How to Sell Your Soul and 11 lies in a long history of lies

This post was originally posted to my blog “MN Noreaster.com”. I am trying to decide what blogging platform to use, Blogger or WordPress. Please bear with me. Craig

see also this post: You Sold Your Soul

Super Blue Blood Moon Day!

Before we start, let’s start the day over:

Phases of the Super Blue Blood Moon Image by Sergio Garcia Rill
Sergio Garcia Rill  CNN

 

BLOOD MOON RISE CAPTIAL IN FOREGROUND CNN
CNN Image

 
January 31, 2018
Now I feel better all over again.
Today was a corker.
I was still in rehab when the Super Blue Blood Moon arose so I missed it.
I am going to check out a video of it later. I would feel guilty since I posted an article about it.
One hundred and fifty years ago, January 1918 was the last Trifecta.
There will be another Lunar Elicpse is in July 2018 but we won’t see it in North America.
The next total lunar eclipse will be on January 20 and 21st 2019 that we can view.
July 4 and 5th of 2020 for much of North America.
I had a lot of fun researching that blog post.

The Speech

A friend on Facebook reminded me of Hubert Humphry today.
A reprinted a quote of Humphrey’s:  “The moral test of government is how it treats those in the dawn of life, the young; those who are in the twilight of life. the elderly; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, the unemployed. Humphrey also said, “compassion is not a weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.”
Mr. Humphrey was Vice President of the United States from 1965 to 1969.
Let me see, yes that was a troubling time also.
But not as troubling as this.
After all, that was at the time of the Vietnam War.
The time of the Tet Offensive. The time before the huge buildup up began.
Yes, that was a troubling time as I recall. (I wrote a blog post on an incident during my boot camp 
Before we get into Trump’s State of the Union Address and believe me we will! I want to quote what Senator John McCain said in his speech upon receiving the Liberty Medal on October 16, 2017:
“We are blessed, and we are a blessing to humanity in turn. The international order we helped build from the ashes of world war, and we defend to this day, has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. This wondrous land has shared its treasures and ideals and shed the blood of its finest patriots to help make a new, better world. And as we did so, we made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America which existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7th, 1941.” 
He then began the most telling part of his speech:
“To fear the world we organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last hope of the earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious, nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems are as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history. We live in a land made of ideals at home and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. Leadership has its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”

Reactions to the State of the Union Pictures

What were your reactions to the State of the Union? I saw the pictures that were painted when I read the various accounts.
1. I saw the picture of trump’s raised fist, copying another racist leader.
2. I saw the picture of Guantonimo remaining open, for political prisoners?
3. I saw republicans foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs
4. I saw trump abandoning the rule of law “I don’t have to enforce the sanctions against Russia”!  I saw the picture of the Director of the CIA meeting with a sanctioned Russian spy. REALLY?
5. I saw trump, as I predicted: using a well-worn playbook written by Hitler.
6. I saw trump as smiling after the 2018 elections. The elections are rigged. The CIA director said so – mark that down.
A picture is worth a 1,000 words. Trump painted these pictures time and time again. They don’t deceive as his words do.
He has subverted the rule of law by forcing out the deputy director of the FBI. Mueller is to quickly follow! The repubs will make it happen.
Newspapers and news outlets will be muffled!
You think trump moved fast to destroy America last year? 
Hang on!
He has lulled some critics to sleep or at least to shut up.
He has laid the groundwork for killing the Mueller investigations.
He has rallied the morally and ethically to do his bidding. They will not oppose him as they abandon the United States of America.
He has said what he will do.
BELIEVE HIM!

The Eleven Lies

1. 2.4 million jobs have been created.
2. Rising wages.
3. Unemployment at a 45-year low.
4. Stock market gained $8 trillion in value.
5. Biggest tax cuts in history.
6. Tax cuts massive relief for the middle class.
7. Slashed corporate tax rate so companies can compete.  Family income increases  $4,000.
8. 5 million workers have received tax cut bonuses.
9. Tax cuts, Apple announced it will invest in America $350 billion. Apple may have planned at that earlier.
10. “Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico.
11  We are proud to do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged.
Robert Riech Facebook Posts written by Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, Meg Kelly of Washington post.

What the speech sounded like throughout America

Trump was declared “there has never been a better time to start living the American Dream”.
That overused phrase may have fallen on thousands of deaf ears.
A father in New Jersey, whose son died from a heroin overdose; in Phoenix, a mother of six from Mexico grew increasingly worried about the future of her two daughters (DACA).
In Denver, a veteran of the Afganistan war wondered why the President kept sending more troops without a clear plan of action.
“Trump: “We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission – to make America great again for all Americans.”
When Trump claimed the African-American unemployment rate is at “the lowest ever recorded” Kandice Webber dropped her fork in Houston.
When he labeled the recent repub tax cuts “tremendous relief”  she relabeled it “The biggest tax heist”.
bars of gold Image Google Images
A black couple in Cleveland can’t get past Trump’s rhetoric.
A woman that served in the Air Force likes the way Trump takes care of the military and first responders. She was disappointed he didn’t propose a plan to defeat ISIS.
A man in Milwaukee finished Trump’s sentences for him. And mocked his rivals and was ecstatic about the infrastructure spending.
Thanks for Stopping.
Craig

Google Images dual blue roses

 
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Quilt of Valor part 1 “A Time to Sweat”

Date: February 18, 2018

I am dedicating this post and all subsequent posts to the graduating class of Grand Rapids High School 1967, Grand Rapids MN 55810

On the occasion of the 50th Class Reunion.

The class presented all the Vietnam Era Veterans with a Quilt of Valor:

Image of the Quilt of Valor presente to Vietnam Era Veterans by the Class of 1967 Grand Rapids High School Grand Rapids MN 55810 Photo by Craig Martineau
Image of the Quilt of Valor presented to Vietnam Era Veterans by the Class of 1967 Grand Rapids High School Grand Rapids MN 55810
The Certificate presented with the Quilt of Valor to Vietnam Era Veterans by the Class of 1967 Grand Rapids MN 55810
The Certificate presented with the Quilt of Valor to Vietnam Era Veterans by the Class of 1967 Grand Rapids MN 55810
The makers of the Quilt of Valor, Over the Hill Quilters, Hill City Minnesota Photo by Craig Martineau
The makers of the Quilt of Valor, Over the Hill Quilters, Hill City, Minnesota

I was not able to attend the 50th Class Reunion, Grand Rapids MN at the Sawmill Inn on July 22, 2017. The organizers of the reunion were Bev Johnson and Catherine McLynn.

A friend and classmate, Bryan Stenlund, presented this to me on Friday, February 16, 2018. He was in Duluth MN for a conference and took time, after a long day, to drive thru Proctor MN and spend an hour or so reminiscing of days gone by, good and some not as good, but all part of the fabric of our lives.

He took some photos to post to the Facebook page of the Class of 1967 and also asked me to write a little something about my time in the military. I have previously written about an experience in basic training and how I compared that of Captain John McCain on his release from a North Vietnamese Prisoner of War Camp. The post is titled: A Tribute to Senator John McCain – Prologue, published on December 6, 2017.

When I wrote that post, I had a thought floating around in my cobwebs, that maybe I would write another article of the times my wife, Becky and I spent the first years of our marriage hosted by Uncle Sam. As I was writing this piece for Bryan and the Class of 67, I realized that it was going to be much longer (much, much) longer than I had originally conceived. I was a bit tired of banging on my keyboard and I checked the word count. It was over 1,400 words and my abbreviated account only got me out of basic training and to set up our first household at Fort McClellan Alabama.

I’m not sure that I have that many more words in my story of those two years (I just chuckled as I thought of Mozart’s words in Amadeus, ” There are as many notes as there needs to be”), but we will see. I didn’t think there were that many words to get to this point either.

So enough chit-chat.

The title, “A Time to Sweat” does not mean that I sweated in the jungles of Vietnam as Matt Miltich did. No, my sweating was getting thru basic training and more than a year at Fort McClellan AL.

Becky and I were married on February 6, 1971. We arrived back in Grand Rapids from our honeymoon (a wild weekend in Duluth MN at the Radisson Hotel – don’t you DARE ask her for any details!). We walked in the door to her parent’s house, where we were staying, and found a  letter. Any guesses? Yup. My invitation to join my fellow Americans in a 2 year all expense paid vacation with Uncle Sam.

Well, the expenses weren’t paid and it definitely was not a vacation. We waited for the dreaded departure date to arrive. I canceled classes at Itasca State Junior College, gave notice with my job as a busboy at Bridgeman’s Restaraunt and Ice Cream Parlor in Grand Rapids and waited.

The day came, the agonized goodbyes were said and I jumped on the bus to Minneapolis MN. There were several of us on the bus but I didn’t know anyone as I recall.

We had a few hours that evening to spend before reporting in the morning to MEPS (Military Enlisted Processing something). (I remember the name because we dropped our sons off for their processing into the Marine Corps as their dates arrived many years later.)

A few of us spent several alcohol-fueled hours crying in our beer. As I remember we really had several McMaster’s Whiskey and cokes.

We took in a few local bars that were within walking distance of the hotel. I recall a show at the Gay Nineties Bar. That was an eye opener for a small town boy!

The next morning broke with horrible hangovers. Whiskey! I swore off that stuff forever!  But no sleeping in that morning.

Physicals to pass and swearing in to attend to. By then it was a late March day and we were bussed to the Minneapolis International Airport for a flight to? We didn’t know where.

We landed at St. Louis Missouri. Our plane had trouble so we waited while buses were arranged for our final leg to?

We made it, still, a bit hungover or travel sick early in the morning. We were greeted by Drill Sergeants who yelled and swore just like in the movies.

We were rushed into buildings with rows of tables for desks so we could fill out all the forms that the government wanted.

We may have been given a cheese sandwich on dry bread (the usual fare when standing guard duty I was later to learn).

I can’t swear to that since my bones were more interested in running away than eating.

Daylight broke and we were hustled off to get buzzcuts, fatigues, boots and all the other equipment that the Army provided free of charge. As we made our way down the lines with everything stuffed into a duffel bag.

That thing was stuffed so full and weighed so much by the end of the day I don’t think I carried it as much as dragged it around.

We were hustled, I say the word ‘hustled’ as in the supersonic sense of speed when in fact we learned that ‘Hurry up and wait’ was a true Army motto.

We were hustled to a wooden frame building leftover from the Korean War and probably from World War Two for that matter. Each of the next ten or so days (it was longer than usual since we arrived on a weekend) was filled with filling out more forms, more tests and whatever else the Army thought fit for us to do that day.

One day was a workday. We were farmed out to different parts of the for, oh yes it was Fort Leonard Wood Missouri, Little Misery was the ‘loving’ nickname’. I was farmed out to the officer’s horse stalls to muck manure. Bad Duty? No Way! My stiff, feet-killing boots came out buttery soft as soon as they dried. They were even comfortable when the smell finally cleared.

My very best day was when I volunteered to take the typing test.

Typing, geez I had not typed in four years or more. This was 1971 and it had been four years since high school graduation and I don’t remember typing much in school either. Maybe for Mr. Volker’s journalism class.

My hands were sore and bruised and scraped raw so that all I could do was pound on the keyboard (much as I am doing right now).

Little did I know the test was my salvation. The second to the last day of basic was ‘Order Day’. We would get our orders for AIT, Advanced Individual Training.

Some lucky fellows, this was definitely not co-ed by the way, got to stay at Little Misery and learn how to be combat engineers. Others were granted the not very enviable MOS, Military Occupational something, of 11Bravo  or 11B – a one-way pass to Infantry School. They were headed to wherever those poor guys had to go.

I was NOT GOING TO AIT! No advanced schooling for this GI. I was assigned Permanent Party to Fort McLellan, Alabama.

That had a nice ring to it. Kind of sounded like a home away from home. Basic for ten weeks and then a one-stop ticket for two years less ten weeks, and then home.

I hoped anyway.  I was even promoted to E2 and was told to wear yellow chevrons on each arm.

I was going home for two weeks leave before heading to Fort McClellan Alabama. Becky and I couldn’t even find it on a map! No Google back then either.

The time to depart Grand Rapids flew right into our faces. We packed our wedding gifts on top of our car and headed to Highway 65  to our new life. Wham! We were sucked out of our lane by a semi barreling past.

Then Becky and I noticed stuff. Stuff here. Stuff there. Stuff. Our stuff. In tatters and pieces and laying all over.

After the tears stopped flowing it did not seem like an auspicious start to our new life.

We limped back to Grand Rapids in our 1965 Pontiac Starchief.

I located a number for the fort and was put through to a sergeant.  He didn’t offer much in the way of condolences but did give us a few days to regroup and then head out.

The trip from Grand Rapids to Fort McClellan, AL was the honeymoon trip we never had.

Let’s see, the first night we got lost in Chicago and ended up in Gary, Indiana. A wrong turn on a toll road. What the heck was a toll road? Bleak, dark, industrial, scary Gary.

It started to pour rain down in buckets.

We decided to find a motel because we just couldn’t see the road.

We had a cat and a dog. This was going to be fun! No point in telling the night clerk.

The cat got sick from riding in the car and we had to throw her in the tub (without water) to get her clean. This was vacationing in fine style.

The next night we camped out in someplace and woke loaded with chigger bites.

We, of course, had to be told what caused those horrible, itching, painful bites.

We just knew they were many times worse than mosquito bites. Many times. The next night we parked in a parking lot at Mammoth Cave National Park. We didn’t have the money to take the tour but we did get to sleep in the car out of the rain.

We did tour a cave further down the road and it was much cheaper than Mammoth.

The next day we did stop at a less expensive roadside cave. Pretty impressive and COOL way down in the bowels of the earth.

As we traveled south we marveled at the freeway hewn out of the mountains.

Above the ribbons of concrete, up in the hills, we could just make out some shanties. What a contrast.

It seems to me about this time I started to listen to Becky as she was navigating our way to Anniston, Alabama. We even made it to Fort McClellan’s Headquarters Company, my new home, to sign in.

I was given instructions on how to collect some much-needed pay and directions on where to report to Personnel building which would be my duty station.

After formalities, we were given advice and directions on finding housing off base.

