Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Is the Job Market Really So Great: The growth of the "Gig Economy"

by GlennDL
Have you noticed that jobs that used to be filled by high school kids now seem to be filled by working and retirement age adults? Or that temp jobs are now growing in popularity with employers? It used to be that temp jobs were occupied by people seeking second jobs or housewives and students seeking a supplemental income out of choice, but now they are being filled by more and more people who are holding multiple jobs out of necessity?
The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, but stagnant wages, chronic underemployment, and growing inequality are leading more Americans to take on so-called side hustles. Some want to supplement their incomes. Others are just trying to eke out a living. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans now earn money from the digital “platform economy,” according to the Pew Research Center.

What is a gig job?
A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. ... The current reality is that people tend to change jobs several times throughout their working lives and the gig economy can be seen as a dangerous evolution of that trend.

The gig economy gets its name from each piece of work being akin to an individual 'gig' – although, such work can fall under multiple names. It has previously been called the "sharing economy" — mostly in reference to platforms such as Airbnb — where people of means and property capitalize their property (without creating jobs) in competition with hotels (that do provide jobs) or Uber where self-employed 'contractors' (without benefits) compete with taxi companies that provide jobs and possibly benefits.

Will the gig economy last?
Over the last several years, the gig economy has grown significantly across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017, 55 million people, or more than 35 percent of the US workforce, were participants in the gig economy. This will be greatly impacted as more as temporary and parttime hiring continues. In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.

Employers are already wary of hiring full-time employees because of overtime and health-care costs, they say, and having a pool of potential gig workers at the ready could make matters worse for those seeking the stability, benefits, and protections that come with full-time work. In 2020 the estimation is that the "Gig workforce" will account for almost 50% of American jobs.
"Across the United States, gig workers on apps including Uber, Lyft, and UberEats saw precipitous drops in their income this year, as companies slash wages in anticipation of initial public offerings on the stock market. The companies have also flooded the markets with new workers, making “gig” assignments harder to come by." 4
“Christmas this year will be very minimal. We’re paycheck to paycheck,” Sarah Polito, a 27-year-old Instacart shopper, who lives in a remote village 40 miles east of Rochester, New York, told Motherboard. “I worked on Thanksgiving and I’ll be working up to Christmas. It’s definitely stressful. We’re supposed to have flexibility with this job, but at this point, we’re working all the time because we have to.” 4
"Experts say that apps like Uber and Lyft have strategically deployed a bait-and-switch model, luring in workers—particularly single mothers and immigrants—with lucrative pay and flexible working hours. Once workers have shaped their daily lives around the apps, companies, beholden to venture capitalists, manipulate pay models to lower costs and flood local markets with competition. Instcart tripled its workforce from roughly 40,000 to 130,000 over the past year. This means workers must compete for delivery orders." 
It may seem that more jobs are created but it's more like available jobs are being divided amongst more workers. This is eating at the middle class… where table scrap type jobs (part-time and temp jobs) were the employment market for the unskilled teenager or desperately unemployed. These gig jobs are becoming the only choice for middle-class breadwinners!
A trend that further divides us economically by growing income inequality and lack of economic opportunity.


See also:

Sources:
  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/gig-economy-use-origin-phrase
  2. WhatIs.com
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gig-economy.asp 
  4. From <https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y3mz77/the-holidays-suck-for-gig-workers?fbclid=IwAR2uw3ge0OziRNDRvZU3Q4YNSU6iDEH9VP9eenLsf1RryeMHPZuQMDreGqs> 

Friday, December 13, 2019

The New RepubliCAN'T Party:


This picture was taken by Cleveland.com reporter Jeremy Pelzer at a Trump rally at the Olentangy Orange High School in Ohio 4 August 2018:
I've contended many times that the Republican Party, primarily its leadership and fringe element, have morphed into the very extremism they routinly condemn Democrats and independents of. Their new extremism has moved them so far to the right that now more than ever they are unrecognizable as the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan. Four Republicans that couldn't even win a Republican primary in this environment.
(reposted from 2018)
I have removed the previous headline, slogan, rhetorical question, and stated conclusions associated with this photograph because I don't want there to be a distraction from the raw picture or a conclusion drawn from the picture that would be twisted and spun to excuse this.

I do not want anyone to try and excuse it by pointing out that these guys aren't who they represent, that they are plants, that they are being satirical, sarcastic, or paid to wear these shirts. I don't want to hear an excuse that they don't mean what many of us think they mean.
What I want to know is:
Do you think they exercise critical thinking? Did they consider all the ramifications of their chosen statement? Are there any positive possibilities or realizations that can come from their statement.

Is their statement patriotic? Are they being respectful of the troops under fire in Syria from Russian and Russian backed forces? How does their patriotism compare to Colin Kaepernick reverently taking a knee during the National Anthem in silent, constitutionally protected free speech?

