Friday, October 7, 2011

Is #OccupyWallStreet Class Warfare or something worse?

I woke up this morning at 2:00 with a case of indigestion in both mind and body. Don't ask me why, but laying in bed with a roiling gut, my mind was consumed with thoughts of Attorney General Eric Holder's Fast and Furious fiasco, the Solyndra debacle, the bank bailout and a laundry list of other crimes committed under the auspices of government and I had a flash of sobering insight:

Class warfare is what you call it when peasants and slaves fight back against a system designed to legalize oppressive behavior by a tiny segment of the population.

I've spent the last year laughing at the Italian legal system, knowing that Prime Minister Berlusconi isn't going to take any heat for his laughable governance simply because he controls the public perception in the country. He owns the major media and is passing laws to restrict free speech on the internet (Wikipedia Press Release).

I felt so smug because I live in a country where something like that could NEVER happen... except that it has. Corruption in America is so widespread that our government doesn't even apologize for it anymore. In fact, the federal government seems to use corruption as a means of taxation. When a corporation commits TREASON, the Federal Government hits them with a fine and then continues to do business with them. Federal Contractor Misconduct Database. Our military contractors sell our technology to our "enemies" in China and we just pay them to develop new technology (and expect them NOT to do the same thing over again?!)

This isn't a partisan issue. It's so ingrained in the system I rather suspect you can't get anything done in American government without participating at least a little bit.

I remember nearly 25 years ago coming home at a young age to discover Ollie North had taken over television news in the middle of the day. I was dismayed... why was congress interrupting regular programming to ask this guy questions? I was aghast. How ridiculous was it to believe a member of our armed forces was selling weapons to Iran in order to free hostages? I mean... he was all suave and uniformed and it made no sense. Worse... he was using the proceeds from selling guns to buy drugs from terrorists in South America which were then sold in America to fund the purchase of more weapons. Who in their right mind would do something that idiotic?!

Apparently, our federal government would.

North was convicted of three felonies, but deals for his testimony kept him out of trouble. Later, North ran for Congress... and almost won. Then he got a job with Fox News as a military commentator. Who says you can't get ahead in this country with a little hard work?

Now here we are, 30 years after the fact, and we have a different party occupying the White House. Attorney General Eric Holder is embroiled with Operation Fast and Furious where automatic weapons were sold to suspected gun runners as part of a sting operation against Mexican drug cartels. Some of these same guns were used to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agents.

Then there is the whole Solyndra issue. An Obama campaign contributor got more than 1/2 a billion dollars from the government to start a solar panel manufacturing plant and then mishandled the funds so badly that they went under in less than 2 years. George Kaiser is a multi-billionaire, but his project got federal help, while tons of smaller businesses were struggling.

Its disturbing that as you read through the accounts of government misconduct, you see patterns of names occurring over and over. Eric Holder worked for Covington and Burling, an attorney's office that represented Blackwater, Halliburton and Phillip-Morris... and Guantanamo Bay inmates?!

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush and author of The Patriot Act worked for the same law firm.

George H.W. Bush Vice President when the Iran-Contra drug running plot was dreamed up. The drugs from South America came through a little town in Arkansas named Mena. Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas at the time.

When you read things like "War is a Racket"  by Smedley Butler or "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"  by John Perkins... or if you know what happened with Bechtel in Bolivia, it gets harder and harder to believe in the idea of government of, for and by the people.

It makes me think a little differently about the fight between the 1% and the 99%. We're paying for them to play games with peoples lives and that's all it is to them... a game to see who can garner the most power and influence while we scramble for the scraps. Politicians are not statesmen. Democracy is not incorruptible. It's time to flood the swamps of D.C. and flush out the garbage.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex set of laws and exemptions from laws and taxes has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.
Who Rules America

#OccupyWallStreet might be our only chance to gain real control over the policies that are killing millions of innocent people. Policies enacted by men so embroiled in corrupt behavior they have the gall to legislate it. So please... #OccupyWallStreet and #OccupyDC.
Save yourself and find REAL liberty.
We can't let the bastards keep us down.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet, social media, and the collapse of the heirarchy

I've learned a lot watching the #OccupyWallStreet movement in the past few weeks and I suppose that its time for me to do something with the education I've received.

We're playing by rules that don't apply anymore.

  • Proper implementation of networking can create a direct meritocracy that reflects our social values
    • Reddit style adaptation of new laws (ie Iceland's open-source constitution)
    • Similar Reddit style market to connect investors with ideas (combination of We-pay with patent office to advance development of ideas without needing Wall Street)
  • Redefine the education system so that it more adequately directs talent to appropriate venues
    • Stumble-upon style learning interface that guides students into fields that reflect their personality and proficiency
    • Wikipedia style availability of all knowledge
    • Google + rating system for peer review and accreditation
  • Micro-fabrication facilities for localized manufacture of goods using 3d printers, etc.
    • Reduction in transportation costs
    • Pay directly for the idea
    • Open source community provides opportunity for rapid improvement and modification to more specialized
We've moved beyond the feudalism of the agrarian age and the corporatism of the industrial age. We can tear down the cities and make communities more suited to supporting our needs without taxing the resources of the planet so heavily. Physical closeness to accomplish great things is no longer a necessity, but preservation of the environment and our limited material wealth IS a priority we need to actively pursue.

We can afford to pay people to be creative. We don't NEED all hands in the fields or factories anymore. There is no reason that we shouldn't dedicate resources to the advancement of beauty and creativity as well as productivity and efficiency.

The problem facing the economy isn't that we don't have the resources available to meet the needs of all the population ( at the moment ), its that those resources are being prevented from flowing by a belief that credit (money) should be the first goal. Left to their own devices, most people are not content to merely be consumers. We all have a creative drive within us. If we were liberated from the burden of trying to justify our own existence by paying for food, shelter and healthcare, we could dedicate ourselves to creating improvements that benefit everyone.

We don't need marketing directors or day traders. These are positions created entirely around the concept that producing "profit" is more beneficial than producing product. Society is filled with useless people being paid to create imaginary value instead of real products. Imagine Michelangelo designing cereal boxes or Da Vinci condemned to wallow in a mail room for 60 hours a week.

Our obsession with satisfying the institutional imperative of consumerism is destroying our ability to create culture.

