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.

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Upstate South Carolina to be annexed back to Catawba Indians

A re-patriation effort has begun on behalf of the Catawba Indians by the United Nations. The Catawba Indians ceded their land in 1840 to South Carolina in a contested treaty that has never been validated by the United States.

The UN proposes the new territory to become the newest internationally recognized independent state and to be called Catawbistan. The tentative plan currently has the support of the UN Security Council. The re-claimed territory will return nearly all of the Catawba’s original national land back to the Catawba tribe.

most of the original Catawba territory will be recognized by the UN as Catawbistan

The UN has suggested a 10-year plan for removing the current residents of Upstate South Carolina, many of whom have been residing and farming their upstate lands for many generations. The lower-state cities of Aiken and Columbia, SC are expected to be the primary beneficiaries of the population move, estimated at roughly 2,000,000 persons.

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This ‘news post’ is of course a fiction, a metaphor. For me, personally, I have struggled for a long time to understand the Israeli/Palestinian issue, and maybe, more importantly, how that issue affects muslims in the middle east – why they act so crazy.

This metaphor helps me to understand.

In this metaphor the Catawbas represent the Jews, who were relocated into their traditional homeland by the international community.

And the Upstate South Carolinians represent the Palestinians, who were forced to leave their homes.

And Americans, in general, who sympathize with the removed South Carolinians, represent the muslims throughout the middle east.

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.

America: too many laws ?

In America there does not seem to be a Check-and-Balance Relationship between the people and our laws that our legislators create:

  • 1 – we elect legislators,
  • 2 – they create laws,
  • 3 – then what?

Some might say ‘just don’t re-elect the lawmakers’, which is a fair enough idea. But look closely and I believe that you will possibly see that Non-Re-Election does not erase the laws created! And it is highly unlikely that a new candidate will overturn laws.

It seems to me that it would be a good idea if we could have a means to filter through the laws, to determine the ones that we do like and the ones that we do not like.

For instance, juries could evaluate the legitimacy of laws. Juries are fantastic structures within our country where regular people are brought together to interact closely, personally with the laws that our elected officials have created, and to participate in the implementation of those laws.

Imagine if after a common trial has completed the jury could be called for another task: to discuss one law, chosen at random, to determine its validity from a common person’s point of view.

If the jury determines that they like the law then the law should remain in effect. If they do not approve of the law then they should overturn the particular law. If they do not understand the law because of its complexity, then they would leave it alone.

Over the course of many decades, average people would become more sophisticated with regards to laws, and would gain the intelligence needed to better determine good laws from bad.
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It should be mentioned that currently we do have the function of ‘jury nullification’.

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The BB-LiA’s awesome 1-2-3 punch

The BB-LiA had a problem: it didn’t have what it wanted.

1So in the 80’s it developed the notion of Trickle-Down Economics, which made a lot of sense to armchair economists.
2In the 90’s it pushed for free-trade agreements, opening the door to cheap labor opportunities.
3And then it hired Rush Limbaugh and FOX News to control the conservatives and divert blame to the democrats.

Now the BB-LiA is happy … it stands for the Big Business Lobby in America.

How the BB-LiA targeted American conservatives … and won

In the beginning the BB-LiA was just another lobby in Washington DC, plowing through congressmen to get policies that favored its existence (Big Business Lobby in America).

The organization got its trickle-down favoritism, and then got its NAFTA-type agreements (imbalanced foreign business relationships). It put a lot of effort into these campaigns, working the congressmen at golf courses, ski resorts, social affairs, and then selling these ideas to people.

But in the 90’s the BB-LiA realized something: why waste our time on the congressmen … we should lobby the people.

At this point all Americans were fair game. But any good strategy team will analyze cost/return equations. They realized that highly-educated, secular-leaning people (typically these are democrats) were too pragmatic to influence easily; but that the conservatives, who were gullible (gullibility is a by-product of trusting, which is a by-product of faith … the gullibility of conservatives is a sacred feature and should not be exploited), would be easier to influence.

Of course you can’t call up 100 million conservatives and invite them to a vacation retreat in the Hamptons to make your case. What you need is a large scale marketing component, such as a media source or two. Rush Limbaugh was hired; FOX News was put together.

Rush Limbaugh and FOX News are merely the media component of the BB-LiA’s campaign to lobby America’s simple folk, to get them to do the BB-LiA’s bidding in DC through democracy channels. And now you have religious conservatives teaming up with fiscal conservatives, two sub-groups that should be polar opposites.

Was Jesus being an unrealistic emotional sap?

Was Jesus being an emotional sap when he told the rich man to give all of his wealth to the poor person (Mathew 19:21)?
…OR…
Was Jesus hinting at a fiscal policy?

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To find out we have to take Jesus literally, and build a legislative rule around his suggestion: JR-7473: Rich guy must give wealth to Poor guy … now let’s see what happens:

scenario 01The rich man, we’ll call Aaa, follows the rule and gives all his wealth to the poor person, we’ll call Zzz.
scenario 02But now Zzz is rich, and Aaa is poor; so Zzz must follow the rule and give all his (new found) wealth back to Aaa.
scenario 03The cycle continues: Aaa and Zzz keep handing the money back and forth indefinitely.

