Family Crest

Family Crest
Motto: I will never forget. [ Source HouseofNames ]

HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2132 due to gene splicing technology.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2132 due to advances in gene-splicing technology. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

PLEASE QUOTE, COPY and LINK

While this material is copyrighted, you are hereby granted permission and encouraged to copy and paste any excerpt and/or complete statement from any entry on this blog into any form you choose. In return, please provide explicit credit to this source and a link or URL to the publication. Email links to mckeever.mp@gmail.com

You may also wish to read and quote from these groundbreaking essays on economic topics with the same permission outlined above

The Jobs Theory of Growth [http://www.mkeever.com/apply.html]

Moral Economics [http://www.mkeever.com/moral.html]

Balanced Trade [http://www.mkeever.com/essay.html]

There Are Alternatives to Free Market Capitalism [http://www.mkeever.com/taa.html]

Specific Country Economic Policy Analyses - More Than 50 Countries from Argentina to Yemen [http://www.mkeever.com]



Translate

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hit the Ground Running


Hillary, My Liege

It seems likely that you and the Democrats will win the Presidential election and a majority in both Houses of Congress in the coming elections.

But, My Liege, do not take this as a personal compliment if it actually occurs.

As confirmed by the British vote supporting Brexit, there is a profound malaise among the world's population and American voters as well.

The malaise reflects the growing realization that Governments and other systems are rigged in favor of the accumulation of money and power by a few among us. And, our further realization is that the few who benefit from the system have no intention of ameliorating its pernicious effects on the rest of us despite clear and incontrovertible evidence that the few would gain even more if the rest of us could gain the smallest relief.

In practical terms, it will mean you will have two years to accomplish your agenda since it is likely that voters will tire of your failure to correct quickly the many problems facing average people. Thus, the Democratic majority in either or both Houses will be overturned in two years.

Hillary, My Liege, I am sure you recognize the limitations of a President's powers to change daily reality for the population as well as anyone. The foregoing implies that you will have a two year window to set your programs in motion since you will lose your Congressional advantages at that time.

So, My Liege, be well prepared and resolute in your first two years; set in motion all your ambitions during that time.

We wish you well, My Liege.

Your faithful servant

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Canary (Mouse) in the Coal Mine (Atoll)

Scientists record first mammalian extinction due to global warming.

A species of mouse on the Great Barrier Reef has gone extinct due to rising sea levels.

Read it here: http://www.gizmag.com/climate-change-mammal-species-extinct/43877/

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hillary, My Liege

Hillary, My Liege:

I am addressing you with the Medieval, honorific title My Liege to suggest that you will be our next President. As such, you will have the power of life and death over Americans as well as citizens of other countries.

It is an awesome power and responsibility, My Liege. I pray you are up to the task of balancing humility and moral rectitude with your new power.

During your formative years as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, you have taken some positions that have supported Corporations and other narrow interests in their accumulation of riches at our expense.

Now it comes that you must represent and take responsibility for the well-being of all the people instead of choosing to represent one or another interest.

There are some issues on which your past positions have not measured up to that awesome responsibility and those are the issues which led some to question your fitness for the office.

While some of those positions may be explained by the limits of your more narrow, prior offices, be assured that you will be measured by a different standard in the future.

Occasionally, Corporate and other moneyed parties have interests which do not harm the average person, but in today's world those occasions are infrequent. Many such claims are simply spin designed to obfuscate the real intentions.

Here are some, but not all, of the issues where Corporate interests can argue in favor of policies that will harm directly millions of people:

Fracking;

Keystone XL;

Trans Pacific Partnership, and trade deals in general;

Glass-Steagall separation of fiduciary and profit motives for banks;

Criminal punishment of Wall Street criminals;

Wall Street influence on the US Treasury;

Extraction of US wealth from public assets and working families by corporations and financial institutions;

Effective Bank regulation;

Corporate and bank lobbyist influence on Congress;

Privatization of schools;

Healthcare Insurance profiteering; and,

Climate devastation.

Any first year economics student can make an argument in favor of the policies which enrich the corporate interests at our expense, but your charter is to see the self interest contained in those arguments and balance that narrow interest with the interests of those who do not have access.

Again, we pray you are strong enough for the task, for, if you are not, then the American experiment will be finished.

Your faithful servant, since 2008.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Donald Trump, R. A. T. [Real American Terrorist]


Donald Trump has tapped into the emotional reactions of a minority of the American population who are frustrated with events.

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump has created or encouraged actions which can damage the country severely, if he is elected. His rhetoric ignores core American values and traditions - whether through ignorance of our values or contempt for them is irrelevant. We see anger, violence and intolerance on a large scale in our Presidential election. He also displays a startling level of ignorance about the real world.

The results of his exhortations may create a toxic political atmosphere which will work to the advantage of foreign terrorists.

Hillary Clinton has described his speeches and rhetoric clearly in this speech on national security which is available at this link: https://youtu.be/y04TVy0FxHg


Spring 2016 Country Studies


The Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) is pleased to announce the publication of its Spring 2016 country studies.

Three countries have been analyzed by four Specialists: China, Thailand and the United States of America.

China is analyzed by Specialist Qiu Du; the analysis can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/china.html

Thailand is analyzed by Specialist Duangjai Atipornpanich; the analysis can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/thailand.html

The United States of America is analyzed by Specialists Suraya David-Sadira and Danny L.; the analyses can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/usa.html

MIEPA can be accessed at www.mkeever.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

US Congress Weakens Unions, Supports Destruction of Middle Class



Over the last forty years we have been observing a stagnation in rise of real wages and benefits in the United States. Since 1970 the median rise has been only 10.7 percent. The most part of the wage rise happened in 1990s and since then we have been experiencing a stagnation in average hourly compensation. This worrisome trend is related with a declining power of unions.

Unions play a significant role in the US economy representing interest of their members by pushing businesses and the government to increase wages and provide other compensations as health insurance or pension for their members. However, since 1970 the percentage of unionized workers has been gradually decreasing. According to studies from 1973 to 2011, the share of the workforce represented by unions declined from 26.7 percent to 13.1 percent. Collected data presents a strong proof of a significant role of unions on the rises of wage. On average, workers covered by a collective bargaining contract earn 13.6 percent more than ones not associated with unions. Also, unionized workers are much more likely to be provided with health insurance (28.2%) and employer-provided pension (53.9%).






The diminishing power of unions has strongly affected middle- and low-wage workers. Deunionization is one of the most important factors explaining the growth of wage inequality between workers at the top and those in the middle of wage spectrum as well as a divergence between productivity and wages for an average worker. A report by Lawrence Mishel for Economic Policy Institute provides the research proving a correlation in the decline in wages due to erosion of unions based on occupation and education level. The union representation among blue-collar and high school graduates decreased significantly since 1970s. That led to increasing the wage gap by 21.2%. Due to the reduced number of unionized workers the ability of unions to set labor standards has also declined.

There are a few major factor causing a decline in unionization. The erosion has been partially caused by harsh economic context for unions including shift to services, technological advance and trade pressures. However, another reason of progressing deunionization is due to unfavorable change in the application and administration of labor law at the national level and an hostile attitude of employers towards unions. Therefore, changes in law have caused weakening of unions and their ability to raise wages.

It is important to remember that the positive role unions is not limited to benefits only for unionized workers. Probably even more important is union’s impact on non-union employees.

