I Upgraded To Windows 8 And Love It

First, the excuses… We have Macs and PCs at home. I mostly use a PC laptop for legacy reasons. (Had to migrate from Mac to PC a long time ago for work, now everything is on the PC… Oh, and Macs cost 2-3 times as much for the same thing, and Apple just rips you off with no mercy. They overcharge for everything, even simple $2 connector cords can be $30. Apple is an aggressively predatory company.) (Oh, and there is no excuse for not making things in the USA, and no excuse for their aggressive tax avoidance schemes which deny the American public good schools, etc. Apple is an aggressively unpatriotic company.)
So anyway, I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and I love it. I “get” it. I feel like I have been freed from the PC in the ways that the Mac made me feel that I was free to just work instead of dealing with the computer and its setting all the time.
Before you upgrade, you need to understand some things. It is not what you expect, and it is too early for most of you to do it.
Windows 8 is not really an “upgrade” to the Windows you know and understand, it is an entirely different paradigm. It will feel like you need to learn everything from scratch. Maybe, maybe not but after you have learned how to use Windows 8 it is much better. It makes the computer easy to use and gets the system out of your way.
It is going to take a while for enough people to learn Windows 8, and for the ecosystem of apps (it heavily follows an app design, like a smartphone) and programs that integrate all of Windows 8’s features. So most people should just wait. Also installation can have quirks that only computer-literate people can overcome at this point. So wait.
But it’s great.
And by the way, I know a few things about computers and operating systems.
Update – here’s what’s missing in Windows 8: a clock. On most screens you don’t see the time, the way you did on older versions of Windows. Maybe there’s a setting or something but not having the time visible screws me up.

Is Hurricane Sandy God’s Punishment For Ignoring Global Warming In Debates?

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Conservatives and the Christian Right regularly blame hurricanes on abortion, liberals, government and “teh gay.” But Hurricane Sandy actually is an “unprecedented.” This “Frankenstorm,” with a gale-force wind diameter of 1040 miles, is the largest hurricane in Atlantic history, with the lowest barometric pressure. So we really should ask the question: is Hurricane Sandy actually God’s punishment for not bringing up climate change in the presidential debates?

RWNJs

Here are just a few samples of what a few of the many right-wing nut jobs (RWNJs) (“the base”) have had to say about hurricanes:
Michelle Bachman said that Hurricane Irene was God’s punishment for our having a government that provides services to our people, (seriously, she said it):

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

The Rev. Pat Robertson told us that Hurricane Katrina was God’s retribution for legalized abortion.
The Pope made Gerhard Wagner a bishop after he blamed Hurricane Katrina on teh gay.

Another Unprecedented Storm

So here we have another “freak,” “once in a hundred years,” “unprecedented,” “no one has seen this before” storms that we are experiencing all the time now.
The Washington Post the other day, Hurricane Sandy may be unprecedented in East Coast storm history,

With computer models locked in on the eventuality of a punishing blow for East Coast from Hurricane Sandy (with the latest model runs favoring the northern mid-Atlantic), analyses suggest this storm may be unlike anything the region has ever experienced.

Etc. Please read Climate Progress, CNN Bans Term ‘Frankenstorm’, But It’s A Good Metaphor For Warming-Driven Monster: ‘Largest Hurricane In Atlantic History’.

Why Attribute Hurricane Sandy To Global Warming?

The term “climate change” is used to refer to the fact that the … uh …climate is … uh … changing. This is a result of the warming of the atmosphere that results from putting massive amounts of CO2 into the air, primarily by burning coal and oil as an energy source. The CO2 acts like a layer of glass to trap heat in the atmosphere that would previously have bounced off the earth and into space. This trapping effect acts just like the way the glass in a greenhouse traps heat inside. This is why CO2 is called “greenhouse gas.”
The trapped heat eventually changes the patterns of the weather, and melts ice that then causes the oceans levels to rise. This change in weather patterns is what we are beginning — just beginning — to experience. Flood, massive “freak storms, terrible heat waves that go on and on with higher temperatures, increased severity of hurricanes, droughts, huge regional fires, and all the rest of the “weird weather” people are talking about…
The scientifically predicted changes in the climate include:
Severity: The increased heat from global warming puts more energy into storms, so they are stronger.
Rain and snowfall: Storms, including hurricanes, will be loaded with extra moisture, so higher rainfall will make flooding more frequent and worse.
Rising seas: melting ice slowly increases sea levels, so storm surges, etc., will be worse.

