Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Minnesota Minorities by Friedman, Liberal Republicans, disaster preparation

I would like to live in Minneapolis except for the cold weather and the difficulty of avoiding the many pockets of minorities. The illustrious Thomas Friedman is surprised at his old neighborhood and wonders if the future will be as good as the past. Liberals ought to pay attention to their back yard instead of wasting fuel on trips to the middle east. His new hometown New York City needs fixing. He says that liberal Romney may help "reform" the Republican Party that is too conservative and libertarian. Do the Republicans need to get more liberal, more tax and spend big-government? Does Minneapolis need to become more like New York City? I may get a TV to see what is going on in the disasters, elections, and wars. I have always been concerned with infrastructure. I often took shortcuts by the sewage treatment plants in LA and SF wondering how all that could work so well. If utilities don't work there becomes a big dangerous mess. Most people do not live on the self-sustaining family farms of 100 years ago. Food is shipped from Mexico and China using Muslim oil. USA is becoming a disaster waiting to happen.

Minnesota Mirror


St. Louis Park, Minn.

Josh Haner/The New York Times

I was debating whether to go to the Turkish-Syrian border this week or to visit my old high school in Minnesota. I decided to make the exotic foreign trip and go to Minnesota. I thought it might be useful to look at this election through the window of my hometown of St. Louis Park. I have not been disappointed. I found in this little suburb of 45,250 people outside of Minneapolis — which was memorialized in the movie, “A Serious Man,” directed by the Coen brothers, who also hail from here — all the key trends impacting America.

For starters, there is the changing face of the town. We had two African-Americans among the 2,500 students at St. Louis Park High when I graduated in 1971, and everyone there was either Christian or Jewish. When I walked through the high school cafeteria on Monday, there were six teenage girls covered in colorful Muslim hijabs and the principal, Robert Metz, explained to me that “today we have more Muslim students than Jewish students.” This is the byproduct of the huge influx of Somali refugees to Minnesota. Metz said my old high school, which now has open enrollment and competes for students from around Minneapolis, attracts young people both for its academic rigor and because they want to go to a richly diverse school that mirrors the world in which they’ll be working. There are more than 30 languages spoken in the elementary school near my old house — exactly 29 more than when I lived here.

Mayor Jeffrey Jacobs of St. Louis Park notes that 85 percent of residents here today don’t have kids in local public schools, yet they regularly vote to increase real estate taxes to improve these schools, because they understand that “you cannot cheapskate yourself to greatness” and “they see value for their money.” But that attitude is no longer held statewide.

When I was growing up, my congressmen were liberal Republicans (there was no other kind in Minnesota back then) in a Democratic district. No one thought anything of it. Today my congressman here would be Keith Ellison, an African-American Muslim and one of the most liberal Democrats in the House, while liberal Republicans in Minnesota today are as rare as a two-headed moose. The State House and Senate Republican caucuses today are dominated by the Tea Party and libertarian followers of Ron Paul.

But here’s what’s telling. These G.O.P. hard-liners, while able to win their more conservative “exurbia” and rural districts, are not doing well when it comes to overall state politics. Minnesotans have not wanted to entrust them with the governorship or national Senate seats, which is another way of explaining why Mitt Romney only gained ground on Barack Obama when he started to market himself as a moderate ready to work with Democrats. Note to Mitt: Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, is up for re-election here and leading her libertarian G.O.P. opponent by 43 percentage points in the latest Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon poll (65 to 22) and in one report this summer was found to have $5.4 million in campaign cash on hand while her opponent had $5,800. That is not a typo.

Note to President Obama: Klobuchar built that lead by combining a moderate liberalism with a pro-business, pro-jobs agenda and a pragmatic problem-solving approach. All of Klobuchar’s campaign ads are positive, and many feature Republican business leaders explaining why they are voting for her. Most Minnesota voters “want their politicians to be problem-solvers, not ideologues,” Klobuchar said to me. Senator Al Franken, who’s also laser-focused on jobs, boasted to me that Minnesota is now “The Silicon Valley of windows,” because of all the high-tech window manufacturers here. Franken, who’s also a St. Louis Park native, added, “Minnesota wants its politicians to operate on principles, but if one of your principles is to never compromise, they don’t want that.”

Many business-oriented Republicans here are not only voting for Klobuchar but are giving her money, because they’ve become frustrated by the far-right lurch of the state G.O.P., explained Lawrence Jacobs, a politics expert at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The state is home to many global companies that would accept some tax increases to build better infrastructure and schools in order to have better-educated workers. And the Republican-dominated Chamber of Commerce here is leading the charge for open immigration, so Minnesota can bring in more knowledge workers from India to enrich its work force.

“In Minnesota, for many years, we had a party structure that was dominated by leaders who wanted to win and problem-solve,” said Jacobs. Now, he added, the State Republican Party is dominated by Tea Party and libertarian insurgents, not the business community, and their attitude is “we play for principles and if we lose so be it.” So there is a fight here for the soul of the Republican Party. In the 1990s, centrist Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, brought their party back from a similar ideological ledge; they and the country and my home state are better for it. The Republicans have not had their “reformation,” but it’s brewing here in Minnesota, and I hope it goes national if Romney loses — and even more so if he wins.

Endowment Fund, Run by Mark Yusko, Limits Withdrawals -

in the 3,000 hedge funds that they track, assets have fallen 28.7 percent from their peak of $2.4 trillion in 2008 through a combination of weak performance and withdrawals.

via Endowment Fund, Run by Mark Yusko, Limits Withdrawals -

Endowment Fund, Run by Mark Yusko, Limits Withdrawals -

Investors generally have been disappointed with hedge fund returns for the last couple of years because many have lagged the gains made in the stock market.

via Endowment Fund, Run by Mark Yusko, Limits Withdrawals -

After Hurricane Sandy, Stock Exchanges Prepare to Open -

The exchanges want to get up and running as soon as possible to serve their clients and show they can operate in difficult conditions. A long delay could frustrate investors and damage their image.

“It’s incredibly important to open these markets,”

via After Hurricane Sandy, Stock Exchanges Prepare to Open -

The Minnesota Mirror -

the State Republican Party is dominated by Tea Party and libertarian insurgents, not the business community, and their attitude is “we play for principles and if we lose so be it.” So there is a fight here for the soul of the Republican Party. In the 1990s, centrist Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, brought their party back from a similar ideological ledge; they and the country and my home state are better for it. The Republicans have not had their “reformation,”

via The Minnesota Mirror -

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America, Jennifer Hochschild

Hot humid summers are the cost of living near life sustaining water at a latitude far enough south that you get enough sun rays of the right wavelength. I have developed a simple tactic of fans that cool the house below 70 degrees at night so it never needs an air conditioning during the day. Go outside before noon. Then as it gets too hot go to the beach! Winters are not a problem, just not much sunlight due to short days. Take cod liver oil for Vitamin D. I would have stayed in Boston for my whole career if I knew about cod liver oil. I could tell something was wrong but did not know it was lack of vitamin D because in San Diego I got plenty of sun even in January.

Missouri has a lot to offer but I have not given up on Texas. I may drive down there tomorrow. I get more tired from driving than from walking. Still not recovered from last week's trip. I may skip the election if I am traveling. Neither candidate is any good anyway. If Romney wins, maybe I should move to Rexburg Idaho that has a Brigham Young University,_Idaho

Rexburg also has a 95% LDS Mormon population. Rexburg has been referred to as the "reddest place in America," owing to the area's strong conservative majority and political trends. Rexburg obtained national notoriety with reports of a few children on a bus chanting "Assassinate Obama" following the election of Barack Obama in November 2008. The mayor apologized for the children's behavior.

