Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Moral Questions of Philanthropy For Longer Lives

The Washington Post article linked below delves into some interesting aspects of what has been a trend for some time now on the money spent by tech billionaires for increased longevity. Not only could a lot of money spent very quickly to do things with our genetic makeup, or have technology interact with our biology in various fashions, have very serious unintended side effects, the mere fact of people living longer would put new strains on an economic model already snapping connective links to pay for existing social programs, let alone find enough jobs to keep the people we have growing up now employed.

Some ethicists, as well as a few of the philanthropy crowd themselves, are wondering whether a good deal more of this money should be spent on pressing medical, and social needs, of a more immediate nature. And that I think is a very healthy thing indeed to be doing.

One would think, however, that it would finally occur to some of these very smart people that another area of social need should be researched as well. That being, of course, the serious investigation into whether the current economic model is still as viable as the money makers would like to think it is, and, if it isn't, what might be a better alternative, and how would society go about bringing a better way to do things into being.

Certainly there has been an ongoing bit of scholarly effort to criticise the current operating system, but how much of that has been done in an objective effort to determine whether technological change, or whatever other factor, has happened to the point where it simply can't work effectively any more? This as opposed to criticism initiated in an effort to simply reform that operating system. Not very much I think.

This is especially interesting to me precisely because of the fear the ethicists have already indicated that longer lives will adversely impact that operating system; the automatic implication being that technological change has an inherent ability to do it serious damage, if not outright break it.

The ethicists question the longevity money now for reasons of personal hubris in the men and women who have bought their way into a sense of self entitlement; an entitlement that would allow them to think that they have every right to live as long as they damn well please, and to hell with the side effects. You don't have to think very long, however, on why they might not be very incentivised to investigate the very engine that made them rich, and continues to do so. And more is the pity because that bit of self indulgence might be the most important factor in what finally brings this whole house of cards around us down.

Tech titans’ latest project: Defy death

For centuries, explorers have searched the world for the fountain of youth. Today’s billionaires believe they can create it, using technology and data.

 Ariana Eunjung Cha 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Money Madness of the Clintons

I have never been a fan of either Bill, or Hillary, Clinton. In my mind Bill's gutting banking regulation in the 90's, as well as pulling the stopper out of keeping jobs here with the open trade treaties he championed, has been one of the biggest factors in the decline of the middle class in this country. When you add that to Hillary's unbelievable lack of judgment with her emails, as well as this penchant they both have for combining philanthropy with feathering their own bed, as we now see with further leaked emails, it's hard not to have a real bad taste in your mouth now (see here, and here) for voting for Hillary for president.

That being said, I still voted for her. I did that because the bottom line here is that, bad as she is, she is still a better choice than that egotistical sociopath who destroyed the Republican party.

The real problem here is that the corruption of money has so woven itself into the fabric of our main social institutions as to be inseparable now. A symbiotic intermingling that makes both dependant on the other. As such the only way we will ever have true reform is to recognize that the economic operating system itself is just no longer capable of allowing humans to live with any kind of balance; balance either between the needs of individuals, with the needs of society as a whole; or the balance between our footprint on this planet, and keeping it a viable ecological system.

Voting for Hillary now is simply an unfortunately necessary expedient. Whatever self serving, and/or incompetent tendencies she may have, she is better than putting a madman in a position of power. The possibility of being able to continue to work constructively towards getting people to understand the need for truly fundamental change is served infinitely better with her than with him. It's just that simple. However much she's earned your distrust, or animosity, voting for her is the only rational choice.

Clinton responds to FBI email announcement

See Also:

The Man at the Center of 'Bill Clinton Inc.'

Doug Band helped everyone get rich in the post-presidential empire, but his re-emergence in the WikiLeaks hack is another headache for Hillary.

  • Thursday, October 27, 2016

    The Black Mirror Waldo Reflection

    The Brits started a very well done anthology series several years back called Black Mirror. Done so well, in fact, that NetFlix has picked it up now. You can think of it as a kind of Outer Limits but a good deal more dark. I've been watching it, off and on, for more than a year now. Mostly because it's not something I've ever been able to binge with, needing to take the reflections in measured doses.

    I mention this now because of a particular episode that aired originally back in 2013 called "The Waldo Moment." An episode some of you have already made note of as it strikes a particular prescient chord as relates to one Mr. Donald Trump.

