“Political Science” vs Politics (And Castles In The Air)

'He's a political science major. He looks up to everything loaded with hot air.'

‘He’s a political science major. He looks up to everything loaded with hot air.’

In college Poli Sci, we learned that a principle called “subsidiarity” required political authority to be placed as closely as possible to the affected folk. You wanted local police policy for instance, to be formed locally where the policymakers knew and understood the people and circumstances. Sensible enough, seems to us.

Today, we see the “Common Core” education policy aimed at imposing a centrally made education upon everyone, everywhere. We see the federal Department of Justice using events in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD to impose Federal ‘standards’ upon local police departments. As though bureaucrats in Washington were somehow better able to deal with local behavior than the local police. Sure …

The enduring problem is that while “subsidiarity” is good political science and sensible besides, it’s poor politics. And while those actually in charge remain politicians rather than political science professors, that’s how it will remain.

Citizens and Poli-Sci profs want cops who reflect the local zeitgeist; keeping the citizens happy. Politicians on the other hand, want cops who do as they politicians desire; rather another set of goals entirely. As it is politicians who are in charge, guess which set of principles wins out?

So it is not honest and ethical cops we get; it is cops who ultimately do what they are told. Six Baltimore cops charged with everything that an apparently ambitious DA could scrape out of the Book are the latest example.

Running local police departments from Washington may not do much for peace and tranquility in local areas but it comforts the Feds that there is no independent police agency out there to disagree with them in the clinch.

Just as it comforts them to know that all the local schools are brainwashing the kids as desired; none are teaching subversive Founding Father Constitutionalism, for instance.

Up to 1913, the House of Representatives was owned by the two primary political parties. The Senate was, as designed by the Founders, owned by the several States, who chose senators via vote of the state legislators or some such. People owned the House; States owned the Senate. But in our wisdom, we took the Senate from the States and handed it to the people, i.e. the political parties. So now, both House and Senate belong to the most generous donors. (Reality does suck.) Be careful what you wish for … And study politics, which is reality and not political science, which is castles in the air. And best skip ethics entirely.

Posted in Government, Politics, Reality | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The New Internet War Under Way (A Program To Identify The Players)

CensorshipThere’s a war in progress for domination of the Internet; it’s world wide.

Many realize that China’s internet is heavily censored; much foreign information is blocked and Chinese users are monitored. Some are aware that Russia has restored Soviet (and Czarist) control of the media. Some have noticed that the U.S. “mainstream media” carry the government’s water, even the official opposition at Fox News to a degree.

News reports have informed us that ICANN, the custodian of Internet names and addresses, is leaving U.S. Government supervision as that annoyed other countries.  Reported too have been the assertions of regulatory authority  over the Internet by the FCC, the FEC  and the FTC.

Meanwhile, the fight over setting fair international standards (i.e. control) has Russia and China lined up to demand that each government should determine its own internet rules while the U.S. and its allies want an “open” Internet for the world. (It says here …) Yeah.

Commercial interests want as large an unrestricted marketing area as they can manage, not different rules for different countries. They’re big political donors. Not so much goes to Russia and China, however. They’ll likely get what they want so far as advertising and sales go, we suppose. But it all seems a stage show to us.

Every significant government will, we assume, take control of the Internet inside its borders to some degree. Too much money and power are involved for any politician to overlook. The ultimate pattern seems aimed to resemble the radio and TV networks of the past with broad international standards and variable local government control of content. It will not be censorship; it will be regulation in the U.S. Right.

We see the bones of it now, when Facebook or Twitter shut downs some “offensive” site or posting. It will save us from people organizing to bomb places and of course, it will save us from other presently unstated things, too.

Most folks likely won’t notice, so long as they remain happy or at least unoffended by the political status quo.

But the presently World Wide Web will be so only technically from this point forward, for our own good, naturally.

That’s the big picture;  China is the joker just now. A top level Chinese Army General said publicly that China regards the Internet as a present battlefield in an ongoing war with the U.S. et al. Chinese investment in hacking and attacks traced to that, bear him out. From this, it seems to us that we should regard the Internet from here on as a two-edged sword; a source of both benefits and dangers. And we suppose that governments will be increasingly ‘protecting’ us from the dangers, using their own definition for what is dangerous.

the FCC, The FEC and the FCC. a

untries pick sides in global fight for the Internet. China: Internet means war. (PLA idealogical struggle)

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

Alfred_E__NeumannSaturday’s collection of gold and fool’s gold for your sorting:

Saudi Arabia, now that the Prez is making nice with Iran, will go nuclear. (Followed by …)

U.S. Marines have been practicing subduing citizens inside an internment camp. (Why, when we’re recovering?)

