Monday, January 22, 2018

Fwd: This is how MONEY works when we understand it

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John H

Jim Kavanagh (The Polemicist) regularly produces some of the best postings of anyone out on the Internet.  Today's article is certainly no exception.  Here he tackles what for most Americans is little more than an enigma wrapped in a mystery, the function of money in a sovereign issuer of its own currency.  Americans have been, since at least 1971, seduced into believing that federal government money is a scarce resource and that our over-spending is certain to lead us into a catastrophic collapse due to a crushing national debt.  This is one of the great myths of our time and is, unfortunately, politically debilitating once citizens have been propagandized into believing it.  The problem is that it seems so normal to equate the federal budget and spending policies with each of our household budgets and spending priorities.  They are, however, nothing alike. 

As Jim explains quite clearly, the federal government is a currency creator of its own sovereign money.  Your and my households are users of government created money.  We, unlike the federal government, cannot create our own dollars – that is called counterfeiting.  This means that we are resource constrained when it comes to money.  We can only spend what we can accumulate by working, borrowing and, perhaps, inheriting.  The federal government is no so constrained, nor is it constrained by debt (at least insofar as its debt is denominated in Dollars).  To be clear, there is no limit on the amount of Dollar debt the federal government can pay, without creating rampant inflation.  And, there can be no adverse consequence for our children or their children as a result of this debt.

Here is the kicker, virtually all of the constraints we face in terms of obtaining meaningful social safety-net benefits, infrastructure, and, yes, even military expenditures are artificially created by Congress (including the existence of the national debt itself) and maintained because this false belief system operates to the great benefit of the plutocracy.  Neoliberalism, the political philosophy which has overtaken our world in recent years, depends upon this myth persisting in order to maintain control and impose austerity everywhere possible – not just in the U.S.

As many of you know, this has long been an issue close to my heart.  If somehow we can get people to overcome their unawareness of how money should work, it will open many minds to the realization of just how messed up this system has become; and, perhaps, give them cause to stand up and say enough is enough.

  Do read Jim's piece.  It is somewhat long, but well worth the effort.


A Left Take on Taxes, Spending and Modern ...

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fwd: Things to think about

From John H

This may well be a watershed year in American politics, or not.  But as January passes with the government shut down there is much for Americans to consider and reflect upon if any sort of actual positive change is to occur.  Attached are two articles which should provide some fodder for thought.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fwd: Your 2018 Recruiting Game Plan

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: NCSA Team Edition <>

Recruiting tips and tricks for the new year
NCSA Team Edition

Questions? Call 312-999-6176
Welcome to 2018!
The new year is traditionally a time to look ahead and create goals to be productive in the months to come. As you think about your resolutions for 2018, consider what you'd like to accomplish in your recruiting strategy. What worked in 2017 and what needs to change?
If you're looking for some recruiting inspiration, NCSA Team Edition user Scott Barker of Case Batbusters has a few pieces of advice: "Learn how the recruiting process works so you can truly guide your players and their parents through the recruiting journey. I'd also say be honest with college coaches, players and parents. Honesty and integrity will go a long way to developing a good reputation, which is essential."
At NCSA, our goals for the new year are simple: Continue to improve our recruiting resources so coaches, athletes and families can better navigate the complex recruiting process. We have a lot of ideas to put into action in 2018, but we're always looking for feedback.
Is there a particular piece of content that would really help your families? Is there an aspect of the recruiting process that you'd like more clarity on? If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please send them to
And, as always, happy recruiting!
Send Feedback
Helpful Resources
5 ways athletes can recharge their recruiting this winter
It's easy to be sluggish and unproductive in the winter time. That's why we created a top 5 list of ways athletes can easily recharge their recruiting and get ahead in the new year.
How to make the most of college camps
Camp and combine season is coming up, and this is a great time for families to plan out their camp schedule for the year. Here's what they should look for and how they can prepare for their upcoming events.

25 good reasons to contact a college coach
Everyone in the recruiting world agrees that athletes must be proactive in their recruiting; however, it's tough to come up with reasons to reach out to college coaches. This list can help them get started.

Can athletes get recruited late their senior year?
If you have seniors who haven't been recruited yet, it may not be too late for them to snag an offer. We've laid out the steps they can take to fast track their recruiting this semester.
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Fwd: Announcement of public meeting, Wednesday, Jan 24

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John H


From: Lobel, Jules []
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018
Subject: announcement of public meeting

There will be a meeting to form a new organization of residents in Southwest Pennsylvania who believe in the need for radical change of our economic and political system.  This group will combine  activism with independent participation in local elections  to challenge a system that is run by and for the interests of a small corporate dominated elite who use racism and sexism  to divide us, and not in the interests of  the majority of the city and county's population. The group is organized to provide an alternative in Pittsburgh  based on the principles stated by Carl Redwood in his speech to the Thomas Merton Center this past June.  Available at at 53.30

The meeting will discuss the basic platform of the group, what initial activities and campaigns we should get involved with, and our longer term strategy.  Wednesday January 24 from 7 pm to 9 pm, University of Pittsburgh Law School, 3900 Forbes Ave (corner of Forbes and Bouquet St) in Room 229.  For more information, contact Jules Lobel at 412-648-1375

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

More Bike Lanes -- as I've got some experience with them in Chengdu, China

More bike lanes! Because, some day, I'm going to be the one in the back seat! Plus, the brakes on that sucker didn't work so much. The brake on the bar for the front tire flew off the first time I applied pressure, flipping forward. The only real stopping power came from the sick break, in the middle of the frame. To stop, push downward. The question was always, use both hands to turn away from the crash, and be with less grip in the pending collision. Or, put a hand on the brake while reaching downward getting out of balance, but protecting some other vulnerable body positions.