Its impact goes far behind only premium wages: “in industries, occupations, and regions in which a strong core of workplaces are unionized, non union employers will frequently meet union standards or at least improve their compensation and labor practices beyond what they would have provided in the absence of a union pres­ence.” The general mechanism describing union's impact on nonunionized workers is that practises and norms established by unions became widespread throughout the economy. Nonunion employers were forced to conform to rules set by unions in order to remain competitive. In fact, until 1980s numerous sectors of economy followed the union’s policy and set in collective bargain agreements. Therefore, the erosion of unionization have strongly affected rising wage inequalities between nonunionized workers similar to those who were members of unions. According to studies “the direct impact of declining unionization accounted for 20.2 percent of the growth of overall male wage inequality”.

Considering all information there is clear how significant role unions play in raising real wage of workers situated in the middle of a wage distribution. It seems obvious that one the most efficient way of reducing inequalities in wealth distribution is by ensuring the strong position of unions by enforcing regulations in favor of unions.

Contributed by Anna Sparazynska, May 10, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

INQUISITION 12: Women, Islam and Shame


In a world where women are murdered by immediate family members such as fathers or uncles for behaving counter to their wishes, and that such despicable murders are considered falsely as an 'honorable' act, there is only shame and dishonor for the murderers and for the 'religion' and beliefs that condone such acts.

"An honor killing or shame killing is the homicide of a member of a family by other members, due to the perpetrators' belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family, or has violated the principles of a community or a religion, usually for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, engaging in non-heterosexual relations or renouncing a faith." [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing]

Islam supports such acts by explicitly describing women as unclean and worth less than one half of a man.

'Quran (5:6) - "And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it" Men are to rub dirt on their hands, if there is no water to purify them, following casual contact with a woman (such as shaking hands).

Quran (4:11) - (Inheritance) "The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females" (see also verse 4:176). In Islam, sexism is mathematically established.'

Islam supports female slavery. 'Quran (4:24) and Quran (33:50) - A man is permitted to take women as sex slaves outside of marriage. Note that the verse distinguishes wives from captives (those whom thy right hand possesses).'

[https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/women-worth-less.aspx]

These beliefs and acts are fundamental to Islam and bring shame on Islam and on the perpetrators.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Carbon Release Accelerates

A new study shows that we are releasing more tons of CO2 into the atmosphere now than occurred in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) of 66 million years ago.

Here is a quote from the study: 'A few species went extinct, and some had to migrate in order to stay in environments conducive to their lives.'

Carbon is being released into the atmosphere today ten times faster than it was during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a period that has been considered the closest recent analogue to today's human-caused global warming, according to new research.

Here is a link to a discussion of the report: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0321/Humanity-s-CO2-emissions-blow-past-last-high-56-million-years-ago

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Police Use of Force Guidelines

While every use of force instance by Police has unique characteristics, the guidelines Police use to engage with force are generally clear.

Society tasks Police with controlling violent individuals and groups to protect public safety. Society does not ask police to determine motivations or conditions of a violent person before ensuring control of such persons' actions.

Some of the complaints about Police violence or targeting of specific groups appear to be based on the misconception that Police can or should diagnose a person before seeking to control his or her behavior. That idea is wrong.

A better way to reduce Police violence while preserving order in society is to encourage folks to study and understand the Use of Force rules of engagement Police use every day. With a more widespread understanding of when force is likely to be used, there may be less provocative behavior by some folks with a resulting lessening of violent confrontations.

Below is a generalized discussion of Use of Force rules as spelled out in wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum]

First, here is a categorization of the types of behavior Police may encounter:

In all use of force continuum models, the actions of the subject is classified in order for the officer to quickly determine what level of force is authorized and may be necessary to apprehend or compel compliance from the individual. Listed below are examples of how subjects are classified.

Passive compliant --- a person who recognizes the authority of the officers presence and follows the verbal commands of the officer.

Passive resistor --- a person who refuses to follow the verbal commands of the officer but does not resist attempts by officers to take positive physical control over them.

Active resistor --- a person who does not follow verbal commands, resist attempts by the officer to take positive physical control over them, and does not try to inflict harm on the officer.

Active aggressor --- a person who does not follow verbal commands, resists attempts by the officer to take positive physical control over them and attempts to cause harm to the officer or others.

Generally, the passive subjects and active resistors fall under levels 1-3 of the use of force continuum, while active aggressors fall under levels 4-6. The officers are trained to apply the proper measure of force within the continuum based on the actions and classification of the subject.

Then, Police choose which level of control to use when confronted with a situation.

While the specific progression of force varies considerably (especially the wide gap between empty hand control and deadly force) among different agencies and jurisdictions, one example of a general use of force continuum model cited in a U.S. government publications on use of force is shown below.

Officer presence --- the professionalism, uniform, and utility belt of the law enforcement officer and the marked vessel or vehicle the officer arrives in. The visual presence of authority is normally enough for a subject to comply with an officers lawful demands. Depending on the totality of the circumstances, a call/situation may require additional officers or on scene officers may request assistance in order to gain better control of the situation and ensure a more safe environment for all involved. It also will depend on the circumstances of the situation. For example, depending on how many people are at the scene with the officer, a larger presence may be required. However, if 10 officers arrive at a scene with only a single suspect, the public may perceive the situation as an excessive use of officer presence within the use of force continuum. In many models, the officer’s personal defense weapon or firearm unholstered and pointed at a subject falls under officer presence.

Verbal commands/cooperative controls --- clear and understandable verbal direction by an officer aimed at the subject. In some cases, it is necessary for the officer to include a consequence to the verbal direction so that the subject understands what will happen if the subject refuses to comply with the officer’s direction. The verbal command and the consequence must be legal and not considered excessive according to the continuum. For example, an officer could not order a disabled person in a wheel chair to stand up or be sprayed by Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Pepper Spray.

Empty- hand submission techniques, PPCT - Pressure Point Control Tactics, Control Tactics, techniques --- a level of force that has a low probability of causing soft connective tissue damage or bone fractures. This would include joint manipulation techniques, applying pressure to pressure points and normal application of hand-cuffs.

Hard control Techniques/Aggressive response techniques --- the amount of force that has a probability of causing soft connective tissue damage or bone fractures or irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucus membranes. This would include kicks, punches, stuns and use of aerosol sprays such as oleoresin capsicum (OC) pepper spray. Some models split these techniques between empty hand, soft control and intermediate weapon techniques but only include 5 levels of the continuum.

Intermediate weapons --- an amount of force that would have a high probability of causing soft connective tissue damage or bone fractures. (e.g. expandable baton, baton, pepper spray, Taser, beanbag rounds, rubber fin stabilized ammunition, Mace (spray), police dogs, etc.) Intermediate weapon techniques are designed to impact muscles, arms and legs, and intentionally using an intermediate weapon on the head, neck, groin, knee caps, or spine would be classified as deadly or lethal force.

Lethal force/Deadly force --- a force with a high probability of causing death or serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury includes unconsciousness, protracted or obvious physical disfigurement, or protracted loss of or impairment to the function of a bodily member, organ, or the mental faculty. A firearm is the most widely recognized lethal or deadly force weapon, however, an automobile or weapon of opportunity could also be defined as a deadly force utility.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

UPDATE April, 2016 - Send NATO to Libya

An interesting analysis by Shadi Hamid in VOX supports the earlier intervention in Libya by NATO and the US while comparing the situation now to what would have happened if we had NOT intervened.

It is available at this URL: http://www.vox.com/2016/4/5/11363288/libya-intervention-success

The analysis appears to support further NATO action in 2016 -

The time is here to take further action in Libya.

Daesh is poised to take over the oil fields and the country has no central government; several militias run amok and are paid by the Central Bank, which is forced at gunpoint to pay them.

Only an outside, multinational armed force has an ability to establish and maintain order and prevent further atrocities.

