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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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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]




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Monday, November 12, 2018

The Profit Motive - Is it time to retire the ROI?


I. Profit Motive

A. Definition

Economic theory is supported by the idea of the profit motive. Profit refers to the money left to the business after all expenses and taxes have been paid.

Narrowly defined, the profit motive states that: 'Entrepreneurs are willing to risk capital in the hopes of a monetary profit reward if the venture succeeds. Indeed, success is defined as making a profit.'

A widely used measurement of success is the Return on Investment percentage [ROI], or the annual profit received divided by the capital invested. Investment opportunities are frequently ranked by that measurement with the higher percentage ROI projects or investments deemed more desirable than lower percentage ROI projects.

When competitive markets exist, capital is drawn toward higher ROI's and away from lower ROI's. Theory suggests that a society is 'efficient' when all invested capital is making the highest ROI possible.

B. Flaws inherent to the profit motive when extended beyond the firm

Numerous factors create costs and difficulties for the greater society when businesses are motivated to achieve 'efficiency' as measured by a high ROI.

1. External costs

Unfortunately, the idea of 'efficiency' does not include benefits to any people or organizations outside of the narrowly defined business. It is possible for a business to have a high ROI while making the overall society poorer. For example, making and selling cars can be a profitable business when only the direct costs paid by the company are considered. But, cars require roads and the car companies do not pay for the roads. This is called an 'external' cost, or a cost created by the company that the company does not pay. Instead, consumers pay the cost through taxes or tolls, which then benefit the company by enabling it to pass onto the public costs created by their product.

2. Adversarial relationships

Another thorn in the side of the profit motive is that business owners are motivated to reduce costs wherever possible in order to get a higher ROI. Specifically, any business is motivated to lower any and all costs like wages and salaries and to charge the highest price possible. That's how ROI is raised.

Businesses then are placed in an adversarial position with employees, suppliers and customers. Lower costs mean higher profits.

It does happen that some entrepreneurs occasionally attempt to harm competitors in order to benefit their own venture.

3. Income Inequalities and Monopolies

A regular feature of for profit economies is the concentration of income and wealth into fewer and fewer hands. As the rich become influential they will regularly block redistribution efforts from the central government in the belief that they will lose income and power.


II. Alternative organizational models

Economies where the profit motive is the dominant model frequently fail to provide adequate real benefits to the general population; some benefits do not lend themselves to the profit motive. Firms have no incentive to provide for any good or service from which they do not make a profit. Public goods like national defense and public parks don't have the possibility of generating enough revenue to create profits with a sufficient ROI to attract private capital. Instead there is a drive toward higher and higher ROI at the expense of the greater population.

Defenders of the profit motive argue that any such public good must be provided by the public sector and paid for though tax revenue to the government. However, some entrepreneurs lobby for and argue that taxes should be lowered to allow them to raise their ROI.

But, when a society fails to provide funding for public services through tax revenue, the central government frequently chooses to borrow money to fund the deficit. Seemingly several governments have reached the limit of funding public deficits through borrowing in the private capital markets. The lender of last resort, the International Monetary Fund [IMF], does require that governments wishing to finance their deficit raise taxes and lower expenditures to balance their budget. To date, the United States of America has avoided that exercise since private lenders seem happy to lend the US sufficient funds at low interest rates to fund our deficit. This may end at some future date; then the US would likely face the same IMF mandates we have avoided so far.

Here are some ways to organize enterprises which offer a better method of balancing private, for-profit interests and public interests.

A. Public Utility Model - For profit with regulation oversight

This is the Public Utility Model where a for profit company provides an essential product or service which requires a significant investment to deliver efficiently. The company is granted a monopoly but must submit to a publicly elected board with power to set its prices and operational methods. In California, the PUC regulates electricity and natural gas distribution.

The Board tries to set rates so that the company can attract private capital to its shares and bonds. Sometimes the Board fails to grasp the intricacies of the system and can sometimes be bought.

B. State Enterprise -

Many countries use the State model where a government organization provides a good or service. Sometimes this model creates problems when the company fails to make enough revenue and the government covers its losses. A case can be made that the subsidies are in fact an investment into a social goal that the organization provides for the country.

C. Non-Profit Organizations

Many successful organizations operate on a non-profit model, where the goal is to combine maximization of one or more social goals with enough revenue to cover costs. There are, for example, many non-profit credit unions which provide the same services as for profit banks but without the excessive concentration of money and power which commercial banks accumulate. [See my kindle book on BANK SLUSH FUNDS here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07B6RYQ7C/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i6]


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Radio Free Europe. Radio Free Arabia



Several European countries are experiencing populist movements in their domestic political systems. Some of the impetus toward right wing extremism is fueled by the fear of a rise in refugees and also by Russian meddling.

Since one of the first signs of a totalitarian regime is the control or muzzling of the free press, it becomes more difficult for affected populations to discover the truth of their situations. Repression of facts and a rise in false news make that knowledge more difficult to find.

Here are extreme nationalist votes in Western Europe by share [https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36130006]

Austria - Freedom Party – 26%

Switzerland - Swiss People’s Party- 29%

Sweden - Sweden Democrats 18%

Denmark – Danish People’s Party 21%

Hungary – Jobbik 19%

Finland – The Finns – 18%

Those are just the countries where the share of extremism exceeds 17%; the movement is active in all Western European countries.

Countries like Ukraine, Moldova, and other former Soviet Bloc nations are not represented in the table.

Simultaneously, a number of Arab speaking countries endure totalitarian regimes with little opportunity for the populations to make their voices heard.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - King Salman (House of Saud)

Qatar - Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

United Arab Emirates - Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Kingdom of Oman - Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.

Brunei - Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Perhaps it is an appropriate time to provide the populations of all these afflicted countries with an objective and non-political source of information in their own languages.

Radio Free Europe, funded by the US CIA, provided this function in Post WW2 Europe; it may be time for a more objective institution to bring it back to life.

A new Radio Free Arabia could provide s similar function for the Arab speaking populations.

Any such effort should be transparent in its funding and objectives and non-religious.




Sunday, October 28, 2018

United States as Russian Satellite


Russia has had a strong interest in controlling the governments on its western front since the Revolution. Immediately after World War II, the Russian government was able to control those countries by installing leaders dependent on Russia for support and by systematically eliminating any opposition. Since there were active armed partisan groups of many political leanings, it was relatively simple to choose the most loyal group and install that group as the sovereign and liquidate the opposition. Control of the sovereign was maintained by killing a leader who did not follow the party line.

After some time in control, Russia modified its tactics to rely on political means as the Red Army was withdrawn and the societies became more stable.

Under Putin, the drive to control potentially hostile governments has accelerated. Although the primary means of control is political manipulation, the tool of liquidation remains a part of Russia's tactics.

Although there is no formal acknowledgement of Russia's political control of the United States, this article takes that as a given.

United States, Donald Trump

In the Presidential election of 2016, Russia's chosen asset Donald Trump was assisted by a concerted Russian effort to swing the election in his favor. Although there were no overt assassinations, Russia continues to use murder as a political tool, even including killings in Western countries.

The Trump administration has consistently initiated and supported Pro-Russian actions and policies since his taking the oath of office. Two of the most obvious actions are, first, the immediate purge of the State Department's top officials charged with co-coordinating NATO actions to thwart Russia, and, second, the immediate purge of Radio Free Europe staff and Board.

Albania, Enver Hoxha

In February 1949, Albania gained membership in the communist bloc's organization for coordinating economic planning, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon).

A collection of communists moved quickly after the Second World War to subdue all potential political enemies in Albania, break the country's landowners and minuscule middle class, and isolate Albania from western powers in order to establish the People's Republic of Albania. In 1945,Enver Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu emerged as communist leaders in Albania, and are recognized by most western nations. They began to concentrate primarily on securing and maintaining their power base by killing all their political adversaries,

Bulgaria, Georgi Dimitrov

On 23 Aug 1944, Romania, Bulgaria's northern neighbor, saw its head of government Ion Antonescu removed from power and its stance switch from the Axis to the Soviet Union. Three days later, the Bulgarian Fatherland Front began a successful armed rebellion against the government, drove out the German troops by the end of Aug 1944, and overthrew the Bulgarian pro-Nazi government by 9 Sep; among the first announcements made by the new government was Bulgaria's declaration of war against Germany. Meanwhile, Soviet troops marched into Bulgaria in the first week of Sep, meeting [o]no resistance....Bulgarian communist leader Georgi Dimitrov ordered, from Moscow in Russia, the creation of the People's Court to try Bulgarian leaders responsible for Bulgarian involvement in the European War on the side of the Germans.

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=301

Czechoslovakia, Ludvik Svoboda

Prague and most of the rest of Czechoslovakia were liberated by the Soviet Red Army in May, 1945. That this would happen had been decided by Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill at the Yalta Conference.

It was at this same conference that it was decided that Czechoslovakia would come under the Soviet “sphere of influence” after World War II. But, the westernmost part of the country – from the beer-brewing town of Pilsen to the spa town of Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary) were liberated by the Americans led by General Patton. It was in 1945 that the USSR officially annexed this western part then known as Ruthenia.

