MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Thoughts On A Train: About Impressions & Communications

Does the lack of color in an image, or description, change the impression intended? Image Credit: Justin C. Nuyens

Thoughts on a train ~ 
by Justin C. Nuyens - June 8 at 4:07pm

Cheyenne, Wyoming - I recently listened to comedian Jimmy Carr talk about racism and perceived racism. He said that people ~ whites in particular ~ are so guilt-tripped and paranoid about being perceived as bigoted that the discourse is being compromised.

Carr's example was that a white robbery victim, afraid of being thought racist, might fail to mention to police that the perpetrator was black even if he was.

That might seem extreme and unrealistic, but I have in fact seen newspaper stories about crimes in which weight, height and clothing of a suspect were described but no race mentioned. Now what should i do with that? Assume the perp was black? Now THAT would make me racist.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm sitting in the observation car of Amtrak's California Zephyr train from Emeryville to Chicago. All Chicago-bound passengers riding coach are assigned seats the same section of the train, meaning a number of us have been together for 30 hours with 23 to go.

In this particular microcosm, if someone wants social contact the population is not great enough to pick according to one's common demographic.

The conversations started out slow if not guarded as passengers first overcame the fact that we are all different in impression. That is to say, normally we would not be associating under any circumstances, if only because we live in different neighborhoods let alone our differences in age, appearance, opinion and interest.

And then, slowly, a society is made. Smokers hitting each other up on the station breaks. Drinkers bitching about the cost of beer on the train. People asking, is there wifi? Nope. Guess we'll have to interact.

Then people start opening up. One woman is traveling to Cincinnati with her 14-year-old son to start over, a brand new life. Meanwhile she gets a call from the son she left in Sacramento. HE GOT THE JOB! He's gonna be a host at a restaurant in town.

Another woman is making a break of another sort. She is leaving her boyfriend. When he gets off work today he will find a house emptied of everything including furniture. The girl will be long gone, where to? I haven't asked.

There's a man with a jaw harp. A dude with a goatee. A guy with glasses...


Since departing the Bay Area one couple with a baby was spotted smoking a glass pipe during a smoke break in Green River. They were left behind. An hour ago we made an unexpected stop in the middle of nowhere. Rumor was a guy was smoking weed on the lower deck and Sheriff was coming.

So here is a story unraveling. And find myself asking, at what point does physical description become important to the narrative?

It doesn't matter that the woman leaving Sacto and her son are black does it? Or does it? If i tell you the girl leaving her boyfriend is obese does it change the story, or that the meth smokers were white?

I guess it depends on me. If I wanted to paint a vivid picture I would describe physical traits, mannerisms, speech patterns...

For the moment it isn't necessary. We're all the same. On the train with strangers. Finding where we belong. Negotiating the path. Trying to make friends along the way.

Don't mind me. I'm searching for America on my way to Europe.

Didrik told me to keep an eye out...
(ht: Justin C. Nuyens - assumed permission)

TAGS: Travel, communication, Train, Thoughts, Racism, Description, pictures, strangers, America, Europe, The EDJE, JustinAmerica, Justin Of America

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Anywhere Grid-Less Hosteling For One With Ecocapsule

Ecocapsule is smart house powered purely by the solar and wind energy. It allows people to reach the frontiers with the luxury of the hotel room. It can serve as micro-house, cottage, pop-up hotel or even as charging station for electromobiles. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Anywhere Grid-Less Hosteling For One With Ecocapsule

Ever wonder how hard it would be to live in a space without access to electricity wires from a pole, or water from a pipe, supplied by a societal utility - and further, once achieved, hard hard it would be to replicate the solution?

A group of folks located in the Slovak Republic known as Nice Architects have created an egg shaped living space that hopes to make a living off-the-grid "audience-of-one" a reality and it goes by the name of Ecocapsule.

A 2D top-down view schematic of the Ecocapsule's living space floorplan. Image Credit: Nice Architects

This egg-shaped living space is set to be debuted in Vienna, Austria this month (May 28 & 29, 2015) at a start up show that began in 2012 and has become what Forbes magazine calls "a smarter SXSW (Austin, TX)", the Pioneers Festival.

First functional prototype of the independent micro-house Ecocapsule will be exhibited in the foyer of the Hofburg palace as a part of Pioneers festival 2015 event in Vienna. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Each unit is equipped with solar panels, a retractable wind-turbine, and a design that captures rain water.


Solor and wind power conversion included. The egg shape enhances water capture from dew or rain which is stored in a tank located underneath the floor and pumped for use in the sink, toilet, or shower. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Inside, the design includes a kitchenette with running water, a flushing toilet, and hot shower.

Interior view from the storage end of the Ecocapsule. One has a hands on environment where one can sleep, cook, shower, deal with personal waste & cleanliness, and have little worry about power assisting in maintaining basic living needs. Image Credit: Nice Architects

The Ecocapsule is suitable for a wide range of human-living applications. Suggestions by Nice Architects include independent research station, a tourist lodge, emergency housing, a humanitarian-action unit ... or as we might suggest at Oblate Spheroid, a personal/office space to be placed in the backyard which eliminates the cost and time consumed complying for the need of permits required by the local government offices.

Urban elbow room without the hassles associated with dealing with permitting. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Place the Ecocapsule on a flatbed trailer, and now one has an actual trailer for grid-less, energy assisted, hosteled comfort for almost any application including ... just camping.

Exterior view shows external and interior storage plus bed. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Those interested in buying one will be able to pre-order at the end of 2015, with delivery in the first half of 2016.

FAQ Section

What is the price of the Ecocapsule?

Price of the Ecocapsule will be announced in the last quarter of the 2015. 

When will  be Ecocapsule available for purchase?

We will start taking pre-orders in the last quarter of the 2015. We expect to start delivering first produced units in the first half of the 2016.

Shipping price - Ecocapsule can fit info standard shipping container, keeping shipping cost low. Here are examples of approximate shipping fees:

Slovakia -New York               2393 USD   2200 Euro

Slovakia-Buenos Aires           1958 USD   1800 Euro

Slovakia-Johannesburg           2937 USD   2700 Euro

Slovakia - Melbourne             1631 USD   1500 Euro

Camper version - We are still developing chassis for the capsule and hopefully we will be ready in late 2016.

