“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” – Charles Darwin

“Most believe it is the pleasurable moments of our lives that are the biggest influences of our perception of what allows us to experience joy in life. However, I believe that those of us that can best tolerate discomfort and fear and can rise above complaining and being miserable during difficult times are the ones that experience the most joy in life” – Nathan Shasho

Henry-David-Thoreau-Awesome-quote

 

  • the story you have created of your life can be changed. You story is not who you are but simply the life you have lived thus far and the choices and decisions you have made. How you perceive the world and yourself is a changing and fluid experience. The world has changed far to fast and is causing an alarming increase in fear, confusion, loneliness, depression, anxiety, pharmaceutical drug dependence, and suicide. Indoctrination, propaganda, inadequate public schools, ineffective parenting, and the latest onslaught of social media is creating havoc for the latest generation. You may think your kids are happy and dealing with this ultra-modern world, and maybe they are… but I would still suggest trying to get them to trust you with their secrets and emotions with unconditional love and not judgment.
  • In the 20th and 21st century life has become safer and more comfortable for more people than ever before, in spite of what you hear and see in the media. Yet the number of people suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, panic disorder, suicide (10th leading cause of death in the US in 2015) is a huge problem. You only need to look at the pharmaceutical industry for some insight.
  • Our instinctual survival mechanism evolved millions of years ago and has not changed. It is controlled by the most ancient part of the brain called the limbic system. It is a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions of fear, pleasure, anger, hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring, and our survival instinct. It does all this and much more 24/7 automatically without a thought even when we are asleep and dreaming. Did you ever wake up from a nightmare and think for a second that it was real. The brain cannot differentiate between reality and dreams. If you are frightened out of your wits in a dream your limbic system reacts as if it was really happening and responds to a life a death situation with an increase in heart rate, fear, blood pressure and all the other functions that involved with your survival.

Modern life has come upon us in a geological second and we have not yet adapted, which is a major reason for so much of the anxiety, stress, confusion and depression in our lives. My perspective for counseling and mentoring is for the human condition of the 21st century. It’s about understanding how our brain works, our biology and chemistry, and our evolution. We need to understand all this to better navigate our lives. Your survival instinct and that “little voice in your head” that keeps you awake at night is the “dark side”, and we must use the “thinking” parts of our brain to control it.


Stop “Trying” To BE Happy

Happy_infant_being_held_by_women_300_Pixels

What is the difference between a thought and an experience?
What is the difference between a thought and a feeling or an emotion?
The simple answer is that experience or emotions do not require language or thoughts.
Before humans invented language they must have certainly experienced emotions.
Scientists have demonstrated that animals experience emotions.
How can we observe this in our daily lives?
Infants experience a wide range of emotions without language.
Love and happiness are not emotions, they are concepts we invented with language. They have no meaning without context.
Just think about the thousands of ways we use the word love every day.
I love my mom and dad, I love my friend, and I love chocolate ice cream with sprinkles on top, I love to watch the sunset, I love my puppy, I love my girlfriend.
I love that dress, I love those shoes, I love yoga.
Happiness is an incredibly nebulous concept.
We say we want happiness as if once we “get it” it’s ours to keep forever.
It waxes and wanes from moment to moment, day to day, that is a reality we need to accept. Things change, nothing stays the same.
Joy is an experience. We can observe it in infants and children.
Fear, anger, pain, joy, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, depression, are experiences that cannot be understood with words unless you have experienced them yourself.
There is an endless amount of experiences that people have had that cannot be experienced by another person simply with the use of language. There are still primitive cultures in the world today that wouldn’t understand what the hell we are “talking” about because it is not in the realm of their human experiences; they are simply concepts we have created.
So my advice… stop “trying” to be happy and experience the joy in life whenever possible.

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Everyone one of us sees the world from a unique perspective. That’s because there is no one in the world exactly like you. Even when you look at yourself you see something different than anybody else. We can be our worst critic, and be judgmental of ourselves… all the “would of, should of, could of” that can plague our thoughts. The stress about the future that doesn’t exist yet. It all takes you away from now. You cannot change what happened a moment ago and no one can predict the future.

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ABOUT ME

I have three degrees from Brooklyn College.

  • Sociology (minor in Anthropology)
  • Psychology
  • Master’s in Psychology

My talent for mentoring and counseling has little to do with my studies, but much more with many readings of all forms of psychology, eastern philosophy (zen Buddhism, Taoism) and most importantly my life experience. I have also studied all of the sciences including those that are important to human behavior, (biology, biochemistry, the evolution of humans). Human chemistry plays a large role in our behavior. I can help you unravel your questions, fears and concerns and perhaps the ability to “Make Sense of It All”.