The ABC “Credibility Crisis” over George Stephanopolous’ donations to the Clinton Foundation has faded already.  Media folk are plentiful among Clinton Foundation donors. (The hypocrisy isn’t George’s donation; its ABC’s calling its product “journalism.”)

ICANN, theInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is going private, leaving U.S. government supervision. (We guess that the FEC, FTC and FCC moving in will compensate.)

The Border Patrol is operating highway checkpoints inside the U.S, like the D.E.A. does. (We guess that since they don’t seem to stop wetbacks anymore, they want to stop somebody.)

The Obama trade deal (TPP)  being sneaked through the Senate by the Prez and the GOP is kept so secret that Senators can’t have a copy. They can look at it only under supervision, taking no notes. Some big corporations have copies, though. (What’s that about a pig in a poke?) The Democrats tried to break the secrecy; were blocked by Republicans. (How do we tell who are the villains anymore?)

The Vatican will sign ‘treaty’ with the ‘State of Palestine.” (The War on Israel proceeds)

Harvard was accused of anti-Asian admissions bias by group. (News media and Al Sharpton were busy and haven’t noticed …)

The Immigration Court case backlog: 445,000. (With 223 judges) Anyone want to guess the outcone?

China: Nothing the government does to encourage the economy is working. (Like Russia, it is becoming aggressive with its neighbors, especially in the South China Sea.) P.S. Nothing the U.S. government does works either …

Turkey: President Erdogan asked voters to elect his party because he intends to reclaim Jerusalem. (At this point, if the Jews were smart, they’d sell the place and buy France …)

A Drone spied on a woman having breakfast in her condo. (Get used to it, we guess.)

HSBC will charge for holding deposits. (Money is so cheap we have to pay folks to take it …)

Bank of America has warned investors: The economy is in the “Twilight Zone”, hold cash and gold. (Consider that they’re ruling out B of A stock, if you aren’t frightened enough already.)

In Venezuela in January, there were 175 Bolivars/Dollar; now there are 414/Dollar. (Still another monument to the wonders of socialism …)

The Fed’s policies could produce disaster, per The Economist. (NOW they tell us!)

Iran flatly rejected access to military sites and scientists. (Trust Me!)

The Dept of Justice will send millions of dollars and ‘community organizers’ into racially challenged, crime-filled cities. (Great! It worked so well in Ferguson and Baltimore!)

32 States face financial crises. (Buying votes gets expensive, even using the voter’s money.)

Russia is violating its nuclear weapons pact with the U.S. (We guess that’s a secret, too …)

A Naked man threatened Long Island Costco customers. (A poor Wal-Mart employee who couldn’t afford clothing?)

A half-naked woman displayed rage after arrest. (Seems to us, she displayed more than that … )

So, a week’s worth (or worthless), now all yours …

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Is Unplanned Obsolescence Sneaking Up On Us?

US Navy CarrierUS Navy CarrierA Model T Ford is obsolete; so too a P-51 Mustang fighter plane, the Bell Telephone System, and if you are retired, you, too. Ultimately the earth will be obsolete if geologists and cosmologists are correct. Even at some point, perhaps our universe. When one considers it, obsolescence seems pretty pervasive.

In our usual think tank the other night (the shower, while waiting for the soap to rinse off) we considered some specific obsolescences:

1.  U.S. Navy Cariers/ships. To project power around the world, the Navy has relied upon some dozen or so floating airfields and their attendant escorts at enormous cost. That has worked pretty well; America has benefitted (more or less) from sole superpower status since Communism failed. Note though, that a chunk of the cost of this is still buried somewhere in the National Debt. Note even more, that missiles now enjoyed by even insignificant countries, can sink these presently floating anachronisms on short notice at low cost. The entire U.S. carrier fleet is now obsolete when it comes to fighting a real war. How do you rely on floating airfields when enemies have not only missiles, but satellite watchers? (No, ISIS and such are not a real war.) As so often: The future has arrived unannounced, before it was expected. Damn! A large chunk of the U.S. Navy is obsolete!

2.  Then there are all those schools and colleges presently preparing students so poorly that hundreds of thousands of foreign “guest workers” are being imported because our government says there are no Americans capable of doing the work? What use are local schools when the best teachers can be made available on the Internet at enormously lower cost? They are only an overwhelming waste of resources, is what. Add in the abysmal quality of most local education now and the whole thing is patently ridiculous. It’s waiting for an old fashioned taxi when an Uber  driver is available from your cell phone at lower cost. Old style taxis are obsolete as schools in expensive buildings.