Minecraft is my favorite recent example of what happens when you give innovators a sandbox to play in instead of chaining them to a worthless 80 hour a week job where they can't create. Amazing things are done in a fairly limited environment simply because people feel driven to create.

Lets give the world a sandbox to play in. Let people do what they love 90% of the time with 10% REAL work and watch what we make of ourselves. Kill off the antiquated, institutionalized idea that we need a hierarchy and spread a sustainable lifestyle to everyone and embrace the freedom it gives us.

PLEASE comment on this if you read it. I want feedback and input.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet: Hung up on Peripherals

I've been following the news surrounding the protest as closely as anyone, I suppose and I've noticed that most articles come in two distinct flavors. Not pro and con, but content vs. spectacle.

Even news coverage that appears to be in favor of what the protesters are doing gets lost in all the peripheral noise surrounding the movement. When I read a story about the movement, I don't want to hear media people talking about how other media people talked about the protesters. I'm not tuning in because I want to know what is happening with Yoga classes on site or how NYPD is going to handle investigations of violence towards the protesters. I'm sorry... I just don't care.

I'm turning to media because I'm interested in the content of what is going on. I want to know what sort of conversations these people are having with regard to changing the problems the country is facing. I want to hear the dialog that real people are having about how to make the world a better place.

Clever signs, freakish appearances, celebrity endorsements... those are the trappings of an entertaining diversion. It completely misses the point. America is fed up with the diversion. We don't want bread and circus. We are sick to death of "pretty and pointless" and tired of being given the bare minimum to survive. #OccupyWallStreet doesn't need a paparazzi contingent or a sartorial commentary. It doesn't advance the dialog we should be having about substantive issues... and yet a huge amount of "coverage" seems focused on that.

Here is a suggestion for all you media types out there: spend time with the people. Get to know them. find out what the real concerns they have as individuals are. Don't make sweeping generalizations based on spending 30 minutes wandering around the site. The most insightful information I've read has come from the men and women on the ground who are there because they believe its a step towards changing the process.

Journalism in this country is in sad shape. Most major outlets rely on plagiarism of press releases published by the very people the story is about or are ripped from a wire story and hacked until they reflect the view of the entity publishing them. Investigative journalism? Good luck.

So how about we stop describing the appearance of the protesters and start addressing their values. I want to know what happened to these men and women that put them in a position to be there. I want to know what aspects of the movement they agree with, and what they disagree with. There are factions present... what divides them and what unites them. Ask some real goddamn questions for a change, instead of looking for fluffy details about drum circles and masks.

These people didn't show up because they believed it was going to be the biggest party of the century. They showed up because they believe the system is broken and needs a good bunch of mechanics. Give me some insight into whether I should trust this group of people to put their hands on my government. Find out what their vision for America is, both individually and collectively. Stop giving me soundbites and hysterical commentary and INFORM me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Paradigm Shift and the Public Perception

I'm a supporter of #OccupyWallStreet. I have been since the beginning, and I will continue to support them as long as the goals and objectives they have are in line with my personal views on government. That being said, as a vocal supporter, I do have some criticisms:

1) Awareness of public perception: The people on the ground are limited to the reactions they receive from those they encounter personally. They don't necessarily have access to the stream of media that the average consumer of their message does and as such they may not be aware of how their behavior affects public perception of their goals.

A lot of the language that is being used to advance ideas is steeped in the idea that in order to be revolutionary with regard to capitalism you have to challenge it with socialist ideas. This is NOT an accurate or helpful belief to have in young revolutionaries. Especially not in a nation with such a deeply ingrained fear of socialist thought.

It is more appropriate to use the language of your opposition to engage them than to demand they relearn concepts that they already have a bias against. Terms like "comrade", "proletariat" etc. immediately create negative feelings towards your argument because of ingrained connotative definitions that overshadow any merit your argument might have.

2) Focused messaging: In order to generate mainstream media interest, you need to create a media ready content package designed to generate maximum interest with minimum distraction. A designated media representative is a sad necessity in order to stay on message and create a sense of integrity in a diverse organization.

Unfortunately, in order to get the coverage this movement needs, we are going to have to mold the public interface with the movement into something the established media can relate to. They need a rigid corporate structure they can recognize in order to comprehend the movement. That doesn't change the fundamental democratic principles, but requires the willingness to adapt and incorporate unpleasant artifacts of the old paradigm in order to bring people forward.

3) Engagement on issues: We need to make it clear that we engage on substantive issues, not distracting stereotypes, or irrelevant criticisms. At the same time, we need to acknowledge and incorporate specific criticisms of our platform. We need to learn from our critics about what we can do to reach out to them. We NEED the 99% which means we need to dialog with them and help them understand what we are doing.

Criticism of our goals may be justified. Not everyone will recognize the benefits of all of our objectives. We need to be willing to accept those criticisms and interpret them rationally, rather than emotionally. Are we doing what is best? Are there better solutions to the problem? This movement is about reaching out to people to create the best possible version of society, not excluding them because they have a differing idea. Our core value must be the advancement of the well being of the nation as a whole, which means acknowledging that there are many ideas how to do that. We are just trying to facilitate the discussion by making the democratic process accessible to the people again.

The Point in 140 characters or less.

#OccupyWallStreet doesn't need to justify its existence. It already represents more people than $Billions of dollars in campaign funds.

Democracy is about dealing with issues, not addressing someones choice of cologne (patuli *cough*) The idea matters, the messenger doesn't

When someone dissents with your view on #OccupyWallStreet LEARN WHY and address the issues. Don't accept the ad hominem distractions.

Violence towards protesters is a distraction. We aren't here as an army, but as a congress. #OccupyWallStreet is about dialog.

Trollies don't like it when you demand they address issues instead of using talking points and hippie slander. #OccupyWallStreet

Avoid hyperbole. We are here to be taken seriously. DC can keep the kabuki. We're about results and reason. #OccupyWallStreet

Focus on the message, not the spectacle. There is purpose in what we do and we must be vigilant that we remember that. #OccupyWallStreet

NYPD violence was an opportunity to present our case to the world at large. The violence is not central to the dialog. #OccupyWallstreet

#OccupyWallStreet isn't about race, but we need outreach to minority communities. Native speakers of foreign tongues would help the cause.

