Friday, April 27, 2012
Keeping Mount Everest -- (dinosaur ending size asteroid) away from Earth:
Nuclear powered rocket engines – when we get around to developing them – are envisioned super heating indigenous gases (e.g., Martian atmosphere) to create thrust. Such an engine attached to an asteroid could conceivably be capable of vaporizing some of the rock to create thrust. Then it's just a matter of attaching a guidance system and to vector the thrust. Problem solved.
We could have been working on nuclear powered rocket engines for the past 25 years while we've been wasting $1 billion a shot on our ancient technology space shuttle -- or on the $100 billion space station which as far as I can see only researches how much time astronauts can stay together without getting into fights.
I was ready to get all over New York cops for making 6X as many stop-and-frisks after crime went down (something like) 4X = 24X as many stop-and-frisks per reported crime.
Then I read this New York Magazine article about how today's beleaguered New York cops are in turn harassed by their own administration -- the kind of pressure to produce results that might be expected by high police administrators transmitted all the way down to the guy on the beat. "I love being a cop; I just hate being a New York cop" is a typical quote. *
Then I had my epiphany. Every American is in exactly the same pickle versus every bureaucracy – they never find the ability to resist anything from above.
When you are in Europe do you miss the TSA? Are you really afraid? Terrorists will only hit somewhere else. And we kill more people by making them drive.
In Chicago, the mayor, former (Democratic) presidential chief of staff, is instituting a 7 1/2 hour school day! The kids will go crazy – they will never see the sunlight. In Los Angeles both city and school police arrested 49,000 children over five years – for being late for school – technically for violating school hours curfew. $500 level fines, parents spend the day in court, handcuffed, first and taken away (not sure what portion the latter).
At the bottom of all this I see the deunionization of America – meaning the complete disappearance of any middle class footprint. Nobody has any sense of the average guy having any pull – nor any embarrassment about pushing him around anymore. In unconscious emotional terms we have been transformed into what bad cops used think of minorities. A big economic thing – translates into an invisible emotional thing – translates into a big political thing.
Not that we ever had unions here – not like they do in Europe. In Europe they set minimum wages by both inflation and average income gains. New York city cops and firefighters did not have a raise in real terms from 1974 until recently even while average income climbed two-thirds. Their so-called union didn't even know.
The craziest example of "taking anything” might be right back in my old Bronx neighborhood. As crime mushroomed we built a brand new courthouse in the 70s to house the overflow – taking the family court, misdemeanor trials and hearings. The old courthouse that no one can tear down (we'll get to that) handled felony trials and civil cases.
Crime got cut by multiples and Mad King Bloomberg decided it was a good time to build a $500 million courthouse right next to the two old ones. ??? Nobody raised a peep.
My answer for everything from cops treating neighborhoods like sentenced prison populations to mad mayors is of course my same old, same old answer for every problem – from gangs (the Crips and the Bloods could not whip a decent paying Ronald McDonald, $15/hr minimum wage would add all of 3 1/2% direct inflation*) to nonfunctioning ghetto schools (the author of “Cracks in the Pavement” who spent nine years on the ground in five New York and Los Angeles poor neighborhoods says the schools there do not work only because the students expect nothing good waiting for them in the labor market so why try hard*) – sector wide labor agreements.
Will someone out there, somewhere in the progressive economic community please say the words "sector wide labor agreements" out loud?
* [added late; more of the same] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/nyregion/undercover-officers-under-strain-with-no-clear-way-off-the-beat.html?_r=1&hp&pagewanted=all
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
A -- super -- significant psychological (human social instinct) insight -- with which to get progressives on board for sector wide labor agreements?
Everyone else knows it is hard to get the most progressive economists, politicians (are there any?) and journalists to push for anything practical (e.g., sector wide labor agreements) for common folks whom they supposedly just don't identify enough with.
I personally am always asserting that elitists cannot push anything practical because males cannot conceive of affecting opinion even one layer beyond whatever they -- instinctively -- see as their "hunting pack" (fellows in the same profession). Blocked from within from trying to spread an idea any farther.
Put the two together.
Obama is useless -- wont push obvious good paths with the public -- because he mechanically sees his fellow elitists as his hunting pack and is emotionally blocked from trying to directly present any good path on its merits alone beyond the elitist "pack." If the same big brain Obama was "one of the boys" -- lately a cab driver?-- he would feel perfectly free emotionally to wage the kind of politics we all feel he should -- specifically and mechanically because the average person would then seem part of his male "hunting pack" -- not just from some sort of general empathy everybody thinks.
That presents a much more mechanical explanation which I think I can work something out of -- to finally, at last get elitist "hunting pack animals" :-) to finally consider sector wide labor agreements on merits alone.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
MY FOLLOW UP COMMENT ON ANGRY BEAR TODAY:
It all -- from the TSA to low wages to every other crazy thing done to Americans while they never fight back (when you are in a European airport do you really wish they had the kind of rope your genital security they have here?) -- boils down to our post-apocalyptic American labor market -- as in total deunionization. Organized labor is what (should be) watching the store in Washington, our state capitols and city councils -- because we are too busy living our own lives.
There is -- theoretically -- a perfect answer (here we go again; you know what's coming): LEGALLY MANDATED, SECTOR WIDE LABOR AGREEMENTS -- which wherever they are instituted for over half a century and around the world (first, second and third) seem to perfectly balance power between ownership and labor -- and -- supply the average person with all the political muscle (read finance) they need to go along with their overwhelming majority votes.
Yet you will never never never get any human male progressive economist between the ponds to say the words "sector wide agreements" out loud.
I have a social instinct theory to explain that. The (pea sized) human male midbrain (social brain) is so heavily slaved to cooperate with its immediate hunting pack members that any new idea that has to spread even one layer beyond the pack to be effective is instantly discarded -- with no consideration of its merits. The human male very instinctively (and unconsciously) thinks in terms of individually spreading any new idea to a pack of 300 million (in America's case) – recognizes that to be physically impossible – and instantly guillotines the new idea. It's all down to heavy heavy stupid social instinct.
Human females on the other hand – instinctively individual gatherers (nuts and berries) – are able to think for themselves. Is not that they are receptive or more easily intimidated that they consider any new idea on its actual merits – it is that they do not have a heavy heavy stupid social instinct instantly freezing their (giant) forebrains.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
There seems no doubt a roll on the ground fight occurred between Zimmerman and Martin. A larger, older man with a gun does not get threatened enough by skinny kid to throw the first punch (unless he's a biker bar bouncer) -- an underweight kid easily gets threatened enough by an encroaching adult. A 17 year old boy can put up a "shark feeding frenzy" of a fight -- it's just hormones. Once you accept the boy likely hit first you are forced to take the word of only person who survived the fight: slam dunk -- not guilty.
If he gets a fair trial.
PS. I'm the one trying to spread the (eighth-grade math) word that if New York police upped frisking 6X after crime went down 4X, then, New York police are now frisking 24X as much per reported crime: slam dunk -- unconstitutional.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Is there one Jew anywhere who feels -- both -- terrible about West Bank Palestinians being made destitute, being ejected from their generational homes and lands -- and -- that God commands it? One? Anywhere?
"God said to Abraham "kill me a son"
Abe said to God "you must be putting me on"
(B. Dylan, "Highway 61")