VOTE!

If you believe that poor people are the problem – Vote!

If you believe that immigrants are ruining this country – Vote!

If you believe that the government is evil and must be destroyed – Vote!

If you believe that America is a Christian country, and white means smarter, more powerful, richer – Vote!

If you believe that businesses can choose to not serve people they hate – Vote!

If you believe that countries that are our partners are idiots and countries run by totalitarian dictators are our new friends – Vote!

If you believe that women are less than men – Vote!

If you believe that woman’s health care is a pre-existing condition that murders babies – Vote!

If you believe it’s okay to say whatever you need to say to win and then do whatever you want afterwards – Vote!

If you believe corporations are people too – Vote!

If you believe that the Bible is the absolute word of god (even if you choose to ignore some bits) – Vote!

If you believe any relationship that’s not one man, one woman is evil and should be killed – Vote!

If you believe that healthcare is not a right – Vote!

If you believe that spending money you don’t have is okay so long as taxes are low – Vote!

If you believe it’s okay to make working peoples lives harder while you make the rich, richer – Vote!

If you believe it’s okay for politicians to profit from their decisions – Vote!

If you believe it’s okay to take from others, as long as it doesn’t effect you – Vote!

If you believe that the press are liars and politicians are honest – Vote!

If you believe global warming is a lie – Vote!

If you believe guns are a right but any gun control is wrong – Vote!

If you believe that black people are scary – Vote!

If you believe unions are bad, but weak employment laws are good – Vote!

If you believe its okay to pay a fortune for for-profit education – Vote!

And of course if you happen to think any or all the above is abhorrent – Vote!

If you are a citizen and you don’t vote, then you are the problem!

(6)

Where I want to Live

In the past I’ve been pretty confident in my view that both parties in the US held some good ideas.

I’ve always thought that the best places to live allowed individuals almost unfettered personal freedom, with the only limits being that since everyone is equal, no one can tell you what to do. So, if your ideas demanded someone else change their way of living, then you couldn’t do that.

I’ve always thought that if didn’t matter what color you are or what sex you decided you’d like to participate in, that was entirely up to you.

I don’t like to wear my trousers below my underwear, so I don’t. I don’t really like seeing anyone else do that, but quite simply it’s up to them, not me and I don’t have the right to change their clothes.

If men want to dress as women, or women want to dress as men, to me it’s really no different as any other configuration. I don’t have any issue with men marrying men, women marrying women, or any other permutation of the wide and varied spectrum of sexual modes that exist. Actually, I think it’s great for everyone to be whatever they desire, either my nature or nurture.

I never really realized how much prejudice people of color suffer. I guess being white I inherently have white privilege, as racists don’t pay me any attention.

I know I’m conflating race and sex, but that’s the point, we’re all the same and I just don’t get why anyone gets treated differently based on anything.

I’ve never seen a difference in the workplace based on people’s ability based on sex. Man or Woman really makes no difference, except for the pretty obvious ones, that women generally have to do a lot more in life than men. A job is hard enough, but women also have to look incredible every day (Men’s clothing is much simpler and the whole makeup thing bamboozles me, I couldn’t do it) and have to deal with being the factory to create other people. Frankly I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be a woman, and I’m in awe of how women don’t let the extra pressures of social expectations and biological processes hold them back. It seems very reasonable that a woman doing the same job as a man should be paid more, in the same way that people who work in expensive cities get paid more, a weighting for the extra work and costs that are incurred. Seriously why don’t women get paid more than men for the same work?

How can it be that people with darker skins go to different schools, have less money and get treated worse? I get the history, if your parents had less opportunity, then you will have less opportunity, it’s a very simple and calculatable model. But it’s also very obvious and fixable. The law can be used to straighten out these issues, but instead we continue to use the law to exacerbate these issues. And with inequality everyone loses, no one wins.

No one want’s to pay taxes, obviously, everyone wants to keep more of what they earned themselves. So how can we build a society where we get everything that is needed to create and maintain a prosperous society without massive taxation? Obviously, there is a cost to creating and maintaining society, but it seems nuts to expect cuts in tax to solve the issues. We need infrastructure, schools, laws, protection, and that costs a lot. I believe that today (partly because of the excessive costs of healthcare) we in the US pay more overall than anyone else. The tax rates vary country by country, but so does what they include. Federal, state, social security and local taxes plus health, car and house insurance, plus payments for retirement, purchase taxes, fuel taxes, licenses and approvals, educational costs all are bundled to some extent in most countries. When you add all these up I think we pay MORE than pretty much everyone else. But any tax cuts that happen here, really only impact the people who don’t pay any of these taxes.

