faith of which, the States acceded to that instrument: that the ultimate object of all this is to prepare the way for a change from the present republican form of government to that of a monarchy: that they are still eager after their object, and are predisposing everything for its ultimate attainment.”

    Thomas Jefferson, as quoted by Henry Stephen Randall, The Life Of Jefferson, Vol 2, p 62., 1871
     
    • Bugs 12:46 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      Boy. What wisdom was that? Oh yeah. I forgot. He was a racist, so don’t listen to him. Sheesh.

  • scottzzz 1:49 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The First Step to Solving A Problem Is Stating It Correctly 

    In “1984,” George Orwell describes a totalitarian state that employs “newspeak” to enforce its aims. Rather than merely suppressing statements that endanger the ruling party, newspeak constricts the language itself, making dangerous ideas impossible to formulate. This proves to work far better than post-hoc crackdowns on radical speech, inspiring one state functionary, Syme, to exude, “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

    With that in mind, I’d like to explore a problem I see in the current economic debate. The path before the nation in general, and the federal government in particular, is usually framed as a choice between “quantitative easing” and “austerity,” and even those who oppose the action represented by the former phrase, and support the course represented by the latter, tend to use these terms as if they truly described the two paths that might be taken.

    But of course they don’t.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-first-step-solving-problem-stating-it-correctly

     
  • scottzzz 8:51 pm on 2011-02-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 259   

    Wichita schools among districts not meeting AYP targets 

    Wichita Schools are going to have to try some new things, and get out of their comfort zone a little. Whatever is going on, I can guarantee it is not a matter of them not being able to waste a bunch of money.

    http://www.kwch.com/news/kwch-news-cd-ayp-2009-2010,0,1279370.story

     
  • scottzzz 8:41 pm on 2011-02-11 Permalink | Reply  

    This one was more fun than the usual questionnaire, but I think it’s going to need a little work: 

     
    • Goodness 11:54 am on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      What have you done, boy? LOL! Next thing you know you’ll be banned from City Hall!

      http://www.kansas.com/2011/02/12/1717340/mayoral-hopeful-banned-from-city.html

      • scott4mayor 1:21 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

        Well, at least the Eagle would write a story about me!

        • Bugs 12:37 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

          You probably wouldn’t want them to do that.

    • scott4mayor 2:05 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      Did you catch the reference to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg5SwyTvAHw ?

    • scott4mayor 4:09 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply

      In all actuality, I don’t find many things that I disagree with in the Chamber’s 2011 agenda, at: http://www.wichitachamber.org/about_the_chamber-overview-about_the_chamber.php

      But the language is such that what the Chamber is really on board with is not really presented in a straightforward way. I think the real agenda of the Chamber is as the Chairman, Lynn Nichols said recently ( quoted from http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/blog/2011/02/chamber-stresses-job-creation.html ):

      The overall theme of each priority is making Wichita a better place for new and existing businesses. And Nichols said no one should be under any illusion how competitive Wichita will have to be.

      “There isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t receive a telephone call from a state or a city that asks me to consider moving Yingling to their community,” Nichols said. “The incentives that they lay out are very inviting. And they always end it with ‘we have cash.’ They’re going after the aerospace industry and any other industry that they think will become a viable part of their community.”

      (end quote)

      So what we likely have, at the end of the day is this same issue I talked about in a previous post: https://scott4mayor.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/relocation-racket-how-relocation-consultants-pit-cities-and-states-against-each-other/

      That is, that we have moved so far into the domain of the rent-seekers, that we will not not easily extract ourselves from. We as a community are being held hostage by this slippery slope, and the Chamber is really only (finally) now starting to give lip service to Small Business, which has always been the largest driver of new employment.

      If we can extract ourselves from the fallacy of so-called “targeted” giveaways to corporate rent-seekers as a way to prop up employment, and instead concentrate our efforts on lowering the cost of government and enhancing the small business environment, we have a better chance at developing an honestly sustainable and durable economic landscape that will serve us much better in the long run.

  • scottzzz 7:17 pm on 2011-02-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: KWCH   

    KWCH Voter Bio Submission: 

    On Fri, 11 Feb 2011 14:57:14 -0600, wrote:

    I am gathering candidate information to be included in our Campaign 2011 section of our website. Would you provide me with a short bio and a photograph that we could use?

