Posted by: coastcontact | November 22, 2015

Is the United States Becoming a Nazi Replica?

-Doctor Ben Carson: ‘We should have a database on everybody’

-Donald Trump told NBC News there should be a database of all Muslims.

-Senator Ted Cruz agrees with Donald Trump. He would winnow the field of acceptable refugees down to only Christian Syrians, similar to what Jeb Bush proposes.

-Kasich on Syrian Refugees: ‘We Don’t Know Who They Are, Where They Come From’

-There’s nothing outrageous about barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. unless they pass background checks, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said on “The Kelly File.”

As reported on CNN
Shockingly, Trump told Yahoo News that he would consider requiring Muslim-Americans to register with a government database, or worse, mandating that they carry special identification cards that note their faith.

The reaction to this idea, fairly or unfairly, by many on social media, was to accuse Trump of wanting to mimic laws that Nazis had imposed on Jews, including requiring them to wear a gold Star of David on their clothes.

After Trump confirmed that he would set up a database for Muslim-Americans, an NBC reporter asked him point blank: “Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany?” A clearly annoyed Trump at first refused to respond, but then told the reporter, “You tell me,” and walked away.

The likelihood is that a Republican will be the next president of the United States.

Trump is now reported to have “backed away” from tracking people. Still, the fear factor has taken over this nation.

With the rise of radical Islam and the non-stop reports on television we are all observing a frightening rise in those wanting the government to monitor every person’s movement. It is a form of fascism.

I wonder if any of these politicians have read George Orwell’s 1984. In that story the government spies on everyone’s personal life. Televisions are everywhere an each has a camera that watches what you are doing.

The data base idea is the most worrisome idea I have heard. Perhaps we could have the Muslims wear arm bands so they can be easily identified. Does this idea remind you of a past event? Yes! It reminds me of Hitler and the arm bands worn by Jews in Germany and all the places invaded by the Nazis.

The reaction of governors and the Speaker of the House to the situation in Europe is reminiscent of American reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

My reaction is what about other minorities in the United States? Will all of us be subject to data bases?

The only official definition of Fascism comes from Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, in which he outlines three principles of a fascist philosophy. 1.”Everything in the state”. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompasing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator. 2.”Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government. 3.”Nothing against the state”. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.

The use of militarism was implied only as a means to accomplish one of the three above principles, mainly to keep the people and rest of the world in line. Fascist countries are known for their harmony and lack of internal strife. There are no conflicting parties or elections in fascist countries.

Nazi Germany was extreme Fascism, better examples of fascist countries were Mussolini’s Italy, Iraq, Iran, and many middle eastern countries.

Posted by: davidbancroft | November 18, 2015

America Has Not Been and is Not Now Friendly to Immigrants

The reality is that the United States has not been the welcoming nation that is portrayed by many of America’s leaders. The verse on the Statue of Liberty was more likely a wish than a fact.

The reality is immigrants have been welcomed in the United States when there has been a labor need. The outstanding situations were building the railroads that brought thousands of Chinese in the 1800s, the flourishing factories of the early 20th century, and today the need for farm workers, gardeners, hotel workers, and restaurant workers-the jobs Americans don’t want to do.

Look at America’s history starting with the second administration of the United States. John Adams, our second president signed four bills into law referred to as The Alien and Sedition Acts. The Alien Friends Act allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States” at any time, while the Alien Enemies Act authorized the president to do the same to any male citizen of a hostile nation, above the age of 14, during times of war. Clearly, the Federalists saw foreigners as a deep threat to American security. As one Federalist in Congress declared, there was no need to “invite hordes of Wild Irishmen, nor the turbulent and disorderly of all the world, to come here with a basic view to distract our tranquillity.” Not coincidentally, non-English ethnic groups had been among the core supporters of the Democratic-Republicans in 1796. Those Democratic-Republicans were the party opposing the Federalists.

Then in 1875 came the Page Act. The law was named after its sponsor, Representative Horace F. Page, a Republican who introduced it to “end the danger of cheap Chinese labor and immoral Chinese women.” It was the first federal immigration law and prohibited the entry of immigrants considered as “undesirable.” The law classified as “undesirable” any individual from Asia who was coming to America to be a contract laborer.

In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act restricted immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years and prohibited Chinese naturalization.

Then in 1891 the First comprehensive immigration laws for the US. The Immigration Bureau, created by the law, was directed to deport unlawful aliens.

