While learning about the problems we
face in a number of places I've seen a strong parallel between
where we are now (2012) and the U.S.S.R. in the 1960s.
the news media being a propaganda machine for the government
("Fox News" is an infomercial paid for by the Republicans, CNBC
is the Wall St. propaganda outlet)
Act 0f 1948, Foreign Relations Authorization Act
in 1987) prohibited using foreign propaganda in the U.S.
BuzzFeed May 18, 2012: Congressmen
Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban
Privatization today working as inefficiently as Russian
factories and for the same reasons that depend on the details of
the 1% being very well off while the 99% suffers,
way more people in prison than belong there
a business can not fail in socialism because government and
business are the same thing,
repression of the people because they disrupt
Congress: what you see on any day is a show for the public and
all the important stuff happens behind closed doors.
Justice is decided based on political positions rather than
the merits of the case
there's more and I'll come back to this and fill in.
I'm running for the House of Representatives mainly as a public
service to let people know about the major problems we face and
point out that there's hope if the voters will stop doing the
wrong thing, that's to say don't vote for any Democrat or
Democrats the same as Republicans on the big
Feb 2013 - Reading "The Parties versus
the People" by Mickey Edwards, ISBN: 978-0-300-18456-3 as part of
the description of the problem he has a quote from Gilbert &
Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore:
"always voted at my party's call,
and never thought of thinking for myself at all."
This is by far the biggest problem where the voters have
the power to make a real change.
Expecting a Republican candidate to do
a bad thing because it was a campaign promise is like expecting a
Democrat to do a good thing because it was a campaign
promise. Neither will happen. They will both do what
the money and their party tells them to do.
The Democrats and Republicans have
the same position about war, the economy, health care, justice,
environment . . . . Obama is a good case
In the 2012 2nd district Congressional race there are a number of
Democrats saying things that the people want to hear, and they may
even believe it themselves, but once in office they must follow
their party line. Even if they got elected without much or
any help from their party, if they don't follow the party line
they will be replaced by their party at the next election.
Those candidates who have accumulated many times the salary of a
Congressman are trying to be a career politician and want to be
reelected over and over so will follow their party line even if
that means NOT following what they said in the campaign.
It's clear the people want single payer health care (and it's the
only viable solution), yet the two front running Democrats are
already saying they will support Obama Care rather than saying
they will support Single Payer Health Care. Many of the
candidates say they will support Democrat or Republican Values and
then mention Right to Choose or Gay Rights, i.e. their only
"values" are these issues. But as the two front runners have
demonstrated they have no values when it comes to the big issues,
they are good party members and will follow the party line.
This reminds me of the U.S.S.R in the 1960s.
The two parties vote on party lines, not because of PAC or
SuperPAC money, but because of the higher dollar value support
they get from their respective national committees. This
shows up in Congressional votes that block bills and nothing gets
Note that virtually all the money spent lobbying goes to the
campaign committee for that Congressman, it does not go into his
or her personal pocket. The money is then used for TV spots,
mailings, yard signs, etc. for the next election. This means
it will take a real grass roots movement (not the astro turf tea
party) to make a real change.
For an independent to make a change it's not necessary to have a
majority. Instead only a few votes are required to give a
whole new complexion to Congress. A very small number of
independent votes can make all the difference in getting a bill
passed or blocked. This forces both parties to come up with
good bills and court the independent votes.
Constructing Public Opinion: How
Politicians and the Media Misrepresent the Public a
documentary by Media Education Fund (6 min YouTube,
format full length preview)
based on the book: Constructing
Public Opinion: How Political Elites Do What They Like and Why
We Seem to go Along With It by Justin Lewis (2001)
Maddow - Goofy gun conspiracy surfaces in Congressional
21 May 2012 - there seems to be a rash of "Values" press
releases. For example: Obama coming out for Gay
marriage. This is an example of the Democrats and
Republicans making an issue of the one thing they differ on.
The media is lapping it up and NOT reporting on how the agree on:
the defense budget, the economy, health care, the environment,
Laws are the Cause of Many Problems
Many of the problems that we have were
caused by politicians in the sense that they authored laws now on
the books that were a mistake.
See the authoritarian section for Prison
and Teen Pregnancy.
Since 2008 there has been no
improvement and in fact it's getting worse. Obama's JOBS Act
of 2012 (the Wall St. boiler room full employment act) and the
good parts of Dodd-Frank have not been implemented on schedule.
There's talk of new laws to further gut Glass-Steagall and
counteract the good parts of Dodd-Frank.
All lawmakers are human and therefore
make mistakes in the form of bad laws. It's not that they
set out to make bad laws.
Good Laws that worked
acts of 1932 (Wiki)
and 1933 (Wiki).
1929 the stock market crashed and the great depression
followed. The latter was aimed at controlling the run away
banking system. But starting in 1980 Congress passed a
number of laws that removed the restrictions of Glass-Steagall
and those have lead directly to the financial mess we now are
Act of 1927 (Wiki) -
"specifically prohibited interstate branching by allowing each
national bank to branch only within the state in which it is
Holding Company Act of 1956 (Wiki)
- "specified that the Federal Reserve
Board of Governors must approve the establishment of a
bank holding company, and prohibited bank holding companies
headquartered in one state from acquiring a bank in another
Antitrust Act of 1890 (Wiki)
- "... prohibits certain business activities that reduce
competition in the marketplace..."
College v. Amory 1830 (Wiki)
- defines the prudent man - "people in charge of
other people's money must exercise due care and skill, and look
after the money as if it were their own"
Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (Wiki)
Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act 1980
- removed interest rate caps
Act aka Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (Wiki)
- started "too big to fail" and removed the separation between
investment and commercial banks (repealed Glass-Steagall).
$300 million was spent lobbying congress for this. The
merger of Citibank & Travelers Insurance was a crime that
was put on the sidelines while GLB was passed to allow it to be
S900 Vote: Senate
(Boxer & Feinstein:No), House
(Thompson: FOR, Woolsey: No)
Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000
- source of the Enron Loophole (Wiki)
and enabled "credit default swaps", turned the commodity
market into a gambling den (& prohibited states using
their gambling laws to regulate it) where the price of food
and oil among other things is now the result of banks gambling
rather than supply and demand.
Sarbanes–Oxley Act (2002) (Wiki)
- is an attempt to outlaw cooking the books like in the case
of Enron, but it uses the SEC as it's enforcement agent and we've already seen that the SEC works to
prevent Wall St. from going to prison, not bringing charges
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 2010 (Wiki)
does not come close to restoring the checks and balances
needed. In fact Title IX, Subtitle B, Section 929 (Wiki)
repeals the Freedom Of Information Act reporting requirement
from the SEC allowing them to hide information to prevent
prosecuting Wall Street criminals. It's part of the Obama
'Opaque" government plan. Note that the SEC already is
working to protect (not regulate) Wall Street because of
Regulatory Capture (Wiki).