What do you think about the book below. Looks like a high school text but it is taught at Harvard "nothing beyond what a person with ordinary arithmetic skills can readily understand." Might the African American Studies department still be weak? Gossip and newspaper and web reading? But it might be right -- a descent into anarchy of the jungle. From a taxpayer financed liberal propaganda machine point of view.
Jennifer Hochschild's "Creating a New Racial Order"
Professor of Government
Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard College Professor

The book analyzes changes in the American racial order since the late twentieth century; it encompasses politics, economics, demography, social practices, laws and policies, history, and public opinion. We include original data analyses, but nothing beyond what a person with ordinary arithmetic skills can readily understand. The book is replete with striking quotations or revealing anecdotes mainly culled from recent events.

The American racial order associated with the 1960s’ civil rights movement, opening of immigration, and Great Society is undergoing a cumulative, wide-ranging, partly unintentional and partly deliberate, transformation. If that transformation persists, it will benefit the United States as a whole and most residents. It may, however, harm some Americans and it will probably leave some out.

We define the components of any racial order. We then use those components to examine how the American order is changing because of the combination of four forces: immigration, multiracialism, genomic science, and generational change. Cumulatively, these forces increase heterogeneity within each racial or ethnic group, and decrease the distance separating groups from each other; those are the crucial mechanisms of change. Individuals are moving across or breaking down group boundaries; more people reject conventional racial categories; genomic science challenges the whole concept of race. Economic variation within groups is increasing, and the traditional hierarchy of whites on top and blacks on the bottom is breaking down. Demography is reshaping political choices and strategies.

Above all, young adults understand and practice race differently from their elders; their formative memories are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Obama’s election, not civil rights marches, riots, or the early stages of immigration. Other factors inhibit transformation or harm some Americans: wealth disparities among groups, incarceration, the declining status of undocumented migrants and Muslims, and the harms attendant on declining group solidarity. Americans’ political and personal choices over the next decade will shape the extent of transformation, its beneficiaries, and what kinds of people are left out or harmed. We envision not a post-racial America but a different racial America, in which race and ethnicity still matter but in ways chosen by individuals rather than constitutive of life chances.

Notable Quotes

"This is a wide-ranging exploration of how America looks, thinks, and lives in terms of race as we go into this new millennium. Bridging political science, sociology, and the burgeoning study of DNA, the authors show us that racial order remains one of the most reliable ways of organizing our past and present as Americans, even as that order is dynamic and indeed transformed over time.”

—Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University

“It is not often that one reads a book that changes how we think the world works. Creating a New Racial Order is replete with original, and sometimes surprising, insights and evidence on the forces that are generating rising racial heterogeneity in the United States. The authors’ compelling analysis of the ongoing transformation of America’s racial order is a must-read.”

—William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

“Showing how historical trends have produced an unprecedented complexity and fluidity in racial meanings, classifications, and identities in the United States, this book argues that the American racial order is changing for the better and explains why this is happening. Bold and provocative, this book is a game changer.”

—Claire Jean Kim, University of California, Irvine

Monday, October 29, 2012

electricity in you drives all processes

Brilliant discovery by British Scientist who first observed the electrons flowing thru little pores in the pancreas that stimulate the flow of insulin to prevent diabetes. Diabetics can now use drugs to normalize this electron flow to eliminate artificial insulin injections. Electrons run everything. You can measure your own electricity using voltmeters, oscilloscopes, etc. Nowadays too much electronics interferes with natural bodily process. The younger generation is completely fried with phones and ipods ruining their brain, laptops ruining their genitals, etc. Another good reason to avoid ipad, computer, TV, Radio... Read books, magazines, and newspapers instead. Books and videos below provide details. I can feel the difference after thoroughly grounding myself by wading in the huge lake for 30 minutes or more.

What happens during a heart attack? Can someone really die of fright? What is death, anyway? How does electroshock treatment affect the brain? What is consciousness? The answers to these questions lie in the electrical signals constantly traveling through our bodies, driving our thoughts, our movements, and even the beating of our hearts. The history of how scientists discovered the role of electricity in the human body is a colorful one, filled with extraordinary personalities, fierce debates, and brilliant experiments. Moreover, present-day research on electricity and ion channels has created one of the most exciting fields in science, shedding light on conditions ranging from diabetes and allergies to cystic fibrosis, migraines, and male infertility. With inimitable wit and a clear, fresh voice, award-winning researcher Frances Ashcroft weaves together compelling real-life stories with the latest scientific findings, giving us a spectacular account of the body electric.


Reclusive billionaire who owns more land than Rhode Island after building discount cigarette empire... but he dropped out of college and still brews his own bourbon

Good example of Satanism in America.

Tobacco kills and sickens millions. Alcohol is a neurotoxin, worse than sugar.

He could live on a few acres. Jesus told the rich to give their possessions to the poor.
Jesus said “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Jesus set a good example of getting the most education possible.;&version=NKJV

This sinner will burn in hell reclusive billionaire who owns more land than Rhode Island after building discount cigarette empire... but he dropped out of college and still brews his own bourbon

One of us?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Missouri vacation, Universities, Rhineland

I took a beautiful tour of Missouri this week in beautiful fall weather, 80 degrees with lots of sunshine on the red and golden foliage. Toured 4 universities and several houses and acres. Found 2 houses that I may buy. The southern half of Missouri is very beautiful, rugged, and hilly. The American Rhineland is between Columbia and Saint Louis. Very picturesque wineries, both Catholic and Lutheran Churches, and a WWII memorial with a listing of the dead in the center divider next to the main bridge.

University of Missouri in Columbia is a gem, the best college town I have seen. Like a Palo Alto Calif + Frankfurt Germany. Clean, upscale, with well maintained old red brick buildings and long streets full of outdoor cafes. Library well stocked with yellow Springer Verlag financial engineering books. People friendly, well dressed, busy without being overstressed. Excellent public library near the university. Much is within walking distance, including the neighborhood that I lived in at age 4. But Columbia is 176,000 population split into 4 sections by large freeways running north and south and east and west so hard to get around by foot or car. It is midway between Kansas City and Saint Louis along very busy I-70. Very popular retirement community with excellent medical care so population is growing rapidly leading to a housing shortage, but not as crowded as Saint Louis or Kansas City that are over 2,000,000 population. About 10% black, less than USA average and much less than STL or KC. I nearly grew up in Colubmia but the Navy told my father to get ready to return to active duty to go to Korea when I was age 4 so we had to move. He was working at the Missourian university newspaper. UofM school of Journalism is the oldest and #1 ranked in the USA. Some finance and economics faculty are the most highly published in the world.

Harry Truman State University is in the cold white north near the Iowa Border. A small highly selective public university. Students are good but under stress. Most are pre-med, pre-law, or accounting majors. A rather grim atmosphere. A run down depopulating small town 3 hours north of Columbia far from any big cities. Students go there to work. A medical college is also in town. AT Still U, is the first and original OD program. Quite a lot of education in the small town. Massive agriculture and relatively flat land all around, like Iowa. Otherwise I like it because you can just park your car and walk everywhere in town.

Missouri Science and Technology Institute in Rolla is between Branson and Saint Louis in the Ozark Mountains. 80% male and mostly engineers but the few females were having a fun time out-competing at some of the guys -- 1 blonde girl and 1 Chinese girl were the best looking I saw the whole trip and seemed quite comfortable with their status and probably quite popular. Excellent library in the technical fields, but nothing else. I like the subject matter and the rowdy, pushy atmosphere. Good place to do a triple Phd in my favorite fields of statistics, applied math, and computer science. Plus it is in the Ozarks and 2 hours from Saint Louis or Columbia or Springfield. Ozark mountains have clean water and no large scale agricultural pollution. They need an MBA program for the engineers. They have an online cash-cow unaccredited MBA but that should not be allowed in a taxpayer supported institution.

