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  • in reply to: Biden IS the Swamp #65305

    Opinion is not news.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 24 2020 #64780

    According to Michael Lewis, the Trump transition team barely existed and had no strategy.

    “The Fifth Risk is a 2018 non-fiction book by Michael Lewis that examines the transition and political appointments of the Donald Trump presidency, especially with respect to three government agencies: the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce”. Wikipedia

    We still suffer from that ignorance. Rural/small Towns/Cities/MSAs, have relatively small tax bases, few opportunities for economies of scale. They do a lot with a little. They also need their State and Federal governments more than the large MDAs. Redistricting on population basis for both State houses and Congressional Representatives every decade has shifted representation to the endlessly needy, inefficient suburbs that get more and more of the pie. At the Federal level, the Senate does provide some representation of the land separate from population which only takes from the land. The Republicans disabuse the religious who live on the edge of exploitation, assuring them that if they don’t get what they need in this life it will surely come in the next. The media wise will never understand this.

    in reply to: The American Nightmare #64342

    The parties are not identical. They do have different strategies for the lower income folks. The Southern Strategy of Republicans were able to provide a home for Dixiecrats, using religious morality to get past the historic “waving the bloody flag” of Lincoln Republicans. I watched it in Virginia, 1969 on, a Wisconsin Republican by birth.

    Under cover of supporting Christian efforts to have moral power, Republicans Billionaires can say, don’t worry if you don’t get all you need in this life, you’ll get it in the next. That’s how people come to vote against their interests. My friend Joe Bageant explained this in “Deer Hunting with Jesus”. He didn’t have solutions, his contribution was to articulate the situation.

    Democrat Billionaires on the other hand, play the secular game to avoid the divisive morality of the evangelicals. For this reason, the have to deliver some services from the government. It has to work some for the people. Obamacare did suit the health insurance money-changers.

    The end of the Cold War dividend never showed up. Ike warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex in 1961.

    This is not good theater. It isn’t even news. It is straight dysfunction. Collusion at the top; competition at the bottom.

    in reply to: Why Trump Will Win #63547

    I prefer thr option of four good hours a day from Biden over 24 hours of Trump disruption. The news cycle is not where problems are solved. Divide and sell is the business model, but journalism is not a business. MBAs have engineered that quite dysfunctionally. All those outside the US have no idea about what the people want, so you are wrong 90% of the time.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle August 18 2020 #62287

    Thomas Greene only has one side of the betrayal of the American working class. There’s more. Republicans are far from innocent. Not mentioned is how the borders were kept open to allow immigrants, legal or illegal, from entry to introduce wage cutting competition along with extreme centralization of once local and regional meat-cutting employment. Wage stagnation was obscured by inflation, arrival of some lower priced goods from exported industry, and of course, easy credit. The Republicans did and still do offer Christian heaven as compensation for worldly suffering. Dems can’t go that far right, but they are hardly liberal or progressive, since the moneyed object.

    Some restoration of Federal agency function is needed. In “The Fifth Risk” (2018) Michael Lewis looked at the transition and political appointments of the Trump presidency. That States are not actual partners, but competitors for Presidential favors, the strong executive model, is demonstrated in the COVID-19 response.

    Joe Bageant did lay out the Republican approach in “Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War” in 2007. Wikipedia says: “It concerns his return to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, and his take on income inequality and problems facing the working poor”. The language is rough and, of course, Jesus is in the title, so nothing here for the chattering class.

    If Trumpian anger wins again, the economic crash will be deafening. Republicans may remove him to save their corrupted brand. The wise should attend to local and state government to hang on to civil order and manage a cash economy rebuilding. Virginia, where I’ve lived since leaving Wisconsin in 1968, is fiscally conservative. Harry Flood Byrd, Governor and Senator, as a businessman, opposed credit, commercial and governmental.

    The reason was growing up in the Northern Shenandoah Valley after the Civil War. There was food, but no money. It all went to paying Civil War debt. Pay-as-you-go was a limiting, but necessary correction to misuse of debt. The future is: Pay more, get less.

    Democrats could include the spiritual card. Neither party accepts any responsibility for the current failure of the post-Soviet goal of total domination and resultant planetary depletion. War just doesn’t get things done as promised.

    Hypocrisy is always opening new territory. US diplomatic outrage about suppression of Uyghurs in China for their practice of Islam is just one example. The defense is appropriate, but the source is not credible due to everything else.

    in reply to: A Social Experiment #62057

    2008 Republicans, each year is now its own vintage, (I’m 1968 when at 21, first voted for Richard Nixon, but as well an Eisenhower Republican from Wisconsin), vowed to make Obama fail. The Southern Strategy conversion of Democrats to Republicans, observed here in Virginia, is a branding switch that took time and money. Advocating for the strong e executive, they complained about Obama, but are happy with Trump’s strong man tactics. Independents are the third party. When I came to Virginia it was primarily Democrat, but moving toward Republican. The got over the bloody flag. Only sane thing was to vote for the better person. Lovers of disruption like to cheer from the sidelines. Few actually acknowledge the necessity and value of civic and civil government. The fighting underlies the fact that resources are depleted, so real growth isn’t possible. The Automatic Earth has begun to renew itself, rebalancing is producing great waves of change. There is no Left in the US. There is Center and Extreme Right. The arrow of time won’t go back to the glory days, but the disappointed don’t want physics, so cry on.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle August 10 2020 #61996

    zerosum has started a list that might be headed Human Failures of Intelligence.