On May 7, 1945, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Forces, but the last shots on Czech territory were fired on May 11. During the war, most of the members of the domestic resistance movement had gradually become ever more leftist in their ideology, since they were so vehemently opposed to the extreme right ideals that were ruling it at the time. Czechoslovakia’s first post-war government was constructed exclusively from the political parties of the leftist “National Front.” These included the Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, the National Democratic Party, the People’s Party and the Slovak Democratic Party. Pre-war right-wing parties were not allowed to renew their activities, because of their real and/or alleged collaboration with the Nazis. Left-wing Social Democrat, Zdenek Fierlinger, well-known for his affiliation with the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC), was appointed Prime Minister. The remaining six government posts were filled with Czech and Slovak Communists – Klement Gottwald, Viliam Siroky, Vaclav Kopecky, Julius Duris and Jozef Soltesz. In addition, the Communists were able to place their loyal supporter, Ludvik Svoboda (later Czechoslovak President), in the key post of defense minister. Thus, the extreme left gained a strong political position in the newly-liberated country as early as 1945.

https://livingprague.com/prague-history/prague-post-world-war-two/

Hungary, Mátyás Rákosi and Ernő Gerő

The Soviets made sure that a post-war government dominated by Communists was installed in the country before transferring authority from the occupation force to the Hungarians.

In elections held in November 1945, the Independent Smallholders' Party won 57 percent of the vote. The Hungarian Communist Party, under the leadership of Mátyás Rákosi and Ernő Gerő, received support from only 17 percent of the population. The Soviet commander in Hungary, Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, refused to allow the Smallholders Party to form a government. Instead, Voroshilov established a coalition government with the Communists holding some of the key posts. Later, Mátyás Rákosi boasted that he had dealt with his partners in the government one by one, "cutting them off like slices of salami." The Hungarian monarchy was formally abolished on February 1, 1946, and replaced by the Republic of Hungary. The gradual takeover by the Communists was completed on August 18, 1949, when Hungary became the People's Republic of Hungary.

The presence of Soviet troops in Hungary was formalized by the 1949 mutual assistance treaty, which granted the Soviet Union rights to a continued military presence, assuring ultimate political control. The Soviet forces in Hungary were part of the so-called Central Group of Forces headquartered in Baden, near Vienna.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary%E2%80%93Soviet_Union_relations

East Germany, Walter Ulbricht

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʁaːtɪʃə ʁepuˈbliːk], DDR) existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was a state that was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state",[3] and the territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II—the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

The ruling political party in East Germany was the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (Socialist Unity Party of Germany, SED). It was created in 1946 through the Soviet-directed merger of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the Soviet controlled zone. However, the SED quickly transformed into a full-fledged Communist party as the more independent-minded Social Democrats were pushed out.[45]

On 7 October 1949, the SED established the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic – GDR), based on a socialist political constitution establishing its control of the anti-fascist National Front of the German Democratic Republic (NF, Nationale Front der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik), an omnibus alliance of every party and mass organisation in East Germany. The NF was established to stand for election to the Volkskammer (People's Chamber), the East German parliament. The first and only President of the German Democratic Republic was Wilhelm Pieck. However, after 1950, political power in East Germany was held by the First Secretary of the SED, Walter Ulbricht.[33]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Germany#Organization

Poland, Bolesław Bierut

Near the end of World War II, the advancing Soviet Red Army pushed out the Nazi German forces from occupied Poland. In February 1945, the Yalta Conference sanctioned the formation of a provisional government of Poland from a compromise coalition, until postwar elections. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, manipulated the implementation of that ruling. A practically communist-controlled Provisional Government of National Unity was formed in Warsaw by ignoring the Polish government-in-exile based in London since 1940.

During the subsequent Potsdam Conference in July–August 1945, the three major Allies ratified the colossal westerly shift of Polish borders and approved its new territory between the Oder–Neisse line and Curzon Line. Following the destruction of the Polish-Jewish population in the Holocaust, the flight and expulsion of Germans in the west, resettlement of Ukrainians in the east, and the repatriation of Poles from Kresy, Poland became for the first time in its history an ethnically homogeneous nation-state without prominent minorities. The new government solidified its political power over the next two years, while the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) under Bolesław Bierut gained firm control over the country, which would become part of the postwar Soviet sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Poland_(1945%E2%80%931989)

Romania, Emil Bodnăraş

The Soviet occupation of Romania refers[1] to the period from 1944 to August 1958, during which the Soviet Union maintained a significant military presence in Romania. The fate of the territories held by Romania after 1918 that were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 is treated separately in the article on Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.

During the Eastern Front offensive of 1944, the Soviet Army occupied what had been the Kingdom of Romania prior to the military occupation. The northwestern part of Moldavia was occupied as a result of armed combat that took place between the months of April and August of that year, while Romania was still an ally of Nazi Germany. The rest of the territory was occupied after Romania changed sides in World War II, as a result of the royal coup launched by King Michael on August 23, 1944. On that date, the King announced that Romania had unilaterally ceased all military actions against the Allies, accepted the Allied armistice offer,[2] and joined the war against the Axis Powers. As no formal armistice offer had been extended yet, the Red Army occupied most of Romania as enemy territory prior to the signing of the Moscow Armistice of September 12, 1944.

At the inception of this organizational overhaul, pro-German elements were purged from the Romanian armed forces. In 1944–45, two divisions composed of Romanian volunteers— former prisoners of war, trained in the Soviet Union during the war, and also Communist activists such as Valter Roman— were formed: the Tudor Vladimirescu Division, under the command of Colonel Nicolae Cambrea, and the Horia, Cloşca şi Crişan Division, under the command of General Mihail Lascăr (who was to serve as Minister of Defense from 1946 to 1947). These two units were to form the nucleus of the new Romanian Army under Soviet control. Once the Romanian Communist Party took the reins of power, 30% of officers and noncommissioned officers (mostly experienced soldiers, but at the same time a potential source of opposition to the Sovietization of the Army) were purged from the military.[22]

Following the Romanian Workers' Party seizure of political power, the Sovietization of the Romanian army went into full gear, under the supervision of the new Minister of Defense, Emil Bodnăraş. This reorganization involved the adoption of the Soviet model of military and political organization, and a change of the military doctrine of combat and defense, in the context of Romania's integration into the Soviet strategic system, at the dawn of the Cold War.[23]

Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito

Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito ruled the country as president until his death in 1980. In 1963, the country was renamed again, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

Yugoslavia was renamed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, when a communist government was established. It acquired the territories of Istria, Rijeka, and Zadar from Italy. Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito ruled the country as president until his death in 1980. In 1963, the country was renamed again, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Actual Companies Responsible for Human Extinction



Here are the 100 companies responsible for the Human Species Extinction:

Precis:

"These companies, led by Saudi Aramco, Russian gas giant Gazprom, and Exxon Mobil, have produced about 923 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalents between 1988 to 2016. State-owned coal producers in China and India also feature in the top 10, as do Mexican oil producer Pemex and the National Iranian Oil Corporation. Of the top 10, only Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are majority-owned by private investors (although CDP has, for some reason, listed a bundle of privately-held companies into what it calls “Russia Coal” at no. 7). "

Full Article
http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/climate-change-green-house-gases/

Thursday, October 11, 2018

UPDATE - 100 Companies Responsible - We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN



Climate change is real and will be upon us very soon.

Drought, hurricanes and more.

It is likely that greed will prevent our species from making needed changes:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

Apparently, the mess is caused by 100 companies which emit 70% of carbon emissions

https://www.gq.com/story/billionaires-climate-change?fbclid=IwAR2cRFxrzbEMUAsQnB9REG4ZWg_nSEOx-8N_DeV-KoCbvgNz_MeEiGaPtPc

Monday, October 8, 2018

trump is an Existential Threat to the United States of America



In the heat of an election, it is easy to lose sight of the larger picture. Regardless of the Mid-Term results, the very existence of the United States is under attack.

Perhaps the biggest threat to the existence of the United States of America as a representative Democracy governed by the rule of law independently of the personal wishes of any man or woman is the current POTUS - Donald Trump.

He is actively installing the infrastructure to support a one person dictatorship within the confines of the current government. This includes a push toward eliminating the freedom to dissent enshrined in the First Amendment. Hillary Clinton suggested recently on the Rachel Maddow show that she thought trump would fire many people after the election; probably for the purpose of replacing them with his supporters. THIS WILL HAPPEN REGARDLESS OF WHICH PARTY DOES WELL IN THE ELECTIONS.

This space has been somewhat choleric on this and associated topics in the belief that inflammatory headlines are obscuring a larger danger.

A review of recent literature on the subject does provide cause for alarm.

Rich Barlow:

'Like ...[some] previous presidents, Trump hasn’t made a blatant lunge for dictatorial power. But his intermittent impulses toward autocracy have made it necessary for advisers, Congress and courts to contain him.

