This conversation is closed.

Fix our US Government

The real problem is that our SYSTEM OF COMMERCE is broken.

In the US the Government created Corporations and gave them
Limited Liability Protections as a carrot to keep them Homebound.

Corporate Officials, more favored by Law, than taxed payer Citizens,
act much as the layers of an onion, shielding and protecting high
government officials and elected politicians, and by serving in the
government whenever needed.

The idea seemed to be sound when created, but it "evolved".

Now citizens who've paid their Taxes over the last 237 years
are beginning to wonder about what they've allowed to happen.

The continuous need to profit, more and more, to satisfy payment
to stock-holders, is a mistake in the basic design of Commerce.

Mayhap we need to consider a change.

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    Oct 31 2013: Frank,
    you are a little hard on limited liability laws.I am not saying that they haven't been abused by corporations, but there has been abuse on the other side just as well. I see the problem more with our tort laws. I mean because some idiot put up a sixteen foot ladder stepped out from the top step... the one with the label "do not stand"; reached out and fell off. He sues the ladder company for tens of millions. Now I buy a new ladder, $20 for the ladder and #100 for the insurance the ladder company pays for liability.
    The number of really frivolous lawsuits are astronomical. Don't misunderstand me, if a person is truly wronged, he deserves to sue and receive compensation for his loss.
    But, the number of suits that people and their lawyers submit based on their stupidity and carelessness is astonishing. I fault judges from allowing these to go forward. I fault juries who award millions with only the thought is that the sued client has insurance. Our system is totally broke there. You may say capitalism is
    not working well, but when you look at civil law.... There is what's broken.
    • Nov 2 2013: Mike, Thank you.

      I haven't researched when it started, but I remember that was about the time that
      Law schools began to overpopulate the nation, birthing Lawyers, and getting the
      government to pay for the classes. Anyone could be a Lawyer if they could get a
      school loan to pay tuition. If there is Greed in the system. It resides with these.
      Nothing has changed.

      States regulate Insurance. Regulators read and approve policies, the risks insured,
      and the reserves needed on hand to guarantee payment for claims. Regulators
      belong to the 'good ole boys' clubs, usually chosen by Governors from the cream of
      local insurance brokerage firms
      Nothing has changed.

      Jury awards for pain and suffering historically have been found to be rather modest,
      and to impose limits or caps would negatively impact victims of catastrophic injury.
      Nothing has changed.

      50% of jury's punitive awards get reduced or eliminated in post-trial proceedings, and
      wealthy defendants do not often have a different outcome than other 'non-institutional'
      defendants. While juries tend to award more money than judges, judges tend to find
      for the plaintiffs more often.
      Nothing has changed.
      ===
      Mike, We Americans are activists, and sometimes we rush to reform. Sound evidence
      and thoughtful analysis are required to ensure that appropriate actions are taken.
      The jury system is not only, not broken, it is revealed to be working remarkably well.
      Nothing has changed.

      Sorry Mike, I thought I was in your corner there for a while.
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        Nov 2 2013: Jury System....

        I was speaking of civil cases.... where jurors have stated that the big awards were covered by insurance. I am not sure that I am aware of jury awards all that modest.
        It is my contention that if you do stupid and then sue... a dime's award for pain and suffering is eleven cents too much. I have said there are legitimate grounds for suit and awards should be sufficient. I am talking about the way too may ambulance chasers that are suing right and left, paying crooked doctors to diagnose back pain and asking for a million in pain and suffering. Yes, these get may reduced post trail, but, a third of half the award is a good day's pay for any shyster.

        Now, I am sure there has been lawyers involved on both sides in criminal court to thwart to equal justice thing. Here in Texas, we've had prosecutors sending the innocent to jail and defense lawyers getting the guilty off on the most absurd technicality.

        You are correct that the jury system works.... remarkably well when looking at the number of people trying to misuse it. So, I think that we do need to keep a closer eye on those who are responsible for it. How we elect judges and prosecutors.... And private lawyers ? Who keeps them on the straight and narrow.

        There are too many foxes in the hen house to make me feel comfortable.
        • Nov 3 2013: Mike, thanks for the quick response. You are right.
          I got tied up trying to do the Breeders Cup handicap and this.

          A Story --
          A Lawyer was convicted of illegally keeping civil litigation in court overlong,
          and billing the clients unnecessary and excessive amounts for years.
          14 Lawyers were thought to be involved, and I think a judge might have been.
          Most of the Lawyers were dis-barred and the Leader was sentenced to 8 years
          in Lompoc. A few Lawyers continued to work for attorney firms, and after 5 or
          6 years were judged to be rehabilitated and re-admitted to the bar. This loose
          organization was the "Alliance". The Leader was **** *****. My Lawyer.
          If I wrote a book on his exploits, he would find a way to get the money.

          I was watching America's Most Wanted TV show, and there was ****'s picture,
          his girlfriend, and his yacht, all 300 feet of it. I don't bear a grudge against him.
          I get a strange feeling about the law suit we won. He told me he would get one
          of my liability insurance company's to pay his fees. He later returned my retainer
          without cashing the check. After the suit he told me he was paid $140,000 in fees.

          He flew to my mountain home and we flew across Wyoming and discussed starting
          a product liability company. We never got passed the idea, and probably best for
          both of us.

          I can construct in my head, a scam.
  • Comment deleted

    • Oct 31 2013: Brian, Thank you.
      I take it you do not believe our system is broken?

      Should we leave Limited Liability Laws alone?

      Is "capital" our problem?
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 3 2013: Brian, Thank you for those really great thoughts.
          A different prospective always helps.

          The picture --
          We worry too much that our system's not working as well as it once had.
          The answer --
          To offer creative ideas, and trust our government to do their jobs.
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 3 2013: Brian,
          Which bring me to the original creative idea.

          Rescind Limited Liability Protections for Politicians and Corporations.
          Level the Playing Field.
          Allow human beings as citizens to enjoy equal status with Corporations.

          I think Mother Nature would approve, along with the Bell Curve.

          Enjoy your walk-a-bout Brian.
          Keep an eye out for snakes, and those who would covet your possessions
          with their destructive approaches.
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 3 2013: Brian,
          The real problem is that our SYSTEM OF COMMERCE is broken.
          It is not a game.

