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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's Ba-a-a-a-ack! New! Improved! More fat, less fiber! More filling, tastes...cyber-y! OK, you get it.

I was going to reopen 'Nude Celebrity Selfies: Not really, but it got ya here', then decided that I like my old blog best. Plus, it has 131 posts in it as opposed to the few that NCS... had.

So, it's back up and running.

Be afraid, my pretties! Be very afraid!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Moving To New Blog

Since Blogger can't seem to remember how to do things the same way twice in a row, and since the settings for this blog can no longer be accessed, I will be blogging at my new blog, Nude Celebrity Selfies!, from now on.

This blog will remain up because I have 130 posts on it, but new stuff will be at the new blog, found here:  Nude Celebrity Selfies!

Much love! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Moving Humanity Toward A More Equal, Fully-Transparent, Open-Source, One-World Government; Not Your Grandfather's "New World Order"

We will only begin to fully address the issue of inequality when we redress the overarching problems of tribalism, nationalism, and regionalism.

When the day comes - and it will if we don't kill ourselves first - on which we have an open-source, one-world government, then and only then can we begin moving toward a global society, respecting local traditions, where the rights of all are guaranteed and enforced by law.

Not the "New World Order" that George HW Bush, et alii, have foretold, but a true open-source, fully transparent, one-world government. A government where every action is available for everyone to see - every contract, every agreement, every email, every phone call, every thing. A government that doesn't need to have a central location because the internet - or its higher-level replacement - will allow the governing bodies to assemble electronically, eliminating the need to spend massive sums on the infrastructure of buildings. A government that realizes that humans will make mistakes and take that into account with backup systems which will kick in in case of corruption. And which will then immediately indict and prosecute the guilty. A government where every voice counts, in a global democratic republican form that follows the wishes of the many while not trampling on the rights of the few, guaranteeing liberty and the right to enjoy life for all of Earth's citizens, human or other.
A government that recognizes the need to take care of the one spaceship we have to journey us through - and protect us from - the cosmos.

As families split off from clans which splintered from tribes and then moved on to form new nations and peoples, with little doubt some scoffed and said that the new ventures would fail. That the new ideas would come to naught. And with little doubt, some will scoff at the idea of a one-world government. And some - many - will publicly decry the change only to give themselves time to retool in order to profit from the new realities. Just as many do today, and probably always have.

But also - as we always have - we will accept that the current system is broken. It served for a time, and served some more and better than others. It's time, however, has come to an end.

Just as we outgrow our toys and clothes when we mature and move onto new attire and new habits, it is time to recognize that we are at one of the most remarkable periods in human history. We stand in the portal of interstellar space flight. Within a century, humans might well be taking the first steps into the unknown beyond the heliosphere, courtesy of the 100 Year Starship, possibly powered by an Alcubierre Drive engine. Before we make that leap, it might well be advisable to put our affairs in order here, on Earth, our home.

It is time to recognize that by leveraging the power to crowdsource ideas on a global electronic scale we can constitute a new way of governance wherein global problems can be solved via global electronic query and whose solutions can be chosen by global electronic vote. All accomplished in the open. A one-world government has no need for secrets. From whom would it keep secrets? Why? It wouldn't for it would have no need, just as it would have no need for armies, navies, or air forces. A professional, committed global police force would handle crime in an open, professional manner taking into consideration that they serve the people they protect. But no militaries would be required, and no money would be needed to fund them.

It would be folly to suggest that violence would come to a sudden end and rainbows spring from every cloud, but removing some of the worst seeds of conflict - national borders - would allow us to begin a process of fixing our problems with the realization from the outset that it would be a process, not a destination.

Imagine turning the money we spend globally from waging war on each other because of national borders to waging war on poverty and hunger. Imagine turning the war onto fixing what we've broken with our home, Mother Earth. Imagine providing a basic guaranteed living standard for every human being so that no person has to be homeless or hungry.

We can move forward intrepidly into an uncertain future full of hope, or we can continue down the same known path to certain destruction and suffering, because it's where we are, and it's where we will continue to go unless we change our path.

We celebrate explorers because they cast off the shackles that bound the race and moved us past oceans and shorelines to new lands, opening the world for us. Are we going to rest on those laurels or are we going to emulate the strong and move on into our own brave futures? We surely won't do it in a world fractured by the fault lines we call borders.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Government Shutdown Over DHS Funding Not Averted, Simply Postponed. Again.

