Committee Chaos

From Economics to the Environmental Sciences the Trump Administration continues to wreak havoc by closing advisory groups causing committee havoc.  These groups were formed to create advisory panels on subjects the President was not expert on with leading minds in that particular field.  Before the abandonment of the committees the President took a step in the direction in ending the usefulness of the committees by placing lower level hacks on several key spots in the committees.  The fact that before the disbanding several members had quit, members only getting their appointment due to their allegiance to Trump, has led to a disquiet in any field that calls for experts on advisory panels.

What will the Donald do next?  The prospects are terrifying – will he come to conclusions based on his un-informed gut?  Will tweets replace scientific research followed by scientific papers?

Well, who is the maddest?  Those who come up with crazy ideas or those who follow the crazies?  As the Cheshire Cat said “We are all mad here.”

Committee Chaos

“President Donald Trump’s administration has dissolved a federal panel of scientists and other experts tasked with helping create and implement new policy based on the latest climate change research findings.

That decision, members of the 15-person committee told HuffPost on Sunday, does not bode well for the future of climate change preparation and prevention during Trump’s time in office.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which established the panel in 2015, confirmed Sunday that the Department of Commerce would not renew the charter for the Sustained National Climate Assessment’s Federal Advisory Committee.

“Per the terms of the charter, the [committee] expired on August 20, 2017,” the emailed statement read. ”The Department of Commerce and NOAA appreciate the efforts of the Committee and offer sincere thanks to each of the Committee members for their service.”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/federal-climate-change-committee-expires_us_5999c13be4b0e8cc855e3cec?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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Pulpdiddys Permutations on Sunday

For quite some time at Pulpdiddys Permutations I have had a Sunday column in which I explain why I no longer write a regular column on Sunday and instead use this explanation column and take the day off.  I’ve tweaked this Pulpdiddys Permutations column that appears on Sunday from time to time but the story remains the same – I take the day off.  I have taken to use this Sunday space so that it is a little bit about me and a lot about what I am trying to do with the blog.  It has become apparent to me that the roots for the blog come from three things.  First of all, I love to write.  I enjoy the process and especially how attempting to communicate with others forces my thought process to focus in a way that not having the writing would not cause.  Secondly, I have been fascinated with how we interact with each other from an early age.  My political and social precociousness led me to turn away from the almost brutal focus on scholasticism and athleticism that dominated my early years.  In my case, this break was a good thing as it expanded my interest in understanding my empathy.  And last of all I realized I had developed a way of looking at the world that focused on want. When I explained this to others I found they often shared my thoughts but that for the most part they did not desire to consciously understand or express the theme of want, or if they did, found they had shuttled it off to the recesses of their mind – a way of living that contained the shuttling as an inconvenient truth*.

The inconvenient truth is that we drown in want.  The want may be the search of fame or sex or health or power or toys but these wants ultimately have the same catalyst and that catalyst is money.  Some theorists and analysts think we only see that want in our dreams and that dreams are healthy.  The problem is that this want invades our day to days and we make decisions based on that want that often has far reaching and sometimes tragic consequences.  The want may be quite basic such as the quest to survive or quite advanced like controlling politicians or having a lobbyist team to market your ideas of law.  The thing about want is we largely are embarrassed about it, especially if the want becomes public and obvious and though at times we may expose our want it is often done in a non serious game show sort of way.  The other thing about want, especially in the most unconscious of us, is that we trample our fellow human beings in an attempt to achieve whatever it is that is our want.

I have found that magazines, blogs, and newspapers don’t understand want but instead focus on an agenda even if that agenda is to work hard in not appearing to have one.  Somehow the media has failed to see that in reality their own agendas are full of fiction and as such, are as much want as that of anyone else.  As for these agendas, most are political in nature.  The problem with an agenda is that it blinds you to certain realities – at least for a while.  So a journalist at the Washington Post 50 years down the road realizes the paper missed the mark by ignoring Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when it was delivered, instead focusing on crowd control that day.  Or journalists at the New York Times realizing that they were too enthusiastic in support of the Vietnam War.  Or ditto for the enthusiasm of both papers when the misdirected terrorist war known as the Iraq War took place.  Of course this is an over-simplification and I mention it only as an illustration.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

As I do my research for what to write at Pulpdiddys Permutations I think about the want that each of us has – the want we may not know exists.  Hopefully I can glean enough of the want to make an intelligent observation.  While personally I remain far more liberal then not regarding economic, political, and social issues I bring up the question of want in my analysis of issues and how the issue will affect all, most, or some of us.  So when President Obama does something that I find wrong I am not loathe to mention that wrongness at this site.  When Senator John McCain takes a position that I found courageous I find no problem in expressing praise for that position.  When Paul Krugman takes on an economic or social position that I find a bit silly I will also comment so.