Custom versions:

We will be initially offering one version of the Ecocapsule. Later we will extend customization options.

Where can we see it?

First public display of the Ecocapsule will be during Pioneers festival in Vienna (28-29th May 2015).

Later it will be displayed in Slovak national pavilion at Expo 2015.


Basic Specifications:
(ht: Nice Architects)

Dimensions: 


W - 8.366 Feet - 2.55m 
L - 14.599 Feet - 4.45m 
H - 7.381 Feet - 2.25m or 14.763 Feet - 4.5m with extended pole
 

Weight: 3307 lbs. - 1500kg
 

Installed power output: wind 750W / solar 600W
 

Battery capacity: 9744Wh 


TAGS: Ecocapsule, Pioneers Festival, SXSW, Forbes, Slovak Republic, Nice Architects, Vienna, Austria,

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Douglas Magnon Passed Away Quickly Leaving The Motor Culture Community To Mourn

Doug Magnon had a passion for collecting, preserving, creating, serving, and spending a lot of time with like-minded people. Here's Doug with a gathering of his famous Maserati cars. Image Credit: IL TRIDENTE magazine

Douglas Magnon Passed Away Quickly Leaving The Motor Culture Community To Mourn

Douglas (Doug) Magnon began to feel very weak in December and was finally convinced to see a doctor (Doug did not like visiting doctors - ever) at the behest of close friends.

He found the news to be very disturbing but as Doug was prone to do, he took matters into his own hands and set in motion the necessary acts that would allow the wake he would leave to be taken care of in a proper manner.

Today it was officially announced in the following press release that Douglas Magnon is no longer alive as of Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

A show of the latest Moto Guzzi motorcycles at the seventh annual Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance in Palm Springs (2-23-2014). Doug Magnon was both excited and in his element to be able to bring these quality Italian 2-wheel machines to Southern California. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Official Statement from the Magnon Family:

Riverside Businessman and Philanthropist Doug Magnon Passes Away - Business and Racing Community Mourn.  Celebration of Life Scheduled for February 15.

Douglas Magnon of Riverside California, 55, passed away Wednesday, February 4, 2015, surrounded by family and close friends, after a short but brave battle with cancer.

Magnon, president of the Magnon Companies, a regional commercial real estate developer, was also the founder and principal of the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM) owner of Magnone Trattoria, partner in the Newport Italian motorcycle dealership and a trustee board member of the University of California Riverside.

Doug was a man of many passions.  He loved food, cooking and Italian culture, which twice led to ventures into the restaurant business.  His namesake restaurant, Magnone Trattoria, continues to serve Doug's own recipes on Spruce Street in Riverside.  He was frequently found in the kitchen preparing his beloved dishes and sharing his favorite wines and cheeses.

It was his passion for motor racing, and growing up attending races at the legendary Riverside International Raceway that led to the founding of the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM) with his father Raymond.  Many Southern California racing fans lamented the demise of the famed circuit in 1988.  The museum was established from that memory and received immediate support form the greater racing community.  Gala events such as "Legends of Riverside" gave fans the opportunity to rub shoulders with racing greats including Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Carroll Shelby and Bob Bondurant and relive moments that made Southern California one of the hubs of racing culture.

Doug Magnon, Peter Bryant, Bill Losee, Tony Adamowicz (L-R) discussing Eagle car set up strategy at Road America in 2008. Doug was able to bring winning attention to vintage Formula 5000 race cars through the driving of Tony ("A2Z") Adamowicz. Image Credit: Bob Pengraph (2008)

RIAM has grown to be one of the most important racing collections in North America.  Its unmatched archive of materials and historic documents is rivaled only by the Watkins Glen Research Center, the Wally Parks NHRA Museum and the Indianapolis Raceway Museum. The curated collection of cars include several important Dan Gurney Eagle Indy Cars and the world's largest vertical collection of Maseratis.  RIAM regularly participated in historic racing events claiming four national Formula 5000 championships with driver Tony "a2z" Adamowicz and chief mechanic Bill Losee.  The racing community has truly lost one of its greatest stewards of history.

Geoff Zimmerman created this video at Watkins Glen and it has accounting of some of the early trauma we had with the race readiness of the Eagle. Submitted By: Tony "A2Z" Adamowicz

In partnership with close friend Paul Kinsella, Magnon Founded Newport Italian, a Vespa, Moto Guzzi and Aprilla motorcycle dealership in 2013.  Almost immediately, the dealership has become one of the most successful stores for those brands in the United States.  The secret to this midas touch has been the customer care and high-profile events for the cherished owners of the Italian marques.

Legends of Riverside with Doug Magnon. Submitted By: TheMotorcarSociety.com

Beyond his accomplishments, Doug touched many lives with his generous heart and love of people. So many have come forward with stories of his kindness and camaraderie. His passions, natural charm and zest for life made him special to everyone he met. His legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him, and his business and philanthropic ventures.

Magnon was a graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1978 and a former film student at University of Southern California (USC).

Doug is survived by his wife, Evonne Magnon (Barsakis), His father Raymond Magnon (Kelly), his mother Elaine Taber (Clare), his sisters Deanna Magnon Wagner (Dennis), Cheryl Cliff (Paul) and Patti Oldham (Tom), brother Ryan Magnon (Rona) and, his many loving nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Doug's life is planned at the Riverside International Automotive Museum on Saturday February 15, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.. The Magnon family requests charitable donations to the Riverside International Automotive Museum and the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.
ENDS

The outpouring of memories continue to fill many a  Facebook page with videos and photos - many surrounding events held at the Riverside International Automotive Museum, car shows, and historical motor car races.

Long be the memory and continuation of the life sharing put forward by Doug Magnon.

... notes from The EDJE

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Friday, January 09, 2015

Caliphate vs Caliphate - What The Charlie Hebdo Massacre Exposes

Spanish cartoonists are sharing this image with the message: "To arms, companions!" via @sicevis #CharlieHebdo pic.twitter.com/RZTitxGTZp #tcot


Caliphate vs Caliphate - What The Charlie Hebdo Massacre Exposes

The world is run by ideas and the people/forces that back them. Throughout time, the human effort of governance has always been held by ideas backed through force.

