GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannCurrent offering:

Germany hate speech censorship (Report) (Who decides?)

Corruption: California to borrow/spend $3.2B for another high speed train to nowhere (Article)

Turkey: Sweeping Kurds out of bordering Syria (Article) (Dead or alive irrelevant …)

The economy: A declining middle class is fertilizer for political unrest? (Article)

Cyberwarfare: Hacking the internet is now just another form of eternal warfare (Article)

The Internet: Government propaganda by paid trolls (Article)

Bolivia: Massive protests force socialist president to resign? (Report)

Education: What do you do with a B.A. in English? (Article)

Sudan/S.Sudan: Fighting over spoils from a fallen dictator (Article)

The economy: Young Los Angeles workers living in rented pods (Report) (Living standard decline)

Israel:  200+rocket attack from Gaza again (Report)

More Israel: Food from Israeli settlements requires special labels in E.U. (Report) (To support boycott)

Bolivia: Another angle on the recent expulsion of President Morales (Article)

Mexico: Pirates attacked an offshore oil well supply ship (Report)

Archeology: Ancient Minoans on Crete were more advanced than thought (Report)

Government: Federal court rules travelers/devices search only when probable cause (Article)

Venice: Worst flood in 50 years blamed on climate change (Report) (But city still sinking)

California’s war on Uber may wipe out its independent truckers? (Article)

U.S. Agriculture: Rain, floods and early snow hitting harvests (Article)

California: Wildfire reality dodged by politicians playing blame game? (Article)

The war on guns: Supreme Court allows shooting victims to sue gunmakers (Report) (Can traffic victims sue carmakers?)

The economy:  WHY and HOW most never seem to get  ahead (Article)

Fun and games in the gold market (Article)

Bolivia: Another take on the President’s fall (Article)

The war on Uber: New Jersey joins California shutting down the ride sharing model (Article)

The economy: Sub prime auto loans becoming a threat? (Article)

China: Hong Kong and beyond – update (Article)

The war on guns: The FIX NICS Act empowers government to decide who may possess a gun (Report)

China: Financial health insecure (Article)

Dept of Homeland Security collecting biometrics (Article)

 The internet: How Google fiddles search results (Article)

The Internet: How Google scams search for fun, profit and politics (Article)

Smart phones: More fake I.D.s and more surveillance (Article)

Science: Breakthrough clearing unwanted cells from blood (Report)

More science: Big step forward clarifies photosynthesis; crop gains expected (Report)

Still more science: Imaging breakthrough using ghost imaging (Report)

The war on the internet: You Tube expands power to deny accounts (Article)

Education: Ivy League schools dropping standardized graduate admissions exam  (Article)

The economy: Global debt will end the year at 330% of global GDP? (Article) (Globalist suicide pact?)

France: Ongoing Yellow Vest protests anniversary met by tear gas, water cannon (Report)

The economy: America’s workers struggle despite “strong” economy (Report)

U.S. robocalls now 2,000 per second? (Report)

Israel: More rocket fire from Gaza triggered more retaliation (Report)

Healthcare: Hospital prices must now be revealed (Report) (A breakthrough)

The Federal Reserve is devaluing the U.S. dollar – and lying about it? (Article)

U.S. politics: More states intend to assign all electoral votes to popular vote winner (Article)

Chicago: 2 dead, 16 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man was arrested after breaking into a chicken coop (Report)

Enoungh, already

 

EDITORIAL:         Hospital Prices Big Reveal?

 

The Trump Administration has ruled that hospitals must reveal their prices, heretofore mysterious and guarded. If that happens (no bets) we may discover how much their patients are paying for the emergency room services provided non-paying patients, costs that are routinely tacked onto the bills of paying patients. It may also bring various hospitals’ charges for the same services into line; historically, these have varied wildly. This is long overdue rationality for health care, an inordinately costly service. The degree of good that will result is likely proportional to the amount of anti-Trump vilification that results.

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GLOBALISM: ANOTHER SOCIALIST SCAM?

