Category Archives: Governance

(Word)holes, Redux

Many people worthy of trust and respect are seriously upset about the president’s crudeness.  He reportedly asked why “we” should allow people from various so-called “shithole” countries to immigrate to the United States?  For all of its crudeness, offensiveness and vulgarity, it is a very good question – one we should not be afraid to ask.

Well, the circumstance of the comment and the comment itself are both fairly straightforward, even simple.  But the inherent permutations and nuances are profound, sad, and instructive. This requires some parsing and mapping of the “splatter” that has emanated from the splat of a single word into the miasma of politics, hate, government, and the “American Dream… not to mention social media and hate.  Didn’t I already mention “hate?”  We shouldn’t overlook hate as a driver in modern… umm, modern ahhh, well… modern everything: media, news, broadcasting, ‘friend’ships, dialogue, religion, holidays, commerce, advertising, movies, philosophy and casual rumination.  Facebook, too.  Sad.

So, first observation is that every person who has talked about, proclaimed about or even thought about the description of many countries as “shitholes,” could in a few minutes, list a dozen or two dozen countries that fit the description!  Let’s change the term to “backward countries” and each could list three dozen.  What does it mean to make the identification?

It means, generally, that those countries have truly crappy politics.  Our politics are pretty crappy, too, granted, but, as Churchill observed, democracy is the worst form of government ever tried… except for all the others.  Corollary to that gem is this: The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Even those who could construct a list of “backward” countries probably cannot describe what is “wrong” with their politics – the system of leaders, laws and lies that govern their populations.  Typically, under the blanket of crappy politics, the economics of these countries are also pretty crappy… sorry, “backward.”  The result is extreme stratification, poor education, low skill levels, limited industrialization and little imagination.  Simultaneously, the BELIEFS of their citizens are likely to be very different from those of the majority of ours.

Changing beliefs is the primal tool for the weakening and subjugation of peoples.

One might reply that “America is the melting pot” and go on to predict that “we” will “make” those unfortunate immigrants “better” and therefore more like ourselves.  Seems like hubris.  This attitude sounds magnanimous and sympathetic but it was never true.  If there is an American myth, that’s it.  We have functioned fairly well as a “salad bowl,” but never as a melting pot.  Americans of every origin and kind learned to live and thrive together, yet they were never forced to change who they were, beyond learning and following our constitution and laws.  But there were very distinct differences about when America “worked” and how things are, now, when so many consider our country and institutions to be “broken.”  The key is a grand misunderstanding of what is “The American Dream.”

The real and enduring “American Dream” can be stated only thus: That all kinds of people can come together in FREEDOM, respective of one another, respective of law and reason, free to follow God as each sees fit, and responsible to themselves and others for the consequences of their actions.  This sentence summarizes the U. S. Constitution’s connection to individuals.  Not connection to groups, cliques, whether religious, emotional or political, but to individuals, much the way that Jesus described individual responsibility to the laws of God.  “America” represents the boundless opportunity offered to every individual to perfect him or her self: the pursuit of happiness.  And no less, or more.

This is not how many view the “American Dream” or “America,” itself, today.  Socialist thought perceives control of individuals as the high point of governance, the exact opposite of the teachings of Christ or of the values and purpose behind the founding of the United States.  To accomplish complete control – and different kinds of socialists have tried many ways to do so – it is essential to place people into groups, or “identities” for whom certain laws will apply, whether to control that group or apply to another group or to all others(!) in order to control THEM.  There is no clearer example than brown-skinned people as an over-group, and African-Americans, as the driving sub-group, and descendants of slaves, the most exalted of the “drivers.”  Barring descent from slaves, having marched in Selma or having stood near Martin Luther King, Jr., suffices.

As with the growth of federal welfare programs, the epithet of “racist” has become almost standard within the belief structure of many black or brown-skinned residents of the U. S.  The charge of “racist” works to control the “other group” of essentially all “Whites,” including modifying their language and actions.  This has yielded political power to the modern kind of socialists: American liberals.  This, in part, explains the immediate descent to charges of racism emanating from one participant of the immigration meeting during which the president spoke so crudely.  But, it doesn’t make it true.

Welfare, itself, is a gigantic difference, since the 1960’s, from when earlier waves of immigrants reached our shores.  Those from Ireland, for example, came to take care of themselves and their families, as did Italians, Poles, Portugese, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns and Germans, Russians, Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Syrians, Lebanese and Egyptians and many others.  Did they come perfectly?  No.  We didn’t send ships or planes to bring them here more quickly, either.  They were strong and self-selected to endure the sacrifice of leaving everything behind to start anew.  This is no longer so.

Immigrants in recent decades have been encouraged and assisted for purposes of “diversity,” the opposite of e pluribus unum.  Immigrants , today, receive fundamental – and generously comforting – public support, benefits, even cash, yet are not required to meet ANY tests applied to earlier generations.  They need not learn English, they need not become citizens (refugees, asylees) they need not assimilate.  Indeed, they need not even follow laws, often being released for offenses that citizens pay dearly for committing.  One might observe that their beliefs are not those of the “American Dream,” but of taking advantage of our official guilts and sympathies… or of selling drugs, or worse.

We are stretching our capacities to accommodate immigrants, including illegal entrants, even to the point of breaking our own laws, local and federal, to make them comfortable.  Yes, we are an “immigrant” nation, by past definition – most assuredly not by the current one.  I am glad someone with authority and sensibility is asking, “Why should we welcome immigrants from the (backward) countries of the world?”  What we have been doing of late is certainly not in the national interest, which is the primary business of a president, one hopes, although it may fulfill the interests of political partisans and of those who wish America to not exist as we know it.  Ask that question again, Mr. President, louder.

A second observation instructs that the president cannot, ever, trust in the confidence or even honesty of anyone from Congress or the “press” and damned few from the executive branch.  Trump failed to take note of the many lessons of the past year and more, when he posed the question everyone in the room, except Mr. Durbin possibly, a mendacious Democrat of proven, documented unreliability, was thinking and should be thinking: Why should we welcome immigrants who are unlikely to contribute to our economy or standards of living, and whose beliefs are antithetical to the fundaments of the U. S. Constitution or of the “American Dream.”

The ridiculous process of “hating” the president (and others) for so many things of which most of us are also guilty, and so readily accusing him of racism, transphobia, Islamophobia or a dozen other awful constructs, is corrosive and intensely destructive of our “unum” for which millions have bled and died, sacrificed and struggled.  If we are seeking perfection in or from our elected leaders we are fools.  They need, like John Kennedy, only to be pure enough to set a course that is pro-American.  The conversations never disclosed, that the Kennedys had then, or that brother Ted ever had, or by ANY other president, would curl our earlobes.  The profanity and privately voiced prejudices of EVERY president, have been, until recently, kept out of the news because their disclosure would have been so destructively irresponsible.  What we didn’t know didn’t hurt us; had we known all of it we’d have been damaged and history made far different.

