To pause a line of traffic

Imagine a city, a new city, it yet empty of people. There is much opportunity … if the right people come.

In the beginning a bunch of straight white men built a subdivision 20 miles east of the city on the best land imaginable. And every morning 10s of thousands of these white men would drive in to the city.

Eventually more people moved into the region: a bunch of women built a subdivision about 15 miles east of the city; and some black people built a subdivision about 10 miles East; and some gay people eventually built a subdivision about 5 miles East.

And every morning the white men would fill the road to the city, steadily moving at 35mph. From the side roads the gays, the blacks, and the women would try to enter onto the road to the city. But they could never enter because of the unceasing flow of the 10s of thousands of white men steadily moving on the road to the city. And the women and the gays and the blacks would bang their steering wheels, beep their horns, cuss and cuss and cuss inside their cars waiting for never to get onto the road to the city. When they finally did, it was too late; the white men had already filled all available job positions in the city.

One morning one of the white men cruising in the flowing traffic noticed the frustrated face of a black person sitting in his car at a side road waiting desperately to enter the road to the city, and then he did something revolutionary: he stopped his car to let the black person enter the road to the city, and the whole train of cars behind him, filled with white men, had to come to a halt; they were furious and yelled at the man who had stopped the flow, calling him a traitor for stopping the flow of traffic. But eventually members of City Hall became sympathetic with the difficulties that the black people faced trying to merge into the flow, and so the City Hall installed a traffic light at the intersection of the road to the city and the road to their subdivision. And the flow of white men had to pause …

Eventually the women starting voicing their opinions, screaming for their rights. Eventually enough people in City Hall became sympathetic with the women’s frustration over the impossibility of their being able to access the road to the city every morning, that they agreed to install a traffic light where their side road intersects with the road to the city. And the flow of white men had to pause again …

And the whole scenario repeated itself with regards to the gays. And the flow of straight white men had to pause again …

And then the straight white gun-lovin men began to clamor that their rights were being affected. And logically-speaking, they were … after all, the certainties of their lives were being decreased, as many others gained access to the road to the city.

What is “Bubble-Up” economics

A good way to visualize “trickle-down” economics is to watch the water bubbles in an aquarium that happens to be using a “power filter”. Power filters pour water over the top of the aquarium into the water, creating water bubbles that circulate down to the bottom of the aquarium.

power-filters-2

Frankly, most people already understand “trickle down” economics well enough that they do not need a visualization tool.

However, an aquarium visualization tool can teach us about more economic issues and systems than just trickle down. So I will use the basic “power filter” aquarium to establish a basis for an “aquarium metaphor”, and then introduce variations in an effort to learn about “trickle out” economics and “bubble up” economics.


For my diagrams:

  • an aquarium represents a country
  • water represents the population
  • water depth represents wealth stratum … … upper water = upper class, lower water = lower class
  • oxygen bubbles represent money.


This first diagram shows that trickle-down can and should work in a closed environment. Basically the wealthy class keeps their capital at tax time, but spends their money on employees and goods such that their money successfully permeates the full class spectrum.

The goal with trickle-down was that the best money managers would be enabled to make strong innovative decisions with their annual holdings and that money would make it to the lower-class via normal market mechanisms.


The problem with diagram A is that it only works in a closed environment … but America is not a closed environment.


If an aquarium (eg. America) is connected to another aquarium (eg. china), then the trickle-down process is disrupted as water bubbles (eg. money) flow out. This can happen when a member of the wealthy class buys stock in a foreign company, or when he buys an expensive foreign car, or outsources various aspects of his company. This is dangerous because the lower class will never receive the oxygenation necessary to maintain a healthy environment in the lower economic strata. (It should be mentioned that if an equal amount of water bubbles flow back into the aquarium, then balance will be maintained.)


Bubble-up economics, on the other hand, ensures that oxygen gets to the lowest classes.

aquarium_aerator

The oxygen is mechanically delivered to the bottom, where it is released. This bypasses the wealthy’s exploitable opportunity to trickle-out for their own profitability. Economically speaking, the money is mechanically delivered to the lower class via social programs, such as job training, small business investment funds, municipal projects, and other Productivity-Oriented Social Programs. Productivity-Oriented Social Programs are not the same thing as welfare.




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illustration: connected buckets


When America began to connect to third world nations for the purpose of trade, our $18/hour society was no match for China’s $.25/hour society, and our money began to drain outwards toward China.




