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The Expansionist
Monday, July 24, 2017
 
Learning from the Riots
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Riots that erupted in the center of my (present) city, Newark, New Jersey, and there are various commemorations and evaluations going on in this city about that time. A friend of mine, Joe from Belleville, a suburb on the northern border of Newark, sent me link to one of the stories he has seen about this reconsideration of The Riots. I sent him this reply.
I have little interest in the Newark Riots or Uprising or Revolution, or whatever people want to call that crisis. I was living in Manhattan at the time. Channel 13 [WNET, a Newark station stolen by New Yorkers] has talked about the riots in Detroit as the most important event in that summer's tumult. You have to remember that in 1967, there was still a lot of influence by a COMMUNIST Fifth Column on U.S. domestic political events. The Cold War was very much in play; indeed, we were in the midst of a hot war, in Vietnam.
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NEVER did blacks assume responsibility for the mess they made of their lives — not in 1967, not now. it was much easier to blame whitey, even tho the bulk of problems in black neighborhoods had nothing to do with white people, who were NOT THERE. Blacks STILL do not accept responsibility for the mess they have made of their lives and neighborhoods. White people provide free schools, free books, snd free in-class supplies, but black pupils (not "students") do not USE the resources GIVEN to them to allow them to make something of their lives. To this day, an appalling proportion of urban blacks drop out, tune out, hook THEMSELVES on dangerous, life-ravaging drugs, and otherwise do everyhing in their power to make a mess of their lives and the lives of the children they should never have had unless and until they were willing to provide WELL for them, financially, intellectually, and morally.
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Blacks have been PERMITTED to destroy the bulk of the great cities of the United States. If outside invaders had done to Detroit and Newark what Southern blacks have done, we'd have called out the military and EXTERMINATED the invaders. But white Americans were not allowed even to THINK of regarding blacks as enemies to be exterminated, or even arrested and compelled to change, as in "boot-camp" programs to retrain their brain and establish new habits.
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Liberals were told that they must not judge, must not hold blacks (and Latinos, and other poor people) responsible for their own bad choices. How contemptibly paternalistic: blacks are not to be held responsible for their own behavior! Why not? Why are whites not given a pass for their personal failures, but blacks must be?
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Conservatives did not identify with the humanity of their impoverished and screwed-up fellow-citizens, to help them reshape their present and future, but just turned away (tho I would not say "turned their back on" them, because that could be suicidal).
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Here, as in so many matters, nobody did the right thing. Everybody acted stupidly; nobody acted intelligently; and nothing has changed drastically for the better. Oh, there has been incremental improvement over the DECADES, but only incremental — and sometimes reversible. All these "protests" over this and that of late, all these demonstrations about one abuse or another, end up setting us BACK, not moving us forward.
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It is very difficult, for intelligent people, to see how STUPID everything is. It seems that no one ANALYZES what the problems are and solutions might be. As a Nation, we are pretty good at complaining, but not at all good at sustaining interest in social problems, nor in coming up with ideas to address the problems. There are private organizations, foundations, and civic-action initiatives that do wonderful work, but their scale and impact are trivial. You have presumably seen those values.com PSA's ("Public Service Announcements") about this and that, which continue the work of similar PSA's by "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" (the Mormons). Governmental policy just about everywhere in this country is, alas, appallingly inappropriate, irrelevant, ineffective, or counterproductive.