I love the idea of running a surplus as opposed to a deficit, and year by year paying off debt, so that taxes can eventually be lower. It will take a long time, but just like balancing a personal account, that’s the only way to solve long term debt issues. There are many things that need to be improved, but often the answer is not to spend more, it’s to pay less for the services and good that are needed. But we have a model whereby business pays politicians to spend top $ on products and services, in no-bid contracts at multiples of the prices paid by others.

We have shitty roads, not just because of a lack of investment, there are national deals with industries that mandate what types of roads are built. We have concrete roads, when we know that concrete roads don’t work as well as more modern materials, but it’s the deal that lead to a bunch of politicians getting a lot of money fifty years ago, and every politician since still drinks from the same trough.

We pay more for the same drugs as people in other countries, because politicians were paid to sign laws saying the government can’t negotiate drug deals but will pay list price. Seriously how can that every be right. The drugs are American, designed and often built here, and yet we pay the highest prices anywhere in the world, because politicians were paid to agree to the deal, and politicians from all parties fill their pockets the same way every day.

This practice has been made illegal all over the western world, where politicians regularly swap their pin stripe business suites for black and white arrows when then break these laws, but in America it’s all legal. Politicians are supposed to be servants of the people, not the other way around.

The issue has become worse year by year, as we have learnt to hate “the other” and allow the flaws of the ones closest to our own team.

We’re at a point now where the most extreme, corrupt, sexist, racist, xenophobic, flawed president and vice president fiction could ever have imagined became the leaders of the free world, supported by the machinations of the crumbling remains of our cold war enemy who moved the wealth of an empire into the arms of the men who ran their secret police.

And it was in response to a black man being president and supporting a woman as his successor.

I still believe that there are good ideas that can come from both sides of the political divide, but until the right stands up to the crazies they have given power, I don’t think it will matter what the left does.

(16)

How to automate the process of building an entire city

It makes little sense to send people to Mars to build a city, as people need a level of infrastructure that makes living there impractical until you build the infrastructure needed to survive.

It makes a lot more sense to send machines to build the environment and send people later.

What if robots could mine raw materials, build the factories to process the raw material, build the infrastructure to build more robots that could then build everything needed to sustain life.

There is no reason why this cannot be done!

Phase 1 – Robots investigate available raw materials (survey)

Phase 2 – Robots mine raw materials (mine)

Phase 3 – Robots use the initial raw material to build refineries to produce building materials and factories (Build)

Phase 4 – Robots build more robots out of refined material (replicate)

Phase 5 – Robots now build everything needed to sustain life (buildings, machines, infrastructure) (Implement)

Phase 6 – People arrive (Immigrate)

How long would it take? 50 years, 500 years? Probably somewhere in between.

I believe phases 1 and 2 are almost practical today. While phase 3 is partially possible today.

It could be started on Earth right now. Build the technology to build cities from nothing, anywhere on the planet, and potentially beyond.

A few square miles of barren land, a lot of smart minds, enough investment to make it happen.

This is the project that is needed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3)

Economics, Politics, Society and War

There is a clarity of mind that the Republicans bring, that cannot be replicated by any other political party.

Republicans understand that money is truly a fictional construct. All that matters is that the people who have more, create space between themselves and those who have less. This is the fundamental truth of every society.

“Those who have least serve those who have most.”

You must create huge gaps between us and them, and to do this you need to create categories of “them”, while creating power for the “us”

There is power in clarity of purpose. While everyone has their own personal concerns, the Republicans have focused on bigger, longer-term, more direct power.

Finding every way possible to separate people with a genetic predisposition to have more melanin in their skin from those with little, has become a primary method of creating an us vs them. And if you don’t agree then you’re clearly an evil liberal socialist who should be derided and insulted in every way possible. This model wasn’t invented in America, but it is being perfected by the Republican party of President Donald Trump.

Germany in the 1920’s and early 30’s was the most advanced culture in Europe (and probably the world), their symbolism when looked at without the hindsight of the terrible atrocities that came slightly later, were impressively modern. Art, science and design were centered globally in Germany. And then came a very focused extremely polarizing us vs them concept.

All you need to do is define the “them” and make sure they have less, and automatically you have more.

Take out morality, allow any means to justify an end, insult, imprison and totally destroy anyone who is unlike yourself.

Find a loud and controversial figurehead to take center stage, say whatever he likes, create controversy that takes the focus of the real power, allowing the real power to make real changes to social, economic, political, legal frameworks that destroy the “other”

When eventually the fake figurehead is stopped, it’s too late the real changes that were desired by the “us” are already done.

Read “the rise and fall of the Roman Empire” (or at least find a comic book version to scan). Read up on the history of the Byzantine empire, the British empire, the Spanish empire, the Third Reich, The Muslim empires. And then read the art of war, and learn how power uses strategy and tactics to win.

