GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannThe current selection:

Australia: Brush fires 1974/1975 far worse than today’s “crisis” (Report)

Corruption: The secret FISA court is complicit in the FBI abuse it condemns (Article)

More Government: Dept. of Justice picks man who scammed FISA court to reform FISA court? (Report)

Politics: Court blocks Air Force HIV positive medical discharge (Report)

Mars: Vanishing water challenges colonization (Report)

China: Fending off Christianity and Islam via returning to old Chinese traditions (Article) (While quashing the new threats …)

Iraq, Federal Reserve and Trump: Things nobody tells us about international finance (Article)

Canada: Internet info making natives restless at their cost of living? (Article)

History: How America is repeating the history of empires (Article)

Spain: Has elected a new, socialist government with an ambitious agenda? (Report)

The economy: Child care cost rising toward equivalence with rent? (Article)

The internet: Scammers switching to use real people, fake images/videos on social media? (Report)

Iran: Street protests expand after flight shot down (Article)

Geology: Volcanos and earthquakes heating up worldwide (Article)

The media: A new Russiagate roars into news sans evidence? (Article)

The economy: Shopping malls suffering as sales go online (Article)

Iraq: More missiles fall on bases shared with Americans (Report)

West Virginia invites Virginia counties to secede and join it instead? (Report)

Government: The FBI arrested 3 young men as a preventive measure? (Report) (Poor policing or reporting or both?)

Corruption: Consumer Reports claims condoms from Planned Parenthood are unreliable? (Report) (Well, PP is in the abortion business …)

Government owes so much money so far uncollected from taxpayers that the system is toast? (Article) (Yup)

Corruption: Playing games with government backed student loans? (Article)

Iran: Update (Article)

Healthcare: Chief scientist contradicts propaganda, vaccines do include risks (Report)

Corruption: Much of Flint, MI state water crisis funds were used for other purposes (Report)

The culture: Sugar babies attend college at the expense of sugar daddies? (Report)

The economy: U.S. Treasury to issue 20 year bonds to fund soaring deficit (Article) (Watch who buys …)

Corruption: Georgia election server found hacked? (Report)

Lebanon: Paralyzed government, enormous debt, banks strictly limiting withdrawals, street riots (Article) (Why haven’t the media noticed?)

The economy: What happens when the Fed stops pumping? (Article) (Good question. Lon overdue)

China: Birthrate drops into problem (Report)

More China: The end of the economic miracle? (Article)

 Corruption: FBI protecting dirty cops? (Report)

The church: The Pope will renounce clerical celibacy by February? (Report)  (At least for south America )

Corruption: Interesting view of Democrat/Ukraine peculations (Article) (Left alone by equally guilty Republicans?)

The media: “Loss of truth in in the media is a threat to our democracy” (Article) (Or a signal that it’s passing?)

Technology: Military night vision has come of age (Article)

Corruption: TSA seized elderly passenger’s life savings at airport; no indication of crime (Report0 (Relatively common practice)

Geopolitics: One analysis of the big picture (Article) (Interesting and factual but includes opinions)

The culture: The machines have us trained for obedience (Article)

The U.S. dollar: The use and abuse of the world’s top financial weapon (Article)

International charities: Suffering under human reality (Article)

Corruption: Inspector General Horowitz in cover-up? (Report)

The Federal Reserve short circuits free market risk? (Article) (Ain’t no free markets left …)

Libya: Bold LNA move as endgame begins (Article)

The war on guns: Deep state conspiracy behind looming false flag event? (Article) (Interesting facts, if accurate)

Chicago: 3 dead, 8 wpimded om weelemd sjpptomgs (Re[prt)_

A naked man was arrested standing over a fatal stabbing (Report)

Stop

 

EDITORIAL:         Our Planet Is Becoming More Interesting?

 

If you can tear yourself away from Trump’s impeachment and the awful threat looming from wherever is popular this week for a moment, current planetary hijinks are worth a modicum of attention. If present reports are to be believed (a reasonable debate these days), our earth is quaking and pumping ash and some lava out of its recently quiescent volcanos somewhat more than we have become accustomed to seeing. Add to that the fact that our North Magnetic Pole is migrating toward Siberia. And the planet’s protective (from solar radiation) magnetic field is weakening. What are we to think?