          Your blog site indicates you like to start at the top.
          Good luck there.

          Mr. Snowden's put his life on the line.
          We need respect his decision.
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 4 2013: Brian, You disagree with my evaluation of the problem.
          Late 30's or early 40's, living in Costa Rica, Blacklisted and job searching at Intel,
          Unable to get together with your buddies or help 2 others get free from the NSA.
          But thank God your parents love you. Playing the AI philosopher. I like it.
          On a scale of 1 to 10. How did I do?
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 4 2013: Brian, A story ---
          I went through a similar, experience in my mid twenties. I ran a small
          circuit board manufacturing plant with 50 employees. Developing a health
          condition, about the time of the Sylmar earthquake. I needed out of the smog,
          and my $30K home had overnight become a $40K home due to earthquake
          damage. I took my severance package and went north to Washington State.
          I never realized my mistake until too late. There were few jobs available due
          to a recession and 16% unemployment. A billboard on the side of the road,
          leaving Boeing Aircraft, said; "Will the last man, please turn out the lights."
          After I fixed a broken transmission, my wife, child, and I ended up in Phoenix.
          There I made a fortune, retired at 39, in 1977. I continued to find new business
          ventures totaling 21, and I still look today, out of the corner of my eye.

          I relate this to you, as a positive incentive. Life is all about taking another
          step when you feel unable to do so.

          I disagree with your assessment. But you do have the right to come to your own
          conclusions...

          I thank TED allowing me the opportunity to engage this way, and for the subject
          matter, that, if truth be told, is not exactly TED stuff. .
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 4 2013: Brian, Thanks for the 10...
          I just wrote a lengthy answer to this. Poof, it disappeared.
          I would rather not do it twice.

          This Poof has happened to me before.
          When I had XP and Outlook Express life was fun to blog.
          Win7 and now Win8.1 is all crap.
          I'm getting to old for this social nonsense Microsoft is putting out.
          ===
          I just watched Today's TED Talk,
          Rodrigo Canales: "The deadly genius of drug cartels"

          A sad commentary for us all.
          Our President and the last 20 Presidents dragging their feet.

          No Military support for the ATF.
          No cross-border bombing of Opium Farmers.
          No pissed off little Dictators.
          Instead Obama builds a fence on the border. What bull.

          I remember when Senator Kerry in I think 1986, was part of a
          Senate committee and they listened to testimony that the CIA
          was selling drugs big-time, Poof !!!
          Nothing happened...
          Now Kerry is our Secretary of State.
          Go figure.

          From the Mexican drug wars in the last 6 years.
          80,000 innocents dead or maimed.
          On our border.

          What is Kerry's responsibility? What is Obama's responsibility?

          Why does our Military, who can kill without paying attention to border
          restrictions when chasing down Terrorists, ignore Opium Farmers.

          To NOT bomb the farmers out of existence, just doesn't make sense.
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    Oct 26 2013: Hi Frank, and what an interesting topic. First and foremost just typing out an opinion doesn't really do much since everyone has an opinion, maybe similar in context to all but hardly worth anything unless there is some sort of action. We can talk about percentages on welfare, we can talk about homelessness and if we as individuals just continue to type words nothing gets done. The American People have to be Aroused and so far it seams that they have not suffered enough PAIN to cause a reaction, I do believe that in small pockets around the country we will start seeing the results of our broken systems and these areas will have to either make physical changes or suffer another civil war. Take for example Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. I really think he is one of a few "Statesmen" that can actually Lead our Country in the right direction. We need to identify individuals with a level of "Common Sense" approach to our issues and elect them to decision making positions. I will close with mentioning of an issue within my own state educational system. In order now to graduate from high school, one must have at least a year of Biology, and a year of Algebra I, but there is no provision for teaching our students the difference between a Misdemeanor A or Misdemeanor B, and what life long consequences it may pose to them. I even have a personal attorney friend who says "Ignorance of the law" is no excuse for breaking it. What? With hundred's of laws on the books, how can one know if they are breaking one. We need a Middle Class Leader, and then next election cycle, unseat even the most "Popular" long time politician and insert someone with common sense approach answers. Only then we might be able to see a change. Each one of us needs to identify that person and aggressively work the polls and Social Media to elect them to those positions to enact the positive changes required.
    • Oct 27 2013: John, thank you.
      I agree with a lot of what you say. But, voting a newby into Congress has not worked.
      I haven't heard Mr. Cruz lay out any battle plan. Politicians in office today, only got
      there by being selected by Democratic, or Republican party leaders. Then they paid
      the media advertising bucks to control the content of what was to be said for whoever
      they had selected. That is the pathway Mr. Cruz followed, as did everyone one who
      has been elected since I can remember, and I go back to the 40's.
      ===
      1. It will take a referendum with 35 states agreeing before anything will change.
      ===
      John, you can try doing it the same old way, and I wish you the greatest success.

      My thoughts are that this once free nation is heading for a fall. I've researched
      my heart out. We've all been had. And they've earned every dime they stole.

      If your still here John, It's Over, Go home.
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        Oct 28 2013: Frank as a Veteran I will never give up. There is a Universal Law which quite spells everything out. We have tremendous patience but things will turn around. It is very unique to see that finally the Politicians are learning a Hugh lesson in General Business. You cannot spend ,ore than your income or you go broke. Now with that said they have dug themselves a hole, they cannot raise taxes or they will get 2 results, either one equally bad. Jobs falling off so income is low, raise taxes and income will still go down since that is counter productive and will costs jobs. Patience and perseverance will win out every time.Keep in mind you can research your heart out but unless you market the results, nobody will ever find out. I just had a very nice potential customer show me his unique 50 Caliber Bullet trinket, I think it is neat and his products look good, but he has no Marketing plan so it will go nowhere. Thank God there is the internet to inform people. Keep an idea going and get it done. I personally hope we get alot of Newbies to Washington, you have to start somewhere, but the actions of Boehner and Reid show AGE in fact is a real detriment. We still have the Greatest product Market in the WORLD, and still drive the World economy, don't let anyone sway your opinion. Go out there and protest and make people aware that there is unrest all over the United States. One simple thing we could do is reestablish the Draft and adhere to all uniforms, equipment must be manufactured in the USA of parts manufactured in the USA. I t would be extremely good for our economy, increase-jobs, and make kids appreciate what their fathers did as well as how what those in WW 2 fought for, our Freedom. We really missed the boat by going to an all volunteer military.
        • Oct 28 2013: John, thank you for your ideas.
          I was hoping to find out if you and the others responding would consider
          the one point I made to start this conversation.