    To summarize, the premise here is that an animated segment on a political satire show is done with a human operator via realtime facial translation, and movement controls. The human operator is a one time comic that had to turn to this gig because the former wasn't working out so well. The producers started it out as a supposed children's segment to trick politicians into interviews with the animated character. Once on the mark was then subjected to every kind of humiliation that bad language, and grossly rude behavior could conjure up. In spit-balling on where to take the character next, if it had it's own show, they come up with the grand idea of having it run for a local minister's seat in Parliament; not in hopes of actually winning of course, but as a means to insert themselves into the election process so as to provide a grand avenue of further opportunities of ridiculing not only particular politicians, but the entire process as well. Unfortunately, this works so successfully, and the animated character becomes so popular (almost actually winning the contested seat), that the temptation to push the idea out even further becomes irresistible. A development made far worse as an American political operative arrives on the scene to suggest that this "identity brand" was ideal for selling any kind of political interests goals; whereupon it becomes quite clear just how scary such a possibility can become.

    As becomes obvious now you can see how a connection might be made to Mr. Trump; mostly with the proposition that Trump is Waldo, and I think that is a bit wide of the mark. In my mind what we have here is more of a reflection than we might want to allow for. Something that starts with the idea that a distinction has to be made.

    Is Trump Waldo? Perhaps the more correct way to think of it is see it as a kind of mirror reversal; as in Waldo was a caricature with a man running it, while Trump is a man with a caricature running him. If that is the case, however, what does that say about us, and what we've allowed social discourse in general, as well as political discourse, to become? If you think about this at all you might well come to the conclusion that "caricature running people" and not "people running caricature" has become a way of life for us (another episode of Black Mirror entitled "NoseDive," where the scoring of social media becomes a way of life suggests another aspect of this).

    The question then is why?

    For me it involves how selling and entertainment have become so fused in modern society. A fact that is all the more damning precisely because "The Hard Sell" (a thing I see as immoral in my philosophy) is now the bottom line in getting your identity, or your agenda, or your market superiority, to carry the day.

    So, with this being a quite probable case, how could our political process not be not only caught up in it, but also so thoroughly saturated and corrupted as well. A kind of corruption a bit different than that of money's influence, but one which certainly goes hand in hand with it.

    This, of course, is bad enough, but when you then add in what has become of entertainment, ever more high fidelity, ever more all pervasive, as it mixes with the wish fulfilment, and needs creation of marketing, we begin to see why, or ought to begin to see why, the borders between nominal reality and fantasy become ever more blurred. As a result then we have "Reality TV," as well as government as "Reality TV."

    Is there any wonder then about "who" might actually be talking, let alone what they're "talking" about? Andy wonder why every message is suspect precisely for that reason?

    One of the takeaways from discerning Trump's popularity is that there were actual aspects of some of his talking points that formed the foundation of why people would begin to listen to him in the first place. Whether he believed in them or not is irrelevant. And also quite apart from all of his lies. Things that spoke to the power imbalance in the nation. The fact that trade deals have taken jobs away from here. And the idea that anything out of our nation's capital is not to be believed.

    Part of the problem, certainly, is that so few of us take the time, or are able to take the time, to be truly informed about issues, but as already stated, that's becoming an ever more difficult proposition if more of everything you can be informed with is made suspect. We also have to recognize here that, if you are caught up on the usual economic treadmill of life today, just keeping your feet under you is a full time job; the uncertainties, the dislocations and turmoil of both natural, and manmade disasters. All inside a storm environment of information that roils with all of the cross currents already discussed. It is madness pure and simple and it is growing.

    For my part it seems difficult in the extreme to begin trying to establish meaningful dialogue if we don't also recognize that a fundamental part of the problem is the economic operating system that has brought us to this juncture in the first place. An operating system where the "hard sell" is fused inseparably from everyday life. And where, because of electrification, that aspect has been mutated beyond all imagination. In this it is not only that human skill as a commodity is no longer viable, but where, if we are to regain control of the process that negotiates the social narrative, where what is real, and fact, can be found as a true consensus, then we must also recognize that everything as commodity, and everything as a sales transaction, must also be seen as no longer viable. This means finding a completely new way of conducting how a society not only formulates the means of production, but how it goes about distributing it equitably; all while balancing individual liberty with the concerns for the greater good.

    It seems to me that the mirror we reflect in is going to become a great deal more dark if we do not come to terms with this new understanding.

    Black Mirror: Donald Trump is Waldo

    See Also:

    Hacked Memo Reinforces Worst Perception of the Clintons

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    This Expanding Desert Has To Matter To Us...

    ...If for no other reason than enlightened self interest.

    When you are talking about how the world's most populated nation is losing ground to desertification at the rate indicated here, the rest of the world, and us in particular, needs to take notice. And we must do this for more than the obvious reason that it is another indication of climate change.