Central U in Warrensburg is not selective admissions. Rather chaotic non-serious students with lots of negro ball players. But the library is brand new, lavish, with a fair number of good books and journals. They have good math and computer science departments up to the M.S. degree. Very close to Kansas City. Train to KC and Saint Louis. Lots of agriculture.

I also drove thorough Springfield, the 3rd largest city In Missouri. Very nice place to live that is big enough to have everything.

Dead animals, road kill all over the state, especially deer. The wonderful environment is good for plants and animals that grow in abundance. People should eat more of the healthy local foods instead of trucking in junk from California and Mexico.


Student housing in Columbia street view:,+Columbia,+MO&ie=UTF-8

Protection Against Antibiotics in Meat and Vegetables

Every time you swallow antibiotics, you kill beneficial bacteria in your intestines, upsetting the delicate balance of your intestinal terrain. This can lead to a syndrome called “Leaky Gut Syndrome” whereby your intestinal wall is damaged, interfering with how your body absorbs nutrients and filters out waste and toxins.

Leaky Gut Syndrome can lead to a whole host of illnesses.

However, taking the antibiotics your physician prescribes is not the ONLY way you are getting them. Antibiotics may be the mystery ingredient in your Chicken Kiev and a common and typically vastly underappreciated way in which you can be exposed to them..

Most Antibiotics in the US Used for Farm Animals

As much as 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U. S. are fed to chickens, cattle and hogs — not to treat disease but to make them grow faster. This increases profit margins for livestock producers, but it puts YOUR health at risk.

Animals are fed low doses of antibiotics, killing off some of the animals’ bacteria. Meanwhile, the stronger, more resistant bacteria survive, multiply, and pass on their strength and resistance to future generations.

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70 percent of antibiotics used in this country are given to animals for growth promotion and other non-medical uses. This negligent practice is largely responsible for the potent strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria we are seeing today.

According to a 2009 University of Iowa study, 70 percent of hogs and 64 percent of workers in industrial animal confinements tested positive for the antibiotic resistant strain of MRSA. The study pointed out that, once MRSA is introduced, it could spread broadly to other swine and their caretakers, as well as to their families and friends.

Not only are antibiotics embedded in your meats, but they have made their way into your produce as well.

Antibiotics are being transferred, via the manure used as fertilizer, into your corn, lettuce, potatoes, and other crops.

Eating organically may not entirely alleviate this problem, since organic crops, which cannot be fertilized with synthetic fertilizers, are the ones most often fertilized with manure.

As it stands, manure that contains antibiotics is still allowed under the organic label. So it all depends on where the organic farmer gets his manure from. Some organic crop farmers may be getting their manure from organic cattle farms, but there’s no guarantee that’s taking place.

The only way to find out is to ask the farmer first-hand. Taking all of these factors into consideration, is it any wonder that the ratio of good-bacteria-to-bad is upside down in most people in our society?

via Protection Against Antibiotics in Meat and Vegetables.

Worst Storm in 100 Years Seen for Northeast U.S. - Bloomberg

Hurricane Sandy will probably grow into a “Frankenstorm” that may become the worst to hit the U.S. Northeast in 100 years if current forecasts are correct.

Sandy may combine with a second storm coming out of the Midwest to create a system that would rival the New England hurricane of 1938 in intensity,

via Worst Storm in 100 Years Seen for Northeast U.S. - Bloomberg.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Branson Missouri Economy booming

Great Fall Weather. The local economy is booming so much that I want out of here. Too much noise and traffic. Sort of fun though. I am taking advantage of deflation buy buying lots of new clothes to match my improving physique. Branson has many trendy places to shop. The flat slob look is out of style. Now they are wearing tight jeans like cowboys like I have worn since age 6?

I will also drive up to Northern Missouri to buy some deflated real estate. Lots of bargains around Southern Missouri too. But I think I would prefer closer to the large cities and universities. Especially in areas where family farms have been abandoned over the past 100 years there are real estate bargains. Seems the sheeple prefer to herd into the big cities and live on welfare and salaried jobs despite the good exercise and good food produced on the farms. The Amish being an exception -- thriving and growing communities on abandoned family farms. Does it make sense to be contrarian and buy up those deflated discarded assets? Has urbanization overshot its trajectory? Can people survive on junk food from Asia and Mexico instead of fresh eggs, raw milk and vegetables from their back yard?

Jobs data up locally, statewide

The story behind unemployment numbers regularly sparks debate, but the trend in the Tri-Lakes Area appears to signal real growth.

“In general, we’re seeing a lot of new business permits,” said Garrett Anderson, director of economic development for the city of Branson.

He also said construction value has essentially doubled this year, and even considering the February tornado, the numbers are still strong.

Through September, the city has reported $60.7 million in construction value, the highest it’s been since 2008 with three months to go, and up significantly from 2011, when the number was just $26.2 million.

“Construction values are not a total amount of investments in new buildings,” he said, noting that many repairs and improvements aren’t included.

“For example, the Hilton’s construction value will show about $1.5 million, but the total cost of the project is more like $10 million.”

According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, statewide unemployment fell to 6.9 percent in September, the lowest number since December 2008.

The most recent numbers specifically for Taney and Stone counties are not as strong, but they still show improvement over national statistics.

For August, Taney and Stone counties combined had a 7.6 percent unemployment rate, still better than the national average.

And anecdotally, there appears to be plenty of new growth in the area.

Anderson pointed to the current CVS Pharmacy project, the recently opened Macadoodles store and expanding Branson schools.

Also, two new stores, Pier 1 Imports and Ulta Beauty, are currently being built at the Shoppes at Branson Hills.

And in Stone County, Silver Dollar City is set to open a $10 million roller coaster, which is expected to add an additional 25 jobs beyond the expected increase in visitation growth.

Statewide, Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement this week touting Missouri’s job growth.

“With thousands of new jobs across our state, a consistently falling unemployment rate and our record-breaking exports, it’s clear that Missouri’s economy is moving forward,” he said.

He pointed to the jobs report that states 46,000 new Missouri jobs from 2011-2012 were added.

And for the Tri-Lakes Area, it could be getting even better.

“November is our second biggest month,” Anderson said. “Not just because of the veterans, though that plays a big part, but because of the Christmas season starting with shopping and vacations.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apple Mac photo management sucks

iTunes, you suck at photo management. Yup, we said it!iTunes is supposed to be mission control for your iPhone and iPad when they’re connected to your Mac…so how come the only option iTunes offers for downloading your iDevice pics to your Mac is syncing libraries across devices?

via How to Manage Photos Pain Free | Mac|Life.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

sun, rain, health, ecosystems, human habitation south of latitude 37

Water is essential to life. Water lets plants grow and washes the air, cars, streets... Plants pump oxygen into the air. Plants are eaten by cows, deer,... The eastern third of the USA gets lots of rain, especially the Gulf region. Texas and the southeast get lots of rain and sunshine but not too much cold, snow, and ice. Healthy and survivable. Preserve the natural ecosystems. Feast free on nature's bounty: fish, deer, pig, nuts, berries,.. Not expensive processed junk food sold in stores. Can get a healthy suntan while fishing but not when shopping indoors! Live south of the 37th parallel where the sun's rays are not too slanted for the ultraviolet to get through. Smog filters out the best wavelengths of ultraviolet sun rays. Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in D whose deficits are increasingly blamed for cancer heart disease diabetes, multiple sclerosis... African Americans: just 3 percent blacks were found to have the recommended levels of Vitamin D. Sunscreens cut the skin's vitamin D production by 99 percent. There are few sources of vitamin D in our diets. Sunshine causes the production of Vitamin D sulfate in the skin.


