Government Regulation Makes USA Business Great

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Business without oversight destroys ethical businesses

Sam wants to start up a business. She determines what she must do and obtains all the needed licensing and inspections required, and abides by local, state, and federal laws. As she expands her business, she hires qualified workers and abides by the required payroll laws that protect the worker.

Joe starts up a similar business that competes with Sam’s business, but he sneaks around the laws and only does what he has to do to not get caught. For code inspections he knows what they are looking for, and lies about what he is doing, so he avoids any government regulations that should apply to his business. As he expands his business, Jake pays people ‘under the table,’ to avoid paying taxes, doesn’t provide his employees with benefits, and doesn’t pay overtime. He warns the employees, that if they complain he’ll close down the business and they won’t have a job.

Which business will provide a more honest and trustworthy relationship with his/her customers? Which business provides good jobs? Which business will contribute more back to her/his community? Which business is more ethical? Which business will make more money?

The problem with business is that when the only rule is to make money, unethical practices will provide an advantage over the honest and ethical businessperson. Government regulation is established to create a level playing field for all corporations so that the honest businesses are not pushed out.

Government regulation and oversight of private business is not about crushing business, it is about saving business. It is empowering our citizens, through government employment, to serve as our protectors as workers and customers. It allows us to trust that a business is ethical and helping our nation.

That is why government regulation is demonized by unethical people who seek to take advantage of other citizens of the United States of America by swindling them out of money, abusing workers, bringing racism and discrimination into the workplace, and providing substandard and/or dangerous products and services.

Government regulation is not perfect, but until someone can find a better way of protecting the interests of our citizens, it is what we have, and it works.

News Media Using Uneducated, Uninformed Opinion As Fact

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There is a growing crisis of legitimate news organizations interviewing an uninformed person and presenting it as news. The person-on-street interview is justified by news media as a citizen’s opinion, using the logic that all citizens are equally informed and knowledgeable; therefore, his or her opinion is valid.

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.

Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry

However, an opinion is limited by the person’s real experience and knowledge, and few people are qualified to speak intelligently on significant topics like foreign policy, and economic and legal issues. An unqualified person should not be giving their opinion on local or national news without clarifying his or her background on the subject matter.

The problem of unqualified opinions being presented as news has become more severe as the opinions have become more outrageous. Trump supporters have had an entertainment value for some news organizations because their statements are often contrary to known facts and/or logical reasoning.

We do not go to first graders and ask them to design the best and most effective educational methods because they have no qualifications or skills to offer an opinion. They may have an opinion, but having recess all day long is not a legitimate answer to the question.

Opinions of uneducated, uninformed citizens destroys democracy because it circumvents intelligent discussion. An irrational person’s opinion does not lead to a rational debate of the issues.

School Vouchers Are About Religion and Racism, Not Choice

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The Klan Doesn’t Support Education for All

 In May of 2015, the Nevada conservatives won a major victory with a bill that stole money from the public school system and gave it to parents to use for alternate education, including school operated by religious organizations. The following month Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, whose children had attended a Catholic school, signed the bill into law, even though it clearly violated the Nevada Constitution that forbids taxpayer funding for a church operated school. 

Fortunately, the Nevada Supreme Court stepped in and nullified the law, ending conservative’s attempt to steal money meant to offer education for all, and redistribute it to those in favor of education for a privileged few. 

Public School Evolution
Public schools were established in the early and mid-17th century to overcome the problems created by parent-based. (SEE:  The Atlantic October 2017 on Public Schools) Parent-based education limited the advancement of future generations to the ignorance of their mother and father, who were both working full-time to maintain needs of the entire family. 

Unfortunately, the early public schools primarily served white males. Over the next two hundred years public schools were refined to; 1) become compulsory, 2) include female students, 3) promote women as teachers, 4) expand curriculum, and 5) ultimately require education regardless of race.

The Protestant Conflict
Ironically, most early public schools were influenced, if not run, by Protestants. Their beliefs included the idea that children should have a broad-based education. The problem arose when a flood of Catholic immigrants created a conflict in the public education of children. When public schools became battle grounds of differing church doctrines, it caused pointless disruption of the goal of education for all. Ultimately, the issue was indirectly resolved by President Ulysses Grant and Congressman James Blaine.