The 99% are the job creators, innovators and explorers. The 1% are simplythose who learned to exploit our generosity. #OccupyWallStreet

The 99% don't need the 1% for permission or vindication. WE are the majority. We are the democracy. #OccupyWallStreet

 Americans have a short attention span. If you want to maintain relevance you have to demonstrate intent and ability in a window.

Unlike politicians, I'm not afraid to steal a good idea from someone else. My only agenda is the overall welfare of people

Media would rather focus on elections more than a year away than admit #OccupyWallStreet isn't going to wait that long for change. #Relevant

The media need to learn that we aren't going to wait until 2012 for REAL changes. Kids gotta eat more than every 4 years #OccupyWallStreet

#OccupyWallStreet just because the media has ignored us until now doesn't mean we can't still use them to educate others. PLAY NICE.

We live in an age where we are led by men so myopic they cannot see beyond their own wallets. #OccupyWallStreet and protect yourself.

Don't let your outrage take control. Focus the anger into productivity, not violence. Spread the word. #OccupyWallStreet.

If the only democracy you've ever known was a shadow on the wall, how can you explain what the real thing looks like? #OccupyWallStreet

Friday, September 23, 2011

Can't be there in person? Help #OccupyWallStreet from home.

1) Print fliers and hand them out around town. Especially places where unemployed and homeless people may congregate like the unemployment office and shelters. Those are the 99% who need the most hope. Grocery stores and Wal-Mart work too.

2) Shoe-polish your car windows or make homemade bumperstickers on duct tape with permanent marker and put it on your bumper.

3) E-mail your whole address book.

4) #OccupyWallStreet your Facebook/Google+ status

5) Tweet! High-jack a Twitter trend with #OccupyWashington

6) Blog!

7) Post invitations on craigslist and other on-line classified ads.

8) If you have money, take classified out in your local paper.

9) Put a sign on your front lawn

10) Chalk drawings on the sidewalk in front of the local mall, shopping center or bank.

11) Make a T-shirt and wear it in public.

12) Get caught on camera sporting #OccupyWallStreet gear at a local event.

13) Call your local news outlet and ask for coverage of #OccupyWallStreet.

14) Donate money to the cause: WePay

15) Visit The Occupy Wall Street web page.

16) Mail supplies (not food please) to 118A FULTON ST, #205, NEW YORK, NY 10038

17) Write #OccupyWallStreet on the memo line of your checks.

18) Write #OccupyWallStreet on cash before you spend it.

19) If you work somewhere with a TV, stream the feed from for your customers. Tell them why.

Please add your own ideas in the comments and I will move them up to the body as I see them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Clear Goal!

I really didn't want to do this. I really didn't want to have to say what I think #OccupyWallStreet should be about. I had hopes that a strong and vocal leader would rise to the forefront and show people the way forward on this. Clearly, that hasn't happened. The media has taken note of the lack of direction and it shows in how they report on you and the cause.

So here it is as brief as I can make it.

One clear goal: We demand an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States setting specific limits on corporate and union spending for purposes of funding political campaigns and lobbies.

One step at a time. This isn't rocket surgery. Persons are smart, people are stupid. You have peoples attention. Tell them what we want. Once we have momentum, we can address other issues, but start simple.

Remember "No taxation without representation?" That's what this is about. Getting the representation back. Once we have a democracy again... once the money is out of politics... we can address the other issues plaguing this country. Right now corporate lobbying and campaign funding are obstructing the voice of the people. Fix that and the rest of the dominoes will begin to fall.

People are going to bitch about including unions... guess what. This is politics. You don't get something for nothing. You want to fix the problem, you fix the problem and deal with the new ones it creates.

Please, for the love of whatever you honor in the most intimate reaches of your heart, make this statement loud and clear. It's not complicate... its a first step. Every journey begins with one.

Hashtags and Twitter Trends and Bieber; Oh My!

There is a lot of angst appearing over the fact that #OccupyWallStreet and its constituents can't seem to get themselves on the board of trending tweets, despite worldwide popularity and massive volume.

Blame it on Justin Bieber and his army of sycophantic pseudo-lesbian followers and Twitter's sloppy code.

In order to keep certain topics from perpetually trending, Twitter had to lay out some ground rules regarding what qualified as a trend... to keep the Bieber spam to a minimum. From what I understand, the rules aren't that complicated, but what it amounts to is that if you peak early, you're done. If you've been around to long as a tweet, you aren't permitted to trend.

#OccupyWallStreet has been an active hashtag for literally MONTHS. Because of that fact, the Twitter Trend Algorithm considers it ineligible for the list. #TakeWallStreet started to trend on #Sept17, but over night, the volume dropped and a boxing match bumped it off the list. This made it ineligible for a revisit. #OurWallStreet simply never got the volume of tweets necessary to put it on the big board. Sad but true.

So don't feel bad if you don't see #OccupyWallStreet trending. It isn't an attempt at censorship... its just a design flaw in the system. Even without the label of trending, #OccupyWallStreet is important and it is gaining momentum and attention according to the numbers.

Hugs and positive energy directed at all the people on the ground for #OccupyWallStreet. I'll do my part from my secret lair as best I can.

Addendum: @Miaculpa had a suggestion to deal with this problem which was to add a different character after #OccupyWallStreet each day to put it back on the board. I would also float the idea that dating it might work. ie #OccupyWallStreet917 #OccupyWallStreet918 #OccupyWallStreet919

Bank of America Assets

The source for this picture claims that it is one of 4 floors of 90+ day delinquent mortgages at Bank of America.

One shelf represents more money than most people will see in a lifetime and if the source is correct and these are ALL bad mortgages... well, Bank of America may need to acquire Re-Max to unload all this property.

Still think following Buffet on B of A was a good idea?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Missed opportunity for #OccupyWallStreet / #TakeWallStreet

I'm disappointed in myself for not making the connection earlier. Clearly the people protesting on Wall Street this weekend are the ones with means and opportunity. But there is a whole subsection of the population that has a bigger vested interested in the whole mess than college students and anarchists.

Not too many miles from Wall Street, there is a community in Lakewood NJ who probably would love both the opportunity to have their voices heard and probably a few free meals. On top of that, they have a lot of experience at "urban survival techniques" that they could probably share with protesters.