Stephanie Seneff on Sulfur

"Heart disease, I think, is a cholesterol deficiency problem, and in particular a cholesterol sulfate deficiency problem..."

via Stephanie Seneff on Sulfur.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SHTF electricity and water failure

I share your concern about solar events knocking out electricity. Droughts, terrorism, war, plagues, snipers, stupidity, ... any number of events can knock out power, water, food, fuel, transportation... The banking system almost melted down in the 2008 crash due to stupidity. Civilization is precarious. If something happens to the infrastructure then people will die of thirst in a few days and starve or freeze to death in a few months.

I am not aware of any backup plan for the financial system, although it has probably been well addressed somewhere in the bureaucracies. Most transactions are electronic. Some people still write checks. A few use cash. Checks are simple and can be moved by pony express or short wave radio. Serious disruption will cause economic collapse and millions of casualties. This can be avoided easily by fixing the banking and monetary system. Accounting is ancient, predating mathematics. Simple bean counting. Schools should be training students in abacus, slide rules, and mechanical calculators for a start. I learned these before I learned electronic computers. Abacus is still popular and helps students learn mathematics.

My popular book on revamping the financial system will have to survey some backup plans and try to indicate what should be done now. We are sitting ducks.


feeling about banks and financial institution computerized record keeping. Suppose we get a shot of sun spot radiation that knocks out electricity and transformers. What then?


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Medicare Advantage: A waste of taxpayer money | MedCity News

Medicare Advantage plans became significantly more costly to the government than traditional Medicare without generating any evidence that of higher quality. Overall, Medicare Advantage plans cost the government about 115 percent of Medicare indemnity rates, with PFFS plans even higher than that.

It’s no wonder Medicare Advantage — and PFFS plans in particular — became popular quickly. Health plans were able to use some of the additional funds to offer low premiums and/or enhance benefits (e.g., providing coverage for hearing aids, gym club memberships), which increased the appeal of the plans to prospective enrollees. Meanwhile, the PFFS plans were very simple to establish and operate. There was no requirement to establish provider networks. Plans could simply “deem” providers as participating and pay Medicare FFS rates. PFFS plans — unlike other Medicare Advantage plans — had no quality reporting requirements and premiums were not subject to approval by Medicare.

via Medicare Advantage: A waste of taxpayer money | MedCity News.

Israel is swamped with singles | Israel | Jewish Journal

Israel is swamped with singles

Growing number of singles is creating anthropological havoc

via Israel is swamped with singles | Israel | Jewish Journal.

‫מרוץ הנשים בהרצליה 2012 Women's Race‬‎ - YouTube

מרוץ הנשים בהרצליה

via ‫מרוץ הנשים בהרצליה 2012 Women's Race‬‎ - YouTube.

שרירן בגילב70+ Senior bodybuilder : Body Building Gym Membership Humana Medicare Advantage

Anybody promoting health products needs to put their "before and after" videos on youtube. I am more impressed with the older competitors. The younger body builders may be taking substances that will kill them before age 65.

I agree -- weightlifting is safer as one gets older -- indoors without running and biking in traffic, chased by dogs, rained on, run over by boats, etc... I learned the hazards of long distance events from experience. I also read many studies supporting the hazards of long distance running, biking, and triathlons (starting with 1981 Durk Pearson Sandie Shaw who rejected exercise). One study this year found heart and vascular injury in all athletes who had run over 50 marathons.
“Tens of thousands of people finish a marathon, but people hear mostly about the one who dies,”
“Our data shows, quite strongly, that marathon running is safe for the vast majority of runners,”
Of 10.9 million runners, 59 had cardiac arrest
Extreme endurance exercises may cause structural changes in the heart: "Physical exercise, though not a drug, possesses many traits of a powerful pharmacologic agent. A routine of daily physical activity can be highly effective for prevention and treatment of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, and obesity. However, as with any pharmacologic agent, a safe upper dose limit potentially exists, beyond which the adverse effects of physical exercise, such as musculoskeletal trauma and cardiovascular stress, may outweigh its benefits," says Dr. James H. O'Keefe of Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, lead author of the study.
Such may support the theory of anti-oxidants. Too much oxygen too long from distance events causes cardiovascular oxidation damage. I will still do an Ironman triathlon if it is nearby and I fell good. I don't need much training -- just do some percent of what I did before. But I am getting more interested in fishing, farming, hunting are also fun, easy and important. By the way, I am trying a triple bag of Lipton black tea for breakfast that feels like 500mg Vitamin C, antioxidants or something. Those triple bags are in smaller boxes boxes labeled "iced tea." I also agree that exercise is not a complete antidote to junk food, although it can burn off excess calories.

I was a power lifter. I have never done any body building or paid any attention to the sport or even looked in the mirror. I agreed with a very smart Japanese girl who in 1980 told me they look like a bunch of freaks, totally unnatural, like on drugs -- she would not take vitamins and criticized me for doing so. But as I get older, body building looks easy and is not time consuming-- easy to work into a busy work schedule. Weightlifting just takes a few hours per week or you will be in a state of overtraining. Usually they exercise only on alternate days to allow recovery. Or do a split or double-split routine working different muscle groups on alternate days and times of the day. That is how I got my max. The main problem for me is to avoid injury because I gain muscle very easily and become too strong resulting in torn collar bone ligaments, etc. Takes decades to recover. Some injuries remain. I will need to work some smaller muscles and different muscles that I did not use much for powerlifting or most other sports. Mainly I want to see better definition now that I have learned that coconut oil, butter, cream, etc. is the way that body builders lose their body fat. Belly fat, especially internal fat is supposedly very unhealthy but that is where mine goes, a "male pattern" fat. Now even Walmart has several magazines on the sport that was unknown until Arnold Schwartzenegger 1970s "pumping iron" movie that I never saw. Arnold Schwartzenegger did a double take on me in 1969 when I first saw him on the Santa Monica Beach. I should have followed him into the movies but I was in the military, studying a lot, and lifting weights at UCLA and San Diego.

There is a lot on the internet under "senior bodybuilder". For this sport video helps as it is visually judged. Some are not in particularly good shape like the 70 year old Jew (who comes is first on google) is not nearly as good as the 74 year old Japanese, and maybe not as good as they 84 year old.

שרירן בגיל

Senior bodybuilder

Worlds Oldest Bodybuilding Competitor Age 82

73 year old body builder mother daughter

Paul Stone 76 year old NATURAL BODYBUILDER


Good move. I have a friend who continues to compete in bodybuilding senior divisions at age 70. He looks great and doesn't appear to have near the injuries and pain that the older long distance runners and triathlon participants have. I have another friend who is sixty( a reformed smoker) who was competing in 100 mile bicycle races and marathons. I urged him to include some weight training. He rebuffed me by stating that if it "wasn't aerobic it wasn't exercise." He recently was placed on strong painkillers for numerous muscle sprains and torn ligaments and can no longer compete. A short variable to high intensity aerobic workout appears to about right for me to supplement my weight training. I have never been a proponent of the eat garbage and run it off school.(e.g. Jim Fix)

Body building is safer than ironman triathlons, less time consuming, and easier for me to get good at. Important to maintain strength as one ages to prevent osteoporosis and keep all body systems active. I still pull ridiculous stunts daily like flinging myself at high speeds across busy streets and walking for hours inches away from drunk tourists whizzing by in cars.