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Are we being realistic about poverty


Suppose that you are a business adviser and you have a client who has come to you with a problem: he needs firewood to keep his office warm. Now take a look at the image and answer the 4 questions below.

1 – What is the probability of success for method A?
2 – What is the probability of success for method B?
3 – Which of these methods is the best?
4 – If your client does not have a chainsaw, will you tell them that karate chopping is there only option?


The Pursuit of Happyness, a feel-good positive-message Will Smith movie, is a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ themed story which basically pushes the idea that anybody can karate chop a tree, indeed making people feel hopeful – but hopeful about something that is very unlikely to occur. Thus it is effectively creating false hope and therefore it is a reckless message.

Notice that both method A and B require hard work. But method B offers a realistic probability of success in return for the client’s hard work.

In America a great amount of emotion and political policy is invested into method A solutions for the poor. It would be better to invest all of the ‘you can karate it, you just gotta work hard’ emotion into something with a more realistic probability of success, into grand-scale problem solving: to search for a method B.




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Are you a responsible gun owner, or reckless … try this simple test


What’s your GORF score? Use this simple equation to find out …


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Divide:
x … the amount of Time that you talk about responsible gun ownership by
Y … the amount of Time that you talk about the 2nd Amendment.

If you get a number greater than 3.5, then you are a responsible gun owner.

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Why is this equation important in today’s gun conversation in America? Because over the last few years, apparently some shifts have occurred in our population demographics, and now it is difficult to distinguish between responsible gun owners and reckless gun owners.

Being able to distinguish between these two groups has important implications in our society. Hence my simple equation to help you figure out who is who … the GORF equation.

GORF is an acronym for “Gun-Owner Responsibility Factor”. I am leaving the equation in a simple form, though I should really re-work it to normalize its output, maybe using 0 or 1 as the benchmark value. But as it stands, the benchmark value is 3.5 (I’ll explain in a moment).

In slightly more algebraic notation, my GORF equation looks like this:
GORF = Trgh ÷ Tsar
Trgh is the amount of time u discuss Responsible Gun Handling,
Tsar is the amount of time u discuss Second Amendment Rights.

A good GORF value is 3.5 … If a person’s GORF value is less than 3.5 then that means that that person is reckless, and a danger to civil society; but above 3.5 means that that person is responsible and safe.



Families’ Bush and bin Laden Hashed Secret Agreement

It’s not anything new, really, so why am I even flustered by the anti-obama-ists plunging forward with a conspiracy theory about obama somehow being tied to the boston bombings?

Most moderate republicans suggest that obama’s security policies are the basis for these accusations, but extremist republicans are suggesting an actual direct link: that obama ushered out a guilty saudi kid and then scapegoated the whole thing on the chechnyan boyz.

OK, screw it! If you pinheads want to play that way then here you go:

After Sept. 11 the Bush Family got together with the Bin Laden Family and worked out a deal: “keep Al Qaeda away from America and we will let Osama run free”.

Well, this explains why we failed to find obama hiding in our ally’s back yard and that there were no more terrorist attacks during the Bush years, huh!

ooh_conspiracy_theory

Justifying Lynching

It has really been a phenomenal 4 years. Over and over again the republicans/FOX Country/conservatives have relentlessly blamed Obama for everything, and when there was nothing to blame him for, they created a mountain out of some irrelevant mole hill and then blamed him for that. But their real guilt comes in their guise to justify the blame.

justifying_lynching

A Solution to the Gay Marriage Question

In America our fundamental spousal construct is the marriage. The problem is that marriage is a religious concept, not a civil concept. And because our Civil State has adopted a Religious Ceremony as its fundamental spousal construct, other spousal-wannabe’s are running into hurdles.

The solution: remove Marriage as the fundamental spousal construct, and replace it with the Civil Union.

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This opens the door for many types of Civil Unions.

Indeed, “marriage” is actually a type of a Civil Union itself, owned, operated, and defined by the churches (going back to the BC religions I think).

Other possible types of Civil Unions:

  • the las-vegas-elvis Civil Union
  • the bungee-jumping Civil Union
  • the captain-of-a-ship Civil Union
  • the gay Civil Union
  • the human-mannequin Civil Union

Think about each of these: each is questionable in light of religious doctrines, but yet most are acceptable in our civil environment.

