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204. GMO’s Evoke Unwarranted Fears

25 Feb

GMO-Picture-CornI write blogs, tweets, and other comments on a variety of subjects. Studying the critics of these pieces suggests to me, that many people don’t understand and/or distrust science in general. My position is that the work of scientists provides numerous benefits for all citizens, including better foods, electronics, transportation, health care, pet care, climate-change info, etc. Scientific information and discovery for many is also exciting and interesting and helps us to understand the world around us.

My current scientific topic is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) foods. Genetic modifications involve the manipulation of DNA molecules in the laboratory. The  manipulations lead to relatively permanent changes, including: enhanced plant growth, plants that better survive insect and disease attacks, plants that require less water, and will grow in unhealthy soil, and other improvements.

Given all the potential and existing benefits, GMO foods should be carefully studied and regulated. Certified products will provide extensive nourishment for an ever increasing Earth population. Also, global warming can reduce crop yields due to fires, droughts and other weather anomalies. It is extremely important to have the best plants available as demand increases. It will be of particular benefit to farmers in developing countries that are struggling to survive. Crop plants modified to do well in unusual soil conditions, in somewhat salty water, and in partial droughts, will be of great benefit.

Here are a few facts: Even now, GMO crops are widely used as livestock feed without any adverse reports. If they were poison, surely they would have made our hamburgers toxic, but this has not happened. Note also, that modifying plant DNA by “breeding,” is common and has occurred for ages.  In my previous blog, I discussed seaweed as a potential major food source, and also for its absorption of the greenhouse gas CO2. Genetic improvements of seaweed could be of great benefit.

An advantage of GMO as a way to modify, is that the modifications are known and can be evaluated for safety. Many natural modifications are unknown. Nature, in some cases, does produce toxic plants. There is always a tendency to want natural products, and I am the same way. Yet for many years we have modified plants through breeding, developed medicines that are not natural, and we all eat food that undergoes many “processes.” We need to move forward, in a safe way, with valuable innovations.

Here is a good, easy-to-read source of GMO facts by Kurzgesagt:                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TmcXYp8xu4

201. Current Issues, Briefly #7

20 Jan

This is the 7th of a series of blogs with brief discussions of current issues. The material is based on my Tweets (@RichardLeeWB), unpublished thoughts, and descriptions of various publications that I feel are valuable and worth emphasizing.

I just listened to Alan Dershowitz, stating that “abuse of power” is not a high crime. His extensive research trying to understand the thoughts of early leaders is really pointless, and not a justification for this confusion of issues. His problem is that he does not recognize different levels of abuse. Trump’s abuse was very serious, involving elections, delayed military support, and making Ukraine more vulnerable to Russia. Ukraine is like a buffer zone for us, limiting Russian expansion. It is frightening to think that Trump aids in Russian efforts to dominate.

.   Dershowitz Fails to Recognize Different Levels of Abuse-of-power

Famous attorney Alan Dershowitz says that Trump is King, in fact, even more powerful. Well, if Trump is King, then Dershowitz is the court jester. Trumpism is like a disease that infects everyone near him. Star Ken Starr is also participating.

The NY Times just endorsed Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. For many years I favored Warren, but recently her arguments with Bernie were a little discouraging. For the last year or so, I have been impressed by Klobuchar, who has high intelligence and good judgement.  I also think that Tom Steyer could make a good candidate and president, if elected. Note, any of the Democratic candidates would be a great improvement.  In the end, whoever gets the most public support is probably going to be our best choice for beating Trump. Another four years of him would be a catastrophe for all Americans.

Rachel Kleinfeld in a 2019 TED talk looks at the relation between politicians, gangs, and police; in an effort to understand high murder rates in certain surprising locals. She writes that several major US cities have very high murder rates. For example, in “New Orleans, more people per capita are dying than in war-torn Somalia.” Throughout the world, there are many small areas that have very high murder rates, surpassing those in wars. The ultimate cause for this, is various patterns of corruption. This TED talk is well constructed and fascinating, and the analysis is impressive.

It seems that every human system in existence for some years becomes corrupted. I just read that drug companies are manipulating patents to limit competition and raise prices.  See this December 2019 TED talk by Priti Krishtel.