News outlets of every kind hope to make history by ripping away confidentiality, no matter the damage.  Their hatreds justify the damage… for shame.  Do we think – do I think – that Trump will become perfect in order to avoid that damage?  Hardly.  When I pray about him it is to cause some intercession that will abridge the worst of his impulsive communication.  It is not that he will disappear, leaving leadership to others.  I have no love for him, but no hatred.  I grasp his attitudes, and even share some, not, I hope, the worst of them.  But then, I try to live on purpose and not in comparison, as does he, I suspect.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.  For all of his flaws I believe Trump is on stage exactly when needed by this country.  I want him to succeed where his direction and intention is right and best – or at least better – than where we were heading prior, God willing.

 

 

Is ‘drug’ the past tense?

We seem to not be serious about – truly intent on solving – the growing drug threat in the United States.  “We” refers to our governing and policing institutions… and to all of us, one supposes.  While there are many subsets, and many individuals, of local, state and national agencies who are deeply committed to the fight, overall, our national policies have effectively allowed the trade to grow and corrupt many levels of law enforcement and justice.  While doing so, this “business” has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, destroyed families and spawned immeasurable volumes of criminal activity that has damaged many other thousands, if not millions of people.

Today our publicized problems center on “opioids” both “natural” and pharmaceutical.  A market developed by criminal drug-dealers has proven too attractive to ignore for multi-billion-dollar corporations, corrupting them and their medically licensed facilitators, daily prescribing their FDA-approved wonder drugs at clinics, hospitals and back rooms, nationwide.  Soft-headed federal welfare and subsidized medicine programs help irresponsible patients “pay” for their prescribed addictives.  One statistic tells us that it’s long past when our national battle tactics ought to have changed dramatically:  over 60,000 dead from opiate overdoses in one year.

Unfortunately, opioids represent simply and tragically just an aspect of the modern American drug culture.  It’s a culture that begins with candies, ice cream and juice-boxes rewarding good, or at least not too embarrassing, behavior, by 18- to 84-month-old infants, continuing unabated through aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, “arthritis formula,” Cold-Eze, Thera-Flu, Nyquil, Dayquil, 5-Hour energy, cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, nicotine “Vaping,” Claritin, dextromethorphan, Robitussin, Afrin, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, and hundreds of other variations of over-the-counter feel-better concoctions for aches and pains,  “colds” and headaches, plus the dozens of prescription pain alleviators, allergy relievers, cold-symptom removers, cough syrups, tablets and inhalers… and we didn’t even get to actual pain “killers,” a most suitable name.

Every TV program advises consumers to question their doctors as to which sort of blood-thinner is best, what kind of goop will kill fungus, how to resolve breathing problems and 44 ways to get better sleep through chemistry… or better sex.  Once all of these conditions have been restored to desirability, it is crucial to eat, swallow or drink something to improve regularity and then avoid and cure hemorrhoids.  It’s a never-ending battle to achieve perfect health – or a perfect simulation of it.

Eventually we pay attention to ads for diabetes medications… other than juice-boxes, of course.

Doctors, in 2013, wrote narcotic prescriptions at a rate 272% of the 1991 rate.  That is, 207 MILLION prescriptions!  For 300 Million people?!  Gross opiate production had increased from 3,520 kilograms (7700 pounds) in 1993 to an astronomical 70,000 kilograms (155,000 pounds!) in 2007, which MORE THAN DOUBLED just 6 years later, to 150,000 kilograms!  What the Hell has our government done to protect the nation in this period?  Why, they’ve forced a “cutback” to only 108,000 kilograms!  Whoop.

Where did all this pain come from?  How did humans ever evolve without Dr. Feelgood?

Today we give pills not only when we feel sick… because we ARE sick, we give them when we just feel, well, not right.  We give boys hormone treatments when they say they want to be girls; we give related treatments to girls who feel like boys and even perform bilateral mastectomies on teenagers who don’t want to admit to being girls.  Boys are mutilated by removal of genitals.  What has “medicine” become?  It seems similar to Nazi experimentation, except that people in favor of the mutilations – chemical and otherwise – are the ones accusing realists of being the Nazis.

Is it just profit?  Much like the alcohol business, fortunes are not made in painkillers and other stuff from people who nurse a bottle of Scotch for 3 months.  Big money comes from people who consume a couple of bottles/packages/ounces a week or more – Scotch or Advil, Oxycontin or Aleve, marijuana or Lunesta.  Amidst all this we try to draw lines that cannot be crossed – like Bingo at the Parish Hall but no permitting of casinos, no, no, no.

We hate cocaine, for example, and we really hate crack cocaine, so no legalization for that stuff, no, no, no.  And heroin!  Oh… my… God, heroin?  No, no, no – a thousand times NO!  BUT(!)… if some powerful pharmaceutical manufacturer – powerful because of political contributions and constant lobbying – wants to distribute a few hundred Million capsules of SYNTHETIC heroin, then the mind/nerve altering effects can be described in wonderfully pharmaceutical terms and the distribution system liberally supplied – FDA approved, Medicaid-financed.

In an earlier career I worked with a Vietnam vet, a Marine, who had received shrapnel in one arm.  It was badly scarred and made possible the receipt of a check every month for his “disability.”  Every 3 months or so he had to go to Boston, to the V.A. hospital, and get tested for the level of feeling that was returning to his arm… or not.  Meanwhile he practiced not reacting to pins in the flesh of that arm.  Then, when he’d get tested, he could look stone-faced and continue his claim that he had no feeling in the arm, and the checks would continue.

Humans are very capable of lying to the point of severe discomfort, to get what they want.  Do we think proto-addicts wouldn’t lie to keep receiving pain-killers?  Even if all they were doing was selling each month’s supply?  Is the medical establishment that performs hundreds of thousands of abortions each year, unable to withhold excessive quantities of opioids?

They certainly can’t refrain from prescribing.  Two-thirds of patient visits result in a prescription… meaning upwards of THREE BILLION prescriptions for 300 Million people!  That’s 10 each.  We’ve all experienced the kindly scrip-recommendation from even the most caring physician (or nurse-practitioner).  It’s no surprise; most medico’s receive constant “education” from the pharmaceutical complex and there exists an inherent desire by them to provide advice that patients will experience benefits from, and that often means a drug of some sort.

Unfortunately, there are about ONE MILLION adverse drug reactions every year, yielding some 100,000 DEATHS – the fourth largest cause of death in the U. S.  We might consider that fentanyl-laced heroin or synthetic opiods also produce “adverse drug reactions.”  The differences can be distilled to two: the INTENT of the seller/provider, and the legal status of all concerned.  Both are interested in two things: making the customer feel better… and repeat business.

It’s all part of a national, societal culture of control of biology for human comfort.  Whatever we don’t like about nature… there is a drug – a chemical – to “fix” it.  “Addiction” is pejorative only because of the lesser qualities of the illegal providers.

Today states are racing to legalize marijuana, all 122 current strains of it because it will provide (choose a favorite): tax revenue for underfunded state budgets; ability to control quality and safety; stiff competition to illegal drug dealers, hopefully to stop illegal drug trade; funding for drug-treatment programs; reduced dependency on “bad” drugs; votes for those most supportive of legalization.  Another, really important provision is eliminating Timmy’s criminal record for possession and, one other: freeing up the justice system to concentrate on serious crimes.  After all, if “they” are going to get the stuff anyway, we might as well go along with it and raise some revenue to boot.  Who are we to interfere?