I have no recollection of why or how we made it to the town of Jacksonville, Alabama.

We stumbled on a row of apartments.

We knocked on the manager’s unit and were met by a guy in big muttonchop sideburns and a thick Alabama drawl.

Dwight said that rent was $100 a  month. That was a problem. I was only paid $90 plus a small housing allowance.

He asked if we would like to earn a small amount by painting apartments.

We found a home and a part-time job all in one stop. I looked across the road at small tall buildings. A college. A college town. A  college town beats Army barracks any day.

We looked at the apartment. Small but very inviting since it had air conditioning.

Did I mention that Alabama was  HOT!  And MUGGY! This was not Northern Minnesota.

The apartment was furnished. We brought in our meager belongings and crashed.

The air-conditioner worked well. Our first night in our new home. Everything looked pretty good.

The next day we took the paycheck and went shopping for groceries, drapes and some liquid refreshments.

No, we couldn’t. Jacksonville was in a dry county.

The only way to get any booze was in a state store in Anniston or on base.

Our time in Alabama was always eventful or it wasn’t.

The morning we woke to a quarter inch of snow that stopped traffic dead in its tracks.

One of the first oddities we noticed as we took evening walks with our black dog.

There were huge openings under the curbs seemingly without a purpose.

Then we met our first rainstorm.

Water ran was roaring into our apartment, we were on a slope wouldn’t you know.

The parking area for our car was right outside our door and a speedbump directed the torrent of water right under our door.

Those high and wide holes in the curbs? The torrential rain had to be directed into storm sewers somehow and the high and wide gutters were necessary to meet that need. Even after spending two months in Missouri I had not seen these rains of biblical proportions!

Another was the grasshoppers.

We lived in a low area which supported a lot of creatures. The first one we saw looked almost like a red-winged blackbird. With a red flag on its shoulders, it seemed only slightly smaller in size.

I wrote about a few experiences from basic training in a blog post here. 

While writing and re-writing that post I was thinking there may be enough material for another post or two.

We had some interesting times, running out of gas on a trip home for Christmas, driving up a mountain for a party which featured a huge metal watering trough filled with ice for a cooler.

“Bring your own beer but we have a place to chill it”!

We were a dog, a cat, and two best friends off on our first adventure of married life. And to think, Uncle Sam was paying us on top of it.

I think I’m going to have to make you wait for my book.

Seriously this is probably much longer than Bryan was thinking when he offered the invitation.

I know it is longer than what you want to read in one sitting. So I will close here. It seems a reasonable place.

If I do write future articles on this topic I will post on the Class of 67 page.

Y’all were so kind to acknowledge our service and that of the other classmates who were veterans by honoring us with the fabulous quilts.

If you will send me the contact information to the people that made the quilts I will acknowledge the great work they did.

I am going to sneak in our thank you to our sons for their service. They did the heavy lifting. They enlisted in the Marine Corps for their duty to their country. Thank You.

Craig and Becky

Fort Leonard Wood Missouri Basic Training – Different Uniforms Now but Same Drills

Welcome To and First Stage Barracks

Gas Mask ‘Experience’ and “Cattle Cars’ for long distance travel on base
Obstacle Course, Weapons Training and Testing

LEST WE FORGET

Veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afganistan:

200,000 Veterans are Homeless Each Night

1 in 5 Veterans Suffer PTSD

20 Veterans Commit Suicide Each Day

PIECES OF EIGHT less two

January 30, 2018

This is “The Year”

Why this title? This year I am determined to make some changes so I can get posts out faster.  This post has eight topics. Clever eh? This one is way behind due to my excursion into a hospital and rehab facility and hospital again. I hope we are done with that!

I am looking for a photo, graphic that helps tell the story about Lodestarandyou. I am not sure the graphic that I am currently using works with this subject matter.

Maybe I could use a Toddler Robot to help me get organized!

EGADS! Robo toddlers! Not only are robots still being ”taught” in new ways (think AlphaGo which taught itself how to play the human game ‘GO’. It taught itself so well it beat the computer that beat the best human to play the game!).

Now, engineers are ‘planning’ the flexible skills in the complex real-world situations’. In human speak that means they are training robots to think ‘new’ again. New ways of looking at things, very much like a toddler.

Toddler Robots. Learning how to think 'new' again.
Toddler robots! Learn how engineers train artificial intelligence devices – robots – to look at things ‘new’ again.

In practice ‘thinking like a toddler’ would enable your new self-driving car, say a Tesla 3 running down the road. Not only is it looking for your destination, it will also be looking around so it can anticipate events.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

I write posts to my blog regarding topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

How are your studies doing? Picked the field(s) of study? Signed up for the classes? On-line I assume?

This is going to be ‘ “The Year”. For years engineers and researchers have been gathering data, testing ways to enter the fastest with no errors. They have I been writing the algorithms and re-testing them so that no prejudices from the authors exist.

This is going to be the breakout year when so many products, disciplines, and new pathways open up, come together, spin around and open up even more new paths.

I recently spoke with a former coworker and he was relaying all of the improvements in the oil and gas industry. I chimed in that it was just in oil and gas. Manufacturers are putting sensors into a multitude of products going ‘out into the field’. These sensors keep the people using them informed as to its status. When was the last major repair? When is the next preventative maintenance check due?

Isn’t that magic to a paper pusher’s ears. The machines will track the metrics. Soon, in reality, the machines will know more than their handlers. They will be smarter about filing reports too!

Researchers at the University of a Queensland in Australia say the world has to produce up to 80% more food by 2050 to feed the world’s 9 billion people. They are developing ways to get that much food grown especially in a diminishing amount of space. All of this: the jobs lost, the new jobs created and trained for, the new jobs that are going to be available are going to be a major upheaval that the world has never seen before.

Flu Season

This flu season is going on 10 weeks. The CDC is expecting another 10 weeks. A Stay of December 30th 46 states has serious flu cases. The week before it was 36. Last year just 12 states reported widespread flu activity.

As of the end of January, 7.1% of hospital outpatient visits were related to flu symptoms. Even more alarming is the rate of hospitalizations. From October 1st to December 31st the rate of hospitalizations was 14 per 100.000 hospital visits. For Senior citizens that rate soared to 57 per 100,000! Last year the rate of flu hospitalizations was just 5 per 100,000.

The question then arises: why is the flu so bad this year?

The flu is notorious as to its timing, locality, severity, and longevity.  All of these factors vary from year to year.

This year the strain of flu going around is strain H3N2. This is a particularly virulent strain and harder to create a vaccine for. Additionally, an issue developed in the creation of the vaccine. An abnormal mutation occurred which rendered the vaccine less effective against the virus. This aberration seemed to be 30% in the early phases of the season.

Now it is projected that the effective rate is a low as 10%! I think all bets are off as to the end of the season, the total number of people afflicted. It will be considered a “Notable” season.

Doctors advise that even if your vaccination does not reflect the most prevalent strain completely ( other strains currently circulating such as another type A and a Type B) is that your body benefits from any vaccines since it still helps you ward off the most severe symptoms and recover faster.

The good news is? Sorry  I am not aware of any specifics regarding this season. The effectiveness rate over the period 2004 to 2015 has been 33 percent for the H3N2  virus. With 61% effectiveness for the H1N1 and 54% against influenza B viruses.

Hang on almost 10 weeks to go.

 

flu virus Google Images
Depiction of flu virus

A Heart Risk Factor Doctors Didn’t know about

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!

Have you watched the TV show “The Biggest Loser”? Remember Bob Harper? He of the ripped muscles, the chiseled physique with every muscle in the right place?  He could run faster and longer all the while talking and then turn around and run backwards without getting tangled in his shoelaces!

He had a heart attack! Last February he had a MASSIVE heart attack at a New York gym.  He was saved by a bystander that performed CPR. The paramedics got him to a hospital but he was in a coma for two days!his annual checkups indicated he was in excellent health. So what happened?

One little fatty particle in his blood called lp(a). During blood tests, we are tested for lipoproteins HDL and LDL cholesterol. Very few people are tested for lp(a). At high levels, it will triple the chances for a stroke at an early age.

Most people do not have to worry. Levels are strongly determined by genetics and the majority of people produce very little lp(a). This may be why so few people are tested for it during a routine procedure. BUT if you have parents, especially fathers die young even though they appeared in good health must be made aware of what they also may be facing.

I worked with a man whose father died young. Indeed this man barely reached age 50 when he passed on.  We must work so these tragedies will be avoided. If not we are derelict in our duties.

2 in 5 Americans carry levels that are periodically high. What’s more diet and exercise have ALMOST NO effect on l(p(a). What’s more, cholesterol-lowering drugs ONLY MODERATELY lowering it.

Columbia University expert on lp(a) says that somewhere between 15 and 20% of the population would clearly benefit of the population outdated clearly benefit from knowing that this is their problem!

Discovered

Lp(a) was discovered in 1963 by a Norwegian scientist Kare Berg. He noted that it was especially common in people with coronary artery disease. What lp(a) does on a regular basis is not known.

The downside of excessive lp(a) is clear: It accelerates the formation of plaque in the arteries and it promotes blood clots.

Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones is a cardiologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He helped write the American Heart Association’s Guidelines on cholesterol says that it is a “double-whammy. Biologically it, lp(a), gets into artery wall and causes the coming damage to be accomplished more easily .”

Studies show the levels between 150 and 300 as being at high risk. So, if your levels are above 30 you need to be alert. If they are above 60? Get your butt in gear.

Many people at high risk appear similar to Bob Harper. They appear fit, health conscious, and dietary conscious. Obviously wider testing needs to be done because there are too few signs and once symptoms of heart failure are noticed it is often too late for a good outcome.

Another stress factor caused by this lipoprotein, lp(a) is the lack of effective pharmaceutical drugs. There are two drugs currently in use, niacin which is a B vitamin but is known to have some unpleasant side effects. The other is PCKSK9 inhibitors which have had modest results in lowering lp(a) levels. Additionally, if PSCH9 is used off-label it is not covered by insurance. Costs can range up to $14,000 per year.

Ionic Pharmaceutical is one company working on a new drug but it is many years before it is commercially available.

Good Works

Mr. Harper now has a new mission: raise awareness of heart disease and urge people to get tested for lp(a).

If you have a father or other family member that died young of apparent heart disease especially if there were no “markers” for heart disease it is necessary for you to manage your physical health and get tested.

Bob Harper has written of his approach to his new life in “The Super Carb Diet.”

Veteran’s Healthcare

A parasite is killing America’s Veterans, 40 years after the War in Vietnam ended. Hundreds of Vietnam War veteran’s who’ve died, or are dying, of bile duct cancer which is called cholangiocarcinoma.

This cancer is rare in the United States and is caused by parasitic worms, called liver flukes, that are found in fish in the waters of Vietnam and other Southeast Asia countries.

Humans who eat raw or undercooked fish can ingest the parasite larvae, which mature in the bile ducts. These ducts or slender tubes carry digestive fluid bile and the larvae produce carcinogenic irritation.

Thousands of Americans who served in Vietnam can be at risk for this cancer.

The disease can take decades to manifest and once the cancer is discovered the overall duration of survival is less than six months.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making it difficult for diagnosed veterans with this disease to get their benefit claims approved. Indeed most claims have been denied by the agency and this includes survivor benefit claims for the spouses.

The Associated Press reported last year that about 700 veterans with bile duct cancer have been seen by the VA in the past 15 years. Of the claims that were submitted, most were not approved because the correlation to service in Vietnam had not been established. Only 20% of claims have been approved!

The reason the VA has not been approving claims? According to their science, the lifespan of liver flukes is a maximum of twenty years. The Vietnam War ended more than forty years ago.

Dr. Paul Brindley, a professor of microbiology, immunology and tropical medicine at George Washington University, said that is beside the point. “The science suggests exposure for even some of those 20 years may have been sufficient for cancer to originate and then be dormant there for a number of decades.”

As with Agent Orange, this disease and the necessary claims approved are being thwarted by the VA. Again and again, veterans who’ve filed claims related to exposure to Agent Orange are STILL BEING DENIED.

The Caregiver Support Line is 1-855-260-3274

The Game Changer

Dr. Joshua Baker, a physician, and researcher at Duke University School of Medicine discovered an unconventional way to provide 3D scanners for $10.

He upgraded 2D ultrasound scanners with a $10 chip used in video games! He used the inexpensive chip, which normally tracks the movements of wireless controllers to give 2s scanners the ability of 3D scanners. Otherwise, a 3D scanner is about $1,000 per scan or $2,000 per MRI.

He was playing Nintendo with his son and wondered if the ultrasound probes he uses to work similarly to the digital tennis balls he was whacking around with his son.

He took the question to Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering and together they were able to produce a rounded 3D image. This game-changing discovery will help people not only in the United States that may not be able to afford a scan or MRI and especially in developing countries.

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Slamma Jamma”

Salad section of Amazon Go image recode
The future of retail grocery. Amazon Go Salad Section IMAGE RECODE
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The Future of Retail Amazon Go Image Recode
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The Future of Retail Amazon Go Image Recode
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The Future of Retail Amazon Go Image Recode
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The Future of Retail Amazon Go Image Recode
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The Future of Retail Amazon Go Image Recode

Date January 17, 2018

Good Morning

As predicted, this year is gonna to a full court press from one end to the other. I thought the title of a basketball movie would be appropriate. The whistle just blew, so let’s get  our “Slamma Jamma”

diaggram of full court press Google Images
Diagram of a Full Court Press.

 Ball Inbound

Well, it’s a new morning. I am in a hospital room waiting for breakfast to be delivered. This hospital stay has really wreaked havoc with my blog posts. I have mounds of research for this blog – but it’s at home. In addition, I have written a blog on others subjects but in my blog “minecrjm.blogspot.com“.

Before I continue I must raise the alarm on a few items. Normally I would post them at ‘ minecrjm.blogspot.com but I don’t anticipate posting there for a few days.

1) Jeff Sessions wants to keep out immigrants that are illiterate. I sure wish that rule applied to his forefathers

2) Trump is 6’ 3″ tall. Except that he is not. His previous health records list him at 6’2”. If that is true his weight at this physical would list him as obese. True to form: lie rather than fix

3) His henchmen are doctoring federal reports that list terrorist activities. They are changing ‘homegrown activities to make them appear as if they were from foreign countries they want to keep people out. Almost all terrorist actives in the US have been from homegrown terrorists.