The 1898 the Supreme Court case United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the decision resulted in the recognition of the 14th amendment as taking priority and the ruling that all Chinese children born in the United States are citizens of the United States.

The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 limited the number of immigrants from any country to 3% of those already in the US from that country as per the 1910 census.

The 1924 Immigration Act imposed first permanent numerical limit on immigration and thus began a national-origin quota system.

In 1954 under the direction of President Eisenhower, Operation Wet Back sent about 1 million Mexicans back to Mexico. Many of the deportations probably included many legal residents of the United States.

I have not covered all of the history of immigration into the United States but you certainly get the message that this country has not been friendly to immigrants. They have been used when there was a labor shortage of people willing to do the work that most Americans won’t do.

So why would the United States be willing to grant entry to Syrians, Iraqis, and other Middle Easterners? It’s not likely. There is no current need for more people in the United States. There is little evidence of sympathy. Read this article in the Washington Post on American opinion about permitting the migration of Jews in the late 1930s. The article shows a Gallup poll that indicated 61% of Americans at that time opposed allowing 10,000 Jewish refugee children into the United States.

Unless you bring a technical skill or money that will create jobs we really don’t want you to immigrate to our country. Those people from the Middle East don’t follow our religion, don’t understand our culture, and don’t speak our language. We really don’t want you!

David Bancroft

Posted by: coastcontact | November 16, 2015

What Makes America Great?


  Statue of Liberty

  First read this.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

That is the inscription on the Statue of Liberty written by Emma Lazarus.

It’s been there since 1903. The statue itself was erected in 1886. It was a prefect poem (sonnet) to place on Lady Liberty.

We all take it seriously in America until we are confronted with people trying to obtain entry into this country. Some GOP candidates for president need to read that poem and remember their roots. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are the outstanding leaders of the group that do not want to devise a path to citizenship for the people who prepare their meals, wash their dishes, make their beds, and cut their lawns.

By late Monday, states refusing Syrian refugees included Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Have we lost our collective mind? America was built on refugees. They are the people who made this country great. Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase is the grandson of a Greek immigrant. Similarly millions of Americans are the children or grandchildren of immigrants.

So your next door neighbors and the people you see on the streets don’t look like you and maybe they have different religious beliefs but they all – we all – have one thing in common – our families all agree the United States is a country where everyone can work and live at our full potential. Somehow we seem to have forgotten that idea.

It’s time we all started acting like Americans.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 11, 2015

Why Ben Carson has no business near the Oval Office

by Los Angeles Times commentator Doyle McManus, on line and in print November 11, 2015

Ben Carson #2

I don’t really mind that Ben Carson thinks the pyramids in Egypt were used to store grain; that’s a folk belief that’s been around since the Middle Ages. At least he dismisses the theory that the pyramids were built by space aliens.

And I don’t really mind that Carson’s autobiography, by his own admission, isn’t precisely accurate on every detail. He still insists that he tried to kill a classmate with a knife, an unusual claim for a presidential candidate. But even if that story was an exaggeration, it’s harmless myth-making — a dramatization of how low the teenage Carson had sunk before God intervened to shape him up. Barack Obama’s autobiography used creative license to make him sound like a juvenile delinquent, too.

Here’s what I do mind: Even though Carson considers himself brilliant, he doesn’t seem to care much about the actual duties of a president. His speeches, interviews and books betray a shaky grasp of economic and foreign policy, to put it kindly. And when a candidate is tied for first place for the Republican nomination in most polls, that’s no laughing matter.

Case in point: His comments about the federal budget.

Carson has proposed turning the income tax into a 15% flat tax on rich and poor alike — a massive tax cut for the wealthy (and tax increase for the poor) that would reduce federal revenue by more than half a trillion dollars, according to most estimates.

But more than a year after he began running for president, the good doctor still hasn’t explained how he would fill the yawning budget gap his tax cut would produce.

Indeed, this week he appeared to make the problem worse. Previously, Carson said he would cut federal spending by 3% to 4% across the board (except for the military, which he would grow). Now he says the cuts would amount to only 2% or 3% — a more realistic target, but one that would only widen the deficit.

Where are the details? There aren’t any available; none of these plans has been reduced to paper. A Carson spokesman told me that the campaign hopes to release specific proposals by the end of the year.

I don’t envy Carson’s aides; the candidate often sounds confused.

“The lion’s share of the gross domestic output is consumed by the federal government,” he complains in his latest book, “A More Perfect Union.” Actually, no: Federal spending consumes about 20% of GDP while consumer spending takes the true lion’s share: almost 70%.