Major General Drayson drew giggles back when he noted that the cooler out shell of our planet likely moved differently than the solid core, lubricated by the molten rock between the two. Over time, that could jazz up geysers and volcanos as they moved from cooler to hotter spots below. Might explain geomagnetic reversals, too. And even ice ages. The previously giggling scientists aren’t laughing so much at that now, though they still prefer to forget the General, who wasn’t a scientist. But they’re showing considerably more interest in planetary precession. (You can Google it, if interested.)

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannThe gleanings:

China: The war on Christianity heats up (Article)

Geopolitics: U.S. legislates against Russian gas pipeline to Germany (Article) (This is Russian version)

Russia: Spy vs Spy (Article)

Corruption: Former president Clinton’s daughter has been paid $9 M for a directorship (Report)

President Trump: Has demonstrated the simple removal of the leadership of opposing forces (Article)

Univ. of Calif. Going overboard re diversity hiring rules? (Article)

U.S. Foreign Policy: It’s all about oil? (Article)

The culture: Manhunt for Milwaukee driver who shot two children for throwing snowballs at car (Report)

Federal Reserve: Dumping more tons of manufactured cash into the economy (Article)

The media: Current Iraq coverage is a case study in fake news? (Article)

Atlanta, GA: Police ordered to stop chasing criminals? (Article)

China: Resistance forming against “Social Credit” expansion? (Report)

The culture: Legislatures struggle with biological males in female sports (Article)

Education: Colleges to decline under demographic, economic assaults? (Article)

Iran: Shot down Ukrainian flight killing 176 passengers after Tehran departure? (Article) (Confirmed by U.S. officials)

Navigation: GPS acquires more competition (Article)

California: The war on Uber wounding free-lance journalists? (Article)  Independent truckers find a judge (Report)

Iraq: Update incl assassination of Iranian General (Article)

The climate: U.S. Glacier National Park removing signs advertising disappearance of glaciers by 2020 (Report)

The economy: The lunatics are running the asylum  (Article)

Corruption: The Justice Department is devoid of justice (Article)

Government: U.S. to start collecting DNA at border (Article)

China: Economic stimulus is tapping out? (Article)

The economy: How to return to sound money (Article)

Chicago: 3 dead, 15 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked woman fled a hotel room; a man was arrested (Report)

End

 

EDITORIAL:         The Presidential Innovations of Donald Trump

Donald J. Trump is, whether or not one approves, inarguably an innovator. His predecessor recognized the opportunity offered by today’s improved communications and turned the presidency into a sort of permanent, personalized public campaign. President Trump saw that and advanced it with constant use of social media on top of his rallies. U.S. presidents have become full time demagogues.

Prez Trump has been equally innovative in foreign policy, again advancing his predecessor’s performance. In this case, Trump took Obama’s targeted drone kills and used one to solve the problem Iran created by its use of proxy rebellions in surrounding countries. Instead of sending costly and unwieldy invading counterforces like those used in Afghanistan and Iraq, the President very simply removed the head of the troublesome operation with a surgical strike. This is a simple, economic and clear response to what has hitherto been a disguised form of aggression. It is also a public political escalation of existing foreign policy; if the President is not forced to retreat, he will likely be seen to have changed the rules by which the game is played.

Creative leaders may or may not be appreciated, but they are always interesting.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannFrom the old and the new year:

Corruption: Families of U.S. troops sue contractors for paying Taliban for protection (Report)

More corruption: Trump exposes Nancy Pelosi family ties to Ukraine energy group (Article)

Science: Earth’s magnetic field is up to new tricks? (Report)

China: The navy plays carrier catchup, but slowly (Article)

The economy: Average U.S. family can’t afford a home in 71% of the country? (Article)

Politics: Candidates propose trillion dollar spending (Report)

Science: Progress begins toward a spin quantum heat engine (Report)

Afghanistan: Update (Article)

The war on Uber: California’s new attack on gig workers put on hold by federal judge (Report)

The war on Christianity is proceeding in Europe? (Article)

World organized violence: Update/Status Annual current summary (Article)

The economy: Facts that blow the hype off the economy (Article)

California: Recent water rationing law finally appearing in news? (Report)

The Federal Reserve continues to inflate a monster bubble (Article)

Israel: Love and rockets (Article)

Surveillance: Spies in the sky (Update)

Science: Quantum teleportation demonstrated between computer chips? (Article)

More science: Breakthrough in anti-malaria drugs (Report)

Chicago: 6 dead, 24 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked woman was arrested after killing another motorist with her car (Report)

That’s all …

 

EDITORIAL:         2020 Trumpstakes Questions

  1. Will the economy reelect him or run him over?
  2. Will Democrats manage to demonize him or themselves?
  3. Will the Trumpster shoot himself in the mouth?
  4. Will an executive decision come up craps?
  5. Will he be removed from office with extreme prejudice?