Most of the noise that consumes the information airways since 12 people who were involved with producing the cartoon based opinion publication "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris, France were murdered in an effort to silence their opinion that religion, any religion, and religious ideas that govern human behavior and social roles are not serious and a source for humor.

The Muslim religion, and its enforcers (informed through Sharia Law) are busy at the business of shutting down all parts of organized humanity, that do not agree with their view on how humanity should be governed, in order to set up their own structure of governance that is not based in geographically defined countries - a Muslim Caliphate.

Their most recent target in the Western world was aimed at one of the human freedoms modern society agrees is most important ... the freedom of speech.

Once one peels back the layers of commentary, however, this freedom is not as important to many of those this attack was aimed at, which is the current political leadership force that has formed over putting forward a non-religion/secular based human governance and control over activity - a Progressive Caliphate.

On this side of the struggle, Progressives are choosing not to look at these terrorist murderous acts in France as a war against their governance but more as a small outlier of activity performed by, as one news/opinion broadcaster (Christiane Amanpour) put it, "activists."

Many secular reporters are suggesting that if only Charlie Hebdo placed curbs on its freedom of expressing its secular opinion, these bloody murderous acts of killing 12 people, because the image Muhammad (the leader, through his teachings, of the Muslim religion) was defamed through published cartooning, would not have taken place.

Due to the lack of seriousness of religion and its effects on the formation of culture and governance, the Progressives who govern France have allowed a flood of immigration without an insistence on integration to the existing culture. What France now sees are a series of over 750 "NO GO ZONES" where the people who choose to live in these zones are governed through the Muslim based Sharia Law. If a fire, or murder, or other acts of potential criminal and/or damaging human activity to other humans happens, French first responders are never dispatched and control in these areas is abdicated to the current Muslim Caliphate that resides there.

This type of Muslim governance takeover is not just happening in France. The rest of Europe is at risk with this same set up of takeover through population concentration through immigration and non-insistence of cultural integration. A clash of civilizations.

AZTLAN Movement targeted at reclaiming control over the Western United States. The Mexican Cession (1848) is shown in red with the Gadsden Purchase (1853) in orange.
© 2004 Matthew Trump.

Europe is not the only group of countries at risk because the Progressive political leadership structures in Canada and United States are open to these same tactics.  Open borders policies aided by government welfare, health benefits, and legal driver's licenses to non-documented/illegal aliens are nothing new to our combined Progressive political landscapes.

We, at MAXINE, believe it's Caliphate vs Caliphate - Progressives vs Muslims - in an effort to establish a "New World Order", and what had been created in the establishment of a Constitution of governance (here in the United States) that was based in the idea that all Human rights, which also includes the Freedom Of Speech, are not granted to man from man (not a Monarch, a Prophet, or a Progressive government) ... but through God (a power greater than man), is in peril.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The X-Factor In Musk's Human Transport Concept Gets A Boost

Hyperloop capsules being loaded with human and luggage cargo for a very quick and insulated trip that will be amongst the fastest type of public/commercial transportation devised by man. Image Credit: Daily Mail via Space X (2014)

The X-Factor In Musk's Human Transport Concept Gets A Boost

While standing in a long line at a Costco Wholesale during the Christmas season holiday, one may notice how communication from the checkout cashpoint to the central management office is accomplished.

The "Checker" at the cashpoint, with the all of the scanners, credit card terminals, and printers, also is equipped with a tube system that allows one to take checks, money, and other paper-based monied communications, place them in a cylinder, which is then placed in the tube and sucked through vacuum pressure where at the other end of the tube, the information is delivered almost instantly. 

Marshall Fields central communications (1947) - Before the invention of phones and fax machines, people in cities sent messages through a huge system of underground tubes filled with compressed air. Image Credit: chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress-dot-com

Management is assured that these communications that result in good profits never become breached from point-to-point due the closed nature of this pneumatic tube system.

A typical Costco Wholesale cashpoint section where the pneumatic tubes of the money transfer system can be seen routed along the ceiling of the store. Image Credit: Flickr

This is the precise idea behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, and Space X founder and CEO Elon Musk. He believes that the findings of a recent 76-page report may go a long way in proving his pneumatic tube proposal/argument that a human transport system such as this vacuum "hyperloop" that is in use at all Costco stores is the future of human mass transportation from point-to-point.

Infographic of the proposed Hyperloop human transport system (video presentation link). Image Credit: via Space X (2014)

This edited and excerpted from USAToday -

Report: Elon Musk's 'hyperloop' idea could work
By Chris Woodyard - 12-22-2014 - USAToday

Enthusiasts behind Elon Musk's "hyperloop" proposal -- an intercity tube that speeds passengers riding in capsules at 600 miles per hour -- have taken the next step, producing a report outlining some of the big issues around the project.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' 76-page report focuses issues surrounding a system that could connect San Francisco with Los Angeles. The report says, however, that there are many city pairs round the world that would be candidates for a hyperloop.

The 400-plus-mile trip would take less than an hour, compared to more than six hours of driving. The goal is to keep the ticket price in the $20 to $30 range, although the report points out that at total cost estimates of $16 billion, they could go higher. Still, it says, hyperloop would be a bargain compared to alternatives. "If this same overall price point were preserved for other city pairings, it could dramatically change the way people live and work in cities," the report says.
----
"The Hyperloop design uses a combination of low air pressure and magnetic acceleration to get people from LA to SF in just about 30 minutes," the report says. It would produce its own electricity from solar power.
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Passengers would travel in aerodynamic pods the size of vans inside the tube. HTT envisions developing three designs -- one each for luxury passengers, economy economy passengers and freight.
----
HTT estimates that the cost of the system would be $20 million to $45 million a mile, as contrast from what it says are costs of up to $200 million a mile for conventional mass transportation system.
[Reference Here]

The report does point out one of the many problems of a self-contained closed loop pneumatic tube system ... how would passengers deal with an uncontrollable "Nature Calls" or a "Mile High Club"-like situation?

Good question.