He argued during his campaign for the efficacy of torture and prosecuting his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He has threatened media whose coverage he found insufficiently admiring, and tried to suppress the Trump-damning book "Fire and Fury."

He proposed an un-American religious test for immigrants and refugees to ban Muslims; infected the body politic with nepotistic and business-crony appointees; shrugs off Russian meddling in our elections; and discussed a mass roundup-cum-deportation of illegal immigrants. (Arrests of undocumented immigrants surged during Trump’s first year, though not deportations as of yet.)'

http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2018/03/16/authoritarianism-cass-sunstein-rich-barlow

The Trump Administration Is Targeting Anti-Trump Facebook Users - By DAVID MEYER September 29, 2017, FORTUNE MAGAZINE

'The Justice Department is trying to force Facebook to disclose information about thousands of people who “liked” a page opposing president Donald Trump.

The DoJ wants to access all the information from the profiles of three activists connected to the “DisruptJ20” protests on the day of Trump’s January inauguration. The protests turned violent in part and, with a couple hundred people having been charged over the Washington, D.C. riots, the authorities are going after online information relating to DisruptJ20.

One of the three being targeted by the DoJ, Emmelia Talarico, was an administrator and moderator for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, since renamed “Resist This.” According to a legal filing by the D.C. branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the information being sought about that page would include personal details of thousands of other Facebook users who interacted with it.'

trump has weaponized hatred and dissent in an attempt to divide the population.

[By Alan M. Dershowitz JULY 25, 2018]

'President Trump recently threatened to strip the security clearances of top former government officials who criticized his performance at Helsinki with regard to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Were Trump to carry out this threat, he would be violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the First Amendment. Such a decision, directed only at those who exercised their First Amendment rights to criticize Trump, might be seen by the courts as punitive government action directed at the content of speech. Even threatening to do so might deter critics from exercising their free-speech rights.

Trump’s threat is reminiscent of the decision by General Lewis B. Hershey, who was the director of the Selective Service System during the Vietnam War, to selectively draft critics of the war. In both cases, the government has the authority to act generally by cutting off security clearances or drafting individuals. But it may not have the constitutional power to act selectively against critics who are exercising their rights under the First Amendment.'

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/07/25/trump-bid-silence-dissent-violates-spirit-first-amendment/czPW9wyCBsSwkxIvvB5dvJ/story.html

Ellis Cose, USA today

'Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare blog, spent more than a year chasing down one of Trump’s statistics. In a speech before Congress in February 2017, Trump cited a Justice Department study showing “the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.” After repeated requests for information from the Justice Department, Wittes concluded that the president was lying. Justice never generated such a statistic.

Nor, as fact-checkers have confirmed, is there evidence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement liberating towns across America from savage, immigrant gangs.

Such falsehoods have a transparent purpose — one aligned with neo-Nazi propaganda. They are designed to make us believe that hatred, suspicion and dread of marginalized populations are not just normal but noble.

Racism has become a normal occurrence

In March, the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a report documenting a 74 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Trump took office. In June, Scientific American cited a scholarly study suggesting that “Trump’s Islamic-related tweets may be directly linked to an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes over the past few years.” An NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll this May found that 30 percent of Americans see race as the biggest source of division in the country, and that 45 percent think race relations are getting worse.

When our president warns of marauding hordes pouring across the border and refers to brown people seeking asylum as an infestation, it’s no surprise that people are fretting over race relations.

In 2009, I visited Rwanda and talked to men who had participated in the attempted genocide 15 years earlier, many of whom were in prison. Why, I asked, had they tortured and killed their Tutsi neighbors? Some refused to give a direct answer. Others claimed they were wrongly accused. But the typical response among those who answered was that they thought they were doing what the state wanted them to do. They thought they were doing good. They thought they were performing a service by ridding the world of people the government called “cockroaches.”

Thank God we have gotten nowhere near that point in America — yet — although one could argue that putting immigrant children considered part of an infestation in cages is a step in that direction.

A year after the tragic events in Charlottesville, white supremacists seem emboldened. Although part of a street has been named for Heather Heyer, and her accused murderer is in jail charged with murder and federal hate crime violations, we remain a conflicted nation. Indeed, that seems to be part of Trump’s vision for our country, but there is no reason why it should be ours. There is no nobility in falling into Trump’s trap or in normalizing his ethnic animus. Although wallowing in bigotry might help Trump politically, it only diminishes us as individuals and as a people.

Ellis Cose, a fellow of the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement at the University of California and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the author of "The End of Anger." He is writing a history of the ACLU and civil liberties in America. Follow him on Twitter: @EllisCose.

Existential threat -

Frequently used to describe the possibility of the extermination or genocide of a population, the term can be used IMHO to describe the systematic annihilation of a country's laws and institutions.

'In the United States the 2016 Presidential Election looms and candidates from all sides are taking to the stage at debates and other venues in an effort to establish their foreign policy credibility. Whether discussing ideas to counter Russian aggression in Europe, how to engage China, or whether to destroy, defeat, or minimize the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a term often discussed is existential threat. While an existential threat is generally defined as something that is a threat to existence, this is imprecise and deserves further explanation. A more detailed definition could point to a threat being existential if it involves a group with the capability to permanently change another group’s values and the way it governs itself against the latter’s will.

Two examples where a group permanently changed another group’s values and the way they govern, against their will, occurred during World War 2. In this case, the Allies destroyed the 25-year-old Nazi movement in Germany and the 76-year-old Imperialism movement in Japan. To make this happen took tremendous military force. Not counting the Allied Forces, the United States employed 16,112,566 military members and two nuclear weapons to achieve this end. Today, a truly existential threat to the United States would entail another country being able to permanently take away its freedom and change its democratic form of government, regardless of the preference of the citizenry.'

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2016/02/10/what_is_an_existential_threat_109009.html

Sunday, October 7, 2018

UPDATE NOVEMBER 3 -GO TO A TRUMP RALLY: Pensacola, Macon, Chattanooga,, Cleveland, Fort Wayne, Cape Girardeau



My fellow Americans, trump will be holding campaign rallies where he is likely to insult women, decency and fair play repeatedly.

May I suggest that we attend the rallies and stand quietly on the side or in the back while dressed in black as in mourning?

We cannot allow him to rest, we must apply psychological pressure - it will be fun!

Apologies to Winston Churchill: "We shall fight him in the House, we shall fight him in the streets, we shall fight him wherever he stands for he is evil. We shall never surrender!'

NEW Calendar -

Pensacola, FL
Sat, November 03, 2018
06:30 pm (CDT)

Macon, GA
Sun, November 04, 2018
04:00 pm (EST)

Chattanooga, TN
Sun, November 04, 2018
07:00 pm (EST)

Cleveland, OH
Mon, November 05, 2018
03:00 pm (EST)

Fort Wayne, IN
Mon, November 05, 2018
06:30 pm (EST)

Cape Girardeau, MO
Mon, November 05, 2018
09:00 pm (CST)


Tickets here: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/rallies/

Friday, October 5, 2018

MAGA


Hey America -

I won. I have the House. I have the Senate. I have the Court.

I will screw you over so bad you'll want to die, but you can't.

Buckle up snowflakes, the ride is just starting.

Ladies, shut your trap and go make a sandwich.

America, it's great now.

Love it or leave it.

#MAGA

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Fight to Death for the Light


I don't know where to begin.

Our system is broken.

Everybody knows it.

We vote for change in the hope that the system can change and represent our interests again.

Instead - we get trump - crooked trump who sells us out to the thug Putin and his Russian gangs.

We are angry. We march and demonstrate.

The system rolls on and appoints judges who are just trump hacks.

The rich know it and use the system to get richer - they build fortresses on islands so they don't have to deal with us at all.

Congress is openly corrupt and sells itself to the highest bidder.

Then they pass laws which take from us what we do not yet have in order to make the rich even richer.

trump will fire all the honest civil servants next year and replace them all with his hacks.

He is installing a corrupt and authoritarian government - and NOBODY SAYS A WORD.

The Blue Wave? Won't do diddly. trump will keep on trumpin'.

There is no magic bullet, no hero on a plane or a horse.

Ain't nobody comin' round the mountain.

Two choices.

First choice: fight them at all levels, fight them in Congress, fight them in City Hall, fight them in State Capitols, fight them in the street, fight them in the planning commissions, fight them in the police departments - fight them until they become tired and give up. Fight with lawsuits, elections, demonstrations, accosting them in restaurants, push them out of the street, take away their swastikas and guns; fight them wherever they are, whenever they are gathered. Above all - do not give up, for then they win.

Second choice: acknowledge that they have won and then kill them one by one. Murder them in their homes while setting up alternative organizations. Take back the country with violence and mayhem. Join the preppers and withdraw to wreak havoc and change.

Monday, September 24, 2018


Barry, My Liege:

This is a desperate plea for you to be active, VERY active so you can influence events in 2020. President would be better, but seemingly you cannot serve again.

I fear for our Republic unless you guide us.