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County-by-county democracy should be the mechanism that decides what types are -or are not- recognized by the government for purposes of … what is the purpose of registering our marriages with the government?

The C’s accuse me of being an A

There seem to be 3 different arguments in regards to the gun issue:

A – get rid of all guns (I have never actually heard anyone say this)
B – regulate guns (the ‘how to’ is up for debate)
C – sell guns like bubble gum: anytime, anywhere, anybody

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The C’s are accusing everybody else of being an A.

would you accept Constitutional Rape

Here is a thought experiment …

We probably all agree that the bill of rights (as well as a good bit of the constitution) is supposed to embody the idea of ensuring the protection of people’s natural will (as opposed to suppression). I suppose most Americans will agree with this.

Here is another example of natural will: my natural reproductive drive.

So imagine if the bill of rights included an amendment to protect my right to fulfill my natural reproductive drive … would you support it?

In the hands of ‘common sense’ this clause might work without disrupting a civil society. But as soon as someone starts twisting that clause, interpreting it to suit their own agenda, you could effectively end up with constitutional-rape.

The 2nd amendment has similarly been twisted.

Re-defining the term Gun Control

Comprehensive Training & Certification for gun ownership.

  • If you simply want a pistol for home protection, you need a Level 1 training/certificate;
  • If you want to hunt with a shotgun, you need Level 4 (or whatever);
  • If you want to operate an assault weapon for sportsmanship, you need Level 7 (or whatever);
  • If you want to carry a concealed weapon, you need Level 2 (would include in-action training);
  • etc.

CTC should make both liberals and conservatives happy:
– the liberals want a sensible, civil society;
– the conservatives want guns, and they say responsible gun owners are safe.

CTC legislation would create many jobs in the firearms training sector; and it would weed out a large percentage of irresponsible people, as well as incompetent people.

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Further Reading
Level 1 training would be geared toward the most fundamental of gun claims: protecting the home. Included in Level 1 firearms training should be psych evaluations and proper training about storing the gun in the home. Level 1 might require 3 months of weekly sessions. Trainers would be certified by the NRA, but liable to civil and criminal courts for failure to uphold high standards (now you have a check & balance between the NRA’s desire to spread guns, and the public’s desire to have safe, qualified gun owners). Level 1 would probably only cover low-shot hand guns, which are appropriate for home protection.

A concealed weapons permit would require Level 2 training, specifically some type of Action-based Training (something that probably only military, police, and the most hardcore gun sportsmen ever get). The Ab-T portion of CTC Level 2 would demand probably 30 hours, maybe much more.

Why should CWP holders be required to satisfy Level 2‘s Ab-T requirement … because a CWP holder is implicitly saying, “I am taking my gun into the public, where all the action is, and if there is trouble I’m going to pull my weapon out into the public space with the intent to pull the trigger.” With that being said, I believe that CWP holder should have to prove that he/she can handle the action: people running, screaming, shots already being fired from some undetermined direction, maybe darkness, wounded on the ground. Level 2 would probably also only cover low-shot hand guns.

For hunters they would need a Level 3 certificate. For sportsmen, a Level 4 certificate. Etc.

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What do you think about the idea of Comprehensive Training & Certification for gun ownership?

The NRA inhibits meaningful discussion … day 3 of 26

If someone like me says, “gun regulation should be discussed”, some NRA person will respond, “you’re not american, you’re against freedom, you’re stupid, you think hugging criminals will work.” So to avoid being yelled at by my family and friends I, like millions of other people, just keep quiet! Consequently, our country has not had a real democratic discussion about guns and the 2nd Amendment.

Healthy discussions usually produce good answers. The NRA culture should not be afraid of the discussion if they believe that their approach is the right approach.

healthy discussions lead to good things

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There are 5 potential reasons for guns:
#1 – the Foreign Invaders argument – guns for militia members for protecting the homeland.
#2 – the Tyrannical Government argument – guns for a populace to thwart tyranny.
#3 – the Self-Defense argument – guns for individuals protecting themselves against each other.
#4 – the I Need Meat argument – guns for individuals that hunt.
#5 – the It’s Nice and Shiny argument – guns for sportsmen and collectors.
(Maybe there are more, but this is a start.)

We should discuss all 5, independently, from both a constitution-era point of view and from a modern-era point of view.