4) Another sign this country is tilting to fear of Trump’s white supremacist henchmen: Psychologists called off a public discussion on the “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”: Reason? The henchmen were making dangerous threats.

5) Not only did two United States Senators lie about the racist vulgar words from Trump, but the newly minted Secretary of Homeland Security joined the chorus during her confirmation hearing. How do we trust these liars? How do other counties? Each other? This is all going to crumble into a pile of smashed breadcrumbs. Croutons anyone?

Money Transfers = Russia

6) Future News: Watch for it! Mueller has found many suspicious money transfers between Russia banks and US entries. Example: former Russian Ambassador to the US was paid $120,000 10 days before the election; a $150,000 transfer was thwarted by bank employees 5 days after the election. KEEP FOLLOWING THE MONEY!

Carry On

It is morning and I am in my room at Ecumen, a rehab facility. In order to go home, I have to be able to climb 12 stairs. I have 12 stairs at home. I have to prove that I can perform the necessary tasks at home. However, after 5 days in a hospital bed, my muscles really have lost a great deal of strength. I agreed with the hospital therapist that I should spend a few days at a rehab center before attempting a full-blown home challenge.

Deep Education Web

Back to my post.

I am going to experiment with shorter posts using ‘bullet’ headlines. There is just so much going on and can’t give each topic the time it deserves but I want to make sure you have the most information possible.

New format?

Elon Musk had a fabulous 2017. His Tesla 3 production is still suffering but Space X proved the concept that reusable rockets do work. He also had a slammin’ opening to his driverless semi. UPS ordered 145 of them the day after his show. He also built a huge battery in Australia.

Another Prediction Coming True!

China is surpassing the US. It is ahead of us in trust among nations the US fell from first place in the first year of Trump. Surprised? Germany is now #1.

China has the most advanced quantum technology. It perfected the ability to encrypt and send useful signals over far greater distances than thought possible.

The current use of strings of numbers to transmit bank accounts info, secret databases etc. are brittle and easy to crack by skilled hackers.

Jian-Wei Pan a researcher at the University of Science and Technology of China States ” Historically, every advance in cryptography has been defeated by advances in cracking technology. Quantum key distribution ends this battle.”

Quantum keys, used for opening encrypted files, are encoded in the physical state of quantum particles. This means that they are protected not only by the limits of computers but the laws of physics.”

While we can encrypt transmissions between normal computers they cannot be copied or stolen. A rule of quantum mechanics states that an object can only be viewed once.  Autonomous Destruction!

Another prediction come true!

Asia under Trump: How the US is losing the region to China

Headline CNN  dated January 27, 2018

 

A Rare Event – see the blog for January 31, 2018

Super blue blood moon Google Images text overly MS Publisher
January 31, 2018. A rare event! Three moons! Blue Moon Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

Just finished a post on the Super Blue Blood Moon on this blog. It is Sunday, January 28, 2018. I am finishing my stay in rehab on Wednesday, February 2 and returning to a crazy life.

Back to the Future

Now I can start back at the top. Catch me if you can😄 How many hundreds of thousands of people will come to Amazon Go over the next generation?

After a year’s delay, Amazon opened its convenience store to the public. WOW!

Clean. Dynamic. CONVENIENT. That is how I describe this brick and mortar venture from the world’s premier e-tailer. Scan your Amazon card on your way into the store. Specially designed cameras using artificial intelligence will charge the card (credit or debit) that you have on file with Amazon, as you pick up each item.

Congestion gone! People are doing the work of creating salads etc that you will take home. A deli on steroids. Machines will be doing the heavy lifting and thinking.

Now imagine this concept as your grocery store. You will have to wait for a while. Amazon will use this concept store to reconfigure the stores of Whole Foods Coop that Jeff Bezos purchased last year for $13 Billion. I imagine he has been chomping at the bit to get this going. I don’t know what the daily interest on $13 billion is but I will bet I couldn’t pay it. I expect these concepts to roll out to Whole Foods as fast as he can get them.

Next, they will come to a neighborhood near you. Imagine the money that this operation will save him! No cashiers. Soon robots doing most of the stocking! After all, that is what Amazon is famous for. His warehouses i,e, ‘fulfillment centers’ are staffed with robots that pick the orders.  Save labor costs.

Indeed, SAVE LABOR COSTS! As these stores roll out to his corporation and shortly to his competition what are all the cashiers going to do? Maybe they can be utilized in- store to make salads and whatever signature items are designed to be sold but how many single mother’s, widows, physically challenged people are going to be left out of a paycheck?

How many of the labor force that keeps the grocery store’s running are going to be left behind by the Fourth Industrial Revolution just like the coal miners of West Virginia?

to be continued

Thanks for stopping by.

Craig

 

Supermoon Day January 31, 2018

Super blue blood moon Google Images text overly MS Publisher
January 31, 2018. A rare event! Three moons! Blue Moon Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

In the early morning hours of January 31, 2018, you can witness a TRIFECTA of MOTHER NATURE! A Triple moon event. A BlueMoon. A Blood Moon and A Lunar Eclipse! All in one glorious spectacle – depending on the weather AND whether you can wake up!

Who, What, Where, When, Why, WOW!

The WOW applies if you took the same journalism class or curriculum that I did.

Wake up, especially if you live on the west coast.  Those living on the east coast will

The phases of the super Blue Blood Moon from The Guardian Staff
Phases of the Super Blue Blood Moon The Guardian
Coming to a neighborhood near you Google Images
Coming to a neighborhood near you
full phaes of Super Blue Blood Moon Google Images
Full Phases of Super Blue Blood Moon. Google Images

be gipped of the finale since dawn will ruin the show.

Lunar Eclipse from NASA with viewing times nasa image
NASA IMAGE Lunar Eclipse with times of moonset

Gordon Johnston program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC said if you live in the eastern part of the United States to “Set your alarm early look outside about 5.51 AM. The best time will be about 6.45 AM making sure to have a clear line of sight and look in the west-northwest direction, opposite from where the Asunción will rise”.

In the Central time zone action begins at  4.51 AM with the reddish shadow will appear at 6.15 AM CST,  The eclipse will be hard to see because the Sun is rising. The moon will set at 7.00 AM. Your best viewing will be a high place will a clear line of sight looking West.

The show will begin in the Rocky Mountain time zone at 4.48 MST. The peak of the blood moon eclipse is at 6.30 AM MST.

California and Western Canada will see the show start to finish. Have your seat in your spot by 3.48 PST. The eclipses will begin at 4.51 AM PST.

You can read Gordon Johnston’s blog at Moon.NASA,gov

The P’s and Q’s

1. The moon will be 14% brighter because it will be at its perigee when it is closest to the earth.

2. A  blue moon is so called when it is the second full moon in a month. This one is being stolen from February. No full moon this month. Sorry.

3. A blood moon refers to the color the moon takes on when it enters a total lunar eclipse. The moon moves entirely within the earth’s shadow. The sun, moon, and earth must be in alignment for this to occur.

Review: supermoon – the moon is at its closest to the earth; blue moon – two full moons in one month; blood moon – reddish color when the moon is in earth’s shadow; lunar eclipse – the moon is entirely within the shadow of the earth.

Test Question: When was the last time this triple whammy occurred?

Blood moon slipping behind some clouds Google Images
Blood moon slipping behind some clouds.

 

One hundred and fifty years ago!

On January 1st we had the Wolf Moon

On January 31st we will have a Super Blue Blood Moon

On March 1st we will a full Worm Moon

On March 31st we will have a full Pink Blue Moon

On April 29th we  will have a full Flower Moon

On May 29th we will have a full Strawberry Moon

On June 28 is a full Buck Moon

On July 27th is a full Sturgeon Moon

On August 26th is a full Corn Moon

On September 24th is a full Harvest Moon

On October 24 is a full Hunter’s Moon

On November 23 is a full Beaver Moon

On December 22 is a full Cold Moon

Enjoy these Spectacles of Space!

Craig

150 years ago, January 1918 from Scientific American

Auto Dreams

“It’s more or less true—no one really knows anything about the future. So here goes, for a try. The automobile of the future will be weather-tight. Probably it will be all glass—sides, front, rear, and roof. If a malleable glass is ever made, the frame may be dispensed with, but nobody has discovered malleable glass, to date! In the future, the car with the steering wheel will be as obsolete as the car with the hand pump for gas or oil is today! Driving will be done from a small control board, which can be held in the lap. It will be connected to the mechanism by a flexible electric cable. A small finger lever, not a wheel, will guide the car.”

 

Massive Update! the Veterans Administration

date January 19, 2018

Just published that affects every UNITED STATES MILITARY VETERAN and all Veterans Administration Employees:

Senate Committee and Director Shulkin

VA Administration head John Shulkin was called out by the Senate’s Veteran’s Affairs Committee. The following information was published in ‘Task and Purpose’. The author was Nikki Wentling Stars and Stripes January 18, 2018.

Top Veterans Administration  Positions Not Filled

On Wednesday, January 18, 2018. John Shulkin was asked why four top positions had not yet been filled. It has been almost a year since Trump took the oath of office.

VA is the Second Largest Federal Agency

To me, that is cause for alarm! The VA is the second largest federal agency! Working shorthanded would seem to be a path to trouble, especially considering the positions that haven’t been filled: Benefits Administration, Health Care System, IT, the new assistant secretary for accountability and whistleblower protection office.

Now, that number smells fishy and secondly, not the intelligent management of the healthcare system.

What we know: Trump’s cabinet officers have not filled large numbers of vacancies such as the State Departments 113 positions.

Trump when asked a similar question in his usual asinine mentality he told New York Magazine on November 3, 2017 ‘I am the only one that matters”.

Other Federal Departments Budgets, Personal

We also know that the State Department is being cut by one-third and thousands of jobs cut.

That may be a smart move.

However, how much can we trust an administration who lied through their collective teeth on the tax cut bill?

Whose staff have again been caught changing numbers on reports to make it appear that foreign terrorists had committed terrorist activities when it has been established that the majority of such activities have been committed by homegrown terrorists.

Why? To buttress their attempt to not allow Islamic immigrants in this country.

So what is at stake here.

The second largest agency is short four top administrative positions.

John Shulkin came from the healthcare section. He was appointed by President Obama.

The VA Healthcare system: is the country’s largest; has 160 medical centers; 900 outpatient clinics; and serves 9 MILLION Veterans. Mr. Sulkin came from this job and calls it “one of the hardest jobs in this country”.

Expectations and Encouragement

My hope is that Mr. Shulkin finds a qualified replacement for the healthcare system very quickly before bedlam, chaos, and shenanigans kill all the good that he brought to this organization.

Craig

I am sorry for the great length of time between posts. I am writing this while recovering from a six-day stay in the hospital and I am now recovering in a rehab facility.

Soon I will be back in control.

“Keep the tiny humans alive”

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”

Abraham Lincoln

US flag, ruffled by the wind, with the iconic motto "Proud to be an American'
United States Flag, ruffled by the wind, Proud to be An American

 

 

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

“Cognitive Ease 3” Part 3 of the Politics of Denial Series

Updated August 19, 2018

1036 Words

This was originally posted to my Blog “To Everyone”. I am considering collecting three blogs into one. A challenge. This was originally written on the Blogger (Google) platform.

I have consolidated before but now I am getting to the ‘meat’. Please bear with me while struggle.

I am working on cleaning up the formatting issues.

Originally written January 14, 2018

I am going to start by recalling the words of one of the towering presidents in American history.

Indeed it is the president that is said to be the founder of this modern political party.

Let’s see if you recall this quote: “This country with its institutions belongs to the people who inhabit it.
Whenever they grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to overthrow it.” 
Abraham Lincoln the father of the Republican Party. It is called “The Party of Lincoln”.
Image of Lincoln Google Images
I wonder if Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Trump have forgotten his words of admonishment?
Graphic of Trump, McConnell and Ryan Google Images
They sure are acting like.
If they ever knew these words of President Lincoln, their actions say it is  OK to ignore them.
But why not?
They are ignoring the rule of law, the Constitution, the past practices and etiquette that have made this country great.

WHY SHOULDN’T THEY JUST DO AS THEY PLEASE? DO WHAT SUITS THEM AND SAY ‘TO HELL WITH THE REST’?