There are no adults… we’re a nation of juveniles.  And the drug “culture” is us, this most pampered generation.  If you weren’t sure of where you stood on socialized medicine, be mindful that such a system will cement the drug culture even more firmly in place.  Whoop.

Let me in, Wheeeouu!

The city and courts of San Francisco have made ever so much clearer how mentally dispossessed they are, of any semblance of America, and Americanism, and of Decency.  And, of Justice, Prudence dictates.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is not – was not – an immigrant.  Señor Garcia Zarate is and was an illegal entrant into the nation and into political subdivisions of the United States of America.  To be an immigrant, or to immigrate into a new country implies legality of action.  It implies that said immigrant has a valid place to be in his or her new country, that he or she intends to “settle” therein and, therefore, to live there legally, perhaps to gain citizenship.  It is for the furtherance and fulfillment of such implications that a nation would institute immigration laws; and it would be to prevent the obverse of the aforementioned implications that those same laws would be enforced.

Nations have a clear, hitherto well-understood obligation to define and enforce the laws that define their borders whether on land or water or, as is now the case, at airports.  Indeed, such enforcement is the first and most fundamental contract of citizenship – even of legal residence – that obligates any nation… else its nation-hood is false.

Amazingly, there have developed numerous pockets of citizens, some of them elected by their peers to represent the highest qualities of citizenship, thereby qualifying them to hold office in various levels of government, all of whom disbelieve these obligations of nation-hood.  Each of those elected has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, meaning ONLY of the United States of America.  They may swear to uphold the constitution of one of the United States, but that cannot, by law, presume to deny the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution.

The existence of the nation known as the United States of America, whose laws are defined by the Constitution, carries the clear obligation to establish and enforce laws governing both borders and immigration, citizenship and residency, incarceration and deportation.  There is no LEGAL space in those constructs where officials of any State or subdivision thereof, having been sworn to office, can elect to not be bound by the laws of the United States, feelings notwithstanding.

Any individual citizen or legal resident who were to take it upon himself or herself to knowingly fail to follow the laws of any town, city, county, State or of the United States nation, becomes a criminal upon such failing; further, the status of being sworn to office can in no way change the criminality of failing to live by or uphold any of the laws of the land… at any level.  Any municipal or State official who not only knowingly but publicly fails to follow or uphold the laws he or she SWORE to uphold upon assuming office, is a damned liar, not to mention an unethical pig whose word is less than slop.

Worse, it could be said, such an official is traitorous.  He or she could be said, given the conditions outlined above, to be consorting with and harboring, known federal criminals, wanted on one or more charges.  These actions betray an extraordinary mental twist, one that ought to deny that official his or her office, federal, state or local.

In fact and logic there is NO official obligation to either provide for or protect any illegal entrant, beyond basic humane treatment during the process of returning said illegal entrant to his or her point of origin as may best be determined.  Collectively, this nation has no more obligation than that, as well.

Illegal entrants, by virtue of presence, alone, have no Constitutional protections, which is to say, no “Bill of Rights” under the Constitution of the United States.  No crime committed by an illegal entrant deserves free public defense in court, nor does it deserve any form of “plea” bargain or appeal of verdict.  Illegal entrants are not entitled to jury trial, “Miranda” rights or specific protections from search of their persons or property.  Technically, they may be charged and held without benefit of a Grand Jury indictment.  They have no Constitutional protection against double-jeopardy, nor any specific right to free speech, assembly or redress of grievances.  They are not citizens or even legal residents.

That Constitutional rights are afforded illegal entrants is a failure of enforcement of the very Constitution in which those rights are enumerated.  It is a failure to uphold the rights of citizens.   To treat so-called “illegals” like citizens is, itself, a crime.  Such confusion of our governing obligations is a reflection of the ascendancy of emotion to a level above that of law – law that lately is applied more strictly to citizens than to illegal entrants.  It appears to have infected judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys and is corrosive to the rule of law and to the Fourteenth Amendment among others.

Some political subdivisions want to allow illegal entrants to vote, a right won by the blood of hundreds of thousands of American citizens.  There being absolutely NO legal basis for Constitutional protection of illegal-entrant non-citizens, one must dig very deep to find a justification for doing so, along with the affording of comforts like welfare, medical care and public education.  Is there an agenda, political or economic, that is furthered or fulfilled by harboring illegal entrants?  While such does nothing to change the illegality of failures at federal, state and local levels, especially by sworn officials, the discovery of said agenda might provide a reason to understand the public willingness to break laws on behalf of illegal entrants.

We are told by otherwise rational officials, including congressmen and women and senators, that illegal entrants pay taxes.  For this we should be grateful, we are told, because the ILLEGAL contributions illegal-entrant laborers make toward Social Security (on stolen or fabricated identities), will benefit our retirees.  No mention is made of the crimes involved, especially when illegal entrants collect Social Security payments on stolen Social Security numbers.

We are assured by sworn officials that many illegal entrants entered our nation illegally for very “good” reasons, such as “to work” and to “make a better life” for themselves or their families.  No mention is made of the livelihoods that are stolen or devalued of United States citizens, the only people to whom said sworn officials have any obligation under law, whatsoever.

We are told that law-breaking officials are in favor of deporting illegal entrants who are charged with “serious” crimes, for which stance they seek public approval.  However, this hollow pronouncement overlooks or obscures the arrogation by such officials of a role to determine on their own judgment, without benefit of law or process, which crimes are serious and which are to be ignored.  There is no amount of tax to be collected that justifies the insertion of personal opinion by ANY official as to which crimes committed by ANYONE, much less an illegal – therefore known-criminal – alien, deserve adjudication and which do not.

Indeed, the arrogation of this role, inserted between criminal and civil codes and those charged under law with their enforcement, is itself a crime, made worse by its belying of officials’ sworn statement to uphold “the laws.”

These same have told us that the fears of illegal entrants concerning deportation do, or may, prevent the solving of crimes known to them, since they will fail to speak to police officers given those “fears.”  This is presented as some sort of justification for their (officials’) criminal distortion of enforcement actions by the insertion of their personal judgments as noted above.  This argument is specious and obfuscatory, since illegal entrants OUGHT to be fearful of deportation.

And so, we come back to the matter of Kate Steinle’s illicit death.  A California jury, ostensibly ignorant of immigration issues surrounding señor Garcia Zarate, agreed on the crime of possession of a firearm by a felon.  The lies contained in Garcia Zarate’s initial statements did not sway their rejection of even an involuntary manslaughter charge.  They may have been strictly – very strictly – correct in the particular, and peculiar, circumstances of Miss Steinle’s death, but the shooting was a crime resulting from crimes committed by elected officials in San Francisco.  The killing of Steinle was not “an accident.”

Ultimately, the arguments of the open-borders enthusiasts are summed up as follows: You’ve been stupid about immigration for decades so you can’t stop being stupid, now – it’s not fair.