I'm talking about the tent city of homeless people in Lakewood. Its a community of homeless individuals who have been impacted severely by the very issues being protested on Wall Street right now.  All it would take to get these people involved is probably the promise of transportation too and from the protest and they would get the opportunity to share their stories with the people speaking out about the problems.

And there are plenty of tend cities and homeless shelters and community outreaches who can communicate with these people. Use your networks of activist friends to see if unemployed and homeless people would come if offered a round trip. Not just in Lakewood, but everywhere.

These people have more than just bodies to add to the cause. They have some of the most compelling stories about why #OccupyWallStreet is necessary and those stories need to be told. They also have a lot of experience to share regarding off the grid living and resource utilization.

I know that for the "Rally to Restore Sanity" a number of liberal groups provided transportation from metropolitan areas to DC. Maybe a focused campaign to these same donors would yield some efforts to bring those most injured by Wall Street to a place where they can make their voices heard more clearly.

Arianna Huffington, this is pointed at you and your wealthy friends. Forget politics as usual... lets try something REALLY liberal. Lets try democracy 2.0.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hopefully not the most important thing I will ever write:

Through a lifetime of searching for something resembling enlightenment, I think I finally have a grasp on something worth calling "The TRUTH as I see it."

  1. Life is simply an expression of energy finding a way of purifying itself of emptiness. More specifically, it is energy organizing itself into more self organizing energy.
  2. All life is energy based... the machine it functions in may be based on physical elements, but life itself is energy based.
  3. The purpose of ecosystem is to provide a means for evolving better expressions of life; more energy efficient and stronger.
    1. Each expression of life contributes to the balance and direction of life in its ongoing search for its own perfect expression.
    2. The Ultimate expression of life would be intelligent, obedient cold fusion.
    3. Evolution will invariably move in that direction. We can choose how we participate, but there is only one possible outcome.
      1. We can consciously take control of our own evolution.
      2. We can create our successor by means of electronic or genetic engineering. True AI or creating an "intelligently designed" species for the first time.
      3. We can create an environment that exterminates us but creates advantageous conditions to our evolutionary successor. Nuclear winter or global warming... neither one is a win for humans.
  4. We are all, in essence, part of an immortal web of energy and space that is trying to make sense of itself after multiple universes collided.
  5. How you treat people matters. It effects the way that the universe shapes itself in literal ripples throughout time and space.
  6. How you treat the planet has consequences. Know what they are before you do something irreversible.
  7. Currency has no real value. It once represented the measure of someones word, but once it was reduced to a bunch of numbers it became irrelevant.
    1. How much work represents an adequate contribution to society that we recognize our responsibility to support you?
      1. What types of work do we consider most valuable to the community?
      2. What types of work do we provide the greatest monetary incentive for?
    2. We don't pay well for wisdom. 
    3. The idea that the metric of the quality of your life is related to how well someone else manages your reputation (credit) governs our system. Currency is PR not product or a creditable estimation of someones worth.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Coming Storm

You can feel the pressure building. The level of corruption in government and business is being countered by a front of new political and social awareness spurred on by the internet. The more I watch the approaching storm, the more I'm convinced that there is a fundamental divergence in the perception of reality at the core of the philosophies involved.

Mainstreamers... who are ALL conservatives in my opinion, despite political labels that claim otherwise... believe that industrialized society is an unmitigated success. They believe that "growth" is good without regard for the consequences. Every thing about the philosophy of life in the modern age is built around the concept that having more of anything is a virtue... except for wisdom.

We live in a closed system. There are LIMITS on the resources available to us. Unfettered growth is a death sentence to the species. We have two options: Restrict growth (which will require a dramatic re-envisioning of economic principles) or expand the system (by actively pursuing resources outside the terrestrial sphere.)

The institutions which have greatest influence right now refuse to acknowledge, let alone address these options because they are interested in maintaining their primacy. They firmly believe that they are entitled to their behavior through some divine mandate or accident of birth and they are unwilling to consider that their own satisfaction is NOT the most desired outcome of existence.

We have men without vision leading us into an epoch that requires imaginative and innovative solutions. They have spent centuries building a stronghold of interwoven systems of indoctrination designed to keep independent and intelligent thought from prevailing over them. Every form of bigotry is an appendage of their network. The assumption of our own superiority over others with different beliefs is the greatest tool for preventing growth as a species.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A how-to guide for fixing America’s banks - The Washington Post

A how-to guide for fixing America’s banks - The Washington Post:
While I agree with your general assessment of the banks and their failing health, I think that the minute the word "Nationalize" comes into the conversation, half the readership will probably turn off their brains and lose their tempers. Americans have been trained by decades of Pavlovian reinforcement to despise anything that even implies socialist values.

Not to say that concern is entirely unjustified. The government has already interfered plenty in the free market by creating the category of TBTF and I can't imagine that further intervention by the government is going to do anything other than undermine confidence in the free-market system.

From the point of view of an investor, if I look into the financials on a company, determine they are failing, and make plans to profit on that failure, only to have the government bail them out, I lose. That will make me gun-shy on future speculations of that sort AND cripple the faith that the market will proceed in Darwinian fashion.

I'm upset that shareholders haven't instigated civil action against bank leadership. They engaged in poor business practices, violated legal and ethical obligations to their customers and their investors, and through their inept management, infected the entire banking industry with a variety of toxic assets. They created a cultural imperative within their companies to violate the public trust and even under a bankruptcy they are going to walk away with full pockets.

'via Blog this'

Transforming the Liberal Checklist | The Nation Eric Schneiderman

Transforming the Liberal Checklist | The Nation: "While I agree with the basic sentiment behind this philosophy, I think that even the way you, and most liberals frame the argument. You are apologizing for yourself even as you make the argument you are right.

"What deal can we get?" You beat yourself with the question... Conservatives aren't asking what they can get... they are predators and dominant. They think from a place of power, ask themselves "What are we going to give the liberals to get them to shut up?"

They think about the transaction from the place of power as a matter of course. I know this sounds like I'm picking on the construction of the article, but its really an observation on the underlying mentality of both parties. Conservatives are by nature of the belief that the current condition is the ideal one. They have an ideology of firm belief that THIS is as close to a Utopian society as we can get. They don't want to explore new ideas, we have to lead them into them. Every step towards making the world a better place is a cause of anguish for them because they can't envision a better world.