President Grant called for an amendment to the United States Constitution to forever separate church and state interests in education, and forbidding public money to be spent on private schools. Congressman Blaine sponsored a bill to do exactly that and it passed in the House of Representatives. The Senate; however, failed to pass it by a two-thirds majority and the bill died.

However, individual States passed amendments to their Constitutions and eventually all but ten States adopted Blaine-type laws. 

A Return to Past Mistakes
The post-Blaine Amendments environment have been an era of astonishing success in elevating the education of United States citizens. In 1950, only 34% of adults in this country graduated from high school. By 2010, the number of high school graduates increase to 90%. The miracle is that the increase in high school graduates occurred during the same period when the nation’s population doubled. 

Despite this success, conservatives have made public education their target (SEE:  Slate.com November 2016 on Trump Gutting Public Schools) for three reasons. First, conservatives don’t believe in paying taxes, especially when the money doesn’t directly help them, nor their families.

Second, conservatives believe that public-funded secular, unbiased education is biased because it doesn’t promote their personal egocentric and/or religious beliefs.

Third, conservatives are overwhelmingly white, and the idea of paying for the education of another race is repugnant to many of them. They advance the ideas that education is wasted on minorities. It is noteworthy that white people demanded that schools be segregated in the south, and when the courts ruled that schools must be desegregated, white people began characterizing public education, especially desegregated schools as failures, and began pushing for alternative school choices for their children.

The campaign to steal money from the public school system and give it to parents to spend on private religious schools is born out of ignorance and racism in an attempt to take our country back to segregated schools consisting of well-financed white religious-based schools, and poorly funded minority public schools.

The End of the United States of America

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Leader of Our Fall

Trump, his supporters, and the Republican Congress are all making a bomb that will destroy our country. They don’t know believe it, but that is to be expected. They believe that if they continue trampling on our Constitution and our citizens that eventually we will all just give in and accept what they are doing. They are wrong. 

The decent citizens of this country believe that the Trumpsters will eventually become reasonable and stop the madness of destroying our country. They will not. They believe that God is on their side and if white domination is ended, so will the world. 

Our country’s downfall will probably start with massive protests and strikes. Trump will respond with the military, and then we will be at a draw. Trumpsters can’t force a population serve them, and they can’t destroy everyone that opposes them.
 

The man with the plan

It is at that point our country will be ripe for invasion. The military can’t fight a foreign invader and its own population, so we will fall. Trumpsters will pledge their loyalty to the foreign enemy to save themselves and the rest of us will face subjugation under a foreign government.
 
Like it or not, this is the most likely path of our country based on the current direction of our leadership.

Send Our Trash Into Space

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Plastic: China doesn’t want it, and we need it in space

A.  Plastic grocery bags and water bottles are a BIG problem on Earth.

B.  Cosmic rays are a BIG problem in human space travel.

The solution to both problems is simple. Send our recycled plastic trash into space and use it to shield ships from cosmic rays.

This is not a joke.

Cosmic rays are highly energetic particles that pass through most atoms until they hit a nucleus dead on. They are a form of radiation that is the single largest health threat to astronauts traveling beyond Earth’s natural magnetic shield. 

Hydrogen, which can be found in polyethylene structure of plastic grocery bags and water bottles, is effective against cosmic rays because the hydrogen atom has less space for a cosmic ray to pass through without hitting the nucleus. If space ships were built incorporating polyethylene shielding, astronauts would be better protected from cosmic rays without adding tons of dense metal-based shielding to the spacecraft.

Recycling polymer materials and sending it into space would relatively expensive unless we had a major Moon and Mars exploration program that could use the materials once they had an inventory in space. By starting an inventory recycled plastic in orbit around Earth, the future cost of space exploration could be reduced, and the amount of wasted plastic in our environment would be reduced. 

At a time when China is now refusing to accept our raw recycled materials, we need to become creative on new uses for the stuff that won’t ever go away.

A Holiday Letter to the Aliens Observing Us

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Dear Alien Race:

Happy holidays! Welcome to our planet! If you are here, and if you have been observing us, please let me apologize for our behavior, especially the behavior of the wealthiest, most privileged country.