Don’t be fooled by the RISING stock market. The market rises when investors believe that major corporations will be profitable. Increased corporate profits generally have little or no effect on middle-class wages. Most important: does a full-time salary cover reasonable expenses?  Also, under President Obama, the market was rising at a steady rate and when Trump took office the market simply continued this rise. Obama had major financial problems when he took office, while Trump had the benefit of Obama’s policies.

Imagine a president that encourages and supports scientific methods for improving our lives; rather than growing military, insulting our allies, withdrawing from worthy treaties, and using government for private enrichment. We need a President that works well with scientists and innovators.

Trump is desperate to win in 2020 because when he leaves office, he is very vulnerable. Briefly, the problem is that investigations of criminality will be easier and likely, tax returns will be revealed. Desperation led to the Ukraine extortion, aberrant  military actions, and other mistakes.

A sure sign of a dictator is that he uses government systems to attack his political opponents. Trump and Republicans have had numerous investigations of Hillary Clinton. The latest three-year investigation found nothing. Six Republican Benghazi investigations found nothing. These unethical investigations are not consistent with our traditional American values.

Major World problems are: climate-change and food-supply. Both can be solved with improved laws and methods for ocean fishing and policies. See TED Talks by Johnson & Davis: “Underwater farms vs climate change“.  And, see Savitz: “Save the oceans, feed the world.” National leaders must understand and use science to solve many of our problems, like depletion of fish and acidification of oceans. The same methods for increasing ocean food-supply, also help with global warming.

To Adam Schiff: Dedicated people like you should be proud to receive Trump insults. I would like to see a website that provides a medal for the most vicious Trump abuse. Adam, you are so effective and patriotic that he must attack. Keep up the great work.

Candidate Tom Steyer is becoming a top contender for US President. It is true that he has 1.6 billion and is spending much on his campaign. But that isn’t a negative because he has spent the last 9yrs on worthy causes, like climate-change and health care. Tom Steyer is a good choice.

How many Republican voting citizens have essentially said that domestic factors are great under Trump and the international policies don’t matter much. Well, Trumps disastrous dealing with Iran, which started with withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal, brings us close to a major war.

If you like people that really tell it like it is, then Steve Schmidt is your man. Earlier, he was a major Republican strategist. Starting June 2018, he has forcefully denounced the Republican party and Trump, in graphic terms. I also like the honesty in Morning Joe, and others.

Considering all aspects of the Iranian military leader assassination, it seems the dangers somewhat exceed the benefits. First, killing one official does not change government goals or policies. Second, Trump acted alone, ignoring Congress and allies. Third, major retaliation is likely. 
The Iran Nuclear Deal according to those involved, was working properly. But Trump, who is obsessed with winning and proving his superiority, decided to abandon it and impose more powerful sanctions. As a result, military actions are increasing and we are closer to war. Trump should have worked with allies on improving the treaty, rather than abandoning it. One reason for this serious mistake is that Trump’s unethical history requires him to find loyalists rather than competence.  Note that money given to Iran was mostly frozen assets that belonged to them. Some money was interest on a debt.

 

 

 

188. Current Issues, Briefly #6 (Turkey, Impeach, Candidates, Medicare)

18 Oct

This is the 6th of a series of blogs with brief discussions of current issues. The material is based on my Tweets (@RichardLeeWB), unpublished thoughts, and descriptions of various publications that I feel are worth repeating and emphasizing.

Trump Loves Autocrats; Why?

Trump appears to favor (even love) the leaders of North Korea, Turkey, and Russia. I have thought a lot about this. A couple of years ago, he talked about tyrants in history that he admired. I think he dreams of ruling the entire planet. He does not like traditional democracies (France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, etc.) because they are a contrast and subversion for his narcissistic goals. He revels in the fact that so many buildings have his name on them. All this would not be so bad, but many of his policies are cruel and have resulted in thousands of injuries and deaths. The “why” is based on his father’s teachings and upon his many years of huge financial support from his father. He learned that he could take great risks and even go bankrupt and still survive in style. His large family, probably contributes to his confidence.

Trump Trashes Science 

Trump’s most far reaching and perhaps most serious mistake is ignoring and undermining science. There is no way Trump can support science because its goal is to find truth and Trump is the master of scams and lies. Most obvious is his disbelief in global warming as the result of human activity. He cannot believe this because some of his major financial supporters deal in fossil fuels for energy, a major source of dangerous greenhouse gases. Scientists also point out the dangers of various pollutions and toxins, which are a part of some manufacturing  processes. Trump relies on some of these manufacturers for his support. He abolishes helpful regulations developed by experts in various scientific areas.