Friday, July 21, 2017
 
Spelling Reform Eased by Computers
I have been an adamant advocate of spelling reform for English since at latest 1972. In that year, I issued the first version of my own system, "Fanetik". I submitted it to the newsletter of Mensa, the high-IQ society, of which I was then a member, and the editor, in Britain, was inclined to publish a presentation on it in the Society's international newsletter. BUT he wanted me to start with Traditional Orthography (T.O.) / Traditional Spelling (T.S.), and introduce the principles bit-by-bit. I found that a preposterously artificial and unworkable way to deal with the matter, so demurred.
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Instead, once the Internet became a major means for disseminating ideas, I created, in 1998, a website in which I spelled-out the principles, with sample texts. Over the course of the intervening years, I developed variants of Fanetik for different applications, for instance, guidance for children and foreigners as to how English should be pronounced in extended texts ("Augmented Fanetik" or, with accents, "Augméntad Fanétik"); in pronunciation keys, as in dictionaries, with accents for syllabic stress and dots to show where syllables separate ("Fanetik for Pronunciation Keys"); and, most recently, "Streamlined Fanetik", or "Compressed Fanetik", which drops unnecessary letters in adjoining vowels. I have not yet put up on the Fanetik website a comprehensive presentation on that FINAL version of this System.
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All these versions are just variations on a basic theme: that there should be a SINGLE way to spell every sound in English; that every vowel should be complete within its syllable (that is, before the next consonant) and not depend upon an extension into another (apparent) syllable (e.g., kleerstaure", not "clerestory", which many readers of English will see as a four-syllable term, kler.és.ta.rèe), (Actually, there is some "give" in Fanetik to distinguish between many homonyms; and there is one vowel-consonant sound combination, now spelled five ways — ER (most commonly), OR, IR, UR, and AR in T.O. — that Fanetik permits to be spelled three ways, ER (most commonly), UR, and, in a relative few words, AR (e.g., "dounward"). But in general, Fanetik employs ER for that sound, unless there be good reason to wander from it, as to distinguish between homophones.)
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Except as regards spelling, English is the simplest major natural language on Earth. It has no difficult sounds, like the French-U and German-Ü (U-umlaut), which I have seen described as being made with the lips rounded as tho to say "ooh" but then the sound long-E being pronounced) or the clicks of languages like Xhosa). The sound system of English is extremely simple. The spelling, however, is insanely complicated.
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Everyone raised in an English-speaking country is acutely aware of the most preposterous spellings, such as OUGH in "though", "through", "enough", "cough", "hiccough", and "thought", which are pronounced, respectively, as "tho", "tthru", "eenuf", "kauf", "hikup", and "tthaut"; and "freight" vs. "sleight": fraet, sliet. We also know about ridiculous numbers of silent letters: (gnat, wrap, fraught, benign, and knight, which are pronounced naat, raap, fraut, beenien, and niet). Children trying to learn how to read that MESS spend YEARS trying to make sense from this NONSENSE. Some kids never do adjust to such absurdity, but remain functionally illiterate. They are right in not accepting madness. They are the smart ones, not the idiots. The fault is NOT in them, but in the insanity they are required to try to memorize.
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The costs to functionally-illiterate people and to society are high. Horrendous (industrial) accidents, that cause multiple deaths, can occur when people cannot make sense out of printed warnings. But there is no public pressure to ABOLISH current insane spellings and replace that chaos with systematic good sense. In fact, there are some demented people in the educational Establishment who DEFEND traditional spelling. Why is that?
