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eniwetok

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Spiritual home: the rocky Maine coast
Member since: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:06 PM
Number of posts: 1,629

About Me

Greetings... what can I say? I'm an old time hippie and anti-war activist from the 60's. I was radicalized then and have always remained political. One's politics can have different aspects. Economically I'm an FDR liberal. Socially I believe in the Ninth Amendment that government has no legitimate power to limit some rights such as responsible drug use, the right to choose, or one's sexual behavior. Politically I'm to the left of the Democratic Party. Why? Over the years I realized the focus of activists should not be stamping out brush fires and putting band-aids on problems. The effort must always be to keep in mind the root of most of our problems such as wealth inequality, growing corporate power, voter apathy, climate change, etc... is an electoral system that is incapable of measuring the popular will and a political system that is incapable of implementing it. Sadly, the Democratic Party seems to need a push to find a greater appreciation for... and to work towards, implementing common sense democratic reforms to both those electoral and political systems.

Journal Archives

Enough With The Global Warming Pissing Contest!


Climate change 10,000 years ago would not have mattered much. Humans could just get up and move. In fact many were forced to move as climate change created the deserts of north Africa and the Middle East or as Ice Age glaciers moved south.

But we now have hundreds of trillions invested in infrastructure and agricultural zones based on the CURRENT climate and sea level of the past 2-3 thousand years. Nature has also found a balance where natural pests tend to be controlled by natural predators.


Climate deniers want to belief if climate change is natural, then we're magically out of the woods.
But even if humans have NO effect on the climate and ALL global warming were due to fluctuations in solar output or some other natural phenomenon, we'd STILL have to spend tends of trillions more to defend those coastal cities, deal with disruptions in our agricultural infrastructure, and deal with disruptions cause by new pests and diseases JUST TO MAINTAIN OUR CURRENT EXISTENCE. All this money COULD be used for the betterment of humanity... but instead will be pissed away just to hold our own.

It’s time to stop seeing climate change as a political pissing contest and see that bigger picture: we mess with the global climate at our own peril.

The filibuster is a nutty rule for a nutty Senate

I know we all at some point both love or hate the filibuster depending on whether Dems use it to block something horrible... or the GOP uses it to block something we like.

But this is a nutty rule for a nutty Senate. The Senate is perhaps the most antidemocratic "representative" body on the planet when states with a mere 18% of the US population get 52% of the seats. In real life that's not how people vote. In that case Dem Senators represent about 33 million more people than do the GOP... yet the GOP controls the Senate.

If Senate votes were weighted in terms of a state's population... we'd not have to worry about having a dual edged rule like the filibuster. Democracy would prevail.

Of COURSE The GOP Is To Blame If Obamacare Fails

It's not that ACA exists in a vacuum... insulated from GOP politics and sabotage.

If Dems were in power they would simply FIX ACA. If the governing majority in the GOP are determined to weaken or sabotage ACA or if the GOP refuses to fine tune it then THEY are to blame.

Case closed!

This PERFECTLY Illustrates How INSANE The Electoral College Concept Is!


I haven't yet made a spreadsheet to calculate the numbers... but the EC is such an insanely obscene idea from a democratic perspective that in theory someone could win the presidency by ONE vote in all the smallest states needed to add up to 270 EC votes... yet not get a SINGLE vote in the rest of the states. In theory we might get a president who was REJECTED not by a mere 3 million votes... but perhaps 70-80 million people. And what if only 3 people voted in each of those states that comprise those 270 votes?

I know it's highly unlikely but this is the problem with ALL such a vote weighting schemes... such as ANY aspect of the Constitution that uses state suffrage. For instance the amendment formula now gives states with less than 4% of the population the ability to block any reforms.... and since no vote would be unanimous... those representing perhaps only 2.5% might be able to thwart any reform. In the other direction states with 40% of the population can ratify any amendment meaning it might be approved by 21% of the US population.

Only making such decisions using the POPULAR VOTE can eliminate this insanity.

WHAT MECHANISMS PERPETUATE US INSANITY???

I believe employers would LOVE to avoid paying for employee health insurance!

One MIGHT think that the since automation is also a big threat to jobs as is free trade... Trump MIGHT want to deal with why employers find automation appealing... IN LARGE PART IT'S TO AVOID PAYING FOR BENEFITS LIKE WORKER HEALTH INSURANCE. I certainly know back in my human service admin days how it affected my budgets. We were level funded for years and if we had to pay health insurance for a few families instead of a single person... that extra $10-12k cost a year cut like a knife.

I would think that companies would LOVE to get out from under this burden... and Single Payer IS the way to go. And if we could enact some other cost containment measures on the medical device and drug makers, we might easily save about 5-6% of wasted GDP spending... perhaps as much as $3500-4000 per capita...