Socialism cannot endure because it forces inhuman behavior onto humans; globalism forces unnatural behavior onto nations. Socialists suppress individuality; globalists suppress nationality. Both are oppression and dissolve whenever the imposing force disappears. Except that the first is applied to people and the second to nations, they are pretty similar scams. Historically, they have appeared together; socialists have moved on non-socialist neighbors when they could and have had to be walled in to prevent their escape when the capitalists proved too strong. To endure, socialists must convert the world; it is no coincidence that The Internationale  is the socialist anthem. The currently popular term “democratic socialism’ is an oxymoron and so too will be democratic globalism; note the current European Union’s arising desire for its own army.

Globalism sells harmonious blending of everybody under a supranational government, the usual socialist utopia on a larger scale.  A primary requirement is removal of national borders,   a Globalist analog of the socialist abolition of private property. Those are equally willful, blind denials of human nature. In a real world, national borders may dissolve after everyone speaks a common language and lives in a common culture at a common economic level but even then it seems doubtful, given human competition. Further, it seems doubtful that such a degree of human uniformity can be accomplished even at gunpoint. Annoying as it must be for socialists and globalists, people aren’t ants and nations aren’t herds.

The Communists claimed that, after people were forced at gunpoint into good socialist behavior, their descendants would evolve into naturally socialist folk and the barbed wire and guns would vanish. In our real world, no sign of that appeared in sixty years as the Soviets fell apart of their internal contradictions. Their  gathering of Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, the Baltics, eastern Europe, most of Central Asia and others was never happy; it decomposed overnight in a parallel part of the process.  All the suffering and loss of the Soviet era were a wasted sacrifice to a myth. Post-Soviet globalism has not improved the idea. Scratch a globalist to reveal just another would-be emperor.

An all-powerful, supranational government  is too large, too remote and too bound with competing interests to recognize, let alone harmonize the myriad needs, behaviors and desires of inevitably disparate and distant populations. In our reality, government must as America’s Founders wrote, arise from the governed, not be forced onto them from above. That is not government, only the suppression of a conqueror. Conquerors have no citizens, only slaves. And once emplaced, such a state does not evolve into voluntary, happy slavery. At some point, the conqueror or his successor will die hanging from a lamppost and everything will fall apart, eventually to begin again for a new audience.

As used to be said in political science classes, “America has the worst possible form of government – except for all the others.” The Globalists would replace it with a blend of all the others, plus guns and barbed wire in the name of progress. Wisdom suggests asking what sort of destination depends upon guns and barbed wire … and how a global government can be installed and maintained without them. The Soviets should be informative. China, too. And we have the European Union to watch as, still without an army of its own, it deals with Brexit.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorredted)

alfred_e-_neumannThe collection:

Reality: Smugglers are sawing through sections of Trump’s new border wall (Repot) (And digging under it)

The war on Uber: California extends the war to additional occupations (Report)

Education: How school districts put politics before children (Article)

Daylight Saving Time: Does it make any sense? (Article)

Iraq is coming apart? (Report)

U.S. government Gross expansion displayed by six charts (Article)

Foreign aid makes corrupt countries more corrupt (Article) (Both giver and receiver of the aid)

Syria: Why U.S. troops have staked out Syr ian oil (Article)

The war on cash: The Pennsylvania Turnpike will go cashless (Report)

AirBnB: Users encountering scams (Report)

Corruption: The U.S. Navy can’t control the costs of its ships anymore (Article)

Immigration: Who is paying for the stream of Central American migrants? Article)

New York City: Petty criminals to be overlooked or rewarded? (Report)

The climate: The global warmers now demand population control (Report) (Channeling Thomas Malthus?)

Government: U.S. citizen I.D. card will be internal passport (Article) (Given existence of TSA, seems likely)

More government: Law enforcement to move in on people classified as threats? (Article) (Due process?)

