GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannOur choices this week:

The climate: An interview on climate science – with a leading scientist (Report) (Real science and global warming)

More climate: The bureaucrats strike back (Report) (From the source that tells us there is insignificant inflation and the economy is doing well)

Kennedy assassination files still secret will be released shortly by presidential order (Report) Confirmed (Report) (Allegedly, anyway)

World economy: Anatomy of $63 T in debt (Article) (This is called: “Driving on Empty”)

U.S. living: Newer homes continue to swallow their yards – more house, less lot (Article)

Military tech evolves: Electronic warfare reflected in logistics (Article)

Science: Another anti-big-bang theory for a perpetual universe, this one quantum based (Report)

Sweden: 7 bombings in 12 days, little reported? (Video)

Obamacare may provide Californians free coverage if they earn less than $48,000? (Report)

The GOP income tax “reform” is looking a lot like a middle class tax increase? (Article)

The economy: “Mass immigration to the U.S. is the world’s largest anti-poverty program – at the expense of Americans (Article –The Economist)

Yemen: Update (Article)

The (intended) future: Housing the masses in Detroit/Sweden’s progress in Malmo (Report/video) (The arriving New World Order?)

North Korea: Some 200 people were reported dead at a tunnel collapse under the country’s nuclear test site (Report)

The future? A currently available insertable microchip for your hand … (Report)  (Neither running nor hiding any more?)

Reality: Unauthorized drones buzzed a U.S. military base? (Report) (Astonishing, right?)

More reality: Florida legislators are sweating after discovery of covert cameras have been watching (Report)

The culture: Another victim randomly bloodied by a teen pack in Baltimore (Report)

More culture: Strangers were caught having sex after meeting on a flight to Detroit (Report)

Politics: On November 4, the Left’s race-based, hired thugs (Antifa) are expected to start their next street push, hoping to replace the earlier “Occupy Wall Street” attempt with success this time. Success will be destabilizing the U.S. by all accounts. (Article)

The world economy: What will your home be worth when the Federal Reserves’ funny money evaporates? (Article)

Tesla: Is reality biting this politicized illusion at last? (Article)

Science: A previously undiscovered large chamber has been found (but not yet visited) in the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt (Report)

Corruption: Fox pundit revealed plea deals in Clinton Uranium One case signed by special prosecutor Mueller aides? (Report) (Well, seems to qualify them re Russians …)

The culture: Group of students attacked, beaten by teen group in Baltimore (Report)

The world economy: How do you build growth on a declining birth rate? (Dismal demographic destiny presses on positive propaganda)

The culture: High school students watched, filmed the vicious beating of another student (Report)

Chicago: 2 dead, 21 wounded in weekend shootings

A naked man was arrested after an attempted burglary (Report)

That is all.



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'I'm the Good Witch of the North, so could I have some sugar-free mints and dental floss?'Halloween – All Hallows Eve: A Christianized old Celtic holiday intended to honor and pray for the dead one cares about. By the time we were growing up, it had morphed into a night for costume parties indoors and for young boys, playing tricks on neighbors after dark. Writing on windows with soap, ringing doorbells and running away and pushing over outhouses were though hilarious.

There was no Social Security or unemployment insurance, people expected to take care of themselves and those who could not, went to the poorhouse. Recipients of what little government help existed (charity was for churches and private individuals) were shamed thereby.

Today, Halloween entitles kids and where we live, young people and some adults to demand free candy at every front doorstep upon which they choose to stop; it is now somehow owed to them. The catchphrase: “Trick or treat” implies extortion; the bribe intended to preclude some mischief, but nowadays the implied threat is empty. No tricks are played anymore; the kids just go out and collect their entitlements. Religiosity has disappeared along with the mischief. How dull and meaningless it has become …

And how well it now fits the larger culture with its religion abandoned and its members somehow now entitled to everyone else’s wealth, to be delivered by government.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannItems that escaped the passing week:

Government: Why are purely administrative federal departments buying so many guns? (Article)

The U.S. Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired pilots? (Article) (Why?)

Iraq: The U.S. demanded that Iranian militias leave with the defeat of ISIS (Article)

Italy: The two wealthiest regions will vote on demanding looser ties to Rome (Article) (It ain’t just Spanish Catalonia?)

Government corruption polls as U.S. citizens no. 1 fear? (Article) (Is reality settling in?)