Our country and its values and institutions are being systematically undermined by Trump in a drive for authoritarian power, with or without guidance from Russia.

There do not appear to be potential candidates for President from the Democrat Party with the unique combination of electability, knowledge and skills you can bring. I say this as a long time Hillary supporter; the situation is too dire for the country now for her to be the peacemaker since she generates too much hatred.

The country is divided severely and could collapse. It can be saved if all parties can recognize that we need to work together. We cannot stand divided.

As you know, many of our fundamental institutions are being attacked as we speak.

Here are some suggestions on how to unite the country.

Go on a road show to the bastions of conservative thought and engage them directly on their Free Market capitalistic beliefs; von Mises Institute, Federalist Society, Club for Growth, Heritage Society - these are the ones which spring to mind. There are many others. You can include talk radio. The goal is to show reasonableness and allay fear. And, include the bastions of conservative voters and Trump support with the message below:

1. Explicitly state that people with differing opinions and philosophies will be welcomed as Americans and will NOT be hated because of those differences. Some of the Trump people fear they will be shunned when Democrats take power.

2. Demonstrate how extreme market solutions create inequality.

3. Show how all will be better when average wages and living conditions are improved.

4. Discuss the relationship of loss of hope to violent social revolution.

5. Outline where we are now.

6. Show how the rich will be even richer when income inequality is lessened.

7. Appeal to patriotism - 'It is un-American to make our citizens suffer needlessly.'

8. We are in this together, whether they like it or not.





Tuesday, September 18, 2018

UPDATE: Proof trump is a Russian asset.



There is no mystery as to why trump has ordered the release of classified data about the Russian investigation: PUTIN TOLD HIM TO DO IT!

Putin doesn't like it because it is effective.

It's the same reason Putin told Tillerson to fire all the State Department staffers who were coordinating NATO responses to Russian threats - they were good at their job.

There is a common thread to all this stuff: the weakening of United States intelligence gathering - as well as weakening any US active interference with Putin and the other Russian thugs' plans.

trump is a Russian asset.

The proof -

The scientific evidence for this assertion is based on the Duck Codicil to Occam's Razor. As you know, Occam holds that when presented with differing explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest explanation is the most likely to be true.

The Duck Codicil, antecedents unknown, holds that if an outcome has three or more consistencies with an hypothesis for its cause, then it is likely that the hypothesis is correct. The Codicil is useful especially where experimentation is not possible.

More colloquially, 'If it swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, eats like a duck and shits like a duck, then it is a duck.'

Saturday, September 15, 2018

SOCIALISM: A Primer


Socialism as an economic model and also as a political movement has come to the forefront recently.

It seems appropriate to examine some of the idea's structure and history.

SOCIALIST ECONOMIC MODEL

The economic model of socialism is conceptually very simple: the people as represented by the state own all the productive resources in the country. Since all enterprises are publicly owned, there is no profit motive and instead enterprises are organized to provide the maximum amount of well being to the entire population in the form of goods and services delivered at cost with no profit.

CAPITALIST ECONOMIC MODEL

This idea directly contradicts the capitalist model wherein all the productive resources in the country are owned by private individuals and organized to maximize profits for the owners. In this model, individuals supposedly are benefited with the concept that competition in the marketplace will force efficiency on all privately owned companies, resulting in the greatest amount of good delivered to the greatest number of people.

Capitalist Imbalances

However, it is obvious that private owners of capital will, and do, consider customers and employees as adversaries. After all, capitalists want to hire resources and labor at the lowest price and sell products at the highest price: that is how businesses maximize profits.

When there is an imbalance of power between business owners and customers or employees, capitalist theory suggests that the power imbalances will even out over time. But, it happens that national governments can become impatient of the imbalances and create regulations to even the scales; or, governments can be co-opted by wealthy business owners and prevent market forces from balancing the scales. These instances are called 'market failures'.

BOTH MODELS CO-EXIST

In the real world there are usually mixtures of differing structures in all countries wherein some enterprises are owned publicly and some are owned privately. For example, in the United States, private for-profit businesses provide the majority of goods and services. But, there are some exceptions where the enterprise is owned publicly and designed to provide goods and services at cost without making a profit. Good examples include municipal public water systems and sewer systems.

Fear of Socialism

The Socialist model has negative publicity since the model was imposed violently in numerous societies, as in Russia in 1918 and China in 1949. In these cases, the popular armed forces rounded up all the private property owners and shot them.

So, when the idea of socialism is raised as an evil idea, it is largely because of those experiences.

Some commentators may suggest that Socialist or public enterprises are inherently corrupt while such corruption is eliminated from privately owned companies by competition. This argument fails to hold when considering the many criminal and corrupt examples in privately owned enterprises. It simply may be that there is an equal likelihood of criminal behavior in any organization regardless of its ownership structure.

RE-EXAMINING THE MODELS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Perhaps a better method of examining the idea of socialism and public ownership and control in general is to examine any enterprise to see if the goal of the enterprise is to make a profit for its owners; or, whether the goal is simply to recover costs and provide goods and services for the benefit of the employees and customers.

Thus, a 'socialist' enterprise may be either a state owned and managed entity, or a privately owned entity, both with the goal of simply recovering costs in a 'non-profit' organization.

In the United States today there are both private, for profit banks and there are non-profit credit unions. Both types of organizations provide the same range of services, and, arguably, non-profit credit unions do so better for their customers and employees.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dear trump Supporter



I am liberal and I don't hate you, or fear you.

Someday soon you will awaken from your infatuation with him and see him as liberals see him.

When you do, then you will be welcomed home as Americans - you who were a little lost but now have found your way.

You were a little afraid of changes and reacted with fear; then he played on your fear and stoked hatred.

But, he will be gone soon. And you will be welcomed back to our Country.

Out of many, one.

It is our heritage as Americans.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

'Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy'




Captured - The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Melanie Wachtell Stinnett

One of the most prominent and effective politicians opposing Trump “spells out, in considerable detail, the extent of corporate influence over a variety of issues” in national politics (The New Yorker)

“Sheldon Whitehouse is one of the most respected and thoughtful progressives in the Senate. His energy and enthusiasm make him a powerful voice in defending our American democracy against the relentless, pervasive—and often hidden—power of corporate special interests.” —Senator Elizabeth Warren

As a U.S. Senator and former federal prosecutor, Sheldon Whitehouse has had a front-row seat at the spectacle of dark money in government. In his widely praised book Captured, he describes how corporations buy influence over our government—not only over representatives and senators, but over the very regulators directly responsible for enforcing the laws under which they operate, and over the judges and prosecutors who are supposed to be vigilant about protecting the public interest.

In a case study that shows these operations at work, Whitehouse reveals how fossil fuel companies have held any regulation related to climate change at bay. The problem is structural: as Kirkus Reviews wrote, “many of the ills it illuminates are bipartisan.”

This paperback edition features a new introduction by the author, which reveals how corporate influence has taken advantage of Donald Trump’s presidency to advance its agenda—and what we can do about it.

For sale here: https://cart.thenewpress.com/cart?fcsid=95dhch1ktgsopurtqfu0dd36v2&

and here: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewpress.com%2Fbooks%2Fcaptured

Friday, September 7, 2018

Link to Obama Address



The answer is YOU -

Here is the address in full:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXPmNQRbRLE

Enjoy...

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Class War from Roberts Supreme Court



Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D), Prepared Testimony in Senate Judiciary committee showing Roberts 5 Justices rule in favor of Corporate interests in 92% of rulings

Below are the Senator's remarks; apologies for the garbled presentation - the original is a nicely formatted .pdf


1
The Roberts Five: Advancing Right-Wing and Corporate Interests 92% of the Time

A review of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence during the Roberts Era reveals that in the most controversial and salient civil cases – those decided by bare 5-4 or 5-3 majorities – when the right wing of the Court has voted en bloc to form the majority, they do so to advance far-right and corporate interests a striking 92% of the time. In those cases, the “Roberts Five” – Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Justice Antonin Scalia (replaced last year by Justice Neil Gorsuch) – have reliably voted in lockstep to help Republicans win elections, to protect corporations from liability, to take away civil rights, and to advance the far right social agenda.

Methodology:

 We identified 212 5-4 and 5-3 cases since Chief Justice Roberts joined the Court in 2006.

 Of these 212 cases, the Roberts Five formed a bare majority in 79 civil cases.