    Thanks,

    Kevin Hager
    KWCH-TV

    Howdy, Kevin–

    I grew up in town founded by Quakers who named the town “Peace.” — it was later renamed, and Sterling, Kansas was where I attended kindergarten with most of the same people with which I graduated high school. I attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM to study the “Great Books” and then continued my education at WSU, studying Linguistics, Entrepreneurship, Literature and Psychology. I actually spent more time in the library, rather than irritating the drone of the professors with the brutality of my critique, or a question he or she was ill-prepared to answer. Ablah library was nearly worth the cost of tuition, and learning some steel pan, piano and poetics have earned me my dearest friends.

    In 1994 I stumbled into an accidental career in technical theater, specializing in scenic carpentry, stage and arena rigging, and as a flyman. Nearly every major show that has come through Century II, the Coliseum, and now the new Arena, I have been involved with to some degree, most lately as the head rigger for IA Local 190. I also service and install counterweight systems in theaters all over the area. I own a “This Old House” home here in Wichita and have been a resident for the last seventeen years. Although my work schedule is generally pretty sparse, and although Wichita is below the national average, I like to tell people that I actually work in the highest-paying blue-collar job there is. But I’m not working Carnegie Hall. . .yet.

    Although I admit this is not the sort of job that one would expect would prepare someone to become Mayor of Wichita, it is precisely the sort of job that I feel has put me in a superb position to observe the machinations of my city from behind the scenes, and has given me ample time to continue educating myself in the ways of government and politics. I make between $25-$30K a year, and that has generally been enough. I’m not motivated by money. I’m motivated by maximizing my personal freedom to pursue my dreams. I look forward to mixing up the tired, old ways we’ve done politics locally with a fresh slate of compelling proposals, electrifying democracy, and fearlessly advocating on behalf of the People of Wichita on our all-but-captured City Council.

    Ambition is only worthwhile when it is backed with preparedness. I have spent most my time since I can remember pretending that one day I would be president, so I’d better get as prepared and smart as I can, in case of that eventuality. Actually, I might like to settle for being vice-president to the first female president of the United States, in my little useful fiction. When I look around this city, that position at the city level is most like Mayor. I would think it no greater honor than to serve as the People’s representative on the City Council. In an oddity of disclosure, my next run would be Governor against Brownback (I would presume). I would love to let Wichita share in my improbable dream.

    My candidacy is an effort to break the mold of what a politician can be, and how a Mayor, now elected at-large, should be the representative of the people. I have signed an affidavit that I will neither accept nor spend more than $500 total in my campaign for Mayor of Wichita. Although there may be groups with which I have a bit of affinity towards, I am not an active member of any political group, nor do I have any intention of garnering any endorsements other than from people I know, and the only power I am interested in is standing up for the People of Wichita. If elected, I will serve only one term as Mayor, and hope that my example will ignite a new generation of political and social energy to help our City excel into the future, rather than be held hostage by well-connected interests and marketeered master plans.

    The patron saint of my campaign is R. Buckminster Fuller, a former Wichitan and self-proclaimed “political agnostic,” who spent his life as an experiment of how much of a difference in the world one person could make. He believed, as do I, that we have the technology and resources to live more abundant lives with fewer resources. One quote of many that has influenced me was “You can’t change people, but you can change their environment.”

    We are at a moment of great opportunity and great peril, and regardless how well the old guard is perceived to have done to this point, the status quo will certainly hobble this City if we do not comprehend the dangers the economy, among other things, will continue to bring. We should be concentrating on building a durable local economy that can withstand the economic turmoil we have entered into.

    Drafts of my answers to the Eagle Voters Guide if you would like to take a peek:

    https://scott4mayor.wordpress.com/tag/evg/

    My announcement is at:

    http://grandmasterplan.com

    I made my facebook as unedited and public as I could:

    http://facebook.com/everythingsdangerous

    Send a friend request on facebook, if you like. Interview the people who have known me closest and longest.

    Blog with open, anonymous commenting:

    https://scott4mayor.wordpress.com

    Thanks.

    Scott Thode

    //><\ — Vote for Scott, March 1st, to be Mayor of Wichita.

     
  • scottzzz 11:27 pm on 2011-02-10 Permalink | Reply  

    The kind of rules we should have are the kind that we’d make if our worst enemy were in charge. — Walter E. Williams

    Citation
     
  • scottzzz 10:16 pm on 2011-02-10 Permalink | Reply  

    Relocation Racket: How Relocation Consultants Pit Cities and States Against Each Other 

    Here’s the best I’ve seen the problem with the City’s giveaways to keep Hawker-Beechcraft explained. It’s an obscure and insidious practice that too many cities and states fall victim to. What’s worse is when we get played like that, it raises the cost of government without a commensurate increase in the qualities that companies look for, like an excellent education system. I want to preserve jobs as much as the next guy, but when it hurts our overall competitiveness, we are selling out our ability to compete long term.

