Friday, November 07, 2008

A few modest suggestions

The whole world awaits, holding its collective breath, not in horror like 9-11, but in Hope, wonderment, amazement, and the expectation that America will amaze everyone and do the best things possible after eight years of doing the worst imaginable and much that was worse yet. The entire world is United as never since 9-11 and the time is now to unite it more by doing the right thing and not disappoint and wreck all that has been gained. Here are ten things that can put us on that track.

#1 Justice

A. Do no harm,
or perhaps better put, stop doing harm. There must be a layers committee to seek out all activities that the Bush Administration is doing that violate ethics, the Constitution, the law, human decency, and the Geneva Conventions and call a halt to all of it by proclamation in the body of the Swearing in Speech, backed up by whatever documents are needed. Since most will need to be sorted out, a plan to do that in each case will be needed before day one.

Before that moment they are Bush war crimes at the least. After that moment they instantly become Obama war crimes. Beyond that all shredding of the Constitution and the Magna Carta must be reversed.

B.Pursue Justice As Obama has put it there is a lot out there that looks like crimes and are crimes, but proving that a specific person is the criminal responsible is a much tougher thing. However to allow all that has happened in the past eight years to pass uninvestigated much less prosecuted is to ensure that it will happen again and soon and very much worse, just as Bill Clinton not pursuing the facts of Iran Contra and the S&L bomb gave us Enron, Bush2, and the current economic meltdown.

Fortunately there are people who have been looking at most of the details for several years now. It would not be a problem to sort them out and organize a program that will find wrong doers and have a Special Prosecutor sort out where there is prosecutable crimes, and to sort out where and how all those crimes, and even stupidity that looks like crimes can be locked away that they can never threaten us again. We have drifted very close to a level of proto fascism that I will be satisfied has been shoved back into its box when Obama and the new Congress actually take office. That box really needs to be nailed shut!

#2 Honor

A.The War on Totalitarian Theocracy - There is no war on "terror" terrorism is a technique. The only one open to anyone fighting overlords (like the Founding Fathers)and/or seeking to become them (like the CIA in Iran). It is used because it is effective, and because the military is the worst way to fight it. Every time it kills one the devastation creates many more. That is not "whack a mole" that is "whack a Hydra"!

It is not a war on Muslims. Many would like it to be so. It was so convienent to equate liberal ideas and Russian aggression and thereby create space for an American Totalitarian Theocracy to create and grow its base by being "anticommunist". It overplayed its hand by demanding Sarah Palin as "President in waiting", but it is only wounded and frightened, and we can expect that the danger of terrorist attack from that quarter, that has been covered up but still active, will increase a very great deal.

This is not about fundamentalist religion but eliminationism, Bin Laden or Muthee, they do not want negotiation but conquest. But they cannot be defeated by military but only on the field of ideas. It is only there that they are poorly armed. Attacked they swim in a sea of supporters, defending their policies they are a fish out of water as few would support if they knew the facts.

Unfortunately Israel is also led by Neocons and Theocrats. One cannot support the freedom, safety, and democracy of Israelis and at the same time support those who would use a perpetual war on Muslims, to give and keep themselves in power, and there will be no peace as long as Gaza is a concentration camp.

Israel is not a country of only Jews, but a dozen religions side by side. No matter how many are killed the demographics will make it majority Muslim even within the '67 borders in a very few years. The choice is only Apartheid or Secularity where there can be NO favored religion, the only other choice is the German path of extermination, and final solution, and I don't think even the most theocratic Jew could live with that.

3. Real Socialism- Not Soviet "government owns everything" "Socialism" but Socialized Person / child/ dog Socialism (the Soviets also claimed they were democracies. Why didn't everyone think one was as phony as the other?) Apparently even Barny is unsocialized.

My understanding of Socialism is an agreement to all work for a world where every person can contribute at their highest ability. That a person who has the talent to invent the solution to world energy needs not find themselves on the night shift of a 7-11 because their path was blocked on social or financial grounds. And not just the stars like that but at every level the whole society benefits if each person is as productive as they can be.

1. The National Bureau of Standards - One very great place that the Government can be crucial and reinvigorate the auto industry, as well as create industries as yet undreamed of is to rebuild the National Bureau of Standards to take back Government primarity of standards that corporations work to create their own standards to control and thus limit free trade, often crushing competition.

By taking control of everything from Computer Operating systems to bolt patterns on car parts, so that there was one published standard or a limited group of standards, managed as the GNU software is managed or the way that any hard drive fits in any computer, than any garage mechanic could produce the next generation of Green Car and become the American Honda.