Failure to secure Libya is an imminent National Security threat to Europe.

NATO should invade Libya with sufficient armed forces to control the country, after securing an invitation from Tobruk or Tripoli or both.

Step 1: Secure oil fields from Daesh. Turn revenues over to Nationalized Libyan oil company.

Step 2: Impose a military dictatorship under NATO command.

Step 3: Destroy Daesh in country.

Step 4: Support a SECULAR, non-denominational government administration and restore basic services. Invite competent Libyans from either Sunni or Shia factions to take civil service exams and join the government.

Step 5: Create a SECULAR Libyan military composed of both Sunni and Shia and train them to NATO standards.

Step 6: After the national military is functioning to NATO standards, the NATO officers and troops will depart; this process may take 20 years.

Step 7: After the SECULAR administration functions well, call for elections and end the military dictatorship.

Going forward, it will be critical to reduce corruption by insisting on a public competitive bidding process for all public contracts and installing a robust civil service with competitive exams for all open positions.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New: Author Page Mike P. McKeever

The author is pleased to announce that an Amazon Author page has been established which lists his published books.

The page is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Mike-P.-McKeever/e/B001JS4TMW?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

Note: The link is not a hyperlink and must be copied and pasted into a browser.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Fall 2015 Country Studies

The Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) is pleased to announce the publication of its Fall 2015 country studies.

Two countries have been analyzed by two Specialists: Uzbekistan and the United States of America.

Uzbekistan is analyzed by Specialist Makhmud Islamov; the analysis can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/uzbekistan.html

The United States of America is analyzed by Specialist Jihao Chen; the analysis can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/usa.html

Additionally, the recent currency control program imposed in Argentina is discussed together with some limited speculation as to causes and possible outcomes; it can be read here http://www.mkeever.com/argentina.html

MIEPA can be accessed at www.mkeever.com

Thursday, December 3, 2015

UPDATE National Security Threat from CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Splicing Tool

In a recent article, James Clapper identified the potential threat to the United States from the CRISPR/Cas9 gene splicing tool [http://thebulletin.org/how-genetic-editing-became-national-security-threat9362]

This space discussed this concept earlier, as below:

New technology will make gene splicing quick, easy and highly successful.

It is called CRISPR/Cas9 (an acronym for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”).

Using this new technology, scientists can 'End the scourge of insect-borne diseases? Check. Inoculate endangered amphibians against killer fungi? Yes. Pluck invasive species from environments where they don’t belong? As you wish.' [Per article here https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gene-drives-spread-their-wings]

The mere existence of this technology raises serious questions about the future of humanity.

On the one hand, it can be used to do many good things as mentioned above.

Used properly this technology could reduce significantly human deaths from many communicable diseases.

For example, a new study suggests that this technology can be used to modify plankton to increase the production of oxygen and thus reduce the effects of temperature increase in the oceans; the study is reviewed here http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/12/gene-drive-one-of-many-ways-to-prevent.html

However, since the cost of this project would be significant, it is unlikely to attract funding.

On the other hand, that prospect raises at least two questions.

First, this technology WILL be acquired by terrorists and used to create death on a mass scale. The question is this: How can we limit those actions?

The second question is this: After many serious diseases have been eradicated, how will nature respond? It is likely that new diseases will evolve to infect a population with little or no disease resistance.

On balance then, this new tool poses an existential threat to humanity if it is allowed to be used by whomever and wherever chooses to do so.

The rational response to this threat is to limit its dispersal immediately and drastically by placing all of its uses under the strict control of the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization.

Both these organizations should be tasked with the twin objectives of securing control of all this technology which exists currently and also creating a protocol and standards for who can apply to use this technology in the future.

Any other action or non-action is inconceivable.



COMMENT FROM BEV BARNES

Bev Barnes Don't believe that the WHO is our best friend. Seems like they get swayed by big industry and really will stop studies and research or go with poor research on items that unsavory corporations want approved. Could be just a rubber stamp for industry.




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

All Salt Water Fish Will Die By 2048


According to a new study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, -- with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama -- all salt water fish will be extinct by 2048.

The result will be catastrophic for human beings who live close to the sea or who eat fish. 'Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% -- a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries,' according to CBS news. [Here is the link to the news story: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/salt-water-fish-extinction-seen-by-2048/]

The report suggests that sea life extinction can be mitigated, but also casts doubt that the world's governments have the political will to make the necessary changes.

This new study does not change the Humanity Doomsday Clock from its forecast of Human Species extinction by 2137.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Repeat - Islamist Oath of Non Violence

In the light of the Paris massacre, this space is reposting the oath of non-violence for Muslims.

The Quran has many passages which explicitly call for violence against non-Muslims.

It is logical to suspect any Muslim of harboring violent tendencies unless and until he or she renounces explicitly the Quran passages which call for violence.

In today's world, we are concerned justifiably that some Muslim extremists will visit violence on our citizens in the name of religion. While the vast majority of the Muslim population does not support these actions, it is our right and duty to protect ourselves against those extremists who want to harm us.

It is appropriate to ask each person suspected of harboring such violent wishes to swear an oath renouncing the use of violence. If the person refuses to take such an oath, then we are justified in deporting that person or otherwise expelling him or her from our country.

Some people will willingly and falsely sign such an oath while retaining their beliefs in violence. But, most potentially violent extremists will object to signing a document which asks them to renounce the Quran verses which support violence.

By deporting all who refuse to sign such an oath, we will reduce the incidence of violence in our country.

Such an action will create controversy and accusations of discrimination. However, our rights and duties to protect our citizens from violence support such an action regardless of any outcry.

The Quran contains several specific verses which call for violence from believers. We must require that any person suspected of violent tendencies swear an oath renouncing those passages in the Quran which call for violence.

This space has created such an oath which can be used and adapted by any interested party.

The Islamist Oath of Non-Violence is available here : www.mkeever.com/islamistoath.doc

This oath is designed to force a suspected terrorist to make his or her views known to the police; if the person renounces each and every one of the approximately 100 explicit calls for violence contained in the oath, then the person can be deemed low-risk. On the other hand, if the suspected terrorist refuses to sign each of the renunciations, then that person should be expelled from the country.

Here is the first part of the oath:


'I desire and hereby make a formal renunciation of certain selected verses of the Holy Quran. This oath of renunciation does not change my belief in Allah as the true God and Muhammad as His servant and messenger and of the Last Day. I make this renunciation intentionally, voluntarily and of my own free will, free of any duress or undue influence. Each of the verses is listed below together with my specific renunciation of each. The English text of the verses is taken from the Noble Quran and can be read here : http://www.noblequran.com/translation/surah2.html

Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing...but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)"

I, __________________________________________________________[Initial here] reject and renounce the Quran verse immediately above.'

Your faithful servant,




Saturday, October 10, 2015

UPDATE, JANUARY 2016 - INSTRUCTOR MIKE P. McKEEVER'S SHOOTER NEUTRALIZATION PLAN

UPDATE JANUARY 19, 2016

HUZZAH!!!

DOOR LOCKS INSTALLED!

CCSF CLASSROOM DOORS CAN NOW BE LOCKED AGAINST SHOOTERS!


Although the discussion below is now outdated for CCSF, perhaps there are schoolrooms elsewhere which cannot be locked. I encourage teachers in those schools to lobby for door locks to protect their students.

If you require details on the locks chosen by CCSF, please respond directly to me and I will forward your request to the maintenance department.