    http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2006/092006/leroy-relocation.html

     
    • scott4mayor 12:00 pm on 2011-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      “Welcome to the new world of economic development — playing brinkmanship with jobs. This tactic is led by a new breed of hired guns, mostly outsiders and consultants who have little or no attachment to the targeted community. On behalf of corporate clients, they specialize in playing states and communities off against each other — threatening state and local officials with plant closures or moves to another state. In the process taxpayers, employees, and anyone else available are squeezed for all they are worth.”

      http://wichitaliberty.org/economics/brinkmanship-with-jobs/

    • scott4mayor 12:03 pm on 2011-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      “If we don’t stay in the game and do whatever is necessary to be able to protect our jobs, protect our citizens, then we’re going to lose out on this entire thing. Times are changing. 20 years ago individuals weren’t even thinking about providing incentives to various different corporations. And now it appears that every place that we go, we seeing that everyone’s doing it. … That’s a reality of things. The dynamics and the field that we all have to play on is continuing to change.” –Carl Brewer, quoted at http://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/kansas-governor-releases-economic-development-plan/

    • scott4mayor 12:10 pm on 2011-02-11 Permalink | Reply

      h/t to Bob Weeks, again, for being a laser beam on these issues.

    • Bugs 8:09 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply

      This really is a tough one. On the one hand you have the big corporations and their operatives threatening to pull up stakes and bug out, taking valuable jobs in the process, and on the other hand there is a fundamental issue of fairness at work, it seems. What about those companies that are carrying their own weight? What about the tax payers who are struggling just as much? How can we know we will be better off, when it is very difficult to figure out where this giveaway money came from to begin with? Is there some way to instigate some sort of pay-go sort of arrangement, so at least we know what we are giving up?

      • scott4mayor 11:22 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

        Good questions. I like your pay-go idea, but the myth about most of these giveaways is that they are self-financing, drawn from supposed increases in property tax receipts on the out years.

        My fairly radical view about these sorts of programs is that if it is jobs we are looking for, then directly tie any loans to the number of jobs created, to defray the extraordinary cost our government has imposed on employers. I am much more comfortable subsidizing employment directly, rather than trust that tax breaks and forgivable loans will automatically translate into more jobs.

  • scottzzz 4:47 pm on 2011-02-10 Permalink | Reply  

    Wichitopekington: State audit: Wichita-area officials overstated benefits from subsidized airfare program 

    Disappointing, since I had answered on the Eagle Voter’s Guide that there were few programs that gave as much “bang-for-the-buck” than the affordable airfare program. The upshot is that we have to be careful what and who we believe when evaluating these sorts of programs. The current regime seems to support any sort of subsidy, since they all seem to get the same positive evaluation, and there never seems to be any sort of stomach for saying no to these sorts of corporate welfare programs.

    http://blogs.kansas.com/gov/2011/02/09/state-audit-wichita-area-officials-overstated-benefits-from-subsidized-airfare-program/#disqus_thread

     
    • Bugs 12:48 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, you botched that one. Too good to be true.

  • scottzzz 6:58 pm on 2011-02-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Forclosure Sales Keeping Property Valuations High 

    Who knows the extent of this, but when banks execute what are called “credit-bid” sales, the total outstanding balance is considered the sale price. The problem comes in when the property has a significantly lower market value. The result is that property valuations in the area are being related to these sorts of “sales,” (which are really just a scheme to keep the banks from having to recognize the loss) are preventing property valuations from falling to a realistic level. Counties have a lot to lose by acting otherwise, since to properly value the properties would be a big hit to their property tax take. Of course this translates to higher taxes. As well as a loophole through which banks game their books to continue to feign solvency.

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=179351

     
    • Goodness 11:58 am on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      I guess the banks aren’t going to be happy until we’re all homeless.

      • scott4mayor 1:20 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

        It would be difficult to disprove that theory. Very thin evidence that the banks or their regulators, or prosecutors or even many judges have any interest in addressing the spectrum of fraud STILL occurring.

  • scottzzz 10:56 am on 2011-02-07 Permalink | Reply  

    The Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program. 