I just called USAA and enrolled in Humana Medicare Advantage because:
1. It is free (beyond the basic Medicare fee) so I don't have to have to worry about monthly billing paperwork
2. It includes a free drug plan to maintain membership in part D drugs.
2. It includes a gym membership walking distance from home
3. Doctor and Clinic within walking distance from home
4. The only hospital it Branson takes Humana
5. The big hospital in Springfield takes Humana
6. I won't go to a doctor until 2014, hopefully, or much longer.

7. I also got VA which is good, especially for drugs, as a fall-back.

Medigap is better if I somebody needs doctors or drugs. I am just gambling that I won't need them. I am healthy right now and want to use the gym membership to get healthier safely. I will probably drop idea for ironman triathlon to reduce damage from excess training but may try to run it without training if I feel up to it. Use training time for much needed work.

For those who need medigap, Mutual of Omaha sounds like a great plan with the lowest price.

I get 2 months November December 2012 to check out Humana carefully. If I don't like it I probably can switch for 2012. Anthem website is a mess -- I have been with them 22 years or longer, so goodbye to them. Businesses must have a good website.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

mighty USA dollar. gambling odds

The first attached graph shows that the mighty USA dollar is not losing value -- the dollar is about where it was before the 1990s Bill Clinton Boom and the George Bush Bust. Obama has stabilized the dollar value. Romney would probably be able to set off another dollar boom to benefit the rich who hold much of their wealth in USA denominated assets. Watch the polls and get ready to invest in the USA and

The second attached graph shows that the mighty USA dollar has been gaining against the Japanese yen as that aging and indebted economy sinks back into nuclearized oblivion.

The third attached graph shows that the mighty USA dollar has been gaining against the China currency since 1994. China is facing a political transition that may prove catastrophic. China has long term demographic challenges as bad as Japan: aging, shrinking, and too few females (polyandry?). The sex ratio (the number of males for each female in a population) at birth was 118% in 2010 in China. In most western countries the sex ratio at birth is around 105 boys to 100 girls.

The fourth attached graph shows that investment money still flows into the USA except when crisis such as in Europe causes some outflow to cover debt payments, payrolls, food, and other bills.

The fifth attached graph shows that foreigners are still buying USA assets such as houses where the rich Chinese are fleeing to safety in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and other expensive cities.

There is no evidence that lay persons can forecast exchange rates. Professionals are not very good either, about 51/49 odds. Some gamblers get lucky and rich so they get to pontificate the rest of their lives on how smart they were although it was pure luck. Many of the rich are getting richer by buying brokerage firms to sell to arrogant, greedy, and over self confident traders. Like in the 49r gold boom, those who got rich were the merchants selling Levis and other supplies to the miners. Nowadays the merchants are the Chicago Board of Options, the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and a host of computer online vendors such as Microsoft, Apple, Oracle,.... I have seen decades of farmers selling the family farm to speculate in commodities, barbers speculating in stocks,... It is hard to be a farmer, engineer, or other professional. But the odds are much better for hard work than gambling-trading. Most trader-gamblers lose money while most brokers and engineers live comfortably and a few get rich such as in Silicon Valley, New York, Chicago... Lay person would be better off gambling in Las Vegas where at least they get free alcohol and plush surroundings. The odds of winning are better and the costs of entry are lower.


Nevertheless the dollar continues to lose value as are all fiat currencies despite the low money velocity and deflationary wars. The Fed is buying up to 80% of all treasuries and now $40. billion a month in mortgage backed securities (toxic waste that attracts no buyers) via QE3. At some point the trillions in debt purchased by China, Japan and other will be repatriated into the U.S. as confidence is lost in the ability of the U.S. to make good on debt obligations with a strong dollar . This will result in inflation of everyday items for sale in the U.S. The U.S. can create money to buy bonds and securities but it cannot create foreign currencies to buy up excess dollars.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

UCBerkeley Professor Fraud Fine

Total fines $ 217+25+2.5 million. Sounds like a lot for possibly a minor error in some computer model error. They don't say what it was. Maybe a technicality. A hear a lot of Jews don't like him because he is a Buddhist and his mother was a Protestant missionary and he was so successful. They have been gunning for him a long time. He was the leading proponent of Modern Portfolio Theory and CAPM in the 1970s and made more money than Sharpe who got the Nobel for that work. Very friendly and much smarter than most academics, maybe even Debreu and Smale. Rather eccentric. He left Berkeley in 1983 to work full time. His father, retired from Berkeley in 1983, was from Fresno and a Professor of Shakespeare at Berkeley.


The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Barr Rosenberg, a leading academic and quant fund manager, with fraud. Without admitting or denying guilt, Rosenberg has agreed to a consent decree that requires him to pay a $2.5 million fine and bars him from the securities and investment advisor industries.

The 68-year-old Rosenberg owned 21 percent of AXA Rosenberg (ARG) during what the SEC describes as the relevant time when the alleged fraud was committed. He was also the owner of the Barr Rosenberg Research Center (BRRC).

The agency alleges that in late June 2009 a BRRC employee discovered an error in the code of a complex automated optimization model that caused $217 million in losses in about 600 client portfolios. After the employee discussed his finding with Rosenberg and other employees, the SEC claims Rosenberg directed them to keep quiet about the error and not to inform anyone else about it.

Rosenberg also directed that the error not be corrected at the time. “Before and after the discovery, [the firm’s] clients were expressing dissatisfaction with their portfolio’s underperformance,” the SEC said in its complaint.

As a result of Rosenberg’s directives, the SEC contends that ARG’s global CEO did not learn of the errors as soon as he should have and instead found out about them in November 2009.

It is a hard fall for Rosenberg, a supremely wealthy man and widely respected academic, who pioneered the use of quantitative techniques to implement investment strategies for decades.

Clients reportedly were not informed of the error until 2010. In mid-to-late 2009, ARG's board met to discuss the model and its underperformance.The SEC said Rosenberg failed to disclose the error to the board. When a director inquired about its underperformance, the SEC claims Rosenberg responded that he was "not aware of siginificant" mistakes and added that "if there are any [they] will not be made in the future." ARG's CEO remained in the dark until November 2009 when a BRRC employee felt required to inform him.

inflation vs fixed incomes Re: Fw: currency crash

The economy cannot produce inflation if incomes are fixed. People will not have the money to pay higher prices if their income is fixed. If firms raise prices then firms will lose money on unsold goods. Better for firms to cut prices 2% to where customers can afford the product than to lose 100% of the firm's investment in products that the firm cannot sell because customers don't have the money.

That is what is happening today. People don't have as much money as back in 2007 so prices are deflating downward to where people can afford them. House prices are way down and many other products. It is amazing how cheap houses are these days. The only inflation is what government is pumping money into:

1. food stamps and crop support subsidies, so food prices are rising.
2. education, so college tuition is rising
3. medicare, medicaid, so the cost of medical care is rising.
4. oil wars, so the cost of oil is rising
5. war on drugs, so drug costs are rising
.... and so on.

If the government would quit borrowing and pumping money into some sectors of the economy then the overall rate of deflation would be more severe. The rich may be paying more for Bentleys, NYC houses, diamonds, fancy watches, vacations, etc. But these products are not what is measured by the inflation indexes. And who cares? Even poor Americans are over-fed, over-housed, and over-entertained. One of these days we may see enough inflation to force some cut-backs for both the rich and poor.

HISTORY MAY NOT REPEAT ITSELF BUT IT RHYMES. The quickest way to bring down a country is not with bombs and guns but by destroying the currency. With over half the nation on fixed incomes and no provision for inflation the destruction of dollar purchasing power would result in "weeping and gnashing of teeth" and maybe "Blood in the Streets."

When you read of the Iranian currency crash, keep this (and other similar historic “false flags”) in mind.

The British Money-Printing Boat

You walk out to pick up your mail one afternoon when you find that someone has stuffed a massive wad of cash into your mailbox.