*************************

Since I am a College classroom teacher, I now must deal with the possibility of a moron with a gun on my campus. This is what my students and I will do:

INSTRUCTOR MIKE P. McKEEVER'S SHOOTER NEUTRALIZATION PLAN

My name is placed on this idea so no one else gets blamed for it. You are welcome to suggest changes to this plan. I have already asked the maintenance staff to install deadbolts on my class doors; if they do, then this discussion will become moot.

Neither my students nor I deserve to sit and wait to die when a moron with a gun starts killing CCSF students, staff and faculty.

We will act.

First, I will ask for volunteers who will be willing to act in the event of a shooter with the express understanding that they may be shot and/or killed.

Then, here's what I'll do in my classes.

1. Ask for all students to listen to outside noises and raise their hands in the air and make a pistol trigger pull motion whenever there might be one. Then the class will be silent to listen for confirmation.

If there is a repeat, the person hearing it will make the trigger pull sign with a raised hand.

ONE DOOR CLASSROOMS

2. If it is a classroom with one door that opens outward, as are most doors, then on confirmation, I as point person, or a volunteer student athlete, will grab the door handle and hold it closed since we cannot lock it.

[See below for two door classrooms.]

If someone tries to open it, the point person will hold it closed as if our life depends on it because it does.

At that time five volunteer students will gather at the door while all other students retreat to a wall out of sight and barricade themselves with desks.

3. If the point person cannot hold it closed, he/she will say 'GO'

With that, the point person will open the door forcefully and tackle the person outside at his knees.

Simultaneously, two volunteer students will rush the person and secure his hands, one student for each hand. If any weapon is found, the volunteer will throw it far away down the hall.

Also, two additional student volunteers will beat the person on his head with chairs until the person is still while the person's hands and feet are secure.

When movement stops, the fifth student volunteer will search the person's body for weapons and move any found away from the group.

If the person remains still, then we will look for belts or rope and tie the hands behind the back and the feet together.

If the person is not still, the beating will continue.

The event will be over when the person is secure with belts and is still.

TWO DOOR CLASSROOMS

Step one is the same, the point person holds the door closed and is joined by five other students.

But, the goal is to allow enough time for the other students to escape safely out the second door.

If all the other students have escaped safely, the last will yell 'CLEAR'.

Then, if the door is holding, the remaining team will exit the other door.

If the door is not holding, then the team will proceed as above.

With sadness,

mike p. mckeever

UPDATE May 2016: Oceans May Lose All Oxygen by 2030

Scientists discussing global warming are considering whether it will happen much faster than we thought.

A recent study suggests that all oceans may run out of oxygen by 2030 as a result of global warming [http://www.i4u.com/2016/05/109639/oceans-are-running-out-oxygen].

Additionally, James Hansen is the former NASA scientist who called attention to global warming in 1988. His new paper suggests our models may underestimate the speed of the change. Here is the link to the paper: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/15/20059/2015/acpd-15-20059-2015.html

For a detailed and non-technical presentation which includes other scientists' views, read Chris Mooney in the Washington Post here ; http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/07/20/the-worlds-most-famous-climate-scientist-just-outlined-an-alarming-scenario-for-our-planets-future/

Additional projections of sea warming effects on the marine food chain are available here : http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/uoa-gma100915.php

The possibility that warming and glacial melting may happen very quickly moves the Doomsday Clock forward.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Half of Sea Life Lost Since 1970


Since many people depend on fishing for food, the loss of half of all sea life since 1970 moves the Doomsday Clock forward to 2138.

Details are here - http://perfscience.com/content/2142543-wwf-warns-marine-population-has-fallen-almost-50-1970

Friday, September 4, 2015

Productivity and Wage Gap in the United States


Barry, My Liege:

Just in case you were wondering why so many Americans are really P. O'd, see this graph






Your faithful servant,

Saturday, August 22, 2015

UPDATED LINK TO VIDEO: Black Mother Peggy Hubbard Tells the Truth

Barry, My Liege:

Racial relations in the United States of America appear to be deteriorating.

It is difficult to address the issue without fear of being labeled a racist.

But, black Mother Peggy Hubbard in St. Louis can tell the truth.

Boy, can she.

Watch it here if you dare:

UPDATED LINK TO VIDEO

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/peggy-hubbards-attack-on-black-lives-matter/402128/

[Sadly, the Atlantic bleeped out most of the profanity, but the situation IS profane and profane language is the only way to express that.]

Your servant,

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dems : Don't Be Evil, Pass Iran Treaty

Barry, My Liege :

This is to the Dems we need to uphold your veto of the Republican's cancellation of the Iran Treaty.

Hey Dems - messing with this deal is the same as telling the heart surgeon who is saving your wife's life that he is doing it wrong and that you have a better idea.

Just shut the hell up and let him work.

Here's a link to what Eric Swawell (D) California and a member of the Intelligence Committee says :

https://swalwell.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/eric-swalwell-why-i-will-vote-iran-nuclear-agreement

The Reublicans idiots and the Israeli's are beyond the pale, just ignore them.

Your servant,

Thursday, August 6, 2015

INQUISITION 11: On Changing the Course of History



'It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.' Harry S Truman

"The past is never dead. It's not even past," William Faulkner

ATOM BOMBS AND ECONOMICS

My generation was required to practice 'duck and cover' drills in elementary school to prepare for an atom bomb attack from the Soviet Union. Air raid sirens would sound and we would crawl under the desk for a few minutes. Later in the day we would go to the auditorium and watch movies showing the vaporizing of buildings and mannequins representing people, including teachers at a blackboard and children like us sitting at our desks.

In one of the Terminator movies, Sara Conor has a nightmare of children being vaporized from an atomic blast. Lots of kids had that nightmare.

After graduating college in 1963, I went to graduate school at the London School of Economics and studied the Soviet Union to see if they were about to bomb us. Or, if we were not going to be bombed, would Communism take over the world?

FAILURE OF THE COMMUNIST ECONOMIC SYSTEM

After two years and an M. Sc. (Econ), my conclusion, and the conclusion of many other academics, was that the Soviet Union's economic system was not capable of creating both military power and civilian prosperity simultaneously. Further, it was clear that both military might and political influence require a prosperous economy as a foundation. The Soviet Union was simply not capable of producing both things due to its badly designed system of central planning and collectivization enforced by mass murder.

The corollary conclusion is that sustaining military strength and influence requires economic strength; a system which devotes too much of its economy to military power will lack the long term resources to maintain that power at an effective level.

Those conclusions were not popular at the time since the received wisdom in the United States was that Communism was an imminent threat. To counter that threat, the United States was required to build a massive military. Nevertheless, I relayed that conclusion to a person of some influence in conservative political circles in 1966.

Over the years, the Soviet system gradually weakened and eventually collapsed in 1991; it was replaced by the Confederation of Independent States (CIS). The final straw in that collapse was probably Ronald Reagan's aggressive posture in confrontation with the Soviets. The most likely spur to Reagan was his apparent conviction that the Soviet system was weak.

MODEL OF CHANGING PERCEPTIONS WITH WAR

Another similar series of events involved World War II. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 changed the perception of everyone in the United States. We went from a country seeking peace to a country determined to enter and win the war. It has been argued that Franklin D. Roosevelt as President made a decision to delay entering the war until the mood of the country changed in favor of war.

Apparently, it is possible to change the course of history by changing the dominant perception of events. Many writers have explored this topic.

When one consciously tries to change events by changing perceptions, it can be called 'propaganda'.

But, it's 'propaganda' only when it is obvious and crude.

When the event which changes perceptions is not noticed as a change at all, it is more effective.