    Profit motive runs the show, while community motive, articulated by Aldo Leopold in 1944, is hardly recognized as the basis of community evolutionary progress.

    As the bar keeps dropping for Covid-19 success, the death, injury and quality of life toll on politically fragmented Americans gets restated as some kind of success.

    That certain evangelical Christian groups back Trump is because he promised them power is an omen of end times for some. Earth will be here, supporting whatever life forms it can for longer than an extinct race can be remembered.

    How you are organized it what counts for perpetuation.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle July 26 2020 #61508

    Burn Reichstag; burn Portland; same play, different era. Make people afraid so they accept a harsher security state. They were set up for the Patriot Act before 9-11. The crisis appeared and they were ready.

    Americans have been taught to fear the city since 1950s when a Soviet surprise nuclear attack led to population dispersion as defense. FHA funded suburban developments carried racism with them, prohibiting sales to Negro households.

    Trump and Barry know what they are doing. People don’t get that WWII was an anti-fascist operation.

    In the 1950s TV was used to re-live WWII and prepare for WWIII.

    Environmentally the people of the world can’t afford war, but that’s all the power and domination thinking politicians have in their playbook.

    Portland Walls ot Moms and Vets know a better way, but it doesn’t lead to blood, so it doesn’t fit the news cycle needs of advertisers.

    Link to video – Fear the City

    Frontlines of Freedom – Canadian & US Civil Defense film 1955

    in reply to: Debt Rattle June 21 2020 #60257

    Uncivil behavior in a failing nation. Economies are shrinking to what is sustainable. It is a great shock. Digital wheelbarrows have made it easy to pretend that we were richer. The five cent Snickers candy bar now is a dollar. New tech prototypes every day promise solutions, but no adequate resources to implement them. Not enough cobalt for EV batteries. Plenty of anger. The necessity, however, will temper those with a bit of grace to apprise the Divine Disorder and using Stone Soup making to finesse a path forward.

    in reply to: Little Managers #56541

    Leadership does not require original ideas. Those are untested, so they shouldn’t be used widely until there’s some record. Plenty of knowledge existed to respond to the early warnings, including the original intelligence that China was lying about its numbers. Disruption for its own sake is contrary to long term community stability, the goal of community motive.

    in reply to: Anti-American #56223

    Just wasn’t legal. National failure. National pain. One body by design. Interstate Commerce rules. Not EU.

    in reply to: Virustime #55858

    This is a test for Humanity. Can it handle the truth? Kill the messenger has never been useful in keeping up with functional, evolving truth. Thank God for the nations and states reporting accurate data.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle March 18 2020 #55528

    Corporations get Universal Basic Income for themselves and cover for all past mistakes. Boeing for 737 MAX & lesser failures coming to light. Auto manufacturers can stop producing vehicles that have no buyers.

    Shutdown will show the scope of pollution as sky and water clear. This won’t correct the damage. That will take decades. It is like when smoking bans took place and we found out how stinky it made our indoor environments. People still dying from that last century smoke and other lung damaging economic activities.

    To regrow and outgrow is where the coming necessities will take us. A greater community spirituality where competition focused on problem solving without proprietary hooks that thwart evolutionary development would be helpful. A singularity is not useful, as that is an end to creativity.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle June 30 2019 #48299

    “Boeing Outsourced Its 737 MAX Software To $9-Per-Hour Engineers” The profit motive spreadsheet is a harsh master. The community motive, taught by wise family members and incorporated in religious teachings, manage the profit motive so greed does not dominate, taking too much. Legal systems may have codified some of these precepts, but lawyers can be had to create work-arounds.

    “We the people” governments create agents to work for safety on their behalf, usually after industry self-policing has failed at a great cost related to human suffering. The people demand it. They are also private, non-profit groups like Consumers Union, who conduct independent testing and research. Pure de Tocqueville association.

    In the current world, where the media personality news cycle dominates, and spokespersons are trained diverters and deniers, it is difficult for true situations to be made known by insiders. Whistle blowers are punished. Truth is unwelcome in its specifics, but generalizations are useful and can be weaponized.

    We are crash-test dummies, impressed into the corporate testing service, as when the Royal Navy had press gangs to make the free, man their ships.

    Yes, all life is risk management. I concluded that in the 1980s. Hidden problems can’t be corrected. Out in the open they can be ugly. That would be news.

    in reply to: The Dying Days Of An Empire #48192

    Disruptor fatigue?

    in reply to: Mueller Never Wanted The Truth #47272

    Law enforcement tends to be conservative, leaning Republican. The deep state characters concerned about candidate Trump were card-carrying Republicans, so what is the deal? Prior to the election many Republicans advocated crossing the party line to vote against Trump, not for Clinton.

    He was disparaging all mainstream Republicans who weren’t that different from the Democrats. Then, the dog caught the car, winning the election, a threat to the war is conservative deep state. Unlike other politicians, he had his own newspaper thanks to Twitter. The underdog, slumdog billionaire had to be tortured by the authorities to find out how he got the answers.

    The wealthy have done well with President Trump and working people who were taken by the free expression of anger are still onboard, even though the government will be doing less for them and more to them. Power is so appealing that Republicans and Evangelical Christians are following their alpha male without discernment of the empty path they are on.