Trump Trashes our Kurd Allies 

Trumps abrupt and thoughtless decision to remove 1000 of our troops from Syria has been a major disaster. Removing the troops is a good long term goal, but it must be done carefully, and coordinating with all involved. This includes Syria (maybe), Kurd representative, Turkey,  Russia, and our own international experts in the State Dept. We cannot have a President that makes decisions in this way.

Trumps WORST deed so far, defines his presidency. Giving to Turkey, what was to be a homeland for our ally the Kurds, and setting the conditions for thousands to die, is an atrocity. His lies about this situation are grotesque. It was primarily the Kurds that defeated ISIS.

Why does Turkey now have a right to take over a 20 mile wide area in northern Syria? Just another Trump scam: Turkey wins and our friends the Kurds lose. How do the Kurds and Syrians feel about this? If Turkey needs a safe zone it should be in Turkey.

Re the agreement of Pence and Turkey about the safe-zone, it seems to me that Turkey has won and our friends the Kurds have lost. Turkey has gotten their safe zone without a battle, and likely thousands of Kurds have lost their homes and are now immigrants. Trump says the Kurds are happy now, really?

Yesterday’s meeting at the White House was very significant because it was a rare time that Trumps policies could be effectively challenged. His withdrawal of troops from Syria has been widely condemned and in the meeting, Pelosi’s questions led to his meltdown.

For the first time in recent years, a substantial number of Repubs have spoken against Trump. A House resolution condemning his removal of US troops from Syria (ignoring Kurd safety) was passed by all Dems and 66% of Repubs. Also, some Repub leaders (e.g. Linsey Graham and Mitt Romney) admonished him.

Trumps planning is brilliant. Have a phone call with Turkey giving them implied permission to attack Kurd held Syrian areas. So Turkey attacks and now master negotiator Trump reneges and imposes hopeless sanctions. Our President is an amateur and Repubs accept him!

Impeachment Advances

Yesterday, Mick Mulvaney (W.H. Chief of Staff) in a state of confusion, perhaps, fully admitted that Trump ordered a delay of funds for Ukraine survival, until they investigated a political adversary. This quid-pro-quo characterization was in stark contrast to what Trump stated repeatedly.

In a recent press conference, Mick Mulvaney argued that there could not be a “cover up” because the call-to-Ukraine transcript was released to the public. Sad to say, but Mulvaney ignored the fact that Trump does not understand many US laws and just goofed.

Impeachments are supposed to be based on “crimes,” but I think that it is only fair to our people that other types of wrongdoing be considered, e.g.: significant lies, support of enemies, undermining parts of gov like FBI, CIA, & State Dept, & ignoring valid roles of Congress.

We can now add the Syrian US-troop removal with Kurd slaughter to reasons for impeachment. Some other reasons are obstruction of justice, neglecting climate-change, foreign influence on election, undermining FBI, etc, ignoring subpoenas, ruined Iran deal, & destructive trade wars.

The irony of Trump’s tarnished presidency is that he could have done a few things differently and saved his reputation. But like the scorpion (and the frog, fable) certain bad acts are in his nature. For example, he did not need to coerce Zelenski, or neglect climate-change.

Democrat Candidates

Here is why candidate Elizabeth Warren is my top choice. First, is her long dedication to supporting the non-rich. She speaks well, is enthusiastic, strong, ethical, and intelligent. She has good, thoughtful plans, which are idealistic; and remember, Congress makes all final choices..

After the debate of Oct15, I felt very proud to be a Democrat and felt all candidates did well. All of them handled criticism admirably, and made good points. Elizabeth Warren is still my first choice. Also impressive is Amy Klobuchar. Regretfully, a great candidate, Jay Inslee. had already quit.

Plans that Dem candidates propose should not affect voters except that they demonstrate attention to issues and analytical ability. Details of most plans don’t matter because it is Congress that makes laws. E.g. Warren has many intelligent plans, but don’t worry about details.