THEORY OF CHANGING PERCEPTIONS DELIBERATELY

When an organization or person wants to change events, then he needs to change the basis of the thought by which people make their decisions. To be effective, the generally held perceptions are altered so that the decisions people will make are more favorable to desired objectives.

The question becomes how a person can change the way people perceive reality so that they will reach the conclusions wanted by the person creating the changes.

Of course, that is not to say that every change in perceptions is caused by some evil genius, but it is to say that some of the changed perceptions are created deliberately.

From Keynes: "The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back... soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil."
-- John Maynard Keynes, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money"

DIRECTING PERCEPTION CHANGE TO THE COMMON GOOD

My goal is to change the way the world thinks about economics so that more people will be better off materially. One of the failures of Classical Economic Theory as proposed by Adam Smith in 1776 is that it creates an economic model which explicitly excludes any concern for the welfare of individual people. Keynesian theory partly addresses that deficiency by providing instances when the government is required to intervene in the economy to avoid extreme human suffering as was seen in the 1930's.

The more recent Nordic economic model extends Keynesian government interference in the economy to the individual level; governments which adopt that model take responsibility for individual health care, education, employment and housing by raising taxes on wealthy citizens to pay for a better life for the population.

One of the requirements for both the Keynesian and Nordic economic models is that the economy must grow in order to provide for more people. Since the population constantly increases, the amount of material goods required to avoid misery also grows every year.

Economic theories about growth have been inadequate to address the real problems of providing for more people. The most recent significant theory was proposed in the 1950's and is no longer adequate. Previous theories of economic growth rely on capital accumulation to create growth. They assume that employment would grow if the GDP grew.

In 1995 I created a list of economic policies which can be followed by any country and which will ensure economic growth. The stated purpose of the policies is 'the betterment of humanity through the promotion of sound economic policies.'

The basis of the policies is to create as many jobs as possible. Thus, it is called the "Jobs Theory of Growth" and can be read here http://www.mkeever.com/apply.html

Effectively, it is a new and different economic theory of economic growth.

Students in my economics classes have the option to write an analysis of how well their home government performs on each of the 34 individual policies, which are designed to ensure growth. I publish their country analyses on my website here www.mkeever.com. Currently, there are nearly 60 analyses of individual countries prepared under my direction on the website.

Perhaps some countries may be persuaded to change their policies affecting economic growth when they face the probability of receiving a grade on those policies.



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Something's Happening Here, What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear [Buffalo Springfield]

Barry My Liege:

Things in nature are changing.

Scientists call it the 'blob'.

Or, the 'New Normal'.

Read it here:

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Expanse-of-warm-water-dubbed-the-blob-consumes-6420212.php

[For some reason, the link is not working in IE, but is working in firefox]

Your servant

INQUISITION 10 : On Waiting


Accomplishing most things requires cooperation from other people.

We can finish a work in solitude as a sole performer, but it is more satisfying when others see the work.

And, placing the work where the public can see it requires working with others.

Of course, while the particular thing we want is important to us, it has less importance to the others on whom we depend.

An experienced performer creates an action plan of specific steps to take before starting the process of working with others.

That plan has two phases: the items which the performer can accomplish without help from others and the items which require others to perform.

First, we do all the items in the plan that do not require others.

After that, we examine the list to be sure that we have done all we can do. If we have done all that and the plan is not progressing, we will have the urge to hector others to hurry along their actions on our behalf.

That approach has limits. Too much hectoring can cause the hectored to disregard the hectorer's wishes from spite. Less is more when urging others to do our work for us.

It is better to rely on an accurate assessment of the hectored's motives and incentives to do our work. If we have presented the request so that the other party can see that it is in his self-interest, then it will get done when the other party chooses.

When all the other parties' interests coincide with our interests, then there is little more we can do.

It is better to fight the urge to do 'something, anything' to move the project along.

If the plan is well designed and appeals to all parties' interests, then action for the sake of action can destroy the project.

It is better to re-examine the plan to improve it.

If the plan is sound and all the actions that can be taken are complete, then it is time to wait.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Who Gets the Money - Labor Productivity has Far Outstripped Wage Gains in the USA


Barry, My Liege:

As you know, workers in the United States of America have shown consistently increasing productivity for half a century or more.

Productivity is a simple concept, just divide the total output of the country, or the real GDP, by the total number of hours worked and you see a measure of how much wealth each hour of work produces.

Clearly, there are several factors which combine to increase productivity.

Increasing the amount of capital invested in the workplace will result in higher productivity as machines replace workers. And, developing new technologies which result in a single machine replacing even more workers also increases productivity.

Both of these factors can be attributed to business owners and the owners are entitled to a fair return for their investment in our market economy.

But, workers also have contributed to the productivity increase by improving their personal education levels. They have done so at their own expense and are therefore entitled to a portion of the increased wealth they produce in the form of higher wages.

However, increasing labor productivity has not correlated with higher wages, as seen in the chart below:




Your faithful servant



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Boorish Rich Kids Make the Case for Inheritance Tax

Barry, My Liege:

This space has suggested consistently that income inequality is bad for the country.

Part of the equalizing process is to institute an inheritance tax so that each generation is required to make its own way and so that we do not create an hereditary noble class.

Luckily, the boorish behavior of many rich kids lends credence to the idea that inherited wealth is bad for the country.

Follow rich kids here, if you have the tolerance: https://www.facebook.com/richkidsofinstagram

Please pass a strong inheritance tax.

Your faithful servant,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stop Corporate Spying, Change or Veto the CISA Bill


Barry, My Liege:

Proposed legislation called the CISA, gives corporations and government too much power.

Please veto the legislation and insert more privacy protection for citizens.

Read the article here:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/07/stop-cisa-join-eff-week-action-opposing-cyber-spying-0

Your servant,

Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers

Barry, My Liege :

Here is the text of the letter:

'Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention. They might include, for example, armed quadcopters that can search for and eliminate people meeting certain pre-defined criteria, but do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones for which humans make all targeting decisions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.

Many arguments have been made for and against autonomous weapons, for example that replacing human soldiers by machines is good by reducing casualties for the owner but bad by thereby lowering the threshold for going to battle. The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow. Unlike nuclear weapons, they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce. It will only be a matter of time until they appear on the black market and in the hands of terrorists, dictators wishing to better control their populace, warlords wishing to perpetrate ethnic cleansing, etc. Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity. There are many ways in which AI can make battlefields safer for humans, especially civilians, without creating new tools for killing people.

Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons — and do not want others to tarnish their field by doing so, potentially creating a major public backlash against AI that curtails its future societal benefits. Indeed, chemists and biologists have broadly supported international agreements that have successfully prohibited chemical and biological weapons, just as most physicists supported the treaties banning space-based nuclear weapons and blinding laser weapons.

In summary, we believe that AI has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways, and that the goal of the field should be to do so. Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.'

Please support this.

Your faihtful servant

Thursday, July 23, 2015

R.I.P. Sandra Bland

Barry, My Liege:

I am going to call 'B S' on the folks who suggest that police is the single reason for the tragedy of Sandra Bland.

The original dash cam video and audio of the stop and arrest shows that Ms. Bland was verbally combative, verbally abusive and physically assaultive on the officer.

Here is the link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBh3wzXd3vg

Ms Bland clearly lost it and went off on the cop without an adequate justification.

UPDATE 7.25.15: Recently released autopsy is '...consistent with suicide...' [http://www.financialexpress.com/article/miscellaneous/death-of-woman-in-texas-jail-consistent-with-suicide-prosecutor/107121/]

Police are trained to handle these situations and my impression is that he did so per training.

The commentators who hold Ms Bland totally innocent and suggest that there was no reason for the police to arrest her since the original infraction was a minor event ignore any of her actions which may have caused the police to act the way he did.