For me, what I see here is an Economic Circulation Pattern.

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Of course, the money is meaningless to both Aaa and Zzz if they do not spend it. So let’s try a different scenario set, allowing them each to spend money while they are in possession of it:

scenario 11Aaa follows the rule and gives all his wealth, $1,000,000, to Zzz.
scenario 12Zzz, who is starving, goes out and buys a loaf of bread and a Porsche.
scenario 13But now Zzz must follow the rule and give his wealth to now-poor Aaa … but what to give? The bread does not constitute ‘wealth’ (at least not in appropriately modest quantities), but the Porsche is clearly excess and so it is ‘wealth’ … therefore Zzz must hand over the Porsche and remaining cash (assets + cash = $999,997) to poor Aaa.
scenario 14Aaa receives the Porsche and cash. He is psyched about the Porsche, but quickly realizes that JR-7473 will not allow him to keep it, so he trades it in for a Ford Taurus. Also he buys some groceries.
scenario 15Aaa then gives his wealth to the poor person. The current value of the wealth is $979,977 (the Taurus was about $20k).
scenario 16Aaa and Zzz continue the cycle, each time getting the basic things that they need. The wealth slowly dilutes until at some point neither has excess wealth. The cycle stops.

In other words, Jesus’ rule, if followed literally, leads to a middle-class society of economic equality … interesting.

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I personally believe that in a real functioning society that this is not realistic, but I do think that there can be systems in place to foster this type Economic Circulation Pattern, specifically I think Bubble-Up Economics via Productivity-Oriented Social Programs does it, although Productivity-Oriented Social Programs do go against JR-7473, which required nothing of the recipient, whereas Productivity-Oriented Social Programs do require something. Read more: P-OSP

some benefits of Productivity-Oriented Social Programs

Productivity Oriented Social Programs solve a lot of problems:
1 – reduces crime
2 – rebuilds families
3 – reduces the economic gap
4 – slows the economic erosion caused by Trickle-Out
5 – replaces the welfare state
6 – relieves the costs of Unemployment
7 – reduces the costs of law enforcement
8 – fosters long-term global competitiveness
9 – re-ignites individuals

Presidents vs. Unemployment

Not all unemployment numbers are the same … after WWII unemployment spiked because the Wartime Effort came to an end, but the recent unemployment numbers are due to a Global Recession.

However, over the last 64 years, Reagan was the only Republican who had a net improvement over his presidency (the improvement did not occur until his second term).

And over that same period every Democrat has had an improvement, except Carter who broke even.

2 Corinthians 8:14-15

It’s dangerous territory to pick a verse from the Bible and try to build an argument from it, especially if the verse is taken out of context or is used to serve an agenda … but never-the-less:

2 Corinthians 8:14-15 (Paul) – “(14) At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, (15) as it is written: ‘He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.'”

The way I read this is that 15 basically says ‘those who make the big bucks need to help out those who don’t make jack so that they will have enough’ (notice that both groups do work (‘gather’), though some workers have little return for their efforts). 14 explains why doing this makes sense: in helping out the poor, you are actually not depriving yourself, because they will be in a position to return the favor, etc. (what goes around comes around).

If this doesn’t make sense to you, consider the aquarium metaphor, with oxygen-rich water circulating throughout.

Trickle Down Economics is an example of a Circulation Theory, but it fails because of the trickle-out problem. But Bubble-up Economics (via Productivity-Oriented Social Programs) solves this problem, ensuring that the poor get their opportunity BEFORE the money disappears.

Also, notice that Paul doesn’t say, ‘those who have little are screwed, they should get a better job – it’s their own problem, not mine’. Ex: Without your trash men, your neighborhood would be overrun with disease and filth, so give them the respect they deserve … and paycheck too.

Also, notice that Paul describes this ‘economic circulation’ as ‘equality’!

If Political Parties Were Computer Systems…

If political parties were computer systems… who would be what?

The conservatives would be a database: ask them a question and they repeat to you what is stored in their database.

The liberals would be a processor: ask them a question and they throw all the variables into their algorithm and say what ever comes out, indifferent to either the variables themselves or the result that is produced.

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That’s not to say that liberals are necessarily smarter. After all, imagine this: 5 apple seeds + 1 desert = green future. That is clearly not correct (you’ll need some water, right?). But if you have enough liberals working together then you will probably get a solution that is meaningful.

And understanding conservatives as a database, just repeating their mantra tirelessly over and over, helps to explain one of the great riddles of the modern conservative movement: why do business conservatives and religious conservatives ally themselves in the republican party? Shouldn’t they have opposite motivations and agendas? The answer is in the fact that they all, as individual people, process the world around them in the same way, like a database query system and this like-mindedness is the lubricant in their unnatural relationship. And because they do not have processing power, they are unable to figure out that they are supposed to be enemies.


Searching kids lunchboxes … what are the options

February 14’s article, State Inspectors Searching Children’s Lunch Boxes, made several rounds through my facebook feed. The idea, I must say, does wreak of heavy-handed socialism.

