Archive for United States

An anniversary no other U.S. state can claim

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , on May 5, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

An anniversary no other U.S. state can claim, 05-05-12  Tampa Tribune Views

A scene from "", by Lewis Carroll, d... “O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

 (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll, 1872)


Will places be set at the 500-year celebration table for the descendents of Florida’s first people?

Alas, as nearly as anyone can tell, no living person today carries any blood from the hundreds of thousands of natives who lived and thrived here at the time of Ponce’s “discovery” of La Florida.

Perhaps the so-called Seminoles could act as stand-ins and add tales of their own “trail of tears” to this, for them, a somber time of remembering.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

The privatization of American government

Posted in Opinion, Politics, Second American Revolution with tags , , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

The Federal as well as every state and local governmental body is constituted to express the will of the people from whom all power is derived.

What we are seeing in this recent wave of the privatization of education, prisons and soon health care and retirement safety nets are manifestations of a corporate take-over of our basic civil liberties.

Government is accountable to the people; corporations are not.

Taxpayer support of for-profit companies at the expense of publicly supported institutions will inevitably lead to higher costs with attenuated quality of services.

All of this leads back to our elected representatives who have become dependent on the largess of political donors to fund their campaigns.

Political parties have become the enforcers of the party line, marginalizing any member who does not go along to get along.

Only when the voting public finally has had enough of being led around by their wallets by an entrenched political elite can we once again exercise our franchise to elect a truly representative government.

 “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
– Thomas Jefferson -

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Successful education is no secret

Posted in Opinion, Schools with tags , , , on March 5, 2012 by

If it’s no secret “How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better” – why is it that little Johnny still can’t read; or write, or cipher?

Since the untimely death of Socrates in 399 BC, how far has Western educational theory really advanced, if at all?

How many studies, books, articles, theses, dissertations, lectures and curriculum have been produced claiming knowledge of the secret of universal public education?

It is no secret to any classroom instructor which students are not “getting it”.

But is seems that only the most gifted teachers and the most responsive schools are able to match up each individual learning need with the proper individual learning modality, as well as identify and deal with extra-curricular learning impediments.  

Classrooms are not populated by widgets, taught rote by machines.

In an egalitarian society such as ours, we can only claim to treat everyone the same, when we treat everyone differently.

If we can’t do that with the entrenched educational system we have now, start over.

Start with Johnny.

Does he:

  • prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding?
  • prefer using sound and music?
  • prefer using words, both in speech and writing?
  • prefer using body, hands and sense of touch?
  • prefer using logic, reasoning and systems?
  • prefer to learn in groups or with other people?
  • prefer to work alone and use self-study?

Is he:

  • free of learning disorders?
  • free of mental defect?
  • hungry?
  • injured or ill?
  • fearful?
  • have low self-esteem?
  • lacking language or other basic skills?
  • lacking a supportive home environment?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Religious freedom for the rest of us

Posted in Opinion, Politics with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

I believe GOP hopeful Rick Santorum when he says he wants to bring religion into government, but it is no coincidence that Santorum’s religious views mirror those of his church.

If the Pope decreed one day that the so-called morning after pill was okay to be used in cases of rape of a minor by a terrorist, wouldn’t Santorum then support this to also be part of U.S. law?

I respect Santorum’s personal views on social policies only so far as he doesn’t blindly follow someone else’s social policies when it comes to laws for the rest of us.

How is Santorum any different from say a Muslim presidential candidate dedicated to changing our laws to conform to some Imam’s interpretation of Sharia law?

Our nation was built upon the foundation of religious freedoms; not upon the imposition of any particular set of religious beliefs on others.

IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Stop exporting U.S. Gasoline

Posted in Alternative Energy, Job-creators, Opinion, Politics, Second American Revolution, taxes with tags , , , , on February 21, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are now this country’s largest export.

That’s right.

In 2011, oil refiners in the United States exported an estimated 117 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products worth $88 billion. 

These fuels are being sold on the “world market” because there is insufficient demand in the U.S. due ironically, to rising gas prices and higher-mileage vehicles being sold.

The Keystone Pipeline, environmental issues not withstanding, would be good for the Canadian oil export companies and good for the U.S. gasoline exporting companies but would have little lasting value to the average citizen.

That oil, once refined in the Gulf states would be sold as gasoline to South America, not North America.

The same issues involve additional oil drilling in the U.S. All that excess gasoline produce would be sold and shipped out of the United Sates, thereby keeping U.S. gas prices high.

Until our benighted elected government representatives ban all exports of U.S. produced oil products, we will have ever higher gas prices at the pumps and see ever higher, obscene profits going to oil companies.

What about it Congress?

Care to pass a law protecting The People of the United States of America instead of the oil companies?