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The Computer Age has given us the first realistic opportunity to replace, wholesale, the madness of traditional orthography, but there are people still lost in the past who do not understand that computers make it possible for us easily to FINALLY end the madness.
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There is a man in India, Madukar N. Gogate, who used to be a wholehearted spelling reformer. Realize that India is now the 2d most populous English-speaking country on Earth — well, that is, if you accept absurd Indian mispronunciations as "English". There are some 75 million speakers of Indian "English", many more than the 66 million people in the United Kingdom who speak a form of English that we in the GREATEST English-speaking nation, the United States, would accept as "English", even tho many British speakers are barely intelligible to us. Alas, Mr. Gogate (is that pronounced as it looks, góe.gàet?) has in the past year or so surrendered to a feeling of helplessness. I replied today to an email from him that effectively gave up on English spelling reform. This is his text.
School children in UK US are bewildered to see illogical English spellings. We in India are not much bothered. English is our second language. We have mother-tongues, mother-scripts to guide. Example> Butter is illogically spelled. Its pronunciation and meaning can be seen in Hindi script. Watch it while reciting spelling Butter 10 times. Brain gets trained ! Of course use words in sentences etc to master them. English spellings problematic but grammar is easier. Nonliving things too have grammatical gender in Hindi. So adjectives, verbs vary accordingly. No such complication in English. I thought of reformed spellings, but now consider them unpractical [s/b "impractical", but he is not a native speaker of English, so we can cut him some slack.] (though good in principle). Huge investment made by many countries (training courses, books, encyclopedias etc[.]). By process of history, English is a World link for higher knowledge and business. Do not disturb it.
I immediately sent him this response.
I COULD NOT DISAGREE MORE. "Butter", in English conventions, is a PERFECT spelling. I don't know why you would see problems with that spelling.
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As for the vast investment the traditional English-speaking world has made in traditional spelling, you do not appreciate that the great preponderance of materials we see today are CREATED TODAY, NOW, every day. Wikipedia has replaced printed encyclopedias for most people who have Internet access, and Wikipedia can be revised every single day, and indeed several times a day. So bringing everything that people ACTUALLY deal with into alignment with a proper, rational spelling SYSTEM would be relatively EASY, and QUICK, given the ability of computer programmers to replace texts automatically. They would simply create two sets of spelled vocabulary and issue the command to go systematically thru traditionally spelled text and replace every single word with the rationally spelled version.
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So we could start with "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" and in less than a second — or tenth of a second — it could be changed to "Tha kwik broun foks jumps oever tha laeze daug." A personal computer of the kind in BILLIONS of households could convert book-length texts (say, 75,000 words for a novel, and 200,000 words for a major work of serious nonfiction) in a very short time, perhaps as little as 6 minutes. An online supercomputer could probably respell 200,000 words in SECONDS.
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All we need to do is agree on HOW to respell things, and computer programs could do ALL the respelling we need in a TRICE.
We really do not need to surrender to madness. The spelling of English CAN be changed, all around the world, in a matter of weeks. Let's do it, and save generations of children the pains of trying to master illogical and mutually contradictory spellings.

