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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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The real lesson to take away from the US Presidential Election and the UK Brexit Vote.

I’ve worked in the marketing “industry” for several decades, and have been on the “buy-side” all that time. To those not in the industry that means I buy marketing services (creative and media) from companies who sell it. Those companies use very similar techniques as are used in politics to advise on the right message and mix of media, and I’ve found that the accuracy of those “techniques” has always been biased towards the exact services that those “sell-side” marketers are pushing.

During the election cycle we saw every single media outlet doing whatever they could to keep their revenue streams happy. On TV and radio this means keeping consumers watching/listening across ad-breaks, while in print and online it was to maximize their viewership by offering views that would be attractive to as wide an audience as possible.

So every issue was represented from both sides, every fact was questioned without facts and every bullshit idea was presented as equal to any fact. There was absolutely no interest in what any candidate actually was going to do, what was important was presenting every position as equal, allowing every party to just talk and talk.

Stolen information from emails, and candidly recorded audio was presented without any interest in its integrity and was presented as being as valid as formally recorded statements, creating a level of uncertainty around every piece of knowledge, facts and non-facts were melded, and it became hard to distinguish rumor from fact, so hard that most people gave up even trying to, “her lies” and “his misogyny, bigotry and bluster” was seen as equal, which I suspect in the cold hard light of history will be seen to not be so.

And then to support all of this, highly nuanced surveys and polls were continually captured and presented. I say highly nuanced, because polls and surveys always end up speaking to a small group of people who actually are willing to spend the time to answer questions. And when you pay someone to run a survey they quickly learn who they can rely on, and will go to the same people again and again, despite the clear data issue this generated, because that’s how they get paid.

The goal is to create content in support of revenue. Cheap content, presented as valuable beyond it’s true value. Low cost product generating high profit revenue is the dream of any business, including the media.

Polls, surveys, snippets of information then discussed by talking heads and bloggers, who then become the news source for more talking heads to discuss (just look at Foxnews, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, BBC News, Huffington post etc). The actual validity of the core data quickly gets lost in the process of generating “content”

In business the sell-side marketers are always pushing “facts” in support of the “buy-side” marketers case to spend more money. “buy-side” marketers are always under pressure to justify their budgets, and once they start to rely on the “sell-side facts” they are hooked into an addictive cycle that requires them to just double down on their committed plan, spending more and more.

This is exactly what the media do in every election cycle. The biggest measure of a campaign is seen as how much are they spending on ad’s. When in fact these adverts have almost no impact on the election, and yet every campaign buys into the bullshit. Every talking head, newspaper and blogger is writing about who has a bigger war chest, and who is spending more in this month’s cycle of ad’s. Every Ad is presented as a powerful new tool to swing the result, a tool that never produced the promised results, EVER!

The pain that businesses feel when they cannot see a direct relationship between their marketing investment and their business performance is EXACTLY the same as the pain that the electorate feel when the polls prove to be entirely devoid of reality.

The people who are marching up and down outside Trump buildings, should maybe think about marching up and down outside the “free presses” offices.

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The Trump Policy Process Explained

The Trump Formula

Here is the formula that is used to create every single Donald Trump Policy.

There is only one variable that needs to be defined, and that is the name of the policy.

{start}

In the following just replace the word <policy> with any policy name you care for.

  1. I will be great at <policy>
  2. My <policy> policy will be uuuugggggeeeeee.
  3. Unlike that low energy guy, my <policy> will be lower cost, better in every way and stronger, believe me, I make <policy> deals like you’ve never seen, believe me.
  4. Women will love my <policy> plan.
  5. The blacks will love my <policy> plan.
  6. Evangelicals love my <policy> plans.
  7. I’ll make GREAT <policy> deals, believe me. like you’ve never seen before. They will be FANTASTIC deals for <policy>.
  8. No one will be as great at <policy> as me, believe me. I will be so great, you just won’t believe how great I’ll be at <policy>
  9. Those other loosers all will fail at <policy> I’m the only one who can do <policy> like it needs to be done, believe me!
  10. Just look at my hands, you can infer I have a uuuuggggeee dick, and that’s important for <policy>

 

If you ask me for more detail on <policy> I’ll say that you are paid by the elites and personally insult you in ways that would seem juvenile to a 3rd grader.

 

Now ask me about another policy.

[chants of trump, trump, trump continue in the background interspersed with chants of USA, USA, USA]

Go back to {start}

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