Medicare for All
Considering Medicare-for-all vs private insurance. In the long run, Medicare is cheaper because no money goes to highly paid executives. The goal for private insurance is making money and rejecting claims, not so for Medicare. All considered, for most people, private insurance is not best.
.
Re “Medicare for all.” Complaints about this are wrong. I have had Medicare for 15 years (with low-cost AARP sup) and have had a major operation and many visits at very low cost. My operation was with the best local surgeon. I freely chose all my doctors and had the best. I Love it.

 

133. The Age of Candidates

3 Jan

Below is a list of 2020 Presidential Democrat Candidates with their age and highest office.  I am older than all of these candidates so I know how important age is in being able to function in this demanding environment. The older candidates may have diminished memory and intellectual functioning.  (Trump likely suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, which could account for his bizarre behavior.)

My list below includes all those with at least some national name recognition. All things considered, Elizabeth Warren, at this time, appears to be the best candidate. Several people listed immediately below her name could be her running mate,  and future presidential candidates.

Eliz. Warren’s age of 69 is marginal, but she likely could have four good years, and is a top choice, for sincerity and standing up to Trump. She is powerful and an excellent speaker. She has been known for solid ideals and would support the middle class, which the Repubs have ignored. She really would drain Trump’s swamp.  It’s also possible that any of the few at the top of the list could emerge in a year as the ultimate candidate.

I think Eric Swalwell  at 37 is very promising. Great charisma and looks presidential. But right now, a little too young for the top spot, but could be veep. In a few years, Joe Kennedy could gain popularity, but right now is not a great orator. I just added Jay Inslee because he is devoted to environmental and climate factors, seems well-organized, and is a good speaker. Beto O’Rourke might be a good running mate for E. Warren. I have just added (on Jan. 29) Senator Sherrod Brown to my list of good candidates. He has many years of elected public service, looks presidential, and has an appealing sensible manor.

Elizabeth Warren 69 Powerful inspirational, intelligent, now best choice

Beto O’Rourke 46 Rep. Very popular, but lacks experience

Kamala Harris 54 Senator, aggressive outspoken, maybe 2024 election

Eric Swalwell 37 Rep. Very charismatic, looks presidential speaks well

Jay Inslee 67 Gov. Washington St. Emphasizes Climate Change

Tom Steyer 61 wealthy, impeach advocate

Cory Booker 49 Senator aggressive, good speaker

Sherrod Brown 66 Senator, held political offices since 1974

Kirsten Gillibrand 51 too radical a feminist for my taste

Tim Kaine 60 Senator, OK, but not exciting

Amy Klobuchar 58 Senator, Centrist, likeable not powerful

Joe Kennedy 38 Rep. Not a great speaker, has the Name, future?

Andrew Cuomo 60 Gov NY

Terry McAuliffe 61 Gov Va, DNC chair Bill & Hillary supporter

***** Great people, but too old or otherwise past their time:

Bernie Sanders 77 Great ideals, very popular, but now too old

Michael Bloomberg 76 Mayor NY alternated parties

Joe Biden 75 ex Veep Well known and very likeable.

John Kerry 74 presidential nominee

Hillary Clinton 71 won pop. vote, would have been great pres.

127. My Blog List to Date

16 Nov

Starting with most recent:

129. Trump vs Hillary Administration  (Nov. 2018)
128. China-USA War?
126 Checklist for Personal and Planet health
125. Emergence of Tyrants; Balancing Competition and Kindness
124. The Man Who Would be King
123. Ford v. Kavanaugh * Revised (Sep. 2018)
122. Considerations for a Good Life
121. Democrats Do Have Important Messages.
120. Where Democracy is Dead
119. How Humans Evolved (Aug. 2018)
118. President Cornered
117. The Amazing Brain: How it was made.
116. Brain Complexity (July 2018)
115. Voting in Desperate Times
114. Brain, AI, and Behavior (3rd Revision) (March 2018)
113. Do Good Candidates Make Good Officials? (Mar. 2018)
——————-  2018 Above ————————-