After carefully ensuring that there isn't an index finger wrapped inside of it, you click your heels and rush off to spend it as quickly as you can. Amazingly, when you tell your friends about it later over the phone, each one of them reveals that they, too, were visited by the money fairy. The next day, there are even more dollars waiting for you next to the electric bill and the Value City mass mailing. Pretty soon you're finding money lying on the sidewalk, caught in bushes and blowing down the street like tumbleweeds. You even see an ad in the newspaper offering to sell you money for the cost of the paper it's printed on.

Congratulations: You are a victim of a plot to destroy America .

What? When Did This Happen?

The first organized American attempt to print money occurred in 1775 at the outset of the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress issued paper money known as Continentals to help fund the war effort. Actually, the Continentals were pretty much identical to modern U.S. currency

Sunday, October 7, 2012

M.D. Body Builder for ASEA redox signaling molecules.

My book on tax and money reform will probably find support in libertarian think tanks. I will approach them first to get feedback. I am delirious with the many ideas that I can put in this book.

I need to do some body building now that I learned the secret of how to reduce body fat: coconut oil, butter, cream, and other saturated fats instead of my carbo-loading marathon running diet. My weight has drifted below 140 and I have not even started my new diet! My injuries may be healed enough to lift weights again without so much pain. I risk osteoporosis from lack of weight bearing exercise. Body building on the beach is safer, easier and funner than ironman triathlons!

I may start a company for selling low sodium ASEA redox signaling molecules, i.e. Missouri spring water. Or maybe a high energy version containing Missouri Moonshine like Dr. Enuf, Coke, Mountain Dew or
Four Loko is a line of alcoholic beverages, originally marketed as energy drinks. The name "Four" is derived from the original energy drink's four main ingredients: alcohol, caffeine, taurine, and guarana.

ASEA hired the doctor below to recommend ASEA. He says in the video that there have been no studies for treating any medical condition. There is no scientific evidence that oral ASEA is absorbed or has any impact on cellular redox processes. I believe ASEA is purified salt water from the Great Salt Lake bottled by Mitt Romney's Mormon buddies in Salt Lake City Utah. Most Americans already get too much salt. The stated ingredients are NaCl and H2O which are dirt cheap. There is no outside laboratory analysis. There are no published scientific studies. The company is all about marketing, not science. One quick look at their web site says it all. And the way they manipulate google, wikipedia, testimonials, videos, doctors, scientists... They are clever marketers from big pharma, big religion and the media.

Redox is short for "Reduction" and "Oxidation" Rust and Fire are examples of redox reactions. These are not what people want going on in their body. Let your own mitochondria figure out when more redox needs to be signaled. ASEA needs to be specific on which molecules their drink contains and what reactions will happen differently. Avoid products that are not clear on what chemicals they contain and what chemical reactions they induce. Drink raw milk, not ASEA.

Redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions include all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation state changed. This can be either a simple redox process, such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide(CO2) or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), or a complex process such as the oxidation of glucose (C6H12O6) in the human body through a series of complex electron transfer processes. Fundamentally, redox reactions are a family of reactions that are concerned with the transfer of electrons between species. The term comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation.[1] It can be explained in simple terms:

  • Oxidation is the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state by a molecule, atom, or ion.

  • Reduction is the gain of electrons or a decrease in oxidation state by a molecule, atom, or ion.

The term "hydrogenation" could be used instead of reduction, since hydrogen is the reducing agent in a large number of reactions, especially in biochemistry.

Oxidation of elemental iron to iron(III) oxide by oxygen (commonly known as rusting). A bonfire. Combustion consists of redox reactions involving free radicals.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

colleges "too big to fail" waste taxpayer money and increase the national debt

This Bloomberg editorial points out a major problem with higher education that I have long noticed. Government is pouring vast amounts of money into colleges without any way to measure if any results are achieved for all that spending. My opinion is to insist on accounting for the results of each dollar spent. But government is probably not smart and honest enough to do the accounting right. So privatize education and let those many institutions compete for students at market prices. I suspect most colleges would have to fold and the economy would benefit as a result -- better allocation of resources and reduce the national debt and taxes.

Taxpayers Lose When Colleges Are Too Big to Fail

Many Americans opposed federal bailouts of financial institutions and large corporations. By promoting a “too big to fail” policy, favored businesses can engage in risky, undesirable behavior, while deriving unfair advantages over competitors, all financed by the taxpayer.

Too-big-to-fail thinking saved huge financial institutions such as Citigroup Inc. (C), American International Group Inc. and Fannie Mae, not to mention an industrial giant, General Motors Co. (GM) Critics argue that market conditions should have led these businesses to fail, sending a powerful lesson to others to act more prudently.

Four-Year Graduation Rates

Although those criticisms are at least somewhat valid, it is surprising that no one has recognized that governments (state as well as federal) have been following a too-big-to-fail policy in higher education for decades. While I can name several large businesses (Enron Corp., Bethlehem Steel Corp., Arthur Andersen LLP, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., TWA Corp., Montgomery Ward, Borders Group Inc., WorldCom Inc.) that have failed over the last decade or so, I cannot think of a single example of a large American university that has failed or closed its doors.

Market forces that frequently topple private-sector companies in acts of what economist Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction” are suppressed in higher education by huge government subsidies.

Government Subsidies

There are two reasons why universities never “fail” in the sense that they cease to operate. First, of course, with governments paying part of the bill, the probability that revenue won’t cover expenses, leading to bankruptcy, is remote. If a school can manage to cover even only, say, 75 percent of its costs through tuition fees and other sources of revenue, it is likely that government will cover the rest -- through operating and federal research grants; indirectly through federal student financial aid, which allows higher tuition fees; or through private donations and investment income enhanced by favorable tax status.

Universities don’t fail for another reason, as well: We don’t meaningfully define “success” or “failure” in higher education. Did Wesleyan University or Trinity College in Connecticut have a good year in 2011? Who knows? Did their students learn more than they did the year before, or develop better critical-thinking skills? Does the “value added” from an expensive education at those private schools exceed that at, say, the state-supported University of Connecticut, which is far less pricey?

It may well be that some schools are “failures” in a meaningful sense -- their seniors know no more than their freshmen; their graduates are underemployed or have low-paying jobs; and they provide less student satisfaction per dollar spent than at comparable institutions -- but we really don’t know that.

Yes, there are some decent performance metrics, and what they show is disconcerting. At schools such as Idaho State University, Chicago State University or the University of Texas at San Antonio, fewer than 10 percent of full-time students graduate in the customary four years. Isn’t that “failure,” even though the schools continue to exist because of government subsidies? At Chicago State, where several newspaper accounts described dubious management practices in recent years, almost half of entering full-time freshmen don’t even make it to their sophomore year.

At the same time, many schools have four-year graduation rates of 80 percent or higher -- iconic names such as Harvard and Stanford, as well as lesser-known colleges such as Centre, Colorado, Kenyon and Whitman.

Measuring Success

Yet these two classes of schools are treated exactly the same by the government with respect to federal student financial assistance. Some educators will point out that the institutions with low four-year graduation rates have a lot of students who are poor and have to work while going to school. But doesn’t this governmental disregard of academic performance in the awarding of financial aid contribute to subpar performance and only widen the inequality gap by increasing the number of college dropouts with low-paying jobs and big college debts.

The accompanying graph shows, at least by the graduation rate metric, the huge variation in success or failure rates across American higher education. Success and failure are relative concepts. Most schools are neither elite, where hardly any students drop out, nor institutions where graduation in a timely manner is a rarity. Yet the overall reality -- only 38 percent of American college students at four-year schools graduate within four years -- is a disappointing statistic, suggesting that many of them spend vast amounts for schooling without achieving the expected result.