Compute your own odds …

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THE UNFORTUNATE ECONOMICS OF POLITICIZED HEALTHCARE

Healthcare is the product of relationships between bureaucratic insurers/governments, large employers and the medical providers hired to provide the care. Doctors are dependent upon these organizations; they no longer depend much upon personal relationships with individual patients. Therefore, resources must be directed toward the greatest good for the largest number at the lowest cost, NOT toward saving an individual patient whatever that requires. But who is the politician, insurance executive or doctor who will say that in public?

Undeniable evidence of this: The $716 billion repurposed from Medicare funding to finance Obamacare, a program somewhat humorously titled “The Affordable Care Act.” With government, much of the humor is unintended. Another restriction upon the older doctor-patient relationship is the ever-growing risk aversion resulting from multiplying, ballooning malpractice awards; doctors may now be safer letting some marginal patients die rather than taking chances to save them.

The intrusion of government and insurers has produced other effects too. Prominently, a Cato Institute investigation reported that about 30% of the cost of Federal healthcare programs was the result of waste, fraud and abuse.  Free emergency care mandated for those who cannot pay (Including illegal aliens) has to be subsidized by other patients. Other mandates make U.S. Drug Prices too high.  Medicare/Social Security funding includes increasing deficits; they run on borrowed money. A 2017  Forbes article reported that patients in large cities were waiting 30% longer to see a doctor.  And the Wall Street Journal wrote in 2019 that employer contribution for employee health coverage now passes $20,000 a Year per employee. Though unfortunate enough when the subject is healthcare, these conditions are inevitable in any significant application of government; human governments are inherently subject to political, not economic goals.

Summed up, healthcare is accessible for most Americans via employer and/or government subsidies and emergency rooms. Private physician services are limited to the wealthy. Under this setup, politics assures that the demand for services always leads both their availability and the resources available to supply them, a degenerative process that ultimately produces something resembling the scandal-plagued Veterans’ Administrations’ healthcare.

All of this became inevitable when the medical practitioners joined together in support of government licensing for themselves and for their facilities.  Government licensing was the camel’s nose for healthcare, with that, today’s socialization became inevitable. As politics always trumps economics, promises/expectations will continue to exceed reality until the next financial collapse. That will be used to justify the resulting very substantial reset of both resources and expectations that will obtain until the next repeating cycle starts. It is part of the nature of especially democratic politics as we all know at some level – even in denial.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorredted)

alfred_e-_neumannThe week’s selections:

California: Crowd funded, history’s most expensive poorhouse on 300 acres? (Report) (Where else?)

The economy: “… very troubling; most Americans lack savings” (Article) (Who saves at zero interest with QE rampant?)

 Energy: Another view of the U.S./Russia battle to control Europe’s winter hating (Article)

Immigration: Why Moslems in Denmark aren’t becoming Danes (Article)

Government: FISA secret court should be eliminated (Report) (It provides corruption …)

The economy: Interest rates drop at the Federal Reserve, skyrocket for credit cards and auto loans? (Article) (Because delinquencies are up)

The war On Single Family Housing: U.S. cities eliminating single family zoning? (Report)

The economy: A half million Americans are homeless? (Report)

California: Traditional lives collapsing under repeating power shut offs? (Report)

The economy: Analysis of the Federal Reserve banking problem and risk (Article)

More economy: How the Federal Reserve makes some richer, most poorer (Article)

Government: Cities outlawing dollar stores to protect big retailers?  (Article)

Iran: Again blocks internet/mobile to weaken protests (Article)

China: Capital flight illuminates financial quandary (Article)

North Korea: Update – All seems downhill (Article)

U.S. west coast seismic activity heating up? (Article)

The economy: The average U.S. millennial has a subprime credit score? (Article)

Cyberwarfare: Update – Asia (Article)

California laws restricting Uber, Facebook business models to be ignored? (Report)

Science: Impressive step toward nuclear fusion as a power source (Article)

Mexico: Security official arrested for drug cartel ties (Report) (Is Mexico actually cleaning up some?)

