Yearly Archives: 2015


Ralph Nader & Abby Martin on Rigged Corporate Elections, Clinton Criminals

YouTube has the video Ralph Nader & Abby Martin on Rigged Corporate Elections, Clinton Criminals.

On this week’s episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin interviews American political figure Ralph Nader about the 2016 presidential race—from the “Brown Shirt” Trump movement to “corporate criminal” Hillary Clinton—and the reality of who has power in America.


There are a tremendous number of ideas to think about in this video. As for the Bernie Sanders campaign, if this is a revolution we are joining, do we have anything to say about its goals, its strategies, and its tactics? If Bernie Sanders truly wants a revolution to help him govern, and I think he does, then the people in that revolution are going to make up their own minds as to what they want done, as they should. Ralph Nader presents ideas that the revolution ought to consider.

If you know anything about Ralph Nader, you probably don’t expect him to pull any punches. You won’t be disappointed.


On Escalating Already Abusive Behavior

There was an interesting Facebook post by Nadya Maqdisy. It centered around the following image.

Image that is the focus of the Facebook post

Just a little food for thought when you try to answer George W. Bush’s rhetorical question, “Why do they hate us?” Think about this when the Republican candidates and the Republican lite candidates tell you we need to get tougher on those Arabs (Palestinians), How much tougher are we supposed to get before they finally give in?

I always wonder if this getting tougher after all they have done to their kids already, is the “thought” process that abusive parents go through. Is there a similarity between that “thought” process and the one we go through when we decide how to handle the terrorists.

It is hard to have sympathy for our predicament – if we relent, they will be free to exact the revenge on us that we deserve – when we are the ones that chose to put ourselves in this box in the first place.

After making the above observations, I read one of the comments on the original post.

Syedasim Alizaidi – Actually they need another like great Hitler for lesson.

Steve Greenberg – That is kind of a silly response. Perhaps what Hitler did is what got the Zionists into this fix that they are in. They think and you may think that a response that is way out of proportion to the alleged crime committed will finally make people get the point. No, it just leads to further escalation.

So what is the answer, you might ask? Well, I think it is a response that the Republicans laughed at when a Democrat, I can’t remember whom, made a suggestion. Treat terrorist acts like the criminal behavior they are instead of treating it as a war. The punishment needs to be applied to the people who commit the crime, and that punishment should be in proportion to the crime committed. There should be no collective punishment involving people who have committed no crime. The punishment should not be 10 times worse than the crime committed. No criminal “justice” system has ever totally abolished all crime, but it should try to keep criminal activity at a tolerable level that let’s law abiding people go about their business for the most part. If you think you can do better than that, then you are expecting way too much.


Yotam Marom: What Really Caused the Implosion of the Occupy Movement—An Insider’s View

Alternet has the article What Really Caused the Implosion of the Occupy Movement—An Insider’s View by Yotam Marom.

The subtitle is:

Taking a hard look at some of the self-sabotaging behaviors of the left.

This article encourages me to have some deep thoughts about how best to help Bernie to win. It also encourages me to think about my own tendency to self-sabotaging behavior. Thinking about it helps to improve performance, I hope.

I post about this article on my blog so that I will have a permanent reminder of this article. I feel that it is something that I will want to remember for a long time. My reasons for posting this are not aimed at anyone else, but myself.


Clinton, Sanders, and the “Progressive Give-Up” Formula (with Clinton’s Warning of a “Grand Bargain” to Come)

Naked Capitalism has the article Clinton, Sanders, and the “Progressive Give-Up” Formula (with Clinton’s Warning of a “Grand Bargain” to Come) by Lambert Strether. He really lays it on the line.

Clinton is trying to put Sanders in the same pine box that Reagan put Mondale in; that’s her formula for victory, and may explain why she’s become so confident; after, the formula’s worked for thirty years. Sanders should give consideration to the idea of not helping Clinton do that. He might start by ignoring small ball like family leave, and pointing out that FDR won World War II (not to mention an empire, but that’s another story) by ballooning debt to unheard-of levels. FDR — a very popular and successful Democrat, as I recall — used good judgment in doing so, and served the public purpose.

Here is why Clinton is so dangerous. Sanders needs to get the courage to start telling the American public the truth about this. He can’t continue to be afraid to tackle this issue. Fear of letting the middle and poorer classes know what the rich already know is bad for the country and bad for the Sanders campaign.


Is light a wave or a particle? 16

Thanks to Marden Seavey for posting this item from YouTube, Is light a wave or a particle?


Let me be clear, I am in full support of what Sabine Hossenfelder says in this video. My comments below are only intended to amplify what she is saying. These comments are only intended as an additional way to look at the problem of thinking that there is a paradox here, and seeing how physicists are now avoiding creating such paradoxes in the minds of future students and non-physicists.

It seems to me that physicists started naming things like quarks and leptons to get away from the mistaken idea that likening these quantum mechanics thingies to Newtonian mechanics thingies would provide insight into what they were. That original comparison to familiar concepts left us with the non-answerable question of whether light is a wave or a particle. As Bill Belichick would say, “It is what it is.” As this narrator says, light displays some particle like properties and it displays some wave like properties, but it isn’t either of those two things. Particles and waves are abstract and simplified concepts that describe some properties of certain thingies. These thingies are what they are. You can only talk about the properties that they exhibit.