 

 

 

“We The People”

“We The People”
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In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”
-Noah Webster

The lack of critical thinking and America’s complete disregard historical knowledge has led to the inept, corrupt, and horrible decision making of city, state and federal government. You and I and all Americans are responsible for the state of the union today. Every president starting with Calvin Coolidge when the  income tax  was passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment established Congress’s right to impose a Federal income tax. 106 YEARS LATER OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (and every one of our presidents and politicians) PUT THE USA IN DEBT TO THE TUNE OF 20 TRILLION DOLLARS. Our justice system is absolutely corrupt and broken, public school system by all accounts are experienced by our children as jail sentences and on and on and on. Really? Do any of you know what past presidents are guilty of? If you did you would feel very foolish about the hate mongering of the current president!!! And this has nothing at all to do with how I personally view “he who shall not be mentioned out loud”.

I think it’s time somebody put a little perspective on what’s going on in the USofA. Donald Trump may be one of the most hated presidents of all time. So I decided to see if I could put a little perspective on this and take a look at some of the most massive screw-ups of our glorious politicians and the presidents during those screw-ups. I am going to speak only of a handful to make my point.

Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. Woodrow Wilson was president in 1920, followed by Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. Four presidents that were in office while the change in our constitution lead to a complete failure and a series of pretty bad unintended consequences. Do the research and see for yourself. I’ll give you one link by Ken Burns which I believe is to the point.

In the great depression, (October 29, 1929 – 1939), there were three presidents that presided in office. Coolidge, Hoover,  and Roosevelt. Corruption between commercial and savings and loans lead to the failure and stock market crash (sound familiar?). In 1932 -1933 the Glass Steagall Act was passed which separated investment banking from retail banking. Then Hoover and Roosevelt demonstrated what not to do to get our country out of a depression. I know most loved Roosevelt and I believe his intentions were in the right place, but he knew nothing about economics. Government spending, increased taxes, and social welfare systems did absolutely nothing to pull the US out of the depression. It wasn’t WW11 either. It was after the war that the private sector with new products and technology that created the most prosperous period in US history which increased the quality of life for most Americans.  

Truman then brought us into the Korean war where more than 50,000 American young men died. Eisenhower pulled out of Korea during his first year in office, but things went from bad to worst. Six presidents kept our children fighting and dying in Vietnam for 20 years. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter. When Kennedy was a young senator he lobbied for the US to commit to Vietnam. He was one of many politicians whose paranoia of the “domino effect” that would threaten the world and the US with communist fascism. Johnson continuously lied to America as to the state of the war because he didn’t want to “lose face” in a terrible lost cause war which he knew we could not win. Nixon was the worst of all. Not only did he lie and keep secret what he was doing, he actually stalled the peace talks until after his election which further kept our young men there. Watch this documentary. http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/home/

Lets fast forward to Billy Clinton.  Somalia……. black hawk down. A horrible display of leadership that he will carry to his grave. But lets continue. Just before he left office Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan got together and decided to push congress to deregulate the commercial banks. You know the very thing that lead to the 1929 crash. Well our geniuses in Washington passed a bill called the “Financial Services Modernization Act” in 1999.  The Glass Steagall Act was essentially repealed. Not bad for a days work, it only opened the door of absolute corruption in the banking system and caused a global financial melt down in 2008. I don’t need to detail this for you. If you want the real scoop I recommend the following: Too Big to Fail, Inside Job and The Big Short.

Look at all these idiots laughing and applauding at the signing…….

In 2001 we elected George W. There were no WMD’s and we didn’t need to invade a country in 2001 stay they there for 17 years. Seventeen years of Post Traumatic Stress, loss of lives, limbs and eyesight. For what? The politicians thank our troops for protecting our freedom??? Really?

And now just a little about our elegant and charming President Barack Obama. When he came into office our national debt was ten trillion dollars. When he left office we were in debt for twenty trillion and still in Afghanistan and was in office when the atrocities in Syria and Yemen began and he and the rest of the world couldn’t figure out how to stop the insanity. We captured and killed Saddam Hussein, invaded and occupied a country and nothing was and is being done to hel Syria and Yemen.