112. Mounting Pressure on Pres. Trump (Oct. Last 2017)
111. Trump Attacks The Press
110. 260-Days of Trump (Oct. 2017)
109. Online Corrupt Reviews
108. Imminent Danger of POTUS
107. How Voters Find Truth
106. Health Care for All (July 2017)
105. Balancing Rich vs. Poor
104. Under-emphasized Political Facts
103. Republicans Hate ObamaCare: Why?
102. The Other Terrorism (information corruption)
101. Worldwide Chaos? (wars, terrorism, greedy leaders..)
100. Basic Causes of Greatest Concern
99. Change Yes, Trump No (March 2017)
98. Teen Trump Discovers Healthcare
97. Trump’s Extreme Hypocrisy
96. One Month of Trump
95. A Combination of Factors Sunk Dems. (Feb 2017)
94. Katy Tur Wins a Medal
93. Trump Chaos Easing Off (2 days later, maybe not)
92. Trump’s “Strategy” (Feb. 2017)
91. Defining Our New President
90. A Governing Family Unit
89. Some Tweet-like World Observations
88. Ask Trump: Which Regulations? (Jan 2017)
87. GMO Babies and Foods
86. Common Current Conceptions Corrected
85. We Need Change ?
84. DJT Deviates from Norm (2017 first blog)
—————– 2017 Above ————————

83. People Now Believe Lies (2016 last blog)
82. Result of Abysmal Trend: Trump
81. All Complex Systems are Corruptible
80. Dirty Tricks Win Election (Dec. 2016)
79. Heroes of Trump Attacks
78. Science Forges Ahead of Citizens
77. Reflections Post-Elections
76. Actually, Rigged FOR Trump
75. Reflections on the Elections (Nov. 2016)
74. Best Hillary Endorsement
73. Candidate Lies
72. Trump: Real Lost Opportunities
71. Tic-Tacs Sink Trump (Oct. 2016
70. Rise of Trump
69. The “Deplorable” Fans of Trump
68. Why Distrust Hillary?
67. Is Our Press Losing Its Ideals?
66. To Trump Voters: Really? (Aug. 2016)
65. Hillary Deserves Your Trust
64. Profit by Creating Fears
63. GOP Dedicated to Destroy
62. GOP Distrust of FBI
61. “Extreme” FBI Attacks (July 2016)
60. LIST OF BLOG TITLES: 1 to 59
—————— 2016 Above ——————

********** Earlier Blogs Below ************
1. Some Major Principles (Mar 2012) 1st Blog
2. Voters Beware (Mar
3. Big Government for Women (Mar
4. Consciousness (Apr
5. Social Darwinism (Apr
6. Self-defeating Votes (Apr
7. Voter Education (Apr
8. Psychotherapy and Science (Apr
9. Vote Democratic (Apr
10. Vitamin C and Colds (Apr
11. The “Private Sector” solution (May
12. Bain Capitalism (May
13. Health and Education: rising costs (Jun 2012

14. “Wealthyvolution:” A new word (Sep 2013
15. Debacles: costly and ubiquitous (Oct 2013
16. Political Morality    (Nov 2013

17. Mouthwash Blues   (Jun 2014

18. Energy, Food, Water, and our Survival (Apr 2015
19. American Lazy Slackers? (Apr
20. Mr. Jones Saves Capitalism (Apr
21. Simple Political Re-wording with Dangerous Consequences (Apr
22. Back-pain and calf-tension (Jun
23. Treatment for common back-pain (Jul
24. Republican poll misinterpreted (Jul
25. Bernie Sanders Interpretation of “Socialism” (Aug
26. Approve the Iran Nuclear Agreement (Sep
27. Trump can’t be bought? (Sep
28. Bernie Sanders on the Mark (Oct
29. Hilary Clinton: outstanding (Oct
30. Stretching program for back pain (Nov
31. ISIS Hysteria (Nov
32. Who supports Trump? (Dec
33. Jihadist attacks vs auto accidents (Dec 2015

34. Climate change: Simplified (Jan 2016
35. POTUS Proud (Jan
36. Capitalism corrupted (Jan
37. Careful Voting (Jan
38. Trump’s Wall (Jan
39. Dem Dual Debate (Feb
40. Hindu NASA astronaut (Feb
41. Politics of Fear       (Feb 2016
42. Questions for Trump? (Feb
43. GOP Tax Nonsense (Feb
44. Is Trump a spoiler? (Feb
45. Trump as “Statesman”? (Feb
46. The Candidates 2016 (Feb
47. A Republican Policy of Revenge (Mar
48. Morning Joe “Trickles up” (mar
49. Is Cruz better than Trump? (Mar
50. Trump, Torture, and Aging inhibition (Mar
51. Flint water and GOP Policy (Mar
52. Ingested Lead Detox    (Mar 2016
53. Global Dysfunction (Apr
54. Free Public College (Apr
55. Why do they hate us? (May
56. Why: Not-Trump? (May
57. Secret of Trump (May
58. Deranged Murderers who Happen to be Muslim (Jun
59. Email Issue vs Policy Disasters   (Jul 2016

