Category Archives: Politics

Wag the Dog

The election of The Drumpf may prove to be an excellent lesson for everyone in the manipulation of attention and persuasion of an audience.

There’s no doubt that that The Drumpf personifies the intentional overt molding of the media. He knows how to play the media against itself. He knows how to divert focus from sensitive areas that might expose his nefarious activities to sensationalized, fabricated scandals that tear at our sense of decorum and virtue, that incite our moral outrage.

We would do well to analyze and master this man’s capabilities.

Wag the Dog is a 1997 film which illustrates how misdirection of the media can sway and cajole the populace into ignoring true scandal within an administration and instead adopt a false but compelling alter-narrative.

The Drumpf is master at this. It is odd however, that he — the dog — would be wagging himself. That is, the phrase “wag the dog” implies that it is the tail of the dog that is in control, and not the dog itself. On second thought, The Drumpf may indeed NOT be in control but is being directed by his minions. Rasputin whispering in the Tsar’s ear.

The lesson here is to both learn the craft of intentional misdirection, AND, to learn when to recognize it and to stay the course of investigation of the dog itself.


No Money in antibiotics

Corp-Pharmaceuticals are waiting until the epidemics are eminent before they even consider wasting research and production on antibiotics. This is not across the board of course, but the trend is there. Actually ‘saving’ the world is a low priority for corporations. making money once it gets really bad — well, that’s a profitable mode of operation.

Corp-Pharma = Evil.

“Antibiotic resistance is growing, and we are fast running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.”

WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics

Priority 1: CRITICAL

  • Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
  • Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: HIGH

  • Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
  • Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
  • Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
  • Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: MEDIUM

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
  • Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
  • Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

 