So what’s the point? I hear and listen and to all the anger and hate about our current president and that’s all well and good. The problem I have is how ignorant and uninformed the people in our country are. All the problems we face toady were created by all of our past leaders and the corrupt politicians for more than a lifetime. Where were the outcry when Clinton screwed up in Somalia and sponsored new legislation that nearly crushed the world economy. Where were the outcry when Bush invaded Iraq and lied about WMD’s! Thank god for the hippies and young people rising up against the Vietnam war. But we were still there for 20 years!!! Where are the outcry’s??? So do your worst. I don’t believe our current President can come close to the damage that has brought this country to its knees…  our government is inept in most of their choices and decision making. It is probably four times the size need to run this country. The waste is unbearable.

I wonder…. is our government “Too Big To Fail” as well ?

On Veterans’ Day, Remember the Lies That Filled Military Cemeteries

Fee Article: https://fee.org/articles/on-veterans-day-remember-the-lies-that-filled-military-cemeteries/?utm_campaign=FEE%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=67467404&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8GbBfVek376WQ_sD5fkLk0G2Xz06KyvF-9t8E9TLuaH7m5_Et2Bwxz2xPQHooKEalaUy5QxCDpZ3hw6X-5rf3tyVwaKA&_hsmi=67467404

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.”
James Madison

The Supreme Court Has Destroyed the Principle of the “Consent of the Governed”

 The Supreme Court ruled as “constitutional” Social Security, Medicare, federal drug laws and myriad other federal legislation, it was ruling that the ratifying conventions of 1787-90 consented to the federal government having those powers right from the beginning. THEY DO NOT…..

https://fee.org/articles/the-supreme-court-has-destroyed-the-principle-of-the-consent-of-the-governed/

OUR FREEDOMS HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY
IT SEEMS OUR CONSTITUTION CAN BE IGNORED BY OUR GOVERNMENT:

The human spirit thrives under freedom. When we’re free, our incentives line up just right, and our potential is unlocked. Our natural drive to improve our own lives through purpose-driven action is given free rein. Civility, friendship, and abundance are fostered as we engage each other in reciprocal service for mutual benefit.
These happy effects are undone to the extent that we’re unfree. When others restrict or dictate what we do with our persons and property (whether for their own gain or “for our own good”), we are obstructed from fully pursuing our own happiness.
This is true when it comes to compulsory political bonds: drug prohibition, business regulations, health care mandates, etc. But it is also true when we compulsively (even if voluntarily) submit to the wills of others: when give in to conventional wisdom and we let domineering parents, teachers, counselors, bosses, spouses, or friends intimidate us and determine the courses of our lives

There were no WMD’s in Iraq… Vietnam was a colossal mistake… the War On Drugs and Prohibition in the 1930’s was and is an embarrassment to the political leaders of the US. Career politicians have and continue to make a mess of everything they touch and get involved in, it’s time for a change.

It’s Time to Privatize the United States Postal Service

The post office has been an incompetent disaster for far too long. It is about time some sort of action was taken. The USPS is a government protected monopoly, it does not have to respond to market demand. And since the taxpayers are on the hook for funding the USPS regardless of its performance, there are almost no consequences for its ineptitude. In fact, in many cases, it has been rewarded for its incompetence by having more money thrown in its direction. For the last 11 years in a row, the post office has experienced financial losses. In 2012, it was revealed that the USPS had experienced a net loss of $15.9 billion dollars. In 2013, this number decreased to a still enormous $4.8 billion, followed by $5.3 billion in 2014. As far as fiscal year 2018 is concerned, the Postal Service has already reported a $1.3 billion dollar loss. If any private company had experienced net losses to the tune of several billions of dollars, they would quickly find themselves out of business. Many European countries began privatizing their postal systems years ago. And it didn’t end in a disaster. For example, when Germany privatized the Deutsche Post in 1995, it helped saved the country’s mail system. Government establishments cannot keep pace with private enterprise in matters of business.

 

THERE IS NO GENDER WAGE GAP

The Gender Pay Gap is a Complete Myth

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-gender-pay-gap-is-a-complete-myth/

 

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“The United States is not the greatest country in the world anymore”. The opening scene in the HBO series “The Newsroom” sets the stage for one of the best television series I’ve seen.

The criminal justice system in our country is a corrupt nightmare. “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” is just the tip of the iceberg. I spent one day in jail and witnessed firsthand the petty crimes of every individual in that cell with me. Then I witnessed the public defenders telling their clients to “cop a plea” even if they were not guilty. The US has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world to feed a system based on conviction rates. Reminds me of the Ken Burns Documentary “Vietnam” where our success was measure on enemy body counts. It didn’t matter how many Americans were killed or whether we won the battle. The public was told we were where winning because we killed a lot more of them. It seems to be the same scenario with DA’s. It doesn’t seem to matter if the citizen is innocent or guilty as long as you keep adding percentage points to your conviction rate. I am surprised that life in America is not far worst that it is considering the state of our political system, justice system, and the massive decline in our education system. The U.S. tax code is approximately 3.7 million words in length. The list of Federal agencies and departments is difficult to process and we could probably shut down half of them and nobody would notice. It seems to be a system that keeps growing like a cancer.