“Trumpism” is a ghost

Much is made, of late, about “white privilege” and “racism” and about some sort of racial “hatreds” that must exist, all bumper-stickered into the term, “fascism.”  By denigrating everyone who is not negroid in appearance, the loose forces that aim to destroy the ideas of America and this nation/society/culture, itself, cause many to question everything about our heritage.  The attacker always has the advantage until a true counterattack can be mounted.

What the “antifa” is fighting is not hatred or even racism, it’s anger – anger to which “whites” have no evident right – anger about the loss of the actual, historic, fundamental and incompletely codified American Dream: that all kinds of people can live and thrive together, sovereign in their God-given rights and responsible to themselves and others for the consequences of their own actions.  That’s the “Dream.”

The dream isn’t home ownership, or multiples cars or too much to eat… and, it isn’t universal welfare (slavery) either.  It’s freedom, a dream that is a nightmare for government types and other tyrants.  It’s a nightmare for one-worlders and financial globalists whose ultimate wish is to control production and every producer/worker through taxation and sufficient consumerism to keep them quiet.

All that individuals need to do to become “an American,” is to adopt the culture of freedom and responsibility, and to respect our laws.  It is the world’s winning-est formula despite all the flaws it is growing out of.  The Dream is worth saving and preserving against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

There’s a common saying, that if you wait for all the lights to turn green before you back out of your own driveway, you’ll never get anywhere.  It is infinitely more advantageous to everyone else, along with YOU, the driver of your life, if you will take responsibility for guiding your vehicle through the myriad traffic jams and delays on your way to YOUR OWN personal goal – your pursuit of happiness.  Waiting for a government-type to provide both your goals and means is to adopt a new slavery that is attempting to trap every one of us in its web of when and how to live.  God forbid.

Do you think the death-panels of socialized medicine are a form of freedom?

The anger that has been rather hidden through the fourth civil war and its consequences since the early 70’s, began to surface for certain during the Obama years.  Perhaps a tiny fraction were angry because he was black (by choice, not genetics), but most cared not about his “blackness” but about his “pinkishness.”  A virtual communist, Mr. Obama led us away from the true Dream as rapidly as he could, a goal that deserved the anger of those who still choose to be free.

Enter Mr. Trump.  Sometimes the best expression of wisdom for a political leader is to recognize where the people are headed and run to get in front of the movement.  America was, and is, uneasy.  We like to “tolerate” exceptions to Protestant ethics and traditions; we DON’T like to have them forced upon us and, worse, protected by new laws that coerce us to adopt new ways of life.  We are angry about having to fight century-old battles again, when there is no possibility of victory – at least, no victory that is good for the country.  We are angry about being accused of being born guilty of other people’s sins.

Trump isn’t president because he’s the great leader a majority of Americans admire – far from it, as polls indicate.  He is president because he speaks his mind and is not afraid of causing silly offenses.  He favors what a majority favor; he points out duplicity that a majority can see; he stands up for what a majority will stand up for.  Mrs. Clinton represented things a majority fears in government, and a direction a majority do not want to follow.  It’s pretty simple; writing a book was not needed.

There is no “Trumpism.”  The existence of the Trump administration does not represent a new political force focused on Trump, himself, nor will his family be slobbered over like Kennedy’s, sufficient to propel relatives or offspring into other offices.  But the ideas, beliefs, loves and fears behind him will bring others into office.  That’s not “Trumpism,” it’s Americanism.

A Few Words on Capitalism – Part 2

Free-enterprise productive surplus is the antithesis… no, the ANTIDOTE, to tyranny. That is, if it shares across all populations. Capitalism without reason is merely a new tyranny; capitalism wisely checked against excessive accumulation of productive power, is the greatest elevator of the human condition yet devised. To do such wise checking, however, wise governors are required.

The foundation of the American experiment has been that of a democratic REPUBLIC wherein representatives of numbers of citizens and of the several states (House and Senate, respectively) ought to be those most trusted by the citizenry to REPRESENT their interests, among which are national security; defense and sanctity of borders, coasts and harbors; honest and unbiased court officers; equal application of the laws – civil and criminal; honest and careful expenditure of tax and other revenues; fair and honest taxation such that all citizens share a portion of the cost of government, courts and defense; domestic safety (“tranquility”) and sound money. All of these reasons for creating government are at varying levels of failure.

Unlike capitalism, itself, governments quickly devolve into somewhat self-serving entities, enriching those who work in government at the expense of citizen-tax-payers, generally rewarding and celebrating degrees of failure. Capitalism quickly roots out failure and assigns its productive capital to enterprise that is more likely to succeed (in terms of generating profit) and as a result, be able to destroy debt. If only government could do the same.

One of the overarching themes of the Federalist papers was avoidance of the concentration of power. Legislative power was to be granted democratically, and kept separate from Executive power and from Judicial power. Judicial power, itself, was to be carefully delineated and separate: “independent of” either Executive or Legislative power. The executive was designed to be subordinate to the Legislative, although with unique powers and authorities, and democratically selected by voters in the several states wholly separately from election of the Legislative representatives.

Another Federalist theme – caveat – is that governments cannot be trusted to reform themselves, leaving that burden to an educated CITIZENRY, by ballot, presumably, but also, as clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence, by the inherent right to throw off government whose failures render it tyrannical, and replace it with one better suited to the general welfare of the citizens FROM WHOM IT DERIVES ITS POWERS.

So citizens, educated about the Constitution and all founding documents, are, like capitalist CUSTOMERS, important to the success of both government and capitalism. Capitalist customers seeking to purchase a new, larger flat-screen TV will seek information and reviews, compare specifications and read the guarantees before looking for the best price offered by a half-dozen sources.

If only we would exercise our roles as citizens holding ultimate power over our governors, with the same diligence. Indeed, we know more about our next auto purchase than we do about our next medical procedure, and more about the auto dealer than about the hospital, clinic or medical group that will provide it. Now we think entrusting a government that fails to operate EVEN ITSELF honestly and fairly, with ultimate decisions over our health and life-span, will somehow make sense, albeit in an alternate universe.

It is high time we stop denigrating our innate capitalist sense and teach our children to apply it to every aspect of life in the United States – not least of which is which governor or government we should “buy.” Capitalism, as a means of analysis and judgment, holds the key to not only wise use of resources, but also to the wise recruitment of competent managers and governors of our largest enterprise of all.

That government has become nearly an opponent of free-enterprise and the fundamental right to private property and the fruits of one’s labors, is demonstrated by the existence of rapidly growing current deficits approaching $20 Trillion. That debt has accumulated, supposedly, by our “representatives,” on our behalf. So has the dramatic loss of value of our “dollar,” now a mere instrument of confidence. For shame. Capitalists arise!

A Few Words on Capitalism – Part 1


Every one of us is a “capitalist.” This, in the sense that we all strive to obtain as much safety, comfort, material goods and security for old age, as we possibly can for the least amount of effort necessary. It doesn’t matter for whom we vote. Many of us simply want to be free TO acquire what we need; others wish to be free OF the need to acquire. In both philosophies we are attempting to gain with minimum effort.
But that’s not the whole story, is it?

