- Bankers, both commercial and investment: They get bailed out if things go south.
- Insurance Companies: As long as they get their premiums, particularly medical, it matters not how they screw patients and docs alike.
- Hospital execs: Using grossly overpriced and inefficient software to run their hospitals, it’s ok as long as expenses are passed on to patients.
- Religious leaders: Paradise awaits but never arrives.
- Defense contractors: Dealing in death while keeping hands clean.
- Economists: The dismal science that’s not a science. 50/50 chance of being right.
- Judges: Forever separate from the cases they decide on.
- Government Bureaucrats: Hidden in the endless realm of governmental complexification, bad policy goes unpunished unless it’s so bad, somebody has to take the hit.
- Politicians, including presidents: Remain forever separate from catastrophic economic and foreign policy initiatives as long as they get reelected. Nam, Iraq Libya and Afghanistan
- The MIC/Military Industrial Complex: They own the politicians so endless war makes lots of money while people and countries die. Nam, Iraq Libya and Afghanistan ...
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
The kleroterion was a stone thing that you stuck names in. Then you ran come colored balls through a tube, and the row/column the white ball landed on would be the ‘winners’. Animation via TedEd
Back in 2015, BRT posted a piece titled Sortition = Equality by Lot, whereby citizens of ancient Athens were randomly selected by lot to run the government for X amount of time, the only true way democracy can actually happen as the notion of "electing" specific individuals goes away, thus eliminating the creation of a defacto ruling oligarchy, a situation that has plagued the US for over 200 years.
Sortition, election by lot, a method of choosing public officials in some ancient Greek city-states. It was used especially in the Athenian democracy, from which most information about the practice is derived. With few exceptions, all magistrates were chosen by lot, beginning with the archons in 487–486 bc; likewise the Boule (council) of 500 and the juries of the law courts were chosen by lot. The practice of sortition obviated electoral races and provided for the regular turnover of officeholders. The operations of government were thus not in the hands of experts, but, through the system of sortition, the Athenian democracy provided at least some practical political education for its citizens.
Seems more people are starting to ask why sortition cannot be the law of the land in the US given just how corrupt, expensive and inept our government has come to be.
The Greeks called this system of random access democracy sortition. Think for a moment how sortition would look in the modern world. It would basically look like jury duty. You’d go to vote and instead of selecting the local lord or drug lord, you’d put your own name in, if you wanted. There’d be no campaigning, no advertising, just go home and watch the lottery results. Then you’d end up with a Parliament that literally represented the people.
You’d immediately get 50% women’s representation, no quotas required. You’d immediately get far more poor and middle-class people represented, and much fewer millionaires. You’d immediately get more minorities represented (still within the racist ways we define citizenship).
Sortition actually leads to a far more representative democracy than Representative Democracy. And representation matters. What we have now is a bunch of rich people maybe deciding to do something for the masses, whose lives they really cannot understand and who aren’t even in the room. Under sortition the poor, etc would simply be in the room, able to speak for themselves.
Sounds like a plan to me.
Monday, December 28, 2020
All things, especially living ones, are marinating in the river of time. We see and understand that our bodies will wear out and we will die. At least that’s how it looks through the lens of Western science, where all things come to an end, winding down in a final surrender to entropy. But there’s another perspective, surprisingly in harmony with science, that helps us revisit that huge and ancient terror—fear of time itself—in a new and perhaps even reassuring way. And that is the perspective offered by Buddhism.
For Buddhists, the “center cannot hold,” as the poet W.B. Yeats pointed out, because it doesn’t exist as something rigidly separate from everything else. Nothing is permanent and unchanging, ourselves included. Attempting to cling to a solid, immutable core of a self is a fool’s errand because time not only creates anarchy, it provides the unavoidable matrix within which everything—animate and inanimate, sentient and insensate—ebbs and flows.
As Buddhists see it, all organisms are necessarily, unavoidably—even marvelously and gloriously—impermanent. In Sanskrit, the word for impermanence is anitya. To understand anitya is to achieve something remarkable: opening a door onto the accord between modern western science and ancient eastern wisdom.
The Tao rules. :)
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Friday, December 25, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Well, we all know that Biden won but we also know chaos incarnate in the guise of The Donald reigns supreme until January 20 whereupon the worst president in history finally goes, either voluntarily or not depending on how deep Trump's insanity happens to be at that point in time.
For starters ...
Trump’s final weeks in office are creating chaos for Congress, which will return next week for a possible government shutdown as it holds an unusual holiday session to vote to override the president’s veto of an annual defense bill.
Trump’s surprise opposition to a COVID-19 relief and omnibus spending package means the government could shut down on Tuesday, days before runoff elections in Georgia that will determine the Senate majority.
It gets better.
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), referring to House Republicans, said on a Wednesday conference call that he felt “Trump threw us under the bus” given he was absent from negotiations only to undercut the relief bill after it had passed.
Trump abruptly upending the relief deal is just his latest break with Republicans in Congress.
The president on Wednesday followed through on his threat to veto the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after complaining it did not repeal an unrelated policy that offers protections for social media companies. Both chambers of Congress passed the bill with enough votes to override a veto.
Trump also made waves on Tuesday and Wednesday by announcing two batches of pardons for controversial allies, including Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Charles Kushner and former Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). Collins and Hunter were two of Trump's earliest supporters in Congress, and both pleaded guilty to various corruption charges.
“This is rotten to the core,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), one of the more outspoken Trump critics in the Senate GOP conference, said in response to the pardons of Manafort and Stone.
Endgame. The repugs let this crap happen. Over a hundred supported sedition regarding Trump's attempt to overturn the election and yet they still remain in office because the dems are gutless while the country remains at sea with an inept and corrupt governing body that no longer knows how to govern. BRT has talked about this travesty for YEARS and now this inability to do anything of consequence to save American democracy has arrived. Will our country survive?
"No one knows, do one?" - Fats Waller.