Here's what we absolutely must do to prevent the minority in America - and by "minority" I mean 'stupid' - from overruling the will of the majority: We must have immutable reform of Congressional redistricting. We must have an all-party panel to sit down and redo or review every Congressional district in the nation, then adjust it according to population, not party. No more gerrymandering. No more shifting district lines to allow a handful of white people to control voting. We must account for the rise of third-parties. We must allow flexibility beyond the current inflexible two-party system we're shackled to now.

One party should not be able to obstruct democracy like it does now. We know that. Why do we keep allowing it? Are we simply afraid of change? Have we lost the will to act that our Founding Fathers had? Because if we have, maybe we need to let the states which want to secede to do so and just call it quits.

Personally, I think we can adapt, but that means that we have to quit kicking the can down the road and ACT.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ISIS, Apocalypse, Armageddon, and the "End Times": Why Judeochrislam Is The Evil That Could Kill Us All

It's been a while what with all that's been going on in my life, but here are a few thoughts on ISIS, religion, and the "end times":

To those people who said, and to those who continue to say, that recognizing that ISIS isn't the same creature that we've dealt with in Al Qaeda is saber rattling or warmongering, what do you think after all of these execution videos? Still think that? I hope not.

Here's another good piece that helps understand the language behind ISIS's actions. That's key to fully comprehending their intentions.

But let's also be frank about what this - radical Islam - really is: It's merely one face of the violence inherent in religion. Christians use others to do their dirty work for them. Jews will do their own, as they're doing in Gaza. ISIS is the best-known, most-radical faction of Islam we've seen so far.

There's a movement afoot to reconcile Roman Catholicism with Eastern Orthodoxy. There are synthetic amalgamations of Judaism and Protestantism. All of these "Abrahamic" religions, when you're on the outside looking in, are far more alike than unalike. I could easily see the day when they all pitch in together and try to bring about the apocalypse or Armageddon or whatever.

If we kick the stool out from under Islam, whatever's left of it will try to find syncretism with the other two branches of Judeochrislam, and for everyone else, that's when the game is going to get nasty, if it hasn't already reached that point prior to that moment. Ultimately, they all want to bring about the "end times" so that whichever savior or combination of savior and prophet can come take them to...The Great Walmart in the Sky, or whatever.

It's time to stop viewing these religions as separate. It's time we come to terms with the fact that they're merely branches of the same core belief, and that the only things they really disagree on are pretty minor.

That's going to be an Oh, Shit! day for the rest of us, especially if any faction among them hates whatever you or I might be that offends them.

We might want to start thinking about that day because who, even a year ago, saw ISIS coming?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Code: Understanding the Hidden Meaning Behind What Southerners Say

Recently, I've had the occasion to spend some time abroad. Being away from Americans, except for the occasional tourist or US government employee, gave me time to disconnect from the language mainframe, to reboot, and to examine upon my return the coded language used by Americans when they wish to hide their real intent. I got the opportunity to hear anew how coded questions are phrased to feel me - a middle-aged white male - out on where I stand politically, racially, on sexual orientation, and on religion.

One of the first people I spoke with at length was my dermatologist at the VA. The Code he employs is the use of American football references. As he was examining me - I tend to have skin issues being a light-blond, fair-skinned, sun-loving Caucasian (that's "Aryan GOD" to you swarthy, hirsute motherfuckers!) - I noted that his 2 assistants, one female and one male, were also examining me, but they weren't interested in my skin, only in my answers to the doctor's questions. They put a pair of tanning goggles on me while he used a tremendously bright light to look deeply into my skin. The goggles gave me the shield of anonymity behind which to watch the looks on the faces of the two nurses and see the exchange of glances, shrugs, shaken heads, and other non-verbal communications they used to signal their disgust at my answers. And trust me, I gave them fuel for a whole-body workout: I'm gay, an atheist, a Democratic Socialist, and particularly, vehemently, violently non-racist.

On several instances, I would laugh as the two nurses mugged, clearly oblivious to the fact that I could see them pretty well through the tiny, dark-green-tinted lenses of the goggles. The doctor would ask me what was funny, and I told him that I would laugh sometimes when I was in pain; he was giving my skin hell with an abrasive-tipped device, poking, rasping, prodding, and he took a biopsy none-too-gently and without a local anesthetic, something they all seemed aghast that they'd forgotten once it was too late to do anything about it. I guess they were too busy being shocked to remember why it was that they were know...assisting the physician.

