Leo Toribio Archive

Dunce-Old Trump

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Has there ever been a candidate for the presidency so poorly educated, so oblivious, so idiotic as the Dunce-old Trump?

Trump stated that "laziness is a trait in blacks, I believe that!" 

If black people are lazy, why did white American farmers import slaves from Africa?  

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 To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

A Note to the Supreme Court

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

I grew up in a house full of working women (and one working man).  The women were all union members working for different companies.  I saw the good that unions did and how they protected workers from injustices from careless managers.  

Much later, in a decades long career in the IT field, although I never joined a union, I received management-level compensation and would have been happy to pay dues or other fees to further union activities.  I fully realized that, were it not for unions, I would not enjoy many of the benefits in compensation, health care and other things.  

Unions are the voice of employees across the nation.  Do not impede the speech of those employees by ruling against unions.  It would be a tragic irony if SCOTUS, after ruling that money is speech would deny workers freedom of expression in favor of big business and other moneyed interests.  

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Cognitive Dissonance in the GOP

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Republicans repeatedly claim they are against taxes, and they hold Ronald Reagan up as an icon.  But it was a Democrat, Jimmy Carter, who had solar panels installed at the White House to reduce the cost of electricity and Ronald Reagan who had those solar panels removed.  

How are the federal government's electric bills paid?  With tax dollars. 

Capitalism

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Capitalism is an economic and political system based on private ownership of the means of production of goods and services for profit.  As with any system, it has a number of components, including producers, buyers and sellers.  And it works best when all of its components are well-oiled, well-fueled and operating at peak potential.  

Motor vehicles are also systems, but imagine how well your automobile will run if the lubricating oil is not properly distributed to all moving parts, or if most of the fuel reaches just one or two cylinders. 

Fair wages are the means to ensuring a thriving capitalist economy; they help to ensure that the flow of money will continue to grease and motivate the economy to advance.  

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

GOP Benghazi Diversion

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

With all the media coverage of the Benghazi hearings, I have been constantly amazed at how little attention has been paid to the GOP's budget cuts for embassy security.  At long last, here is one article covering that issue.

The Benghazi hearings rank among the GOP's standard methods for diverting attention from what they perceive as their own faults.  Remember 

when John McCain was running against Barack Obama?  McCain was born in Panama, so the GOP started questioning Obama's birthplace. 

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Wake Up America

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Back in the eighties, while President Ronald Reagan was bragging about how much more advanced the USA was, I spent over a month in Europe (Germany, Austria and France).  And what I saw there caused me to wonder what we were bragging about.  

I saw advanced technology assisting in the acceleration of building construction, desktop computers in people's homes which were being used to monitor and control their bank accounts, home appliances with advanced features which hadn't yet appeared in appliances sold in the US, televisions that had a raster density 30% greater than US televisions -- and much more.  

And while in Paris, France, I needed to make a phone call, but when I entered a public phone booth, I couldn't find a coin slot.  I soon learned that I would need to buy a smart card.  With the smart card, all I had to do was step into a public phone booth and dial a number.  There was no slot to stick the card in- it could be read wirelessly by the telephone!   

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Which Immigrants is Trump Trying To Keep Out with His Wall?

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Isn't it ironic that Donald Trump wants to build a wall around the US to combat immigration?  Since at least two of Trump's wives were immigrants, maybe he just wants to be a bachelor?  And Trump's mother was also an immigrant.  Maybe, since he was her son, he feels that immigrants can do no good? 

The Good Government Can Do

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Republican politicians repeatedly and erratically like to say, "Government can do no good."  But the truth is that government can and has done much good.  One example is the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), established during theGreat Depression to address a broad range of issues, including:  flood control, production of low-cost electric power, irrigation and sustainable jobs.  

In view of the recent floods in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere and the water shortages in the western states, I could not help recalling that before air conditioning became a widespread convenience, northern states used to plow the snow from the roads, load it onto trucks and ship it to southern states who would then use the ice and snow to keep groceries cool.  

 

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The Problem with Tax Cuts

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

In a recent article appearing in the NYT, Paul Krugman discusses how "...conservatives have long held Texas up as a supposed demonstration that low taxes on the rich and harsh treatment of the poor are the keys to prosperity."  

As Governor of Texas, Rick Perry cut taxes.  But at the time, Texas enjoyed a prosperous economy (mostly due to the market for hydrocarbons), and when you have more money coming in, cutting the tax rate does not reduce government revenues. 

Due to a nationwide increase in production of natural gas and renewable energy -- and yes, oil -- the nation's dependence on hydrocarbons produced in texas has declined, and its tax revenues declined correspondingly.  

But other states, like Kansas, who tried to cut taxes without doing anything to spur their economies have encountered serious problems.  

The truth is that legislation to reduce taxes isn't necessary. When the private business economy declines, so do tax revenues.  