I am born in the year of the rooster -- as per the story at The Moth.

See and listen to more insights from my wife, Catherine, at

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Fwd: [Camp-AK-O-MAK] Ak-O-Mak New Year’s Greeting 2018

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dianne <>
Date: Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Subject: [Camp-AK-O-MAK] Ak-O-Mak New Year's Greeting 2018
To: Camp Ak-O-Mak <>

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year and warmest wishes to you and your family from Camp Ak-O-Mak!
2018 will be an exciting year for Camp Ak-O-Mak as she celebrates her 90th Anniversary!  This is a monumental achievement for a small, non-profit camp as more and more have given way to larger 'institutional' settings over the past 20 years.  We extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers and friends who have been a help to us in continuing the Ak-O-Mak legacy for the next generation of girls.
Ak-O-Mak's inaugural Adult Sports Camp in 2017 was a resounding success according to our "campers" and we are looking forward to a repeat performance in 2018.  Adult campers enjoyed activities ranging from reading/relaxating on the dock, fishing the local waters, swimming their first Ak-O-Mak Mile, developing Tri skills or biking around the lake.  Every meal was a 5-Star dinning experience a la Chef Samson!! (Check out cookingwithsamm on facebook).   This camp's program is adult-friendly and includes wine with dinner, fireside yoga, expert motivational talks and so much more...all adult-optional!
Registration for our Main Camp Sessions is already quite active and we anticipate being sold out again this year.  Our summer schedule is very busy due to the rich and evolving programming.  One of the highlights is the paddling program, a favourite due to the Regatta trip to Ottawa, Canada's Capital.  The girls LOVE the combination of the competitive experience followed by some sightseeing around the parliament buildings then shopping together on our way home.
Ak-O-Mak's triathlon program has grown immensely over the past 10 years.  We are the only ALL -GIRLS' Tri Team at every triathlon that we attend and leave quite an impression wherever we go!  Ak-O-Mak is the only sports camp in North America that takes a team out to compete in triathlons.  These events are fun, inspiring, challenging and always capped off with ICE CREAM...always a crowd pleaser!...("I scream!  You scream!  We ALL scream for ICE CREAM!")
We continue to enhance the Ak-O-Mak experience for our campers, be it learning triathlon skills, mountain and road biking, paddling or open water swimming.   Additional forest areas are carefully bushwhacked to develop our woodland trails.  The campers enjoy other activities such as Colour Runs, Net Ball, Tennis Tournies & the weekly Parry Sound Road Bike Time Trials.  Of course, camp just wouldn't be "camp" without sailing with friends on a sunny day, yucking it up in the cabin prepping for Lip Sinc or Skit Night or the mounting excitement of Team Comp!
A highpoint of 2018 will undoubtedly be the Ak-O-Mak 90th Reunion to all alumni, family and friends.  All ages are welcome!...Your chance to be a camper again (with optional Early Bird)...rekindle friendships, paddle a canoe or swing in a hammock, sing in the Main House or at Camp Fire.  Pre-registration is required so please visit our website at  (Remember to click on "Rates & Dates" then "scroll down" to 90th Reunion Information.)
Now for the BIG, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT of 2018!....
Camp Ak-O-Mak has been selected by the organization, Volunteer Builders, to be the beneficiary of their annual Volunteer Build Project for 2019!  Following an interview and site visit, Ak-O-Mak was chosen as the worthy, non-profit camp for Southern Ontario.
Volunteer Builders is an organization comprised of professional contractors, architects, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, name it...who donate their time, energy and expertise to construct a much needed building for a worthy our case, a   "Pavilion" for Camp Ak-O-Mak. 
This wonderful group brings130 skilled men and women to live at Camp for 4-5 days while professionally constructing a much needed, multi-purpose building for Ak-O-Mak. This flexi-use-Pavilion has been a dream of ours for accommodate our campers during inclement weather, to permit the expansion of our sports program and even store our beautiful road bikes and cedar strip canoes during winter.
You can learn more about this amazing organization and view their previous projects at
Camp Ak-O-Mak is required to raise the funds for the purchase of all building materials.
Therefore, Camp Ak-O-Mak will be launching her first ever, fundraising campaign in order to break ground in spring of 2019.   Our goal is to have the Pavilion ready for use for the 2019 camp season!  Please stay tuned for additional information throughout the year.
We hope to see you at the lake in 2018!
Dianne & Catherine
Dianne Young
Executive Director
Camp AK-O-Mak
Business Office
Phone: 416-427-3171
Fax: 905-304-2982

Mark Rauterkus
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo Camp Executive Coach
Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
Recent Head Water Polo Coach, Carnegie Mellon University Women's Club Team
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team

412 298 3432 = cell