    That “the ends justify the means” was the 1950s criticism of the Communists I learned and the reason their system was wrong. They were Godless, had no Higher Authority to answer to in the next life. We needed politicians who had the fear of God so that in private, in the dark smokey room, faced by a deal from demons or the Devil in person, they would choose for the people, not themselves.

    Today, that’s just business, and politics an extension of business, since money is free speech and anyone can get rich, so what is your problem with this game?

    Early in life, the boy and girl scouts of the world are taught a religious inspired community motive to tell the truth, not steal or covet, and certainly not kill. These values in many forms produce law-abiding citizens, the greatest resource any society can have. Yet, the bad boys get the girls, seeking to save them with love. Drama ensues.

    Trump has taken the world with his game. Enablers for and against pile on, all raising his profile, which really has nothing so do with the need for long term governance and perpetuation of human civilization into a resource depleted environment with chaotic weather that will cause more food shortages and migration necessities.

    Conservative cultures operate from surplus. They live within their means, investing wisely, knowing error and loss can not be completely avoided. All such situations should be reviewed to gain lessons, learning where emotion and logic didn’t get it right.

    The 24/7 news cycle is a casino of behavioral economics. Emotions high, logic low, so what the hell, make the bet, put it on the plastic. This hell could be a deeper hell. No concern for others. The Me Generation redux.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle May 5 2019 #47166

    Seems the Left – Right dichotomy came from a “birds of a feather flock together” perspective of governing bodies from the chair’s podium, a stage left and right view. In close votes, a call for a division provides for a physical counting.

    So, does there exist a current scale, spectrum, matrix, … that would help determine what is conservative, progressive, liberal, etc., as well as radical?

    in reply to: Joe Biden Works for Donald Trump #46970

    Zerosum has it. The future is: “Pay more, get less”. There will be fighting over scraps; centuries of accelerating depletion of the natural environment ignored. My prayer is that the necessity of human unity and cooperation will be recognized before our local planet becomes an Easter Island in space. Silent monuments; impoverished survivors. Politics as the “art of getting things done,” would achieve that, but the “art of war” stands in the way. Older versions of our cultures could think and act for generations, but now the fiscal quarter and even shorter news cycle are dominant. These do avoid the reality. The real estate development culture looks for an exoplanet new home. Conservative nature works from true surplus. When your surplus is debt, liens on depleted resources and overvalued assets, you aren’t conservative. Of necessity, the economy will shrink to the sustainable. These digital etchings will disappear. We’ve been offered the Whole Earth view since the 1960s, but unable to cut the cord of the magic of indebting the future so we can consume today. Said Wimpy, “I’ll gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today”. Failure of intelligence remains our greatest challenge. We hide failure, blame others. The politics we have are of gamblers, hiding debts from their employers, doubling down. Bob Dylan wrote, “you can’t win with a loosing hand”. Hard for the average person to understand, the fakeness of it all.

    in reply to: Green New Physics #46140

    The young can see the hipocracy of adults without any education at all. “Do as I say, not as I do,” gives the biggest hint. “You will understand when you are older”. This means when your pay depends on it, you’ll come around. We don’t really have to consume everything, but we will. The universe is all energy, but it is busy being itself. There are costs in converting it to human use, repurposing it to some permanent end state waste like microplastics. Ironic that older, tribal cultures could think out for seven generations while spreadsheet educated ones can only do a fiscal quarter. The Emperor’s New Clothes story is not up to a demonstration of the many deceived and the deceivers. The Cargo Cult awaits arrival of free energy via the magic of technology, which already has such a great record of accelerating the need for more energy and the creation of waste. If those kids had been listened to in the 1960s we wouldn’t have all the economic benefits of war.

    in reply to: David Holmgren: A Baby Boomers’ Apology #46108

    Many good thoughts. As a 1946 vintage boomer I note that Bill Clinton was the first boomer President. That didn’t go so well. As a Whole Earther since 1968 & since 1972 accepting of The Limits to Growth as a function of the Natural Environment, not the spreadsheet environment of the Masters of War (Dylan) and the masters of debt who have pillaged the future. Nature is in the process of resetting imbalances that the spreadsheet doesn’t care about. It just balances debt with valuations that give some absurd net positive. Though we could have cooperated post WW-II, the West promoting democracy for the colonies, rather than favoring military dictatorships to fight Communism. Economic growth by theft and enslavement remains the game. Can a technological society deliver happiness? Data points to no. Be still and Know is the spiritual wisdom of the ages, a truth found in all inspired religions. We appear to be at a new level of our so-called Civilization. A New Message from God might be useful. We all can pray and contribute to the World based on our decades of study and experience. After apology, get on with the work. Our better angels, as always, will give hints. If you think back, there are times you actually followed it, and thus have lived so long. Let not Humanity be a failed race on an experimental planet in this dimension.

    in reply to: Conservatism #45959

    Problem is the Neo-Republican Party. Trump is the diversion that allows the dismemberment of government services to the people. Government can do nothing and it elects people who ensure that is the case. MAGA supporters LOVE the Donald and so addled, have really no judgement. Such tribal responses are of course human; and warlike. The rich people who designed the U.S., gave the Southern colonies an advantage in the electoral college. It persists. The States where extraction is the main industry have an advantage, those more easily controlled by the wealthy. The blame game is entrenched. The scapegoat strategy makes sure there is a majority not at the bottom. Note that the government shutdown delayed work on a solution to the Boeing 737 Max according to the WSJ

    The privatization band wagon rolls on. Communities may correct, but Nature’s systems are slower. #FailureOfIntelligence rolls on. Very few in any media have the knowledge and experience to understand what they are reporting about. I’ve attempted to train many cub reporters who were assigned to cover my organization.