    Just consider: If you think displaced peoples from coast lines via rising sea levels is going to be a problem, consider what will happen if more than nearly a billion and a half people start getting crowded in an ever shrinking living space. And if you think China is acting more reactionary as regards to resources now, just wait.

    What is especially worrying in this is that we will fall to the usual confrontational response to what will result from this challenges to China. And we will do this simply because it has become so reflexive.

    What is need here, instead, is to see this as a way to engage with China; not in some smug form of superiority, but as equals trying to work partnerships in solving shared problems. And in this I can think of nothing better than an energy development program that would result in a fuel whose consumption would create useable water; as in hydrogen.

    Producing liquid hydrogen at sea, and sharing in the output would be a very direct, and practical way of starting the process of replacing suspicion and mistrust inherent in an adversarial relationship concerning resources. And make no mistake. If we don't start looking for, and implementing, creative programs that seek to lessen that adversarial relationship, we risk lighting the world up with a kind of climate change that includes mushroom clouds.

    Living in China’sExpanding Deserts

    See How Your Power Has Been Slipping Away

    This graphic speaks for itself:

    Visualizing 35 Years of Income Distribution in USA

    Monday, October 24, 2016

    Consumption Madness in "Disposable Fashion"

    Quartz has run a quite troubling piece about the growing trend now of cycling fashion trends ever faster. This, with the ongoing madness of ever lower prices (the "Wallmartization" and "Amazonization" of economics where the laborer suffers as a consequence of benefiting the purchaser; itself another aspect of the insanity of supply side thinking), as well as the spread of this type of consumerization to the developing world, spells even more trouble for the environment, as well as economic stability.

    With clothing, of course, this can be a double whammy of negative affect because not only does fiber production (as both agriculture and synthetics production) consume significant quantities of water, energy, and land as a part of production, there is also the water and energy consumed in washing ever more clothing to consider after it's purchased.

    Not only are there more "style" changes per year now, creating a greater perceived need for new purchases, and the incentive for disposing of old "styles," there are no coordinated standards for making old cloth recyclable; no small thing when you consider how natural and synthetic fibers can be blended these days. Any more than there is a greater effort to publicize the eco-friendly aspects of Thrift Stores recycling the use of past fashions.

    The problem, of course, is that front end production is where the profits are, especially when volume consumption is the order of the day; which then necessitates that marketing provide the spur to keep this contradiction going. People work harder to keep up even as the producers play areas of production against each other to keep costs down, and prices low. The people working harder are made ever more dependant on lower prices, and always so distracted by so many other things going on, that they can not see how this arrangement is consuming itself out of existence.


    The coming fast-fashion boom in the developing world spells big trouble for the environment

    By Marc Bain

    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Telephones, And All Other Techno Gadgets Are Exploding In A Far More Fundamental Way

    As actually dangerous as an exploding Note 7 phone is there is a far more damaging explosion going on in slow motion. That is the growth of E-Waste as our penchant for going gaga on gadgets accelerates.

    The pictures in the linked article below paint a disturbing image of the back end of the flow of new electronic products into the market place. And the fact that a lot of this might be taking place in China shouldn't be any cause for complacency because that's not the only location for which this is occurring (see here, and here). And in case you have been paying attention, poison dumped in one part of the world all too often migrates to the rest of it, either by the oceans, or by the atmosphere; which shouldn't, of course, distract us from the immediate immorality of dumping poison on humans anywhere.

    You need also only consider the further carbon costs we burden the planet with in moving these toxic mountains to places too poor to demand it stop. An especially egregious situation as we already paid a similar carbon cost in shipping the gadgets to us in the first place (with all of that ridiculous packaging). Something else to think about as we approach a holiday shopping season where a whopping $800 billion may well be spent.

    The e-waste mountains - in picturesGlobal development professionals network
    The turnabout targets

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    We Fine Them While Few Officers Go To Jail, And Still They Make Big Profits

    As the linked article below indicates, banks are doing quite well profitability wise. This, even though, over the last few years, more than a few of them have been levied with seemingly large fines. Of course, as each fine is charged, we seldom, if ever, get much of a perspective on how the fine compared to either what the bank earned as a whole for the year in question, or how it compared to some estimate of how much was made from the actual wrong doing. Without that comparison what does it matter if a given number, on its own, seems quite large? If it was a small percentage of what was earned in total, or from the illegal activity, then maybe the number needed to be quite a bit larger.

    This is, of course, just another example of the inequality of outcomes that the major players in finance get; and not always because they represent campaign contributors. As the whole "Too Big to Fail" mentality clearly illustrates.