On the public radio show “Marketplace” last month, Carson was asked whether he would block an increase in the federal debt ceiling. “I would not sign an increased budget,” he replied. No, his interviewer clarified, the question was about debts already incurred, not future spending. Carson still seemed to think they were the same thing. “We’re not raising any spending limits, period,” he said.

His vagueness and apparent lack of understanding on those counts isn’t comical; it’s troubling. Next to Carson, Ronald Reagan was a detail-oriented policy wonk.

Economics isn’t his only blind spot.

In his book, Carson argues that federal judges shouldn’t be allowed to rule on the constitutionality of state ballot initiatives like California’s Proposition 8, which the Supreme Court overturned in 2013.

“Having a ballot referendum on an important issue is a farce if a federal judge can throw out the results,” he writes. He suggests, as a remedy to this problem, that Congress simply impeach any judge who “ignores the will of the people.” So much for the Constitution.

Carson thinks the U.S. military should be taking the lead in ground combat against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. “I would commit everything to eliminating them [Islamic State] right now,” he said. That’s a controversial position, but a defensible one. Here’s where Carson goes off course: He argues that U.S. forces shouldn’t be bound by the laws of war.

“There is no such thing as a politically correct war,” he told Fox News. “If you’re going to have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says ‘no war.’ Other than that, we have to win.”

Carson is, by all accounts, a brilliant surgeon. He’s a splendid motivational speaker and an admirable philanthropist. But he’s not ready to be chief executive of the United States.

In his books, he often mentions incidents in which God intervened in his life. When he neglected to study at Yale, God showed him the answers on a chemistry exam. When he fell asleep while driving home one night, God spared his life. When he used new surgical techniques on children’s brains, God saved some of his patients. And when he was on a safari in Africa, God answered his prayer for plenty of photogenic wildlife.

Now that he’s running for president, Carson sounds as if he’s counting on divine intervention to pull him through again. There can be no doubt about the sincerity of Carson’s Christian faith or his belief in the power of prayer. But voters — even the most devout — deserve more earthly evidence that he’s up to the job.

By John Paul Stevens April 11, 2014

John Paul Stevens served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010. Following is a part of his essay is excerpted from his new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.”

The Second Amendment expressly endorsed the substantive common-law rule that protected the citizen’s right (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia. In its decision in Heller, however, the majority interpreted the amendment as though its draftsmen were primarily motivated by an interest in protecting the common-law right of self-defense. But that common-law right is a procedural right that has always been available to the defendant in criminal proceedings in every state. The notion that the states were concerned about possible infringement of that right by the federal government is really quite absurd.

As a result of the rulings in Heller and McDonald, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands. Those emotional arguments would be nullified by the adoption of my proposed amendment. The amendment certainly would not silence the powerful voice of the gun lobby; it would merely eliminate its ability to advance one mistaken argument.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 5, 2015

What’s Wrong with the TPP?

What is wrong with NAFTA, TPP, and other free trade agreements that lower tariffs?

The United States is the dream country for capitalists. The limits on corporations are minimal. Very big companies buy each other out (called a merger) with few government efforts to control the likely outcome of near monopoly. The latest example in Walgreens drug company’s plan to buy Rite-Aid drug company.

Those same companies are now referred to as multi-nationals. General Electric is a creation of Thomas Edison but consider that the company now has facilities in 130 countries. GE has invested over $200 million in a flexible new “brilliant factory” in Pune, India. This information is from GE websites.

Heinz Ketchup sits on the tables of restaurants in Paris. It is not packaged in the United States.

The United States currently imposes low tariffs on most of the goods imported into this country. The TPP will eliminate those tariffs on the other 11 countries. That probably won’t impact the amount of goods being imported. The agreement also lowers the tariffs that other countries impose on imported American goods and that appears to be a good thing.

However when those goods are shipped overseas that are in limited supply in the United States that will drive up the prices in America. An example is chicken. Tyson Foods processes 41 million chickens a year. If they can sell some of those chickens in other countries that will reduce the number of chickens available for sale in America. Less supply translates to higher prices. That means higher profits for Tyson.

If you manufacture something in the United States where $15 to $25 per hour is a common pay rate, why not manufacture your goods in Vietnam, Peru or Malaysia where pay rates are significantly lower and import the products to America?

John Deere and Caterpillar are two companies that will benefit from lower tariffs in other countries. The problem is there are too few companies that are in the category of big machines.