    Who funds the controllers of the controllers? Competition at the bottom; collusion at the top. The only coordination needed is use of similar playbooks. Protection rackets abound.

    Divine Disorder enables progress inspite of cultivated human ignorance. The greatest abuse is to not educate.

    in reply to: Dumping on the Donald #44544

    Trump is the master of all media. It is about him all the time, a project he’s had for his entire life. He is King Midas with a modern touch. Fate likely to be the same. Merry Trumpmass and a Happy New Trumpyear.

    in reply to: Politics and Economics in Times of Crisis #44324

    Poor NRA, duped by the thought that they would have a new Russian branch promoting private citizen firearm ownership and great new market for their manufacturer members.

    in reply to: Macron Heralds The End Of The Union #44278

    The entire planet would be doing better now had diplomacy, the arts and competition via sports and participant maintained level playing fields been the post WW-II focus. Deficits now are products of the various military-industial-political complexes. I’ve had included congressional in early drafts, but didn’t use it in the final. Competition can’t be taken out of life for it is inherent in nature. Obvious that a single belief or system can not dominate. Stealing from others is no solution. The world civilization has been evolving since the Neolithic. Today’s #BuiltEnvironmentTechnosphere and #TechnosphereWaste is full of non-productive military junk. President George Herbert Walker Bush took the world as he found it and worked to improve it as his spiritual tradition taught him. The neoconservative undid that. He recognized Ronald Reagan’s proposal as vodoo economics, but took the VP nod so his experience would be of use. Though the Masters of War fan the embers of envy and anger of losses in the past, the necessity of human unity and cooperation, the good intent of The Creator who gave us this chance to play in this sandbox of reality, flows into the world through its good people. Everyone serves the good by demonstrating it or the need for it.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle November 9 2018 #43752

    Radio & TV news were public services required by FCC regulations as a condition of using public airwaves. Running a news operation is costly. Having reporters that actually understand the topics and events they are covering requires career development and specialization, like any career. Editors are needed to keep cub reporters from making rookie mistakes. They also need to be able to sit through long, boring meetings where important decisions are made in the last few minutes.

    When the MBAs made it necessary for the news divisions to make money, they went the tabloid route. Trump had learned how to play the tabloid game years ago. He attacks the tabloid press and they have to report it. All drama without substance, so big destruction and theft goes unnoticed.

    Fortunately, the Creator ensures a constant flow of goodness into the world, small and useful acts of kindness. Disorder gives rise to uncertainty and fear, perfect for the forces of dissonance. Stability is sleep inducing. How will we sell anything without fights? #DivineDisorder is a long view for navigating the manufactured madness of a civilization where profit motive is unchecked by the greater motive, the community motive, which is intelligent design mechanism of nature.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 28 2018 #43533

    Seems some news missing?

    in reply to: Debt Rattle October 25 2018 #43504

    TAE – a daily dose of bad news and fine art. Only the art makes sense for human civilization.

    in reply to: The Ritual Burial of the US Constitution #42864

    Hardly true. The Nixon White House was in denial all the way to the end. At this time the Republican Party is unable to be as ethical as it was at the time of Nixon. While they have the power, they’re doing all they can to push benefits to their big donors. I’m an Eisenhower Republican who cast my first vote for Nixon in 1968 while in the USN. It wasn’t until later I learned of the military-industrial-congressional complex, which has been expanded to include the financial sector and copied by the medical sector. Pay more, get less. Business always wins. Land development economics are quite different than manufacturing in the global environment, so Trump is really unequipped to understand this unfair world. Yes, U.S. actions in the Middle East have been wrong for decades. Economic policy has been wrong, social policy has been wrong, land development policy has been wrong, environmental policy has been wrong, etc. This is what articulate slow learners deliver as govern-tainment. Journalists covering liars, repeat the lies, which, in print, give credibility. That’s the lesson taught in school. States and local governments are the foundation. It is sturdy.

    in reply to: The Shape of Trump to Come #42504

    To identify one error would be fine.

    in reply to: The Shape of Trump to Come #42488

    Dr. D writes as though he’s only read about rural America, never been there: “Death for shit life syndrome, living in a poor rural area, with no health care, no income, no opportunities, and no help from neighbors, the rural ways having been erased with a 50 year social genocide”. Rural people are quite resilient. I’ve worked on rural development since 1973 in Virginia’s Northern Shenandoah Valley. They qualified for inclusion under the Appalachian Regional Commission in the 1960s, but chose not to participate. Some Virginia counties did. In 1968, the Commonwealth extended its history of promoting local and regional planning as a means to foster economic development. The encouragement of sub-state planning district commissions, and later mandate for local planning commission, a subdivision ordinance, and by 1980, a local comprehensive plan has proven to be very effective, though the work is never done. A 1972 Executive Order by Governor Linwood Holton provided that State agencies align their sub-state districts to the Planning District regions, using single or multiple districts. This simple alignment made for an ability for regional analysis and coordination to support planning and subsequent investment long term. While most states have some variation of this, I’m not aware of any that did this at all.