 73 (92%) of these 79 5-4 and 5-3 civil cases advance Republican and/or corporate interests, falling into the following four categories:

o Helping Republicans Win Elections: Dark Money, Voter Suppression & Union-Busting

o Protecting Corporations from Liability: Letting Polluters Pollute & Making It Harder for Americans to Have Their Day in Court.

o Taking Away Civil Rights and Condoning Discrimination


Advancing the Far-Right Social Agenda: Religion, Guns & Abortion
2

Helping Republicans Win Elections: Dark Money, Voter Suppression & Union-Busting

1. League of Latin American Citizens v. Perry (2006)
 Upheld aggressive racial and partisan gerrymandering that burdened the rights of minority voters in Texas.
2. FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007)
 Allowed corporations to pour unlimited money into electioneering communications.
3. Davis v. FEC (2008)
 Eliminated the “Millionaire’s Amendment” to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, increasing the influence of wealth as a criterion for public office.
4. Bartlett v. Strickland (2009)
 Made it more difficult for minority voters in racially concentrated districts to challenge their districts.
5. Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
 Opened the door to special interests and lobbyists influencing American politics through unlimited corporate spending.
6. Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett (2011)
 Allowed PACs and dark money sources to fund political candidates without limit.
7. American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock (2012)
 Reemphasized the Supreme Court’s open-door policy for special interests and lobbyists to influence American politics through money.
8. Shelby County v. Holder (2013)
 Gutted the Voting Rights Act, making it far easier for states with a history of racial discrimination to pass discriminatory voting laws.
9. McCutcheon v. FEC (2014)
 Created a loophole that allows a single individual to donate millions of dollars to a political party or campaign.
10. Harris v. Quinn (2014)
 Weakened public sector unions and took a major step toward overturning public sector fee collection from all non-union members in another 5-4 decision, Janus v. AFSCME.
11. Abbott v. Perez (2018)
 Burdened the rights of minority voters in Texas by allowing the use of electoral maps that a lower court determined were drawn with discriminatory intent.
12. Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute (2018)
 Allowed Ohio to purge voter rolls in a way that disproportionately disqualifies minority voters.
13. Janus v. AFSCME (2018)
 Overturned a 40 year old precedent and disrupted thousands of contracts involving millions of employees, potentially crippling public sector unions, a chief opponent of the corporate right.
Protecting Corporations from Liability: Letting Polluters Pollute & Making It Harder for Americans to Have Their Day in Court.
3
14. Rapanos v. United States (2006)
 Narrowed the interpretation of the phrase “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act, making it easier to pollute and destroy these wetlands.
15. Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS (2007)
 Allowed manufacturers, distributors, and retailors to raise the prices of goods at retail through vertical price restraints.
16. National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife (2007)
 Limited the reach of the Endangered Species Act and eliminated a major regulatory hurdle for developers.
17. Stoneridge Inv. Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta (2008)*
 Restricted liability for secondary actors, such as lawyers and accountants, under federal securities law.
18. Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council (2008)
 Invalidated an injunction to halt Naval training exercise despite irreparable harm to marine life, furthering the right’s anti-environment, anti-regulatory agenda.
19. 14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett (2009)
 Diminished employees’ access to the federal courts and skewed employment agreements in favor of employers through mandatory arbitration.
20. Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009)
 Heightened the civil pleading standard, making it significantly more difficult for plaintiffs to sue in federal court.
21. Summers v. Earth Island Institute (2009)
 Restricted the right of environmental groups to sue over environmental violations.
22. Entergy v. Riverkeeper (2009)
 Ignored the Clean Water Act’s mandate that power plants use the “Best Technology Available” to protect fish and aquatic life, allowing them to use less-costly, less-effective devices.
23. Conkright v. Frommert (2010)*
 Allowed retirement plan administrators to construct the terms of a plan in favor of employers.
24. Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp. (2010)*
 Restricted plaintiffs from using class arbitration (similar to a class action lawsuit) unless all parties specifically agree to it.
25. Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson (2010)
 Diminished employees’ access to the federal courts and skewed arbitration agreements in favor of employers over employees.
26. Perdue v. Kenny A (2010)
 Dramatically heightened the standards for civil rights plaintiffs’ attorneys to receive compensation for their services.
27. Schindler Elevator Corp. v. U.S. ex rel. Kirk (2011)*

 Limited the ability of plaintiffs to bring suit as whistleblowers on behalf of the government.
4
28. AT&T v. Concepcion (2011)
 Reduced consumers’ ability to bring class-action claims against corporations for low-dollar, high-volume frauds.
29. Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders (2011)
 Shielded corporate advisors from liability and limited the rights of individual investors.
30. Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes (2011)
 Threw out a class action lawsuit brought by 1.6 million women in a discrimination case, making it more difficult for individuals who have been injured to bring class-action claims and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable.
31. Pliva v. Mensing (2011)
 Immunized from suit generic drug makers who failed to warn consumers about dangerous side effects.
32. F.A.A. v. Cooper (2012)*
 Made it more difficult for plaintiffs to recover for intangible harms caused by government privacy violations.
33. Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland (2012)
 Limited plaintiffs from bringing suits for damages under the Family Medical Leave Act.
34. Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham (2012)
 Expanded pro-corporate fair wage exemptions under Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions and deprived workers of statutory fair pay protections.
35. American Exp. Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant (2013)*
 Diminished employees’ access to the federal courts and skewed employment agreements in favor of employers.
36. Comcast v. Behrend (2013)
 Made class action certification more difficult and limited suits against corporations for low-dollar, high-volume antitrust violations.
37. Genesis Healthcare v. Symczk (2013)
 Limited plaintiffs’ ability to bring collective action claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
38. Mutual Pharmaceutical v. Bartlett (2013)
 Prevented states from warning consumers about risky drugs.
39. Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District (2013)
 Deprived local and state governments of the flexibility they needed to ensure environmentally sound and economically productive development.
40. Michigan v. EPA (2015)
 Rolled back the EPA’s autonomy and promoted environmental deregulation.
41. California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. Anz Securities (2017)
 Made it harder for individual investors to protect their rights via class action lawsuits.
42. Epic Systems v. Lewis (2018)
 Blocked workers from banding together to redress workplace violations including sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and wage theft.
43. Jesner v. Arab Bank (2018)
5
 Held that foreign corporations may not be sued under the Alien Tort Statute, protecting foreign corporations from liability for human rights abuses.
44. Encino Motorcars v. Navarro (2018)
 Expanded pro-corporate exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act and deprived workers of statutory fair pay protections.
45. Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States (2018)
 Ruled that railroad executives are exempt from federal employment taxes on stock-based compensation.
46. Ohio v. American Express (2018)
 Stifled price competition and hurt consumers.
Taking Away Civil Rights and Condoning Discrimination
47. Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006)
 Narrowed speech protections for public employees.
48. Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007)
 Made Title VII claims more difficult to bring and ignored the realities of wage discrimination.
49. Morse v. Frederick (2007)
 Limited both the speech rights of high school students and the available civil remedies for constitutional violations.
50. Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007)
 Limited the ability of primary and secondary public schools to use affirmative action programs that promote diversity.
51. Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land and Cattle Co. (2008)
 Made it more difficult for Native American plaintiffs to challenge discriminatory conduct by banks.
52. Gross v. FBL Financial Services (2009)
 Heightened the standard for age discrimination claims and made relief for victims more difficult.
53. District Attorney’s Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne (2009)
 Limited the ability of plaintiffs to bring suit in federal court for government violations of their constitutional rights.
54. Horne v. Flores (2009)
 Diminished minority students’ access to English as a Second Language programs, making it harder for them to overcome language barriers in their education.
55. Ricci v. Destefano (2009)
 Distorted federal civil rights law to promote the disproportionate exclusion of minority groups from career advancement.
56. Chamber of Commerce of U.S. v. Whiting (2011)*
 Allowed states to pass laws that target immigrant workers.
6
57. Connick v. Thompson (2011)
 Made it harder to hold prosecutor’s offices liable for the illegal misconduct of their prosecutors.
58. Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington (2012)
 Allowed strip searches of inmates without reasonable suspicion, reducing the Fourth Amendment protections of arrestees.
59. Vance v. Ball State University (2013)
 Made it harder for plaintiffs to bring workplace harassment claims.
60. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar (2013)
 Increased the standard of proof for employer retaliation claims, making these claims more difficult to bring.
61. Glossip v. Gross (2015)
 Made challenging execution methods more difficult and thus limited prisoners’ Eighth Amendment rights.
62. Jennings v. Rodriguez (2018)*
 Allowed for immigrants to be detained for prolonged periods of time without a bail hearing.
63. Murphy v. Smith (2018)
 Reduced compensation for prisoners when government officials violate their constitutional rights.
64. Trump v. Hawaii (2018)
 Allowed the discriminatory Muslim ban to go into effect and restricted immigration from eight, mostly Muslim-majority, countries.
Advancing the Far-Right Social Agenda: Religion, Guns & Abortion
65. Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation (2007)
 Restricted the ability of citizens to sue the government under the First Amendment for entangling church and state.
66. Gonzalez v. Carhart (2007)
 Made it harder for women to exercise their reproductive rights.
67. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
 Drastically expanded the scope of the Second Amendment and limited commonsense gun regulation.
68. Salazar v. Buono (2010)
 Allowed a cross to stay on federal property, chipping away at the separation of church and state.
69. McDonald v. Chicago (2010)
 Continued the expansion of Second Amendment rights and made it more difficult for states to implement gun regulations.
70. Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn (2011)
 Made it harder for plaintiffs to challenge Establishment Clause violations in court, chipping away at the separation of church and state.
7
71. Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014)
 Allowed legislative prayer even when a town fails to represent a variety of religions in its meetings.
72. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014)
 Permitted corporations to deny contraception based on objections to facially neutral, non-discriminatory laws.
73. NIFLA v. Becerra (2018)
 Reduced the amount of information available to pregnant women, potentially deceiving women into believing that anti-abortion pregnancy centers are medical clinics.
Ideologically Neutral Cases
74. F.C.C. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. (2009)
 Upheld a Federal Communications Commission regulation that bans “fleeting expletives” on television broadcast.
75. Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Co. Accounting Oversight Board (2010)
 Struck down the dual layer of “for cause” protection against presidential removal for PCAOB members.
76. Stern v. Marshall (2011)
 Held that bankruptcy courts lack the constitutional authority under Article III to enter a final judgement on a state law counterclaim.
77. Clapper v. Amnesty International (2013)
 Ruled that plaintiffs lack standing to bring suit even if they claim a reasonable likelihood that their communications will be intercepted by the government under FISA surveillance.
78. Kerry v. Din (2015)
 Held that the government is not required to give an explanation for denying an alien’s visa based on terrorism-related grounds under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
79. SAS Institute v. Iancu (2018)
 Held that when the United States Patent and Trademark Office institutes a review to reconsider an already-issued patent, it must rule on the patentability of all claims the petitioner challenges.