“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program”
-Ronald Reagan-

One of the biggest political blunders was Prohibition, yet politicians seem to not learn from past mistakes. The “war on drugs” dwarfs that blunder. It was created by the man who lied to the American public for years. Almost five decades and trillions of dollars and the war is a total failure and has had no effect other than creating the highest per capita incarceration rate on the planet. The data confirms that nonviolent drug convictions are a defining characteristic of the federal prison system. While most people in state and local facilities are not locked up for drug offenses, most states’ continued practice of arresting people for drug possession destabilizes individual lives and communities. Drug arrests give residents of over-policed community’s criminal records, which then reduce employment prospects and increase the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses.
Why do we put people in jail for “using” drugs? The biggest drug problem in the US today is pharmaceutical drugs. Why do the police arrest and charge someone for giving homeless people a free haircut? Why do we have Swat Raids on milk companies that produce non pasteurized milk? The list of ridiculous laws, regulations are endless, in part due to the power of special interest groups.

“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives”

–Ronald Reagan

What Do You Think Is The Third Leading Cause Of Death Is In The United States?

“Give ME Liberty Or Give Me Death ”

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry sounded one of the most famous calls to arms in American history. During a meeting of the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond, the 38-year-old lawyer and politician gave an impassioned plea urging the Old Dominion to form militias to defend itself against the British. Henry’s brief address—which closed with the incendiary line “Give me liberty or give me death!”— swayed the Convention in his favor, and his words became a rallying cry during the march to war that was soon to begin.

Prescription  drugs are the third leading cause of death in the United States

 In June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants.

A top Nixon aide, John Ehrlichman, later admitted: “You want to know what this was really all about. The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.

In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.

Most of us know the war on drugs has been completely ineffective and has terrible intended and unintended consequences, just as prohibition did. There has not been one documented case of a human being dying from an overdose on marijuana.

  • Each Individual’s Right to His Own Life
  • Respect for the Equal Rights of All
  • Voluntary Consent and Peaceful Agreement
  • The Mutual Respect of Private Property
  • A Free Market of Goods and Ideas
  • Liberty and Limited Government

 

The Real Reason We Have Ethanol in Our Gas

As a way of disguising this requirement, Congress wrote the oxygenate provision in a way that made it part of a formula for gasoline—government gas.  Section 211 (k) of the Clean Air Act spells out in detail specific component levels for gasoline.  Just think, lawmakers acting like chemists, telling refiners how to make gasoline.

Prior to the passage of the 1990 Amendments, it was clear that initiatives to improve air quality would mean that tailpipe emissions would become more stringent.  In anticipation, the oil and auto industries undertook the most extensive fuel-engine research program ever conducted.  The objective was to determine the most cost-effective ways to meet lower emission standards and to provide research based data that could be used by government.

Since the mandate went into effect, almost 26 years ago, its cost has been about $200 billion or more.

The two industries briefed Congress on the research and made one primary request:  set emission standards to achieve Clean Air Act objectives but give the two industries the freedom to determine how best to achieve them.  That request was rejected because of a deal with the corn lobby.

Ever since then, motorists have been stuck with higher fuel costs and lower mileage, and consumers have been stuck with higher food prices. Corn production has continued to increase and Congress expanded the mandate to include specific volumes.  The cost of the ethanol mandate has been documented extensively as has the lack of real environmental benefits. In 2015, the Manhattan Institute published a report—The Hidden Corn Ethanol Tax—that concluded that in 2013 the mandate cost consumers $10.6 billion. Since the mandate went into effect, almost 26 years ago, its cost has been about $200 billion or more.

President-elect Trump has pledged to “drain the swamp.”  The ethanol mandate is a good place to start because it may be the most visible and lasting example of how crony capitalists create Baptist and Bootlegger schemes to enrich themselves with taxpayer dollars.

Ethanol manufacturers have perfected championing the environment with corn farmer support for both to get richer.  Bringing the ethanol mandate to an end would send a clear signal that campaign promises to take on crony capitalists was more than just rhetoric.  Changing the Washington culture has to break the link between special interests, lobbyists, lawyers, the alliance between Bootleggers and Baptists.