At any rate, the doctor began by asking me about "them Dawgs", the University of Georgia football team. When I told him that I didn't watch football, the room fell silent, the nurses looked at each other and nodded, but after an awkward moment, he drove on as if I had said yes, that I had watched last Saturday's game. He kept asking me what I thought of such-and-such a player or the quarterback or of some player's off-field antics. I would reply each time that I didn't keep up with football, didn't know any of the players, and didn't really care what they did off-field. But then I floored them when I said that I thought that football ought to be a separate entity from academics, that it had supplanted the real reason for attending university, and that I thought it should be removed completely from colleges and universities. The doctor stopped, took a step back, raised his glasses, rested them on his forehead, and said, "You mean you don't like FOOTBALL?", while slowly looking for the sign that must say "FAGGOT" somewhere on my body. So, I came out with it: "Nope, I'm gay". The male nurse rolled his eyes, confident I'm sure that I couldn't see him. The female nurse pursed her lips and shook her head while looking at me like I'd just admitted to screwing the family dog or something. But the doctor's reaction was best; he set down the miniature torture device he had been scraping my skin with and carefully snugged each glove, then nodded to his assistants that they should do the same, which they both did. I almost laughed out loud. It's pretty well known in Podunkia that all gay men have AIDS, even the ones what don't. Or maybe it's cooties. I forget.

So, "doesn't like football" = "gay as fuck". Got it.

"Where do you go to church?" Well, first of all, that's a pretty big assumption, but what you really mean is, 'are you one of them godless atheists?' Or worse, 'are you a Catholic?' Or worse STILL, 'are you a Jew, one of them what killt THE LORD (Jesus)?' Yes, I am a godless heathen, but no, I don't worship Satan because, you know, that would be a form of theism.

"Them up yonder in Washington done rurnt the country, ain't they?" "You mean the Republicans in Congress?" Short silence, followed by a derisive laugh, then "Weellll, nooo, I think they's done 'bout good as they could havin' to deal with that nig...I mean Obammer".

Gotcha. "Obammer" = "that nigger", because that's what you were going to say, huh Reverend? Well, that's mighty Christian of you. Is that a Confederate flag on the butt of your shotgun, Rev? Thought so. And no, I don't listen to (now US Congressman) Rev. Jodi Hice's radio show. Never have, never will. Well, not unless my future home - the one you're pretty sure I'm heading to - experiences temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. (And I'm sure that my use of Celsius is code for "science-loving Commie faggot atheist" too, but I'm getting ahead of myself.)

So, references to "Obammer" or "them up yonder in Washington" or the like are tossed out to see how one responds. If you nod and show disgust, then you're a Real American, which you damn well better be if you're WHITE, MALE, and MIDDLE-AGED, but if you show any sign of disagreement at all, then there's a crack in the firmament and they will, if necessary, use your body as caulking to fill the gap in order to keep the...I don't know...stupid-gas, or whatever, from leaking out of their tiny widdle universe.

Not-Republican = Commie pinko bastard.

And then there's Not-Code: The blatant use of the word "nigger" right to your face.I guess they figure that, hey, if you're white, you're a racist, so...BLAMMO! And it's use is ubiquitous in the South. I lived in the Pacific Northwest for 18 years and trust me, it's a racist as the South is, they just hide it better. For example, in that entire period, I never - not even once - heard a white person say "nigger" unless they were friends with, and speaking to, an actual black person. Still, it makes me cringe. But here in the South, it's just, "blah blah blah the weather, blah blah blah The Lord, blah blah NIGGER!" I'm sorry, WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? "Um, you mean about the weather?" Uh, nooo... "Oh, you mean when I was talking 'bout Jesus?" You're getting warmer, Dweezil...  How about when you said "nigger"? "Why, what's wrong with that??"

Fuck me with a dictionary.

It's like this in a lot of America, now; I just pick on the South because it's the low-hanging fruit. There's a ton of Code, way more than I could catalog at one sitting because it makes my brain sore thinking about it. Add to the list in the doobley-do below. I'm curious what others have heard.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Want To Appeal To Millennials And Win Elections Going Forward? Here's How

As anyone with one eye and half-sense can observe, the Left got its ass handed to it in the 2014 elections. We deserved it, too. We completely capitulated our Progressive and Liberal ideals. We deserted the President and his policies, going so far as to distance ourselves from him before the election. We ignored the warnings that Millennials don't want to hear the din of petty political battles. We failed to see that the recent victories we had won happened because we moved Left, not Right. Despite that, the Democratic Old Guard felt that they just had to yank the reins at the last moment and they drove us right over the cliff. 

Thanks, assholes. Thanks for nothing. And one more thing:  You're fired!

What we should do next is radically different than what we've done heretofore: We should not jump into the fray until 3 months before the election. 

