Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Humpday Humor: Do American's Have "It"?

A new survey tells us that American's might not have "it"...
..."research indicates that most of us have less than a quarter of what’s required to make it happen,..”
From The Onion

16 Years Ago the U.S. Starting Bombing Afghanistan


Today marks the 16th anniversary of the initial attempts by the U.S. to kill Osama bin Laden.  In 1998 Mr. Clinton ordered 75 cruise missiles to be launched at Afghanistan and Sudan with the hope that one of them would hit bin Laden.

They missed, he escaped.

21 other people were reported killed by the missiles.

Mr. Clinton explains that there was "compelling evidence that bin Laden...was planning further attacks against...freedom loving people"....






Monday, August 18, 2014

4 Steps to Boost Willpower


Do you ever find yourself lacking motivation?  It turns out there are 4 basic steps that when taken are proven to boost willpower.  

Kelly McGonigal explains how your physical lifestyle effects your brain functions...




4 Steps to Boost Willpower:

  1. Sleep
  2. Meditation
  3. Physical Exercise
  4. Low-glycemic, plant-based diet


Sunday, August 17, 2014

The "Prince of Pot" is Set Free


Mark Emery, "the Prince of Pot" at his wedding in 2006

Photograph by: Jason Payne, The Province


After spending more than 4 years in a Louisiana jail a Canadian man is back home.

Marc Emery, the Prince of Pot, plead guilty to selling marijuana plant seeds from his Vancouver, B.C. based mail-order house.  Unfortunately for Mr. Emery his customers were in the U.S.

Story from The Province


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Teaching Kids Violence


An interesting blog post by Michael Kaplan at The Forward.


Israel

Of course it is not just in Israel that adults encourage children to "pretend" violence.  Kids playing army is common the world over.


Iraq


Russia

What are the repercussions of these games?  Are they meaningless?  Just boys being boys or does "acting" out pretend violence breed the potential for real violent acts?



Friday, August 15, 2014

A Peaceful Solution for the People of Ferguson



Ithaca Hours: Local Currency 

A major issue ignored during the coverage of chaos and violence in Ferguson, Missouri is that of the local power structure.  Cities and counties become power centers because they claim a monopoly on “protection services” in a given geographic region.  It’s fair to be outraged at violent actions of individual people and the groups that sanction them but the root cause lies in the power structure. 

Police chiefs, mayors and city council people are only power centers if the community provides them with material means of support.  The primary means is, of course, money. 


     

Fortunately individual people can be power centers as well.  A substantial method of supporting yourself is to issue your own money.  Decentralized money puts the power in the hands of the people of Ferguson as opposed to politicians and government employees.

This is not a new concept.  Community currencies have provided solutions to social and economic challenges in cities around the globe including San FranciscoIthaca, New York and western Massachusetts.  

As community currency becomes the dominate medium of exchange it's value to the region exceeds that of the "U.S. Dollar".  Anyone offering "protection" (i.e. police) to the people of Ferguson will compete to provide the safest and most cost-effective services in exchange for community currency (i.e. "Ferguson Hours").  

Each household, street or neighborhood will decide for themselves which agency they would like to support.  Of course families have the option of providing for their own self-defense if they choose.    


Democracy means people can easily withdraw consent  


If you no longer desire the defense services from your agency you can simply stop doing business with them.  This option brings the competitive environment that already exists between McDonalds and Burger King or between Wal-Mart and Target to the businesses in the defense industry.  A non-monopolized market for defense services will make for much safer streets of Ferguson. 

To begin exploring decentralized money listen to this two minute clip where Thomas Greco explains the basics.  His writings on community currency are a great source of inspiration for societal change.  

People can peacefully outgrow the centrally controlled dollar.  One available path is an increased reliance on localized money & credit.         


*Great detail about the recent events in Ferguson can be found at Vox.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

File Under: Medicaid Fraud


The Texas Tribune reports on the most recent case of Medicaid fraud:
State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control: Between 2003 and 2010, Texas Medicaid payments for orthodontic services grew by more than 3,000 percent — from $6.5 million to $220.5 million — while program enrollment only grew 33 percent.
Just the state being swindled out of millions of your dollars, again.

Funny that you never hear about Starbucks squandering billions of dollars which lead to a 3,000% jump in coffee prices.  The people who serve you coffee seem to be better stewards of resources then the people who collect the taxes.