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rgbecker's Journal
rgbecker's Journal
September 6, 2021

Anyone else having a hard time with the new DU Font? NEVERMIND!

FIXED thanks to Bum.

See response 8 below. All me, not DU.

June 10, 2021

What do you think of Crypto Currencies?

Here's Senator Warren's discussion on the topic.


Thinking of the environment? One transaction with a Bit Coin cost 53 days of average US household's electrical usage. Make sense?

I don't think so. I agree with Warren it needs to be stopped along with all the criminal intent that Crypto Currencies are trying to cover up.

June 4, 2021

Just wanted to aim my DU friends towards Robert Hubbell's Newsletter.

I've been subscribed to Hubbell's newsletter for a while and I'm finding his read on the daily issues extremely calming and informative. Started as letter to his daughter, off to school, in an attempt to keep her up to date on current events, it has grown to a subscriber base of about 50,000. No fees or paywall is required but donations are accepted.

Here is the link to his Substack page with recent posts: [link:https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/todays-edition-june-4-2021|

4 Paragraphs from today's edition:

One way to assign blame in this situation is to attribute the failure to the “moderate” views of Senators Manchin and Sinema. A better way to look at the current negotiating weakness of Democrats is to see it as a collective failure to flip several vulnerable GOP Senate seats in 2020 (e.g., Joni Ernst and Susan Collins). From the second viewpoint, our challenge is not only that of changing the minds of Manchin and Sinema, but of creating a margin of control in the Senate that is not dependent on one or two conservative Democrats.

Before leaving this topic, I want to paraphrase comments from a reader with a deep background in economics who wrote in praise of Biden’s efforts to “Go Big” in the American Jobs Plan. The reader sent a note saying that an expansive infrastructure bill “is not only right for our country at this time on a humanistic, moral, and political basis, but it also works economically and should be supported from this viewpoint. Specifically, it wisely departs from the Republican economic theory of the last forty years, which was deeply embedded in the Trump tax bill, of “supply side” and “trickle down” theories, which have not worked to stimulate economic growth, or for the benefit of the middle and lower economic classes. Instead, they have only served as a charade to support tax cuts for corporations and the upper economic class.” The reader concludes with the argument that Republican claims of “fiscal responsibility, inflation, and future financial burdens” is pure political posturing designed to obstruct any and all Democratic legislation. Well said!


The controversy over the “lab-leak” theory traces back to Trump’s efforts to blame China for the coronavirus. Trump infused the “origin” question with racial overtones, calling Covid-19 the “Kung flu,” the “China virus,” and the “Wuhan flu.” Those racial slurs were amplified by Steve Bannon, who helped spread the false claim that China developed SARS-CoV-2 “as a bio-weapon and purposefully unleashed it on the world.” See Vanity Fair, “The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins.” The early racial slurs and whacko bio-weapon theories made it difficult to take seriously those scientists who believed that the coronavirus “escaped” from a lab in Wuhan, China.


The WHO study is here: WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part.” Many people are suspicious about the integrity of the WHO investigation. I have no way of judging whether WHO’s findings are accurate or complete; I can only report on the findings based on press reports and by reference to the original report itself. The report states on page 119 that there was “no serological evidence of infection in [lab] workers through SARS-CoV-2-specific serology-screening.”

You can subscribe and get Hubbell's newsletter sent to your email everyday, or go to the above Substack link whenever you like.

If he doesn't read the Democratic Underground, I'd be surprised.

April 25, 2021

How about this as a way to Biden's goal of reducing fossil fuel use?

Here’s my plan to move the country off fossil fuels and towards a sustainable carbon neutral future.

Ration gasoline.

Very simply: require a ration card for every gallon of gas sold across the country. Ration cards would be distributed to every man, women and child on a monthly basis. The total number of gallons would start off equal to the current use and would be slowly decreased until the number in 2030 (Biden’s target date) would be ½ the current use. The cards would have an expiration date three months after issuance. (This would prevent hoarding and speculation knowing the future will bring higher prices as the 2030 dates grows closer very day). Those people not using their ration could sell their cards at a rate determined by the market. These cards would become a currency in themselves and have to be secured and printed in a way similar to cash today. I imagine a credit system being established similar to the current credit/debit card system now used for money, established by banks, just as we have now in order to ease transactions involving the ration cards.