Thursday, July 06, 2017
 
Ending the North Korean Threat
The United States must not tolerate the insanity of a tiny country 5,626 miles from the most populous state of the Union, California, being ALLOWED to threaten to kill MILLIONS of Americans. This is truly an existential crisis. That is, the very EXISTENCE of millions of Americans, and even, thus, the continuation of our civilization if we cannot and will not defend ourselves, depends on how we respond to this appalling and unprecedented threat. If the United States will not protect California, the Union will disappear, because it will cease to have any value to anyone anywhere in the (present) Nation.
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The United States today is controlled by pussies, but even housecats have more courage than our current leadership. I have two beautiful cats. They would never consent to be cowed into yielding their home to outsiders. But the current leadership — Republican, Democratic, and nonpartisan advisors on foreign policy — is uniformly cowardly. They are united, as far as we can tell, in the belief that only diplomacy, thru Communist China, can save us from nuclear attack. Bull.
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There ARE options other than living into the indefinite future with the threat of a theremonuclear attack. We do NOT have to live like that. Even if North Korea should have one or a few intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of delivering a hydrogen-bomb warhead — and that is dubious — the U.S. has some 1,800(!) such missiles. Why on Earth would we permit tiny, insignificant North Korea to threaten us?
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The United States MUST tell the PEOPLE of North Korea that we will have no choice but to kill them by the million, possibly to the extinction of the entire population of North Korea, unless they rise up in revolution to remove the current regime and replace it with a government that threatens no one. The U.S. must urge the people of North Korea to save themselves from being vaporized or, worse, killed by agonizing days or weeks of radiation sickness, in which they must watch their children die in agony, by overthrowing the current regime.
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Nor can we even consider the effects upon South Korea or Japan of such a thermonuclear attack upon North Korea. Frankly, if the choice is for South Koreans and/or Japanese to die or Americans to die, I have absolutely no hesitation in choosing to have South Koreans and/or Japanese die RATHER than Americans. That is not a quandary for me.
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Mutual Assured Destruction ("MAD") works as restraint only if both parties to a potential conflict are sane. We have no such assurance in the case of the present North Korean regime, which has been ruled by one family of lunatics for decades. So we have no reason to believe that MAD will restrain the present North Korean regime. We have no idea if Kim Jong-Un is even remotely sane, or if he is off-the-wall nuts. He has murdered his own relatives, so why would we think he'd be any gentler with us?
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Let us be plain here. I do not consent to have ANYONE in the United States murdered by a nuclear attack from North Korea, much less a MILLION Americans or MANY MILLIONS of Americans. That is not even remotely acceptable to me. If to prevent a nuclear attack by North Korea, we have to KILL EVERY SINGLE NORTH KOREAN, all 25 million and more of them, that is a price we MUST be willing to pay. And we must TELL the people of North Korea that we WILL kill ALL of them, if need be, to protect ourselves. Their lives mean NOTHING to us. OUR lives mean EVERYTHING to us.
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Forget about nudges from Communist China. Communist China is not our FRIEND! It has NEVER been our friend and WILL never be our friend. We need to work for the overthrow of that government too. Unless Communist China tells North Korea, both publicly and privately, that it will militarily INVADE North Korea to oust the present government, and starts massing millions of troops at the border, no one should believe that Communist China is hostile to North Korea's behavior.
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Where, after all, has North Korea gotten the MONEY for its missile and nuclear-weapons programs, if not from Communist China? No one else does business-as-usual with the North Korean regime.
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Where has North Korea gotten the TECHNOLOGY for its highly advanced weapons and missile programs? Are we to believe that a country of 25 million has within its own territory and population the brilliance to do all this without outside help? I don't believe that. Do you?
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North Korea is now, and has long been, at the edge of mass starvation. At times, it has gone over that edge, and mass starvation has occurred. How does a starving society spend billions on nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile technology? And why don't the media even ask?
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No sane person in the leadership of the United States could for an INSTANT consent to give a nothing little country like North Korea the power to control the greatest country in the history of the world. NO. We must crush North Korea like a bug. If that means we must rain a hundred thermonuclear-tipped ballistic missiles on every part of North Korea, then that is what we must do. Maybe a thermonuclear attack upon the research facilities and test facilities of the North Korean military would suffice. But I'd rather be safe than sorry. The stakes are too high to permit ANY weapons facility to remain after a U.S. attack. Destroy them all. If need be, KILL THEM ALL. We didn't start this, but we sure as hell can end it

Thursday, June 22, 2017
 
Russia, Shmusha
I have been waiting for weeks and weeks to hear if Russian "meddling" or "interference" in the U.S. election of 2016, or, as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC keeps saying, hyperbolically, "attack" on our election, actually occurred, or is all speculation. We now (June 21, 2017) know that U.S. intelligence agencies believe, after extensive investigation, that NOT ONE VOTE was altered. Not one. So much for an "attack" upon our election.
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Plainly, election-vote information should NOT be on the Internet. Not everything needs to be, or should be, on the Internet. If this information is NOT on the Internet, it CANNOT BE HACKED from afar.
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Why is that not obvious to everyone? The solution for concerns about the security of voter records is to KEEP IT OFF THE INTERNET!
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Moreover, as you should know if you vote, you do NOT log on to a website to vote at a polling precinct. Rather, you show up and SIGN A PRINTED (looseleaf) BOOK before you are allowed to vote — PRINTED pages, on paper, not electronic records in possibly-fictitious cyberspace. So why are so many people yelling about 'dangers to our democracy'?
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In like fashion, if we are concerned about the security of our electric utilities and other things, just TAKE THEM THE F* OFF THE INTERNET, you morons! There are, obviously, perfectly simple ways to segregate different kinds of information and operations into different electronic boxes. We can have electric-utility customer information in one box, accessible from the Internet so you can check your account and pay your bill, that is entirely separate from control operations of the various power plants and distribution systems for electric service, of those same utilities. They do NOT all have to be on the Internet. Some operations can be entirely "off the grid", electronically speaking, or on an "INTRAnet", not the InTERnet. Why is anyone so stupid as to put everything on an Internet that can be hacked from THOUSANDS of miles away?