The United States has lost millions of jobs to lower pay rate countries. The benefit to company shareholders is obvious.   The loss of jobs in America is obvious. The rich typically get their way. I predict capitalism will prevail. I also predict the end of the middle class in America.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 3, 2015

A Demonstrated Benefit of Free Press

In less than one day the impact of America’s free press was demonstrated in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles Times newspaper. In the morning edition of the paper there was a front page center article titled FAIR GROUP’S TAX STATUS AT ISSUE.

Here us the gist of the article.

The Los Angeles County Fair Association formed in 1940 to promote agriculture in an area that then had a booming agricultural industry. The non-profit organization’s annual fair was created to promote the industry and teach children for the next generation. The problem is that Los Angeles County is now an urban/suburban area of over 10 million people who are, for the most part, not part of agriculture.

The front page story includes a photo of portable spas that were on sale at the fair. When you walk through the fair buildings there are sales people hawking spas, motor homes, and vegetable blenders.

Experts say the high-paying L.A. County association’s businesses push the boundaries of its agricultural exemption. The president of the association receives a salary of almost $900,000 a year. His four vice presidents each receive pay of well over $300,000 per year. Other counties in California with fairs pay their fair manager less than $300,000 per year and San Diego’s manager receives less than $200,000 per year. In 2013 the fair lost over $3million.  The pay to those top executives almost makes up the loss.

This afternoon the Los Angeles Times reported that the county supervisors have called for an audit and possible renegotiation with the Los Angeles County Fair Association.

Obviously the supervisors read the Los Angeles Times.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 31, 2015

Buy-Outs, Forced Retirement and Age Discrimination

Your employer is in financial difficulty and needs to find a way of saving cash until there is a recovery.

If you work for a newspaper or magazine you are in an industry that is in serious decline then recovery is in doubt. The Washington Post seems to have recovered thanks to a purchase by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. BusinessWeek magazine was bought by Michael Bloomberg and is thriving. Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report are gone. Tribune Publishing Company that owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers is in dire straits.  The Los Angeles Times is currently attempting to offer buy-outs to their staff.  Sports writer Bill Dwyre, a gray-haired man with years of experience and probably high pay just announced his retirement.  Other outstanding columnists with that paper are probably also going to take their leave.

General Motors and Ford Motor Company both went through some very difficult economic times as have   many other companies.

In every instance they all followed the same path. Cut the high cost employees and reduce the pay to the remaining employees. I know people who were part of the buy-out, those who faced the reduced pay, and those who were simply laid-off. I was party to that situation more than once.

The issue for those losing their jobs is their age. Once you are older, 55 or older, obtaining another job at the same pay as was previously received is difficult and in most cases impossible.

Age discrimination is rampant and impossible to prove. “Age discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) less favorably because of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.” That is the statement posted on the EEOC on their web site.

From Forbes magazine dated January 31, 2014

The Ugly Truth About Age Discrimination (abridged)

“So then the headhunter said something that took my breath away,” said my caller, Philip.

“He told me that his client looked at my resume and said it looked great, but then he found my LinkedIn profile and decided I’m a little long in the tooth for the job.”

I was silent. That took my breath away, too.

“Long in the tooth?” I asked. “As in old?”

“Exactly,” said Philip. “The headhunter actually told me that the client said I was too old for the job. I asked him if that was illegal – I’m pretty sure it is – and he said that the client’s view is that if they don’t interview me, I’m not a candidate, so it’s not discrimination.”

“That’s false,” I said, but even as I said it, I knew that it doesn’t make any difference.

What is Philip going to do – sue the employer he never met because a third-party recruiter told him that one hiring manager made an inappropriate comment? So-called Failure to Hire cases are notoriously hard to bring and even harder to prove. As long as the organization ends up hiring someone who is qualified for the job, how could Phil ever prove that he was rejected because of his age? It’s not as though the organization is going to publish the new hire’s age for all the other candidates to see.

Age discrimination is everywhere. I hear more examples of age discrimination than I hear about sex discrimination, racial discrimination and every other kind put together. I expect that’s because some employers believe that older workers aren’t as nimble or perhaps aren’t as easy to train. Some of them undoubtedly worry that an older person is necessarily overqualified, and thus likely to bolt the minute a better job comes along.

I was there too. At the age of 60 in an interview the president of the company, he asked me if I was a grandfather. My answer was no and that was accurate. The thought running through my head was I would not be obtaining this job. To my surprise I did receive the job offer. I went on to two promotions proving that older employees can thrive.  Could I have brought a successful suit against that employer? There was no proof that the question was asked.