Wall Street Killed Financial Reform -ByMatt
Taibbi May 10, 2012
Prudent Investor Act (Wiki)
- repeals the prudent man idea - passed on a state by state
McCarran–Ferguson Act of of 1945 (Wiki)
- "...exempts the business of insurance from most
federal regulation, including federal anti-trust
laws..." The Sherman Antitrust Act does NOT apply to
insurance companies. There's nothing in Obama Care to
change this, yet Obama Care is based on letting the insurance
companies run the program.
1980 15 USC § 46 - Additional powers of Commission (cornell.edu)
- "Nothing in this section (other than the provisions of clause
(c) and clause (d)) shall apply to the business of insurance,
except that the Commission shall have authority to conduct
studies and prepare reports relating to the business of
insurance. The Commission may exercise such authority only upon
receiving a request which is agreed to by a majority of the
members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation of the Senate or the Committee on Energy and
Commerce of the House of Representatives. The authority to
conduct any such study shall expire at the end of the Congress
during which the request for such study was made. "
another example of regulatory capture (Wiki).
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
Care) (Wiki) - Leahy
and Conyers tried to tack on a provision that would make it
illegal for health or medical malpractice insurers to fix
prices, rig bids for contracts, or divide up markets among
themselves, but this provision was removed. (PBS: Obama's
No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (Wiki)
- teachers need to game the system and teach the test rather
than teaching subjects.
Three Strikes Laws (by each state) (Wiki)
- If you have a couple of criminal convictions and live in a 3
Strikes state (Wiki)
you should mode to a state that does not have the draconian
law. That's because if you are convicted of spitting on
the sidewalk you'll go to prison for a very long time.
Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and
Modernization Act of 2003 (Wiki)
- prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices. Came
to a vote at 3 am 22 Nov while some congressmen were on
Thanksgiving break. This is one reason the U.S. has the
highest prices for drugs in the world.
Defense of Marriage Act (Wiki: DOMA) - Article
4 of the U.S. Constitution leaves all things not specifically
granted to the federal government to the states.
Marriage is one of those things that's solely a states right.
HR3396 Vote: House,
Protect America Act of 2007 (Wiki)
- allows for warrantless wiretapping in the U.S. - debasing
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
Law breaking is another source of
The thing that's allowed this to work
is that the people who enforce the law have quit enforcing against
the top 1%. Regulatory capture means that the agencies who
are tasked to regulate are now working to protect the industry
from criminal prosecution.
Over the past 30 years the
Constitution has been subverted and is no longer operational on
many levels. This is the number one thing that needs to be
fixed. Without it all the rest will be meaningless.
Office of the President
The Office of the President has much more power than the
Constitution allows. In some cases this has happened by
presidential directive and in others (like war powers) was given
away by the Congress. The Department of Justice (Wiki: DOJ)
has become a branch of the White House (index0811.html#SEC) and no longer
enforces the law.
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (Wiki)
is just the latest example of the office of the president taking
on powers that are in violation of the Constitution and
Wiki: Hedges v. Obama - Challenge to
the NDDA - YouTube
interview with Chris Hedges - repeals the protection of the
Posse Comitatus Act (Wiki)
Mark Foire (00:01:36)
Mark Foire (00:01:44)
Restrain Yourself by Mark Foire (2:31)
The Supreme Court (Wiki)
has lost sight of fairness and needs to be over-ruled by
Congress. Note the U.S. Constitution (Wiki)
defines the powers of the federal government: Congress (A1), the
President (A2), the Courts (A3) and all powers not so defined are
left to the States (A4).
United vs. Federal Election Commission558 U.S. 08-205
the court ruled that the First Amendment prohibited the
government from restricting political expenditures by
corporations and unions. The idea of corporate personhood
In Santa Clara County v. Southern
- Thom Hartman has pointed out that the ruling had nothing to do
with corporate personhood, that was an idea wrongfully put into
the case summary by a clerk. Note the actual decision was
OK, it's just that the wrong summation has become the basis of
the current law. Thom claims it's also the reason that the
supreme court threw out the Kasky v. Nike, Inc. (Wiki)
case because they knew that the case would reopen the meaning of
Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific
Railroad. Corporations can not be sued for torture and “extrajudicial
killing” (can you say assassination?) that's just for people
Mohamad, et al., v. Palestinian Authority, et al. (docket
11-88) Bowoto, et al., v. Chevron Corp., et al. [docket
10-1536] Kiobel, et al., v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, et al.
analysis: Anti-torture law given narrow scope (UPDATED)
I guess that means Blackwater (Wiki)
mercenaries are individually responsible but not their employer. Young Turks - Witchcraft More Popular
Than Citizens United-
Voter Photo ID
In Crawford v. Marion County
Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008) (Wiki)
the supreme court upheld a 2005 Indiana law requiring all voters
casting a ballot in person to present a United States or Indiana
photo ID. Note the U.S. Constitution does not
contain a "right to vote" clause.
Equal Protection Clause
In Bush vs. Gore 531 U.S. 98 (2000) (Wiki) the
Court ruled that the Florida Supreme
Court's method for recounting ballots was a violation
of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Wiki).
The Commerce Clause (Wiki)
of the U.S. Constitution (A1, S8, C3) reads:
[The Congress shall have
Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among
the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
Commerce means trade, not manufacturing,
retail sales etc. and only commerce (trade) between foreign
nations and the U.S. or between states or between states and
v. Ogden 22 U.S. 1 (1824) (Wiki)
- The court (I think unfairly) concluded that
Congressional power over commerce should extend to all aspects
that "significantly affected" interstate commerce. This
opened the door to more abuse of the Constitution.
In Wickard v. Filburn317 U.S. 111 (1942) (Wiki)
- Mr. Filburn was growing wheat on his own land for
consuption by his farm animals, none of it was sold
anywhere. The court ruled that the Agricultural Adjustment
Act of 1938 (a United States federal
law of the New
Deal era which restricted agricultural production by
paying farmers subsidies not to plant part of their land)
applied to him using the commerce clause as the basis of the
decision. That's to say it would force him to buy some of the
wheat he needed. In my opinion this was a huge mistake and
should be repealed.
In United States v. Lopez514 U.S.549
- The court runed that the federal Gun-Free
School Zones Act of 1990 (Wiki),
part of the Crime Control Act of 1990 (Wiki),
was unconstitutional based on the commerce clause. I think
this was the correct decision but is not consistant with Wickard v. Filburn.
In Gonzales v.
Raich545 U.S. 1 (2005) (Wiki)
- Raich grew and consumed
California legal marijuana in her home. The court ruled
that, based on the commerce clause, she was guilty of a
violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (Wiki).