Every person is motivated to act differently. We all have our own “profits” that cause us to expend MORE than minimal effort necessary to take care of ourselves and our family. Some are motivated to gain as much as possible in terms of material goods and “wealth.” Some want to be charitable and will work more than necessary so as to give to others. Some are motivated by artistic expression, drama, music or writing. Some by the gaining of power over others, one way or the other. Many profits.

The invention of money both simplified and complicated capitalism. For some, in twisted ways, the accumulation of money, itself, became their “profit.” Such people are able to “buy” the necessities for which others strive, but they are also consumed by numbers and the quantities of money they represent. They have different fears and joys than “regular” people. Unfortunately, they come to realize that they can also “buy” power – influencing government-types to protect their accumulated wealth.

Government types come from those for whom “profit” means power over others, over “public policy” and over taxation and, unfortunately, over “public” budgeting. Tapping into the “profits” of others, familial, financial and charitable, provides the most ways to acquire at minimal effort for those so motivated. They concentrate in governments. Almost inevitably and partly because much of their effort is arcane, they come to believe in their own mental superiority over “regular” people whose concerns are familial, local and unobtrusive.

Meanwhile, capitalism, which in the U. S., OUGHT TO MEAN the right to own private property, and by extension, the right to own the fruits of one’s labors, carries on, inherent in every person. It is human nature.
Some aspects of human nature can, if unchecked by society and hence by government, cause damage and destruction to that society. Many control-worthy human aspects are checked by “agreement.” That is, members of society “agree” that murder, rape, theft, fraud and other forms of false witness, greed, sloth and envy, are to be controlled through various codified sanctions. Lately the list has grown to include littering of various degrees, like pollution, and, in an extraordinary reversal, discrimination against sexual oddities, a change that has led to “intolerance” becoming a worse social transgression than some actual crimes. Western societies must now “tolerate,” if not celebrate, anti-capitalist “lifestyles” that include essentially welfare careers. These things actually threaten the social order and every other right protected by the Constitution, our fundamental social agreement.

A tremendous strength in American capitalism has been the high integrity of our contracts, both with one another and with our governments. This phenomenon makes modern trade possible as well as the millions of debt contracts that describe modern economics. But today, we ignorantly embrace a new form of socialism based on twisted concepts of “social justice,” which intends, fundamentally, to cause guilt-ridden government types to alter the underlying concepts of private property, and to discard natural human capitalism. This need not be an inevitable slide toward the only economic future possible.

It is a slide the basis of which is ignorance, willful and otherwise. It is a slide that attempts, as all socialist plans inevitably do, to replace human nature with a government-directed one. While there may exist the technical possibility of directing every person’s life and economic decisions, governance based thereon cannot prevail. It devolves into tyranny or revolution, perhaps to a new tyranny or, once in a great, great while, into a new form of governance based on self-discipline and personal sovereignty, one in which the governed grant their governors limited powers, and where the tyranny of the majority is carefully sanctioned and where tyranny of the minority is unheard of.

Inherent in a government based on individual freedom and personal responsibility are the concepts of private property and ownership of the fruits of one’s labor: essential free-enterprise.

Capitalism gets fully mucked up when it is politicized, which is to say when limited governments attempt to create economic “fairness.” It seems that no “free” economic and democratic system can refrain from favoring certain industries in return for maintaining power for those who are already “in” government. Much of the favoring is done to “make things fair” or to “level the playing field,” but almost without exception, the net effects are to limit competition for those industries and to limit competition for those in power. These are tendencies that a wise and educated citizenry would create institutions in society and government to carefully limit, if not make impossible. In our growing ignorance we are failing at this essential part of citizenship.

A great strength of capitalism is that it doesn’t reward failure… it replaces it with something that can succeed, success measured in profitability and ability to destroy debt. In this is a lesson for all with eyes to see and ears to hear. Among our people, however, those who get the message are now considered hateful while those who refuse to see or hear are empowered, or re-elected. Ours is fast becoming a system hobbled by the removal of the pillars of individual freedom and personal responsibility. We are rewarding failure.

Immediately this statement will be attacked with charges of cruelty, but this stems from ignorance, which is to say, it’s a charge leveled by those who, for whatever personal profit, IGNORE the distinction between those who are capable and willfully refusing to take responsibility for themselves, and those who are incapable and needful of charity and public support.

The greatest value of capitalist profitability is the creation of surplus – productive surplus – of which a portion may be used to care for those who cannot care for themselves. The greatest flaw in capitalism’s opponents is their creation of and acceptance of a thousand reasons why individuals may be grouped among those who cannot care for themselves. They unfortunately become codified and form a malevolent inhibitor of success. And here we are.

The New Tyranny

Everyone decided to chide President Trump for privately describing New Hampshire as a “drug-infested den.” Oh, the horror! Why, there are genuinely nice people living in New Hampshire; how could he say such a derogatory thing about them?

Well, he didn’t, of course, and the release of the content of that conversation was a crime, but who cares if discomfiting Trump is the possible result. Let’s use our brains, now, and realize that the point Trump made was that even in New Hampshire, for more than 200 years the veritable definition of good, clean living, based on religious morals and flinty work ethic, the corruption of drugs had penetrated every town and city, and was destroying the heritage of “New-Hampshire-ness” with little to stop it.

It is no wonder that closing the southern border is taken so seriously by Trump and many others. The worst flow of drugs into our nation – and into New Hampshire – begins in Mexico and points further south. Making it harder to get drugs into the country is a good thing. I’m pretty sure of that, but why?

First, let’s stipulate that human beings are remarkable products of evolution and more. The “more” is best described as a foundation of religiously sourced and codified morals. Whether you choose to accept any religious “truths” or are an affirmed atheist, it is clear that the hundreds of religious histories and traditions on Earth have brought us to a fairly honest and moral civilization, capable of correcting and perfecting itself. One of our greatest mores is that we call “freedom.”

We may think freedom is inherent, but it really is intensely fragile, is it not? Historically, since the organization of city-states, freedom has been merely forms of servitude, some quite oppressive. In fact, the age of kingdoms, kings and subjects, or warlords and serf-protectees, was marked by various forms of tyranny. Granted, some was less benign than others, and the basis of great folk-tales. Robin of Locksley and his Merry Men describes the battle for freedom from oppressive taxation and government incompetence – I didn’t invent that irony.

Anyway, back to drugs. None of our heroes in the perpetual fight for freedom, is also described as drug-addled. Indeed, much effort today is described as helping addicts to achieve freedom FROM drugs. So, it seems logical, a free people, ever jealous of their freedom from tyranny, must, by definition, be drug-free as well. Keeping drugs out of America is the logical path to follow IF, and only IF, a leader of Americans is attempting to keep them free. Now we need to look at the headlong rush by various governments within America to actually PROFIT from the cultivation and sale of drugs to their free citizens.