2. The Electronic Commons

a. The Internet Al Gore was right that the government must create and defend a major Internet backbone that no other entity foreign or domestic can rule that Internet. Do that and demand Net Neutrality but allow other backbones as we have both USPS and FedEx will keep all sides honest and competitive.

A national investment in targeted satellite WiFi would also be a major leap that no NGO could do or should control that backed up with a program to make Internet available to every person no matter who or where, and especially backed up with a national education program about which more later, would bring America from 35th in literacy to number one as anyone could have college graduate level knowledge just by spending the time to learn it.

b. The Electromagnetic Spectrum - The electromagnetic spectrum is a limited resource, and more importantly it is one home to the font of information that our society bases it's Democracy. If that is captured Democracy fails, as indeed it would have even now but for the rise of the Internet to provide a surprise alternative.

The ownership of even two television stations, or other media is a restraint of trade as long as there is a responsible person wishing to use one of them. A rotating 5 year license that is open to genuine competition based not on bidding with money but based on what they would do for society, and how well they have behaved in the past, and that to receive one and only one license would bring press freedom back to America and America back to number one where we have fallen far to the back of the pack.

3.Corporate Criminality-Having abandoned Royalty and Baronies in 1776 they have come creeping back and threaten to overwhelm even the concept of National Government, replacing it with an international Gang Of Pirates formerly operating under the umbrella of the United States Government, but about to abandon even that for a world of Third World countries divided up into satraps not of land but of spheres of influence in some vital resource, with the ability to blackmail any country including America.

Not a conspiracy in the Illuminati sense, but the natural result of an ideology that does not believe that government should "interfere" in the doings of Corporations and that all barriers to their free exercise of power should be removed. Eventually they become "Too big to fail" and "Too big to oppose" but no one dares to say "too big to exist".

The first Step must be a special Prosecutorial team to prosecute and jail all persons in charge of corporate conspiracies to sell or cover up fraud and murder from the Vioxx case to the mass environmental disasters. Any decent civil litigation lawyer can point to a hundred grievous cases where massive death and destruction was protected because the corporation was at fault and the people involved felt immune.

The Idea of Corporations was that Investors were immune, not the entire corporation and all the operators. If the founding fathers saw what corporations have become they would be in a tizzy. If any person in a position of authority is not held accountable they will become as unsocialized as any pirate, as our current financial mess can attest.

4. Corporate Governance - There is no such thing as "Free Enterprise" where there are no rules but only Government enforced rules that till now have only been written by those wishing to protect only themselves. As a result it is not a surprise that CEO's who are supposedly only hirelings of the investors are walking off with what is often more income than the entire Corporation managed to net.

It is quite possible to change the rules to disallow default proxy voting, and what I am sure are other arcane rules that keep power in the hands of the CEO and out of the hands of any other stakeholders.

It is also possible to create a path for the emergence of the new Argentine style of Corporation that is owned and operated by all the people who work there in an American style Democracy that all levels of management are elected by those below. When there is a Government bailout of the investors instead of a deal with them to make a deal with the people who do the work and let them pay back the loan.

5. The Science Commons

a Chemicals - There was a time when most research was funded and run by the Government. Folks like the EPA went out and measured what was happening themselves, and HEW did basic research on chemicals to find beneficial and harmful chemicals like penicillin that drug companies competed to produce at the best quality and price.

The Antisocialists howled that the drug companies could do the work and report their results, and save taxpayers all that money. Now we can see how well all that worked out. The research is geared to what is most profitable and barely at all for common good. Testing asks only if a drug works at all, and not how it stacks up to other ways, and as the Vioxx case revealed even surpressed mass murder for the sake of profit.

There needs to be a return to Government research labs to build unbiased data in all fields. It can be easily paid for by charging a tax on all use of Government patents for private profit like the penicillin. Or taxing income from private patents funded by government research. Just collecting what is already owed would go a very long way to paying those bills.

b Biology- like the drugs genetic engineering all exists on the shoulders of research of hundreds of years, and like the Chemical and Drug Industries the Socialized dreams painted of abundant food and health have become unsocialized nightmares as power and profit rule ahead of social good.

Today one only has to patent a gene, even if it is detrimental overall, and have it spread to the entire ecosystem to be able to sue everyone in posession of the gene for patent infringement and control an entire food source. Such is the case with Soybeans, Corn, and many major crops. Instead it must be the patent holder that is responsible for the gene spread, and be the one liable if the gene causes a drop in productivity (as they usually do) of the folk who do not use the patented product. and that if the gene spreads beyond the control of the patent holder the patent cannot be enforced.