Pick your jaw up off the floor, stop laughing, then STFD and STFU; it's class time, and here's the main point you need to remember, and I'm going to help you 'get it':  Millennials have short attention spans. Don't worry that I just said that, they've already forgotten it.  (Kidding, Millennials! I actually love ya. Seriously, I do. Some of you more than others, and...OK, this isn't the forum for that. nm)

This is the part that so many people are going to have trouble with, thinking that "branding" requires constant, in-your-face advertising: We're going to let the GOP kill themselves with their own ads. There's going to be a giant sucking sound of silence from our side. Until we're ready. Then we're going to play our game, not their game.

We'll start the general election run up on 1 August for the November elections. Just 3 months and a smidge more. Prior to that, yes, we'll have to do a primary. But then we're going to sit on our hands except for some occasional ads, "occasional" being our mantra. 

This is how our ads will be formatted:

First, we'll hire some smart, but smartass, actress or actor - I'm thinking someone like Justin Long, here - who's cool and confident without being smarmy about it. She and/or he will need to be a Millennial, but a well-respected one. They'll be on a big stage (only one spokesperson per ad - we want these ads to be minimalist) with an enormous screen behind him playing the competition's campaign ad. He'll casually ask if you've heard the latest thing the Right's Brightest Light Du Jour has said, then turn to the screen where the sound from the video already playing will come up with the candidate in question saying whatever asshat batshitcrazy thing they're noted for saying. Then, he'll turn back to the camera and say something like, "And they want me to vote for her?", then shake his head and walk off while the camera zooms slowly in to the opponent's rabid expression frozen on the big screen. 

Besides a regular spokesman like the aforementioned, have a rotating series of TED-quality spokespeople - well-known, actual-experts in their fields - challenge opposition candidates' spoken or written words, as well as to elucidate our own points. They could challenge one sentence or at most one paragraph per ad, with more commentary available on YouTube and the campaign's website. Let actual climate scientists challenge the climate deniers positions. Let gay veterans and gay celebrities challenge anti-LGBT or anti-marriage equality candidates and positions. Let actual economists challenge economic bullshit. Professor Robert Reich could be a superstar in that area.

Experts could make short points, dozens or even hundreds of them. Impress young voters with the depth and breadth of Progressive knowledge rather than beat them over the head with the same blunt instrument over and over. Use a white board with certain points; again, Professor Reich is the master of this. Bill Nye is another one who is highly respected, easy to follow, and highly telegenic. 

Each 15- or 30-second expert ad can be followed up by a slightly longer version - but don't rehash the same material boringly - in an online video posted to YouTube and our own websites, with links to peer-reviewed scientific articles, and generally-agreed assessments of things like economics. 

The ads should be short when it can be done effectively. Run lots of them, each intelligently and rationally challenging the opposition's positions and candidates, or bringing new Left ideas to their minds. Use humor. Let me say that again: U-S-E  H-U-M-O-R-!  Climate denier bullshit? Let a bunch of young climate scientists make a rebuttal, then drop their pants and moon the competition (we'll blur their heinies :)  ).  Be brainy, the brainier the better. Use smiles, not frowns. Never yell. Be normal. 

Try to not repeat them often. This is another reason to make lots of them. When someone sees on TV one they really love, make them go look for it. When they do, they're no longer on TV - unless it's a Smart TV - they're on the internet where they're likely to share the information and video they found. 

"Luke, use the...viral videos!" I'm pretty sure Obi Wan would've said that...

They should NEVER be attack ads. They should NEVER sink to the level that the GOP will sink to, even if we think we're losing. They MUST appear sane, level-headed, fair, and they must be memorable in the slew of hot shit that flies during an election. 

And this process - which will work - needs to be repeated throughout the Left's campaigns. We need to show solidarity, something the Right excels at. Also, each ad must end with an appeal to action. ("Will you stop pretending everything's fine and join us so that we can fix this?" or something better said)

We're going after young voters. Hell, we're going after 10-year-olds because one day soon, just 2 Presidential election cycles away, they will vote. We're not going after old voters. Those folks are already decided, for the most part, and probably tune out political ads...the moment they keep them from enjoying 'Matlock' and 'Golden Girls' reruns. ;)  (Fair disclosure: I'm 56, 3 days older than dirt!)

We've got to stop letting the same people throw the same wrenches into the processes. We've got to evolve, and that will never happen if we keep reverting to 'business as usual' by letting the Nelly Handwringers in the bunch run around screaming "The internet gave me herpes!", then go negative and fuck it all up. 