    Very little research is done in this area because the data set does not exist. American has a Metropolitan Obsession. Economists and policy people study the way that the data is presented. They have very little sense of geography. FIPS codes of the 1960s are alphabetic, so that’s the way data is organized. Alphabetical lists of places, cities, States don’t convey much location data. Consider Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas – FIPS-ANSI codes 1, 2, 4,,5.

    The migration of population to cities has been a long term trend. Larger populations do have economies of scale, if they have the self-governance skills to manage it. City-building is the hallmark of civilization, so by the 1700s it was common knowledge that it took 300 years to build any City of substance. Rome wasn’t built in a day – they all knew and understood.

    As population moved to cities, the Metropolitanism of the early 20th Century, Benton MacKaye, architect of the Appalachian Trail, published: “The New Exploration: A Philosophy of Regional Planning”, as a call to help small/rural communities to cooperate to maintain quality of life. Trails were to keep communities connected. I live near the trail in the Shenandoah National Park. Recently I met a hiker, probably mid-30’s, that was using the trail connections to go from Warren County to Rappahannock County. Certainly a rare person. I informed him that such was the initial vision.

    Stable or declining population, there are always births, deaths, in and out migration, brings with it a diseconomies of scale. Not enough people to support a particular store, restaurant, medical specialty, course at the high school, etc. The way this can be overcome is to network regionally. The circuit-riding minister or judge is an historic adaptation when territories are sparse, but growing.

    This is also called regionalization, but that came to be a negative term. Local people want things to stay local. Cooperation may lead to their not having a reason to exist – to be consolidated out of existence, contrary to the intent of the founders of that community. Cooperation is normally considered in game theory as the prisoner’s dilemma; will people cooperate on the story to save their skin. This is one form, but local government cooperation faces what I call “the neighbor’s dilemma”. If we cooperate too much, our reason for existence will fade away. Our identity will be lost, betraying the founders whose optimism was the call “to build a shining city on a hill”. My Town, Front Royal, chartered in 1788, was note as have seven hills, just as another historic city.

    Non-metro America, rural counties not part of a multi-jurisdictional Metropolitan Statistical Area, solely based on commuting patterns, stand alone. Regional planning promoted in the 1950s and 1960s was attacked as Soviet regionalism, focusing on how Stalin had moved populations for his political purposes. You’ll still find such critiques of regionalism on the web. Each local government, whenever created, is to be inherently self-sufficient. Ronald Reagan encouraged more local government formations as the bedrock of democracy. True for sure, but small scale enterprises have a greater challenge in the world that requires more expertise. It is the people that count.

    A new hospital is of no use it it does not have doctors who practice there. People drive to get to the best doctors. Physicians are more successful where they do the highest number of procedures, getting really good at it.

    Social genocide is a new term for me and notion that is tis a 50 year program is hard to place anywhere in my life experience in the U.S. The Shit-Life Syndrome is real, primarily a consequence of the failure to educate, the greatest abuse that older generations can impose on the young, either by intent or neglect. Both types can be recognized in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

    The notions that you can make money with money, using other peoples’ money and faking it until you make it is just fine, are a few of the behavioral problems in the winner-take-all world. This profit motive free pass neglects the community motive that humanity has used since the plains of Africa to perpetuate itself.

    Where you to think I’m just a sermonizer, I do invite people to look at 2020 Census Challenge: A Functional Sub-State Region/Regional CouncilData Set for Research, Policy and Programming in the U.S. for my public proposal to deal with the Metropolitan Obcession and increase alignment between local, State and Federal prgramming. Federal may be the more difficult, but local and State alignment is critical. Needy, inefficient suburban areas have the population, votes and money. They know government works to their benefit. Rural people are taught the opposite, yet they are among the most cooperative people on earth.

    A good book that explained the way rural populations have been played is Joe Bageant’s “Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War” published June 19, 2007. Joe, a friend of mine, did not propose solutions. He simply pointed to the issues as he saw them. Too salty for political discourse at the time perhaps, it will fit the coarse language of the present.

    in reply to: The Shape of Trump to Come #42466

    When Donald Trump was running for president, there was really no reason to expect that, as a Republican, he would be that much different than any previous Republican. Being from New York City, plus his decades of being an quasi-movie star, suggested he would be a centrist. His attacks on his opponents and Hillary were not the norm, but were entertaining. The Republican party was nearly dead.

    The FBI and CIA were doing their regular work of watching for intrusion by foreign governments, including Russia. When they were alerted to Trump showing up with Russian links the only fear was that, like any other American, he might be subject to undue influence/blackmail, it the Russians had anything on him. This is a decades long MO. Nothing new.

    When the security people went to inform him of same, instead of understanding that they were covering his back, he seems to have felt they were trying to get power over him.

    After the election, he didn’t want anything to delegitimize his victory, so he couldn’t admit that there was any Russian influence. The Mercers, Cambridge Analytica, etc., Bannon – mostly his own greatness, was why he defeated crooked Hillary.

    Then came the work of being President and governing, for which the campaign was not prepared, since they’d hadn’t expected to win.

    Many didn’t like the thought of him winning, particularly women. Peter Strozk’s email comment to Lisa Page about not letting it happen was pure, boyfriend bullshit bravado. Same thing you do when lost and driving through a bad neighborhood, you boldly reassure your girl/wife/passengers you know what you are doing.

