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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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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Paranoid, Delusional Rant

Sometimes I don't sleep all that well. And, the mind wanders in trying to fit a theory to the facts. So, be warned - the following has no verifiable link to reality and may cloud your mind permanently. Read at your own risk.

It was 2.45 PM on a sunny August afternoon in Washington DC as Lord Darth Cheney paced relentlessly in his shuttered and darkened room. His mind was in a turmoil. 'Fear is money. fear is money', he muttered endlessly.

'My precious, my precious, what will happen to my precious?' he sighed.

His concerns knew no bounds. The Iraq situation was becoming almost stable, just a few deaths per day. Afghanistan was old news.

'How can I get more fear? After all, my precious babies need more food. What will happen if I can't get new contracts for Blackwater, KBR and Halliburton.? I need more fear. Will my precious starve? The democrats and that BLACK Obama will win and undo all my work. Woe is me, woe is me.'

Then a thought, a bolt of inspiration: 'The Cold War! I can bring it back! Oh joy, oh joy. Even Obama can't stop a Cold War.'

A caution crept in to his mind: 'But, Russia is acting maturely and everyone else just wants to live life. How can I bring back the Cold War if no one wants it?'

The answer came in a flash: 'Perception is reality! Ah Ha! I don't have to do anything but create an illusion of Cold War. That's simple. All I need is a trigger.'

Like a bolt from the black, a call on the secure line from Tbilisi: 'Dickie, this is Saak. Just for your info, the usual rocket attacks are happening near South Ossetia. Nothing to get your panties in a bunch...'

Lord Vader, oops.....Cheney, hung up the phone and thought for a bit.

'Ya know,' he said out loud, 'it's perfect. Saak shells the Russian peacekeepers in retaliation for the rocket attacks - oops, I forgot to ask Saak where the rockets were coming from. But, it doesn't matter anyway. Rockets is rockets.

The Russians get pissed and invade Georgia to protect their citizens. Presto. Cold War. It's perfect. No one gets hurt except for a few Georgian and Russian troops and maybe some collateral damage to civilians. What a genius I am'

He calls Tblisi. "Oh, Saak, listen I know it's three in the morning there but we have a real problem. Listen I have reliable reports the Russians and Ossetians are killing and raping Georgian women and children. I can send you photos. You need to get the Ossetians now, right now. The Russians, not a problem. We got your back. NATO is behind you all the way.

No, no, don't worry about our Pres. He can't even find Georgia on a map. He'll probably just confuse your country with our state with the same name. You know, the state in the south, where "Gone with The Wind" was set. Yeah, Atlanta. You got it.

Congress? Don't worry about them, we have the Constitution so screwed up, they never will figure it out. And that's only if they find out at all, which they probably won't.

That's right, Saak baby. Go get 'em. The coast is clear.'

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Corruption in the USA - Primer

[Used with permission.]

Lobbying is a sore topic with me.

I have a seminar on "Corruption" which has dealt with it. In short- the US has legalized corruption through our lobbying "regulations."

There are 535 members of congress and many times that number of lobbyists. They in the aggregate spend several million per member each year.

In theory they represent legitimate interest groups. In practice there are very few of my interests represented!

Here is a quick example: a quote from a lobbyist explaining how the laws regulating lobbyists are worth less than the paper we wasted celebrating their passage.*

There is plenty of additional dirt on Google.

"Put it this way, legally, I could donate an unlimited amount of money to anyone I want.

I will give you a generic example, a law is in the process of taxing computers. Some environmental group is stating that the additional costs of recycling a computer is costly and that the people buying them should pay a 10% additional tax to cover the costs. They hired a lobbyist firm to make their cause and now there is a percentage of congress that is on board with this. Now we got tech firms calling us right and left (in this example). The problem is the law states that I can only donate a $5,000 or so per company. IE: The company can only donate $5,000 to a politician. But the system is so freaking backwards that when something like a tax on computers show up in congress that I could spend huge amounts of money for my lobby effort. In this example, I want to stress that this isn't happening.. it's just an example of how much money I could gather in about 8 hours if I needed it for this or that effort.

In this case, I would just inform a counterpart of this problem, and they would address their client within a day I start the ball rolling to have millions of dollars in Washington.

The key is not to have the checks come from my office, the key is to have it come from other like minded areas. So in reality, I generally call another Lobbyist that represents the firm in question.

I would get $5,000 from AOL because they want to continue to throw that 'buy AOL now icon on your desktop.

I would get another $5,000 from Intel because they want to continue to sell processors.

I would get another $5,000 from AMD because they want to continue to sell processors

I would get another $5,000 from Microsoft because they want to sell Vista.I

would get another $5,000 from Norton, because they want to sell their anti-virus stuff

I would get another $5,000 from Valve, because they want to sell video games

I would get another $5,000 from CDW, because they want to sell more products

I would get another $5,000 from Google, because they want more people to visit their site

I would get another $5,000 from Ebay, because they want more people to buy stuff from their site

I would get another $5,000 from Yahoo, because they want more people to visit their site.

I would get another $5,000 from Redhat, because they want to sell more servers

The funny thing is I didn't even get to the computer manufacturers yet

I would get another $5,000 from Dell so their product isn't taxed

I would get another $5,000 from HP so their product isn't taxed

I would get another $5,000 from Apple so their product isn't taxed

I would get another $5,000 from local firm ABZ so their product isn't taxed

I would get another $5,000 from regional firm ACB so their product isn't taxed

When all is said and done, my 8 hours of effort (1 business day) I could have anywhere between 5-10 million - all in $5,000 dollar donations from all the industries and firms that touch the PC."


--
Professor Bruce W. Bean
Lecturer in Global Corporate Law
September 2008