There appears to be a common thread among some commentators of ignoring any action of the 'victims' of police actions; but, and it is a big 'but', there is a real possibility that some of the 'victims' precipitate their injuries by their actions during a police activity.

Clearly, there are poor police, but there are also violent criminals with whom the police interact every day.

If a 'victim' behaves like a violent criminal then he or she will be treated like a violent criminal.

That is the job we ask of our police.

We need to let them do their job and keep us safe.

Your faithful servant,

.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Book on Global Warming

I am pleased to announce the publication on Amazon Kindle of my new book

'The DOOMSDAY Clock: Planetary Homo Sapiens Die-Off':

Selected science documenting global climate change including projected worst case scenarios Kindle Edition

by Mike P. McKeever July 2015 (Author)

It is available for $0.99 or for free depending on your Amazon membership.

It is available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011JCME0G

Your reviews will be appreciated.

Regards,
Mike P. McKeever

Friday, June 26, 2015

Billionaires Bribe Barry - Barry Boots Bro's

Barry, My Liege:

This is what will happen after you approve the TPP:

1. Billionaires will get richer

2. American workers will lose thousands of jobs; some will get depressed and commit suicide while others will simply drink and abuse their wives and children

3. Whatever money is committed to re-train the workers who lose jobs will be wasted - not because the workers won't try but because the program will be too small and too poorly managed

This we know from prior experience.

I could go into more detail, BUT THE AGREEMENT IS SO BAD THAT YOU ARE KEEPING IT SECRET!

The billionaire assholes who are continuing to screw the American public don't even have the balls or grace to tell us exactly how we will be screwed.

So, Barry, you owe us this at least:

When you screw us, at least tell us how we will be f***ed.

Your servant,

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sixth Species Exinction Event Under Way Now

Human activity is creating the sixth species extinction event in Earth's history. Mankind will lose significant bio-diversity in the span of three human lifetimes. See a summary here: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0620/How-to-prevent-the-sixth-mass-extinction

This is further documentation of the effects of human activity on our ecosystem. '...current species extinction rates are 10 to 100 times faster than previous estimates,' stated in http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0529/Extinction-rates-higher-than-thought-but-not-all-gloom-and-doom

At some future time, the species likely to go extinct will be the human species.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring 2015 Country Studies Published



Spring 2015 Country Studies Published



The Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) is pleased to announce the publication of its Spring 2015 country studies.

Two countries have been analyzed by two Specialists: Burma/Myanmar and the United States of America.

Burma/Myanmar is analyzed by Specialist Aung P. Phyo [A nom de guerre at MIEPA suggestion]; the analysis can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/burma.html

The United States of America has been analyzed by Specialist Christopher Babcock and can be read at http://www.mkeever.com/usa.html

MIEPA can be accessed at www.mkeever.com

Monday, May 25, 2015

INQUISITION 9: Denial and The Tyranny of Hope


In one of the episodes of The Wire television series about drug dealing gangs and politics in Baltimore, a gang boss walks into a convenience store. The security guard recognizes him and pleads with him to avoid trouble. 'Please sir, I don't want no trouble. I am just trying to feed my family.'

The gangster looks him in the eye and says 'You'd like it to be one way, but it's the other.'

Then, the gangster takes some beef jerky and puts it in his pocket, making sure the guard can see him. The guard does not say a word.

Later the same day, the gangster sends someone around who shoots the guard.

In economics, we call it the difference between positive thinking and normative thinking. Normative thinking is when we think about what we want and positive thinking is when we think about the way things really are.

Whenever we say we have hope, it really means that we know the way things really are but we want them to be different. We want the the 'other' way.

I spent some years working with financial data trying to make accurate predictions about the future. Here's what I learned: changes are small and barely noticeable when they occur. There are very few big, dramatic changes - mostly, change is incremental.

In the 2006 film 'An Inconvenient Truth', Al Gore claimed that while global warming appears inevitable and will severely damage the ablity of the Earth to sustain life, there are several specific actions we can take to modify our lifestyles and to reach manageable temperature rises.

However, as a species we appear to be unable to modify our behavior so far. Here's how Wikipedia put it: 'Near- and long-term trends in the global energy system are inconsistent with limiting global warming at below 1.5 or 2 °C, relative to pre-industrial levels.[184][185] '
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Mitigation]

Failure to limit global warming below the 1.5 or 2% threshold will lead to increasing climate change with negative consequences for us all.

For most people, The natural human reaction to such facts is to 'hope' that we will find a way to limit the effects somehow.

It appears that the likelihood of irreversible climate change is too large a concept for most people to grasp. Instead of facing the 'positive' trends, many people revert to the 'normative' hope that the problem will disappear. This is often called 'denial.'

And yet, we limit our ability to create effective responses to future trouble by 'hoping' or 'wishing' it away.

Perhaps if we can eliminate 'hope' from the problem, we can face it realistically.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blacks Are Different


Recent news regarding a seeming increase in the number of black males killed by police action raises questions.

Numbers do not show whether the rate has increased recently or stayed the same since the statistics are sketchy in general. But, black males have been killed by police at about four times the rate of white males [http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-ferguson-race-data].

The conclusion is that the recent public concern has changed, but not the incidence of police killings of black men.

Does this mean that white police officers kill black men at a high rate because they hate black men?

No such inference can be drawn from the data.

But, a corollary conclusion may be possible.

Do the data and research suggest that black males behave differently than whites while interacting with police in stressful situations?

No certain conclusion can be drawn, but there is tantalizing evidence of hormonal differences between the races which may lead to behavioral differences.

Levels of estradiol [serum estrogen] in black males are higher than in whites: ' Non-Hispanic blacks (40.80 pg/ml) had a higher estradiol concentration than non-Hispanic whites (35.46 pg/ml; P < 0.01) and Mexican-Americans (34.11 pg/ml; P < 0.01). Non-Hispanic blacks (36.49 nmol/liter) had a higher SHBG concentration than non-Hispanic whites (34.91 nmol/liter; P < 0.05) and Mexican-Americans (35.04 nmol/liter; P < 0.05)'.

The study is titled 'Serum estrogen, but not testosterone, levels differ between black and white men in a nationally representative sample of Americans', by Rohrmann S1, Nelson WG, Rifai N, Brown TR, Dobs A, Kanarek N, Yager JD, Platz EA. published by the National Institute of Health. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17456570]

Additionally, higher estrogen levels in humans are associated with more impulsive behavior [http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/estrogen-s-role-in-impulsive-behavior/].

Higher estrogen level reduces anxiety in social situations, thus contributing to more impuslive behavior [http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/estrogen-s-role-in-impulsive-behavior/].

Finally, females demonstrate different behavior during high estrogen periods, i.e, menstruation [http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/62/6/1166].

The conclusion is clear - black men behave differently during interactions with police than do white men, possibly because of hormonal differences.

Perhaps such an understanding may lead to lower tensions between police and black men.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

INQUISITION 8: Fear, Time and Accomplishment



PLEASURE IN TIME MEANS NO DEADLINE

One of life's pleasures is to undertake a task which has no deadline. It's a pleasure to take as much time as needed to complete the task the right way.

This is a luxury in a world driven by greed - just about everything we do has a deadline; and, time is money.

REALITY OF CONNECTION OF MONEY TO TIME

When a plumber comes to repair a toilet, he charges a fixed cost for the trip plus a fee per hour for his time.

Analogously, years ago, a manager assigned me the task of writing a list of the ten accomplishments I would finish each week in decreasing order of importance. And, as an incentive, he promised me a raise when I accomplished the top 3 items on the list for four weeks in a row.