The Campaign Mostly Silent On Climate Change

Climate change was not much of an issue in the Presidential debates, except in the extent to which the candidates promoted more drilling for oil and more mining of coal, hence increasing the problem. In the first debate Mitt Romney actually mocked people who are warning about climate change and sea-level rise, and criticized President Obama for investing $90 billion in wind and solar — and just lied, saying that half of the investments had gone bankrupt.
However, in an interview on MTV President Obama was asked about climate change, and said (TPM),

“We’re not moving as fast as we need to,” Obama said. “This is an issue that future generations, MTV viewers, are going to have to be dealing with even more than the older generation is. So this is a critical issue — and there’s a huge contrast in this campaign between myself and Governor Romney. I’m surprised it didn’t come up in the debates.”
Obama said Romney “says he believes in climate change….but he says he’s not sure that man-made causes are the reason” As for his own views, “I believe scientists who say we’re putting too much carbon emissions into the atmosphere and it’s heating the planet and its going to have a severe effect.”

Possibly related: NY Times, Fossil Fuel Industry Ads Dominate TV Campaign,

The American Petroleum Institute, backed by the nation’s largest oil and gas companies, is the top energy spender this year with its “I’m an energy voter” campaign. Although the ads avoid explicitly endorsing any candidate, they clearly echo policy stands taken by Mr. Romney and the Republicans: opposing regulations that might slow down drilling and denouncing Mr. Obama’s proposal to eliminate oil industry subsidies.

The Terrifying Math Of Global Warming

Here is the climate problem in a nutshell. As Bill McKibben explained in Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math:
1) We have to try to hold warming to 2 degrees Celsius, we’re at .8 of that now with huge storms, drought, floods and all kinds of effects. It gets dramatically worse from here – heading towards crop failure, famine, running out of water, rising seas, mass extinctions …
2) To hold at 2 degrees we can put no more than 565 gigatons CO2 into atmosphere.
3) Current proven coal, oil and gas reserves is 2,795 gigatons even if we discover no more. That is 5 times what we can burn and stay at 2 degrees. But that is worth $20 trillion in oil company assets, they will fight to the death to be able to burn that carbon.

God’s Punishment

No matter what you consider “God” to mean, clearly this “unprecedented” hurricane, arriving just before the election is a signal to all of us that we must stop ignoring this problem. Things might be “unprecedented” now, but are projected to get much, much worse.
Here is Grist’s David Roberts explaining that “Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed,”

Please click through to see the accompanying slide show.
Also, Democracy Now: Bill McKibben on Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change: “If There Was Ever a Wake-up Call, This Is It”

“The last time we saw anything like this was never.”
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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How Romney Will Do Business As President

Remember how the Bush administration made cronies rich? Here is how Romney will run things. Mitt Romney spends big on firms tied to aides,

Mitt Romney’s campaign has directed $134.2 million to political firms with business ties to his senior staff, spotlighting the tightknit nature of his second presidential bid and the staggering sums being spent in this election.
Nine firms that are run by, or recently employed, top Romney aides have received almost a third of the $435.8 million that Romney’s campaign and a related fundraising committee have spent on operating expenses through Oct. 17, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of federal election finance reports.

$134.2 million steered to cronies. Contrast this with Obama:

President Obama’s reelection campaign and a joint fundraising committee have paid about $5.8 million in consulting fees to companies with business ties to senior strategists, according to the finance reports.