    So, one in the job, President Trump wants to continue to run for office, doing so on instinct in front of the crowd, and get adulation for his stand up routine – I’m so bad. He doesn’t want to read, having never really been a reader. He goes for theatrics.

    The bar for performance is very low. He set that in the campaign saying he could go out on 5th avenue and shoot someone without losing any supporters. He’s a fighter of the WWF variety – lost of story and drama. Certain crowds love that. All that is needed is to single out an opponent who, by definition is a villain.

    TAE readers are exactly that. People who read and study the world daily, and have done it all their lives. They encounter new perspectives and may change their minds, correcting the database, or doing further research. I expect every reader has changed their mind more than once in their life, as what was once thought to be true, was found to be lacking. What really caused the Civil War? Why was the Federal Reserve established? What is money? What is debt?

    So as junkies for world information and history, please consider that President Trump would never read all the articles in a single issue of TAE, and perhaps not even one complete article.

    What is next? Of the four predictions, I only see revocation of security clearances as plausible, simply because it stirs things up in the newscycle. That’s all he cares about.

    The other three actions require some deep understanding that would only be a product of long term research and study. His advisors don’t demonstrate that and certainly he hasn’t done the research himself.

    Realizing that the President of the U.S. is considered “President of the World”, so many follow our politics and interpret them. That is their right. Looking at the G7 or G20 politics, elections and leaders, from my particular interest of regional cooperation, I wouldn’t comment or judge any of them. When I worked for a regional agency, my philosophy was to deal with whomever God sent me. It was necessary to be apolitical because whomever won was the person you had to work with..

    That might be written in a textbook somewhere, but I learned it by observation.

    Big, wealthy Republican donors are getting what they want. Most interesting today was the Guardian story: “In US, UK, People Die Early Due To ‘Shit-Life Syndrome’ ” First thing I did reading the article on my phone was to highlight “Shit-life Syndrome” and web search it. Yes, a real term. UK & US leading locations for it. There will be much more of, particularly if the incentives are to the poor are to fight over declining resources.

    Donald Trump will remain the center of attention as long as possible. That seems his single goal.

    On that figure, people project fearless leader desires or feckless leader disappointments.

    Will the President Trump show be cancelled or renewed? A simple, yet sad question.

    The independents will decide. That is the ballast which right the ship. There is no Left in the U.S. not by international standards. Religious social conservatism is not political or environmental conservatism.

    In the future there will be less. The game is in play.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle August 16 2018 #42370

    So much for the bankers didn’t know:

    “By October 2007, as signs of stress began to show in the banking system, RBS’ chief credit officer wrote to colleagues expressing his true feelings about the burgeoning volume of subprime loans in the housing market.

    He said loans were being pushed by “every possible … style of scumbag”, adding that it was “like quasi-organised crime”.

    “Nobody seems to care,” he added.

    The DoJ criticised RBS’ failure to do due diligence on the loans it was packaging, saying the bank feared it would lose out to rivals if it performed stricter tests.

    If RBS bankers knew the true situation, every other bank had someone that knew as well.

    The “profit motive”, unchecked by “community motive”, continues to fail humanity. Power and domination are the goals, so it isn’t the economic system that is the problem.

    Native societies could think and decide based on seven generations. Decisions now are the quarter or the newscycle. God bless those that are capable of a multi-generational long view and perpetuation of community.

    in reply to: Assange, Infowars and the Constitution #42219

    Alex Jones ≠ Julian Assange

    Years ago, Alex was an interesting source. He hasn’t been reliable for the past few.

    Frenzy puts anything out there. In his divorce proceeding he claimed the on air persona was a character, not him.

    “Give people enough rope and they’ll hang themselves” is traditional advice for dealing with those that carry on like that. Media is subject to misuse. Ad revenue keeps it going. Tele-evangelists often play the game well.

    My benchmark for news reporters is old school: Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, John Chancellor

    News used to be a public service to meet FCC requirements of use of the public broadcast spectrum.

    The MBAs decided the news division it should be a profit center. Infotainment, the 24/7 news cycle and ratings competition, plus behavioral economics loaded up new media.

    History is a difficult subject. Complex and often boring, it doesn’t have the juice of an action-adventure movie.

    CSPAN has done a good job for decades broadcasting live Congressional sessions and hearings, showing the slow, deliberate, often comic way things take place in the U.S. democracy.

    Its BookTV series features non-fiction books and their authors, people who have developed some knowledge around the topics they cover. Learning continues after a book is published.

    These are available online for those not cable TV subscribers.

    in reply to: Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations #42171

    “…lying must not be all that bad” When caught in the lie, one is to admit it and give some strategic reason that justifies it. Lying that is denied when you have the video record and other documentation is not. Lying cannot be asymmetric information. Society and trade cannot function then because there will be little trust.

    in reply to: Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations #42159

    Telling the truth will get people upset. The ability to do so with a public audience in not necessarily an indication of good character. A life time of truth telling indicates that. It is the basis of reputation.

    It is very difficult to say things that are entirely false. Statements with a sliver of truth will be taken as fully true by the supporters of a person.

    These cults of personality may lead to shallow thinking, as it is emotionally tiring to do research.

    Covering fakes makes for fake news. Deception is a means of faking out the opponent. Fun to watch when you are in the stands or participate in on the playing field.