Trump cutback on forcing oil refiners to add alcohol to gasoline seems unlikely; too much GOP money from corn farmers (Report)

Venezuela: Is not paying some of its oil production bills (Report)

Science: Successful, controlled weight loss is resulting from a new drug under development for diabetes (Report) (Finally help for obesity ..?)

More Science: New, transparent  solar energy collection films that can be layered over window glass without disturbing the view are promising a more sun powered future (Report)

Still More Science: A liquid metal/thin film breakthrough seems headed toward revising chemistry and electronics too (Report)

More Science Yet: A means for optical processing with silicon chips is on tap (Report) (Another breakthrough)

The economy: Documents the ongoing reversion of the middle class toward the historically preponderant proletariat (Article)  (But doesn’t explain government involvement)

China/U,.S: A real life international thriller set against corrupt governments (Article)

Drones: A Mexican cartel attached a bomb to a drone (Report) (Who hasn’t seen that coming?)

The internet: New malware could collapse the internet with denial of service attacks (Report) ((f a manor conflict breaks out, the internet will vanish early on, we bet)

Turkey/U.S. sniping governments continues (Article)

Syria: U.S. backed Kurds are grabbing lucrative oilfields from ISIS as Russia backed Syrian government moves closer and threatens (Report) (Who’s gonna blink?)

Science Most vitamins/supplements are total nonsense? (Report) (Who knew?)

Apple phones may record conversation and take photos without the owner’s awareness? (Report)

Government plans to spur drone development of commercial applications (Report) (Let’s hope government helps by getting out of the way)

Catalonia declared its independence from Spain (Report) (Today’s tech makes this practical; yesterday’s politics may interfere via a takeover by the Spanish government) Spain fired the Catalonian government and ordered elections in December to replace it. (Article)

The economy: 95% of income taxes are paid by the top 20 percent (Report) (That’s a record – and explains why lower taxes at the low end won’t cost much)

Government: Kennedy assassination files released are incomplete; secrets still hidden (Report) (Smells like Las Vegas …) (In Vegas, the wounded security guard is now hidden at another MGM hotel… Now, the government refuses further information (Reports) (Smell funny in Vegas?)

Venezuela: Dictator settles in as finances fail (Reports)

The culture: Public school faculty/student sex (Report) (When will public schools receive the same notice as the Catholic church on this subject?)

More culture: A Pittsburg woman on a sidewalk was randomly beaten unconscious, then robbed by passers-by who took selfies; none called for her aid. (Report) A similar “knockout” attack occurred in Brooklyn (Report)

Still more culture: A Belgian Catholic hospital group grants euthanasia to non-terminal, mentally ill patients (Report) (Getting hard to tell who’s Catholic anymore …)

Politics: Continuing backfiring from the Russia election hack attack on Trump (Article)

Healthcare: How the independent Swiss do it (Article)

Saudi Arabia: A hint of “modernizing” Islam? (Article) (Saudi financing supports most Islamic terrorists worldwide, will a new ruler change the game as an Islamic Pope Francis ?)

The climate: Oceans continue to cool … (Report) (Per the most cited data)

The Kennedy assassination: A shot from the from? (Article)

Chicago:: 2 dead, 26 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A half-naked Pennsylvania woman was arrested (Report)

And that’s a least half enough …

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannThe week’s collection:

The War on Living Space: America’s homes are shrinking (Report) (No cash, no drivers and tiny homes an the government’s vision of our future)

Austria: Followed the U.S. as its voters elected a very unlikely president in obvious rejection of the status quo (Article)

Belgium/European Union: Update (Article) (Some would pry Flanders from Belgium …)

Oil geopolitics: Some background for “U.S. ally” Saudi Arabia’s King’s recent visit to Moscow. (Article)

The economy: An analysis of present Federal Reserve policy vs. reality in a few simple words (Article)

The culture: Catholicism: Must Pospe Francis destroy it in order to save it? (Article)

Technology: Uber rides topped yellow cabs in New York City – a first. (Report)

The Supreme Court will hear a Microsoft tax case about storing emails on overseas servers. (Report)

Immigration: As of 2016,  there were 43.7M foreign born U.S. residents. (Report)

A warning: Retired Congressman Ron Paul warned that  a U.S. political faction is maneuvering toward a war with Iran.(Article)

Iraq: The Kurds yielded Kirkus and the surrounding oil to the Iraqi government (Article) (No independence for Iraqi Kurds)

North Korea: Update (Article)

The culture: On believability of political polls these days (Article)

The economy: The state of Illinois is past the point of no return (Article)

More economy: States haven’t prepared for the next recession? (Report)

The culture: MonTaica Lewisnski joined the current parade of women sexually exploited by powerful men in their youth (Report) (From under President Clinton’s desk?)

