The “Opiate Of The Masses”

My Saturday begins and I bet you think you will get some diatribe on Marxism….if so then you are WRONG!

But if you truly would like a lesson in Marxism I will gladly help out…..(pause here for reply)….I thought so…..

We begin the month of December….with all its Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays and all the sales and deals on the run up to Christmas….and every year Americans spend more and more on these “deals” and gifts….why?

I am glad you asked….I have written about this phenom in the past……

I have written about our addictions in the past….our addiction to drugs or the addiction to war…..but our real addiction is……. consumerism….

Whatchu talking about professor?

You Are An ADDICT!

Source: The Real American Addiction – In Saner Thought

We as a society are truly addicted too consumerism…..why else would we stand in line to buy a phone that has NO new features?

American consumers have learned NOTHING from the screwing they took in 2008.

That is it for today…I have a tangerine crop that needs pulling…..go out and enjoy your day…..

Is The TPP Finally Dead?

From the beginning I was opposed to this TPP that Obama and so many others championed….I recall what damage Clinton’s NAFTA did to the American economy….

There were a few issues in the Trump agenda that I could embrace….but I liked his rhetoric on international interventionism and especially his rhetoric on trade….both NAFTA and TPP……

Mercifully it appears that the TPP is finally dead…..

In spite of the hopes of many elite types for a last-minute resurrection, it appears that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is finally dead.  This is good news, but it took a long time to kill the deal, and the country is likely to pay a huge price for the execution.

The basic point that everyone should know by now is that the TPP had little to do with trade. The United States already had trade deals with six of the 11 other countries in the pact. The trade barriers with the other five countries were already very low in most cases, so there was little room left for further trade liberalization in the TPP.

Instead, the main purpose of the TPP was to lock in place a business-friendly structure of regulation. The deal was negotiated by a series of working groups that were dominated by representatives of major corporations. The regulatory structure was to be enforced by investor-state dispute settlement tribunals. This is an extrajudicial system that would be able to override US laws with secret rulings that were not bound by precedent or subject to appeal.

Source: The Slow, Painful Death of the TPP

We will have to wait and see if Trump will be true to his word……my optimism is at a low ebb right now.

Those Damn Crony Capitalists

This election we have had a full array of attacks on the system we live under….even from a person that has gamed the system to benefit himself….there has been so much talked about….especially those damn “crony capitalists”…..but what is this phenom we hear so much about?

Crony capitalism and genuine capitalism, if not opposites, are fundamentally opposed. Unfortunately the broader public, to date, is largely unaware of this.

Crony capitalism is the marriage of the state and private special interests. Some people have called it corporatism, mercantilism, fascism, or even Communism.

We will call it crony capitalism.

By whatever name, it is phony capitalism.

Well said…..and this is where an article I read in The American Conservative comes into the picture…..

The story of crony capitalism—where success in business depends on government favoritism, not competitive products—is often told in anecdotes. Anyone who follows policy debates can rattle off a list: the Solyndra loan-guarantee fiasco; the Utah woman who couldn’t braid hair for a living without undergoing 2,000 hours of formal training, a regulation designed to shield established salons from upstart competition. But while such stories serve as excellent examples of the phenomenon, they can’t reveal its true depth and breadth.

Crony capitalism isn’t just a collection of individual restrictions: it is a cancer that is slowly eating the economy. Signs of it can be found in even the broadest, most fundamental economic data, and the nation’s biggest industries have fallen victim to it. And rooting it out would require a complete rethinking of how businesses and the government interact.

Source: The Crony Economy | The American Conservative

Pay to play comes to mind….the Clinton camp is guilty as sin….Trump ……who knows for sure.

If the liberals are bitching about iot and now a conservative publication is also….then there is a good chance that it is the cancer that some call it.

Service To Be Restricted

There has been lots of talk about the possibility of the internet could become limited and even censored…..some of these are great conspiracies and again maybe not so “out there”…..

Comcast is about to makes its residential internet service a lot more like smartphone data plans for millions of customers, the Washington Post reports. Starting Nov. 1, Comcast will be capping the internet usage of customers in 18 markets—including 12 whole states—at 1 terabyte. According to Ars Technica, Comcast has had a data cap in place in some markets since 2012. For Comcast customers who exceed the 1TB monthly limit, Comcast will charge a $10 fee per additional 50 gigabytes up to $200. To avoid the data cap, customers can either pay an extra $50 per month for unlimited data or $300 per month for Comcast’s Gigabit Pro fiber-optic service. A list of markets that will be impacted by the data cap is here.