3. If those aren’t enough for thought: What are today’s foreshortened U.S. workforce members to do for a living after the machines take over? The workforce is obsolete, too. China announced its first all robot factory; another is opening in Louisville. A place with 100 3D printers and three employees; one for each of three shifts.  Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has said that income redistribution will be needed to support the unemployed masses after the machines take over. Given that government is trying to support present beneficiaries with deficit spending, exactly whose incomes will provide these funds seems a good question.

Perhaps our entire socio-economic model is obsolete. We have more than a sneaking feeling that our government is very obsolete. Hell, maybe our species is obsolete?

We have no idea. But we’re fairly confident that the current “we’re entitled” model is obsolete and that a lot of unsuspecting folk are shortly to be hornswoggled thereby. We expect the U.S. to resemble a disturbed anthill in response. Given the National Defense Appropriation Act 2012 and the currently politicized Patriot Act renewal, so does our government.

A lot of this seems to reflect political promises to voters that work is somehow obsolete. Yeah … Well, we’ll see how it works out as we proceed, right?

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GMO “Frankenfoods,” U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Greenie Luddites and GKW (God Knows What)

GMOWe read that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has come up with its first labeling requirements for GMO foods.  Why, we wondered? About all we have eaten since our birth has been genetically modified; what’s the shtick?

We called up the search box and came up with: “10 Reasons to Avoid GMO Foods.”  To us, the ‘reasons’ seemed more political propaganda than scientific fact; you may draw your own conclusion by following the link. We suspect that the term: “Political” sheds light; and that the new labels proceed from the Obamafolk, the most politicized Presidential Administration in aeons, sheds more.

What we have concluded may or may not seem right to you; fine. Eat what you like. Our kids at school though, can’t do that now; they must eat what Michelle Obama likes, if we understand things. But you’re still o.k.

It appears that GMO foods are dangerous and unpleasant … so long as we take somebody’s word for that; real investigation and statistics seem scarce. Once past that, another point arises: We have been eating GMO for millennia. Our cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, corn, wheat and rice are all heavily genetically modified by man and have been for a long time. But none are complaining.

Turns out, new lab science lets us do in a short time in a lab what has before taken ages in the fields. It seems that the objection isn’t what we do; it’s how we’re doing it. The objection then, is to progress.

Where are the statistics reporting illness and death from GMO? Ain’t nopne that we can find. Those reporting poor nutrition?  Same deal. These objectors to “Frankenfoods” are starting to resemble modern day Luddites. You are welcome to disagree.

We sympathize when folk complain of commercialized strawberries retaining only a hint of flavor. We cheer complaints of de-beaked chickens squeezed into tiny cages and stuffed with tasteless powder to add useless fat that can be charged by weight at sale and that seem nearly inedible.

But GMO? Sure, some of it lacks flavor, much of it tastes the same or better than the original. So, what’s the deal? We suppose it’s somehow political; the squawks are coming from the same Lefties selling global warming with fudged data. We suppose GMO lowers producers’ costs. Therefore, it also lowers eaters’ costs. We guess that offends some. But it has been the road to progress since agriculture replaced hunting and gathering. We ought to be used to it by now …

Our theory is: If you don’t like your dinner; don’t eat it. The anti-GMO folks seem to hold: “If I don’t like my dinner, you can’t eat.” Why not let us decide for ourselves?

Sometime for fun, compare (you can use Google) “Teosinte” with modern corn from the market. Such corn started with Teosinte, near as anyone can figure. Millennia of careful breeding (GMO!) produced the difference. Frankenfood! Don’t eat corn! (Well, Europeans don’t much..)

The whole thing strikes us as a silly political game of some kind. There’s likely money involved somewhere along the line. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has signed on with its new labeling requirements. With that, were SURE that there’s money involved!.

Posted in Agriculture, GMO Foods, Government | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Voting Yourself Rich In The City Of The Angels …

The Red Queen Advises Alice

The Red Queen Advises Alice

The New York Times story head:”LA Lifts Minimum Wage To $15 hr” is untrue. Alas, the Times and print journalism generally, is not what it was. It is true that the Los Angeles City Council voted to do that in a preliminary, non-binding action that changes nothing … but spooks many. It is an indication of intention to follow Seattle, San Francisco and perhaps other Lefty-governed places in an Quixotic battle against economics in order to curry political favors.