          The US Government created Corporations and gave them
          "Limited Liability Protections". A get our of jail free card

          That gave the Articles of Incorporation -- "a simple piece of paper" more rights
          than live American citizens have

          I've suggested, implored, and demanded that this deplorable action be reversed.
          Nothing -- No response, No debate, No understanding, only apathy.

          John, If we take away the Corporate "get out of jail free card", they will have to
          become transparent and truthful. Wall Street will become afraid to manufacture
          and sell small print, snake-oil investments. Congress will be forced to hold open hearings. And Americans will have their jobs.
          ===
          But history tells a different story -- Henry Paulson charmed the congress into
          bailing out the really greedy Auto manufacturers, Corporations and Stupid Bankers.

          Just last week, Jamie Diamond's JPMorgan-Chase was Fined $13 Billion, and
          Bank of America $6 Billion just to stay out of jail for manipulating our money.
          Goldman Sachs got off cheap several years ago.

          All this could have been avoided. With a truthful and transparent government.
          ===
          It takes a referendum, with a single sentence, passed by 35 states.
          This idea -- "The right to Limited Liability Protection is herein rescinded."

          Do it and the corruption stops. Or they go to jail. For a very long time.

          Doing it will take away the Corporate "get out of jail free card",
          ===
          Years ago our women were fed up, and they did it, for Women's Rights.

          Isn't it about time we Men stood up, and shouted NO MORE LIES.
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    Oct 25 2013: Frank,
    Although there has been incidents of crony capitalism that have been out right outrageous, I have come to believe that these are symptoms of deeper problems. If our Constitution was the basic law of the land back when and I'll accept that it was as good a way as possible to govern a constitutional republic. But, it has been chipped at time after time amendment after amendment. I cringed every time I hear that some judge has interpreted the law to bring it into "modern context".
    Congressmen were supposed to be working farmers and businessmen who met during the summer between planting and harvest only having to do it twice. Senators were to be selected by the states to represent them in matters that required careful debate and considerations. The Federal government was to be financed through duties and levees.
    Now, the Senate is gone and we have a bi-cameral Congress thanks to the 17th amendment. The 16th amendment gave congress unlimited, unfettered taxing ability on personnel income. People have hogged congressional seats for years and years by hook and by crook... mostly crook. Old joke: Want to be wealthy? Buy a lottery ticket, better still, run for congress.
    To make matters worse, after the third term, most are no longer elected but coronated.
    We need to limit terms for congress. We need to return a senate to the states. We need to prosecute the bribery of elected officials aka lobbyist. We need to end gerrymandering. We need to insure honest voting, no dozens of mail in ballots addressed from a local cemetery. This last one actually happen in a nearby city.
    This is just a short list.
    • Oct 25 2013: Mike, Thank you. I agree with "everything" you've written.

      We seem to have a problem with the engine crank.

      While everyone who is working, is working for low wages,
      no one is interested in change. They all see what Obama
      did and didn't do, and still he was returned to office. Apathy.
      ===
      I have a small city park outside of my apartment's kitchen window,
      and during the day, it is often populated with homeless men and
      some women. My community is on the beach, with mild temps
      year round.

      Before Henry Paulson conned the Congress to Bail Out the
      crooked banks, the park was quiet and a place for children and
      mothers. They come now on weekends, and they bring Dad.

      On the days welfare checks arrive, some homeless ones get loaded
      and a bit drunk. They have no jobs, the city is small, but does treat them fair.
      The Salvation Army, the VA, and churches make sure food is plentiful, hair cuts
      available, and we have excellent thrift shops where they can get their clothing.
      Our Library allows them to spend the days reading. And near the freeway the
      police look the other way to allow a small tent community. All in all it works.

      The only real problems are of course social drugs and alcohol. Halls for
      AA and NA are close by for the wayward.

      We have adapted to the 21st century, but the homeless find themselves
      unemployed and left by the side of the road, so to speak. There are
      No real jobs available, and nothing you could call a career.

      My grandsons never really found work or a career. Drugs took them.
      So, one's in prison, and the other a violent sort, needs to be.

      I see the Welfare beneficiaries when I look out my front window.
      They all have disabilities, and get their dole. Housing assistance, PTSD
      payments from some war, and payments for mental conditions. A lifetime
      filled with small checks, that make Non productive people, non productive.
      They are all nice people but kind of dead inside. No spark, no ambition.
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        Oct 25 2013: Frank,
        Appreciate your candor and the concerns you have expressed for the downtrodden. My nearby city with a great number of homeless constructed a large campus with all the facilities to house, provide some medical care, counseling and employment help. Many have been helped, but... too many are still living under the highway overpasses. These people are hopelessly lost to addictions and mental illness. In my youth, these people were committed to state institutions for help. Of course, those institutions were not always well intended and the patients suffered. Instead of fixing the problems, laws were passed to close the institutions and release these people back to the streets.

        Which brings me to the old adage... The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
        • Oct 25 2013: Mike,
          I remember those 80's days when Ronald Reagan was President.
          The problem with institutions was corruption, Never seen of course.
          Reagan was blamed at the time. But, I like to think he performed an
          act of salvation for many held in bondage by being afflicted.

          A story --
          Driving across the wide expanses of Wyoming, I had become sick with
          a pharyngitis complaint.. It was mid-winter, and I stopped in Evanston
          to find a doctor, and get a shot. The doctor told me to tough it out and
          gave me nothing. arrrrgh !!!

          I made a sale call at a retailer,in Evanston, Wyoming, and met an elderly
          gent, the owner, who was once a customer of Jim Penny. Jim's mother
          was the sole owner of JC Penny Co., a national retailer for many years.
          The home for JC Penny's Co. was located in the boondocks of Kemmerer,
          Wyoming.