    Unfortunately, from a purely systems point of view, the logic of "Too Big to Fail" is, all too often, quite valid. A fact for which, quite apart from the anger we naturally feel, ought to be more than sufficient incentive to start wondering about whether the system itself should be the target of our ire. The real question for me is how many times are we going to go round and round with greed motivated rule bending, and breaking, with the usual rap on the knuckles with a warped yardstick for measuring punishment, before we realize that it is money, and the system that supports it, that make for money men and women, not to mention the poorly run institutions we've allowed to become "Too Big To Fail."

    Bank Earnings Placate Investors, If Not Customers


    See Also :

    Goldman Sachs Crushes Expectations, Reports 58 Percent Profit

    Another Indication of Permanently Failed States

    We've already posted on mega cities as threat environments; where sheer size, as well institutional collapse, and economic disarray, create the crime, corruption and abject misery that form a breeding ground for desperation; where that then channels itself through various forms of population flight, extremist group recruitment, or simply more numbing, mass starvation.

    The corollary of that, quite apart from size, is the failed state; that, often arbitrarily bounded nation that has been the battleground of other, larger states, for many decades, if not actual centuries. The poster children for these, of course, usually coming from the middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Because of colonialism, anti communism, and our perpetual drug war, though, we have our own group of states that are now beginning to meet this criteria as well, in central and South America.

    I mention this now because another article on the change in the makeup of who is trying to immigrate here demonstrates clearly that it is people fleeing in fear for their lives, and not simply because of economic deprivation. The kind of personal threat that make their claim for asylum justifiable, for which we are obliged by law to give serious consideration too.

    What this does is to provide further evidence that what we see as an immigration problem, is really just a symptom of much larger problems; a bigger picture where our foreign policy, our global economic policy, as well as our virtually non existent policy on displaced peoples in general, have to play a much more coherently integrated whole. A bigger picture where that integration must work with partnerships with as big a consortium of nations as we can muster.

    Make no mistake here. The displacements, as well as the incubation of extremists, will only continue to grow as sea levels rise, as the competition for resources increases, and the gap between the haves and the have nots increases. And the simple fact of the matter, from my point of view, is that we will never be able to fully address these challenges if we remain with a cost based form of economic operating system. The very system that fostered the Colonialism, the resource rape, and massive inequality of living standards. The very system that makes trying to do anything to alleviate poverty, or squalid living conditions, disease, or starvation, a matter of money; rather than a matter of personal involvement, and the diversion of resources made not nearly so dear once mass production and consumption for livelihoods was eliminated.

    What this comes down to is not only a change in view in how we see interrelated problems as a complex whole, but also that a much different way to operate within that complexity is also required. The old mechanisms of money, markets, investors and laborers is simply so far out of date, and out of its depth to handle what's coming, as to be comparable to expecting vast arrays of clerks, working in ledgers, to handle problems that now require trillions, and quadrillions of operations per second. A problem not only of the scalability of one type of organizational structure, as opposed to another, but also of the reality check that ought to be going on as to why we've allow the pace of things to get to the point where quadrillions of operations per second are needed in the first place. Some of the time perhaps, but all of the time, and always increasing? Seriously?

    Misery loves company after all, and you should have do doubt whatsoever that we be up to our rears in such company if we don't start thinking about new ways to look at, and deal with what is coming.

    Illegal Immigration Is Changing. Border Security Is Still Catching Up

    Sunday, October 16, 2016

    The Really Lame Thing About What's Rigged...

    ...And What isn't is that he wouldn't be saying it at all if he were ahead in the poles. Every Time you hear him make this ridiculous claim you should bear that in mind.

    At the end of the day all he's really doing here is putting up in large neon lights the message:

    "I am a petulant child when I don't get my way."

    And like such a child throwing a tantrum he doesn't give a damn about what he trashes in the midst of his fit.

    Trump Again Blames 'Rigged' System As His Poll Numbers Slip

    Saturday, October 15, 2016

    Some Interesting Criticism of Both Democrats and Republicans

    The segment of Real Time linked below represents a particularly well balanced give and take between what Democrats are missing in trying to appeal to the still thoughtful group of Trump supporters, and a defense of what Liberals think are the more important issues. It's worth a listen.

    First, Andrew Sullivan does a good job of explaining that, to appeal to Trump supporters, the Democrats have to take Immigration more seriously; going so far as to say that the Dems have nothing policy wise to address it. And then Bernie Sanders coming back and maintaining that immigration isn't nearly as important as the curbing the power of Big Money: as in drug company overcharging, Unlimited sums going into campaign financing, and tax increases only for the richest americans.