British police arrested over 3,000 people for offensive internet posts last year (Report)

The war on cash: China and Russia move forward (Article) (An electronic leash with citizens at one end and government at the other)

The economy: Why GDP is a fake measure of economic health (Article) Pay folks to dig hoes and refill them; GDP rises?)

The economy: Hartford, Connecticut is expected to default its debt repayments next month. (Report) (It begins …?)

The Middle East: Iraq/Kurds update (Article)

More economy: The U.S. fiscal 2017 deficit: $666 B (Report) (Why we hear government lying about inflation, maybe?)

Additional economy: The U.S. birth rate hit a record low last year and continues dropping (Report) (Uh, who’s gonna pay for the retirements?)

The European Union: The voters continue to revolt (Article) (The Czechs just elected their Trump?)

Science: Hornswoggling fossilized ape teeth dug up in Germany (Report) (What was a great ape doing in Germay 10 M years ago?)

Chicago: 8 dead, 11 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man was arrested while running on highway 101 in California (Report)

And thus it was …

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Great_Seal_of_the_United_States_(reverse).svgFrom birth, the United States constitutional government has been seen as an historical experiment aimed at the ills of its predecessors. The “Novus Ordo Seclorum” engraved upon the back of the Great Seal of the United States and displayed upon U.S. paper currency translates: “New Order of the Ages.” That probably seemed pretentious when the seal was designed, but the two and a half centuries that have followed seem to have fulfilled the expectations. America has exemplified a revision of government and of human expectations in the world.

Now, with the U.S. Constitution under attack from the Left’s de facto repudiation of its electoral process, President Trump is reinventing the presidency. Using the internet and masterful media manipulation, he is informally nudging his office away from presiding and toward ruling, another strain upon the Founders’ stated intentions. Where these two seizures of technologically enhanced political opportunities will lead if they continue deserves consideration, particularly given the wealth and influence in use.

The Left’s repudiation of President Trump seems intended to prevent execution of his office; Congressional moves to impeach him clearly aim at his removal. The enthusiastic attacks by much of the media are aimed at his popularity and magnify the risk of his assassination. No society that punishes political dissent can provide free elections, particularly now that technology threatens the secret ballot. Electoral government requires that the losers capitulate until the next election, confining overt opposition to the legislative process. The present attitude on the Left implies an entitlement to govern. Added to the heavily funded, massively organized campaigns to boycott, remove and interfere with its opponents, this attitude defines today’s Left as incipient totalitarians, a repudiation of both the Constitution and of American history.

The U.S. Constitution provides a president and legislators chosen by the people to represent them while governing; the people have been too distant and too many to participate in government. President Trump’s use of internet social media and the heretofore “news” media’s transformation into socio-political propagandists have removed the distance and the proliferation of polling and digital communications have reduced the “too many” to reachable individuals. These realities have been a revolution: Where Americans once elected representatives and sent them off to govern until the next election, now Americans digitally follow their representatives and treat items of the government business as if they were new elections. Imagine an Amazon CEO who shared his office with Amazon’s directors and customers, to provide a somewhat strained illustration.

President Trump is using these tools to appeal directly to voters over the heads of their representatives. Basically, that is how he was elected. Historically it is also how republics have become empires. America has now a dominant, de facto totalitarian Left and a populist President who de facto shortcuts constitutional process. It seems America’s very good fortune that these two represent differing political interests.

Both these newly visible political trends are arising amidst looming systemic socio-political and financial risks quite capable of threatening civil order. Politicians have used race, gender, wealth and other differences to fuel antagonisms and political interests have organized and funded street “protests” including growing violence. Citizens are urged to boycott businesses, fire employees and expel students offering opposing political views. These are building blocks for civil disorder begging government repression.