          The elderly gent told me several stories, and one about the "crazy house"
          located there in Evanston. Back then, any Institution for the mentally disabled,
          was referred to as the "crazy house" I was curious, and drove directly to the
          institution to see for myself what this place was all about. I used "sales call"
          as my excuse to enter.

          I was shocked.
          The exterior of the building reminded me of an old Japanese Prison with
          very high dark grey walls, that I had once driven by. Grey and forbidding.
          Once inside, things didn't change much.

          I made my sales call on the man in charge of Maintenance. He took me
          on a tour.

          Hallways were so small you almost had to duck, curved overhead, and painted
          dark grey, were poorly lit, and empty. Doors, behind which people were confined,
          were shaped like very small church doors, with a curved top. Locked. A peep hole
          in each door. I looked. Someone just sat in there, alone, on a chair.

          I left the place, found my car, and drove south. It was still mid-winter.
          I was still sick. I drove south, a little bit faster. towards home.

          We need to find a better way..
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        Oct 25 2013: Back in the my day, we took a school trip to a local state hospital for the insane. It wasn't quite the dungeons you described, most of the patients there were relatively clean and appeared properly fed and there were sun lite day rooms where they could intermingle. We were shown a "literal" padded cell where the most violent were housed, but the director who was our guide said that many of those were kept sedated. At the time, I felt bad for ill people to be housed like that... it didn't seem right, but I had no rational alternative... I was a kid.
        But, later, when the state hospital was closed and the patients where sent out on the streets and a few came to my hometown. The Catholic Charities had a soup kitchen, the Salvation Army had a dormitory and gave out meal coupons. That's all the help there was for mentally ill people.
        Some years later came the great society and we got a bunch of new Cabinet level Secretariats to deal with the poor, sick and the uneducated and look what that got us.
        • Oct 25 2013: Mike, Evanston, Wyoming isn't exactly in the mainstream. It is isolated.
          Or it was then, but, I forgot then was in 1980s some 33 years ago. We
          have come a long way since then. We are today a Welfare society, with
          Corporate Insurers and the Medical Community running the show.
          ===
          Without accountability, the United States of America's Geographical Government
          becomes all-powerful, and we the people slip from being an American democracy
          to being a dictatorship. The slope is slippery, and there are those who project the
          loss of Democracy in America is happening right now.

          The US, along with the UK and other unnamed partnered nation's that are operating similar secret spying schemes, have a duty to fully explain themselves to all those
          peoples they serve.

          No one has more responsibility to do so, than President Barack Obama.
          ===

          The first duty of our Government is to after our Safety, and in a free and open
          democracy they also have a duty to look after our Liberty. We Americans are
          now at the mercy of our Military who spies on all of us, with camera's and crypto-technologies. The Military part of this is scary. Military Agencies, the NSA for one
          (and others) are being run by an Army General, who has as his subordinate, a
          Civilian Deputy. Can anyone see the wrong side of this coin?

          Today the news tells of the NSA spying on the leaders of some 35 nations.
          Brazil and France have been up in arms over this. But today's newspapers
          don't seem to address these old issues, and they don't name all the other nations
          being spied upon. Instead they show Germany's re-elected leader, irate, about
          the same ongoing spying activities on her.

          Interesting that our President Barack Obama hides from our inspection and has no explanation to give to us, the people he serves.

          Of course, what can he say, to defend such practices. He is after all, only the Commander in Chief of our Military, and the most irresponsible of all.
          Getting scary folks.
  • Oct 23 2013: For a start, chuck the electorial college system out the window. Its undemocratic, and serves no real practical purpose to show for it.

    Then, put into position measures so that politicians will no longer be for sale. At the moment, you can effectively buy a politician in the US with relative ease, from the local level, all the way to the national government.

    Its far from a catch all solution, but the first issue has the virtue of being easy to implement a fix for, and the second is probably the single most glaring problem with American politics at the moment.
    • Oct 23 2013: Nadav, I must agree with both your ideas.

      There is a problem.
      People have been trying to chuck the electoral college system out the window
      for the past 100 years, or longer.

      Buying politicians has made our nation into the corrupt thing it is today.

      The biggest Problem is the NSA, Ooops... That's just the 2nd biggest Problem.

      The Biggest Problem is a basic one.
      The continuous need to profit, more and more, to satisfy payment
      to stock-holders, is a mistake in the basic design of Commerce.

      Can you come up with a solution?

      A change in design is what I look for.
  • Oct 23 2013: Mornin Frank. Does it still seem like it is OUR government? I'm not so sure about that any longer.
    • Oct 23 2013: Scott, I have to agree with you.

      Geographical Government's in the Towns, Cities, Counties, States, and Washington DC,
      are mostly Incorporated, sharing the same or a bit better, Limited Liability Protections that
      non-political Corporations do, including Unions in today's more exalted position as the
      Supreme Court has ruled.

      It puts Politicians (prior and presently elected) into exalted positions also.
      While in office they do what they want, seldom accused and almost never convicted.
      After serving their government, the profitable world awaits, with ghost written books,
      speaking engagements, as corporate Lobby for state, federal, and foreign governments,
      while Universities and major corporations offer life awards, and positions as executives,
      and seats on their boards of directors.

      It's a great life.
      The other side of the coin. The side with Freedom and Privacy. (Lost just a few years ago.)
      Citizens, including those with unincorporated businesses stand naked before a Justice System
      with only paid insurance policy premiums between them and a jail cell.

      Am I seeming a bit harsh in my assessment?
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    Oct 23 2013: Try Auctioning the US Government, We will see after Auctioning also the Governments Function the same way.
    • Oct 24 2013: Kuldeep negi, Now that isn't as funny as you planned.
      Russia had like problems, and sold us Alaska for $5,000,000.

      You are right about the Governments functioning the same way.

      I don't advocate overthrow, just change to a slightly different system of Commerce.
      Eliminate Limited Liability laws for Politicians and Corporations, eliminate Stock Holders,
      and current Accounting Practices. We can do away with Wall Street. It is an unnecessary
      Elephant in the room. It has become the Las Vegas of New York, and major hubs around
      the world, who gamble with Real Peoples Lives.