6. The Knowledge Commons - Our entire education system is a sixteenth century concept trying to do a twenty first century job, with all the sixteenth century prejudices built in. Our civilization can no longer afford an educated elite running an illiterate masses. We need every brain with the chops to manage the maximum contribution possible lest we all go the way of every previous civilization.

So what is needed is an Internet based National education program that anyone can obtain the knowledge and have a means of certifying that knowledge at the speed they are able without the overburden of regular college and grad school much less earlier grades where home schooling can supplement and advance regular public school rather than replacing earlier grades where socialization is an important part of early schooling.

To open or create the current college system for all people would be cost prohibitive, but a well planned and managed system that organized what the Internet already makes available, and added all the libraries and other forms of commons would leapfrog the entire civilization. Limiting the current copyright and fair use laws back to sanity would also be a necessary step.

7. A Creative Commons Award- built like the SBIR program a process by which inventions and other creative work could be called for and rewarded and put into the creative commons in full or partial amount.

As example an invention might be called for and a $50,000 reward offered and then a standard 1% fee given for every one made in five years, but available in a non exclusive basis to anyone who wished to go there

This would short circuit the labyrinthine patent process and spur creativity. It would also provide an inexpensive program to make it easier to manufacture without expensive litigation over rights.

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One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

from an old tale.

The Golden Rule
“That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

- Rabbi Hillel



The self made man just isn't admitting how or where he came by all those parts

---FreeDem---- Aug 2005


If a man tells you that the Government cannot accomplish anything of value, then voting for him would be like hiring an Amish Auto Mechanic.
If they don't believe in the concept, they are more than likely to do a very poor job of it.

---Bob Danforth Sept. 2009


Republicans never meant to cut government waste, fraud and graft, from the get-go their plan was to organize, monopolize and privatize waste, fraud and graft.

They see the civil service as meddling “middleman,” who interfered with the free flow of cash from taxpayers into corporate coffers. Their intent was to eliminate the “middleman” as an obstruction to corruption.

---Unknown rabblerowser Feb 2007


No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot

Mark Twain


You see, we often get noncreative leaders, people most interested in preserving their own positions. They flock around centers of power. Such centers attract people who can be corrupted. That is a more descriptive observation than to say simply that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If you are corruptible and your imagination is confined to worries about loss of power, you exist in a self-destructive system. Eventually, as all life does, you must encounter something you did not anticipate, and if you have not strengthened your creative resources, you will have no new ways for adapting to change. Adapt or die, that's the first rule of survival.

The limited vision of noncreative people is not difficult to understand. Creativity frightens the unimaginative. They don't know what's happening. Things new and unexpected arise from creativity. This threatens "things as they are." And (terrible thought) it undermines illusions of omnipotence.


Herbert 1984 (the year not the book)


"News is what powerful people want to keep hidden; everything else is just publicity."

....Bill Moyer


Just as having only a hammer makes every problem either look like a nail, or as something irrelevant, our very technological skills have had us look there for explanations and ignore reality it cannot deal with. With our powerful hammer, we seek only nails, and dump the rest as dross. Not all questions involve hammers, not all answers are nails.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

My issue with Atheists is not that they have no God, there are many religions that have no God, but that they have no religion.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

__Note: by this I mean that there are many things religions do besides the discredited "science" and self serving promises (give me your money and God will hold and pay the note), many like charity or fellowship, even social accountability can be very good things not requiring a God.


Many have been very disappointed that their "God-critter" was not to be found as a technology swimming about in the shallower pools of knowledge. So in the obsession basic to our culture, we search ever deeper and more difficult pools, and always the "God-critter" seems to wink at us from the pool just beyond.

In the process we have found technologies beyond the wildest dreams of our most sophisticated ancestors. The great joke is that the "critter" never existed except as the pools themselves.

----Freedem --- Oct 2006

Indeed I do think that many folk, believe all kinds of stuff from the actually true, to the utterly illogical, with no personal discernment one from the others. But that would hardly make any of them a scholar to rely on, any more that one should get their theology studies from a door to door salesman, offering "get out of hell free" cards, on special because the creator of galaxies in greater numbers than beach sand, nonetheless has an ego so weak He cannot exist without shamelessly excessive psychophancy from a major portion of the inhabitants of this particular dust speck.

----Freedem ---June-2007

More to come