Print journalism, once the conscience of   professionalism for the fifth estate, is degenerate, become a capialistic propagandist. We know that. It was the inevitable economic fallout from the Internet. From the post-Christian evolution of Western capitalism, too.

On the economic stage, the erstwhile leading U.S. has aged out of its role, new younger and sexier challengers have edged it out. U.S. labor cost too much; the work went to cheaper places, followed by the (U.S.) capital; America has been competing against itself, by financing plants elsewhere. Ironic, very human. And it leaves the U.S. in decline.

The Federal government works to lower the U.S. incomes to world standards so that America con compete again, at the cost of impoverishing its workers, at least by prior standards. Of course, it cannot say that; workers vote. So it imports cheaper workers as fast as it can.

But the declining incomes annoy the voters; they demand action from the very government that, unnoticed, is doing it to them. The less confident politicians respond with increased minimum wages; they are “doing something.”

Those politicians know that an increased minimum wage buys off their voters, as those publicly-educated worthies are unaware that the higher wages are paid from their own wages in the form of higher prices. Ignorance is political bliss.

Until two things occur: One, taxes rise to pay the higher wages to government workers. And two, prices rise to cover the increased labor costs. It is a classic Red Queen’s race; they must run like hell to stay in the same place.

But they, unknowing, vote the same helpful politicians back into office.

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The Great Global Warming Policy Foundation Data Investigation: Any Bets?

Global WarmingThe Global Warming Policy Foundation has  assigned a group of top scientists to investigate the data that underlie the global warming hypothesis. That this is done is proof positive that the much-decried “skeptics” or more recently, “deniers” have not gone away … nor been refuted.

Man-made warming has been adopted by leading politicians – even Pope Francis – and billions of dollars and great political power are involved. If that fails to rouse suspicions, you aren’t smart enough to read the rest of this.

First warning: The warming crowd claimed that their shtick was “settled science.” Anyone with any science in their education or even, in their light reading, knows that science is never “settled.” Challenges to current assumptions are the road to progress; nothing is ever certain in science. That’s the way it works. Hearing: “settled” is a red flag to any professional.

Then it turned out that the data upon which the planetary warming asserted rests, are proprietary, secret, not available to us. Carefully guarded by the apostles of warming, no less. Hmnn …

Then, some of those data fell into the hands of unbelievers, who found big holes in them; evidence that they had been: “adjusted.” Slavering skeptics leaped upon that, it was scandalous. That isn’t science. Behind the scenes, (we don’t want the public distracted, right?) the scientific froth bubbled so much that something more than calling skeptics bad names was required. In science, data are sacred. (Not always honest of course, but sacred.)

So the Global Warming Foundation anointed some unsuspecting Eminences Grise to evaluate the adequacy and honesty of the data and then tell us about it. The group in other works, is under a death sentence.

If, as everyone with any statistical or scientific pretensions well know, they find the data pristine and accurate, they will have irrevocably prostituted themselves and their anointing organization; a scientific suicide. If contrariwise, they advertise the fallacies inherent in this mess, they will be seeing multiple government, corporate and academic drones overhead, stuffed with weapons of mass career destruction. Somewhere, Hobson is laughing at the choice that lies before them.

We have no idea how they will ultimately try to survive their assignment. Nor does it matter: one way or the other, they are dead. If publicly opposing President Obama is a risk, imagine opposing all the world leaders plus Pope Francis? Sucking up to them clearly contrary to the laws of physics is little better. The laws of physics have been around longer than any current politicians, after all. Flip a coin: Heads, the politicians win; tails, the “investigators” lose. Yeah …

So what do we predict? Well, to start, a very thorough investigation. So thorough that with any luck, the investigators can make it last until their retirement. However, the day after the next stock market collapse, all bets are off. That will deal a new political hand, which trumps science. (You may ask Galileo about that.)

Meantime, our ignorant planet being limited to reality without understanding human politics, will continue to do what it intends. Just now, it appears to intend shifting Arctic cold further south while allowing southern warmth to infiltrate the Arctic. (Or not.) With or without any connection to this, the North Magnetic Pole appears to have undertaken a journey from northern Canada toward Russia, with amazingly little notice, though NASA has commented.  None of that of course, affects the accuracy of the disputed global warming data. But it’s fun to talk about.

With the remaining time between now and the next financial collapse defined as the timeline, does anyone care to place a bet upon the date the “Leading Scientists” of the Global Warming Policy Foundation will present their conclusions to the public? (We’re too chicken …)

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