The United States has quickly tripped to the right, but it hasn’t fallen over fully, quite yet. But it’s still toppling slowly.

(1)

Us vs Them

Finding every way possible to separate people with a genetic predisposition to have more melanin in their skin from those with little, has become a primary method of creating an us vs them. And if you don’t agree then you’re clearly an evil liberal socialist who should be derided and insulted in every way possible.

This model wasn’t invented in America, but it is being perfected by the Republican party of President Donald Trump.

Every step disproportionately impacts “them”

“Illegals”

“Private Prisons”

“Killing Social Safety nets”

“Muslim Terrorism”

“Drug Law Enforcement”

“Build The Wall”

“Pre-exsting conditions”

“Stop Abortions”

“Break there Unions”

even “2nd Amendment”

 

(3)

Lack of empathy is a political tool

I’ve held and postulated the theory that many people have no empathy.

And in case you don’t understand the concept of empathy it is simply the ability to understand the feelings of others.

There is a group of people who exhibit a total lack of empathy. Here are some of the exhibited behaviors:

  • They think being gay is wrong and should be illegal.
  • They think that being dark skinned is an indication of wrongness and should be seen as less.
  • They often think that their sex is better than the “other” sex, is smarter, stronger, more powerful etc.
  • They think their religion the only religion and is perfect, others being wrong and evil.

Some people may call people with this deficiency of empathy – bigots, sexists, racists or fundamentalists.

With the recent ridiculous separation of parents and children, being endorsed by the president and his followers, I’d suggest that Republican is a better name for this lack of empathy.

It now seems to be the single defining, unifying force behind republicans.

The only time that republicans seems to understand the issues with their ideas is when they find out that a member of their kith or kin are gay, changed religion or married someone unlike themselves. If it doesn’t impact them directly they don’t see the issue. That’s the definition of a fundamental lack of empathy.

 

 

(14)

Please or Annoy the President?

How to please Trump

  • “I’m impressed by your businesses”
  • “I’m impressed by your golfing ability”
  • “I’m impressed by how attractive, beautiful women find you”
  • “I really like the way you wear your hair and the length of your tie”
  • “I love the way you insult anyone and everyone”

How to annoy Trump

  • “I need you to think about something that doesn’t directly impact you”
  • “I need you to make a decision and stick to it”
  • “I need you to say sorry for any/all of your terrible comments/behaviors”
  • “I need you to stop being a racist/sexist/xenophobe”
  • “I need you to act with decorum befitting the role of the President”
  • “I need you to read and understand the papers you are asked to sign before you either sign them or not sign them”
  • “I need you to understand and abide by the US constitution.”

 

Today If I had the chance to speak with President Trump, I suspect he’d by rather annoyed….

 

 

(1)

It’s becoming very hard to spot phishing attacks

Every year the quality of phishing attacks seems to get better. It wasn’t too long ago that you could spot a fake message from a bank, because of the terrible use of english and awful formatting of the images, but it is not a lot harder. The syntax, grammar, formatting, images and event the URL’s they point you too look identical to those of the real institutions that they are purporting to be.

In fact, some of the emails you receive from scammers, now actually look better than the ones from your bank.

The simple answer (of course) is to NEVER trust an unsolicited communication from anyone, it doesn’t matter of the bank calls you, emails you, writes to you, or knocks on your door directly. If you didn’t expect the communication there is a very high probability it’s fake.

The best answer is to always either visit the institution in person, or call the number on the back of your card (and I can even think of a few ways this can be faked, but it’s much harder)

Here are a few of the attempts to scam me, that I’ve received just this month:

“Hi I’m calling from Microsoft, and we have detected a virus on your computer, and you need to give me access to remove it”

“Hello dear friend, I’m the daughter of the late finance minister of an African nation, and am in trouble and need your help to get funds out of the country, I’ll pay you well for your service in this matter”

“There is an issue with your iCloud login, please click below to resolve the issue”

“This is a IRS calling to tell you that you will be arrested unless you call this number immediately”

“I have been contracted to kill you, but will not kill you it you pay me the same amount of money as the contract”

“This is a fraud alert from the bank, please login below to confirm the transactions”

Some of these were via email, and some phone calls. All were ignored, and most entered spam folders.

For the phone calls I use an amazing service called norobo, which checks every incoming call for know garbage (including charities and political parties) and diverts the call as soon as the caller id is identified. A brilliant free service for the home line (and they charge for cellphones)

For email, the built-in spam filters seem to work quite well, and I needed to actually look in the spam-folder to see what I received.

The simplest answer is to just not believe anyone who calls or emails, assume they all lie, and you are right virtually every time.

(11)