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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Obama, the Other POV

Uncritical, reflexively positive posts about how glorious things are and how President Obama has been the best thing that ever happened to America is, well, just as absurd as those who claim the opposite is true. Partisan obsessing is killing America. I think we all know already what’s wrong with the brand and its fight with science and the Middle Class, but here’s my take on some problems with the Obama legacy Liberals paint with such a rose-colored brush.
  1) The Affordable Care Act has such high deductibles in many cases that it only gives the illusion of providing insurance. Insurers are beginning to leave the system or go broke because too many sick people and not enough well people are in the mix.And the final irony, people who could not afford medical insurance before ACA will now be fined because they can’t afford ACA insurance.
  2) The Iran nuclear “agreement” is no agreement at all. It has not been and will not be presented to the Senate for approval and so is not binding on us. It has not been signed by Iran and so is not binding on them. In addition President Obama’s assurances that any violations by Iran will be met with swift reimposition of sanctions lacks any credibility since Iran has just completed its second test of a long range ballistic missile. This violation against either developing or testing such missiles has resulted in no action by the Obama administration. Tough talk by the President with by now typical lack of substance. The nuclear “agreement” with Iran frees up billions of dollars to Iran with virtually nothing in return.
  3) The Department of Homeland Security is hopelessly broken. Recent testimony before Congress has  shown they have no idea where tens of thousands of illegal aliens are (yes, dear Liberals, that is the label used by the State Department). These are people whose visas have been revoked because of terrorist concerns or who are felons captured and released by immigration officials “at there own discretion” the laws be damned. In a recent test of airport security checkpoints only 5% of airports tested successfully detected weapons carried by agents. And “what the fuck,” to borrow a phrase from a former student of mine. “Sanctuary cities” where immigration law will not be enforced.
  4) The claims by the administration of “extremely robust” vetting if refugees are so without credible foundation as to not even be worthy of further discussion. But our borders are already so porous that it really doesn’t matter. The administration has been a complete failure in protecting America from undesirable entry.
  5) Out Nobel Peace Prize President continues the policy of perpetual war but with a twist. We no longer know who we are arming or why, have alienated our friends and allies, emboldened our enemies and pretty much confused everyone with a foreign policy that makes no sense to anyone.
  6) The Paris climate change “agreement” is once again only the illusion of an agreement. The goals are too low to have any significant impact on the rise in the average temperature of Earth, lack any enforcement mechanism or penalties for failure to comply even with these watered down goals AND completely ignores the rights of indigenous people to have any voice in the use of their ancestral lands. Disgraceful deception presented as a “breakthrough.”
  7) The longest lived and weakest economic recovery in at least the last fifty years. A relentless regulatory environment that is anti-business.
  8) The biggest perception anyway of unfavorable race relations in my memory is happening on President Obama’s watch. This is ironic and unexpected but there it is.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Violence Disease in America

   I was quite surprised when I learned several months ago about the federal ban on gun violence research. Research, that is, gathering facts instead of anecdotes, is always a good idea. Of course the value of the research depends on the question being asked. If the question assumes the answer then it's just propsganda. For example, "Why is gun violence bad?" Or something to that effect. 
   In any event I believe research focused on gun violence by the Center for Disease Control is too small a subject. I think the disease facing America is much bigger than guns. The disease is violence itself. We live in a violent society and need to recognize the risk factors, the symptoms and diagnosis, the treatment plans and prognosis as we would for any other disease. 
   However, the reason this will never happen is because of a political agenda that wants to ignore for political reasons the triage any doctor would perform. You treat those who have stopped breathing before those who are bleeding. You look perhaps at knife violence before gun violence because knives kill eight to ten times as many people as guns. You look at black on black violence before you look at police violence because it kills more than a hundred times as many and turns whole sections of towns and cities into battle zones. You look at intimidation and attacks on free speech before you worry about pampered college student grievances. 
   OR you treat it all as ONE DISEASE, violence in America. The CDC would be the perfect organization to conduct this broader reseach. Unfortunately that will never happen. Just as with fossil fuels, violence is too big a business to challenge effectively. And too subject to political agendas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Paris Climate Conference