I know of no solution. Businesses thrive, businesses shrivel, life goes on. As the population ages the issue of age discrimination will fade away.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 30, 2015

Southern California Doomed in Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies made me post this article.

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Zombie with family A new report says that Southern Californians are pretty much doomed in the event of a zombie uprising.

CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International have published the ZombieApocalypse/FinalRankings”> Zombie Apocalypse Index, ranking the United States’ 53 largest metropolitan areas on eight factors, including the region’s ability to defend itself against a virus that causes people to turn into zombies.

Other factors tallied were the ability to contain the virus, ability to find a cure, ability to outlast a zombie virus epidemic and food supply.

The Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim region would fall to the zombies almost immediately, according to the index, coming in 51st out of the 53 largest metropolitan areas. The region scored poorly for everything but the ability to find a cure, where it scored in the middle of the pack.

(This is not news to anyone who watched the Los Angeles-based “ Fear the Walking Dead” earlier this year.)

According to the ZAI, the Los Angeles region comes in 51st out of 53 metro areas on containment (a network of highways means keeping zombies in one place would be difficult at best), 25th out of 53 for finding a cure, 40th for defense and 39th for food.

The only metro areas that will fall faster, according to the index, are Tampa and — the worst place of all to be during the zombie apocalypse — New York City.

Angelenos might want to embrace the oncoming apocalypse, according to Logan Crow, the founder of the zombies-walk-this-weekend-at-rainbow-lagoon-park/article_e9fa6c60-7786-11e5-ba94-6740ee86ab72.html”>Long Beach Zombie Walk.

“Some may find Long Beach/L.A.’s third-to-last ranking a matter of great concern, but let me propose a re-frame of thought: given the compounding strains and pressures of everyday life, wouldn’t life as a zombie prove quite liberating?” Crow wrote in an email Wednesday.

Undeath is the ultimate vacation, according to Crow.

“Imagine a world free of the pressure of making sure your hair is styled right, that there’s enough money in your account to cover the auto-payment on your car, that your shirt stays tucked in during your Monday morning presentation. Imagine a world without Monday morning presentations,” he wrote. “Imagine a world free of party lines — no Left, no Right — just one common interest: landing the next meal.”

In his vision of things, the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim area’s poor ability to contain the zombie outbreak is actually a net positive — you know, assuming you end up joining the zombie horde.

“And here’s what’s great about Long Beach — you’ve got the Port of Long Beach to keep pumping in human resources to satisfy the cravings of Long Beach’s undead,” he wrote. “What zombie wouldn’t want the world’s biggest port in their backyard? Plus, Long Beach is renowned for being a city that sets trends — why shouldn’t Long Beach be the epicenter for an eventual worldwide zombie apocalypse? History would suggest that one day zombies will develop a language, learn to educate themselves, and begin to share and preserve their history, and when that day happens, they will always say: It started in Long Beach.”

(Crow is kidding about all of this…. Probably.)

The Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario area would fair only slightly better, coming in one slot better than L.A. County on the ZAI. The region ranks 12th in food supply, likely owing in part to the region being home to multiple logistics centers and all the canned food awaiting shipment therein, along with Stater Bros. Markets 2.1 million-square-foot distribution center at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino. Not to mention Redlands’ seemingly infinite supply of oranges. But it ranks more poorly for the ability to contain an outbreak (44/53), finding a cure (52/53) and defense (50/53).

High Desert author Amy Hernandez, who wrote “Jack and the Zombie Attack,” scoffs at San Bernardino County’s low ranking in the ZAI.

“No matter what movie, show, graphic novel, the first thing that people do when the zombies show up is get out of the major cities,” she said. “People forget that San Bernardino County has lots of rural areas and farmland.”

Apparently thinking along the same lines, the survivors in the first season of “Fear the Walking Dead” repeatedly tried to escape to Barstow.

Hernandez, who keeps an earthquake preparation kit stocked and ready, said that San Bernardino County has a lot of things to offer those escaping the undead.

“My first thought, if I were a survivalist, would be to go to a school,’ she said. “They have survival kits, kitchens, not to mention the fences.”

Despite being a desert, there are sources of fresh water accessible, if need be, to ordinary people in San Bernardino County, Hernandez said.

“I don’t know where in Boston you can go digging for fresh water, but I know where I can go digging for water” in the High Desert, she said.