During the past two days, we have found the answer to the question that has me stymied for almost two years.
Why are the leaders of the Republican Party not performing their duty and getting Trump out of office.
He is not suited intellectually nor is his heart in the right place.
He flagrantly abuses the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law.
Our first discussion began with a look at an article in “The Daily Beast” written by Clive Irving and published on January 12, 2018.
The title of the article is “Trump’s War on the Press Follows the Mussolini and Hitler Playbook”. 
The second article that brought my question into focus was “How Republicans Normalized Donald Trump’s Racism” published on January 13, 2018.
It was written by David Corn on January 12, 2018, in response to Trump calling some countries “shithole nations”.
Some people immigrated to this country from “shithole nations”.
David Corn is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones News wrote this proactive article.
These two articles focused my thinking.
I have now arrived at a conclusion as to why the Republican Party from which its leadership: which forces policies and forces retributions for not adhering to these policies and decisions. The most junior congresspeople are intimidated.
We followed Joseph Goebbels tactics and tenets, as Hitler’s Minister of Entertainment and Propoganda, as he brought the independent press of Germany under his control within one year of his appointment. 
Trump’s glory, in addition to being crowned the Great Dictator of the News Cycle is his ability to “get people to readily accept the aberrant as normal was one of Hitler’s most effective tactics.”
This is what Ron Rosenbaum demonstrates in his writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
 
The second article by David Corn of Mother Jones News explains how dizzyingly swift the Republican Party has fallen under the sway of Trump.
They will not challenge his vulgar open racism as shown by the events of January 12 and Trump’s “shithole of nations” quote.
To this day not one Republican has broken ranks, to tell the truth about what Trump said. 
An encouraging but in the end, an empty slap in the face to Trump is the speech that Senator Flake is going to deliver on the Senate floor on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
As he did in his resignation speech I am sure that Senator Jeff Flake R-AZ will scold Trump with well-framed words.
He will bring all of a Trump’s errors, personality flaws, and his crimes since taking office before the American people thru TV and the Internet.
The downside is that the good Senator will be addressing an empty Senate chamber and a president that is ignoring the TV on this great occasion.
Party leadership is counting the days until they can actively work to replace him.
In an article on CNN Donald Trump is a racist who preys on the powerless” by Scott Lucas.
Professor of International Politics at the UK’s University of Birmingham, he unilaterally states that ” Trump is a racist.”
“This should be said without excuses, without evasions, without caveats.”
He continues “trump dislikes entire groups of people based on their place of origin to religion”.
Trump’s latest disruption “shithole nations” has drawn criticism from around the world.
Two missing counties from that list are China and Russia.
Since the two strongmen running these counties are also “governing in the paths of Goebbels and Hitler” their silence is not a surprise
So where does that leave us or more accurately point us?
One answer is that our independent press will have to be ever more watchful for attacks by Trump and his henchmen.
We, as citizens, will have to be on guard to support a free and open press.
If we fall silent the media will be dumped into the place where all dictators, strongmen, and criminals leave a free press, castrated and powerless to continue shining a bright light on their crimes and misdemeanors!
Our vigilance will call on us to Cry Out when we find ‘Fake News’ – the Real Kind.
We will have to query each congressperson to identify those we can trust and those that have fallen prey to the criminals and who should fall on their swords. 
Each of these articles by expert writers is damning evidence of the fall and failure of the Republican Party.
Other articles throughout the Internet are making the case that the Republicans should be concerned regarding this year’s elections.
I am not as optimistic as the other writers are. 
I will continue to add my voice to theirs in decrying the corrupt policies against the American people.
I do not offer my opinions as expert testimony but as personal opinions of an aggrieved American citizen watching our country being ripped asunder by these crooks. 
Thanks for stopping.
Craig
Google Images dual blue roses

“Cognitive Ease” Part Two which is part three of the Politics of Denial Series

Originally posted January 13, 2018

For today’s discussion “cognitive ease”.

GRAPHIC EASY = TRUE COGNITIVE EASE GOOGLE IMAGES

We looked at Hitler’s ‘Minister of Entertainment and Spectacle’.

That was not his exact title but it suits my purpose.

I have been in a quandary for months, almost two years actually.
I think my first anti trump post as Hitler reincarnate was in my blog ‘Field Notes from an Old Man’ was in May 2016.
I was befuddled as to how a Tried and True Hitler follower, a liar, an egotistical billionaire with undertones of a sex-crazed crime boss could be campaigning to be President of the United States.
GRAPHIC TRUE TRUE TRUE COGNITIVIE EASE GOOGLE IMAGES
It did not make sense let alone that he was actually gathering supporters and gathering steam in his campaign.
The next click in my mental file cabinet revealed a folder labeled ‘ What is with the Republicans?
Why are they following this schmuck?
An article I had in that file that led to my research was titled “The Hollowing of the Conservative Mind”. We will get to that at a later date but soon.
Yesterday’s AHA! moment was finding the label “Cognitive Ease” by professor Daniel Kahneman.
I now understood why the leadership of at least two men Paul Ryan R-WI and Speaker of the House of Representatives and Mitch McConnell R-KY and Senate Majority Leader, are not putting a stop to this madman that spewed lies easier than he told the truth.
This crazed maker of absolutely cruel, pompous, insidious, made up stories was getting away with the Republican version of ‘Running with the Bulls’.
The faster the opposition candidate ran the faster the bull ran breathing heavily down her neck.
As I described in yesterday’s post I understood later in the bull run that these men, (and others no doubt), had been paid off.
What I couldn’t comprehend that seemingly United States citizens that had won public office and promised to uphold the Constitution and Rule of Law.
They swore to improve the lives of its citizens through their hard work and faithful service to their country were not throwing the “Orangeman” as he became known in jail.
I just did not understand.
When I saw Professor Daniels label of Joseph Goebbels operating procedures the lights and bells and whistles went off.
“When confronted with uncomfortable facts or facts that’ require work to understand people simply avoid them.”

THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE.

Armed with this understanding of human nature and especially the nature of the press Trump became and still is ‘The Great Dictator of the News Cycle’.
Gaphic of Trump swinging ala a singer Miley Cyrus. Google Images
This is not to say that he understood the tactic spelled out by the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman who labeled Goebbels procedures of operations.
Trump understood how to play entertainment media from his days as a Reality TV ‘star’.
He understood how to disrupt the game people and politicians play. He could then play with his outrageous lies and set plays.
The definition of ‘set plays’ in the Book “32 Plays “(it is available to download free from the internet) stipulates that set plays in basketball, ” are strategically planned and choreographed sequence of movements  to get open shots and score points.”
The definition continues “ SET PLAYS are quick hitters to score points at certain points during the game.
THEY SHOULD NOT BE YOUR ENTIRE OFFENSIVE SYSTEM”. (Emphasis mine).
I think I can say that Trump operates strictly on SET PLAYS.
He doesn’t think his plays to a logical conclusion because there isn’t one.
He simply disrupts and then pivots and disrupts again.
There is no grand scheme.
There are no policies.
And that is why he is successful.
News Media especially are anticipating that he will do a certain thing at an event.
He doesn’t do it and they are surprised and caught flat-footed.
Caricature of Trump giving a speech Google Images
That this is still game day after a year in office is either a complement to Trump’s cunning or a case of gullibility on the part of the press.
I think it is a combination of both with the largest portion of success due to the later.
Trump faints one way and dekes to the other and the press are tripping all over themselves.
Good columnists from print, TV, and social media are left to do proper analysis.
The sad part because he is a one-man show he can be on the next two disruptive events while the TV reporters left are way behind.
The news directors can’t get ahead of Trump to disrupt HIS next disruption.
I’d say Trump is always going to win this game.
After all, it is HIS game and the press are always several steps behind.
I know.
I tried to keep up with him.
I even tried to establish his distractions by ‘ batches’.
I tried to organize his ‘plays’ by similarities and write about them that way.
I couldn’t keep up using that tactic either.
He has no plan but news directors have to plan their work so they are always going to lose.
Mother Jones News in their post “How Republicans Normalized Donald Trump’s Racism” by David Corn dated January12, 2018.
Mr. Corn is Mother Jones Washington Bureau chief and writes frequently.
He seems to understand the dizzyingly fast-paced smoke Trump lays down.
WWII naval battles used a tactic where Navy ships poured oil in their Diesel engines and laid down an impenetrable black smokescreen that allowed the ship to slither away.
Ala Trump, Goebbel’s tactic to disrupt or cause unusual actions and then lay down some smoke and move off to the next disruption.
Trump has been playing out his games on the stage shared by Republicans, since 2012.
I am sure he has been at this tactic gauging its effectiveness, tightening it up a bit and reusing it as a fresh weapon.
He is most accomplished at using it as a racial weapon.
First hassling President Obama as not having a valid American birth certificate via the ‘ birther movement’.
He showed his talent at delivering racial slurs again yesterday when he relegated Haitians, Salvadoran etc to the “shithole nations”.
These ongoing racial slurs did not daunt Republicans from embracing him, however.
They have had a lot of practice since 2011.
In fact, they are so practiced at the sidestep no Republican broke ranks to condemn Trump.
All were silent except Senator Jeff Flake R-AZ, who is not running for reelection.
Senator Flake earlier took to the floor of the Senate Chamber to denounce Trump and his racism, anti humanitarianism and just plain evil tactics.
Senator John McCain and Senator Flake are both Republicans representing Arizona.
They have both called Trump out.
Flake has stronger arrows in his quiver but McCain still has to work with Trump for at least 3 more years has been a little more circumspect by not naming Trump in his attacks.
 I was gratified to see that Mr. Corn ended his article by referring to ” Trump’s racist comment (calling nations of black people as “shitholes”)
Mr. Corn continues “racist comment is much more than the latest reminder of his dark soul; it is a reflection of the values (or lack thereof) of a party and movement that has accepted Trump and elevated him to its highest rank”. 
I would entertain that the Republican leadership has completely debauched the party of Lincoln and have committed it to the trash heap of history.
Lincoln stood on his head Google Image
Thanks for stopping.

 

Craig

Google Images dual blue roses

“COGNITIVE EASE” part three of the Politics of Denial series

The next three posts are actually the last posts in the series “Politics of Denial”.

August 19, 2018

I originally wrote this post on January 17. Since I imported the Blogger post into my WordPress blog, I have a lot of reformatting to do. Please be patient as I sort all of this out.

January 17, 2018

So much for my promise to myself to not write any more about Trump.

But, in this case, I can’t help myself.

I am not writing out of anger as I was started out a post on ‘Shithouse countries’ and subsequentially discarded it.

This morning at 4AM in my hospital room I was reading while hoping the pain my lower extremities abates.
I was reading a column in ‘The Daily Beast’ regarding a puzzlement.
Why do the Republicans leaders in Congress specifically Mcconnell and Ryan do nothing about Trump?
Obviously, they are smart men or they would not have risen to the positions of power second only to the President.
Obviously, they are bought men or they would uphold their promise to serve the country.
Obviously, once their integrity was penetrated and hollowed out they had a claim on Trump and he on them.
Graphic of Trump, McConnell and Ryan Google Images

The bigger question is why.

Why did they abdicate their sworn Constitution mandated duty to follow a two-bit hood?
That he amassed a fortune bullying and bankrupting his partners and vendors is well known.
That he is following his ingrained narcissism and paranoia is well known.

I want to reintroduce a well-known participant in our little group of traitors and their sycophant followers.

His name? Joseph Goebbels.  (I wrote a post referencing him at this link – Who is this Man?)
Yes, Hitler’s mastermind Minister of Popular Entertainment and Propaganda received his marching orders on March 14,1933.
Within a year of receiving his broad and terrifying mandate from Hitler, he had all newspapers in hand.
He was using the new mediums of communication the newsreel and radio to his advantage.
He arranged ‘Spectacles’ to keep Hitler’s ‘base’ excited and loyal.
He declared that radio was the base to ‘service our idea and no other idea shall be expressed through it”.
Well, now we see how Trump views Twitter and Fox News.
Goebbels greatest gift to Trump was his groundbreaking
Rule of propaganda:
” Berlin needs sensations as a fish needs water. Any political propaganda that fails to recognize that will miss the mark”.

Ron Rosenbaum in the Los Angeles Review of Books,  says Trump’s gift is to “get people to readily accept the aberrant as normal”.

This was Hitler’s most effective early tactic.

Trump’s tactic of sliding into his base the belief that anything that sullied his image as a work of the elitist media.
Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman introduced “cognitive ease“.
Humans “TEND TO AVOID FACTS THAT ARE UNCOMFORTABLE OR REQUIRE WORK TO UNDERSTAND”.
GRAPHIC EASY = TRUE COGNITIVE EASE GOOGLE IMAGES
As Goebbels did, Trump “reinforces prejudice”.

At every turn, over and over, use your weapon to thrust, parry, advance.

GRAPHIC TRUE TRUE TRUE COGNITIVIE EASE GOOGLE IMAGES
Trump’s congregation not only follow him, and put him on a pedestal.
They are “grateful to him”.
A young woman who was getting her life turned around via her job at a Carrier plant was thrilled, as were her fellow workers at the Carrier plant Trump raised as an example of what was wrong with America allowing jobs to leave the country.
They believed he would solve their coming announced fate.
They voted for him on his promise.
She received her layoff notice last week.

Of course, he had never has the intention of keeping his promise.

It was as empty as his promise to the miners in West Virginia.
As empty as his promises to the manufacturing workers of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana.
They believe they are part of his family.
Trump absconded with their vote.
He continues to throw them morsels via his rallies.
He reinforces his view of reality via Fox News et al.
They LOVE IT!
They don’t have to entertain any ‘real news’.
It doesn’t play in Trump’s narrative.
They don’t listen to ‘reason’. They don’t have to.
They absorbed Trump’s reality.
My belief is that the Republican leadership has recognized Trump’s power to motivate his base as their path down the ‘yellow brick road’.
As long as they have already been complicit in the biggest heist in history their best path is to help Trump fulfill his mandate and then reach the pot of gold.
Trump and they know that the ‘Fake Media’ will call him out on all things he didn’t do.

They don’t care.

They have his base, they have the gerrymandered districts that will absorb the Democrats votes like a Bounty paper towel that will be wrapped into a soggy pile and thrown on the side of tracks.
The Trump train rolls on. Go ahead ‘flyover’ our territory we will keep our feet on the ground.
Bloody fights are more fun than cerebral metropolitan mind games and are a lot more successful.
TWITTER AND COGNITIVE EASE GOOGLE IMAGES
I am going to write shorter articles.
I think my ‘humdingers of 2,000+ words throw people into a faster lane.
It is more important that people read the shorter pieces and realize that
1). Trump is not going to be impeached
2.)  Trump is not going to June
3.) the Republicans will hold the power after the 2018 elections.
Thanks for stopping.
Craig
Google Images dual blue roses

The Politics of Denial part two

Well, this is unfortunate. I imported this post from my blogger platform as I decide if I can consolidate blogs.
As you can see there are issues with formatting. Please bear with me as I struggle to clean them up.  August 20, 2018

The Politics of Denial

Why Can’t They See the ACA Doesn’t Hurt Them

January 8th, 2018
I am researching the second and third parts of a 3 part series at dabblerduckbutts.com.
The Subject of the series is what in the world are people going to do when the Fourth Industrial Revolution really hits.
The immediate crisis is with the Republican Congress and Trump presidency.
Graphic of Trump, McConnell and Ryan Google Images
As the graphic above portrays these three men are responsible for the decline of the American Democracy.
Their big goal was reached before Christmas 2017.
The $1.5 trillion gift to the wealthiest of Americans.
That in itself is abominable but then their stated goal for 2018 is to destroy Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.
These programs are the biggest thorn in the Republican’s eye since their inception.
The main portion of these posts is at dabblerduckbutts.com. But there is just so much information to review, theories to test, facts to check, opinions to test.
I need a less formal place to write and test these posts.
Blogger is a great tool for individuals to practice, to learn their craft, to share personal insights, to craft a response to the unmitigated meanness of the Republican Party.
I believe that they are trying to get all their changes into play before the 2018 mid-term elections.
They wouldn’t be this brazen if they didn’t have some tricks up their sleeves.