115. Voting in Desperate Times

1 Jul

Our democracy ordinarily works in wonderful ways, but as the founding fathers anticipated, could be corrupted. It is now on a dangerous path. Republicans and their top leaders (Trump, McConnell, Ryan, etc.) are quite willing to sacrifice our ideals, integrity, and world leadership, to survive, and to support their wealthy patrons. The “desperate times” are caused by the factors described below.

In order for Republicans to survive, they feel that they must tell lies, create havoc, and engage in ruthless character assassination. An example is the many repetitions of the investigation of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, which NEVER resulted in significant findings. The basic reason why Republicans must lie is that they cannot say “vote for us, so that our extremely rich donors can be made even richer.” They fool people by saying that their financial programs will help the middle class, but history shows that they do not. The often used “trickle-down” concept is not supported by fact (even the Pope stated this).

Below I will discuss voting, but it is important to first really define the Republican problem so that the urgency will be apparent. Here is a list of current and future dangers:

1. Alienation of our long-standing and faithful allies (example: NATO and G7 members) in favor of Russian Putin and other ruthless dictators. Difficult international decisions are best made with the support of allies.
2. Encouragement of racism through lies and false data. On two occasions, Trump provided some support for Neo-Nazis, saying “some were very fine people.”
3. Creating an ultimately unfavorable world trade policy, that is not good for us and creates world leadership openings for China and Russia. All of Trump’s tariffs were countered by foreign equivalents. The final result was a loss of many USA jobs. 
4. Shattering our reputation for honesty. World leaders never know where we stand because Trump frequently and impulsively keeps changing his mind.
5. Judicial appointments are based primarily on loyalty to Trump rather than appropriate reputation and experience.
6. Failure to seriously deal with Russian attacks on our election system and also Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, and other election scams.
7. Failure to separate politics from the functioning of the FBI and other agencies. Inane attacks on the FBI will have long-term effects on its important functioning.
8. Abolishing government regulations that protect us from various forms of pollution, and from financial scams that are often aimed at the elderly and those poorly educated.
9. Degrading government agencies that were established to improve international relations and decisions, such as the State Department.
10. Failure to fill important offices. We lack ambassadors, judges, agency leaders and experts, etc. Republicans want to blame the Democrats, but there is a failure to present nominations, and those nominated are often unqualified and simply Trump sycophants.
11. Disorganized border procedures keep worsening and are establishing rules that will negatively affect border policy for many years. Desperate decent people that are seeking asylum are locked up like criminals and have had their children taken away. It is well-known that certain Latin American countries have been essentially taken over by criminal gangs, and that decent people have needed to escape. Some of the money spent on their jailing could have been spent on helping these desperate countries.
12. Failure to support the problem of climate-change. This could be the most serious problem in the list. Eventually millions of people may die, and the mass migrations due to changes in rainfall patterns, could be horrendous.
13. Policies that negatively affect education and science can ultimately have serious harmful effects. Every nation needs educated people and will benefit from scientific research. Republicans fear education because knowledgeable voters will see through their schemes. Science is discouraged because some manufacturers may lose a little money in doing the right thing.
14. Future Supreme Court justices could be disreputable Trump loyalists that will create laws that a majority of Americans don’t want.
15. Corruption of the Census rules likely will eliminate non-citizens from being counted. This will have a negative political impact.
16. In general, current USA policies emerge from impulsive, simplistic decisions – often by Tweets. Frequently there is little study of all possible outcomes and all relevant factors when a decision is made. The traditional and effective process for making decisions based on hearings and the knowledge of experts is ignored. An example of poor judgment is the very biased tax-cut bill, which will affect infrastructure repair and other important programs. Trump’s advisors are mostly his friends, relatives, and yes-men rather than experienced leaders in relevant fields.

Now that the very real dangers have been described, we know that the most effective way (not the only way) to deal with all these long-term dangers is by voting Trump and Republicans out of office. Voting is critical.