As for campaign money, think about it this way: Why spend your hard-begged lucre funds buying ad time when, if your ads are sufficiently brainy and viral, people will go find the ads, not the other way around. Use the hottest young Progressives and Liberals to make the points and make kids - young voters and young future voters - want to see them. Make them a game: "To see if your thoughts match ours, go to our website and follow the breadcrumbs!", then leave a trail of clues that will take them to other websites that illuminate our talking points. Educate them, it's what they want, anyway. Millennials grew up with technology like no one before them, and we need to use that to hold their attention. We also need to stop pretending that we have them figured out...and then use 1970s tactics to prove that we don't. Or even 1990s tactics, for that matter. 

It's a paradigm shift and disruptive technique. Disruption of the cycle of "Oh shit, we just handed another midterm election to the Grand Oligarch's Party" is what we need, going forward.

We need to start playing the long game and stop this series of losses to a party and political philosophy that I've heard declared dead at least a dozen times in my lifetime alone. They win because they found a method and they've stuck to it. 

But the difference between our method and theirs is that ours will play well to youth and intelligence, whereas theirs plays down to people they think are beneath them and whom they believe to be too stupid to see through the bullshit.  

In 'Two Gentlemen of Verona', William Shakespeare beautifully said, "Come. Go with us. We'll guide thee to our house and show thee the rich treasures we have got, which, with ourselves, are all at thy dispose". In our day, humanity is our "rich treasures", and our house is the Earth. Some of us believe that the best way to grow our treasures is to share them with others, but other people think that it's better to hoard them and set themselves apart.

Let's show Millennials that we believe democracy to be a mathematical process involving addition and multiplication. They'll figure out, with a little nudge from a new campaign philosophy, that the Republicans believe it to be a process of subtraction and division. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Who's responsible for the US's massive debt? You and I!

Why does the President always get blamed for the economy, but Republicans in Congress get a pass?

To take one statistic that President Obama is often cited for by his critics, long-term unemployment. Those numbers have risen because of things like Baby Boomers leaving the workforce to retire, among other positive signs. The influence of retiring Boomers on the economy and statistics like jobs numbers will continue as the wave of Boomers grows, and peaks. Whoever is President in that period should see that number rise, and that's a positive sign that the economy is strong enough that they feel confident enough to retire rather than stay working. 

So when his critics - say everyone at Fock Snooze or the rest of the Conservative talking heads - cite these numbers, they should - but they don't - discuss why the numbers have changed. It's disingenuous to suggest they're something they're not.

As for the rising debt, what other course would  he have taken? It's entirely incorrect to use the family budget comparison that people like Paul Ryan employ - families can't print new money as needed nor are family budgets comprised of billions of line items; the complexity difference should suggest that anyone using the comparison really does not understand the complexity of the Federal economy - but that's often cited by budget conservatives as reason to cut the budget. 

Neither a family nor a nation can cut its way out of debt. The only hope is to raise income. For the family, that means a new revenue stream - someone else working or someone bringing in more money. But for a government, that means helping citizens make more money so tax revenues will rise proportionately, which in turn are used to pay down the debt.

But, just like FDR used debt to rebuild our economy following the Great Depression, had we not incurred new debt, our economy would have flatlined because in order to make money available to lenders - banks - to lend to businesses to finance new ventures or expansions in order to grow the economy, the US had to borrow it from abroad. At that point, new money can be made available - printed or made electronically utile - for workers who then spend it and it recycles throughout the economy, including a portion of which goes to pay down the debt.

This is also one of the reasons that being tied to a gold standard is like having an albatross around one's neck. If you only have a specific amount in the treasury, you can only print notes or make electronic funds available in that amount. A gold standard note - or even a treasury note for that matter - is a check. A gold standard bill is owned by the government, whereas a treasury note is owned by the central bank. So the more money you must print as both your population and economy grow, the less each note is worth because just like your own checking account, if you have checks and have to split the money in your account evenly between them - just as each $1 note is worth the same as every other - then the notes - or checks - become worth less the more you have to write or print. Simple math. But being able to borrow new money - incur debt - allows the government to add money to the treasury as needed to insure that everyone has money available to them. Yes, wealth still accumulates, but with a gold standard, we would have long ago run into the situation wherein the wealthy would own everything and the poor would own nothing because, eventually, the wealthy would have ended up with ALL of the limited gold-backed notes. The problem of continuing down that road is self-evident. It's not even up for discussion, and that's why even fiscal conservatives only mention it - the few who actually understand it, that is - when the rabble get fired up about it by some radio dittomonger. 

No President creates jobs. None. He doesn't own the companies that actually create them. All he can do is to make enough money available that banks feel comfortable enough to lower interest rates - following the Fed's lead - and making massive amounts of money available to investors so that they feel comfortable enough to borrow. 