  • How many government agencies are costing us billions of wasted dollars?
  • How many state and federal programs both foreign and domestic don’t work and are wasting billions of our tax dollars?

-MOST OF THEM-

Our federal government has one very important job to do…. uphold the Constitution. When did politicians decide that there job was to create thousands of laws and regulations year after year that not only have undesirable consequences; (two good examples; prohibition and the war on drugs), but also take away our freedoms and erode our economy to the ground?   

Americans Are Embracing Bad Government Because They Don’t Know History

If one truly wants to know how American students are doing in school, a look at the Nation’s Report Card might offer a better picture. Those numbers tell us that not even half of America’s high school seniors are proficient in any subject. The area they rank the worst in? U.S. History.

https://fee.org/articles/americans-are-embracing-bad-government-because-they-dont-know-history/

“The Entitlement State that Nobody Mentioned”

Rights precede government, and are not something given to man by any political authority.

In the United States, the idea of “self rule” originally had a different meaning.

https://fee.org/

The Sky Is Not Falling?

For more than ten years I have been telling everyone that the global warming crisis was created to make rich men richer… “special interest groups” ….. that is was the biggest scam perpetrated on the world public in history. Not many believed me. I said get back to me in 10-15 years after none of the prophecies come true.
It’s not a matter of being right or wrong…. it’s about the lack of critical thinking, indoctrination and propaganda !!!

But what about climate change you may ask? No doubt…. the planet has gone through a kazillion climate changes in the last 4.5 billion years. There will always be climate change some devastating like a global ice age. Right now the biggest threat is destroying the “lungs” of the planet, the deforestation of our of our rain forests!

GOP Should Seek Fraud Charges Against Al Gore

 Corruption is Legal in America

Some of us pay up to 38% of our income to the Federal government. Unfortunately this money is not spent on our behalf. This percentage can actually be conservative when you add in sales tax, property tax, gasoline tax, capital gains tax, tax on savings interest, cell phone taxes and charges, liquor tax, cigarette tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, utility tax, and many, many more taxes and surplus charges.

What do they do with all this money? Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible. Billions every year are lost in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Government programs and institutions that have become outdated and completely obsolete, like the department of agriculture, department of education and no child left behind. If we closed 50% of the departments in government it wouldn’t be noticed by a single American with no perceived lack of services.  We give away billions in obscure grants all over the world for absurd studies. We have a military presence all over the world that are unnecessary. We subsides technologies, especially green technologies, that would not survive on there own because they don’t work. If they were good ideas the private sector would be doing it. But the subsidies keep on going.

Special interest groups, for the most part, get the bills passed they want, but we the people actually have no influence on congress. We will never see limited terms for congress in our lifetime, but we can vote incumbents out at every election. This should effectively reduce the power of special interest groups. It is a well known fact that Senators and House Representatives are offered very lucrative jobs with special interest groups because of their influence. It’s no wonder that most of the men and woman who supposedly represent we the people start out as middle income earners and retire with a fair amount of wealth.

 restore-glass-steagall

Stock Market fraud has bee going on for quite a long time. When you add commercial and investment banking to the mix you have the ingredients for a global financial meltdown.

Bucket Shop is a term used in the early 1900’s. It is a fraudulent brokerage firm that uses aggressive telephone sales tactics to sell securities that the brokerage owns and wants to get rid of. The securities they sell are typically poor investment opportunities. The modern term is “Boiler Room”. In 1907 there was a financial panic that began with a stock manipulation scheme to corner the market in F. Augustus Heinze’s United Copper Company. The financial crisis that took place over a three-week period starting in mid-October, when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50%. Banks that had lent money to the cornering scheme suffered runs that later spread to affiliated banks and trusts, leading a week later to the downfall of the Knickerbocker Trust Company—New York City’s third-largest trust. The collapse of the Knickerbocker spread fear throughout the city’s trusts as regional banks withdrew reserves from New York City banks. Panic extended across the nation as vast numbers of people withdrew deposits from their regional banks. Infusion of private capital from wealthy Americans stopped a complete collapse of the stock exchange. As a result of the near collapse of our financial institutions  Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act. President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation immediately and the legislation was enacted on the same day, December 23, 1913, creating the Federal Reserve System.