Should those who will be associated with them object? Is it a value statement? Or are they just trying to be funny? IS IT funny? Or are they just two bozo's that everyone should ignore?
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see also:  

Why Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Goldwater, Reagan and Jesus Christ Couldn't Be Elected In A Republican't Primary:

Monday, December 9, 2019

Doris “Dorie” Miller: The Hero of Pearl Harbor

From <https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/64767/doris-dorie-miller-hero-pearl-harbor/>

Doris “Dorie” Miller, an African American sailor, was one of the most unsung American heroes of World War II. His actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor helped save many lives and served as an inspiration to countless others.
Doris “Dorie” Miller was an unsung hero of World War II. His bravery during Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor helped to save countless lives.
Miller was born on October 12, 1919, in Waco, Texas. He worked on the family farm with his three brothers until September 16, 1939, when Miller enlisted in the Navy to earn extra money for his family. Miller completed training at the Naval Training Station in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was promoted to Mess Attendant Third Class. This was one of the only positions available to African-Americans at the time, due to Navy segregation.
Following his promotion, Miller was assigned to the USS Pyro, where he served as a mess attendant before being transferred in 1940 to the USS West Virginia. It was there that Miller became the ship’s heavy-weight boxing champion, earning the respect of his compatriots.
On December 7, 1941, Miller woke up early to begin his workday. As he began collecting the ship’s laundry, an alarm from General Quarters sounded. Miller raced for his battle station, the anti-aircraft battery magazine amidships. But when he got to his position, he found it destroyed by torpedo. Miller returned to deck, and because of his physical prowess, was assigned to help carry his fellow wounded sailors to safety. He carried several men to safe quarters, then retrieved the ship’s injured captain, Mervyn Bennion.
Then, without rest, and before being ordered to abandon ship, Miller fired an unmanned .50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until it ran out of ammunition. When asked how he managed to fire with such prowess, Miller said, “It wasn’t hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about fifteen minutes. I think I got one of those Jap planes. They were diving pretty close to us.”
The USS West Virginia sank to the bottom of the harbor. Of the ship’s 1,541 men, 130 were killed and 52 wounded. For his actions, Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox on April 1, 1942. On May 27, 1942, he was awarded the Navy Cross by the Pacific Fleet’s Commander in Chief, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
On November 24, 1943, a Japanese torpedo struck the USS Liscome Bay off the coast of Buritaritari Island. Two-thirds of the crew died or went missing—including Miller.
Doris Miller’s legacy paved the way for other African-American service members to serve in combat roles. And his likeness was used in Navy recruitment drives, including an iconic World War II enlistment poster featuring the words, “Above and beyond the call of duty.”
In addition to the Navy Cross, Doris Miller received the Purple Heart, the American Defense Service Medal – Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. In 1973, the Knox-class frigate USS Miller was named in his honor.
We honor his service.

From <https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/64767/doris-dorie-miller-hero-pearl-harbor/>

Pearl Harbor: Three films

From <https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/pearl-harbor-three-films/>
Promotional painting for the 1970 movie Tora! Tora! Tora!
by artist Robert McCall via Airport Journals
On the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mark Glancy looks at three films covering the Japanese raid on the US naval base on 7 December 1941...
“December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy,” declared President Roosevelt on the day after the Japanese attack on the main US naval base in the Pacific. Hundreds of Japanese planes took the base by surprise early that Sunday morning, sinking or disabling 21 warships, destroying nearly 200 planes, and killing over 2,000 people. It was a rude awakening for a country that had seemed determined to find its own path in the global conflict. Hollywood immediately seized on the topic in a number of low budget films about how America came to be ‘stabbed in the back’ by Japan. Since the war, the events of that fateful day have been dramatised on a much larger scale, but in strikingly different films.

1) From Here to Eternity (1953)
This is by far the most acclaimed and admired of all Pearl Harbor films. Its appeal lay, in part, in its timeliness: eight years after the end of the war, audiences were ready to look back without the flag-waving or moral certainties that characterise wartime films. Thus, in From Here to Eternity the attack on Pearl Harbor does not serve as the springboard for revenge scenarios or for exposés of Japanese treachery. Rather, it represents an awakening from the malaise and drift of the prewar period…

But is it accurate?
The film was based on a bestselling novel by James Jones, who served in the army and was stationed at Schofield Barracks, where the film is set, at the time of Pearl Harbor. Jones’s portrait of service life had to be toned down considerably for the film. The army would not agree to co-operate with the filmmakers unless it was portrayed more favourably. Hence, while Captain Holmes is actually promoted in the novel, in the film he is made to resign for his misdeeds. The Hollywood censors required prostitutes to be hostesses, brothels to be social clubs, and other elements of the Honolulu nightlife to be eliminated altogether.
Accuracy: 5/10
2) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
In the midst of the Vietnam War, Twentieth Century Fox produced this ambitious, two-and-a-half hour semi-documentary account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film was intended as a warning against complacency in the Cold War and also as a means of affirming the current state of good relations between the USA and Japan…

But is it accurate?
Admiral Yamamoto (Soh Yamamura), who planned the attack, reflects in the ending on its potential consequences. Despite its immediate success, he gravely observes: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” This is the best line and the most memorable moment in the film, but there is no record that Yamamoto actually said it. A larger complaint would be that the film fails to set the conflict in a wider political context. Japan’s invasion of China and its alliance with Nazi Germany are mentioned, but in its eagerness to offer a balanced account, the film skates over these contentious points.
Accuracy: 7/10
3) Pearl Harbor (2001)
…The attack on Pearl Harbor is vividly recreated – in detail and at length – with computer generated effects that are entirely convincing. Hence, we see the mass of planes swoop in over the island, and a myriad of explosions, fires, and casualties as the action reaches a frenzied climax. The film’s signature shot – a bomb falls from a plane high above the harbour, descends through the air, and pierces the decks of the USS Arizona – is nothing short of spectacular…

But is it accurate?
The characters of Rafe and Danny are loosely – very loosely – based on two real army air force fliers, George Welch and Kenneth Taylor, who were stationed in Oahu and on their way home from an all-night poker game when the attack on Pearl Harbor began. They were quickly airborne and shot down seven of the attacking planes…
Accuracy: 3/10
To see full review of the films:
From <https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/pearl-harbor-three-films/

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