Voting is so important now, that we must consider certain factors. It is sad to say that voting is often based on superficial subjective features like appearance, familiarity, religion, attractiveness, speaking voice, appearance of strength, etc.
We must choose candidates that will get maximum votes.
Of course, candidates must also be intelligent, well-educated, reliable, and supportive of the best policies.
What to avoid in getting maximum votes:
1. A certain number of people will not vote for those with foreign names and accents.
2. People that appear weak. Many voters require an appearance of physical strength.
3. People that lack charisma and a really fluent speaking ability.
4. I hate to say it, but a tall, white, Christian, articulate man is optimal. No one in the USA will reject someone like this, but someone lacking some or all of these features will definitely lose some votes.

A final thought:
I must admit that when the leading Democrat candidates for the presidency were Hillary and Barack, I was worried. Still, it was a great joy for me when Barack Obama emerged, and overcame these petty limitations. (I would also have been very happy with Hillary C.)
There are some really good trends now that hopefully will prevail. For example, women are more and more capable of getting votes. I see really good leadership ability in women like Elizabeth Warren. 

108. Imminent Danger of POTUS

28 Aug

The investigation of Trump and his associates is going slowly (as expected), but the dangerous actions already taken, and worse decisions in the future, are so dire that we must think about quick action. Congress must consider the consequences of his continuing in office. Below, I have listed some of these grim possibilities:

Naive and blatant coercive interactions with certain countries, such as North Korea and Pakistan (and even China and Russia) can move us closer to disastrous situations and even horrible world wars.

Further reductions of government regulations, which could result in serious health factors due to air and water pollution.

Other losses of regulations affect the financial stability of major banks and investment houses. When there are failures, ordinary taxpayers lose money by bailing them out.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling will cause the USA to default on loans. The
consequence of this would be:
1. A lower credit rating will cause an increase in the interest the USA is paying on its loans, and the result is that we, the taxpayers will lose.
2. With less trust in the US dollar, we could lose our Reserve Currency status.
Reserve currency is the money used for international trade, which currently is the US dollar. There are numerous benefits to this status.
3. The US is a world leader in many ways. With a poor credit rating, world respect would diminish.

Trump has alienated many of our traditional allies by egocentric dealings and accidental insults. Allies are helpful for many kinds of international problems and conflicts.

Trump encourages alt-right groups, so that our world-wide reputation for the respect of human dignity is being diminished.

Our traditional system of free public education could be compromised and human resources would be diminished. He sets a bad example for children, by his support of violence and his aberrant actions.

Failure to support climate change remedies can lead to disastrous and costly human migrations, storms, floods, and the formation of new deserts.

Trump has allowed Russians to infiltrate our society and elections. He tends to ignore or even support Russia and has made little progress in fighting cyber-crime.

Trump re-writes history according to his own needs. He tells blatant lies and fails to coordinate with assistants, which causes confusion and distrust at home and abroad.

His attacks on the press undermine a system that is vital for any democracy.  This encourages ruthless leaders abroad to attack, jail, or even murder reporters.  It is telling that so many media organizations are critical of him.  He should be supporting traditional reliable sources like the NY Times, CNN, and the Washington Post.

106. Health Care for All

30 Jul

It is already a basic USA value to help everyone with at least some types of health problems. If a homeless person is lying in the street with severe injuries, he will at least get minimal care. Covertly, Republicans might not agree with this, but on the record they would have to support it or be castigated.

Given this premise, that in practice, everyone will get health care if needed, then it does make sense to require everyone pay for it. The simplest and most agreeable implementation is Medicare for all. Remember that our POTUS promised health care for all at good rates, in his campaign.

I suggest that we greatly increase taxes for rich folks by having higher rates and by closing tax loopholes. If you are extremely rich, then your taxes will be extremely high. If you have no income, then no tax. If you have a small regular income then you could have a very small increase. As income increases, then the percent allotted to health care expense also gradually increases. Lower and middle class people will pay a little more and wealthy people a lot more. Why should wealthy people pay a lot more: because they use a lot of resources and because much of their wealth has been gained by unfair influence on Congressional financial (tax, subsidies, IRA’s, etc.) legislation.

Note that I am not against people who become rich through hard work and intelligence. It is extreme wealth and wealth unfairly gained that bothers me; particularly when there is substantial poverty in our nation. Many very wealthy people have stated that they would not object to increased taxes.