We have to TAKE from them actively, with the knowledge that we are attempting to move the little children forward."

'via Blog this'

Friday, August 26, 2011

Banks have forgotten Econ 101 principles.

A lot of the big banks are struggling under the burden of a reverse run. Too many consumers are uncomfortable with investment in the markets due to the volatility in the markets which leaves banks with too much liquidity. The problem is compounded by the fact that in the current depressed economy, people aren't willing to risk taking out long term loans. Who wants to buy a house when you don't know if you'll still have a job next week.

This isn't something that should have caught the banks off-guard, but it has.

This is Econ 101 and the bankers skipped too many classes freshman year. They created demand by pumping high risk loans. They sold those loans to investors by lying about the level of risk. The loans came due, the borrowers defaulted, the investments went bad and now no one wants to do business with the people who started the mess. Demand for their primary income source, making loans, has dried up. We don't trust them anymore. We'll let them hold our lunch bag, but we took pictures of what is in it before we handed to them and we won't let them out of our sight until they give it back.

What's worse is that this is also a story about Civics 101. Despite being illegal, unethical and offensive, the banks made money and they want to keep it. They broke contracts, both implicit and explicit and they want to keep the profits. Forget punitive damages... they don't even want to pay back the ill gotten gains.

And now they turn to the government to relieve them of the burden caused by cheating. The government has done a lot to help them out, but politicians aren't willing to stick their neck out on the banks behalf right now. It doesn't pay off politically to be a patsy for the guy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Of course, the public suffers from ADD and soon its going to be easy for the banks and the politicians to play together. Bank of America already made their bid to buy Rick Perry in public and the panel of Attorneys General investigating the banking crisis kicked the last man actually doing his job off the panel.

One big problem with sorting out the mess is that despite certain politicians claims to the contrary, corporations are NOT people. They are a collection of individuals with one goal... the accumulation of  assets. What this means is that they aren't governed by ideas like self-preservation or sound reasoning.

In this sense, they are a lot like children; poorly educated, selfish two year old children in the midst of a tantrum. Until someone spanks them, they aren't going to learn. Unfortunately, Big Brother is satisfied with the loot the banks are giving him, so he won't be the one to deliver the whooping.

What Ben Bernanke has in common with a pimp:

After Bernanke's statement today that the Fed will not enact QE3 I watched the markets plunge and realized that the markets still had some expectation that Bernanke was going to use his magic printing press again. Not really a big surprise, but it started me to thinking that at this point, investors expect him to put out.

After all, Bernanke has pretty much let banks have their way with the Fed ever since he became chairman. It seems incongruous to them that he would change his position. In fact, the buzz after his announcement pretty much amounted to "He says no now, but he'll say yes next month."

Despite his talk of "other tools" available, we all know that anything other than QE3 is pretty much idle talk... what else does he really have? He's already guaranteeing interest rates 2 years out. What other incentive makers does he have? If it's going to be anything other than flooding the market with more worthless paper, it will be a surprise to everyone.

Ben's printing press is just tired right now. She'll be back at work as soon as the bruises heal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is Faith in the Economy Equivalent to Selling the Judicial System?

I've been pondering the philosophical implications of fiscal decisions lately and it occurred to me that putting faith in the economic stability of the American financial institutions is basically the same as saying you don't expect to see justice done.

In a just world, the banks who perpetrated the events that led to the mortgage bubble would suffer the consequences of their actions and there would be serious penalties to them for the questionable ethics that led to the collapse. Of course, there would be pains aplenty for the nation, but in the end the concept of justice would be reinforced and bankers would be forced to think about the consequences of their actions before they created another giant vortex of bad decisions that sucks the wealth out of the middle class.

Bailing out the banks over and over again is a critical failure in our system of government. It is an absolute insult to the concepts of democratic government and capitalism that the concept of "to big to fail" even exists. The fact that the average American still seems comfortable trusting their money in the hands of the same corporations that violated them in the first place is a testament to the fact that we have given up on the judicial process.

If we really believed the government was going to do the right thing, our faith in the big banks would have evaporated. We have subconsciously abandoned the idea that those who behave responsibly will prosper and those who are incompetent or untrustworthy will suffer. We are a beaten people.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Paranoia or Astute Observation?

I find it interesting that during the lead up to the current economic crisis, there was a TREMENDOUS increase in marketing of gold buying services.  Suddenly we're seeing this massive spike in gold prices not long after a major push to remove gold as a tangible asset from the population at large. How many people facing an impending foreclosure ditched their family jewels and old heirlooms thanks to the miracle of modern marketing.

Was there a conscious effort somewhere in the market to increase the wealth gap by collecting up the real asset while depreciating the value of the paper money it was exchanged for? I'm not a big fan of the global economic conspiracy theory, but sometimes cause and effect are difficult to differentiate between. Are people ditching their real assets in order to pick up monopoly money because its convenient right now or is it convenient right now in order to encourage people to do it.

Even as I write this, gold opened $30 higher this morning...

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Answer to your Prayer

This is the answer to your prayer. This is the resolution to every question that keeps you awake at three a.m. It is the lyrics to the song whose music plays through your head endlessly, searching for meaning.
I know that right now it looks like an incomprehensible block of text that leads nowhere, but trust me, just for a few minutes. Put aside your fear. I’m not trying to sell you something or take anything away from you. I’m just trying to introduce you to something that is yours by right of your own existence.

I wish there was a short and simple way to make my point, without sounding like a new-age guru or a pious asshole, but there isn’t. Simplicity can’t convey the enormity of the truth, even though you already know it; even though it’s already been said a billion times before; even though it is written in the very core of your being; even though the stars whisper it to you every night and the sun screams it daily.
So here we go. Without further ado, the mysteries of the universe, unveiled before you:
When it comes right down to it, everyone has two primary functions: self-preservation and genetic preservation. Life wants to continue; demands it, in fact. Ever thing that man has wrought upon the earth has been a consequence of this.