The lesson was clear: learn how to break down large accomplishments into their smaller, component parts so the larger objective will be reached via a series of smaller steps.

EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT AND CRITICAL PATH

Incorporating time into a critical list means choosing which steps are required to be finished before other steps can be taken.

If a particular task did not have other tasks depending on its completion, then it could be completed in a non-time sensitive manner, but all the tasks on which other tasks depended had to be completed expeditiously in order to finish the project on time.

With the critical path established, then the weekly list of ten accomplishments becomes a meaningful tool in finishing projects.

The denouement of the exercise was that while I learned about accomplishing things, the promised raise never happened since the manager who made the promise was fired before I logged in four weeks of successful accomplishments.

LIST MAKING MEANS EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT

The list making method of structuring work offers an additional benefit. By placing all the tasks one needs to accomplish on a piece of paper, one may then examine each item at focused leisure to see if everything that the list maker can do to accomplish each task has been done or not.

Once everything that can be done has been done, then one can and should go to some other activity which is not associated with any item on the to-do list.

This has the advantage of letting the mind rest from task focused projects and then relax. And, while the mind is relaxing from task activity, it will actually process thoughts about the tasks unconsciously. Thus, taking a break from an intense task may actually be a method of becoming more effective.

This approach has worked for the writer. In a time where many bills were due imminently and no funds were available to pay them, the process of writing a list of actions which could be taken to raise cash and/or postpone each bill allowed a focus on productive action instead of panic or other fear based responses. Once everything that could be done was done, then the writer found a diversion. That time off actually created a fresh approach to the problem.

FEAR CAN INTERFERE WITH ACCOMPLISHMENT

Our minds can play many tricks on us; and, one of those tricks is to create an overwhelming fear of failure. The fear can be so large that it can interfere with rational thinking and prevent us from finishing a task.

One way to manage that fear is simply to recognize that it exists and is normal. That recognition of fear as a normal emotion can reduce its power to interfere.

Secondly, fear derives its power from its lack of boundaries. It can become a strong negative emotion due to its seemingly endless nature.

But, boundaries for fear can be created by writing on paper a list of the worst things that could possibly happen as a result of failing to complete the task. This boundary limitation is one method of reducing the power of fear to prevent accomplishments. Concretizing the feared outcomes instead of leaving them as vague and overwhelming threats will reduce the power fear has to prevent action.

DEPRESSION AND FEAR

Sometimes fear and a long list of problems can create depression. And, that feeling can stop any rational actions.

But, feeling depressed occasionally is a normal behavior. A wise person realizes this and avoids any actions while depressed. The feeling will pass after some time and then rational actions can be done.

[Depression is a treatable disease; if one is depressed for more than five days, then one should see a physician.]

CREATING CLARITY OF THOUGHT MEANS FOCUSING ON A SINGLE TASK

In order to produce the best approach to any problem, the mind should be clear of any distraction so the full power of attention can be directed to the goal. The mind works best when focused on a single question and not distracted.

One of the consequences of writing a list of tasks to complete is that none of those items will distract the mind from its current task. The process of writing the list means that the each of those issues is safely deposited on the paper and the mind then is free to work on other issues.

From this it follows that the idea of multi tasking is not workable. In order for the mind to do good work it must be free from distraction and able to focus on a single issue. Experiments have shown that automobile drivers who send and receive text messages while behind the wheel drive as poorly as drunk drivers.

TIME OFF AND ACCOMPLISHMENT

Writers who have all the time they need to write a book or article have found that the intense focus required to write effectively cannot be sustained for long periods because it is too exhausting. Some writers can write continuously for four hours as long as those hours are between 7 am and 1 pm. These writers find that any work produced after completing the intense focus period is usually worthless. In those cases the writer will switch to other pursuits like gardening, shopping or napping. These writers produce just as much good work in half a day of focused intensity as do some other writers who force themselves to write beyond the time of focus.

SLEEP ON IT

One method of ensuring that the mind is functioning as well as possible is to harness the power of unconscious thought. The logical and conscious mind is only one tool. Another tool is the information processing which our minds do while we are not thinking about a problem.

Most people have noticed that problems seem less difficult in the morning after a night's sleep. Something happens during sleep which re-orders thoughts and questions.

This writer routinely postpones any important decision until the morning to take advantage of that process.

In addition, the writer has found this an effective method of addressing large and important questions.

This method consists of asking the unconscious mind a specific question and providing the mind a specific deadline before which to fashion an answer.

For example, I might pose the question this way: 'Should I accept the offer or counter the offer? I need an answer in three days.'

Then, I can ignore the problem for three days. Without fail, I will have the answer in three days.

I have confirmed this approach with some psychiatrist friends. But, they want to know all the specific things the unconscious mind performs while working on the question. For me, the answer is the only thing I want. Exactly how the unconscious mind derives its answers is not so important.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Temperature Rise 14,700 Years Ago Killed Ocean Species, Discovery Moves DOOMSDAY CLOCK to 2139


[Photo from United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)]


Barry, My Liege :

Evidence of relatively recent ocean temperature changes and associated species die-off moves the HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK forward 6 years to 2139.

New science shows that a temperature rise 14,700 years ago killed off just about all species living in the ocean. It took only 170 years to accomplish the extermination but thousands of years for the species to recover.

View the entire article here : http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-oceans-climate-change-20150331-story.html

Humans will find it difficult to recover.



INQUISITION 7: Death


Everyone dies.

We accept it calmly.

Despite some popular entertainment vehicles, our species knows that it is not possible to survive death as a computer file.

[see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_uploading_in_fiction#Literature for a list of works]

Occasionally someone make an attempt like Russian Dmitry Itskov to outlive his mortal body. [Article here: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-03/achieving-immortality-russian-mogul-wants-begin-putting-human-brains-robots-and-soon]

There is in nature an acceptance of the inevitable. A rabbit which is wounded and about to be decapitated does not struggle. It accepts fate. Even insects will stop their struggle when death is unavoidable.

"How small a part of the boundless and unfathomable time is assigned to every man? For it is very soon swallowed up in the eternal. And how small a part of the whole substance? And how small a part of the universal soul? And on what a small clod of the whole earth thou creepest? Reflecting on all this consider nothing to be great, except to act as thy nature leads thee and to endure that which the common nature brings."

― Marcus Aurelius Mediations, Book Twelve, 32

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

INQUISITION 6 : Reflections on Old Age


Recently, someone asked me this question: 'What is it like being an old man?'

Well, I was about to say that I don't know.

Then, it hit me.

They probably think I AM an old man; after all, I am 74 and was born in 1941.

So maybe my life IS what it's like to be old.

I'm not sure because I don't have time to dwell on it. But, I'll try.

If you don't mind some personal stuff, I'll try to answer that question below using my life as a metaphor

WE ARE LUCKY

One thing I realize is that people my age are the luckiest people on the planet. We have it all - good climate, incredible choices about life – I live in the San Francisco Bay Area of California - security so far from most of the terrorist attacks, good medical care, the list can go on and on.

But, there is the nagging concern and regret about the world we will leave our grandchildren.

CHOOSING A LIFE DIRECTION

When I was about 35 years old, I decided what to do with my life. It was this: re-write economic theory so that history 100 years in the future would remember my contribution.

So, I took a year off and moved to a cabin in the semi-civilized woods of Mendocino County and wrote a book about economic theory. Then, good friend Dave Alcott [who had been a reporter for UPI in Europe I met on the Queen Mary in 1963] read my book and said, in essence, that my book was crap.