Thursday, April 20, 2017
 
Making Lite of Drugs
Today is "420 Day", a celebration of marijuana by antisocial morons. Such celebrations should be punished with extreme severity. Some 50,000 Americans DIE from drugs each year, yet media entertainers and newscasters are constantly making jokes about drugs, as tho absolutely no harm has ever resulted from drug use, and marijuana is, if anything, GOOD for people, even if it is indisputably a "gateway drug" that leads people to think that all drugs are at worst harmless and at best actually beneficial.
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An antidrug Public Service Announcement being broadcast now shows a teenage girl saying "Prescription drugs aren't as bad as street drugs, right?" Altho the scene is scripted, the question is indeed the kind of thing that scores of millions of Americans are now asking, or believing without saying aloud. Enormous confusion has resulted from the mixed messages that society is constantly sending out, as thru legalizing marijuana. Entertainers who joke about ALL drugs contribute mightily to the insane misperception that all drugs are harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Most people are profoundly simpleminded. They can't make distinctions between one thing and another on their own, but tend to generalize, lumping together things that do not belong together. Gone is the concept of "The Golden Mean", and the maxim "all things in moderation" does not apply to drug use. There is no moderate use of heroin, and minor or "moderate" use of many drugs, definitely including marijuana, distorts people's perceptions and erodes their ability to know when enuf turns to too much. Then the substances in the drugs they use might alter the very operations of their brains. So there may be no safe level of use of ANY reality-distorting drug, precisely because it DOES alter perceptions, esp. in some individuals who are more susceptible than most..
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American society has been sapped of energy and perseverance by the huge expansion of marijuana use. Millions of people who should be focusing on their education and current job, and preparing for a better job, prefer not to think about any of that. They do slipshod work, possibly near dangerous equipment. Many can't even wait until they get home after work to smoke or eat "weed", but do so during breaks. Unknowable numbers of people DRIVE or operate dangerous machinery in the workplace under the influence of marijuana, but we don't have a breathalizer for marijuana use to test people involved in accidents. Multitudinous Americans are becoming unfit for work by virtue of being partly or wholly zonked-out on "pot". How are American pot-heads supposed to compete against hardworking, non-drug-using Chinese and other workers in the countries that threaten to destroy our economy? Answer: American pot-heads CANNOT compete against people who work "clean".
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The greatest harm to individuals from marijuana is the loss of ambition and initiative, such that in many cases people lose YEARS of their lives to drifting aimlessly. Then one day, at age 45, they wake up in their parents' basement, to get ready for a menial job delivering pizzas. They can't get a better job because they dropped out of college, or even high school, because they got lost in a haze of marijuana smoke. Altho that may serve them right, it does not serve their parents right. All the hopeful expectations they had of their child were destroyed by drugs — and often not just marijuana, esp. if the 'friends' they make while under the influence of marijuana, urge them to try other drugs too. This is why marijuana IS a "gateway drug", because it makes naive people distrust medical and Governmental warnings NOT to experiment with drugs. "That's what they said about marijuana, but marijuana never did me any harm" — meaning that use of marijuana did not KILL them.
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Statistics about marijuana smokers' moving on to harder drugs are extremely fuzzy, with words like "most" do not move on to ever more dangerous drugs, rather than hard figures. Still, there are studies that do show an inclination of marijuana users to experiment with other drugs. Part of the problem is that people LIE about drug use, so "studies" can include only people who admit to such drug use or who have been caught using drugs.
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There is a universally known expression we all need to bear in mind when considering whether marijuana is hazardous to health, educational success, financial achievement, and other long-term aspects of life: "Better safe than sorry." The consequences can be so dire that the 'benefits' are not remotely worth the risks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
 