What could it be?

I know that they have been really working the extreme gerrymandering since the last census.
So all of their numbers gains are in place to thwart the popular votes as in Gill vs Whitford in WI. The case was heard on November 17, 2017, and many are breathlessly waiting for the decision.
It is an uphill battle for the plaintiffs (Democrats) because this is the first case that the Supreme Court has heard in 30 years.
With the addition of Justice Gorsuch to the bench, the conservatives are balanced with the liberal. Justice Kennedy holds the key. I am not hoping for a miracle.
This post is going to explore the Affordable Care Act and why it is necessary to force the Republicans into not scrapping this legislation.
I do not know how it is going to be possible but it will be a test of Democrats planning and execution.
They have had ample time to focus on how to win. I am not privy to their deliberations so we will have to wait.
But I need to bring some facts forward to shed light on why there is such a need for the provisions of the ACA.
In addition to the Industrial and Manufacturing side of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the Human or Class side.

The working class and the middle class have been stripped of their money.

The Class side are being deprived of employment and advancement possibilities as the Artificial Intelligence models favor the rich gaining even more clout over the other classes.
The Class side includes women who have been stripped not only of their self-worth by horrible men and they still do not hold their true value in the employment; opportunities, wages, advancement.
All of these forces are gaining momentum and attention will be focused on them as the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution increase.
It will have a snowball effect and the people holding back, stalling, and obfuscating will no longer have any choice but to turn and face the onslaught.

However, they won’t have the advantage of maneuvering room and the results of the advance portions of disrupted citizens will be pressing on them.

I am going to share information what Advisors to Bernie Sanders have shared in the article written by Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC.

It is stark, foreboding and starts by sharing some of the same information that we have looked at in past posts.

“Income inequality in the United States has increased steadily in recent years and is now at its highest level since the 1920s. Mexico, Chile, and Turkey are the only members of the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with higher levels of inequality than the United States according to the Gini coefficient.”

The Gini coefficient is a statistical measurement that represents the income or the wealth of a nation and how it is distributed among its citizens. It is typically used to measure inequality of wealth.

I think we should all stand and give ourselves a round of applause and a clap on the back!

We are not the lowest on the ladder only FOURTH LOWEST.

The richest country in the history of the planet and we are Fourth from the Bottom, and Trump and the Republicans are driving us lower, faster.

In the United States, before the 2017 $1.5 trillion tax gift to the wealthiest Americans, the income was distributed to the top 1% has more than doubled.

The top-earning .1% of households now control the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%!

It will come as no surprise that the wealth gap is most pronounced in racial minorities.
Many factors have been around since slavery and still persist such as job and housing discrimination, exclusionary zoning laws, unequal education, and inheritance laws that perpetuate past inequalities, the wealthy make sure that their wealth does not get ‘distributed to others thru inheritance taxes etc.’

They don’t want to share.

Just hang on it gets worse.

“The number of US households living in extreme poverty, defined as incomes of less than $2.00 per day, has more than doubled to more than 1.6 million people.”

How does $60 a month compare to your income? More than 1.6 million Americans are forced to live on this.

Health inequality has increased along with economic inequality. The prevalence of most chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and arthritis, rises as income declines.

“Life expectancy has also widened between the wealthy and low-income Americans: the poorest 1% of citizens have a life expectancy 10.1 years for women and 14.6 years for men less than compared with the richest 1%.”

Before the Affordable Care Act, 50 million Americans were uninsured. After the ACA 27 million Americans were still uninsured.
Republicans press home the point that getting rid of ACA will save SO MUCH money.
They can’t see that by denying insurance they are denying health care to MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.

The result?

YOU pay the cost of higher hospital bills that are then rolled into higher health insurance premiums for you.

Why?

Because as patients’ use of care declines as their cost-sharing obligations rise the worse their health gets.

Of course, you can join the Republicans who advocate “DON’T COVER ANYONE THAT DOESN’T HAVE INSURANCE.”

An example: “Texas has imposed onerous regulations and funding cuts on family planning clinics, causing closure of many and a subsequent increase in unwanted pregnancies.”

Texas appears to have the same mindset as they do for flood prevention.

“We don’t want the expense and the hassle of all the development planning.”

So, what happens when the floods come, and they always do, they hold out their hand to the federal government for well over $35 billion dollars and they let US PAY FOR THEIR STUPIDITY. And we just keep taking it. Who is STUPIDER?

“What are the American ideals?

They are the development of the individual for his own and the common good;  the development of the individual through liberty; and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.” Louis D. Brandeis Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
I hear from people on occasion, not as much as I used to (I suppose they have just unfriended me), saying that we should be doing that, let them lift themselves up by their own bootstraps. I hold my tongue as best I can, but my answers are two:

First, at some point in your past, someone helped your ancestor. Maybe it was a small thing but everyone has been helped along the way.

Second, if you don’t believe in a god then the social justice that Justice Brandeis holds you to account.

If you do believe in a God, every religion that I am familiar with holds that YOU ARE YOUR BROTHERS KEEPER.

When voter suppression takes place as is happening more and more frequently now, at some point YOU will be the odd man out. What goes around comes around.

If you don’t lift a hand to stop bigotry you may very be the next one to suffer those consequences.

If you don’t stand up for someone being discriminated against, you could be the very one suffering in that position next time.

What happens in Fascism in America:
Sinclair Lewis titled his 1935 novel about a fascist threat to the United States It Can’t Happen Here.

The novel tells the story of “Buzz” Windrip, who defeats Franklin Roosevelt for President in 1936 after a campaign based on stoking fear, promising unlikely economic reform, and championing patriotism and “traditional” values.

Philip Roth developed a similar theme in his 2004 novel “The Plot Against America.

This time it is 1940 and FDR is defeated for reelection by the real-life aviation hero and pro-German “America First” anti-Semite Charles Lindbergh.

Both books are works of fiction, but the domestic fascist threat to the United States prior to World War II was all too real.

Unfortunately, and frighteningly, it may be all too real in the United States again today.

To continue our look into “The Politics of Denial” a very large boulder fell on my head.

I had not considered this next quote before.  Jails are the largest in-patient mental health care facilities in the USA.

I wonder who pays for the costs of the jails, the hospitals, the cemeteries. I wonder.

This really hits home. “Steep medical bills contribute substantially to household debt and bankruptcy, thereby further increasing the income gap between wealthy and poor.”

Do you wake up in the morning hoping the other shoe is not going to drop today?

Is a medical bill you can’t pay hanging over your head.

I went without insurance for 7 years and thankfully nothing really eventful happened other than prescriptions were not covered by insurance such as the costs for diabetes insulin and supplies.

One of the very first thing that Trump’s people did when they came into power?

They disallowed Medicare from paying for blood test strips.

On Amazon, 6 boxes of test strips are $69 (300 strips) Depending on need I use 4 or 5 strips a day. That is at best a 60 day supply. Those are a diabetics lifeline. I just read

“Trump Official Says Diabetes a Preexisting Condition Not Worthy of Coverage” this is Mick Mulvaney the Office of Budget and Management Director.

I don’t know where he gets his information but most diabetes is brought on by the pancreas just not making enough insulin.
Put another way:
“Donald Trump’s budget director specifically called out people suffering from diabetes as a group of Americans who do not deserve the protection of health insurance.”
I am fighting a $900 pharmacy bill for a one day’s stay in the hospital.
I wasn’t told that since I was in for observation that the regular insurance doesn’t cover the meds. $900 in one day!
This next is the part that grabs my butt. I replied ” If I would have known that I would have brought my meds from home”. NO NO NO We don’t let you bring in your meds from home!!!!!!!!
 
This my last quote of this article. “Among Americans who struggle to pay medical bills, an estimated 34% were unable to pay for food, housing, or heat, and many secured high-interest loans, had several jobs, or worked overtime.”
 
These are your neighbors. These are people you work with. Do you even know?
 
Trump’s solution – take away insurance altogether. Throw the people out into the streets. Let them die a slow death. 
 
This is coming to your television screen soon!

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

I’m sorry that I get a bit preachy. But doggone it how can these guys live with themselves. These numbers are so brutal and they are so selfish. A few dollars out of their billions and they would have more billions that they have now. Unbelievably stupid!

What Goes Around, Comes Around
Caricature of Trump Ryan and McConnel trump is swinging naked from a wrecking ball. Google Images CCL
Yes sir! What Goes Around Comes Around
 
 

Trump Warfare Continues Unabated

 

Date January 7,2018

 

 

TRUMP WARFARE CONTINUES UNABATED

Where to from Here?

Looking back from January 7, 2018

The New Year has started out with more vitriol being slung about than last year ended. How can that be possible? But it is.
Divisiveness is IN.
Building Bridges is OUT.
Retribution is IN.
Leadership is OUT.

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise the constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to overthrow it”

 Abraham Lincoln

 
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both. Louis D. Brandeis
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/louis_d_brandeis_140392
 
 
Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. Louis D. Brandeis
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/louis_d_brandeis_130132
 
The most important political office is that of the private citizen. Louis D. Brandeis
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/louis_d_brandeis_105452
 

The battle has been joined

 
The above quotes, taken from our past, rocked my world this week. I don’t know if you
read my last post on dabblerduckbutts.com: the first CAPITALISM OVERREACH  the
second I finished yesterday The Politics of Denial.
As you know I’ve spent my time, since May 2016, at least a significant portion of my time,
wielding my righteous sword whittling away at Trump and his corrupt administration.
Yes – CORRUPT. Nobody talks about it much because everybody is on a fast road to
impeach him. As sad as I am to say it I don’t think that is in the cards folks.
I was one of the first, that I know, to attack Trump during the campaign. My blog was
never read I believe. I was one of the first to castigate him on Facebook. As I remember
there were only a few of us at the beginning. It was pretty lonely and I had my armor on
because of the stones that were thrown at me.
So I took up the only weapon I had at hand, I broke my sword when I tried to fall on it
and put me out of my misery, biting, vengeful,  attacks. Attacks on Trump personally,
attacks on his minions, on his offspring, on all of his crooks.
 
I called him out as much as I could but I just couldn’t keep up with all of his missteps,
misdeeds, and malapropisms. I kept changing the nom de guerre that I had labeled the
main characters, to better fit my growing familiarity with their characteristics.
But the battles were having an effect, if only on me. I was depressed, anxious, angry and
so on into infinity.  I knew I had to do something different all of the negativism was
sending me reeling into a funk every day.
So I spent several weeks dragging my brain down one avenue, another, another and
pretty much gave up looking for something to hang my hat onto.
Slowly I started looking at topics just a little bit differently.  I was doing research on a
post with the topic “Best in Class Boss” – what makes one. I wrote out a summary of the
good characteristics. Then I wrote regarding the comparison between the US and
Norway regarding how they used the opportunity of women in the workplace. This was
probably just after the Weinstein affair and that blazing downward spiral that occurred.
If women in the US would have been respected and allowed the full measure of their
talents each person in the United States would be $5,000 wealthier, a Total of $1.6
TRILLION dollars. Now that struck me. How stupid. But why? I was living during this
period, after 1970. I had heard the demands for equality but I guess they just didn’t make
an impression on me.
Then the budget thing came up. That atrocious piece of ‘legislation’ that gave a great,
unearned gift of wealth to the already rich. At the same time, I read a post on Facebook
by a man that raised the best question “Why are we taking classes for ‘Armed Suspect’.
Why can’t we just enact reasonable legislation?” I read a few of the responses and then I
had an awakening, an AHA! moment. I knew EXACTLY why would never get reasonable
legislation passed. I wrote a post ‘Blood Money’ “Today’s Goal keep the little humans
alive!”
I didn’t know there was such an attitude being passed around. But I jumped on. I have no
idea. I had to rewrite that so many times I almost have it memorized. Many times I
wished I had written fewer words. But the whole argument was so crystal clear in my
mind. When I relived the time of the Vietnam War and my role in it my mind just kept
racing. I think that may have been why I had to rewrite so much, my mind was so clear
and focused but my diabetic fingers were not cooperating.
But the metamorphosis had begun. I wasn’t writing against anything anymore (mostly). I
was writing FOR something. I’m not sure how my next post came about, The miners in
West Virginia. This ‘budget did nothing for them.’ Trump had sold them a bill of goods. Of
course, we are finding that everything that came out of his mouth was a lie. We are
about to find out how he is going to keep his promises about Social Security, Medicaid
and Medicare are going to unfold.
I write another blog “deepeducationweb.com”. I have been writing it since last May. It is
about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep
learning and neural networks. All of the research that has been done is now finally
appearing sometimes like magic. Reusable rockets to the International Space Station,
self-driving cars – NO, self-driving semi-trailer trucks. UPS bought 149 of them after the
first showing! A blog I had written in 2015 I think and I wrote about the 10 million jobs
that had been lost to advancing technology. How grocery store cashiers would be among
the first to go in this new wave.
Geez yeah, I had seen the self-checkouts at Cub and then Super One. There sure was a lot
less congestion at the front end of those stores. (I have grocery lingo down pat since I
worked delis for a few years).
As I wrote out similar numbers this time it occurred to me, there were people connected
with these numbers. People who may not have jobs anymore. But for certain, people
weren’t being hired to fill these positions anymore. They were gone. Erased. No more
Cost per Man Hour calculations for the managers. Self Checkouts are the beginning.
The topics of the posts.The emotions of the Vietnam Era reemerging. Women’s potential
contributions to the economy wasted. Then the budget. That damn budget. I was almost
as sick when that passed as I was when Trump was elected.
Women being assaulted, being ‘kept in their place’. The words out of the “Southern
Gentleman’s mouths.” The absolute reinventing Scripture by the Evangelicals. How could
they? Why did they? Such twisted morals, integrity. Bullies that is all they are! Bully
women, immigrants, blacks. Boy, I sure had no use for them except as examples of what
Jesus taught about fakes, frauds, those who twist the Gospel for their own ends and not
his.
The coals mines in the news again. 500 miners laid off probably for good. Some promise
their boss. 11,600 miners, oops 11,500 miners now working.What had happened to cause
such a disastrous life for these people. After all, they were Americans. These were not
immigrants that white trash would love to humiliate. People that I thought I knew.
People that I grew up with were enthralled with Trump. What in the world?
Research it. Maybe there is something there. (Not that I have never had nothing to write
about!) Get your act together, get your blogs organized, try to make sense of everything
that you are seeing and reading. Something is not right. All of this wealth!  But none of
for us, the common people. Research! Studies. Twenty people in this country own as
much wealth as HALF OF ALL AMERICANS. TWENTY! HALF! Trump made over a
hundred million dollars out of the tax gift (at least if his income is what he says it is. Who
knows). Did you know that he had been convicted of money laundering just months
before he started campaigning?