Iraq: Government blocks internet amid protests (Article)

Russia: Targets dissenters’ bank accounts (Report)

British health service will deny care to sexists/racists? (Article)

The culture: Leftists no longer believe in democracy? (Article)

Healthcare: U.S. costs are exploding? (Article)

Government: Nearly 80,000 California government retirees’ pensions top $100,000 (Article)

Surveillance: “Smart City” concept looking for a home (to watch everyone) (Article)

The culture: Today’s version of the old fashioned speed trap (Article)

Surveillance: U.S. biometric data base links law enforcement, military, citizens and foreigners I(Report) (Orwell was a prophet)

The culture: The only solution to the damage: Legalize drugs (Article) (Unpleasant truth)

The death doesn’t stop when the soldiers depart: the land mine problem (Article)

China: Clandestine importation of technology: Large scale espionage (Article)

Lebanon: Chaotic unrest becoming banking crisis? (Article)

Federal Reserve: Back into full helicopter money mode (To buy the election for Trump and current Congressfolk?) (Article) (The politicians get the election; citizens get the bill)

The war on the internet: Germany’s “hate speech” censorship law (Article)

Healthcare: A U.S. research company will test a cure for HIV/Aids (Report)

The culture: Original Marlboro Man dies at 90 because he never actually smoked? (Report)

The world economy: China’s distorted economy strains the world? (Article)

Chicago: 4 dead, 11 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man covered in blood was arrested after assaulting a car (Report)

That ought to be enough …

 

EDITORIAL:         Impeachment in a Star Chamber

 

When a U.S. Congress misuses its authority to attack a U.S. president via secret proceedings using unidentified witnesses with hearsay testimony while denying cross examination or any other defense and widely publishing the crafted product, that is immoral and unconstitutional behavior deserving the strongest censure. Where are the principled Democrats and Republicans standing up to fulfill that responsibility?

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannThe collection:

Reality: Smugglers are sawing through sections of Trump’s new border wall (Repot) (And digging under it)

The war on Uber: California extends the war to additional occupations (Report)

Education: How school districts put politics before children (Article)

Daylight Saving Time: Does it make any sense? (Article)

Iraq is coming apart? (Report)

U.S. government Gross expansion displayed by six charts (Article)

Foreign aid makes corrupt countries more corrupt (Article) (Both giver and receiver of the aid)

Syria: Why U.S. troops have staked out Syr ian oil (Article)

The war on cash: The Pennsylvania Turnpike will go cashless (Report)

AirBnB: Users encountering scams (Report)

Corruption: The U.S. Navy can’t control the costs of its ships anymore (Article)

Immigration: Who is paying for the stream of Central American migrants? Article)

New York City: Petty criminals to be overlooked or rewarded? (Report)

The climate: The global warmers now demand population control (Report) (Channeling Thomas Malthus?)

Government: U.S. citizen I.D. card will be internal passport (Article) (Given existence of TSA, seems likely)

More government: Law enforcement to move in on people classified as threats? (Article) (Due process?)

Iraq: Government blocks internet amid protests (Article)

Russia: Targets dissenters’ bank accounts (Report)

British health service will deny care to sexists/racists? (Article)

The culture: Leftists no longer believe in democracy? (Article)

Healthcare: U.S. costs are exploding? (Article)

Government: Nearly 80,000 California government retirees’ pensions top $100,000 (Article)

Surveillance: “Smart City” concept looking for a home (to watch everyone) (Article)

The culture: Today’s version of the old fashioned speed trap (Article)

Surveillance: U.S. biometric data base links law enforcement, military, citizens and foreigners I(Report) (Orwell was a prophet)

The culture: The only solution to the damage: Legalize drugs (Article) (Unpleasant truth)

The death doesn’t stop when the soldiers depart: the land mine problem (Article)

China: Clandestine importation of technology: Large scale espionage (Article)

Lebanon: Chaotic unrest becoming banking crisis? (Article)

Federal Reserve: Back into full helicopter money mode (To buy the election for Trump and current Congressfolk?) (Article) (The politicians get the election; citizens get the bill)

The war on the internet: Germany’s “hate speech” censorship law (Article)

Healthcare: A U.S. research company will test a cure for HIV/Aids (Report)

The culture: Original Marlboro Man dies at 90 because he never actually smoked? (Report)

The world economy: China’s distorted economy strains the world? (Article)

Chicago: 4 dead, 11 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man covered in blood was arrested after assaulting a car (Report)

That ought to be enough …

 

EDITORIAL:         Impeachment in a Star Chamber

 

When a U.S. Congress misuses its authority to attack a U.S. president via secret proceedings using unidentified witnesses with hearsay testimony while denying cross examination or any other defense and widely publishing the crafted product, that is immoral and unconstitutional behavior deserving the strongest censure. Where are the principled Democrats and Republicans standing up to fulfill that responsibility?