That money has been available for several years now. But what has happened is that multinationals have used the opportunity to move either their headquarters or their operations offshore to increase their bottom lines while putting Americans out of work, and they're doing it on American taxpayers' dimes. Or trillion-dollar notes, as the case actually is. The President can't stop that. Congress must. And both John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have refused to allow legislation to pass that will prevent American taxpayers' money from being used abroad. 

Add to that that Conservative media like Fock Snooze and others have used the opportunity to fearmonger rather than unite the republic. 

The debt has grown because people think that jobs aren't coming back. They are. 

The debt has grown because people think that the government - meaning the President because they give the real problem, Republicans in Congress, a pass - isn't doing enough, so it has to continue to borrow money to make more and more of it available - which it is in unprecedented measure - in order to create new jobs. The jobs are there. What's not there is an honest media which will put partisanship aside and tell the truth.

The debt has grown because American corporations have used American taxpayers' money to fund their overseas expansions and tax evasion.

The debt has grown because Americans have been duped into thinking that the economy is too complex for them to understand unless the false equivalence of a family budget is used, and they can't make sense of it because you can't explain a complex system of that order using an example that doesn't fit.

The debt has grown because Americans have been lied to for so long, so deeply, and so broadly that they think that the guilty parties are innocent, and the innocent parties are guilty. 

The debt has grown because Americans demand cheap goods from abroad. We want to shop at Walmart and Kmart and Target and dollar stores, and we want cheap goods, and the only way to secure those things is if you have enough money in your account to make your currency worth more than that of the person from whom you're buying things.

The debt has grown because we demand that it grow.

Who's responsible for the debt growing? You and I.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sorry To Have To Tell You, But If You Can't Afford Kids, You Probably Shouldn't Have So Many

Someone said that if rats are placed in cramped quarters with limited resources, they'll start having babies, and that humans do the same thing. I generally agree, but I would point out that one major difference between humans and rats is that rats don't know how babies get made.

The problem began with cramming the poor into tiny spaces, but personal responsibility comes into play at some juncture. In a generation or two, you can no longer say that the poor don't grasp that if they are confined to their tiny existences, but they have more and more kids, their already meager resources will be spread thinner and thinner. 

I do believe that it's the responsibility of the rich to help the poor, but the poor can't completely exculpate themselves from making their situations worse by continuing to point the finger at others and say, "They did it!" In fact, this is what most of us are saying right now about the other side and how they treat the President. 

If I grow up in a one-parent household with three kids on a no-kid income and see the results of having to do that, it doesn't make me seem very responsible - or bright - to do the same thing myself.

I grew up poor. I've spent my entire life working for every single thing that I have. And I've made my own mistakes along the way, but repeating those that I watched my family make wasn't among them, for the most part, because I can learn from others' mistakes, too.

Just because you want 3 kids doesn't mean that you should have 3 kids if you can't afford to pay for them. I see this in my own community; some redneck living in a trailer whose walls you can see daylight through, with an $8000 four-wheeler in the front yard, beer cans everywhere, $12,000 worth of guns (this is not a joke; I know this family!) a beer can permanently - it seems - attached to their hands any time they're not at work - and that includes the ones 13 and older - and 6 kids, 5 of whom you and I support.

We live on an already-overcrowded planet whose resources we're using up at an unsustainable rate. You can bet the farm that the UHNWIs have already planned for natural (or unnatural, since we're causing it) population decline in the age of global warming, something which they publicly deny because they're invested in it, but which root-cause investments they're quietly but quickly divesting themselves of in order to grab a slice of the growing green economy. They're also planning for it, buying homes and properties in cooler, wetter climates at higher latitudes and altitudes (I beat them to it!), laughing all the way to the bank at people whose Fock Snooze-deluded priorities are keeping them behind in the stagnating fossil fuel/global warming-denial economies. 

They want the poor to turn on themselves and eat their own. The sooner, the better...for the wealthy. The sooner the poor are out of the picture, the sooner they won't be using resources that will then be available not just for a century, but because of the lowered demand, maybe for another millennium, giving the much, much smaller - and far wealthier - surviving population the chance to adapt to the new normal, a paradigm wherein automation and machine autonomy coupled with artificial intelligence will make labor obsolete. 

All that will happen on the backs of the poor. The more kids the poor have, the poorer they will remain, the more malleable they will be. They'll require money they have to borrow from the wealthy to buy food produced, transported, and sold by the wealthy. They'll need fuel for transportation and heating that they'll have to purchase from the wealthy. And they'll be killing each other to get it because there will be X number of people but only 1/2X resources to go around.