Put another way, particles and waves are models of reality. They simplify reality so we can write down and solve equations to predict what will happen in reality. Since the concept of particle or wave is a simplification of reality, we can not expect reality to behave only as the simplified model does. Reality is more complex than the model. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t need to simplify it to get some understanding. A simplified model only works in the situations where it is applicable. In other situations the model does not give you correct results at all. In the situation where light can be modeled as a wave, then the wave model is a good explanation of what light does. In situations where light acts as a particle, then the particle model gives a good description of what light does. Outside the domain of applicability, the model does not give a correct description of what light does. If we find a domain in which neither model is good, then we won’t be able to predict what light will do at all. In such a domain, we would have to see what light does, and then try to come up with an explanation of what rules light is following in that circumstance. Rather than calling that third model by a name of something that we have some insight into, we might just give it a wacky name to make sure nobody thinks that light is actually that other thing to which its behavior is similar.

I leave it to my friends who are more expert in physics than I am to tell me where I went astray and said something above that was full of crap.


Who Stole Christmas? T’was the Unitarians 2

The First Unitarian Society has the article Who Stole Christmas? T’was the Unitarians by Julie Brock, Ministerial Intern.

Before Christmas became about peace, love and department stores it was the at the crux of a culture war. The Unitarians were able to put a stop to the debate by taking Christmas into their own hands in the 1800s.

This is a nice companion piece to the poster from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Poster about Puritans and Christmas


NEWS: Bernie Sanders Continues Radio Push Across Iowa

Here is a News release I received from the campaign.

From: Rania Batrice <raniabatrice@berniesanders.com>
Date: Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 6:32 PM
Subject: NEWS: Bernie Sanders Continues Radio Push Across Iowa
To:



Bernie Sanders Continues Radio Push Across Iowa

December 23, 2015

Contact: Rania Batrice (512) 968-2818

DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign on Thursday continues his outreach on radio stations across Iowa with the launch of a new statewide ad. The ad, “Sound,” emphasizes Sanders’ commitment to “leaving this country and our entire planet habitable for our kids and grandchildren.”

“Sanders has put forth the most ambitious climate plan of any candidate…reducing carbon pollution by 80 percent and creating a clean energy workforce with millions of new jobs,” the ad says.

“Sen. Sanders is proud to have been the first presidential candidate to stand with thousands of Iowans against the Bakken Pipeline,” said Bernie 2016 Iowa state director, Robert Becker. “Iowa is a global leader in generating clean energy and the quality, good paying jobs that come along with that technology — as president, he will make combatting climate change a national priority.”

“Sound” can be found here.

###


Bernie Caroling

YouTube has the video Bernie Caroling.

Published on Dec 22, 2015

On Sunday, Los Angeles for Bernie supporters went on a marathon six hour caroling trip from the Mar Vista Farmers Market, through Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice and Main St. in Santa Monica, ending up at in front of the Nike store at Santa Monica Place on the Third St. Promenade and then in front of the Apple Store, where we set all the computer and tablet browsers to www.berniesanders.com and www.la4bernie.org. Many people took pictures and videos and posed and sung with us


I wish the Sturbridge Democratic Town Committee Soiree had used these words for the carols we sang.


Watch Out, MMT’s About, As Bernie Sanders Hires Stephanie Kelton 1

Forbes has what I think is an unintentionally funny article, Watch Out, MMT’s About, As Bernie Sanders Hires Stephanie Kelton, by Tim Worstall.

Worstall spends most of the article giving a cursory description of MMT (Modern Money Theory) in which he begrudgingly admits that the theory is probably correct about what it describes. Then he finally gets to what bothers him about it. The emphasis below is added by me to show the part of MMT that Worstall still does not get. Or maybe that is the part, I do not agree with. In my mind, the evidence shows that the way he differentiates base money from banking system money has no basis in reality. Think dot com bubble. This was not created by the Fed, but it was created by the private sector and its stock market.

And their basic outline about money creation is true as far as I can see. If you’re a country with your own central bank you can print as much money as you like. And sure, you could indeed finance government just by printing more money. Print money, spend it, hey presto, you’ve financed government. Standard monetary theory also recognises this: we know that the Fed makes a pretty profit each year from printing Benjamins (20 cents of paper and 3 cents of ink really is worth $100 these days) and that’s worth perhaps $20 billion a year to the US government in seignorage. We really don’t complain about it either. That standard monetary theory then also says that doing too much of this (in more detail, printing or creating lots of base money, rather than the creation of credit in the manner that the banking system does) will be highly inflationary. Standard theory points to Wiemar Germany, post WWII Hungary and modern Zimbabwe as examples (that last so fun that the end series of banknotes were only printed on one side as they didn’t have enough “real money” left to buy ink).

At which point the MMT crowd say ah, but yes, that’s what taxes are for. Print the money, spend it, thereby injecting it into the economy, and if inflation rises then taxes are what sucks that money back out of the economy and thus kills off the inflation. And it’s that bit that absolutely terrifies me. The effect that idea has on the incentives for politicians.

I have to agree that worrying about what politicians will do to pervert an idea is always something that needs worrying about. But that horse is already out of the barn. The politicians are basically using MMT to enrich the rich. The real worry is that the public will find out what the rich already know. They will realize that there is no need to “balance the budget” on the backs of the poor. Furthermore the public will be mighty angry that they have accepted unnecessary suffering because the rich, who knew it wasn’t true, made them think that there was a good governance reason to accept the rigging of the economy to transfer middle-class wealth to the rich.

What truly frightens the rich is that Bernie Sanders understands the scam and he is trying to explain it to the rest of us. He has hired an expert in the theory, Stephanie Kelton, to be his economist for the minority on the Senate Banking Committee. Imagine what will happen if 2016 brings that minority into the majority, and they still have Stephanie Kelton as the chief economist.