Deals! High rise in the nation of Georgia  Why doesn’t everyone know about this stuff. Millions upon millions of dollars. I have never heard anyone ask Trump about this stuff. But you know what? I didn’t follow up because I did not want to be sidetracked. Somebody else will carry that torch. I wasn’t interested in frying Trump anymore. I had been driven thru a funnel that led me to real problems. Real issues where real people not taking part in modern America but real people that had been taken advantage of. Why weren’t these stories plastered all over the place? Why weren’t articles being written on how blacks, Native Americans, immigrants being plastered somewhere? On the internet? But you kind of have to know what you are looking for when surfing the web. Because there is so MUCH information and data and studies and white papers. Man, it is mind-boggling.

See! See what happens. I start writing a short article on the current state of affairs in this
country and how people are going to be affected by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
And here I am just flailing around spouting words.
Okay back to ground zero.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here! 47% of Americans are at risk of losing their
jobs. Surveys show most Americans aren’t too worried. I will retrain. Get more
education. Not too worried. I’m a hard worker. I’ve spent 10, 15,20 years in the business.
Guess what? No of that means anything. You are going to re-train? To be what? To do
what? When are you going to start doing that? Georgia Tech graduates 3,400 computer
engineers every year. That is only one computer college.
Perhaps you are just daydreaming? Thinking of what to do but not really doing it? Here I
am a year later and I don’t know much about SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Or
backlinking, or content writing, or HTML. And I have been reading and studying for
almost a year.
So after having my brain refried, my emotions raised, my disbelief that all of this has
been going on that this Revolution is not going to be what people are used to. Not just a
few jobs here or there. No whole companies are going to transform overnight. Whole
industries are going to appear and disappear. And our people are thinking about getting
retrained. Sorry buddy, you should be learning Python right now. And Golong because
that looks like it is going to replace Python as the language for programming machine
learning. Have you heard about AlphaGo? The brainchild of Googles Deep Mind.
AlphaGo taught ITSELF how to play that hard game on earth. And it beat the computer
that beat the best human player of the game. All of this within two years! TWO YEARS!
Computers can teach themselves now.
Are you familiar with Singularity? That period in time when computers are so advanced
that humans are necessary anymore?

 

 

The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the

invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological

growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization

The question in Singularity is: maybe it has happened and we didn’t notice.

The Singularity is Near

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK. The Singularity is an era in which our intelligence will become

increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the

dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations

and amplify our creativity.

 

Check out Google!

While you are doing that I am going to continue to immerse myself in new found goals.

Goals that may be too strong. Goal oriented activities. I have had time to think about

goals. I am to old to think about goals anyway.

My last post started a series of at least three. The Politics of Denial  America Industrial

Revolution or Class Revolution?

How do you fit into the future?

robot man stands facing into the facing overlooking a universe
Robot man overlooking his universe

 

 

speeding girl racing into the future
Speeding girl racing to the future

 

These images were on my first website. The speeding girl is still the header image.

Perhaps I should name them? They are prophetic, much more so than I knew.

But ‘What to do”? Is that the right question? I have learned that you have to make sure
you are asking the right question. My question should have maybe different. Can I write?
Should have been Can you write in today’s speak. Computers are not paper. Google is not
a dictionary or even an encyclopedia.
Perhaps a more apt question is: How are we going to address the future? Some more
quotations to share with you and then I will stop pestering you.
“What are the American IDEALS? They are the
development of the individual for his own and the
common good; the development of the individual
through liberty; and the attainment of the common
good through democracy and social justice. Louis Brandeis
Does that rock your world?  What are our current leaders missing? They have forgotten
what they learned – in college, in law school, in the school of hard knocks.
Louis Brandeis was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He was called the
“People’s Lawyer”. His is credited with the Words and Appropriations to:  A person’s
Right to Privacy, Freedom of Speech and other groundbreaking speeches, presentations,
arguments and workplace rules meant to protect individual’s rights.
Where are these concepts today?
I am researching the continuing series on ‘dabblerduckbutts.com’ The Politics of
Denial  America Industrial Revolution or Class Revolution’
Thanks for stopping!
Craig
db284-red2brose2bsvetlana-manic-674670-unsplash

The Politics of Denial

Abstract Blue Egg represents changes by Fourth Industrial Revolution are still incubating. Explosion soon to follow. Google Images CCL
Abstract Blue Egg represents the Changes to be wrought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution that are still incubating.

America

 Industrial Revolution or Class Revolution

PART 1 OF THREE

date: January 4th, 2018

“This Country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of this existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revoluntary right to overthrow it”  Abraham Lincoln

I believe that America is going to be embroiled in a push back to the Fourth Industrial Revolution or it will be involved in a Class Revolution in the not too distant future.  As jobs begin to disappear on the Industrial side, Income Disparity and Equality will be the driving force on the Class side.

The Response

On Wednesday, December 27, 2017, Frida Ghitis, a well known and accomplished producer and writer published an article on CNN “10 Questions that could keep you up at night in 2018.” We may get to that article but at the moment I am more interested in a response that was posted to the article.

The poster is not identified so we will have to trust that it is a legitimate person and not a robot (pun intended).

miscreantsall miscreantsall is the poster

Drumpf is just getting started and it is very clear that the architecture of our Democratic Republic and our Constitution are not strong enough to STOP this perfect storm of all the worst elements of human governments (socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism, monarchism, etc.) to merge and destroy the United States of America (as we know it).

About 25% of eligible American Voters are enabling and keeping this megalomaniac in office.

The majority of American voters allowed this because of apathy, laziness, indifference, false confidence, presumptions, irresponsibility and outside forces (voter suppression) preventing or making it extremely difficult to vote.

Perhaps America deserves exactly what it is getting. What Drumpf got away with in New York before his campaign is the stuff of LEGENDS. He now has been given the reins to make that LEGEND reach out into eternity and the Cosmos.

The obvious damage (deregulation, deconstruction, etc) is known and many pundits believe, can be reversed. There are MULTITUDES of damage that is being done under the radar and under-reported for NOT reported at all.

Now that they have their tax bill and their campaign contributors appeased, the Congressional Republicans will focus on retaining control of Congress and find a reason to remove Trump, before the American voters remove them for supporting him.

Trump will do what he can to start a war with whomever he can maneuver into the position of his foe of the moment.

The only question is will they remove him fast enough to not have him involve us in yet another Republican war without end, or will the inevitable recession, due to the tax cust hit before they can.”

My Response

Whew! That is a lot of stuff in a few paragraphs. But this person whom I don’t know has written eloquently of the things I have tried to put pen to paper since this election.

A person that I correspond with knows that this is my thinking.

Actually, my thinking is even dire. I have believed and said so loudly and often that Trump is channeling Adolf Hitler.

I am not going to go down that side road at this time. Nor am I going to delve into the subjects that this person broaches that I am ignorant of, what Trump “got away with in New York before the  campaign is the stuff of LEGENDS.”

I know of a few instances of things that received mention but not the attention that they deserved, money laundering conviction, convictions and indictments regarding a hotel etc.

Those, while noteworthy (as it is they have not resonated with voters and why not is beyond me) again are not in my line of sight.

Ford Mustand Production Line. Find the Human. Image via The Atlantic. Reuters/Rebecca Cook RC published April 21, 2014
Ford Mustang Production Line. Find the Human. Image via The Atlantic. Reuters/Rebecca Cook RC published April 21, 2014

I ended my last post with this image and it seems appropriate to start this new post with the same image. Machine Learning – A Visit with Vinjay

Is America’s Economic Might Waning?

The article in the Atlantic that accompanies this image first states all of the reasons why people think that America’s economic might is waning. It even admits that some facets of mounting economic inequality are ‘truly alarming’.

That mounting economic pressure is the focus of this series.

One of the unfortunate realities of using the article is that it was published in April of 2014. I have looked for followup articles without success. So there may be a small amount of comparing apples to oranges.

I do believe that the main points of the article are sound and no doubt still valid. I think that the fall of the American growth engine starts in 2017, the first year of Trump.  I will state my reasoning before moving on. In that way, you will have reference points along the way.

Another point to make at this juncture. I used the Michalenglo painting in the Sistine Chapel in Rome depicting God giving power to Adam through touch. I purposely have not shown whether Adam is Male or Female.

Why 2017 is the Beginning of the Fall of the American Growth Engine

Four Reasons

I believe Trump made his biggest blunder by canceling TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership. This started the erosion of America’s authority in the world.

From this point forward all other nations of the world will view America’s ventures such as trade agreements, with a great deal of skepticism.

Why would America abdicate the power and authority it had achieved over the 70 years since the end of WWII? In the guise of ‘Make America Great Again’ that which has made America great has been jettisoned over the gunwales of the ship of state.

Illogical and disconcerting.

He abdicated what good will the US had in the region and allowed China to move in and start claiming that authority. Which it quickly did.

One event that resulted from Trump’s stupid play is that the nations that had been involved in the agreement announced that they are going to continue the partnership without the presence of the United States.

Prestige lost, Power lost, Strength lost, Jobs lost.

I believe Trump made his next biggest blunder (the second) by canceling US involvement in the Paris Accord.

Not only are these actual cancellations important but the message they send to the other nations of the world is that Trump is hurling the US back to a time prior to WWII.

In the seventy years since the end of that war, the US has been at the forefront of the stability, the innovations, the organizations, the sense of partnership and accomplishment that filled the nations of the world.

Now that standing, that leadership is gone and the fragmentations of what is to follow are sometimes not going to be pretty.

I believe Trump’s third biggest blunder was in mocking NATO.

While he didn’t disengage from that organization as he threatened, he caused that league of nations, that bulwark standing against the advance of Russia growing militarism and expansionism to crumble.

I think that it would have been better to actually dissolve America’s continued participation rather than have America be the odd man out because every action taken forward will always include a shadow of doubt regarding the question ‘Is America really in this or not’?

I believe that the citizens of other countries are now mocking Trump and shake their heads at the citizens of this country for allowing this maverick or madman to continue with his hideous schemes.

Of course, the Republican Party which has shrunk to Trump’s level of gross banality because they are panting so hard to accomplish their next often stated goals: KILL ACA, KILL MEDICAID, KILL MEDICARE, KILL SOCIAL SECURITY.

Except for the few, those not well-intentioned few that still support him, Americans will be paying a huge price for letting the madman continue his rampage on destroying the America that existed on January 19, 2017.

I believe Trump’s fourth biggest blunder is moving recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

America had no reason to make that decision other than to throw whatever progress had been in making peace or at least forestalling active hostilities into the trash heap of history.

No good will come of this decision as the citizens of the Muslim world will now openly accost Americans at every turn and no doubt plan open terrorist actions on American soil.

I am not discounting all or any of his other errors in missteps, mistakes and misspeaks. But again there are so many I will give the fun of organizing them into a coherent summary to someone else.

The overarching blunder of Trump has been the saber rattling of a misshapen, misguided provocateur intent on defacing the humanity of the planet.

I do not have the knowledge or skill to evaluate those actions because the follow-on will be so horrific as to be inexplicable.

Trump’s Strength or Lack Thereof

I believe his biggest internal blunder within the confines of the America state, in addition to thinking the America people are going to tolerate his tax fraud.

His payment of the $1.5 trillion bounty to the Republican donors as a payoff for continuing their support of the now morally bankrupt Republican party by taking that payment from everyone less fortunate in wealth.

Now that is pure speculation on my part since I don’t have a crystal ball and it is too early to predict the average American will coalesce into a formidable action group to confront these despicable transactions.

I believe that majority of Trump’s supporters still do support him. I believe this because every once in awhile I get a word or phrase calling my sanity or some other bodily into question from one of these people.

So now you know where I stand and what I believe to be true and what predictions will come to be confirmed.  I agree with almost every point that the first writer, Frida Ghitis, stated.

I have laid out my major grievances regarding Trump’s major decisions. Trump’s minor error and infractions, I cannot keep up with.

My biggest and most wholehearted fear is that which Trump is going to do or not do next.

No, it is not war with North Korea. No, it is not war with Russia or China.

No, it is a war against the very people he was entrusted to protect.

This Administration has No Intention of Providing Support

It is my belief that he and his administration are not willing to step up and be a leader.

Indeed that may not even be cognizant of the need for a leader.

A leader to step forward and plans the actions necessary to make sure that every US citizen is going to have a fair chance of surviving the Fourth Industrial Revolution with a sane mind, a family held together, a job at fulfilling the financial needs and emotional needs of individuals.

I am very confident of this statement by watching his performance with the miners in the West Virginia.

His boasts, his promises, his glad-handing of these citizens with no intention of ever following thru is the most egregious affront to a moral authority that rises above all of the other lies he has spewed out of his sullied mouth.

I believe that Trump and his minions are going to just let things happen as they may.

If that is his plan is then there really is no point in trying to weather the storm.

Yes, some people will come thru the onslaught of the revolution unscathed.

Yes, some people will even survive the coming onslaught with good fortune.

This revolution is not going to touch everyone the same or even parts of the country the same.

What I am saying is that because there is not going to be cohesive, even-handed planning on how to prepare citizens for the coming onslaught that picture of the majority of people will look very much like the picture of the miners of West Virginia do now.

For those interested in reviewing my thoughts on their plight follow this link Review the course of ignoring the plight of the miners of West Virginia

What happened in West Virginia is that at the very beginning of that sad tale, capitalism reared its ugliest head and set the course that West Virginia would follow for more than 100 years.