What we have are war-mongering congressmen beating the drums for conflict with Iran, and shutting down their oil production just to further increase the “world market” for gasoline and increase oil companies profits.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

The sound of three hands clapping

Posted in Job-creators, taxes with tags , , , , on December 27, 2011 by verbumsapienti2

 applauseU.S. Reps Billirakis, Nugent and Young used some variation of the concept of “certainty” six times in their recent short letter to the editor, pounding their collective chests over how effective they see themselves.

 It was Benjamin Franklin, who wrote in a 1789 letter that:

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

 Let’s compare the nature of taxes individuals pay, vs. what corporations pay.

Corporations pay taxes on profits; individuals on income.

This means that corporations are taxed only on the money that is remaining from income, after all expenses are paid.

Individuals are taxed on all income, before most expenses are paid.

If our Dear Representatives want “certainty” and a “permanent” solution, let them reform the entire tax code so that every individual and every corporation pay fixed percentages of every dollar earned regardless of expenses paid, with no tax incentives for anyone.

If every Job Creator knew, with certainty that say 10% of every dollar that came into their cash register would go to support national defense, health, education and welfare, they could then confidently make business decisions, including hiring workers to run their businesses in the most profitable manner possible in order to hold on to as much of that remaining 90%.

 Business regulations should be limited to those protecting consumers’ safety and well-being.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Perpetuating American Aristrocracy

Posted in Job-creators, Opinion, taxes with tags , on September 9, 2011 by verbumsapienti2

What are the Tea Partiers thinking when they support eliminating the estate tax?
American AristocracyThe United States of America was founded solidly on the principle that aristocracy was not conducive to a free democracy.

The estate tax (the law of inheritance) was designed so that wealthy families could not keep passing along that wealth that would then perpetuate a family’s influence over government.

In other words, the estate tax reduced the likelihood of an American aristocracy.

 In any event, on December 17, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Re-authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

The law sets the tax exemption at $5 million per person BEFORE any tax is levied. Only those who pass along more than $5 MILLION to their children or grandchildren are affected.

Any family able to pass along more than $5 million is an aristocracy in the making.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Time for National Service

Posted in Job-creators, Politics, taxes with tags , , , , on August 28, 2011 by

Public work makes public liberty

No one in the USA should have to go without the basic necessities of life. There should be jobs for those who are able.

There should be education for those who need the training.

There should be aid for those who cannot take care of themselves.

However, the public should not provide for the able but unwilling.

In times of national emergency, citizens have been conscripted into public service to fight wars, yet today we conscript no one into public service to fight homelessness, poverty, hunger and illness.

We are paying the unemployed while housing goes un-built; farm produce un-picked; public spaces un-kempt and the elderly un-cared for.

We lack the national will and the national patriotism to take care of each our on selves or our nation’s needs.

At a minimum, there should be a two-year national public service mandate, much like the rest of the world. The most menial and dangerous jobs would go first to those conscripted into public service who were able, but not otherwise willing to serve.

Employment, self-employment or continuing public service would be expected of those able; the dignity of pensions and health care for those no longer able.

Only selfishness, greed and sloth stand in the way.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Tampa: Bad Raps

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2011 by verbumsapienti2
The logo of KPMG.

The logo of KPMG. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Pete Times Robert Trigaux today says the Tampa region needs to fight the “bad raps” and negative perceptions we have in the world, which are contributing to our stalled economy.

Let’s start the “myth-busters” with the commonly held belief that the Tampa region needs to be more cost-effective for business to locate here. 

Among the larger cities of the world, KPMG lists Tampa as the #7 MOST COST-EFFECTIVE CITY FOR BUSINESSES TO LOCATE.

Tampa is the #1 ranked region
in the United States!

 Question: Why is this report not front and center on every local city/county/ED website?

Could it be that there is more money to be had by local economic development entities if we just keep paying them to come up with something different (endless studies/reports) than concentrating on the advantages we already have?

 We could have spent the $1 million we gave just the Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (THEDC) over the last two years, instead, printing copies of the full KPMG report and sending one with a box of Ruskin tomatoes to the top decision makers of the Fortune 500 companies and still had money left over to put them up for two nights in a top downtown Tampa hotel.

 “We have found the enemy, and he is us.” – Pogo -

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


Famine in Somalia – Starving Pirates?

Posted in Opinion with tags , , on July 21, 2011 by verbumsapienti2
I have taken an image of the MV Faina with the...

Well-fed Somali pirates

Yes, to aid starving Somalis, the United States should borrow another $28 million on top of the $431 million in food aid already sent there.

Perhaps this time however, the United States could in exchange, ask the Somali government to kindly release the hundreds of people and dozens of ships captured by Somali pirates.

Oh, and maybe the Somali government could apologize to the families of the four Americans recently killed by those pirates.

Renouncing piracy instead of sheltering them would also be a nice thing for the Somali government to do, while we feed them.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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