    Immigration, of course, is a dog whistle for both sides. With extremely misguided perceptions of immigrants as a social ill on the one side, and a lack of appreciation on the other that, despite the miss informed views, there are still aspects of immigration for which concrete actions should be taken; so that through actual action they can both indicate they get it, while on the other hand taking pains to correct the ill informed perceptions.

    Even if illegal immigration has fallen off in recent years, we still need to figure out what to do about it; especially as it relates to the folks who are already here. (the sad thing there being that a reasonable compromise had already been worked out). Of course, for me, they are here and we must accept them; not only because it is a very definite "fact on the ground," or the practical aspects of just how impossible actually doing removing them is, but also because, whether we like it or not, they fill a very necessary gap in the list of jobs that are at the lower end of the job skill requirements. They've been doing that for quite some time now and the contribution to detraction balance has, for the most part been positive (see here, here, and here).

    I also believe, however, that to a very significant extent we share a responsibility for the very fact of the desperation that drove them to come here in the first place. How could this be otherwise when it is our drug addiction that fuels the drug wars in Central and South America. It was our extreme response to the spread of Communism that helped fuel the clandestine operations to prop up too many tyrants, and destabilize too many democratically elected governments. And it was our economic engine that played a large part of the resource rape that was endemic with Colonialism (as well as it forestalled the growth of independent domestic social institutions). All of these things made for ongoing weak, corrupt, and always in flux, institutional systems that have made for a perpetual poverty class.

    With that being said it has always been my feeling that any program to curb illegal immigration must include a vastly reformed foreign policy as regards these nations; one that stops meddling with their governments, and focuses instead on economic development, and on site aid so that the core problem of poverty can be addressed. That, of course, won't be easy, but it has to be done and it has to have real resources devoted to it. We should then be ready to compromise here and allow for more border agents, as well as better border reconosense; if for no other reason than desperate people coming across can do desperate things when trying to get across; things that can, and do, make life hard not only for them, but for the people who live all along the border and we really need to acknowledge them.

    We also have to acknowledge that much of what Bernie Sanders says about the imbalance of power between the upper ten percent of income receivers, and the rest of us, is true. And that recent trade agreements between us and the rest of the world have hurt the middle and lower income groups here. Having said that, however, doesn't change another fact that I think Mr. Sanders, and Liberals in general seem to not want to recognise.

    The fact is, as a system, Capitalism actually does need certain operating parameters to be in place for it to work as it was intended to. That these parameters are not very humane, or socially responsible is quite beside the point. Profit should be left to the market, and the ingenuity of the investor to balance risk with cost, and the best price possible. Everything is a commodity in one form or another. The price of any commodity must be subject to the market and the availability of that commodity. Risk and competition are essential. And so on.

    Naturally, not everything works as it was designed to (it always looks good on paper after all). Because the size of the investor, or the commercial entity created by investors, is limited only by its ability to accumulate profit, certain aspects of the design can be made more problematic; as in risk and competition both being lessened when an entity controls a market. And when placed together with a Democratic form of government, a system itself founded on the notion of rule by law, size also has a significant impact; whereby the process to balance the needs of the governed with the needs of capital, investors, and commercial activity, also becomes quite problematic (inasmuch as balance is an actual goal).

    Then there is the fact of technological change itself. Along with material gain in general, Capitalism has also been a great engine for technological change; all part of doing more with less; having the best competitive commodity; as well as the best military to ensure resource and market accessibility and control. Technological change made capitalism possible. But that same change has also now made it obsolete.

    And therein lies the problem that people like Mr. Sanders have always struggled with. Reforming the system to allow the balance already described above not only has limits (if it wants to keep the system going), it has an additive limit; which is to say a limit of quantity over time. A limit itself that gets further exacerbated exactly as technology increases in both output and rate of change; a situation where the legacy of past changes, altered, or only partially eliminated, builds up an ever greater element of complexity to the operation of the economic system. Complexity that then makes new reforms ever more difficult to propose or implement, if one also wants that system to continue to function robustly.

    Which brings us to one of my usual bottom lines: Not only is Capitalism obsolete, but any hope of ever reforming it effectively any more has gone up in virtualized smoke. The time has come to start over. To realize that skill as a competitive commodity makes no sense any more when that commodity is human skill. That everything as commodity in a time of information systems, and the absolute need of information to move freely, makes no sense any more. Our job in the future should be sharing the burdens necessary in making not only community possible, but personal attainment possible as well. We can do that now because we have the technical means to make it possible. All we lack is first recognizing the need, and then the will to make it happen.