That was a blow from a respected friend. Not only was my book crap but, additionally, I was a nobody. You can get crap published if you are 'Somebody', but it is harder if you're a nobody.

There I was with my life's ambition in tatters around me.

Nevertheless, the ideas were sound, so I rewrote them into a list of 34 specific polices national governments could follow to ensure economic growth. Then I made a website and had some of my students write an analysis of their home country's performance on each policy. Now I have published more than 50 such country studies and continue to add countries and analysis revisions each semester. You can read them at www.mkeever.com

The kids do some amazing work. My country studies are as good as anybody's, maybe better since they avoid politics and focus on economics.

That meant my life's ambition was realized, so I planned to relax and take life easy.

PLAYING BASEBALL

When I was a kid I liked playing baseball, so I started playing again at age 50.

Playing baseball allows me to hang out with other old men; they are mostly white with a few African Americans and other assorted mongrels.

We are mostly athletic and play competitive baseball - same rules as the major leaguers, but the game is a lot slower - slower throwing and running. The best thing about the game is that your ability is very visible but your ancestry is invisible. No one cares where you came from if you can hit or pitch. Just leave your attitude at home - the bench is close quarters.

A lot of the guys used to play professionally at different levels and still love the game, as we all do, even the guys like me who played at the amateur level only.

When baseball grabs you as a kid, it never lets go. I tried to quit a few times, but I couldn't. Each time I quit, it took longer to get back into baseball shape. There are different levels of conditioning - out of shape, in shape and in baseball shape. The idea is that playing the game competitively means you throw as hard as you can, swing as hard as you can and run as fast as you can. And, just like the major leaguers and all the kids, sometime you hurt when you do that.

My hero is a guy I never met. He was playing baseball when he was 82. He had to quit for awhile because he broke 2 ribs sliding into second base one day.

TEACHING COLLEGE ECONOMICS

Also, I teach college kids about economics. They keep me young in spirit with their constant questioning, their eternal optimism and, yes, their occasional flirting. It is a good feeling to earn the respect of a room full of bright 20 year olds. I think I am good at it and I enjoy it.

ONGOING PROJECT CHANGES

A funny thing happened after my project was established and continuing. I read Marcus Aurelias 'Meditations' in which he says that whatever your concerns are today about fame, all the people who concern you will be dead in 100 years. Whatever your reputation, it will simply evaporate when all the people who know you are gone.

That's unassailable logic.

Then, news about the Human Extinction Event became interesting. Science suggests that climate change and associated problems spells the certain extinction of the human species very soon, soon as measured in geologic time.

It seems pretty certain that all human life will end within about 150 to 200 years.

Wow.

If that's true, and I think it is, then maybe a good life is to publicize the event as much as possible and live life with as much grace as possible - and that's my project now

Living with grace today brings some questions.

ARE THINGS BETTER OR WORSE TODAY?

YES THEY ARE.

Are things better or worse today than they were in the past?

Absolutely yes to that question. No doubt about it.

And they are the same and are also different?

Yes. Without a doubt.

HERE'S WHAT'S WORSE

There is one thing that is absolutely worse, though. Our economic and political system is completely broken. That is a new thing. And it is a bad thing.

When I grew up in the 50's and 60's, there were a lot of veterans from WW II who were in charge of things. Because they had seen a lot, suffered a lot and inflicted a lot of pain on others, they took a broad view.

There was a consensus on what was best for the country and that consensus carried the day most of the time. Greed and selfishness which harmed the public interest were a sin and a shame.

But now, those former sins are virtues. Greed and selfishness have run amok. The income and wealth disparities are staggering and unheard of in a supposedly democratic society. Many of those who have made it big appear to be totally selfish and uncaring about the common good. In some other countries it is less extreme. There is just no excuse at all for one person to own $80 Billion Dollars, as does Bill Gates. It boggles the mind.

We are returning to the Gilded Age of Robber Barons who stole from everyone until President Teddy Roosevelt busted the Trusts. Teddy got his support from the farmers and laborers who took up pitchforks and rifles to demand fair conditions in the railroads, mines, docks and factories. There was blood in the streets from labor strife then.

Then we got a Great Depression, thanks to the same bankers and banking laws we have now. We were wise enough to elect FDR who created Social Security and a general premise that it is the government's job to protect the poor from the rich among us. The rich have been pissed about that ever since the 1930's. Some of them are still trying to kill Social Security. Those folks are really caricatures of greedy assholes.

FAMILY

My Dad had three sisters and a brother and we had lots of family events with cousins running about and playing. They were good times.

I married three gorgeous women, Jeannetta from Aberdeen, Scotland, Margie from Avenal, Central Valley, California and Yelena who was born in Ukraine and raised in Moscow. I have sired three children I know about; now, I have four grandchildren. It has been a rich life and there is nothing I would do differently. Some of my family has trouble and I help them with love, but it is never enough help and that makes me sad.

My cousin Bev Barnes did a lot of genealogical work on our history. She found that we are directly related to John Adams, the Plantagenet family in England and before that to William the Conqueror, the Capet French Royal Family and even to Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelias. Very interesting.

EDUCATION

I graduated from private, liberal arts Whittier College with a BA and no debt and lived in London for 2 years while I completed a master's degree M.Sc. (Econ) at the London School of Economics, also with zero debt. I sailed to England on the Queen Mary. Since then I have traveled to Mexico, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Italy, France, Germany, Russia and Scotland. My daughter was born in Krankenhaus Nordwest, Frankfurt, AM, Germany.

CAREER

In my working career, I was easily bored and frequently quit a good job to find something new. That's a recipe for learning but not for wealth accumulation. Oh well.

My book HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN was first publshed in 1984 by Nolo Press, Berkeley CA and is now in its 12th edition.

I had more or less always been in charge of some things and responsible for critical parts of a company or charity. I tried retiring in 2008 to get a slower pace. The economy did not cooperate and I got really bored again, so I volunteered for Hillary Clinton in her Presidential campaign as a surrogate in some rural areas of California.

Below are some of the positions I have held:

Controller, Skates.com. San Francisco, Six years
Recruited to lead transition from manual to computer-based accounting systems and to supervise day to day financial and HR operations.

Business Manager, Pacific Horticultural Foundation, Six years
Hired to oversee daily business functions for non-profit publisher and educational foundation.

Senior FP&A Analyst, Dart Industries, Chemical Manufacturing. Four years
Recruited to introduce sophisticated financial planning methods, integrate new acquisition.

Development Project Manager, Pacific Coast Properties. Three years.
Recruited to build out two neighborhood shopping centers – sign leases, obtain permits, award contracts, manage construction, and secure financing.

Director of the Graduate School of Business Administration, Armstrong University, Two years.
Recruited to administer and reorganize MBA program.

Professor, Micro- and Macro-Economics, City College of San Francisco, 2003 and continuing. Vista community College, 1998 to 2002.

Economic Analyst, McKinsey and Company, Los Angeles, Two years. Support consultants with industry and company analyses. Founder, Principal, McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis, 1993 to present. Direct small, privately held think tank publishing studies of various countries’ national economic policies.

Business Analyst, Private Business Consultant specializing in business plan development for global and domestic businesses.

Owner, past owner of retail store, manufacturing business, service business as well as consulting and business brokerage firms

LOOKING BACK

Maybe looking back is what old people are supposed to do.

I'll do some of that later, but right now I have to complete a divorce, write and agree to a property settlement, sell a house, buy or rent a house, move, teach five days a week, manage an involuntary commitment of a close relative, find a relationship, practice and play baseball three days per week and try to keep up with some favorite television shows.

Ciao.