At the same time, millions of public workers are about to discover that their promised retirements have not been adequately funded; the promised pensions will not be paid. The total personal and national debt per citizen has reached some $265,000. And the Federal government expects to spend $603 billion more than its revenue. Obviously, when the lenders who have been funding the swelling debt wake up to the real risks they have been taking on, they will stop providing the new loans that allow the government to roll over its debt and avoid repayment. The debt being too large to repay, that will be chaotic. Alternatively, the government and its central bank will try to repay the debt with cheaper money by encouraging rampant inflation, subjecting everyone’s wealth to a death of a thousand cuts. That, as it may take longer to collapse, may appeal to incumbent politicians. Either course promises instability.

Summing up: The United States appears to be held together by a dissolving constitution as it heads toward financial retribution, to be followed by years of economic depression. Maybe all that will bring about a return toward the older principles of the U.S. Founding. Maybe it will produce just another fading, de factol empire. However it goes, that “Novus Ordo Seclorum” seems set to have been wishful.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannA busy week on planet Earth:

The culture: Double irony as Big White Liberal Harvey Weinstein follows Big Black Conservative Bill Cosby off his elite pedestal for use of a traditional Hollywood casting couch – after recreational sex has become normal behavior (Report)

Politics: A New York Times view of the contending factions seeking control of the Democrats (Article)

The world economy: A clear eyed if overly optimistic explanation of the world wide pension time bomb (Article)

More economy: Prez Trump’s budget boss Mulvaney said tax cuts/deficits will bring economic growth (Report) (The more we borrow, the richer we become, right?)

Puerto Rico: The New York Federal Reserve sent the island a planeload of cash to crutch the power outage paralyzing ATMs and credit cards. (Article) (How does that help the island’s mostly poor?)

Saudi Arabia/Russia are oiling their relationship while Iran glowers? (Article)

Healthcare: An upcoming Presidential order will open competition across state lines, previously restricted. (Report) (Probable effects in 2019)  Additional details re the changes (Report) Some Federal subsidies will stop  (Report)

Driverless car push speeds up at GM (Report) (When we don’t drive our cars anymore, will we still own them?) California is pushing driverless too (Report)

The New York Times: A Times editor confessed his political agenda to a hidden camera (Report)

Volcano fears are rising in the Canary Islands as earthquakes proliferate (Report) (In other places, too)

Science: For those who understand Moore’s Law, a large semiconductor manufacturing breakthrough (Report)

Spain: Catalonia blinked? Spanish government outbluffed independence leadership … (Report) Will the Spanish government move in on perceived weakness? (Article)

The economy: The “U.S. free market” is a fake, due to the Federal Reserve (Article) (And regulation!)

The culture: Home Depot forced to provide millennials with tutorial on using tape measures and hammering nails. (Article) (A product of Progressive public education)

Government: Symantec stops allowing foreign government reviews of software source code in order to sell products in those countries (Report) The U.S. aims to force software makers to provide keys to their encryptions. (Report)

Trumpconomics: Help the middle class by raising wages and lowering the cost of living (ReportT) (Sounds good – until you realize that more expensive workers raise the cost of living and help foreigners compete against the U.S.)

Chicago: 6 dead, 29 wounded in weekend shootings. (Report) Baltimore is worse than Chicago (Article)

The culture: Prez Trump suggested challenging network licenses over fake news  (Report) (Adopting his opponents’ tactics?)

Technology: A talking drone attempted luring kids off an Ohio school playground (Report) (The more we change …)

Government: Florida’s scandalous treatment of juvenile offenders (Report) (Deplorable, unsurprising. Will anyone ever blow open public schools sex issues like the Catholic clergy were outed?)

More culture: Are millennials the dumbest generation in history? (Report)

Still more culture: A 75 year old Windsor, Ontario woman suffered multiple skull fractures from an apparently random beating by a 21 year old male on a park trail  (Report)

The economy: A robot now makes pizza (Report) (Pizza Hut may pay higher minimum wages to fewer workers, right?)

More economy: A fake inflation rate used by the Federal Reserve to obscure declining living standards (Article)

Congress: A pharmacy provides Alzheimer’s drugs to Congressfolk? (Article) (Could explain a  lor …)

The culture: Congressional fuss over alterations of limits on NSA snooping (Report)  (How closely should Big Brother be allowed to watch us?)