    Bernie Sanders FULL Appearance on Bill Maher Real Time - October 14, 2016

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Mega Cities As Threat Environments

    The really depressing aspect of the linked article below for me is that, instead of seeing the problem in terms of how we alleviate the overcrowding, the poverty and lawlessness, the identification, and the prioritization that will inevitably follow, will be one oriented exclusively towards the needs and abilities of military action. As in more special operations forces, better urban fighting equipment, and the tactics to make it work.

    Obviously, being able to respond effectively to real enemies, and the threats to our security they present, will be a quite necessary ongoing reality. As such keeping a military ready to do that an absolute requirement. Having said that, however, is not to also suggest there can't be other options to prepare us to face threat sources. After all, even the military recognizes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (an exchange rate always in flux where cure, in the military sense, can be problematic in the best of scenarios).

    What really bothers me when you see this kind of foreshadowing of what is to come is that so little consideration is given to why things like overcrowded urban centers are there in the first place, and why fixing them remains so elusive.

    So much of what is going on here, in my opinion, is simply another consequence of the contradictions of Capitalism; foremost of which is the inherent inability of a cost based operating system to address large systematic failures, not to mention the inability to create living wage jobs for everybody.

    People continue to flock to urban centers because they know that's the only place where jobs have even a hint of a chance to be found. And they stay there because, even in the midst of such poverty and deprivation, that is where you find most of the cracks that money fueled corruption breeds, like a brick thrown at windshield. Cracks from which a great deal more can trickle down in the form of crumbs of various sorts (the more so the more dehumanized you can become) than can be expected in outlying areas; themselves either already far more polluted, resource raped, or marginalized by flood or drought.

    If money weren't the prime consideration in addressing things, and simply actual effort was, where we could balance our own personal involvement with technology free of proprietary restraints; and where resources could be tapped more flexibly for the same reason, the situation could be a great deal different. Like applying truly integrated solutions then, like, say, the production of liquid hydrogen out at sea to also serve as the core functional component to build floating cities. And where utilization of that fuel might help make arid areas useable again. Perhaps then urban crowding could be attacked from a whole new direction.


    Where Doesn't He See Dark Conspiracies?

    Trump Sees Dark 'Conspiracy' Behind Female Accusers

    Every shadow, and every bump in the night is a conspiracy boogie man for him. That would be bad enough for someone who supposedly aspires to the White House. He takes his paranoid delusionalism out beyond all aspects of what holds a civil society together. And, unfortunately, his pandering to the ignorance and fears of a significant proportion of us allows him to weave a pied pipers orchestration of half truths, outright lies, and a sociopath's gift of fronting it all without any guilt or sense of self doubt.

    Every criticism, every act of catching him out in a lie becomes a conspiracy of evil doers acting against him. And if this were only him going his merry way through the business world, and the realms of celebrity, people would be hurt, but the damage would still be limited. Limiting himself, no matter how much damage he does, is just not his style though. Another aspect of a sociopath who just wants and doesn't care about consequences.

    The thing is, when you push such delusional machinations into the fabric of our social institutions you spread a kind of doubt and exacerbated paranoia that weakens them dangerously close to failure. And so now we have that same doubt and paranoia calling our criminal justice system into question because anybody saying he broke the law is a conspiracy against him. That same doubt and paranoia feeding into the three pillars of our checks and balances form of government if any part of it calls him out on his lies. And perhaps worst of all that same doubt and paranoia feeding into our faith in democracy itself as even voting, if it doesn't go his way, can't be anything other than a conspiracy.

    I can understand that there may be parts of his rhetoric that speak to what you think might be wrong with this country. I can also understand that you might work to advocate the issues underlying those deficiencies, as well as the solutions you might see as addressing them. More power to you if you organize folks who see things the same way. More power to you if you support what you believe is wrong with incontrovertible facts. You present those facts. You work within the system and you try to get people to understand your take on an issue. This is what climate change people have done and we now have laws and real policies in place (weak or insufficient though they may be) to address the causes of climate change. What I don't understand, however, is continuing to support someone who makes a habit of jumping from one issue of convenience to another, often taking stands that our in direct opposition to each other, and who never ever speaks with any kind of knowledgeable authority. Or even speaks to demonstrate he has any kind of real grasp on what he is supposedly talking about.

    The bottom line here is this: The one thing you do not do, if you suffer setbacks, or come up against opposition, is to start claiming that "dark forces" are to blame for your failures. You don't do that because you risk turning the very system you want to utilize to bring about change into nothing more than an ongoing riot of rage and violence. A riot where no one is listening anymore and everyone has a fist in someone's face, or both hands on another's throat. If you truly believe in what you feel is true then you keep faith with what we have for mediating competing perceptions and priorities (flawed though it may be), and simply keep trying to get your fellow citizens to understand your truth.

