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Monday, August 31, 2015

Why DC versus Heller was badly decided

Why DC Versus Heller was badly decided

I believe that DC versus Heller was badly decided. But since I'm not a lawyer and I agree that people should have a regulated right to own a gun under some circumstances. You can't sever the right to bear arms from the requirements for a "militia of the whole."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The 1893 revolt of the Georgists Against Henry George

I reported the 1890 Formulation of the Georgist platform in my last post and how his 1890-1892 platform supported attacking monopoly at it's source. Modern Georgists don't seem interested in that part of his efforts. Well the Georgist movement revolted against Henry George on this issue!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Nine Trolls

The word "troll" has positive as well as negative meanings. But in internet discussion groups the term Troll is a visual aid for identifying noxious behavior. Like with hacking the word has positive meanings too. But when we talk about trolling we usually mean it in it's pejorative sense.

Key is to recognize the troll within -- and spray him!

I came up with 9 Archetypes of troll behavior. These "Troll Spirits" may infect any of us at one time or another:

Friday, August 21, 2015

What Hillary Actually says about Healthcare

My Friends divide into three camps. Those for whom Hillary Clinton is their champion believe in her, but people from both left and right spin her words into dark conspiracies. Oddly I hear polar opposite charges about her from left and right. People on the left tell me she's "against single payer" and a stooge for the drug and insurance companies. The ones on the left tell me she's a socialist and will collectivize health care. All three sides can muster arguments and quotes to promote their point of view. And it seems everyone is looking for a fearless leader on the one hand and to demonize the other sides. Where is the reality?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why I haven't declared for a Presidential Candidate

No Triangulation Zone

I love Bernie's plank. I love his effort on behalf of himself. I love Hillary. I love Hillary's effort on behalf of herself. I loathe our current primary process. I loathe that we don't have a movement pushing candidates across the board and that we still have folks who think we can dump both the Democratic party and the Republican party for a third party without ruinous consequences. I loathe that from my local party on to the top of the ticket, candidates can't afford to run for office unless they (or their volunteers) spend all their time raising money. It's nothing personal, it's just the corrupt habits of our country. What we are used to. We are like pigs who live in a stye. We got used to the smell. That's all.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Privateering through Banks and the EuroZone

I've talked about the Greek-Eurozone conflict and how it represents the bait and switch reality of privateering using the Euro and it's for profit private bank in some past posts in posts titled "The Privateers give a broadside to the Greeks" and Going Greek on the Whole World, and Yanis Varoufakis and the Importance of Saving Europe (the last of these talks about what might have been).

Of course, I wasn't the only one who was deeply disturbed by the buccaneering behavior of the central banks and the oligarchic multinational banks from before 2008 to just now.

In the book:

"Austerity, Greece’s Debt Crisis, and the Death of Democracy: A Book about Greece and Much More" by Joseph M Firestone [Kindle books]

Democrats and Organizing

Dear Ms. Schultz (@DWStweets):

The GOP does things very differently from the way we do, but they do some things right. One of the things they do right is to organize the grass roots with training and administrative support. Chris Carr sent me a fundraiser letter (he thinks I'm going to send him money -- ha ha) in which he crowed about their organizing:

The grassroots is fired up. Here's what's going on in the field:
  • More than 2,000 individuals have applied to be a part of our Republican Leadership Initiative (RLI).
  • We are training and deploying field organizers throughout the entire country.
  • Our field program is expected to expand to thousands of paid staff across the country.

Note, what he calls "Grassroots" are totally astroturfed, not volunteers, because he's not targeting unpaid volunteers like we Democrats have to live with. He has an almost military organization of paid organizers. Something we can't maintain because we rely on organizations like Planned Parenthood and Acorn, that wind up being vulnerable to attacks on the volunteers, for being paid, or for having a life if they aren't being paid. A lot of what our party does should be supporting democratic institutions not a One Party style initiative -- but the point is that the leadership training and money support needs to be present for Democratic organizers too. So naturally he's:

"excited to share this update with you. I hope you're pumped up too."