I think this was a wrong decision, there was no interstate
commerce and this is a states right.
There have been a few Individual Madates (Wiki)
by the U.S. government.
The first was the Militia Acts of 1792 (Wiki)
would have required every "free able-bodied white male citizen"
between the ages of 18 and 45, with a few occupational
exceptions, to "provide himself" a weapon and ammunition.
It was not legally tested in the courts.
The second is contained in the mandate to pay income tax which
was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1895
because it was a direct tax not apportioned according to the
population of each state. Income tax became legal after
passage of the 16th amendment to the Constitution (Wiki)
Congress today looks like the 1960s Soviet Politburo in
the sense that what you see on any day is a show for the
public and all the important stuff happens behind closed
We have become a "Banana Republic". That's to say we
have a two-tier justice system. The 1% are immune from
prosecution while the 99% are over prosecuted. For
more on this critical problem read the book "With Liberty
and Justice for Some" (2011) by Glenn Greenwald. http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/26/glenn_greenwald_on_two_tiered_us When I went to college in California there was no
tuition. The idea was that we would fund this from
property taxes. In the 1960s there were more advanced
college degrees in Silicon valley than anywhere else in the
World and that may be the key reason for so many high
technology start-up companies there. Around 2004
spending on prisons passed education and now the university
system is being privatized, i.e. California is funding less
than half the tuition.
In the movie The Reagans (IMDB)
based on the book "First Ladies Volume II". During his
campaign for governor of California some Berkeley
students threw an apple (?) at him and in retaliation Reagan
dismantled the state support for the UC system, stopping the
free higher education in California. UC
Berkeley News "Kerr was fired three weeks after Reagan
took office. . . . . he wanted to set a political standard
for appointing faculty members. " It was Clark Kerr
and Pat Brown who instituted the free higher education
policy in California.
Politicians now spend all their time raising money.
That's to say they are not spending the time they should on
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (Wiki)
and the National Republican Congressional
will spend millions of dollars to help their candidates get
elected by producing and paying for air time, phone calls,
mailers, signs, etc.
The Patriot Act (Wiki: PA,draft
and presidential directives (Wiki)
have taken away a good part of the Bill of Rights and this
MUST be repealed.
the U.S. spies on
everyone and collects their data into a massive data
base. The Forth Amendment is gone.
"The right of the people to be secure n their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by the oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place
to be searched, and the persons or things to be
If ignoring this amendment is going to be official
policy then at the Constitutional Convention we
should remove it, or better, leave it in and start
to obey it.
Resend the "bankrupt the U.S. Post Office" bill passed
under Bush43 as part of the Republican privatize everything
(truth-out) Don't Let Business Lobbyists Kill the Post Office
Subsides: Agricultural 32% of
the payments go to farms with sales of $500,000 or more (2003
DoAEB6). Since the annual subside is
$8,000,000,000 (8 Billion) that 32% is 2,560,000,000 or a
little over 2.5 Billion going to farms with profits of more
than $ 50,000 per year. Oil March 30, 2012
U.S. Senate Votes to Continue Oil Subsidies
California "Top Two" primary
The Top Two primary system that started with the June 2012
primary has the effect of eliminating third party (i.e. all
except Democrats and Republications) from being on the
November ballot. In the presidential race there's
provision for a voter to write in the name of anyone for
president, BUT there's no provision to do that for House or
The people who vote in the primary are at the extrems
of the specture, i.e. they do not represent the main stream
voters. So the extremists pick the canidates who will
run in the November general election.
We should just get rid of the primary elections.
Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Ethics. Campaign finance (Wiki),
revolving door (Wiki),
Freedom of Information Act (Wiki),
whistle blower treatment (Wiki),
regulatory committee capture (Wiki),
PACs (Wiki: PAC,
PAC)), Presidential Signing Statements (Wiki,
Item Veto), Congressional Insider Trading (Wiki)
the list goes on . . .
An example of the Revolving door is that case of John
Michael McConnell (Wiki)
G.W. Bush DNI
2007-2009. At both Booz-Allen and the defense
department he oversaw outsourcing pretty much all the
government functions he could. The
spy who came in from the boardroom: Why John Michael
McConnell, a top executive at a private defense contractor,
should not be allowed to run our nation's intelligence
agencies. By Tim Shorrock
I have not accepted any PAC or Super PAC money and will
not in the future.
I'm running a ZERO MONEY campaign where if you support my
ideas you tell your friends, in person, via email, and/or
social media like facebook and ask them to tell their
friends. That's to say true grass roots support.
Note you can tell you friends that are outside the new 2nd
district in the hope that they have friends inside the 2nd
Any candidate who says they will not accept PAC money and
who is running as a Democrat or Republican is being
hypocritical because they are going to get a lot of money or
the equivalent in support of their campaign. Then they are
in a position where voting against their party may cost them
an election. This is currently a big problem in
Congress. That's why all the votes in Congress are
along party lines.
Bob Altemeyer has spent a number of decades refining his measure
of authoritarian behavior and it's now a very valid
indicator. Instead of using a book publisher he has chosen
to make his book "The Authoritarians" a free on line pdf
Conservatives Without Conscience, ISBN-13:
978-0670037742, 2006, by John Dean is where I learned about
Authoritarian behavior along with the Milgram Experiment (Wiki)
(see below). Milgram has shown that
some people will do the bidding of an authoritarian figure, even
to the point of killing someone else. His experiment has
been repeated many times with a number of variables and the
result is confirmed. The point is that it's not good for
society to blindly follow authority figures.
Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party,
ISBN-10: 1568584172, 2010, by Max Blumenthal http://maxblumenthal.com/
- much of the analysis is based on the idea of authoritarian
behavior. It's interesting that Max uses Erich Fromm (Wiki)
instead of Bob Altemeyer as his authoritarian expert although he
uses Bob's phrasing.
Fromm's books that are referenced in Gomorrah: Escape
From Freedom (US), or The Fear of Freedom (UK) (Wiki)
"Fromm characterises the
authoritarian personality as containing a sadist element and a
masochist element. The authoritarian wishes to gain control
over other people in a bid to impose some kind of order on the
world, they also wish to submit to the control of some
superior force which may come in the guise of a person or an
Anatomy of Human Destructiveness(1973) ISBN 978-0805016048
"Fromm detected a profound link
between necrophilious (Wiki)
character traits and right-wing ideology."
"In all of the samples, we found
that anti-life tendencies were significantly correlated to
political positions that supported increased military power
and favored repression against dissenters."
"Fromm identified necrophilious characters as among the most
dangerous members of any society. 'They are the haters,
the racists, those in favor of war, bloodshed and
destruction,' he wrote. 'They are dangerous not only if
they are political leaders, but also as the potential cohorts
for a dictatorial leader. They become the executioners,
terrorists, torturers; without them no terror system could be
set up. But the less intense necrophiles are also
politically important; while they may not be among its first
adherents, they are necessary for the existence of a terror
regime because they form a solid basis, although not
necessarily a majority, for it to gain power."
Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most
Powerful Mercenary Armyby Jeremy Scahill - it's very clear
that there is a strong link between Christianity and the
In the bonus features for the movie Green Zone it's also
very clear that soldiers in a squad will do WHATEVER they are
ordered to do when they have respect for their commander.
Sword: The Church adn the Jews by James Carroll 2001
(book and movie) - it's clear that the New Testament was
written to be different than the Old Testment and the it's
built-in hatred of Jews lead directly to the Holocost.
Also that the broad sword became the symbol of Christianity
because of Constantine's victory at Rome.
In the TED Talk How
economic inequality harms societies: Richard Wilkinson
says that income inequality is the cause of many social
problems, but authoritarinism has a stronger correlation to
those problems by up to a factor of two. Here's some data
I collected based on fifty U.S. states ranked by percent of
population that was Evangical Christian (as a proxy for
authoritarianism). Income inequality is an available
parameter for each state. R*R is a measure of the
statistical fit of a straight line to the data.
Some of these correlations are mentioned in the book Republican Gomorrah.
Correlation based on Authoritarianism is better than
Income Inequality for: Life Expectancy, Obesity, Infant
Mortality, Hi School Grad, Teen Birth Rate and Prisoners.
Correlation based on Income Inequality is better than
Authoritarianism for: Murder, Abortion, Suicide and Army
There does not appear to be a correlation preference for:
Unemployment, Economic Growth or Rape.
Hi School Grad
Teen Birth Rate
The UN's Human Development Index (UN, Wiki)
- shows similar data but based on countries instead of states.
These are not only examples of authoritarian behavior but
also of how current problems are caused by the actions of
politicians where the Democrats and Republicans agree on the
The U.S. has more people in prison that any other country in the
This is a result of the authoritarian mind set of the law makers
when there was a "crime wave" in the 1980s and 1990s (Wiki).
As a result about half the people in prison are there for
victimless crimes and need to be released and also have their
rights restored. The "Tough On Crime" laws, like Three
need to be repealed. The War on Drugs (Wiki)
needs to be stopped both because it's wrong and because, like
all wars, it's expensive.
YouTube - Stanford
IMDB - The
Spins Around the Sun (IMDB, NetFlix)
- Randy Credico & his work on prison reform
In the book My Life with Lifers (2012) Elaine Leeder makes that case the the majority
of lifers have reformed themselves in spite of the prison
system and no longer belong behind bars.
So it's not just the pot laws that need reform, it's much
bigger than that.
Brooke on Prison
Law & Disorder by Mark Foire
The Mean World Syndrome
by Media Education Foundation
The U.S. is No. 1 of the industrial countries in teen
Joycelyn Elders (Wiki)
was the U.S. Surgeon General while Democrat Bill Clinton was
president and fired for honestly answering a question about
masturbation. At that time the official U.S. policy was
that teenagers should abstain from sex. The Republican
position on anything sex related is from the dark ages.
And even today under Obama the surgeon general advice dances
around contraception in education, see:
"The Nordic countries and the
Netherlands have the lowest rates of relative child poverty,
at around seven per cent. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and
the United Kingdom have rates of between 10 and 15 per cent,
while more than 20 per cent of children in Romania and the
United States live in relative poverty"
End War in all it's forms
Where do the other candidates
stand on the Defense (war) budget and foreign military
bases? This is the No. 1 expense of the U.S. and is taking
money away from other uses.
Dying To Win: The Strategic
Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005 by Robert A. Pape - He
makes a good case that suicide terrorists have a strategic goal
of getting an invading army to withdraw. The invading army
is from a democracy (there is no point in trying to change the
mind of a dictator) and the terrorists have a religion that's
different from the invading military.
It's very clear that the religion of the terrorists is a
secondary factor. The primary factor is that they are
This means our foreign policy is wrong on many counts,
especially stationing U.S. troops in non Christian
countries. Much better to get them all out ASAP and use an
aircraft carrier instead.
for Economics and Peace (Wiki)
- 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks the U.S. at 88
out of 158 countries. The
Economic Consequences of War on US Economy.pdf - "The
higher levels of government spending associated with war tends
to generate some positive economic benefits in the short-term,
specifically through increases in economic growth occurring
during conflict spending booms. However, negative unintended
consequences occur either concurrently with the war or develop
as residual effects afterwards thereby harming the economy over
the longer term.
The U.S. is the world's imperialist war monger. We must
remove all ability of the President to declare war. The
Constitution says it's the job of Congress to declare war.
If we are really attacked AND the enemy is really known, I think
Congress will act.
Johnson lied to the people and Congress to start the
Vietnam War. (The second attack, which started the war,
never occured Wiki: Gulf
The 700-plus foreign military bases need to be closed. Not
only is what we're doing ugly, but it's also extremely
expensive. We simply can not afford it. Dismantling the
Empire: America's Last Best Hope (American Empire Project)by Chalmers A. Johnson (2010) The Book Rogue State: A Guide
to the World's Only Superpower by William Blum (2005)
explains the current U.S. situation. TED: Regina Dugan:
From mach-20 glider to humming bird drone - why
spend all this money on what will become a faster Predator drone
instead of doning some good?
Biometric identification and tracking, Due process, Executive power, Freedom of speech and dissent, Government secrecy, Immigration, enforcement, Infiltration of First Amendment-protected groups,
Militarization of local police, Military detention, Privacy, Racial profiling, Torture, Second Amendment, Surveillance and intelligence collection
Heart and Mind-O-Matic by Mark Foire
Thingamajigby Mark Foire
War on Terror
Note: Whether you call someone a terrorist or a freedom
fighter depends on which side you are on. I think that all
those the past two administrations havecalled terrorists are
being called freedom fighters in their country. So a war
on terrorism makes no sense. That's to say they are
attacking us because of something we are doing that they can't
stand. Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only
Superpower by William Blum (2000 & 2005) Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of
Suicide Terrorism by Robert Pape (2005) The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to
9/11 by Robin Wright (2006)
Has been a very expensive failure in many ways and needs to be
The Wiki web page looks at the cost to tax payers and only uses
two economic factors: law enforcement savings ($ 44 Billion) and
tax revenues ($33 Billion). But the U.S. annual spending
on prisons is $ 60 Billion. If half the prison population
is there because of victimless drug related crimes there's a
savings of about $ 30 Billion. It's not clear of the wiki
number for law enforcement includes the prison savings. I
think it's just the enforcement aspect of the War of Drugs.