    Donald Trump Imagines Shadowy 'Conspiracy' Behind Women Accusing Him of Misdeeds

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    Now That Trump Is The Undisputed Leader...

    ...Of the Stupid Party (or the Bent and Ready party from the perspective of the rank and file; they are going to take it in the seat of their intelligence one way or another) one wonders what the B & R people think he's going to be able to accomplish if he does win. Just think about this for a moment:

    You think the atmosphere in Congress is toxic now? Just wait to see what happens if he's the one trying to propose legislation. How can you trash most of both sides of the old political divide and expect much of anybody wanting to support your agenda? Even supposing he can come up with an agenda that comes even anywhere close to making sense. And can you imagine the kind of threats that will start coming out of the White House when he doesn't get his way? Do you think he'll limit himself to threatening jail time to just Hillary? Do you think he'll be able to resist the temptation to push "executive orders" well into the realms of pure dictatorial fantasy? And will he then start threatening jail for the Supreme Court as well when they resist?

    It will certainly be no picnic forging any kind of Congressional consensus if Hillary wins, but if that madman wins we'll be entering a legislative Twilight Zone nobody's prepared for now. Do you think that is going encourage or help our allies much? Or discourage or thwart our enemies? Our standing in the world as a reasonable actor for global stability might not exactly be pure gold right now but it would have no direction to go but down if this self indulgent bully is put in charge of policy. If that comes to pass even atheists might start praying.

    See Also:

    Trump Conspiracy Theorists Are Losing Their Shit

    Trump Cites Retracted Article From Russian Propaganda SiteBY  

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Stupidity Finally Has It's Own Party

    The essence of that new party is what's now pouring out of the boil that was once the Republican Party. The boil that has been lanced by the pointed vulgarity, delusionalism and premeditated disregard for the truth that marks every aspect of Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency. What will become of the traumatized base from which this boil rose from is anybody's guess.

    What other conclusion can one take when the core of his Trump Chump Brigades scoff at what is an essential aspect of this man's character, quite apart from the automatic tendency to lie, or spout from a mouth that has little connection to a mind that can weigh actual facts, and take careful consideration of complex issues. They say this predatory behavior is just a distraction from the real issues, which is ironic when Trump frames these within the lies his motor mouth pews, and which they swallow hook, line and sinker. Something that wouldn't be happening if these people took the time to actually inform themselves (you know, the process where you read books and articles from respected scholars and research institutions, as opposed to just listening to Fox News, Ann Coulter, or Alex Jones).

    As has been made obvious now, the behavior on the tape made back in 05 is most certainly not some past aberration, or anomaly. This sexual predator, the one who is running for office now, and not the philanderer who was president when Hillary was first lady, has shown this behavior consistently well past that previous smoking gun incident. And we would have even more substantive proof of this if NBC would grow a pair and do an independant review of all of the Trump recordings they have possession of.

    That kind of behavior matters as a serious character flaw just as they tried to maintain it did when Bill got a blow job in the White House, and then later lied about it. Just as it matters that Trump thinks he can dictate the placement of those who disagree with him into whatever kind of incarceration that sick imagination of his can conjure up. Just as it matters that he thinks a current dictator in Russia is a better role model for a leader than the man about to leave office as president.

    As for a name of this new party one can only ponder with a great deal of misgiving and concern for the future. The "Know Nothings" would certainly be a start, but hardly even close to the real mark. Perhaps the "Bent And Ready" party might come close. I'm sure it would appeal to the Donald as it would certainly appeal to his world view that everybody should be happy to receive whatever he pumps out.

    #DoTheReviewNBC, #TheTrumpChumpBrigades, #TheBentAndReadyParty

    See Also:


    This spin wheel contains a Trump whopper pulled from every essay in our series on Donald Trump’s lies.

    Sunday, October 9, 2016

    Why Can't NBC Have All Trump Video Reviewed?

    How lame can a network corporation be when it says it can't release video of what may have Trump confirming that his lewd behavior has been on going for some time now. With something as important as the election of a president on the line can't they at least offer up all of the footage to an independent review? We really don't have to see any more of this ass actually being the ass that he is (god knows we've had more than enough of that to last several life times) to establish that his character as a man towards women is way beyond even ugly. And that this abhorrent character trait persists even to this day.

    It is astounding to me that there aren't protesters outside NBC studios right now demanding that they do the right thing and have this video evidence reviewed immediately, and that viewers everywhere start boycotting all programming this network provides until they do.