I am pumped up. I want to defeat his army of astroturfed professional con artists at the polls.

To do that we need more than money raising. We need Democratic forums, communications outreach, list serve administrators, primary candidate recruitment and support; and alternative media. And these need to be replicated to every village, town or city equivalent in the country; and to every county.

Yours Truly, and I hope you are paying attention to Chris Carr too.

He's coming from www.GOP.com

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Henry George would have been for Social Security!

Beyond What We can See

Out in the darkness, beyond what we can see,
There is a place in our imagination, where all can be free.
But we live in A world, where the dark is out of sight,
Just on the other side of a wall, that we fear, called the night.
 
Out there in the darkness, where I know you are,
As distant from me now as a faint vanishing star.
That is where only my imagination can go.
Even though I know that it is just my aching soul.
 
Maybe where you are, all is clarity and light.
Or maybe you sleep a dreamless dream in eternal night.
All I know for sure, is that one day I'll join you there.
In a place deep in the earth, where I won't have to care.
 
Meanwhile, I'm here, with other strange survivors.
Dwindling in numbers, huddling against the cold.
We sail in a vessel that is leaking and is sinking.
Comforted by memories of when our fine ship sailed the seas.
We might be a fine wine, we might be just the lees,
But we are temporary survivors of this process called growing old.
 
Christopher H. Holte, written 8/16/2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Yogurt and YaÜ

Always on the Search for good eats. I found this little yogurt Creamery:

http://eatyau.com/story/

It's caramelized!

The Georgist Constitution

Rick DiMare Dug this up in his studies of Georgism and Henry George's writings. It was called the Georgist Constitution. He writes:

"The following Georgist platform was adopted on September 3, 1890 in Coopers Union, New York, on the final day of a 3-day convention, the first national convention in Georgist history, and only a few months before Henry George had a stroke that would cause him to withdraw from the movement (though he kept writing important works until he died in 1897)."
"The event was remarkable, as hundreds of delegates attended from nearly every state in the union. It was after this convention that Georgism entered a new phase, one that sought federal and international recognition. This month (August 2015) the movement’s 115th annual convention was held in Detroit."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Economic Rents are private Taxes

Modern Neo-Georgists (my term for them) have a principle called "All Taxes Come from Rent (ATCOR). It is an assertion derived from interpreting what Henry George had to say in his book "Wealth And Want." It's my contention that this principle is an invention of Mason Gaffney not Henry George and reflects a drift in ideation from what Henry George actually said. Even so the principle is true, but not necessarily the way that its proponents try to claim it is.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The MAD insanity of War Planning with Atom bombs and Bunker Busting

The "Mutually Assured Destruction" doctrine known as MAD planning illustrates the insanity of War Planning with Atom bombs comes from the fact that Atom bombs are a doomsday device. Sadly that insanity is still the only thing that is sane about our international regime at the moment. Instead of working to stop proliferation, reckless leaders are using fear-mongering while seeking to sabotage arms negotiations and use warfare to attack Iran.

The reasons that nobody has used them in (intentional) mass murder since the USA did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are manifold:

Radioactive Fallout ignores National Boundaries. For example the USA is downwind of both Russia and Japan.
If one country attacks another, the country attacked will definitely retaliate
They are totally useless as weapons except to destroy the targets one might be fighting over.

Does the Third Way get it right about our Trade Deficit with Asia?

Third Way is incredibly influential with establishment Democrats. Rank and File Democrats don't always feel the same. So I wanted to critique their articles so people I know can make an intelligent decision.

In an Article titled "Losing Ground in Asia: Why the U.S. Export Market Share Has Plummeted" by Third Way the authors note that despite the Obama's efforts to do an "Asian Pivot" - that includes his push of the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty - we have not only not gained ground, we've lost ground on exports. They claim:

"Despite this policy shift, when it comes to economic performance in Asia, America is failing." [3rdWay]

They then provide a report:

"This report examined 26 entities (25 countries, including the United States, as well as the combined rest of world) and their share of the Asian import market from 2000 to 2014." [3rdWay]

They claim:

  1. The Asian import market grew by 261% between 2000 and 2014, from $1.5 trillion to $5.4 trillion.
  2. Despite the Asian market boom, the U.S. market share fell by 46%, the biggest drop of any of the 25 largest exporters into Asia except Japan.
  3. While U.S. market share in Asia is fading, China has been the largest beneficiary.