      Banks, who are supposed to safe-keep and store our monies, instead, gamble with them
      on Wall Street. It gets embarrassing, when after an Emergency audit of the nation's banks,
      Henry Paulson could con the Congress into Bailing out those same broke Banks. Henry made
      possibly the greatest Theatrical Performance in history. And we the people got to watch the
      entire mess, through our controlled content media. Henry was very well paid for his effort,
      one $Billion dollars.

      With a few minor changes, like elimination of those Limited Liability laws. Change will follow.
  • Nov 6 2013: About 30 minutes left on this conversation.
    Thanks to TED, and all of you responders.

    I was looking for an idea others might have to right our nation's course.
    Most of you responders did have some ideas that really made sense.
    I see your pictures to the left of the screen as I write. Many of you are
    well versed, and intellectually talented. I thank you so much.
  • Nov 2 2013: This is a bit off-topic to most people who don't think their status is at risk.
    I know the NYT blogger who wrote this --
    I know the research he does --
    I know no one will believe it --
    I know we should.

    11-2-2013
    Last night I deleted all my NSA research items.
    Original research took me 45 years back, through IBM, research employees, their histories and their futures,
    then forward, following the growth of the NSA, to the white house and all the past and current president's memos,
    and directives including no.12, past the top secret and cryptographic nonsenses, and into forward planning of warfighters, and global control.

    Folks, we have a problem. Much bigger than anyone can imagine.
  • Oct 29 2013: Hi
    Frank Barry
    No more replies down below as opposed to down under.
    People have to reach, "give me liberty or give me death" and be willing to follow through on that.
    That is how "the country they fondly keep in their historical memories" was fought for.
    Those who went to Europe and to the East in WWII are almost all gone, but what has gone with them
    is the direct emotional connection they had with the populace of truly fighting for freedom.
    What their country has been doing, in their brainwashed name, is exactly what Hitler and Stalin tried to do.
    No difference whatsoever.
    They are walking around in a brainwashed-induced slumber and need to wake up or be woken up before it is too late.
    Right now, the citizens of Amerika are Manchurian Citizens, deeply brainwashed, losing all their liberties, apparently willingly, because they are asleep. As George Carlin said, "They call it the America Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." Believe nothing any politicians says or promises. Do nothing they say. They are not the Constitution. The people are. They don't own the country. It is not theirs. It belongs to the people. They have to remember this and then trust it completely to act on it. They cannot afford to wait for the final proof. That will be too late.
    • Oct 29 2013: Random, A patriot you are.
      Your idea of waking up the citizens, is a great one. I endorse it fully.

      But, the problem remains that the 2 Party's have gained control of the Media.
      Full Control of Newspapers, Cable, and the Internet that daily give the news,

      The Media, are just a bunch of people wanting to make the big bucks.
      Reporters wait each day for hand-outs from White House spin doctors.

      Movies and Videos are dedicated to sexy love stories, historic war reenactments,
      adult shock, children's adventures, light comedies, and slight civil disobedience's
      without naming politicians and without showing any real corruption, and it's effects.

      Democrat and Republican parties are supported by Corporations and Unions
      and to a lesser extent by party members. The monies solicited and collected
      are spent to control the content of the Media. Advertising is how it is done.

      Citizens of America cannot understand the need for change, when their lifestyles
      are, as couch potatoes, wasting their productive lives by watching Cable TV, and
      playing video games.
      ===
      Many citizens do not take Welfare Dole, and hold lower paying jobs, held in place by
      personal debt, in the form of credit cards and student loans that were offered to them
      as youths, to pay for only a partial education, results of which never were guaranteed
      by any college or university.

      Some are students with scholarships in hand, the cream of the crop, who excelled
      in high schools or smaller colleges, and champions existing upon their physical
      abilities. Military and Major Universities vie for these few and their political students
      end up running our government itself.
      ===
      How can we wake these people up? The truth is, we cannot.
  • Oct 26 2013: In the beginning, there was no welfare. We were a federation of States.
    Somehow, by collecting our taxed-payer's dollars, the appropriations allowed
    by congress, were used to make never ending wars by our slightly crazed
    Presidents, one after the other. When the blacks moved across the nation
    from a highly restricted south, to California, they found a haven of Welfare.

    No jobs, much like today. Just Welfare, much like today.

    During the Presidential Debates it was told, 47 % of Americans used some
    type of Welfare. That figure will increase somewhat after enrollment in ACA.
    But, not the increase of the 10 % of Americans who were uninsured.
    Because they were already on the Welfare doles.

    ACA aka Obamacare is not changing medical services, it only redistributes
    the money. The Republicans and Democrats know this. But while they
    argue and fight about it, they neglect to inform we the people.

    Why is that?
  • Oct 26 2013: Stupidity of Purpose.
    This week the UK and EU's newspapers have had a field day exposing
    the NSA's, and GCHQ's malfunctions. President Obama has hidden
    himself, hoping to deflect until things quiet down. The pitiful offering of
    change at the top by replacing the NSA's 2 heads, will not satisfy the
    US government's old wartime enemies and allies.

    Stupidity of Purpose
    OUR US government has finally gotten WikiLeaks to the back burner, and
    both Party Leaders are hoping that Edward Snowden's continual new revelations
    will slow and finally peter-out, to allow citizens to forget before elections.

    Mayhap we need to consider a change.
  • Oct 26 2013: News just in -- said that Hacker-Crackers shut down the NSA with a denial of service attack today.
    ===
    Unless this government of ours can be made to be honest, there is the only one other answer before us.
    I do not think they feel threatened just yet, but they do know they've overstepped the bounds of reason.

    It will take not very long at all to raise the ire of the American people. Most of us still have strong ties with
    foreign nation's citizens. Many are close relatives and friends. When those people are being mistreated
    by a bully US government, we become angry. Very angry.

    Our Representatives and Senators do not respond to our letters and phone calls.
    We are shunted away after first being identified, much like a cow before the slaughter.

    This is NOT the 1960's, a social and political upheaval caused by long term mistreatment.

    This is a US government trying to steal our Freedom, our Privacy, and dammit, our Money,
    and using the Military, with their NSA to seal the deal.