So, at some point, personal responsibility has to come home to roost with the poor, and they have to quit pointing the finger of blame at everyone else for the continuation of their poverty. It only takes one generation to fix it. Just one. Some guys will just have to face the fact that their family's line ends with them; that's the new normal. They're going to have to learn to adopt the same notion that Europeans and many Asians have had to adopt long ago, as well as many Americans: It takes a village to raise a child. And that means, 'even if it's not mine.'

I know what it's like to be poor. I also know what it's like to pull myself out of poverty using my own personal resources - determination, perspiration, and inspiration - because I had no others to fall back on. Poverty isn't a condition of race; it's a condition of the lack of money and opportunity, and poor Latinos, Asians, Whites, Blacks, and Native Americans all suffer it equally; it affects communities only as it affects individuals in a collective manner.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Luckier Than Most: 67 People Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 3.5 BILLION Earthlings

"The 67 People As Wealthy As The World's Poorest 3.5 Billion" - link to Forbes article

67 people own more wealth than half the planet's population. 

Imagine what the average quality of life would be if that wealth were more equally distributed.

No one needs even ONE billion dollars. But if our system had a cap so that a person had to divest his wealth after hitting that, or even better, restructure the cost of his goods or services and increase the rate he paid his workers, then equality would be more even.

There will come a day when humans are no longer required to work. When that day comes, and it's approaching far faster than most people think - it won't happen in my lifetime, but it might in some of yours - then humans will by necessity have to be taken care of. 

To achieve that goal, there are two probable routes. One is to allow the status quo to remain, and see the rise of an Elysium type world where the UHNWIs ( link to Wikipedia UHNWI article ) own everything and the poor get the scraps of what's left over, having to fight for it in a Hunger Games world, or worse. 

But the other route is more Star Trekesque: A world where people are freed from the drudgery of a 9-5 or even worse, a hot, hazardous job of rote work monotony that takes its toll on the collective human psyche, erasing creativity and dulling the senses. 

Imagine a world where people are free to pursue intellectual goals that benefit humankind. There will always be those who scoff, but just a hundred years ago, the assembly line wasn't created, computer technology didn't exist, and women didn't have the right to vote (and still don't in some places). 

Reality will probably play out somewhere between the two, but what might drive us as a race will be the climate change that we ourselves have set into motion. We may need every human who can to work on solving the problem while our automation builds, farms, and does the menial work now done by...well, in the US...immigrants. 

I'd rather see a world closer to Star Trek than Elysium. But the 67 billionaires I cited earlier will fight that tooth and nail, as will other UHNWIs.

I count myself luckier than most, but I'll still fight for better. For everyone.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 Yet another gay site that excludes many rural gays

Yet another gay site that elides the fact that 18% of the population of the US resides in rural areas. Go through their city list for Georgia and you'll find NOTHING in rural northeast Georgia.

Having lived in large cities - Atlanta, NYC, Munich, Seoul, Houston, Portland - much of my life, I know that they're magnets for gays from the most remote of areas who often want to connect with the people they love back home: Their friends who also use the same site. But, sites like Moovz don't seem to wish to have those people participate, or if they do, they have to choose a random city an hour or more away, and often have to choose between random cities, none of which make any sort of geographic sense because of the distance, and therefore get lost to their friends and acquaintances who give up looking for them online.

I'm sure the folks behind these sites would say that they reach some high percentage of the population, but think about this for a moment: The ones left out in the cold because of this behavior are the ones ALWAYS left out in the cold. They're the same people, over and over, who basically get a hand held up indicating to them that they don't matter on these sites.

I've heard from some that I've written to about it - one being one of the Top 3 gay know, the one with the orange themed background - whose responses are so hilariously off-topic that even a cursory glance shows that they didn't bother to read your request. Or, like that same orange-themed site, will have some bizarro geographics (check out Georgia's geographic breakout on it when you need a good laugh - overlapping areas using terms created by a state tourism department which NO ONE actually uses. One city will be in one named area, and the next over will be in a different one, but then the one past that city will be in the same area as the first city..?!?!)

Occasionally you'll get a response from other users like, "Well move then!", but they completely fail to grasp that your career is often tied to the area you live in. There aren't many farms in the middle of cities. There are no mines in the middle of cities in the US that I know of. Timber isn't cut for lumber or fiber in many cities. So, the very people who bring you your food, your mined minerals (to create things like the gadgets this very technology operate on), and the building materials that built the buildings you reside in are wholly forgotten. Again. And again. And again. Ad nauseum.