The fact that humans are broken up into factionalized groups is an inherent issue with our society. The idea that we are all equal, and that we should respect and reach out to one another is mostly rhetoric. Despite consistent historical examples of the success for all when we all work together and treat each other with respect, there are elements of our society that hold an egocentric opinion of life. They seek to destroy the philosophies of harmony and mutual benefit because those concepts don’t put them ahead of everyone else.

This brings me to my request.

We could bring our country and our world into balance if we didn’t have those who oppose a world based on fairness and equality. We know that through violence we could remove those humans that refuse to behave as decent members of our species; however, that type of conflict is against our core beliefs. Also, those types of conflicts also harm innocent people.

I am assuming that since you have the technology to visit our planet, you have other advanced technologies that could be useful in addressing our problem. What I am proposing is that you remove the elements of our society that don’t play well with others. I’m not asking that you destroy them…although I know accidents can happen, what I’m asking is that you just take them away for a few years.

I see this as a win-win situation. You can perform a thorough analysis of dysfunctional humans, and we can get our world back. You would not be held liable for any damage caused to the humans that you study.

I understand that you may have a ‘non-interference’ type of prime directive; however, please accept this note as an exemption of your policy.

It would be a great start if you could remove all humans associated with Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. That would send a positive message to the rest of the world. If you need a list, please contact me.

We are currently celebrating our shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it is our darkest, longest night. I cannot imagine a greater gift during this holiday season to know that we have been through our darkest time.

Warm regards,

Paul Kiser

P.S., If you get this note at some point in the future and have the ability to come back in time, this would be the time in which to come back. Again, Happy Holidays! 

The Nuclear Amendment

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Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Upon ratification of this amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America by at least two-thirds of all states and/or territories of the United States of America, all acts of the 115th Congress and of the 45th President shall be nullified and repealed retroactively. This amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America supersedes all other past and current federal, state, and local laws to the contrary.

In addition, upon ratification of this amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, all members of the 115th Congress who voted in favor of any legislation relating to adversely changing and/or the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and/or who voted in favor any tax reform bill shall have all personal assets seized, here and abroad, and shall lose citizenship to the United States of America.

In addition, upon ratification of this amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, the 45th President shall have all assets seized and shall lose citizenship to the United States of America.

In addition, upon ratification of this amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, all official and unofficial political appointees and/or advisors of the 45th President, including those nominated by of the 45th President, regardless of whether or not they are still holding the office, shall have all assets seized and shall lose citizenship to the United States of America.

In addition, upon ratification of this amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, all businesses and/or organizations that gained favored treatment, or profit on measures passed by the 115th Congress, or on actions, policies or, executive orders of the 45th President or any or his advisors, nominees, or appointees, shall forfeit twice the value of the actual, or estimated financial value of said action.

Confronting Truth: The Difference Between Science and Religion

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There is a primary difference between science and religion. Religion discourages the confrontation of the ‘truth’ as it is presented by the leaders of the church. When I say discourage, I mean up to and including the murder of those who challenge the church’s version of the truth.

Science, not only accepts a challenge to the current truth, it is the fundamental architecture of all scientific endeavors to challenge the truth. Scientists accept that our current knowledge is incomplete, and that research, observation, and experimentation will replace the current truth of the universe around us.

A good example of this is our understanding of Earth and its relationship to other bodies in space. The religious doctrine stated that Earth was the center of the universe. Religious sources have claimed that holy text have told them the Earth is the center of the universe, and that was a truth which could not be challenged.

However, the concept of an Earth-centered (geocentric) universe had been challenged in the third century BCE by Greek astronomer and mathematician, Aristarchus of Samos, who theorized a Sun-centered (heliocentric) universe. Unfortunately, his idea lacked supportive evidence and was largely ignored.

Galileo was a victim of the Church, not of science

Over 1,700 years later, others began using observations that indicated that the geocentric model didn’t work as well as the heliocentric model. In January of 1610, Galileo Galilei used a telescope to discover three of Jupiter’s four largest moons, and observed that they orbited Jupiter. He then theorized that the Earth may also orbit the Sun, rather than the Sun orbiting the Earth.