  Amidst all the back slapping and congratulating, unfortunately I remain a skeptic. What is novel about this "agreement" is the great scope, vision and goals compared to other such meetings. HOWEVER, so far what I fail to see are the enforcement powers and penalties for lack of compliance. Without these, this agreement will go the way of all the others. NATO - no action, talk only. Every agreement (except the banning of PCBs) in the past has failed utterly to ACCOMPLISH anything. Money interests will still control the outcome. And I'm talking HUGE money interests who will not just lie down and commit financial suicide. 
  The Paris agreement unfortunately is basically a photo op moment. Five years from now we will be saying the same thing we say about every other prior agreement: virtually none of the major polluters will have met their goals or even come close. Even more shameful is the complete marginalization of the rights of indigenous people to a say in the use of their ancestral lands. Extraction companies simply come in and rape the land. Because of international trade agreements SOVEREIGNTY EVEN AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL HAS BEEN LOST TO FOSSIL FUEL INTERESTS. But who reads trade agreements, right? 
   Here is how to make a REAL DIFFERENCE. (1) Forget international climate agreements. They are without teeth and therefore useless. (2) All cities and municipalities that sold off their electric utilities to private companies in order to raise cash must buy back those utilities to regain control of how they are fueled. (3) Create a plan for all publicly owned energy utilities, with deadlines and quantifiable goals, for the gradual conversion to sustainable energy sources: solar and wind primarily. Many cities throughout Americana and the rest of the world (Germany particularly) are already doing this and it is having a significant impact on the amount of fossil fuels used. National politics (corruption) is such that only local efforts will achieve any results. (4) All politics is local. Get active. Demand change of your local energy provider and your local governing bodies. Call for town and city meetings on repurchasing power companies. (5) Repeat every morning: "I'm angry and I won't take it any more!"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Climate Change "agreement" - Paris Fraud

GLOBAL WARMING The Paris agreement unfortunately is basically a photo op moment. Five years from now we will be saying the same thing we say about every other prior agreement: virtually none of the major polluters will have met their goals or even come close. Even more shameful is the complete marginalization of the rights of indigenous people to a say in the use of their ancestral lands. Extraction companies simply come in and rape the land. Because of international trade agreements SOVEREIGNTY EVEN AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL HAS BEEN LOST TO FOSSIL FUEL INTERESTS. But who reads trade agreements, right? 
Here is how to make a REAL DIFFERENCE. (1) Forget international climate agreements. They are without teeth and therefore useless. (2) All cities and municipalities that sold off their electric utilities to private companies in order to raise cash must buy back those utilities to regain control of how they are fueled. (3) Create a plan for all publicly owned energy utilities, with deadlines  and quantifiable goals, for the gradual conversion to sustainable energy sources: solar and wind primarily. Many cities throughout Americana and the rest of the world (Germany particularly) are already doing this and it is having a significant impact on the amount of fossil fuels used. National politics (corruption) is such that only local efforts will achieve any results. (4) All politics is local. Get active. Demand change of your local energy provider and your local governing bodies. Call for town and city meetings on repurchasing power companies. (5) Repeat every morning: "I'm angry and I won't take it any more!"

Monday, December 7, 2015

The New World of Corporate Allegiances

  On Deception Watch describes the convergence of global issues that necessitated the creation of a new world-governing paradigm. The current model, active since the dawn of recorded history—territorial, patriarchal, and tribal—in Slaider’s world was no longer up to the task of fulfilling the social contract between the governor and the governed.
    The contract was void because it was no longer clear who the parties were to the contract. Who is governed is always clear. It is the unavoidable human mass in Slaider’s world being a less and less relevant burden in the age of automation and globalization of almost every aspect of wealth creation. Like a bank deposit, the people were no longer an asset. They were a liability to those in charge.However, in Slaider’s world of the not too distant future those who governed were no longer openly evident by the usual symbols and institutions of political power and control. Real, but unseen, power had shifted from political power centers to economic power centers.  Accountability in this age of the multinational corporation had become more and more elusive, more and more abstract. Power was no longer derived from the people, willingly or unwillingly. National governments became simply one more of the many variables to be measured and manipulated.  It had become the new world of the illusion of government where the real power worked behind the scenes rewarding with the false intoxicant of political power or punishing with the withdrawal of that power, closely followed by a swift spiral into public oblivion.  Nothing was as it seemed, which has always been true. News media are businesses and businesses have an agenda that supports that business and so the news supports the agenda that supports the business. Government purveyors of information are part of a business, the business of preserving access to the prerogatives of government. They have an agenda to support the government that provides the prerogatives. And all sources of information and opinion have one thing in common: the will to deceive.
  The world is complicated and the commitment to deception is partly traditional (how do you tell if a politician is lying...?) and partly because the truth is too complicated.  This was Slaider’s world, the near future in an age of transition. Slaider’s vision was a world governed by protocols that manage self-interest by nourishing a unique global unity, a world of "all us and no them", a world of coerced inclusion. As General Slaider understood it, the only sustainable path (not to mention the only profitable path) for the web of business alliances already in place was to accept a new all-inclusive allegiance to a “top of the food chain” global economic structure with its governing algorithms and its economically incentivized system of rewards and punishments. National constitutions (real or alleged) would be replaced by a mission statement and a business plan.