Evolution is the process of life seeking godhood. Every form of life is constantly moving towards the ultimate goal of perfection. This doesn’t occur within a vacuum, however. Life requires energy to sustain itself. Any closed system has a finite amount of energy available to sustain life; therefore all life within a system is in competition for the ability to sustain itself. The strongest or most adaptive survive and the weak and unfit are removed from competition. The most successful life must be adaptive to changing circumstance and utilize the resources it has to sustain itself efficiently.

Mutation and sexual reproduction are variations of adaptation… life continues, searching for its own ultimate expression.

So what does this mean for a human being?

That depends on the principles by which the universe operates. If the universe is simply a giant mechanical computer, executing a set of commands written at the moment of the big bang, then it means your only purpose is to spread your seed as far and wide as possible. If quantum theory is correct, it means that you can decide (or at least contribute to) what the face of god will look like. If religion is right, it means I’m going to burn in hell for talking about the other two possibilities.

Obviously, the only one of those three options that matters for purposes of this discussion is the one in the middle… the one where your actions are a result of free will… the one where you are god’s great X 10^nth grandparent. That kind of makes you important… REALLY important.

Like I said earlier, evolution is life seeking its most perfect expression. Humanity as a species and you as an individual are a part of that search. What makes mankind special is the fact that we can consciously effect what the ultimate nature of our perfection will be… or we can ignore the rules that govern the universe and annihilate ourselves before we find perfection. Our decisions have consequences.

Now, from where I sit, we haven’t done a very good job of facing the consequences. We’re still so excited about the fact that we’re special and unique snowflakes that we are ignoring the bigger picture. If, as a species, we start making some good decisions about some things, we can hurry along the path of evolution and get to the good part where we are the masters of our own destiny. No, it probably won’t be your kids or your grandkids who get to live forever and be wiser than you could possibly imagine… but if we don’t get our act together, it will be some other species on some other planet entirely that gets to rule creation… and the BEST we can hope for in that universe is to be pets. Do you REALLY want your great, great, great grandchild to be the intergalactic equivalent of a guinea pig or a goldfish?

Get your act together, humanity. Make the hard choices. Stop the bickering over what you call the old god and start making a list of names for the new one that we can become. Make the conscious decision to stop wasting resources through needless competition AND needless breeding. (Let’s face it, reproduction is a wasted effort on some of us) Get rid of the archaic systems of dividing resources and recognize that we need each other to succeed. Most of all, love thy neighbor as thyself, and love god above all else. (the god we’re becoming, not the old, cranky one.)

Is anyone still reading? Really?! Gluttons for punishment, I suppose.

There are a lot of implications to what I just laid out, philosophically and biologically. There is the whole chicken and egg thing… if we eventually achieve perfection do we become our own creators? It may be interesting to think about, but it really isn’t crucial to the evolutionary process in any way. More importantly in my opinion are deciding on what characteristics we should be encouraging and what sort of philosophy we should embrace.

As far as breeding goes, any biologist will tell you that diversity is the hallmark of a successful population. Homogeneity means death. Hitler’s proposed “master race” of blonde haired, blue eyed, Aryan supermen would work GREAT as say… the Swedish Bikini Team, but they wouldn’t be adequately adapted to prosper in Sudan. Diversity of population provides the opportunity to exploit different conditions to their full advantage. Clearly there are more important traits than morphology or melanin distribution that should govern our decisions about who prospers and who… well… who is an evolutionary dead end.

Of even greater importance than the “who” is “how”. How do we plan for our own future? The first thing we need to do is recognize the need for better stewardship of our resources. All life requires energy to survive and there is only so much to go around on this little blue green pebble floating in the void. We need to protect the resources we have here until we are capable of spreading out further. No matter what we do, this planet cannot sustain us forever.

Sooner or later we’ll suffer an extinction level event. Just because we haven’t seen one in a while doesn’t mean another isn’t just around the corner. The faster we reach out to the stars, the more likely we are to avoid the fate of the dinosaur and the dodo. We should dedicate all our energies towards our own advancement, rather than letting the mechanically universe dictate our future.

War is a terrible waste of energy. If we were still chucking spears at one another across an open field, that would be one thing, but the rate at which we plunder the earth for the sake of pummeling those with ideological differences in modern warfare pretty much ensures we will destroy ourselves and our assets long before we have the opportunity to seed ourselves into infinity.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Is the worst candidate available still better than what we deserve?

After learning the results of the Ames Iowa straw poll this week, I was forced to rethink my position that we deserve better from the government than we have received in recent decades.  After all, when even such a marginal cross section of the population as the approximately 25k folks in the middle of Iowa come back with a result suggesting that they support a woman who can't define "policy" let alone define her OWN policies, maybe its just time to throw in the towel, sit back and let the unevolved burn civilization to the ground.

I wish I was joking.  I really do.  Unfortunately, its getting harder to justify taking a stand when so many people are content to sit on the sidelines and eat their deep-fried butter on a stick. That bothered me too... during the great depression, my grandparents, great aunts and great uncles were reduced to eating lard sandwiches... and today their selling deep fried butter for $4.00 a stick and you stupid, self loathing sycophants swallow it thanks to modern marketing. Wake up people... the margins were too slim on deep fried Snickers bars this year because the economy is in the shitter.

Back to my original rant:

The people in Ames DESERVE Michelle Bachman as their leader.  They had the entire Republican field in front of them and they didn't hang a single one. Okay, maybe hanging would have been a bit extreme, but if I were in arms reach of the people who were running this country, I would have been demanding answers, not barbecue.

Okay... so there were about 10 protesters standing outside. I need to give credit where credit is due.

The point here is that we've got a bunch of bottom feeding, incompetent, inarticulate buffoons campaigning for the highest seat in the land and there was NO OUTRAGE. You should have had those men and women cowering in fear of you for failing to look after your interests while holding their respective offices, and instead you're glibly offering them a promotion. Fuck you America! You don't deserve better, you deserve worse. Keep deep-throating that deep fried butter stick and choke on it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What is the top .1% doing with all that money?

There is a lot of talk about class warfare and controlling the masses through debt... and I understand all the theory there, but it still leaves me with some serious questions.

If less one percent of the population controls more than %40 of the resources, what's the ultimate goal? I mean, realistically, what is the point to an individual accumulating more wealth than they can dispose of in a million lifetimes?

Clearly, the people building these giant piles of cash are either brilliantly psychotic or they are idiot savants.