The war on the internet: The U.N. will pursue a Russia/China resolution for controlling internet info (Report) (Scary for freedom advocates)

Government, media and political Left suppressing attention to “Richard Jewell”, Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece questioning human government? (Article) (Of course)

Chicago: 5 dead, 33 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man was arrested for attempted murder of police officer (Report)

That’s all …

 

EDITORIAL:         The Wonderful, Fully Employed U.S. Economy

 

Could the endless preoccupation of media and politicians with manufactured presidential impeachment, the manufactured North Korea threat and the driveling idiots running to oppose President Trump next year be an attempt to distract from the reality of the economy in which we must live?

In today’s highly technological milieu it seems that the numbers of those employed fwho earn enough to sustain a middle class life style continue to shrink. Housewives are nearly extinct, machines are replacing people, workers with multiple jobs are increasing but the share of income going to most of the population is declining. Full employment is no bad thing, but it can be useful to recall that during the middle ages, the serfs were even more fully employed than are Americans today …

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THE COSTLY CONTRADICTIONS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

Public education is an oxymoron; the goals of the state contradict the goals of education. When the state employs the educators and mandates the attendance of the students as is done in the   United States, the inevitable result must be service of the state’s necessarily political goals. What does the state want from its citizens? Obviously it wants them compliant, productive and unquestioning, the same qualities most parents would prefer in their children. However, neither citizens nor children commonly comply with those wishes and public education is a response. It has been an effective response, an overwhelming majority of American children are subjected to a uniform curriculum and standards increasingly imposed outside parental control. Since the advent of Progressive Education, the curriculum and standards have abandoned the values of traditional education in order to serve the interests of the state. Contrary to much public opinion, that is performed effectively though highly inefficiently and at increasing cost to traditional education.

Liberal education has been a traditional goal in Western societies. Imparting knowledge was not ignored but was considered secondary to development of independent, objective thinkers with good judgement and good morals. That was thought to underlie a civilized society. By human experience that is so, but it is not the route to unquestioning obedience to government; “Progressive” education does that much better by emphasizing knowledge and replacing independence and critical thinking with equality and conformance. The old model of education has been stood upon its head, replacing sages with technocrats and not coincidently, believers with atheists. This shift reflects the corresponding shift of government from the American Founders’ limited servant of the people to todays’ massive manager of an economy wherein government workers are paid considerably more than those in private enterprise. That is a relatively recent reversal of the previous financial status of government workers and suggests that present government no longer meets the Founders’ defination of “limited.”

The evolution of U.S. education from the days when local communities hired a teacher to today’s unionized behemoth is clear enough and the tracks left by the increasing presence of government are prominent.

For a 2019 thought experiment, assemble a list of significant human activities untouched by government; if organized honestly, it will be a short list. As Alexis de Tocqueville predicted in 1835, Americans have become dependent children of a paternal government. Public education has evolved to become the primary tool preparing young Americans for a lifetime with that relationship. The justifiably famous Salina, Kansass 1895 8th Grade final exam provides a ready reference point for the tectonic shift in the knowledge children are provided; surveys by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provide world rankings for the resulting system’s cost per pupil and the world ranking of its product.  A study by the Cato Institute concluded that not only do U.S. public schools cost nearly double the cost of private schools but the public system substantially understates its actual cost. That should not surprise; government is famous for inferior work at inflated prices, is it not? It is no coincidence that public schools share functional similarities with the U.S. Postal Service.

From this, an obvious premise: Privatizing primary education offers potential for a superior product at a substantially reduced price. However, governors do what they can to prevent or at least limit significant outside influences affecting their citizens; that is why churches and citizens need constitutional protections. It is also why parents whose children do not attend public schools must pay for them regardless. That raises another possibility: Let the school taxes follow the children to whatever schools they attend. Giving parents a choice between public and private schools will provide productive competition. Such “school voucher” programs are presently used for mostly small numbers of low income children in several states. Shouldn’t every parent be entitled to the same choice for their children? (Note to teachers’ union: My bodyguard is armed.)

Computers and the internet offer two great boons for education: First, they can obviously provide huge reductions in the cost of delivering education, public or private. That can,, if it is allowed to occur, render public and private sources nearly equally accessible. Even more rewarding, the expansion of choices could be huge; anyone could study anything at any time. Again, if that is allowed to occur. That will destroy the educators’ guild and the educators help elect a lot of politicians. For any tempted to real subversion: Consider dumping the entire baggage of government licensing and university degrees and replacing them with automatic online certifications for all appropriate fields of knowledge. Liberating? (Hmn – will one bodyguard be enough?)