A large element of states’ argument FOR drug legalization, is that it costs too much to enforce laws against marijuana and, besides, isn’t the use of drugs an exercise of the very freedoms governments are supposed to protect? Well, no, not at all, but we seem to have talked ourselves into this twist of “freedom.”

Free people are also responsible for the defense of freedom. This is called citizenship. That is, as we grant powers to an organizing and defensive government, limited by a Constitution that we the people approved of, we also assume an obligation to ourselves, our children and all of future history, to defend those freedoms that government was constituted to PROTECT. That is, by all logic, we are FREE to be FREE, but not free to enslave ourselves, as we do in the grip of drugs.

Oh, come on, you say, pot is no worse than alcohol! Well, perhaps not, that’s arguable, what with alcohol being metabolize-able and being only ingestible and not smoke-able. Too-heavy ingestion of alcohol will kill liver and other cells and disrupt neural communications for some time, until naturally removed from the body. The same could be said about marijuana, except that the danger is directly to the lungs, about 20 times that of tobacco cigarettes. The body does expel a lot of the elements of marijuana smoke, but does a poor job of removing THC, tetra-hydra-cannabinol. THC has the friendly quality of being easily absorbed into fat cells.

Fat cells are found all over the body but one of the greatest concentrations is the brain. This is good because fat cells are hardy and relatively long-lived, but it’s also a liability when exposed to certain toxins like… well, THC. THC tends to store in fat cells – not only brain cells – which is why it’s a risk for lactating mothers to smoke pot, but it is a “freedom,” right? Back to brain cells.

THC stores in brain cells and surreptitiously clogs up the intricate, microscopically tiny connections that enable complex thoughts and memory. “Maybe for real pot-heads, but not me,” you say, “I hold down a job and have no problems smoking pot for relaxation on weekends and once in a while other times. No problem at all… did I say that already?”

From the standpoint of defending freedom, however, the softening and dulling of voters’ intellects is perfect ground for planting illogical political distinctions, thereby guiding voting patterns in the direction most beneficial for those in power. Faced with a population clamoring for “freedom” from pot-related criminal records, all the Sheriff of Nottingham had to do was come out in favor of legalizing pot and his hold on POWER would have been unshakable. Populist “Robin Hoods” could dash themselves against that rock to no avail. Look around us – it’s what we have, now.

Even better than political strength, our state budgets are overspent and there are “revenue short-falls.” Actually, there are “spending long-rises,” but the important thing is that potheads will buy the stuff and pay the taxes so that we, your most-benevolent governors can take care of the children. You wouldn’t deny us that heartfelt mission, would you? You right-wing fascist bastard? After all, taxes on tobacco have declined dangerously and we have so many vital needs that only government can take care of – you see that don’t you?

And we bought into this. We accepted, first, that medical marijuana was medical. That’s a good one. You could get it at CVS if that were true, but, if they’ll buy that they’ll buy anything. They’ll even accept that the pay of legislators is somehow related to the incomes of corporate giants. Let’s test that by voting ourselves 60% raises and see what happens…

This in no way belies the fact that there are medical values to some marijuana components. There are medical values to lots of plants and thank God we have discovered those we have. It doesn’t mean that addling our intellects is a goal of a free people, does it? And so we argue about how high the taxes should be now that legalization has been voted-for, with the murder by a pot-stupefied driver with a medical marijuana prescription, of a State Trooper, a mere hiccup in the process. Pot is so benign, in fact, we should recommend it to heroin addicts to help them get off of the “real” drugs.

It has been a big, long-term sale, and we bought it.

Maybe if Trump simply tried a few tokes he could stop hassling druggies, damned right-wing fascist bastard.

Voting for pot legalization is a lot like voting for socialism, the other lie of non-responsibility. “Hey, man, it’s like, a free country, man, and health care is a right, not a privilege, man.” And not a responsibility? Next you’ll be telling us that you’re entitled to your freedoms and the government better make sure you keep ‘em, man. If it doesn’t then you’re voting for whoever is in favor of legalizing pot everywhere. Did you know that George Washington made rope out of hemp?

A Home on the Beach

As the popular sport of denigrating Christianity has flourished, the new religion of “climate change” has gained thousands of new acolytes. Of course, “climate change” is science as opposed to faith-based mumbo-jumbo. You religious nuts have to come in to the 21st Century. Maybe. Hold the door, please.

Climate change is one of the few constants in the life of the earth. Ice ages, warming periods, volcanoes, comets, tides, gravity, planetary magnetic fields – these things have been present quite variably for billions of years. Well, yeah, but… but pollution, man… pollution has been present for like, since the atom bomb, man. What about that, dude?

Valid point, but pollution, too, has come and gone many times. We are considering only pollution that affects things WE have experienced. We, in our hubris, see this brief period since Biblical times or, more pointedly, since Columbus, say, as what is normal and the only way the world should be forever. Maybe, but an impossibility with or without the befouling presence of humans, especially white ones; they are the worst.

Earth changes in ways and for reasons we cannot affect, effect or fully understand. We may have some ephemeral effects right now, but they get taken care of through cyclical processes fairly well, although not perfectly, God knows… except for jet aircraft and a handful of other egregious assaults on the biosphere that we can fix if we develop a mind to. Surface weather cleans up a lot of our sloppiness, and we are technologically obviating some of our worst ideas. Economics helps.

Self-driving cars are a good example. Again, hubris and greed are driving current approaches, but we’ll get it right without too many deaths, one hopes. Once a standard is set requiring cars to “talk” to each other, real progress will be made. The problem with “autonomous” vehicles is autonomy: attempting to have every car have all the abilities to detect, control or react to every variable in traffic, pedestrians and weather – and weird roads. Can’t be done. However, if every car knew what every other vehicle within, say 100 yards were doing – direction, speed, acceleration – then traffic could automatically adjust itself so that it would never have to stop, including at intersections! Add a few sensors at intersections, on-ramps and the like, and “self-driving” cars will begin to resolve one of the worst pollution generators on the planet: personal, independent, ready-at-a-whim, expensive, heavy, inefficient cars.

And save lives. Imagine commuting without driving your own car. An electric “AV” (autonomous vehicle) or “SDC” picks you up along with 3 others going to the same concentrated economic zone, all independently arranged with phone apps. You work on your laptop, play cards, text or eat breakfast perfectly safely. Your SDC moves steadily forward cutting commuting time by a third or a half, then drops each “ride-pooler” at his or her work and goes off for the rest of the day to do some other tasks, including plugging itself in for an hour or so. At the prescribed times it picks up its riders (who may or may not be the same 4 based on workday schedules) and takes them home. Highways are less congested, traffic flow is uninterrupted (thanks to MDV’s [manually driven vehicles] also communicating with vehicles within that 100 yards), and billions of gallons of gas are left unburned. Cool.

Plus, thousands of acres of parking lots are made superfluous and may be “de-paved” and otherwise made better use of. Public transportation, that perennial, government, unionized cesspool of constant losses and shortfalls, will finally be in a form that works and a lot of crappy trains, trolleys and buses can be eliminated. SDC’s can go where people need to go when they need to go there, resulting in actual use. A lot of people will simply stop owning personal cars that sit idle 93% of the time.