Love of writing, looking at the world with empathy, and focus on want are the triumvirate that has brought about Pulpdiddys Permutations.  Though I believe I am eventually found out to be correct more often then not and certainly more so than any pundit I know that’s out there, I certainly am not infallible.  But I give you my pledge that I’ll continue to do the research, continue to consider the matter using the frame of reference of want in the material posted by me at this site, and correct myself when my opinion eventually is shown to just be wrong.  And if you’d like some lighter reading there’s always my e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Neurotic-Man-Richard-Georges-ebook/dp/B00A6TOK24

*I apologize to Al Gore, for using your title as a phrase.  It just fits.  And in this context, Mr. Gore, you are also a good example of an inconvenient truth.

 

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Prisoners

Prisoners are among the most forgotten of our citizenry.  There is an assumption that if convicted then the person belongs in prison.  This is very simple except that the following may apply:

  1. Some people are convicted that are innocent due to incompetent counsel.
  2. Some people are convicted due to not the present crime, but their history.
  3. Police make mistakes in gathering evidence.
  4. Law enforcement bias may skewer the investigation.
  5. Police make mistakes while collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses and suspects, and the eventual incarcerate.
  6. Societal rules are in flux and what is legal one year is illegal the next (and vice versa).

This is not to say that everyone in prison is innocent of the charges against them but there are instances where any of the above may apply.  When added to the following:

  1. The crime is of a victimless nature,
  2. The victim has had little done to them by the eventual prisoner yet the prisoner is greatly incarcerated.
  3. The prisoner screwed up (for various reasons) and knows it and that and their personal history point to the fact that the event (or one like it) will not be repeated,
  4. The economic cost of the family unit being disrupted by the incarceration of a family member is rarely calculated yet is a real cost for our society,

Prisoners

Prison becomes an unnecessary punitive step.  Once in prison, alienated from society with less than stellar administration of the prisoners’ time and activities, gad habits often become worse culminating with release from prison following by a high rate of recidivism.

When added to the fact that alternative punishment can be applied especially in victimless and/or non-violent crimes the results include:

  1. Less cost to the state or federal government in administering the sentence.
  2. By remaining in society the incarcerate is less likely psychologically damaged by being removed from society.
  3. The victims have a greater chance of obtaining reparations from an individual who remains in his or her environment than the individual who is removed from society for an extended period of time.

The New York Times has an article about problems with the prison system in New York.  The prison system in New York is not unique in this regard.

Leonard Strickland’s barbaric and unnecessary death at the hands of prison guards at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York highlights the need for independent oversight of the state’s prisons. His beating in 2010, the details of which have only recently come to light, is the latest in a long list of instances of brutality toward inmates in New York’s prison system.”

“The state’s inhumane practices involving solitary confinement have also generated outrage. Thousands of prisoners have been held in extreme isolation, in some cases for years, and often for minor rule violations, at great cost to their mental health and potential for rehabilitation. A settlement announced last month of a lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union will reduce both the number of inmates held in isolation and the maximum stay, and will abolish some of the harshest conditions.”

“The awareness by prison staff that a monitor could show up at any time would check employee misbehavior. The culture of a prison changes when outsiders shine a light on its operations and conditions.”

“External oversight will likely result in safer prisons for inmates and employees alike, more effective rehabilitation programs, a healthier prison culture that supports positive outcomes and taxpayer savings from fewer lawsuits and lessened recidivism.”

“Without independent oversight, we will not have a prison system worthy of our values. If further tragedies are to be avoided, the New York Legislature and its counterparts around the nation must provide for comprehensive and meaningful oversight of all correctional facilities.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/opinion/whats-going-on-in-our-prisons.html?emc=edit_th_20160104&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=63667984

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About Progressives

The most profound effect of anything Ronald Regan did as President was to sway Americans away from believing that they were liberals or progressives. In second place second was Reagan’s help in pushing Americans into thinking bleak thoughts about civil servants and civil service.  Up until that time liberalism had a proud tradition.  Heck, even civil service had a proud tradition.  For all that conservatives like to harp about their way being the “true” way, think about all the seminal legislation that has occurred in our history and what role the liberals had in its development and what role conservatives played.  For the record if it has become part of our lives and it is helpful it has come from the liberals and the for the most part conservatives railed against it.