    Entering and leaving the stadium you know when the game is on and when it is over.

    The world itself should not be the playing field because then there can be no rest.

    The sellers of food and drink in the stands are pushed by their suppliers to sell more and more to the weary fans.

    Make the games go away. We the people want stability, not frenzy.

    in reply to: Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies #41953

    Interest groups cooperate in the setting of tariffs. There are individual industry deals. Businesses seek protection from local, state and national governments. They can get it in various ways.

    Foreign car makers have chosen to build plants in the U.S. for decades. Others have given up on this market: Peugeot, Renault, Citroen. Ford will stop making passenger cars except for the Mustang, Focus and C-max hybrid. I wonder what they’ll race in NASCAR? Maybe NASCAR will race SUVs in the future like the truck series. I never understood that.

    As for agriculture, it has been reported that US dairy producers now have a whopping 1.39 billion-pound surplus of cheese; 4.6 pounds per American. At the same time there is over production, there’s risk to herds due to overuse of antibiotics. Then there’s the whole GMO thing and a consumer desire to get back to some sort of organic purity. Robotic bug and crop pickers will handle this.

    The U.S. financed itself, infrastructure building and protected its young industry from cheap British goods with tariff revenue. The South didn’t like paying higher rates for goods it’s cotton made in order to build the textile industry in the North. Eventually they’d inherit it before it went offshore.

    Countries can’t/aren’t supposed to do that today. They are too late to the game, so they must settle for whatever jobs they can buy. This is true within countries as well as between them. Everyone wants foreign investment, most certainly the U.S. too. Tariffs create this incentive. Agriculture is a bit different.

    The trade game, as I understand vaguely from reading of the WTO, has become weighted toward guaranteeing profit for vendors, enabling them to override local regulation that was harmful to their sales. They could sue the country for damages.

    U.S. public-private partnerships often have a guaranteed profit built in.

    We can thank the MBAs, their spreadsheets, and the lawyers for all of this. Their risk-limiting moves transfer the risk to the “we the people” governments. When legislators actually knew the game, having played it while gaining seniority and having knowledgeable staff, not just lobbyists, there was a balance of power.

    Now they run on memes and neither they nor staff even read the legislation. In the case of the TPP, they couldn’t read it.

    Puerto Rico was not prepared for Hurricane Maria. World trade may not be prepared for the New art-of-the Deal MegaStorm Donald. With such 24/7/365 disruption, there’s just one calm day every four years, leap year’s February 29, though that may not be the day.

    Let us hang on. “Hang on Sloopy” goes the song.

    in reply to: Treason? Get A Life! #41855

    <ahref=””>President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1961 set out the problem. The military-industrial-legislative complex in the U.S. and other nations keep the game going, as do the other complexes that use the same playbook. Politicians that have to be elected need money to run, so they play the game as it has evolved. They did not make the game.

    In 1967-8, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, there were many protesting against the war in Vietnam. I was surprised though by one guy who was ready to go fight in Israel at the time of the Six-Day War on 1967.

    Somehow, following my nose in the library stacks, then open 24/7, I found out the Vietnam conflict was a war of liberation. In the ongoing fight against Communism, the U.S. was not promoting democracy, but supporting right wing dictatorships. Meanwhile, when I heard sirens at night, I expected incoming missiles.

    This was the climate of fear the Cold War had created. Still, the stupidity of war was clear. Why was that the way of the world?

    With the end of the Cold War there was no peace dividend. Dismantling of some nuclear weapons eventually let me relax about a Soviet first strike, though other nations play the game regionally.

    In the 1960s, the University of Wisconsin – Madison had a nuclear engineering program and small reactor. I saw it when visiting the campus for a science program as a high school senior.

    On campus 1967-8, a house mate said that one of the Indian students was there to bring the bomb to India. Obviously that plan worked, though many probably were sent.

    As one who worked on promoting cooperation between local governments for regional planning to enable development, geo-politics at a small scale, there were successes after 20 years.

    When the experts said, in a 1998 summit, regional cooperation had failed in the U.S., I was confused, since my region had successes. (thus my user name – regionswork).

    Analyzing the situation, I had some contrary conclusions about notions of cooperation which I put into three theses. 1. Community precedes cooperation. (If you want something done, you go out and build community around the need, issue, action,… From that common base, cooperation can begin to move forward. Solutions have to be win-win-win-… for all around the table. Many examples of this in the world, this just a naming).

    2. Community is how life solves all problems. (This applies from human to microbe to plant to animals to tribes to organizations to empires to… To persist in life, to keep growing, answers, changes, adaptations are needed it you did. Environmental change can occur to fast in some cases. Community intelligence, the breeding community is the intelligent design mechanism. There is failure of intelligence, so extinction may end one groups evolution.

    3. The primary purpose of community is security. (This came to me after 9-11. At the time of an event you go to the aid of the needy and isolate the perpetrators. In disaster, this community motivated response deep in us, for we carry the genetics of the survivors, come into play to help those in dire need. The nature of security changes as human communities advance.)

    I’m working on a 4th thesis. Something like: Security is relative and impermanent. World wide human organization is a mix of tribal and nation-state territorial units. Power and domination can provide security and freedom for the few or the many. At many scales it can be informed self governance, or a protection racket.