As for jet travel, that’s different. Still, large fractions of it can be obviated with superior “ground” transport systems. Monorail transports in busy corridors, even up to 1,000 miles, can eliminate thousands of short-haul jet flights. Jets, after all, dump their exhaust at 35,000 feet, beyond where normal weather will help remove it. Surface transit at 300 miles an hour, or close to it, will compete effectively on trips up to 3 hours or so – possible up to 1000 miles. Trips from 150 to 500 miles would be a breeze, and more comfortable… and electric. Clean.

Elon Musk’s batteries are going to help, but we’ll have to resolve our UN-scientific fears of nuclear power to finally clean up our planet. It’ll happen… has to. Neither solar nor wind can carry the load in the next couple of generations and we seem to want to clean things up right now – nuclear.

At the same time, maybe we can devise solar-powered robot vessels to clean up our preposterous gyre of garbage in the pacific. Container-ship companies can pay for them. We have to become serious about not despoiling our home. Clean air, clean land, clean water – all valid and viable goals. Climate change will slowly correct to the only extent that it can. What does that mean?

To whatever, unquantifiable degree that human activity has caused a change in Earth’s average temperature, it has taken a long time. This is not to discount variations in solar output, sunspot cycles, variations and weakening of the magnetic field and so forth, but let those go. We may have an impact, no matter how arrogant we sound in saying so. Still, it’s fairly small and slow to make a difference. There isn’t any treaty or legislation that is going to make a rapid reversal. Decades, generations.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start as soon as possible… and we have. But, increasingly, the choice that true believers offer is stark destruction of our ecology and mass starvations and all they imply; OR, VOLUNTARY population reduction. The possibility that Humanity might resolve pollution by dint of invention and technology or even good motives, is never proffered. According to the Church of Inevitable Death, mankind will either kill itself out of stupidity and greed or thanks to enlightened leadership from government members of the new religion.

I’ll take door number 3, Winky.

Climate acolytes are currently very upset about “…the four inches of sea-level rise that has already happened!” Well that’s serious, especially if you’ve been living within two inches of the mean sea level in 1940. It’s also extremely difficult to determine with any precision. But if the seas have risen a couple of inches, their worry and over-concern has to ignore the 400 FEET of sea-level change since the beginning of the reversal of the last ice age. Of course, there was a lot more ice available for melting in the good old days, so small global changes could cause massive meltwater volumes. We’re relatively safe from those kinds of effects, today.
A large part of our ostensible sea-level problem is our own damn fault, since we do enjoy living right on the waters’ edges. I expect we’ll deduce how to avoid drowning slowly, most of us, anyway.

If the entire atmosphere could be liquefied it would be about 33 feet deep, or 393.7 inches. Well great… so what? Well, in fact, CO-2 comprises about .0397% of the total. Let’s see what this means:
1% of 393.7 inches is just 3.937 inches – out of 33 feet. But, CO-2 is less than 4/10ths of that percent, or slightly deeper than 1.57 inches. Around the year 1800 (pre-industry), we’re told, CO-2 was only 3/10ths of a percent of the total, or what would have been 1.18 inches. Now we are told, it is the added .39 inches of the 33-foot total that has caused nearly every problem we face today, hot or cold, wet or dry, cloudy or sunny.

It is a big deal because people literally breath out CO-2, as do our cars and trucks and planes and things. Better, it’s a trace gas that we can BLAME on humans! We can TAX it and buy votes with it and be superior about it. Ohh, Heaven!

Worse, it is swamping tiny atolls in the Solomon Islands and the handfuls of people who like living there (who wouldn’t?) need some of everyone’s money to compensate their moving costs. At least, that’s the trumpeted theory. Still, it fits with the trends of the past 100 centuries or so, which ought to be comforting. Our anxiety derives from changes that have affected things we know from the past couple of hundred years… things that, in our arrogant view, should have remained static once we decided we liked them.

Right? Of course, right!
Since so many factors we have nothing to do with have maintained the direction of change, we are now adopting an amazing attitude that it is within our politics, economics and powers, that we can steer change in a different direction. This is far more remarkable than divinity, but a lot of people have bought it.

RIGHT PRINCIPLES and DISCERNMENT

It doesn’t appear that the background belief that the “world” will be beautiful and peaceful if we just all learn to get along with everyone, is valid.  Even in the microcosm, arguing about “partisanship” and worrying ourselves about the lack of “bi-partisanship” fails to illuminate the real basis for disagreement: right principles.

Many of us have principles that we are, if not governed by, at least motivated by.  We used to call them our “conscience.”  We sort-of always know when what we are doing is “right” or “wrong.” Let’s hope.  Still, modern science and technology, and modern anti-religion trends, have brought us to a time of phenomenal toys and enjoyments simultaneous with a culture of drug use and abuse, and hyper-sexuality.  In the face of these multiple assaults on our “principles,” we have clung only to a couple of erstwhile “truths”:

  • The worst sin is “intolerance;” and,
  • Passing judgements is bad.

The automatic corollary, it appears, is that every culture is equally valid and we should not act as though our own were any better.  Nor, it seems, should we make too much of our exceptional comforts, cleanliness and safety, because it’s not “fair” that we have them and so many others don’t.  This leads to so-called “immigrant advocates” who are not advocating for “immigrants,” but for illegal entrants, and to college campuses hosting wild demonstrations fundamentally against the sovereignty and even the Constitution, of the United States.

Is there someone to blame for this?  How did so many citizens of this relatively free, universally educated country, replete with community colleges, colleges, universities, on-line courses and free public libraries in nearly every town and city, come to hate it?  How did a nation so successful and liberal with its anti-poverty and unemployment programs, peppered with Christian churches of many denominations, arrive at a public governance that is virtually at the point of persecuting Christians FOR THEIR BELIEFS?

How did a nation founded on the very highest principles, led by George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, come to despise these leaders because of their economics and practices common to the day?  How has so much ignorance and lack of discernment come to motivate large fractions of our citizens to discard every founding principal in favor of socialism, communism and hedonism?

Why are we spending Trillions of dollars on education when the product of that investment is antithetical to our culture, heritage and survival?  How did this, all, happen?

What does it matter, except that we understand how, so as to not continue practices that brought us to this point?  This premise will generate a lot of discussion, some quite heated, but few actual solutions.  Everyone not consumed by the new liberalism and anti-Americanism, will decry education, lack of religious instruction, rewarding mediocrity and even failure, excessive welfare, stupid politicians, high taxes and sugary beverages.  Oh, and drugs… definitely drugs, both bad and good, including too many analgesic pain killers for minor ailments.  All of the above.

But, so what?  Is there some piece of legislation that will “turn things around?”  Maybe it’s a result of too many immigrants or, at the very least, too many illegal entrants!  That must be it.  Just stop immigration for a while and get rid of these Hispanic gangs – and drugs!  Get rid of the drugs!  That’s the ticket.  Maybe we should be deporting these criminal aliens faster… and keep them out.  And the death penalty; bring back the death penalty and make people truly pay for their most heinous crimes.  We’ve got to get judges to stop being soft on criminals.