The Republican Party has been Eviscerated by Greed

Republicans are now wallowing in their new found power of changing the tax code to benefit no one but their donors.

They are wallowing in the stench of betraying their constituents and their country.

That is an easy epithet to hurl at them because once they are not acting in the best interests of the country that they have sworn to protect they have abdicated any moral authority that they had.

They have ignored the history of what followed Reagan’s gift to the wealthy and ignored the history of what followed Bush’s gift to the wealthy in 2001 and 2003.

Several of the first acts of the Trump administration were to kill all of the rules established by the Obama administration to give greater oversight to the government to control the greed that was born due to the race to the bottom which was a major factor that caused The Great Recession of 2008.

So we are now looking at the same conditions that caused economic disasters in the 1980’s and the 2000s: little government oversight, great amounts of wealth stripped from the lower classes and given to the already wealthy, and the greed that is being run on the front pages everyday regarding the ‘new’ digital currencies.

We have seen this, been there and done that over and over again.

The Republicans keep stoking the same fires for the same reason – GREED.

Do they think that the results will be different?

But a key to this seeming dilemma is the financial recovery of the Obama years in reality ‘forgave’ the debt of the wealthy people that had suffered.

The debt that wasn’t forgiven and had to be continued to be paid where the less than filthy rich. One of the people decrying this unfair situation was none other than Donald J. Trump. Hmm…

What is different now than it was even in the 2000’s is the economy has started to undergo fundamental shifts in how it functions. That is why it is called a ‘Revolution.’

Artificial intelligence is a wonder to bend to the will of humans and it can bring wonderful benefits.

However wonderful it may be no one is study and planning for the effects it will have on the middle class and working class people.

Projections for disruption run up to 47% job loss due to the growth of machine learning, deep learning, and neural network trends.

No one, as far as I know, is charged with strategic planning to avoid the West Virginia syndrome. Who is going to be hardest hit? What programs can be implemented to lessen the consequences? Education, Retraining, Job Apprenticeships.

Can We Afford to Leave People Behind

What parts of the country as at most risk for ending up like West Virginia? What can be done to ameliorate the consequences?

Many parts of the country could survive quite well since some major hits have already been weathered.

The ten million job losses in the last 10 years due to improved technology and implementing procedures to follow as more and more of the revolution takes hold.

Even the five million job losses in manufacturing have been mostly absorbed by increases in productivity.

Do not get complacent. Just because statistical ‘recovery’ is shown on paper does not mean that the individuals that suffered the job losses have recovered.

I have said from the outset that this country needs to weather this storm as a whole.

The divisiveness that has raised its ugly head is due to Trump’s words and actions.

The disunity that laid dormant for almost fifty years came roaring to life when a black man became president.

The disunity that has been sown has torn our country into disarray.

The gender inequality that has led so many powerful and seemingly respectable men to insult and plunder the pride and self-worth of so many women that has been in the headlines in recent months is not resolved only brought into the light of day.

Glaring Inequalities

The pay inequality that almost became an issue during the runup to the Republicans corrupt tax plan will turn into a major issue if they continue on their stated course to demolish Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

NOT DENIAL

One simple, easy and self-evident solution that had it been enacted would have solved much of the problem.

“If the US had been more inclusive (in the 1970’s), GDP growth would have averaged 3.1% instead of 2.9% – and each American would be $5,000 wealthier on average.  (I am sure that the wealthy that just received their big gift would stick up their noses at it but to  most Americans, it would be nice to have had).

(In a comparison with Norway) Both countries had female workforce participation rates of 45% in the 1970’s. But Norway did much more to bring women into traditionally male roles, raising its participation to 76%; the US is only at 67%.

If the US had the same share of women in the workforce as Norway, it would be $1.6 trillion wealthier, according to a report by Standard and Poors.

NOT DENIAL

According to M.S. Eccles, who was appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve in testimony before Congress as it was trying to sort out solutions to the Great Depression has some very concrete opinions on cause and effect.

1.) The concentration of wealth and the attempt to maintain that wealth by going into debt to maintain standards.

2.) He flatly stated that a fundamental change must be made in our social system

I am sure Republicans are ecstatic to hear that. But he stated, “the operation of our money world has failed to be our servant and instead is our tyrant and master.”

Oh Oh.

What were his solutions?

First, unemployment relief, second bank deposit guarantee program, third, agriculture subsidies, fourth, federally guaranteed farm mortgage program.

Duck Republicans!

He called for a more equitable distribution of wealth, a  high income and inheritance tax, unemployment insurance and old age pension laws.

He was for a balanced budget but it had to include a balanced economy.

Too much concentration of wealth?

Did you know that there are 400 people and then the rest of us?

400 people own as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population plus more than 1/3 of the Latino population COMBINED!

The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the ENTIRE Latino population.

The combined worth of the Forbes 400 is $2.34 TRILLION and is more than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined 194 million people.

400 people compared to 194 million??

The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these ‘typical’ American Families.

TWENTY PEOPLE now own as much wealth as HALF OF ALL AMERICANS. 20! And this is prior to the latest and greatest tax break. Did you know that Trump made hundreds of millions of dollars on the tax break?

There are 3 – three people that own as much wealth as the bottom half of the nation’s population.

Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and the runt of the bunch, Bill Gates. These men own as much wealth as 160 million of the rest of us.

Thank you for stopping.

This is the first in a three-part series:

The Politics of Denial: Industrial Revolution or Class Revolution?

Craig.

A robot is gesturing you to 'Come here' and escort you into the Fourth Industrial Revolution are you ready. Google Images CCL
A robott is here to escort you into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Are you ready?

“We can either have a democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have it both ways” Justice Brandeis, Associate Supreme Court Justice

 

 

 

Machine Learning – A Visit with Vijay

Dated January 2, 2018

How will applications of machine learning change in the next 10 years

What are the shortcomings of machine learning

What language do you think is best to write a machine language application in

How can machine learning differentiate between a recorded voice and a real one

In what ways does Pindrop’s audio machine learning differ from conventional forms of ML

How is the Atlanta tech scene different from Silicone Valley

FEAR ROBOTS

A month or so ago I found a discussion on Machine Learning on Quora. Are you familiar with Quora? It is a cool app. You pose a question to Quora requesting an answer, Quora puts the question out in cyberspace and whoever wants to answer can do so.  Interesting to spend so time on.

The above questions were answered by Professor Vijay Balsubramaniyan PH.D. at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta Georgia. The first question he addresses is:

How will applications of machine learning change in the next ten years

Answer requested by Ashish Ranjan, Gyanendra Kumar, and 94 others

His answer struck me because I had not heard that this was the plan or I just wasn’t paying attention. But it makes great sense. He said that the future of ML or any technology makes it more human. I just heard an ad for Google. They claim that their computer voice for answering machines is indistinguishable from a human voice. That will be interesting to check out.

Machine learning he says is getting close in specific areas such as image recognition and classification, speech recognition for self-driving cars. “For example, Googles’ word error rate for speech recognition has gone from 30% in 2012 to 5% in 2017. That’s the difference between understanding 13 words out of 20 (2 sentences out of 3) to 19 words out of 20.” The difficulty is the last mile (95% to 99%).

He indicated that researchers expect to make significant strides in the next 10 years. Now that is the comment of a researcher. He didn’t say they were expecting to solve the problem in 90 days, 365 days but in terms of years. And quite a long time also. An interesting goal that they have also “computers will make our everyday tasks easier at home, at work, everywhere we go.”

What are the shortcomings of machine learning

Answer requested by Gyanendra Kumar, Hasha Ramanagoudra, and 44 others

Machine learning has several shortcomings he admits. First ML is only as good as the quality of data used. The old “garbage in, garbage out.” As everything gets more voluminous and complex the challenges increasing can lead to false conclusions such as ‘seeing what you want to see.’

He states that “ML helps technology become more human but it is necessary to guard against it absorbing our deeply ingrained human biases.”

“The ML model that you are working with needs to be critically evaluated using traditional experimental methods. Its strengths and weaknesses have to be identified. All of this is more challenging than developing the model in the first place.”

A Short Aside

Vijay and two other PhDs founded a company called Pindrop Security. They serve the global marketplace by phone anti-fraud and authentication technology. They primarily work with Call Centers. Their applications provide audio analysis technology analyzes  147 different features of a phone call. In 2015 Pindrop screened more than 360 million calls and raised $122 million in funding. In 2017 they protected 410,826,795 phone calls, detected 401,926 fraud calls, generated $200,500,000 in savings for their clients. The company’s mission statement is: “Our Mission is to provide security, identity, and trust in every voice interactions.”

 What language do you think is best to write a Machine Learning application in

Answer requested by Jamie Corkhill, Harsha Ramanagoudra and 79 others

According to IBM research, Python is the most popular language currently used for Machine Learning. It has flexibility, an abundance of strong ML packages like stikit-learn,  and they can easily replace critical routines  with C/C+ when necessary.”

He did suggest keeping an eye on Golang which is gaining in ML support and popularity.”

How can machine learning differentiate between a recorded voice and a real one, given that the quality of the recorded voice is fairly good

Answer requested by Pushkar Sharma, Hammad Arshad and 9 more.

“Even the most realistic recorded voice that sounds legitimate to the human ear retain some trace features that are different from the live voice of the genuine speaker. These features are often emphasized (example played back in higher volume) while analyzing the spectral characteristics of the signal.”

Thoughts on Adversarial Machine Learning

Answer requested by Amit Jadhav, Praveen Krishna and 14 more

“Adversarial machine learning is a particular class of online machine learning that is intended for computer security.”

While typical (offline) machine learning tools use fixed training data and assume that the unseen test data follows the same distribution as the training data. Adversarial machine learning tools are continuously adapting to the ever-changing distribution of data.

This is often the case in authentication systems where malicious impostors keep looking for new vulnerabilities to defeat them.

“Adversarial machine learning is very important at Pindrop.

PINDROP SECURIT LOGO
Pindrop Securities

Fraudsters keep changing

their attack techniques and are becoming smarter over time.”

“Our fraud prevention system is in a continuous evolution to keep catching new kinds of fraud activities over the voice channel.”

machine learning robot staring at code Google Images CCL
MACHINE LEARNING ROBOT STARING AT CODE GOOGLE IMAGES CCL

FEAR ROBOTS

We have heard that refrain several times lately. Elon Musk has proclaimed it, Steven Hawking has warned us of the same.

So Trump portrays Mexico and China and global trade as the enemies. What is he talking about?

Back on January 26 of 2017, he declared: “It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost”. Hmm

President Obama stated “The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle-class jobs obsolete.” He offered these words of caution during his farewell address.

Research supports Obama’s claim. Far more jobs are lost to robots and automation (better technology) than trade with China, Mexico or any other country.

America has lost jobs to trade, but robots are the big threat. Any job that is repetitive in nature and even more so if it is hazardous to worker’s health are in danger of being replaced by robots.

Ten million jobs have been lost to technology in the last decade 

In Manufacturing, nearly 5 million jobs have been lost.

Real Numbers for Real Issues:

U.S. Trade with China killed 985,000 American manufacturing jobs between 1999 and 2011

per MIT professor David Autor

U.S. Trade with Mexico cost roughly 800,000 jobs between 1997 and 2013

per Robert Scott, Economic Policy Institute

That might sound high. But last year alone the US added more jobs than those losses combined. And remember Mexico imports 40% of its goods from the United States.

Additionally, two Ball State professors found that between 2000 and 2010 about 87% of the manufacturing job losses stemmed from factories becoming more efficient.

The main driver of more efficiency? Automation and Better Technology.

J. Bradford Jensen, an economics professor at Georgetown University stated “There has been a lot of technical change that has reduced the need for labor – some of it is automation, some of is design, more software, less hardware.

So why not crack down on robots?

“It’s harder to demonize what everyone sees as technical progress. It’s easier to demonize the foreigner,” Jenson added.

It’s hard to really get solid numbers when talking about automation because it also creates jobs. ATMs are a case in point. They perform jobs that bank tellers one did. But there isn’t much evidence that bank employment tanked as a result of ATMs. MIT professor Daron Acemoglu

One last point to consider. Mexico imports goods. 40% of those goods are American.

Editors note: I recommend reading a post I wrote New Year’s weekend. It is on my blog “dabblerducksbutt.com” The title is Capitalism Overreach.

It is a story of coal mining in West Virginia. As you know the miners of West Virginia did not get a chance to enjoy the fruits of the twentieth century. Hopefully, we will use this example to ensure that no family, no community is left behind in this Fourth Industrial Revolution.

If the job loss rate is even close to 47% the pain felt by the middle class and working families is going to be unimaginable. There won’t be other jobs to go. Nowhere to live.

Ford Mustang Production line The Atlantic Reuters/Rebecca Cook
Ford Mustang production line. Count how many humans working on the line. The Atlantic, Reuter/Rebecca Cook

I have found so much more material that I am going to digest and file another post shortly after this one.

Thanks for Stopping By!

Craig

 

 

 

 

 

Capitalism Overreach The West Virginia Coal Mines.

Should All Americans Participate in the Benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

A Study of  West Virginia Coal Mining in the 20th Century

And Which Plan for the Future and Who is Going to Choose It?

Dated: January 1, 2018

  • >Nick Mullen
  • >Background
  • >Nick Mullen – Personal History
  • >The Situation was Forecast
  • >The Usual Refrain – Competition Kills Wages
  • >Another Curse
  • >A New Theory – hope to restart economies
  • >So here We Are
  • >The Future – A Glimpse
  • >Currently
  • >The Future is Now
  • >The Consequences
  • >Going down the Same Road – Again?
  • >The New American Dream
  • >So Here We Are  – Again
  • >Plan the Transition
  • >Work the Plan – Invite all Americans to this Revolution

I read an article yesterday regarding the state of the coal industry. The article detailed how Capitalism and greed reared its head in creating the industry. It reviewed the toll coal mining took on humans physically, emotionally, and mentally. It clearly demonstrates what happens when capitalism overreaches its good side and displays its bad side. What struck me was how our coming situation in the US will not be much different than what is portrayed here in West Virginia.

The article appeared in Quartz.com. The title is “The 100-year Capitalist Experiment That Keeps Appalachia Poor, Sick, and Stuck on Coal”. It is immensely well written by Gwinn Guilford. It is the story of a Coal Miner Nick Mullen.