And, of course, many residents of San Bernardino County, especially in rural areas, hunt and participate in outdoor sports and activities, giving them both the skills and equipment needed when the dead rise.

“Most households out here in the desert have that kind of protection within their home, within their grasp,” she said. “In a city, how many places can you go where someone has a bow and arrow or a crossbow?”

Not everyone in Southern California is dead meat in the event of a zombie apocalypse, however: The apocalypse index ranks San Diego as the metropolitan area seventh most prepared to handle a zombie uprising, with high scores in being able to defend against the virus and its shambling carriers as well as being able to research a cure.

The 10 metropolitan areas most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, according to the ZAI, are Boston, Salt Lake City, Columbus, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, Denver and Indianapolis. Atlanta, the initial setting of “The Walking Dead,” is the 18th best metropolitan area to weather the zombie apocalypse, which may give an idea of how tough things will be for Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

A final note: In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control published a blog post on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. (You’ll want water, food, medication and hygiene articles — the CDC says nothing about the practicality of chainsaws as replacement hands.) You can find it online at zombie-apocalypse/”> zombie-apocalypse.


The CareerBuilder/EMSI Zombie Apocalypse Index looks, in part, at the job skills needed in the event of a zombie apocalypse, but it ignores the job skills of zombies themselves. Since very few zombies have come out of the coffin, we only have fictional depictions to go by, but here’s a short list of what job skills zombies might bring to the table:


The CW show, now in its second season, features Rose McIver playing Seattle medical examiner Liv Moore. The 2010 DC Comics series of the same name on which the show is somewhat loosely based featured the much less-punningly-named Gwen Dylan as a Eugene, Oregon, gravedigger.

In the Flesh

This two-season BBC Three series (aired in the United States on BBC America) centered on Kieren Walker , a former student turned manual laborer under a community “give back scheme” for zombies receiving drug treatment to curb their aggressive impulses.


In this 2007 film, a corporation captures and “tames” zombies, who are then sold as manual laborers and even pets in post-zombie apocalypse society.

Re: Your Brains

This 2006 Jonathan Coulton song, which can be listened to on a jukebox in the zombie-slaying videogame Left 4 Dead 2 as well as on innumerable YouTube music videos, is sung from the perspective of a zombie office worker who uses his white-collar skills to get human survivors to surrender to the zombie horde.

Return of the Living Dead III

In this 1993 film, the U.S. Army uses “2-4-5 Trioxin” gas in an attempt to turn corpses into zombie soldiers. (Spoiler: It doesn’t go well.)

Posted by: coastcontact | October 28, 2015

GOP Debate #3 – No Clear Winner

A GOP effort to avoid offering solutions to issues.

The debates are becoming somewhat boring. We have all heard the positions of the candidates. For the most part we know who wants to create a flat tax and who wants to protect Social Security. That made the moderator’s job more difficult.

The candidates were asked some questions that were obviously meant to start arguments among them. For the most part that strategy failed. Jeb Bush’s attacks on Marco Rubio were induced by the moderator. The attacks were fended off fairly well by Rubio.

The one significant continuing problem for me was the lack of answers to reasonable questions. The candidates all spoke about the lagging income of the middle class but not one offered even an outline of a solution. There were some who acknowledged the growing college student debt but not one had any solution.

Remarks about the Federal Reserve by Ted Cruze and Rand Paul might have rung a bell with the No-Nothings but seemed obtuse and irrelevant. Inserting politics into the management of our monetary system would likely result in endless Benghazi like hearings conducted by people who have an agenda beyond the management of the nation’s banking system. Somewhat bizarrely, Cruz also appeared to call for a return to the gold standard.

Ted Cruze was a master at avoiding answering the questions put to him.  He attacked the moderators and pointedly guessed that none would be voting in the Republican primaries.  When asked his view on the fact that women on average earn 77% of the pay of men for the same job he went on a spiel about helping the middle class.

I could not identify a winner of this event. Neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson offered any impressive position or statement that would keep them in the lead in the polling. Jeb Bush, considered the early favorite of the establishment made no statement that pushed him ahead. Carly Fiorina’s idea of a three page tax code was a good sound bite, remember Herman Caine’s 2012 9-9-9 plan, but is obviously an unlikely outcome. The Herman Caine plan was 9 percent “individual flat tax,” a 9 percent “business flat tax,” and a 9 percent sales tax.

I do not anticipate anyone dropping out of the race as a consequence of this debate.

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