... notes from The EDJE

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/would-you-travel-from-la-to-sf-in-a-tube-video/question-4639050/" title="Would you travel from LA to SF in a tube (video)?">Would you travel from LA to SF in a tube (video)?</a>

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In

LA Auto Show's new logo bathed in green light. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In

The LA Auto Show will always be a jumble of artfully engineered transportation solutions and vision displayed in a visual fashion that would rival an architectural design paradise. The Auto industry puts its best foot forward because this show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year - #LAAutoShow.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday (here's a suggestion on how to blow-off Black Friday and walk off Thanksgiving), the LA Auto Show, which has taken over the Los Angeles Convention Center, will be open at 9:00am through Sunday November 30th. The show features 34 global debut showings and around 60 overall reveals.

Here are seven visits on the LA Auto Show trade show floor to consider - presented to enhance the flow of one's tour around the show.

LA Convention Center LA Auto Show lay out of exhibits Begin your tour from Left to Right given the graphic. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Enter and begin your trade show tour from the South Hall (left side upper middle of graphic). Go directly to the back of the hall and visit the Chevrolet stand and visit a display that is not of an actual car, but a model based on a character in a video game - Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo.

Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo passing one of Jim Hall's original #66 Chaparral's in a video presentation. The Chevy Logo'd booth screen ran a video loop showing the creative process of the Chaparral 2X as well as some of the action contained in the Vision Gran Turismo game. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

First unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days, the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept is a futuristic racer with technology that Chaparral creator Jim Hall couldn't even imagine - laser propulsion, for example.

Really, lasers. Chevy says the mid-mounted propulsion system emits light pulses that are focused in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate thrust to move the car. If this existed in real-life, do not try to race nose to tail IndyCar style though ... no 'mushroom busting' areo here.

This unprecedented drive unit is also closely associated with the unique driver position in the car. The driver almost lays completely flat towards the front (head first), with all four of his appendages spread out towards the wheels when driving. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The virtual system consists of a 671-kilowatt laser, lithium-ion battery pack, and an air-powered generator, and produces the equivalent of 900 horsepower. Chevy says that will warp the Chaparral 2X from 0-60 mph in just 1.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 240 mph.

This model of an imagined Chaparral was sculpted and brought to life at the secret North Hollywood GM facility that gave us most of the innovative body styles found in today's Cadillac concept and retail cars.
[ht: Motor Authority]

After facing the back of the Chaparral/Chevrolet exhibit, one needs to turn left toward the GMC display and head on over to the Japanese luxury car manufacturer, Infiniti.

A 20 coat pale blue/silver "Liquid Sky" colored piece of transportation sculpture will most certainly grab the attention of any passer by. The Q80 Inspiration almost demands a 15 minute visit just to soak in all of the subtle design notes displayed in such a sophisticated manner.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept tasteful front grille. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Sketching for the car started some 15 months ago, the ultimate goal to combine fresh and highly sculpted styling with an advanced carbon-fiber-and-aluminum monocoque to redefine what a flagship can be inside and out.

Did we mention that it comes with a silver-plated beverage flask mounted to the seatback and that said flask is listed in the specifications sheet as a “design flourish”?

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept exterior. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Every detail of this car was treated like a work of art. From it's long and low with a sleek, swept-back roof, precisely sculpted side panels, to its tightly horizontally vane-ed grill. The cabin is made more inviting by the rear-hinged "suicide doors" that open it up completely.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept interior. Black interior materials in front, white interior materials in back. Notice the 'floating' center console in back. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The grille is described as “organic and three dimensional, like the pulsing gills of a cruising whale” - never mind that whales have lungs and blowholes, not gills - and has active shutters that open at low speeds for cooling and close at higher velocities to mitigate aero drag. Slender hood vents forward of the A-pillars pull double duty as heat extractors and stylistic embellishments.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept rear view with tapered back window. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

This Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept is a hybrid, with the batteries getting a boost from a 3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.

Next, continue on deeper to the left (near bottom of show floor graphic) to the Lexus stand where one is greeted by a 'can't miss' electric candy apple-ed yellow colored convertible with a white interior.
[ht: USA TODAY's Chris Woodyard & Car and Driver's Andrew Wendler]

Say hello to the Lexus LF-C2 concept.

The Lexus LF-C2 Concept is nothing if not interesting. Its bold lines and drop top design wowed the crowd at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. With its angular front headlights and villainous front grille, the LF-C2 will be one of the most eye-catching show cars at the LA Convention center.

Lexus LF-C2 concept from front view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

However, the LF-C2 edgy looks could not save it from the anger of Lexus' dealers, who would have preferred the company spend its time and efforts on a crossover SUV with three rows of seats, reported Motor Trend.

According to the automotive magazine, Lexus' dealers launched a full-on revolt after the convertible 's reveal at the L.A. Auto Show — leading the automaker to kill off the drop-top that had been in the works for years.

Lexus LF-C2 concept from rear view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The Lexus dealer's preference for another crossover is reasonable. Crossover SUV's are cash cows for luxury automakers. Their high volume and high profit margins form the perfect combination for companies like Lexus — and in this case their dealers.

A high-priced luxury convertible, on the other hand, could sell with a decent profit margin, but it would never be more than a niche product.
[ht: Business Insider's Benjamin Zhang]

Walking back in the opposite direction, one may miss a gem of a car and a stand. The Alfa Romeo display area which features the new Alfa Romeo 4C in tucked in behind Maserati which in on a main aisle and the Hyundai/Bentley booth's back wall ... it is located in a bit of an alley way.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

After decades of waiting, the Alfa Romeo 4C brings the famous Italian auto company back to North America. While this mid-engine sports car carries a price to compete against the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche Boxster, and Jaguar F-Types; in reality, this wildly curvaceous Alfa is rawer and more outrageous than exotic cars costing twice the price.