A Romney administration will be entirely a pay-to-play corruption racket run for insider profit. They will start where Bush left off.

Don’t Forget bout The Hood – Jasiri X

Jasiri X

Directed by Emmai Alaquiva, “Don’t Forget About The Hood” illustrates how the issues of the poor and urban communities have been all but forgotten in this current election season, and wonders what happened to all of the energy and organizing that took place in the wake of the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin.
“Don’t Forget About the Hood” was produced in collaboration with http://hoodievote.org with Da Ricanstrukta providing the powerful soundtrack
LYRICS
See cause we broke they forget about the hood
So when you vote don’t forget about the hood
I ain’t telling folks don’t get up out the hood
just when you living good don’t forget about the hood
Let’s say we did it for the hood
Put on your fitted and you hood
I’m talking to the those you know that’s living in the hood
that ain’t getting what they should
we won’t forget the hood
We the lost and forgotten called rotten so we tossed to the bottom
Let em tell it we the source of the problem
They call us gangbangers and illegals
Cane slangers of da evil
Like we the main danger to the people
So our issues don’t get the same anger or treated equal
if you not one of them change raisers they don’t see you
So the hood every week is ignored
Before these politicians speak to the poor they reach for the door
now voter ID is the norm
Police brutality’s not reformed poverty’s even more
Tens of thousands of human beings they still deport
And they made it a felony if you come back and get caught
We need to stop cheering for sides like its a sport
Vote for your self and your own hood time is short
Cause doing nothing ain’t a option
Do something get it poppin
Real action over talking
The whole world is watching
So when you vote don’t forget about the hood
Get out and vote but don’t forget about the hood
I ain’t telling folks don’t get up out the hood
just when you living good don’t forget about the hood
Let’s say we did it for the hood
Put on your fitted and you hood
I’m talking to the those you know that’s living in the hood
that ain’t getting what they should
we won’t forget the hood
Do we remember Trayvon or is the pain gone
Do we remain strong or did we move way on
Remember when we all had pictures in our hoods
Did we forget about the hood
Zimmerman’s still free I don’t know about you but it kills me
This murderer could be found not guilty
Remember how we organized fortified for the ride
Polarized but mobilized I thought it was so divine
What happened to that energy we need it now more than ever
Many people kept working I will not ignore their effort
Give voice to the voiceless that’s why I record this message If you really for the hood for who or for what you reppin
That the million dollar question
Millionaires is who we follow but they hollow in they lessons
What’s the point of a weapon pointed in the wrong the direction
If your hood is what you reppin how strong is your connection

Why Voters Need To Know About #Sensata

Right now a company named Sensata is moving equipment out of a factory in Freeport, Ill. and shipping it to a factory in China. Sensata will be laying off all of the American workers, but first they are making the workers train their Chinese replacements. The workers’ last day is the day before our election. Here’s the thing: this company is owned by Bain Capital, and Mitt Romney — who says he is against shipping jobs to China — will make a fortune from the move to China.
The Sensata employees have set up a camp outside the factory that they call Bainport and are trying to stop the Bain trucks that are moving the equipment out for shipment to China. These soon-to-be-jobless workers have asked Romney to come help them.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Mitt Romney. As the former head of Bain Capital and with all the visibility of a presidential campaign, he could step in and help these workers. It offers him the chance to demonstrate to voters that he means the things he says on the campaign trail, and is not just saying these things to get votes. But Romney has refused.
Mitt Romney says on the campaign trail that he will crack down on China and is against companies shipping jobs to China. These are very popular positions to take — the public overwhelmingly wants to see things made in America again, and understands that China’s trade cheating is costing us dearly. So a candidate for president would certainly say he is for doing this. But when it comes time to show that he will actually means it and will do something about it, it looks as though Romney is not doing it. These workers have asked for his help, but he won’t do it. Voters should know about this, and make up their own minds about whether Mitt Romney means what he says, or just says what he needs to say to win.