    ‘Far worse’ Trump recordings out there, ‘Apprentice’ producer says

    Any footage of Republican nominee’s vulgar comments on reality show under wraps, NBC insists

     October 9, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Saturday, October 8, 2016

    When You're the Top Dog, You Can Do Anything You Want to Anybody.

    And just as important, you can spew out with anything you want to try and convince them otherwise. On the off chance you get caught with your pants down (so to speak) every so often. And no matter how often you do this, there will always be a stubbornly ignorant few who will believe you no matter what; because every dick-tator has to have that core Chump Brigade who will swallow whatever does comes out. It's what keeps that ego blown up and never ever deflating.

    #TrumpTheDick-Tator, #TrumpChumps

    Trump on Hot Mic: 'When You're a Star ... You Can Do Anything' to Women

    See Also:

    From the article linked below:
    For the second Friday in a row, Donald Trump's campaign is heading into the weekend in an existential crisis sparked by the candidate's behavior toward women — and Republicans may have had enough this time.
    "It's over," a Republican strategist who has been supportive of Trump said. "Never seen anything like it. Never will."
    The timing of newly obtained audio from 2005 in which Trump boasted how he used his stardom to approach women and "grab 'em by the pussy," could not be much worse for the nominee, whose standing with women in surveys has already been abominable throughout the campaign.
    "This one matters," a Trump campaign staffer conceded, adding they had "no idea" how to spin the story in their favor.

    GOP Leaders Slam Trump Over Crude Remarks on Women

    Trump's Comments on Women: 'Duck Dynasty' Star, Hannity Weigh In

    Friday, October 7, 2016

    Good News About Americans, and a Repudiation of Trump, But Maybe Something Else as Well?

    A new Pew research report gives a good indication that, rather than what that demagogue might want to make you afraid of, most people see the diversity of immigration as a good thing.

    What is more worrisome, however, is the fear of becoming irrelevant in the skills you have.

    Both sides on the labor, employer, divide seem to agree that it will be ongoing training that will carrying the day, though, as you might expect, no one has any concrete answers on how to pay for that. For me, however, there is also something else to be thinking about here.

    We need to begin here by making an important distinction between a life dedicated to a continuing process of learning, and a situation where you are expected to adapt to a never ending series of dropping one skill, and then committing to immerse yourself into another; as in, say, being a pipe fitter one day, and a robot repairman the next.

    On the face of it, you might think, this at first doesn't sound so bad. Getting a more advanced skill is good thing, right? But consider: what if two years after being certified as the repairman, someone came up with the software to let the buggers repair themselves? And further that the next best bet was to try and become a database administrator, and then find out, maybe only a year and a half later, that software could now do that better as well. Then to be told that being an operating room tech, or, say, a nursing assistant tech, was the best bet... So on and so on.

    Moving from competitive skill to competitive skill, in a demanding professional environment can be an amazingly stressful endeavor. And what we really seem to not want to do here is to ask ourselves why should any of it be required in the first place. Why are we made to think that we must continue bending, however impossibly, to an insanely accelerating process of technologically driven competition? It's not like all of the technological change is occurring where we're getting the wisdom to handle it properly at an equal rate is it? And we know what lacking that wisdom can do to not only us, but the planet we live on as well after all. Why do we not stop to question the more fundamental point of what is really wrong here. That perhaps the operating system itself has become patently inhumane, as well as toxic to virtually every other natural system we are a part of.

    Continuing to learn new facts, new understandings of who we are, and how things work, is a necessity. Changing skills like a machine tool changes a cutting head, or a power takeoff drive changes a hydraulic manipulator, is being made to pretend you are also a machine.

    The Biggest Worry We Have About Our Jobs Is Not Immigration, It's Irrelevance


    The Key Element in Trump's Definition of Being Smart?

    Screwing those who invest time or money with him.

    The quote below from an the article, and an investor burned by Trump says it all:
    When Sebastian Pignatello saw the news that Donald Trump had declared a loss of $916 million in 1995, potentially allowing him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for close to two decades, the retired Queens investor wasn't surprised. As a shareholder in the Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Pignatello had a front row seat to the many ways in which he says Trump used the legal and corporate landscape for his own benefit, almost always at the expense of everyone else's.
    "I invested in the Trump casinos because I thought there was value there," said Pignatello, 67. "What I was totally oblivious to was Donald Trump's ability and willingness to screw the people that he deals with... That was my downfall as an investor."
    For those of you still playing the sucker as a member of the Trump Chump Brigades, when you finally begin to feel how you'eve been taking it in the ass by this lying con man, don't you ever say you weren't warned.

    Trump Tax Revelations No Surprise to Past Associates