In today’s heavily politicized reality, these improvements in education are unlikely as the furor against proposed privatizing the even more egregiously dysfunctional Postal Service indicates. Today’s Americans have disavowed the founders’ desire for less government, seeming instead to pursue ever more. That has provided unsustainable debt, facilitated by attitudes formed by public education. Perhaps attitudes toward government control of education can change after its price is better understood, following for example a period of protracted suffering. Even then, the original cycle of government intrusion seems likely to repeat as less experienced generations come to power.

If any prediction for the future of American public education is seems safe, it is probably one rooted in the observation that, while easily justified criticisms are perennial under both Democrats and Republicans, so also is the absence of significant change. Regardless of whatever any others may suppose, government is evidently satisfied with the return on its investment in education.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannFrom the week:

The economy: Huge amounts of gold and cash are quietly disappearing (Article) (Why would anyone hoard cash in times like these? You decide …)

Technology: Jamming GPS signals in war and crime (Article)

Immigration: Congress approved farm bill includes amnesty for over a million illegals (Report)

Space: Military competition heating up? (Article)

The church: German bishops include homosexuality with “normal” human behavior (Report)

The culture: U.S. leads world in single motherhood (Article) (And those kids lead the prison population)

Robocalls may start to decline under new U.S. law (Report)

The economy: Another time bomb waiting in public pensions (Video)

The U.S. economy: How can tent cities coexist with a “great” economy? (Report)

New York City: Muslim Patrol vs criminal Bloods contending for control? (Article)

The war on cash: Will China become the world’s first cashless society? (Article)

The economy: Where’s The Inflation? It’s In Stocks, Real Estate And Higher ED (Article) (And healthcare)

Smart TV’s are cheap because they track your data? (Report)

China: Another take on conditions in a key segment of tech competition

Israel: The proxy attacks of the European Union (Article)

Healthcare: The continuing politicization of medical schools (Article) (And doctors)

Retirement Plans: Congress just meddled again (Article)

Government: Why is the U.S. gold reserve auditor lying? (Article)

Technology: New downward-tilting toilets to improve employee productivity? (Report) (Crippling constipation takes on new meaning)

The economy: Demographic doom by 2024? (Article)

California law outlawing Uber/Lyft driver contracts multiplies layoffs generally (Report)

Obamacare: Key funding provision unconstitutional per appeal, Supreme Court next? (Report)

Beauty pageant sued for barring transgender male (Report)

Healthcare: New Trump  rule to allow importing cheaper drug prescriptions from Canada (Report)

15 year sentence for Iowa man convicted of anti-homosexual flag burning? (Report)

The Olympics: Russian doping ban while others get free pass shows politicization growth? (Article)

The culture: If you carry a phone, someone’s tracking you? (Article)

The climate: The U.N.’s ‘woke’ climate propaganda is an insult to science (Article)

France: Pension riots warn world (Report)

The war on the internet: Russia testing domestic internet that excludes world wide web (Report)

The economy: Some U.S. states’ consumers exceed 40% debt delinquency (Report)

U.S. Government talking to GM about deploying self-driving cars without steering wheels (Report)

(Another triumph of hope over experience?)

Science: Increase in radiation targeting earth plus magnetic polar shift cooling climate and triggering volcanos (Report)

Iraq: Christians bear brunt of civil degeneration (Report)

The church: Pope says the West is post-Christian; Church must adapt (Report) (We had to destroy My Lai in order to save t …)

The economy: Progressive California minimum wage hike closing small restaurants (Article)

Chicago: 2 killed, 15 wounded in weekend shootings (Report)

A naked man was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer (Report)

The end

 

EDITORIAL:         The Impeachment Show; Second Act Or No?

 

Media propagandists pursuing ratings argue House Speaker Pelosi’s delaying delivery of the articles of impeachment to the Senate and House demands affecting any Senate trial. Of course, it is all nonsense intended to keep Trump demonization current. The President was impeached when the House vote to do so was recorded. Physical delivery of anything is immaterial; if either house has made rules requiring that, that rule may be altered by its maker.

Whether there will be a Senate trial is a decision for the Senate as is the procedure used, so long as it fulfills the other requirements of the Constitution. President Trump has demanded a trial during which he can present witnesses and information favorable to him. The Democrats demand presentation of an expansion of their case for his impeachment. The Republicans may prefer to dismiss the case as quickly as possible regardless of Trump’s preference, thus heading off hours of posturing for TV audiences. We shall see ….

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