Probably the most important bottom line to those who do graduate from colleges is success in obtaining employment. Although actual unemployment is relatively low among college graduates, they are increasingly underemployed, mostly in relatively low-paid jobs requiring little skill, as a survey released in April by the Associated Press found. In its latest issue, Bloomberg Businessweek cites research showing that the portion of college-educated 25- to 29-year-olds with jobs outside the so-called college labor market rose to 31.5 percent in January through May this year, compared with 26.1 percent in 2007.

Is that not failure?

Although the price of college rises rapidly, the gains from this schooling may be falling, meaning the payoff on one’s college “investment” is less than expected. What if kids start saying no to college? Will this ultimately lead to an enrollment decline? Will the too-big-to-fail subsidies of colleges lead to a new phenomenon: too failed to be big?

Taxpayers Lose When Colleges Are Too Big to Fail - Bloomberg

We don’t meaningfully define “success” or “failure” in higher education. Did Wesleyan University or Trinity College in Connecticut have a good year in 2011? Who knows? Did their students learn more than they did the year before, or develop better critical-thinking skills? Does the “value added” from an expensive education at those private schools exceed that at, say, the state-supported University of Connecticut, which is far less pricey?

It may well be that some schools are “failures” in a meaningful sense -- their seniors know no more than their freshmen; their graduates are underemployed or have low-paying jobs; and they provide less student satisfaction per dollar spent than at comparable institutions -- but we really don’t know that.

Yes, there are some decent performance metrics, and what they show is disconcerting.

via Taxpayers Lose When Colleges Are Too Big to Fail - Bloomberg.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rebecca Hiller: Mirage magazine #2 NSFW > photo 76833 > fashion picture

Rebecca Hiller: Mirage magazine #2 NSFW > photo 76833 > fashion picture.

Robert Rubin paid $126 million for causing the Citigroup Catastrophe?

I too have a LaCie hard drive external 500 gigs that backups automatically called "time machine". Unfortunately I need a new plug to stick on the new computer so the cable will plug in! None local so I ordered the plug online and am waiting. Then I will know what I have lost. I had online backups but they are months older. I unplug my backups and keep the device in a filing cabinet. Otherwise the power surge might fry the backup device like it fried my keyboard.

Today I ordered $5 per month 500 gigs online storage from that is big enough to back up both of my computers. It runs in the background, slowly backing up everything. I need about 50GB per computer, much of it music. Surprisingly work such as articles are tiny in today's world compared to music and movies that are huge. Netflix movies burn one third of the internet bandwidth at night prime time.

I think Rubin and those big shots are great talkers but actually do not know enough of the theories and technical facts. I watched Paulson Greenspan Bernanke and others on the congressional investigations of the crash, etc. I believe them when they admit they did not see it coming and then had to do things they were fundamentally opposed to and throw away beliefs they had held to their entire career.

Isn't the fiscal cliff good? If they want to balance the budget they need to raise taxes and cut spending. Keynesian deficit spending must stop at some point or USA becomes Greece. 5 years after the crash should be long enough to reduce the deficit.

Sorry to hear of your computer problems. I can sympathize with your delemna. I too have been through the "crash and tell" experience. Did you lose any files? I have since gone to the purchase of a Norton Ghost backup system. It is a small external box and with six gigs, I can set the program to backup my entire computer files on an automatic routine, and without my worrying about it.. Great device.

Rubin is an enigma. I do believe he is intelligent and a capable source for the Administration, but like us all, we make mistakes in the marketplace, and he is no different. He admits that the debt issue with the government could lead to a financial cliff, which is more the other Treasury secretaries would say. I saw him as MC of a forum on TV and he was very good.

My computer catastrophe is costing me much time and trouble. I had been organizing files and backing up for months when disaster struck before I was completely onto the Apple. I was hoping to get another year before getting a new computer. I do like my new Apple iMac except the wireless keyboard. My fancy white German Mathias keyboard got fried so I moved my old black dell keyboard over to the mac. Unaesthetic.

Bloomberg is hard on Robert Rubin. Is Rubin to blame for the Citigroup Catastrophe? Did Rubin pay himself millions for erecting a house of cards that taxpayers had to bail out? Or is Rubin an innocent scapegoat?

“It was amazing what he did,” says Clinton of Rubin, his then-Treasury Secretary. “He often didn’t say much, and I was stunned when he wanted to speak. He just sat there and in about three minutes summed up the whole thing in a very calm way, and had an incredibly positive impact on the attitude of the Cabinet,"

You have to view people in a fair light,” says Phil Angelides, co-chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, who credits Rubin for much of the Clinton era prosperity. “But on the other side of the ledger are key acts, such as the deregulation of derivatives, or stopping the Commodities Futures Trading Commission from regulating derivatives, that in the end weakened our financial system and exposed us to the risk of financial disaster.”

After he stepped away from Treasury in 1999, Rubin moved to Citigroup, and until 2009 he served as chairman of the executive committee and, briefly, chairman of the board of directors. On his watch, the federal government was forced to inject $45 billion of taxpayer money into the company and guarantee some $300 billion of illiquid assets. Rubin gave up a portion of his contracted compensation--and was still paid around $126 million in cash and stock during a tenure in which his serenity has come to look a lot more like paralysis. “Nobody on this planet represents more vividly the scam of the banking industry,” says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan. “He made $120 million from Citibank, which was technically insolvent. And now we, the taxpayers, are paying for it.”

electronic cashless society Sweden

USA 1900-2000 moved from a mostly rural country to landless peasants herded into cities. Before, family farmers could survive on their own efforts. Now the city denizens need all sorts of government help to survive: checks, big box stores, water, power, police,...

People cannot live without money and telecommunications. My plan combines the two. Simple phones cost a few dollars, texting is pennies. Everybody can afford them. I propose that everybody in the country have one simple phone (and maybe some additional fancy phones.) The basic phone must be used for banking. It is secure and encrypted. User must go to the bank and choose a password on the spot. Cannot leave the bank until they enter the password 4 times into the computer. Everybody using the same phone means lots of training everybody will know how to use it.

The phone can pay all bills. Everybody's account number is their SSN or corporate taxpayer account number. My phone design is not actually a phone it is more like an e-book reader. Big enough screen to do simple functions like paying bills and reading and typing emails. Maybe a little bigger than a blackberry. It does not make calls or play music. Complexification raises the cost. Need one cheap enough for everybody so must keep cost down. If it can do banking it can email and do simple web browsing and emailing. The first kindle could do this too, now the price has deflated down to $69

Most people around here here use plastic cards instead of cash. Many countries are ahead of the USA. Cash is becoming a relic used mostly by drug dealers and tax evaders.

Sweden moving towards cashless economy

Vicar Johan Tyrberg in the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, on Sept 7, 2011, stands next to a credit card machine enabling worshippers to donate money to the church collection without carrying money in their pockets. /

STOCKHOLM - Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661.

Now it's come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore," says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970's pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

"There are towns where it isn't at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash," complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization.

He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.

The decline of cash is noticeable even in houses of worship, like the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, where Vicar Johan Tyrberg recently installed a card reader to make it easier for worshippers to make offerings.

"People came up to me several times and said they didn't have cash but would still like to donate money," Tyrberg says.

Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

Three percent is still too much if you ask Ulvaeus. A cashless society may seem like an odd cause for someone who made a fortune on "Money, Money, Money" and other ABBA hits, but for Ulvaeus it's a matter of security.

After his son was robbed for the third time he started advocating a faster transition to a fully digital economy, if only to make life harder for thieves.

"If there were no cash, what would they do?" says Ulvaeus, 66.