OK, if you launch with a non-inclusive list, that's fixable. That orange-themed site added a few towns...after years of requesting them, although they have one town in Georgia - Fitzgerald - listed as being in the Atlanta metro area when in reality it's 175 miles away, so they're listening, just not very well. And they're clearly too distracted to simply google it.

On almost any gay site, there is a gulf of philosophical difference between rural and urban gays, and without a doubt, the majority of that can be laid right in the laps of our urban-residing brethren. It would be nice to have a fabric of unity that stretches from coast to coast, but you can't achieve that if you have giant holes of exclusion in the very areas where the products that sustain you come from. True, there is animosity going both directions, but I remember a time when rural gays looked for support from their urban peers, and got nothing, despite the fact that rural gays showed up at Prides all across the republic - and yes, I'm aware that Prides are usually civic ventures. But the support comes from the community, as far out as it reaches. Now though, with our online lives becoming increasingly important to us, the support that rural gays showed is not only not reciprocated, it's shunned by virtue of exclusion from participating in any community-oriented - and I mean the rural communities in which we live - sort of way. If I don't have the tool to round up a group of my local gays readily available, then it will be difficult to get them together at all.

The old used to do a stellar job of giving everyone - urban, suburban, exurban, or rural - a chance, a place, and a tool that might act as...pardon the Tolkienism..."One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them".

Every time I hear of a new gay site launch, I hope it will give us that chance. It seems like Moovz isn't that site, but I won't rule it out. Yet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Israel Fabricated A Conversation Between Obama and Netanyahu, and Had The Temerity To Post It As Fact

In response to Israel posting a fabricated transcript of what they claimed that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about, today:

Nice going, +Israel. It's not enough that we send you over $15M per day, but you also spy on us and now you just make up shit out of thin air?

You'd better be goddamned glad that you've already got so many on your side, because if I was President, I'd park a few guided missile ships off your coast and obliterate your military facilities. Yeah, you have Iron Dome, but we could shoot until you run out of rounds, then keep shooting until it literally would be David vs Goliath because the only damned weapon you'd have left would be a slingshot!

I know that Hebrew is your official language, but you might google the English word 'ingrate'.


If The Garbageman Has To Pass A Test, Why Don't Politicians?

I have an idea for what will likely be an unpopular proposal, but I believe it's time that we have a minimum intelligence or experience level to hold government office.

I propose tests that every person desiring to hold elected office must pass. Not one warped by a state like Texas or Mississippi or Idaho (Fuck Idaho!) ;), but one wherein a body of learned academics have put their minds together to figure out what a person in a particular office - from dogcatcher to President - should logically be expected to know before they can even get their name on the ballot. 

I suggest things like - the first here will be the unpopular part - economics, the US Constitution, math, science, US and world history, geography, current events, and any other area deemed important for any person holding office to know. 

No more mythology-based illogic. No more Paul Ryan whackadoodle, trickle-down economics. No more 'a woman's body has a way of shutting those things down'. 

A little learning goes a long way, as does the intelligence with which to yield it. We need to stop venerating average (George W Bush), stupid (John Boehner, 'Jersey Shore', Rick Scott), and plain evil (Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Fox News), and start advocating for people, ideas, and programs that raise the bar. That doesn't mean that we should make the average person a second-class citizen; it just means that by electing those who're smarter than the rest of us, the rest of us might want to pull a little harder.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Tip of the Shitberg

The Israelis are certainly part of the problem, but they're the tip of the shitberg. The larger, unseen bulk of the turd is the great assembly of brainwashed, propagandized deluded ones - like I and others were in the past because of our collective guilt over the historical plight of the Jews - who serve as Israel's apologists.

Israel has already done the heavy lifting to get others to do their work for them. Now, they use dog whistles to fire up the apologists into a sound-deadening wall of deaf ears who can't step back away from the trees long enough to see that there's a forest.

"I agree with you, killing children is a horrible thing, but when ________ fires rockets into our population, what are we to do?"

Sound familiar? It's one of their propagandist talking points. And they can fill in the blank with whatever group it is that opposes them.

There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides, but tracing the problem's origins back should provide clarity on who's doing what to whom...but for those who refuse to admit it, even the truth won't change their minds.

This tiny knot of religious ignorance is going to bring the world to World War III, and may be the only thing the Book of Lies might ever got right.

I'm bAAaaack!

Yep, I'll be posting again on here because I feel the need to get some thoughts on electrons.

I'm coming in right in the middle of the Ukrainian crisis, after Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, and during the current crisis in Gaza following hundreds of Gazan deaths at the hands of the Israelis.

But, here it is, for what it is. If you're in my G+ circles, I apologize if you get notifications on there for things I post in both places.