Do your own informal polling – ask someone what government programs have affected their lives for the better.  After they give you the list ask them which ones were initiated and supported by conservatives.  For example:

Social Security

Medicare

Civil Rights Act

Center for Disease Control

Unemployment Insurance

The FDIC

Glass-Steagall Act

Minimum Wage Laws

National Labor Relations Act (collective bargaining)

Food Stamps

Healthcare

You might not like all of the entries on my list and you might think that some of the acts do not belong as positives.  Possibly this is because you are against any restriction in our society.  But only a moron would think these acts were created with anything else but helping people in mind.

Which of the programs above were created by conservatives?

None.

Progressives

“Janice Phelps, a 60-year-old disabled factory worker in Evansville, Indiana, knows how expensive healthcare is.

Each month, shots for her severe asthma cost $3,000. Quarterly injections for knee pain cost $3,200. Medication for depression costs $900. She has had seven back surgeries, two shoulder surgeries, and two knee surgeries since 1985. The largest public health programs in America – Medicaid and Medicare, which aid the poor and the elderly – paid for nearly all of it.

Yet those programs are now threatened by the men she voted for: Donald Trump and former Indiana governor Mike Pence.

“I’m all in favor of repealing it,” she said about Republicans’ push to do away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare. But, she said, when you talk about cutting Medicaid: “I don’t agree with that at all.”    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/12/republican-healthcare-trump-pence-medicaid-indiana

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Neurotic Man, Job Search, and Donald

I was ready to join Donald’s work team as more and more potential employees are dropping by the wayside but it’s reaching a line that even Neurotic Man dare not cross.  That’s the great thing about an arrogant, insensitive about everyone else way too sensitive about himself type people don’t work for him too long as either they quit or get fired all in record time. The Donald is good for the economy as he is always hiring and lots of hires are quick to sign up for unemployment.

Even those of us who have dubious morality question being around the Donald too long.  He’s scary – some of what he says would only be helpful if you were writing a horror film but alas, those jobs appear to be taken.  I guess this Neurotic Man will have to limp along like everyone else, at least until the nest administration or two.

Till next time…

Neurotic Man

“Senior Republicans have lambasted Donald Trump after he once again drew a moral equivalency between the far right and counter-demonstrators during the deadly violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.

But some elected Republican officials responded to an extraordinary press conference in Trump Tower on Tuesday night by denouncing bigotry, in signs of a possible rift in the party.

No elected Republican officials went so far as to defend Trump outright after he insisted that not all of those participating in a Unite the Right protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee in the Virginian town were neo-Nazis or white supremacists.

After giving an apparently reluctant statement denouncing racism as evil on Monday, the US president reverted to his original response to the clashes on Tuesday, blaming both sides for the violence, during which a civil rights activist died.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/15/donald-trump-charlottesville-republicans-react-bigotry

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Fake News

How is it that this self-acclaimed genius can’t differentiate between real news he doesn’t like, calling it fake news, and made up stories?  In this scenario words are words that no longer mean what the words mean and instead are self-expressions.  As exemplified below it is like the Donald is a little boy when things don’t go his way, and things don’t go his way often.  Making things up to justify one’s means is Fake News.  It is arrogance absent of intelligence, willing actual events to follow what he desired it to be.

Fake News

“President Donald Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta briefly sparred Monday in the White House.

After the president signed a memo regarding China’s alleged theft of American intellectual property, Acosta asked Trump why he didn’t condemn hate groups over the weekend.

“They’ve been condemned. They have been condemned,” Trump replied.

“And why are we not having a press conference today? You said on Friday we would have a press conference?” Acosta asked.

“We just had a press conference,” Trump said

“Can we ask you some more questions?” Acosta wondered.

“It doesn’t bother me at all, but you know I like real news, not fake news,” Trump remarked. “You’re fake news.” http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/youre-fake-news-trump-blasts-cnns-jim-acosta-for-grilling-him-over-charlottesville-violence/

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Nazi Appeasement

There was commonality that existed in the United States and that was an abhorrence of the Nazi ideal.  Left, Right, Middle – we would argue, but when it came to the Nazi Philosophy we drew together in our unacceptance.  Part of it was our own propaganda before entering World War II, part of it was the everyday horror of the Nazi actions.  We were too good, too naïve about the search for and then the abuse of power.  The Nazi movement killed Jews.  And Catholic Nuns, and Left-Wing labor leaders, and Communists and anyone that got in their way.  The Horror of the Nazi Party is being glorified in pockets of the population in this country and throughout Europe.  The Donald’s of this world are much more comfortable with Nazi appeasement than acceptance of therapists or teachers or artists or intellectuals or anyone who gets in their way.  Not joining arms to stop the Nazi Movement in its track and content with Nazi appeasement is so, so scary.