    Thank You, Main Street Sterling, for posting this video. It gives me an opportunity to tout the E-Communities initiative, which should serve as a model of what Wichita’s redevelopment ought to look like, including an excellent example of better ideas in raising funds for the development of a particular town or neighborhood or district.

    from http://sbaer.uca.edu/research/icsb/2008/ente1f.html :

    The Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program, created through the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship tax credit pilot program in late 2007, is the result of such a team effort involving Sterling College, the City, the School District, the Chamber of Commerce, Rice County Economic Development, and the City of Alden. The purpose of the program is to encourage entrepreneurial activity in the Sterling and Alden areas with a focus on job creation. A $300,000 entrepreneurial fund was successfully created through the Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program using creative tax credit incentive. In order to secure the fund, the team members made great efforts to publicize the purpose of the Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program to the ordinary citizens and businesspeople of the community. These community members were encouraged to contribute to the fund knowing they could receive the bulk of the money back through tax credits when they file their income tax return. The response from the community was expeditious and overwhelming. The $300,000 fund for community economic development became available shortly within four months of the commencement of the application process through the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship.

    Qualifying entrepreneurial projects including startup businesses, existing business purchases and existing businesses desiring to invest in expansion may apply for funding of up to a maximum of $45,000. Two types of funding will be offered from the fund: grants and low-interest loans.
    Currently, a local budding entrepreneur has already taken advantage of the fund by applying for the maximum loan of $45,000 to be used as part of larger investment to rehabilitate a vacant downtown historic building into a hotel and restaurant facilities creating new jobs for the local community. The program expects more applications from other up-and-coming entrepreneurs as they become aware of the availability and purpose of the fund for rural and regional development.

    Sunflower Journeys piece:

     
    • scott4mayor 11:01 am on 2011-02-07 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps I’m partial because this is my hometown, and Main Street is the perfect response to those who would buy into the top-town “master plan” mentality.

    • Bugs 8:11 pm on 2011-02-13 Permalink | Reply

      I like this idea, where the funding is raised from donations, gives donors a tax break, and helps fund new, small businesses.

  • scottzzz 7:21 pm on 2011-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

    “Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort.”–Marshall McLuhan

     
    • scott4mayor 11:42 pm on 2011-02-06 Permalink | Reply

      and when that doesn’t work, the club and fist are now used with little hesitation.

  • scottzzz 12:38 pm on 2011-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Ever heard of too many cooks, Mayor? Bloomberg spends $245,000 of taxpayers’ dough employing THREE chefs at Gracie Mansion 

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353789/Bloomberg-spends-245-000-employing-THREE-cooks-Gracie-Mansion.html

     
    • scott4mayor 4:28 pm on 2011-02-06 Permalink | Reply

      Thank heavens Wichita doesn’t have some creepy mansion where the mayor lives. If I were him, I would be further outfitting the mansion to serve as a soup kitchen.

      I like thinking about what’s next after coercion and “getting tough” fails.

      The main theme is something I’ve heard called “harm reduction.”

      Think about it. If it weren’t bad enough, for instance, to be jobless, broke and hungry, evicted, our imagination seems to leave us, and we leave these problems to fester into our jails and neighborhoods. These folks have no control over global economics. It is force-fed to them like bills into a mail slot.

      A free economy is theoretically supposed to be good for everyone. Yet the pesky controls on the behemoth ship of globalized finance seem to have begun to render themselves useless. So long as the global financiers are able to keep the American people as happy little pets, they will never really think to question the captains, and even if they would feel a compulsion, they would not know who those captains really were.

      As is true on so many graphs these days, we see, at nearly every level, a familiar fat-tail exponential. I think we are nearing a logical end to economic and political totalitarianism. It may be coming faster than expected, but those who are cognizant of the bigger pictures, longer time-lines, and critical ratios at historical precedence, the what-ought-come-next is launched into nowhere land.

      So really, we’ve hit the top of the flight, and without wings to take advantage of the amount of potential energy the weight of our burdens, and the heights of our ascent have taken us. We’ve hit orbit, we’ve pulled out all the stops, and reached a great distance up to the stars. But the math shows that we have found a logical ceiling for this go around, and so long as we do not burn what’s left of our resources or fail to deploy our wings, we can avoid the impending Icarus disasters.

    • Goodness 12:03 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      Cool! Would you have an executive chef? I have some suggestions!

      • scott4mayor 1:23 pm on 2011-02-12 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve actually contemplated trying to visit as many restaurants in Wichita as I could. I’m generally too poor to eat out that often, and it would give the people of Wichita a chance to chat with the Mayor on a regular basis.