"Australia and Switzerland were
two countries which introduced harm reduction very early on in
their HIV epidemics, and they have a very low rate of HIV
among injecting drug users. The U.S. and Malaysia came to harm
reduction a little later, and they have higher rates of HIV in
these populations. Thailand and Russia, however, have resisted
harm reduction and have stringent laws which punish drug use.
And hey, surprise, very high rates of HIV among people who are
Our misguided war on drugs is surely an important
factor where gangs are concerned. This is another vicious
circle: Like Prohibition before it, the war on drugs renders
the sale of illicit drugs extraordinarily profitable while
requiring that drug dealers function outside the law,
protecting their investment and turf with guns. If we ended
our war on drugs, the money that finances most gang activity
would disappear, as would one of the primary reasons for gang
violence. No doubt, gangs would remain. But with the war on
drugs abandoned, our police, courts, and departments of
corrections could focus on the real problem of violent crime.
Wiki defines a terrorist as people who commit "violent acts
which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for
a religious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately
target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians)."
Notice that there's no focus in this definition, that's to say
if the attack was motivated religion then the attacks would be
everywhere in the world where that difference existed. If
people in a country feed they are under attack by another
country then they will focus their efforts at that
country. I think that's what happened on 9/11.
If the 9/11 hijackers (Wiki)
were all affiliated with al-Qaeda (Wiki) one of
it's founders was Osama bin Laden (Wiki)
and he explained why they attacked (Wiki).
This explanation does not involve terrorism (even though Wiki
says it was a terrorist act). From the point of view of
those who planned and executed the attack thought they were
defending their way of life from attacks by the U.S. in the form
of sanctions against Iraq (Wiki),
U.S. military in Saudi Arabia (Wiki),
Support of Israel by
United States (Wiki).
This is a witch hunt that needs to be ended. In the book Dying to
Win: the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert
Pape (2005) the case is made that they were trying to get a
foreign military out of their religious region. And that
the religion of the invading military was different from that of
the region and that the military came from a a democracy.
Convention of 1907 (Wiki) Geneva Protocol
of 1925 (Wiki) Kellogg–Briand Pact
of 1926 (Wiki) Nuremberg principles of 1950 (Wiki)
Things like jobs, the economy,
Global Warming and education can not be improved unless the
above issues are greatly reduced in importance. Part of
the benefit of addressing the above issues is that a huge amount
of money will become available for peaceful purposes.
Here's an example that demonstrates a number of the problems.
First that the Democrats and Republicans agree on the big
issues (see above), Justice in this case,
they don't what any part of it.
Presidential Pardons & Grants of Immunity & Cover
Ford pardons Nixon
for criminal activity (Wiki)
- Watergate Carter pardons G.
Gordon Liddy (wiki)
Reagan pardons George Steinbrenner (Wiki)
- Obstruction of Justice, Watergate G.H.W. Bush pardons: Elliott Abrams, Duane Clarridge, Clair George, Alan D. Fiers,
McFarlane, Caspar Weinberger - Iran-Contra,
Armand Hammer CEO of the
Occidental Petroleum Co. & many many others (Wiki)
Clinton pardons: Roger Clinton, Jr. - his
brother, Lewis Libby Watergate, Fife Symington III -
Republican Governor of Arizona, Susan McDougal - partners with
Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Henry Cisneros - Clinton's
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mel Reynolds - Democratic member of the United
States House of Representatives, John Deutch - Director of
Central Intelligence, FALN - commuted the sentences of 16
members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that
set off 120 bombs in the United States G.W. Bush pardons: Lewis "Scooter" Libby -
Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff
to Dick Cheney related to Valerie Plame & gave
retroactive immunity to Verizon,
AT&T, and Qwest. "...the Bush White House had
converted the DOJ into it's own political are and was firing
honest prosecutors who refused to advance that agenda." (from
Greenwald's book With Liberty and Justice for Some page 196)
Obama gives immunity
to the telecom industry (Wiki).
He also has stopped foreign governments from prosecuting the
Bush43 administration for war crimes (see: Greenwald's book
With Liberty and Justice for Some starting at page 181
Philadelphia Daily News "The Day
That Barack Obama Lied to Me" by Will Bunch (1
"In its first months in
office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush
administration officials facing criminal investigation
overseas for their involvement in establishing policies
the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist
suspects. An April 17, 2009, cable
sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State
Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by
WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working
with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this
Barak Obama's Rightous Drone Strikes - "has carried out 5 times
as many drone strikes as Bush43...
Rather than send prisoners to Gitmo, he's taking the high road
by sending them to their maker."
NYT -"Mr. Obama has avoided the complications of detention by
deciding...to take no prisoners alive."
Another way justice is thwarted is by means of Executive
United States v. Nixon (Wiki)--
about getting the Watergate tapes
Clinton tried to use it in the Lewinsky scandal but failed.
G.W. Bush used it on many occasions (Wiki)
The SEC used it Feb. 4, 2009 during the House Investigation of
why they failed to act when information about Bernard Madoff was presented (Wiki)
CISPA (Wiki) -
this proposal contains a grant of immunity from criminal
prosecution for the companies who provide private
information. This is in addition to throwing out the 4th
amendment of the constitution.
"State Secrets" (Wiki) -
I believe there are a number of things that should be secret and
we have the National Security Agency (Wiki) who makes
and breaks secret codes. But I also think it's very wrong
for the government to hide behind the claim that something can
not be disclosed because it involves something related to a
state secret. The problem is that the government is
saying "trust us". And as the book Why Leaders
Lie: the Truth About Lying in International Politics by
John Mearsheimer it's common for leaders to lie to their own
people. Hiding behind the claim of a state secret started
with the supreme court case United States v. Reynolds
which led to the State secrets privilege
The proposed State Secrets Protection Act
would have made it harder for the government to hide what it
was doing, but it could not be passed in Congress.
The quality of education in the U.S. is very poor considering
that we spend more than any other country on it (in terms of
absolute dollars or in terms of dollars per student).
Our whole education system is geared to turn out factory workers
but almost all those jobs have moved to China.
When I went to Foothill Jr. College then transferred to San Jose
State there was no tuition (Wiki).
I only needed to pay for my books and lab fees. This was
part of the plan for California higher education. When I
was working in Silicon Valley there were more Masters and PhD
degrees there than anywhere else on the planet. Because of
that, there were (and still are) a lot of high technology start
up companies located there. So the state of California got
back much more than they invested in higher education.
When Ronald Reagan was running for Governor of California some
college students threw a vegetable at him in protest of his
ideas. In retaliation, when he became governor he fired
Clark Kerr (Wiki,
movie: The Reagans IMDB, book:
First Ladies Vol 2 Amazon)
and changed the funding system of the colleges in California to
make students pay, i.e. reversing the system the Brown and Kerr
had put in place. This has lead to the current situation
where the UC system is so expensive (UC: admissions,
does not include normal living expenses like food, clothes,
computer, gas, etc.) that even if you live here it's not
affordable to normal people.