Nazi

“Now is an era of sadness and despair in America. Not only have right-wing extremists and Nazis, mostly composed of deeply entitled and privileged young white men, marched openly in our streets, pushing well beyond free speech by committing acts of deadly violence and terror against counter-protesters, but it’s become abundantly clear that our chief executive — the president of the United States — is both an enabler and a sympathizer of their lost cause.

There have been many occasions throughout the past two years when Donald Trump has made me embarrassed to call myself an American. There is his disgraceful and unpresidential behavior, often made obvious multiple times daily. There is the disturbing reality that he’s been politically successful both despite and because of his erratic bullying, which is not reflective of a strong leader but rather a fledgling authoritarian, ignorant bigot and amoral toddler.”

 

“Do we collectively demand the swift resignation or impeachment of the president for his trespasses, or do we continue to endure this tyrant through the next election, even though Trump’s accomplices in Moscow might well seek to skew the election in his favor again? Do we continue to tolerate Trump and his team of racist advisers and the actions of the pathetic young men they’re animating? If after only 207 days, neo-Nazis are so empowered by a sympathetic president to commit murders as they did on Saturday, what will America look like 207 days from now? What will America look like after Trump appoints more top officials while “deconstructing the administrative state” and dealing in unnecessary nuclear brinksmanship? Let us choose not to find out.

We’ve endured incompetent presidents before. We’ve endured criminals in the Oval Office before. But we’ve never had both a Nazi appeaser and an apparent Russian puppet in the White House before. Now we’re beginning to see the real and fatal consequences of allowing a terrifyingly incompetent villain to ascend to this station, and matters can absolutely get worsen. There’s no silver lining here, just a raw and mandatory urgency for Donald Trump to be legally ejected from his intolerable stewardship of the American presidency.” http://www.salon.com/2017/08/14/its-dark-moment-for-america-one-our-president-personally-made-this-possible/

 

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It’s Sunday

It’s Sunday and also my day off.  At one time, it wasn’t – I would write this column seven days a week.  But I found like so many other things in life, pacing myself was important.  I told myself that I needn’t burn myself out.  Sadly, the problems I address will be still here tomorrow.  But it makes me a bit nervous to leave this column, even for a day, so for several years now I post a Sunday column explaining why my Sunday postings do not follow the format found here for the rest of the week.  After all, It’s Sunday

It’s Sunday and I’ve tweaked this Pulpdiddys Permutations column that appears on Sunday again but the story remains the same – I take the day off.  I have taken to use this Sunday space so that it is a little bit about me and a whole bunch about what I am trying to do with this blog.  It has become apparent to me that the roots for the blog come from three things.  First of all, I love to write.  I enjoy the process and especially how attempting to communicate with others forces my thought process to focus in a way that not having the writing would not cause.  Secondly, I have been fascinated with how we interact with each other from an early age.  My political and social precociousness led me to turn away from the almost brutal focus on scholasticism and athleticism that dominated my early years.  In my case, this break was a good thing as it expanded my interest in understanding my empathy.  And last of all I realized I had developed a way of looking at the world that focused on want. When I explained this to others I found they often shared my thoughts but that for the most part they did not desire to consciously understand or express the theme of want, or if they did, found they had shuttled it off to the recesses of their mind – a way of living that contained the shuttling as an inconvenient truth.

It’s Sunday

The inconvenient truth is that we drown in want.  The want may be the search of fame or sex or health or power or toys but these wants ultimately have the same catalyst and that catalyst is money.  Some theorists and analysts think we only see that want in our dreams and that dreams are healthy.  The problem is that this want invades our day to days and we make decisions based on that want that often has far reaching and sometimes tragic consequences.  The want may be quite basic such as the quest to survive or quite advanced like controlling politicians or having a lobbyist team to market your ideas of law.  The thing about want is we largely are embarrassed about it, especially if the want becomes public and obvious and though at times we may expose our want it is often done in a non serious game show sort of way.  The other thing about want, especially in the most unconscious of us, is that we trample our fellow human beings in an attempt to achieve whatever it is that is our want.

I have found that magazines, blogs, and newspapers don’t understand want but instead focus on an agenda even if that agenda is to work hard in not appearing to have one.  Somehow the media has failed to see that in reality their own agendas are full of fiction and as such, are as much want as that of anyone else.  As for these agendas, most are political in nature.  The problem with an agenda is that it blinds you to certain realities – at least for a while.  For example a journalist at the Washington Post almost fifty years down the road realizes the paper missed the mark by ignoring Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when it was delivered, instead focusing on crowd control that day.  Or journalists at the New York Times realizing that they were too enthusiastic in support of the Vietnam War.  Or ditto for the enthusiasm of both papers when the misdirected terrorist war known as the Iraq War took place.  Of course this is an over-simplification and I mention it only as an illustration.