Catholic Judge Brett Kavanaugh



Considering the impact a Supreme Court Justice appointed for life can have on our secular Republic, it is worthwhile to consider DC Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Catholic faith.

President John Kennedy felt obliged to issue a statement that his Catholic faith would be secondary to his oath to protect the Constitution.

It would seem appropriate to ask Judge Brett Kavanaugh for an equal statement.

It also seems appropriate to question his faith in some detail.

For example, does he think it is moral to hide documents he wrote from Senators considering his nomination?

If he thinks it is not, then will he call for the release of ALL documents from his prior service??

Does he agree with the Church's present position on pedophile priests?

In the light of 800 dead babies buried in a convent septic tank in Ireland [https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/order-nuns-dumped-up-800-9979348], what is his position on birth control??

And also, what is his position on abortion as the law of the land as decided in Roe v Wade? Will he support the law or vote to reverse it.??


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

trump's Gift to Democrats



Democrats have a unique opportunity in coming elections.

trump has generated an astonishing amount of hatred and disgust among the majority of American voters.

Thus, negatively themed campaign ads will be effective in the coming United States Congressional elections.

And, there is both a negative and a positive slant which can be inserted around the trump theme.

Here are some hypothetical examples around different themes which resonate today.

Each is based on a fictional Democrat - John Garcia - running against a fictional Republican incumbent for the United States Senate - Bob Smith (R).

1. COWARDICE

NEGATIVE SLANT -

Incumbent Republican Bob Smith is a coward - he failed to stand and protest against the Alt-right and Neo-Nazis supported by trump.

POSITIVE SLANT -

As your Senator, I John Garcia will STAND to oppose Neo Nazi's and Alt Right thugs, I am not afraid of them.

2. PEDOPHILIA

NEG - Incumbent Republican Bob Smith FAILED to oppose child molesters and pedophiles - he even supported Roy Moore'e election bid.

POS - As your Senator, I John Garcia will EXPOSE AND PUNISH anyone who abuses children. Anyone.

3. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

NEG - Incumbent Republican Bob Smith supported trump's wife beating staff members - he was silent and did not raise any objection

POS - As your Senator, I John Garcia will support criminal prosecution of domestic violence perpetrators.

4. RUSSIAN AGENTS, TRAITORS

NEG - Incumbent Republican Bob Smith supported trump's statements about Putin and Russia. He also has lobbied to remove United States sanctions against Russian criminal oligarchs.

POS - As your Senator, I John Garcia will support sanctions on Russian oligarchs and protect our country from criminals.

5. CORRUPTION

NEG - Incumbent Republican Bob Smith said nothing about trump's obvious corruption and he has been accused of insider trading on information he received while sitting in the Senate for his personal benefit.

POS - As your Senator, I vow to fight against our culture of political corruption.

As a beginning, I will NOT accept any campaign contribution from any corporation or lobbyist.

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

Well, the list can be longer, but the point is made.

Let's use this golden opportunity to replace Republican office holders with Democrats!!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Stain Of trump On Our Soul



I write this with a heavy heart.

John McCain's passing marked the end of an era and the functional demise of the Republican Party as a legitimate institution.

The most telling sign of this is the current Republican push for impeachment of President trump.

It appears that the reason some Republicans want to impeach the President is that they think it will purge their soul and restore them as a party to legitimacy.

It will not do that.

The Republican party and individual Republicans are now and forever cowards, pedophiles, wife beaters, violent racists, self-dealing criminals, Russian agents and traitors.

They are those things individually and collectively; and, this is true for them in their hearts.

That will remain even after trump is gone - they will still be all those things.

For my friends and relatives who consider themselves as patriotic Americans who also support trump, I am sorry for you. Your future will be wrenching. Your country will welcome you back when you are free of the stain of trump.

For the security of our country, the United States of America NEEDS two parties. But, the Republican party cannot be one of those parties as it stands today.

The only way forward for the GOP is to purge itself of all trump supporters; luckily for them, that will be taken care of by the electorate.

The danger lies in the fact that it will take several years for the Party to be cleansed. In the meantime the National Security of the United States is in danger.




Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Clearing House Russia Project



NEW BLOG -


The Clearing House Russia Project: Since the United States government treats Russian cyber attacks lightly, this new blog attempts to track Russian hacking activity. It collects information concerning Russia cyber attacks on democracies worldwide. Please post any data about Russia bots, hackers and locations. Information will be unverified. Sources provided will be appreciated.


https://clearinghouseprojectrussia.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Post Trump America

It is time to begin the healing process for the United States of America.

The National Security of the United States of America is threatened when any significant portion of the citizenry feels abandoned.

Today, about one third of our people feel that they have been left out of our general prosperity.

Their complaint has merit, but that complaint has been manipulated by Trump to his personal financial advantage; he has appealed to the population's malaise and promised to repair the damage. But, his actions are extremely cynical and will have the effect of making things worse for those who feel left out.

A case can be made that Russia is advantaged by our divisions and, further, that Trump is actively exacerbating our divisions in order to further the goals of Russia. Regardless, our divisions actively hurt our American citizenry and it is in our interest to reduce those divisions.

Trump will be gone from the stage soon. He will no longer be able to encourage fear and hatred. Then, it will be time for America to heal.

The root cause of the population's malaise is that jobs pay too little in comparison to the cost of living. And, the reason that is so, is because of our political system which functions to encourage monopoly and low wages. When a business owner pays low wages, he keeps the profits and can amass a great fortune. Then, with that fortune, he can bribe the legislature to keep wages low.

Here's the illogical thing in all this - higher wages will create even more jobs and make the monopolists richer. I cannot explain why monopolists fail to act on that since they are not stupid. I can only conclude that they are simply greedy assholes.

Minorities and immigrants do not cause the economic malaise; in fact they contribute to our general prosperity.

We can ask our threatened minority to try to understand that their enemy is really a biased economic system and not any other group of people. In fact, when we act together, we create even more jobs and more prosperity - the pie gets bigger.

We recognize that many of the people who feel left out will not be able to understand that idea for some time; after all, they have heard a false message promoting fear for a long time.

Here's what we can, and must, ask: Be polite to your neighbors.

That's all. Just be polite.

Once we remove some racism and hatred from our daily life, our traditional American values of respect and courtesy will surface again and we can go forward as a single people.

It will be OK for the fearful to think what they want to; it is still a free country. But we ask for civility from everyone until we can restore our traditional American society.

Friday, August 10, 2018

UPDATE - Russian Trolls Here. Terminate With Extreme Prejudice

UPDATE - The space is receiving significant readership in Russia. To the Russkies troll bots - do not take this suggestion as an indication of instability or weakness in the USA. We will unite when this unfortunate episode is over and we will be focused. Make your peace now while you can.

"In a military intelligence context, it is generally understood as an order to assassinate. Its meaning was explained in a New York Times report on the Green Beret Affair (an incident during the Vietnam War),[1] and subsequently popularized by its usage in the film Apocalypse Now.

The expression may also be used as a straightforward statement of intent in some jurisdictions to refer to more overt summary executions, i.e. in the context of a 'death warrant' or 'kill order' issued as part of a 'shoot on sight' or similar policy."

[1] [https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Terminate_with_extreme_prejudice.htmle]

Such an action can be considered in extreme circumstances only.

In a case where the subject of any such potential order is both a repugnant human being and also a clear danger to the National Security of the United States and the Constitution, it is required that any person who took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution consider such an action in order to fulfill his or her oath.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

MSM: Present the Process

This is addressed to all the Main Stream, fact based media:

It especially relates to the commentariat which bases its discussions on news stories.

Trump's war on truth has succeeded in removing credibility from your reporting. The average person in any country now thinks that your reporting is fake and just as valid as any other, contrary opinion on any topic, particularly topics concerning politics.