This will have an impact on where high technology businesses
will locate, but in terms of California and the U.S. vs. other
Since the manufacturing jobs that depend on labor have been (or
will be) exported to countries with lower labor rates, it's even
more important to increase the level and quality of education in
The United Nations - Human Development Report
- Public Data
Explorer - the U.S. is spending about 5% of GDP on
education or about $750 Billion per year but the results are
very poor for the money. It's the same story as our
The Los Altos school district is
using this system and it includes breaking the lessons into
units that match the California curriculum.
The educational system of Finland (Wiki)
may be a better model of where we should be heading.
Note: compulsory education is through 9th grade (Wiki)
and admission to upper secondary school (17 & 18 year old)
is based on GPA (Wiki).
In Taiwan there are national tests and only some
percent of students can advance in public education (Wiki),
so only the very best students attend public high school.
This has the effect of weeding out students who are
troublemakers. In the U.S. the schools keep all
students, and the troublemakers pull down the rest.
In Denmark (Wiki)
"education is compulsory for children below the age of 15 or
16, even though it is not compulsory to attend"
Now reading: Education Myths: What Special-Interest
Groups Want You to Believe About our Schools - and why it
isn't so by Jay P. Greene
Mercantilism (Wiki) was
the economic system from the 1500s to 1800s replaced by Adam
Smith's Capitalism. "Most of the European economists who
wrote between 1500 and 1750 are today generally considered
mercantilists." "In modern economic theory, trade is not
a zero-sum game of cutthroat competition because both sides can
The Wealth of Nations laid out what's called classical
economics. There was a change in focus from the King's
wealth to the wealth of the population.
PS. I think neoclassical economics (Wiki)
is a waste of time because humans do not make good decisions
under negative conditions i.e. they do NOT act as rational
persons. There are a number of TED Talks on the topic of
how humans and chimps make the wrong choice when loss is
This is a subset of economic theory and addresses how the
amount of money will be determined. There are two major
historical schools of thought:
The idea that people are rational
in their decisions relating to money. It's not true on a
number of levels.
The book "How we Decide" by Jonah Lehrer goes into some depth
about how our mind works and it's not how most people think it
This means that the basis of most
economic theory is flawed.
Money based on debt
When a bank makes a loan they just make two entries in their
books. One puts the principal amount into your checking account
(as a liability) and the other puts the principal amount into
their collection of assets.
You borrow $100,000 for 30 years at 6%. The amount of
money created is $100,000.
But, you need to pay back close to $216,000.
This is a big problem because the money to pay back the interest
was NOT created.
Capitalism- It's OK if Regulated but can
be so much more -> Capitalism 2.0
The year 1776 is notable for (1) the 4th of July
and (2) the publication of the
Wealth of Nations (Wiki)
by Adam Smith, the basis of Capitalism.Prior to this there was
Feudalism (Wiki).At the time products
were made by craftsmen one at a time, and there was no
manufacturing, electricity, plumbing, etc.A high technology
business was making cast iron cookware.So the philosophy of
doing what’s in your own self interest (greed) and an invisible hand (Wiki)
will guide you for the good of society might have worked then.But greed is no longer
working and we need to move on to a better idea.
Note: in the book Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline
(2012) Morris Berman makes the case that the United States was
founded on the idea of the swindle. He bases this on the
group of people who founded the U.S. being driven by the idea of
getting away with something.
The Constitution was ratified over a dozen years after the
Declaration of Independence was signed and so our economic system
of greed and the "invisible hand" was built into it not only in
terms of the economic system but things like the legal system.
Stiglitz: Smith's "Invisible Hand" a Myth? (00:02:35)
90 years later in 1867 Carl Marx published Das Kapital and said
Capitalism could not work and socialism was the answer.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_CapitalThe U.S.S.R. tried socialism and it failed
in 1989. John F. Nash won the 1994 Nobel Prize in
economics for his theory of Governing
the movie A Beautiful Mind
the bar scene is an example of his two part idea that starts with
Adam Smith’s Capitalism and adds a second idea: “doing what is in the
best interest of the group”. http://www.end2partygovernment.com/2012Issues.html#ASvJN
<- the 3 minute bar scene
We need to move to Capitalism version 2.0.
Has built in the idea of a growing
economy and that's not sustainable. This needs to be
changed. YouTube - Money As
Debt-Full Length Documentary- the only item they
may have wrong is the idea that spending on infrastructure
promotes the economy. I think R&D on sustainable
projects would be a much better way for the government to spend
money. ContagionEx by by Mark
The Laffer Curve & Voodoo Economics
Nick Hanauer - TED Talk (pulled by TED) March Long Beach
Are the rich America's job creators?
Last Word, at YouTube1,
When Reagan cut the marginal tax rate G.W. Bush used terms like
"voodoo economics". The reason was that what Reagan said was
that by cutting the marginal tax rate the government would take in
more money. This is a counter intuitive idea, you would
think that raising the marginal tax rate would increase income and
the cutting it would lower government income. But that
simple thinking does not take into account what's called
elasticity of tax rates or the Laffer Curve (Wiki).
Prior to the Reagan tax cuts the
marginal tax rate was 70% (IRS: 1980
Marginal Tax Rates). What this means is that the IRS
takes 70 cents of the next dollar of income made. This
caused stupid behavior like buying tax losses rather than trying
to actually make more money.
The Laffer curve says that if the
effective tax rate is zero then the government will collect a very
small amount of money by means of charitable contributions.
If the effective tax rate is 100 percent then the government will
collect a very small amount of money from those who volunteer to
work for free. Somewhere between 0 and 100 percent there's
an optimal tax rate that will bring in the most money. If
the current effective tax rate is higher than the optimum rate
then lowering the tax rate will result in bringing in more
money. And that's where we were in 1980. So when the
marginal rate was lowered there was a huge influx of money. The
tax cut part of what Reagan did worked well. The thing he
did wrong was the massive increase in war spending.
Today (2012) we are at the other end of the Laffer curve, i.e.the
marginal tax rate is about 15% (Huffington Post: Marginal
Tax Rate Chart). So raising the marginal rate will
bring in a lot more money into the government.
Adam Smith vs. John Nash ->
Adam Smith (Wiki)
is commonly credited with formulating the idea of Capitalism or
free markets. He published The Wealth of Nations (Wiki)
in 1776 this is at the start of mass production and before the
problems caused by large corporations were known. Smith thought
that when everyone works for their own best interest an "invisible
hand" guides them to also do what's best for society. There
was no electric or phone service and plumbing was yet to come to
homes. All businesses were family run. Free market
"hands off" capitalism failed in the early 1900s with the advent
of big business and big banking. This led to government
regulation of business and banking.