  • scottzzz 10:10 am on 2011-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

    The secret to breaking the circle of debt is to adopt a policy of decentralization, and self sufficiency. To take back control of our local commerce and to establish micro-economies with self contained methods of trade. Debt must be removed from the equation altogether, and systems protected by flexibility and redundancy must be applied. Savings and meaningful production would have to take the place of endless spending and outsourcing. The claustrophobic nurse-maid philosophies of globalism would have to be cast aside and replaced with goals of independence and self reliance. By cutting our dependency on the corrupt establishment, we sever its ability to feed off of us. By building a better system, we make the faulty one obsolete. Whether or not we throw off the trappings of the debt machine is entirely up to us.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-great-global-debt-prison
     
    • scott4mayor 7:58 pm on 2011-02-06 Permalink | Reply

      This is a fine encapsulation of the overarching theme of my political philosophies. Decentralize. Realize that the definition of wealth is redundancy. Strive for a bottom-up durability, rather than an impossible and oppressive pyramidization built on a fragile foundation of debt and abuse.

      How do we build a local commercial environment that can survive and thrive even during times of downturns at a macro level? It would take a lot of courage, and a willingness of local governments to stand up to their big brothers and big daddies.

      But if we can learn to operate within a philosophy of abundance derived from efficiency, local redundancy and home rule that does not borrow from traditional model of lumbering fragility, prone to stumbles and crashes, we could show the world what a city might do to break its shackles with a debt-slavery past, and towards a percol-up economic model, rather than a dribble down autocracy.

    • Bugs 1:02 am on 2011-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      Good article. Missed it last time around. Good quote:

      “The Federal Reserve, with the help of politicians on both sides of the aisle, created a series of illusory incentives (through interest rate cuts) which allowed banks to begin lending almost unlimited fiat at rock bottom prices. America was awash in credit, to the point that it was nearly impossible for the average person to avoid the temptation of borrowing. What we didn’t understand then, but are beginning to grasp now, is that credit derived from fiat is not “capital”, it is NOT wealth. Credit is the creation of an obligation, to be paid at a later date, if it is paid at all, and because there are no rules to tie the debt to any legitimate collateral (at least for banks), there is nothing to back the obligation if it falters. Therefore, fiat induced credit is not the creation of wealth (as Keynesians seem to believe), but the destruction of wealth!”

      Municipal bonds looking rough:

      “On the local front, cities and states are on the verge of folding due to the evaporation of municipal bond markets. Cities depend greatly on two sources of revenue in order to continue operations; property taxes, and municipal investment. Property taxes, obviously, are disappearing as property values continue to spiral downwards. This leaves only municipals, which have also unfortunately fallen off the map:”

  • scottzzz 11:34 am on 2011-02-05 Permalink | Reply  

    My family is small enough that any time we get together it is a bona fide family reunion. I love my life, and especially my incredible family. Looking forward to a big day train riding and celebrating birthdays. Everyone is here.

     
  • scottzzz 9:51 am on 2011-02-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Listen to the Good Judge: 

     
  • scottzzz 3:14 am on 2011-02-05 Permalink | Reply  

    I have mixed feelings about my submission for the Eagle Voter’s Guide. 75 words not enough in some ways, and way too many in others. I massaged some of my answers too much, and I wonder whether the Eagle will even publish others. Regardless, those who know me won’t be swayed one way or the other, because they know that my relationship with my ego is an easygoing one, and that I can back off of my positions when it is warranted, and think nothing of it if I’m wrong or have exaggerated. Wichita really has the opportunity to start something with this election. They may choose the status quo, but at least they will do so given full knowledge that they have a humble servant willing to listen, and not afraid to question the powers when warranted. I know I am not the comfortable choice, but that is the cornerstone of this campaign. I may not get elected, but at least you know I thrive on contentious issues, and am not afraid to say what needs to be said, or call out who needs calling out. These are not the times for scaredy-cat, flim flam politicians, with no articulate dissent with which to contend. We should really be looking for that outlier choice that at least shakes the foundations of the elitism that we’ve been suffocating in of late. They believe they are doing well, because almost no one rises to challenge them. They believe themselves the rightful choice, because those with integrity have no desire to enter their dirty game. They believe that they do no wrong because their own political machines do not deliver them worthy challengers. We can change the dynamic, and change it in a hurry, if we simply have the collective nerve to vote against every supposedly rational measure of what a good candidate is supposedly made of. I don’t believe she is made of endorsements, or political experience. Not made of political slogans, or quite fitting of a party’s platform. A vote for me is a courageous vote, a vote for an incumbent or an also-ran is a vote whose genesis is fear. Punish me for speaking truth if you like, or reward me for it. But if you are willing to get along and go along with how things have tended to be, I wonder why you would even want to vote at all.

     
  • scottzzz 5:16 pm on 2011-02-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: PA, RP   

    A New Chance to Repeal the So-Called PATRIOT ACT 

     
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