On October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday hit Wall Street as investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the rest of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression (1929-39), the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world up to that time. Throughout the 1920’s a long boom took stock price to peaks never seen before. From 1920 to 1929 stocks more than quadrupled in value. Many investors became convinced that stocks were a sure thing and borrowed heavily to invest more money in the market. In 1929 the bubble burst. By 1932 and 1933 they hit bottom, down about 80% from there highs in the late 1920’s. The most damaging effect was the chaos in the banking system as banks tried to collect on loans made to stock market investors whose holdings were now worth little or nothing at all. Worse, many banks had themselves invested depositor’s money in the market. When word spread that the banks’ assets contained huge un-collectable loans and almost worthless stock certificates, depositors rushed to withdraw their savings. Unable to raise funds from the Federal reserve system, banks began failing by the hundreds.

By the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt an president in March 1933, the banking system of the United States had largely ceased to function. Depositors had seen $140 billion disappear when their banks failed. Business could not get credit for inventory. Checks could not be used for payments because no one knew which checks were worthless and which ones were sound.

To prevent similar disasters, the federal government set up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which eliminated the rationale for bank “runs”. Backed by the FDIC, the bank could fail and go out of business, but then the government would reimburse depositors.  In 1933, two members of Congress put their names on what is known today as the Glass-Steagall Act. This act separated investment and commercial banking activities. At the time, “improper banking activity,” or what was considered overzealous commercial bank involvement in stock market investment, was deemed the main culprit of the financial crash. According to that reasoning, commercial banks took on too much risk with depositors’ money. As a collective reaction to one of the worst financial crises at the time, the GSA set up a regulatory firewall between commercial and investment bank activities, both of which were curbed and controlled. in 1956, Congress made another decision to regulate the banking sector. In an effort to prevent financial conglomerates from amassing too much power, the new Act focused on banks involved in the insurance sector. Congress agreed that bearing the high risks undertaken in underwriting insurance is not good banking practice. Thus, as an extension of the Glass-Steagall Act, the Bank Holding Company Act further separated financial activities by creating a wall between insurance and banking. Even though banks could, and still can, sell insurance and insurance products, underwriting insurance was forbidden.

After we came out of the great depression the United States had  the largest sustained period of economic growth in economic history; a 60 year expansion of the middle class, the largest increase of productivity, and the largest increase in median income. We  put a man on the moon and put a computer on everyone’s lap. In 1980 starting with the Reagen administration the deregulation era began culminating in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 and the implementation of the  Financial Services Modernization Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000.

The Commodity Futures Modernization of 2000 deregulated and clarified the law so that most over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives transactions between :sophisticated parties” would not be regulated as “futures” under the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936. Unregulated gaming laws, and immunity from state gambling laws. This bill was voted on unanimously on the last day, of the last vote of the last session of the 106th Congress by the Senate. This bill was fully endorsed by President Bill Clinton and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Greenspan was quoted in saying this may have been a “grave” error in judgment.

Screw ups by congress since the early 1980’s concerning bills passed to allow banks and Wall Street to operate in an unregulated environment have lead to the inevitable outcome of 2008.

clintonsignsglasssteagallrepeal

The 2008 financial meltdown was created in similar ways to the 1929 stock market crash. As a result of deregulation, greed and fraud, the housing market collapsed. It cost us the loss of eleven trillion dollars and a loss of ten million jobs, and lead to a global financial crisis. So how did it happen? Well here’s the condensed story:

Markets rely on Standard & Poor’s to objectively rate debt. But the companies that want a favorable debt rating are the same companies that pay Standard & Poor’s. Banks wrote a ton of bad mortgages to people they knew were going to default. It’s called predatory lending, and then hid bad mortgages inside of good mortgages to shine the books for S&P, which gave them triple-A ratings. Then they bundle the whole thing and sell the debt to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which is owned by you and me. Then the banks bet on those loans defaulting. It’s like fixing a ball game to win a bet. The people who have now all lost their savings can’t buy things anymore so businesses start going out of business and more people are broke When you start eliminating consumers, you start eliminating jobs, and that starts the cycle of a financial meltdown.

IT’S TIME FOR AMERICA TO GROW UP

We have become a nation of laws, rules, regulations and taxation without representation. The big picture is to take responsibility for the way things are . We want to be taken care of like children so we allow the grown ups… the politicians, special interest groups, world leaders, and the community that controls money to make a mess out of everything because of their self interest. I want to start this thing out slowly so lets look at relatively easy fixes. It’s time for America to grow up:
    • Taking or abusing medication that has been prescribed for you, even if the medications are extremely addictive like Oxycontin  is not against the law. The use of pain killing medications  often leads to addiction and death from overdose The CDC reported that each day, 44 people in the United States die from overdose of prescription painkillers…..   It’s not against the law.