After W.W. I Russia was in a very bad way economically, and
which allowed Lenin to stage the October Revolution (Wiki)
and install the Communist party in Russia which used the ideas of
Karl Marx for their economic system. This economic system
did not work and the U.S.S.R. fell apart in the late 1980s.
Capitalism can work when applied to a competitive market, for
example things sold in grocery and hardware stores. But it's
not so good when applied to monopolistic cases like utilities.
John Nash (Wiki)
won the Nobel prize for his idea that there are two factors that
determine the best outcome (1) what's best for the individual and
(2) what's best for the group he is in.
This has implications for both national and world wide economic
See the bar scene from A Beautiful Mind (a bio on Nash) for a
practical explanation of his idea.
Bar Scene from A Beautiful Mind:
Governing Dynamics by John F. Nash "Adam Smith was
This means that the Republican Party ideas about economics are
based on a false idea "free market capitalism" and a false idea
"voodoo economics" about tax cuts.
Using Nash's idea we will get the best outcome if we do what's
best for the Earth and what's best for us individually. It
may be a good idea to call this Nashism rather than keep using the
word Capitalism. This has a profound impact on economic
Brooke on Capitalism 2.0
Alexis de Tocqueville
in America) - “self-interest properly understood.”
looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s
good for business.
"Tocqueville warned that "modern democracy may be adept at
inventing new forms of tyranny, because radical equality could
lead to the materialism of an expanding bourgeoisie and to the
selfishness of individualism. In such conditions "we lose interest
in the future of our descendents...and meekly allow ourselves to
be led in ignorance by a despotic force all the more powerful
because it does not resemble one."
Tocqueville worried that if despotism
were to take root in a modern democracy, it would be a much more
dangerous version than the oppression under the Roman emperors or
tyrants of the past who could only exert a pernicious influence on
a small group of people at a time. In contrast, a despotism under
a democracy could see "a multitude of men," uniformly alike,
equal, "constantly circling for petty pleasures," unaware of
fellow citizens, and subject to the will of a powerful state which
exerted an "immense protective power".
Tocqueville compared a potentially despotic democratic government
to a protective parent who wants to keep its citizens (children)
as "perpetual children," and which doesn't break men's wills but
rather guides it, and presides over people in the same way as a
shepherd looking after a "flock of timid animals."
It turns out that the Bush43 administration has put a poison pill
into the Postal Accountability Act of 2006 (Wiki)
This was part of a larger move to privatize everything by
In Eat the Rich by
O'Rourke the chapter on Russia during the cold war has information
on how poorly the factories worked. The description fits
most cases in the U.S. where a government monopoly is
privatized. What happens in both cases is that the business
operates strictly to the letter of their contract and they find
loopholes that allow them to optimize some other parameter
(minimizing material requirements for the USSR and maximizing
profits for the U.S.).
of countries by number of broadband Internet subscriptions
- the U.S. is No. 27 (28%)when ranked by percent of the population
with broadband connections. Liechtenstein
has 64%. This is an area were the U.S. government could do a
lot of good, like when Eisenhower built the U.S. Interstate
Highway system. Getting a lot of our population connected by
broadband internet would greatly increase our ability to
communicate not only with each other but with the world.
The PBS Frontline "Obama's
Deal" goes into how he campaigned against the politicians
who made the Medicare Part D midnight deal to prevent the SSA
from negotiating prices of medicine, but when he wanted to pass
his Obama Care medical package made a deal with the big
pharmaceutical companies right after he made a deal with the
insurance companies to take single payer (Medicare for all) off
the bargaining table. His health plan was written by the
insurance and pharmaceutical companies. The big problem it
has is profiting from peoples medical problems and the
government forces everyone to pay those profits. It's way
too expensive and if implemented the costs will go up
The PBS Frontline special Five
Capitalist Democracies & How They Do It (Watch
on line) looked at: United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan
and Switzerland. In no country was there any business
making profits on peoples first order medical problems and
there were no people going into bankruptcy because of medical
expenses. When private insurance companies were providing
medical insurance they were not allowed to make profits on that
I've personally seen the Taiwan system first hand and think
it's great. For many people it would make sense to buy a
round trip plane ticket, go to Taiwan (or other county) and have
the treatment done off shore and return to the U.S. The
savings will more than pay for the plane ticket and
expenses. For many procedures it makes sense to fly to
Canada or Mexico and pay their going rate which are a tiny
fraction of the U.S. rates for the same procedure.
An interesting fact is that Japan set the price for various
imaging procedures (spiral CAT, MRT, etc.) at a very low
level. Japan is one of the key sources of high technology
imaging equipment and the manufacturers developed newer lower
cost machines to comply with the government low cost
target. It turns out that my hospital has the spiral CAT
scanner that was developed because of the Japanese medical
system. So I'm seeing a benefit from their health care
system. The implication is that if the U.S. does a similar
thing a benefit may show up in other places in the world.
This is consistent with John Nash's Governing
Some of the products made in the
early 1900s are still servicable today whereas products made
today to perform the same functions will only last a short
time. It's my understanding the car makers now use Mean
Time Between Failures (Wiki: MTBF) as a design
parameter for each model but it's not public information.
I'd like to see manufacturers advertize the MTBF. For
example when shopping for a car, you could choose how you want
to trade initial cost and the life of the car. Given the
chioce I'd choose a car that would last a long time over a cheap
car that would need to be replaced in a few years. For
example in The Warranty Direct Top 100 Most Reliable Used Cars
Of The Past Decade (Gizmag
2006) not one was made in the U.S.
New U.S. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Wiki
MITI). We can't do everything, so what areas should
we be going after?
Here's an excellent video that ties together many of the issues
related to the limits on growth.
There's No Tomorrow (00:34:52)
M. King Hubbert (Wiki)
- quantified oil depletion (Wiki) -
Peak Oil (Wiki)
Food vs. fuel (Wiki) Industrial Revolution (Wiki)
- 1750 - 1850
Note that GDP (Wiki:
criticism) is NOT a measure of anything useful.
The There's No Tomorrow
video is based on the implications of exponential growth and
explained in this 8 part series of videos. The Most IMPORTANT Video
You'll Ever See by Dr. Albert A. Bartlett Part 1
- Arithmetic, Population & Energy - the magic number "70"
divided by the annual growth rate 7% = time to double 10 years
Chess board & grains of
wheat example -
The growth in any doubling time is greater than all the
- in 70 years (about a human lifetime) the number of doublings
is 2 ^ (percent), for example at 7% there would be 2^7 or 128
zero population growth is going
to happen. Table of Options with columns for Increasing
Population and Decreasing Population.
Nautre will choose from the Decreasing Population list and we
don't have to do anything.