Don't Vote into Government Office Candidates Who Hate Government

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

As we approach the 2016 elections, keep in mind that when a politician, seeking office at any level, says things like "government is the problem," or "government can do no good,"  that politician is making excuses for his own ultimate failures on the job (if elected).  If you owned a factory that manufactures airplanes or automobiles, would you hire someone who described those products generically as "no good?" If you answered, no, then  don't vote for a candidate who expresses negative views regarding government. 

 

The New Symbol for Republicans: The Hippocracy

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

It is a clear sign of cognitive dissonance when members of the U.S. Congress let a foreigner (Bibi Netanyahu) dictate what they should do. But that is precisely what has happened with regard to the nuclear nonproliferation negotiations.  

Moreover, Republicans are against welfare and Social Security, but the costliest welfare payments in the US are the salaries paid to our Congressmen. 

It is clear that Thomas Nast made a drastic mistake when he drew the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party. 

I suggest that symbol should be changed to: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to reflect the hippocracy (deliberate misspelling) they stand for.  

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Congressional Elephants, Please Join Ringling's

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Ringling Bros has announced that they will be retiring elephants from their road shows. They will be missed by most of us, but if the U.S. Congress announced the same move, would we miss the retired elephants?  

Not likely! 

Costco, Paying Decent Wages, Rises Faster Than Walmart

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Costco, Paying Decent Wages, Rises Faster Than Walmart

Is it true?  Wal-mart claims to have set record sales each year on Black Friday. And Wal-mart is the top retailer.  But while Costco is only the 8th largest retailer, its annual sales growth is more than 3 times that of Wal-Mart. Granted, when you are already at the top, it is harder to increase sales by a significant percentage, but check the numbers over the past three years:

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People in High Tax European Nations Benefit

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

If you attend a speech by a politician and you hear the politician make statements like "taxes kill jobs" or "taxes hurt business,"  be sure to ask them to explain why, among European nations, the countries with the greatest wealth and productivity (Sweden and Denmark, for example) have tax rates at a higher percentage than the poorest and least productive countries (Latvia and Bulgaria, for example).
 

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Hey, Gov. LePage: Social Security is not Welfare

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

An article in the Daily Kos reveals what Paul LePage, the Republican Governor of Maine has to say about Social Security and Medicare. He labels them "welfare."
 
Conservatives often refer to the Constitution when there is something that they oppose.  But most often, it is clear that they haven't the foggiest notion of what the Constitution actually states. 

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Rove's Insane Ravings

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Karl Rove is claiming that Hillary Clinton has permanent brain damage!  Note that when it was first announced that Hillary Clinton had a fall that caused temporary brain damage, the Republicans accused her of faking it.
 
So, how will we know if Hillary Clinton has brain damage? Decades ago,  toward the end of Ronald Reagan's first term in office, I entered the place where I was working and asked one of my colleagues how he was doing.  "Not so well," he responded, "my father has Alzheimer's." 

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Government Regulations Can Be the Solution

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

In "The Clean Room" episode of COSMOS, Neil DeGrasse Tyson reviews the work of Clair Patterson, et al, in researching the toxicity of lead and the decades-long effort to eliminate the emission of toxic lead into the atmosphere (mostly from leaded gas products) and lead used in children's toys.
 
We are currently surrounded with the same sort of confrontation between climate scientists and companies that make their profits from products and services that pollute the atmosphere. 

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Good Public Education Crucial to Industrial Competitiveness

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

There have been many programs proposed to improve education in our public schools, some of them might be characterized as "harebrained." But a new program exemplified in systems of public schools in Chicago and New York City, called Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) spans grades 9 to 14, extends the school day and the school year, and which offers the opportunity for students to earn college credits approaches the formulas for public education that have been remarkably successful in Taiwan, South Korea and elsewhere.

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You Get What You Pay For

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

Do you know people who refuse to shop at a local supermarket because Walmart's prices are lower? 
 
Decades ago, I was asked to repair a (relatively new) television for a friend.  When I opened the back of the name-brand TV, I was appalled at what I found.  The parts inside were not the quality parts one normally found in that brand.  As a consequence, a cheap capacitor had blown.  I went to an electronics store and bought a new (quality) capacitor and a few other parts to replace in the TV and everything was back to normal. 

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Critical Thinking Avoids Shallow Ideologies

Leo Toribio Pittsburgh, Pa.

By Leo Toribio

The idea that individualism leads to totalitarianism is highly questionable in view of the fact that it is the blind acceptance of political doctrines by masses of "believers" that has led to both right-wing and left-wing dictatorships.  If all people were taught critical thinking and taught to value the practice of critical thinking in their daily lives, shallow ideologies, whether left-wing or right-wing would not carry enough weight to permit dictatorships to evolve.

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Stronger Together

Stronger Together