This challenged the belief that dated back to Aristotle that all objects orbited the Earth, a concept that was adopted by both Islam and Christian churches. Galileo’s findings contradicted a fundamental truth of the church. For that crime, Galileo was subject to a Roman Inquisition, and ultimately, arrested and imprisoned.

While it is true that Galileo’s theories were not readily accepted, even by other astronomers of his time, he began a process of challenging truth, and using observation to determine truth. For this, Galileo is known as the father of the scientific method.

Some might think that their religion has outgrown this absolute interpretation of doctrine, and accepts scientific proof. To some degree, most Christian churches, when faced with overwhelming proof will either reluctantly accept the science, or become mute on the subject.

However, in the case of Galileo, the Catholic Church has attempted to use revisionism to explain its position on the geocentric/heliocentric debate. In 2004, the Catholic Church published a revised history of its role in the matter of Galileo. In a blog article on Catholic.com, the Church implies:

  1. that it was his fellow scientists, not the Church that disputed Galileo’s findings,
  2. that it was Galileo’s fault for promoting his theories that challenged Church doctrine,
  3. that Galileo failed to prove his position,
  4. that Galileo’s findings were not 100% correct, and 
  5. that Galileo did not suffer any real consequence for his research and findings.

All five of these points are twisted interpretations of what we know to be fact.

  • Galileo was persecuted by the Church, not his fellow scientists. Arrested by the Church, not this fellow scientists, and sentenced by the Church, not his fellow scientists. Yes, his findings were not widely accepted by other astronomers, but as Galileo was the first to observe Jupiter’s moons and their orbits, he would have been alone in promoting the observations.
  • Galileo had his observations, and while there would need to be more observations and the development of better technology to confirm his observations and conclusions, he had every right to promote the concept, even if it disputed the truth of the Church.
  • Galileo observed and hypothesized, but he wasn’t 100% correct. The Catholic Church suggests that because he wasn’t 100% correct that they were right in persecuting him for his theories. They were not, and the idea that the church was waiting for better evidence is a lie.
  • Galileo faced an Inquisition, and was sentenced. Whether he was tortured is not relevant to the Church’s role in trying to silence those who challenge the teachings of their doctrine.

Science seeks truth, but scientists know that all truth is subject to the gathering of more data, which may disprove the known truth and replace it with a new concept. The church believes that all truth comes from God, and it is not subject to revision, even if the truth of the Church is wrong.

This is NOT an Excuse: Why Older White Men Sexually Harass Women

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I need to be clear. Sexual harassment is and always has been wrong.

However, as an older white man, I can say that I am not surprised by the revelations coming out about women who have been sexually harassed by powerful older white men, I have to admit that I have been guilty of the same attitudes and behaviors.

Nothing that I have to say should be construed as an excuse for the behavior. No one should read this and feel any sympathy for men who have engaged in sexual harassment. This is simply an explanation of why I am not surprised by the recent revelations, and why I think almost all men of my age or older have a propensity to sexually harass women.

“Nothing that I have to say should be construed as an excuse for the behavior. No one should read this and feel any sympathy for men who have engaged in sexual harassment.”

I was born in 1957. My parents that raised me were married in 1939. My Dad was twenty years old, and my mother was fifteen…on the day she married. That was not typical; however, older men marrying younger women, even girls, was not uncommon, and during my childhood years, almost every Mom was a housewife.

As a child of the 1960’s, the idea that the man was dominant over a woman was not even questioned. Women were created to please men. The mindset was, women should not be overtly sexual and modest; therefore, it was the man’s place to initiate sexual actions. There was no formal instruction about initiating sexual intention with women, it was just expected that boys would learn as they go.

It was blatantly obvious to me, and probably most men my age, that power and wealth made men sexually attractive, and that women craved men who boldly took the initiative, so they didn’t have to pretend that they didn’t want sex. One way to win over a woman was to be in a position of power, and create a situation where the woman could submit to them.

“…that power and wealth made men sexually attractive, and that women craved men who boldly took the initiative, so they didn’t have to pretend that they didn’t want sex.”

The problem was, it worked. In hindsight, it didn’t work because the myth of women secretly wanting sex was true, it worked because the intimidation of a powerful man, and because most fell into the belief that it was a societal norm. Until I was in my late 20’s, the concept of sexual harassment was not even recognized as a problem in the workplace. A man marrying a subordinate was commonplace.

