May 2, 2012

Planet Money (NPR)

The reporting team at Planet Money, an NPR podcast, is always sharp and full of incite.  I recommend all of their podcasts, but one in particular Podcast #363 – “Why People Do Bad Things” does an excellent job of exploring a curious aspect of the human condition.  You can find them on itunes or NPR.org

 

May 2, 2012

Future of Energy & Peak Oil

Tom Murphy has some keen insights on energy resources and its impact on us and our planet, well worth a read:

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/

 

February 5, 2012

Restoring American Democracy

It is becoming clear to me that the only hope for restoring democracy in the USA will require ALL of the following to be codified:

#1  Campaign Finance Reform – This must be in the form of an Amendment to the Constitution.  It cannot be in a bill/ law because the changes will be quickly and quietly eroded by subsequent legislation, much like tax loopholes.  In the short term, there must be full public disclosure of individual names whose political contributions to political campaigns, PACs and Super PACs, which exceed a certain point, say $5,000.

#2  Complete overhaul of the tax system – Primarily to eliminate corporate and personal tax loopholes, but also to make it streamlined, progressive and humane.  I believe Warren Buffett is one of many whom may have a few good ideas on how this could be done.  In addition, ALL future changes/ adjustments/ revisions to the tax code be made in separate bills which stand alone, not as a rider clause on some omnibus bill.  They must also follow Code #4 below.

#3  Reinstate a modern version of the Glass Steagall Act to separate investment banks from commercial banks.  As well as eliminating all companies “too big to fail”.

#4  Require ALL US Congressional bills, which have been agreed upon by both the House and the Senate require a 3 day public viewing period, before they are voted on as is.  No rider clauses or last minute shenanigans. In addition, ALL bills will require the original authors of the bills (Congressional members) names be attached and displayed as public record.  In addition,  Each and Every, I repeat EACH and EVERY line item added or adjusted in the bill have at least 1 Congressional Representatives name who is directly responsible for the specific line item be added as public record in the bill.

#5  Military Industrial Complex:  1.  All Defense related spending be fully quantified each year as part of the annual federal budget process: including but not limited to military related debt servicing, nuclear weapons manufacturing/ research/ maintenance/ etc., military pensions, medical expenses for current and former military personnel, R&D, discretionary and non-discretionary expenditures, non-governmental contracts, earmarks (pork spending) and so much more.  2.  Subject Defense Department to independent audit and accounting oversight to adequately determine and require accountability to we the people.  3.  Require at least 3 year  waiting period for all Defense related government employees from revolving into any private sector role having any involvement with Defense Department including, consulting, contracting, lobbying.

#6  ALL forms of Federal Corporate Welfare handouts (as well as every state in the union’s Corporate Welfare) be published in annual reports for public viewing.  This would include any and all direct and indirect handout ie tax advantages, property, mineral rights, intellectual property, marketing funds, services/contractual obligations paid for but not fulfilled by corporations.  To be disclosed: Each company listed, the $ value of the handout, the type and description of handout in clear and descriptive terms the general public can understand.

#7  End gerrymandering by creating independent commissions to define districts, using Texas as the first role model because it is the biggest joke.

February 4, 2012

Books- Winner Take All Politics

Winner Take All Politics by Jacob S Hacker & Paul Pierson  (2010)

“How Washington made the rich richer – and turned its back on the Middle Class”

The book uncovers the culprits behind the inequality 99% of Americans are experiencing = US Politics. It details how corporate and business interests utilized money (campaign finance) over the past 40 years to corrupt our democracy and tilt the political agenda toward an anti-worker, anti-middle class,  pro-owning class agenda in BOTH parties.  For most people it has become common knowledge that our political system is owned by the rich, but understanding how is alarming and what it portends for the future of our democracy demands change!

Key Points:

–  It is not just US policies enacted that is to blame, but the deliberate inaction (“drift”) of politicians failing to pass key legislation.

– Money = campaign finance is destroying our democracy.

– Super PACs, PACs, political Organizations and lobbyists have the money, organizational talent and power to control our democracy, including deciding whom we get to vote for and then how they vote.

February 1, 2012

Charlie Kreiner – World Renowned Human Liberation Leader

There are few people who can say they have walked with The ONE- the source that defined their world view.  The majority of people would cite religious leaders like Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham, Buddha or spiritual entities like God, Brahman or Nature as their source of guidance.  I have had the honor of not only learning from, but walking with the source of such greatness – Charlie Kreiner.   His scope was broad – Human Liberation, yet his philosophy was simple, as I will soon share.   His work around the world was brief but impactful before his death in February of 2007.   His boundless energy, compassion, love and intellect were inspiring and remain so today.  He was not a God or deity, just a human being striving to be as Human as he could be, something I strive to achieve every day.    I intend to share much of what I can find about him as well as what I learned from him as I begin putting the pieces together of my brief time with Charlie.   Enjoy the journey.

February 1, 2012

Excellence in Journalism Award

Bill Moyers stands in the Pantheon of journalists.  The decline of journalism over the past 30 years, which began with President Ronald Reagan’s repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine” and its resultant infamy in FOX news, has left a generation mired in ignorance.  Bill Moyers has continued to deliver excellence in newsworthy investigative journalism.  If you seek light in an ever darkening world explore his work at:

http://billmoyers.com/

 

February 1, 2012

Crash Course on Economics

This is a great primer on Economics from Chris Martenson.  They are quick video presentations, which should have you hooked after the first episode:

http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-1-three-beliefs

February 1, 2012

7 Biggest Economic Lies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5Ep9fS7Z0&noredirect=1

January 30, 2012

The Kicker

January 30, 2012

Hello world!

From mockery to membership, I throw myself into the fray of collected “1”s and “0”s to express my collected and uncollected musings on our world.  Really?  I will see how it goes.  Maybe I will learn something, gain some cathartic relief, or just quit like a New Years Resolution…. Ha.