    Mayhap we need to consider a change.
  • Oct 25 2013: When are American'ts going to get it through their heads that they cannot fix their government?
    It is unfixable because it is unjust and can never be made just.
    American'ts have to completely dismantle it and create, implement and install a new, just system.
    A just system is one that does not contain reasons, causes or seeds for corruption.
    Your system functions totally on corruption. It needs corruption just like a human needs air and water.
    Those who are truly successful in the pursuit of power, money and control have all been corrupted because
    it is the only way to gain that kind of success and you either work with those in power or they will crush you.
    You are never going to get "ethical leaders" because they are not corrupt so stop your willful-blindness to the truth.
    First money has to go. A $ system lives on greed, corruption, crime, inequality, poverty, slavery & invests in war
    and death. Are those typical American't needs? It appears they are. If not, then do something. Want it to be easy? So, do nothing.
    Politicians are not needed. They don't solve problems, do they? So they are irrelevant. It is people and only people who do things, solve problems, create the extension of humanity by something called technology and every human need is a human job and every human job is human need. Stop parsing out inequitable value by jobs, based upon money.
    Nothing costs money. Everything costs people.
    Things don't....."get done"...... because of money.
    Things......."don't get done".....because of money.
    If you had a presidential debate and only person on stage did what they said they have done, knew how to get things done, turned down the millions of dollars offered to stop, or look the other way, and everyone in the audience and watching on tv knew all this was true, and the rest had never done anything except line their pockets with stolen cash, would you vote for him? The answer, NO you wouldn't. Voting doesn't work.
    Ralph Nader was that person but he was dismissed.
    • Oct 25 2013: Random,
      You've won the HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD award.
      for identifying the problem.

      Any chance you have a solution that doesn't involve violence?
      Well, maybe tar and feathers would work.
      • Oct 26 2013: Hi Frank.
        Well, there is the possibility of sort of granting complete amnesty or pardons, if that isn't the right word,
        to those in power because it can be said they are as much a victim of an unjust system as those who
        suffer more than they do under it and because of it.
        Thus, they would have to give up all power to allow humanity to build just systems in all regards:
        for the environment, the use of resources, better and truer understandings of morality, getting rid of most laws that only make more people criminals for a profit-prison system, and leading to the end of poverty, slavery, etc. which I knew when I was young, as did many others, that it has been possible and feasible for decades to feed everyone and absolutely no reason for anyone to go hungry, be homeless, without medical coverage, clean water and many other human needs.
        If they are willing to do this, then it can and will be done. Money stands in between or blocks humans solving their problems but those in control lead people to believe things don't get done without money.
        If not, if they won't step down, then what is happening in syria, libya, egypt and other places is not a mirror that American'ts should be afraid of happening at home, rather those situations are showing them exactly what they need to do.
        Either they are serious or they are not. Really want to get rid of human-trafficking? Get rid of the cause: money. Stop making decisions based on money. They are almost always the wrong decision, damaging the earth, resources, relationships, peace and so on, and on, and on, and on.
        We humans have had ample time to rid the world of our evils and we haven't done it. Why not?
        We don't want to or we have been told it is too idealistic, cannot be done? Of course it can!
        It is something we are supposed to do!!!
        • Oct 26 2013: To: Random Chance. Thank you.

          Washington DC is filled with genius.
          The people working there are the cream of the crop.

          Soon, Edward Snowden's revelations will be a faint memory, like WikiLeaks.
          Washington genius is just waiting for that time. They know the people are
          today only slightly stirred, and they can wait them out, until paid and controlled
          content of the media can work, and they can then continue their manufactured
          status-quo.

          As I read your conversation, I wonder, if you could turn the big problem into
          more a more specific targeted one. You seem to have the flavor and the fever,
          of what is needed, but to manufacture change, we need to be targeted.
          People are afraid of the big picture. They won't join together with just that.
          And, we need them to join together. They must realize that their nation needs
          them, to reject the Washington DC genius'.
  • thumb
    Oct 23 2013: Hello Frank,

    There are two possibilities:

    1). Fix the System - which will never happen until governments take back power of the money supply from the banking industry, which governments misguidedly gave to the banks some decades ago; and that would be merely the starting point.

    2). Follow Buckminster Fuller's approach and grow a new way of doing things from the bottom up in such a way that it makes the old system superfluous and redundant.
    • Oct 23 2013: Joshua, Thanks for the possibilities --

      Change has to be something that can actually happen.
      Such as --
      35 states voting together on one idea. "No more Lies."
      A referendum to take back our nation.

      A Civil Rights movement without color being the headliner.
      There is a such a catalyst today, although for people to buy
      the idea would require more imagination than I have.
      "No more Lies." --

      I am talking about forcing the government to become transparent.
      "No more Lies" gives life to Integrity and Transparency in both our
      government, and all corporations.

      Someone is needed to sell the idea to the nation.
      There is such a person today.
      Any idea who?
      • thumb
        Oct 24 2013: Someone who, I hope, is about to emerge onto the scene.
        As a European, I actually thought Obama might be that person when first elected. But the powers-that-be seem to be way stronger than any president - so I doubt it will be top-down.

        Yesterday I put a post on the conversation "The Abuse of Technology". Part of it seems also apt here:

        Here is a quote by Percy Redfern, written nearly 100 years ago in 1920, from his book "The Consumers' Place in Society" (section 12), in relation to the beginnings of the Co-operative movement which started in Manchester, U.K.

        "In our common everyday needs the great industries of the world take their rise. We — the mass of common men and women in all countries— also compose the world's market. To sell to us is the ultimate aim of the world's business. Hence it is ourselves as consumers who stand in a central relation to all the economics of the world, like a king in his kingdom. As producers we go each unto a particular factory, farm or mine, but as consumers we are set by nature thus to give leadership, aim and purpose to the whole economic world. That we are not kings, but serfs in the mass, is due to our failure to think and act together as consumers and so realise our true position and power".
        • Oct 24 2013: Obama wasn't the answer. He was a messenger. He brought warnings
          about the need for change. He didn't quite understand what he felt was
          happening, and as a result, now plays too much with his military toys.
          He kills, and with a complete disregard for collateral damages.
          Sorry, I can't stand the man.
          ===
          A story of my own creation -- You judge.