It’s also not right that so much wealth is concentrated in Wall Street banks and brokerages, and that there is so much collusion between them and federal agencies and politicians.  Look at how they move back and forth between Treasury and Goldman-Sachs.

Do we think we simple Americans are going to fix all of these things?  By voting?  For whom?  Is there one person we might elect who will carry all of our valid concerns forward and “fix” things?  William Jennings Bryan thought he was one such, and things were a Hell of a lot simpler in 1896 and on, until the first World War.

Donald Trump surely believes he is one such, too, as do a majority of States.  The unprecedented opposition to him shows the depth of socialist statism that he wants to confound and undo.  Believe him or not, we should all wish (and pray) for his success.  The sovereignty of the individual, ostensibly (and once) protected by our majestic Constitution, is OUR freedom and YOUR liberty, the two not synonymous.

If you do not understand the distinction, perhaps we can start fixing “things” by learning what it is.

When Robots are Rights

We must, as thinking, contemplative beings at least somewhat concerned about the future, consider the implications of robotics and so-called artificial intelligence: machines that learn. It’s all a matter of large-enough databases and rapid-enough retrieval. So what? you might ask.

Civilization came to be built as it is through an economic reality that forces individual humans to strive for improvement – both personal and financial. That is, at one level or another, life has been tough for most of us, causing each to become stronger in order to be able to adjust one’s surroundings to greater comfort or safety… or both.

In the past century or so we have managed to elevate enough of ourselves to support elaborate industries designed only to entertain us due to growing levels of “leisure” time. That is, modern life for a large fraction of humankind (but not all, certainly) permits complete creation of safe and comfortable living conditions (standards) with about 40 hours of “labor” of very specialized kinds per week, or about 25% of available time.

In fact not even 25% is needed, as many forms of labor provide for weeks of non-work time each year in addition to “holidays,” storm-days, “personal” days, sick days and, increasingly, family and maternity “leave” periods. Politicians and other panderers – advocates and socialists of various stripes – are constant in their demands for more time off for ostensibly “civilized” and crucial purposes. Employers are, after all, mere thieves of workers time and comfort and must not be allowed to earn a profit from their labor, if such dis-allowance is at all possible.

In any case and by whatever fraction of productive employees’ time, businesses must find ways to produce the millions of products and services that they and others need or want in order to create and maintain the kind of safe, comfortable living conditions each desires. And those products must be profitable enough to justify all the investment, risk, work and education that goes in to producing them, delivering them and warranting their quality and usefulness, AND to permit sufficient taxation of both profits and of labor itself, to pay for all of the “public” works and subsidies that politicians think we need – including those that we truly do.

Together we, many of us, understand the multiple contracts and assumptions and personal costs that are enabling lives we like; and we understand, largely, the changes we must each choose to make to have “better” lives and proportions of leisure time. Robots are changing the “contracts” we have made between individuals, companies, governments and ourselves – and we are largely unprepared for the future that they are creating.

Right now the contracts of the economy depend upon parties who have striven to be part of the economy and who have striven to be “good” and “useful” people – most of us, anyway. What each has attained-to is the basis on which each of us judges the other as a qualified member of our society and culture, evaluates him or her as to qualities of charity, kindness and “fairness,” or lacks thereof, and on what his or her productive value is determined.

It is very important to us whether the person we are considering is one who “pulls his or her weight” or, barring genuine disability, “coasts on the work of others.” Is he or she “pulling the wagon” or just “riding?” Like it or not, every one of us needs to grasp these values for the current system to “work.” We understand and agree to abide by the hundreds and thousands of “contracts” that cause society, products, services, profit and pay to function with a net gain of living standards over time for the largest number of our fellow society members.

Are you with me so far?

Here and there, and in growing numbers, people who are employers, which is to say, producers in our economy (“job-creation” being simply a result of profitable productivity), are squeezed by governments – including their legal systems – through taxation and liabilities of increasing types. Customers demand redress and compensation from producers’ profits if anything goes wrong with a product, its delivery or its use, almost regardless of “fault.” Governments need more and more revenue to perform vital deeds and to buy votes from constituents.

To compensate for growing assaults on profits producers must steadily become more productive without raising costs… and this means reducing labor costs – employee costs. Given myriad labor laws protecting workers, insuring them, insuring their families and paying them at certain rates, producers are turning toward automating as many procedures as possible: ie. robots.

Robots don’t have to look like manufactured humanoids. They can be as unassuming as ATM machines and self-check-out lanes at Home Depot and a thousand other retailers. “Robots” can dispense prescriptions, take orders at fast-food restaurants and, soon, custom-tailor suits with nary a sales-clerk or store-manager needed. What do YOU do? What function are you compensated for? Maybe you build houses.

Robots make it possible to factory-manufacture modular homes that come with wiring, piping and alarm and computer circuits already in place. They’re delivered by truck and bolted together on site. Altogether there can be barely 20% as much labor needed to produce a single-family home. For modular multi-family buildings, there is even less per housing unit. What will all the tradesmen be doing?

Or, the counter workers, potato-fryers, and on, and on, and on… what will they be doing? Retailing is disappearing before our eyes, along with its jobs and buildings, janitors and re-decorators, security guards and on, and on, and on. There are very, very few jobs that are not threatened, except, temporarily, robot-maker.

Will this happen overnight? Not yet, but overnight began about 30 years ago and is accelerating as rapidly today, tomorrow and next week, as computing power and miniaturization permit. So what are the political and human consequences of the robotic devouring of what we now call “jobs?”

First, people who now control productive enterprises, from small to large, will be controlling larger and larger fractions of production generally, whether of precision-engineered parts or of sandwiches, and with fewer and fewer employees. This will concentrate productive surplus – which is to say: profits – and wealth as well, in those same hands or corporations. How, under the U. S. Constitution, will this wealth be “shared” among the soon-to-be jobless citizens? (“Soon” being in 20 years?)

Shall we raise taxes much, much higher? Should laws be passed that require producers to share remaining jobs among 4, 5 or 6 individuals (however inefficient that will be)? What happens to the essential right of private property? Will all hiring and profits become the purview of the least-efficient institutions on the planet: federal bureaucracies?

And how will individuals prove their worth? Not only to their friends, wives and children… but to themselves? If lots of humans don’t need to be very smart to survive, will more than the owners of production and the builders and programmers of robots, bother to become so? What happens to politics, then?

The stratification we have acquiesced to so far – stratification in which those elected deem themselves superior and entitled to office, ideas they have “sold” to relatively ignorant constituents – will become stricter and more calcified, virtually unassailable by the welfare-supported masses of citizens. Those will be they who never vote against wealth-sharing and at ever greater sharing rates. How will democracy or a republic or religiosity survive?

Just as large fractions of us, now, can’t find our ways without “GPS,” or feed ourselves without welfare, what will we become when there is no need to strive… and dependence upon robots approaches totality? What will civilization be? Constant leisure? A complete absence of sacrifice? SHALL WE ALL BECOME ENTERTAINERS? Shouldn’t we be thinking about these things?

Do you think of them? Fear them?