Alfa Romeo 4C at speed during a recent Motor Press Guild Track Days event held at Willow Springs International Raceway 'Streets' track. Image Credit: Myles Regan (2014)

The snarling little turbocharged and direct-injected 1.7-liter 4-cylinder engine, nestled behind the passenger cabin, packs a great sound and plenty of power, with 237-horsepower available at 6,600 rpm and a stout 258 lb.-ft. of torque holding steady from 2,200-4,250 rpm.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

There is a full-bore punch of turbo lag, however. Once you get the engine revving to 3,000 rpm, the 4C kicks you in the backside and launches itself down the road. It's actually a whole lot of fun, since the turbo is predictable and the car doesn't start sliding or tug the steering wheel out of your hands. So many turbocharged cars and trucks have absolutely smothered lag to the point of non-existence, it's refreshing to really feel that on/off nature of an old-school turbo at work.
[ht: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' Nick Kurczewski]

Just inside the door as one enters the South Hall, and on your way out to the Concourse Hall, Toyota Motor Company has a few great concepts and conceptual reality on display.

The absolute best of these concepts is wrapped up in a hydrogen fuel cell package called Mirai.

The 2016 Toyota Mirai (which is the word for future in Japanese) is the first-ever hydrogen fuel-cell car to be offered for sale by a major automaker. It goes on sale in Japan next month, and will arrive in North America in the second half of next year in a limited, grid supported area.

Toyota firmly believes in hydrogen as the right solution for zero-emission vehicles. Toyota and Honda are both loaning money to third-party fuel providers to establish the first of what's projected to be a network of 100 stations in California. That's enough to support more than 10,000 hydrogen vehicles--but it points to the slow pace of growth for this latest clean vehicle technology. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The four-seat mid-size sedan is effectively an electric car, with a 153-horsepower motor powering its front wheels.

But instead of storing electricity in a large battery pack, the owner refills the car's reinforced high-pressure storage tanks with hydrogen gas, which the car then converts into electricity in a fuel cell.

Toyota Mirai. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The big advantage of fuel-cell cars is their ability to refuel in 5 minutes or less and gain about 300 miles of range - something electric cars can't currently do, even with the highest-power DC fast charging variants.
[ht: Green Car Reports' John Voelcker]

You remember, Fisker, right? Great designer, penned some knockouts like the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8, then thought he’d start his own automaker. That didn’t go well at all, even if the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma was a stunner. We haven’t heard much from the man (aside from that motorcycle he designed) since he left his self-named automaker in early 2013. 

But there he was on Thursday at the LA Auto Show Press Days with that guy from Glapin Auto Sports - Beau Boeckmann, President and COO of the greater Galpin Motors Inc., pulling the sheet off the ROCKET, a custom-bodied Mustang with 725 horsepower, bold lines and several square yards of carbon fiber.
[ht: WIRED's Alex Davies]

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

“I’ve always wanted to design a Mustang,” Fisker told us. “I just never really had the opportunity in my career because the timing was never right.”

The interior of the ROCKET has been left mostly Mustang beyond some eye-grabbing red leather and carbon-fiber trim. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

When checking out the ROCKET from the rear, it's easy to spot the wider fenders that are beautifully blended into the integrated spoiler. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)


Henrik Fisker showed Beau Boeckmann early sketches at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the two parties went from there. "When Henrik showed me his ideas, I got chills - it's literally the most beautiful Mustang I have ever seen," says Boeckmann in the company's release.

After visiting the Concourse Hall, it is on to the West Hall (featuring Ford's re-freshened GT350 Cobra - a not miss) and Petree Hall.

The only automobile company to occupy their own hall is Porsche ... and what an environment to behold. The star at Porsche is the 918 Hybred supercar.

This excerpted and edited from Porsche website - 

It took Porsche years to develop a worthy successor to the vaunted Carrera GT supercar, but at last, the 918 is here - and it’s a plug-in hybrid!

The Porsche 918 Spyder represents an entirely new look at the supercar. It heralds the future of the sports car and you can be there at the start.Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

With a combined 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque from its mid-mounted V-8 and electric motors - one at each axle - the 918 delivers Bugatti-like acceleration, tenacious handling, and a 211-mph top end.

Pure. Energy. The world's first plug-in hybred supercar! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

And of course, it’s every bit as exotic-looking as any near-million-dollar supercar should be, with a low-slung, targa body, and ultra-futuristic cabin.
[Reference Here]

Again, the possible best way to blow-off the Black Friday shopping rush or walk off Thanksgiving Turkey and/or Ham with all the fixin's would be to take in a day, or two, between now and weekend's end and visit the LA Auto Show running now starting each day at 9am at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Besides, one may just come away with a couple (7) of really cool last minute Christmas gift ideas!

... notes from The EDJE

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Clarity Digital Group (Examiner/NowPublic) And It’s Uncivil Corporate Culture

As part of homework creating an advert for TV, Cinema, Radio or in poster format, one of my students produced this! I think this is fantastic and is especially useful for countries in Asia where this sort of artwork is popular! Image Credit: edu4drr.org
As part of homework creating an advert for TV, Cinema, Radio or in poster format, one of my students produced this! I think this is fantastic and is especially useful for countries in Asia where this sort of artwork is popular! Image Credit: edu4drr.org

Clarity Digital Group (Examiner/NowPublic) And It’s Uncivil Corporate Culture

Embedded in this posting is an article that notes an earthquake of a different nature (On March 17th, LA was hit with a 4.4 earthquake which jolted this author out of bed) and it exposes the corporate culture of a journalistic enterprise run by J-School graduates over the closure of a New Media hallmark after its purchase and mismanagement through to its process of “Going Dark”.

The issue centers on the process of how Clarity Digital Group (Examiner) out of Denver, CO decided to cease the operations of NowPublic – Crowd-Powered News at the end of 2013 and the defense of the process they employed.

This excerpted and edited from Politisite -

NowPublic – Were Intellectual Property Rights ignored?
Karl Gotthardt - March 17, 2014

NowPublic was a crowd-sourced citizen journalism site based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, founded by Michael Tippett, Leonard Brody and Michael E. Meyers in 2005.

In addition to its contributors, NowPublic also had a content-sharing agreement with the Associated Press. The crowd-sourced site was so successful that Time Magazine called NowPublic one of the 50 Best Websites of 2007.



NowPublic was a successful crowd sourced media site. NowPublic was a successful crowd sourced media site.

Mainstream media types may gripe about the absence of safeguards ensuring the validity of news reported by the blogosphere, but nowhere are the merits of citizen journalism more apparent than at NowPublic. At this "participatory news network," a.k.a. bastion of "crowd-powered media," anyone can write a story, or upload images, audio or video.

