Thursday, December 07, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost."

New York Times: Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quoting the Washington Post article Children Under Fire

"In total, an estimated 8,400 children were hit, and more died — 1,458 — than in any year since at least 2010. That death toll exceeds the entire number of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan this decade."
"Among high-income nations, 91 percent of children younger than 15 who were killed by gunfire lived in the United States."

Stop the endless promotion of guns and gun culture. Please.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

My reading and eating diet.....

I have been vegetarian since 1975,  In the past year or so I have become more and more vegan in my approach to food.  I have figured out that dairy really does not sit well with me, and I was also was heavily influenced by reading The China Study about a year ago.

I have noticed that people tend to be semi-amused by my lunches.....I usually pack a bunch of carrots and kale and nuts.  I like to get all of my veggies in early in the day.  I might do something more complicated in the evening.....if I am not too lazy to do so.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trade Lies. How Ross and Trump use free trade myths to put us in a deeper hole.

Wilbur Ross, our new Secretary of Commerce, is similar to the President in his ability to flat-out lie. He recently wrote that the US has the lowest trade barriers in the world. We don't. You can refer to the World Bank for that data....I am sure he knows about the World Bank. At least I hope so. Canada, Israel, the European Union, Japan, Indonesia, Belarus, Malaysia, Paraguay, and more all have higher tarrif rates than the U.S. Also, if you split it down to economies, instead of countries, Hong Kong and Singapore are the two most open economies in the world. These two large provinces in China support a huge amount of U.S. economy as a result.

Politicians play upon free trade myths to the detriment of our country and to our economy. Ross is correct that we havethe largest trade deficit in the world — $500bn annually. However he does not address what this really means. We have a large economy. A large trade deficit will occur in a large economy, folks.

The fact is that trade deficits mean many things. For a reference, take a look at this article at Investopedia. Trade deficits are in sync with our GDP. If we have a low GDP, one take-away is that we don't have a healthy index of product developed here in the U.S.  (The other take-away would be that we are a demand-driven economy and part of the low GDP is a result of that). Policies promoted by the current administration, and the past administrations (both Democrat and Republican) do not support the increase of product development in the U.S. At all. That would require policies that promote healthy local economies, instead of policies that promote Mega-international corporate growth.

Don't be fooled by reports that are economy is improving whenever the trade gap shrinks either. This is not a reliable tool for predicting an economic growth that benefits the majority of Americans. It is a predictor of growth for those who are super-investors, not consumers. It is not a predictor of growth for the average JoAnn or Joe, or for jobs. The recent shrink in the trade gap was due to weak imports and had nothing to do with an increase in our economic productivity. In fact it was another measure of the common person's inability to continue the same pace of spending on goods. A shrinking trade deficit also suggests a relative decline in foreign investment in the United States. We cannot afford that right now.

As reported in the Mises Wire, the trade gap is "a measure of relative consumption and foreign investment in the United States" and "a factor in the shrinking trade gap is the fact that slowing domestic demand weighed on imports. In other words, Americans apparently had less money to spend on goods and services imported from other countries. Did Americans just decide to spend more money on domestic goods instead of foreign goods? It's possible. But the more likely explanation is that Americans simply had less money to spend."

This gets to the root of truth. Don't pay attention to the spinning arms of people like Ross and Trump. Pay attention to what is right in front of our own eyes. We will become a healthy economy when policies shift away from protectionism for the wealthy. Trump has given every indication that he intends to continue to stack the deck in favor of those who have nothing to lose, and the cost for this will be paid by those who have already lost a lot.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Skillet Cornbread Biscuits

Mark has become great at making soup. Tonight we enjoyed a cabbage cauliflower soup with skillet cornbread biscuits that I hope to make more often. They were super easy, and especially good with a little bit of maple syrup. Vegan of course.

Skillet Cornbread Biscuits - Vegan
Makes 12 biscuits

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance) or coconut oil - kept cold
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Stir together all of the dry ingredients. It is best to sift the baking powder and baking soda through a wire sieve if they are clumpy.

Start an iron skillet on medium low heat. I used the skillet we had sauteed vegetables for the soup and only barely cleaned it out. It should have a sheen of oil.

Chop up the shortening of your choice into tiny cubes.  Use a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the dry mix. It should be pebbly.

Mix together the almond milk and the apple cider and then pour this into the other ingredients. Mix until everything is combined but don't overmix.

Scoop out about 3 TBS at a time and form into a biscuit patty.  Put 4 to 5 patties into the skillet and use your hand or spatula to flatten them a bit. They should cook on one side for approximately 8 minutes. Check them....turn them when they have browned nicely and cook on the other side for about 6 minutes.

If you are going to make all of them, put the finished ones on a plate inside a very low heat oven. Otherwise, keep the batter in a bowl in the fridge to make more biscuits for the next day.

These are very quick. I hope you have real maple syrup .....