Bain Capital And Sensata

Mitt Romney started the “private equity” firm Bain Capital. Bain’s business model is to purchase companies using “leveraged buyouts” that borrow huge sums using the purchased company’s own assets as collateral, uses the borrowed money to immediately pay itself, then cuts costs by doing things like sending jobs to China, cutting wages and manipulating tax rules to cut taxes owed, along with standard big-business practices like consolidating business units, taking advantage of economies of scale not available to smaller competitors, squeezing distribution channels for price cuts, and other practices that bring competitive advantages. (See So DID Mitt Romney Really “Create Jobs” At Staples? and Truthout: Romney & Company Shipped Every Single Delphi UAW Job to China.) After reorganizing the purchased companies and cutting costs — namely: youBain then “harvests” them for profit.
One company that Bain Capital purchased — after Romney’s time as CEO — is Sensata, a sensor manufacturer that makes key components for our automobile supply chain. Sensata then announced it is closing the factory in Freeport, Ill., and sending all of the manufacturing and jobs to China. This is significant because China is engaged in an effort to capture the automobile manufacturing supply chain, and sensors are a key strategic chokepoint. China built a factory for Sensata, and offers other incentives to the company to move manufacturing there.
So Bain is currently moving all of the equipment out of the Freeport factory, preparing to shut it down and lay off all of the American workers. Bain/Sensata brought in Chinese workers and made the Freeport workers train them. Bain/Sensata is moving the equipment out of the Freeport factory and shipping it to China right now.
The Sensata employees heard Romney on the campaign trail, and somehow got the idea that he opposes sending our jobs to China just because he says that he opposes sending our jobs to China. So the Sensata workers asked him to come to Freeport/Bainport and help them. Read on to learn about Romney’s response to the Sensata workers, and how Romney is actually making big money right now from shipping their jobs to China.

“The week before they came they took the American flag down outside the plant. The week after they left they put it back up.”

Romney Making A Fortune From Sensata Sending Jobs To China

While Mitt Romney no longer manages Bain Capital, he still has millions of dollars in Bain funds and will personally make a fortune from this company moving to China – both from profits and from tax breaks. (What you and I consider a fortune, Romney might consider a drop in the bucket.)
A must-read news report by Sharon LaFraniere and Mike McIntire in The New York Times explains. As Romney Repeats Trade Message, Bain Maintains China Ties (emphasis added, for emphasis),

Mr. Romney also has millions invested in a series of Bain funds that have a controlling stake in Sensata Technologies, a manufacturer of sensors and controls for vehicles, aircraft and electric motors that employs 4,000 workers in China. Since Bain took over the operation in 2006, its investment has quadrupled in value. Bain continues to own $2.6 billion worth of Sensata’s shares.
Two years ago, Sensata bought an operation that made automobile sensors in Freeport, Ill. At the first meeting with the plant’s 170 workers, Sensata managers announced that by the end of 2012 all the equipment and jobs would be relocated, mostly to Jiangsu Province. Workers have staged demonstrations, pleading for Mr. Romney to intervene on their behalf.
Chinese engineers, flown to Freeport for training on the equipment, described their salaries as a pittance compared with Freeport wages. Tom Gaulrapp, who has operated machines at the factory for 33 years, said he fears he will go bankrupt after he loses his job on Nov. 5.
“This goes to show the unbelievable hypocrisy of this man,” he said of Mr. Romney. “He talks about how we need to get tough on China and stop China from taking our jobs, and then he is making money off shipping our jobs there.”