    • Marijuana has been shown to be a much better and safer way to deal with pain and sports injuries. It’s against the law. For the life of me I could never understand the moronic logic that put people in jail for smoking marijuana.

    • I can’t understand the stupidity of making it illegal for me to drink a bottle of beer in public. A few ounces of alcohol each day is very healthy for you. Drinking a couple of cans of soda loaded with sugar is not. Should we make it illegal to drink a bottle of Pepsi?

    • Smoking cigarettes is not against the law.

    • Being an alcoholic, or drinking alcohol until you are totally intoxicated is not against the law.

    • So lets grow up America and strike down every law that makes the personal use of ANY drug illegal. People who “use” drugs do not belong in jail anymore than people who drive race cars, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol take prescription drugs or do anything that risks one’s own life.  I dislike the term “legalize” drugs because humans have been using mind altering natural plants for many thousands of years. It should have never been illegal in the first place.

    • You can make yourself sick, injure yourself or kill yourself in thousands of ways without putting another person in harms way that is not against the law.

    • While we’re at it lets stop the war on drugs… forty years, fifty billion a year, and nothing has changed. “Illegal” drugs are easier to purchase than ever. Why is it that government continues  programs that either don’t work or does more harm than good.

    • States are perfectly fine with gambling as long as they are either running it, like a lottery, or making lots of money from it, like Las Vegas.  In NY State it’s actually illegal to have a private polka game for money in your own home. How stupid is that. Gambling should not be illegal.

    • The same goes for prostitution. It’s like prohibition. You can’t stop people from getting what they want. But you can make it safer for all concerned by regulating it. And I don’t mean taxing the hell out of it.

    • Some people are in the business of trying to save people from themselves. It doesn’t work.  If you want to make the world a better place change yourself… leave me alone.

This of course is the tip of the iceberg. “WE THE PEOPLE” have so many tougher problems to tackle.

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A COMMON MYTH:   There is not enough food production to end world hunger.

Last summer I saw an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. The topic was food waste . I have been aware for a long time ending hunger was not a problem about not enough food. But I wasn’t aware just how much perfectly good food is not eaten and literally thrown away in the United States alone. It is quite staggering. I am going to post the seventeen minute and fifty second segment in stead of listing the information he provides. Besides he is sometimes quite funny and entertaining even when delivering important subjects. This is just a small portion why our inability to end hunger is not a problem of the “not enough to go around” myth. Remember this is just about food waste only in the US. There are more arguments concerning this myth.

 

“If one suffers we all suffer”

Perspective: Making Sense Of It All

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Why America Is Not The Greatest Country in the World Anymore

The Newsroom: The best HBO series ever speaks to the problems with  public media, politics, and an uniformed public.  A public that lacks independent critical thinking.

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“In this modern political climate, the consent of “the people” is being lost to the influence of bankers, lawyers, lobbyists, and corporations, who are running our country like an oligarchy. The will of the people should be the basis of all authority of government, and, fundamentally, this is the principle we have lost.”  Andy Ostrowski 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

  “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…

They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
-Thomas Jefferson-

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never can be.”
– Thomas Jefferson-

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth”
-Albert Einstein-

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough,
 it will be believed”
-Adolf Hitler-

Consent of the governed is a phrase from the Declaration of Independence. It means that our government’s legitimacy and moral right to exercise power is only justified and legal when derived from the people over whom that political power is exercised. This theory of consent is to be contrasted to the divine right of kings, which is the fundamental principle from which our founders were seeking separation.

“If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
-Abraham Lincoln-

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have,
in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
-Thomas Jefferson-

“America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed it ourselves.”
-Abraham Lincoln-

I have been thinking about how organizations and political systems take on a “life of their own”. My first inclination was to answer the question from a psychological   paradigm. I realized that this may be better explained through a biological/evolutionary perspective.

Lets start with a relatively small organization and look at how it evolved. We The People decided to declare our independence from Great Britain. A group of  brilliant  people designed The Declaration of Independence.  After we gained our independence the existing states ratified  the Constitution of the United States of America.

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
-John Adams-

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
-Abraham Lincoln-

We The People who were citizens of a particular cities in various states decided they needed local laws and local services. Two of these services were a justice system, and a police department to insure that our local laws, rules a regulations were being enforced.

Lets fast forward to the present. We The People created our local justice system and police force to serve us.  We pay taxes in order support these services. The citizens who work in the departments of justice and law enforcement are hired by and work for We The People.