They then use this decline in Market share as an argument:

"Over the next several months, the United States and 11 nations are expected to conclude negotiations on the TPP. This is a sure fire way to increase U.S. market share in these important Asian economies. The global economy is projected to grow by over $60 trillion in the next 15 years, and almost 90% of that will occur outside of the United States, making global commerce an even larger part of future American success.4 By tapping into these lucrative markets, the United States can retake its lost share of these expanding economies, which means more wealth and prosperity for the middle class and the U.S. economy." [3rdWay]

But is that, in fact, true?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Outside Agitators and the Black Lives Matter Movement

I support the Black Lives Matter Movement. Our current de-professionalized standing army police forces oppress everyone. Professional police aren't supposed to do that, but militarized police do. And while they oppress everyone, they oppress minority populations the most. They oppress black folks in large numbers way out of proportion to their population. And they oppress Indigenous persons statistically at the greatest percentage rate. This has to end. And every progressive needs to embrace this cause, because economic equity requires justice and fairness in distribution of public good as well as equality in opportunity. If a person can't safely drive to or home from work, then they don't have liberty they are being oppressed.

And I understand radicalism. It is very tempting to become more radical as more and more evidence is available of the plots and sociopathic programs of powerful people with very little sense, compassion or even empathy for others. It is easy to divide the world into white and black and hate those who don't clearly understand how hurt one is. But that is not how you make progress.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Henry George on the Income Tax and Monopoly

This post is designed to analyze an excerpt from Henry George's writings

Henry George wrote on the Income Tax in 1887:

"The world calls on me to abandon my absurd theory of taxing land values and to support instead an income tax as a means of relieving working people of unjust burdens"

He didn't reject it outright. But he did have caveats:

"If the world sees me further, and is prepared to advocate an income tax in lieu of other means of raising public revenue, or any considerable part of it - as for instance, that now collected at our custom houses by onerous duties upon the bringing into the country of things the people want - it would give me much pleasure and would do a great public service."

Here he's advocating the core principle of progressive taxation. It's not about punishing people, but it is about equity, "fairness or justice in the way people are treated." When the Income tax was first created it's primary goal was "unearned income", which included income from "other people's money", the money privilege and other forms of privilege, and did not normally apply to ordinary wages. Such a tax was far superior to the existing taxes which burdened workers, farmers and other ordinary people.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Billionaires Privateering on the high seas of Education

Modern privateers don't come across with eye patches or peg legs. And they don't wear fancy hats or run for President (except for the Donald) . They mostly work behind the scenes, with PR firms, "charitable donations" and paid think tanks doing their bidding. They run flotillas of law firms, PR firms, faux think tanks manned by men in suits. Sometimes they seem to even have convinced themselves that they are doing charity, doing good with their money, and that they are the "heros." But in reality these pirate fleets do as much or more, with the power of finance and undue influence, than their Sea Dog forebears ever could do. This is the case with education Anti-Reform. The only way you can sniff out who is in it for the public benefit is and who is doing "'private, separate advantage" and buccaneering, sometimes, is to dig into where the money is going.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Southern Revanchist takeover of the GOP

There is a great article today In a Blog by Doug Muder, titled The Weakly Sift, titled "Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party" [Not a Tea Party] which so expresses what I've been feeling for some time. That it adds some additional clarity. He writes about how Lincoln agonized about the Civil war, while he realized after after reading the book "Jefferson Davis, American" that Jefferson Davis wanted to prolong it. He then notes that, although the USA won the first part of the civil war:

"Here’s what my teachers’ should have told me: “Reconstruction was the second phase of the Civil War. It lasted until 1877, when the Confederates won.” I think that would have gotten my attention." Weekly Sift]