Prove Something, or Let Go of the Russian Bugaboo
Rachel Maddow has an apparently insane fixation on trivial 'Russian interference' in the 2016 Presidential election. UNLESS someone can prove that Russians invaded voting machines or boards of elections to CHANGE voting statistics, nothing else mentioned amounts to a hill of beans. As I have said here before, revealing Clinton-campaign emails amounts, qualitatively, to NOTHING MORE than would a full-page ad in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and a handful of other major newspapers. It was just information. Information is not subversion. It is not sabotage. It is not interference in our election. All it is, is information. And perhaps a bit of argumentation, tho the information released about the Clinton campaign by Russian hackers, WikiLeaks, etc., didn't even include argumenttion, as for instance saying "You need to vote for Donald Trump because of X, Y, and Z revealed in these emails." It was just bare email text.
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For all the Russian Government or WikiLeaks knew, Americans might have reacted FAVORABLY to what they learned from the Clinton campaign's emails. That is to say that the information releases could have impelled Hillary into a landslide victory. But you have never heard that in this public discussion, have you? Why not? I haven't even seen proof that the leaked emails had ANY EFFECT on voting whatsoever.
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The issue is PHONY. Russia and WikiLeaks did NOT "interfere in our election". They selectively released apparently genuine emails from members of the Clinton campaign. That is all. If that is NOT all, if the Russians actually hacked into boards of elections to change vote totals, or in any other way actually altered the DATA of the vote, TELL US THAT, and PROVE it. If you have no such proof because no such thing happened, SHUT UP about Russian "interference" in the election, and find a GENUINE, DEFENSIBLE issue to crusade on.
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You want an issue? How about CORRUPTION, all the manifest and potential conflicts of interest by Trump, his family, and other members of his Administration. That is, um, "uge"!
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How about Trump's betraying campaign promises? That, too, is "uge".
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Democrats, Liberals (and the evasive euphemism "Progressives"), Libertarians, moderate Republicans, Independents, and watchdogs on possible corruption, should all unite in sounding the alarm over the role of MONEY in Government. Oddly, Rachel Maddow today raised the issue of contributions of $1 million (or even more?) from each of some 45 super-rich individuals and corporations to events surrounding the Trump inauguration. But Maddow did NOT say that such contributions were obvious BRIBES for favors from the Trump Administration, at least for ACCESS to the President himself, his family, or highly placed members of his Administration. Who gives a million dollars to anyone without expecting something in return?
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That is a genuine scandal. Land hard on that, Ms. Maddow and everyone else concerned about the wrongheadedness of the Trump Administration. Investigate to see exactly what those donors have already gotten and stand to get in the future from their well-placed largesse. Raise a stink about how much good those $45 million in donations to a one-day celebration in Washington could have done for actual good works across the Nation: food pantries; Meals on Wheels and housekeeping aid to shut-ins; tutors for struggling public-school pupils; prosthetics for adults and children who have lost limbs to accidents, war, and disease; hearing aids and sign-language teaching for deaf children, their families and teachers; and a thousand other good causes — NOT including medical research, because $45 million is unlikely to produce any breakthru of consequence with regard to any major disease. All possible results of medical research are iffy. The other things I mention, however, speak to demonstrably beneficial impacts that $45 million could actually have on the lives of tens of thousands of people, not in a single day of partying but on things that will make a difference for years, even an entire lifetime.
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So, Ms. Maddow, PUT UP some actual PROOF of "meddling" by Russia in the 2016 election, or SHUT UP. Follow the money that seems to be seeping into private pockets in the Trump Administration. Reveal appearances of impropriety and find out if they are realities, more than just appearances. Let go of spurious and actually ludicrious accusations of "Russian meddling", and find something else to talk about. The public is very tired of all this Russia nonsense. We don't want to hear ONE MORE WORD unless you can PROVE that Putin changed vote totals as to swing the election fraudulently away from Clinton to Trump. Not ONE MORE WORD.

Friday, April 14, 2017
 
We Need a Federal Police Academy
This post has been extensively revised since I first uploaded it.