As I do my research for what to write at Pulpdiddys Permutations I think about the want that each of us has – the want we may not know exists.  Hopefully I can glean enough of the want to make an intelligent observation.  While personally I remain far more liberal then not regarding economic, political, and social issues I bring up the question of want in my analysis of issues and how the issue will affect all, most, or some of us.  So when President Obama does something that I find wrong I am not loathe to mention that wrongness at this site.  No person or accepted belief is sacrosanct.

Love of writing, looking at the world with empathy, and focus on want are the triumvirate that has brought about Pulpdiddys Permutations.  Though I believe I am eventually found out to be correct more often then not and certainly more so than any pundit I know that’s out there, I certainly am not infallible.  But I give you my pledge that I’ll continue to do the research, continue to consider the matter using the frame of reference of want in the material posted by me at this site, and correct myself when my opinion eventually is shown to just be wrong.  And if you’d like some lighter reading there’s always my e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Neurotic-Man-Richard-Georges-ebook/dp/B00A6TOK24

 

 

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Deal-makers

When the Donald was running for President he made a big deal about his negotiating skills and how businessmen knew how to be deal-makers with advance skill, certainly more skill than politicians.  I often laughed at this because a politician had to operate at a much higher level of skill than a businessperson.  In business, you had the fallback of bankruptcy courts, and overwhelming your opponents.  It was far too easy to win and still lose.  You were also dealing with a world of options, something the Donald never had to do in the business world. While in the business world you didn’t have the affirmation of your leadership every four or eight years, quite often one’s family kept controlling interest of ownership.  Like the in the case of the Donald.

“There were no deals made on either call. Trump threatened Peña Nieto, a top U.S. ally, with tariffs on Mexican goods and then warned he’d never meet with him unless he stopped saying publicly that Mexico won’t pay for Trump’s promised border wall. In a heated exchange with Turnbull, also a key U.S. ally, Trump vented about the “stupid deal” the United States had made with Australia to accept refugees into the country. He all but hung up on Turnbull in the end.

Is this as bananas as it sounds? Or maybe Trump is deploying clever, art-of-the-deal tactics that casual observers might miss?

We asked experts in business and diplomatic negotiation to weigh in.

“His skills are few,” John Oesch, an associate professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, said in an email. “He has relied on power (or perceived power), threats, and treating people very poorly to get what he wants. Most negotiation scholars agree that power is an unsustainable way to resolve conflict and a poor negotiating technique, unless you want only to take from the other party and not create any value for either side.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-dealmaking-skills-mexico-australia_us_598b7e7fe4b0d793738c729a

deal-makers

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Neurotic Man Interviewed

I don’t know how it happened, but it did, this Neurotic Man was interviewed!  At least I think so, but who knows, I am already questioning what happened.  Let’s cut to the chase, it’s just another thing to worry about.  Anyway, I was interviewed by a real life reporter!  With real questions!

I still don’t know for sure how she found the NM, probably a stroke of good luck on her part.  I was quick-witted, urbane, smiled on occasion and hardly sulked through the process.  I am not sure if she got the essence of the NM.  I kept on getting the impression that she thought I was a complete nutter instead of the very cautious individual that I believe I am.  We first met in a very open setting as I believe it made her comfortable that a quick getaway was possible.  Likewise, for me.  You never know, what if she wasn’t a reporter?  Or the first serial reporter?

Anyway, she was very nice, and much shorter than me, so my anxiety disorder dissipated quickly.  I told her about NM and we had a pleasant discussion.  I couldn’t tell if she understood that underneath all the phobia there was something that made sense, in some ways a whole lot of sense.  Such as wiping the door handle of a public bathroom both on the way in and the way out with a paper towel.  You never know what pesky germs will be lurking there.  Besides, if the bathroom is the germiest place in your home imagine what a public bathroom is like.  The reporter looked at me skeptically but I didn’t mind, I get that a lot.  In fact, when I don’t get it I think the person may not have been listening.

She wrote an article which I think is very fair.  Here’s the link: http://encinitas.patch.com/articles/encinitas-neurotric-man-kickstarter-author   

The other day I went to the local library and there was a towel dispenser attached to the exit door with wipes to be used for the door handle when exiting.   Just like Neurotic Man.

Neurotic Man

Ha!  How you like me now?

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