The Swedish Bankers' Association says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.

The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 — the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down.

"Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public," says Par Karlsson, a security expert at the organization.

The prevalence of electronic transactions — and the digital trail they generate — also helps explain why Sweden has less of a problem with graft than countries with a stronger cash culture, such as Italy or Greece, says economics professor Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria.

"If people use more cards, they are less involved in shadow economy activities," says Schneider, an expert on underground economies.

In Italy — where cash has been a common means of avoiding value-added tax and hiding profits from the taxman — Prime Minister Mario Monti in December put forward measures to limit cash transactions to payments under euro1,000 ($1,300), down from euro2,500 before.

The flip side is the risk of cybercrimes. According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention the number of computerized fraud cases, including skimming, surged to nearly 20,000 in 2011 from 3,304 in 2000.

Oscar Swartz, the founder of Sweden's first Internet provider, Banhof, says a digital economy also raises privacy issues because of the electronic trail of transactions. He supports the idea of phasing out cash, but says other anonymous payment methods need to be introduced instead.

"One should be able to send money and donate money to different organizations without being traced every time," he says.

It's no surprise that Sweden and other Nordic countries are at the forefront of this development, given their emphasis on technology and innovation.

For the second year in a row, Sweden ranked first in the Global Information Technology Report released at the World Economic Forum in January. The Economist Intelligence Unit also put Sweden top of its latest digital economy rankings, in 2010. Both rankings measure how far countries have come in integrating information and communication technologies in their economies.

Internet startups in Sweden and elsewhere are now hard at work developing payment and banking services for smartphones.

Swedish company iZettel has developed a device for small traders, similar to Square in the U.S., that plugs into the back of an iPhone to make it work like a credit card terminal. Sweden's biggest banks are expected to launch a joint service later this year that allows customers to transfer money between each other's accounts in real-time with their cell phones.

Most experts don't expect cash to disappear anytime soon, but that its proportion of the economy will continue to decline as such payment options become available. Before retiring as deputy governor of Sweden's central bank, Lars Nyberg said last year that cash will survive "like the crocodile, even though it may be forced to see its habitat gradually cut back."

Andrea Wramfelt, whose bowling alley in the southern city of Landskrona stopped accepting cash in 2010, makes a bolder prediction: She believes coins and notes will cease to exist in Sweden within 20 years.

"Personally I think this is what people should expect in the future," she says.

But there are pockets of resistance. Hanna Celik, whose family owns a newspaper kiosk in a Stockholm shopping mall, says the digital economy is all about banks seeking bigger earnings.

Celik says he gets charged about 5 Swedish kronor ($0.80) for every credit card transaction, and a law passed by the Swedish Parliament prevents him from passing on that charge to consumers.

"That stinks," he says. "For them (the banks), this is a very good way to earn a lot of money, that's what it's all about. They make huge profits."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Porterville Marijuana Forest Bulldozed

There are numerous studies showing brain damage from marijuana such as in the NYT article:
“Adolescent-onset cannabis users showed significant I.Q. declines, and more persistent use was associated with greater declines,”

Dr Amen as posted images of the brains of marijuana smokers online so you can see the damage:

I unfortunately lived several years in Humboldt County famous for marijuana, a culture previously unbeknownst to me. It took a couple of years to figure out why people were acting so goofy. They cannot drive straight. Every stop sign is "shock and awe" Belly button contemplators for which human encounter is also shock and awe. Children often do not make it to adulthood due to accidents, overdoses,... The locals can easily spot the smokers, slurred speech, nonsensical ideas, paranoia, inflated egos, ... Missouri is very liberal on alcohol tobacco coffee chocolate and sugar. It is quite apparent that legal drugs are much safer and less destructive than marijuana.

I do think that hemp should be legalized and heavily promoted. Google "hemp for victory" youtube video. It is mostly not hallucinogenic.
Hemp is one of the faster growing biomasses known,[7] producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year. The world leading producer of hemp is China

Maybe prescription pot should be legal too. Maybe legalize for registered addicts so that they would be prevented from operating dangerous equipment or firearms, as you say. But the general population should not be smoking it or the economy would crash and health care costs would skyrocket. It is not your grandparent's marijuana. Modern pot is much more potent and dangerous. Much of the world outlawed the old pot for good reason. Legalizing new pot would make the economy worse.

I believe drugs are a major factor in the USA economic malaise that began around 1965 and is worse nowadays. IQ test scores have been falling since then. High risk behavior has increased. Medical spending increased. Numerous trends that I have observed first hand. Combined with computer games, cell phones, laptops USA has fried brains and genitalia that cannot think or reproduce requiring imported doctors to treat health problems very expensively. Not a prescription for economic growth.

Many high tech products like this Apple computer I am typing on are made in China and other countries with strict drug laws and more traditional mores. Try making an ipod or iphone in Humboldt county California!

Call me "new" fashioned (?) but as a young man at just 26 years of age, I find it hard to believe that a drug, banned by big oil back in the early 1900s, and reinforced by big alcohol, (approximately 1920s) that in today's society, we still believe that marijuana causes so much of a hassle. Big oil outlawed marijuana because the use of hemp, and most importantly, hemp oil, threatened petroleum. Hemp, even in the use of clothing and paper, for God's sake, is still til this day, outlawed. Remember gentlemen, the first ever engine was diesel, and it ran off of PEANUT OIL. Also, I'm curious why armed guards patrolling these grounds is also such an issue. Wouldn't we rally around and celebrate a (normal) business that allowed its employees to openly carry a firearm on their own premises? (who knows how long this will last with Americas current fear mongering about firearms). We may not agree with the fact that marijuana has lost its former stereotype of the deranged mad man in all the half century old public warnings of dope users, but let's be honest... The typical stoner kid is a nuisance at best, and unlike the commonly acceptable ( as well as refreshing and delicious) alcohol, marijuana is not addictive, nor is it related to any violent crimes. Alcohol causes birth defects, addiction, death, cancer, and so many more social issues than Marijuana, which actually has proven medical benefits. I for one feel that marijuana is simply a "high school" drug. Kids smoke pot to fit in, socialize, and feel rebellious, or... A retirement drug. No longer working? Retired and enjoying life? Fine. Sit on the porch, "people watch" and blaze away. However...

As an adult with a medical condition, or those who work a job just at the minimum wage pay grade... it should be acceptable with recreational use. Who cares? So long as they're not behind the wheel, or operating heavy machinery, who are they truly harming? (sure, spooky cartels and gang members make this sound impossible, but thats because marijuanas currently "illegal" on the federal level) ...I don't care for those who spend hundreds on the latest bong or vaporizer ( a healthier way to smoke, much like hookah, where the herb is heated to a smoke, rather than being burned) and sits around all day taking bong rips while criticizing "the man." However... As a combat veteran of two deployments to a third world country with REAL problems, this all sounds more like a country with bigger problems, focusing on smaller ones to avoid the real hard facts. Again... I digress. I appreciate your time if you've made it this far in my rant, and thank you for participating in yet another freedom both taken for granted and in risk of extinction. Let's enjoy our freedom of speech and abuse while we can, yes?

All the best.


That may not the best example of the extent of the Marijuana cultivation problem in the valley. About two weeks ago the Fresno Bee had a large photograph of 400 acres of MJ growing in the open near Fresno as far as the eye could see. The Fresno County Sheriff stated they were doing the best they could but growers were claiming the MJ was being grown for vending in legal medical MJ dispensaries. Neighbors were afraid and stated that heavily armed guards openly patrolled the acreage and adjacent public roads.
The situation has radically changed from the 1980s when we would have to go to the 6500ft. level in Mendocino County and look for staggered and hidden MJ plants by helicopter.