Every couple of days, Americans see, on network TV news, videos of appalling and infuriating misbehavior by police, all over the country, in big cities and small towns. The proliferation of dashcams and body cameras among police departments, and cellfone videos among citizen observers around the Nation, has produced massive visual proof of commonplace but nonetheless outrageous wrongdoing by police, who should have known that their misdeeds would be captured on video, but who were somehow not deterred from such behavior, perhaps because they are abysmally STUPID.
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We instituted use of dashcams and bodycams on police in large part to deter misdeeds, more than just to provide courts with proof of misdeeds by the people the police approached. Such technologies were to be evenhanded, unbiased aids to justice, in condemning miscreants on both sides of the badge. Cops were to regard cameras as backups for their intuitions and actions, but they immediately jumped to assume that cameras could catch them up in unlawful abuses, so the testimony of such cameras was quickly understood to be impossible to deny. Smart cops understood that they needed always to be 'seen' as doing the right thing. Good cops had nothing to fear. Bad cops had everything to fear.
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It is plain to me that we need EVERY SINGLE POLICE OFFICER in this country (and many private security guards who stand-in for police in schools, shopping malls, and such) to be trained in a SINGLE, FEDERAL police academy. I don't care if the typical class comprises 27 people or 27-hundred, or even 27 THOUSAND. We just need to have a uniform standard, teaching best-practices, for ALL police officers at every level of government, from the tiniest town to the largest city to an entire State Police department, to ICE, the FBI, and every other Federal law-enforcement operation.
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We could establish an Academy with several branches, but I think it would be much better to have a single Academy, in a single location, so that everyone being trained at the same time could interact with other people, from other parts of the country, which would help them to understand that each of them is an integral and indispensable part of a NATIONAL police force. Between classes, they would interact with people from other places, with other attitudes, and learn from those personal interactions more than just from the classroom and field trips, what police work, and community interaction, are supposed to be.
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I even have a location to suggest for such an Academy, my own magnificent city, Newark, New Jersey, a perfect mix of big-city and semi-suburban environments, with a population about 50/50 white-black. Newark has extensive suburbs, in a metropolitan area of about 2 million people, so in less than half a day, cadets could move from hardcore urban to relaxed suburban areas. In regard to farther-afield field trips, Newark is located pretty much at the center of Megalopolis, the enormous concentration of cities and suburbs stretching from Boston on the north to Washington, DC on the south. Within a single day, cadets could be not just in Newark, a city with its own serious law-enforcement challenges, but also Jersey City, Trenton, Camden, Atlantic City, all in New Jersey, plus Philadelphia, close-in, and New York City, the Nation's greatest city, with all its problems. Newark has one of the world's greatest airports, with flites to pretty much the entire planet, so if the Academy thought it instructive to compare law enforcement in other countries, field trips could be made to London, Paris, Cape Town, Mumbai, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, you-name-it, all within a short drive from the Academy to EWR (the world-known code for Newark International Airport).
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Everyone in this country, and visiting this country from abroad (many of whom would not understand how things like civil rights could differ from one location to another in the same country) should be able to TRUST that, wherever they might go in the United States, they will be treated fairly, in accord with uniform standards, by every single police officer they encounter. Every single one.
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So let us bring it on, a United States Police Academy — USPA ("U.S.P.A.", said as separate letters), all the way. Any police officer anywhere in the Nation who misbehaves brings shame upon every other officer, everywhere in the Nation. It's time for no officer to bring shame to any officer, anywhere in the Nation. Everyone who offers him- or herself for service in a police (or sheriff's, or whatever) department must accept the burden of being an exemplar for ALL police officers EVERYWHERE. A Federal Police Academy could professionalize the policing occupation, form bonds of camaraderie and affection between people of multitudinous localities, and ensure that the police of every part of this country really do "Protect and Serve" all the people.
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A student's progress, or lack thereof, would give authorities a chance to head off possible future problems, by empowering mental-health professionals to intervene well in time to prevent people who should not be in a position of lethal authority from getting anywhere near such authority. That would include profoundly STUPID people, who should never be in a position of authority over ANYone. A cadet who sets off alarms should be told of the Academy's concerns snd adamantly offered help. Such an interview might well reveal serious psychological issues that would need to be addressed before that candidate is ever given a gun. That would clearly be in the best interest not just of society but also of the troubled individual whose potentially tragic life course could be altered. Plainly, current recruitment and training programs for police officers do not do any such work in eliminating troubled individuals or getting them the help they need.


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