We all sort of know where the problem came from: snack food companies targeting their marketing efforts at kids, for generations.

Coke, for example, has realized great profits by creating an association between their product and world peace, good times, coolness, etc. And of course Cheetos, McDonald’s, and all the rest, it’s no wonder that kids opt for a small bag of potato chips and a Sprite rather than an apple and a grape juice (which doesn’t even sound exciting). In a unicorn-happy world these companies would prioritize ethics and health rather than profit.

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Let’s have a small lesson: what’s the difference between marketing and hyper-marketing?

Marketing is:

I made some shoes; they have good arch support.

Hyper-marketing is:

I made some shoes; they have good arch support; girls will take your pants off.

Hyper-marketing is at the core of hyper-consumerism (which is at the core of pop-culture, which is at the core of pop-politics … oh, and obesity).

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Our very-free American marketplace fosters hyper-marketing, even though it has the ability to do so much damage. In a perfect world, average people would be insightful and strong-willed enough to resist the messages of corporate America. But keep in mind that the marketing agencies employ sociologists and psychologists to customize messages for various consumer sub-groups, and they work to build messages that are irresistible.

Now kids are getting so unhealthy that they are coming down with diabetes in their youth. Lawmakers, afraid to touch corporate America, are instead trying to fix their mess by regulating people’s behaviors: corporate America gets a free pass, we get regulated. And, remember, if we don’t get the oversight, we end up fat and costly to the insurance companies and the system in general. We cannot be allowed to get so fat.

So what to do?

Choose ONE:
A – regulate the marketplace (don’t brainwash my kids, I wont brainwash yours).
B – regulate the people


Who spiked the simple man’s koolaid

Today, while listening to Charlie Daniel’s Simple Man, I noticed something. That song identifies a classic pattern: good honest workers usually revolt against

  • A) crooked politicians,
  • B) over-reaching capitalists, and
  • C) society-destroying criminals

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But today it seems that they are only revolting against Obama and Democrat-politicians … so why is the pattern different?

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Here’s my theory: With the implementation of trickle-down policies in the 80’s, and then NAFTA in the early 90’s, the American economic environment began to heavily favor the tycoon-capitalists over the common working men (tycoon-capitalists are not the same as mom-and-pop-capitalists) .

Historically, in these types of environments two phases follow:

  • 1 – society splits into an aristocratic class and a peasant class,
  • 2 – then the peasant class (usually a combination of the Working Class, who power the revolt, and the Intellectual Class, who steer the revolt) collectively rises against the aristocratic class (usually a combination of the Politicians and the Wealthy).

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And because this pattern is so identifiable, any political historian back in 1990 could have predicted what would happen if America started to shift towards an aristocrat-peasant society: that within 2-3 decades the common man was going to revolt … So those 1990-era tycoon-capitalists began to embark on a plan to prevent the inevitable revolt …

… they developed a propaganda machine to manipulate the fate.

(At this point it is important to recognize that partnerships between the Working and Intellectual classes make for strange bedfellows … the tycoon-capitalists will identify and exploit this!)

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They decide that they need to get control of the Working Class before the forecast revolt will begin one day, and, most importantly, before the Working Class partners with its old ally-in-revolt, the Intellectual Class. And so were born FOX News and Rush Limbaugh.

Yes, those are good ol' trusting, Family-Values Americans dancing a jig.

Rush Limbaugh and FOX News, the voices of the tycoon-capitalists’ propaganda machine, would be used to:

  • 1 – gain the trust of the Working Class,
  • 2 – direct them against the Intellectual Class.

And so once the revolt would finally happen (as history predicts), the Working Class would NOT go after the power class, but rather would go after their historical ally, the intellectuals. And this is the polarization that we have today.

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Some will argue that the tycoon-capitalists would not do this because in deflating the lower and middle classes, they would be shooting themselves in the foot by effectively impoverishing their consumer base. But that is only in a closed society where they necessarily need the American consumer. But America is in a global marketplace, and America’s 200 million potential consumers is small in comparison to the worlds roughly 3 billion in developed and developing countries.



Life vs Competition

Capitalism does a lot of wonderful things but it does have a dark side: poverty. Because capitalism is a competition there will be losers.

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

It is the roll of a civil society to ensure a mechanism to re-charge those that lose. America has employed trickle-down policies, but because so much money has trickled out, the lower-middle class and lower class have been stranded, with each successive generation degrading.

Bubble-up economics is a solution that re-charges the lower class directly, ensuring vibrancy at the base of the economy and improving the possibility of ‘upwards mobility’. Read more: productivity-oriented social programs.


Is dogma unconstitutional

Ears

Not listening is wrong in a society where speech is considered to be a vital component of stability and growth.

Freedom of speech is meaningless if no one is listening.

And it is impossible to listen (I mean truly listen) if you are already set in your ways, predetermined to respond to the speaker regardless of what they say.

So I figure it is unconstitutional to not listen and consider what your opposition has to say. And the good news is that if your idea is actually the better, it will still come out on top.

Isn’t that dog cute?