Perhaps it is simply the fact that I can't relate to a mentality that finds satisfaction in denying others the basic necessities of life so that I can... wait... what CAN you do with $500 billion in personal assets that you can't do with $250 billion?

Don't get me wrong... I believe in rewarding merit. I just can't imagine the contribution to society that is worth the combined earnings of 100,000 people... which makes corporate bonus structures nearly incomprehensible to me.

Of course, there is also the fact that the consolidation of wealth KILLS economic growth... but more on that later.

Less Kabuki, More Execution

So last night was the GOP's Iowa debate... which amounts to a festival of free publicity for a bunch of retarded puppets running for an office that needs them like they need another mouth to talk out of. Regardless of how pointless the show was, the media is going to run with it and present winners and losers, as if it were an event of great importance.

Look at the wonderful qualifications these candidates bring to the table and ask yourself if you would let them babysit for you... then think about the fact that for some reason, they are being offered as the people who are going to step into the leadership role to guide this country through 4 years of struggling economy, wealth disparity and war.

Do we really want these racist, misogynistic, pandering corporate lackeys near the seat of power?  Hasn't EVERY one of them participated in some way in bringing our country to the position its in now? If these are the only alternatives to Barrack Obama's non-leadership in 2012, I'm moving to Australia... and I'm pretty sure emigration from the U.S. is going to see a substantial boost. Don't be surprised if Canada starts treating Americans like Americans treat Mexicans in the near future.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We Already Know the Answers

People are being deliberately obtuse about their role in the destruction of human kind as a species.  The media seems unconcerned with the eminent demise of their entire subscription base, corporations ignore the best long term interest of their shareholders (survival) in favor of short term profits and governments are still worried about things like deficits.

Its time for all of us to grow up and stop hiding in the shadow of day to day distractions.  It doesn’t matter if you are white or black, buddhist or atheist, rich or poor... you personally are contributing to the planets demise.  Even by taking the time to write this warning, I’m using resource that could better serve to stop starvation in a third world country or provide resources for cancer research.

There are so many REAL problems in this world, it seems a shame that we keep wasting our time and effort on wars and needless killing.  There are so many real threats to our survival that making up problems like “Who’s god is real?” seems a little disingenuous.

Here’s a truly novel idea.  How about humanity, as a species, set aside all their differences for.... I don’t know... 100 years.  During that 100 years, those who want to work, can work.  WE can find jobs for everyone.  The results of working?  You get a nice place to stay, food all the time and the government will take care of you when you CAN’T work anymore...  Those who choose NOT to work... well, we can’t waste resources on you... so get the hell out.

Sounds an awful lot like idealized communism.  It also sounds an awful lot like idealized capitalism.  And at its roots, it is idealized christianity.  For 10,000 years, humanity has been reaching towards an ideal economy where those who work benefit, and those who don’t fail.  Its no different than what any social species tries for.  In the end, each individual is responsible for their own success or failure, but that success or failure also impacts the species as a whole.

For some reason though, we keep getting bogged down by criminals.  Sinners.  Greedy bankers and lazy lawyers.  For some reason, we can’t get passed the fact that there are some people too stupid to recognize that their own greed works against the system.

Producers will produce, given the opportunity.  If you put work in the average mans hands and tell him it needs to be done, for his own comfort and survival, he will do it.  It doesn’t matter if the economic system is capitalist or socialist or communist.  It doesn’t matter if the government is democratic, totalitarian or fascist.  All that matters is that there NOT be corruption.

Corruption through greed, self-deception, and cowardice are the fundamental issue with ANY form of government and its failure.

Its time to start a form of government that fears to fail its people.  A government founded on the principle that those who are corrupt will not dare to take power.

On the Interconnected Nature of Moral Philosophy

It is time for humanity to stop being passive observers of their own evolution and start being active participants;  Not in the sense of genetic alteration or physical surgery, but in the more practical sense of understanding how our actions affect future generations.

Too often, we hear references to how our grandchildren will have to live with our decisions about natural resources, but somewhere in the rhetoric, we've lost track of the fact that their are other decisions beyond how we drill for petroleum or use CFC's that have the potential to have a huge impact on our children's and grandchildren's lives.

Yes, our economic and industrial policies are going to make a difference in how future generations live, but so are our social, political, educational and entertainment decisions.  What you buy, where you buy it and how you saw it advertised have an impact on the techniques that marketing companies use, what shows executives decide to produce, and what companies thrive in a competitive business environment.

It is a wrong minded approach to life to think that our every day decisions have a narrow range of impact.  Its easy to remain oblivious to the truth behind the gallon of milk you bought that was produced by a farmer who buys dietary supplements for his cows from a company with a record for illegal disposal of toxic waste... or that the hedge fund your retirement is invested in holds stock in a corporation that exploits illegal immigrant workers.

We want to believe that everyone we do business with shares our values.  To a certain point, it's true.  Commercial interests value our money.  Political organizations value our opinion.  Entertainment companies value our free time.  Unfortunately, most of the time that interest fades as soon as they have what they want.

Plagiarizing from myself.

Humanity is destroying itself
There are only two options: co-operation or self destruction
If we hadn’t become so technologically advanced, we would have more time to figure out how to co-operate.
Never before in the history of the earth has so much ability to destroy been held in the hands of so few men.
An accident could exterminate the whole planet.
We aren’t smart enough to anticipate the consequences of our technological capabilities.
If we can learn to co-operate with each other, we can learn to co-operate with the planet and use the resources we have to control our own evolution..
If we can control our own population growth and demand for resources, we have the potential to expand and fill the universe.  If we can’t learn good stewardship of our resources AND tolerance for one another, we will destroy ourselves before we leave this planet.
Every passing day we choose not to be at peace is another day closer to our own extinction.
We need to evolve NOW beyond the concepts of tribalism so that we recognize the world is one community and has one goal... the preservation of the human species.
If we choose NOT to be our best versions of ourselves and work as a group towards that single goal, we are failing EVERY purpose of EVERY good idea in the course of human history.
War is no longer an option.  Greed is no longer an option.  Apathy is no longer an option.
Any person who does not commit to the goal of saving humanity from extinction NOW and allowing all other debts and enmity to be forgotten is an enemy to all mankind and an enemy of whatever God or nature made us.
There is not time to wait to make the choice.  Either we act NOW to save ourselves from destruction or we will extinguish ourselves from the universe.
All men and women who willingly choose to participate in society for the purpose of advancing the spectrum of human knowledge whether they study the structure of the universe or clean the toilets of those who do... these men and women serve humanities greatest good and they must be protected and given the chance to prosper.  They are the priests serving at the temple of knowledge.  They are the only hope for the future.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Thousand Hashtags do not a Movement Make: #OccupyWallStreet #TakeWallStreet

#OccupyWallStreet #TakeWallStreet #USDoR (U.S. Day of Rage) #Sept17 (Date for Protest) #OpESR (Operation Empire State Rebellion) #October2011 #Oct8  #FYW or #FuckyouWashington... the list goes on and on, but the represent one idea:

We DEMAND change.