Whatever gets the most votes from the reading masses—the site gets about 1 million unique visitors per month—ends up as the lead story. (NowPublic has "guest editors," "wranglers" and an "actual news guy" who keep an eye on things, giving advice to contributing reporters and shepherding the best, most timely stuff through, but nobody on staff makes actual editing changes to the content.)

NowPublic now counts nearly 97,000 contributing reporters in more than 140 countries around the world. During Hurricane Katrina, NowPublic was there; eight contributors filed on-the-scene reports from London's Heathrow Airport during the August 2006 terrorism lockdown—while the regular press was forced to wait outside. On June 6 NowPublic's coverage of a storm in Oman made it to the top of the AOL and Yahoo news sites.
In September 2009 NowPublic was acquired by Clarity Digital Group. Clarity is solely owned by the Anschutz company, an investment company located in Denver, Colorado. According to reports, Leonard Brody assumed the position of President of the Clarity Digital Group and Michael Tippet became the CEO of NowPublic after the sale.

In December 2013 Clarity closed the NowPublic site and redirected it to www.examiner.com.

On 27 December 2013, Clarity Digital Group took NowPublic, a successful crowd-sourced citizen journalism site, off the web and failed to give notice to contributors to permit them to recover their intellectual property. While Clarity is within their right to remove any of its sites off the web, NowPublic contributors maintain that they should have received notice in order to recover their intellectual property.

NowPublic's Terms of Service stated in part:
"Unless otherwise stated for specific Services, You will retain ownership and all related rights in any original information or other content that you publish on the Site or through the Services. In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of these Terms of Service and the applicable license terms, these Terms of Service shall prevail to the extent of such inconsistency and such license terms shall be deemed to have been modified, in writing, by NowPublic and You."
However, unlike other crowd-sourced sites, Clarity claims that it has no obligation to permit access to the NowPublic content.

In a reply to Rhonda Mangus, a former NowPublic Advisory Council Member/Producer, Clarity Digital Group stated through its attorney, Deborah Shinbein:
Although we understand that the shut-down of NowPublic.com may have come as a surprise to you, we are baffled by your assertion that NowPublic or its parent company may owe you (or any other contributor to the site) any sort of reports, opportunity to access content, or anything else with regard to the site.

You have not been under a contract through which you were eligible to receive payments for your contributions since 2010, and any reporting obligations NowPublic previously had with regard to your contributions (if any) would have ended at the time your status as a paid contributor to NowPublic.com was terminated. We did provide notice to the individuals who were current (or recent) paid contributors to NowPublic.com, however you were clearly not among that group of individuals.
Attorney Shinbein's response speaks for itself and, among other matters, clearly raises the question as to why intellectual property rights were ignored by Clarity Digital Group. Additionally, none of the major NowPublic contributors we contacted were notified of NowPublic's intention to go off-line.

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, intellectual property is defined as follows:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, as well as symbols, names, pictures, designs and models used in business. Patents, trade-marks, copyright, industrial designs, integrated circuit topographies and plant breeders' rights are referred to as "IP rights." Just as rights are acquired when a building or land is purchased, IP rights are "property" in the sense that they are based on the legal right to exclude others from using the property. Ownership of the rights can also be transferred.

Source: Intellectual Property Office
It should not come as a surprise to Clarity Digital Group that those who contributed to NowPublic would want to recover the content they contributed.

Current Industry Practice

It has been common industry practice for crowd-sourced sites to give notification to contributors and archive contributed material. As an example one can highlight Vizify's notification to its contributors which, unlike NowPublic, warned its contributors of its purchase by Yahoo and its impending closure.

While Vizify gave its contributors an opportunity to recover their material, no such notification was given to NowPublic contributors, nor was a sunset period granted to retrieve their intellectual property as was highlighted in the NowPublic Terms of Service.

As a consequence, references are gone, bios disappeared and personal footage and videos are unavailable and the tens-of-thousands of back-links to NowPublic content placed on sites over the World Wide Web.

nowpublic


Maireid Sullivan, a former NowPublic economics guest editor, noted that the Vizify notification to its supporters and contributors should be held up as an example of how to do business in the digital age.

To that, Edmund Jenks former NowPublic feature manager related:
When I first woke up and read the attached notice I thought to myself "Who the heck is Vizify?" than I realized that it was forwarded as a minimum example on how to close down an ongoing News Media web and portal.

Yes! This should be held up as an appropriate and civil way on a way a company treats those they provided a service for and had a relationship with.
NowPublic did not provide this opportunity to its contributors, nor was there ever any appreciation for the contributed material and its contribution to the success of the company. Those contributors, who have moved on to other sites, can no longer use the links to their articles, nor do they have the ability to republish them elsewhere. Nowpublic's blog syndication caused thousands of 'dead links' as Nowpublic linked each key word and a link to the story back to their personal sites. This action was beneficial as long as the links were live. Now that those links are 'dead', Google ranks such stories lower in search engines.

Aside from any legal considerations, Clarity Digital Group should do the right thing and make the material available to its former contributors.

Says Mangus:

"It's unfortunate that Clarity Digital Group has taken such a position. It should serve as a warning to present writers for Examiner that they could find themselves in the same situation if the Examiner decides to 'go dark' in the future."
[Reference Here]

To be direct, the corporate culture at Examiner is at the very least uncivil … and at worst vindictive. It is as if Examiner was being dragged into New Media against the wishes of the J-School trained management that conceptually implements and runs the joint.

If one were able to compare the internet savvy tools offered between the two sites – NowPublic versus Examiner – even though Examiner has improved over the years since 2009 through the purchase of NowPublic … the publishing portal and contributing community the site was constructed to serve at NowPublic would still outshine anything offered up by Examiner, Clarity Digital Group, LLC.

Of Note: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) served as a Feature Page Manager and Editor/Contributor to NowPublic through to the time the site was shut down at the end of 2013. He was continually in the top 20 (most often in the top 10 before appointment to Feature Page Manager – Motorsports) of a cast tens of thousands of contributors and his work was seen by about 1.75 Million viewers. He currently has been a multiple title Examiner in good standing since November, 2009 and has 27 Trophies in his Clarity Digital Group participation case located on his Dashboard.