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THOSE NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES

The widely popular negative interest pushed by politicians as stimulus is financial snake oil, a scam. Even people outside central Africa worry about Ebola with its 50% mortality; far too few worry about negative interest though its financial mortality is ultimately 100%. Instead of receiving rent for the use of  your money, you are paying someone to use it for their benefit at your risk. The politicians pushing this are not stupid; it is your money at risk, not theirs. That is why they are generous with it, using the cheap money to promote unproductive grants and risky loans.

Interest must compensate a lender for both the loss of use of his money and the risk of its loss. When rates are set in a free market, those are accomplished by competition among large numbers of potential lenders; when rates are set by government fiat, political goals interfere with and prostitute those calculations. With rates politically depressed, the first victims are savers and pension plans: savings dry up and pensions become more expensive as payment must depend upon better returns from more risky investments. Naturally low risk, low paying investments can no longer attract money. The result is a highly distorted economy where market valuations cannot reflect fair value, forcing a decline upon the quality of investment decisions, raising general risk. Eventually, this becomes unsustainable and collapses of accumulated uneconomic decisions. Unfortunately, “eventually” can, in a large country, be measured in decades.

The currency is another victim of the scam: when the price of its use is artificially depressed, it loses purchasing power, i.e. it is inflated. That is presently most visible in U.S. housing prices and the stock market, where the bulk of Federal Reserve monetary creation has been centered. Through its long cheapening of the U.S. dollar, the Federal Reserve has promised to restore true market rates when the economy stabilized but that appears politically impossible, an reassuring illusion. Restoration of reality seems to await either an overnight financial collapse or a descent into hyperinflation. One or the other is inevitable; if God is not mocked, neither is economic reality in His universe.

President Trump is publicly leaning hard on the Federal Reserve to prolong and even increase its already protracted suppression of interest rates; the central bank shows evidence of responding. The President’s opponents are talking up a recession, likely hoping that Prez Trump will take the heat before the next presidential election. It appears that the Federal Reserve top management is, as is the U.S. generally, split along pro and anti-Trump lines; the actual direction of Federal Reserve current manipulations must be guesswork. Significantly lower rates will support the President; a modest gesture will not. Regardless, a financial denouement seems inevitably scheduled for Trump’s administration; his second if not his first. Financial prophecy too seems to draw negative interest now, but reality waits, showing decreasing patience.

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GLEEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannFrom the week:

California: Power blackouts creating market for private generators? (Article)

The culture: Microchipping people in Bangladesh and Houston, TX (Article) (Beats a license dangling from a collar)

The government: Attorney General announced new program to prevent crime by identifying criminals in advance (Article) (Mind reading? informants?)

The Internet:: New “Case Act” law passed by House removes due process from copyright infringement? (Report)

Corruption: A look inside the Biden/Ukraine story? (Report)

China: Will eastern, post-Communist Europe come under Chinese influence? (Article)

Corruption: An interesting take on Lt. General Michael Flynn’s prosecution (Article)

New York City exports homeless to other cities without notification (Report)

Corruption: Russia published evidence of U.S. oil smuggling from Syria? S(Article)

Politics: The U.S. has gone insane (Article) (Juvenile theater replacing governance)

Netflix is testing allowing subscribers to speed/slow play (Report)

California: Begins to notice electricity missing (Report) Blackouts are part of a far bigger problem? (Article) Fire insurance being canceled (Report)

Syria: Turks/Russians playing chicken? (Report) Turks/Syrian army/Kurds fighting (Article)  A deal – maybe (Graphic)

The economy: Simple investment realities politicians prefer unspoken (Article)

More economy: The financial crisis of 2008 never ended (Article)

Censorship: You Tube removed border wall report as hate speech? (Reports)

China: An economic fuse is burning toward an explosion of the proletariat? (Article)

Afghanistan: The very real costs are buying what, exactly? (Article)

The war on the Internet: Russia will disconnect from the internet as a test (Report)

The climate: Early cold threatens Midwest harvest? (Article)

More culture: Gaggle spies on schoolkids for profit (Report)

Still more culture: Biological male was college conference female athlete of the week (Article)

China: Two farm plagues on a huge scale (Report)

Yet more culture: Ft. Collins, CO: Women may now appear topless in public (Report) (Hmn – maybe it should be less culture?)