          As the Industrial age consumed us, the world lost many of it's intellectuals,
          mostly through wars between the industrial nations. At about that same time,
          "Industrialist's" were being protected by Banking Cartels, whose vast coffers
          provided politicians on both sides of their issues, with funding for their wars.

          The loss of the intellectuals never allowed plentiful discourse concerning
          the advent of Industry, and it's due effect on the peoples of our world.
          ===
          That history happened, and continues today. looking at the USA --

          The United States won and lost their wars, 63+, one after another,
          sinking deeper into debt with every new war. Every few years the
          Banks dipped their beaks into the US Treasury, and Treasuries of
          all the world's nations to get their lent capital back, while leaving their
          loans on the books to accumulate interest.

          A sleight of hand most magicians would applaud.
          Politicians are the fish Banker's fry.
          ===
          US Corporate Industry grew, discarding people much like a purchasing agent
          might find vendors with cheaper prices. Corporations paid or simply ignored,
          or replaced politicians who changed every few years. The control by Corporate
          Icons became complete.

          The largest Corporations used techniques involving 50 years of pre-planning
          for projects, and made politicians irrelevant. Politicians could only see what
          was happening during the very few years they were in office.

          Allowing for Corporate pause, when political impasses occurred, Corporations
          simply moved from nation to nation to produce at the lowest possible cost.
          ===
          Today this happens, not history...
      • thumb
        Oct 24 2013: I agree with your outline above. Tom Britton's current conversation "To what extent are Americans worried about the fact that the Federal banking system is a private institution?" looks at it too, focussing just on money supply (or should I say debt supply).
        Dwight Eisenhower warned of it in 1961; ref: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex". And others before him. Perhaps it should be called the military-banking-media-industrial complex nowadays, but the effect is the same.
        • Oct 24 2013: Joshua, I think we share the same wave link.
          I don't have the time today to go into the FED or Treasury,
          but I would delight in doing so.

          To turn the clock back to about to the period of 1870 to 1913.
          There were only a few hick-ups for the nation during that time.
          It was said to be the nation's best times. On the gold standard.

          Those best times ended 100 years ago.
          How to get back to them is going to be a chore.

          There is a pathway, but getting people on-board will be tough.
          So much to unravel, and there will be deadly opposition.
          I won't see it happen. I doubt it's success. But then we all need try.

          Today --
          The NY Times is bemoaning the fate of Obamacare's applicants.
          The realism that there is no magic to control costs of medical care
          is hitting home.

          Commenters realize that the Affordable Care Act is but a collection
          of Corporate Health Insurers who think the government can be milked
          in the end, for premium dollars. Nothing changes when named Greed.
      • thumb
        Oct 25 2013: Hi Frank again,
        You may be interested in this "interview" this week in the U.K
        http://gawker.com/russell-brand-may-have-started-a-revolution-last-night-1451318185?

        There was also a link to someone stateside, George Carlin, who I've never heard of 'til now
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOuf69G7AQU

        Perhaps on a higher note about positive change, the only news I read nowadays, U.K based, is:
        http://positivenews.org.uk/
        and its U.S counterpart
        http://www.positivenewsus.org
        • Oct 25 2013: Joshua, Great links.

          Russell Brand. WoW. Someone who understands, and can articulate.
          His spoken accent was hard to follow, but his words got through.
          I wanted to go back and tear apart his arguments to see if he and I agreed
          in principal. He does so well, ignite. A professional speaker who can get the
          message out. WoW. He brought up "Apathy". He is in tune.

          George Carlin, WoW. Long dead now. Entertained with Lenny Bruce type
          attacks on society's Victorian attitudes. He gave one performance where he said
          every "bad" word in found in recorded English. He gave another on "stuff",
          the useless things we accumulate and own, and what we do with them. This
          Political performance was well received, and it, like so many comic performances
          had little if any lasting effect on anything. Again, "Apathy" controls.

          Social Economy Organizations are not designed to make impacts on Government.
          They fit inside the rules, and adapt to them, trying to change within the ball park.
          A façade only...

          First global arms treaty approved by the UN doesn't address the problem of nation's
          like the United States who simply go on their way lying about their activities, and not
          having a congress that will ratify such an agreement, similar to the cruise missile one.
          We need to check the UN today, since it's been over the 90 days given for signatures
          to be affixed, starting last April. The message will be clear.

          The only way we can change things is to change the system itself. We must find
          a way to eliminate the lynch-pin of Limited Liabilities for Politicians, Banks, and
          Corporations. Until the Executives can be put at Judicial Risk, there will be no change
          in the status-quo.

          If you can steal 24/7 and not be penalized for doing so, you will just keep on doing so.
          That is the world today.

          Thanks for the links. I will refer to them again and again.
  • Oct 23 2013: Change is needed for the election system in the U. S. as well as some European countries. However, I think that you are barking at the wrong tree, so to speak.
    The problem for the government positions can be "bought" is due more to the fact of relaxed campaign financing regulations, than the financial power of the corporation profit. Actually a similar complaint occurred from the stockholders against the cozy relationship between the corporate CEO and the board of directors. Many people believe that the "best approach" to the solution is to abolish the free market system and change it to socialism (social justice?). But look at the history of communism and "socialism", what ended up was that the "elected" government officials became kings and emperors, that they were even harder to replace or be voted down. And the poor citizens or voters there were worse off than that of modern democracy.
    I would suggest that we could prohibit all the private political contribution from corporations, unions and private citizens. The necessary expenses of each candidate must come from a fund by an (progressive) "election tax" from all citizens, and allocated equally to each of the candidates. (state or national election candidates should have larger amount than candidates for local government offices.) Even the private assets of the candidates are also prohibited to be used for his/her campaign. So that the choice of the election office would depend only on the qualification and policy ideas of each candidate.
    • Oct 23 2013: bart, Thanks for your ideas.

      I doubt that fixing government a piece at a time will work.
      Prohibitions just go underground. Socialism, is what we are but we won't admit it.
      The 47 percent, after Obamacare will have grown to close to 60 percent by next year,
      70 days from now, a Welfare-Socialist State we cannot afford.