(I should have noted my viewers as 17.5 million ’cause who would know after how the site was shut down and re-directed … okay, 175 million … and so on, and so on, and so on …)

… notes from The EDJE

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Sacramento Delta waterways. Image Credit: California WaterBlog

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Simply stated, people who wish to show their power under the name of "making a difference" through progressive political policies have over-stepped their bounds.

Political Progressives are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life and there are no limits to where they will go in order to show that they matter.

A case in point that received national attention when the President of the United States traveled and made speeches in California, was the confluence of a natural drought brought about through this winter's direction of the jet stream that has major water and snow bearing storm systems bypass California, and a political drought put forward through federal and state legislation to protect a fish that move beyond their normal habitat to get chewed up by pumps.

Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1

This excerpted and edited from a John Muir Institute of the Environment and Bodega Marine Laboratory University of California, Davis PDF report -

Delta Smelt Life History Model
A Contribution for the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program
Bill Bennett - 01/31/05

Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) are endemic to the northeastern San Francisco Estuary and Delta (Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1 - ABOVE). Formerly abundant they are now listed as threatened under the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts (ESA) and thus labeled a “Big R” (at risk) species for priority restoration by the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority. Much of the concern with delta smelt is over ESA restrictions on the numbers of these fish that are lost to freshwater export operations located in the south Delta (Figure 1). These restrictions are highly controversial because they can curtail export pumping and thus have a major influence on how freshwater is allocated to California’s agriculture and growing human population.

Delta smelt are one of six species currently recognized in the genus Hypomesus that occurs across the Pacific Rim (Saruwatari et al. 1997, Bennett 2005). Delta smelt are small (typically < 80mm total length, TL) translucent fish with a steel-blue lateral stripe and a pleasant cucumber-like aroma (Moyle 2002, Bennett 2005). They most likely evolved from a population of surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) isolated from the coastal marine environment as the estuary formed about 8,000 years ago. Although some aspects of their ecology are similar to other smelts and salmonids, delta smelt are not readily classified with other fishes using typical life history characteristics. They are primarily an annual species with rapid growth and high annual mortality during recruitment to the adult stage, but relative to other such species have low fecundity and spawn only once or twice within a protracted spawning period. Moreover, delta smelt hatch as free-swimming larvae and do not have the degree of parental investment provided by the majority of salmonids. Thus under the classification scheme provided by Rose and Winemiller (1992) and McCann and Shuter (1997) they fit somewhere in between an “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist.
[Reference Here]

These definitions are the hinge-points that progressive political power operate from. The beginning of this report outline findings that were the result of grant monies put forward to liberal education institutions by both the state and federal government in order to establish political beach heads of power (read global warming agenda, social justice agenda, control of human activity agenda).

In this case, the monies invested gave the impression that the world would end for a species of opportunistic fish (and the emotional health for some human beings) that threaten their own lives by swimming farther up the Sacramento Delta from San Francisco Bay that the species would normally be found because they are attracted by the noise of pumps. These pumps, as mechanical devises commonly do, chew up and make fertilizer out of the smelt as the fresh water is moved from the Delta to fields that grow food for human consumption.

Armed with this information based upon presumptions outlined in the UC Davis paper, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. introduced the National Oceans Protection Act (NOPA) of 2005. Some of the provisions of this act are: strengthen ocean governance; protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats; address ocean pollution; improve fisheries management. The bill also addresses needs regarding marine science, research and technology, marine mammals, coastal development, and invasive species.

The value of the Delta smelt? Besides serving as bait for attracting larger fish, the Delta smelt is not edible, does not eliminate pests or have any meaningful commercial value. Essentially nothing. Sometimes, despite environmentalist’s protestations to the contrary, certain species reach a natural evolutionary dead end.

Funny thing about the myopic vision of human activity governance. No matter how well intended the action, it can not stop the will to be “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist by a species of smelt.

Peter Moyle, UC Davis professor of fish biology, said he was stunned to find a delta smelt he could hold in both hands. Image Credit: Jacob Katz-Ragatz

This excerpted and edited from California WaterBlog -

Large delta smelt population found south of Delta
by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences - Posted on April, 2013

UC Davis scientists have found large populations of the federally protected delta smelt growing extraordinarily large in three Southern California reservoirs, hundreds of miles from its native waters. The smelt presumably colonized the lakes after being pumped from the Delta though the California Aqueduct.

The find, reported today in the journal Pelagic Papers, prompted immediate calls from San Joaquin farmers to remove the fish from state and federal lists of species threatened with extinction. Wildlife officials, however, feared the newfound populations in Pyramid, Castaic and Silverwood lakes would be swiftly poached to low levels because they are extraordinarily large, tasty and easily caught on dry flies.

Normally no bigger than a finger, the delta smelt caught by researchers were an arm’s length and as much as nine pounds, the pier-reviewed study said. Photos of the super-sized smelt went viral on social media within minutes of their online publication this morning. By noon, the fishing blog Fish Ogler reported runs on smelt flies at sports stores near all three lakes.
----
Moyle and his colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences explored several explanations for the extraordinary size of the smelt found in the Southern California lakes, but reached no definitive conclusion.
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A spokesman for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which owns the drinking-water reservoirs, said its executives were aware of the study but unavailable for comment.
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“We never looked for the delta smelt down south,” O’Rear said. “I could never get my boss to approve travel expenses for any trip farther than Suisun Marsh.”
----
Despite the unnaturally large size of the south state smelt, Moyle said he could immediately confirm its identity.

“It has a curious cucumber odor,” he said.
[Reference Here]

Okay, so the California WaterBlog posted this on April 1st of last year ... as humor.

The fact remains that protection of the Delta Smelt, a tiny, slender fish that resides exclusively in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a fertile area that serves as a transition for water originating in Northern California, and ends in water delivery West of the Delta for agriculture and South of the Delta for citizens of Southern California ... results in the diversion of tens of billions of gallons of fresh water away from vital agriculture and population needs and directly into the Pacific Ocean. A precious resource essentially wasted.