From a CONSTITUTION-era point of view:
#1is what is ‘written’ in the 2nd Amendment.
#1 & #2were both contextually relevant in 18th c., and both were discussed.
#3was neither relevant nor discussed in 18th c.
#4was relevant but not discussed in 18th c.
#5was neither relevant nor discussed in 18th c.

From a MODERN-era point of view:
#1we do not need anymore (our military is solid).
#2we have other mechanisms to prevent tyrannical governments.
#3fair enough, but only if we thoroughly analyze our entire society to understand why we have so many criminals in the first place, because possibly they are a byproduct of some sickness in our society, and maybe they are fixable … maybe.
#4fair enough, but only with the right comprehensive training.
#5fair enough, but only with the right comprehensive training.

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Gun Ownership Only With Qualified Training
Any reasonable person should be ok being required to be trained to own a weapon.

Basic gun ownership would require Level 1 training.
Level 1 training would be geared toward the most fundamental of gun claims: protecting the home.
Included in Level 1 firearms training should be psych evaluations and proper training about storing the gun in the home.
Level 1 might require 3 months of weekly sessions. Trainers would be certified by the NRA, but liable to civil and criminal courts for failure to uphold high standards (now you have a check & balance between the NRA’s desire to spread guns, and the public’s desire to have safe, qualified gun owners).

Level 1 would probably only cover low-shot hand guns, which are appropriate for home protection.

A Concealed Weapons Permit would require Level 2 training, specifically some type of Action-based Training (something that probably only military, police, and the most hardcore gun sportsmen ever get). Ab-T would last probably 20 hours, I don’t know, maybe 100.

Why should CWP owners be required to satisfy Level 2 requirements … because a CWP holder is implicitly saying, “I am taking my gun into the public, where all the action is, and if there is trouble I’m going to pull my weapon out into the public space with the intent to pull the trigger.” Therefore that person should have to prove that he/she can handle that action: people running, screaming, shots already being fired from some undetermined direction.

Level 2 would probably also only cover low-shot hand guns.

For hunters they would need a Level 3 certificate. For sportsmen, a Level 4 certificate. Etc.

What do you think about the idea of appropriate training for weapons permits?

It took Reagan 5-1/2 years to get unemployment under control

It took Reagan 5-1/2 years to get unemployment under control.

He began with about a 7.5% unemployment (seasonably adjusted), and 4 years later it was roughly the same, but only after a huge spike. Then it was about level for another 1.5 years, and finally it starting coming down.

Most of what the republicans say is true … but there’s a twist

Here’s the thing: most of what the Republicans say is true.

The problem is that usually:
– their truths are not the only truths (on many political and social issues multiple sides of the coin can land face up simultaneously),
– their truths are often only true if other important considerations are not considered.

If you are a Republican repeating the Republican mantra, you are Wrong, even though most everything you say is true.

Pretend it’s Jan. 2009

Pretend it’s Jan. 2009 … what would you choose?

  • A – Great Depression.
  • B – Great Debt.
  • C – Great Fix.

Sure, everybody will say ‘C’. But think … what does it take to actually accomplish ‘C’? And here is an even more important question: how many years will a Great Fix take?

Suppose that in January 2009, our government was functioning like an efficient machine, both parties working together, and immediately it began working on a solution that required 3-5 years to accomplish. 3-5 years I said, because there would not be a way to fix our problems any quicker. Complete domestic and foreign policy changes were needed. So until those 3-5 years (or maybe even 7-10 years) were completed, what should the government have done? Should it have stranded people (that would equate to a Great Depression)?

A Solution to the Gay Marriage Question

In America our fundamental spousal construct is the marriage. The problem is that marriage is a religious concept, not a civil concept. And because our Civil State has adopted a Religious Ceremony as its fundamental spousal construct, other spousal-wannabe’s are running into walls.

The solution: remove Marriage as the fundamental spousal construct, and replace it with the Civil Union.

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This opens the door for many types of Civil Unions.

As it turns out, Marriage is a type of a Civil Union, so its ceremony will remain in tact, and unaffected by the civil union debate taking place in our democracy. The churches own Marriage: it is theirs.

Other possible types of Civil Unions:

  • the Las Vegas Elvis Civil Union
  • the bungee jumping Civil Union
  • the captain-of-a-ship Civil Union
  • the gay Civil Union
  • the human-mannequin Civil Union

… all of which are questionable in light of the religious doctrines that created marriage.