Comcast claims the data cap is “based on a principle of fairness”—the people who use the most internet will pay the most for it. But Engadget argues that doesn’t make complete sense, as in only the most extreme cases does someone using more internet impact anyone else’s internet usage. A Comcast executive has also acknowledged that the data cap is a “business policy,” not a technical necessity. Comcast says 99% of customers don’t use more than 1TB of data—enough to stream up to 700 hours of video or play 12,000 hours of online games—per month. But that may not be true for long, with the increasing prevalence of HD and 4K games and videos that use more data.

Is this just the beginning?  Were all those conspiracy nuts being prophetic?

The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers

Every election has its diatribes about all those sneaky immigrants and as usual this one is no exception……..but this time the debate seems to be more “nasty” for lack of a better word.

The promise of one of our 2016 elections has promised to “rid” the country of all those “illegals” and the off-spring……a great applause line and possible vote generator….but is it realistic?

Is that a wise promise to try and keep?  Economically, that is?

The United States as a whole, as well as each state, stands to suffer widespread economic losses under a policy that removes unauthorized immigrants.

In every state and in every industry across the United States, immigrants—authorized and unauthorized—are contributing to the U.S. economy. Immigrant labor and entrepreneurship are believed to be powerful forces of economic revitalization for communities struggling with population decline. Estimates suggest that the total number of unauthorized immigrants currently residing in the United States is approximately 11.3 million, or about 3.5 percent of the total 2015 resident population of 324.4 million. Of those 11.3 million, we estimate that 7 million are workers. What is the economic contribution of these unauthorized workers? What would the nation stand to lose in terms of production and income if these workers were removed and returned to their home countries?

The main findings of this report are as follows:

Source: The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers | Center for American Progress

If this study is accurate……just how will this loss be offset?

Or is that a plan that is secret until after the election?

Endless War, Endless Greed

Anyone that visits this site already knows just how much I dislike the M-IC….these toads start wars for one reason only….profits.  I know…I know most of this post is common knowledge….but we Americans need things hammered into our minds before we grasp it.

After reading this piece my hatred is just strengthened…….shameful to use the violence of war to make a buck…..and pathetic to use American lives as their cash account……

These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies bemoans the “lack of a viable and public strategy.” Andrew Bacevich suggests that “there is no strategy. None. Zilch.”

After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, U.S. military operations certainly deserve such obloquy. But the pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant war zones, it becomes clear that the military establishment does indeed have a strategy, a highly successful one, which is to protect and enhance its own prosperity.

Source: Endless War, Endless Greed: The Pentagon Is Lining Its Pockets with Taxpayer Dollars | Alternet

Where does this all end?

I apologize if I sound like a stuck record…but I will continue this pursuit as long as the American public turns a blind eye to the real reasons for all these conflicts that the government feels we MUST fight.

Miners Not Minors

Another Sunday and another day to just kick back and enjoy the people around me….unless the world ends I will not be posting anything like the stuff I do during the week….take some time off and enjoy life…..and argue with my daughter and granddaughter…..cannot think of a better way to spend my day……

I have heard the next “Last Frontier” will be space and especially the minerals and stuff that is found there…..the first out there will make a fortune and become the stuff of SciFi novels and movies……(think the “Expanse”)…….

News this past week makes the idea of space mining just a little more like reality….

A prospective asteroid mining company has taken a major step towards beginning operations in the next 10 years. Deep Space Industries (DSI) has announced plans to launch a demonstration spacecraft to test some of the technologies that will be needed to find and utilize asteroid material.

Now, asteroid mining is probably something that still feels like it’s far off in the future at the moment. But last week, DSI said that it will partner with Luxembourg (via their Space Resources initiative) to develop the various technologies needed to start asteroid mining. The first result of this partnership is a spacecraft called Prospector-X, which is a small vehicle that will be launched into low Earth orbit within a year.

Source: Asteroid Mining Just Moved A Step Closer To Being A Reality | IFLScience

If successful we just need to sit back and see who does what and why….will it be for the good of the planet or just another exercise in greed?

Any ideas?