Needless to say, this is bad news.

And yet, the United States of America relies on your reporting to protect the Constitution and our Democracy.

BUT, you have not sold your reporting. Reporting which is not bought, or believed, has zero impact.

This space presents herewith a suggestion on a process to SELL your reporting so that more people will believe it.

The process will be tedious, humdrum and really BORING; but, IMHO, it is the ONLY way to succeed in re-establishing your credibility.

Here's how it might work:

As reporters, you are required to verify your stories before they can be published. In other words, you have to believe it first, and then you have to PROVE IT.

The writing process should be altered so that the information you rely on the PROVE your story is included in each story. Each source should be described as completely as possible while honoring the request to remain anonymous.

AND, the presentation, whether oral or written, might go something like this [remember you are selling, not pontificating]:

'Ladies and gentlemen, I have a story tonight that you will find hard to believe. I know I did when I first heard about it, but four independent witnesses have confirmed it. There is no doubt for me that it really happened.

I first heard this from a member of the White house staff who wished to keep his name out of the headlines, but I know this man personally and he is a straight shooter. Then I heard from another White House staffer, who also wants to keep the name out of the headlines; this source has been truthful with me many times since I first heard from him 3 years ago. Then, a close acquaintance at the NSA showed me a transcript of the meeting, which confirmed the story in every detail. Last, one of the President's golf partners also confirmed the story and added that the President seemed proud of it.

Of course we reached out to the President through his staff, but he has not offered any affirmation or denial so far.

The story is this: The President of the United States has called Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran a "Booger Brain"!

Unbelievable as it is, there is no doubt that it really happened.

We can only speculate on what it will mean to the ongoing nuclear treaty discussions. And, now this.....'

It may happen that some stories are lost as sources are afraid of being identified.

BUT, the WAR FOR TRUTH is so important that the loss of a few stories is a small price to pay for increasing the share of readers who believe the facts you present.

It is not hyperbolic to suggest that this is an important mission.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What is an American?

Some have wondered about what is an American - Who are we?

I will take a moment to offer my opinion on that question.

Mostly we are nation of people who honor their family, their country and have hope for a better future.

The institutional structure of the Constitution and our legal system serves to promote those values.

RULE OF LAW

No man or woman, regardless of what position s/he holds, is above the law. We rebelled from England largely because the King thought he was above the law.

Anyone breaking the law will first be granted due process and then be punished according to the law.

WE MAKE OUR OWN LAWS

No foreign person or nation may impose their laws on our citizens on our soil.

But, Americans who break the law in another country are subject to that country's processes.

DISTRIBUTED AUTHORITY

Authority over institutions in the several States is reserved to the citizens of that State except as provided in the Constitution. In practice, this means that the institutions affecting citizen's lives are subject to control by the citizens whose lives are affected; we do not have centralized institutions.

RESPECT AND COURTESY FOR INDIVIDUALS

Every person in the United States is deserving of the respect and courtesy due any citizen, regardless of race, creed, color, faith or citizenship status. And every person shall be subject to the law.

PROTECTION OF THE WEAK

All people who are in the United States are expected to protect the weaker among us from the depredations of the stronger. These can include but not be limited to children, the elderly, the disabled for any reason and any disadvantaged person.

ALL FAITHS ARE HONORED

All religious faiths are welcomed and protected in the United States, but no faith has any prior claim on government processes or policies.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Americans expect that the people who are elected to public office or who serve as civil service employees will place their duty to the greater public good over any personal gain. It is both a crime and a moral outrage when any public official profits from his or her office. Those who do so can expect to be prosecuted criminally.

PRIVATE BUSINESS

While private property and private business ownership remain the foundation of our economic system, Americans expect that those who profit from that system will use their gains to benefit the less fortunate. Andrew Carnegie, who was a Scot born near Edinburgh in 1835 and who made a fortune in America, said it best: 'The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.'

There is an aberration today in the behavior of firms in our market economy; wages for workers have been repressed for about 50 years and the Middle Class is withering away. We hope it will be restored, for a strong Middle Class is the foundation of our success as a country and as a people.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

UPDATE - Handing Americans to Putin

US Senate voted 98 - 0 to prevent trump from doing this, so he changed his mind.

But, he can change that back in an instant.

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

Hey TRUMP - You are considering handing over some American Citizens - including Michael McFaul - to Putin for 'questioning'

I am not him, but

IF YOU COME FOR ME. COME HEAVY BECAUSE I WILL F--KING KILL YOU OR YOUR AGENTS BEFORE I GO.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU TRAITOROUS CRETIN.??

You know where to find me...

Here's how Putin 'questions':

'Magnitsky alleged there had been large-scale theft from the Russian state, sanctioned and carried out by Russian officials. He was arrested and eventually died in prison seven days before the expiration of the one-year term during which he could be legally held without trial.[4] In total, Magnitsky served 358 days in Moscow's Butyrka prison. He developed gall stones, pancreatitis, and a blocked gall bladder, and received inadequate medical care. A human rights council set up by the Kremlin found that he had been physically assaulted shortly before his death.[5][6] His case has become an international cause célèbre.[7]'wikipedia

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Class War In the United States of America in 2018


Class war happens when one economic class of people harms another class.

It can happen that the poor, underclass can revolt and simply kill the rich classes as happened in Russia in 1917 and China in 1949; or, it can happen that the rich class uses the political system to steal money from the poor and underclass, as is happening in the USA today.

One of the lesser discussed facets of the Trump phenomenon is the systematic theft of money and property from the American middle and working classes being engaged in by the United States government.

Here are some fronts on the class war:

1. Income redistribution from poor to rich - tax cuts:


'The median household income, adjusted for inflation, has grown by just 1.5 percent ― $839 ― since the beginning of the Great Recession. Over the same period, the total annual economic output of the United States has grown at 10 times that rate.' All that money has been funneled into the hands of the rich. See this for details: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republican-tax-plan-class-war_us_5a1431dde4b0bfa88c1cfafa

2. Income redistribution from poor to rich - unions:

'In the Great Depression, F.D.R. pushed through the Wagner Act, which gave workers the legal right to found unions and bargain collectively. During the postwar decades, partly thanks to the negotiating clout of the trade unions, many ordinary Americans with no great education did so well that they stopped thinking of themselves as working class...Ronald Reagan fired the striking air-traffic controllers, launching what has turned out to be a thirty-year onslaught on trade unions and workers’ prerogatives. Under successive administrations, labor laws were weakened, and those that remained on the books were no longer vigilantly enforced. Union membership fell sharply—from twenty per cent of the labor force, in 1983, to twelve per cent, in 2011. (In the private sector, the decline has been even more precipitous.)'

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/americas-class-war

3. Income redistribution from poor to rich – education:

The rich class wants public schools cut so that education is a privilege of the rich.

'The administration’s new “America First” budget, released Thursday, follows through on this promise by slashing funds for the Education Department by 13.5 percent, or $9.2 billion.' https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/03/trumps-education-budget-revealed/519837/

The Secretary of Education is a campaign contributor who has made millions by collecting student loans in default. Additionally, Betsy DeVos has no interest in education beyond creating more students in debt. Today's students are the indentured class of the United States.

4. Income redistribution from poor to rich - Social Security and Medicare:

Welfare reform is '…Talk of “structural changes” is political jargon for the privatization of these bedrock programs upon which hundreds of millions of people depend and their destruction as guaranteed entitlements.'

Privatization is code for ending any government guarantees and handing the trust funds to Wall Street bankers. The rich class has wanted to destroy Social Security since it was enacted in the 1930's because the rich think poor people are stealing money from them to fund a pension.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/04/pers-d04.html

This conversation could be extended indefinitely, but the point will be consistent - under Trump and the Republican majority, the Rich class is stealing systematically from the poor and middle class.

It is a little discussed but long lasting issue that will haunt the country for years to come.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Trade War: The Endgame

Among nations today, there are a variety of policies concerning international trade. Some nations use trade as a weapon to enhance their domestic economies at the expenses of other nations.

The United States of America has practiced the idea of FREE TRADE for a number of years. In other words, matters of trade are left to 'free' markets to resolve without government interference.

But, since we compete in a world where our trading partners use trade as a weapon while we do not, some imbalances have been created.

The complete discussion is available here: http://www.mkeever.com/essay.html

A short discussion of historical trading systems is shown below. For now, the best alternative for the United States is to restrain the 'free' trading system of the past and move to a system of BALANCED TRADE [hereafter BT].

BALANCED TRADE - THE ENDGAME

BT is a simple concept which says that a country should import only as much as it exports so that trade and money flows are balanced. A country can balance its trade either on a trading partner basis in which total money flows between two countries are equalized or it can balance the overall trade and money flows so that a trade deficit with one country is balanced by a trade surplus with another country. A discussion of how BT will create jobs and protect the environment follows.

Balanced Trade (BT) considers the nation/state as the crucial decision maker for economic policies. Within a nation/state, BT recommends a free market economy together with individual citizens' political freedom as the proven means of creating wealth and jobs. Note that under this definition entrepreneurial enterprises may be owned by individuals, corporations or government bodies so long as each such enterprise is subject to the discipline of the market.

