May 21

Humans abhor inertia

Bernie Trump

We live in in interesting times. I find myself trying to understand why we Americans are so polarized. I believe it is the result of a few factors coming together at the same time, driving our “human tribes” to react in more extreme ways.

HitlerGandhi

Our news media and our politicians are continually reinforcing that things are bad. The economy is bad. Immigrants are bad. Muslims are bad. Threats against you are so bad, that in fact you’d better carry a gun to protect yourself.

This message is being heard. When polled, most people confirm they believe the American economy is worse off in general, America is more at risk from terrorists, and they are less certain about a good future for everyone in America general. However, when asked about their own situation, their standard of living, their feeling of security in their homes, etc., they respond that things in their personal world are pretty good. It is all of that danger outside their space that has them concerned.

In an environment like this, our political system would normally provide an outlet. At least it has historically. Democrats and Republicans, the House and the Senate, and the President have found ways to overcome differences and move forward. Compromise was not a dirty word. It is now. Compromise will get you defeated in the polls, and where there is no compromise, there is gridlock. Where there is gridlock there is inertia. Inertia in politics creates a leadership vacuum. When you add the general intangible pervasive fear that is being spread, people want a LEADER.

The more radically right or left the leader appears, the greater the hope people place in that person to lead them away from that which they fear. They want someone to do something. They are mad. They look at one candidate or another, and say, “Finally, this person is thinking the same things I am and I think he can make a difference.”

I personally don’t buy it. None of the candidates have the leadership qualities or the ideology that can take this country forward in a meaningful way. While they appeal to the populist masses, they will do irreversible harm to our nation, both at home and on the world stage. About all I can hope for out of this coming election is more gridlock. At least that will buy for more years of my personal welfare before some nut-job takes us off the rails.

December 27

Reasons for a Dirty War

Jucio Y Castigo
Jucio Y Castigo or Swift Punishment

On Thursday, December 22, 2010 a man was sentenced to life in prison for his little part of a dirty little war.  Former Argentine dictator Jorge Videla was officially convicted of the toture and murder of 31 prisoners in 1976.  There were another two dozen people charged in connection with those same 31 deaths.  Most of those charged also got life in prison. All of their victims had been Argentine prisoners who were pulled from their cells and “shot while trying to escape” as the military consolidated its power in the months after the coup earlier that year. Continue reading

August 18

Israel, Arabs, and a Financier

It is a conflict that cannot end well.  Israel claims they have a right to occupy the land they were deeded and the land they captured as a historical birthright. The Palestinians and surrounding Arabs claim Israel has an illegal possession of the lands that rightfully belong to them. Combine those two opposing views and a massive amount of funding from the U.S. and you have the makings for a real nasty and prolonged scuffle. Continue reading

June 18

Drugs and America – the Drag on Society

A finely rolled joint
A finely rolled joint for your enjoyment

Eisenstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  The United States has been doing pretty much that for the past 50 years when it comes to the drug trade.  The government’s policy has been to (stated in big general terms) stop the supply and jail or fine anyone they catch with drugs.  Despite those efforts the drug trade has thrived.

According to the White House, the United States budget for the federal portion of efforts to combat drugs and drug use was $15.0 billion for 2010.  Less than 25% of that was budgeted for drug treatment.  The rest was for intervention, law enforcement, etc at the federal level.  And that doesn’t include all the costs associated with jailing those convicted of possessing or selling drugs. Continue reading

June 15

How to Create an Underground Economy in Five Easy Steps

 

one hundred dollar bill
100 reasons to let capitalism work freely

It is easy to create your own underground economy and all that entails.  Here are the five easy steps to make it happen.

  1. Find a product that is enjoyable, creates euphoria, possibly addictive, that is used by a fairly large population base of mostly non-voting people who trust things will always work out when the government is taking care of them.  Good examples include alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics, or mild psychoactive compounds.
  2. Continue reading