I strongly recommend that you read this article. Another recommendation is “The Gathering Storm” by Winston Churchill. If you don’t have the time or inclination for the book I recommend an article by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC “A Storm is Gathering”. Google it and you will be directed to it.

I have been struggling to get the last post of the year finished for my blog “deepeducationweb.com.” But it just isn’t getting to the point where I have “put myself into it”. Perhaps you know that feeling. I try to put my brain, my heart, my soul into whatever I am writing. That doesn’t mean the writing is good, I wish it did. But the writing comes from deep inside. Woodworking seems to do the same for a lot of men. I do not know what it is like for women but I imagine it is similar.

So.

I think events have led to a forecast: 2018 will be a year like no other.  Sad.

NICK MULLEN

As a playwright, I would designate Mr. Mullen as the protagonist of this piece and the coal companies as the antagonist. We can look at the miners’ desire to be free as the unrequited love.

BACKGROUND

Early in the 17th Century, the Crown Head of England gave huge tracts of land to his faithful hangers-on.

NICK MULLEN-PERSONAL HISTORY

In the 17th Century Nick’s ‘people’ had been given land in what was eventually to be found as a very rich ‘seam’ of coal.

Around the turn of the last century, the early 1900’s rogue smooth-talking land agents from back east burned through the area and coaxed the mountain people into selling their land for cheap.

In Nick’s case, his ancestor received 12 rifles and 13 hogs (one for each of the children, one for himself (probably someone’s grandfather at the time).  This land later yielded billions of dollars worth of coal, yes BILLIONS.

The main problem with West Virginia coal was that it was remote. It was so hard to reach that the railroads did not burrow their way through the Cumberland Mountains until the 1870’s. But later in 1910 US Steel was West Virginia’s largest employers with almost 100,000 miners producing 90 million tons of coal. Coal employment peaked in 1940 with 140,000 miners. Now it is around 11,600.

Nick tried many other jobs because his family very strongly urged him not to go into the mines, he finally got a job at a call center earning $18,000 per year. After seven years he was earning $34,000 but he had a wife and two kids. The end of every month came and brought the end of the month and the end of the money. There was nothing left to save.

As a miner-trainee, he could earn what he was earning but with better health benefits and a matching fund retirement plan. He pushed his family’s fears aside and went down into the mines.

 

Coal miner shoveling coal. His back was black from the tar black coal dust. via Google Images
The blackened skin of a coal miner. It was so hot that some miners worked naked. Some crawled their bellies because the ceilings were so low.

 

Nick had talked himself into coal mining’s “cult of self-worth”. He wanted to be like his forebears, a proud, self-sacrificing guy who worked two miles underground to provide for his family. Most guys wouldn’t do that.

 

THE SITUATION WAS FORECAST

One hundred years ago (approximately), a West Virginia man named Henry Hatfield was elected governor.

West Virginia was producing 70 million tons of coal. It was making West Virginia rich. Not the miners. But the state.

But Governor Hatfield, in his inaugural address, stated: ” more than 80% of our fuel and raw material is utilized in the state.” He continued, “as a result low prices fixed  at a standard of wages for the miner at a rate that is an injustice to him.” The reason? The coal had such a long railroad haul to market that was hard to compete against the coal of Kentucky or Virginia.

THE USUAL REFRAIN

“Competition sets the price.” As today so it was back then, the refrain meant cut the cost better known as, cut the wages. Statistician Isador Lubin, the head of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics under President Franklin Roosevelt, wrote, in his 1928 book Wages and Cost of Coal, ” The operator sold his men rather his coal”. He paid his men less so he could compete. This produced a larger demand for the non-union coal of West Virginia. (Miners in Kentucky and Virginia were unionized). Non-union coal was produced “more rapidly than the country required” which also forced down wages.

So while Governor Hatfield dreamt that coal profits would lead to local investment such as factories and manufacturing to enrich the state’s economy, he saw it chug out of states on the railroad tracks.

West Virginia produced a lot. But it manufactured almost nothing. It still does. Where US Steel was the dominant employer then, Walmart is today.

In his book “Wealth of Nations” Adam Smith rang the bell loudly proclaiming that the key to prosperity in capitalist societies, was to specialize in what they were good at. Seems to make sense. Since West Virginia has some of the best coal on the planet and was pretty much a one-industry state why wasn’t Mr. Smith’s hallowed premise working?

ANOTHER CURSE

Additional research from MIT economist, Daron Acemoglu wrote “Why Nations Fail” with University of Chicago political scientist James A Robinson. They argued “that the fate of a nation is determined in large part by its economic institutions i.e. “financial systems, tax regimens, property rights laws, labor institutions and so on.

“Institutions level the playing field among business and create competitive markets. They encourage investments in new technologies and enable people to acquire skills to pursue their talents.” “These institutions are underpinned by a political system that empowers a broad base of citizens to influence political decisions, preventing a single interest from holding sway. (above quotes from Gwinn Guilford’s article)

A key takeaway is their conclusion that “inclusive institutions drive self-perpetuating ‘virtuous circles”, extractive ones fuel “vicious circles.” Extractive institutions are those found in West Virginian, structures that concentrate power in a few, they enrich themselves and their political allies and put a stranglehold on other organizations.

A NEW THEORY

New research by Cesar Hidalgo from MIT and Ricardo Hausmann from Harvard’s Kenndy School of Government, started to poke holes in Adam’s Smiths theory. They measure an area’s “economic complexity”- the mix of products produced. They found that with less economic complexity growth was slower and has bigger gaps between the rich and the poor EVEN AFTER taking into account factors like income and education.

SO HERE WE ARE

The history of West Virginia points out its absolute dependence on extractive institutions going back in time to before the coal boom.

Lands were handed out to landlords who didn’t reside in WV. When coal came into prominence the land was already owned by remote landowners so the local power was given to coal operators who happened to be in political consort with these same landowners. The coal operators held so much sway as to even control state legislators. The ‘”vicious” circles kept going round and round.

The circles led to the company stores that required, (illegally), that workers purchase their necessities like food, clothing etc from them. Interestingly, the company stores resided in the company towns that were owned by the coal operator and remote landlords. These company towns also provided the housing for the miners.

A bunkhouse overfilled with miners. Miserable quarters. Google Images
The coal operators provided quarters for miners in the company owned coal towns.

Since there was no competition, the towns highlighted the greed of the remote landowners and beholden coal operators: squalor, ugliness, disease. No freedoms, no choices, no opportunities. This was the landscape of West Virginia, the land that helped bring Donald Trump to power.

 

Downtown Logan WV Google Images CCL
Downtown Logan WV Google Images CCL

THE FUTURE – A  GLIMPSE

I have been researching the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The growth this time is powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and neural networks.

The results are staggering, even at such an early stage. Self-driving cars, self-driving city buses, self-driving semi-trailer trucks (UPS bought 145 after the first public demonstration). This is only the bright beginning.

The changes to come are staggering. Robots as cashiers in grocery stores, as stock clerks in the same stores and convenience stores. Robots with the ability to beat the human champion in the most complex board game “Go” and then watch as its next in line computer taught itself the game and beat the first computer. Computers can do that, is there any reason why they won’t replace bookkeepers, accountants and any other tedious job that can be done faster and more accurately by a computer with artificial intelligence?

CURRENTLY

I watched the CEO of Google give a presentation that touted the “Google Assistant” that powers the search for any question you may have and present the answer on your mobile device. Google’s AI “Deep Mind” has an IQ of 47.28, a six-year-old child 55.5, an  18 year old 97. China’s Baidu has a score of 32.92, Microsoft’s Bing 31.98, Apple’s Siri 23.94. The battle is joined.

What are they fighting for? Maybe finding unknown planets in distant galaxies, not in our Milky Way like the Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler just ‘discovered’ and exomoon (exo for out of the Milky Way) K1625b in orbit around planet K1625. They are 4,000 light years away.

Maybe finding the ‘executioner’ cell that will kill cancer without harming surrounding tissue. A team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine led by Dr. Gavathiotis is doing just that.

Maybe find a way to use solar energy to generate hydrogen fuel out of seawater as assistant professor Yang Yang of the University of Central Florida is developing.

The Rio Tinto mine in Australia is using 416-ton behemoths to haul iron ore. These are the same type of truck, Caterpillar, used on the Mesabi Iron Ore Range of Minnesota.

 

India is still the only major nation still deriving its power from coal but it too is losing that battle. It was projecting that even with a massive input of resources it still would not be able to meet its needs by using coal. The result? In May 2017 it canceled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations and convert to solar electricity as prices for that commodity are in free-fall.

It still needs to construct coal powered stations to generate electricity in places for the foreseeable future but it is recognizing the expenses in pollution and the cost to humans in terms of health and medicine are part of the cost of the fossil fuel research named “Coal”

THE FUTURE IS NOW

Ten million jobs have been lost in the last decade to technology.

Over 100,000 coal mining jobs have been lost can be attributed to changing methods of power generation.

The projection is for 47% of jobs will be lost in the US due to applied artificial intelligence. The current number of employed people in November 2017 was 126 million. The unemployment rate is 4.1% in October or 6.6 million people. Economists consider 4.0% to 6.4% as the full employment rate. (The actual number of people that can be employed at 35 hours per week.) wikipedia2

Someone should be planning. Planning to determine new jobs that will be needed in what parts of the country. Planning on what type of retraining is going to be needed. Planning on who is going to train and pay for the massive amounts of training.

“Succeeding in the Global Economy” by Alanna Petroff,  CNN TECH, March 24, 2017, is an article that explicitly lays down the risks.

“Thirty-eight percent of jobs in the US are at HIGH risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years.” All of the numbers are reported by PwC.(PriceWaterhouseCoopers International Limited a network of accounting firms around the world.

“Meanwhile, only 30% of jobs in the UK are similarly endangered. The same level of risk applies to only 21% of positions in Japan.”

The U.S. and U.K. labor markets are both dominated by services jobs, and roughly the same share divided into key sectors such as finance, transportation, education, manufacturing, and food services.

However, there are major differences in the nature of the work with the same names. An example: in the US 61% of the jobs listed as financial services are at high risk. In the UK the risk is 32%. The reason? According to John Hawksworth, PwCs chief economist in the U.K., said that “Many workers in the US are focused on domestic retail operations, ie. bank tellers.

The U.K. sector is “much more focused on international finance and investment banking, functions that required significantly higher levels of education and expertise.”

“Workers doing more routine tasks are easier to automate than an investment banker,” Hawksworth said.

THE CONSEQUENCES

Someone had better be planning on how people are going to buy food, buy housing,  afford to live.

One idea is Universal Basic Income. There is no doubt that Republicans in power and hell-bent on erasing “entitlement” programs like Socia Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, there won’t be much energy expended in addressing these new issues for the foreseeable future.

Researchers at Oxford University determined that 47% of all jobs in the United States are at risk of computerization. A very real concern with the conversion to robots and artificial intelligence labor is that the wealthy will have easier access to it and that as a result, their use of it will have an even more depressing effect on wages. Why pay a person $15 an hour when I can use my machine that only costs $10. Are the wealthy or the working classes more apt to buy AI Assisted Machines?

So now we see what the coal miners have been faced with since early in the  20th Century. We are now faced with the same problems in the 21st Century.

Look at this tidbit of information:

In the US:

Top 1% control 35%   of the wealth

Top 10% control 75% of the wealth

Top 20% control 87% of the wealth

In the World:

Top 1% controls 50% of the wealth

Top 10% of adults control 85% compared to the bottom 90% controls 15%

Top 30% of adults control 97% of the wealth

Based on our research neither one of these displays the economically complex and diversified landscape that we need to see.

Taxpayers Paying to Elect Republicans to Congress for the Next 10 Years!

Did you see this headline? The United States Congress just gave $1.5 trillion to the already wealthy. It will be interesting to see how the above numbers will change.

GOING DOWN THE SAME ROAD – AGAIN!

It has been proven that the “Trickle Down Theory” invented by President Ronald Reagan and to a lesser extent by President George W Bush does not increase spending, nor does it improve the health or wealth of those that support the wealthy by paying the taxes. It is merely a clever invention of the Republican party to transfer wealth to their donors, in effect, making the ‘normal’ taxpayer PAY FOR THE FUTURE DONATIONS TO THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNS. Pretty sneaky or pretty deceitful?

THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM

It was said that the American Dream was to get a good education, buy a home, and raise a family.

THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS MOVED

It appears to have moved to Canada.

America:      College Education – 48%

Canada:       College Education – 58%

America:      Home Ownership – 63%

Canada:       Home Ownership – 68%

America:     Life Expectancy    – 78.7 years

Canada:       Life Expectancy    – 81.2 years

It is often noted that in the early 20th century, Canadian prime minister Sir Wilfred Laurier declared, “Canada shall be the star towards which all men who love progress and freedom shall come.” Let’s make that line as famous and meaningful as this once was: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

SO HERE WE ARE – AGAIN

The Trump Administration is working diligently to prepare for these coming events. Not even close. He has focused the first year of his administration to destroy the climate change, economic development programs of President Obama.

He has pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which ceded to China the sphere of influence in the east.

He has destroyed confidence in US Policy with NATO.

He is working to destroy NAFTA.

He has resigned US from World Leadership. Fareed Zakaria, the

click the entry to read the caption

PLAN THE TRANSITION

I believe that:

since we know that not all parts of the country are going to be in transition at the same time,

since we know that not all part of the country are going to be affected negatively by the transition,

since we know that the parts of the country that are going to be affected negatively by the transition will look, act and feel much the same as West Virginia did in the last century,

should our work be focused on the impending crisis both to plan on how to press the advantage of the good things

should our work be focused on a plan to lessen the negatives that can have the same disastrous consequences as West Virginia?

WORK THE PLAN

Should we do the smart thing, the right the by the citizens of all of the United States?

Should we continue to divide the citizens, making fun of some, ridiculing others, separating still more for depriving of rights already given (DACA)?

Who is going to choose the plan?

Should all Americans join in the promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or should some be left behind?

“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of few, but we can’t have both.” Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

 

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise the constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to overthrow it” Abraham Lincoln