As usual, devastation to jobs and economic ruin mean nothing to Political Progressives who are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life. To them, the Delta smelt’s survival has a higher priority than the human condition.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

Image Credit: Ed Driscoll.com via PJMedia

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

The White House starts State of the Union Address day with executive action: an announcement that will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for new federal contract workers. That tees up a 9 p.m. State of the Union Address speech that is expected to have a heavy emphasis on executive actions to strengthen the economy and help the middle class.

Expect President Obama spotlight ways to create opportunity by laying out proposals for an increase in jobs, manufacturing, retirement security, energy, skills development, and education - with a nod to promising to try to work with Congress to do more.

But the reality key to all of this 44th President's actions is to expand his inequality agenda by spending, and digitally printing even more money ($75 Billion per month in "quantitative easing") to perpetuate the real inequality of government power over the productive power of individual lives.

Less Democrat | Less Republican | More Constitution. Image Credit: tenthamendmentcenter.com

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media - 

The Economic State of the Union Is Weak
by Tom Blumer - PJ Media

When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, he will surely contend — as he did in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 — that “our union” is “stronger,” “getting stronger,” or at least “strong.”

It is no such thing.
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The five highest annual deficits the nation has ever incurred have been on Obama’s watch. ----
The national debt, at $17.27 trillion as of January 22, has increased by a jaw-dropping $6.6 trillion since he was first inaugurated. That this year’s deficit will be less than half of the official $1.4 trillion recorded in fiscal 2009 means, in his mind, that we can ramp up spending again. Outlays for the federal government’s operations plus interest are on track to remain above $3.5 trillion this year. That’s a ridiculous 30 percent above fiscal 2007, and virtually unchanged from fiscal 2009, when the so-called stimulus package was sold as a largely temporary spending ramp-up.

In his 2012 speech, Obama admitted that “the recovery is still fragile.” Two years later, in most of the U.S., it still hasn’t happened.
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In its recently released 2013 County Tracker based on late 2013 data, the National Association of Counties (NACo) echoed Obama’s early 2012 statement. Noting that the “recovery is still fragile in some parts of the country,”the NACo report described a still dismal situation:

About half of U.S. county economies had no recession or recovered their economic output (GDP) lost during the recession by 2013, most of them in the South. About 800 county economies, mostly in the South and Midwest, had no drops in employment over the last decade or were above their pre-recession levels in 2013.
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Given that the U.S. has 3,069 counties (Connecticut and Rhode Island, which are two of the country’s worst economic basket cases, don’t have county governments), that paragraph’s second statement is much more troubling. Only about 26 percent of them (800 divided by 3,069) have returned to or exceeded their previous employment levels. In other words, almost three-fourths haven’t.


CountyEmploymentRecoveryMap2013

The above National Association of Counties map shows us that 15 states have seen fewer than 20 percent of their counties achieve employment recovery, and that four of those have failed to get to even 10 percent.
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So what will Obama suggest to get the country back on track? Nothing which has a realistic chance of accomplishing anything.

More spending and stimulus, which might as well be the only page in the left’s and the Fed’s (but I’m probably repeating myself) macroeconomic play books, haven’t been the answers for the past five years. Why does any sane person believe they will somehow get us over the hump now?

An Obama-supported raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 will only throw more people, perhaps as many as 1 million, into unemployment lines while preventing new entries into the workforce – all at a time when labor force participation is at a 35-year low.
----
No one has to recite any of the statistics noted above to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its friends in Washington. They know, and they obviously don’t care. If they did, they wouldn’t be pushing mightily to make 2014 their make-or-break year to pass economically ruinous illegal-immigrant amnesty. But to their eternal shame, they are.

Throw the ongoing and deepening confusion and chaos of Obamacare and the administration’s apparent nonchalant attitude as it crumbles into the mix, and the one thing you don’t have is a recipe for the economy to have anything resembling a strong year.

It’s impossible to know, but it may be that the stock market has finally caught on to what should have been obvious all along, as it shed about 3 percent of its value in last week’s final two days. One thing we do know is what CNBC’s Rick Santelli stated Friday afternoon: government and central bank strategies based on endless stimulus and artificial money creation “can’t go on forever.”

[Reference Here]

The main purpose of what was written in the founding documents of the United States was to protect the interests of both the smallest and the largest special interest groups that live here in this country - the individual. The United States Constitution, the Bill-Of-Rights, and the Rule-Of-Law combined with a power structure that broke down power in three separate and distinct branches so as to insure that the strongest level of power could be retained by the individual.

Unchecked and assumed powers to spend the monies collected from individuals, manufacture additional monies without a value basis, and expand the scope and power of government through regulations created by bureaucracies backed through the powers granted to the Internal Revenue Service (taxes) have tipped the balance of power in favor of the government.

Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (a 28.2% increase in an anemic 2% growth economy) for new federal contract workers does very little except have this government spend even more money without the proper authority from the body that is Constitutionally responsible for spending, the House of Representatives.

Only 62% of able-bodied individuals are participating in the labor force (over 13% real unemployment when the available labor force is considered) due to the lack of jobs being created through the inequality of government growth over individual freedom to create and produce goods and services.

The issue around the inequality of income is the ability to retain what little income that is earned when we are governed by an entity that has run up nearly $7 Trillion of additional United States debt (Total debt = $17 Trillion - an overall 40% increase) in just five short years of this country's 237 years of operation.

The middle class in the United States remains under assault with the push by both political parties for "comprehensive immigration reform" which has its political strength from large businesses (who give big political donations) for even cheaper labor and an increase in the voter base through amnesty paths to citizenship.

This political activity, executive power minimum wage increases and the push for increased immigration, does not make sense in the face of the lowest labor participation rate since the late 1970's combined with the largest unemployment rate in a half a century.

Post State of the Union address UPDATE:

Utah Senator Mike Lee's Best Point In His Response To President Obama's SOTU Address:

Senator Lee offered a populist Republican explanation of economic inequality ...

“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms: immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.

… [Inequality is - through example] guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.

Inequality is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists.

… But where does this new inequality come from? From GOVERNMENT — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.”
[Reference Here]

... notes from The EDJE

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