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan-

 “The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.”  -Mark Twain-

After a while something interesting happened along the way. This is where biology and evolution comes to mind. Every living organism’s primary goal is to survive and reproduce. I believe that organizations, businesses, public school systems,  Federal, State, and City governments morph into independent self perpetuating organisms that’s primary goal is it’s own survival. It becomes an entity that in order to survive it must grow, and become more powerful in the same way nation states do.  When this metamorphosis occurs it becomes more important to serve itself than to serve the host  that created it, us…..   “We The People”  

“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”
–Ronald Reagan-

       “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
-Mark Twain-

We are born into a world with many countries and borders. The advent of modern technology has made the world a much smaller place. In a matter of minutes we have the ability to know whats going on in just about any part of our planet. Have you ever stopped for a moment to ask a few simple questions? “Why are things the way they are?” “How did we get to now?” “Why is there so much conflict in the world?” “What purpose does it serve?” Why do we have an almost fanatical sense of nationalism, that can lead to wars and horrible conflicts? Well… there are answers to these questions. The answers lie hidden in history and science. If we are willing to lift the cloud of prevailing ignorance can it change our entire perspective of life as we perceive it now?

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.  But I repeat myself.”
-Mark Twain-

At the moment It seems that we must work in the opposite direction that might seem logical. Changing it from the top down….. start with the Federal Government.Term limits of some form…. the objective is to eliminate career politicians, eliminate powerful special interest groups that influence the entire political system. Eliminate all public contributions for elections and use our tax money for qualified candidates. Seek out highly skilled professional objective candidates who think critically about government intervention and spending. Pay these people a big salary equal to or more than they can get in the private sector. But no special privileges or benefits.  

“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe when a legislative
body is in session”
– Mark Twain-

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Climate-Change

By most accounts, deforestation in tropical rain forests adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the sum total of cars and trucks on the world’s roads. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, a leading green group, 32 million acres of tropical rain forest were cut down each year between 2000 and 2009—and the pace of deforestation is only increasing. “Unless we change the present system that rewards forest destruction, forest clearing will put another 200 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere in coming decades…” says the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Earth is 4.5 billion years old.  The planet has been bombarded with millions of meteors and asteroids, radiation, continental shifts due to plate tectonics,  worldwide volcanic eruptions, drastic climate changes including  ice ages , and several mass extinctions!

Sixty five million years ago  an asteroid hit the earth. The energy equivalent of the explosion was  more than a billion times more than the atom bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As of the mid 1990s, the combined nuclear firepower of the nations of the Earth added up to an estimated 20 gig a-tons a tiny fraction of the asteroid’s energy.

If we look at our planet today you would never know that any of this occurred. Our planet is capable of self healing and will always be going through various cycles, incidents and climate change. It is also interesting to note that life flourished during warming periods. One of the greatest increases in life species occurred about 245 million years ago when the greatest animals evolved and roamed the earth, the dinosaurs. Lush vegetation, resembling the profuse growth in today’s rain forests covered much of the Earth’s surface.  Evidence of abundant plant life can be found in the in the extensive coal fields that date from this period. It was a warming period after the last ice age that contributed to the evolution of the human species.

So what’s the point of this information. There may be no doubt that there is an increase in carbon in the atmosphere. But there is no supportable science that it will lead the to “The Sky Is Falling” alarmists claims of catastrophic results.  I am not interested in addressing the debate on global warming because it is politically motivated. Billions of dollars are being funded to special interest groups towards many alternative energy sources which don’t have any merit and would not survive on there own. I believe we should do everything possible to make our environment clean and safe for all life on earth not just our own self interests. Unfortunately the path that we are taking is misguided as a result of bad science, bad ideas and propaganda by governments and special interest groups that have there own personal agendas.  If we focus on the relevant problems, which are abundant and extremely diverse like poverty, world hunger, environmental issues, deforestation, wars, genocide, political corruption, and many other problems, the planet will take care of itself.

During the twentieth century over a hundred million people have been killed or murdered by just two regimes during peace time conditions;  The Stalinist Era in the USSR (1929-1953), and The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution in China (1949-1976). The century included two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and several other civil wars; ethnic cleansing, genocides, massacres, conflicts of all sorts in the middle east, central and south America, worldwide economic collapses, human trafficking,  slavery, domestic violence, world wide poverty and hunger and currently a crisis in Syria which includes a refugee problem and worldwide terrorism.

And…. what do I hear the UN and governments more concerned about?   Global Warming. Lets put things in perspective, something politicians have never been able to do.

Perspective: Making Sense Of It All