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Profile Information

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

Holy Shit.... Anyone else watching Rachel?

Trump's Russian Connection is being fleshed out...

Health Care Spending: Why Is America Soooooooo Stupid?

Here are OECD comparative per capital health care spending numbers by nation measured in 2010 US dollars.

We spend $8714.90 where Canada spent about 50% of what we do: $4289 and THEY COVER EVERYONE.

Obviously Canada has wrung the inefficiencies out of their system while we haven't. Any weaknesses in the Canadian system critics complain about could easily be fixed if they just went to 60 or 70% of what we spend.

Australia 4 164.2
Austria 4 451.2
Belgium 4 120.0
Canada 4 289.0
Chile 1 595.5
Czech Republic 2 166.4
Denmark 4 484.5
Estonia 1 613.1
Finland 3 628.0
France 4 027.9
Germany 4 772.3
Greece 1 994.1
Hungary 1 676.6
Iceland 3 712.7
Ireland 4 730.3
Israel 2 292.3
Italy 2 954.1
Japan 3 930.7
Korea 2 480.3
Latvia 1 229.8
Luxembourg 6 758.8
Mexico 956.2
Netherlands 4 885.6
New Zealand 3 184.0
Norway 5 926.4
Poland 1 527.9
Portugal 2 319.4
Slovak Republic 1 916.9
Slovenia 2 353.3
Spain 2 896.9
Sweden 4 906.9
Switzerland 6 062.3
Turkey 974.8
United Kingdom 3 755.9
United States 8 714.9

You can recreate this data here http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=HEALTH_STAT

Variables used to create the proper chart...
Health expenditure and financing
FUNCTION = Current expenditure on health (all functions)
FINANCING COSTS = All financing schemes
PROVIDER = All providers
MEASURE= Per capita, constant prices, constant PPPs, OECD base year


How many times have you seen news reports on the 2016 election that make claims similar to "Trump was elected to be a disruptor", or "Trump was elected by angry white blue collar workers"? Worst, Trump's win is seen by some as a continuation of BREXIT when BREXIT was a vote by real voters, and the EC vote was not. These are both false narratives... yet once out there can take on a life of their own.

Leaving aside that no one group alone ever makes a difference in a normal election any more than the last run in a ballgame wins the game... everything is cumulative, these reports are making the logical error that what the antidemocratic EC did, reflects what real voters did. But those real voters REJECTED Trump by nearly 3 million votes.

The EC has no "motives". The EC is a mindless, antidemocratic, winner take all, voting scheme that has little to do with the REAL motivations REAL voters had. So say otherwise gives false moral legitimacy to the Trump Junta.

I suggest that whenever we come across such reporting we write the news source to complain and correctly reframe the 2016 election.

What Are Those "Second Amendment Remedies"

Question to lunatic right wing fringe Gun Nuts: What are those "Second Amendment remedies" to having imposed on our nation a morally illegitimate president... massively REJECTED by the People... a president who is obviously incompetent, some argue is mentally ill, and who may be a Manchurian Candidate subject to blackmail by a hostile power?

Or are those alleged Second Amendment "remedies" just for women or black presidents who happen to be Dems?


Trump's emotional immaturity, intellectual dishonesty, pathological narcissism and ability to deceive himself, continue to prove this man not just unqualified but mentally ill and a clear and present danger to the nation.

The American Psychological Association has what they call the Goldwater Rule:

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

Damn it... these professionals BETTER BREAK THIS RULE AND START WARNING THE NATION that Trump is mentally ill and needs to be removed from office he must be removed from office ASAP though the use of the 25th Amendment. Pence may be just as distasteful politically, but he doesn't appear to be mentally ill.

4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President
shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.


We already know that the EC has imposed a president on the nation, someone REJECTED by the People by a 2.9 million vote margin.

In the gerrymandered House the GOP gets 50 extra seats when they only won 1.34 million (1.1%) more votes than the Dems.

What about the Senate? If my spreadsheet is correct... using the July 2016 US Census estimate for the population of each state... (splitting the number in half if a state splits its vote) the
GOP Senators represent 144.1 million people
Dem Senators represent 177.2 million people.
Independents represent 874k.