Please read the entire New York Times report, As Romney Repeats Trade Message, Bain Maintains China Ties. There is much more there about Romney, China, Bain and the huge gap between what Romney says on the campaign trail, and how Romney made his current $400,000/week income and how Bain Capital still makes its money.
Also see this Huffington Post report, Mitt Romney Gets Tax Break Off Firm Sending Jobs To China,

According to his recently released 2011 tax returns, Romney transferred $701,703 worth of Sensata stock to the Tyler Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit controlled by Romney. The gift is listed on page 323 of the pdf, on form 8283 (below).
Moving the stock to his nonprofit brings Romney twin benefits. First, he gets to deduct the full value of the stock. At a 35 percent tax rate, that’s nearly a $250,000 benefit. At 15 percent, it’s just over $100,000.
Second, Romney is able to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the stock price increase. Romney’s returns list no cost for the stock, and indicate he obtained them as part of a partnership interest in Bain. Avoiding capital gains taxes on the full increase would save an additional $100,000. In 2010, Romney gifted $170,000 worth of Sensata stock to his charity, saving $25,000 in capital gains taxes that year.
Cheryl Randecker, a Sensata worker facing an imminent layoff, said, “I could pay off my house with that [$25,000], and he doesn’t need it anyway.”

So there you have it. Mitt Romney says he opposes sending jobs to China, and says he will “crack down” on China. But he refuses to do things that he could do right now that would make an actual difference right now. And it turns out that right now he is making big money from Sensata and other companies that are sending people’s jobs to China right now.
Laying off American workers – usually shipping the jobs to China – and pocketing their wages for themselves is the story of the rise of the wealth of the 1%, and the decline of the American middle class. It is the Romney/Bain/Sensata business model. And the remaining workers have to do the jobs of the laid-off workers, often for lower pay, and are threatened with losing their jobs, too, if they don’t like it.

Economic Traitor?

This is an advertisement titled “Economic Traitor,” that is being aired by superPACs Workers’ Voice and Patriot Majority, based on Sensata:

Click here to see all of CAF’s coverage of Sensata.
Bain Of Our Existence – The Go-To place for stories and info about Bain Capital.
For more information, photos and stories from the Sensata workers, please visit bainport.com.

For Fun

From UnitedNY, if Bain Capital was your psychologist:

PATIENT (LYING DOWN on couch): I think he’s depressed. I mean, he is a good kid but he just keeps to himself. I can’t get him to talk or spend time with the family and barely does any chores.
BAIN: Have you consider outsourcing? (hold shot of PATIENT)
PATIENT (confusion) You want me to outsource my son? (TURNS HEAD towards BAIN in surprise)
CUT to Bain face
BAIN: Yes, you can find some very obedient children in China or Bangladesh, even the Philippines.
(P.S. The reason I use #Sensata in the titles is because on Twitter the “hashtag” helps get the word out.)
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Obama Responsible For Bush Job Loss? FactCheck.org Says Yes

When Obama took office we were losing more than 800,000 jobs a MONTH — and according to FactCheck.org that is Obama’s doing, not Bush’s.
From Obama’s Inflated Jobs Claim,

In a new TV ad, President Obama makes an inflated claim to have added 5.2 million new jobs. The total added during his time in office is actually about 325,000.
In the ad, the president says “over 5 million new jobs” while the figure “5.2 million” appears on screen. But that’s a doubly misleading figure.
* Viewers would need to pay close attention to the on-screen graphic to know that the ad refers only to employment gains starting in March 2010, omitting the 4.3 million jobs that were lost in the first year of Obama’s term.
* And there’s no way a viewer would know that the total counts only private-sector jobs, omitting continuing losses in government employment.

Here is the reality:

Job_Chart_Sept.jpg

The red lines on the left are the Bush months. The blue lines are Obama months. The DOWNward-heading lines on the left side of that huge V shows what was happening before the stimulus turned things around. The right side of that V, where things start getting better, is what happened after the stimulus kicked in.
ALL the job losses that Romney — with FactCheck.org’s backing — claims occurred because of Obama were in that V. Yes, even after the stimulus turned things around we were still losing jobs, but losing fewer each month, and then breaking into positive territory and staying there.
As for public/private -sector jobs, yes Obama did try to save public-sector jobs and did a good job of that with the stimulus, but Republicans blocked further efforts, and in the state were able to lay off many, many teachers, police, etc.
And according to FactCheck.org, that’s Obama’s fault, too.