Volcanos are awakening around the Pacific rim (Report) (No mention of the U.S. west coast; quake swarms around volcanos)

The culture: A British police force is banning white males from recruitment gatherings (Report)

More culture: U.S. police killings are double the reported rate per The Guardian (Report)

The Yellowstone supervolcano (caldera) attracts some attention (Report) (Potential understated here?)

Google’s mini home secret recording scandal (Report) (Privacy becoming an obsolete term?)

The economy: The Federal Reserve is straining to ignore real rising inflation (Article)

The culture: More Americans now live alone (Report) (And demographics are destiny, right?)

The economy: The ABC broadcast network is restructuring with substantial layoffs (Report)

The culture: The government jailed a mom to vaccinate her son (Report) (Government knows what’s good for us …)

More culture: Thursday night NFL pro football TV ratings continue to decline, accelerated by player political protests (Report)

The climate: NASA confirmed that sea levels are dropping over the planet (Report) (Umm … Weren’t we told sea levels were rising due to ice melting from global warming?)

More climate: Unusually thick sea ice is starving thousands of penguin chicks in Antarctica (Report)

Iran: Prez Trump decertified the nuclear deal (Report) (Just because Iran won’t let inspectors into their nuclear facilities?)

Healthcare: Several states will sue to stop Prez Trump’s ending federal subsidies to Obamacare insurers (Report) (Do those states suggest where the needed money can be found?)

Corruption: Puerto Rican government officials are said to be misusing hurricane aid to reward political allies instead of storm victims; the FBI is investigating (Report)

Driverless vehicles will be tested and privately owned in California under new rules under adoption (Report)

Trump/Iran: Prez Trump drew much flak designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization (Article) (Which they are – like the CIA or U.S. special forces, only more so)

Facebook’s restaurant food delivery service was announced (Report)

Iraq: Bagdad troops are moving into Kurdish controlled Kirkuk oil regions. So far, the Kurds are backing away despite their vote for independence. (Report)

Culture/Economy: A new Pew Research study found the primary reason millennials are delaying marriage so markedly: Men aren’t earning enough (Article)

 Las Vegas shooting mystery deepened as a Mandalay Bay hotel worker and his testimony vanished (Report)

Government: The FBI discovered 30 pages of a Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton airport meeting, papers it earlier denied possessing (Report)

The economy: Puerto Rico’s hurricane power outage persists, paralyzing the island by depriving its people of cash and credit/debit cards both (Article) (Fragility and risk of digital societies)

Tesla: Management leaving, workers laid off at government subsidized political favorite (Article) (Political scams die, sooner or later)

Columbia/Venezuela: Update (Article)

A naked man tripping on acid jumped out a third story apartment window and attacked people. (Report)

That’s all, folks.

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The Future of Free Elections in a High Tech Society

We probably won’ disagree that all governments share one basic similarity: They are comprised of people exercising power over other people. Then, the arguments start. The American Founders said clearly that this is innately destructive of the common weal because people are innately selfish at the expense of other people. Quis custodiet ipsos custodies asked the Roman playwright: “Who will govern the governors?” Today’s political Left argues; those folks claim that people running government are –at least when they are in charge – unselfishly pursuing the good of the multitude. You decide.

While you are deciding, we will bring up a couple of relevant points that occur to us these ays. First, the organized U.S. political Left, which is to say the Democrats, is actively funding and organizing street violence in varying degrees to prevent the somewhat less organized political Right from public presentation of its message. The same folk are pressing businesses and universities to fire and/or boycott exponents of the Right while the Leftish media continuously demonizes them. This seems at the moment, mostly a one-way street; the right has not produced a comparable response so far.

In Congress, the Democrats and some Republicans join to prevent President Trump’s programs from advancing and a bill of impeachment has been introduced. The U.S. Left seems to believe that merely winning an election does not confer legitimacy upon any non-Democratic president. Today’s Left are become totalitarians; implicitly, only they are entitled to govern and they are applying available pressure against any who disagree, including street riots or threats of them against those who may disagree in public. That brings up a question …

Actually, two questions: First, how can there be freely elected government in a society where the largest power bloc believes it has a right to suppress its opposition in any available manner?

The second, related question is more technological: How can there be free elections in a society where the government has access to the names, addresses and voting record of every citizen? So far, no electronic records have resisted hacking to some degree so far as we can discover and new stories of government snooping keep popping up. Add to that, it is government that counts the votes, right?

So, in this bravest of all brave new worlds, how will free elections persist? Again, you decide …

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