      We need our government to become truthful to all, and to all, today. Time is short.
      We need a referendum passed by 35 states to force the government from Lies to Truth.

      Our Military stands more than ready, and we might want to consider that fact.
      Ugly things have happened in history time and time again.
      We are not immune.
      • Oct 24 2013: I agree with your assessment of the current U. S. Government.
        I also am disgusted about the ObamaCare web jams. My guess is that the Obama Administration had serious transparency shortcomings about the so-called software glitches. The underlying problems are most likely due to the type of applicants who are mostly unhealthy with existing disease conditions. While the HHS or the White House want the proper ratio of 6 to 1 unhealthy applicants with 1-in-7 healthy young adults to balance out the burden of the exchange insurers so that the premiums could stay at reasonable level. When this ratio in the applicants pool exceeds the 6-to-1 ratio, the software program simply stops the enrollment so that no more unhealthy applicants are allowed to enroll (that's why the applicants were not even shown the price list of the various insurers). That is almost like a sales scam of bait-and-switch. ) I believe that this non-transparency was more or less confirmed by today's congressional testimony by the ObamaCare web software providers.)
        There are also additional problems in the ObamaCare if and when the INSURANCE takes effect. There will be tremendous amount of complaints on high premiums, lower quality of care providers and long waiting time for many surgical or hospitalization procedures, due to the shortage of health providers in the program. It can only show up when the ObamaCare is implemented in full force.
        After the ObamaCare law was passed in Congress, many lawmakers, including even some Democrats, were saying that the law is likely to be a train wreck. However, we won't see this train wreck until after the train leaves the station!
        • Oct 24 2013: Bart, Thank you.
          I hesitate to enter into any conversation about Obamacare.
          My feelings are that the Congress and the President have shafted
          the American People once again.

          Corporate Insurers have acquired 30 million "new" policy-holders
          without a dime of acquisition costs. Multiply that times premiums
          for the lives of the insured, (as guaranteed by the IRS penalty, or
          Welfare paid by the government), less bribes for the lifetime of the
          retired bribe beneficiaries. It's a damned good profit. And if the
          stock or mutual holders were ever eliminated, hmmm? And that's
          just the "new" policy-holders.

          Don't forget that today Health Insurance has changed. ---
          Corporate Insurers do not care whether their insureds are sick or healthy.
          The actuaries get paid "the big bucks" to develop a premium structure.
          They are very good at doing so. Back in the day, I visited the dome
          of a certain state capital building, and in that dusty room, read the on-file
          insurance company's policies and actuarial studies, and created my own
          policies and premium structures. Not hard to do when your a genius.
          What, me brag?

          Obamacare is a Train Wreck.
          But the people of this nation have nothing else. So, when the damned thing
          goes bust, and it will, then a single payer plan (paid by taxed-payers) based
          upon the VA's system of Hospitals and Clinics, with an enforceable patient's
          bill of rights, will be a likely replacement. If by then we have an honest
          government. Who wants to take bets?

          Obama, and his Congressional cohorts will be retired, rich and long gone, I hope.
          But, don't forget the possibility that the really fat Military, and Private Contractor
          Mercenaries, might just want to keep him around. Remember the Romans?
  • Oct 23 2013: We can't expect our government to fix itself... we can't expect our system to fix itself... Everyday I'm signing an ignored petition, attending an ignored march or protest...
    We have to stop living according to our government, banks, and businesses...
    We have to build systems of interdependence and make our own means of living that doesn't involve working hours for corporations for paper to give right back to corporations...
    it's an unnecessary circle that can be simple to exit if your developed support system is strong. Start growing your own foods and meds, making your own clothes and goods, befriending people with certain skills and trades and benefit from each other, your own doctors, farmers, seamstresses, remove your children from the public school systems, create your own school systems and appoint your own teachers, and make your own education structure that you see fit for them to grow up and be able to lead and maintain morals and integrity...
    • Oct 23 2013: Uniqea, I agree with your frustration...

      Our government will not fix itself -- They are the problem and cannot see it. Our system has no mechanism to adapt or change. While signing an ignored petition is useless, some value can be
      attached to public marches and protests.

      We cannot stop living according to our government, banks, and businesses. But we can build
      systems within our current society, that define specific "systems of interdependence" that can
      co-exist with current government, banks, and businesses. Perhaps a system of barter that can
      parallel money. Barter sits on the edge of society today, having never caught on, and run more
      as under the table, than not.

      Moving backwards, into earlier day living has never really worked. Co-ops and such usually
      end up with a corrupt management and after several years dissolve.

      Morals and Integrity are my battle cry also. Victorian principles are no more.
      Yesterday's corruption, today has value.

      The melting pot boiled dry.
      Go figure.
  • Oct 23 2013: Isn't this what the big election donors want.

    Control expenditures like other countries. Maybe strong parties and multiple parties.
    • Oct 23 2013: Hi George, Your spot on of course.
      That's today --
      Tomorrow is just 70 days away.
      If we are going to change from a corrupt society into a nation without secrets,
      with both government and corporations that are honest and transparent to their
      citizens and customers, we have to start today.

      The US two party system doesn't work for citizens, only for party leaders.
      Party leaders raise money, to pay off media and polls for control of content.
      Party leaders select the candidates. They care not who wins, but only who is
      on the ballot. That way they control government. The Voters merely bleat.

      Lobby leaders raise money, to pay off politicians and media for control of content.
      Lobby leaders select no candidates. They care not who is on the ballot, but only
      who wins. That way they control legislation. The Voters never awaken.
      • Oct 24 2013: I hope so But there is so much money in campaigns and the Supreme Court has encouraged it.
        • Oct 24 2013: George, your right of course. Spot on.

          We've seen how the Supreme Court can be completely controlled by selective
          selection. Remember back when Obama chastised the Supreme Court in
          front of the Congress during his first state of the union address?

          I wondered at the time, what he was up to. I made a guess; Chicago politics
          and telling them who was boss.

          George we live in a dirty world these days. I liken it to before Napoleon's time,
          when the French were using the Inquisition as a tool. The Dark ages for America
          may be upon us. I hope I'm dreaming.