Countries with universal health care include: Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom (see Wikipedia).

 

60. List of Blog Titles

6 Jul

The following is a list of all my Blog Titles:
————-  2012 ————
1. Some Major Principles (Mar
2. Voters Beware (Mar
3. Big Government for Women (Mar
4. Consciousness (Apr
5. Social Dawinism (Apr
6. Self-defeating Votes (Apr
7. Voter Education (Apr
8. Psychotherapy and Science (Apr
9. Vote Democratic (Apr
10. Vitamin C and Colds (Apr
11. The “Private Sector” solution (May
12. Bain Capitalism (May
13. Health and Educaton: rising costs (Jun
———–  2013  ————
14. “Wealthyvolution:” A new word (Sep
15. Debacles: costly and ubiquitous (Oct
16. Political Morality (Nov
———— 2014 ———-
17. Mouthwash Blues (Jun
———— 2015 ———-
18. Energy, Food, Water, and our Survival (Apr
19. American Lazy Slackers? (Apr
20. Mr. Jones Saves Capitalism (Apr
21. Simple Political Re-wording with Dangerous Consequences (Apr
22. Back-pain and calf-tension (Jun
23. Treatment for common back-pain (Jul
24. Republican poll misinterpreted (Jul
25. Bernie Sanders Interpretation of “Socialism” (Aug
26. Approve the Iran Nuclear Agreement (Sep
27. Trump can’t be bought? (Sep
28. Bernie Sanders on the Mark (Oct
29. Hilary Clinton: outstanding (Oct
30. Stretching program for back pain (Nov
31. ISIS Hysteria (Nov
32. Who supports Trump? (Dec
33. Jihadist attacks vs auto accidents (Dec
———– 2016 —————                                                                                                        34. Climate change: Simplified (Jan
35. POTUS Proud (Jan
36. Capitalism corrupted (Jan
37. Careful Voting (Jan
38. Trump’s Wall (Jan
39. Dem Dual Debate (Feb
40. Hindu NASA astronaut (Feb
41. Politics of Fear (Feb
42. Questions for Trump? (Feb
43. GOP Tax Nonsense (Feb
44. Is Trump a spoiler? (Feb
45. Trump as “Statesman”? (Feb
46. The Candidates 2016 (Feb
47. A Republican Policy of Revenge (Mar
48. Morning Joe “Trickles up” (mar
49. Is Cruz better than Trump? (Mar
50. Trump, Torture, and Aging inhibition (Mar
51. Flint water and GOP Policy (Mar
52. Ingested Lead Detox (Mar
53. Global Dysfunction (Apr
54. Free Public College (Apr
55. Why do they hate us? (May
56. Why: Not-Trump? (May
57. Secret of Trump (May
58. Deranged Murderers who Happen to be Muslim (Jun
59. Email Issue vs Policy Disasters (Jul                                                                                60.  Title List                                                                                                                       61. “Extreme” FBI Attacks  (Hillary Emails)   (Jul

 

 

32. Who Supports Trump?

9 Dec

People describe Trump supporters in various ways, but I think I see something that most others overlook.  Here is my logic.  Above all, the supporters are conservatives, and of course, Republicans.  This identity is key to understanding them and the first thing to understand.  This rigid identification can be inherited, based on community sentiment, or simply results from a powerful fear of change.  “Liberals will take away my money, make me support poor people, take away my doctors, family life, debase my marriage, etc.  And I know all this because important people on TV (Fox) say this, and my friends believe this.”

I really did not understand this type of thinking until I moved to a very conservative neighborhood and made friends there.  I had many discussions with them but when talking about politics, I always bumped into a brick wall.

So, given this powerful conservative identity factor, the rest is easy.  These Trump supporters know that things are not going well in the Middle-East, home economics,  jobs, salaries, etc.  Even Republicans admit that the very rich are getting richer and the rest of us are stuck at a losing level.  So in order to improve things, they see the  need for new ideas and strong new leaders — and leaders that cannot be bought by the billionaires.   And who best fits the profile: Trump.  He is strong, bold, self-supporting and is willing to present ideas that satisfy at a very crude visceral level.  And given the inflexible and unshakable identity factor, it is almost impossible to change their thinking.

Meanwhile, Democrats and Independents are growing more confident as Trump continues his serious political errors.