- Steady growth in finite environment - bacterial in bottle -
"growth is the centerpiece of the national and global economy".
M. King Hubbert
- graphical representation showing areas doubling
- about oil Part 5
- about oil Part 6
- Definition of Modern Agriculture: the use of land to convert
petroleum into food.
Ethanol from corn is a looser if
you look at energy in vs. energy out
- Liters per person of oil consumption peaked in the mid 1970s.
"In Growth we trust"
The 1st law of sustainability: Population growth
and/or growth in the rates of consumption or resources CANNOT
Population is the focus in this issue.
"If ever there was a time when
the human race needs people who will think, it's right
now. It's our responsibility as citizens in a democracy
Eric Sevareid's Law: "The chief source of problems is
solutions." - Example of the Nile river flooding.
"The Greatest Shortcoming of the Human Race is our Inability
to Understand the Exponential Function."
M. King Hubbert (Wiki)
is cited in both of the above videos in relation to peak oil.
The bottom line is that no system that requires growth is
The idea mentioned above about getting back to products with
a long MTBF, i.e. products designed to last 100+ years is part
of a sustainable human existence.
- Problems with GDP as an Economic Barometer(00:08:06)
00:06:12) "The United States has about 10 times as many people
per capita in prison as other advanced industrial
countries. That contributes to our GDP, because we have to
spend money to incarcerate them. And now some states are
spending as much on prisons,on constructing them, as they are on
Universities. Well that's good for GDP. But any
measure of societal well being says it's not so good to have so
many people in prison and it's a symptom of something
(00:06:52) "Another example is we spend more on health care than
any other country as a percentage of GDP and our health outcomes
are much lower than in other advanced industrial countries, and
actually lower than many developing countries. Well, the
extra money that we spend on health care shows up as a
contributation to GDP. If we got more efficient our GDP could go
down. . . .You're looking at the wrong thing."
"To take the United States as an example, the U.S.'s GNP is the
value of output produced by American-owned firms, regardless of
where the firms are located. Similarly, if a country becomes
increasingly in debt, and spends large amounts of income
servicing this debt this will be reflected in a decreased GNI
but not a decreased GDP. Similarly, if a country sells off its
resources to entities outside their country this will also be
reflected over time in decreased GNI, but not decreased GDP.
This would make the use of GDP more attractive for politicians
in countries with increasing national debt and decreasing
Paul Gilding: The Earth is full (TED2012)
James Hansen: Why
I must speak out about climate change (00:17:52)
"Until about 2007 the U.S. was No. 1 for total CO2 emitted."
The 13% decrease in the U.S. is mainly due to fuel efficient
(00:43:00) The 2007 IPCC estimates about a 1 meter sea level
rise by 2100.
In the new 2014 assessment more factors will be included and
probably the 1 meter rise will occur sooner.
(00:44:39) The global map of sea level shows the California coat
not being effected that much, but Japan will see a lot of
San Francisco, Seattle & San Diego are experiencing a 2.2 cm
(1 inch) increase in mean sea level per decade.
(00:45:40) Most (2/3 to 3/4) of the sea level change is due to
00:46:18) Globally sea level is rising 0.32 cm/year.
(00:48:27) If we keep on with business as usual by 2500 Florida
and San Francisco may be under water.
There are some problems with this presentation. I've asked
the presenter of the talk but he's too busy to respond.
1. The tide gauges at Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego are
showing a linear ocean rise of 2 mm per year, or 500 years to
get to a 1 meter rise. The slide at 00:45:03 shows 2
cm/decade, why this strange choice of units, is it to confuse us
into thinking it's 2 cm/year? But later in the talk he's
talking about 2 cm per year which calculates to 1 meter in 50
years. Where did the change come from? Wiki: Sea
Level Rise: IPCC 3rd Assessment: Minority
uncertainties and criticisms regarding IPCC results)
2. The reason for ocean rise is given as 2/3 to 3/4 due to
expansion. That means the ocean is warming, but later in
the talk he says there's more and more CO2 in the ocean leading
to problems for the formation of skeletons for sea life.
But a warming ocean should be releasing CO2 and getting more
basic rather than getting acidic.
3. The plot at 00:53:53 has three lines: atmospheric CO2, ocean
surface CO2 and ocean surface pH. This reminds me of the
debate about does the Sun orbit the Earth or does the Earth
orbit the Sun. That's to say is the atmospheric CO2
driving the ocean surface CO2 or is the ocean surface CO2
driving the atmospheric CO2?
4. The slide says "ocean surface CO2" because that's the place
where acidification is taking place. But the bulk of the
ocean is getting more basic (opposite from acidic) because the
bulk of the ocean is warming.
5. In the California
Coastal Commission paper on sea level rise they point out
that tide gauges only measure the relative position of the ocean
and the gauge. Because of plate tectonics (Wiki)
the land is also changing elevation and that needs to be backed
out of the tide elevation numbers for each measuring station
individually. The paper also acknowledges that expansion
plays a large part in ocean rise. Are there precision GPS
stations attached to the tide guages to see how much they are
Microbes in the sea generate half the oxygen we breath, 1/4
comes from land plants and 1/4 from macro algae like kelp.
LSD & Ecstasy
I believe recreational use of
marijuana in all its forms (Wiki: marijuana,
aka: cannabis,Kief,Hashish,Hash oil and
LSD and Ecstasy should be legal in the same way alcohol use is
legal to use. That implies that like tobacco it should be
taxed. Note it's legal to brew your own beer and make your
own moonshine and in a similar way you should be able to grow and
refine hash for you own and your friends use, but selling requires
the tax stamp just like tobacco or alcohol.
Young Turks Jun 21, 2012 - DEA Head's Absurd Marijuana Testimony
The use of Money in Politics
Money allows a canidate to gain
recognition by means of phone calls, mailing cards, letters,
polls, etc, TV and radio spots and person to person contact either
door to door or at public locations. Corporate Personhood is a big
part of this problem.
In the book Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline
(2012) Morris Berman makes the case that the United States has
already failed and we're now, like Rome, in our decline. He
cites the failure of all branches of government, the economy,
&etc. He mentions that the U.S. has a strong soviet
component, not for the people but rather the corporations, that's
to say the socialist policy of the government protecting business
from failure. Berman, a U.S. citizen has moved to Mexico
permanently because he's given up on the U.S. Other names
mentioned on this page are also U.S. citizens who have moved out
of the country. It turns out upon reading the book that he
thinks technology, like say the telescope, are bad for society and
likes the culture of the South around the time of the Civil war
(excepting the slavery), but it was the culture that saw slavery
as a good thing and it was the culture that formed lynch mobs,
i.e. high authoritarian
Movie: Ethos (IMDB,
- touches on many topics and they seem to have all of them correct
(except maybe the hint of 9/11 domestic conspiracy).