I need more gas to get to work than my neighbor who sits at home all day. How is that fair?

If you are using more fossil fuels, for whatever reason, you will be penalized. You will find (especially at first) ration cards readily available. But as time goes by it will become apparent that you will need to make some changes. The simple solution will be to get an electric car. Alternatively, you could find ways to live closer to work, share transportation or get a more fuel efficient car.

Kids don’t need gas, why are they getting the same ration as everyone else.

Kids need the climate to cool down just as much as everyone else. In fact, it could be argued they will be required to make many more sacrifices than adults during their life time. They can use their cards to help their parents have enough gas to get them around or sell them on the market to save for a future with many uncertainties.

But what about FREEDOM? I have lots of money and can afford my empty pickup truck that gets almost 15 miles per gallon. This is America, I should be free to drive whatever I want wherever I want. Why not?

By now you should realize that pumping carbon into the air is affecting everyone. Using the shared roadway system to do so will require you to join the rest of us in moving towards a future that is sustainable. While the current system based on the Dollar and the Holy Market gets you what you want because you have the money to afford it, everyone is affected by the climate changes to come. We need a system that based equally on simply one parameter: Life. This method of sharing equally in reducing the use of fossil fuels will get us to the target in the most equitable way.

How will the ration cards be distributed?

Each American with a Social Security Card will be entitled to a gas ration card account. All others in need of gas will need to go to the “Market” (Black or otherwise) to get the gas they need. Those wanting to avoid all the hassle will simply move to an electric car and sell their ration on the market or simply refuse to use their ration which will expire after 3 months.

What about the cost of gas? Won’t it be affected by this system?

Gas prices will, as now, be determined by market forces. As people use less gas, just as when people move to electric cars, supply will exceed demand and the cost of gas will go down. (assuming no manipulation). There would be no other long range expected impact.

How is this different from the Carbon Trading ideas already discussed?

Although very similar in goal, the rationing of gasoline will be much more transparent and controllable by those actually using the
fossil fuels. By hiding the production of carbon in the atmosphere, the average American has no idea what he is responsible for causing. Faced with the decision to spend their ration cards on a daily basis, the rational actor will move away from polluting towards a more economical action. Carbon trading will still have its place in the fight to save the climate.

Just remember what people were required to do during WWII in the name of FREEDOM!

April 22, 2021

Newshour this evening mentioned China and US carbon emissions about 6 times.

Saying China was the biggest emitter with US in second place. I just want to say that I feel this really feeds into the China bashing GOP crap that Trump was so good at. Take a look at per capita emission data, collected two ways on this Wikipedia page. Of course emissions level will correspond with population levels. What is the intent of such reporting? China is way down the list when considering the country has 1.4 BILLION people...USA? 330 Million. 1/4 of China.


Just saying.

April 9, 2021

Chauvin Trial: Will the Prosecution need to show motive?

If so, what will they claim? Maybe this was covered in the opening statements, but I missed that.

I've seen mention of an earlier encounter at bouncing/security jobs and of course racism...what else? Showing off to the street "crowd"?

April 3, 2021

Chauvin Trial: First thing Chauvin does is grab Floyd by the neck with both hands.

Then he throws his camera under the car and holds Floyd in blood choke with left hand at carotid artery while pushing with his left shoulder on his head.

Chauvin then sees Tao on drivers side of car, tries to subdue Floyd for additional 3 or 4 seconds then stops the pressure. Removes Floyd from car and puts his neck under his knee until he is asked to remove it by the paramedic, so paramedic can reach the carotid artery to check pulse.

Here is the evidence straight from the officer's cameras:

Chauvin's camera showing very first contact with Floyd. [link:


Tao's camera showing view from drivers side/rear door: 7:15:26 (actual time: 20:18:28)


Chauvin throws camera off, right hand moving from chest downward, at 20:18:32 (Actual time on officer's camera), Notice his reaction upon seeing Tao at open door across car. Left arm around neck.

A couple of minutes of video pretty much lays out the case...in my mind.

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