During my adult years, the development of workplace training began to take hold, and one of the primary topics became sexual harassment training. I, and most other men, were told that we had to be careful how we handled ourselves in the workplace, but that seemed to be focused on the workers, not so much on the executives.

When an issue of sexual harassment did come up with someone in management, companies hushed it up “to protect the woman,” and often the woman was given some type of compensation and moved out of the situation. In the business world, the human resources department enabled men to sexual harass women by treating it as an embarrassment for the company that needed to be dealt with internally, without law enforcement involvement.

There is no excuse for my behavior, nor the behavior of white men my age. In part, the problem is born of myths that are created in the absence of discussion and awareness of sex. Young boys will believe what other young boys will tell them when reliable information isn’t available.

We have to stop pretending that sex is only for married adults, and prior to marriage sex isn’t supposed to happen. Abstinence is an abomination to human interaction, and people who promote that idea don’t realize the damage they are doing to our society. Sex is not taboo or should it be embarrassing to discuss. It is a natural function of life.

We also have to stop letting companies deal with sexual harassment issues. Profit, public relations, and efficient operation of the business have no place in how a workplace sexual harassment issue is resolved.

“Profit, public relations, and efficient operation of the business have no place in how a workplace sexual harassment issue is resolved.”

Finally, I apologize to any woman who feels I have offended and/or been sexually inappropriate with. There is no excuse.

A Conversation With An Applette

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My iPho….I mean my Samsung Galaxy Edge Phone

Applette:    WOW! The new iPhone came out! I’ve got to get me one! Have you heard about it?

Me: A vague reference somewhere.

Applette:  They call it the iPhone X.

Me:  X for…?

Applette:  Most Excellent!

Me:  X is NOT always a ‘good’ reference.

Applette:  What do you mean?

Me:  Ex-con, Ex-spouse, expensive.

Applette:  No dude, this phone does everything!

Me:  Exfoliate! Does it exfoliate?

Applette:  What? What’s ex-foal-ate?

Me:  Nevermind.

Applette:  Here’s a picture of it! Look at that screen! It goes from edge to edge!

Me:  Oh, like this.

Applette:  WOW! You already own one!

Me:  No, this is a Samsung Galaxy Edge. I’ve had it for over a year.

Applette:  Samsung copied the iPhone! Those bastards!

Me:  No…the Edge…nevermind.

Applette:  It doesn’t matter. This iPhone is sooo much better than the copy cat Galaxy phone! It has facial recognition!

Me:  So does my dog.

Applette:  Yes, but can you make a call on your dog? HA!

Me:  No. I call my dog and she comes to me.

Applette:  Well,…wait…what?

Me:  Nevermind.

Applette:  I’ll bet your dog doesn’t have Siri!

Me:  Hey Google, what is Siri?

Google:  According to Webopedia, Siri is a built-in “intelligent assistant” that enables users of Apple iPhone 4S and later and newer iPad and iPod Touch devices to speak natural language voice commands in order to operate the mobile device and its apps.

Me:  So Siri is Apple’s version of HAL.

Applette:  Yeah!…who’s HAL?

Me:  Nevermind.

Applette:  The iPhone is reliable. Your Samsung is going to catch on fire someday!

Me:  Well, that was the Samsung Galaxy Note Pad, but I prefer to think that if I’m lost in the woods in the winter and I have no cell service, I can light a signal fire with my phone. My phone can save my life, can yours?

Applette:  Well, it…I…you can’t…

Me:  Nevermind.

Applette:  You wait. Apple is going to dominate the phone market with the iPhone X.

Me:  You think that people are going to pay more to learn a new phone system?

Applette:  If it’s an iPhone they will.

Me:  But Apple’s name is synonymous with incompatibility. They have products that aren’t even incompatible with other Apple products.

Applette:  Man, you’ve got to prioritize. Do you want to be cool, or do you want to get things done?

Me:  I want to get things done.

Applette:  And THAT is why you don’t have an iPhone, man.

Me:  Well, that and paying a lot more for something that isn’t.

Applette:  Well, iPhones cost more, but they have Siri and they have facial recognition, Dude. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Me:  Actually, it does, but nevermind.