War is a child of central banking? (Article) (Recommended)

Corruption: United Auto Workers president on leave for Federal corruption probe (Report)

The economy: Nearly 40% of farm income 2019 from federal aid/insurance? (Report) (A Potemkin economy!)

History: New light on a famous Roman/German battle (Article)

The Federal Reserve is a barbarous relic (Article) (Recommended)

More Federal Reserve reality than is comfortable (Article) Accurate, if self-serving)

Still more monetary lessons: One failure, one success from last century Germany (Article)

Technology: Battlefields are revolutionizing manufacturing (Article)

Chicago: 3 dead, 21 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man was shot dead by police (Report)

And that is all for now

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannOur current lot:

Syria: A spotlight on a complex reality (Article) (Recommended for those interested in Middle East)

Pakistan: Trying to be fierce when you’re broke (Article)

The economy: Negative interest rates are a destructive political illusion (Article)

Corruption: Politicized science dumps professor for clinging to climate reality (Report)

California: Electric power outages to become routine? (Report) (Living standard drops)

The culture: Biological male cyclist setting new women’s records (Report) (“Whom the gods would destroy …”)

Somalia: Update (Article) (Sinkhole for foreign aid)

California: Creeping fault may presage big quake – or not? (Article) (Uh huh …)

Connecticut: University students arrested for ridiculing speech in viral video (Report) (Free speech becoming expensive?)

The economy: U.S. gasoline prices reaching extreme regional variation (Report) (>$4 in CA)

The economy: $3.22 T Federal income transfer programs aim at new record (Report)

Money: Germany resumes buying gold after 21 years (Article) (A cloud no bigger than a man’s hand …)

The economy: Interest rates dropping everywhere but credit cards now hitting highs (Article) (Politicians swindle, not protect consumers?)

China: Seduction of the free by rich totalitarians? (Article)

Yemen: Update (Article)  (Saudis/Iran reaching stalemate?)

Naval ship design: Will a little Norwegian firm drag world navies into modern reality? (Article)

Colorado: Woman arrested after racial slurs toward students (Report)

The economy: Federal Reserve increases manufactured money injection (Report)

More economy: Americans receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes? (Article) (For how long can that proceed?)

Iraq: Corruption vs Chaos? (Article)  More protestors killed by snipers (Report)

The culture: The worldwide push for biometrics (facial recognition, etc) (Article)

Lebanon: Shutdown by corruption protests threatens banks (Article)

Russia: Preparing to disconnect its citizens from the world internet (Report) (In China’s footsteps)

More Russia: Crackdown speeds reversion to a police state? (Report)

The culture: Punishing Wikileaks’ Assange sends warning to other western journalists (Article) (Who have mostly morphed into propagandists now …)

California: New fires explode across the state, so they turn the power off (Reports)

Technology: Automatic self-braking to be standard in 2022 vehicles? (Report) (Risky)

Corruption: A short, clear explanation of the top 4 political scandals du jour (Report)

The economy: Money folk talk getting scarier (Article) (And too many resuscitating gold?)

More economy: U.S. budget deficit rises above last year (Articles)

World of Protest: Listing of current major protest movements by country (Article)

Syria: U.S. troops and tanks have returned to protect oil fields (Article) (No shortage of excuses)

European Union finance: Towards implosion of its own contradictions? (Article)  (Everyone expects to live off Germany …)

Chicago: 4 dead, 33 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man was arrested after 2 women found him in their apartment (Report)

That’s all

 

EDITORIAL:         Three Salient Observations

  1. Governments nearly everywhere are running their finances into the ground for benefit programs.
  2. Living standards nearly everywhere are increasingly displeasing lots of citizens.
  3. Massive public protests are occurring in many places.

Maybe we should be paying a bit more attention?

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