    In order to have some peace for families, a hegemonic protection is accepted, even if restrictive. Existence of alternatives may not be visible. Education about the world can make this known, or it may be intuited.

    Competition can not be taken out of life in the world. Cooperation is not the opposite of competition. Competition makes us stronger. What is needed is a level playing field and rules. All the competitors need to cooperate to make the rules and maintain fairness. The World Cup did that, as does the Olympics and all legitimate sports. This has been known for centuries.

    War is wasteful and allocates resources poorly. Communities require security forces, defense of borders and policing. Protection is often a racket.

    Could it be humanity is living beyond what the planet can support? There’s all that unpayable debt. The can is not kicked down the road. Refinancing debt sends it into the future, avoiding acknowledgement of the poor use of the initial wealth.

    In future there will be less. How we are organized is what will count. We can sit around and argue now. People are doing the best they can everyday just to get by. News of the weather, traffic, local events is useful.

    In 1972 the notion was presented to the world that there are “limits to growth”. That was not recognized in any meaningful way. Julian L. Simon’s 1981 book “The Ultimate Resource” said more human minds meant any problem of resource scarcity would be solved.

    The experience of economic growth has been declining for many for 20 years or more. Admitting limits is not something easy to do, so we blame others. Blaming is the means of covering the fact that you or your party don’t know what to do. There’s no quick fix.

    Another book published in 1981 was “Voluntary Simplicity” by Duane Elgin. Two paths were offered.

    Involuntary austerity may appear in the form of a depression. A period of conservative, simple living, that avoided blaming others and war, giving time for a thoughtful rebalancing of the world’s environmental systems and economies would be a miracle.

    Will President Donald Trump’s actions lead the world to this sort of resolution? I’m praying.

    in reply to: The True Meaning of ‘Collusion’ #41809

    Trump knew these indictments were coming. He chooses to play some variation of good cop, bad cop all by himself. Putin should be concerned going into the meeting as to the narrative Trump will give afterwards. He always declares success.

    I recall watching the Watergate hearings on TV when Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of the White House taping system. It was July 13, 1973. Nixon would not resign until August 9, 1974.

    The 24 hour news cycle does not serve us, nor does behavioral economics, the means by which the world has been made to believe debt is money.

    True life does move slowly by comparison. Patience is required.

    in reply to: Baby Trump Blimp #41786

    It is tough when there are no more spoils to feast upon and you must live leaner. The neo-everything era has produced government whose governance is to feed the military-industrial-financial complexes which exploit cultural-tribal differences. The World Cup is doing its job of strengthening the network of nations that will some day have to function as a united space nation in the greater community of worlds.

    With Trump among the EU leaders, their tolerance has been explained as being due to the swings governments can take under parliamentary systems. They expect a return to the norm.

    Minority rule is where the U.S. is now and the gutless Republicans who don’t have the courage or sense of Watergate era Republicans are so dependent on the favors of big money, that they unwilling to see the damage they are doing. They aren’t historic Republicans. It is a brand nameplate stuck on a reduced quality vehicle, as Detroit has so often done.

    Putin’s mischief makes him a player, which is all he needs. Democracy is so messy. The CEO is a poor model for governmental leadership. The focus on profit it too narrow. A small coalition rewarded by the CEO is just another dictatorship. Loyalty is rewarded and used for control.

    Single purpose business dictatorships have been useful to the greater society. Steve Jobs was such an individual. Noblesse oblige is not part of the curriculum.

    Nations are not businesses and can’t be run simply for efficiency, because the goal of perpetuation of the nation can’t be put on a spreadsheet. Neither can that be done for humanity.

    Level playing fields, upon which humanity can in relative safely compete, so all can develop resilience in loss and experience fleeting success, is needed. Permanence does not exist in this world. Dominance is a ratings game for brands, but not for we the people more perfect unions.

    Ignoring the limited nature of elements of the natural environment was a short coming or the tribes of Easter Island. Our planet is effectively a larger island in space. We do have the capacity to view the whole earth. We were first show the picture that confirmed it in 1968. Such a perspective will make us truly conservative and caring.

    in reply to: John Bolton Won’t Play in the World Cup #41499

    Building hotels is smarter than building bombs. The military-industrial-legislative complex Ike warned about has gotten bigger and more industries use the playbook. It is said Ike dropped legislative from his speech. The contractors make sure parts manufacture is spread out over many Congressional district to ensure opposition to suspension of manufacturing of big items.

    It would be nice to have a term other than “false flag” to characterize manipulation of events to get more money going your way. Deception and discernment are clearly necessary skills in life, it is a challenge to all relationships. We must attend to those who love or like us as to whether there has been a drift in sentiment or competitors for the same.

    Some just seem to need enemies for their meaning, purpose and direction. That can be a burden to all of us. The falseness or error runs deeper.

    For those who need real threats, consider human civilization’s lack of sustainability, climate extremes due to our built-enviroment/technosphere impacts and the changing position of our solar system in the cosmos, subjecting us to higher cosmic ray expose, as our quieting Sun and Earth protective shield continues to weaken. Watch Suspicious0bservers on YouTube for a daily global weather report that includes space weather. It only takes a few minutes each day, but orientation to the scientific contest will take time. A good dose of citizen science is pushing traditional theory. A similar approach would help with economics. Harder, since it isn’t truly science.

    Today’s video Suspicious0bservers June 29, 2018

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