The problem is that there seem to be dozens of movements aimed at bringing about this change.  That won't get the job done.  A trillion raindrops sprinkled across the beach don't hit with the same force as a tidal wave.  I'm not saying that people should abandon their ideals, or surrender their hard work on a particular issue in favor of someone else's goals, but we need unity to effect change.

I firmly believe that the time has come for a serious and purposeful dialogue among the CITIZENS of this country, but until the various organizations working towards that goal can agree on a forum, we're all just raindrops on the sand.  We can bring about a change in paradigm, but we need to join hands, establish our priorities and move forward as a nation.

We don't have major media working for us, unlike our opposition. We need to take advantage of every opportunity we get to express to others what it is that we stand for. This isn't about communism, marxism, anarchism or capitalism. Its about building a better human race and a better universe for that race to live in.

Whether we are ranting about injustice on the other side of the world or in our own back yards, we need to recognize that we are not just making demands... we are trying to open a dialogue with people who view the world differently than us. Plant small ideas in their minds and let them grow. Don't try to change a persons whole set of beliefs in one go. All that does is make them defensive.

This IS about dialog. Listen as much as you talk and return reasoned responses. Talking points are cute, but they don't prove anything other than that you are better at being brainwashed than your partner in the discussion. Respect them, but show them the errors of their reasoning. If they don't have reasoning to support them, show them the error of unreasoned faith.

And while I'm at it... electronic activism is great, but we need more than bits and bytes to bring about serious movement in politics.  We need to talk to real people around us as who are oblivious to the movements on electronic media.  T.V. news corporations are part of the problem and they aren't going to willing participate in the solution... it might undercut their profit margins.  Word of mouth is the only way to get this message spread to people who don't KNOW to search for #wlsup or #freebrad.

So who has the balls to be more than another #Anonymous protester in the crowd?  Who is going to be this generations spokesman?  Where is the face of the new revolution?  Surely it isn't Guy Fawkes.  Despite his appeal, we don't need to blow up parliament to make our point.  We just need to kick the bums occupying K Street, Congress and Wall Street out of their cushy leather chairs.  No point in wasting a perfectly nice building.

I want to see change happen and I want to see it happen with as little loss of life, property and dignity as possible.  So who do we stand behind?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

S&P Point the Finger

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade. - S&P Press Release on U.S. Credit Rating Downraded

I think its pretty clear which side of the fence the S&P came down on here with regards to the debt deal.

Full text available here: Standards and Poors Report

The Banks have your money and the Government wants them to keep it.

I've been thinking about how the government handles retirement funds and I've come to the conclusion that the laws "protecting" retirement investments aren't there for the benefits of retirees.

Think about it... most types of retirement funds that provide tax shelters for investment income are okay when the economy is doing okay.  I mean, as long as you don't need the money right now, everything is dandy.  But when things get dicey and the market value of your retirement portfolio looks like its going to tank, you can't get out without handing the government 10% or more off the top in penalties.  Not such a great deal during a recession.

Lots of people have there money invested in IRAs, 401ks and other forms of retirement funds.  They all sounded like a great idea at the time.  You get to stash money away without paying taxes on the returns it earns over time... except a lot of people aren't making money on their accounts right now with the economy in the crapper... and they can't bail out of the markets without giving up 10% off the top.

In effect, Wall Street and the government are working in tandem to insure that investors in the stock market have to think long and hard about whether its worth paying the penalties for an early withdrawal in order to avoid calamity in the market.

Of course, that's only an issue for people who understand how a 401k plan works in the first place.  How many Wal-Mart associates (Wal-Mart's 401k has 1.6 million employees enrolled) do you think have enough of a grasp on economics to realize that the turmoil in the stock market right now could turn that 3% of their paycheck they've been counting on for retirement into pennies on the dollar?

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Plan: Phase 1

  1. Withdraw all assets from overseas.  Troops, vehicles and materials down to the metal used in wiring and construction.
  2. Moratorium on all weapons system contracts.
  3. Moratorium on exports... including garbage.
  4. Assign navy to recover “island of trash” in the pacific and begin recycling.
  5. Encourage all citizens to start “Victory Gardens.”
  6. Re-task military contractors to the production of green energy projects: solar, tidal, wind.
  7. Decriminalize possession of street drugs under guidelines similar to alcohol... ie no public intoxication, operating machinery, etc.
  8. Release non-violent drug offenders from prisons.
  9. Create a drug treatment policy based on education rather than fear.
  10. Convicted criminals tasked to landfill reclamation projects: recover recyclable assets from known disposal sites.
  11. Create “open source” committees for addressing problems with infrastructure, especially power, water, sewer, highways and data transmission with guidelines that new infrastructure be easily upgradeable and environmentally sustainable..
  12.  Task military with performing upgrades to infrastructure once an appropriate system is decided upon.
  13. Redefine the concept of a corporate charter so that stewardship of community resources takes priority over short term monetary gain.
  14. Address the banking cartels by reinstating usury laws, eliminating the partial reserve system, instituting a limited currency standard (gold or otherwise).
  15. Re-task NASA to developing resource recovery techniques for near-space objects i,e mining the moon and eventually asteroids.
  16. First temporary moon colony in 10 years.
  17. First temporary colony on Mars in 20 years.
  18. Eliminate farm subsidies for non-producers.
  19. Outlaw terminator seeds.
  20. Encourage organic farming techniques.