In all three cases we see the GOP getting an advantage from an antidemocratic system. If the system was fair by democratic standards the Dems would have the Senate and the presidency... and the rabid right would would have 220 House seats instead 241 and the Dems would have 214 seats instead of 194.

When will Dems wake up? From past discussions here... I suspect never.

Did Bill Cosby Really Say This....

Looking back at old threads of why MSNBC never interviews someone like Noam Chomsky I found this

RufusTFirefly (8,812 posts)
5. MSNBC is to the left what a strip show is to actual sex

I'm with Bill Cosby, who never understood the attraction of strip shows: "I mean, when you're hungry," Cos once remarked. "You don't go watch a guy cooking a steak."

Now we know what Cosby meant.



It's not as if the report said HE peed on the bed!!

Would there be uber-rich without freebies from government?

In a competitive economy hard work, education, smarts, etc certainly give one a competitive edge. But could we have any uber-rich if not for freebies from government?

Those freebies include intellectual property monopolies like patents, copyrights, and trademarks (Trump claims his "brand" is worth over 3 billion.) And there's free limited liability protections for corporate owners where the government can protect the private wealth of corporate owners while shafting legitimate creditors in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I've asked right wingers in other forums 20+ times why this protection should not be purchased as insurance from the private sector... and never got a reply.

Then there's the matter of infrastructure. What would Steve Job's concept for the iPhone be worth in an impoverished 3ed or 4th world nation without the prerequisite prior inventions or necessary infrastructure to exploit that idea?

What infrastructure? How about a nation secure from invasion provided by our military? How about law enforcement provided by various federal, state, and local agencies? What about our highways, harbors, and airports? How about a literate and educated workforce? What about a judicial system to oversee such laws? What about stable monetary and banking systems from which to get credit? What about a regulated stock market that permits corporations to raise capital? What about a system to insure public health... from clean water to vaccination programs to prevent pandemics? What of publicly financed basic research that saves companies money in R&D? What of a system that redistributes wealth so poor states or towns aren't left behind or a nation that permits workers enough income to provide demand for products?

When run well, the public and private sectors bootstrap each other to higher levels of prosperity. Without such infrastructures, that killer idea would be worth nothing. Again, great wealth might not even be possible.

Some believe our system protects the minority... but which minority?

The defenders and apologists for our federal system claim it protects the minority? But which minority?

Any one person has numerous attributes therefore there are no end of "minority groups" in the nation... but what US federalism does is grant ONE arbitrary minority, those who choose to live in small population states, special powers to block an arbitrary "majority", those who choose to live in larger states. In the process it gives some citizens bigger votes than others leading to antidemocratic results such as the Bush and Trump Juntas and a Senate where a mere 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats.

The problem with this arrangement SHOULD be obvious.. that the chosen "minority" power is not limited to just protecting any legitimate interests those in small state have... but their power extends to ALL issues. The currents of antidemocratic government are insidious. Clarence Thomas failed to be approved by Senators representing the majority of the population. In 2000 he becomes a key vote in Bush v Gore... giving Bush the presidency even after he was rejected by the People. Again in 2016 US history was changed AGAINST the will of the People. This is a mockery of the concept of self government.

But if anyone believes giving minority groups extra power is the morally legitimate way to protect their interests... then why stop at those who chose to live in small states? Why not give these extra power to groups who HISTORICALLY have been oppressed... such as blacks and women? Why not Gays, the poor, the disabled?

I'm a progressive who can forever vote my conscience and my views are never represented in Congress. Progressives left of the Dem party may make up 15% of the electorate yet because they're spread out through the US population... only a tiny fraction may get any representation... while another group that makes up 16% of the population in the 25 smallest states get 50% of the seats in the Senate.

The simple fact is there are ways to protect legitimate minority rights WITHOUT going antidemocratic... the Bill Of Rights proves its possible. Another way is to insure minority groups always chair select congressional committees so they can shape legislation on their issues... but otherwise they are not given extra power to shape ALL issues. Their power then is no greater than anyone else.

It's the antidemocratic nature of this system that gives the right an edge and puts Dems at a disadvantage... and all the local organizing in the world won't undo that advantage.

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