But in the hands of county-by-county democracy, who knows.

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Natural Roles in the Natural World, but in the Artificial World?

In the natural world, such as the jungle, the societal roles of children and adults are pretty natural: hunting (…for the children: learning to hunt), gathering berries and crushing them (…for the children: learning), building leaf-covered huts, etc. These tasks are at some core level in us instinctive.

On the other hand, in the artificial world, such as the suburban commercial district, roles are not so naturally instinctive: filing the blue copies in the executive file cabinet, and forwarding the pink copies to the inventory controller.

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None of us really have a choice about being born. We come out and immediately we are told that we have obligations. Well, that’s life. But the question is: what types of obligations can be expected of us? The key word is ‘expected’. It is certainly fair to say that mega-complex obligations are wanted of us.

Fair enough: society wants of me to build rockets using new physics that I invented while simultaneously investing in high-yield bonds … but can society expect that of me … expect?? After all, there is good reason to believe that my high-end multi-tasking in the industrialized marketplace is not natural, not instinctive, but rather the product of my upbringing, a specialized training, if you will, begun by my parents, and fostered by the schools that they put me in.

In my opinion society can only expect of me what is natural with respect to natural human instincts. Anything more is a bonus. And of course society can strive to foster the higher competency, but can not expect it of me.

Capitalism has many positive offerings, but it is a competition. And in a competition there will be losers.

To Have Guns, Freedom, and Safety Too

I’m a fan of qualified training. Any legitimate person should be ok being required to be trained … I would be fine with it.

healthy discussions lead to good things


Trainers would be certified by the NRA, but liable to civil and criminal courts for failure to uphold the appropriate standards set by legislatures as wanted by the voters. This is important because it establishes a check & balance between:

  • the NRA’s desire to spread guns, and
  • the public’s desire to have safe, qualified, responsible gun owners.


Basic gun ownership would require Level 1 training. Level 1 training would be geared toward the most fundamental of gun claims: protecting the home.

Included in Level 1 firearms training should be psychological evaluations and proper training about periphery issues such as storing the gun in the home. Level 1 might require 3 months of weekly sessions.


Concealed Weapons Permits (CWP) would require a higher level of training, specifically some type of Action-based Training, something that probably only military, police, and high end gun sportsmen ever get. Action-based Training might last another 1-3 months.

I feel this way about CWP because a CWP holder is implicitly saying, “I am taking my gun into the public, where all the action’s at, and if there’s action I’m going to pull my loaded weapon out into the public space with the intent to pull the trigger.” Therefore that person should have to prove that he/she can handle that action.

The NRA inhibits meaningful discussion

I am not sure what the right answer is about gun possession. What I do know is that anyone who attempts to discuss the issue will more than likely be reprimanded by either a family member, co-worker, etc. Consequently, our country has not had a real democratic discussion about guns and the 2nd Amendment.

Healthy discussions usually produce good answers. The NRA culture should not be afraid of the discussion if they believe that their approach is the right approach.

healthy discussions lead to good things

There are 5 potential reasons for guns:
#1 – the Foreign Invaders argument – militias for the sake of protecting the homeland.
#2 – the Tyrannical Government argument – collective citizenship to prevent tyrant governments.
#3 – the Self-Defense argument – individuals protecting themselves against each other.
#4 – the I Want Meat argument – individuals that hunt.
#5 – the It’s Nice and Shiny argument – individual sportsmen and collectors.

Maybe there are more, but this is a start.

We should discuss them each, independent of one another:
from a CONSTITUTION-era POINT OF VIEW
#1 – is what is ‘written’ in the 2nd.
#1 & #2 – were both contextually relevant in 18th c., and both were discussed.
#3 – was neither relevant nor discussed in 18th c.
#4 – was relevant but not discussed in 18th c.
#5 – was neither relevant nor discussed in 18th c.

from a MODERN-era POINT OF VIEW
#1 – we do not need anymore (our military is solid).
#2 – we have other mechanisms to prevent tyrannical governments.
#3 – fair enough, but only if we thoroughly analyze our entire society to understand why we have so many criminals in the first place, because possibly they are a byproduct of some sickness in our society, and maybe they are fixable … maybe.
#4 – fair enough, but only with the right comprehensive training.
#5 – fair enough, but only with the right comprehensive training.