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/bacteria-antibiotics-needed/en/

~~~

How to cure this? (ha!)

Put a society funded (government) bounty on creating effective drugs that combat drug resistant bacteria — with a guaranteed production and delivery of N numbers of doses over X number of years, all at an agreed upon ‘society benefiting’ fixed price.

Penalize drug companies that do not participate by adding additional months of FDA approval time to any drugs on the docket.

“Hey, Drug Companies! Society needs this. You’re in the business. DO IT! Or find another means to fill your shareholder’s bank accounts.”

 


WellCare SickCare

National Healthcare Idea

The current health care crisis (ACA) is in the process of being “solved” (yeah, right). I have scant knowledge of the proposed plan to fix the problem. However, talking this morning we discussed a possible alternative system which might be palatable to a fairly large percentage of participants (people, insurance, drug, government).

Split health care into two parts:

WellCare and SickCare

WellCare will be government sponsored and available without question to ALL US citizens.

SickCare will be insurance controlled and available only to those under premium/deductible payment systems.

WellCare will provide checkups, immunizations, mammograms, health screening, cancer screening, nutrition counselling, influenza shots, treatment and medication for temporary ailments. Essentially all care which keeps you healthy and/or get you back to health within a month’s time. Productivity of a society is the key here. Keeping society healthy should be the governement’s only health related goal. Beyond that is the responsibility of the individual.

SickCare takes over where WellCare leaves off – and is NOT free. Severe and/or lasting injury, long term ailments, chronic diseases should all be covered under SickCare. Society as a whole should not be held responsible for an individual’s genetic, accidental or situational conditions. Individuals must plan for extending health beyond society’s capacity for general populace care.

Where to place the dividing line between the two care systems is the critical question. If it keeps you healthy or returns you to health within one month then it is WellCare. Otherwise it is SickCare.

This is no doubt simplistic. But the core concept of two systems is sound.

Society has a responsibility – to a point – of taking care of its own. This is good economic sense. Care beyond this point however, is bad economic sense. And if a society cannot be economically viable then it will die.

Torte reform must also be part of the overall solution — got to get those lawyers out of the mix — suing doctors for profit.

Also reference:
https://anonymole.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/when-open-markets-make-sense/
https://anonymole.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/misery-profit/

 


Popular + Electoral = Fair

Here’s a way to reconcile the voting in the U.S., combine the popular and electoral votes into a single number.

If for every 250,000 popular votes we award one electoral vote:
Drumpf: 251(pop)
Clinton: 263(pop)

Then we divide up the 538 electoral votes as they fall:
Drumpf: 306(ele)
Clinton: 232(ele)

What we get as a composite are:
Drumpf: 251(pop) + 306(ele) = 557
Clinton: 263(pop) + 232(ele) = 495

In this scenario Drumpf still wins. Which still sucks, yes.

But if Clinton had just won Florida and Montana, using this Popular + Electoral votes system:
Clinton: 527 WINNER!
Drumpf: 525

This is what would have happened in Gore vs Bush:
Bush: 201(pop) + 271 (ele) = 472
Gore: 204(pop) + 266 (ele) = 470

If Gore had one 1/2 million more votes, he would have won the 2000 election in this scenario.

This blending of popular and electoral votes doesn’t change any recent historic elections, but, it certainly provides for a better feeling towards losing. In this case your vote really DOES count — if only a little.

 

 


Gun problem cure

Three types of gun ownership:
• hunting / recreation
• self-defense
• [other]
 
I would posit that the [other] type of gun ownership is economically driven. Such a gun can get you prestige or rank but more importantly, enhanced economic possibility.
 
So, why not address this last point in true economic fashion — buy [other] type guns at economically enabling prices.
 
For a one week period, in high gun-crime areas, offer to purchase (through philanthropic or government largess) guns at unprecedented prices. $10k for a handgun. $12k for a shotgun, $15k for an automatic rifle. During this time, all gun stores in a wide area will be closed.
 
The fallout for this program will be considerable. Those who want to keep their guns for hunting or self defense, will do so. But a gun is now worth nearly as much as silver or gold — so it would be prudent to keep them in concealed locations — or better yet — locked up in a safe.
 
Those would would benefit from $10 or 20k influx of cash — this amount of money will change peoples’ lives.
 
Guns are removed from those areas where they most likely will do the most harm.
 
This program should be repeated, around the country, randomly, to extract the most dangerous guns from circulation.
 
2nd Amendment? Leave it intact. But make gun ownership an expensive proposition. Those who are economically challenged will know what to do with their firearms.

One potato two potato

What is money?

It’s a proxy, a stand-in for exchanging value for value.

Does money have value? Should it? I think not.The entities being exchanged have value but money should never have intrinsic value. Money should be a temporary representation of value that is used in transactions between entities exchanging real things of value for other real things of value.

Something like the gold standard therefore is the wrong approach as this gives intrinsic value to a rare resource. Gold, silver, platinum are useful for various industrial and decorative purposes and their relative value might be representative of some worth. But because they are rare and permanent they can be hoarded and controlled. Money (value for value exchange) should never be allowed to be “cornered” or overtly controlled; rarity is not a system of value.

Say I grow corn. And you raise chickens. I’d like some of your chickens and you would like some of my corn. We could establish a system of value for value exchange, e.g. money or currency, by creating a temporary contract, 5 chickens = 1 bushel of corn. Currency is always a ratio: x of these equals y of those. If I plant corn in the spring but would like to acquire some of your chickens before the corn can be harvested, I could create a little promissory note, “NOTE WORTH ONE BUSHEL of CORN”. If you *trusted me* I could give you one of these and depending on how valuable you considered my corn, you would give me five of your chickens.

Now, here’s the part that fails with our current monetary system. Harvest comes and I have corn to spare. You come to me with that NOTE I gave you and exchange it for a bushel of corn. But what should happen to that NOTE now? Our contract is complete. I got chickens and you got corn. That NOTE I created as a promise should be destroyed. I no longer own you a bushel of corn. I have possession of this NOTE and it *should* no longer possess representational value.

Our current monetary system uses dollars. These dollars, these NOTES, have no intrinsic value. Nor have they been created as promises, as proxies or stand-ins for real value. That’s the rub. That’s the problem. Today’s money exists not as true proxies for value for value exchange, but as some fabricated, faked up promise created out of thin air. Money, the dollar, is magically created from nothing and somehow we accept it as representing value. And it gets worse. That dollar is not just magically created from thin air — a promise is made to banks to pay them a dollar — for nothing! We, government, society, goes into debt to create dollars owed to banks with which we then trade among ourselves, value for value.

We need a new monetary system.


Self-organizing cabinet

How do you build a cabinet when you have no idea how to build a cabinet?

  1. Select the 10 most intelligent people you know.
  2. Have each of those 10 select 10 additional people.
  3. You now have between 50 and 110 people (hopefully many will be duplicates).
  4. Each person will be ranked by a composite factor of experience and education.
  5. Take the top N x 2 people (if you need 20 cabinet members, 20 x 2 = 40).
  6. Keep the remainder as alternates.
  7. Put all the selectees into a room and ask them to interview each other.
  8. Have each selectee rank everyone, but themselves, according to the N jobs that are to be filled.
  9. Compile this list into a single ranked sequence, per job.
  10. Take the top person ranked per job. Jobs will have to be ranked themselves (secretary of state is more important than liaison to the UN, etc.) so that if you have the same person picked for multiple jobs they can be assigned to the most important job.

Done

Pretty much the group picked and organized the group. This nearly guarantees an accord among them, with the ability to get work done rather than mire in contention over every little thing.