Our dysfunctional health care system, like much of our military spending, is dead weight on our economy... and both are largely responsible for the current 587 billion deficit.

https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/mthTreasStmt/mts1016.pdf

But obviously we'd prefer to steal this money from future taxpayers... ie our kid, their kids, and their kids.

So what mechanisms perpetuate US insanity?

WHERE THE RIGHT GETS IT WRONG on health care...

THIS IS WHERE THE RIGHT GETS IT WRONG... they actually believe this nonsense:

The most effective way to lower healthcare costs and achieve quality universal coverage would be to promote the same free-market forces that have improved quality and lowered costs in almost every other industry—from automobiles to computers to cell phones.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1957#PARTII

The problem with this "analysis" is that competition APPEARS to bring on efficiencies... but it's often an illusion. The illusion is based on tunnel vision... looking just at market prices in a competitive market. It NEVER asks the more basic question... is X sector AS A WHOLE delivering to consumers the most bang for the buck. For example it's obvious that if all cars were based on 6-8 standardized chassis and drive train designs... overall production and maintenance costs could be vastly LOWERED. All that competition actually INCREASES prices because so much of the auto industry is proprietary... and designed to trap consumers in vendor lock. Sometimes the best place for "competition" is in the design phase of a product... where the best ideas of the entire industry go into ONE product instead of competing products NONE of which contains the best ideas... and therefore all are inferior. And then competition has HIGH OVERHEAD.

What often happens in the medical device industry is an INTENT to game the patent system to create vendor lock... and to keep prices HIGH. From the NYT on artificial hips...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/health/for-medical-tourists-simple-math.html?pagewanted=all

Though the five companies make similar models, each cultivates intense brand loyalty through financial ties to surgeons and the use of a different tool kit and operating system for the installation of its products; orthopedists typically stay with the system they learned on. The thousands of hospitals and clinics that purchase implants try to bargain for deep discounts from manufacturers, but they have limited leverage since each buys a relatively small quantity from any one company.

In addition, device makers typically require doctors’ groups and hospitals to sign nondisclosure agreements about prices, which means institutions do not know what their competitors are paying. This secrecy erodes bargaining power and has allowed a small industry of profit-taking middlemen to flourish: joint implant purchasing consultants, implant billing companies, joint brokers. There are as many as 13 layers of vendors between the physician and the patient for a hip replacement, according to Kate Willhite, a former executive director of the Manitowoc Surgery Center in Wisconsin.

ROGER STONE: We Need Conspiracy Shows More Than The NY TIMES

A few nights ago on a nighttime AM show called Coast To Coast... a show that usually deals with the occult, conspiracies, and nutty stuff like numerology, Roger Stone said we need more shows like C2C than we do the NY Times.

Yup... we need more fake news and bullshit rather than honest attempts to do serious journalism.

WHY AREN'T DEMS RAISING HELL: New SS Money got average of 1.8% interest for 2016!

New SS Money got average of 1.8% interest for 2016 and 1.8% is about the inflation rate meaning the Trust Fund is being used as free money by the government... AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SS PROGRAM.

New money going into the SS Trust Fund have not gotten more than 3% interest since 2008...

ANNUAL RATES: AVERAGE AND EFFECTIVE
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/annualinterestrates.html

MONTHLY RATES
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/newIssueRates.html


We are TAXED to fund SS programs and its vital purposes MUST BE PROTECTED. There MUST be a floor beneath which interest rates should never fall... and I believe that should be at least 4%.

Why We Can't Fix Health Care: The REAL GOP Priorities!

The GOP is more concerned about:

#Protecting the profits of the parasitic health insurance companies
#Their ridiclous religious belief that the Market performs miracles
#Insuring more tax cuts for the rich even if extreme wealth is largely a function of government freebies
#Their GOP brand of being for "small government"... and
#Using Government as a perverted "moral" enforcer designed to punish the unworthy poor

...than their constitutional duty to insure this is a nation that promotes the general welfare by looking out for its people.

SO WHY DON'T THEY JUST SAY THAT?

If they can't THEN THE DEMS SHOULD!

Fixing ACA is EASY!!!


I'm not a fan of ACA because on some level it's unconscionable to force us to buy a product from a private company or face a fine. But if one wants to fix the ACA, that's easy... just offer that Public Option that was SUPPOSED to be part of the original bill. At that point the insurance companies can't hold certain counties or state markets hostage. They WILL have competition.

Of course fixing ACA will NOT fix health care in the US. ACA was, after all, was a GOP approach that PRESERVED most of the inefficiencies in the private market.

The bottom line is this: Canada spends HALF of what we do per capita and covers everyone... that's comparable dollars not a percentage of GDP. We piss away TWICE as much to leave tens of million un- and under-insured.

WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? The reasons we can't fix our health care system boils down to this 1: the US has an antidemocratic system that allows ultra-tiny minorities to block needed reform... 2: the GOP and some corporate Dems have become the lapdogs of the private sector that is milking the current system, and 3: the political system has no real defense against corporations buying influence in DC.
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