Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It’s About Quality of Life


I’ll bet 10 cat’s eye marbles that there is one thing that you and I both know for certain.

That is American Predatory Capitalism is a clear failure for 99.9% of Americans. The U.S. has metastasized into a corporate oligarchy, dominated by a few billionaires, and is only a step or two away from becoming a full-blown Fascist dictatorship.

The .01% have it made, of course. And, even the top 10% are doing good, too.

But the rest of us are struggling. We are barely eking out a living.

Importantly, it’s not just about money. It’s about quality of life.

After all, most of us don’t go home to protected, gated communities, riding in an armor-plated Mercedes, chauffeured by ex-Special Ops armed guard.

No, we’re living every second in a war zone of sorts. Just going somewhere – around the corner or cross town – requires remaining on guard, trying to avoid the people with the guns – the car rage people, totally insane and ready to explode for some perceived driving error – and the hoodlums ready to take your life for the $10 they think you might have in your wallet.

Today in America, you must now also be on guard to remain clear of and far away from those other people with guns – the police. Because if you are stopped for any reason, you may not survive the encounter. You can end up dead for making the wrong move or pulled out of your car are pummeled for God knows what the “bully-with-a-badge-and-gun” perceived as a provocative infraction.

Finally, we are forced to constantly remain on guard, alert for the next scam coming our way via those maddening, unsolicited phone calls, or the unending rip offs – from the cable company, the bank, the grocery store, the gas station, the insurance company, the doctor, the hospital, and without a doubt, the politicians.

No, American Predatory Capitalism is not working for 99.9% of Americans.

I’m for giving Nordic-Style Social Democracy some time at bat. It has worked for others. Let’s see what we can do with an Americanized version.

Let’s change our societal paradigm away from welfare for corporations and the .01%.

So, I’m for Bernie Sanders for President.

Yes, I’m in. Because I believe Sen. Sanders will move our nation toward an upgraded and improved quality of life… back toward the Democracy we thought we had… for all of us… all 99.9%. 

In summary,

"What the United States needs is not bigger government but smarter government, government for the twenty-first century that is simpler and more transparent, that provides the basic social services and regulations that a government can best provide, and that then leaves the market free of all the targeted meddling that the United States is infamous for now."

The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen

Jim Croce - Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Midnight Special - 1973)


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

microRNA-142 Masterswitch Turnoffs Autoimmune Diseases


Here are a few life-changing facts these brilliant scientists have recently uncovered:

"Professor Graham Lord, from The University of Manchester, led the study, which could translate into treatments for autoimmune diseases including Cancer, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn's Disease within a few years."

"The 10-year-study found that microRNA-142 controls Regulatory T cells, which modulate the immune system and prevent autoimmune disease. It is, they found, the most highly expressed regulator in the immune system."

"If the activity of Regulatory T cells is too low, this can cause other immune cells to attack our own body tissues. If these Regulatory T cells are too active, this leads to suppression of immune responses and can allow cancers to evade the immune system."

"So being able to control them is a major step forward in our ability to control- and harness—the therapeutic power of the immune system."

Please go here for the article:

Masterswitch discovered in body's immune system, University of Manchester, medicalxpress.com, 11 Feb 2019.

The Pointer Sisters - Automatic - 1983



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Doubting Thomas App


What could be more appropriate and, absolutely necessary, in our iPhone era, than an app that helps us sort out truth from fiction?

I’m waiting for a creative genius to make that happen.

In the meantime we are all over our heads engulfed in a serious challenge: How do we tell a “real” or truthful video from a fake video?

I’m not kidding. Millions of us watch a bazillion videos each day.

Often we take them at face value, just accepting that they are a true representation of the subject. You know, that the person speaking actually spoke the words we have just seen him/her say, or did the thing we just saw them do.

Well, I’m sorry to bring to your attention that you can no longer simply believe our own eyes.

And, even worse, the technology to seamlessly lie in video format is cheap and easy to use – so anyone one, with a mind to do so, can now fake their own videos.

How fun is that!

Here’s the story…

Deepfakes Explained: The AI That’s Making Fake Videos Too Convincing, Megan Ellis, makeuseof.com, 21 Nov 2018.

*You remember the Doubting Thomas Story, don't you?
John 20:24–29

"A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross."
The "Doubting Thomas App" would help us determine if the video is a Deepfake or not.

Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies - 1987
 



Friday, February 15, 2019

Trump Era Opens Neo-Progressive Door


Just the other day I wondered if I’d live long enough to witness a miracle. But just like my fortune cookie predicted, “You will soon witness a miracle”, I have indeed.

There’s one thing to note about the Trump Era… it opened the door to the Neo-Progressive Era.

Up to today in the nation’s history, it was painfully obvious that things would just keep sliming along no matter which political party was in charge.

Then the totally unexpected happened… Trump took over the White House and began paving the way to a whole new era. But it’s not the era that he nor his fellow oligarchs or their Republican Party leader drones expected.

Many of us had given up hope that we’d reach this tipping point given the iron grip the oligarchs have around the neck of the U.S. government. It’s their boundless avarice and unlimited bank accounts that have given them unlimited control of the nation’s resources and the ability to slime their way in and maintain control, no matter which party is in the majority.