BT recognizes that the national government must provide the infrastructure for a free market to be effective and that the government has the right to regulate entrepreneurial firms in return. Such regulations reflect the culture of the country and provide for business opportunities within the culture. Ideally such regulation provides for high worker incomes, environmental protection, subjecting all firms, whether publicly or privately owned, to the rigors of the market place, effective fiscal and monetary policies which control inflation, and so forth. The national government has the power to regulate the internal free market to reduce or eliminate environmental degradation. Thus, BT has the capacity to maximize job creation in every country while limiting environmental damage. Some will debate that national governments will do a better job of protecting the environment and that international regulation is required; it is an open question.

Currently, a large part of most governments' national trade policies results from business interests lobbying. Every country has huge lists of products which may be imported, products which may not be imported and how much tax must be paid on imported goods. When domestic manufacturers worry about foreign competition, the taxes on competing products are high and the restrictions are onerous. But, when powerful business interests make money from imports the taxes on imports are low and the restrictions are easily managed.

OTHER TRADE THEORIES

Several economic theories about the proper role of government in managing trade relations have been developed over the centuries. Here is an introduction to some of those theories:

AUTARCHY: No trade. Autarchic governments attempt to eliminate all imports and exports, forcing their subjects to live with whatever the local economy can provide. These governments apparently believe that all other cultures are so evil or corrupt that any contact will harm their people. No responsible government engages in this practice today because the benefits of trade are so apparent. Recently, North Korea and Albania came close.

MERCANTILISM: Trade for national advantage. Mercantilists believe that the world has a finite store of wealth; therefore, when one country gets more, other countries have less. Mercantilists restrict imports and encourage or subsidize exports as a conscious policy to make their citizens better off. Some Asian countries use this policy to good effect in expanding their wealth by expanding exports and curtailing imports. Japan is an example of a country that has taken this policy too far - now its export surplus has raised the value of its currency so high that much of its labor is priced out of the world market. Many developing countries use this practice to secure good markets for their exports while protecting their market from foreign imports.

PROTECTIONISM: Protectionists restrict or tax imports to benefit domestic manufacturers and keep as many jobs at home as possible. Protectionists believe that the benefits from keeping jobs at home outweigh any loss of consumer surplus resulting from higher prices after tariffs. Exports are ignored by protectionist governments as are imports for which there is no domestic competition. Although rarely used as a stand alone policy, protectionism is frequently used as an accusation by those promoting free trade access to foreign markets for their own companies.

STRATEGIC TRADE: This policy requires or encourages domestic companies to make goods needed by the military instead of relying on foreign companies for strategic goods. Also, this policy seeks industries that will grow in the future and provides protection and encouragement to companies in those industries in the home market. For example, some argue that the United States' space program is a method of helping the aerospace industry by providing government funded R & D for new products.

FAIR TRADE: This is a new movement that tries to provide more of the profits from trading directly to the producers in third world countries by using consumer preferences for helping people and by eliminating the middlemen from the trade process: for example, grocery wholesalers in Europe buy fruit directly from growers in Central America, eliminating profits to the large, multi-national trading companies. ("Free Trade vs. Fair Trade", Global Exchange, 2017 Mission Street, Room 303, San Francisco, CA 94110; (415)255-7296) Consumers appear to prefer fruit labelled as coming from a Fair Trade system. This is a laudable idea and will help those producers who benefit from it; unfortunately, it requires so much entrepreneurial effort from the participants that it is unlikely to become a serious, long-term threat to large trading companies except in some limited markets. Further, these efforts rely on the private sector for implementation. Government policies can do little more than remove barriers to their implementation in a free market economy.

FREE TRADE: No restrictions on trade. Free Traders say that unrestricted market forces will create the most good for the most people by directing resources to the most efficient countries. To achieve worldwide efficiency, trade must be conducted without regard to national concerns; therefore any temporary imbalance in a country's foreign exchange settlements or domestic living standards is without consequence. Free Traders also believe that any action to interfere with free trade will result in a "trade war", wherein a country's trading partners will enact retaliatory laws to eliminate any benefit the initiating country receives from a protectionist policy.

To read more, click on this link: Balanced Trade - Essay on Balanced Trade

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fighting Putin in Swing Elections

Here's an idea for combating any attempt to influence voters from Putin and his trolls.

At the FIRST suspicion and/or indication of a Russian attack or hack in a political campaign,

IMMEDIATELY ACCUSE RUSSIAN TROLLS PUBLICLY ON ALL MEDIA AND STATE THAT THE INFORMATION IS SIMPLY FALSE, FAKE NEWS.

It s critical that our denouncement of Russian interference is publicized immediately in all social and other media - do not wait for evidence. This is not about truth or facts, Putin will be trying to stir up emotion. The goal is for the public to remember the denunciation of Russia instead of any fake news.

Most likely content will be

1. Our candidates' past statement taken out of context and provided a malicious interpretation

2. False claim that our candidate supports some abhorrent idea

3. Claims that some group hates and despises our candidate.

4. Claims that our candidate hates some group.

This is not an exhaustive list - be openly looking for any ads, news stories or social media content with any similar theme. Anything that pushes hatred or fear of any person or group is likely a Russian fabrication.

Every candidate in any swing election will need at least one full time staffer devoted to Russian meddling.




Putin WILL Smear Democrat Candidates

Putin's minions in Russia will target democrat Congressional candidates in an attempt to sway the Mid-term elections of the United States of America toward the Republican Party; the goal will be to maintain Republican control of both Houses.

In all likelihood it will be a targeted smear and social media campaign to denigrate Democrat candidates in swing districts.

The Government of the United States will do little to interfere with these illegal campaigns, largely due to Trump's failure to act to ensure the integrity of US elections.

Therefore, Democrat candidates must be vigilant in their campaigns and call out Russian influence whenever and wherever they see it.

It will be ugly and it will be treasonous, but we cannot let it pass unchallenged.

Please take heed.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Trade War

I have been an advocate of more rationality in United States trade polices for a long time. I recommend the book FREE TRADE DOESN'T WORK, by my friend Ian Fletcher [free download here - http://ebooklibrary.space/?book=0578082667] for some background.

Since the fix is fairly simple as seen below, one is led to question Trump's motives in calling for a trade war. Merely fixing trade policy and gaining some votes from tariffs fails to address the overall impact of his actions.

Rather, it is likely that he is attempting to create division in the world where there was none before. This trade war might create a real recession. Methinks perhaps he is serving some mysterious master of discord.

Or, he could be a simple dolt, but that is unlikely.

At any rate, here are some numbers to consider.

US GDP was $18.6 trillion in 2016.

Total imports were $2.9 trillion in 2017 [or 16% of GDP] while the trade deficit [excess of import value over export value] was $0.57 trillion [ or 3% of GDP], also in 2017.

A simple, across the board tariff increase spread among all countries and all goods of $600 billion would solve any economic problem from a deficit. I don't know what percent tariffs would increase by to achieve that goal, but I am pretty sure that our trade agreements allow for such adjustments in the interest of national well-being.

That would amount to a 20% of our current account deficit as an increase in tariff revenue collected and would balance our trade. This would solve our economic issues from trade. Trade would then be in balance with no deficit or surplus.

Since we are the only large economy with a trade deficit, it could be soft-pedaled to our trading partners as a corrective device and not meant to harm them deliberately.



Saturday, June 30, 2018

Exploring Consciousness

I am going to have a go at the idea of consciousness.

'Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.' Wikipedia

Several research scientists are looking into the role of the brain in creating that state. Here are links to some of the work:

1. Christof Koch "https://futurism.com/new-find-may-explain-how-the-brain-creates-consciousness/"

2. "https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/04/19/how-does-the-human-brain-create-consciousness/#ed874b4661a5"

I kind of like Koch's idea that there is a web of neurons which spread over the brain's surface and provide connections to some of the brain structures. This idea might support my thought.

Think for a moment of a dog chasing a ball. The first time that the ball is thrown in that particular field, I expect that the dog simply focuses on the ball without paying attention to the field or the thrower. The dog is living in the moment. It is fair to say that the dog is not conscious of the moment.

Perhaps the next time the ball is thrown, it takes a hop in a direction different from the previous throw. Our dog reacts to the direction change by adjusting his body to follow the new path.

Perhaps he also says to himself - 'wait a minute, the ball bounced differently this time. Maybe I should react differently next time to allow for the possibility of different hops.'

Some part of the dog's brain - perhaps Koch's 'claustrum' - compares the first and second memory and makes a notation: 'I must back off a bit and allow for the possibility of at least two different directions.'

I submit that would be 'conscious' for the dog.

Extrapolating the idea to humans, perhaps our larger brains allow us to make countless notes about differences in how the world works.

If so, that may explain the idea of 'consciousness'.

UPDATE - An article on brain research which may explain it: http://www.physics-astronomy.org/2017/10/researchers-found-multidimensional.html