WHAT IS IT ABOUT BALLS?

20 Jul

A UNIVERSAL OBSESSION
Johann Wagener 7-20-13

 

 

In which humans will devote countless hours, spending billions, just to sit in stadiums or their living room couches watching a bunch of overgrown (and overpaid) clowns running around (or up and down) fields chasing balls. What is even more absurd is the amount of time wasted to participate in this mindless exercise. For example, we spend 3 hours or more to get about 17 minutes of actual game time in baseball. Football comes in at 14 minutes of play per 3 hours of wasted time.  Go figure? Say what? 

 

Even monkeys manage their time more efficiently than that. Can you imagine what a different planet this would be if people utilized all that time and money doing something somewhat more productive? Parks would fill up with families on picnics. Libraries would have standing room only. Town hall meetings would actually be more than just a gathering of the extreme fringe of our society. Those billions spent on playing games could actually amount something worthwhile like rebuilding our cities and neighborhoods, educating our kids, helping our sick and homeless, saving the environment, or even just doing nothing which is a far cry more productive that playing with balls. 

CRONY CAPITALISM

16 Jul

CAPITALISM SUCKS!
Johann Wagener 7-15-13

At least the way it’s practiced in the USA. Why? Because a very small but powerful group of individuals have been able to immunize themselves from playing by the rules by buying off the politicians that pander to them. What made it worse is when the US Supreme Court sanctioned this kind of behavior by anointing corporate entities with personhood. 

We the people put the cherry on top of it by acquiescing to the line of BS they fed us about being “too big” to fail or jail, and went ahead with bailing them out on our dime. 

This is what we got for our money. 

The 5 Biggest Obscenities of Capitalism Today

Committed capitalists fail to recognize that individual success is a result of collaborative effort.

ROTTEN APPLES

14 Jul

CAVEAT EMPTOR
Johann Wagener 7-13-13

There’s nothing more disgusting than to learn that some of the largest, wealthiest, and powerful companies are the biggest offenders when it comes to ripping off the public. When it comes to making money it supersedes everything else; laws, fairness, honesty, integrity, and just plain ethics. Left to their own devices these greed addicts will suck the lifeblood out of anyone that get in their sights. 

Apple loses eBook price fixing lawsuit: Court finds tech giant conspired with publishers

Overnight, US District Judge Denise Cote found there was “compelling evidence” Apple violated antitrust law as a result, and played a “central role” in the plan to essentially erase retail price competition.

“Apple chose to join forces with the publisher defendants to raise eBook prices and equipped them with the means to do so,” Cote found in her decision. “Without Apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did.”

THE WATCHING DEAD

13 Jul

IDIOCRACY REDUX
Johann Wagener 7-12-13

Here’s another example of why this culture is in the fast lane of self-destruction. Not only do we waste billions on games we now find out that most of the time we devote to it is completely wasted on watching these clowns doing nothing.

How much action does a baseball game have? Almost 18 minutes

In any given year, roughly 70 million people will attend major-league baseball games. A lucky handful will be treated to something unforgettable: a no-hitter, a walk-off grand slam, a player stealing home. Many more fans will see towering home runs, late-inning rallies and diving catches. But there is one thing every single fan who buys a ticket is 100% guaranteed to see: a bunch of grown men standing in a field, doing absolutely nothing.

A similar WSJ study on NFL games in January 2010 found that the average action time for a football game was 11 minutes. So MLB does pack more punch in a battle of the two biggest stop-and-start sports. By seven minutes.

HEALTHCARE?

11 Jul

NOT A HEALTHY SYSTEM
Johann Wagener 7-10-13

Life expectancy in some parts of the US are no better than 3rd world countries. Healthcare for profit is not focused on health, but on the bottom line. Politicians that pander to healthcare providers would like to have you believe that we have the best system in the world while at the same time studies say the opposite is true. 

Being the richest and most powerful nation in the world does nothing to improve health or life expectancy when those who provide it are primarily concerned on making a profit which is concentrated on an elite group of wealthy people. 