But today Mr. Trump gave us a National Emergency Declaration for his wall that will change the game board forever.

In doing so he has single-handedly created and unleashed a Neo-Progressive Tsunami that will ultimately wipe out the oligarchy’s death grip and give birth to US-style Social Democracy.

It has taken a whole lot to wake up Americans to their dire situation, has it not?

But the Trump Era has now done the trick.

Glory Road- Neil Diamond - 1968


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Let’s Give the .01% What They Want



We know for certain that American-style capitalism does not work for most Americans. However, it certainly does work for the .01% and, arguably, even the top 10%, who earn roughly $120,000/yr and more.

For those people, life if very good. For the rest us, life is arduous, to say the least.

So, change is a must. Either capitalism is "revised" or... well, you know, things will get really bad for everyone.

We know change is never easy, so, here's a novel way to make the change happen: Why not emulate the best characteristic of the .01% class – the global corporatism, predatory capitalism people, the ones represented by the Republican Party – but scaled up for the American people en masse.

What do I mean “best of”?

It is the “self-first” nature of the beast, the thing they do best.

But our “self-first” would be directed, if you will, away from boundless individual greed toward a huge dose of humanity-first, e.g. Nordic Democracy. That's the Social Democracy that is working in the Nordic countries, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Our goal is to selfishly see to the needs of every American, on a one-by-one, individual basis, making sure that we need and exceed those needs, by making our society, including our government and our corporations, meet every single desire, want, need, for each and every person, universally, regardless of their personal stature or wealth.

In fact, all we would be doing is emulating the .01% class, but making their lifestyle universal, for all of us.

Here’s what our society will look like:

  • Living wages, no matter the job
  • Free healthcare 
  • Universal pensions
  • Free education
  • An end poverty
  • Affordable childcare
  • Paid maternity and paternity leave
  • Paid sick leave
  • Family allowance to cover expenses of raising a child
  • Four weeks guaranteed vacation (That means your job would still be yours when you come back from time off.)

Can American Capitalism Survive?, Steven Pearlstein - NBC News


Steven Pearlstein, a columnist for the Washington Post and public affairs professor at George Mason University, 

Is capitalism worth saving?, Sean Illing, vox.com, 2 Jan 2019.

Sean Illing: Why have so many people lost faith in capitalism?

Steven Pearlstein: The most obvious answer is that capitalism has left a lot of people behind in the last 30 years. Everyone can see that the top 1 percent, the top 10 percent, the top 20 percent, have captured most of the benefits of economic growth over the last 30 years, and the rest of the population has been marginalized.

Now, we all know this, but I wrote the book because I think there is a feeling even among those of us who didn’t get left behind that this system has become too unfair, too ruthless, and rewards too many of the things we think of as bad. The system offends the moral sensibilities even of people who are benefiting from it.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Man Up! Restore, Regenerate



It’s time to Man Up, do the right thing, and restore our earth for ourselves and generations to come.

It is possible to accomplish the task, but we must take the first steps on the restoration path today.

Here's the scientific model:

State-of-the-art climate model shows how we can solve crisis, University of Technology, Sydney, phys.org, 21 Jan 2019.

“This model is the first to achieve the required negative emissions through natural climate solutions, including the restoration of degraded forests and other lands, along with a transition to 100% renewable energy by mid-century.”

"Citing a growing body of research, we show that using land restoration efforts to meet negative emissions requirements, along with a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, gives the world a good chance of staying below the 1.5°C target," Malte Meinshausen, founding director of the Climate and Energy College at the University of Melbourne and Potsdam Institute Fellow, says.

A transition to 100% renewables and the implementation of natural climate solutions offer additional benefits beyond keeping the climate system in check, the researchers say. The energy transition will be able to recycle our natural gas infrastructure and create millions of permanent jobs. Natural climate solutions could also dramatically increase sustainable livelihoods in the developing world, offering better water security and reduced soil erosion.

-more-

Here’s Proof

How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change | Allan Savory



Facilitating the Regeneration of Grasslands

"Grasslands are vast landscapes that have the capacity, if properly managed, to address some of humanity’s most urgent challenges such as water and food insecurity, poverty, and climate change."

"Currently, grasslands are desertifying at alarming rates."

"One third of the earth's land surface is grasslands."

"70% of the world's grasslands have been degraded."

"Holistic Management of grasslands results in the the regeneration of soils, increased productivity and biological diversity, as well as economic and social well-being."

"Holistic Management uses decision-making and planning processes that give people the insights and management tools needed to work with the web of complexity that exists in nature: resulting in better, more informed decisions that balance key social, environmental, and financial considerations. In the context of the ecological restoration of grasslands worldwide, managers implement Holistic Planned Grazing to properly manage livestock – mimicking the predator/prey relationships in which these environments evolved."

Savory Institute

Allan Savory

Allan Savory, born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa (University of Natal, BS in Zoology and Botany) pursued an early career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service of what was then Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) and later as a farmer and game rancher in Zimbabwe.

In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous managers on four continents to develop sustainable solutions.

He served as a Member of Parliament in the latter days of Zimbabwe’s civil war and became the leader of the opposition to the ruling party headed by Ian Smith. Exiled in 1979 as a result of his opposition, he immigrated to the United States, where he continued to work with land managers through his consulting business.

-more-