Americans live a little longer, still lag other rich countries – NBC News.com

The biggest survey of U.S. health in 15 years breaks down death, disease and disability county by county – and makes some very unflattering comparisons to other countries. It’s a big, comprehensive dive into what kills us and what makes us sick.

It finds that how healthy you are depends on where you live. If you live in a rich area like San Francisco, Colorado or the suburbs of Washington D.C., you’re likely as healthy as the Swiss or Japanese. If you live in Appalachia or the rural South, you’re likely to be as unhealthy as people in Algeria or Bangladesh.

Our biggest enemies are our own bad habits – poor diet, smoking and obesity.

PIGS AT THE TROUGH

18 Jun

PIGS AT THE TROUGH

Johann Wagener 6-18-13

 

 

The feeding frenzy continues. There’s no stopping these insatiable creatures from devouring more and more of this planet’s wealth with little regard to the devastation they create. NO! Not pigs! At least they perform a worthwhile function. I’m referring to that small and elite group of individuals who still live under the illusion that they are special and are entitled to hoard the wealth they acquire through others labor. 

 

Global millionaire population and wealth grows in 2012

 

Not only are the rich getting richer, but their numbers are growing and North America is home to most of them, according to a report from Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

The World Wealth Report, released Tuesday, found the global population of millionaires reached record levels in 2012 growing by 9.2%, or 1 million people, to reach 12 million after remaining flat in 2011.

Their wealth also increased by 10%, or $46.2 trillion, after declining 0.7% last year. The report attributes this to slow but stabilizing economic growth.

The figure is well above the pre-crisis level of $40.7 trillion in 2007 and previous high of $42.7 trillion in 2010.

 North America maintained its spot of being home to the most millionaires last year, growing by 11.5% or 3.73 million, the highest regional growth.

NOWHERE TO HIDE

15 Jun

NOWHERE TO HIDE
Johann Wagener 6-14-13

Being wealthy and dodging your moral obligation to support those who helped you get rich will no longer be so easy to do.

Is it the biggest bank heist in history with $32tn (£21tn) at stake? The electronic vaults of the Caribbean offshore financial system have been raided and 2.5 million secret files belonging to the global political and business elite have been downloaded.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – working with The Guardian, Le Monde, Washington Post and over 30 other media outlets – has accessed a huge data dump exposing the financial machinations of the super-rich in “the largest cross-border journalism collaboration in history.”

The investigative epic is called “Secrecy For Sale: Inside The Global Offshore Money Maze.”

As reported by IBTimes US, the findings explore the concealed world of tax havens, cracking open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and almost 130,000 individuals in over 170 nations. The big names in international banking, including Clariden, UBS and Deutsche Bank, face a potential new scandal.

Readers can use new interactive database to search information about the ownership of tens of thousands of offshore entities in tax havens

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists overnight published a database that, for the first time in history, will help begin to strip away the secrecy across 10 offshore jurisdictions.

The Offshore Leaks Database allows users to search through tens of thousands of secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales, and displays graphic visualizations of offshore entities and the networks around them, including, when possible, the company’s true owners.

The database is part of a cache of 2.5 million leaked offshore files ICIJ (a project of the Center for Public Integrityanalyzed with 112 journalists in 58 countries. Since April, stories based on the data — the largest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organization — have been published by more than 40 media organizations worldwide, including The Guardian in the U.K., Le Monde in France, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Germany, The Washington Post, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

EU Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said the ICIJ’s investigation has transformed tax politics and amplified political will to tackle the problem of tax evasion – and that the need for tax transparency overrides the principle of data privacy.

And during a visit to the White House in May, British Prime Minister David Cameron made astrong pitch for tackling “the scourge of tax havens”, saying “we need to know who really owns a company, who profits from it”.

The Offshore Leaks web app allows readers to discover exactly that – as well as explore the relationships between clients, offshore entities and the lawyers, accountants, banks and other intermediaries who help keep these arrangements secret.

Search the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database at http://offshoreleaks.icij.org or read more aboutwhy we’re making this information available to the public. 

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists online